The Let's Play Archive

Metal Gear: Ghost Babel

by The Dark Id

Part 5: Episode IV: Codec Chameleon

Alright. Last time we got our first glimpse of where we'll be spending most of the game infiltrating. Now, in true Metal Gear Solid fashion, we'll be having several lengthy chats on the Codec radio.

Intruder 1 (Metal Gear Solid PSX)

"Bad news?"
"How did you know?"
"You've never exactly been a messenger of joy. So?"
"I give you the news you're a clone of a legendary mercenary."
"...Who betrayed and try tried to kill me..."
"...And I never get to live it down..."

"Seems that Delta Force was wiped out."
"Are you serious?"
"It's true."
"But Delta Force - the best of the Army's best - so easily?"
"Well known elite special forces units are to Metal Gear related incidents as helicopter pilots are to bio-organic weapon related incidents. You of all people ought to know that by now."

Snake's codec beeps...

"Those mercenaries on the enemy's payroll are all A-list guns. You've been out of action for a while, but I'm out there and I know what I'm talking about. If you're going to take one of them on, give me a buzz."
"Planning to give me advice?"
"That's what I was hired for. It's a policy of mine to earn my keep. Frequency's 141.80. Don't forget."
"I won't."

Snake's codec beeps again...

"Don't underestimate GLF. They aren't just another rebel group - their annual revenue from drug and rare metal trafficking is more than $50 million, and their black-market arms were financed by that money. All state-of-the-art. Be careful. I'm with the Africa Desk of Ops. I can provide data on not just the GLF, but on things like Gindran climate, flora and fauna. My frequency is 141.52.”
“All right.”
“Snake, continue with the mission. Infiltrate the fortress Galuade.”

Snake hangs up his Codec...only to immediately get yet another Codec call...

“Enemy security should be even tighter than it was in the jungle. Keep your eyes open, especially for surveillance cameras.”

”A surveillance camera?!”
“It’s a high security military fortress. Why do you sound so surprised?”
“Err... Just... Didn’t expect to see one this far out from the place.”

Alright, we now have met all our core support staff for Ghost Babel. So let’s give ‘em all a call to make sure they’re all earning their money.

Snake calls 140.85...

“....What is it, Snake?”
“That’s all you have to say?”
“Those are your orders.”
“You don’t happen to have any doctors ladies with a wandering English accent hanging around, do you?”

“Find a way to infiltrate the structure.”

Snake calls 140.96 and saves his game...

“Dr. Koppelthorn says --”
“Look, these quotations and sayings are great, but I’d also like to get to know you.”
“’Foolish is the one who offers deep confidence in shallow alliance.’”
“It’s a Chinese proverb. Means that it‘s unwise to tell important things to someone you don‘t even know.”
”...Even someone you are being paid by the US Government to help in the field?”
“...Look. I have my proverbs quotations and the let me be mildly passive-aggressive personality this time around. Don’t ruin it.”


Alright. That’s it for the old guard. Let’s talk to these new jerks on our support team. First up is Weasel on 141.80. He shares the same Codec frequency as Master Kazuhira McDonnel Miller in Metal Gear Solid. As such he shares roughly the same exact role of providing useless fourth wall breaking gameplay tips to Snake. 141.80 also belonged to Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2, The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3, and Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4. So it’s seen some action.

“...only about staying alive. There’s no difference between being a little dead and being very dead. Don’t bother about the little stuff.”

Yeah... That’s about as useful as Weasel will ever be support wise. Snake! Protop: don’t die! Truly a font of wisdom. Anyway, last up we have Brian McBride of pro-soccer fame the CIA on frequency 141.52. He shares the same frequency as Nastasha Romenenko in Metal Gear Solid. But, he isn’t all about guns and nuclear weapons. He is still pretty much 100% fluff read off what I suspect to be the Gindra Wikipedia article. But at least he is one of the few interesting folks to talk to on the support staff. To round out Codec number trivia, Otacon’s sister Emma Emmerich also had this number before getting shanked by a bisexual vampire.

"...kilometers, population approximately 5 million; a relatively small state near the center of the African continent, under the rule of a military junta for the past five years. Three years ago, the charismatic so called 'General', Augustine Eguabon, led an armed uprising by the Gindra Liberation Front, aka GLF, and the country has been in a state of civil war since. The U.N. peacekeeping force was deployed 6 months ago to put an end to the unrest, but there has been very little progress.”
”I just jumped out of the plane to prevent to stop a stolen nuclear equipped walking deathmobile from being used by the current regime. I think I’ve gathered that last part...”

Stage 2 Theme

Alright. That’s enough foolishness. Before we get to the stage proper we have a short outer wall to bypass first.

As we briefly saw earlier, security cams have been added to nuisances to Solid Snake’s sneaking around. Cameras in Ghost Babel are static. No sweeping a 90 degree area in front of them like in the PSX game. However, they also lack a blind spot beneath them. So there’s basically a solid line straight ahead of them that is an instant Alert phase which results in bad guys spawning from the ether to shoot our hero until further notice.

But it’s pretty remarkable easy to evade so let’s just continue onward. The front gates into the greater Galuade grounds is locked so Snake is forced to find an alternate path inside.

Luckily, the janitor’s entrance is just a couple screens to the right of the gate and a guard wanders out without locking the door behind him. Snake could just slip in now to proceed with the mission. But the guard did get his own mini-cutscene, so I feel it worth merit to follow him.

The guard wanders to the next screen and enters a small security shed. Snake follows...

“Is it already?”
“C’mon. Hurry up. We’re both in big trouble if they catch us slacking off.”
“Relax. As if anyone comes out here.”
”...Good point. I feel asleep.”
*walks off* “Goofball...”

The new guard falls asleep on his feet roughly five seconds after he relieves his comrade. Snake can tap dance in front of sleeping guards in Ghost Babel. As long as he doesn’t make any actual in-game noise, they might as well be dead on their feet. But, we didn’t come here just to mess with an overworked, underpaid soldier.

This room contains the suppressor for the pistol Snake picked up in the previous stage. It is automatically equipped and has absolutely no drawbacks. Two or three shots will silently kill any standard bad guy in the game. And corpses will immediately fade away upon death. So, the easiest way to sneak around is now having Snake perform a Mozambique Drill on anyone he comes across. It might reflect poorly on the end of stage evaluation. But if you’re playing yourself (and certainly me during this LP) you sure as shit never get a particularly good rating since you basically need to speed run stages on top of no alerts or kills in order to ever get a decent score.

Anyway, with the silent bringer of death of Ghost Babel augmenting Snake’s arsenal, we’re free to slip in the side path and begin infiltrating this doom fortress proper like. See ya on the other side...