On Christmas day, diehard Metal Gear Solid fans faithfully tuned into a broadcast called Kojima Station. The hope was that Kojima would give fans a neat look behind-the-scenes of Metal Gear Solid V. Maybe he'd even confirm the release date. Who knows!
So fans watched this stream for almost three hours. Kojima opened presents and talked about movies. Then, it was time for an announcement. And what Kojima revealed was unexpected, but not in the way hardcore fans had hoped.
Around the 2:44:00 mark of the stream, Kojima pulls out a picture of...a chicken hat:
Why would Snake wear a chicken hat in Metal Gear Solid? Well, why not? The series can be pretty goofy sometimes. The hat does have a purpose, though. According to our pals at Kotaku East, if you die too many times in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid, or if you get caught a bunch, the game will ask you "would you like to use a chicken cap? Yes or no?"
If you say yes, you'll start wearing the chicken hat—and enemies will react to you slower. They won't notice you as fast as they normally do while you wear the chicken hat, which means that, while the game is calling you a chicken for wearing the hat, it's also helping you get through tough sections. Think of it like the Golden Tanooki suit in Mario games, something that you only get after dying a few times. When you wear it, you gain invincibility—the hope is that it'll ease players into the game a little better. Same deal with this.
Amusingly, the chicken hat can do special things, like glow in the dark (enemies can't see this, of course). It's the sort of thing that would make one tempted to say yes, just to add some hijinks to the game, but if you do wear the chicken hat, you're kind of stuck with it. Snake will be wearing a chicken hat even during serious cutscenes.
You know what? The chicken hat is an amazing feature, thanks to how silly it is. But would I have watched a stream for almost three hours on Christmas day for this announcement? Hell no. That's time I could be using to open presents and drink eggnog and such. I don't think I'd watch a stream for that long on any day, really, for that kind of an announcement. Fans that tuned in seem to feel the same way, judging from the reaction to the stream:
To be fair, Kojima never hyped this stream, and Christmas isn't a national holiday in Japan. Fans just hoped he would give them something cool for Christmas, which technically he did. It's just not what people wanted. Still: Kojima, you loveable troll, you. How could you!