Mento Gear Solid

"Mento Gear Solid?"

"Yes, Snake, Mento Gear Solid is the name given to a top secret military project started in 2014. It was deemed a failure shortly after its inception because the creator of the project insisted on role-playing the intro."

The version I'm playing. When it came to buying the original PS1 release, I feel asleep.
The version I'm playing. When it came to buying the original PS1 release, I feel asleep.

Hey, my fellow animal-codenamed comrades. A little while ago I decided to play through Swery's Deadly Premonition, partly due to its prominent position in my pile of shame and partly because I was missing out on some classic Giant Bomb videos by stubbornly refusing to spoil the game for myself. In recent weeks, a similar situation has arisen where the indefatigable Drew Scanlon and the indecipherable Dan Ryckert have decided to play Konami's and Hideo Kojima's 1997 tactical espionage action game Metal Gear Solid in its entirety. Biting the bullet, I have just this moment finished my initial playthrough of that particular game in order to stay one step ahead of this dumb website and the dumb games it decides to Endurance Run.

You might also recall that I decided to jot down my reactions to Deadly Premonition as I was having them, presenting a truncated account of someone discovering a very silly game full of twists and extremely odd stylistic choices for the first time. What better game to follow that up with than Metal Gear Solid?

Suffice it to say, this list of observations contains spoilers for every scene, twist and surprise in the game. Those currently enjoying Metal Gear Scanlon as their first window into the mind of Kojima might want to bookmark this feature for later, were I to assume that people would actually want to do that. I am the inferior twin to that series, after all. Recessive genes and all that. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I present, in full, my first playthrough of Metal Gear Solid. Please enjoy:

