There’s A Reason For Metal Gear’s Sexy Sniper. What It Is, Who Knows.

There’s A Reason For Metal Gear’s Sexy Sniper. What It Is, Who Knows.

First, Hideo Kojima wanted the mute female sniper of Metal Gear Solid V to appear “erotic.” That was either a poor choice of words, or poor translation, but he evidently wanted the art director to sex her up to encourage cosplay. Or figurine sales. Well, now Kojima is Tweeting, and says we have it all wrong.

I know there’s people concerning about “Quiet” but don’t worry. I created her character as an antithesis to the women characters (cont) — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 7, 2013

appeared in the past fighting game who are excessively exposed. “Quiet” who doesn’t have a word will be teased in the story as well. (Cont) — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 7, 2013

(Cont) But once you recognise the secret reason for her exposure, you will feel ashamed of your words & deeds. — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 7, 201

OK, this may be another situation where the best word wasn’t chosen. The “secret reason” for her revealing attire notwithstanding, Kojima is definitely drawing a comparison between Quiet and how female fighting game characters have been depicted. Fine. “Antithesis” may not be the best word here — visually, the true antithesis of a sexed-up female fighting game character would be, like, Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy.

Does he mean “parody” instead of antithesis? Who knows. The mystery deepens with this puzzle:

Theme of “MGSV” is “GENE”⇒”MEME”⇒”SCENE”⇒”PEACE”⇒”RACE”. Story touches the misunderstanding, prejudice, hatred, conflict caused by (cont) — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 7, 2013

Ohhhhhhh … K…?

the difference of language, race, custom, culture, and preference. (Cont) — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 7, 2013

And then:

(Cont) The response of “Quiet” disclosure few days ago incited by the net is exactly what “MGSV” itself is. — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 7, 2013

At a live demonstration of Metal Gear Solid V, Stefanie Joosten, the actor behind Quiet, said that “Quiet has reasons for wearing what she does,” but didn’t elaborate beyond that.

Kojima appears to be responding to criticism (a Halo designer called out the character design as “disgusting” on Twitter yesterday) more than explaining his character’s costume design. I’ll be interested to know what it is, in this character’s story, that leads her to go to a battlefield scantily clad, and how that is a statement of empowerment or one that repudiates other female combatants. Right now it sounds like a bunch of defensive, retrofitted nonsense.

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @owengood.


  • It’s Hideo Kojima’s artistic vision and quite frankly he can do whatever the hell he wants with his game series. Don’t like it, speak with your money and don’t buy it. Not hard to do, is it?

    • Of course if it’s for a game that hasn’t been released yet and if you’re a fan of the series you may want to not HAVE TO vote with your dollars cause you probably don’t want to avoid an entire game just cause of one weirdly ultra-sexual character design.

  • I just had a look at Quiet’s character design. It’s one thing to give a female character sexy tight or skimpy clothing (like tomb raider) but my GOD Quiet has the most uncomfortable looking outfit EVER! Even the girls in Street fighter look more believable than that

  • I remember when there didn’t need to be a reason to include a scantily clad lady in your cast of characters and people didn’t flip out about it at all because they had the sense to just not play games that contained material that bothered them. Good times.

    • While I do agree with the ‘don’t like it, don’t buy it’ approach. At face value this does appear rather egregious.

      • He’s hooked on movies and includes that imagery in his games.

        $10 says Quiet is a M to F transgender or something along those lines to explain the outfit.

        $5 crazy bet says the reason she’s “quiet” is that the voice didn’t change.

        • Obviously I’m missing something here, but how would Quiet being a ‘M to F transgender or something along those lines’ possibly be an explanation for Quiet’s outfit?

          • Another way of looking at the character is that she’s been hyper feminized in the manner of the male ideals. This is actually a common thing with new MtF transwomen, and is sort of like a overcompensation phase for the girlhood they never had. Sort of like when you reach adulthood and realise you can buy junk food whenever you want – you go nuts at first, settle later. If this lady is in that phase, sexy clothing would make sense. Toss in desert, crazy stylization and Hideo’s love for sexy snipers, and it could work.

            Not in my opinion, but I can see how it works.

          • Commenting via mobile device isn’t exactly linked to the best-written comments, it seems.

            Kojima is awesome. He also wishes he was a movie director, and is known for including twists and turns in a lot of what he does. He has a penchant for exploring social limits and commenting on how limiting and stupid they generally are – thing like racism, etc.

            In this case, I would fully expect a potential “twist” to be Quiet being not exactly what she seems.

            1. This could be done via someone who’s recently had a brain transplant, or undergone a wanted gender reassignment, “amping up” or over-indulging in exploring their new feminine side and body. Add standard comic/movie over-emphasis, and you’d find the outfit being part of that story. As a side point, considering he seriously wanted people to cos-play, I’m guessing the character is built to be sexually attractive to hetero males, with the big reveal being “You found this person so attractive, but they were born a man! Are you shocked? Maybe you should judge people on who they are inside and not be hung up on gender”, making a social statement. That’d be kinda cool.

