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An investigation into Metal Gear Solid 5’s nuclear disarmament mission, which has seen players attempt to rid the game of nukes for over half a decade, has claimed that completing it is “impossible”.
In a video by Did You Know Gaming, it’s claimed that the goal, which publisher Konami inferred unlocked something special, has been impossible for years. Although the reward, a hidden cutscene, has been datamined, it’s never been viewed legitimately, despite years of fan campaigns to complete the game’s final quest.
The group would later reveal that it used hacks to lower the count to zero, and in doing so, discovered that because nukes tied to banned accounts can’t be disarmed, the quest was impossible, something Konami has failed to fix in the 7 years since release.
The Anti-Nuke Gang, led by a player known as “The Hung Horse” began the quest to lower the nuke count on PS3 to zero at the start of the pandemic but quickly found that doing so via traditional means was virtually impossible, regardless of the bugs present in the game.
Firstly, the game has been out for 7 years and sold very well on PS3 meaning that the number of nukes, although lower than on other platforms, was still significant. Another issue was that players on PS3 were able to easily cheat, adding 16 nukes to their account (something that should take weeks) in a matter of minutes, making abolition extremely difficult.
The Hung Horse stated that despite the group’s efforts, there was a small number of nukes that it are impossible to disarm.
“We ran into what can only be defined as an invincible set of nukes that do not belong to any base. If you’re familiar with the MGSV Forward Operating Base system, a nuke is always placed on a FOB after a player makes it. But there were 40 or so of these invincible nukes that didn’t have FOB’s they belonged to. They simply existed without a FOB. We call them ‘Phantom Nukes’.”
This meant that the group had to turn to illegitimate means of disarmament. A hacker named Stefferp joined the group and developed code that would allow the mass disarmament of nukes without even having to play the game. The bot searched every player in the game’s base and identify which had active nukes. “The Nuke Hunter Deluxe” as the team called it, was the key to lowering the number to 0.
However, after an investigation by Konami, the method was deemed illegitimate and Stefferp was banned from the game. Despite the group’s attempt to reach out to Konami to explain the issue with the mission and request that they fix it, the publisher hasn’t responded.
The genesis of players wanting to complete this seemingly impossible goal is that soon after the game was released, a title card for a hidden third chapter was found in the game.
Currently, Metal Gear Solid 5 is split into two chapters, Chapter 1: Revenge and Chapter 2: Race. However, a title card for a third chapter, Chapter 3: Peace was discovered in the game files, leading players to believe that there was some way unlock it.
The chapter title, “Peace” also suggested to players that total nuclear disarmament was the only way to unlock the mysterious chapter. This was even hinted at by the official Konami Twitter account which tweeted in 2015 “The truth can be found for Peace”.
However, many have argued that due to the fractious nature of the relationship between Konami and series creator Hideo Kojima towards the end of development, it’s possible that despite plans for more content following the nuclear abolition, it was never finished, and thus Konami could never allow for the nuke count to hit zero, as the promised reward doesn’t actually exist.
Tweeting about the nuclear disarmament programme in 2022, Hideo Kojima said “This was a social experiment.”