Ever wondered why Solid Snake is called Solid Snake? Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has taken to Twitter to explain why (it wasn't a reference to Escape from New York's S.D. Bob "Snake" Plissken, apparently).
Let's start with Snake. Metal Gear's sneaky special operative was named Snake because, according to Kojima, "snake was the most appropriate symbol of living thing that hides his presence and sneaks without any noise".
That all makes sense, but why not go with a specific snake, such as cobra, anaconda or viper? "Because the protagonist is the player," Kojima explained.
Now, on to why Kojima opted for the Solid moniker. "The reason I use Solid was to give opposite impression of soft image," Kojima said.
The reason I used Snake as code name in MG was snake was the most appropriate symbol of living thing that hides his presence, (cont)— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 6, 2014
Kojima also revealed his thinking behind Solid Snake's numerous enemies throughout the popular stealth series.
In seminal PSone title Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake goes up against his twin brother, Liquid Snake. They're both clones or sons of Big Boss. Kojima created the character because "the appearance of strongest enemy was a must in MGS". "It's Snake who can surpass the Snake.
"Thus I brought about 'clone'. Solid vs Liquid. That is MGS."
Thus I brought about "clone". SOLID vs LIQUID. That is MGS.— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 6, 2014
Then on to PlayStation 2 game Metal Gear Solid 2. For this, a third Snake was needed, Kojima explained. That character turned out to be Solidous Snake.
"Since both solid and liquid express state, means same true state," Kojima said.
"Naturally the next would be gas but gas snake is like gas human, not handsome name. So I borrowed from physics terms of 'solidus/liquidus'.
"Solidus is not state but implies the boundary of liquid and solid."
The upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes stars Naked Snake, or Big Boss. It's set in 1975, sometime after the events of Peace Walker, and acts as a prequel to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Eurogamer's Jeffrey Matulef recently traveled to Kojima Productions to go hands on with Ground Zeroes.