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For all you need to know about the Metal Gear series!

The game that started it all: Metal Gear!

 

Metal Gear was released for the MSX2 in Japan in 1987. A short while later it was released elsewhere on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It introduced the gaming world (which was a lot smaller then!) to a character named Solid Snake - not a name that would be easily forgotten!

After spending many years as a forgotten game, only to be found in collectors' fairs and boxes of old games in the attic, Konami enabled PS2 gamers to play this old classic when it was included on the Persistence disc of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence.

The following are screenshots from the MSX2 version and NES version respectively:

 

Storyline

The following summary is adapted from the "Previous Operations" option in the "Special" menu of MGS1:

The year was 1995. Deep in South Africa, 200km north of Galzburg was Outer Heaven - an armed fortress nation established by the legendary mercenary. He was feared by both his friends and foes as a hero and lunatic.
 
The "Western" nations found out that a weapon of mass destruction capable of rewriting war history was under development at Outer Heaven. They called upon the high-tech special force unit FOX-HOUND to take care of the situation. In response to this order, Big Boss, commander-in-chief of FOX-HOUND, sent Gray Fox, the man with the codename "Fox", which is given to the best member of the unit "Operation Intrude N313".
 
After a few days, his last message being "Metal Gear...", Gray Fox was declared missing in action. Taking the situation seriously, the top men of the "West" again called for FOX-HOUND. Big Boss selected Solid Snake, who had just recently joined FOX-HOUND, as the agent, and entrusted everything to him.
 
Successfully making a solo infiltration of Outer Heaven, Snake got in touch with local resistance members Schneider, Diane, and Jennifer. With their co-operation, Snake succeeded in rescuing Gray Fox. Gray Fox then laid out the terrifying facts about Metal Gear. Metal Gear was the development name of a nuclear warhead-equipped two-legged walking tank. It could walk through even the roughest terrains that would stop normal tanks. It could conduct local warfare by itself with unique weapons like its Vulcan cannon and anti-tank missiles. It was indeed a new-type of weapon that could conduct a nuclear attack against any place on the face of the earth from any land surface.
 
With Metal Gear, Outer Heaven was trying to establish its military superiority over the entire world. In order to destroy Metal Gear, Snake rescued Metal Gear's chief engineer Dr. Pettrovich and his daughter Elen, who was taken hostage to force her father to continue with his development. Snake learnt from Dr. Pettrovich how to destroy Metal Gear. However, as Snake approached the heart of Outer Heaven and Metal Gear, he discovered well-designed traps set out all around him - almost as if all his actions were being leaked to the enemy.
 
In the midst of the escalating battle, the leader of the resistance, Schneider, fell into the hands of the enemy, and Snake himself was injured through the deadly battles with Outer Heaven's best mercenaries.
 
But Snake's indomitable spirit lead him to the 100th floor basement of the secret base where Metal Gear was developed. Evading the powerful defence system that could wipe out all intruders, Snake ultimately succeeded in destroying Metal Gear.
 
Snake tried to escape from Outer Heaven upon completing his mission. However, during the escape he was confronted by one man - FOX-HOUND commander-in-chief, Big Boss. Big Boss laughed at the astounded Snake and told him of the truth about his mission.
While serving as the commander-in-chief of FOX-HOUND, Big Boss also ran a mercenary dispatch company utilizing his connections and capital from his years as a mercenary.
He had planned to build this company a larger military establishment, and he had Outer Heaven built as its base. His purpose for sending the rookie Snake to Outer Heaven was to cause information confusion against the "West".
 
However, Big Boss miscalculated. He never thought that Snake would make it this far.
Having lost Metal Gear, Big Boss activated the self-destruction system of the underground base. While the countdown to destruction continued, his scream echoed in the emptiness "You have gone too far. Too far!"
 
On the 100th floor basement, the battle between the two men commenced - free of ideology and politics...
 
The armed fortress nation, Outer Heaven, collapsed. The impenetrable fortress made from the best military technology, and occupied by the toughest mercenaries, burned in flames. Behind him, the flames reached skyward, as Outer Heaven fell, leaving Solid Snake all alone...

Playing Metal Gear for the MSX2

See for yourself what the game looks like: 

 

 

Characters

Here are the characters of Metal Gear:

  • Solid Snake: The playable character. We do not learn much about Snake in this game.
  • Big Boss: Snake's main contact by radio. Found on frequency 120.85 to start with, and later 120.13. Not completely reliable.
  • Diane: Another radio contact of limited help. Her frequency is 120.33 or later 120.91.
  • Kyle Schneider: Yet another radio contact. Again not very useful. Frequency is 120.79 and later 120.16.
  • Jennifer: Your final radio contact. More useful as she opens doors and locates weapons for you. You never meet her though. Her frequency is 120.48.
  • Gray Fox: A hostage you must rescue. We are told next to nothing about him in this game and yet he is a significant character in later games.
  • Dr Drago Pettrovich Madnar: A hostage who created Metal Gear and can tell you how to stop it.
  • Ellen Madnar: Dr Madnar's daughter who is being held hostage and must be rescued before her father will explain how to destroy Metal Gear.
  • Shoot Gunner (Shotmaker): The first boss who fires at you repeatedly.
  • Machinegun Kid: The second boss, who uses, amazingly a machine gun!
  • Fire Trooper: Another boss who uses a flamethrower.
  • Dirty Duck: Yet another boss whose weapon is a boomerang.

Weapons and Items

Items to be found are:

  • Cigarettes: You start the game with these and only use them at the very end.
  • Cards: Levels 1-8 open doors showing the corresponding number.
  • Binoculars: Allow you to see one screen beyond where you are when outdoors.
  • Gas Mask: For when surrounded by gas!
  • Cardboard Box: Allows you to sneak past guards and cameras unnoticed. 
  • Rations: To restore your LIFE bar.
  • Suppressor: To quieten the shots from your handgun.
  • Transmitter: Left amongst your items to keep a track on you. Dispose of it.
  • Bomb Blast Suit: Needed to fight strong winds on the roof.
  • Enemy Uniform: Gets you into enemy territory.
  • Infrared Goggles: Allow you to see infrared beams.
  • Parachute: Used from the roof to access the inner courtyard.
  • Mine Detector: Shows up mines!
  • Body Armour: Helps protect from damage.
  • Antenna: Enables communications in jammed spots.
  • Flashlight: Enables you to see in the dark.
  • Antidote: Heals you from scorpion stings.
  • Compass: Aids you in the Scorpion Desert.
  • Oxygen Cylinder: Enables you to swim through deep water.

And here are the weapons you'll be needing (apart from your fists!):

  • Handgun: Mainly used for taking out patrolling soldiers.
  • Mine: Especially useful against the Tank.
  • Plastic Explosive: Blows holes in walls and will enable you to destroy Metal Gear.
  • RC Missile: Needed to destroy the generators of electric floors, and in boss fights.
  • Submachine Gun: Useful in some boss fights.
  • Grenade Launcher: Useful against the Hind D.
  • Rocket Launcher: Used to destroy the Bloody Brads and to fight Big Boss.

Want to hear the music from Metal Gear? Check it out on BBM's SkyDrive by clicking here.

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