Metal Gear Mystery Man - Is David Hayter Coming Back After All?

So the mystery of Metal Gear Solid V continues to grow. It is confirmed that The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes will encapsulate all of Metal Gear Solid V, the new addition to the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Powered by the new Fox Engine and developed by Kojima Productions, it's an incredibly exciting time for Metal Gear fans.

Except there is one little tidbit of information that has tainted the excitement for many, and that is the reprisal (or lack thereof) of David Hayter's role of Solid Snake.

On April 1st David Hayter himself confirmed on his Twitter that he would not be returning for Metal Gear Solid V. Hideo Kojima himself has stated that this decision was made "to signify a change of direction from the one Metal Gear fans are used to".

Except something isn't quite right here.

To recap, in the official Ground Zeroes trailer we can quite clearly hear veteran Metal Gear Japanese voice actor Akio Ōtsuka reprise his role of Snake, citing the ever popular catchphrase "Kept you waiting, huh?". If Hideo Kojima wishes to take Metal Gear Solid V in a new direction, why would he change out David Hayter (who to many is THE voice of Snake and one of the most prolific video game voices of all time) whilst keeping Akio Ōtsuka?

Conversely during The Phantom Pain gameplay demo shown off at this years Game Developer Conference we're given a glimpse at Snake's new English voice. What is interesting is that we have yet to see if Snake's Japanese voice actor differs during The Phantom Pain series of events.

Now, everything is not lost. As aforementioned Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain are two separate chapters with a 9 year difference between them. One popular theory is that David Hayter will reprise his role of Big Boss during the prologue events of Ground Zeroes in 1975, and that our new voice actor will showcase the grizzled and war-beaten Boss of 9 years passed during The Phantom Pain in 1984. This makes the most sense as Ground Zeroes immediately follows the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker in 1974 in which David Hayter voiced Big Boss. The change in voice will then later reflect and lead to the new voice of Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 4, presumably changed to avoid confusion during the conversation between Solid Snake and Big Boss, both of whom were voiced by Hayter up until this point.

Another popular theory is that David Hayter will play a young Solid Snake during the latter portion of The Phantom Pain. We don't know how long the events of The Phantom Pain will last for so it is entirely possible that we could see a Solid Snake old enough to have grown into Hayter's voice. It would also be nice to hear Hayter's younger version of Snake's voice, which he has changed and adapted over the years to reflect the role he's portrayed, from the young, fit and able Snake at Shadow Moses, to Old Snake during Guns of the Patriots.

Perhaps most exciting of all however is this relatively low key Youtube video, posted on April 19th:

In it we see a bandaged man in a Phantom Pain / Moby Dick sweater claiming to be "sorry for the mess" and that he must "keep his identity secret for a little while". Particularly noteworthy is the synthesized speech.

He claims to be called Mr. Oni, to be a Hollywood actor who does "voice overs" and that his voice was used "in many popular computer animated movies". It is no secret that, whilst not of A-List Hollywood status, David Hayter is no stranger to acting and voice work. Fans of the Metal Gear games also commonly refer to them and are affectionately considered by many to be "Interactive Movies" more than games. Notable also is that Hayter is himself now a director.

Mr. Oni leaves us with a cryptic clue: "I am the one you thought I would be from the start. Look closer, detectives. The hint is right in front of you."

Mr. Oni then leaves us with a final date of reveal, June 11th, 2013, the first day of E3. Whilst this is a ways off, the channel owner OnigawaraV has of 1AM GMT left a comment stating "Major update will come within the next 72 hours. The truth will finally be revealed. Project Deception was a success. Please accept my apologies in advance."

In addition to the video posted on the 19th, David Hayter posted this to his Twitter account; the only tweet of the day:

All of this mystery work is done in good fun, however the comment comes across as almost being TOO apologetic. At this point the only apology Metal Gear fans would like to hear would be a sorry for NOT being David Hayter.

Most interesting of all is that synthesized voice. A little bit of sleuthing indicated that the voice used is Microsoft David. Many Hayter fans have already made their home in the Youtube comments. Microsoft David? David? David Hayter?

So what do you think about all of this? Is this all an elaborate ruse devised by Kojima again? Or is this the real deal? Will fans be majorly disappointed or is Kojima using the tension to hype up what may be many Metal Gear fans future GOTY's?

First time article written by avid Metal Gear fan Di Viexi. What did you think of the structure and information supplied in the article? Could he do better? Feel free to drop him some feedback as well as any questions at DanVXC@Gmail.com