Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is the third installment of the Metal Gear Solid saga and chronologically the first part of the story: the origin of Big Boss. Set in 1964, the game is different from the first two games in that it is mainly set in a jungle environment. Stealth is very important to the gameplay of Snake Eater due to more advanced AI enemies, open environments, and (due to the arcane cold war technology) a lack of detailed, on-screen radars. Survival - performing minor surgery, bandaging wounds, eating wild animals - is a feature unique to this Metal Gear. Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, directed Snake Eater and the game is generally seen as an answer to the criticism that was given to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. A new engine was created for Snake Eater in order to create a richer graphical experience, and the gameplay was opened up to allow for more aggressive approaches.
An updated version of Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, was released on March 14, 2006, featuring a large number of side content in the style of VR Missions, and, most notably, an improved fully controllable camera, a first for the series. Snake Eater was packaged with the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection in 2011 for PS3 and 360; in February 2012 Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D was released for the 3DS. Unfortunately, the bizarre Guy Savage nightmare is only playable in the original and Subsistence releases.
Traditional to the Metal Gear Solid series, MGS3 focuses on stealth and sneaking around enemies rather than straight up confronting them in a gunfight, though this entry is more forgiving in that regard, and offers up a large number of guns with which to shoot folks. If the player is spotted, the guards will enter an alert mode. At ALERT: 99.99, the enemy can see Snake and is currently firing at him. Until Snake breaks line of sight for a sustained period of time the counter will not drop. At ALERT: 99.98 and below, the enemy is still searching for Snake. If the counter runs down to 0, the game enters EVASION mode. In EVASION, the enemy is still looking for Snake, but not as vigorously. If that counter runs down, the game will enter CAUTION mode. The enemy has given up searching for Snake, but is still aware of his presence. Guards who were called in as backup firepower will return to the nearest barracks, and any patrol guards killed during the firefight will be replaced.
Because of the 60s setting, the radar in previous games has not been invented, and the player must rely on special equipment. The active sonar, activated with the L3 button, sends out a rather noisy ping, and reports the location of all animals and people, but the noise the ping makes may alert the enemy. The motion detector reports the location of all moving objects, but not stationary ones. The AP sensor vibrates the controller upon detecting an enemy. Snake can also use a mine detector to locate claymores. These items take up battery power, which refills when not in use. If the battery runs out completely, the items that use battery power will not operate for a short period of time.
The game also has the survival system, which was new to this game. The stamina meter, below the health bar, determines how fast Snake runs, how much his health recovers, and how well he aims. To replenish this, Snake can capture animals by shooting them or attacking them with his knife. He can then eat them, which replenishes the stamina in various amounts. Snake has different affinities to different foods.
The camouflage system determines how well hidden Snake is in the surrounding environment. Snake has a variety of uniforms and face paints he can wear, each blending him in more or making him stick out more. If he gets injured, he can use the cure screen to heal himself. Snake can have various injuries like cuts and burns, and can use medical supplies to cure them.
New to this game also is CQC. If Snake has a CQC compatible weapon, he can sneak up to an enemy and grab him by pressing the circle button and holding it, he can then transition into a number of moves. He can slit his throat by holding down the circle button firmly, interrogate him by holding down the left stick, choke him by mashing circle many times, or use him as a human shield to defend against enemy fire. As was the case in MGS2, enemies will respond to being held up, and will drop items when Snake aims his weapon at their head or crotch. They can be knocked out, put to sleep or killed. Snake can shoot their radios dead so they can't call for armed backup, use noise to distract them, and aim for their limbs to limit movement or stop them from wielding firearms. The boss battles, as with all MGS games, present the player with a number of unique situations, such as a sniper battle which can last hours, a man who throws bees, a river of ghosts and more.
