Which “Snake” is Sutherland in MGS5? We Break It Down

If you’re following Konami’s announcements, you’ve no doubt heard the news: Kiefer Sutherland is replacing David Hayter as the voice of Snake for Metal Gear Solid V. But which Snake?

Metal Gear Solid V has an interesting setting. While the first part, Ground Zeroes, is set only a few years after the creation of the Snakes (Solid and Liquid) through the Les Enfants Terribles project, Phantom Pain is set considerably afterward, in 1984. Kiefer Sutherland is definitively voicing Big Boss – otherwise known as Naked Snake or just Snake – and this is the character being shown in all of the trailers. There is no confusion whatsoever; the main character of MGS5 is Big Boss. Not Solid Snake. When he is being called “Snake,” it is a reference to his original codename of Naked Snake from Metal Gear Solid 3.

It is unlikely that other members of the Snake bloodline will make an appearance. Phantom Pain takes place 12 years after the birth of Solid and Liquid Snake, and given the whole “accelerated aging” feature of the clones shown off in Metal Gear Solid 4, Solid Snake could be as young as 12 or as old as 19. This time period is a bit fuzzy in regards to the lives of Solid and Liquid Snake; the earliest definitive event in Solid Snake’s life is his involvement in the First Guilf War as a Green Beret. There is a chance of the Snakes showing up, but it’s a slim one, as MGS5 is all about Big Boss’ struggle, not Solid Snake’s.

So, to be clear:

  • Big Boss (AKA Snake, Naked Snake) is the protagonist of both MGS5 acts.
  • Ground Zeroes takes place in 1975, and Phantom Pain takes place in 1984.
  • Solid and Liquid Snake are 12 actual years old at the time of Phantom Pain. Their body’s ages are variable, but unlikely to be greater than late teens.

For more on the big MGS5 voice actor reveal, check out our coverage of Konami’s pre-E3 conference. Want to know more about the overall timeline of the Metal Gear series? Look below for our dissection of all major events from before Metal Gear Solid 3 all the way to Metal Gear Rising.

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