Let’s Play #18: Metal Gear Solid

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Snake while he’s hiding from enemies looking for him.

 

Here it is! Hideo Kojima’s masterpiece. Metal Gear Solid. You’ve probably at least heard of this title at least once. Or the series Metal Gear. Metal Gear has a lot of games, the first one came out for the NES while the most recent one was for PS4 and other consoles.

Metal Gear Solid was the 3rd in the timeline, and it came out for the Playstation 1. It was also the first Metal Gear to come out in 3D and it didn’t disappoint like other games coughZelda Ocarina Of Timecough did when they introduced the third dimension.

One thing that must be said out Metal Gear Solid when first approaching to the game is this: the game is 30% gameplay, 70% cutscenes. Be ready for lots and lots of cutscenes when you play Metal Gear Solid. Luckly for us, they can all be skipped with simple presses of the X button (whew). There are so many cutscenes, that the first episode of my Let’s Play is purely made of of them, plus about 75% of the second one. I only start talking after 15 minutes on the second episode.

But what is Metal Gear Solid all about? The genre of the game is stealth. In a stealth game you are required to infiltrate buildings without getting noticed, collecting info, getting access to deeper areas by acquiring clearance and so on. Killing isn’t a priority in Metal Gear Solid. If you really have to kill, do it in silence if you can, and if you can’t then be ready to find a good hiding place.

The plot, for once, isn’t that simple. A group of terrorists has taken over the islands of Shadow Moses. In there, they threaten the White House by saying they build a Metal Gear: a walking tank able to launch a nuke from any point of the planet without being noticed. The terrorists want a billion dollars and something mysterious that the White House has. With the terrorists are the some soldiers of the special operation unit FOX-HOUND: A project for a special combat unit that was closed years ago. The members of the FOX-HOUND involved are: Revolver Ocelot (master of the Colt Six Shooter), Psyco Mantis (able to read minds and use psycokinesis) Sniper Wolf (specialized in sniping, able to talk with wolves) Vulcan Raven (specialized in heavy weaponry and tanks) and Decoy Octopus (master of disguise).

The government isn’t going to give in to the demands of the terrorists, so they call the retired soldier Solid Snake who was the master of stealth when he was in the FOX-HOUND. He’s briefed of the situation from the his old friend, Colonel Campbell, then he’s sent alone on the island of Shadow Moses. He has two main objectives: first, he must find two hostages who have been kept there and free them, second he must find out if the terrorists have really built a fully operational Metal Gear or not. And if they have, stop the launch of the nuke or destroy Metal Gear.

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The fight agains Raven requires some heavy weapons like the Nikita Missiles or the Stinger.

 

The game requires you to complete these objectives by using stealth, not by blasting off everything in sight. You start with nothing and you must work your way through the game by using the weapons you find around. You will be able to find tons of weapons such as: a SOCOM, a FAMAS, a NIKITA a Stinger Missile Launcher and some types of grenades. You’ll also be able to find lots of useful items. The Thermal Goggles for example, the Mine Detector, the Keycards and ultimately the famous Cardboard Boxes which Snake can use to hide himself from enemies (wolves won’t be so easy fooled, even though there is a way to fool them anyway).

The game also requires you to fight of course, and holy crap the boss fights in this game are intense. I’m not saying they’re hard (each of them has at least one trick that makes them way easier) but they’re really well made. Revolver Ocelot challenges you first with a easy duel in a small room. Then comes a tank in a minefield (this battle is also famous for a nice trick you can perform) then the jerk ninja who can block bullets with a sword, then Psycho Mantis, which is my favorite boss fight (I’ll go and explain why in a second), then Sniper Wolf, an Helicopter, Vulcan Raven and the Metal Gear itself. Every boss fight is unique and needs to be fought in a specific way. The reward for killing the boss is an increase of the ammo you can carry and an extention of Snake’s life bar.

But Psyco Mantis’ boss fight needs to have his own space. Why? Because it’s so weird. When you first meet Mantis he reveals his powers to you, claiming to be able to read your own mind. Then he tells something about you, if you played recklessly or if you haven’t saved a lot or many other things. Then, he says he will “read more deeply into your soul” and will tell you that you like playing a certain game. What he does, is reading the Memory Card and tell you a random Konami game (if there are any; “Castelvania: Symphony of the Night” is one of them). By the time Metal Gear Solid came out, that felt really great. In some versions he also told you to put your controller on the ground and he would make it move (he actually did that by using the vibration control of the DualShock controller).

But wait, there’s more! As the battle begins, the first thing Mantis does is saying “Blackout!”. Then a long “beep” plays, the audio suddenly stops and the screen becomes black; showing only the green word “HIDE0” on the upper-left corner of the screen. If you didn’t know all of that was intended, you kind of got scared thinking the television was experiencing problems. After a while in that state, the game returned to its normal state and Mantis would “blackout” the game randomly during the fight. But that wasn’t yet the most weird thing that happened. If you tried to hit Mantis in any way, he would dodge all of your attacks. He can read your mind so of course he knows your every move. How the heck are you supposed to win then?

Well luckily for you, Colonel Campbell will tell you the solution of this puzzle if you call him a thousand times, but basically what you had to do was almost impossible to figure out on your own. Once you did it though, the battle was really easy, you just needed to dodge Mantis’ bullet hell of furniture and shoot him back.

But yeah, the game overall is really addictive, the story is full of plot twists that will keep you wondering if things will ever go better (or worse). It’s definitely a game worth playing at least once. It’s not just because of the story it self, but there are a lot of messages in the game about life, friendship, and many other things.

Let’s Play’s stats:

-First episode aired on: Apr 12, 2015
-Last episode aired on: Mar 28
-Number of episodes: 23
-Total time of Let’s Play: 7 housr and 43 minutes