Infuriating Playstation game which seems to consist of about 8 hours of excellent gameplay and roughly three days of turgid narrative and overextended cut scenes.

Basically the game involves a series of nice challenges, mostly involving sneaking around without being detected. Each time you complete a challenge, you are "rewarded" with a lengthy sequence of exposition of the plot, which appears to have been scripted by an international team of highly-trained fourteen-year-olds.

I'm looking forward to a sequel that will favour gameplay over narrative.

PC version

The PC version of Metal Gear Solid is a direct conversion from Playstation version. Perharps a bit too direct, because graphics isn't really state-of-the-art and the game refers to PS controls. But that isn't important, the feel of the game is...

The plot: Fox-Hound, Solid Snake's former "employer", has captured a nuclear weapon and hidden it to Alaska. Their demands for not blowing a big place up with that is to get the genes of the Big Boss back. So, of course, Solid Snake and the remaining "good guys" of Fox-Hound need to sneak in and ruin this otherwise crafty plan.

PC version is fairly straightforward - sneak around, try not to be seen, kill stealthily. Oh, and talk to radio a lot. Learning curve? Hour or so.

The game also includes (on a second CD) a "VR training" mode - for shooting inanimate objects and sneaking around. It also has a worthless but odd photography section (to get sexy shots of Mei Ling... Obviously designed for those who want to use the joystick instead of joystick or something... dunno...)

(The VR Training starts with insanely funny but ultra-violent video clip... The Japanese are truly mad... =)

Dramatis Personae
Weapons...
...and items
Vehicles of interest
Music

GameBoy Color version

Note: This has been covered more in depth in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, its original title.

This is essentially a clone of the old NES versions of Metal Gear, with a fairly same plot (again something along the lines of "don't let them do anything with that big nuke robot thing, you know?") However, it's technically superior to the old game; You can continue near the place where you died, and it features a battery backup (no need to hassle with passwords). Also, it has a radar, something that would have been really cool in original Metal Gear.

VR training missions are, actually, for most part the same that are in the PC/PS version...

Also, it may be worth noting that the Game Boy version is in many ways better than the PS version: It can have more soldiers on screen at the same time, it has multi-player mode, and the ends of Snake's headband wave as he runs!


2001-10-28: Oh, by the way, the game doesn't have "eight days" of narrative. I just copied recorded the entire "reel A" to video tape. It's just three and half hours of narrative and stuff - not the whole chatter stuff, but significant part of it. Granted, it is three and half hours. Three and half hours...

Also, one of the few games in which you get to choose a bad ending or a worse ending.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

It goes like this: there's a scene in which the main character is being tortured. There are three rounds of this, and each time you're given a chance to submit. If you do, the main character's love interest is tortured and killed, which you find out as part of the ending (which, mind you, is none too happy anyway). If you don't sumbit (and also survive the torture), said love interest is still tortured, but is raped instead of killed. Again, you find this out as part of the ending.

END SPOILER

Exactly which ending is worse is left as an exercise for the reader.

In response to Millennium's w/u.


SPOILER'S AHEAD




ENDING DISCUSSION




It was never said that Meryl was raped. Atleast not in the Playstation version. The endings were the "Meryl lives" ending, and the "Meryl Dies" ending. In the first, Snake and Meryl ride off together into the wide frost of Alaska, presumably to have a happy and meaningful relationship together. However, this does not fit with the general theme of not only the game, but of Snake's character and history. That ending was put in there as something nice, positive...but it's not the "real" ending. You see, by having Meryl die, Snake lost something important to him. He lost a possible love, something dude didn't have. He did trade her life for his, and he has to live with that. Snake's character became much more real...more human..when Meryl didn't wake up after the battle with Liquid Snake. Snake got regret, sorrow, remorse, self-doubt, and many other emotions from her death...and those (in this narritive) strongly outweigh what he would have got if she lived. He exchanged one kind of pain for another..but the pain of causing her death isn't likely to go away for a while. And for those who have played MGS but not the MGS2 Demo that came out in March....the issue on which ending was the "real" ending has been settled....

The Story of Metal Gear, Part 4:
The Shadow Moses Incident

It is 2010, eleven years after the Zanzibar Land Crisis and once again, the world is on the brink of a catastrophe. So who is called to get the chestnuts out of the fire? Right, good old Solid Snake...

When terrorists capture the nuclear weapons disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island in Alaska's Fox Archipelago, Solid Snake is taken aboard a submarine against his will, and briefed for the top-secret mission to deal with the terrorist threat. The terrorists are in fact next generation Special Forces enhanced by genetic engineering and are led by members of FOX-HOUND. They have secured several functional nuclear warheads, threatening to launch a weapon, if their demand to turn over the remains of Big Boss to them is not met. Learning about the involvement of his former teammates, and about their new leader, a man who shares his codename Snake, Liquid Snake, Solid accepts the mission, which is once again commanded by Codec by Roy Campbell.

After infiltrating the site using a small submersible craft and landing on the underground docks, he proceeds to rescue the two hostages: Darpa Chief Donald Anderson and President of ArmsTech, Kenneth Baker. They both were here on a special mission to test a new weapon when the terrorists struck. But Anderson mysteriously dies of a heart attack when meeting Snake, but not before telling Snake that the new weapon is in fact (and wouldn't you have guessed it) the new version of the Metal Gear, model Rex. Afterwards, he proceeds to rescue Baker, battling Revolver Ocelot in the process. But the battle with Ocelot is cut short when a mysterious ninja in camouflage armor severs Ocelot's hand. The ninja disappears again,and Snake learns from Baker that he was forced to give his part of the launch codes to the terrorists. Reversing the process was possible, but difficult, and to do it right, Snake had better first ask Dr. Hal Emmerich, the designer of the new Metal Gear. Then, Baker dies of a heart attack similar to the one Anderson suffered. Something is definitely awry.Before he died, he told Snake about a key necessary for the emergency shutdown, as well as activation, of Metal Gear, which he gave to Meryl, Campbells niece, before being captured.