            2. She’s a “siren”, in that when she is close to people they find her amazingly attractive (hence being a long-range, distance sniper), but when she speaks her siren-song kills them/lures them to death. The outfit could be a natural extension of this, in the vein of the classical Greek sirens, and every iteration since.

            3. She’s simply dressed like that in the vein of standard Hollywood tropes. Charlie’s Angels didn’t need impractical skin-tight vynil outfits, but they had them. Pick and Hollywood action blockbuster that involved a heroine, and tell me they’re, in any way, attractive or never wear completely impractical clothing for their situation. If he’s wanting to write a movie, those are his inspirations, so aspects like that will translate.

            Either way, Kojima deserves the benefit of the doubt, and not to be roped into the recent (often justified, sure) witch-hunts any time female characters are displayed in certain ways.

          • I apologise, Zap. I initially thought you were trolling with your previous comment, hence my not-too-friendly tone (which was unwarranted regardless), but you’ve definitely thought this angle through, and I think you may very well be on the money when it comes to Quiet. I for one have always been a huge fan of speculating what Kojima plans to do with the ongoing series (the fairly recent talk of ‘Phantom Pain Snake’ possibly being a pre-‘Cyborg Ninja’ Frank Jaeger was certainly an interesting one), and I should not have been so quick to dismiss and judge your comment due to lack of context. Cheers for being such a good sport about it. 🙂

  • “Right now it sounds like a bunch of defensive, retrofitted nonsense.”

    Did Kotaku complain about Cortana or EDI? Two characters who became sluts for no good reason? At least Quiet is an homage to the Hollywood scantily clad army women, and isn’t she empowered enough for feminists?

    Double standard pandering is so bad in this website – why isn’t there a QA control editing before these get published?

    • I wouldn’t hold those two characters to the same standard as Quiet; they’re both robots for a start.

      I agree that they should probably be keeping their opinions out of the reporting; journalism 101 and all that. That said, if anyone should at least be given the benefit of the doubt for this it’s Kojima.

      • Hrm… Maybe Quiet is a robot too. Would maybe explain some of what Kojima is blathering about there.

    • Cortana and EDI, sluts?

      What crack have you been smoking or have you been thumped in the head with a bible a bit too much?

  • So I googled this character, to see what all the fuss was about and it’s like, oh yeah, bikini top, yeah that’s not too bad I guess.

    And then I saw her pants. oh geeeeez.

    It doesn’t seem necessary to me. I mean, a pretty girl in uniform is still a pretty girl. And really, for a solider, especially a sniper, who will spend most of their time lying down, you’d want a much better outfit than that. So yeah, a bit unnecessary to me. And prelude to a lot of really bad photos of cosplay in the next couple of years.

  • Well then. I guess I’ll withhold criticism until I see the context of the character in the whole game. He seems pretty sure there’s a justification to the design, and until I’ve seen that for myself I can’t really judge it adequately.

    • kinda hard to justify that outfit for a standard soldier or merc let alone a sniper considering that the webbing for one is extremely course and uncomfortable to wear without a shirt and bare skin offers zero consealment and causes you stick out like dog balls unless she is moonlighting as stripper as well

      • And how many other ‘normal’ characters have you seen as major or even minor characters in MG? There’s no way she’s just an ordinary person without special abilities or powers.

  • in the end, she’ll lose an eye from getting mauled by a canine..

    then she’ll change her name to Sniper Wolf.

  • Its actually really obvious if you know the story. She cant wear much clothes so she can camoflage into the surroundings like the character in MGS3 called The End who’s skin can change colours based on what hes touching

    She seems to have some kind of active camouflage implanted in her skin. I’m assuming that’s the reason why she’s getting about mostly nakies. Not a particularly good one, but I guess if it sells action figures and gets teenage girls swanning about in next to nothing then its done its job.

    It’s also a way to get a lot of press and community discussion without trying particularly hard.

  • Can we focus on the real gender problems in gaming instead of fictitious characters not wearing situation appropriate combat attire?

    Stuff like this should be up in light, real abuse happening to real women on a daily basis on some of the worlds more prominent gaming platforms. This is a problem, complaining about a digital character in a bikini is farcical by comparison.

    Also this

      • Not really. You never got told the story about the boy who cried wolf?
        If you make a big deal out of everything, compassion fatigue sets in and people end up tuning it ALL out. The important and the unimportant.

        You might not realize it, but studies have very clearly shown that both attention and empathy are actually finite resources.

