The Metal Gear Series is 30 Years Old Today

The Metal Gear Series is 30 Years Old Today

metal-gear-msx2-320

The Metal Gear series is celebrating its 30th birthday today, and fans from all over the world are offering up congratulations.

Today marks 30 years since Metal Gear launched on the MSX 2 computer. Created by Hideo Kojima, the game later made it to the Famicom and the NES, although Kojima was not involved in the reworked version that launched on the NES.

Since then there have multiple sequels across myriad consoles, culminating in 2015's Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Although Kojima has left Konami, the company is planning a spinoff game titled Metal Gear Survive for release next year.

Fans of the series are commemorating the anniversary on Twitter under the hashtag #MG30th. Here's the official tweet:

Got a favorite Metal Gear moment? Head over to the forums and tell us all about it!

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But next year will be Metal Gear Solid 1's 20th anniversay, the game that really put Metal Gear on the map and established fully its look and tone.

Great! My favorite game franchise! :D

To celebrate, Konami is releasing a special 30th anniversary Metal Gear Pachinko machine.

To bad the series is dead and nothing more then a zombie shell with a parasite horn. Fuck you Konami

Metal Gear?!

Samtemdo8:
But next year will be Metal Gear Solid 1's 20th anniversay, the game that really put Metal Gear on the map and established fully its look and tone.

True, dat.

Actually, it does make me think that we really need remakes of the original Metal Gear games (as in the 2D ones) and/or maybe have a new sub-title. As in, up until now, under Kojima, it's been "Solid," and Platinum did their thing with "Rising." On the other hand, plot-wise, I think it would be better for the series to be left as is. You can either go so far back in time that there's no Metal Gears whatsoever (e.g. WWII), or keep pushing forward like Rising did and make Guns of the Patriots feel redundant.

Hawki:
Metal Gear?!

...It can't be!

Hawki:
You can either go so far back in time that there's no Metal Gears whatsoever (e.g. WWII)

Playing as The Boss (and the Cobra Unit) in WWII could actually be cool.

Major_Tom:

Hawki:
Metal Gear?!

...It can't be!

You knew? Metal Gear is one of the most secret black projects. How did you know that?

Major_Tom:

Playing as The Boss (and the Cobra Unit) in WWII could actually be cool.

It certainly would be cool, but it could generate an issue with brand recognition. Every Metal Gear game (as far as I'm aware) has featured an actual Metal Gear (or in the case of Snake Eater, a clear predecessor). In-universe, there shouldn't be any kind of Metal Gear or Metal Gear-esque device in WWII.

That said, I could see a way to tie in such a game thematically. We already know that the Cobras took out V2s, so there's at least an arguable predecessor to long-range ballistic weaponry there, even if it's very much not a Metal Gear (which has the advantage of being a mobile launch platform). And I guess if, say, the main story took place in Europe, and then the epilogue featured the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, then even if there's no actual Metal Gear, we do get to see the genesis of terror weapons and the possibility of nuclear war. In essence, a thematic, rather than mechanical prequel.

Also it would need another name than "Metal Gear Solid" IMO, since there's no Metal Gears, and no actual "X Snakes" in it either (bar the unit as a whole).

Hawki:

Major_Tom:

Hawki:
Metal Gear?!

...It can't be!

You knew? Metal Gear is one of the most secret black projects. How did you know that?

The game is fucking called Metal Gear Solid! We've had a couple of run-ins in the past.

Hawki:
We already know that the Cobras took out V2s, so there's at least an arguable predecessor to long-range ballistic weaponry there, even if it's very much not a Metal Gear (which has the advantage of being a mobile launch platform). And I guess if, say, the main story took place in Europe, and then the epilogue featured the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, then even if there's no actual Metal Gear, we do get to see the genesis of terror weapons and the possibility of nuclear war. In essence, a thematic, rather than mechanical prequel.

Also it would need another name than "Metal Gear Solid" IMO, since there's no Metal Gears, and no actual "X Snakes" in it either (bar the unit as a whole).

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. It fits perfectly! But you're right, it could use a different name.

Hawki:
Every Metal Gear game (as far as I'm aware) has featured an actual Metal Gear (or in the case of Snake Eater, a clear predecessor).

Wasn't Shagohod actually a rival project? Walking tank was Granin's idea which Ocelot stole and brought to America (or something like that). OK, the "mobile nuke launcher" part is there but it's certainly not walking, despite the name.

