Richard considers why the third part of this iconic video game series is essentially Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as 007.
Two of my favourite things in entertainment are James Bond movies and the Metal Gear Solid franchise. You’ve probably seen a lot of the Bond movies like me, or played the MGS games over the years. It’s no secret that the main developer of the MGS series, Hideo Kojima, is a huge fan of the superspy movies. But, in this editorial, I will be explaining why I think Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has the most in common with one Bond movie in particular. It would be my personal favourite film in the series, GoldenEye, and the movie which marked Pierce Brosnan’s debut as the world’s greatest secret agent, 007.
You might think that the main hero of MGS3, Naked Snake aka Big Boss, wouldn’t have much in common with Bond, given how cynical the character of Solid Snake is in the previous titles. But you might be wrong, because Naked Snake is not Solid Snake. He is, in fact, Solid Snake’s father. And, unlike his son, he’s a bit less jaded and is more of a suave ladies’ man who displays subtle moments of humour whilst handling himself on tough assignments behind enemy lines. Does that sound familiar? That’s because Kojima created the concept as his own version of the famous MI6 agent to full effect. This Snake laughs and jokes with his comrades, and he gets the beautiful lady at the end of the story, but at the same time, he’s not someone you’d want to mess with. Again, does that sound familiar? If you’ve seen GoldenEye, then you know that Brosnan meets all these requirements as well, which is why I will always maintain he was a great Bond in his own right despite what a lot of detractors say.
Similar Villains with Similar Motives
In MGS3, the main villain is The Boss, an old friend and comrade of Snake’s, who ultimately betrays him to achieve her own ends. In GoldenEye, the main villain is Alec Trevelyan who was an old ally of Bond’s who ultimately back-stabs 007 to achieve his own goals. Both even have a slightly sadistic Russian officer as the secondary villain, who want to use advanced high-tech weaponry to assure Russia’s place in the world as the dominant superpower. In GoldenEye, it’s Colonel Ouromov (played by the late Gottfried Jonn) who wants to use the GoldenEye satellite to cripple the West, and in MGS3, it’s Colonel Volgin who wants to use the Metal Gear prototype called the Shagohad so that the Soviet Union can win the Cold War. Both also end up being betrayed by the primary villains.
I would even argue that the character of Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye and The Boss are also similar rogues, but since The Boss doesn’t kill people by choking them to death with her thighs, I won’t look too much into that. Besides, The Boss has other motives for her ultimate decision. But I won’t give that away here. You’ll have to play Snake Eater to find out for yourself.
Strong Female Characters Who Help the Hero
In GoldenEye, the strong female protagonist and Bond girl is a Russian satellite systems programmer, Natalya Simonova, and in MGS3, it’s a Russian double-agent named Eva. Both help the heroes by providing them with information, sabotaging enemy weapon systems, and ultimately, contributing to the overall story whilst having characters of their own. Eva is probably an even stronger character as she has to make more sacrifices and puts her life at risk more so than Natalya. She also rides a motorcycle like a pro. Yet Natalya is pretty strong and brave in her own right, and like Eva, shows us that looks aren’t everything and sometimes the dominant femme fatale is stronger than the main hero of the story. Plus, both end up boinking the brains out of our leads.
Similar Settings and Climax
Okay, I know that MGS3 is set entirely in a jungle and only part of GoldenEye is. But think about this for a second: Where does the final battle for both take place? In the villains’ respective lairs, guarded by hundreds of Russian soldiers deep inside hostile jungles. You don’t even need to look too hard to see the similarities between Alec’s GoldenEye base and the super fortress of Groznyj Grad, especially as both are where the villains’ ultimate weapon is kept and both are also where the heroes have their final showdown with their nemeses. Also, both have thrilling climaxes with the protagonists fighting their way through hundreds of enemy soldiers to stop evil, over-the-top adversaries from taking over the world (of course!). Although, I would also say the final level in MGS3, when Snake has to sneak into Groznyj Grad, reminds me more of the opening of GoldenEye when Bond and Alec sneak into the Russian chemical weapons factory. But, in either case, I think the similarities are still there and quite cleverly presented in MGS3.
The Heroes’ Commanding Officers
In GoldenEye and the Bond series in general, 007’s boss and head of MI6 is M. In Brosnan’s first outing, the character is a woman who has no compunction about sending Bond to his death. In MGS3, Snake’s commanding officer is a former SAS soldier named Major Zero. Major Zero actually reminds me of M from the older Bond movies where they didn’t have much of a relationship with each other, and were strictly professional. So, in this case, I’d say Major Zero is more along the lines of M from either the Sean Connery or Roger Moore era of Bond. This is another interesting parallel.
So, what the hell does this all mean exactly? For me personally, it shows that Kojima is a huge fan of the Bond movies (a fact which he has always been open about). But really, I am certain there are more parallels which you could draw between Snake Eater and GoldenEye. Right from the cheesy opening pop song to the thrilling climax and sexy girl who can’t resist the devilish charm of the story’s globe-trotting superspy. There’s even a scene in MGS3 where Snake talks about 007 with Major Zero and, in a fourth wall-breaking joke, says “That’s not how real spies are.”