Wherein Dalisclock plunges into the Metal Gear series and madness ensues.(Update: Peace Walker)

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Dalisclock:
Metal Gear Solid 3: Origins

Dear God, if they'd gone with a title as generic as that...

Dalisclock:

If MGS2 had been the final game of the series, as it almost seemed to be hinting at,

It did?

Dalisclock:

As a side note, apparently, it?s been argued that the region Snake Eater takes place in 1964(no, I?m not gonna try to spell it) is the same region that Zanzibar Land would arise in 1999 in MG2. As far as I know, there?s no real evidence to support this but if it were somehow true then it ends a nice set of bookends to Big Bosses story, meaning that he began and ended his career in the same place 35 years apart.

According to the novelization of Guns of the Patriots they are indeed the same location. Apparently the novelization's of dubious canon status though.

Dalisclock:
A multinational team during WW2(and apparently contributed quite a bit to winning the war),

"Contributed?" Doesn't Zero state that they outright won it?

I'll admit that little nugget always bothered me. You can sell me on the achievements of the Cobra Unit by having them simply be a black ops WWII unit that took out V2 rocket sites, you don't need to claim that the outcome of WWII rested on them. Especially since Metal Gear as a whole is generally sympathetic to the plight of the common soldier, that the "badass normal" character (e.g. Snake) is the one who ends up triumphing over those with superhuman abilities.

Dalisclock:
the Pain (who?s COVERED IN BEES!),

Hornets, actually.

Dalisclock:
None of their weird powers are explained either, since they can?t use the Nanomachine excuse.

Apparently they're explained in MGS5, but I won't spoil it for you.

Dalisclock:

The boss fights are generally well done, with some of the most impressive in the series so far. Some aren?t great, such as The Pain who is hard to take seriously and not particularly difficult either while The Fury is just incredibly frustrating. The Fear can be cheesed fairly easily once you know the trick. Volgin and Ocelot are fine bosses but nothing exceptional.

To be honest, I think Snake Eater has perhaps the best boss line-up of all the Metal Gear games I've played. The End is particuarly frustrating, but I have to admit it's a very creative battle, just a long, drawn out, often frustrating one. But I do like that each of them generally require a different set of tactics to beat, and each feel unique.

Dalisclock:

The other is The Boss, who you fight in a field of white flowers under a 10 minute time limit (at the end of which the area is bombed to hell). I think I died to the timer running out far more often then I died to her, trying to figure out how to do enough damage to her quickly enough. Eventually I ended up using flowers to hide myself and snipe her whenever I got a clear shot, but despite that it was the right kind of challenge for a final boss and made it feel worth it. Presumably you?re really supposed to beat her with CQC but I could never really figure out how to counter her effectively.

...huh.

I never ran out of time myself. Early on, I died far too often for that. Ironically though, I did beat her through CQC, as my gunplay wasn't good enough to take her out from range, not to mention that her Patriot can (likely violating the laws of physics) deflect your bullets with its own. Still, I like the boss fight. From a mechanics standpoint, it's tense, and it serves as a test of everything you've learnt in the game thus far, least as far as guns and CQC goes (and arguably stealth). From a narrative sense, it also works well, and the flowers...yeah. Surreal, but it's Metal Gear. This game has a ghost boss for crying out loud.

Dalisclock:

My biggest gripe is that Metal Gear still sucks at escort missions. Notably the one where EVA is injured and needs to be escorted across a few maps with enemies in pursuit. Since she?s injured, she moves slowly and runs low on stamina quickly, despite being very, very capable before that. Not only that, it?s really, really easy to leave her behind accidentally (as I did) and realize she?s still behind harassed by enemies offscreen. Her limitations aren?t terribly apparent considering this is the first time in the whole game you are escorting someone in such a way. It?s quite irritating, since it?s just before the end of the game and just after a really well-done action sequence. OTOH, it?s still less obnoxious then escorting Emma in MGS2. By a lot.

I actually liked the escort section. It's slow and frustrating, but in a good way. Gives a good tense feeling, and highlights that EVA, who's been a badass up to this point, still has her limits. And she is a more compelling character than Emma, so there is that.

Dalisclock:

Even bosses play into this, where defeating bosses by draining their stamina will often lead to you getting something nice from them. One of the final boss ?fights? takes it a step further. The final member of the Cobra Unit, known as The Sorrow, doesn?t actually fight you directly. Instead, the entire area is implied to be part of the afterlife or something similar, walking down a dark, dreary river in the rain. The Sorrow, who was only previously very briefly noticed, tells you to face your sins and in this case, the sins are the people you?ve killed (even the bosses). In one of the nicest pieces of gameplay and story integration done in a video game, every single kill from the point the game started will meet you as you walk up the river, even referencing how they died (including possible cases of 2nd hand cannibalism, weirdly enough) and try to hurt you in turn. If you?ve been playing mostly non-lethal or even completely pacifistic, this encounter can end up being very anti-climactic. OTOH, if you?ve been fairly bloodthirsty so far, Snake will have to face a horde of the dead, giving you a stark reminder of just how many people you killed.

Pretty much this. When I played through it, I was surprised as to how many ghosts attacked me. Not enough to overwhelm me, but as someone who was going for stealth, it struck me that even after that approach, just how many people I'd ended up killing.

Dalisclock:

MGS3 is a weird, amazing combination. A weird sort of Dark Comedy, Tragedy punctuating Camp. It?s an origin story that doesn?t fall into most of the usual traps surrounding origin stories (you already know certain characters are going to live, rendering some of the drama pointless) and a start of darkness that could have been handled far worse (Star Wars Prequels, anyone?) We get a firm foundation to that whole Patriot weirdness, some moving themes and iconic characters. The gameplay is more refined then ever, the pacing hits all the right beats and there?s very little I can say against it. I only hope MSG4 is somewhat decent in comparison to the masterpiece this turned out to be.

So, yeah. Good write-up.

You make a good point with the origin story aspect. While I'm far more charitable to the prequels than what your post would suggest, MGS3 actually stands alone quite well. Someone could play this game (I imagine) without any prior knowledge of the Metal Gear series and still get a complete experience from it, since its story and themes stand alone. I will say that this is indeed my favorite Metal Gear game, and my #9 game of all time (sort of, that's a different matter). MGS1 has more nostalgia for me, and I've played it much more, but MGS3 is, as you point out, more refined. Mechanically, it's a far more in-depth stealth game, what with the camo, the CQC, and the greater fluidity of movement. On the story side, I also feel it's more refined than previous entries. The Metal Gear series has always had a "war is bad, m'kay" theme to it, but of all the installments I've played, this one feels the most well thought out. Best characters, best themes, etc. Granted, MGS1-3 explore different ideas (it's been said that of MGS 1-4, it goes "gene," "meme," "scene," "theme" (as in a combination), but of the core ideas, MGS3 handles them the best.

Dalisclock:

Next up: MSG4: The Movie: The Game

Heh, have fun.

Can't comment on MGS4 I'm afraid. Back in the day, it was a toss-up between the Xbox 360 and PS3, and I went with the former, and by the time I got a PS3, the Metal Gear series had moved on so far I was iffy about trying to catch up. But good luck.

Hawki:

Dear God, if they'd gone with a title as generic as that...

I was tempted to subtitle MGS4 as Revelations. I still might.

Hawki:

It did?

Parts of the ending seemed to give that impression at times. Notably Snake's big Denouement to Raiden about living life the way you want for whatever reason seemed like a generic "I'm gonna leave this here. Do what you want with it" ending trope. Part of that is also Kojima apparently saying outright he was planning on not making any more Metal Gear games after MGS2, which fuels that impression.

The fact Kojima kind of wrote himself into a corner with the Gainex Ending reinforces this in my mind. Like he was thinking "I'll never have to explain this so I'm gonna go nuts with it".

I freely admit, a lot of this is the vibe I was getting at times and is thus mostly subjective.

Hawki:

"Contributed?" Doesn't Zero state that they outright won it?

I'll admit that little nugget always bothered me. You can sell me on the achievements of the Cobra Unit by having them simply be a black ops WWII unit that took out V2 rocket sites, you don't need to claim that the outcome of WWII rested on them. Especially since Metal Gear as a whole is generally sympathetic to the plight of the common soldier, that the "badass normal" character (e.g. Snake) is the one who ends up triumphing over those with superhuman abilities.

I assumed Zero was exaggerating a wee bit. Especially since later it's outright stated the Philosophers pooled a massive amount of resources and invested in building advanced tech in order to win the war, thus the whole thing about the lost Legacy.

Hawki:

Hornets, actually.

I know, but "I'M COVERED IN HORNETS!" isn't nearly as funny.

Hawki:

Apparently they're explained in MGS5, but I won't spoil it for you.

Something Something Parasites, so I've heard. I haven't looked that much into it because I'm sure MGS5 will go into them at length to justify why Quiet is wearing fishnets instead of a tank top and why there's a fire man on a flaming alicorn chasing Snake around.

Hawki:

To be honest, I think Snake Eater has perhaps the best boss line-up of all the Metal Gear games I've played. The End is particuarly frustrating, but I have to admit it's a very creative battle, just a long, drawn out, often frustrating one. But I do like that each of them generally require a different set of tactics to beat, and each feel unique.

Don't get me wrong. Compared to the pervious games, the line up is much stronger and the gimmicks don't distract as much as say MGS2. I'm comparing them more to each other here.

Hawki:

I actually liked the escort section. It's slow and frustrating, but in a good way. Gives a good tense feeling, and highlights that EVA, who's been a badass up to this point, still has her limits. And she is a more compelling character than Emma, so there is that.

