Part 41: Metal Gear 2 Part Twenty-Two: FOX-HOUND Reunion TourMetal Gear 2 Part Twenty-Two: FOX-HOUND Reunion Tour
Last time we saw Solid Snake, he was dropped three floors from the basement of the prison compound straight onto his neck.
Solid Snake has a very strong neck.
As soon as he lands, Fox starts yelling at him. Fox is full of shit, Petrovich already told us how to blow up Metal Gear.
Seriously, the pit traps on the stairs would drop Snake down one floor, onto his feet, and kill him instantly. This one dropped him three floors straight onto his face, and he's fine.
: A self-delusion of that old git of a scholar!
Are you saying that you fixed an issue that Snake already knew about? Because I'm not quite ready to believe you're that competent, Fox.
: Fox?...Where are you?
That is not how ellipses work, guys. You can't just put them wherever.
: You'll see me soon, Snake. Come through the north door!
Before we go through the north door, let's check out the door to the east. It is full of grenades. We need to throw grenades at Metal Gear's legs to destroy it.
Nice to see that the game is on my side here.
I have 60 grenades!
The bottom room has a ration and some more grenades. Not very exciting. I can't open the door on the west wall yet.
Before I pop into the north room, I equip the vest and my handgun. I don't know why I went with the handgun.
Oh, look. It's Metal Gear. And fuckin' Grey Fox, with a speech prepared.
: Taste true fear and humility!
Okay, it's not much of a speech.
Metal Gear fight theme here:
There is a whole hell of a lot of information about Metal Gear in the manual, most of it completely irrelevant. I'm just going to post the specs from the manual here.
Metal Gear 2 Manual posted:
METAL GEAR D
Overall Height: 8.5 m (including sensors and a nuclear module)
Overall Length: 7.9 m
Overall Width: 5.76 m
Standard Weight: 61.05 t (standard equipped)
Maximum Speed: 45 km/h
Armor: Chobham plate + special heat-resistant ceramic
Power Generator Output: 6,500 kw
Valid Sensor Radius: 12,500 m
Class 1 Weaponry
60 mm Vulcan Gun: Multiple-barrel type with 3 barrels
5.56 mm Machine Gun:
Missile Pod with 6 Loads
- Radar homing
- Environmental Searching
- IR (infrared-ray) tailing
- X-ray line-scanning
Smoke Discharger x2
Class 2 Weaponry
Optional Equipment, equipped optionally depending on attacking areas and mission purposes
Double Launcher Pod
75 mm cannon gun
Class 3 Weaponry
Nuclear, Short- to middle-ranged nuclear missiles are equipped. (up to 6 shots)
The other articles about the thing go into its role on the battlefield (shootin' nukes) and how to carry it (by helicopter), but there's not much to be discussed there.
The manual also mentions a smaller, mass-produced Metal Gear that was cut from the final game. That's pretty nice to hear, because I don't think they could have made a fight against them that wouldn't suck on the MSX.
Turns out Metal Gear D sucks just as bad as TX-55.
Metal Gear D walks forward and backward along a short, straight path, stopping to fire machine guns at Snake or to fire two missiles at him. The missiles turn once to home in on Snake, then don't follow him anymore. Both attacks can be avoided by staying on the move. Toss grenades at the legs whenever you can, keep the vest on for when the guns tag you, and this battle will be over in no time. It feels fairly fast and doesn't pause for no reason while the boss hides. Fighting Metal Gear D is anticlimactic, but it's not awful.
After the fight:
The best line in the game!
And then Fox runs off to the south, leaving Snake in this tiny room (how did Metal Gear get in here?) and also on fire. Why is Snake on fire but not Fox, and how was Fox in any condition to take the cartridge after Metal Gear blew up?
And how did Metal Gear get in here?
NO SHIT, ROY. I HAD NO IDEA.
: You must drop them now! [Press Space to drop them]
So now we get to toss out all of our items, one by one, while taking constant damage from being on fire. You can see here that not only did Fox take the cartridge, but he also took Snake's owl buddy.
