Part 13: Episode X: Slasher Hawk
Cobras in the Jungle (MGS: Snake Eater)
"One of the mercenaries that decimated Delta Force?"
"That's right - a boring little cleanup job."
*pats boomerang* "All armed only with assault rifles and handguns. Tch. Not a single hint of originality in the whole lot."
"How do you know my name?"
"Your reputation precedes you. Solid Snake - it's a very special name to us, the Black Chamber."
"Got your own little fanclub, huh?"
"Something like that."
"Sorry I haven't been keeping up with the newsletters. Internet connection is garbage up in Alaska."
"Unlike the pawns here, we have no interest in the General's ideals or bid for independence."
"...Sort of implied by the whole 'mercenary' thing..."
"But let me tell you this. Black Chamber, not Fox-Hound, is the world's best Special Force unit! And I'll prove it with your dead body!"
"You do know I retired from Fox-Hound years ago, right?"
"...Of course I knew that!"
"That's an overused white man's name. My people call it wilgi. This is a weapon of proud lineage - and it's your guide into the afterlife... Outer Heaven is what you're remembered for, and Outer Heaven is where you'll be buried!"
Hold that thought a moment, fella. Snake needs to make a few calls. Boss battles are a nice time to phone up everyone as most contacts have a unique conversation for all of 'em. With the exception of Mei Ling, who just gives a generic "don't die!" line.
"..called Black Chamber?"
"That's what I'm up against right now, but they're like nothing I've ever seen before."
"That good, huh?"
"No... I mean I've never head a shirtless nutjob lob a damned boomerang at me while his pet bird squawks on his shoulder."
"That does sound... special..."
"Looks like they were the ones who wiped out the Delta Force team too."
"No... I've never heard of them..."
Oh. Well, that settles it. Campbell knows nothing. We'll just ignore he restated their title in the form of an alarmed question upon their mention. That's just something Metal Gear characters do.
Snake hits Weasel's digits...
"I'd heard of the mercenary who wields a boomerang."
"And you thought it was a load of crap, right?"
"Nah... You've been out of the field too long, Snake. Novelty based mercenaries are in high demand. I worked alongside this group not long ago that had a ballet dancer wizard with knives, an obese guy on rollerskates with explosives, and a Chinese guy."
"...A Chinese guy...?"
*shrug* "Guy was Chinese. Called himself Chinaman. That was his thing."
"Don't underestimate boomerangs, Snake. They're half-descended from hunting implements called kylies, and his in particular is an original design. in 5 foot long steel."
"...That... That doesn't sound remotely aerodynamic."
"The guy is just THAT Australian."
"I've heard stories from a pal about how he saw Hawk split a calf in two with that thing. I guess he's not called 'Slasher' for nothing."
"...That isn't really an answer."
"No. That was the reason he gave for doing it."
So during boss battles, Weasel comes out of his generic gameplay tips stupor and instead takes over duty as the resident fluff officer on the enemy combatant at hand. Indeed, he has a couple more conversations before looping.
"Boomerangs aren't thrown more than one at a time, but he uses two at the same time. They say he got the idea from watching jugglers and double-bladed Chinese martial arts."
A quick glimpse into Australian television viewing practices.
"He has his hawk with him even on the battlefield. Someone told me it's an orphaned chick he found after another war somewhere else."
"That's great but... how does it taste...?"
"...Why... why would you ask me that...?"
"Just... you know... in case I need some provisions out in the field."
"You've been on site for all of a couple of hours and you're in the middle of a military compound. Steal some rations if you're hungry!"
"I hear he won't touch a dish that mixes seafood with inland food because it's a taboo. He's supposed to be part Australian aborigine, still keeps with the traditions the best he can. But no one knows which tribe he belongs to, or why he left to become a mercenary."
So taking bets on what we'll learn about while the guy lies bleeding out...
Snake contacts McBride...
"Take him down and pursue the mission objectives!"
So yeah. McBride is well versed in Gindra fluff but he knows dick about any of the foreign mercenaries and defaults to utterly useless during boss fights. We'll probably skip him in the future.
Last, but not least...
"...killed off my team! Look out for the boomerang!"
Chris, on the other hand, is pretty much never helpful in any circumstance over the radio ever.
That's about it for Codec chatter. Now it's time to fight Slasher Hawk. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth... I'm uncertain of the algorithm used to determine the word per frame count in motion pictures but... Whatever. Have a boss battle video:
Click to view boss battle!
Boss Battle Theme
So it's time to do battle with Slasher Hawk. Our shirtless Aussie friend has taken the tactical advantage of the fabled high ground -- bane of all 2D adventures' existence. As such, all firearms are useless given Solid Snake inability to aim upward during this mission. Instead, we'll be employing grenades to lob in the face of the first member of Black Chamber.
As Weasel mentioned, Slasher Hawk actually has two massive boomerangs he flings around during this fight. A bright green one and a bright red one. Hawk uses different methods of attack with each boomerang.
The red one is pretty much a straight up projectile attack. It flies straight out toward Solid Snake and then goes straight back. Nothing fancy. Easily avoided by keeping on the move.
The green boomerang is the one Hawk uses fancy tricks with like sending it zig-zagging across the screen or lobbing it in a wide arc. This one is evaded by just running toward the bottom of the screen, as its patterns never take it further than about three-fourths of the way through the battleground.
And that's about all there is to Slasher Hawk during the first half of the fight. The man himself just runs back and forth along the ledge so chucking grenades in his path is less than challenging.
Slasher Hawk falls to 50% health...
"As long as it flies, I will fight! Go!"
Phase two of this battle has Slasher Hawk living up to his codename by forcing his bird to go peck the shit out of Snake. And much like how dogs are advanced versions of guards, so too is the hawk an advanced version of the boomerangs. Unlike the boomerang's rather predictable movements, the bird just sort of wheels around the battlefield sporadically and is kind of difficult to avoid as any contact with it will result in damage.
Luckily, the hawk eventually gets tired and returns to flying around his master while Slasher Hawk resumes his terrible standard attacks.
But, after that it's just a few more grenade tosses and Solid Snake's perhaps silliest battle in history draws to a close.
And hey, the results screen even told me I did a good job. Thanks, game. I needed that today.