An alleged alpha build of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain recently surfaced online, raising eyebrows among game preservationists eager to see an early version of the troubled and heavily cut game, as well as Metal Gear theorists hoping to confirm years-old speculation. Sadly, the whole thing was apparently a hoax orchestrated by someone, in true internet fashion, named after a horse penis.

A few days ago, a now-deleted Reddit account posted a curious claim to the PS3 homebrew subreddit. Per an archived version of the deleted post, they said they’d received a PS3 test unit from a “family friend” who’d worked on the alpha build “of a video game” around 2014. They didn’t specify or even seem to know what game it was, but the attached screenshots – purportedly taken many years ago – made it clear that the game was Metal Gear Solid 5, and the timeline fit with its 2015 release. 

MGS5 FAKE alpha

One of the included screenshots – note the bizarre system specs at the bottom (Image credit: Konami )

Many users were quick to skewer the undeniable ‘my dad works at Nintendo’ vibe of the post, but the allure of a potential MGS5 alpha was enough to draw some people in. The post spread to the tin foil hat enjoyers at NeverBeGameOver, a think tank of sorts for Hideo Kojima games, as well as the main gaming leaks and rumors subreddit. There was only one problem: this user said they’d sold the test unit several years ago. However, they also claimed to have made and kept a copy of the unit’s hard drive. 





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