It's Like One of Dan's Japanese Animes

  • Well, it's my first time, so let's do these VR Missions first.
  • Right, so the basics seem obvious enough. Crawling is quieter, makes me less visible but is slower, everyone has vision cones and I can knock on crates to draw their attention. Cameras have blind spots. Soldiers can also see footsteps, which seems sophisticated for a game this old. (I'm at least somewhat aware that MGS was the progenitor for a lot of now-ubiquitous stealth mechanics.)
  • In fact, I feel like I've played enough stealth games that were in some way directly inspired by MGS, so this is all familiar enough.
  • Reading up on "Previous Operations" (i.e. the MSX games) before I start in case there's some terminology/context I need to know.
  • Apparently, Snake and Gray Fox had "a fist-to-fist duel involving no hatred or murder intent. During that weird moment of purity, the two were bound by forces transcending words and emotion." What? This is already anime as fuck.
  • During the intro we're told about the six mercenaries of FOX-HOUND (why is it all caps? Is it an acronym?). They sound like an odd bunch.
  • So only I can hear the CODECs go off, because it stimulates the small bones in my ear. So what about when I talk into it? How's that stealthy?
  • All right, I got past the elevator. Certainly was a lot of info they just dumped on me.
  • Hey Mei Ling. So 140.96 is the save button, huh? I guess using the main menu to save would've ruined the immersion. I mean, I say that, but "talk to me if you want to save the game" kinda does the same damage. I've heard it's a MGS staple to do stuff like this though, so I'm down.
  • All right, so I've learned that I need to find a DARPA Chief, whatever that is, and that all the ladies love cool Solid Snake. Good to know.
  • What's a chaff grenade? Does it separate soldiers from wheat? Oh, it scrambles sensor-based electronics with multiple false signals. Well that's clever.
  • Master Blondie told me to look out for mice in vents. Apparently they know where the critical path is. Have they played this game before? I suppose everyone has by now.
  • Going through more vents. Overheard some interesting stuff. The DARPAman's downstairs somewhere, they captured a woman (I know enough about MGS to know who that is) and there's another intruder besides myself (this, I didn't know).
  • Yep, got dead trying something stupid. I wonder if any YouTubers have overdubbed those plaintive "SNAAAAKE" cries over nature documentary footage of snakes getting eaten yet.
  • Did I just do a full circuit? Goddammit. Vents, man, you can't trust 'em.
  • Getting urgent CODECs instructing me how to exit vents and use ladders. Eh, video game stuff. I can forgive it. Better than not knowing.
  • Oh, DARPy DARPy DARPy. Building a giant T-Rex nuke robot was a bad idea. I'm also encountering a lot of instances of Snake repeating nouns as questions. I recall this being a thing.
  • Oh, the DARPA Chief died somehow. Well, I wasn't sure how to carry him around in my inventory anyway.
  • Ms. Rookie Eyes just got us killed. Well, it's more that I didn't know how to shoot a gun, having been explicitly told to avoid doing so. I figured it out eventually.
  • Was that slow-mo butt shot really necessary? Kojima-san, why is your nose bleeding?
  • It's clever that all the item descriptions give you context commands. The game seems to use square and circle interchangeably, so getting a heads-up is useful.
  • Just fought some joker with an olde-timey revolver. Revolver Ocelot. Was that fight supposed to be that easy? I just ran around and shot the dude.
  • I guess my little problem got handed off to this invisible ninja robot. Thanks invisible ninja robot!
  • ArmsTech President Kenneth Baker is an ornery sort. 40 years of Star Wars conventions can do that to a guy, I guess. At least he seems taller these days.
  • "Meryl's CODEC number should be on the back of the CD case". Boom, there it is. Playing this on PSN, I had to look that one up. 140:15, for the record.
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  • Looking for a Hal Emmerich now. I know who that is too. It's weird having all these bits and pieces but not the whole picture.
  • Several pounds of MUF, huh? No comment.
  • Another case of Sudden Plot-Important Death Syndrome. SPIDS kills so many every year, usually striking just before the victim can reveal useful info. Please, give whatever you can to help us end this terrible disease. The number to call is 022- *hurk* My heart! *whump*
  • Called up Meryl. Enlightening stuff. Especially the part about women "having more hiding places than men" to conceal keycards. Good grief.
  • Called up weapons expert Nastasha too. I guess she's the one to ask about armaments and nukes. I'm not quite sure how often I'm meant to talk to these people, but they all have their explicit areas of expertise.
  • All right, so I'm heading through these cargo doors now. Better figure out how infra-red works.
  • Ah, the cigs. Worked it out before they had to tell me. This would be great if this top-down view allowed you to register the height of things, like these vertically moving instant-kill laser beams. Well, that was a few dumb deaths.
  • Mines? I don't have a Mine Detector. Should I have picked one up? My current strategy appears to be "blow up, die, remember where they are after I reload."
  • Oh, and I guess Deepthroat is yet another mystery guy chiming in with advice.
  • "Snakes don't belong in Alaska." Neither do shirtless guys, Chief Tattoo. Jeez, these FOXHOUND weirdos.
  • Raven apparently took off during the tank fight. I just ended up blowing up some random gunner grunt instead.
  • Oh wait, he was actually inside the tank when it exploded. He survived, of course. Everyone seems to survive getting exploded or dismembered just fine.
