The Let's Play Archive

Metal Gear 1 & 2

by Cool Ghost

Part 20: Metal Gear 2 Part One: Sneakin' In

Metal Gear 2 Part One: Sneakin' In

Let's start things off with some music. This is the theme of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake:

Japan had a couple of economic problems in the late '80s, so they tried to institute a program where companies sponsored entire years.

This game takes place in 1999. Metal Gear 1 took place in 1995, so it's been four years. Maybe keep this in mind for later?

This is a strange tonal shift. Complete disarmament would take a whole lot of cooperation and be incredibly difficult to pull off.

That first bit was retconned by Metal Gear Solid, too, I believe, to there only being partial disarmament, bringing the series more in line with reality.

...And the game already contradicted itself. The nuclear threat was less "gone" and more "put away in a shed somewhere". Nobody did anything to stop Zanzibar Land from doing this? It doesn't sound like they were being particularly subtle about it.

I'm not entirely sure how this would work, but I'm also not a chemist, so all I can say is that it sounds implausible. Metal Gear science has always been a bit separated from real science, though.

You know what probably would have solved this problem? Not letting one little country take all of the nukes.

This is Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. It is going to get much, much crazier as we go. So, let's get started.

The game proper opens with a man in green climbing a cliff and hiding behind some convenient sandbags.

He pulls out his radio and makes a call. This man is our protagonist, Solid Snake.

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:


A former FOXHOUND squad member, he is Japanese-British, with an IQ rating of 160. He is conversant in 6 languages, well trained in high-altitude skydiving, scuba-diving and free climbing. Able to sneak anywhere, and under any circumstances; he is "a man who can make the impossible possible". The very man who famed the name FOXHOUND worldwide through Operation Intrude N313. He retired, but was later scouted by the CIA. He served as a deep cover agent there, but opposed to its system, and left the organization after 6 months. He was deep in the Canadian wilderness when FOXHOUND called him back once again. True name and family are concealed through "Classified National Security Codes".

Height: 178 cm

Weight: 75 kg

Apparently, Solid Snake is very famous in intelligence, even though everything he did in Outer Heaven should be covered up seven ways to Sunday. I don't know if Kojima was entirely up on how black ops work when he worked on this game.

Back to the radio, and the game introduces a second character, Campbell.

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:


General planning commander of FOXHOUND.

The American responsible for "OPERATION INTRUDE F014". He has called "SOLID SNAKE" back as an intruder for this operation. After holding high rank in the United States Marine Corps (USMC), Fifth Marine Legion, and the Green Beret Squad, he joined FOXHOUND, and became vice-commander. Was known for the code name "CHICKEN FOX" in his early days.

His strategic planning ability was clearly evident after "BIG BOSS" was gone. Campbell discarded code names, and built up the already hi-tech special force team by utilizing recon satellite orbits and other implementations, creating a completely new Campbell-way FOXHOUND.

In contrast to the instinctive and wild strategies of BIG BOSS's, he ekes out operation plans with caution and detail, and "zero residual presence" is of utmost importance. Roy was awarded several honorable titles in the late 90's.

One of the few commanders who remembers the old FOXHOUND of "BIG BOSS" days.

Height: 183 cm

Weight: 77 kg

Roy Campbell takes over from Big Boss as Snake's commander. His bio implies that FOXHOUND has some serious memory problems as a collective, as few people remember the "old days" of Big Boss, from four years ago. Or maybe they just have a stupidly high turnover rate because they insist on sending operatives in without shoes or equipment.

(There is a section in the Metal Gear 2 manual about the boots FOXHOUND uses, by the way.)

Introductions aside, let's get to business.

As Roy explains what's going on, this plays:

Then you retake kidnapped Dr Kio Marv, Czech biologist. Now turn on your mobile radar.

There's the radar in the upper right. It's sort of useful, but I tend to forget I have it. It's certainly not the crutch it is in Metal Gear Solid and MGS2.

By the way, the manual has a small blurb on the radar:

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:

Mobile object reactive radar

A reactive radar which was introduced last year. It tells you anything moving in close range.

Other than that, various sensors can be equipped as options.

It's got one on the radio, too:

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:

Wireless transceiver

It can contact through satellites to anywhere in the world. For transmission purpose, it depends on special burst-signal conversion via computers, so decoding is not easy even if tapped. A greatest of items in FOX HOUND, where information is regarded important over anything else.

And that's no ordinary microphone they're using!

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:

Wireless-only income

Lightweight flexible income equipped with a high-ability microphone. It can concentrate sounds without vocal microphones, using a system which directly picks sounds from vibration of earbones.

The manual is just jam-packed with stuff like this. That's the same way that the radio is supposed to work in Metal Gear Solid, by the way.