A Boss prequel wouldn't fucking piss me off at this point. They wasted so much time on Big Boss's pointless prequels already. MGS3 was the only one with an enjoyable story. A Metal Gear remake would piss me off too. Leave it alone. Move on. MGS5 should have been a sequel, with a new protagonist and new villain.

Major_Tom:
Wasn't Shagohod actually a rival project? Walking tank was Granin's idea which Ocelot stole and brought to America (or something like that). OK, the "mobile nuke launcher" part is there but it's certainly not walking, despite the name.

Yeah, you are right, but I'm calling the Shagohod a predecessor in that it set out to do what Granin's concept for a mobile launch platform was, but did it first. In-universe, the Shagohod isn't a Metal Gear, but does effectively perform the same function, albeit less effectively (in that you'd need a large tract of open land for it to generate a stage 1 launch sequence).

Ezekiel:
A Boss prequel wouldn't fucking piss me off at this point. They wasted so much time on Big Boss's pointless prequels already. MGS3 was the only one with an enjoyable story. A Metal Gear remake would piss me off too. Leave it alone. Move on. MGS5 should have been a sequel, with a new protagonist and new villain.

Move on to...what? What are you meant to do beyond Guns of the Patriots that doesn't undermine its ending anymore than Revengeance did?

Granted, I've only played MGS1-3 and Metal Gear, so my dog isn't that invested in this race, but if the Metal Gear series has to continue (outside zombies), I'd much rather have prequels. I don't see how you can continue on from GotP without either a) undermining it, or b) falling into the trap of "and then this stuff happened."

Hawki:

Major_Tom:
Wasn't Shagohod actually a rival project? Walking tank was Granin's idea which Ocelot stole and brought to America (or something like that). OK, the "mobile nuke launcher" part is there but it's certainly not walking, despite the name.

Yeah, you are right, but I'm calling the Shagohod a predecessor in that it set out to do what Granin's concept for a mobile launch platform was, but did it first. In-universe, the Shagohod isn't a Metal Gear, but does effectively perform the same function, albeit less effectively (in that you'd need a large tract of open land for it to generate a stage 1 launch sequence).

Ezekiel:
A Boss prequel wouldn't fucking piss me off at this point. They wasted so much time on Big Boss's pointless prequels already. MGS3 was the only one with an enjoyable story. A Metal Gear remake would piss me off too. Leave it alone. Move on. MGS5 should have been a sequel, with a new protagonist and new villain.

Move on to...what? What are you meant to do beyond Guns of the Patriots that doesn't undermine its ending anymore than Revengeance did?

Granted, I've only played MGS1-3 and Metal Gear, so my dog isn't that invested in this race, but if the Metal Gear series has to continue (outside zombies), I'd much rather have prequels. I don't see how you can continue on from GotP without either a) undermining it, or b) falling into the trap of "and then this stuff happened."

Creating a new conflict doesn't undermine it at all. I spoke with you about this before. It's silly to think that the world would just be peaceful for all time after MGS4. It's as silly as saying the Empire was defeated because of the second Death Star's destruction. The Patriots controlled everything. By defeating the Patriots, they've created a power vacuum that malicious groups can exploit. There are thousands of PMCs who are no longer being drugged and controlled by the system. Solid Snake would still get his last few days of peace. It wouldn't be about him. Raiden would stay with his family, having left them for too long. The only one who might make a comeback is Otacon.

Metal Gear Rising's story was bad because it was written by an inexperienced writer and it had a bad character (Cyborg Raiden) as the protagonist. It also had Platinum Games' signature trashiness. A stealth-action sequel to MGS4 wouldn't be about Raiden, since he's more of an action character now.

I just don't get why you're all so obsessed with mucking around in the past, with simpler technology/weapons, and retconning the fuck out of MGS.

Ezekiel:
Creating a new conflict doesn't undermine it at all. I spoke with you about this before. It's silly to think that the world would just be peaceful for all time after MGS4. It's as silly as saying the Empire was defeated because of the second Death Star's destruction. The Patriots controlled everything. By defeating the Patriots, they've created a power vacuum that malicious groups can exploit. There are thousands of PMCs who are no longer being drugged and controlled by the system. Solid Snake would still get his last few days of peace. It wouldn't be about him. Raiden would stay with his family, having left them for too long. The only one who might make a comeback is Otacon.

Metal Gear Rising's story was bad because it was written by an inexperienced writer and it had a bad character (Cyborg Raiden) as the protagonist. It also had Platinum Games' signature trashiness. A stealth-action sequel to MGS4 wouldn't be about Raiden, since he's more of an action character now.

