David & Hal & The Discovery
The names David and Hal were from the movie "2001 : A Space Odyssey".
David Bowman was the name of an astronaut in the movie, and HAL-9000 was the name of the on-board AI computer on the spaceship in the movie. And the name of the spaceship was the Discovery.
Something worth a mention is that the U.S.S. Discovery is not only the name of the Tanker in MGS2, but it was also the name of the submarine that brought Snake to Shadow Moses at the beginning of MGS1.

Jack & Rose
Kojima Hideo got these 2 names from the movie "Titanic".

Another Titanic Reference
The Tanker is a huge ship that broke in two and sunk, just like the Titanic.

Also From James Cameron
Snake's landing on the Discovery, his pose and appearance accompanied by bolts of electricity is just like the appearance of the T-1000 in The Terminator.

Everyone Lies
Kojima got the idea that every main character in MGS2 lies at least once, or betrays and changes sides at least once from the movie "LA Confidential".

Mr X
Kojima used the codename "Mr X" as a parody of the TV show "X-Files". In the TV show, after Fox Mulder's informant "Deep Throat" died, his next informant was "Mr X". The exact same relationships and sequences are mirrored in MGS1 and MGS2.

Arsenal and the Whale
All the areas inside Arsenal Gear being named after parts of the digestive system is inspired by Pinnochio, where Pinnochio is swallowed by a giant whale, just like how Raiden is swallowed by the giant Arsenal Gear.

More Soldiers
Kojima had originally planned a scene with 3000 enemy soldiers in the screen at the same time.
This turned into the flashback scene with lots of Snakes running in the field.
This idea was inspired by the movies "Starship Troopers" and "Mulan".

One More Movie Influence
The movie "Austin Powers" had an influence on the production of MGS2, but Kojima refuses to reveal what the influence was.

In the early development stages of the script, Kojima had intended for Snake to be referred to as "Dave", and not as "Snake".

Snake Pliskin
The name of Snake and Pliskin were from the movie "Escape From New York".
Snake's design was also based on Kurt Russell's character - Snake Plissken, from the Escape From New York movie.

Snake's Costume Design
The idea behind the design of Snake's sneaking suit came about from the logic that since Snake is now in a non-profit organization, he is pretty poor and ragged. Unlike when he's working for Fox Hound, he doesn't have all the high-tech gear to wear anymore. His sneaking tights is actually the inner layer of his sneaking suit left over from MGS1. And ammo and equipments are now just hanging off of suspenders because he doesn't have the specially designed gear with pockets and compartments to hold these things anymore.
Snake wearing SEAL uniform in the Plant Chapter became a good excuse for him to be wearing a decent outfit. Kojima's input about the SEAL uniform design was that Snake is now several years older since MGS1, and he is starting to show the plumping up of a man entering old age, and he wanted Shinkawa to make the design of Plant Chapter Snake to be slightly fatter, but make it not noticeable.

Otacon & Kojima
Otacon's design was loosely based on Director Kojima Hideo. Both his look and certain aspects of his personality.

Emma's Chopsticks
The chopstick hairstyle on Emma's head was thought up by Kojima, when one day he saw something like that in a fashion magazine.

Blonde Rose
Rose was originally designed as a blonde haired woman. But because the final design of Raiden has blonde hair, Rose's hair was changed to black colored for contrast.

Wife Rose
Rose repeatedly asking Raiden whether he remembers what day it is was taken from Kojima's personal experience with his wife. Kojima's wife would always repeatedly ask Kojima if he remembers what day it is whenever it is a special day. And whenever his wife asks him that, Kojima would know he's in trouble because most of the time he does not remember what special day it is.

Raiden's full name was "Raiden Brannigan" for a very short period of time during Kojima's very early conceptual stages of the game's story.

Scott Dolph
Scott Dolph was named after the real life international affairs manager of the Konami company.

Metal Gear Zero
The name of Metal Gear Ray was derived from the Japanese word "零 rei" which means zero, because the Ray is a prototypical Metal Gear.
For fellow EVA fans, incidentally this is the same origin of 綾波レイ Ayanami Rei's name.

