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Turns out Metal Gear Solid 5's nuclear disarmament was rigged all along

Whatever was chapter three?

A new investigation reports that the nuclear disarmament cutscene in Metal Gear Solid 5 was rigged by Konami all along.

We reported in 2020 that PS3 players appeared to trigger the secret cutscene by disarming all nukes in the game's asynchronous online multiplayer mode.

As it turns out - thanks to a new video from Did You Know Gaming - players didn't actually meet the requirement of zero nukes. Why? It's impossible.

Let's back up a sec.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is split into two chapters, but soon after release dataminers discovered a title card for a third chapter and a secret nuclear disarmament cutscene. Though the cutscene has been viewed by datamining, the key to unlocking it legitimately lies in the game's asynchronous online mode.

Players can build their own Forward Operating Base (FOB) where they can build and store nuclear weapons. However, these FOBs can be invaded by online players and the nukes stolen and disarmed.

Konami, the game's publisher, hinted that if all nukes in the game (per platform) were disarmed a hidden reward would be unlocked. And so began years of campaigns to rid the game of nukes.

The cutscene was seemingly unlocked for PC players in 2018, though Konami claimed this was an error.

The most recent campaign began at the start of the pandemic where a user called Hung Horse led The Anti-Nuke Gang. Players began ridding FOBs of nukes on the PS3 version of the game - the version with the lowest number.

They seemingly managed to achieve it, but months later Konami deemed the group's methods illegitimate.

Why? The Anti-Nuke Gang was just a front for a hacker named Stefferp who was brought in once the group discovered that reaching zero nukes was an impossible task.

That's because nukes belonging to banned accounts cannot be acquired.

"We ran into what can only be defined as an invincible set of nukes that do not belong to any base," Hung Horse told Did You Know Gaming.

"If you're familiar with the MGSV Forward Operating Base system, a nuke is always placed on a FOB after a player makes it. But there were 40 or so of these invincible nukes that didn't have FOB's they belonged to. They simply existed without a FOB. We call them 'Phantom Nukes'."

Stefferp created a bot to rid the game of all nukes and trigger the cutscene, but was swiftly banned by Konami.

So, after all these years, was this all just a marketing ploy to keep players online with the game? Or is it something of a metaphor for the futility of modern warfare?

After all, one of the central themes of the games is Kojima's opposition to nuclear weapons.

But with online servers shutting down and Kojima moving on from Konami to form his own studio and produce Death Stranding, it seems unlikely we'll ever find out the whole truth of the nuclear disarmament situation or if there was ever more to the secret third chapter.

You can watch the investigation in full below.

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About the Author

Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

News reporter

Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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