I just don't get why you're all so obsessed with mucking around in the past, with simpler technology/weapons, and retconning the fuck out of MGS.

Yes, we did. And you're right, ending the war economy and the Patriots doesn't mean that all war is going to stop. But when your series is based around this plot point, and you finally deal with that plot point, it can feel superfluous to keep going on. By your example, yes, the Empire would have kept going after RotJ, but it's not something that we needed to see. If someone did want it, there was the EU. But the main story was served by knowing when to end. So I ask you, what actual plot points need addressing after Guns of the Patriots? I'll also ask you how many series kept going when they should have stopped, and lessened the overall series as a result? Even The Phantom Pain ends its timeline in 2014, leaving out any mention of Revengeance. There's also the ethical question of whether one should continue the series that, up until now, has been Kojima's 'baby.'

Not that Metal Gear needs prequels either, but if it has to continue, I'd rather it deal with prequels, because I don't see any future story being worth telling. There is a precedent for this after all - The Legend of Zelda and Metroid have both effectively built their mythos around prequels, and been well served by it.

Hawki:

Ezekiel:
Creating a new conflict doesn't undermine it at all. I spoke with you about this before. It's silly to think that the world would just be peaceful for all time after MGS4. It's as silly as saying the Empire was defeated because of the second Death Star's destruction. The Patriots controlled everything. By defeating the Patriots, they've created a power vacuum that malicious groups can exploit. There are thousands of PMCs who are no longer being drugged and controlled by the system. Solid Snake would still get his last few days of peace. It wouldn't be about him. Raiden would stay with his family, having left them for too long. The only one who might make a comeback is Otacon.

Metal Gear Rising's story was bad because it was written by an inexperienced writer and it had a bad character (Cyborg Raiden) as the protagonist. It also had Platinum Games' signature trashiness. A stealth-action sequel to MGS4 wouldn't be about Raiden, since he's more of an action character now.

I just don't get why you're all so obsessed with mucking around in the past, with simpler technology/weapons, and retconning the fuck out of MGS.

Yes, we did. And you're right, ending the war economy and the Patriots doesn't mean that all war is going to stop. But when your series is based around this plot point, and you finally deal with that plot point, it can feel superfluous to keep going on. By your example, yes, the Empire would have kept going after RotJ, but it's not something that we needed to see. If someone did want it, there was the EU. But the main story was served by knowing when to end. So I ask you, what actual plot points need addressing after Guns of the Patriots? I'll also ask you how many series kept going when they should have stopped, and lessened the overall series as a result? Even The Phantom Pain ends its timeline in 2014, leaving out any mention of Revengeance. There's also the ethical question of whether one should continue the series that, up until now, has been Kojima's 'baby.'

Not that Metal Gear needs prequels either, but if it has to continue, I'd rather it deal with prequels, because I don't see any future story being worth telling. There is a precedent for this after all - The Legend of Zelda and Metroid have both effectively built their mythos around prequels, and been well served by it.

No points need addressing. That's why you begin a new story, using the old one as a backdrop. Nothing about the past needed addressing either, and the answers to those irrelevant questions were disappointing.

There's no point in even planning a sequel now. MGS5 should have been that sequel, but it's too late now. Konami thinks MGS is a zombie MP game.

"I'll also ask you how many series kept going when they should have stopped, and lessened the overall series as a result?"

MGS for one. A sequel would been a better use of Koji Pro's remaining time on the series. The prequels tarnished the mythology.

Ezekiel:
The prequels tarnished the mythology.

How?

Hawki:

Ezekiel:
The prequels tarnished the mythology.

How?

By taking the mysticism out of Big Boss's character and bringing back The Boss in the form of a futuristic AI.

It got more far-fetched and stupid as the prequel got better and better tech (like futuristic drones, power suits and cybernetic arms, told us that Otacon's optic stealth camo existed forty years before he designed it), made connections between characters (like Otacon's father working for Big Boss) and invalidated the first Metal Gears by showing that there were several before, just as threatening, starting with the Shagohod and continuing into the '70s and '80s, long before Solid Snake learned about them.

Also...

http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Retcon

Peace Walker:

-McDonell Miller's birth name is revealed to be Kazuhira, born in Japan to a Japanese mother and American father. In his previous backstory, he was born a third generation Japanese-American in the United States, 60 years after his Japanese grandparents immigrated to America.

-Miller was aware of the Les Enfants Terribles project, more specifically the existence of two "sons" of Big Boss. It was previously stated in Metal Gear Solid that the only ones aware that Big Boss was Solid Snake's father during the Zanzibar Land Disturbance, were Snake himself and Roy Campbell.

