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Metal Gear Solid

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Metal Gear Solid
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PS Version Cover (North American version)

Developer(s) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (West)
Publisher(s) PS: Konami
PC: Microsoft
Release date(s) September 3, 1998 (JP)
October 21, 1998 (NA)
February 26, 1999 (EU)
Genre Stealth action
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) Mature (ESRB), 15+ (ELSPA), 15+ (CERO)
Platform(s) PlayStation, ported to PC

Metal Gear Solid, commonly abbreviated as MGS, is a stealth-based game developed by Konami and first published for the PlayStation game console in 1998. It is the third canonical game in the Metal Gear series and was produced and directed by Hideo Kojima, with artwork by Yoji Shinkawa. The game is known for its intense stealth gameplay followed by deep, story-driven cinematic segments. It has been frequently selected by gaming publications as the greatest PlayStation game ever made.

Contents

Origins, style, and success

Metal Gear Solid was groundbreaking in its use of spoken dialogue, an intricate (if somewhat obtuse) plot, and cinematic presentation. The availability of 3D graphics and the extensive storage capacity of the CD-ROM format compared to what the Metal Gear team had to work with in 1987 and 1990 made it possible to render a more complete vision of Metal Gear's classic "Tactical Espionage Action" than the previous games for the NES and MSX.

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Screenshot (PlayStation)

After a teaser showing at E in 1997, it became one of the most highly anticipated games of its time. It topped the sales charts upon its release in 1998, and held the number one spot in the ELSPA UK videogames chart for eight consecutive weeks, a record at the time. The English-language version of Metal Gear Solid was released in Japan with a variety of extra features as Metal Gear Solid: Integral in 1999. Integral was ported to the PC in 2000 to be released internationally. While the PlayStation version of Integral was not released outside of Japan, the VR missions from the game were released separately; in the NTSC-US region it was titled Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions and in PAL territories it was dubbed Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions.

To date, Metal Gear Solid has spawned one sequel (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, released in 2001) and a prequel (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, released in 2004). A fourth game, tentatively titled Metal Gear Solid 4, is currently in development.

Plot Summary

During a training mission on Shadow Moses, a nuclear weapons facility on a remote island off the coast of Alaska, Special Forces unit FOXHOUND rebel, annexing themselves and the advanced weapon system Metal Gear "REX" in the single biggest act of terrorism in history. At the request of the government, Colonel Roy Campbell, the former commander of FOXHOUND, summons Solid Snake out of retirement and sends him to infiltrate Shadow Moses in one last solo covert operation.

Aiding him in his mission are Dr. Hal Emmerich, a.k.a. "Otacon", the developer of this Metal Gear; Meryl, Col. Campbell's niece; and a team of the top specialists in various fields, who communicate with Snake via a two-way radio dubbed the Codec. Opposing him are FOXHOUND's members, elite—if highly unusual—special forces operatives with mercenary backgrounds, led by Liquid Snake, the man with the same codename—and face—as Solid Snake.

In the middle of his battle against FOXHOUND, Snake encounters a cyborg ninja, who thirsts only for battle. This mysterious figure turns out to be Grey Fox, Snake's former FOXHOUND comrade who defected to the enemy and fought against Snake in Zanzibar. After being tricked into activating REX, Snake is confronted by Liquid, who reveals that they are twins. Each of them is a genetically-manipulated clone of the 20th century's greatest soldier, Big Boss, FOXHOUND's former leader. Snake's sins as a soldier, and his destiny to follow in his "father"'s footsteps, loom. With the support of the cyborg ninja, Solid Snake fights a decisive battle with Liquid and REX. Snake succeeds in defeating REX, but is then forced to fight Liquid on the carcass of the destroyed Metal Gear. After a long and protracted struggle, Snake finally defeats Liquid and escapes Shadow Moses to find his own purpose.

Cinematic presentation

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The entire game was fully voiced with an unprecedented amount of quality voice acting talent. The majority of the game's dialogue takes place during radio conversations between Solid Snake (Akio Otsuka/David Hayter, Japanese and American respectively) and other characters in the drama on a transmitting device called a Codec. The player was also free to initiate additional Codec calls during gameplay, which allowed additional details outside of the core storyline to be picked up.

The rest of the plot unfolds during fully-voiced cut scenes, the cinematic quality of which was considered groundbreaking for its time. These scenes featured motion captured movements, elaborate camera shots, and special effects. They were rendered in real-time using the game's 3D engine. Most noticeably, the characters' mouths did not move during dialogue and instead a slight jiggle of the head was used to represent speech. However, advantages were conferred, notably the freedom of placement of the camera and its ability to move without limitation (e.g. through walls). In this sense, the game may be viewed as an example of machinima.

