Could Metal Gears Be Real?

by Steve Bowler on April 1, 2008 · 18 comments

in design

Dawgoo! DAWGOOOOOO!!!!!

When the first Metal Gear 4 trailers first started hitting the net, the Mini Gears (or whatever the walkers are called) garnered a ton of attention. The Gears polarized a lot of opinion, ranging from “holy jeebs is that cool” to “why do the cow-walkers moo??!?”

They were decidedly…different. Some people claimed that the moo-ing was lame and out of place; that it had an unnatural quality about it. After all, why would they moo? But there was something inherently natural about them. The legs were almost sexy; the hips swivelling in a female fashion. We found things about them that were immediately recognizeable. The feet had toes, heels, the legs even seemed to have calf muscles. They slipped, wobbled, and regained their balance. They ran, trotted, and charged.

These things, while amazing, seemed a bit far fetched, and firmly planted in the realm of science fiction, at least until this past week, when it appeared that Metal Gear could be a lot closer to reality than previously suspected. Enter the Boston Dynamics Big Dog project, which I’m sure most of you have seen by now:

This is eerily real, people. It blows Honda’s Asimo out of the water. Note how Big Dog slips on the ice around 1:25 and recovers almost exactly the same way two people hanging onto each other would. The legs move so naturally that someone’s spoof of it actually fools most people into thinking that it’s still the robot at first when in actuality it’s two people moving like the robot.

It even has its own odd sound effect: the chilling buzzing cadence of the gas powered motor. “Why does it sound like bees??” people ask when they first see it. Something 50 times its size sounding like a cow doesn’t seem all that far off, now, does it? The legs are even black (although Big Dog’s are wrapped in fabric), for crying out loud. If Big Dog isn’t the closest thing to a baby Metal Gear, I don’t know what is.

I suppose a good follow-up would be to compare and contrast how closely an artist/designer team and a team full of brainiac engineers came on a concept of a walking robot, especially when one is now a military contractor and the other makes games about future militaries.

But what I really want to know is: how deep does Hideo Kojima’s contacts go? It appears that the Mini Gears (or whatever the walkers are in the newest Metal Gear are; I doubt they are the Metal Gear) aren’t so much science fiction, but a very real possibility of what we could see in 20 years.


Adam April 2, 2008 at 9:29 am

Motosada Mori was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1964 and is known as the military Advisor for the Metal Gear series. He is also part of the International Close Combat Instructors Association (ICCIA).

jerry April 6, 2008 at 10:19 pm

metal gears are real.

they carry multiple nuclear warheads, super-secret, can be self-contained for months on end, are nearly invisible, and almost completely invulnerable to ground and air attacks

they’re called SUBMARINES.

ifthe21stcentury April 7, 2008 at 3:59 am

I can’t find a link but I remember reading (I think in Murakami’s novel Kafka on the Shore) that the moo-ing is a ubiquitously terrifying noise in Japan. I think it comes from WWII, when the air raid sirens would sound, the cows would go crazy for hours, mooing in terror.

I, for one, love this kind of detail in Kojimas games.

Paji April 7, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Just to clarify, the Metal Gears in MGS4 are called “Gekko,” the Japanese word for “moonlight.” I remember reading somewhere that the mooing is to intimidate the soldiers (for the same reason ifthe21stcentury cited), and the cicada noises are to lull soldiers into a false state of security.

All things aside, real Metal Gears? I can see it happening, but hopefully not to the caliber of REX or RAY, because nuclear weapons are a BAD thing.

Nikolas Payne April 7, 2008 at 7:40 pm

And let’s not forget that the early MGS4 trailer(s) fixated on PMCs … months? years? Before they really came, scandalously, into RL media exposure.

Justin Force April 8, 2008 at 12:57 pm

You could have mentioned that BigDog is funded by DARPA, just like Metal Gear Rex.

Mike Davies April 8, 2008 at 5:29 pm

The first few seconds i saw it kinda walking making the strange beehive sound and I was like, “Meh, pretty clever…” Then that guy kicked it and it started slipping on the ice…

Just make it massive and it probably would make the cow noise, strap on a few nukes to be safe lol.

Kilahn January 5, 2009 at 6:25 am

Apparently the gekko aren’t actually metal gears, because they don’t carry nuclear weapons. they’re for short range combat.

but still, that is quite interesting. and to be honest, the shape and the way it moved was freaky in a similar kind of way when you enc ounter gekko in mgs4.

DK April 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Yikes. Misleading title, but an effective comparison none-the-less.

LASERFACE SOLID June 16, 2009 at 9:14 am

Yea the GEKKO’S are more used than tanks… not to bring up the hole PATRIOT/ ILLUMINATI thing. same purpose diffrent begings

Black Bird July 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm

I really thinking that this really could be real
i know that shadow moses island exists and zanzibar land too(go see on google earth)
but i also heard that shadow moses is a real nuclear missile disposal facility

X man. June 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm

so you make a question: why metal gears need to do a big roar?
because there is something called moral.
when you are scared you cant do a good performance in the battlefield .
so if you hear a monstrous roar you think oh my GOD! that thing its gonna kill me!
thats why high rank soldiers always try to keep the moral up so the soldiers dont feel terrified
and do a good performance in the battlefield
if your soldiers have a low moral when fighting a metal gear (lets hope not ) you will probably die.

Richard July 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Ya know, metal gear wasn’t just funded by DARPA, it was Rivermore national labs, which doesn’t exist in real life, DARPA does. But the wording is switched up, there’s no Rivermore, but there is a Livermore National Lab, which does make joint ventures with DARPA, and does all that nuclear aged crap, along with robots. Ya see, these thing do have a way of coming to reality, pretty scary if you ask me. Rail guns have been developed successfully and are placed mainly on naval ships. Vulcan canons are also very real, as are missiles and laser guns, however, lasers aren’t as powerful. All you need now is a robot that can carry all that and has an engines power to weight ratio is 450hp/ton, goes 140.777km/h and holds 5550lits of fuel, those are the specifications made for metal gear rex, you can look them up.

Richard July 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Most people looked at the old night rider and thought that was too science fictiony, phones in the car, navigation systems, talking car, silent mode. Well welcome to today, we have cell phones, sync systems that do more then kitt and quiet cars. If you compare metal gear with the same idea, in 20 good years, that will be true, war will have changed.

LeapFox September 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Paji/Richard Metal Gear Rex could Be real Because DARPA and Arms-tech (the makes of Metal Gear Rex) both exist! so if the Codak system is (real) invented what happened in the MG games could (have) Happen(ed).

Cab0215 October 19, 2010 at 2:15 am

Where’s Solid Snake when you need him…

Tom October 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Jerry: You’re missing one very basic point… Metal Gear is a Bipedal Tank. A weapon that bridges the gap between tank and soldier. A submarine doesn’t fucking walk! >/

Alex January 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm

The next metal gear shoul be called LOLA (land or land/air) there could be others but this has a certain ring to it besides they touched on a flying MG and this could be it!!!

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