Game Theory: Snake is a STONER (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

Game Theory: Snake is a STONER (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

*Intense music* *falling rain* *thunder crashes* Snake: “Kept you waiting, huh?” *ruins mood* Matpat: “For a Game Theory episode on ‘Metal Gear’, am I right?” *Game Theory theme music* Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory! The only show on the Internet that DIDIN’T start their “Metal Gear Solid” episode with a codec joke You know what else we’re NOT gonna do? Talk about a topic you would expect us to cover from these games I mean this franchise has so many potential topics private military groups, nanotechnology, governmental conspiracies, cloning, walking tanks, DNA-Kill devices, naked cartwheels, the validity of escaping capture by hiding under a box And we are covering NONE OF IT Yet. Though I’ve always wanted to do the box one No, today we’re looking at a small detail that appears in every one of these games One that is absolutely ICONIC to this franchise, but one that always tends to go a bit unnoticed: Snake’s smoking habits Even before “Metal Gear” solidified, cigarettes were the first item you received in the game Equip them, and most of the time all they did was deplete your health *laughs* *small bleep as text comes on screen* Oh, hilarious anti-smoking statement But in certain circumstances they could help Steadying Snake’s nerves when he was aiming, detecting lazer alarms using the smoke stuff like that But one property that caught my attention was the ability to alter time In the original “Metal Gear” way back in 1987 the cigarettes were USELESS until the final moments of the game The facility you’re in is about to self-destruct, and Snake has to escape Equipping the cigarettes suddenly EXTENDS the amount of time you have to get out of there Time has, in essence, SLOWED It’s weird, right? Now jump from the first installment to the last to a game that isn’t even out yet “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” Even though, according to some trailers it’s been out for 31 years…? *mat leans into mic* Marketing departments are weird… ANYWAY This game doesn’t follow Solid Snake, it follows Big Boss Known as the “greatest soldier who ever lived” First introduced in “Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater”, which is one my all-time favorite games, and the guy who just happens to be the FINAL boss of the FIRST game of the franchise that we just talked about Got all that? No? Good! Welcome to “Metal Gear”! This is a Kojima production Anyways, in this one Big Boss is now called “Venom Snake” Because again, *super manly voice* “METAL GEAR” MUST BE COMPLICATED. During the E3 2014 gameplay demo of “Phantom Pain”, I witnessed something that got that little, mini-theorist riding the electric bicycle that powers my brain a’peddalin’ It’s called the “Phantom Cigar” And it looks a little something like this: (above clip) *time on clock is manipulated while a woman’s voice is heard singing “Woah-woaaaahhh”* *solid snake trips balls* Did you see that? Lets do it one more time *snake takes another hit* *repeats same clip, same in-game audio* (Matpat cuts in): “Hi-YaaAAAA” (Matpat continues narration) Welcome to flavor country. Slightly racist Middle-Eastern music aside, this got me thinking In “Metal Gear Solid V”, smoking once again results in time-bending properties Here, Venom Snake has an electronic cigar that speeds up the way he perceives time But we’re given even more detail If you look closely at the item menu here’s exactly what it says: Quote: *reads top half of the above in-game description* It also adds, *proceeds to read bottom half of the same description* But that’s…crazy, …right? Is there REALLY a medicinal herb that can make time pass like this? Well theorists, order some munchies and break out your dad’s “Grateful Dead” records because this week’s theory is taking us on a *hippy Matpat* “far-out journey into the world of illegal drugs, maaan” *normal Matpat* Oh, and I should probably mention at this point that all the research I’ve done is via READING, NOT first-hand experience Call me “lame” or whatever, but I’ve never smoked, gotten drunk, or gotten high on anything stronger than sugar or…caffeine, I suppose As someone who values being in control of my body and my decisions, it’s a choice I’ve made with my life, and I’m proud of it. But hey! It’s not for everyone, and I get that *mat self evaluates how much of a loser he was in college* So you do you, theorists! No judgement, and I would hope that you would offer the same courtesy to me *reads above