MY HISTORY OF METAL GEAR PART 2: Part 2 of my blog series will focus on the first games of the series and what happened between MGS1 and MGS2. After MGS became my favorite game I just had to experience more. Metal Gear 1 and 2 were released on the MSX, something no one in America had so the only way to play those games were through emulators and so that is what I did.

First I played NES version of Metal Gear to completion, still a good game but rough. Some things didn't make any sense like a supercomputer being at the end rather than metal gear. I finally got around to an MSX emulator and tried out the true Metal Gear, right off the bat it is an improvement taking you right into outer heaven. Like many games of that era it was unforgiving, dying happens a lot and checkpoints are relegated to elevator rooms. Objectives were rather obtuse at times as the base is like a maze with loads of locked doors that needed a specific key card to open them. The key card system was very cumbersome and didn't get fixed until MGS. There were some parts where a guide was absolutely necessary due to some odd old school design where they don't tell the player how to do certain things.

Despite the frustrations Metal Gear was still a fun game to play. At release it was groundbreaking, the sneaking around alone was something very few games had attempted. Many of the Kojima staples originated with the first game like codec calls, Nikita missiles being needed to turn off electric flooring, gas masks, using c4 to blow through wall, battling a hind D and tank. It was a clever game with some interesting uses of the game items. It had boss battles that were very simplistic but had a bit of variety to it. The story was very basic all told through codec text and still it managed to have some twists and turns with Big Boss turning out to be the big bad guy. I enjoyed the fast paced top down 2D nature of the game and jumped right into Metal Gear 2 afterwards.

What a difference! Metal Gear 2 was on the MSX2, which was like the SNES to the NES, and the new graphics capabilities allowed for stronger gameplay and storytelling. The intro screen now starts like a movie with opening credits and cutscenes. Faces appear on the codec and they strangely look like famous American movie heroes. The game world was much larger and stealth more complex. Now sound is a gameplay mechanic allowing enemies to hear snake when he steps on noise making surfaces. The crawl was introduced and thus Snakes penchant for going through air ducts began. Boss battles were more complex, the gameplay scenarios far more exciting and the story was a major part of it all. It also introduced the radar that became a series staple.


What surprised me the most about MG2 was how MGS1 was basically a new version of MG2. They both hit many of the same beats and have the same situations. The elevator with the cloaked soldiers that was in MG2 first. A fist fight with Grey Fox, happened in MG2 first. Battling a hind d with stinger missiles, finding a female ally who is in enemy gear, battling a ninja, all in Metal Gear 2. It's a fantastic game, how could it not be, it's basically MGS1. The story was really fun as well with lost of betrayals and the final battle with Big Boss who somehow survived Metal Gear 1. It also broke the fourth wall with players needed to learn morse code through the games instruction manual during a certain section. It was a bold game, still held back by a few old school design decisions.

In 2000 before MGS2 hit a new metal gear game was released for the Game Boy Color called Ghost Babel. This game was not developed by Kojima and doesn't fit into the storyline but it is without a doubt the best 2D Metal Gear game and perhaps the best Game Boy game ever made. Ghost Babel is a masterpiece. It has pretty much the same gameplay as MGS1, Snake moves far more responsive than in any of the MSX games. It is a massive game, puts MGS1 to shame in terms of gameplay content. The stealth sections are among the best in the series, it has great boss battles and an exciting story.

Once you finish the game you can try out hundreds of VR missions that take sections of the game and turn them into score based challenges. You can also play special versions of every level in the game which gives you totally new objectives to perform and has new story details. This opens up tons of replay value, one could spend 30 hours or so on it. It is an under appreciated gem of game, I could not believe they were able to put such a massive metal gear experience into the game boy color. I took this game on so many trips, it's a game I replay using the GC game boy adapter to this day.

MGS VR missions was released around this time as well but I never got around to it. Not sure why, I guess spending full price on some extra missions didn't entice me. I did buy it much later on and didn't play it much. Substance did what VR missions did far better. The past of Metal Gear is worth playing just to see the roots of where this mega franchise comes from. It is amazing the amount of cool ideas Kojima was able to put into such limiting systems. Now as the hardware advanced so did the ambitions of each game, next up is MGS2 which I feel was the absolute height of Metal Gear insanity.

Posted by Dvader Sun, 23 Aug 2015 01:14:16 (comments: 7)
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 01:28:06

I'm disappointed in myself that I never gave MG2 a proper chance.  I never really got far into it.  I need to change that.

Sun, 23 Aug 2015 11:48:18
travo said:

I'm disappointed in myself that I never gave vagina a proper chance.  I never really got far into it.  I need to change that.

Its funny sometimes how just changing one word can alter everything.

Sat, 23 Jan 2016 15:56:44
Metal Gear Solid really is more or less a Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake remake. Call me crazy but I feel that Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is better than Metal Gear Solid. The only thing I liked better about Solid were the boss battles and especially the boss names as MG2 boss names sounded as if they came out of a Toddler's mouth. What kind of a name for a boss is "Running Man"?
Sat, 23 Jan 2016 16:00:58

Huh i never finished this, damn me getting the game early. Oh well.

Thu, 25 Feb 2016 12:47:11

This blog was an epic fail Vader.

Thu, 25 Feb 2016 12:50:29
It's not a failure.  It's a work in progress.  Like the 100 NES game experiment that I still haven't finished.
Wed, 02 Mar 2016 14:32:58
edgecrusher said:

This blog was an epic fail Vader.

I got MGV early! It messed everything up

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