The "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme" is a musical piece synonymous with the Metal Gear series. It is made up of two musical themes. The first "motif" was written by TAPPY, who was requested to write the theme by Hideo Kojima, and appeared in Metal Gear Solid. It was later remixed by Harry Gregson-Williams for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and the melody was partially used in other Metal Gear Solid games (such as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater). The second theme appears later in Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
The theme for Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, composed by Akihiro Honda and Kazuma Jinnouchi, originally included TAPPY's motif, but it was later removed due to the controversy surrounding the piece (see below).
In Metal Gear Solid, the theme appeared in the early trailers for the game. In-game, if the player is on their third playthrough, they will be rewarded with the theme playing in place of "The Best is Yet to Come" during the credits. In Metal Gear Solid 2, it appeared in early trailers and plays during the game's opening title sequence. It is also featured during the tracks "Comradeship", "Prelude to Denouement" and "Freedom to Decide" (from The Other Side Soundtrack CD).
In Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, the piece was rearranged as a skate punk theme for the skateboarding minigame that is featured in the North American and European versions of the game. In The Twin Snakes, the remake of the original Metal Gear Solid, the piece was once again featured in early E3 trailers, and is used in-game during certain Alert phases and the ending car chase sequence.
In Metal Gear Solid 3, the second theme was introduced, but the first motif appeared at the end of the new piece. The motif appeared in early trailers once again, and appeared during the tracks "Fortress Sneaking", "Return of the MiGs" (along with several other Metal Gear Solid 2 motifs), "Debriefing", during the end credits after Starsailor's "Way to Fall", and rearranged as a lounge piece in "Old Metal Gear" (which plays at the beginning of the cutscene with Aleksandr Leonovitch Granin).
A remix of the theme was included in Konami's musical game Beatmania 3rd Mix.
Shortly before the release of Portable Ops, someone on the Internet discovered a piece by classical Russian composer Georgy Sviridov called "The Winter Road," which sounded strikingly similar to the "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme." This was later acknowledged by Hideo Kojima upon listening to it for the first time. Eventually, in an issue of the video game magazine EGM, it was revealed via an interview with Norihiko Hibino that the theme was indeed changed due to the fact that "Konami [had legal problems with] Russian composers who said we stole their music."
The motif was removed from the Metal Gear Solid 3 theme on the 20th Anniversary Music Collection (the theme switches to "The World Needs Only One Big Boss!" from Metal Gear Solid 2, at the point the melody originally began).
As aforementioned, the original Portable Ops theme featured the motif, but is absent in the final version, instead consisting entirely of original music, which appears on the game's soundtrack as "Show Time." Out of all of the Metal Gear games for the PlayStation Portable, the only time the theme appears is in an in-game advertisement for cards based on Metal Gear Solid in Metal Gear Acid 2.
Code extracted from Super Smash Bros. Brawl showed that this theme was originally supposed to be among the "My Music" tracks, but was later removed, possibly as a result of the controversy. The theme was also not included in Metal Gear Solid 4, although Harry Gregson-Williams' new motif (originally used in Metal Gear Solid 3) was remixed by him as an independent piece, carrying the title "Metal Gear Saga," and the song "Victory," played during the final results screen, has a similar beat to the "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme." The theme "Father and Son," also from Metal Gear Solid 4 also borrows some notes and structure from the "Main Theme." In addition, a similar beat to the "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme" was incorporated into "It Has to be This Way."
The theme is briefly heard in the Vampire Castle tunnels in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
- Metal Gear Solid Soundtrack
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Original Soundtrack
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Original Soundtrack
- beatmania 3rd MIX complete (remix)