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September 23, 2007 // 5:07 pm - Metal Gear Solid series director gives more details on PS3 stealth-actioner, reveals Metal Gear Online starter pack will be included in game.

Director Hideo Kojima appeared on stage at Konami's booth and started off by talking about the new bosses in MGS4. Although they were revealed to the press last month, this is the first time that Kojima directly showed them off to the public himself.

"In the first Metal Gear Solid, we featured a special forces unit that consisted of elite active soldiers," he explained. "In MGS2, we needed an even stronger team, and after a while of thinking, we went with a Special Forces unit that trains and instructs other special forces units. We decided to give superhuman abilities to those characters, kind of like in American comics. In MGS3, we had to make even stronger characters, so we went with a 'legendary' Special Forces unit."

"MGS4 was really tough since we had to go beyond legendary soldiers, so we thought that it might be better off if they weren't human. We made [a unit of] monsters, called the Beauty and the Beast," said Kojima, outlining the birth behind the oddly shaped new set of bosses in MGS4.

According to Kojima, the player's objective against the Beauty and the Beast unit is not to kill them. Much like the "Little Sisters" in BioShock, the monsters were originally girls with pure hearts, and it's up to the player to rescue them from their misery.

"There's the old fairytale about the beauty and the beast, where the character gets enchanted in the forest and gets turned into a beast," said Kojima. "These girls have been turned into a beast by the forest known as the war zone. It's up to the player as to whether or not they can break the spells on the girls."

For players that can lift their curses, there's a little bonus. As previously reported, Kojima used live actresses to model the Beauty and the Beast unit, and he also took 3D data of their faces. If the player can rescue them, they'll be able to unmask the beauty inside the beast and see what they actually look like.

Kojima confirmed that Raging Raven is modeled after actress Yumi Kikuchi, who's also doing the motion capture acting and voices for the Japanese release. He kept the rest of the voice actor identities a secret, saying that it'll be up to the player to discover them.

Kojima then went on to give some details on the new characters that were shown in the TGS trailer: Drebin, Sunny, Big Mama, Johnathan, Ed, Johnny, and the Haven Troopers. Drebin is an arms wholesaler who delivers weapons registered to a corresponding solider with matching SOP nanomachines in them. Since he is able to modify these weapons, Drebin will play an important role in the game, delivering various kinds of arms to Snake.

As can be seen in the trailer, Drebin has a hairless pet monkey in shorts named Little Gray. According to Kojima, the motion capture actor who played Raiden was extremely good at monkey impersonations, so Kojima decided to add one as a sidekick to Drebin, especially since Drebin seemed a bit plain compared to the other characters in the game.

TGS '07: Kojima speaks

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