The camera in this game does not have a 3D rotational camera of other action games, but rather the stationary camera of past Metal Gear Solid games. The main camera is a roughly isometric camera, which can be panned, but not rotated, by the R stick. An optional, (now-traditional) 3D rotational camera with full player control was added in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. The other main camera is the first person view. Snake cannot move while in first person, but can see the world around him, and aim his weapon by pressing square. If Snake presses up against a wall, he can see the area around the corner, and can get and even better view by peeking, which is done by pressing L2 or R2. The last camera angle is infiltration mode. When lying down in tall grass of crawling through a hole, the game enters first person mode, but the player is able to move around.
- Black: Black face paint. Used to hide in the dark.
- Brown: Brown face paint. Grants infinite stamina underwater.
- Desert: Desert pattern face paint. Used to hide in mountainous, desert areas.
- France: Mimics the French flag.
- Germany: Mimics the German flag.
- Green: Green face paint. Grants infinite stamina while hanging.
- Infinity: Gives infinite ammo when worn.
- Italy: Mimics the Italian flag
- Japan: Mimics the Japanese flag.
- Kabuki: Face paint used in traditional Japanese theatre. Allegedly grants the user some sort of mystical power.
- Mask: Used to look like Raikov.
- No paint: No face paint applied.
- Oyama: Face paint worn by females in traditional Japanese theatre.
- Snow: Snow pattern face paint. Used to hide in cold environments.
- Soviet Union: Mimics the Soviet Union flag.
- Spain: Mimics the Spanish flag.
- Splitter: Splitter pattern face paint. Used to hide in urban/indoor areas.
- Sweden: Mimics the Swedish flag.
- UK: Mimics the Union Jack.
- USA: Mimics the American flag.
- Water: Blue facepaint, useful in aquatic areas.
- Woodland: Woodland pattern face paint. For use in forested areas.
- Zombie: Face Paint that mimics a voodoo zombie.
- Animals: An animal skin camo uniform. Wearing it removes any hand-shaking whilst aiming a gun. Obtained after defeating Major Ocelot non-lethally.
- Anubis: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Auscam: Received by selecting "I Like MGS3!" when starting a new game or by beating the game. Gives Snake 33 percent damage reduction.
- Banana: Received by beating all Snake Vs. Monkey missions with high scores. Stamina gained is increased to one full life bar per item ate.
- Barracuda: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Black: Black battle uniform. Effective when used in the dark or in caves.
- Chameleon: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Choco Chip: Camo pattern designed to provide cover in the desert. Named for it's resemblance to a chocolate chip cookie. Effective in mountain and desert environments.
- Cold War: Volgin's camo uniform. Enemies from the Soviet side will hesitate to attack. Obtained after defeating Volgin non-lethally.
- Desert Tiger: Received by selecting "I Like MGS3!" when starting a new game or by beating the game. It makes it so existing suppressors don't deteriorate.
- Doodoo: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- DPM: Received by beating the Duel Mode special section with all high scores. It makes it so Snake's life recovers twice as fast.
- East Germany: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Festival: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Fire: The Fury's camo uniform. Reduces damage from flames and explosions by half. Obtained after defeating The Fury non-lethally.
- Flektarn: Received by selecting "I Like MGS3!" when starting a new game or by beating the game. Provides infinite battery power.
- Flower: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Fly: Camo pattern designed to make it so guards won't knife Snake.
- Ga-Ko: Ga-Ko pattern camo uniform. Wearing it allows Snake to hear Kerotan's calling.
- Grenades: Available via download. Gives Snake infinite grenades as the name would suggest.
- Hornet Stripe: The Pain's camo uniform. Wards off hornets, spiders, and leeches, Also allows wearer to tame hornets. Obtained after defeating The Pain non-lethally.
- KLMK: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Leaf: Camo pattern developed to provide cover in forested areas. Effective in underbrush.
- Moss: The End's camo uniform. It enables stamina regeneration while moving in the light. Obtained by sneaking up behind The End and pointing the gun at his head.
- Mummy: Available via download. Gives Snake immunity to serious injuries.
- Naked: Nothing worn on the upper body. Does not provide much camouflage.