  • No shooting around the nuclear warheads, got it. I saw Broken Arrow, I know the drill.
  • How many of these quotes does Mei Ling have? Does she have a big book open next to her? "Wait, Snake before you go... um... "FK... in the coffee. It never fails." It means, don't be surprised if, uh, the bad guy is... I don't know. Just go. Don't you have a terrorist plot to foil?"
  • Dayum, not only did I get a rocket lawnchair by detouring to B1 of this building instead of going to B2 like I was supposed to, but it's named after La Femme Nikita.
  • Oh, I did in fact need it for the puzzle in the B2 labs. Flying an RC missile around was interesting; I feel like I've seen that puzzle before somewhere. Perfect Dark? Ratchet and Clank? They came later, of course. (Apparently the Nikitas have been with the Metal Gear series since the beginning.)
  • Well someone had fun in this corridor. Looks our old friend Cyborg Ninja's work.
  • "It's like one of my Japanese animes". Hey Otacon. Way to pee yourself in your first appearance.
  • Well, this is an interesting fight. Ninja dude can't get hit and kills me in two slashes with his katana doodad. People keep calling him a cyborg though, so maybe he'll like these scrambler grenades.
  • Well, they work, but I do chip damage with everything, even C4. I get him halfway down before I run out of Chaff grenades.
  • Ah, I can just punch him and he puts his sword away. Now this is a little more fair. Wish I saved some of those grenades now.
  • I say it's more fair, but his punches still take half my health off. His cartwheel kicks are a little friendlier.
  • Man, this room though. A Policenauts poster? Subtle.
  • Right, yes, we get it. You're Gray Fox. From the files. I don't need any more hints. You also sound a lot like that Deepthroat guy too, btw. Or am I not supposed to know that yet?
  • Now we're getting a big exposition dump about Gray Fox. And another one about Metal Gear. Why does this thing need four different weapons? For the inevitable boss fight?
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  • "I don't need you, I just need your brain. I've got an ice cream scoop, stand still for a minute."
  • Well, Meryl got hit. I guess I'd better check on her. Also more butt talk? Otacon's an enabler.
  • "Otaku Convention" is where Otacon comes from? I'm glad it's not some porn thing, at least.
  • So I've noticed I get extra health and more ammo space after every big encounter. I guess it's leveling up, but the game doesn't want to make a big deal about it.
  • Man, don't CODEC Mei Ling when you're sneaking through a women's bathroom. Awkward.
  • "They gave me psychotherapy to destroy my interest in men." Say what? Is that normal?
  • "You've got a great butt." Jeeeeeez.
  • "What happened to the music?" That's non-diegetic music, Snake. "Non-diegetic music?" Yes, it means you were never able to hear the music, you weird little man.
  • Oh no, I know who this guy is. Psycho Mantis. I already know all his tricks, alas.
  • That was still kinda tough, even knowing the controller port trick. I really should've searched around for another ration before jumping into it.
  • So Psycho Mantis became evil because he hated listening to everyone's constant thoughts about boning? But Snake is different somehow? Not what I was getting from all that butt talk.
  • "You have a large place in Meryl's heart." "Like a ventricle?"
  • Psycho Mantis sure is taking a long time to die for someone riddled with bulletholes.
  • Aww, I don't want to shoot wolf-dog puppies.
  • Did that sniper shoot Meryl right in her hoo-ha? That looked painful.
  • Are they really making me return to the start of the game to grab a sniper rifle? The sniper's going to die of old age before I get back. (Yes, that was deliberate.)
  • At least I got some sweet stuff from exploring earlier locations. More ammo, a new cardboard box and, finally, a mine detector, long after I really needed it.
  • What's more, stuff just seems to regenerate if I leave and come back after a while. So if I run into any more trouble, like the rations with Psycho Mantis, all I gotta do is poke around a bit in areas I've already been to. Neat.
  • Anyway, I have a PsEG (or whatever, a sniper rifle) now, I better return and deal with Ms. Beautiful and Deadly Sniper Wolf before Meryl completely bleeds out.
  • Sniper battle was... interesting. I'm still not sure if I did it right, but I won so I guess I did.
  • For the record: I just waited until she went behind the pillar and then got into sniper position, since she always seemed to take longer to get set up there.
  • Well, looks like my ass got captured. Figures Wolf would survive a dozen sniper rifle bullets to the face. What are they feeding these guys?
  • Liquid Snake sounds a lot like Master Blondie. I wonder if I'm supposed to notice. Maybe there's not enough VAs to go around?
  • All right, so this interrogation scene is already interesting. Liquid wants Big Boss' DNA, claims I'm some sort of "son" (I suspect clone, but that's because I already know they mean clone) and that Decoy Octopus is already dead.
  • Did I kill Decoy Octopus? I mean, if he was in disguise... Maybe I won't count him out just yet. (Also I keep getting him and Launch Octopus mixed up.)
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  • That's a clever way to have an interactive First Blood Part II torture scene, I'll admit it.
  • And now I gotta figure out how to escape jail, somehow. The guard's the same sickly goofball that got jumped by Meryl earlier. But first, an ethical argument with Campbell.
  • Torture mini-games and then a whole bunch of talking? Is this my life now?
  • Otacon won't choke a dude? What kind of friend is this guy? At least he brought me a hamburger.
