Great PS3 moments: Big Boss’ final cigar & goodbye in Metal Gear Solid 4
Smoking really is bad for your health… and, as it turns out, your tear ducts in MGS4. The moment Big Boss and Old Snake put two decades of bad blood behind them over a fateful, distinctly final cigar puff is perhaps PS3’s most emotional moment. Ambiguous, reflective, redemptive; the father and cloned ‘son’ share a cathartic goodbye that puts a full stop on a series obsessed with philosophising, 007 references and arse gags.
Series creator Hideo Kojima famously loves to talk players’ ear canals off until they flood full of sad-faced exhaustion – and the ending of Metal Gear Solid 4 is by no means an exception. An ultra marathon of exposition-heavy cutscenes, it juxtaposes a manic depressive cyborg playing 2.4 children with a wedding involving a dude suffering irritable bowel syndrome over 90 increasingly draining minutes.
How Kojima somehow steers the ship away from the motor-mouthed iceberg that threatens to sink the climax of a 21-year-old saga is a minor miracle.
Starting with a tease of Snake topping himself in a graveyard, a post-credits epilogue reunites your stealthy pensioner with his pop for the first time since the series’ days on the MSX2. After 15 minutes of prattling about evil AIs, Big Boss is suddenly stricken by a deadly dose of FoxDie – MGS’ covert, killer pathogen. As the life slips out of Snake’s father, the hostility between the two fades. Cryptically murmuring “This is good, isn’t it?”, Big Boss takes one last drag on his stogie, reuniting the two Metal Gear icons on-screen for the first time on PlayStation in a wonderful moment of quiet reflection.