  • I think it’s pretty disgusting and cowardly to try and publicly paint a picture of something when you have no idea what it is. Equally as disgusting as suggesting the point of view we should take. Nothing more than garbage journalism. This is a trend I basically see only, solely on Kotaku. Why is it than whenever I read a Kotaku version of a real issue it’s moralistic, arrogant, knee-jerk, sensationalistic nonsense? Are you guys told to do this?

    Pointing your damn finger at everything before it’s done, without any hint of a notion that you even gave the subject the benefit of the doubt is so stupidly irresponsible, not to mention entirely damaging to the legitimacy of the issue. Congratulations for being our one-and-only morality police, Kotaku. I’m sure you’ll be an example to everyone struggling with inequality, now they know their problems can all be solved if they just start pointing fingers willy-nilly. You’re an ironically ignorant lot.

    • It’s also on a bunch of other sites – moreso if you read the comments. The PA report, the escapist, polygon, hell even my beloved rock paper shotgun has gone down that route more than is necessary.

  • I’m really interested in finding out why a soldier is dressed like a stripper. If there really is a legitimate reason (not made up afterwards) that makes us feel ashamed, that could be really amazing and inspire some good conversation. I hope Hideo is legit and not just trying to market to horny dudes.

      • Eh, doesn’t explain her general erotic vibe. She’s been designed to look erotic, and Hideo explained there’s a reason behind that. If she wanted to wear less, why would you wear slutty stockings? I’m genuinely interested to see if there’s an interesting twist behind her design. If it’s just in service of her active camo then that’s pretty weak.

        • Being a stripper is not the only way to rip stockings. Being a sniper in the desert probably contributes to the state of her clothing, and the lack of it has already been explained by ways of her powers.

          • So she wears a g-string and skimpy top to aid her camo abilities, but then wears stockings? Doesn’t make sense. Wearing stockings in warfare doesn’t make sense.

            She’s been purposefully designed in an erotic provocative way and the reason behind that, as Hideo claims, is a mystery. I’m really fascinated by that. But I don’t buy into the fact that its purely to aid her powers. You don’t need to be sexy for that alone.

          • Of course she’s been designed to look a certain way. Show me a character that isn’t.
            What I’m getting at is that the rhetoric is sound: her skin needs to be visible to use her powers and, I assume, as a woman she would prefer to wear something reasonable on her legs. Now in this case stockings are probably the only clothing she could wear on her legs that’s transparent enough to allow her powers to show through it.

            Also stockings are a completely ordinary and acceptable item of clothing for women to wear. It’s a poor stereotype in itself to claim that stockings, especially ripped stockings, as ‘slutty.’ I do agree though, that they are not common attire for military action in the desert.

          • Good point. I just saw the stockings combined with the g-string and skimpy top as part of the sexy look because there’s no sense in wearing them other than to complete the look. Why have all your skin exposed but cover your legs. Also I thought they were fishnet stockings.

            I still say there’s a layer of sexiness, by design, to her on top of whatever function her clothing aids, but thats just me (she’s posing all sexy like in one drawing). I’m guessing they want a seductive vibe.

          • Her legs aren’t completely covered, the stockings are semi transparent, which is better than wearing actual pants, on a bit more modest than wearing nothing at all.

            Nevermind the fact that her design obviously references Sniper Wolf, Fortune and Eva, so she has clearly been designed to fit into the MGS universe.

          • I also realised after watching the trailer again that they electrocute her, so that could be a cause for the ripped stockings, as you will remember when Volgin shocks Eva her stocking burn and form holes.

          • Yes of course there is sexiness on purpose. This is a work of fiction after all. The people who are upset that she is sexy are right to claim that she is ‘drawn’ that way, but I simply disagree that her design ends there.

  • I feel all this sends the wrong message. Hot girls should never feel pressured into having to have a ‘reason’ for dressing immodestly and showing off their hotness. They should be free to express their hotness unashamedly, without any reason whatsoever other than that they are hot and deserve to be seen.

    • I feel there’s room for fem-fatale type sexy characters in gaming as long as its balanced. And I think we’re getting closer to that balance. I could name a fair amount of female characters who aren’t marketed on their reproductive organs, who aren’t a helpless object relying on a man for salvation, who are capable and strong individuals that are as intelligent as they are feminine.

      I don’t think a women is going to feel excluded from gaming if they see a variety of representations in the medium.

      It’s all a out balance to me.

  • I’m hoping that the “secret reason” really is something powerful enough to back Kojima’s claim that it will make people who immediately jump on the “You can’t have a sexy female in a game!” bandwagon guilty and ashamed for having been so quick to judge. There are quite a few reasons I can think of for a female to wear something like that and not be purely for the titillation of male gamers. Most of them involve the end product of a tragic backstory in which male misogyny plays a very large part.