  • I think I was supposed to use the ketchup and handkerchief to fake an illness or something, but I just hid under the bed. Seemed to do the trick.
  • All right, I got all my stuff back! My guns, my mine detector, my binoculars, my ticking time bomb, my cigs and -- most importantly -- my cardboard boxes!
  • Wait, time bomb? Good thing I checked my inventory when I grabbed that crate. I'll just put it over here, away from my person.
  • Made it all the way back to the Sniper Wolf battle. Didn't notice that the pause screen refers to it as "U.grnd pssge". U Grind? Is this a Tony Hawk stage?
  • Snake just had a flashback of Meryl getting shot, and her blood pools were already on the ground before the first hit. Now she's saying new stuff too. This is not how sepia-toned flashbacks work.
  • Now we're all disconsolate about Meryl over the CODEC. She didn't die, right? I mean, we haven't found the body yet. Also I guess Naomi had a grandfather we're all interested in hearing about. Maybe plot relevant, maybe just way more CODEC talking than I needed. Maybe both.
  • Ah, no climbing this tower stealthily, huh? I got spotted by a cutscene camera and the alert timer won't go down.
  • Oh god this sucks so bad. My health just got chipped away by the thousands of people on this stairs I couldn't see until they were close enough to hit me.
  • All right, switched to stun grenades. Went slightly better this time. Still almost out of rations.
  • Well, I'm glad they didn't follow that horror with another tough boss battle. Grrr.
  • Ironic that after several hours filled with comments about Meryl's ass, Snake dies by getting all the Hind he could want.
  • This rappelling sequence is kind of obnoxious, but sort of an interesting diversion too. Just how much steam power did this tower need?
  • And now I'm getting shot at by dudes I can't see across a walkway. It's just one damn thing after another with this game.
  • Got to the other tower, couldn't use the lift so took the stairs all the way to the 2nd floor where I'm reliably informed that the staircase is too broken to get around and I need to head back up to the lift again because it's suddenly fine. Is this game making fun of me?
  • "Do you think love can bloom even on a battlefield?" Ohhhh boy, that line.
  • I love running into the field of view of cameras I can't see because of the game's perspective. Never gets old.
  • 1 turret, then 2 turrets, then 3 turrets, then 4 turrets. Goooood stuff.
  • A Hind D?! This battle's kind of fun, but at the same time the unpredictability of the Hind's strafing (and its absurd health) makes it a slog too.
  • Y'see, there's no way to switch out of Stinger view until a couple seconds after Liquid's done being damaged and crying about it, at which point there's no time to hide from his retaliatory strafing run.
  • So it's a battle of attrition I can't win, because the game doesn't give you enough rations between its horrible set-pieces.
  • Running to the roof, rappelling down the roof and dealing with those three absurdly strong henchmen on the walkway has left me with little to cure myself with.
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  • What you do, it seems, is to switch off your rocket laddo just before the missile hits. It'll still hit but now I can move around to avoid his counterattack.
  • Apparently it speaks to my fundamental lack of understanding of rocket launchers that you can put them away after the rocket's already on its way. I figured you needed to train it on the target until it hits. Turns out I have a lot to learn about heavy ordnance.
  • Nothing makes you feel more like an idiot than beating a boss you were having trouble with without getting hit once. Or a badass. One or the other.
  • That'll do for today, I think. After saving it, Mei Ling and Snake discussed how memories are too precious to be saved digitally. Definitely enough for today.
  • So I guess I'll take this elevator down. Gotta burn off some Chaff grenades so I don't get caught by those ten turrets again.
  • Well, this elevator ride seems quiet enough. Wait, who farted?
  • Man, some nice work with Otacon's portrait freaking out. Invisible dudes in the elevator, sure, why not. At least now I can use their camouflage thing myself once they're gone.
  • Nope, I can't. Because of reasons.
  • More cameras in tight places that I can't possibly see with my radar out of commission. Yaaaay.
  • Dunno if I've said this yet, but automatically using rations when out of health if you have them equipped is a dang useful feature.
  • Snake vs. Wolf Round 2. Looks like another cat and mouse game of... wait, they're letting me use Nikitas now?
  • Well, I won't claim that I feel proud of myself, but I really didn't care for another "fair" sniper battle.
  • MGS really likes the long expository death scenes, huh? I'll let her have this, given the very ignominious way I killed her. No-one deserves having a rocket fly up there.
  • "Give me my gun. She's a part of me." *Otacon hands her the rifle* "Take this, nerd! *pow* You and your damn Japanese animes! This is for all the Madoka you made me watch! *pow, pow*"
  • "What are you fighting for?" "If we get out of this, I'll tell you!" "O-okay! Thanks for nothing I guess!"
  • So there's a little warehouse filled with Nikita missiles in this boss area. I guess I was supposed to use it after all. Or was that the chump path?
  • This other little warehouse just has mines in it. Mines that someone dug underneath the steel floor, I guess. I'll grab a few for later, why not.
  • Man, there's a few of these little warehouses filled with stuff. I guess this was supposed to be a way tougher fight?
  • Whoa, thought I got a game over going down those steps. Nope, it's a disc change. I forgot games had those.
