10 Things you didn’t know you could do in Metal Gear Solid
June 8, 2008 § 2 Comments
Metal Gear Solid is a series renowned for it’s huge cinematic story and incredibly solid (sorry) stealth gameplay. For anyone playing the game it soon becomes clear that Kojima’s attention to detail is unparalleled in the gaming world. You may go through a game two or three times and still not discover everything the game has to offer. With Kojima promising this will still be the case in Metal Gear Solid 4, it’s time to delve into MGS games of old to uncover ten things (in no particular order) you perhaps didn’t know you could do in Metal Gear Solid.
10. Paralysing guards.
Perhaps the most iconic detail of Mgs (aside from the cardboard box, but we’ll get to that later) is the exclamation mark that will appear above an enemy’s head if you’re spotted. Nimble players can use this feature to their advantage in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty by shooting the ‘!’ when it appears to paralyse the guard it belongs to momentarily.
Be advised this is a tricky manoeuvre to pull off and you have little to no chance of success if a guard gets the jump on you. None the less, it might be something worth trying the next time you have no idea how to get through an area…
9. Camera tricks
Every MGS game thus far has included a camera to find at some point or another that can then be used to take pictures, which are then saved to a memory card. Doing so is purely cosmetic, as these photos will (generally) have no other purpose other than to look pretty.
In Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistance these photos can be exported to a PSP running Metal Gear Ac!d 2 to be viewed in 3D but their most interesting inclusion came in the original Metal Gear Solid when taking pictures at certain points would yield supernatural results. Such pictures would reveal “ghosts” of the MGS development staff. Trying to take a picture of every single ghost in the game was a tricky proposition for anyone without the luxury of the PC’s hard drive, each photo would eat up a huge chunk of the memory card, making it impossible to find them all on one card.
Oh and as an interesting side note:
8. Shaving delights
Snake’s stubble is perhaps as much of a defining characteristic as his bandana or his sneaking suit but players in MGS2 were given the option of indirectly removing Snake’s hairy jaw. When playing on a hard difficulty a shaver was present in the initial area which was then given involuntarily to Snake in a later cutscene. When Raiden then met Snake at the end of the game the player would then be presented with a clean-shaven legendary hero. Clearly Snake’s beard has simply been due to a lack of suitable shaving material in his equipment…
7. Alternate outfits
It seems even Kojima can’t resist throwing in an alternate costume for people on their second play through for no particular reason. In MGS2 this disappointingly only amounted to the addition of a set of (not so) cool shades for characters on a second run, but in both MGS1 and 3 the reward was much more awesome when players were given a tuxedo to wear whilst they infiltrated top secret research facilities in style. The names Snake, Solid Snake (sorry couldn’t resist).
Significant additions came to MGS3, most notably with CQC and injuries that would permanently reduce Snake’s maximum health. A criminally underused change came with the elimination of Rations by a need to eat food in the wilderness in order to regain stamina, but it wasn’t just Naked Snake that suffered from hunger pangs, guards could also be made to feel there wrath with the help of a little explosive goodness. Huts in the game used by guards to store food supplies (as well as medical and armoury) could be blow up with a few well-placed TNT changes. Doing so would not only result in a beautiful ball of fire and a well-deserved alert, but also changes to the enemy’s routine. Taking away their food would make them more likely to pick up rotten or poisonous food you leave in their path, making life much easier for the more devious players amongst us. Who said high-powered explosives couldn’t solve all of your problems?
Anyone who’s ever tried to get the Kerotin ranking in MGS3 should hate them, and if you don’t, then there’s either something very wrong, or very right with you. Every area in the game features on of these little green frogs, which then had to be shot to earn the game ranking. Shooting every single one also had the advantage of giving you the stealth camouflage at the end of the game, something which would have perhaps been more useful the first time.
MGS2’s little collectables were a little less rewarding. No, I’m not talking about the dog tags, remember this is things you DIDN’T know you could do in MGS but rather I’m talking about the Easter Island Statues hidden throughout the game. There are 6 in total, with one that can only be found in the extreme difficulty and they give you nothing more than a sense of satisfaction from finding them, so don’t go looking for a reward. Greedy bastard.
4. Proverbial Inaccuracies
You may have noticed whenever you save in the tanker section of Sons of Liberty Otacon will quote a Chinese proverb before explaining it to you, a la Mei Ling in the first game. It seems that Mr. Emmerich’s knowledge of Chinese philosophy isn’t as sound as he thought as after a particularly cringe worthy explanation of one particular proverb our teenage Japanese friend feels the need to intervene, interrupting the codec conversation and setting Otacon straight.
3. Make shit blow up
Interrogating guards in MGS3 was an odd feature. It was odd for the simple reason that there didn’t really seem to be much point to it, most of the time a guard would simply answer with some dumbass remark like “Sokolov is under armed protection.” Well gee thanks, because I would have just run in there blindly if you hadn’t given me that gem of information. I thought it was useless, until I was given a frequency number, a frequency number to call in an air strike. I don’t think I really need to say any more than that. Find somewhere to hide, and enjoy the havoc you have wrecked…
Players under the age of ten were delighted to discover that if you managed to follow Meryl quickly enough into the woman’s bathroom whilst she was disguised at a guard you’d be able to see her in her panties. “Hurray!” The Internet cried, as nerds everywhere rushed to google images to find screenshots. But the thing is…at the end of the day a texture artist in Japan drew that, and you know what? He was probably a man. Oh and also she’s not real. Does it seem so hot now?
The underwear theme continued into MGS2 when on a second run-through you’d enter the tanker holds to find all the Marine Corps in their red spotty boxers. It’s not quite as interesting as Meryl but to each their own I guess…
1. Your Cardboard Friend
Ok so this isn’t as niche as most of the other stuff on this list but you can’t really have a sensible discussion about Metal Gear without bringing up the single most useful and simultaneously hilarious item you have at your disposal. The cardboard box can be used to get past nearly every urban environment in the game, and so long as you neither move whilst an enemy is looking at you, nor get in their way whilst using it, you’re practically invisible.
The cardboard box does have another use beyond hiding out though. Each game has had a method of using the box as a method of transportation. In the first and third games you could get into the backs of trucks, and in the second a conveyor belt would magically whisk you away to another strut of the Big Shell and even to an area which is not accessible until the end of the game. Right on.
So there you have it. I hope I’ve brought up some stuff to try that you may not have heard of before, and if not, I hope there are some fond memories contained in this article that will entice you to play through this epic series once more. As for me though, I’ve almost concluded my chronological run through of the series, and as we speak Fatman is calling me to the roof of Strut E with the promise of a really big fucking bomb. As a direct result of this, I must bid you, the Internet, adieu.