  • Had a search on google to see what the big boo boo is all about, and that’s it? Come on, if this is scantily clad we should clear the beach of all bikini-wearing girls. Let’s put a man in perfect physiques in swimming trunks holding a sniper rifle, will we even have this discussion?

    The only sexist idiots are those making a big deal out of this.

  • Even if it’s merely fan service or to garner attention I don’t believe game developers owe anyone a reason or excuse for doing so, creative freedom and all that.

    I wouldn’t want to imagine a world where a piece of art or work is pressured and bullied to conform to a consensus of ideals because it’s considered offensive or obscene by some people, even if it’s the majority.

  • I really hope Kojima pulls off his message about Quiet, whatever it is. I’m just a little scared cause he is going a bit too sexy with all of his female characters. I like female characters with a bit more to offer.

  • Wow I’m late to this, and I love MG so that’s a first for me.

    Kojima said ‘antithesis’ and I think what he actually meant is… ANTITHESIS. What is wrong with these US authors? Can’t they even take 2 seconds to use their brain? Kojima is a world renowned game developer who deals with international press all the time, I think he knows what he means, even if he is speaking a second language. It’s quite insulting to imply that he can’t even speak english properly, and that you know better than him at what he’s saying, hell most of ‘murica can’t speak english properly.

    More to the point: It seems like she has to have her skin exposed to utilise her camo-skin ability (i think, judging on what little i’ve seen/read), so instead of wearing skimpy clothes to show off her body and get attention (being objectified), she is wearing less clothing to show off more of her skin so she can HIDE better, which would be the OPPOSITE of seeking attention/showing off.

    To all those people complaining about the stockings: if she was only wearing a bikini, would that make you more or less outraged? I don’t understand, it seems people are complaining that she isn’t wearing enough clothing, but then also complaining that she is wearing stockings… but if she wasn’t wearing the stockings (which i have to say are semi transparent, which supports the camo-skin theory) you’d all still be getting outraged.

    And for those people who are labelling stockings as erotic/stripper attire, just think abut the millions of women who work in offices that wear stockings to work every day. Sure they aren’t just wearing them and a bikini, but they still wear them never the less, so stockings could hardly be construed as ‘stripper wear’.

    • They look like cosplay shots though, especially since the other girl seemsto be cosplaying as Eva. Could it be that these were done immediately after the full character shots of Quiet were released?

      • Certainly could be but there is a history of SSSniperwolf love, apparently. They look so very similar either way…

  • While I agree the article might be somewhat A Current Affair/tabloid-esque, I concur with the argument. If the excuse is “she needs to be naked for her active camo to work”, I’ll be pretty disappointed.

    As much as I like MGS, Kojima is a horrible writer and character designer. The stories are overblown, over complicated conspiracy theories, the dialogue tries too hard to be deep and faux-philosophical, and the characters are awful caricatures.

    If Kojima wrote The Last of Us, the outbreak would be a vast government conspiracy. Joel would be a cyborg ninja in platform heels. Ellie would be a slutty schoolgirl with a railgun four times her size. And the subtle giraffe scene would be a rambling 40 minute monologue. The giraffes would then turn out to be laser wielding mech-clones piloted by more slutty schoolgirls.

    TL; DR: Kojima lacks the writing skills to make any real social commentary with his stories or characters, but I’ll still buy MGS V.

  • I miss the days when it was unprofessional to give your opinion in journalism. This isn’t journalism; it’s a game-related gossip magazine with Perez Hilton at the forefront of your Hollywood gaming gossip.

    Anyway, I feel Kojima-san shouldn’t be judged so quickly. And I also believe that just because what he is trying to convey through a second —not first— language can’t be logically pieced together in your mind, doesn’t mean it is necessarily devoid of sense. For example, if this story was to explore the psychological consequences of questioning one’s identity, i.e. a female born in a male body, then I think this sexual image actually contains a lot of sentiment and validity to be used as a vehicle to unravel the story of Quiet. A man who is immensely insecure about his gender, so he overly sexualises himself as a female to compensate, and feels —in his/her mind at least— closer to being a female physiologically in doing so. In the end, Quiet comes to terms with who she is deep down inside and doesn’t feel the need to overly sexualise herself in an attempt to feel closer to her female side.

    Now if this was true, and keep in mind this is but one possible scenario, then it could be said that Quiet is an antithesis to the women characters appeared in past fighting games who are excessively exposed because, psychologically, she is a polar-opposite to them.

    Learn not to take things at face-value, and open your mind a little when a master storyteller gives you their reasoning for why they’re doing what they’re doing, instead of questioning it. Kojima-san has earnt our trust, now have a little faith in him.

  • for a gaming website to have authors who can’t even appreciate hideo kojima and his vision you know there is something fucked up going on. this is basically blasphemy

  • The reason she shows a lot of skin is that she has a skin based chameleon ability. It naturally requires the showing of skin for it to work.

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