Ray & Godzilla
When Character Designer Shinkawa Yoji saw the Hollywood version of Godzilla in the movie "Godzilla", he thought that's not how Godzilla should look like. The image of Metal Gear Ray is Shinkawa's take on how Godzilla should really look like.

A Big Cut
Originally, at the end of the Tanker Chapter, there is a game sequence of the tanker being flooded with rushing water, and Snake must escape out of the ship with the rushing water chasing after him. If the water overtakes Snake, Snake dies and the game ends.
The physics of the rushing water took a long time to create and calculate, and the entire sequence was already completed. But Kojima at the very end decided the sequence doesn't constitute as fun gameplay, so he decided to cut the entire sequence out of the final game at the last minute.
A small taste of how it would have looked like was left in Snake's flashback sequence, and in the game's gameshow trailer.

Big Apple
The Big Shell was called the "Big Blue Apple" until very late into production.

Arsenal Ship
The Arsenal Gear was originally called the "Arsenal Ship".

Black Cell
The Dead Cell was originally called the "Black Cell".

Black Sunglasses
It was an idea for a while that all the Dead Cell members wore black sunglasses. This was around the same time when the Dead Cell was still called the "Black Cell".

Fortune Cookie
The name of Fortune was thought up by Kojima from a fortune cookie.
Her design and personality, and the concept of her being "lady luck" were all later developed by Character Designer Shinkawa Yoji.

Ray Gun
The gun Fortune uses is a miniature version of the ray gun that was attached on the right shoulder of Metal Gear Rex.

Ocelot's Mechanical Arm
Ocelot's right arm was originally designed to be a mechanical arm, looking very similar to the arm of The Terminator.

Olga's Face
It is hard to tell between the graphical difference of the PS1 and the PS2, but the idea of Olga was that she looked very much like Meryl, and that is the reason why Snake couldn't shoot her when they first met on the tanker.
Even the voice actor of Olga is the same as Meryl - Terase Kyouko.

Mask of the Ninja

Sexy Vamp
The character setting of Vamp was originally a female character, a sexy and alluring vampire. Character sketches were already done for the female Vamp.
Then, Fortune was created and decided as a female character.
So Vamp was changed from a sexy female to a sexy male.

Cross Dressing Vamp
Vamp was originally designed as a man dressed like a woman.

When I Kill Somebody, I Cut Myself...
Vamp cutting himself after killing a person is Director Kojima Hideo's idea.

Joaquin Cortes
Vamp's dancer-like way of movement is modeled after the dancer Joaquin Cortes. And half-intentionally, even the final design of Vamp turned out to be very similar to Cortes, down to the chest hair.

Vamp's Chest Hair
Vamp's chest hair was originally designed as actual hair graphics, and CG models were even completed of Vamp in actual chest hair. But because of the superier graphical abilities of the PS2 engine, the realistic chest hairs were deemed too realistic and bordering on disgusting, it was in the end decided that the chest hair will be represented by a dark colored texture exterier instead.

Underwater Battle
Originally, the battle with Vamp also involved fighting under water.
But because the player character's ability to fight under water was cut out of the game, the Vamp battle became grounded to land only.

Underwater Escape
Originally, the entire area of Shell 2 which is under water was planned to contain sharks. During the single person entrance and the two person exit, the game would have been an escape from sharks, and not just the holding of breath that's in the final game.
And the underwater mines were there for more purpose than just for you to avoid. Originally, the idea behind those mines was that the player must strategically bump into those mines on purpose, to leave blood at certain locations to attract the sharks, and then escape while the sharks are distracted.
Another way was to pull a grenade and hurt yourself on purpose.

Blood Stained
Otacon's coat being stained with Emma's blood was something of a controversy among the production team. It was because of Kojima's insistence that it stayed in the final game.
The production team thought the stain was too unpleasant.
Kojima thought the unpleasantness of its presence was necessary to demonstrate the ugliness of war and violence.

Describing Solidus
Kojima's description to Shinkawa about how to draw Solidus was "[Solid] Snake's face from the Tanker Chapter with Big Boss' hair, mustache, and beard".