The rations aren't on fire here (a few things aren't, actually), but they still have to go. When you toss them, they still heal you.
The weapons menu is a little more anaemic. It's just the camo mat and the robot mouse at this point.
Also, every robot mouse counts as a different item, so I have to drop all 14 separately. Snake, why can't you just dump the whole backpack?
Empty!! Now we're ready for the final bosses!
This room is, like, 20 feet by 20 feet. Seriously, how did Metal Gear get in here?
We can get out to the south now, and you can see that the door on the west wall is open (earlier, it wouldn't respond to my keycards). The other two rooms are empty, since I cleaned them out earlier. Well, let's get to it.
World's smallest room, Snake.
Nobody likes melodrama, Fox. Besides, you probably have a dozen broken bones after Metal Gear blew up with you inside. Just give Snake the cartridge and go away.
The room lights up! This is about the size of the elevator Snake fought Ultra Box in, I'd say.
: Let's settle this once and for all...How about a fistfight?
Well, I did just kind of throw away all my shit. I don't know how else Snake would fight you.
: You mean a chicken fight.
Uh, no. I think he means regular punching each other to death.
: You were always my big rival in FOX HOUND...
The fuck are you talking about, Fox? Snake was a rookie when you left the unit.
Wait, was FOX-HOUND just the two of you, Big Boss, and that jerk Roy Campbell?
That explains so much.
: I was eager for the day I could settle up with you.
For fucking what? Rescuing you in Outer Heaven? Going on one mission for the unit before this? Killing the dumbass traitor leader? Scoring higher than the room temperature of a walk-in freezer on the FOX-HOUND IQ test?
: Fox! I'll kick the twisted mind out of you!
: Snake! Learn the value of the Fox title!
Whatever, Fox. Before I deal with you, I need to phone Kessler.
: Grey Fox...former FOX HOUND agent. True name Frank Jaeger.
Natasha's boyfriend? Natasha who Grey Fox blasted with a missile for basically no reason right before he let Snake go because they were buddies in FOX-HOUND?
This is supposed to be the in Natasha's death. Grey Fox did it and had no reason to (you'll see this in a while). But instead of that, nobody gives a shit about Natasha and it doesn't really fit in with Grey Fox's motivations. Instead of being this little piece of inter-character drama, it's just another thing that happens.
That's a problem that most of this game's plot has, actually. Parts of it feel connected to each other, but most of it is just "things happen". It doesn't help that Snake is just kind of there and doesn't have much character.
: The last man to bear the Fox title from the Big Boss days. Received five awards...
...All for perfect attendance.
: I know about his excellence. I know best, I was his junior.
Grey Fox is supposed to be this highly-decorated, top-of-the-class mercenary/assassin, but really, what have we seen him do? Be captured in Outer Heaven, kill Natasha, let Snake go when he could easily have killed him (twice!), and get blown up in Metal Gear.
Man must be a hell of a cook or something, because he is thick as a brick.
: He is a cool-minded hunter who never misses what he seeks.
Good thing Snake is here to set me straight, because that is basically exactly the opposite of how I would describe Grey Fox.
: All members revered him, and loved him...
What members? Like, why are all of our mission support staff outside operators? Would it have been that hard to replace Kessler with a FOX-HOUND intelligence guy?
: You know about his FOX HOUND days. And about his past? A relationship with a woman in the East, 10 years ago. First they tried seeking asylum. After that, an over-the-fence. It all failed. America would not grant her a green card.
Did they try getting married? Because, uh, I'm pretty sure that would have worked. 1988-89 wasn't exactly the height of the Cold War, I don't think that the immigration authorities would have forbidden it because of her nationality.
: He held a lot of resentment to his superiors, I heard.
Oh, wait, I forgot that America is just straight-up evil in this game. Silly me.
: What is the name of the woman?!
What? It's fucking Natasha, you dunce! She fucking told you this in the sewer!
: A former Olympic skater. Natasha Markova is her name...
