I hear you loud and clear. At this point, you’d sacrifice your first born child for me to stop writing about The Phantom Pain, or items relating to The Phantom Pain.
Sorry to disappoint, dear reader, but the current forecast doesn’t show this trend stopping any time in the near future. Come rain, wind or shine I’ll be writing about The Phantom Pain, and not a damn thing will stop me.
On with the proceedings then. Today’s article is on the subject of Revolver Ocelot, and also takes a look at the literal “phantom pain” experienced by almost every cast member of MGSV.
Almost every cast member, that is, because in the months that I’ve been barrelling towards the elusive Platinum Trophy for MGSV, something’s been bugging me about Revolver Ocelot. Something that I can’t quite put my finger on.
But maybe that’s the intended genius in the design of Ocelot from Hideo Kojima. I’ve heard from people that have spent their lives playing the various iterations of Metal Gear Solid and still can’t work out whether Ocelot was a “good” or “bad” guy when it was all said and done.
For now though, let’s keep the focus on the Phantom Pain incident, and Ocelot’s role in the game. He acts as a tactical advisor to Venom Snake while secretly aiding the real Big Boss, on the orders of Major Zero.
That’s literally his only purpose in the entire game. Ocelot doesn’t have anything to gain from eliminating Skull Face, or ensuring the safety of Venom Snake as a decoy for Big Boss. He’s literally there in the Phantom Pain because someone told him to be.
Think about that for a minute. A character is only present throughout the entire course of a 50+ hour game because someone told him to be there. Someone he could have outright refused, I might add.
There’s also the matter of the literal phantom pain to contend with. Venom Snake experiences his phantom pain in the form of Paz, who he was unable to save when he was still the medic from Ground Zeroes, and so he experiences illusions of her throughout the game.
Miller’s phantom pain is detailed right at the very beginning of the game, when he loses several limbs and metaphorically wears them like some twisted chip on his shoulder over the rest of MGSV.
Quiet’s phantom pain, like Miller’s, is again very literal. She lives a cursed life due to her contact with the parasitic virus, and so consequentially is never able to speak English again until her final act of sacrifice in the game.
Huey and Eli round out this discussion. The former carries the burden of inadvertently murdering his wife, while the latter is cursed by his heritage, seeing himself as nothing more than the product of a laboratory.
Ocelot? No phantom pain in sight. Nothing to lose, and nothing to gain throughout the entire, expansive game. This is the major factor contributing to my retrospective distrust of Ocelot, and how I really don’t believe he’s there just to help out.
Bear in mind that Ocelot wasn’t even around during the destruction of Mother Base in Ground Zeroes, during which Miller and Venom obtained their phantom pain. It’s partially because of this event that Ocelot was sent to safeguard Big Boss, which is exactly why he desires no revenge on Skull Face, as he’s lost nothing.
In a game all about dealing with loss and how revenge can change people, Ocelot never once experiences either of these emotions. He’s not even slightly emotional when Venom is forced to put down his own soldiers due to the virus, further solidifying the fact that Ocelot never truly belongs in this game, unless to serve some purpose which is sadly never revealed.
Now bring the ever-elusive “third chapter” of The Phantom Pain into the equation. This third chapter was intended to be called “peace”, but as we saw with the first two chapters of the game, this could mean basically anything.
Could Ocelot have played a more pivotal role in this third chapter? I’m betting he would have, because up until the ending of The Phantom Pain his only major cut scene involved throwing a bucket of water over Venom.
What could this pivotal role have been? Well now I really am grasping at straws, but I’d like to imagine the groundwork was laid for Ocelot to leave Mother Base and align himself with the interests of Liquid, given all that happens in the future of the Metal Gear Solid series.
Could this have been in the form of an explosive, awe-inspiring betrayal of both Venom and Miller? That’s what I’ve got planned out in my head, but I can’t exactly elaborate on the particulars of this fantasised act of betrayal.
I appreciate that what I’m saying most likely comes off as the ravings of a delusional gamer, because that’s exactly what I’ve become in the months since the release of The Phantom Pain.
Ever since the mysterious evidence of the third chapter was found I was theorising over what it could’ve been. Maybe it could’ve been the betrayal of Ocelot as I previously mentioned, laying the foundation for his relationship with Liquid, or maybe it was something entirely more mundane. But we’ll (likely) never know.