- Night Desert: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Officer: The uniform officers wear.
- Olive Drab: Commonly known as OD. A single-color battle uniform for general infantry use. Does not provide much camouflage.
- Raindow: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Raindrop: Camo pattern used extensively in Eastern Europe. Effective in the rain.
- Rock: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Santa: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Scientist: The uniform scientists wear. Cannot use weapons while equipped.
- Snake: Snake pattern camo uniform. Provides the ultimate cover in any environment. Obtained after defeating The Boss non-lethally.
- Sneaking Suit: The latest battle uniform developed by the Soviet Union. Cuts all damage in half and reduces stamina consumption.
- Snow: Camo pattern designed to provide cover in snowy environments. Effective against white backgrounds.
- Soviet Woodland: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Spider: The Fear's camo uniform. Gives wearer stealth (Invisibility) capability at the cost of stamina. Obtained after defeating The Fear non-lethally.
- Spirit: The Sorrow's camo uniform. Eliminates footstep noise. Also allows wearer to drain stamina by choking enemies in CQC. Obtained after 'killing' The Sorrow .
- Splitter: Camo pattern often used on German aeroplanes during World War II. Effective in urban environments.
- Squares: Camo pattern consisting of an array of squares. Makes it difficult to distinguish the silhouette of the wearer. effective against brown backgrounds.
- St. V: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Swamp: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Tiger Stripe: Striped camo pattern resembling a tiger's coat. Effective in wooded and grassy areas as well as against soil and mud.
- Tree Bark: Camo pattern designed with hunters in mind. Pasted with photos of tree trunks and leafy branches. effective when pressed against trees.
- Tuxedo: Formal dress coat; effective against dark ground. Cannot use CQC while equipped.
- Urban Tiger: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- Water: Camo pattern used extensively by the old German Defense Force. Effective when underwater.
- Watersnake: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- West Germany: Available via download. Same characteristics as the Tiger Stripe Camo except with a different appearance.
- AK-47: A gun that can fire rapid fire rounds. Holds 30 rounds.
- Claymore: A mine that can be set as a trap for enemies.
- Custom M1911A1: Snake gets this weapon from EVA, after he loses his standard issue M1911A1. Heavily customized both appearence wise and performance wise. Snake's favorite. Can attach suppressor by opening up the weapons menu and pressing circle. Holds 7 rounds.
- Grenade: Comes in fragmentation, white phospherous, electronic, smoke, and stun flavours.
- Hankerchief and Cigar Gas: Knock out gas/ chloroform.
- M1911A1: A standard pistol. Can attach suppressor by opening up the weapons menu and pressing circle. Holds 7 rounds.
- M37: A standard shotgun. Can blow away multiple enemies at once. Holds 7 rounds.
- M63: A heavy machine gun. Snake grunts when he fires it. Holds 501 rounds.
- Mk. 22: This is a tranquilizer gun which can knock enemies out. This is a good weapon when going for a no kill game. Can attach suppressor by opening up the weapons menu and pressing circle.
- Mosin Nagant: A tranquilizer rifle. Can zoom 3x and 10. Used by The End.
- Patriot: A machine gun with unlimited bullets. Used to belong to The Boss.
- RPG-7: A rocket launcher. Holds 1 highly explosive round.
- Scorpion: A machine gun with a laser targeting system. Holds 30 rounds.
- Single Action Army: A six shooter with bullets that ricochet.
- Survival Knife: A knife for CQC. Can be used to slit throats, or interrogate enemies.
- SVD: A sniper rifle. Can zoom 3x and 10x. Holds 9 rounds.
- TNT: Dynamite. Can be used to blow up supply huts.
- XM16E1: A better version of the AK-47. Can attach suppressor by opening up the weapons menu and pressing circle. Holds 21 rounds.
- Life Medicine: A item that restores the Life bar.
- Fake Death Pill: An item that fools enemies into thinking that Snake is dead. Can use revival pill in Game Over screen to wake up.