I think part of it is the fact that I spent the first map trying to figure out how to get her to MOVE towards the end of the map, only to have her whine about how she can't walk. I finally ended up knocking her out and dragging her to the cliff, only to find I had to wait till she woke up to actually enter the next area.

Once I realized I could just use the memu to feed her(the food menu doesn't list her if she's too far away, so I didn't realize I could do it) and slowly guide her along by using the "Come" action, it got a lot less frustrating. I just kind of wish the game would have made it more obvious that's how it worked.

Hawki:

You make a good point with the origin story aspect. While I'm far more charitable to the prequels than what your post would suggest, MGS3 actually stands alone quite well. Someone could play this game (I imagine) without any prior knowledge of the Metal Gear series and still get a complete experience from it, since its story and themes stand alone. I will say that this is indeed my favorite Metal Gear game, and my #9 game of all time (sort of, that's a different matter). MGS1 has more nostalgia for me, and I've played it much more, but MGS3 is, as you point out, more refined. Mechanically, it's a far more in-depth stealth game, what with the camo, the CQC, and the greater fluidity of movement. On the story side, I also feel it's more refined than previous entries. The Metal Gear series has always had a "war is bad, m'kay" theme to it, but of all the installments I've played, this one feels the most well thought out. Best characters, best themes, etc. Granted, MGS1-3 explore different ideas (it's been said that of MGS 1-4, it goes "gene," "meme," "scene," "theme" (as in a combination), but of the core ideas, MGS3 handles them the best.

Yeah, despite every reason Snake Eater shouldn't work, it somehow does very well and feels like the most complete package. In fact, it might be the best James Bond game despite not actually being a James Bond game. I felt like I scratched the surface of what I could have done. I didn't even realize you could find a bunch of hidden radio frequencies to cancel alerts and even call in artillery strikes until I was nearly done with the game. I can only imagine what other little things there are to find in there.

MGS3 is the best MGS with regards to gameplay (quality and quantity). MGS4 still holds the bar for best TPS controls ever though (all games not just MGS btw) but the amount of gameplay in MGS4 is not enough. Although MGO2 is STILL the best online shooter because of said controls being so good along with scary good balance that you hardly see in shooters.

But anyway, the 2 plot things that have always soured me on MGS3 is the Shagohod physics make no sense and I don't think the game does a good job at showing/telling the player about the location(s) of the Philosopher's Legacy. I remember after finishing the game way back that if Eva stole it from Snake at the end, how does Snake still have it (or a part of it or whatever)?

Phoenixmgs:

But anyway, the 2 plot things that have always soured me on MGS3 is the Shagohod physics make no sense and I don't think the game does a good job at showing/telling the player about the location(s) of the Philosopher's Legacy. I remember after finishing the game way back that if Eva stole it from Snake at the end, how does Snake still have it (or a part of it or whatever)?

The Shagohod bothered me, though somehow seeing it in action during the finale kind of defused that because of how ridiculous it is. I mean, Volgin controlling it by holding the wires? Turning on a dime? Flailing like an excited toddler? Crawling up a collapsed bridge? Even by this series standards that's silly. It's kind of fitting that at one point Paramedic asks Snake if he's seen "Dr. Strangelove" because the Shagohod fight felt like the video game equivalent of Slim Pickens riding a nuclear bomb, waving a cowboy hat like a madman as he falls to his doom.

I think it's mentioned by Ocelot that EVA got a fake copy of the Legacy. Somehow Ocelot switched the real information with a fake somewhere along the way(did Ocelot have it before the Boss got it? I need to rewatch some of the cutscenes), or at least half of it and passed it onto the CIA. Apparently the Russians kept the other half and the Chinese got zilch.

It's also entirely possible that Ocelot was lying about half of the legacy still being in the hands of the KGB to the Director of the CIA. I wouldn't put it past him to have stolen half of it and just said "Oh, the russians must have the other half" and probably telling a similar lie to the Russians. In fact, knowing Ocelot, that's likely exactly what he did.

A quick bump. So I'm roughly halfway done with MGS4(I've finished Act 3). So far it's better then I thought it would be, but it still has some notable issues and flaws.

This is gonna be a really interesting write up on quite a few subjects.

For now I'll just go with the following thoughts:
-I'm extremely convinced that Kojima not so secretly wants to be a film director, considering the length of some of these cutscenes.
-On one hand, I'm happy the series FINALLY has a pause button for cutscenes, because my bladder can only last for some long and this game doesn't allow replaying skipped cutscenes. On the other hand, I'm annoyed it took 4 games to implement.
-Whose bright idea was it to remap the shooting controls? Because it was a real pain to get used to using right bumper to shoot instead of the Square button.
-I don't remember Metal Gear having this many poop jokes. I mean, really Johnny...er, Kojima?

Dalisclock:
A quick bump. So I'm roughly halfway done with MGS4(I've finished Act 3). So far it's better then I thought it would be, but it still has some notable issues and flaws.

This is gonna be a really interesting write up on quite a few subjects.

For now I'll just go with the following thoughts:
-I'm extremely convinced that Kojima not so secretly wants to be a film director, considering the length of some of these cutscenes.
-On one hand, I'm happy the series FINALLY has a pause button for cutscenes, because my bladder can only last for some long and this game doesn't allow replaying skipped cutscenes. On the other hand, I'm annoyed it took 4 games to implement.
-Whose bright idea was it to remap the shooting controls? Because it was a real pain to get used to using right bumper to shoot instead of the Square button.
-I don't remember Metal Gear having this many poop jokes. I mean, really Johnny...er, Kojima?

Regarding Controls:

Metal Gear Solid 4 was made in a time when many games were adopting a standard control scheme. With Gears of War's success every other similar games took to doing so. Heck people lashed at Resident Evil 5 for retaining the Resident Evil 4 control scheme over the more modern Gears of War controls.

Regarding Cutscenes: This game has the largest amount of cutscenes ever. I was hyper into the franchise so I paid atenntion to every detail in the cutscenes.

Also the graphics in this game blew me away as a teen mostly the character models and motion captured faces impressed me. Like this game made me thought no way can the Xbox 360 handle this.

Dalisclock:
-Whose bright idea was it to remap the shooting controls? Because it was a real pain to get used to using right bumper to shoot instead of the Square button.

The controls did need a change IMO. The MGS games have aged well because they didn't try to be TPSs until the industry figured it out basically. Probably the best feeling TPS controls prior to PS3/360 gen were RE4, which says a lot since when does a survival horror game have the best 3rd-person shooting for any gen. Before that we had stuff like Syphon Filter, which has aged horribly in basically all regards and its controls are just plain horrid because it tried to be a TPS before the controls got worked out. Then, when last-gen came around everyone from shooter devs like Epic Games to Naughty Dog and Bioware were making TPSs that controlled so much better than basically anything seen on PS2/Xbox or earlier. MGS4 then upgraded its controls to being a straight TPS (from a control standpoint) when said TPS controls actually became good.

MGS4 still holds the title of best TPS controls ever IMO because they are so mechanically sound from having a proper shoulder swap (a rarity for some reason in the genre) to not having any contextual controls (Snake won't roll when you want him to take cover ala Uncharted). There's 3 separate sensitivity settings with a slew of other settings. There's also no wasted buttons like melee or grenade buttons like just about any other shooter since COD4. This allows for so many more actions to be allowed like leaning (something every shooter should have) and obviously all the CQC options; you can grab an enemy, attach C4 to them, and let them run around waiting to detonate the C4. MGO2 is still the best online shooter and can be played on fan-run servers with more players than MGO3 (MGS5 online) because of the amazing controls. MGS5's controls became a bog standard TPS with contextual "soft" cover system that never works while greatly simplifying CQC and removing mechanics like leaning.

Samtemdo8:
Regarding Cutscenes: This game has the largest amount of cutscenes ever. I was hyper into the franchise so I paid atenntion to every detail in the cutscenes.

MGS4 has the longest single cutscenes but I doubt it has more cutscenes (in total length) than a game like a Xenosaga.

Thanks for the enlightenment about the control scheme changes. I didn't get a PS3 until a few years ago(and PS3 was already on it's last year or so when I did) so I missed the evolution of gamepad controls. My last console prior to that was an SNES(and almost all my gaming after that was PC).

I do appreciate the fact you can make snake move in a semi-stealthy crouch now instead of either totally exposed running and slow but mostly safe crawling.

I've heard the game has 9.5 hours of cutscenes(I believe it), including the ending which is something like 70ish minutes long. I think only FFXIII might rival that for sheer length.

Interestingly, I read somewhere that despite the length of cutscenes, the ratio of cutscenes to actual gameplay is actually a little better then MGS2. However, I haven't been able to find confirmation of that.

Dalisclock:
Thanks for the enlightenment about the control scheme changes. I didn't get a PS3 until a few years ago(and PS3 was already on it's last year or so when I did) so I missed the evolution of gamepad controls. My last console prior to that was an SNES(and almost all my gaming after that was PC).

I do appreciate the fact you can make snake move in a semi-stealthy crouch now instead of either totally exposed running and slow but mostly safe crawling.

I've heard the game has 9.5 hours of cutscenes(I believe it), including the ending which is something like 70ish minutes long. I think only FFXIII might rival that for sheer length.

Interestingly, I read somewhere that despite the length of cutscenes, the ratio of cutscenes to actual gameplay is actually a little better then MGS2. However, I haven't been able to find confirmation of that.

