David Robert Jones (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016), better known by his stage name David Bowie, was an English musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, comedian, actor and arranger who is well known for various image songs, such as "Ashes to Ashes", "Diamond Dogs", "Space Oddity", and "Ziggy Stardust." One of his most distinguishing traits, at least during his early years, was his possessing an androgynous physical appearance and having a colored lightning bolt-shaped mark over his left eye. He was also the father of Hollywood director Duncan Jones. Bowie died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016 at the age of 69.
Relation to the Metal Gear series
In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Major Zero, during the Virtuous Mission, adopts the codename "Major Tom" for the mission, referencing the songs "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes" by Bowie (although in-universe, it's a reference to one of the failed tunnels in The Great Escape). Snake also quotes the line "Can you hear me, Major Tom?" from "Space Oddity" when contacting the Major.
Shortly after being defeated by Naked Snake, The Fury radios mission control while reliving his accident and states that he was "coming home" before smashing himself through the roof, referencing the song "Major Tom (Coming Home)" by Peter Schilling, which was written as a tribute and sequel to Bowie's "Space Oddity." When calling Para-Medic, she will ask Snake whether he's seen the film My Mother was a Teenage Spider Queen from Mars before admitting she hadn't absentmindedly, alluding to Bowie's former band "The Spiders from Mars." Both "Ashes to Ashes" and "Space Oddity" were originally planned to be used as the ending themes for Metal Gear Solid 3, although they were cut in favor of Starsailor.
In the Raymond Benson novelization for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Bowie is briefly referenced in one of the beginning chapters, specifically when Raiden is onboard the elevator upon infiltrating the Big Shell, where he reflects that Rosemary had once told him that his androgynous physical appearance gave him a physical resemblance to Bowie during the latter's youth.
In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the name of the military group Big Boss and Kazuhira Miller are running after the devastation of the Militaires Sans Frontières, Diamond Dogs, is partly named after the title track from Bowie's 1974 album of the same name. Kojima also indicated that he originally intended to open Metal Gear Solid V with the namesake song, although they decided against it. In the E3 2015 trailer and the opening for The Phantom Pain, Venom Snake is seen picking up a tape labeled "From the Man Who Sold the World." Minus the word "from," this is the name of Bowie's 1970 song and album. Mission 46, as well as Big Boss's alias when sending Venom Snake the aforementioned tape, which is actually a message from him, is a also a reference of the song. The song itself is available on a cassette tape that the player can collect. Contrary to popular belief, however, the version of "The Man Who Sold the World" that is featured in The Phantom Pain is not the one sung by Bowie. Instead, it is a cover version sung by Midge Ure.
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty novelization by Raymond Benson (2009).
Page 59: "[Raiden] pulled off the skullcap, revealing a long mane of white hair that tumbled out to cover his shoulders. His features were somewhat androgynous — Rose had once told him he looked like a young David Bowie.
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=13749