- Mouse Trap: A device for catching animals to eat.
- Cardboard Box: A box in which to hide in.
- Directional Microphone: A device for amplifying sounds.
The player takes control of top operative Naked Snake, whose relationship to the series' hero Solid Snake is not initially explained. At the outset, Naked Snake is sent behind enemy lines via a HA-LO jump to retrieve a Russian weapons designer named Sokolov
who wishes to defect to the United States. Sokolov has developed an advanced tank named the Shagohod, which is a direct precursor to the bipedal Metal Gear weapons which threaten global stability in the other series installments. Snake is aided over the radio by new characters like Major Zero, Para-Medic, and The Boss, his former mentor. After finding Sokolov under strict protection from the Red Army, a new Russian faction is explained by Sokolov named GRU, a radical movement within Soviet government under the control of a Colonel Volgin. Snake and Sokolov are confronted by GRU soldiers as well as a young Revolver Ocelot, and Snake is able to escape them. On their way back to the extraction point, however, Naked Snake and Sokolov are confronted by the Boss, her former Cobra unit, as well as Colonel Volgin. The Boss explains her defection to Russia and gives Volgin portable nuclear shells as a gift. She demands that Snake give up Sokolov, but he refuses, and he is thrown off a bridge and flows downriver.
When Volgin, the Cobra Unit, and The Boss leave on helicopters, Volgin tests his new "gift" nukes on a Soviet weapons facility. At the same time, Snake flows down river where he has sustained gruesome injuries. After he heals himself, the nuclear shell goes off in the distance, and Snake is returned to a hospital. In the hospital, Major Zero educates Snake of the United State's situation. The Soviets believed the US responsible for the nuclear shell by Volgin as an US Airforce plane was in close airspace- the one Snake parachuted out of. Lyndon B. Johnson received a phone call from Kruschev to inform him of the situation. Kruschev explains that he does not believe the US attacked, but he is under great pressure in Soviet government to respond. He gives Johnson two weeks for the United States to prove their innocence by taking out Volgin. Snake is ordered to return to bring back Sokolov, destroy the Shagohod, and eliminate both Volgin and The Boss.
After reinsertion from a jet plane, Snake returns to the hideout Sokolov was just days earlier, where a woman on a motorbike named Eva confronts him. After explaining Adam couldn't make it, and a night of desperate seduction, Snake and Eva are confronted by Ocelot and GRU soldiers once again. Eva and Snake defeat the troops, and Eva has to return to base before Ocelot, or else he may become suspicious of their internal spy. One by one, Snake defeats the Cobra Unit members, including The Pain, The Fury,
The End, and The Fear. After infiltrating the base wearing a mask disguised as a GRU Captain Ivan Raikov who is friends with Volgin, Snake is found a fake by Volgin, and Sokolov is killed as Shagohod had completed production. Snake is then viciously tortured, where he learns of Volgin's "Philosopher's Legacy", a slush fund used by the United States, Russia, and China during World War II, but Volgin's father stole it during the chaos of the war.
The Boss refuses to follow Volgin's orders to kill Snake, and he survives the torture - but not without losing an eye. He escapes with the help of Eva by jumping off a high ledge into a gorge below whilst being followed by attack dogs and Ocelot. In a death like dream, players must walk Snake through a river where ghosts of all the NPCs the player has killed haunts him. The Sorrow, a former member of the Cobra Unit and Boss's lover, also haunts Snake in conjunction with helping the player receive the codec code to open the prison cell doors. Snake later infiltrates the base and places C3 charges around the Shagohod. But Eva was discovered in the basement looking for the legacy by GRU, and The Boss discovers Snake's explosives. Snake then fights Volgin, where Ocelot refuses to help his comrade.