I don't think most gamers realize how "new" the TPS genre is to a degree. TPSs before PS3/360 gen were a rarity and almost always pretty bad. I remember playing Winback (the first cover shooter) and if anyone played that now, they would call it hot garbage. I think it was very wise for the MGS series to not really try being a TPS until MGS4 as you can play them all even now (as you have done) and they haven't aged nearly as bad as any actual TPS from their time.

Super Bunnyhop's MGS videos are pretty good and great watches once you finish each game. He just put up a MGS4 video (I watched about half of it before getting too sleepy as I was going to bed) that is so far pretty negative but I can't really disagree with many of his points honestly. He actually brought up the fact that MGS4 is the first MGS where you can move while crouched. MGS4 kinda wraps up the storyline in basically the only way it could be wrapped up for better and for worse.

Dalisclock:
Interestingly, I read somewhere that despite the length of cutscenes, the ratio of cutscenes to actual gameplay is actually a little better then MGS2. However, I haven't been able to find confirmation of that.

I'd believe that -- MGS2 went a bit nuts with the length of those codec conversations. I remember one near the end where I actually fell asleep.

Phoenixmgs:

Super Bunnyhop's MGS videos are pretty good and great watches once you finish each game. He just put up a MGS4 video (I watched about half of it before getting too sleepy as I was going to bed) that is so far pretty negative but I can't really disagree with many of his points honestly. He actually brought up the fact that MGS4 is the first MGS where you can move while crouched. MGS4 kinda wraps up the storyline in basically the only way it could be wrapped up for better and for worse.

Oh, I've been a fan of superbunnyhop for a while(despite the fact that it's weird tell people that it's actually fairly intelligent game discussion despite the name). One of the things I look forward to once I finish a Metal Gear game is to go watch his video to see what I missed or how our opinions match up.

I had kinda figured he stopped after Snake Eater considering there was no MGS4 video until a few days ago. Now I'm curious if he's going to do a video for Peace Walker and MGS5 as well, considering Peace Walker apparently doesn't quite fit in the same groove as the other games in the series. OTOH, apparently it's quite important for bridging the gap between Snake Eater and Ground Zeros, otherwise I can imagine it's weird to play Ground Zeros/Phantom Pain without knowing why Big Boss has a base in the middle of the ocean or who Chico and Paz are supposed to be. As for MGS5, I know I've already talked about that game in numerous videos already.

Casual Shinji:

Dalisclock:
Interestingly, I read somewhere that despite the length of cutscenes, the ratio of cutscenes to actual gameplay is actually a little better then MGS2. However, I haven't been able to find confirmation of that.

I'd believe that -- MGS2 went a bit nuts with the length of those codec conversations. I remember one near the end where I actually fell asleep.

I can't put my finger on it, but think it has to do with the blocking. MGS4 will often have you complete a couple areas(which tend to be bigger with more enemies and take longer to go through) before triggering a cutscene, instead of "Walk into room, trigger cutscene, walk into next room, trigger another cutscene followed by CODEC conversation". Long cutscenes in a block seem to feel less obstrusive then the feeling the game keeps ripping the controls away from you every 5 minutes.

That and it feels like they are notably less CODEC conversations in MGS4, partially because some of them have be integrated into the gameplay(Such as Otacon just telling you something you need to know while you're walking or doing stuff instead of breaking the flow for a CODEC call). As much as people like to deride the "Walking and Talking" bits of games to convey information, at least it's less flowbreaking then "Hey, get back on your radio so I can tell you stuff".

Dalisclock:

I can't put my finger on it, but think it has to do with the blocking. MGS4 will often have you complete a couple areas(which tend to be bigger with more enemies and take longer to go through) before triggering a cutscene, instead of "Walk into room, trigger cutscene, walk into next room, trigger another cutscene followed by CODEC conversation". Long cutscenes in a block seem to feel less obstrusive then the feeling the game keeps ripping the controls away from you every 5 minutes.

I remember that the cutscenes in MGS 4 really got to me right around the Prague section. After a fairly cool sneaking section you get this huge exposition dump that transforms into an action scene which transforms into ANOTHER exposition dump. The whole cutscene might not be very long (but I am inclined to say 30 minutes), but the fact that it is followed by a rather boring on-rails section and the worst of the B&B bosses makes the blocking really noticeable.

Quick FYI. I've reached act 5 and I've read that act 5 is pretty short(except for some really LONG ass cutscenes), so I anticipate finishing MGS4 sometime soon. I should have a write up complete by the end of the weekend for sure.

I am gonna gripe a bit. I know this series isn't super realistic but occasional it shows a slavish attention to detail on military stuff. That being said, the stuff about the Missouri confronting Outer Haven feels like someone on staff dropped the ball on the research end. Having served in the US Navy for most of a decade, I get particularly irked.

The easy one is simple. While the game actually got Naval Uniforms close enough(they don't look like the real life ones but Naval Uniforms change every few years anyway so I'll let it slide). However, despite the fact the Officer hats(called covers) actually look real, Officers don't actually wear them during day to day operations. That cover is part of the DRESS UNIFORM, so it doesn't match the rest of their uniform regardless. Hell, half the time, sailors don't wear covers on deployment anyway and if they do, it's one that's a little more practical.

Or, on second look, the officers might be wearing their dress uniforms, but in that case they don't look quite right and seems bizarre in a battle situation.

The second one is a little more invovled, but the fact the Missouri keeps missing a ship the size of Arsenal Gear feels bizarre. At the end of chapter 4, the Missouri couldn't have been more then a mile away and Outer Haven is at least as big as a battleship. Despite the excuse of "We had mose of our gear stripped out", Rangefinders are a thing. Hell, Rangefinders were standard targeting equipment during WW2 and any gunnery crew worth a damn should have had little problem hitting a target that size from that distance. It's the Naval Equivalent of firing at the broad side of a barn with a rocket launcher and missing.

I know it's implied to be part of the plan to assault Outer Haven, but later the missouri doesn't fire until she's practically right on top of Outer Haven(and proceeds to sideswipe her), which is odd considering NAVAL WARFARE DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT ANYMORE and hasn't for a very long time.

It might have been the fault of SOP going down or the crew being particularly green, but I can't help but wonder how much of it is Mei Ling's Fault. Considering she joined the Navy and made Captain within 9 years implies she's pretty hot shit, or that the US Navy has really, really low standards for promotion in the MG universe. Most of her actions Act 4/5 come across as particularly amatuer hour for someone who made rank that fast. And yes, I know it's implied, if not outright stated that she's a whiz kid, apparently being a Teenager or early 20s during MGS1 but I'm really not seeing it.

Sorry, but nobody really ever seems to do their research when it comes to the floating branch of the military. Hell, I'm impressed Kojima actually got the ship name right this time, unlike in MGS1, where he picked a name for the submarine that makes no sense.

Gethsemani:

I remember that the cutscenes in MGS 4 really got to me right around the Prague section. After a fairly cool sneaking section you get this huge exposition dump that transforms into an action scene which transforms into ANOTHER exposition dump. The whole cutscene might not be very long (but I am inclined to say 30 minutes), but the fact that it is followed by a rather boring on-rails section and the worst of the B&B bosses makes the blocking really noticeable.

I wasn't fond of the whole tailing mission myself. I love the idea for it, particulary it's The Third Man feel with other Noir touches, but actually tailing the resistance member was an exercise in frustration for me, considering the dude seems to blunder into every enemy patrol he can find and then runs back to an arbitrary point to try again, which led to me losing track of the fucker quite a few times and having to wander around trying to locate him again. Even realizing that he resets to checkpoints along the way even if you die felt like a small mercy.

What made it worse is that I could look at the map and pretty much instantly know where he was going(hmm....notable building at opposite end of the map from the start point. Fifty bucks says I have to tail him all the way there....yep).

The chase scene was a bit more engaging, even if it was incredibly difficult to target anything and I ended up turning on Autoaim, even if that makes me feel like a cheater.

I'll address the church cutscene in the main write up but the religious iconography felt a bit out of place in this series, to say the least. Yeah, I know, there have been religious allusions during the entire run of the series but this was pretty blatant and forced.

OTOH, the ending cutscenes at least made up for some of the acts flaws. Ocelot has a tendency to steal every scene he's in, particularly because he always looks like he's having so much fun doing it.

Dalisclock:
I've heard the game has 9.5 hours of cutscenes(I believe it), including the ending which is something like 70ish minutes long. I think only FFXIII might rival that for sheer length.

Fun fact, its cutscenes actually won MGS4 two Guinness World Records:

- Longest individual cutscene in a video game at 27 minutes.
- Longest cutscene sequence in a video game at 71 minutes (that 27 min one is part of this sequence)

Haven't found any info on whether it still holds those records though.

Finished it this morning.

This write up is going to be interesting. Still projected to have that up by sunday night.

Metal Gear Solid 4: No Country for Old Snake

So at long last, it's come to this. After a brief romp in the past, showing the origin story of the saga in all it's cheesy James Bond/Dr. Strangelove glory, the Metal Gear Saga returns to the present, 50 years after Snake Eater. The intention is to wrap up the series once and for all, tie up all the remaining plot threads and provide a sense of closure to all the characters somehow have survived to this point.

Metal Gear Solid 4 succeeds at this somewhat. I've been batting my feelings about this game back in my head for several days and it's going to be interesting to articulate exactly how I feel about it. It's a very mixed bag, with some very high highs and some very low lows. In general, it's better than I expected but it had the potential to be so much better.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is very nostalgic and there's no escaping this fact. The game is well aware that this is Snake's last hurrah, and indeed, the end of the line for pretty much everyone in this series. In some ways, this works nicely when the game reflects on Snakes 20 year career and how he's been screwed over in almost every way possible (even to the point of having premature aging written into his cloning process) and yet he refuses to give up or let it break him.

