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Is the Phantom Pain director a CG creation?

3 min read

One of these men is an artificial creation of the gaming industry that exists solely for marketing purposes. The other is Joakim Mogren.

Video game technology has come a long way in the last decade. We’ve gone characters who had lego blocks for hands, to full on fingers in all their fingy glory. But we’re not yet at a level where we can completely convince people that something fake is real. Or are we?

Over on the Neogaf forums, one user reckons that the upcoming The Phantom Pain, widely rumoured to be Metal Gear Solid 5, has a director who isn’t completely transparent. Or human for that matter.

Joakim Mogren, the director behind Moby Dick Studios, was recently interviewed by Spike TV’s Geoff Keighley in an event that was more staged than the moon landings (DAMN YOU KUBRICK!). But something seemed off to the NG users.

They reckon that Joakim was rendered completely with the new Fox Engine 5, which Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is planning to use for his next line-up of games and will also power The Phantom Pain as the interview revealed. We’ve already seen that the visuals from that engine are pretty damn impressive, but to surpass the uncanny valley effect? That’s a whole new ballgame entirely.


Anyway, here’s the proof that has been offered so far:

Joakim is 100% CGI in that interview. This is an elaborate tech demo for the Fox Engine.
– It explains why the two are never in the same frame together
– It explains the bandages
– It explains why the game being on the Fox Engine was the big reveal.
If you look at his cheek during the interview, the shading seems suspicious. And the closer you look at it, I have a hard time believing he is actually there.

Also worth noting that messing with the levels of the image showed some rather interesting artifacts on everything apart from his head. Suggesting a higher resolution image has been layered atop the low resolution body.


Points worth noting:

  • The upper eyelids only half drop. The attached skin doesn’t move at all. (i.e. the eyebrow, the recess below the eyebrow)
  • The lower eyelids simply don’t move. I don’t know about you, but I can’t move my upper eyelids independently of the lower. More-so, when you are shocked or taken aback by something, the natural is to winch/squint.
  • The point of light in his pupil doesn’t move in relation to his head movement. In fact it’s static within the pupil at all times.
  • The shadows around the bandages on the right of the image are not consistent with the head movement

That’s quite the conspiracy theory, isn’t it. I honestly can’t make up my mind on this one though. The game is pretty much a Metal Gear Solid title by the looks of it, and I’d stake my collection of My Little Pony shot glasses on that fact.

But dammit, something does seem…off about Joakim in that interview with Keighley. Like there’s something beneath the surface of those bandages, but you just can’t peel them away to see what it is. Then again, this could be me wanting that interview to be a CG creation.

Watch the interview for yourself below, and then let us know below what you think. Real of CG?

Last Updated: March 18, 2013

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