  • Funny. Just tried to sidle across to another platform, but something knocked me out and dropped me in the molten steel. Pure physical comedy. Welcome to Disc 2.
  • More dudes on elevators. I appreciate that these guys are like 10x stronger than regular grunts too. Makes it more fun to get stunlocked in corners.
  • I do have those claymores from before though... hmm...
  • Nope, they all vanished as soon as the battle started. Serves me right for using illusionary mines, I guess. Back to wildly shooting and hoping I hit one of them with this awful combat engine.
  • In all fairness, while lining up and shooting people from a top-down view is pretty dire, I can't see how they could've worked around it. Most stylistic choices have their downsides, I guess.
  • Why even have a radar if it's down half the time? And why put mines and cameras everywhere when I have no chance of finding them? It's a crapshoot.
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  • I called Master Blondie about all the damn ravens around here. Apparently he had some interesting things to say about Naomi. Could she be a spy?
  • Also, I'm guessing from the ravens that you-know-who is about to show up. It's odd, Vulcan Raven was like the one dude from this game I didn't already know about. Is he just a forgettable Native American stereotype?
  • That Raven fight was perhaps my favorite so far. Outsmarting a much stronger opponent with tripmines, C4 and stealth is what this game ought to be about.
  • Ohhh, so that explains why there's one DARPA chief that was a stinky corpse and one that was mostly fine until a few hours ago. And also explains what happened to Decoy Octopus. I guess he got killed by the nanomachines? I hear nanomachines are a big deal in this series.
  • Gross. Raven got eaten by ravens. It's how he would've wanted to go. I wonder if the ravens had been waiting for him to kick the bucket this whole time? "Finally! Caw!" They even ate his bones! And pants!
  • Went all the way back for that level 7 door in Sniper Wolf's arena, after Raven apparently upgraded my keycard. It had missiles in it. Well, maybe they'll be useful if I'm fighting that Metal Gear.
  • Revolver and possibly Liquid (I say "possibly", like they're not building to something with that guy) are still around. Better watch my step.
  • They are taking the mickey with that many cameras, surely. That was a very silly room.
  • Man, there's Metal Gear REX. He seems kinda big, actually.
  • "Are you a hacker?" "Yup." Good talk. I need to get up to the control room to shut off Stompy before he wakes up.
  • Stealth nukes? Metal Gear sounds like bad news. Actually, it's this sinister BGM which is making it sound like bad news.
  • Got jumped by goons despite being told that this hanger was empty. Way to take a headcount, Snake. "It's totally empty". Right.
  • Liquid's planning on asking for Big Boss's DNA and a billion dollars. Snake is only surprised at the billion dollars. That's... not what I would be surprised about.
  • Is... Revolver on our side? He knows we're here and that we have a PAL card. Interesting. Liquid's talk of betraying Russia seems to have disagreed with him.
  • The key is a "Shape memory alloy"? Different temperatures? Oh, what the hell is this even.
  • Oh wait, Ocelot finally spotted me and shot at me. I guess he's still not my friend. Also our key fell in a nuclear toilet. Also the goons are still alerted and there's nowhere to hide.
  • I'm going to hazard a guess that I need to change the key's shape by going to a cold area (say, Raven or Wolf's arenas) and then a hot place (that refinery I sneaked through). More backtracking, cool.
  • And of course as soon as I walk out of the Metal Gear room, I get sideswiped by the thousand cameras in this tiny hall I forgot about.
  • Something that occurred to me, and Otacon backed it up shortly after, is that after I've heated this key I'll have to run back through Raven's sub-zero freezer room of death. I wonder how much time I have before the key cools down again?
  • Talking of which, there are now dudes patrolling Raven's boss area. They also took away his giant gatling gun that he left there after he got unceremoniously ate. Nice attention to detail.
  • Turns out Dr Naomi was the one killing all those people with random heart attacks. Apparently, it was some nanomachine "FoxDie" tech. I just figured she had a Death Note.
  • Naomi, this story about your upbringing is very touching, but this key is starting to cool down and I really need to get through Freezyland before it becomes useless again.
  • Got back in time. Is there really a way for this key to cool down again? Scary thought. Well, more annoying than scary.
  • Whoops, I activated the warhead. Master Blondie seems happy about it. Mostly because he's secretly Liquid Snake. Probably why he had the same VA, then. That's one mystery solved.
  • Oh and he booby-trapped the room with poison gas. I'll see if Otacon can get me out of here. "Hold on for a minute," he says. Great. I'll practice taking deep gulping breaths, shall I?
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  • I like that "Master" is still an option on my CODEC list. For some reason, he doesn't want to pick up when I call him.
  • Liquid appears to have lost his shirt too. Good lord.
  • He has a spy in the Pentagon? What's he called, Incognito Walrus?
  • Liquid's whole revenge terrorist plot was based on daddy issues? Well that figures.
  • Also I guess I'm fighting this 40 foot tall walking tank now. Good thing I stocked up on rockets. Two times the charm?
  • Nope, won't make a dent. Nothing does. This'll make for an interesting fight, I can tell already.
  • Ahhhh, Otacon's got the scoop. I have to blow up the radome and the cockpit becomes exposed. Then I blow up the cockpit with the pilot inside. Easier said than done, I suspect.
