Everyone’s talking about Metal Gear Solid 5’s half-naked, skin-breathing Quiet again

Metal Gear Solid 5 was released back in 2015, which in video game years is about two decades ago. It seems like forever since Hideo Kojima’s MGS swansong was released, and even longer since everyone was talking about its, ahem, unusually-dressed character Quiet.

A tweet from Twitter user @christapeterso reflecting on Quiet’s ridiculous outfit has caused another wave of discussion surrounding the character, reminding us that this was a genuine thing that actually appeared in a game that people willingly defended due to its hastily thrown-together narrative implications:

Quiet was introduced in MGS 5: The Phantom Pain and immediately the conversation switched to discussing her costume, or lack thereof. Wearing only a bikini, torn pantyhose, and holsters for her guns, Quiet didn’t exactly look like she was battlefield-ready.

In response to criticisms of the character’s design, Kojima’s assured those who questioned her appearance that they would be “ashamed” of their comments after playing the game.

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“I know there’s people concerning about Quiet but don’t worry. I created her character as an antithesis to the women characters appeared in the past fighting game who are excessively exposed,” Kojima tweeted back in 2013. “Quiet who doesn’t have a word will be teased in the story as well. But once you recognize the secret reason for her exposure, you will feel ashamed of your words & deeds.”

So what the reason for Quiet’s barely-there getup? Photosynthesis, of course. Quiet’s body was infested by parasites, meaning that she had to absorb air, water, and nutrients through her skin like a bikini-wearing plant.

The logic didn’t really hold up, and it was difficult to feel “ashamed” of our “words and deeds” when Kojima included multiple close-up shots of the plant woman, including a scene of her in the shower with an onlooking guard calling her a “naughty girl”:

For what it’s worth, Death Stranding managed to be suitably weird without including a woman who can’t wear clothes because she breathes out of her skin. So that’s a step in the right direction, at least.