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Metal Gear becomes solid with Metal Gear Solid!

 

Eight years after the release of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake in Japan, Hideo Kojima released a sequel, "Metal Gear Solid", although most people were unaware of its predecessors at the time and just appreciated it as a new game in itself.

First released in Japan in 1998, it was made for Sony's PlayStation and, due to the PlayStation's more advanced graphics, meant that a Metal Gear game was able to be set in a 3D environ-ment for the first time (hence the "Solid").

The game was an phenomenal success and sold millions worldwide, gaining fans all the time.

Plotline

After the Zanzibar Riot in 1999, Solid Snake officially retired from FOX-HOUND and withdrew to the the wilderness of Alaska, but, in 2005, old buddy Colonel Campbell desperately needs him for a new mission, and one that's not too far from home for Snake.

Six terrorists within FOX-HOUND calling themselves the "Sons of Big Boss" are demanding Big Boss' remains from the Whitehouse within a time limit of 24 hours. They say that if they don't get what they want, they will launch a nuclear warhead. The reason they want Big Boss' remains so much is that his DNA is needed to build a massive, extra-powerful army which would revolutionize how wars are fought. The government cannot afford to let them have the remains, but naturally do not want a nuclear war either, so Snake is hauled out of retirement to put a stop to the threat.

Reluctantly Snake accepts the mission but is horrified upon discovering who is in charge of the terrorist movement: a man named Liquid Snake, who not only shares his codename but who is practically identical.

Snake has two mission objectives: to rescue two hostages who have been captured by the terrorists, and then to put a stop to their nuclear threat. What Snake does not yet realise is that the nuclear weapon is none other than Metal Gear once again - a new prototype called REX.

Snake locates the hostages one at a time and learns what he can about the terrorists from them, but before he can rescue either of them, they are dead at his feet from an apparent heart attack. Snake meets up with and allies with Campbell's niece, Meryl, and Metal Gear REX designer, Dr Hal Emmerich, more affectionately known as Otacon. Along the way he encounters many enemy troopers and moreover, all the terrorist members of FOX-HOUND. He fights some tough battles but most terrorists die at Snake's hands.

After eventually destroying Metal Gear REX, in a final showdown with the FOX-HOUND leader and his namesake, Liquid Snake, Solid Snake finally learns from Liquid that their similarity in appearance is no coincidence; both of them are clones of Big Boss. Liquid's deep hatred for Solid Snake lies in the fact that he killed their father in Zanzibar Land six years previously.

Liquid is a tough enemy to beat since everytime he seems to be defeated, he comes back more aggressive than before. Finally, as Snake escapes the enemy base, Liquid Snake is defeated once again... but, as sequels to MGS show, is not actually completely dead!

View a trailer of the PlayStation classic

Do you remember getting excited by the thought of a new Metal Gear game, or did you become a fan after its release?

Re-releases

Metal Gear Solid was adored by gamers everywhere but being only on the PlayStation meant it had a limited audience. So in 2000 the game released for the PC as well, which included the add-on game, Special Missions. The PC version had enhanced graphics, but otherwise was pretty much identical to the PlayStation version. In 2004 MGS was released again, under the subtitle of The Twin Snakes, exclusively for the Gamecube. This had better graphics still and enhanced gameplay since Snake could do things in The Twin Snakes which he had been unable to do when the game was released the first time round (e.g. hang from railings). Although it was significantly adapted, the plotline remained identical, and as a result the game only attracted a limited interest.

Shown below are three screenshots from the PlayStation, PC and Gamecube versions respectively. See if you can see the improvement!