words* *continues* Cue “The More You Know” rainbow effect *cheers* Perfect. ^__^ So lets start with the new kid on the block, Methamphetamine -theres no way you read that or this in time who recently starred in “Breaking Bad” alongside “Malcolm in the Middle”s dad and the “Science, b*tch!” In a 1981 study published in the journal of experimental psychology, methamphetamine was given in tiny doses to rats who were trained to receive food after correctly guessing the duration of timed signals The meth was shown to increase the speed of a rat’s internal clock by about 10% in small doages And if we consider that Snake is constantly dosing himself throughout the day, I’d say it’s at least possible that the drug could successfully exhibit this time-quickening effect Unfortunately though, rather than being a medicinal herb, meth is COMPLETELY artificial first synthesized by a Japanese chemist named *Matpat struggles to pronounce* Na-gai…Na-gaaa..yo-shi YOSHI, druggy. Oh and uh… It’s also a borderline neurotoxin that causes *reads above list* *continues* in low doses aaand *continues to read the rest of list* *continues again* in high doses I guess Venom Snake WOULD benefit from the increased focus and probably wouldn’t be opposed to a little, uh, “TACTICAL ESPIONAGE ACTION” if you know what I mean 😉 But those benefits are FAR outweighed by the consequences Quite frankly, at the frequency Snake would be using this in the game, he would overdose and die. So yeah, I think it’s safe to say we can knock this guy(meth) off the list What about cocaine? Doesn’t it have some medical applications? Actually, yes. Cocaine can legitimately be described as medicinal because it’s sometimes used as an anesthetic for nasal surgery AND as a part of a diagnostic test for Parkinson’s Disease But more importantly, it comes from a plant And yes, it IS the same plant that they use in Coca-Cola, but the soda itself hasn’t contained traces of cocaine since 1929 So get over it, Internet That said, it’s still as addictive as ever *long slurp* *swallows* (Matpat) Ahhh…smooth. SO, knowing that, lets jump back to Snake First of all, if you are smoking cocaine it would have to be it’s free-base, “crack-cocaine” form because that’s the only was to inhale it without heat burning off much of the active chemicals Crack Cocaine Sound familiar? It should because crack was the extremely popular illegal street-drug associated with the 1980s drug culture of L.A., New York and Miami You know all those weird, drug related arcade games that JonTron talked about? Crack had a little something to do with those guys But the question is, would smoking rocks give us our time travel effect? According to Ruth Ogden and Catherine Montgomery of Liverpool John Moore’s University, Quote: *reads above quote* *Matpat continues* So yeah, everything seems to line up with Venom Snake being a crackhead except for one thing: crack cocaine highs only last between 5 and 10 minutes So imagine you’re Snake After your first puff of the cocaine “Phantom Cigar”, your brain would be hit with a rush of dopamine But then, 10 minutes later the dopamine levels plummet, your high is gone, and you need more. But because your brain takes a while to replenish dopamine, the more hits you take, the less powerful the highs get Snake would need to constantly be smoking to achieve the effect that we see in the game And that comes with some serious consequences. You would develop insomnia, become paranoid, and before you know it, he’d have gone on a three day crack binge Not a great mindset for a stealth-action, super spy Repeated use, as he does throughout the game, would also lead to full-blown psychosis, potentially “Crack Lung”, where your lungs constrict and prevent oxygen and blood from properly circulating, or even “Delusional Parasitosis” where Snake would begin to believe that he’s got “cocaine bugs” crawling under his skin. sometimes to the point where he actually would SEE them, and FEEL them, and start to scratch at them and- *grossed-out Matpat* ughh…it’s nasty. ooh*chills*…drugs man. Drugs can really mess you up sometimes. *back to normal Matpat* Okay, so hallucinatory bugs aside, maybe cocaine’s not right either. In fact, maybe Snake doesn’t need an “upper” at all Maybe instead he needs something to… “mellow him out” so that he doesn’t notice time passing around him, taking him down river into a never-ending ocean of calm *hippy Matpat returns* Faaar ouut, man Enter Opium *normal Matpat* Opium is often used to chemically create other opioids, like Morphine, for use as medicine So yes, It’s medicinal It’s ALSO made from poppies, so it passes the plant test And it works! *audio clip from “The Wizard of Ozz”* Wicked Witch of the West: “Poppies will put them to sleeep.” Dorothy: “I’m so sleepy…” Scarecrow: “Oh, you can’t rest now! We’re nearly there!”