Even Hideo Kojima Isn’t 100% On 'Metal Gear'’s Canon
Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has learned the bizarre intricacies of modern-day society so proficiently that he's succeeded in predicting the slow collapse of civilization, and in the process has only lost the ability to come up with a storyline that borders on any semblance of cohesion. A big proof of that is, well, the story of the entire Metal Gear Solid series, sure, but also the story of how Kojima and Konami have been promoting some of these games. For example, MGS2 gets a lot of crap because one of its characters gets possessed by the arm he received from his ex-boss, but that's only when things were starting to get weird. Possibly after feeling like he wrote himself into a corner with that arm thing, Kojima decided to have MGS3 be a prequel about the legendary soldier who'd later get cloned to create Solid Snake, the hero of the main story – no way he'd risk things getting too weird again.
MGS3 proved to be a big hit, and many consider it to be the best game in the series. MGS3 does slap hard, but it also brought a lot of weirdness to the continuity of the franchise. Faced with either following up on the weird game where arms have souls or on the hugely successful prequel, the choice was so simple that Konami didn't even bother getting Kojima to write the next MGS project. The result was Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, a game that would provide “the missing link” between old and new Metal Gear Solid.
Though many probably expected Portable Ops to be just a fun mission pack, it proved a genuinely great game with a decent story that also sold a lot of copies.
Those are good things, sure, but also somehow bad ones because Portable Ops wasn't a part of Kojima's apparently well-thought-out continuity. Kojima wanted to defend the story he created, but he also didn't want to diss a good and beloved game, so whenever asked about the plot of Portable Ops, he'd say that it's totally canon, but also not, y'know?
One thing he liked about Portable Ops, however, was that “missing link” expression, which he used to promote Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, his official follow-up to MGS3.
And while Peace Walker did indeed rule, it didn't provide any sort of missing link. Why? Because Kojima then announced Metal Gear Solid V, his sequel to Peace Walker, and the game that would provide the real missing link.
It also didn't, but Konami fired Kojima during the production of MGSV which caused the game to come out a little rough around the edges, so we can't really blame him for that. Just kidding. Even the fan restoration that provides the most complete version of MGSV possible fails to create a bridge between the stories, leaving the motivations as well as most of the active life of the main character in the shadows. That's sad, but sadder still is knowing that we'll never know how many more times Kojima would have tried to pull that trick on us – and that it would have worked every single time.
Top Image: Konami