Yesterday, a seemingly unknown Moby Dick Studio unveiled a brand new project simply titled “The Phantom Pain at the SpikeTV Video Game Awards. A seemingly interesting prospect, where you are breaking out of a hospital. The game looked gorgeous, and can assumed to be on the next generation platforms. But as the hours went on after the event, people were connecting dots. The popular claim is that the whole title is just an elaborate puzzle to the real picture – The Phantom Pain is actually Metal Gear Solid 5.

Games journalists have been micro-analyzing and reading into details of why The Phantom Pain is actually Metal Gear Solid 5, and many of them seem almost irrefutable. This isn’t another Indoctrination Theory to the Mass Effect 3 ending, many of them seem crystal clear, and not just in the trailer, either. Here’s some of the most prominent evidence.

First up, the title card for The Phantom Pain literally spells out “Metal Gear Solid V” in the weird marks in between the words. It’s a bit of a stretch. When has Metal Gear ever used roman numerals? It could be a red herring, but it’s totally viable.

The Phantom PainLet’s take a look at some of the bits from the trailer. The doctor at the beginning? Totally a lookalike from a very specific doctor (Dr. Marv) from Metal Gear 2 on the NES. That man on fire toward the tail-end of the trailer? Totally Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3. The armor’s a complete match. Also, a Psycho Mantis (or a clever lookalike common in the Metal Gear universe) pops up at the very, very end. People have been making claims of seeing Raiden and Solid Snake, but I’m not so sure, they can be easily duplicated characters within Metal Gear, anyway. So, tick those boxes for The Phantom Pain.

Now let’s take to Twitter. From Alex Reubens – “There are people in the VIP section of the Konami party wearing Phantom Pain/Moby Dick Studios t-shirts.” Pretty clear how it points to these “unknown” developers of The Phantom Pain being in the same circle. Couple that with the fact that Moby Dick Games is supposed to be Swedish – firsthand accounts show that they don’t appear to be Swedish in the slightest. Also, Kojima himself tweeted months ago about practicing some motion capture technology that is very clearly detailed inThe Phantom Pain trailer.

Refute this!

Here’s where the real research came in. The CEO of Moby Dick Studios appears to be named Joakim Mogren. Look closely, ‘Joakim’ is an anagram for Kojima, and ‘Mogren’ contains the name ‘OGRE’ in it, a mysterious project of Kojima’s to begin with. Or, continuing with the Mogren portion – Mogren is apparently the name of a sports club in Montenegro. Montenegro is, coincidently, where Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance begins. There’s some even crazier accounts over at NeoGAF, so for even more weird comparisons, head over there.

Hideo Kojima, and the entire Metal Gear series, has been about subverting us in clever ways though the games, so I wouldn’t put it past Kojima to try and fuck with us in the real world, too. The Phantom Pain itself had me curious, but the prospect of The Phantom Pain being a clever ruse toward Metal Gear Solid 5 makes me doubly curious. All I can say is, a lot of people have been putting on their Sherlock hats trying to decode the mystery surrounding The Phantom Pain. For some very specific and crazy The Phantom Pain being Metal Gear. descriptions, check out some of the IGN blogposts, they’re quite extensive. Sound off in the comments what you think. Is this really the next Metal Gear? Or have we all been bamboozled?