*fades out* *Game Theory resumes* Yeah, kind of like that. According to…*laughs* ooh boy Mmmmmmm… According to the guy whose name you see on screen right now, In his 19th century book, Le Livre De l’Opium, Opium causes the smoker to quote: *reads the above quote from book* *Matpat continues narration* End quote. So it seems like time passes more quickly, but the way Te Duc puts it, it also seems like the experience might be closer to blacking out, or entering a weird trance It dulls your senses, and sometimes can even leave you on the edge of a coma which doesn’t quite coincide with the description of Snake being able to snap back into alertness if spotted So if meth isn’t it, and cocaine isn’t it, and opium isn’t it, then…what’s in the cigar? If only there were some other SMOKE-ABLE herb that- (“Reefer Madness” clip): “MARIJUANA!”*dramatic piano music* *Matpat continues* Oh yeah! “Ganja”, “Reefer”, “Grass”, Marijuana I know, I know I get it. It seems TOO easy Call Snake a “pot head”, put a big ol’ weed leaf on the thumbnail, do a bunch of Snoop Dogg and Willy Nelson references and call it a day But it’s not as simple as that because despite it’s perfect role as a plant and as every strip mall in L.A. wants to remind me that it’s “Medicinal Herb Usage” unlike the other drugs on this list, the time-quickening effect of marijuana is DEPENDENT on the user Take a look at this other quote from the Ogden-Montgomery study: *Matpat reads quote above* *Matpat continues narration* Which means that if Venom Snake was pulling a “That 70s Show” with his “Diamond Dog” buddies, and yes, his unit’s name is actually just a David Bowe reference this time around(look it up) Then yes, time probably would move quicker But according to this study, The way we see him using the drug in-game would produce the OPPOSITE results of what we see So is there any way for Venom Snake to get around this? Why, yes. Venom Snake would’ve had to fully upgrade his pot-smoker skill tree in order to do it Like seriously, we’re talking “Big Lebowski”/ “Cheech and Chong” status here Let me explain In 1963, a sociologist named H.S. Becker released a report explaining that most of marijuana’s effects are actually LEARNED, rather than being a direct result of the drug What that means is that only stoners who fully understand the drug’s effects, are able to wield them properly So going back to the skill tree metaphor, it’s like having a weapon, but not enough experience to use it Then, in the 1972 book, Altered States of Consciousness, (edited by Charles T. Tart) it explains, and I quote, *reads above quote from the mentioned book* *Matpat continues narration* You don’t have to high to understand THAT one it means that by tuning your brain to focus on certain things, the time travel effect just sorta happens In addition to the classic marijuana “mellowing”, there’s also many hallucinogenic and psychoactive effects which include introspection, and increased ability to focus on the intricacies of humor, music, and other stimuli You know the stereotype of the giggling stoner? This is where it comes from. They’re just deeply focused around these small details Now, lets watch Snake smoke the “Phantom Cigar” again *roll original gameplay clip* (Matpat continues over clip audio) Notice that music? The serenity on his face as he’s smokes? The super detailed Seiko watch face? To pass the time, Venom Snake is just a big-time stoner who is killing a few hours by doing the equivalent of lighting up a doobie, taking in the outdoors, and getting REALLY into his neat new watch *Hippie Pat returns for the last time* “Snake is a pot head, maaaaaan. Stick some ‘Iron Butterfly’ on the turntable and order some White Castle.” *normal Matpat returns* But it also makes sense from a characterization standpoint Snake’s in the early 80s, knee-deep in the Cold War, fully embroiled in an awful globe-spanning age of terrorism, black-ops, and paranoia The fact that he smokes weed in the face of it all, doesn’t just make sense from a gameplay perspective, it makes real sense to him as a PERSON That he’d be down to “420 blaze it eryday” to calm his nerves So with that mystery solved, now I gotta wonder what drugs Psychomantis was on Now THAT guy was weeeeird. But hey, that’s just a theory A GAME Theory Thanks for watching! 🙂 *after-theory ad* Shaving. 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100 thoughts on “Game Theory: Snake is a STONER (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