  • Well, I can't dodge its missiles, so I'll do the stealthiest thing I can: Stand directly in front of it, firing rockets back and forth. The Vinny strategy.
  • Damn, it actually worked. Well, sorta. Gray Fox to the rescue!
  • Should we be having this conversation now, Fox? There's an enormous tank out there right now. "We're just about out of time," Yeah, no shit, I think its laser just clipped my ear.
  • I got a lock-on on the exposed cockpit, but I gotta wait for Gray Fox's dying soliloquy to finish first.
  • Man, there's really nothing left of ninja dude. Some thorough stomping work, almost admirable. Looks like I'll have to fight Rex at full health again.
  • All right, so I died. But I figured out something in my desperation with having to restart part one of the fight: Chaff grenades don't stop him shooting missiles, but it does mean they can't heat-seek me any more. I managed to get to the Gray Fox part using only one ration this time.
  • Yessssss destroyed the blasted thing this time. Ran out of chaffs and almost out of rockets, but I did it.
  • Except... Liquid's now marching toward me and I can't get up. Oh well. I gave it my best shot at least.
  • More ranting about war and Big Boss while I lie here and listen to it. Talk about a captive audience.
  • Super Baby Method? That sounds like the diametric opposite of the rhythm method.
  • Haha, it's super weird when they switch to stock footage. I guess all this video is why the game's on two discs?
  • Liquid's starting to get antsy that Solid keeps repeating various proper nouns back to him. I can hear the irritation in his voice. No, no, I'm right there with ya, buddy. Let the megalomaniac speak, Solid, c'mon.
  • A lotta Theories getting thrown around right now. And Dan Ryckert says this is his favorite game of all time? But it's so full of science and learning.
  • Oh heck, we're getting nuked. Campbell's a good guy though, he's giving us room to get out. But now Secretary of Defense Jim Houseman's in the house, man, and it seems we're in big trouble.
  • Liquid set a bomb to go off when Meryl's heartbeat stops? That's some kinky shit, Liquid.
  • I guess we're having a bare-chested fistfight on top of the death robot. "What's wrong, Snake?!" Well, these hand-to-hand controls for one. The fact we're both called Snake and it's confusing is another.
  • No seriously, why are they half naked in an Alaskan base? Was all the chauvinistic talk about Meryl's ass a smokescreen for something else?
  • Well, after a rather annoying fistfight on top of the Metal Gear REX, Liquid tumbles off into oblivion. Good riddance. No more vaguely effeminate blond guys in this series, I'm sure. (Again, deliberate joke.)
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  • Otacon's staying behind to see to our escape. Of all the otakus I ever met, he was the most... human.
  • We gotta go, but we need clothes... ah, there's Snake's Sneaking Suit! He... that's what he called it.
  • Oh, but we've got one more sequence left to suffer. And it's a turret sequence? Well, about time, what warmblooded third-person shooter doesn't have one of these?
  • I suspect this "drive out of a long tunnel before everything explodes" scenario is where Halo got it from?
  • Oh for Super Baby Method's sake, that blond asshole is back. I have no health left! Give me mercy, game!
  • Wow this is awful. This is worse than the fistfight. It's worse than climbing that communications tower, even. There's just no easy way to aim in this game. You just have to hope that your gun and the thing you want to shoot are on the same vector.
  • Oh, wait, I take it back. This thing has a first-person view, kinda (I have to hold down both first-person view and shoot). Not perfect, but it was enough to get me out of there.
  • "Liquid's dead." Yeah, I didn't buy it either. It looks like it's- Oh good, FoxDie finally kicked in. Thanks, fatal genetically engineered virus! You were the true hero after all.
  • If Liquid's not dead, he's going to get hell of chilblains lying in the show without a shirt like that.
  • Phew, the bombers were called off and the Houseman has left the house. Man. Campbell also saved the day! I didn't do shit but die a lot!
  • "Your brother told me to tell you to forget about him and live your own life, Naomi." "Frankie said that?" "Yes. He also said... to relax."
  • Naomi's being super vague about how long I've got left with this killer virus. Probably for the best. I wouldn't want to be the one to say, "Thanks for saving the world! Please enjoy the next seventeen minutes to the fullest."
  • Now we're getting a long lecture about genes. And then the screen faded to black... and then came back and the gene talk kept going. Funny. This game does have a subtle sense of humor, along with its absurd pathos and homoeroticism.
  • Meryl? Honey? Maybe you don't want to let Snake drive the snowmobile. He could literally drop at any moment.
  • "My name's David! David Hayter!" "Hey Dave. Was that in the script?"
  • And so they ride off into the sunset, towards the caribou, planning to enjoy life for as long as Kojima will let them. Which won't be very long.
  • But before we cut to credits, some preachy statistics about the slow pace of global nuclear disarmament. Fine, I'll decommission a few thousand missiles tomorrow, I swear.
  • Nature documentary stock footage with folksongs playing over the credits is really doing it for me. What a dumb, dumb game.
  • Wait, there's a Solidus Snake? AND HE'S THE PRESIDE- Yeah, I knew this already too. Man, that would've made for a hell of a cliffhanger back in the day, I imagine.
  • My code name, for the record, was "Iguana". 15 hour playtime too, but it didn't feel that long. I have absolutely no desire to play this game again for a better score.

