If you aren’t into video games… well, it’s about to get nerdy. Let me tell you about something near and dear to my heart.
When I was a kid my grandma bought me a box of comics. One of the ads was for a video game that was unlike any other I had ever seen. I was used to Mario where you jump over turtles. Maybe Contra you could use a few different guns sure, but this had binoculars, hazard suits, mine detectors… how could you ever have time to use all these objects. The closest I had come to this much complexity was Boy and His Blob and I still haven’t found out what all those jellybeans did. Plus that image totally ripped off from Terminator? Still, it was the coolest thing I had seen.
Flash forward to 1998. I played a demo for the most frustrating game I had played. My player was dipping down to crawl at the wrong time. I didn’t have any weapons but the bad guys had machine guns. The bad guys also had the ability to hear sounds I made and they would get suspicious. They would find my wet footprints and follow them. This was groundbreaking. I couldn’t even get past the first level.
I had to have it.
Playing as Solid Snake, I ended up beating the game (the first time I needed help) some 12 more times. You were really the clone of Big Boss the legendary super-soldier you fought in the original Metal Gear games. Your known clone sibling Liquidus wanted Big Boss’ remains and would stop at nothing to get them. I loved the in-game movies. I loved the bad guys and their motivations. The Cyborg Ninja Grey Fox, Revolver Ocelot, Vulcan Raven, Meryl, Colonel Campbell. Everyone who got close to you ended up dying mysteriously (Fox DIEEE!!!). I loved the ending where the one bad guy who lived was really a spy for the President!
Then the Metal Gear Solid 2: Son’s of Liberty came out. Solid Snake was back with a tranquilizer gun. But wait, you only played as him for the first 20-30 minutes. The next few hours you spent as this whiny brat code-named Raiden. President George Sears from the first game was none other than Solid Snake’s brother Solidus!
In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater you played as Big Boss in the ’60s with the, then, code-name Naked Snake. Just like Solid Snake, you had to defeat your mentor, in this case, The Boss, earning you the title Big Boss. The boss fights were amazing and you had to find food throughout the game to keep up your stamina. It was like nothing I had played. The theme song was even amazing.
Part 4, Guns of the Patriots again blew away all other games. Raiden came back as an awesome Cyborg Ninja! Due to Fox Die from the first game, Snake was prematurely aged and had grown a mustache. At the end of the game, you meet up with Big Boss whose brain had been put in Solidus’ body. He told you to go live your life. A satisfying end to Snake’s tale.
But it doesn’t end there!
Big Boss was back in Peace Walker. You built a base off Costa Rica for your mercenary squad, Militaires Sans Frontières, and were able to conscript the other mercenaries to fight for you! Thinking your old mentor was still alive you got sucked into fighting pieces of what would become the first Metal Gear.
I haven’t even told you what a Metal Gear is!
A Metal Gear is a walking battle tank. Metal Gear Rex was nuclear-armed. Metal Gear Ray had a water cannon that could cut through anything. In Peace Walker as Big Boss, you ended up creating Metal Gear Zeke.
In the latest game (maybe it’s fair to call it a preview of the next game) Ground Zeroes you are back to rescue your friend and main enemy from Peace Walker. Things go downhill on the way back to base which is a total set up for the next game, Phantom Pain.
Metal Gear Solid is the main reason I bought a TV. It also caused me to purchase the PlayStation 2, 3, and 4 and was the sole reason I bought the PSP.
I can not wait for the latest game to come out.