MGS: LA

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So this winter weather has got me snowed in yet again. I decided to make it a Netflix day recently and watched some Ultimate Spiderman and Avengers. Afterwards I scrolled thru the menu and decided to add Escape From L.A. to my list and boy, there are SO MANY things from this movie that Hideo Kojima lifted, I mean aside from the first movie, Escape From New York, that is. The elements don’t just extend to the first few MGS games, but even to MGSV. Realizing this, I thought I’d share with you all.

I know the internetz has a ton of references and connections of its own when it comes to the world of MGS but allow me to make my own. Plus, I’m having fun with it as I go along. Aside from the obvious distinctions like looks and name, Snake Plissken and Solid/Naked Snake also have similarities that I will out in bullet points.

°Call me Snake

Right off the bat, Snake Plissken exclaims who he is in Escape From LA (heretofore referred to as EFLA), as he is unwillingly escorted by government officials to a prison compound stationed in Los Angeles to dispose of a terrorist threat. Sound kinda familiar? In the original MG games (MSX, 1985) our protagonist is already codenamed Snake but without much basis for origin. I suppose developers didn’t think much of it at the time because 8 bit games didn’t have much of a backstory then. Once MGS (PSX, 1998) released, MGS father Hideo Kojima decided it was time to really elaborate more on it. Snake was given his codename due to his exceptionally high level of training as a legendary solider, and well, he always got the job done. He is also called in to dispose of a terrorist nuclear threat. As MGS2 SOL (PS2, 2001) dropped, Kojima continued with Snake’s backstory. When angry players were greeted with the bait-and-switch that is the epitome of Raiden, Kojima saw fit to make sure Snake’s true identity wasn’t to be revealed yet to our golden locked pretty boy.

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Hideo decided to revert back to Snake’s literal progenitor name but changed it to Iroquois Plisken, a pseudonym for Snake Plissken, protagonist in both EFNY and EFLA.

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Kept were the mullet and hardened tough soldier exterior. The only thing missing was that familiar eye patch that I’ll get to later.

°Cliff Robertson aka President looks like Roy Campbell

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Every MGS fan already knows that Richard Crenna’s likeness was lifted for Colonel Campbell in MGS onward , but I couldn’t help but see the resemblance between Campbell and Uncle Ben Cliff Robertson. He plays the corrupt President in EFLA. It’s kind of a stretch but hey, anything is possible in MGS!

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°Few hrs left to live while completing mission

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Snake Plissken is demanded to complete his mission in EFLA and that he’s got only a few hours left or else he dies. How does he contract such a deadly virus? Well he wasn’t unknowingly injected with FOXDIE like Solid Snake was in MGS1. He was scratched on the hand while being escorted thru one of the prison corridors by one of the female guards. Interesting, as Solid Snake, who was injected by Naomi Hunter, has only 18 hours left to also complete his mission while at the same time worrying about having to die.

°Bruce Campbell

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OK, there aren’t any real correlations between Bruce Campbell in EFLA and MGS. He’s just a cool Motherfucker. But if I were to grasp at straws I’d say Colonel Campbell got his name from Bruce Evil Dead Campbell via Kojima. EFNY and EFLA are after all, a couple of Kojima’s top movies.

°24 Connection

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Its needless at this point to remind you ladies and gents that there is the obvious connection between MGSV and awesome tv franchise 24. Everyone knows at this point that Jack Bauer Kiefer Sutherland is the new Snake/Big Boss in town. But I doubt that everyone is familiar with another 24 connection. Michelle Forbes who plays Brazen in EFLA also plays a political advisor in season 2 of 24. Maybe she could have played Naomi Hunter if there were a live action MGS movie back then.

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°PW Connection

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When MGS Peace Walker was announced back in 2008 fans were teased with this image of a beret wearing Big Boss. He looked interestingly like a familiar Cuban military revolutionary by the name Che Guevara. Even a character in PW exclaims “El Che, is that you?? Maybe Hideo wanted to take a page from EFLA because a character named Cuervo Jones also bares a striking resemblance to El Che himself.

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°Might as well be Shadow Moses Island

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In the beginning of EFLA the city of LA becomes detatched due to an earthquake and massive tsunami which ripped it clean off the rest of the United States. The resulting chaos, looting, and pillaging helped create a sort of Alcatraz for the low lives and transient scum which became known as Los Angeles Island. This is where Snake Plissken is flown to.

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In MGS1 the game takes place in the Alaskan archipelago known as the fictitious Shadow Moses Island. This island was home to a bomb disposal facility, namely for disarming nukes. This is the location Snake must infiltrate and later faces off with Metal Gear Rex.

°Otacon Poser

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Leland Orser who plays Test Tube is the resident scientist in the group of upstarts we meet towards the middle of the movie. He bares a fairly close resemblance to a well known tech guy in the MGS universe. Otacon, or Hal Emmerich, has been in MGS since the early PSX days and all the way up to PS3. Even his family has been added to the mix. MGS Peace Walker, as well as the upcoming MGSV, has his father, Huey Emmerich.

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°Stacey Keach looks like Punished Snake

Stacey Keach plays Commander Malloy, the man in charge of Los Angeles Island facility and the man barking orders at Snake Plissken. Right when I saw him walk on screen I yelled “BIG BOSS!” Aside from looking a bit older, Commander Malloy looks Exactly like Big Boss aka Punished Snake. Its remarkable actually. Same scruffy beard. Same ponytail. Same demeanor too. He looks like a weathered Naked Snake.
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Here’s Snake with Big Boss, er, Commander Malloy. Just swap the eye patch and what has been seen cannot be unseen. Its pretty amazing.

There are probably some more correlations that I’m not seeing but these are the ones I’ve run into so far. If you guys and gals see more during your own viewing please feel free to add them in the comments below!

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