Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Road To Metal Gear - Part 1.

Later this year, Sony will deliver a price cut on the PS3. 

C'mon, it has to happen right? They've got to do it before the end of 2009 don't they? I know they still didn't announce any price reduction or the existence of a slim PS3 at this year's E3 but for the love of God, it has to be for the upcoming Christmas season. They can't just keep saying "The PS3 is awesome as it is. Poor people can go fuck themselves." and expect everyone to just swallow it, right? RIGHT?

Pictured: Sony Computer Entertainment.

Anyway, why do I have this misguided hope in the first place? Well, specifically - Metal Gear. Last year, the fourth (main) installment of Hideo Kojima's balls-out insane action-adventure-espionage series was dropped to rave reviews and I still haven't played it. But with Sony's help (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), I'll rectify this glaring oversight by year's end when they REDUCE THE FUCKING PRICE OF THE PS3.

Ahem. So, in preparation for this inevitable eventuality, I plan to reacquaint myself with the Metal Gear series before devouring Metal Gear Solid 4 whole. And you, the internet, will have the sparkling honour of taking this journey with me. That's right - I'll be detailing my experience from start to finish, step-by-step, right here on Preparations For Birth. Basically what the internet was invented for.

Although, to start right from the beginning, I would have to track down the original two games on the MSX home computer. But since these two titles, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, would take months to track down (or five minutes on a MSX emulator) - I won't bother. You can catch up on what happens in those games in about ten seconds anyway. Thusly:

- A terrorist named Big Boss who hates the government creates his own nation called Outer Heaven.

- Dude named Solid Snake is sent to kill Big Boss.

- Dude named Solid Snake kills terrorist Big Boss.

- Along the way, there's a good/evil guy named Gray Fox and a walking battle tank called Metal Gear.

 - And the games looked like this:

All bad guys wore red berets back in the MSX days.

Here's the box art for the first game. Yes, that's Kyle Reese. Don't ask.

So let's get this party started proper...


Metal Gear Solid is one of the few PS1 action-adventure games to hold up quite well to scrutiny in 2009. Sure, the textures look terrible and the people can't actually open their mouths when they talk (a strange head-nodding animation is used instead) but it's the insane story and characters that make this game's impact last. 

Brought out of retirement one last time, uber-soldier Solid Snake is forced to leave his quiet life of dog-racing and getting drunk behind when the current commander of his former military unit - FOXHOUND, convinces him to undertake a mission. Roy Campbell runs shit in FOXHOUND now but every member of the unit has gone loco insane and turned a disused weapons storage facility in Alaska into a fortress. They demand they if the remains of Big Boss, their former leader, are not given to them - then they'll fire off some nuclear warheads and RAIN DOWN SOME GLOBAL DESTRUCTION WITH THEM SHITS. They're led by this dude here: 

His name is Liquid Snake. That's probably one of the least ridiculous names in this game.

After all that complicated back-story, its time to start sneaking around.

I infiltrate the facility via the water. Swimming up into a cargo warehouse, I do my best to avoid the three guards and reach the elevator at the rear of the room. While it's rising to the surface, I dump my unnecessary gear and bust out a pose that would make any terrorist wet themselves and cry.

And the game's title appears above my head when I do it. Go on, just give up now you terrorist fucks.

It's snowing like a motherfucker when I end up on the surface and what appears to be a Russian Hind D helicopter gunship takes off over my head. There's a few more guards at the front of the facility so I'm careful to creep around behind some boxes and conceal my awesome existence. 

That's me crouching on the right. That's a stupid guard on the left in his stupid white uniform. I hate that stupid guard.

I see in the distance a ventilation shaft which would be perfect to gain entry to the first building so I head to the staircase and - shit. Didn't see the surveillance camera. But it saw me alright. An alarm goes off loud enough to wake the most lethargic of guards and soon enough, I'm fighting one of them off with my bare hands. But since I'm a trained badass, I make short work of him and he's out cold in a second. I'm quick to escape up the stairs and dive into the vent. Once inside, I make my way downstairs to see a large room occupied by two parked tanks.

During all this malarkey, I've been in constant contact with Roy Campbell with my CODEC radio system implanted in my ear. He's telling me that the first thing I have to do is locate a guy named Donald Anderson, the chief of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) who is being held prisoner somewhere in the facility. Apparently he will have some insight as to how to stop the terrorists' nuclear death-party.  Also talking to me on the CODEC is Dr Naomi Hunter (medical), Mei Ling (the chick who I use to save my game) and some dude named Master Miller (a former mentor who knows about 'flora and fauna'). I plan to talk to these people as little as possible.

Climbing out from underneath a tank, (I hid under there to keep out of sight) I quickly take an elevator down to the Basement 1 level, the location where Campbell thinks Anderson is being held. Let's see if the old man is right...

That's the elevator in the back of the room. Behind another stupid guard. The kind I hate.

DISCLAIMER: I'll try my best to stick with this as far as I can. I figure by the time I've run through Metal Gear Solid 1, 2 and 3 - it will be time to pick up a cheap PS3 along with a copy of Metal Gear Solid 4. If not, I'll probably put a gun in my mouth.


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