Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a phenomenal game – which is just as well, as it could end up being the final entry in the series to benefit from the input of creator Hideo Kojima, who seems to be parting ways with Konami at the end of the year. However, as amazing as the game undoubtedly is, it is missing a vital ingredient for long-time fans of the stealth franchise: that iconic theme tune.
In fact, the classic Metal Gear Solid Theme – composed by Tappi "TAPPY" Iwase for the 1998 PlayStation title – hasn't been featured in a game for quite some time. The reason why – which amazingly, hasn't been widely reported – is pretty mind-blowing.
Around the time of Portable Ops on the PSP, a tune by the Russian composer Georgy Sviridov was discovered which bore more than a passing resemblance to TAPPY's famous theme. Written in the 1970s, "The Blizzard: Winter Road" sounds very similar indeed to the classic Metal Gear Solid tune. Here's a comparison:
In his defense, Kojima doesn't seem to have been aware that the music existed. Here's the moment in 2008 when he listened to the tune for the very first time:
Months after that video was recorded, series composer Norihiko Hibino admitted in an interview with EGM that the tune wasn't included in Metal Gear Solid 4 due to fears that legal action would occur – however, he maintains that TAPPY wasn't guilty of plagiarism:
The truth is, Konami [had legal problems with] Russian composers who said we stole their music.
They didn't [steal their music], actually. But Konami was too sensitive about the situation and just decided not to use that music in the game.
The Phantom Pain thankfully isn't short of classic music, despite the absence of the popular main theme:
What do you think? Did TAPPY rip off the tune, or are the similarities purely coincidental? Let us know with a sneakily-placed comment below.