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This is the original (be it emulated) version of Metal Gear for the MSX computer, from 1987 by Konami. The game was first released in Japanese and followed by an English version. A lot of storytelling was killed during the translation though. The version I am playing is a supposedly more accurate translation of the Japanese version. It's the first time I played that translation, so I am just as curious.
Here we see our hero Solid Snake covertly entering the enemy base to rescue co-agent Grey Fox and destroy the secret superweapon Metal Gear.
Solid Snake made it up to the second floor using an elevator, but there is an unexpected surprise... "A surveillance camera?!!"
So what's up with Snake's buddy Grey Fox? Apparently he is not such a talent because he has already been captured by the enemy. Or so does some stranger in cuffs want us to believe.
Snake tries to give resistance member Diana a call (120.33). This is the kind of stuff that was left out in the original English translation.
What's the best way for a fan to get in touch with the legendary Grey Fox? Well, you just do what he did: get your ass captured...
After chatting up with old friend Grey Fox, Snake heads out to find an exit to this basement. Too bad it runs through a madman called Shoot Gunner. I am sure those silly Japanese meant Gun Shooter, but fine; Solid Snake recaptures his inventory and finishes the guy off.
It's really too bad that a character like Grey Fox doesn't get more screentime in this first Metal Gear game. This is all we get to see from mister Deep Throat.
Ultrabox is a special unit for close combat situations. In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid, Snake has an encounter with these hostile fellows. In the first of the saga, Metal Gear, Snake meets them on floor #2 of building #1, although they never get mentioned.
After beating them, he gets rewarded with the silencer and access to the room with the grenade launcher.
Snake has to get to Dr. Petrovich who is confined in a prison cell in building #1's courtyard. But how to get there? In finding out, Snake bumps into another looney gun for hire: Machine Gun Kid. Not much of a challenge, though.
In the sequel to this game, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, you can also detect IR rays by using your cigarettes. In this game, however, the smokes don't really have a purpose.
Okay. The only way to get to the courtyard is by jumping from the roof with a parachute. Kind of an odd alternative to stairs, but there it is. To get to the perfect jump spot, Snake first needs to do battle with a Hind D helicopter. "What's a Russian gunship doing here?", I kept asking myself...
Russian choppers from the eighties have a fundamental flaw; they have this blind spot just next to the cockpit. Lucky Snake knows this.
In the courtyard. Is it all for nothing?
The road connecting building #1 and #2 is blocked by a fearsome tank. This detail was re-used by Kojima in Metal Gear Solid, though Snake has to use a different way of beating it.
An emergency call to Diane...
A bulldozer is blocking Snake's path. You just have to act real quick with a few well-placed grenades.
Pass by the IR beams by using the IR Goggles. Then take the elevator up to the roof.
We need to get to the basement, but there is no elevator taking us there; the one Snake entered on floor 1 of building #2 only moves up. All the way up to the roof, battle a few annoyed guards in search for an elevator that goes down.
Compared to building #1, building #2 is a maze. There are plenty of places to go where you will hit a dead end because you are missing an important keycard. So, listen to what the hostages you rescue have to say. They give clues on where to go and what to do.
The basement of building #2 is filled with gas. A stranger (Schneidder, 120.26) just calls up like that and warns you. How nice of him. Here we find Dr. Petrovich, as the hostage on the roof revealed to Snake. But is it really him?
Finding Dr. Petrovich takes up almost the entire game. Tricked one way or the other, Snake will eventually succeed and hear from him some crucial info on Metal Gear. The entire Metal Gear and MGS saga contains missions in which you have to find and rescue people.
Before heading from the basement to floor 2 (were Petrovich is being held - if that isn't just another trap), it is a good idea to make a stop at floor 1 and collect some goodies. Namely, the flashlight. Snake will be needing this soon.
Equipped with keycard #6, Snake heads back up to floor #2 to rescue Dr. Petrovich. Unfortunately, this guy doesn't want to get rescued. He wants his daughter Elen to be rescued first and then get rescued himself. How an ungrateful bastard.
Snake also meets the Arnolds again on floor #2. These are two robotic prototypes that were developed by Petrovich as well, and serve as base security. All they do is run towards you to bump you in the face, though. Arnold... Robot... Movies... It's obvious what Kojima had in mind when he came up with these boss characters.
To defeat the Arnolds and acquire keycard #7, Snake has to get a rocket launcher. Since so many people seem to have a problem finding it, here it is:
- Get to this room in the east of floor 2, building #2.
- Get into the top left door. Here a prisoner will tell you to contact Jennifer.
- Contact Jennifer on 120.48. She will only answer if you have a four star rank.
- Then use card 6 to enter the top right door. You find card 6 in the basement of building #2, in the room next to the Petrovich trap.
Picking up a few items on floor 2 before embarking on a mission to rescue Ellen, Petrovich daughter.
The quickest way to reach Elen (or Ellen, not sure if there was a typo in the translation) is through an underground passage that connects building #1 and #2. This passage is dark and filled with traps.
The doctor will be pleased.
So, you save the guys daughter, then him and he won't even say thanks? Boom, headshot. I expected a rift in the spacetime continuum (Dr. Petrovich is to appear in the sequel to this game), but I only lost rank..
Before he bites the dust, Petrovich tells Snake how to destroy Metal Gear and how to get to the 100th underground basement.
On to building #3 to beat Metal Gear.
In order to reach Metal Gear, Snake needs keycard #8. Coward Duck is in possession of this card and he is holding up in a room above ground in building #3. Snake needs to swim a long way under water, using the oxygen tanks, to get there.
The goal in this battle is to beat Coward without hurting the hostages around him. I haven't been able to do so yet, unfortunately. They're so damn close.
Coward Duck could be a parody of Howard The Duck, a film character from the eighties. Not unlikely, given Kojima's interest for Hollywood movies. The "Coward" part is due to this boss' tendency to hide behind hostages.
Also, Kyle "Gassy Area" Schneider figures out who is really in control of Outer Heaven, but before he can relay this intel he runs out of batteries... Or gets assasinated... It is not quite clear what happens.
Oh noes!! It's Metal Gear!! Standing there, looking fearsome, doing nothing... Yeah, but it is not like you weren't warned throughout the game: your mission is to destroy Metal Gear _before_ it becomes operational. No sudden plot swings here: the nuclear equipped walking battle tank is flanked by two laser camera's that merely bug you in your pursuit of dropping explosives at it's mechanical feet in a certain order.
R, R, L, R, L, L, R, L, L, R, R, L, R, L, R, R
After the destruction of Metal Gear the base's computer system goes bananas and starts a countdown to self-destruction. Only one more confrontation awaits Snake: that with his company commander, the treacherous Big Boss.
Funny radio call from Diane, in the middle of this fight. She doesn't know how to beat Big Boss. So, what is this easily impressed girl calling for then? To tell Snake her feelings? They hardly know each other! She and Mei Ling must be good friends.
"No, it's nothing". Steve probably just came walking in."
After beating Big Boss and escaping Outer Heaven, the end credits appear.
Tomonori Ostuka, Kojo Toyohara
Masami Tabata, Azusa Fujimoto
Main Sound Effects:
Sub Sound Effects (whatever that means):
Shigehiro Takenouchi, Motoaki Furukawa
Takamichi Suzukawa, Jon Taylor, Nekura Hoka