2015's 'Metal Gear Solid 5' was a swansong for the franchise, with development of the game overshadowed by a row between Hideo Kojima and publishers Konami.

While the finished product was a critical and commercial hit, fans still believe there is a sense of "what could have been" with the game after Kojima was fired from the game late into production.

While the auteur's name and fingerprints are all over the game, there is still a large amount of content left on the cutting room floor, which some players believe include a whole other chapter and a chance to disarm all of the game's nuclear weapons.

Players are able to develop nuclear weapons in the game, with rumours of a secret ending if the community were able to disarm all of the nuclear weapons.

Rumours have persisted within the community since 2015 of a possible third chapter that wasn't included in the base game owing to the dispute between Kojima and Konami, and players were convinced that disarming all of the game's nukes would lead to a "true" ending for the game.

An investigation lead by Did You Know Gaming found that this goal is impossible to achieve, despite the best efforts of a group of players known as the Anti-Nuke Gang.

The Anti-Nuke Gang are a group of players playing the game on the PlayStation 3 and have been fighting to disarm all of the existing nuclear weapons among the community on that console, but their efforts fell short.

Led by a player known as "The Hung Horse" (yes, really) the group undertook a project during the pandemic to rid the in-game world of nukes, but ran into a problem.

Nukes that are tied to the accounts of banned players can't be disarmed, rendering the quest impossible.

The group managed to set the counter to zero last year, but Konami said the effort was "illegitimate".

"The Hung Horse" (yes, we're going to keep saying this) said “We ran into what can only be defined as an invincible set of nukes that do not belong to any base. If you’re familiar with the MGSV Forward Operating Base system, a nuke is always placed on a FOB after a player makes it.

"There were 40 or so of these invincible nukes that didn’t have FOB’s they belonged to. They simply existed without a FOB. We call them ‘Phantom Nukes’.”

The group then availed of the services of a hacker named Stefferp and developed code which enabled the mass disarmament of nukes without even having to play the game.

The bot searched every player in the game’s base and identify which had active nukes.

"The Nuke Hunter Deluxe" as the team called it, was the key to lowering the number to 0, but Konami said this method of nuke disarmament was illegitimate.

Series creator Hideo Kojima tweeted in February of this year that including the nuclear disarmament program in the game was a "social experiment."

So there you have it - despite the best efforts of some of the world's best players, they couldn't rid the world of nukes.

There is something poetic about this, and we salute the 'Metal Gear Solid' series for tackling the tough issues such as nuclear disarmament, private military companies, the toll war takes on the human condition, and making sure players shower frequently.