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Metal Gear Solid Almost Gave Snake Some Cute Pets

The "Metal Gear Solid" series is famed in the vide game community — and even pop culture at large — for many reasons. From the franchise's memorable boss fights to the times "Metal Gear Solid 2" predicted the future, and even the current fake news problem, there's a lot keeping "Metal Gear Solid" fresh in fans' minds. That said, for every celebrated memory, there's a lesser known fact or an untold truth. One such idea that never came to be would have changed the original "Metal Gear Solid" and potentially all future titles that followed.

Within the wacky fusion of science, politics, and history that became "Metal Gear Solid," players encounter their first friendly (or furry) face right from the start. The rats that scurry around Shadow Moses Island end up playing a key role in Snake's breakthrough adventure, but Hideo Kojima originally intended for them to be so much more.

Rats nearly played a more prominent role In Metal Gear Solid

This rat revelation comes from the DidYouKnowGaming? YouTube channel, which released an episode dedicated to cut content from "Metal Gear Solid" titles narrated by Snake's former voice actor, David Hayter. The video opens with a delve into the rat facts, citing a May 1999 issue of Computer and Video Games magazine in which Kojima and other developers were interviewed.

Kojima said, "The rats were a way of adding reality to the game and to create the atmosphere within the base ... [Enemy] soldiers eat food and they have leftovers, which attracts the rats ... I actually wanted to put more rats in." He went on to say, "Another thing I wanted to do was assign names to individual rats, and these rats could then be raised as pets."

While the details aren't clear on how these pet rats would have interacted with Snake, Kojima did elaborate on an odd little Easter egg he'd intended for the Sniper Wolf boss battle. Kojima stated, "In that scene initially, I had this little cheat in there where if you kept shooting the rats, you'd get bigger and bigger rats. It was in there for a while but then I felt like it was too much of a joke so I took it out." Fans may recall that shooting the rats in the final build of the title elicited a scolding via the Codec.

Metal Gear Solid 4 gives a nod to the rats

If players thought the ties between rats and "Metal Gear Solid" ended at the original entry, then they might have missed an optional Codec call in "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots." There's a point in the game where Snake must return to Shadow Moses Island. While there, the character reflects on his adventure nine years earlier. Among images and audio clips from "Metal Gear Solid," players can hop into the Codec and call Otacon while traversing the air ducts for an interesting conversation.

In the exchange, Otacon asks Snake if he still remembers how to traverse the ducts he'd used to infiltrate Shadow Moses during his first visit. Snake feels confident in his memory and adds that his furry friends are still there to guide him if he gets lost. To this, Otacon offers only confusion, but to Snake and players it's a callback to some helpful little pals and maybe even the feature that never made it into the game.