Pure Opinion: We Were Safer With Kojima at Konami

Insomnia can be great for dumb ideas. You are exhausted yet cannot sleep. The thoughts that take root in your deprived mind would never make it past your well-rested logic centers. This is one of those ideas, and I cannot seem to shake it. So, I am sharing its stupidity with you. You’re welcome.

I was thinking about the games coming in 2018 and considering which titles I am really excited to play. God of War is a series I have loved, and it sold more than a few PS2s. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Spider-Man are high on my list too. Then, I thought about Death Stranding.

I have watched the PSX 2017 trailer multiple times, and I have no idea what it is. It’s weird, but I don’t see that as a negative quality for a game. The 10 minute teaser (yes, I think it’s a long teaser), is cut out of a much larger project that may be amazing. It could also be wet, hot, smelly garbage that brings more tears than the end of Old Yeller.

At the risk of sounding like the crazy-haired guy from the History Channel who thinks everything is aliens, here is what I am pondering: what if Konami was the reason that Kojima put out such good games? Throw up if you need to and come right back. I know this sounds like blasphemy against our lord and savior Kojima, but hear me out.

What if Kojima is the genius that some of us think he is, but it is an ego-driven, insane genius, who needs to be told no in order to put out a good product. That’s assuming he actually delivers a game, or a game within the next 10 years. I still remember seeing MGS IV’s reveal trailer and not playing it for three or four years.

What if Konami was not the company who stood in his way, but the people who forced him to actually finish games and stay within a reasonable budget?

Maybe they are the people who said a little la-li-lu-le-lo is just fine, but cut this other part out. Cut out all the parts that really don’t make any sense at all. Editing is good for a game, and not every part that hits the editing floor is some masterwork lost to the ages. Some of it is junk that would only slow us down or bore us to tears.

Maybe that’s the Konami we don’t know. They were never this devil behind the scenes, but a company who puts its resources behind a movie-loving madman with a vision of a game starring a black ops soldier/Ph. D. philosophy student who dreamed of finding love on a battlefield. (Snake Eater was the best.)

They could never have guessed they had a true auteur whose reputation and ego would grow with each game. Each game became the last. He would leave until fans begged him to come back, and he knew they would. They would eat up his cutscenes, confusing dialog, and secrets that were conveniently tied up and untied again in future games.

After Metal Gear Solid 5, they had to spring the relationship severing on him quickly, before he had a chance to strike back. They lost all community good will, lost other employees, but at least they had their lives and company again. And pachinko. So much pachinko. Sweet, profitable pachinko.

Despite all this, in the deepest parts of their mind, when they are all alone, they still question if they did the right thing. Such was the strength of his hold on their minds.

Although he was untethered for a short while, Sony jumped at him and gave him everything he asked to have, including an enormous budget, full creative control, and the ability to make something as nonsensical as pleased.

Freed from any pedestrian shackles, he could finally make art. His art. This would be the glorious vision he held in his soul while laboring under the arbitrary deadlines and budgets at Konami. Without someone looking over his shoulder, he would have free rein to see his dreams come true, while holding the reins of a marketing hype machine not seen since No Man’s Sky. He would show them all.

Norman Reedus would be his Michaelangelo’s David, the stone to be chiseled for his frequently naked and pixelated vision. This vision would be more than anyone could ever understand. To prove it, he would drop a trailer where Reedus cries and has a baby inside him. It would be a metaphor for something, but he would figure that out later.

With Sony to keep throwing money into the furnace of his ambition and no one to ask him too many questions, he would attempt to craft something divine but twist it into something diabolical.

Gameplay would be minimal. No one would be able to understand it, but no one would want to ask any questions for fear of not liking the next great Kojima game. Internet forums would microscopically dissect phrases, individual words, and ideas for years, looking for meaning, even though they probably would never be given any explanation.

With no rails, Kojima would be free to do what he liked, how he liked, without anyone looking over his shoulder to keep him from creating the trainwreck we would buy. It would slowly dawn on us over the years that this game was like eating a crap sandwich, even though the Kult of Kojima would still sing its praises.

Eventually, he would have enough fame and money to challenge Mr. Sony himself, Shuhei Yoshida, to a duel to the death. Looking to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s cinematic masterpiece, Kickboxer, for inspiration, they decide to dip their wrapped hands in glue and glass shards for a true contest of skill and endurance.

After a grueling fight without any clear winner, a bloody Kojima uses a secret technique to pull Yoshida’s spine out of his body. He lifts his eyes and the spine with Yoshida’s severed head to the heavens and declares his final victory with a yell that reverberates for miles.

The clouds part (oh, yeah, it’s outside) and a ray of golden light shines down on Kojima further solidifying his ascension has been blessed by the gaming gods. He assumes control of Sony with the ceremonial scepter and crown, and bends all future releases to his unstoppable will, declaring all games will be made in his image alone FOR ALL TIME!!!!!!

This is probably just the ramblings of an overworked, very tired brain, trying to imagine the least likely, worst-case scenario, when counting sheep just isn’t getting the job done. It probably has some sliver of truth in there. Deep, deep, deep in there. Somewhere. I’m sure. Probably. Maybe.

Whew. It feels great to finally get that out of my head and punish someone else with it, and I realize it is probably very far (read: entirely) from the truth. (If you care about facts, check out this article to see that he actually appreciates Konami for making him who he is. In other words, he is not an evil genius bent on gaming domination and the death or enslavement of mankind. We think.)

To be serious and honest, I am still looking forward to Death Stranding, even if all that ridiculousness is true. (Yeah, I’m the problem.) It’s a Kojima game after all, and I can’t be the only one wondering why Norman Reedus is pregnant or who put a baby in him. Ooh la la!

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