Hideo Kojima Almost Got Rid of the Iconic “!” in Metal Gear Solid 5

Metal Gear Exclamation
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Avatar of Aaron Richardson
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on September 22, 2013
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What would be the most iconic thing that everyone know’s about the Metal Gear series? Is it the characters? Some may say so, but for me it’s the memorable “!” that appears over an enemies head when you’re spotted as well as the iconic sound that comes along with it. So I for one was surprised when I read that director Hideo Kojima was actually going to axe the exclamation point in favour of making the game more realistic.

Hideo Kojima, the man behind Metal Gear revealed in an interview with Weekly Famitsu that he was going to axe the “!” but was advised by staff that it would cause an uproar.

“I actually considered not including the ‘!’ mark that appears when enemies discover you.” he said. “The staff said, ‘if you get rid of it, it’ll cause an uproar!’”

“Considering the console specs, it would have been possible to substitute with facial expressions and gestures. But when the character visuals are that realistic, you need to have a certain element of ‘ambiguity.’”

I’m not sure Metal Gear Solid 5 would have been the same without the exclamation mark. It certainly wouldn’t be as obvious if the enemy pulled an angry face every time they saw you.

Thankfully another iconic tradition is coming to Metal Gear Solid 5, the Cardboard Box. “I want to include the cardboard box [in the game],” he concluded.