Over the weekend, Hideo Kojima shared a few more details about the making of the original Metal Gear Solid on Twitter, this time focusing on how the team acquired the historical footage found within the game's cutscenes (as reported on by Siliconera and GamesRadar).
And, as it turns out, just like pretty much anything else in game development, it wasn't easy for Kojima and co to get this archive footage into the game. Not because of any technical challenges - after all, the PS1 could play compressed video files fairly easily - but instead because of a lack of contacts and the amount of time taken to clear the footage.
Kojima states in the original tweet that having grown up watching science and documentary programs, he wanted to insert live-action scenes into the stealth-action game, but he didn't know much about licensing or who would own the rights to the footage he needed. In another tweet, he writes that he initially went to NHK, the Japanese Broadcasting Association, but negotiations didn't go well, so in the end, it took "several years to purchase the material, edit it, and clear the rights". Now, he says, he has the proper contacts to gather this material more easily, likely on account of the success of games like Metal Gear Solid.
Looking at the finished credits for Metal Gear Solid, you can see that the footage in the game ended up coming from two American companies, Video Ordnance Inc. and the Producers Library Service, which are both providers of archive material and stock film.
The composer Rika Muranaka was responsible for coordinating this footage in the States and sending it over to a liaison named Akemi Hattori at Konami, Japan. Here an engineer named Yoshikazu Matsuhana went through and digitized the footage, while a sound effects designer Takanari Ishiyama handled the audio elements. Kojima was then responsible for editing the footage for the game himself.
These tweets represent a fascinating look at how the game was made, highlighting a challenging aspect that many would overlook: video licensing.
If you want to read more development stories about Metal Gear Solid, we recommend checking out Hideo Kojima's Twitter, where he often tweets about the iconic series, in between posting about the latest blu-rays he's bought or cinema trips he's taken.