I Watched the Stupidity of Metal Gear Solid Through the Scope of My Rifle

So there you have it. The day is saved, Snake is probably going to die in a few hours (or three games from now. What am I, an MGS expert?) and Revolver Ocelot apparently knows the president. Who is also a clone of Big Boss. Certainly left the door wide open for a sequel, and I hear there was several.

Heating the PAL cardkey. The Dumbest Thing (TM)?
Heating the PAL cardkey. The Dumbest Thing (TM)?

It's hard to judge Metal Gear Solid on its merits this far removed from its original release when game design has evolved so much, and when some of those strides can be credited to this very game. It's clear it was a big deal when it first showed up and, like Resident Evil, was popular enough to codify a very specific genre that many games would go on to emulate to varying degrees of success. There was certainly a lot about it I liked, but for every cool or interesting sequence, there was an interminable CODEC conversation or a really effin' frustrating set-piece that instantly drained my enthusiasm to keep going. With games packed with innovation, there's always that other side to the coin that is the general lack of consistent functionality. Some parts work a whole lot better than others, depending on how effectively each wholly new and untested gameplay idea was implemented. There's enough cases of that in MGS to make it tough to get through at times. It's also what makes it so endearing. Well, that and the daft script.

I might try Metal Gear Solid 2 at some point. I'll admit, I actually tried playing it years ago, but decided that because I had no idea what was going on that perhaps playing the original first would be the smarter decision. No promises, though: as I stated, I don't particularly care for stealth games, and MGS isn't really one for conveying what you need to know about guard movements and such without the radar, which was down most of the time. From I recall of MGS2, it had a similar overhead view that didn't give a whole lot away. I've also heard that the second game has all sorts of other problems too.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me through another annotated playthrough of a game I ought to have beaten years ago. I'm going to have to make this a thing from now on, though perhaps only with well-loved older games known for being strange and unpredictable. I'm sure I have a few games like that left in my library... wait, what even was the next game I was intending to play...?

Yakuza 3, huh? Hmm.

The Dragon of Dojima hungers for more anime stupidity!
The Dragon of Dojima hungers for more anime stupidity!