Snake Arms
The official name of the 2 mechanical arms on Solidus' mechanical suit are the "snake arms".

Political Weapons
The names of the two swords of Solidus are the 民主刀 Minshu (Democracy) Sword and the 共和刀 Kyouwa (Republicanism) Sword.
Something of interest is that the word "刀 tou (sword)" bears the same pronunciation as the word "党 tou (party)".

Back to the Future
The trail of fire left on the ground after Solidus does his sliding attack is inspired by the trail of fire left on the ground by the DeLorean time machine in the "Back to the Future" movies.

Final Battle with Solidus
In earlier planning stages, the final battle with Solidus was made up of a boat chase battle and a final versus battle in Wall Street of New York City.

End of Solidus
The end of Solidus was revised several times.
Originally, to defeat Solidus, Raiden must cut off both his mechanical snake arms, then he must attack Solidus' back and sever the back bone vertebra connection, rendering Solidus no longer mobile.
Solidus would then kneel on the ground, and Raiden will have to chop his head off, in the ancient samurai fashion.
This was changed, because Solidus would not have accepted defeat. So the scene was changed to him slitting his own stomach, in the ancient samurai fashion.
Then the cutting off of the snake arms was cut from the game, instead Solidus takes off the snake arms attachment from his suit on his own.
Then the entire ancient samurai style motif was rejected, in favor of a more modern way of presenting Solidus' end.
That is why Solidus jumps off of Arsenal Gear at the end, to maintain the idea that Solidus does not accept being defeated, but instead leaps to his death on his own.
And the cutting of the back bone vertebra is kept in the cutscene, instead of it being something the player must accomplish.

Destruction of Ray
In the earlier drafts of the script, at the end of the Plant Chapter we actually get to see the Metal Gear Ray destroyed. But the idea was scrapped in the end.

The Emma rescue and the President rescue was originally scripted as a multiple choice turning point in the storyline. The story branches from that point depending on which one you choose to go rescue.
The one you don't choose will be rescued by Snake.
Which one would you choose?

After Game Clear
Kojima had strongly wanted these extra modes to be unlocked after the game is cleared once. These ideas were scrapped during the middle stages of development, not early on, because Kojima really did want to include them in the game.
- "Mantis Mask" item.
This item will be unlocked after the game is cleared once, and during the next play, when you meet all the people who are lying, you will hear the inner voice in their hearts at the same time.
This idea was rejected by Sound Director Muraoka because he said "it would take too much disk space, and will be too much work to accomplish".
A scaled down form of this was left in the game, in the form of little lines during codec conversations, when you press the R1 and R2 buttons.
- "2P VS Mode".
This was going to be a versus mini-game, where in a designated area, 2 players can do battle with each other in split screens.
- "Bomb Disposal Mode".
Bombs are set in various areas of the Tanker and the Plant, and Snake and Raiden have to find and disarm the bombs.
This side game is realized in Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance.

Speargun Weapon
This extra weapon was originally designed in the game. It can be used to:
- attack enemies
- hook attachment could get items from far away
- hook and wire for you to slide from a high place to a low place
This weapon was scrapped, but the moving across wires idea was left in the game.

Cut Characters
A Vietnamese man raised in China. A Jet Li type kung fu expert. He could move with super speed, and thus could run on the surface of the water and run onto walls. And he was a very fast swimmer under water. He has a tattoo of a dragon on his body, which when underwater would come alive.
This character was cut, but his ability to run on water and onto walls was trasferred to Vamp. Also the Vamp battle in Shell 2 Core B1 Filtration Chamber No.2 was also originally Chinaman's, which originally involved underwater battles with his tattoo dragon.
An old soldier over 100 years old. The man who taught almost all the mercenaries in the world their fighting techniques, starting with Big Boss.
During the battle with him, he would switch his equipments and fighting techniques together with the player character when the player switches weapons.
He was going to play the similar role of Master Miller in MGS1. He was designed as the inventor of the Arsenal Gear AI, so he can give the player information about Arsenal Gear and the Big Shell Plant.
At the end it was going to be revealed that he was really a virtual character created by The Patriots.
She was going to play the similar role of Mei Ling from MGS1.
At the end she was also going to be revealed as a virtual character.

