Part 8: Episode VI: Sewer Shark
Infiltration (Metal Gear Solid 2)
Ladders. Ladders never change... Nor do sewer levels. Thankfully, this one is fairly short. Well, it would be were Solid Snake not immediately assaulted with another Codec call upon finishing his descent.
"In the building right above the duct you're in."
"...That makes no geometric sense whatsoever..."
"You made it through the sewer system before calling, right?"
"No. I just arrived."
"Okay... Well, it's a sewer. You just follow the singular gray corridor until you make it here. You literally cannot miss it."
"I'm about to find out what I can here."
"I got an enemy trooper uniform. It should let me blend in - and listen in."
"Don't worry. I'll find out where the researchers are."
"Don't over do it."
"I'll go up to your floor and we'll rendezvous there."
"I'll be disguised, so no Codec contact. Make voice contact when I'm alone."
"All right. But aren't you wearing the same uniform as the enemy? How am I supposed to spot you among all the enemy soldiers?"
"What about my hairstyle? I have my hair tied up at the back. You should be able to recognize me from that, OK?"
"Hairstyle, huh? Even among the GLF soldiers there are heaps of guys with long hair."
"I mean it's been exclusively guys in ski-masks thus far but... I'm sure there must be a few. Got any...particular way of walking I could identify?"
"...Way of walking?"
"You know like... a... feminine walk? Maybe you wiggle you butt a little bit? That sort of thing...?"
"You know it's one thing to be talked down by a legendary soldier for being young. But to assume I strut around like a runway model because I'm a woman... LITTLE bit offensive here. Just how long have you been out of action...?"
"Err... I... Just... I mean hair isn't a lot to go on so..."
"Yeah, you're right. Um, OK, how about if I wear a red cap?"
"All right. If I see a soldier wearing a red cap, with hair tied up at the back it must be you. Got it."
"Where are you going to get a red cap?"
"The gameplay mechanics prop department. It's the middle of Africa. I'm the only one with long blond hair and a red cap. That narrow it down enough for you?"
"Red cap and long blond hair. Got it."
"Right, Snake. See you soon."
"She's in the watchtower above. Get through the duct and gain entry to the tower."
"I hadn't pieced that together myself. Thanks, Colonel..."
Stage 3 Theme
So it's time for the sewer level. The whole area is just a linear corridor snaking left to right northward. There are a handful of patrolmen and...giant wooden shipping contains for reasons unclear.
This area provides another new hazard: water puddles. Water puddles work similar to the metal gratings from earlier. In that they're identical to the metal gratings from earlier. Stomp through one and any guard nearby will shuffle over to investigate the noise. The best bet is to either crawl through them or just wait for the guard to be far enough away that you can run through 'em and make it to the next screen before he has time to investigate.
Snake continues further into the area...
In a sewer?! Get the fuck out of town! What next? You're going to tell me there's unclean water down here?
Snake keeps on trucking...
Even more rats go scurrying in the opposite direction the further Snake ventures into the tunnels. Alright... I've seen enough movies to know that this is trouble. Or one of the bosses has some kind of rodent theme. Have they done a rodent themed Metal Gear boss yet...? I don't think they have...
A bit further along we come to the highlight of any sewer system (yet not appearing in 95% of sewer levels): gigantic mountains of shit. Lovely. Next to the fecal matter mound is a ladder leading nowhere. Just keep that in mind for now...
Just a bit beyond shit mountain...
"You've already been ordered to withdraw from this area."
"Withdrawal? I hadn't heard anything about that. What's going on?"
"There's a squall coming. The river's already flooded and there's going to be a whole lot of water around here soon."
"First I heard of it. Merde, if I'd stayed here..."
"You get the idea. Come on, there's no time to lose."
The two soldiers retreat to the nearby door. Unfortunately, it locks behind them and Snake lacks the proper clearance to enter. Oh yeah, if you're not up on your international swearing "merde" is French for "shit". It's in a foreign language. It's fine for kids to read!
Encounter (Metal Gear Solid_
So if those fleeing rats and that chat between the two guards wasn't clue enough, the game provides a short cutscene showing the gimmick for the duration of this stage: giant fuck-off walls of poo water blasting down the tunnels.
For the next three long tunnels, a gigantic wall of water will blow through the area sweeping Snake away with it if he doesn't take precautions. It's not an instant death or anything. Snake will just lose a sixth of his health and have to retry the segment.
The solution to progress through this area is to have Snake to refuge on the ladders leading nowhere lining the corridors from here on out. Nice of them to waste money on useless ladders for just such an occasion. There's just enough time for Snake to make it from one ladder to the next before the water comes gushing through.
Snake, of course, also must be mindful to evade the giant crap piles clogging segments of the path as they're impassable. I mean maybe Big Boss could have managed diving through piles of human waste for survival, but Solid Snake is having none of that.
Eventually, we'll come to one of the ladders along the way that isn't a dead end. There's a whole extra pixel at the end of the bars indicating that it continues upward. Good luck noticing that on the Game Boy Color's original screen.
But before we exit this area, it's best to press forward to the very end of the sewers where another functional ladder awaits. A very special prize awaits those diligent enough to make it to the end of the sewer wave trial.
....I feel safe here. Inside the box. You should come inside too.
It's a shame that Metal Gear: Ghost Babel will cause anyone that plays it to hate cardboard boxes. For those unfamiliar with Cardboard Boxes, they serve as a place to hide from enemies. Provided they're in an appropriate area like...you know...near other boxes. Solid Snake and his pops Big Boss take tactical box usage VERY seriously.
Following the acquisition of the cardboard box, Snake is free to double back to the earlier ladder and from there enter the building proper where Chris is hanging out ignoring military grooming standard regulations in addition to being a female Delta Force operative. Some people...