MGS4 picks up 5 years after MGS2, in an alternate 2014(which was half a decade in the future when the game was released) where the world has changed. War is now so perpetual that constant military spending on weapons development, logistics and Private Military Companies(PMCs) has become a vital part of the economy. Some PMC's have the armies that rival nations and it's implied, if not stating that actual standing militaries are starting to go into decline because apparently PMCs are cheaper. This is implied to be a result of the big shell incident from MGS2, though it's stated the Patriots are directly responsible for this particular state of affairs. The proliferation of Metal Gears that Snake spent so long(ultimately in vain) trying to prevent is also implied to have contributed to this.

Since disappearing from Arsenal gear in a RAY 5 years ago, Ocelot (still acting like Liquid Snake because of that stupid arm thing) has apparently taken control of 5 of the largest PMCs on earth and is preparing a revolt against the Patriots. Despite the fact that this would seem like a good thing, Colonel Campbell shows up for the first time since Metal Gear Solid and tracks down Solid Snake one last time. However, things haven't been going great for Snake in the last few years. Despite being in his early 40's, Snake has aged significantly, now looks like a man in his 70's and is now referred to as Old Snake for the duration of the game. Apparently when Snake was cloned from Big Boss, the process was deliberately tampered with by the Patriots to make sure he didn't live longer then he needed so, thus a built-in expiration date and accelerated aging. When the game begins, Snake learns he has a year to live at the most and this weighs on him for the entire game.

So naturally he's more than willing to accept a suicide mission to kill Liquid Ocelot because....he needs killing, I guess. Granted, Ocelot is kind of a terrible person (and a backstabbing bastard) but it feels like a fairly large chunk of the game is try to get to Ocelot or foil his plans and failing miserably at it. It adds to the already dark tone of the game where each and every goal snake pursues, up until the very end, ends up being yanked away from him, often because Ocelot is often 3 steps ahead of him

However, it does beg the question that since it's acknowledged at several times that Ocelot is trying to take down the Illuminati....er, Patriots, and Snake and Co are ALSO trying to take down the Patriots, nobody ever seems to bring up why they?re in such a hurry to stop Ocelot. They do discuss how the Patriots are now tied into the backbone of civilization itself, but it's also been established that they're more than happy to kill people, kidnap children, frame people for terrorism they themselves committed, turn people into child soldiers, ruin peoples lives, etc, etc, etc sometimes all for the sake of running experiments. It just feels like, couldn't they have had a 5 minute conversation about the possibility of "Hey, Ocelot and us want the EXACT SAME THING. Could we discuss the possibility of helping him and maybe finding a way of limiting the collateral damage afterwards?" There?s some talk about Ocelot enslaving humanity, but you only get that from the Colonel near the end and it?s unclear what he?s basing that on.

Kind of like how nobody really talks about the "Ocelot is possessed by Liquids Arm" plot device very much, despite the fact you'd think it would be of interest to people. In MGS2, one could make the argument that since Ocelot was the Dragon to Solidus and Dead Cell, Raiden's mission control were Patriot AI(s?) and Raiden was rarely in a position to actually notice it or ask about it, it didn't come up. However, by MGS4, Ocelot is kind of a big fucking deal and runs a bunch of powerful PMC's. You'd think the whole "He's possessed by the arm of a dead man" would get SOME mention and maybe people speculating that Ocelot is just crazy. Instead, people treat it all "Liquids bad vibes are flowing into Ocelot" with a straight face, like this a normal thing that happens to people. And granted, it's the Metal Gear universe, that has crazy stuff happen all the time but even thing you'd think this was a bit out there. Then at the end, we find out it was faking it the whole time, for reasons I still don't quite understand. Apparently, it's to fool the Patriots so he could take them down but considering Liquid was against the Patriots (per the MGS2/4 retcon), I don't understand why/how this is supposed to work. Maybe confuse them with such bizarre and illogical behavior that they get confused, which means he can slip shit past them?

MGS4 has a LOT of cutscenes, close to ten hours? worth and some of the longest cutscenes and blocks of cutscenes in history. Strangely enough, the effectiveness of this is highly variable. Some cutscenes are amazing, but quite a few of them are either silly or involve a lot of talking without really saying much. The game spends a lot of time trying to tape all the loose edges and threads together, often through slideshows and sometimes outright retcons (as usual for this series), so it seems strange that sometimes cutscenes run for a while but don't seem to go anywhere. Some of the Act Briefing/Debriefing cutscenes feel like this, but there's also a lot of talk about Kojimas favorite plot device.....NANOMACHINES! I will give it to the man, when he picks a form of pure fucking magic, he commits himself to it, whether it makes sense or not. It's not going to stop me from making fun of it.

A lot of discussion is given to SOP (Sons of the Patriots) system which apparently is the thread tying the Patriot AIs(it's confirmed that the Patriots are actually a group of AIs) to every weapon on earth, though most of it is pretty dense and the rules seem to be fairly arbitrary to the point it's almost not worth criticizing it. Why do their weapons work one moment but not another? NANOMACHINES! SOP! Why are all the weapons on earth ID locked? NANOMACHINES! SOP! PATRIOTS! FUCK YOU! Why is it terrible that all the guns on earth fall silent because apparently nobody wants to buy working, non-ID tagged weapons? NANOMACHINES! FUCK YOU, STOP ASKING QUESTIONS!

Then there are the retcons, which get really, really heavy in Act 3.EVA makes her reappearance in the series as Big Mama, and not coincidentally, also Snake's mother, as in the woman who the cloned embryos of Solid, Liquid and Solidus were implanted into. Though a rather long series of cut-scenes, she explains that the Patriots were founded by pretty much all the main characters from MGS3, including Big Boss. SIGNIT became the DARPA chief from MGS, Zero ran the show and Paramedic ended up becoming the Dr. Clark who turned Grey Fox into the Cyborg Ninja, as well as spearheading the Snake Cloning project. Buying the idea of Zero running the patriots or at least being involved isn't a big leap considering he outright name drops them at one point. Signit, sure, why not? Paramedic being a mad scientist who turns people into crazy cyborgs? The same chick who wanted to talk movies all the time? It's hard to see that, honestly.

And Big Boss being in on the whole thing seems really weird considering how fucking broken and betrayed he seemed at the end of MGS3. Apparently, they had a falling out over using his DNA to make the baby snake clones but it still feels weird to me. Added to that is the weird religious symbolism and iconography that starts hitting hard around this point, something that was never so forced or prevalent in the series thus far. And then there's a lot of talk about Big Boss not actually being dead after Snake BURNED HIM TO DEATH in zanizbarland, only mostly dead and in a coma because apparently the Patriots really wanted to keep him alive but in a coma for reasons that never seem adequately explained in game. And then he dies again, except he doesn?t (I'll get into this later). Also, apparently Big Bosses DNA is the key to the SOP system, also for reasons, which is why Ocelot spends half the game collecting clone DNA to attempt to replicate Big Bosses DNA, but Solid and Liquid aren't perfect clones so it doesn't work so... NANOMACHINES!

When the game isn't throwing technobabble at the player left and right or making some interesting retcons, it's working on character arc closures for pretty much everyone still alive. Naomi and Vamp make a return, as does Raiden, Rosemary, Meryl and Johnny "I POOPED MY PANTS" SASKI. Some of these arcs are more interesting than others, but I honestly wasn't terribly invested in any of them. Naomi is still a backstabbing bitch whose major reason for being there is to explain some of the technobabble, switching sides over and over again and then dying of cancer that she only revealed she had 5 minutes before she dies of it, because NANOMACHINES! Meryl is fine and at least is somewhat important the plot, as well as having a personal connection to Snake.

OTOH, Johnny suddenly goes from being pretty much an extra (and it's possible to miss him in MGS2 quite easily) to Meryl?s love interest, and apparent DEUS EX MACHINA because apparently he's the only one on the planet who doesn't have NANOMACHINES and nobody knew but him until it was plot relevant. It's justified that Johnny hates needles and spent 10 years ducking MANDATORY shots in the military, but this is also the same dude who was at both Shadow Moses and Big Shell and somehow walked away unscathed from both of them despite always coming across as a massive fuckup, so why not?

Raiden and Rosemary and Col Campbell all show up again, mostly inoffensively. Campbell plays much the same role before, except now he and Rosemary are an item. Rosemary acts as a therapist of sorts here and at least has the decency of not trying to talk about relationship issues every 5 minutes (though Snake would likely cut her off if she tried). Apparently this whole thing has caused a rift with Meryl and Raiden in a relationship....square(?) of some sort that I didn't care too much for.

Oh, and Raiden is back, but now he's a cyborg ninja now because of stuff that happened offscreen in the intervening 5 years between MGS2 and MGS4 that, as far as I can tell, is never explained. It also means that instead of having an actual character arc (except for a few bits here and there), Raiden is a walking death machine who conveniently pops in to save Snake several times, almost to point he could be called Mr. Deus Ex Machina. Oh, and apparently, he breakdances while he fights now, means that reference Yahtzee made actually wasn't a joke. While some of his scenes were interesting, I mostly didn't care about him one way or the other.