Real Time Codec
Originally, Kojima had planned for a real time codec system, where there will be no codec screen change, and characters will have radio contact in real time, right in the battlefield, with no pause in the time flow. Meaning enemy soldiers are still in motion around you, and if you are discovered, radio contact will be cut off just like the radar.
This was later scrapped because it proved too difficult to accomplish.

There was originally an infirmary designed into the Big Shell, where injured soldiers would be sent to to recover, and then would return to the battlefield. And if you attacked and destroyed the infirmary, injured soldiers will not reappear on the battlefield.

Digestive Temple
Deep inside Arsenal Gear was originally planned a temple, which was going to be the area for the boss battle against Vamp. The filtration pool was originally the boss battle location for Chinaman.
With Chinaman cut, and the Vamp battle moved to the pool, the temple was cut.
Considering all the areas inside Arsenal Gear are named after digestive body parts, I wonder what the temple area would have been called?

Element of Sweat
Originally, it was planned that after the player character runs for a while, or when he gets nervous, he would also sweat in addition to faster heartbeat.
The heartbeat idea was left in the game but the sweat idea was scrapped.

Sense of Smell
In earlier plans, enemy soldiers had the sense of smell in addition to hearing and sight. So if the player character is sweating a lot, enemy soldiers could smell you nearby.
This idea was scrapped together with the sweat idea.

South Pole Snake
There was originally going to be a secret costume for Snake where he is wearing a penguin suit, the design was tagged "South Pole Snake". This was later scrapped.

Polygon Comparison
The Snake in the PS1 MGS1 was around 700 polygons.
The Snake in the PS2 MGS2 is around 3000 polygons.

Voice Recording
Voice recording spanned from 2.24.2000 to 7.13.2001.
English voice recording from 7.9.2001 to 7.20.2001, in Los Angeles.
Director Kojima was said to have been present in every recording session, directing the voice actors, fine tuning the nuances of every line recorded.
The English voice recording was overlooked by Scott Dolph, who reported back saying the "English voice for Raiden was more neutral than the original Japanese voice. And the voice of Snake is different from the Japanese Snake, they went a different direction. But that voice seems to be popular over there, maybe it's their different perception of Snake."
(MGS2 The Making)

Ninja Scroll
The design of Raiden's aqua-mask was inspired by ancient mystical ninjutsu, where the ninja bites a scroll in the mouth during magic transformations.

Weirdo Raiden
The very first concept of Raiden envisioned by Character Designer Shinkawa Yoji was a Spiderman-like character, who crawls on the floor on all fours in Spiderman-like motion. And his personality was that of a creep or a weirdo, who licked bird doodoo.
This idea was rejected by Kojima immediately.

Cyborg Raiden
At one point, Raiden was designed as a cyborg, with a triangular panel on his chest that can be seen when he's naked.

White Taxi Cabs
When doing location research in New York City, Mizutani Takashi (demo team), Negishi Yutaka (stage team), and Fukushima Tomokazu (script team) got scammed by a white colored taxi cab into paying extra money. As revenge, during the movie sequence where Arsenal Gear crashes into Manhattan, many white colored taxi cabs are shown being destroyed.
But since the entire Arsenal crashing into Manhattan sequence got cut out of the final game, gamers never got to see it.

Immortal Vamp
After all the punishment, Vamp is still alive at the end of the game. He appears briefly in the ending sequence, far in the background when Jack reunites with Snake and Rose.

Yellow Car
In the ending sequence, the yellow car that Vamp is standing in front of is a replica of Character Designer Shinkawa Yoji's personal yellow car.

Inside Snake
Want to see the inside of Snake?

Raiden's Privates
Raiden actually doesn't have any private parts...

Vamp called Fortune "Queen".
Solidus was referred to as "King".
Raiden's real name is "Jack".
Poker, anyone?
SEAL Team 10.