  1. same thing about the smoking drugs alcohol then again im only 13 plus i thot that you didnt curse i mean its fine but i didnt know you could sorry

  2. I thought of a great game idea. Hippie man! 60's edition. Basically he uses different drugs as super powers

  3. in MGSV the thing thatsteadys snakes nerves when he aims isn't a cigar or cigarette he uses a pill

  4. When this video came out, I had only smoked weed twice. Goofy college kid obsessed with video games.

    Now I'm at the end of the stoner skill tree.

  5. Matpat, brosef, your addiction to diet coke is actually the addiction to the harmful artificial sweeteners.

  6. So hey here's a game theory uhhh theory what if today's matpat is a clone… I mean hey it says in this video matpat has been fired… You know just something to think about.

  7. 1: in a hidden room in the devlopment platform (I think) snake has a weed farm

    2: If you played mission 46: "Truth" you would know that Venom snake is actually NOT big boss as some believe.

  8. On the medical platform I think, were even plants, that looked like Marihuana and some Diamond Dog said to another that is were The Big Boss keeps his Cigar Ingridients.

  9. This episode would’ve been so much more effective if the title didn’t reveal the twist

  10. I'll say this now: I smoke weed, and it can absolutely make time fly. For instance, I once spent two hours on two bowls in my pipe, yet it felt like 10-12 minutes.

  11. In Metal Gear Solid V there’s a medicinal plant that you can collect which is used to make the Phantom Cigars, but who says there can only be one?

  12. I know this is old but what an absurd theory! It's obvious that Kojima doesn't want Snake to be a crazy drug addict!

  13. Honestly, I doubt it.
    In this game they say that its a plant that you find in the field.
    Its some sort for flower, i forgot what its called but it might be opium due to its "bud" appearance.

  14. My favorite mgs game is sons of liberty because it was the first game mgs game that had somewhat realistic graphics and the story is amazing and it’s a true stealth game to its core you can hide in bathroom stalls, lockers, peek around the corner, soldiers that after you get spotted and escape are constantly looking for you and not to mention you can finally open lockers and hide people in it. It’s fantisimo, fantástico, fantastisch, fantastique, iontach, fantastika, fantastic (English), fantastic (Latin) and if you’re wondering I’m fluent in Eight languages (Italian, Spanish, French, Irish the language not the accent, Russian, English, and I’m not sure if Latin is considered a language) it’s my second favorite game of all time after Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and above Super Smash Brothers Melee I sense a pattern I like games made for old devices the Gamecube, the N64 the Xbox original and the ps2

  15. 5:57 Ironic a drug typically made to be snorted or inhaled is used for nasal surgery a surgery for the nose. A drug that when snorted for years can damage the nose is used in reconstruction nasal surgery, granted it’s a anesthetic but the irony is still there.

  16. 7:46 technically he isn’t a spy a spy is a agent that is sent by his or her country to gain information, assassinate enemy agent or HVT’s, or sabotage enemy weapons or machines. He’s a mercenary not connected to any country which is why the UN does inspection of the Diamond Dogs and not the US, Russia or any other countries, he’s a mercenary with spy like qualities. I’ve been watching to much film and game theory ruining things with information ehh no regrets #GameTheoryForTheWin

  17. 4:15 I am proud of you matpat I am in 9th grade and the 7th & 8th graders are already vaping. This is also in one of the better school districts (I think) in the new England area!!!

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