Beyond that, Vamp shows up yet again and still refuses to JUST DIE ALREADY! Raiden fights him in a cutscene, then Snake fights him, then Raiden shows up again and fights him, while Snake fights off a horde of mini-metal gears with cow legs called Geckos who are all trying to suicide bomb them. This is done as a split screen, where Snake (the player) fights the geckos on one side while Raiden and Vamp have a knife fight on the other. It's an interesting idea, except that fighting the geckos is intense enough that you can't actually pay attention to fight on the other side of the screen and expect to survive.

OTOH, I don't really like Vamp. Part of it is the fact he refuses to die no matter how many times you put him down and part of is that he's a repulsive creep, so despite the interesting idea of him being the MGS universes idea of a Vampire, I was more then happy to see him finally die. At least this time he wasn't flying around the room and htting me with his magic tricks.

If it sounds like I'm spending a lot of time griping, it's because the game is very flawed. A lot of the cutscene time is poorly used, which makes the sheer amount of it feel wasted. THere are some good cutscenes in there, though, Notably the final set of cutscenes from chapter 3, which might be dumb, but were entertainingly dumb. Some of the cutscenes in Chapter 4 and 5 were also quite good. Ocelot ends up stealing the show every time he's on screen, mostly because he's taking large bites out of the scenery and it's fucking glorious. Even his Snidely Whiplash impression at the end of Chapter 4 somehow works. There's also an interesting use of split screen in Chapter 5, where all the characters are shown enduring particularly difficult obstacles at the same time, just minutes before Ocelot's plan is able to be completed (Namely, blowing up a satellite with the Boss Patriot AI's on it so the AI Ocelot controls will become the new boss AI, allowing Ocelot to shut the system down). It's nicely done and since Snake's part of it isn't too taxing, it's actually possible to watch both screens, unlike the similar scene in Act 5.

However, I did actually like the game. The series looks better than it ever has, which is specially noticeable when comparing character models between MSG4 and even as recent as Snake Eater, let alone not having to remember Meryl as a creepy faceless human looking creature from MGS. The CODEC conversations are mostly forgettable, with only 2 contacts this time around: Otocon and Rosemary and neither one had much memorable to say. OTOH, the number of mandatory conversations are far, far fewer because the series finally figured out how to have the characters converse during normal gameplay, like almost every other game out there.

Gameplay, in general, feels steadily improved. For the first time in the series, Snake has to move through active battlefields, notably in the first two chapters. It felt surreal at first, like Snake had somehow infiltrated one of the COD Modern Warfare games and didn't realize it. Both sides are hostile to snake, at least initially, but the fact they're pretty focused on fighting each other makes it easier to maneuver past them and escape if alerted.

Snake has a few new tricks up his sleeve this time to make things more interesting. Notably the Octo-camo, which works as a higher tech version of the camo/facepaint system from MGS3. If snake is prone or next to a wall, his suit will actually change to help snake blend in (though it can be switched to manual mode, which makes it work like it did in Snake eater). It helps snake to hide in plain sight, which can make the game too easy if not the for the fact Snake takes face less punishment (or so it seems) then he used to. There?s also the Solid Eye system, which looks much like an eyepatch but functions as a multipurpose sensor, including a RADAR, NV/IR, binoculars, and a HUD for keeping track of enemies and items on screen. Its big downside is that it runs on battery power, much like the sensors in Snake Eater.

Instead of stamina system, the game introduces Psych, a meter under Snake's Health bar meant to measure his state of mind and sanity in battle. Presumably it's supposed to move up or down depending on how well snake is doing and act as a mechanic for battlefield stress and PTSD, but mostly it seems like a joke to be used during cutscenes. Because things that happen in cutscenes make it go up and down as well. Snake gets called old or is implied to be going senile (Act 4 pulls this particular trick on you), the meter goes down. Snake looks at a pretty woman?s ass, it goes back up. The only time it really works as intended is during the final run of chapter 5, where Snake's will to go on, both by his aging body and a particular brutal hallway filled with lethal amounts of radiation are pushed to the limit, reflected in both the cutscenes and by his psych being slowly draining the entire time. It's quite powerful, but sadly, it's the exception.

Finally, there's the Drebin shop, which is a special menu that allows snake to purchase or unlock new weapons or buy ammo and accessories. DP or Drebin points are gained by collecting enemy weapons, and presumably selling them back to the shop to be laundered, on a sliding scale where dead enemies provide a fraction of the value, while weapons taken from a held-up enemy are fully redeemable. Notably, all purchases are done instantly and delivered directly into your inventory, including boss battles. Which beats scrounging around for more ammo in the middle of a heated firefight like the older games occasionally necessitated, if a little immersion breaking.

Despite the game being divided into separate acts and not a single large map, it actually feels like the game is bigger at times then most if not all of the previous games (Snake Eater might be bigger). Act 4 really stands out here, where Snake returns to Shadow Moses and has to traverse the entire base to reach Metal Gear REX one more time (because REX still has its railgun which isn't connected to the system). While the entire games maps aren't accessible (namely some of the basement floors), it really puts into perspective just how small the game area from MGS when you don't have to backtrack and find a way through roadblocks every few minutes. Even taking into account that the Comm Towers/Snow Field before reaching the final building was scaled down, it's still beautiful to look at and possibly the best use of Nostalgia in the entire game.

Topping it off is the end, where Snake and Otacon(somehow) activate Metal Gear REX once more and use it to confront Ocelot, who is driving a RAY unit in what might be one of the best boss fights in the series and certainty in MGS4. It's more then entertaining enough to make me forgot that the whole thing shouldn't be possible, considering that RAY was specifically designed to hunt down and destroy REX copies and the fact Snake did quite a number on REX at the end of MGS and it's been sitting there abandoned and exposed to the arctic elements for 9 years. Otocon just "hacks" it and somehow it works. No explanation (Not even NANOMACHINES), but I'm willing to forgive it.

The Quirky mini-boss squad for this particular iteration of MGS are the "Beauty and the Beast Corps" or as they shall be known from here on, B&B. Their name stems from the fact that they are a group of really hot looking women(The Beauty) who wear animal themed personal mecha-suits, the Beast.

Gameplay-wise, the B&B are interesting, combing aspects of bosses from previous games though their execution is mixed. Laughing Octopus has mecha-tentacles and the ability to blend in with the surroundings, Raging Raven has a personal wing-suit/jet pack she uses to fly around and bomb you with, Crying Wolf is essentially riding around in a wolf mech and occasionally pops the hatch so she can snipe Snake with a very familiar looking Railgun (Fortunes from MGS2) and Screaming Mantis, who floats around and has some of the same tricks as Pyscho Mantis from MGS4(including using Meryl as a hostage). In some cases, it's shown or implied that they are channeling previous bosses, particularly Crying Wolf who fights snake in pretty much the same place as Sniper Wolf was fought to the death in MGS(complete with a phantom wolf who is implied to be Sniper's spirit). Psycho Mantis actually shows up as a ghost of some kind (ghost in the machine?) and was possessing Screaming Mantis.

I actually rather enjoyed the Octopus and Wolf fights, since Octopuses fight requires you to be properly paranoid because she can disguise herself any pretty much anything (but a savvy player can catch her in the act and get some free hits in) while Crying wolf is a Sniper duel nostalgia level with some FROGs along for support. Screaming Mantis and Raging Raven I found a bit more tedious, due to Mantises flying around with a ton of human shields and Raven just flying around and making it really hard to get a hit in (though not terribly difficult to avoid getting hit, ironically).

Unfortunately, the B&B are a good idea marked with some very questionable and flawed execution. The main deal with them is that they all have incredibly sad and traumatic backstories which lead to them having heavy bouts of PTSD, as well as being extremely emotionally and mentally damaged (which is a good idea when you want to toss someone into power armor) and their power suits/armor reflect their damaged animal "personas". The idea of personifying victims of war as becoming fucked up next generation soldiers is a cool one and something previously explored in this series.

However, the real problem comes in when you deplete the Beasts health bar and the power armor falls off, revealing the Beauty underneath. What was a bestial opponent in power armor is now a sexy, but no less damaged, young woman in a skin-tight latex bodysuit. Which is where Kojima's wiener seemed to get in the way of his message, because it's one thing when you go with "These poor girls! They were children that had very awful things happen to them and it broke them and now the only thing that keeps them remotely sane is the thrill of battle, but they're still obsessed with one particular emotion and think they're animals" but then continue with them being sexy supermodels in very tight and curvy latex catsuits, who then stalk snake with a creepy/sexy walk, usually just after the camera pans over their ass/hips in a very noticeable way. It both undermines the legitimacy of what he was going for and seriously makes me wonder what kind of weird and disturbing fetishes Kojima is into.

And this is before taking into account Kojima apparently wanted them to be naked after their beast forms are defeated and the wierdass photoshoot and J-POP dancing Easter eggs you can trigger, because they breathe through their skin, apparently.

Kojima has done sexy characters(EVA) and sexy villains(Sniper Wolf and/or Fortune) before, but somehow here his personal sexual preferences seem to be getting in the way of anything else. It's really jarring when you take the FROG troopers into account, who are not sexualized at all and are basically lady ninja storm troopers (albeit better at combat when not in a cutscene).

Ironically, The FROGS get particularly dumb at times, turning into redshirts for pretty much all of act 5. It's hard to tell if the scene where Meryl and Johnny are somehow able to hold off dozens of them for something like 20 minutes(while discussing their relationship and why nobody noticed that Johnny wasn't using the apparently mandatory nanomachines) or the scene where, confronted with a crippled, armless Raiden(holding his sword in his teeth), the FROGS decide to pull out knives and try to fight him that way, despite, you know, having guns and no reason not to shoot Raiden from a safe distance. Also, Raiden somehow gain the ability to shoot lightening.... probably because NANOMACHINES! Yeah, I know that joke is getting old.Blame Kojima's stellar "writing".