-The Secret Call tape reveals that the idea behind the Patriots' AI system was first conceived in the 1970s.

-Big Boss is revealed to have been 37 years old when the Les Enfants Terribles project took place, making him two decades younger than previously mentioned by Liquid Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 2.

-The Boss's participation in the Bay of Pigs Invasion was disinformation, as she had actually been in a coma during that time from an accident relating to the Mercury Project.

-The MSX2 user's manual of Metal Gear described Big Boss as being a former member of the Green Berets, SAS and GSG 9. Subsequent games revealed that Big Boss only served in the Green Berets and FOX before becoming a mercenary.

-The ending timeline states that Hal Emmerich was born in 1980. He was previously described as being in his thirties in 2005, according to his official biography for Metal Gear Solid.

MGSV:

-In Metal Gear 2, Gray Fox reveals to Solid Snake that Big Boss had rescued him from a forced labor camp after the Vietnam War. However, this is rendered impossible due to Big Boss being in a coma over a month before the end of the war and not waking up until sometime in early 1984.

-Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin is revealed to have survived Operation Snake Eater and fell into a coma. Earlier sources such as Portable Ops and the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database claimed he had actually been killed, with Metal Gear Solid 3 strongly implying such was the case. He eventually dies for good in Afghanistan after confronting Venom Snake.

-Kazuhira Miller loses his right arm and left leg while in Afghanistan. He was previously depicted with a full set of limbs in official artwork produced for Metal Gear Solid.

-Cipher is revealed to be the original name of the Patriots. Instead, the latter name was given to the AI network overseen by Donald Anderson. (This one makes so little sense. In MGS3, they were referred to as the Philosophers. The end texts revealed that they became the Patriots. There was no "Cypher" in the middle.)

-It is Big Boss's phantom, Venom Snake, who is killed in Outer Heaven by Solid Snake, in the original Metal Gear. While the phantom dies following the encounter, it was previously stated that Big Boss himself had fought Snake and survived the fortress's destruction.

-Ocelot mentioned that Zero founded the Patriots with Volgin's half of the Legacy. In Portable Ops, Ocelot already had the KGB's half of the Legacy when he killed the DCI to take the other half.

-Strangelove is revealed to be Hal Emmerich's mother.

-The war between Big Boss and Zero is given a different context. Specifically, Zero was in a persistent vegetative state by 1984, and he initiated development of an AI system as early as 1977 in order to implement his will. A large part of the conflict between Big Boss and Cipher was because of Skull Face's actions, not Zero's. In Metal Gear Solid 4, it was implied that the Patriots' AIs started development following Big Boss's coups d'?tat in the 1990s, and that Zero's mental state had deteriorated simply due to sickness and old age. In addition, Big Boss told Old Snake that Zero planted the second strain of the FOXDIE virus in him in order to kill the anti-Patriot faction. (It was so weird that MGS4 turned the comic relief character Zero into such a villain. MGSV could have helped justify the character, but he was ignored.)

-In an optional Codec call with Roy Campbell during the Screaming Mantis boss fight in Metal Gear Solid 4, Campbell, when describing the bust strategy, referred to the disfigured appearance of Psycho Mantis as his "birth face."[4] However, this is indicated to be false with The Phantom Pain when Mantis appears as Tretij Rebenok, where he lacks any of the scars on his face, in particular, the scars on his forehead.

To be fair, even MGS4 had a lot of retcons. That's one of the reasons I think it would have been better to do a loosely connected sequel.

The retcon list by itself doesn't say much. By its reckoning, the retcons begin as early as the second game, and in a lot of cases, it uses a very broad definition of "retcon" in my eyes (e.g. saying that Metal Gear 2's date is "retconned" by changing 19XX into 1999). Also, practically every long-running franchise in existence has retcons. Even this specific list has entries that don't strike me as retcons, but simply new information.

Anyway, while my knowledge of the prequels mostly begins and ends with Snake Eater, I don't think it's out of the question for other Metal Gear models to exist before the TX-55. The Shagohod isn't even a proper Metal Gear, and something like REX is even more advanced compared to TX-55 (its railgun), and with RAY, we enter the era of Metal Gears becoming so prolific that an anti-Gear is developed. So, I don't think it's out of the question for even earlier models to exist. I can certainly sympathize with the prequels looking a bit too high tech, but, well, it's Metal Gear. Its take on technology has always been made inacurrate as the actual date rolled around.

 

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