Despite the heart-wrenching end to their collaborative efforts on the Silent Hills reboot last year, it’s good to know that the bromance is still strong with Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro.
Not only did Del Toro get to present Kojima with the gaming equivalent of an Oscar, as Kojima was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the DICE Summit this week in Las Vegas, but the long time friends teamed up for a panel discussion on Thursday, chatting about their friendship, creative vision and mutual respect for one another as members of the gaming and entertainment industry. “He sings a lot, but eats very little; I sing a little, and eat a lot.
So, it’s a perfect match” Del Toro joked, earning a chuckle from his Japanese friend, receiving his interpreter’s translation via an earpiece. The two met in Japan in 2008, when Del Toro was in Kojima’s home country doing some work for Hellboy 2, and have remained good friends since then. Del Toro explains that they are two people from the “same generation”, having had similar influences growing up: the same cartoons and anime, as well as games like Tele-Pong and other 60s/70s games.
Despite Del Toro’s experience being in Mexico and Kojima’s in Japan, it soon becomes obvious that neither the language barrier nor the different countries have stopped these friends from hanging out. When Del Toro is in Japan they grab something to eat, and even visit a few karaoke bars together and sing anime theme songs – Del Toro in Spanish and Kojima in Japanese. “We don’t understand s***, ” Del Toro’s tells the audience, “but once you’ve had a few karaokes, it’s fantastic!” While this all sound fun, their friendship is more than a mutual love for video games and anime theme songs. Del Toro explains that they both have an appreciation for “melancholic ideas…executed in big action genres”, and goes on to explain just how much Kojima’s work has inspired his own. A stand-out moment for him was when playing Metal Gear Solid, and he felt like Psycho Mantis was reading his mind: “I actually got scared”, Del Toro says.
The creature went on to influence one of his own famous characters: Hellboy himself. The moment was both shocking and innovative for Del Toro and is one of the many reasons he has such a deep respect for Kojima’s work. Similarly, Kojima is often shocked and inspired by Del Toro’s work, pointing out The Devil’s Backbone in particular. Kojima was intrigued b the ghost in the film, as she was “scary and sad and tender and beautiful” all at the same time. Kojima explains that no other film had inspired such mixed emotions for him, and it’s one of the reasons that his friend’s films are so interesting to watch. He also referenced Pan’s Labyrinth specifically, as one of the stand-out moments for him when watching one of Tel Toro’s creations.
No English? No problem, as Kojima drew eyes on his palms in an epic homage to Del Toro’s film. No translation required. Not only is it great to see these two hanging out again, but Kojima also spent some time detailing his ideas for the future of his own company, Kojima Productions. Kojima has no intention of compromising his ideas to make a game a best-seller: “I want to create something that I want to play”. With his years of work on Metal Gear Solid, we’ve no doubt that anything Kojima wants to play…we want to play too!
Article by: Daniella Da Camara