Despite all of this, the game does bring the entire series more or less to a sense of closure, even if the closure isn't always interesting or well executed. With the main story and the Patriots dealt with, there?s one more boss to fight: Ocelot. The whole thing is done on top of Outer Haven?s island as a fistfight not unlike that of Liquid and Snakes battle atop Rex in MGS. The combat, the HUD and even the music proceeds through MGS, MGS2 and MGS3 as liquids health is depleted and eventually ends with two old man beating each other into hamburger with slow, heavy blows.

It?s weird that it works so well, considering there?s no real point to the battle. Snake doesn?t have long to live regardless and Ocelot?s plan has been thwarted (though he claims he wanted snake to win all along), so it really ends up coming down to the two taking out their long standing frustrations on each other one on one. Well, that and it?s practically mandatory at this point to have a one and one melee fight with the boss at the end of a metal gear game.

However, Metal Gear always felt like Snake?s Story, and to a less extent, Big Bosses, and it?s their arcs where the most impact is felt. MGS4 does a fairly good job of winding down Snake?s run, giving him one last mission to overcome and give some kind of closure to his life and career. It?s weird to think that MGS4 marks 20 years, both in game and real time, since a young Snake went on his first mission for FOXHOUND and his first encounter with Big Boss, both of them cardboard cutouts of characters that have evolved into something more.

The final scene provides a fine coda to the whole experience, where Snake leaves everyone else behind to go to the Cemetery for a final visit to graves of the Boss and (implied but not shown) Big Boss. He prepares to kill himself by eating his gun and for a moment it looks like he succeeded, only for another scene to present itself. Snake doesn?t go through with it, and turns around to see Big Boss, alive and well, standing there with a Comatose and Vegetative Major Zero in a Wheelchair. After some handwaving about Big Boss being only mostly dead (and not killed as earlier suspected), the two achieve some sort of closure with each other before Big Boss and Zero both die, with Snake left with a short time to live how he wishes to.

While the circumstances that lead to that moment are iffy at best (the explanation is along the lines of ?Something Something Coma Something Something Solidus?), the scene overall feels quite moving and appropriate and I?m hard pressed to think of a better way to end Snake?s story. It even, strangely enough, clears up a point of contention between MG2 and MGS, where Snakes status as Big Bosses Clone son didn?t exist during their last battle and is never discussed prior to it. Big Boss in their final moments says he never considered Solid Snake a son, but respected him as a soldier, with jives nicely with their final conversation about the burdens of war and how society treats soldiers.

And it?s far preferably at any rate to the planned ending of MGS4, which (apparently) was for Snake and Otacon to turn themselves in and be executed for terrorism. It would seem Kojima originally wanted that ending and his studio staged a revolt to prevent it, feeling it would be a kick in the balls to end the series on such a downer note.

Anyway, with that being said, the next entry is going to go back to Big Bosses Story and show his transition to being the Villain of MG and the rise of Outer Heaven.

Next up MGS: Peace Walker: Let's do the time warp again!

So, bearing in mind that I haven't played MGS4 (or any Metal Gear game post-3):

Dalisclock:

Since disappearing from Arsenal gear in a RAY 5 years ago, Ocelot (still acting like Liquid Snake because of that stupid arm thing) has apparently taken control of 5 of the largest PMCs on earth and is preparing a revolt against the Patriots. Despite the fact that this would seem like a good thing,

Getting rid of the Patriots might be good, but wouldn't Ocelot's method plunge the world into even further war? Insurgencies against global superpowers tend to be messy.

Dalisclock:
It just feels like, couldn't they have had a 5 minute conversation about the possibility of "Hey, Ocelot and us want the EXACT SAME THING. Could we discuss the possibility of helping him and maybe finding a way of limiting the collateral damage afterwards?" There?s some talk about Ocelot enslaving humanity, but you only get that from the Colonel near the end and it?s unclear what he?s basing that on.

Maybe the enemy of my enemy isn't always true?

Again, speaking from someone without direct exposure to MGS4, but wasn't the idea that as bad as the war economy was, there was no clear way out of it without triggering economic collapse?

Dalisclock:

Then there are the retcons, which get really, really heavy in Act 3.EVA makes her reappearance in the series as Big Mama, and not coincidentally, also Snake's mother, as in the woman who the cloned embryos of Solid, Liquid and Solidus were implanted into.

How's that a retcon?

Dalisclock:

Though a rather long series of cut-scenes, she explains that the Patriots were founded by pretty much all the main characters from MGS3, including Big Boss. SIGNIT became the DARPA chief from MGS, Zero ran the show and Paramedic ended up becoming the Dr. Clark who turned Grey Fox into the Cyborg Ninja, as well as spearheading the Snake Cloning project. Buying the idea of Zero running the patriots or at least being involved isn't a big leap considering he outright name drops them at one point. Signit, sure, why not? Paramedic being a mad scientist who turns people into crazy cyborgs? The same chick who wanted to talk movies all the time? It's hard to see that, honestly.

Again, not sure how those are retcons. I know that Doctor Clark did kind of have a gender flip (Naomi uses "he" in MGS1, but it's later revealed to be Paramedic), but apart from that, I'm not sure how revealing that Zero and co. birthed the Patriots counts as a retcon per se.

As for Paramedic, there's apparently a hint in MGS3 in a codec conversation. The prospect of cloning is discussed, and while Naked Snake brings up the potential ethical dillemas that could bring, Paramedic doesn't seem to appreciate them (or ignores them).

Dalisclock:

OTOH, the number of mandatory conversations are far, far fewer because the series finally figured out how to have the characters converse during normal gameplay, like almost every other game out there.

Y'know, that reminds me of MGS2 - why the heck do Raiden and the president/Olga converse via codec when they're STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER? I know there's some reference to eavesdropping, or nanomachines, or something, but it came off as just weird. There's codec conversations in MGS1, but at least there the characters were separated by distance.

Dalisclock:
Snake looks at a pretty woman?s ass, it goes back up.

Da fuq?

Dalisclock:

It?s weird that it works so well, considering there?s no real point to the battle. Snake doesn?t have long to live regardless and Ocelot?s plan has been thwarted (though he claims he wanted snake to win all along), so it really ends up coming down to the two taking out their long standing frustrations on each other one on one. Well, that and it?s practically mandatory at this point to have a one and one melee fight with the boss at the end of a metal gear game.

In another MGS retrospective, I've seen the idea that the fight is meant to be a microcosm of war itself. They have no reason to fight, but do so anyway, reflecting on the pointlessness of war. And like war itself, it grinds them down. When it starts, the music's upbeat, and they both move quickly - war's just broken out, everyone's into it, etc. By the end, they've worn each other out, the music's become sombre, and there's still no point to it. The idea is that Snake and Ocelot are representations of humanity, fated to do battle, and fated to be ground down by conflict.

Course that's just one interpretation, but I like it.

Anyway, that's it. Don't have as much to say since, again, haven't played the game. Still, it was a good read. Nicely done.

Hawki:

Dalisclock:
Snake looks at a pretty woman?s ass, it goes back up.

Da fuq?

There's this thing in MGS4 where you get a brief button press prompt during cutscenes to change the viewpoint, often switching to Snake's POV. There's one cutscene where Snake and Naomi are talking to each other. Reacting to the prompt has Snake sneaking peeks down Naomi's cleavage and this will restore some of Snake's meter. Among other examples.

You like that? It gets better.

Those skinsuit B&B sections Dalisclock mentioned, after you destroyed their armors and they do their sexy model striding towards you? During Octopus' fight, there are beds in the boss area. If you lie down on your back on those when she's down to her skinsuit, she'll sexily crawl on the bed to stradle you (and then try to choke you iirc). Snake also has a camera item in his inventory. Pull that out on a skinsuit B&B and they'll strike sexy poses so long as you keep it aimed at them. You can also make them dance by playing certain songs on your ingame ipod, but that's more cutesy j-pop dancing (you mileage may vary on how sexy that is).

Although it's not like MGS4 is alone in the pervy easter eggs department. Peeking in on Merryl exercising in her undies from a vent in MGS1 (aside from the whole finding her by looking for the guard with sexy lady hip sway). A ton of stuff involving EVA in MGS3. All in all, with all the other ludicrous stuff happening in the series, I just handwave it with "Oh Kojima, you crazy guy, had to get your perv on again, eh? Kinda creepy, mate."

Hawki:
So, bearing in mind that I haven't played MGS4 (or any Metal Gear game post-3):

Dalisclock:

Since disappearing from Arsenal gear in a RAY 5 years ago, Ocelot (still acting like Liquid Snake because of that stupid arm thing) has apparently taken control of 5 of the largest PMCs on earth and is preparing a revolt against the Patriots. Despite the fact that this would seem like a good thing,

Getting rid of the Patriots might be good, but wouldn't Ocelot's method plunge the world into even further war? Insurgencies against global superpowers tend to be messy.

True, but the War Economy isn't exactly good for anyone either. The fact the worlds economy is based on constant proxy warfare that's bleeding the world dry implies just how bad things have gotten.

I say implies because despite having some really interesting potential to talk about the spread of a perpetual military-industrial complex, proxy wars and PMCs, MGS4 feels like it doesn't really want to talk about much of it.