"There is only room for one Boss... and one Snake..."The Boss' Last Words
Snake and Eva then try to escape, only to have the Volgin use the Shagohod against them. Finally defeating them both in an intense boss fight, Snake and Eva escape to a plane on a lake, where Snake has to confront The Boss. She gives a speech about soldiers being pawns for war. After the long, emotional battle she describes her relationship with the Sorrow, how they had a child taken away during the invasion of Normandy, as well as when the Boss herself was ordered to kill The Sorrow during the Cold War. In a scene echoing the execution of Sniper Wolf, the player must then manually press the fire button to shoot and kill the boss. Snake and Eva then escape via WiG to an Alaskan log cabin.
In the morning, Snake awakes to find Eva gone as well as a monogram left. In true Metal Gear fashion, the plot is all explained at the very end. Eva tells Snake she is not an agent for the Americans or for the Russians, but for the People's Republic of China. Her sole objective was to retrieve the Philosopher's Legacy from Volgin, however, she was recognized by The Boss, as the Boss helped train developing spy agents. Eva explains how the Boss wanted to relay a message to Snake. The Boss in reality was not a defector to the Soviets, but an American patriot to the end. Her job was to fake defection in order to more easily infiltrate Volgin's workings. Except, when Volgin used a nuclear shell, the Soviets needed someone to blame, and that person was The Boss. The United States used The Boss as a scapegoat to avoid nuclear confrontation, and The Boss knew all along she had to die at the hands of her apprentice. Snake is disgusted by the CIA director and President as they want him to control all sneaking missions within the CIA. After achieving the codename "Big Boss", Snake goes to the cemetery where The Boss lays with no name other than "Here Lies a True American Patriot."
After the end credits roll we hear a phone conversation between Ocelot and his Russian superior informing us that he was actually a double agent working to oust Khrushchev through his activities with the GRU. A subsequent phone call with the American CIA director reveals that he was actually a TRIPLE agent by the code name ADAM, the one Snake was supposed to rendezvous with at the ruined factory. He goes on to explain that he is in possession of the Philosopher's Legacy, that the Russians have a fake, and the game ends with his mention of Granin's idea to build a bipedal tank.
In the Graniny Gorld Lab in the Lab B1 East area, on the desk of the Control Room, are several real life video game magazines including Metal Gear Solid 2 on the cover of one issue, Zone of the Enders on the cover of PSM and Metal Gear Solid 3 on the cover of GameInformer.
When Snake is thrown off the bridge the player is prompted to press the "R1" button. If pressed the player goes into a first person view through which he can see the skeletal corpse of The Sorrow.
When Snake confronts Granin in his office the player is given another R1 button prompt. If pressed the player once again goes into a First Person mode where he can see two models of MGS1's Metal Gear Rex and MGS2's Metal Gear Ray.
Most of the themes on the Snake Easter original soundtrack were composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Norihiko Hibino, with further contributions from Cynthia Harrell, TAPPY, and Starsailor.
Composed by Norihiko Hibino
Vocals by Cynthia Harrell
Metal Gear Solid Main Theme
(Metal Gear Solid 3 version)
Original music by TAPPY
Arranged by Harry Gregson-Williams
On The Ground ~ Battle In The Jungle
Operation Snake Eater
Across The Border ~ Snake Meets The Boss
Nobuko Toda & Norihiko Hibino
Ocelot Youth ~ Confrontation
Harry Gregson-Williams & Norihiko Hibino
The Cobras In The Jungle
Old Metal Gear
Battle In The Base
Volgin, The Torturer
Harry Gregson-Williams & Norihiko Hibino
The Sorrow ~ Everlasting Fight
Harry Gregson-Williams & Shuichi Kobori
Clash With Evil Personified
Sidecar - Escape From The Fortress -
Sidecar - On The Rail Bridge -
Takin' On The Shagohod
Escape Through The Woods
Troops In The Gathering
The Return Of The MiGs
Don't Be Afraid
Composed by Rika Muranaka
Vocals by Elisa Fiorillo
Way To Fall
Composed by James Walsh / James Stelfox / Ben Byrne / Barry Westhead
Performed by Starsailor
Rock Me Baby
Snake vs Monkey