What Osama Bin Laden And Metal Gears Solid Have In Common

What Osama Bin Laden And Metal Gears Solid Have In Common

On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever. Al-Qaeda, the organisation Osama bin Laden created, carried out attacks that left thousands dead. The impact was felt around the world.

Either out of respect or fear of being insensitive, the second entry in the popular Japanese stealth series Metal Gear Solid was altered. According to Metal Gear creator, the characters were named after warplanes and weapons. “‘Raiden’ is named after the Japanese navy’s local battle plane ‘Raiden’,” tweeted Kojima.

Until 9/11, Raiden’s name was written in katakana as ライデン or literally “Raiden”.

“On the Japanese version, ‘Raiden’ was spelled in katakana until the 911 happened,” Kojima continued. “After the 911, it was decided to spell in Kanji.”

So Raiden (ライデン) became 雷電 in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, which was released in November 2001 in North America.

“Since the story resembled 911 closely, and some people said ‘Raiden’ reminds them of ‘Bin Laden,'” added Kojima, who also noted that the pronunciation between “Raiden” and “Laden” are different.

In Japanese, “Laden” is written as ラーディン. Regardless, nobody in Japanese refers to Osama bin Laden as simply “Laden”. It’s like calling Robert De Niro simply “Niro” or Leonardo da Vinci as “Vinci”.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty had content cut because of 9/11. According to the Metal Gear Wiki, the game’s novelization — released in 2009 — contained deleted scenes such Raiden cutting down the American flag as well as one depicting a vessel crashing into Manhattan.

Even as innocuous as the “Raiden” and “Laden” comparison seems today, think back to that time in 2001. No wonder these changes were made.

An HD version of the game will be out this November, featuring Raiden, whose name is still written in kanji.

Hideo_Kojima [Twitter]

Top photo: Konami


  • It doesn’t bother me that these games were changed. Once Australia wakes up there will probably be troll posts left on this article about ‘America sucking’.

    • It’s not about ‘America sucking’as you say but the American crew posting one sentence and calling it an article.

    • …huh? How is this America’s fault? It’s a bit of weird self-censorship by Japanese for Japanese. Why would anyone blame America? Or do you just like to feel smug and superior and “get in there first”?

      • Sorry, no I don’t like to feel smug and superior and I don’t like to get in there first. It’s just whenever there’s a article about the U.S. on Kotaku/Gizmodo/Lifehacker, people always like to comment on how bad the country is.
        I’ll admit I jumped the gun on this one.

    • Yeah, I’m sure Australia is the only country that has a problem with America. Just so you know, it’s not so much America that “sucks”, it’s the way the Australian government would blindly follow every stupid move made by the American government, even though the so called problems didn’t effect us in any way and the majority of Australians were against the idea.

      • Hear hear. Australia had no enemies and was a friend to everyone, we were basically a neutral territory until the idiotic government signed on with the US invasion, turning us into a terror target.

        On behalf of Australia I formally apologize to Afghanistan as a country and all terrorists of the world, it wasn’t us that invaded! it was our government! if you want to kill people with bombs, attack our government, not our people!

  • I didn’t mind either, what pissed me off was that the cliffhanger ending meant nothing to the story in the next games.

    • Well it would have meant something if it wasn’t for the fans demanding a MGS3 & then a MGS4(death threats). Kojima intended to end the story with MGS2. You have to give him props for trying to connect everything at the end.

  • I read this a while back and i can say that i really respect Kojima for his decision to change his original plans. In most cases it would actually be the other way around most artist,directors,reporters wouldn’t have cared if they were in Mr.Kojima position in order to receive more criticism/publicity. My problem now is that its been 10 Years since 9/11, I think it safe to say that Kojima wont receive any kind of negative criticism. I think i speak for the many that are aware of this in saying that its about time Mr.Kojima shows his fans the deleted scene that many have wished to have seen back in 2001. Its understandable if it cant be added as part of the game but at least as a bonus feature.(Theater Mode)PLEASE MR.KOJIMA SHOW US YOUR DELETED MASTERPIECE.

  • Yeah, and you never really got to see and understand Arsenal Gear, it just seemed to be a big blob thing shaped like a torso/shield.

  • I seem to remember watching Arsenal crashing into Manhattan… I knew that happened, maybe it was only implied?

    I beat that game like 2 or 3 times, but it’s been so long that I can’t be sure.

    I once read an essay online that someone had written that analyzed MGS2 as a sort of deconstruction of MGS1. Really interesting stuff and made a lot of sense. Helped me to appreciate the game a lot more. Too bad it’s the ‘red-headed-step-child’ of the series 😛

    • There’s a part in the game where Ocelot says everything has been a re-enactment of what happened years ago at shadow moses, that made me hate the game even more.

  • You’re using the same tactics as the Nazis.

    You’re staging terrorism, just like the Nazis.

    You’re brainwashing the population with propaganda, like the Nazis.

    You’re attacking, invading and occupying nations, like Nazis.

    You’re covering the planet with military bases, not even the Nazis did that.

    You’re massacring, raping and mutilating the poor and helpless.

    USA = Nazi empire 2.0

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