Hideo Kojima might be back with Death Stranding, but he is most known for the Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid series. A series that not only defined a genre but also defined the lives of many of its fans. With a community so engaged in showing their love for the series and it’s creator, one project has stood out: A fan project dedicated to Hideo Kojima that runs by the name of ‘A Hideo Kojima Book: From Mother Base With Love’.
The book is being created by Tarak Chami and is a project that aims to give back to Hideo Kojima by showcasing some of the works and testimonies of the fans that make up the amazing community. I got the chance to ask Chami some questions about the project, Hideo Kojima and Metal Gear Solid which helps expand on this already impressive project.
Q: Thank you for time. To start, mind telling us a bit about yourself?
Hi everyone, my name is Tarak CHAMI and I’m from Belgium. I’m 28, and I’m just a random fan of Metal Gear & Hideo Kojima Games. I’m also a collector of Metal Gear stuff when I spare enough to afford it!
Q: So, ‘From Mother Base with Love’, tells us a bit about how the project started and how it’s developed?
In February, I had the idea to create a book. Basically it would consist a collection of works and testimonies, as a way to thank Hideo Kojima, the famous creator of the Metal Gear Solid and Zone Of The Enders series, along with other games like Snatcher, Policenauts or Penguin Adventure.
The ultimate goal is to give him the book in person. As we’re working towards the end of the project, I’d like to thank the valuable advice of friends who help me and accompanied me in the shadows, but also thanks to the talent of artists (Cosplayers, simple fans, designers, etc) who will testify in the pages of this book, I hope to accomplish that last goal to put the cherry on the cake.
Q: Has Hideo Kojima seen or heard of the project, as far as your aware?
I really don’t know! I received some “Likes” and “Retweets” from him on some of the art featured in the book that I posted at the beginning of the project. So I really hope he is curious about it.
Q: How big is the book now?
It’s the last month of this amazing adventure… So as of now, we have more than 210 pages. And it’s not over yet… I’ve sent all the texts to a friend who is currently translating everything in Japanese. YES INDEED, the book will be released in English AND Japanese.
Q: Any plans for other languages in the future?
Maybe, why not ! I think French is a good idea.. But also other languages too. I received a lot of request from fan who want to help me to translate it to Italian, as well as a Spanish version.
Q: What was the inspiration to start the project?
The divorce between Konami and Hideo! Not the actual story because I think it’s only between him and Konami. I don’t care about how, why, who… But when you end a relationship with someone like Mr. Kojima, you don’t need to delete every mention of the creator names, or cancel his meetings all around the world for the promotion of his final Metal Gear game. I still can’t believe they did such a shameful thing. That’s why I started this project, WE (Hideo Kojima’s fans, people who enjoy his work) are a big family. And it was very important for me to create something along with a lot of people from everywhere in the world, to thank the master for almost 30 years of gaming, paying tribute and acknowledging his importance.
He wasn’t erased from our hearts as he was from the last game.
Q: Which game in the Metal Gear series is your favourite and why?
Honestly… Metal Gear Solid 4! And it’s easy for me to tell you why… Put the disc in your PlayStation and just listen to the intro…
This game to me is the best one in the series, because the ambience is absolutely amazing and you meet all these protagonists from earlier games: Meryl, Liquid, Eva, Johnny… The first time I’ve played this one I was just shocked by the end with Big Boss and Zero, I think it might be one of the best memories of my gaming life!
Q: How about your least favourite?
Hard to believe, but I can’t answer you… I love every game of the series!
Q: How do you feel about the fact Konami will likely continue to make Metal Gear games without Hideo?
I don’t have a Pachinko machine at home sorry… Haha.
No, really I don’t care about the future MGS games. I play to this game only because of the creator, Hideo Kojima. I don’t want to play a game without soul, without the touch of his creator, without Yoji Shinkawa characters…
Q: How did you feel about the last chapter from Metal Gear Solid V being cut from the final games?
This is exactly why I don’t want to give 1€ to Konami in the future.. They deleted our final moment, they stopped the last game of our lovely franchise, our last questions will stay without answer forever… And I’m really sad because of it…
Q: Besides Hideo Kojima, who is one person you would love to include in the project?
Yoji Shinkawa. I have a lot of big names, and I’m very very happy with them, but adding the guy, who’s been working with Hideo Kojima since the very beginning, would’ve been awesome, and well deserved! Unfortunatly it’s too late now… We’re on the final touches, and big modifications can’t be made anymore.
Q: The community around Metal Gear is amazing, what do you enjoy most?
Like I said, we are a big family. And the most exciting thing in this family is that you have a lot of different groups within this family. You have the collectors, the random fans, the artists, the cosplayers… That’s why I tried to bring everybody together and unite family to pay tribute to the man who founded it.
Q: With the recent announcement of Death Stranding, do you feel more motivated to finish the book?
YES sir. HIDEO IS BACK, which is precisely what we’ve been hoping for. The hard work we put into this book is not for nothing, neither is it a goodbye. It was made to show appreciation, and hope for the future. Well, Mr. Kojima’s never been one to disappoint.
Q: What did you think of the announcement of Death Stranding?
I was literally speechless. I said a few days before the event that I was sure Hideo would be at E3. Sure enough, he was. What a surprise and what a trailer… 3 min of video, but already a million questions and fan theories.. That’s why Hideo Kojima is a genius!
Q: If people want to help or get involved with the project, how would be best for them to do that?
Unfortunately it’s too late to send requests… At the beginning I was searching for 30-40 people and I think we are more than 60 now. I paid for the publishing of the book with my own money so it’s very difficult to say yes to everybody. This is the hardest part of this story, not being able to do everything. We did as much as we could though, and we think it won’t disappoint.
Q: Any word on a release date for ‘From Mother Base with Love’?
The exact release date is still to be determined but it will [hopefully] be in September 2016.
Q: When the book is released, how and where will people be able to find it?
I will create a downlodable link where everybody who wants to can download a PDF version for free.
Q: And lastly, after you finish the book, what’s next? Any plans in the pipeline?
Honestly I think I’ll take some free days after this epic adventure… I spent a lot of time and a lot of money on it.
For sure, I can’t wait to be in Tokyo and live the final experience of this project.. But I want to take care of my family now and maybe check after another Mission yes!
A big thank you to Tarak Chami for taking the time to talk to us about From Mother Base With Love. A project that I for one can not wait to see finished! To keep up with the project you can follow it’s development on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
A Hideo Kojima Book: From Mother Base With Love will be available this coming September for free.