Metal Gear Solid is a confusing franchise. As someone who’s never played an entry all the way through—other than the superb Revengeance, which isn’t really a Metal Gear Solid game—I’m familiar with the series but always found myself perplexed by its intricate narrative threads that span decades. Thankfully, David Hayter, the voice of the legendary spy Solid Snake, has somewhat remedied my confusion with a brief explanation of MGS’ influence in a new YouTube ad.

To promote the first volume of the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection, which launched in October 2023 to fan frustration, Hayter appeared in a March 15 YouTube video on Konami’s channel. In it, he grabs our hand and quickly takes us through the game’s storied history, discussing the signature qualities of the first three entries of Metal Gear Solid. (Yes, he also briefly acknowledges that Metal Gear more broadly began with the 1987 release of Snake’s first adventure on the MSX.)

He doesn’t quite do a detailed story breakdown in the way that someone like myself, who’s heard of but never really understood the game’s narrative, would appreciate. However, he does humorously nod to the series’ twisting plots, admitting that newcomers may be daunted by all the “shadow organizations, secret agents, double agents, triple agents, nonlinear timelines, giant nuclear weapons, clones, and multiple characters named Snake.” But, he says, this collection will set new players on the right path to make sense of it all.

He then briefly charts how the series garnered the clout it has, highlighting “a handful of elements that Metal Gear uniquely Metal Gear.”


Hayter—who’s probably best known for his work as the gruff voice of MGS’ protagonist Solid Snake—touches on the “innovative and iconic gameplay” found in the series, including how boss Psycho Mantis can ”read your mind” by accessing your memory card. It’s cool hearing all this history, however brief, especially since this is just part one of what’s going to become a multi-part series. According to Hayter, the second episode will be about the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater remake, which doesn’t have a release date yet but looks damn good.

Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but having actors pop up in gaming ads seems to be becoming a trend. At first, it was Succession star Brian Cox giving us the rundown of Tekken 8‘s lore. Then, Ian McShane, from Deadwood and the John Wick films, explained Dragon’s Dogma 2‘s story. And now, we have David Hayter doing the same. Hayter, of course, has an established connection to the series he’s talking about here, so it’s not quite the same, but it’s yet another example of an actor with a famous voice explaining a game or series to us at length. I’m not mad about it. It’s just a weird coincidence.


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