Will Akiba aka Johnny be the next Metal Gear Solid hero?
Disclaimer: May contain ever so slight spoilers.
Just got done playing through Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots…again…love that game so.
Anyway, I just kept getting this feeling throughout my playthrough that Hideo Kojima was preparing us for a new hero, the obvious route would’ve of course have Raiden be the successor and at first you think that’s exactly where it’s going but Raiden (And I believe Kojima’s fully aware) seems to not resonate with fans the way he wanted them to, even with this new cyborg transformation and his “show” stealing performance — his fight with Vamp.
Enter Akiba, Akiba? The Foxhound rookie? The clumsy, don’t know how to take my gun off safety, scared of everything, crap on myself in the middle of a war, voice so high in pitch and so unassurring I could never be taken seriously as a main character? Yep! That’s the one.
If the saying “it’s not how you start it’s how you finish” rings true then Akiba aka Johnny indeed has a lot to be proud of. He started off shaky but as the game progressed wound up saving Snake, he saved Meryl, twice — in one scene showing off said transformation showcasing a growing confident young man. Also even though Solid Snake is unequivocally the star Johnny had this story — an intriguing story at that, about how the main stories plot effected everyone but him, why? Was the pulsating question. Also his coming of age wrapped in a love story, with him marrying the “hottest chick in the GAME”…literally, at games end.
But to say Johnny is the new guy in war Kojima wants to put on the frontline (pun) is assuming Old Snake is the old guy (pun) Kojima wants to send to the barracks. So why do I think Johnny could be the new guy? Welp, How can I say this (takes a deep breath and sighs) I think Kojima hates Solid Snake, yeah, I said it. It seems he’s doing everything in his power to kill him off or atleast is attempting to not have us look at him as the “one” but in gamers eyes he continues to be the “one”, heck! The series is even named “Solid”.
Kojima’s done it whether saying it verbally or just showcasing it through his games be it via introducing multiple playable characters; or burning his face; or having him flirt with suicide; being a victim of accelerated aging; having not one but two characters riding simultaneously together with intriguing likable and significant stories as if Kojima said your going to like one of them and which ever one gamers choose he will be the new face. Also including the standout showing by Raiden which I previously mentioned was a top candidate as the new “face” (in my mind) until I seen his own story play out in MGS4, besides I think gamers still consider him a punk after his performance in MGS2 and wont let him live it down. And C’mon he takes Snakes’ girl yall! Meryl, you know the one Snake fell in love with in the first MGS? Well yeah she’s gone and Johnny practically took her right in front of him – while Snake is nursing a burnt face and attending to his dying mother, Jeesh!
Now that I think about it Johnny story mirrors Raiden’s story in a way, a unassured rookie who becomes and extremely confident combatant, Raiden story was just told throughout two games Johnny’s in one. Kojima was putting this light on him like he’s the one, he’s the successor, it’s classic ‘Karate Kid’ — clueless kid turns into kung fu master or in this case war hero…and gets the girl.
So when I looked at potentials Johnny stands out because anyday Mr Kojima could build up the courage to kill off his beloved and most famed character. Raiden to me is to far gone and his spinoff ’Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance even though it’s good (so I hear) sorry to say tarnishes his chances. On the other hand we all know Kojima frequently changes his mind about things retire, unretire, no longer wants to work on MGS games, works on MGS games. So even if I’m dead on Kojima could’ve already changed his mind and as we see atleast for now is satisfied with putting ‘Big Boss’ in the forefront.
I actually thought there would be an official “baton” passing being played out in MGS4 but I guess Kojima is not quite ready to kill off Solid (Old) Snake just yet. Will Akiba aka Johnny be the next MGS hero? CCU wants to hear from you.