Back to you, Roy!

It will warn you of many dangers.
What's its range?
9 screens, with you in the middle. The radar deactivates when an enemy finds you, because the enemy can detect the radar signal.

This seems like it would be the worst time for your radar to stop working, but I guess that's what you get when you work for the government in a Metal Gear game.

Dr Marv has an emitter in his tooth. If you come near him, he'll show up on your radar as a red dot.
Let's find that red dot, then...
Snake...Communications will be on freq. 140.85. Good luck! ...Over.

And now that's over with, some music for Zanzibar Land:

In case you haven't noticed, this game is a lot heavier on text than Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge were. At this point, the player finally gets control of Snake. Let's just do a quick equipment check, shall we?

No weapons, but we do have a pack of cigarettes. As you can see, every item in this game has a little bit of text that describes it. The manual has more:

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:

Cigarette Lucky Striker: SNAKE's favorite brand of filterless cigarettes he carries from beginning.

Lucky Striker, the closest that you can come to Lucky Strikes without being sued. Cigarettes are more useful in this game than they were in Metal Gear, because now they can show you laser traps. And unlike the later games, they have no effect on your health, so using them is actually viable.

Snake can stand around (and, if you have the cigarettes equipped, smoke them)...

Or he can crouch and crawl around. This is a big addition to Metal Gear 2, and it's used quite a bit. Playing the two games, you'd be surprised at how much of a difference just being able to crawl can make on room design options.

Carrying on, these are the first guards of the game. Guards in this game have an actual field of vision (45 degrees on either side), so they're a lot more effective at spotting you than in Metal Gear. They can also move between screens now and don't respawn every time you move between screens.

Here's a Zanzibar Land truck, just parked on a cliff. Who knows why. Let's loot this shit.

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:

Combat Rations MCI: Handy food called rations. One unit can recover all LIFE at once. To do this, select a ration in the EQUIPMENT screen, and press shot key. If are carrying one of these (i.e. it is displayed in the game screen), and your life reaches '0' you will automatically consume it. Also, rations are divided into the following units, and each menu is different. You should know their menus thoroughly, since such knowledge will be indispensable during several occasions of the game.

1) B1 Unit / Beef, pork, ham and eggs paste, tuna fish, chocolate and crackers.

2) B2 Unit / Tomato-boiled peas and meatball mix, potato-boiled peas and German sausages mix, potato-boiled beef and Sauce-boiled diced beef.

3) B3 Unit / Sauce-boiled sliced hams, chicken and turkey, spaghetti with beef, turkey blocks, cheese and coffee.

It's a ration! These still restore health, but now they'll do that automatically if you die with rations equipped, which is handy (especially against bosses). There are three types in the game, and yes that is important, but for some pretty stupid reasons. Let's keep going!

No longer is Solid Snake stymied by a chain link fence! Now, truly, we are the masters of the world!

Except for the fact that crawling is mapped to the shoot button and the punch button at the same time, which can be difficult to get used to. I don't know why it's like this, the MSX didn't have a shortage of keys to use.

This guard was looking at me a second earlier, but then he turned. Either way, Zanzibar Land has got the absolute densest fences and guards can't see through them.

If they do manage to get eyes on you, though, you still get an alert. Alerts in Metal Gear 2 work on a two-stage system. In the first stage, enemies know where you are and will flock to you in order to shoot you full of bullets. In the second stage, they don't know exactly where you are, but are searching for you.

This is also the way alerts work in Metal Gear Solid. The two games are very similar as far as gameplay options go.

Another new thing is that you can punch objects and make noises to distract guards (they'll exclaim "a noise!" and then run to check it out). There are a lot of new things you can do in this game.

Look for an alternative way in. ...Over.

This is what awaits us on the next screen.

So we run over to the right to find another way in. As luck would have it, there's a vent right there! But first, I want to check out that truck.

I use the vent to hide like a cool dude, then I kill the guard and go in the truck to find this giant handgun.

Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:

Handgun [Beretta M92F]: A semi-automatic pistol, standard of the American army. Silencer supported. 1 shot type. Find ammo packs to reload.

This is the handgun, it works the same as in the other games.

If you look closely, you can see the blue rifle that indicates Snake has a gun.

With that done, I crawl into the vent. While I'm in there, I decided to call Campbell.

Snake says this every time you call out in Metal Gear 2, just like in Metal Gear.

Used in a high concentration it renders your radar useless. That's what you experience right now. ...Over.

These are pretty complicated ducts. Roomy, too.

Over to the left, I find a box of ammo. Only 30 bullets, which is kind of a waste of a crate, but still better than nothing.

Crawling back to the right takes Snake into the building proper (after this loading screen), which is where we'll pick up next time!