Did the fall from Marv's cell give you brain damage or something, Snake?
: If you beat Fox, you're the best mercenary in the world! ...Over.
Is that how it works? Because it doesn't seem right, but I'm not a mercenary, so hell if I know!
Punching Time, with Snake and Fox!
The boss fight against Grey Fox joins Running Man and Predator as one of my least favourite of the game. It's a fistfight in a small room, but the edges of the room are lined with mines. Step on a mine and say goodbye to about a quarter of your health. And you're pretty much guaranteed to step on at least one, unless you're being incredibly careful about where you run. Aside from that, it's basically just running away from Fox's punches and trying to hit him with your own. Except that it can be needlessly difficult to line up your punches and sometimes you'll miss even though it looks like you should be hitting Fox right in his face. This goes on for way too damn long, and then:
DEATH SPEECH TIME.
: Fox...why this?
You beat him, Snake. Now you're the new Fox! It's like killing the Pope!
: I am...unlike you, in an awkward position.
The dumbest man in the world, and his bandanna is leaking all over his face.
: Big Boss might have been only a supervisor to you...
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Leave some of that stuff to the fanfiction authors, Fox. A gentleman never tells.
: But he saved my life twice, long before I joined his troop. First time was in Vietnam...at that time, half-white men were discriminated. We were forced to work hard labor, even after the war was over.
Is Fox trying to say that he's half-white? Who would think that Fox is half-white? The man looks pretty American to me, and his name is Frank Jaeger. That doesn't exactly scream "Eastern heritage" to me.
: But he helped me out of that living hell. Like the children here...
I don't think you want to be helped out like the children here. In case you haven't noticed, this entire fortress is a death trap.
: The second time was in Mozambique. He saved me when I was tortured as a Renamo soldier.
: You think you're paying back! By this...
: No. I hate war. Just like the children here. But...I need war. We cannot live in normal societies. We are warmen...we need battlefields. The boss provides us areas in which to fight.
Hey, Fox, you know that Snake probably isn't really paying attention, right? I think he has a concussion or something.
By the way, this whole "veterans can't leave the battlefield behind" thing is supposed to be a theme in the game. The only way you would really know this is if you were clairvoyant or had already played the game before, because this is the first time it's really brought up. It's sort of paralleled by the idea that the Cold War hasn't ended for a lot of the people in this game, but it's pretty obtuse.
: You cannot fool the fighting instinct inside you... I was born in the battlefield...and there I shall die...
So you're done, then?
: Making others fortunate...especially women...is not possible...
Oh, of course you're not. Now you have to tell Snake about your inability to please women.
: You're speaking about her...
: Dying in action suits me.
: Fox, rest assured, I will never be like you...
: Your word...I will bring it to the afterlife as a souvenir.
Okay, Fox, good speech, see ya in Hell.
: ...Do well, Snake. ...Don't belie your fan's expectation.
: Fan's expectation?! ...You made those calls.
Why would he?
: A price for my selfishness...I leave earlier, Snake.
What? Why? How? What selfishness? All you did was help Snake get here so he could kill you. But you were trying to kill him. Fox was on Snake's side the entire time Snake was trying to kill Fox? And Fox tried to have Snake killed, then attacked Snake himself twice? What?
: You're not alone, Frank. Natasha waits for you on the other side...
There's this one Shakespeare quote, from Richard II, that shows up in the MGS games. It goes:
John of Gaunt, Richard II, Act II Scene I posted:
They say, the tongues of dying men,
Enforce attention, like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain.
In Metal Gear, though, the tongues of dying men don't enforce shit. People like Fox here, and Sniper Wolf in MGS, ramble on and on while they bleed to death. Words aren't scarce, and they're spent completely in vain. Kojima only knows two ways to get character development in for the supporting cast, and those are filibusters and death speeches. It's clumsy and annoying.
Anyway, now that he's done talking, Grey Fox blows up like all the other bosses.
Oh, and he drops the cartridge, too. I guess we'll grab that next time.
I hope the owl made it out okay.