According to Hideo Kojima in the documentary Metal Gear Saga Vol. 1, the game's original setting would have revolved around nuclear weapon inspections in Iraq and Iran. The plot of the game involved Solid Snake stopping the new Metal Gear while it was located on an aircraft carrier within a certain time limit. "Liquid Snake" and his group were supposed to be defeated by Snake, which would imply that Liquid would have faked his death from FOXDIE in "Metal Gear Solid (1998)". However, after working on the project for 6 months, tensions began to rise in the Middle East, so the team decided to scrap it in order to avoid controvesy. The final result of this original plot we relegated to the game's opening, involving "The Tanker".
Contributed by ProtoSnake