It took a turn. As snow fell calmly, the air lay still and the ground went undisturbed a seasoned soldier completed his objectives, alerting not a soul to his presence. Together we crept through Shadow Moses, eliminating adversaries, exercising unwavering restraint and inflexible discipline. This was Snake’s axiom. This was my axiom.
When the ideals I believed to be so integral to this experience were questioned, they were answered in a manner entirely unforeseen. They were answered by art.
Snake and I watched as a blade danced through the air like a painter’s brush dances across its canvas. We watched as the perfect palettes of Shadow Moses — a controlled mixture of calm whites and clear blues — was violated with sheer red.
The blood we had worked so hard to avoid shedding now embellished the walls as the bodies of our enemies lay choking on their final words. The blade, the brush, the artist danced down the corridor and around a corner and although we followed, I alone turned that corner. Solid Snake did not.
Before me stood an alien assailant whose axiom strayed far from the ideals imparted unto me by Solid Snake. Where we were organised he was spontaneous. Where we were calculating he was uncoordinated. Where we were quiet he was cacophonous.
The unnamed artist had performed reckless dissections of the enemies I had worked so tirelessly to surpass and demonstrated a ruthless disregard for the discipline I had worked so intently to maintain.
My partnership with Snake was irreparably fractured. No longer did I want to spare the lives of the soldiers that would so readily turn their weapons on me. No longer did I want to exercise restraint and dispatch these soldiers silently.
I didn’t want to be Solid Snake anymore. I wanted to be that guy. I wanted to be Grey Fox.
Ten years later it turned again. I’d been reunited with an old friend and our bond was as strong as it had ever been. Together we crept through South America, eliminating adversaries, exercising unwavering restraint and inflexible discipline. This had always been Snake’s axiom. This was my axiom.
The tools with which we were to complete our objectives were more suited to our shared ideals than ever before. We could finally realise what it meant to be truly silent, to be truly unseen.
The ideals I believed to be so integral to this experience were again called in to question, and were answered in a manner not entirely unforeseen. They were answered again, by art.
Snake and I watched as a blade danced a dance as dangerous as it was beautiful. We watched as the silence we had worked so tirelessly to maintain was shattered by deadly pirouettes that did not so much paint a canvas as slash right through it. This was modern art.
The blood we had worked so hard to avoid shedding now decorated the marketplace as the chassis of our enemies fell from their legged towers.
The artist responsible for this beautiful massacre was new but not unnamed, familiar but not unaltered. He was rejuvenated, revitalised, reborn. His axiom strayed far from the ideals he and I had once upheld together, the ideals imparted unto us by Solid Snake. Where we were considerate he was contentious. Where we were resigned he was expressive. Where we were premeditated he was unrehearsed.
The artist had engaged in the conflict I had worked so attentively to avoid, and performed convoluted and elegant executions with a finesse and savoir-faire I could never hope to emulate.
My partnership with Snake was irreparably fractured. No longer did I wish to spare the lives of the soldiers that would so readily turn their weapons against me. No longer did I want to exercise restraint and dispatch these enemies silently.
I didn’t want to be Old Snake anymore. I wanted to be a cyborg. I wanted to be Raiden.
Raiden in Metal Gear Solid: Rising was to be restrained by the same ideals Snake had convinced me were correct, restrained by the beliefs that my mission had to be completed with an insurmountable discipline, restrained by stealth, restrained by sanity.
In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance the dynamism and fluidity of the swordplay showcased by Grey Fox on Shadow Moses Island and Raiden in South America is something the player can, for the first time, hope to truly imitate. The action will not be confined to the pre-rendered cutscene. Hideo Kojima will not be behind the camera. You will be behind a controller. You will direct the action.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will offer players a selection of the finest brushes, a limitless supply of the best paints and a canvas restrained only by our imagination. Raiden will be set free.
What good is a sword swung in silence?
This feature was originally produced for and published on Pixels or Death – 20/01/2012