Kojima wanted Metal Gear Solid to have pet rats for Snake to raise

The 1998 PlayStation classic Metal Gear Solid originally had pet rats that Snake would name and befriend, but they were cut before the game launched.

In a revealing new video from DidYouKnowGaming (thanks, Eurogamer (opens in new tab)), Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter breaks down a number of fascinating development insights mined from old, obscure interviews. Right at the beginning of the video, there’s a quote from Kojima that details much bigger plans for the furry little rodents, which ultimately play a relatively small role in the game.

“I actually wanted to put more rats in … Another thing I wanted to do was assign names to individual rats, and these rats could then be raised as pets,” Kojima said. “Alaska is a very cold place, and when Snake first goes into the base, the rats are the first life forms he encounters, so I think they’re a very important element in the game.”

While Kojima didn’t end up getting the rats he wanted, there appear to be references to his ambitions in later Metal Gear Solid games. For example, in Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake refers to rats as his “friends,” leaving Otacon confused. This little detail seems to be referencing the rats’ role in helping Snake through the vents years prior, but it’s also very possibly a nod to Kojima’s abandoned plans for pet rats.

That’s not all. You may remember the rats from the Sniper Wolf boss fight in Metal Gear Solid. Originally, these rats would grow bigger and bigger each time you shot them, but this feature was removed because Kojima worried it looked like too much of a joke – and can you blame him? 

Feeling nostalgic? Check out our guide to the best retro consoles available now.

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