Hawki:

Dalisclock:
It just feels like, couldn't they have had a 5 minute conversation about the possibility of "Hey, Ocelot and us want the EXACT SAME THING. Could we discuss the possibility of helping him and maybe finding a way of limiting the collateral damage afterwards?" There?s some talk about Ocelot enslaving humanity, but you only get that from the Colonel near the end and it?s unclear what he?s basing that on.

Maybe the enemy of my enemy isn't always true?

Again, speaking from someone without direct exposure to MGS4, but wasn't the idea that as bad as the war economy was, there was no clear way out of it without triggering economic collapse?

I get that, but it feels like there isn't much of a plan beyond "Kill Ocelot". Considering 5 years have passed between games, there's very little indication of what Snake and Otacon have actually been doing in the meantime. And while there's this "Stop the Patriots" vibe going, it's hard to tell if they've actually been doing anything along those lines because the game doesn't talk about it.

Maybe it was mentioned in the CODECs I wasn't listening to(because unlike MSG3, I wasn't hitting the CODEC button every 5 minutes).

I think I alluded to it in my wall of text above, but for a game with so much running time devoted to explaining things, it doesn't have nearly that much to actually say.

I've started playing Peace Walker and it's like the polar opposite in some regards. It's a much smaller game and the cutscenes are far shorter(like 5 minutes, tops) but it feels like they're used so much better. They get to the point quickly, say what they want to say and move on.

And if you want more detail, there's a wealth in the tape database on pretty much everything.

Hawki:

Dalisclock:

Then there are the retcons, which get really, really heavy in Act 3.EVA makes her reappearance in the series as Big Mama, and not coincidentally, also Snake's mother, as in the woman who the cloned embryos of Solid, Liquid and Solidus were implanted into.

How's that a retcon?

That isn't so much one. It ended up getting lumped in there because EVA/Big Mana is the one dropping a lot of the retconning on Snake.

Honestly, the big one that that got me was "Big Boss was part of the Patriots from the beginning" despite being really sick of everyone's shit at the end of Snake Eater, to the point of dissing the Director of the CIA in front of the President. And the wierd, the Patriots were in Civil War, with one side being Big Boss and the Other side being everyone else, but they still all have a hard on for Big Boss to the point his body was kept in stasis for 15 years when everyone was pretty sure he was killed in 1999.

It feels really clunky and wierd. Somehow I don't see Peace Walker and Phantom Pain actually making it make more sense but one can hope.

Hawki:

Dalisclock:

Though a rather long series of cut-scenes, she explains that the Patriots were founded by pretty much all the main characters from MGS3, including Big Boss. SIGNIT became the DARPA chief from MGS, Zero ran the show and Paramedic ended up becoming the Dr. Clark who turned Grey Fox into the Cyborg Ninja, as well as spearheading the Snake Cloning project. Buying the idea of Zero running the patriots or at least being involved isn't a big leap considering he outright name drops them at one point. Signit, sure, why not? Paramedic being a mad scientist who turns people into crazy cyborgs? The same chick who wanted to talk movies all the time? It's hard to see that, honestly.

Again, not sure how those are retcons. I know that Doctor Clark did kind of have a gender flip (Naomi uses "he" in MGS1, but it's later revealed to be Paramedic), but apart from that, I'm not sure how revealing that Zero and co. birthed the Patriots counts as a retcon per se.

As for Paramedic, there's apparently a hint in MGS3 in a codec conversation. The prospect of cloning is discussed, and while Naked Snake brings up the potential ethical dillemas that could bring, Paramedic doesn't seem to appreciate them (or ignores them).

Maybe not a retcon but it feels wierd. Again, Zero doesn't suprise me because it's fairly obvious he was in on the whole thing to begin with(Blatantly lying to snake about the pretense of the mission). It just feels weird that everyone ended up being a Philosopher Agent/Patriot founder in retrospect.

Hawki:

Y'know, that reminds me of MGS2 - why the heck do Raiden and the president/Olga converse via codec when they're STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER? I know there's some reference to eavesdropping, or nanomachines, or something, but it came off as just weird. There's codec conversations in MGS1, but at least there the characters were separated by distance.

I've read that was a resourcing issue. It was easier on the game resources to have them do CODEC conversations then full animated scenes for all conversations. But yeah, it looks weird as hell.

Hawki:

In another MGS retrospective, I've seen the idea that the fight is meant to be a microcosm of war itself. They have no reason to fight, but do so anyway, reflecting on the pointlessness of war. And like war itself, it grinds them down. When it starts, the music's upbeat, and they both move quickly - war's just broken out, everyone's into it, etc. By the end, they've worn each other out, the music's become sombre, and there's still no point to it. The idea is that Snake and Ocelot are representations of humanity, fated to do battle, and fated to be ground down by conflict.

Course that's just one interpretation, but I like it.

Anyway, that's it. Don't have as much to say since, again, haven't played the game. Still, it was a good read. Nicely done.

Actually, I like it.

Dalisclock:
Also, Raiden somehow gain the ability to shoot lightening.... probably because NANOMACHINES! Yeah, I know that joke is getting old.Blame Kojima's stellar "writing".

It's completely obvious that Raiden is a mutant... He acquired the power of lightning because it rained the day he was born!!!

God, pay attention Dalisclock!!!

Phoenixmgs:

Dalisclock:
Also, Raiden somehow gain the ability to shoot lightening.... probably because NANOMACHINES! Yeah, I know that joke is getting old.Blame Kojima's stellar "writing".

It's completely obvious that Raiden is a mutant... He acquired the power of lightning because it rained the day he was born!!!

God, pay attention Dalisclock!!!

You got me. I am disappoint.

In other news, I'm working through Peace Walker and while I haven't gotten too far, I'm tryng to figure out how it jives with the whole "Big Boss helped found the Patriots" plot point from MGS4. Right now I'm really not seeing it, because Big Boss(sorry, Snake) seems like he's far more interested in doing his own thing with his PMC in South/Central America then being part of Zeros secret club.

It's kinda shocking(in a good way) that after hearing people go on and one about NANOMACHINES for hours, suddenly here's a plot based heavily off real world Cold War Proxy War Political Fuckery with self awareness of the moral/ethical/political grey areas being discussed. If not for the giant robots, I'd question if this is even in the same series as MGS4.

Honestly makes me wonder if MGS4 was a result of Kojima being pressured to wrap up all the loose ends from the previous games, something that was probably never meant to happen(MGS2 feels more and more like a "Message" with a game built around it the more I think about it). MGS3 and now Peace Walker feel so different in comparison, like doing prequels frees him from some of the baggage and allows him to do other stuff, such as MGS3 as a loving homage to Dr. Strangelove/James Bond and PW lets him explore the moral greyness of cold war politics while showing Big Boss getting into the Mercenary business(something part of his character from the very start).

Ah Metal Gear Solid 4. I sold my soul to that game.

Bought a PS3 just for it. Unlocked almost all the stuff avaliable in it.

So much hours wasted.

And I still don't understand how an economy is bolstered by constant proxy wars.

Chimpzy:

Hawki:

Dalisclock:
Snake looks at a pretty woman?s ass, it goes back up.

Da fuq?

There's this thing in MGS4 where you get a brief button press prompt during cutscenes to change the viewpoint, often switching to Snake's POV. There's one cutscene where Snake and Naomi are talking to each other. Reacting to the prompt has Snake sneaking peeks down Naomi's cleavage and this will restore some of Snake's meter. Among other examples.

You like that? It gets better.

Those skinsuit B&B sections Dalisclock mentioned, after you destroyed their armors and they do their sexy model striding towards you? During Octopus' fight, there are beds in the boss area. If you lie down on your back on those when she's down to her skinsuit, she'll sexily crawl on the bed to stradle you (and then try to choke you iirc). Snake also has a camera item in his inventory. Pull that out on a skinsuit B&B and they'll strike sexy poses so long as you keep it aimed at them. You can also make them dance by playing certain songs on your ingame ipod, but that's more cutesy j-pop dancing (you mileage may vary on how sexy that is).

Although it's not like MGS4 is alone in the pervy easter eggs department. Peeking in on Merryl exercising in her undies from a vent in MGS1 (aside from the whole finding her by looking for the guard with sexy lady hip sway). A ton of stuff involving EVA in MGS3. All in all, with all the other ludicrous stuff happening in the series, I just handwave it with "Oh Kojima, you crazy guy, had to get your perv on again, eh? Kinda creepy, mate."

Wasn't Snake trying to look up her skirt to see her panties?

Also Dalisclock, have you tried watching the cutscenes with certain masks on?

Its really humourous when you have a mask of another chacrater that Snake is talking to at the sametime.

And I tend to have Snake with his younger face in the cutscenes.

Samtemdo8:
Wasn't Snake trying to look up her skirt to see her panties?

Could be. It's been a long time since I've played MGS4. The cleavage thing might've been EVA or someone else instead.

Chimpzy:

Samtemdo8:
Wasn't Snake trying to look up her skirt to see her panties?

Could be. It's been a long time since I've played MGS4. The cleavage thing might've been EVA or someone else instead.

https://youtu.be/jhTIyZ3YY2k?t=8m49s

Its pretty much exactly it and I am surprised Snake of all people did this. You think he'd take his stealth training to heart and be more subtle about it.

Samtemdo8:
Also Dalisclock, have you tried watching the cutscenes with certain masks on?

Its really humourous when you have a mask of another chacrater that Snake is talking to at the sametime.

And I tend to have Snake with his younger face in the cutscenes.

I tended to use the camo mask(for extra Camo%) once I got it but really didn't mess around with it much.