After contacting Meryl, who is masquerading as the enemy, per Codec, Snake contacts Emmerich, only to find the ninja already there. He is challenged to a man-to-man fight, and succeeds in driving off the ninja, recognizing him to be Gray Fox, his former friend whom he had to fight in Zanzibar Land. Saved, Emmerich agreed to help Snake from now on.

After also seeking out and meeting Meryl. After defeating Psycho Mantis, however, Meryl is shot by Sniper Wolf to draw out Snake. Realizing he is outgunned, Snake seeks out a sniper rifle, but when he returns, Meryl is gone, and Snake is captured, to be tortured bu Ocelot,but also meeting Liquid for the first time, realizing they look alike.

After escaping and then defeating Sniper Wolf, Solid is faced with Vulcan Raven, who reveals that the Anderson Snake spoke to, was in fact Decoy Octopus, not Anderson, tasked to get some vital information. The terrorists had known of Snakes coming, so there had to be a leak on the mission staff. At that point, Master Miller called and revealed some information he received on Dr. Naomi Hunter, severely implicating her.

Meanwhile, Snake reached the hangar, and receives another private communique from Miller, this time about FOXDIE, a genetically engineered virus that kills only those targets it is programmed to killed, by artificially inducing a heart attack, such as the case with Octopus and Baker. And the carrier therefore must be...

Betrayed once again by those he trusted, Snake still needs to stop the launch of the nuclear missiles. After inserting the abort codes, something went wrong. An electronic voice intoned:

"Launch code entered. All systems ready. Standby for 216 missile launch."

He had been tricked again. The terrorists never had the necessary codes for the launch, so they needed Snake to insert the deactivation codes, which are also the launch codes if the system is deactivated to begin with. Just then, Miller reveals himself to be Liquid Snake, and tells Solid, how he was tricked by the Pentagon as well, used only as a way to introduce FOXDIE to kill the terrorists. Snake also finally learns the truth about himself, that he and Liquid are both twin brothers, octuplets cloned from the DNA of Big Boss, the ultimate soldier by the U.S. military, but only two survived: Liquid and Solid Snake, two sides of a coin. He also learned that the Genome soldiers are also his brothers, in a sense as they also carry parts of Big Bosses DNA to upgrade their abilities. But they all were defective, himself included, and needed the pure strain to develop something to heal their decomposing DNA. That is why they needed Big Bosses corpse...

As the goal of the project Les Enfants Terribles was to create extraordinary soldiers, it was no surprise that when they finally met, the result would be a titanic confrontation. Liquid boards Rex, but is defeated by Solid with the help of Grey Fox, who gives his life to help him. Rex exploded, knocking Solid unconscious. When he awakes, he and Liquid are on top of Rex, Liquid waiting to battle Solid to see, which one of them is better. And so Snake and Liquid face off in a fight to the death on the "face" of Metal Gear Rex. After Snake emerges victoriously, the only thing that remains it to escape the island, since the military has ordered nuclear strikes on the island to cover up the truth. Depending on the choices made during the game, Snake either escapes with Maryl or with Otacon.

But there are a lot of questions remaining: Will the Foxdie-Virus Solid carries kill him as well? And who is the mysterious man we hear during the ending? Whom does Ocelot work for? Only the future will tell (or, as it were, the sequel).

Official Metal Gear Games List:
Metal Gear - Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - (Metal Gear: Ghost Babel)
Metal Gear Solid (see also Twin Snakes) - Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Substance) - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The third game released in the Metal Gear series was developed and published by Konami in September of 1998 for the Playstation, and again in 2000 for the PC. It was the first game in the series after eight years, and was highly anticipated at the time. It was later remade in 2004 as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, is followed by a sequel (Metal Gear Solid 2), and a prequel (Metal Gear: Ghost Babel).

It was also the first game in the series in 3D. Now, 1998 was the height of that particular period in gaming history where all the major video game series were making the jump to 3D (Zelda, Mario, and others all did this around this time, although Mario was slightly earlier), and MGS was one of the big ones. Final Fantasy VII had cemented the PSX's success about a year and a half earlier (and was, amazingly enough, the first 3D game in yet another series), so calling MGS the PSX's killer app might not be quite right, but it was amazingly successful and certainly didn't hurt.

It is a common thread with many of these series that their first 3D game executes the addition of the third dimension nigh-on-flawlessly (the aforementioned Zelda, Mario, and Final Fantasy, of course, and the more recent Grand Theft Auto III and Metroid Prime spring to mind as well), and MGS is no exception. The camera angle, always an important choice for any third-person perspective game, tries to emulate the top-down view of the previous, sprite-driven games, while also not being afraid to let the player peek around corners or look at things in the first-person. This is one of the more successful approaches to third-person camera angles, and is a refreshing change from the slightly more standard above-and-behind view.

Most of the game revolves around sneaking around. This usually just means staying out of the line of sight of the enemy troops, although other factors come into play as well. The biggest of these is sound: enemies can hear your footsteps, you can lure enemies around by banging on walls, and gunfire will usually just set off the alarms immediately. Enemies can also follow footsteps left in the snow (for this is Alaska, and things are a little cold out). So you (as Solid Snake) must evade troops, walk slowly on loud metal grates, and suppress your gunfire when possible.

Beating the game will unlock additional features, of varying usefulness; this makes the game good for a couple play-throughs.

The plot of the game has been detailed elsewhere, so I will refrain from talking about it here.

Highly recommended. Easily one of the top two or three best games for the Playstation.

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