Hideo Kojima has been on the game development scene for three decades now. In the span of this incredible career, he has truly left his mark on the world of gaming. Kojima has told stories of insane caliber, introduced legendary characters, and has continually attempted to push the limits of interactive entertainment. He is most famous as the designer of Metal Gear Solid. In 2015, he started his own studio, Kojima Productions, which released Death Stranding in 2019.
While not everything Kojima has done has worked, you have to admit that this innovator has had his moments. These moments are definitely unique to him, though. Here are the craziest examples of Hideo Kojima being… well, Hideo Kojima.
That time Hideo Kojima obliterated the fourth wall
Metal Gear Solid was a powerhouse of stealth in 1998. The PlayStation classic introduced many to the now legendary Solid Snake, and solidified Kojima as a storyteller worth keeping tabs on. While Metal Gear Solid had many incredible moments, one stood out among all others. Naturally, I am referring to the paranoramal boss fight with Psycho Mantis.
This fight was an exercise in messing with the player via breaking the fourth wall. At the time, the encounter was pretty unnerving to many. Mantis speaks directly to the player in this fight, going so far as to tell them to place their controller on the ground. He then shows off his powers by causing the controller to vibrate uncontrollably.
The enemy was also capable of reading memory cards. Were the player to be a fan of other Konami titles, such as Castlevania, then Mantis would comment on this. In 1998, this was a pretty insane idea, but Kojima wasn’t done there.
Mantis is a psychic capable of reading minds. As such, he could tell what moves the player would make and dodge any attacks. Well, how do you escape this, exactly? Simply think outside the box and switch your controller from port #1 to port #2.
Who would think of this? Hideo Kojima would.
That time Hideo Kojima fooled us all
Following Metal Gear Solid, fans were hungry for more adventures with the sneaky Solid Snake. Their wish was granted when demos of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was finally shown off for the PlayStation 2. As expected, Snake was front and center in all trailers and promotional materials surrounding the game. He looked better than ever, as well.
The promotional campaign drew the significant Metal Gear fanbase to stores on release day, each gamer excited to experience what Kojima had in store for them next.
Within hours, the talk surrounding the game was dominated by confusion surrounding the big twist of the game: Snake was not the main character.
Yes, following the prelude, Solid Snake was replaced by the fresh-faced rookie known as Raiden. The blonde-haired spy was never shown before in any media or promotions, making him an intentionally well-hidden secret. Few were pleased with this decision and some are still a bit salty about it years later. Hideo Kojima, however, still seems quite pleased with himself.
That time Hideo Kojima fooled no one
In 2012, the Spike TV Video Game Awards held a world premiere for a game simply titled “The Phantom Pain.” This was a title developed by the mysterious Moby Dick Studios, headed up by a CEO by the name of Joakim Mogren. Mogren was never seen without having his entire head bandaged up in interviews, however. People were also quick to note that Joakim is an anagram for Kojima.
The trailer showed off at the VGAs seemed quite familiar, though. It was difficult to explain precisely why, but the entire cinematic simply screamed “Metal Gear Solid.” Following this instinct, perceptive viewers were able to deduce that the words “Metal Gear Solid” were cropped out of The Phantom Pain’s title card.
Of course, the truth eventually came out that both Moby Dick Studios and Joakim Mogren were nonexistent. The entire charade was an odd marketing campaign for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
That time Hideo Kojima let you beat the game if you turned it off
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater had an incredible boss known as The End. The old man was a sneaky crack shot sniper that the player had to outmaneuver in any way they could. However, there were two alternate ways to deal with the boss. Both of which were peak Kojima.
The first way had the player snipe the character in his introductory cutscene. Few would have thought to do that, but those with that foresight were spared, or robbed, of the battle later in the game.
The second method of doing away with the ancient sniper involved patience. A week’s worth of patience, in fact. Players could turn the game off after saving at the start of the battle. If they waited over a week to come back, The End would have died of old age while awaiting their return. Because why wouldn’t that be an option, right?
That time Hideo Kojima locked us in a haunted house without warning
In August of 2014, a mysterious download popped up on the PlayStation Network titled P.T., developed by “7780s Studio.”
None of the original players of P.T. were aware of what awaited them inside of this download, but the contents are sure to be remembered for a long time to come. News of this bone-chilling horror game spread like wildfire across the internet, earning a significant amount of downloads in little time.
It wasn’t long before the game was revealed to be a “playable teaser” for Silent Hills. This was a game meant to be developed by Hideo Kojima, with Gulliermo Del Toro attached as a director, and starring Norman Reedus.
Sadly, this project was canned following a falling out between Kojima and longtime partners at Konami.
That time Hideo Kojima got back at Konami
The fallout by Hideo Kojima and Konami wasn’t pretty. The breakup was so bad that Konami even went so far as to remove Kojima’s name and logo from the box art of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain ahead of release. Then, in true Kojima fashion, the creator left his name littered around the game a few hundred times, at least. Then he tossed a few more in for good measure.
Each mission in the lengthy game was treated as a TV show, complete with credits of their own. This ended with Kojima’s name being shown to players at the end of each main mission of the game. Naturally, this even sparked a meme around the time of release.
While Kojima may have went a bit too far with this move, it was still pretty funny following the box art fiasco.
The many times Kojima ranted about his interests through his characters
When you play a game steered by Hideo Kojima, he tends to enjoy communicating with the player via his characters. Typically about stuff that he likes.
For instance, saving the game in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has a chance to end with the ally Para-Medic going on a conversational tangent about one of Kojima’s favorite films. And Kojima’s favorite films include a lot of 1950s sci-fi like Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Of course, it is skippable content. It’s often worth listening to, though.
Any time Kojima slips a real-life brand into his work
Something that Hideo Kojima seems to slide by with in all of his games is blatant product placement. For instance, fans of Death Stranding will be very familiar with the sight of Monster Energy drink and the AMC TV show Ride with Norman Reedus.
However, this was also present in Kojima’s former works, as well. The Metal Gear series was rife with products such as Calorie Mate energy bars, Doritos, and iPods.
Are you a fan of Hideo Kojima? What do you think of his shenanigans? Tell us in the comments below!