I don't really feel like replaying large chunks of the game just to rewatch certain cutscenes, especially since the game doesn't seem to have a cutscene replay feature(unlike some of the other games).

If there is one, I might consider it but damn some of those cutscenes go on forever. Especially if there ends up being something as hilarious as Quiet's Rain Dance from MGSV where Quiet is replaced by Ocelot, or switching out the Seals in MGS2's cutscenes with Raiden clones.

Regarding Metal Gear Solid 3, thinking back I find it dissipointing with the Voice Actor they used for Young Ocelot. You hear him when he's elderly and he sounds russian esque, or at least his accent isn't so American. Its the same problem with Ocelot in MGS5 that I sometimes forget I was hearing Ocelot.

If they ever remake Metal Gear Solid 3, I know the perfect Voice Actor to do Young Ocelot, this guy:

Samtemdo8:
Regarding Metal Gear Solid 3, thinking back I find it dissipointing with the Voice Actor they used for Young Ocelot. You hear him when he's elderly and he sounds russian esque, or at least his accent isn't so American. Its the same problem with Ocelot in MGS5 that I sometimes forget I was hearing Ocelot.

If they ever remake Metal Gear Solid 3, I know the perfect Voice Actor to do Young Ocelot, this guy:

I read that they purposefully tried to avoid having any of the characters have accents in MGS3 because apparently there was a bit of flak over the Russian accents in MGS2. Thet do lampshade it by having Sokolov tell snake at one point "Your Russian is excellent", implying everyone is speaking Russian(except the support crew) and it's just getting auto-translated for our sake.

Which at least avoids embarrassment of having a game set in France and everyone having a notable british accent, except when they yell out certain french phrases.

There's also the issue of Sniper Wolf, a Kurd, sounding like she's maybe Russian?. I've seen videos of Kurdish people speaking English and it doesn't sound like whatever Sniper Wolf's VA was doing. Or Mei Ling(in MGS1), who was born and raised in the US, having a notable Chinese accent despite having no reason to have one.

Ocelot's lack of accent bothered me at first, though with that in mind, and his insanely quick learning ability(learning CQC and juggling revolvers to play his insanely over complicated version of russian roulette), it's possible he's just that good at learning languages flawlessly. Well, that and his mom was American, his dad was Russian so the idea of him growing up speaking both languages isn't hard to imagine.

Oddly enough, Kaz McDonald Miller almost feels like the wierdest for his lack of an accent. He was born and raised in Japan, yet he speaks perfect unaccented American English. OTOH, I'm not really gonna complain because, considering his voice actor is British, his American accent is spot on.

You know I always wondered why Liquad's Arm of all things?

Like after all is said and done and Liquad died and Ocelot escapes, the first thing that comes to his mind is, "You know what, I am gonna cut this guy's arm off and attach it to my own body"

And why Liquad's Arm of all people because didn't Liquad died of FoxDie? You know a virus that mabye Liquad's dead body might be still contaminated with?

He could have easily used some nobody genome solider that snake killed along the way.

Samtemdo8:
You know I always wondered why Liquad's Arm of all things?

Like after all is said and done and Liquad died and Ocelot escapes, the first thing that comes to his mind is, "You know what, I am gonna cut this guy's arm off and attach it to my own body"

And why Liquad's Arm of all people because didn't Liquad died of FoxDie? You know a virus that mabye Liquad's dead body might be still contaminated with?

He could have easily used some nobody genome solider that snake killed along the way.

I don't think even Kojima knows. It makes no sense no matter how you try to make the pieces fit, because it's established in both MGS4 and MGS5 that he could have used an artificial arm if having both arms was the main concern(yeah, I know they came years after MGS2 but Kojima was the one who included them so it's on him). That and there's no explanation why pretending to be possessed by a man who(per MGS2 and MGS4) was trying to rebel against the patriots somehow makes it easier for a Patriot Spy/double agent/triple agent/etc to get close enough to take them down, as opposed to, you know, just being the magnificent bastard ocelot always is.

My personal theory is that Ocelot acting like a nut with the arm thing was meant to overload the patriot surveillance with crazy, essentially creating a big crazy ocelot sized hole in their surveillance net that he can exploit when he needs to. It makes at least as much sense as anything else in this series.

Or that Kojima was doing the same thing David Lynch has been happy to admit to doing, which is putting in weird just because he wants to and would rather the audience make their own interpretation.

That might explain how nobody in universe seems to think the arm thing is particularly strange and everyone just rolls with "Liquids bad feelings are in ocelot now because arm" explanation.

Dalisclock:

Samtemdo8:
You know I always wondered why Liquad's Arm of all things?

Like after all is said and done and Liquad died and Ocelot escapes, the first thing that comes to his mind is, "You know what, I am gonna cut this guy's arm off and attach it to my own body"

And why Liquad's Arm of all people because didn't Liquad died of FoxDie? You know a virus that mabye Liquad's dead body might be still contaminated with?

He could have easily used some nobody genome solider that snake killed along the way.

I don't think even Kojima knows. It makes no sense no matter how you try to make the pieces fit, because it's established in both MGS4 and MGS5 that he could have used an artificial arm if having both arms was the main concern(yeah, I know they came years after MGS2 but Kojima was the one who included them so it's on him). That and there's no explanation why pretending to be possessed by a man who(per MGS2 and MGS4) was trying to rebel against the patriots somehow makes it easier for a Patriot Spy/double agent/triple agent/etc to get close enough to take them down, as opposed to, you know, just being the magnificent bastard ocelot always is.

My personal theory is that Ocelot acting like a nut with the arm thing was meant to overload the patriot surveillance with crazy, essentially creating a big crazy ocelot sized hole in their surveillance net that he can exploit when he needs to. It makes at least as much sense as anything else in this series.

Or that Kojima was doing the same thing David Lynch has been happy to admit to doing, which is putting in weird just because he wants to and would rather the audience make their own interpretation.

That might explain how nobody in universe seems to think the arm thing is particularly strange and everyone just rolls with "Liquids bad feelings are in ocelot now because arm" explanation.

Only Snake seemed to acknowledge how weird this was, but than again he's already been through weird shit like Mind Reading Psychics and Supernatural Native American man with Ravens.

Is it ever really explained how the "Fulton Recruitment" thing works in Peace Walker and MGSV? I get the mechanics of it but it seems to be impressment in all but name. At one point Kaz and Big Boss have a discussion about accepting Volunteers to MSF and they seem to tiptoe around the fact most of their army was basically kidnapped from the battlefield.

Is everyone just really impressed by Big Boss and want to serve him? What about those guys who initially go to the brig because of "Hostility" and are later let out to be "recruited"? Or the fact that if Morale drops, people can quit?

I'm kinda surprised that Coldman was the only one to call them "Pirates", considering the many similarities one could draw.

Dalisclock:
Is it ever really explained how the "Fulton Recruitment" thing works in Peace Walker and MGSV? I get the mechanics of it but it seems to be impressment in all but name. At one point Kaz and Big Boss have a discussion about accepting Volunteers to MSF and they seem to tiptoe around the fact most of their army was basically kidnapped from the battlefield.

Is everyone just really impressed by Big Boss and want to serve him? What about those guys who initially go to the brig because of "Hostility" and are later let out to be "recruited"? Or the fact that if Morale drops, people can quit?

I'm kinda surprised that Coldman was the only one to call them "Pirates", considering the many similarities one could draw.

In MGS5 they say that most soldiers are aware of Big Boss and super duper loves him long time, but don't know what he looks like. So when you bring troops home and they are told who he is, their huge boners for Boss take over and they join his group. As for the ones in the brig, they are "convinced" by Ocelot. So yeah your army is fanboys and people who were tortured into serving you.

Comic Sans:

Dalisclock:
Is it ever really explained how the "Fulton Recruitment" thing works in Peace Walker and MGSV? I get the mechanics of it but it seems to be impressment in all but name. At one point Kaz and Big Boss have a discussion about accepting Volunteers to MSF and they seem to tiptoe around the fact most of their army was basically kidnapped from the battlefield.

Is everyone just really impressed by Big Boss and want to serve him? What about those guys who initially go to the brig because of "Hostility" and are later let out to be "recruited"? Or the fact that if Morale drops, people can quit?

I'm kinda surprised that Coldman was the only one to call them "Pirates", considering the many similarities one could draw.

In MGS5 they say that most soldiers are aware of Big Boss and super duper loves him long time, but don't know what he looks like. So when you bring troops home and they are told who he is, their huge boners for Boss take over and they join his group. As for the ones in the brig, they are "convinced" by Ocelot. So yeah your army is fanboys and people who were tortured into serving you.

Yeah, that makes sense. Especially considering how every other person in the series fawns over Big Boss(except for Liquid and Solid, who hate him for various reasons), it wouldn't surprise me at all that his private army is made of dudes who find him very Charismatic.

The only other theory I had is that Miller walks in and simply says "Full Medical. Full Dental. You basically get to be a pirate. Refuse and you get to swim to shore".

On a related note, I have to wonder if Otacon ever got around to telling Solid Snake the story about how their dads were best buds back in the day destroying and building Metal Gears together. Assuming of course, Huey told Hal about meeting the most LEGENDARY SOLDIER ever.

Dalisclock:

On a related note, I have to wonder if Otacon ever got around to telling Solid Snake the story about how their dads were best buds back in the day destroying and building Metal Gears together. Assuming of course, Huey told Hal about meeting the most LEGENDARY SOLDIER ever.

Not sure if you've played MGSV but I'm gonna spoiler it in case

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