“Take the elevator to the third floor. The conference room is at the far end of the Bowie memorial. Kojima-san’s gear is J.F. Rey Eyewear.”
And with that seemingly unnecessary detail, Alannah Jorkman bids farewell and leaves to attend to some other pressing PR matter facing the burgeoning Kojima Productions. Eye Moustaches is in the grand foyer of the new studio’s Japanese head office. It’s an impressive sight. A projector mounted above the main doors projects the “We are Homo Ludens (those who play)” statement from the announcement on a continuous loop onto the far wall. Men and women in extravagant outfits carry Diamond Dogs branded boxes to and from different desks. We sneak a glance into one and inside are piles of unsold copies of Knack (“Please accept these tokens of friendship ~ Mark”).
This interview has been a long time coming. Last summer Kojima first made contact via a message inserted into a bank statement by one of his proxies.
“If you wish to meet the writer, director and designer of the Metal Gear series, on the 8th of July at midnight, go to O’ Connell bridge, wear a red scarf. Come alone.”
What followed was a series of coded messages, always delivered by a third party so as to escape the watchful eye of Konami, Kojima’s then employer. An interview had been planned for late September, the location would have been a seemingly abandoned mining town in Oregon, but with only a week to go, Eye Moustaches was indicted for massive tax fraud and so the plans had to be called off.
But now, months later, with the bribes all taken care of, here we are, approaching the elevator that will take us to Kojima, one of, if not the, most famous people in games.
We press the button for the elevator and there’s a slight delay. The doors eventually open and by way of an apology, a recording of Solid Snake says:
“Kept you waiting, huh?”
It’s David Hayter’s portrayal, rather than Keifer Sutherland’s. Interesting.
The elevator ride proves to be eventful, the lights and displays cut out for a few seconds half way through, yet the lift continues on. We make a note to take the stairs next time. The Bowie memorial is very tasteful but sadly we’ve no time to linger. At the far end of the exhibit, as we approach the door to conference room there are a number of signs reading “conference room,” in a number of languages. We briefly ponder the meaning of this and press on.
We turn the door handle, our hearts racing with excitement and walk into what is clearly an office, not a conference room. There’s one medium-sized desk with a Mac on it and only two chairs. All of the signs leading up to it said “conference room,” Jorkman called it a conference room, we were clearly meant to expect a conference room and yet here we are in an office. What was the purpose of this subterfuge? A question for another time, because sitting in front of us is the one, the only Hideo Kojima.
Don’t miss part two coming sometime next week!