Upon completion, the game features a rolling demo mode, in which the player may watch every cutscene and Codec conversation in the game without actually playing through it. The game contains over four hours of dialogue. The sheer amount of detail and volume of dialogue required the game to ship on two CDs.

Metal Gear Solid was one of the first video games to carry a definable "moral" and "meaning". In this case, it was vehemently opposed to nuclear proliferation, and broached such themes as love and killing. It also made the scientific suggestion that people should not be quick to blame their problems on their genes. It brought the idea that even the most basic media of expression allow meaningful objects with artistic merit to be produced.

Music

Metal Gear Solid's score was composed by a number of in-house musicians at Konami, including Kazuki Muraoka, composer of the NES version of the original Metal Gear. It set the style for the later games in the series. The in-game music has a more synthetic feel, often similar to ambient music, which increases pace and begins to introduce strings during the more tense moments. It has a distinctly videogame-style looping nature. Cut scene music, however, is more overtly cinematic, with stronger use of orchestral and choral elements.

A relaxing and contemplative ending theme by Rika Muranaka, titled "The Best is Yet To Come", covers the game's end-credits sequence and features Gaelic vocals. An alternate ending theme, which is heard upon completing the game three times, was written by Policenauts composer TAPPY. This theme was previously featured in the game's trailers, and also set the style for later Metal Gear games.

These three styles (synthetic game music, orchestral cut-scene music, and a vocal ending theme) are revisited throughout the later games such as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

The music used during the VR missions is a reworking of the main theme from the original MSX version of Metal Gear.

Alternate Versions

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Japanese Premium Package box and contents.
The European and PC covers featured artwork by
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The European and PC covers featured artwork by Yoji Shinkawa
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European PlayStation cover

Two versions of Metal Gear Solid were initially released in Japan; a stand-alone version containing the game itself, and a premium package containing the game, a t-shirt, a B4-sized pamphlet, memory card stickers, a serialized FOXHOUND dog tag, and a CD soundtrack containing music from the original MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The premium package that was sold to the general public in Japan came in a silver-colored metallic box, while a gold version was given to Konami stockholders. Both the premium package and the standard release came with a demo version of Gens Suikoden II.

The original Metal Gear Solid was released first in Japan, prior to the North American release. As a result, the American version received the benefit of additional contents such as adjustable difficulty settings (the Japanese version only featured the "Easy" setting), a demo theatre and an unlockable tuxedo outfit for Snake in addition to the red-colored Cyborg Ninja from the Japanese version. These features, combined with the English voiceovers from the North American version, were carried over to Metal Gear Solid: Integral in Japan.

The English script was translated by Jeremy Blaustein, who localized the English script for the Sega CD version of Snatcher. While his work in Metal Gear Solid was accurate to the original Japanese script, many of the lines in the games were Americanized by Blaustein. One of the most drastic differences between the original script and Blaustein's was the fact that Mei Ling only quoted Chinese proverbs in the Japanese version, whereas in the English script, she also quoted from western authors and literature.

In the European releases of Metal Gear Solid some countries received a version of the game dubbed in their own languages, such as Spanish and French. In contrast, the European releases of later Metal Gear titles featured only English dubbing with subtitles in the respective country's language. The European versions included a playable demo of Silent Hill. A premium package was also released in Europe; however, the contents of it are different from the Japanese version. It contains the game, its soundtrack, postcards, dog tags, a reversible poster, and memory card stickers. It is not considered as collectable as the Japanese version as, in this case, the soundtrack could be purchased separately and the dog tags have a generic design with the Metal Gear Solid and Konami logos instead of the FOXHOUND design from the Japanese version.

The Game Boy Color game Metal Gear: Ghost Babel was retitled Metal Gear Solid for release outside of Japan.

In the first quarter of 2004, a remake titled Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was released for the Nintendo GameCube. It features re-recorded voice acting, updated graphics, and gameplay features borrowed from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

External Links

Official Website (Japanese) (http://www.konami.jp/gs/game/metalgear/) Template:- Template:Wikiquote Template:- Template:Metal Gear seriesde:Metal_Gear es:Metal Gear Solid fr:Metal Gear Solid it:Metal Gear Solid ja:メタルギアソリッド pt:Metal Gear Solid zh:合金装备:索利得

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