The Let's Play Archive

Metal Gear: Ghost Babel

by The Dark Id

Part 20: Episode XV: Blackout Basset Hound

Intruder 3 (Metal Gear Solid)

"It seems to be north of where you are. Get to the north of the barracks first."

So welcome to Stage 6. It's Stage 5 all over again, but with no power, lights, and radar this time. Huzzah!

Before we sent Solid Snake walking into the night, let's see how our support staff is doing. We haven't spoken with 'em in a while. We'll skip Campbell because he's already said his piece for this mission.

Snake saves his game...

"Dr. Koppelthorn says --"
“Mei Ling, you’re --”
“Never mind me. Tell me about yourself.”
“...Like why you’re back in combat. I‘d heard that you‘d given up the military...”
“Did the Colonel tell you that?”
“Uh-huh. And other things too.”
”Did he mention the part where he stormed my cabin with a full spec ops team decked out with thermal vision and assault rifles when he asked me to take part in this mission?”
“...No. I think he left that part out...”
“You don’t say... So, other things...”

“Like what?”
“Like the bandana underwear and barbecued bugs and...”
“That stuff too? That blabbermouth!”
”I think he’s bored... He‘s been going on and on about how he drove a truck around Central America recruiting enemy soldiers and how he caught malaria and...”
“Sounds fascinating...”

“So -- why did you come back?”
“I had something to finish and decided to stop running away. That’s all.”
“And after that?”
“What are you going to do?”
“I haven’t thought about it. As long as the score is settled, that‘s all I care about.”

For some reason the alternate Ghost Babel/Ac!d (and a couple other non-canon things written by the same folks like IdeaSpy and one of the batshit Snakes Tales from MGS2: Substance) have a weird bunch of namedrops of a Dr. Koppelthorn.

In Metal Gear Ac!d 2, Dr. Thomas Koppelthorn finally shows up as one of the main villains. This has nothing to do with Ghost Babel other than this game being the first one where he is namedropped.

Snake contacts Weasel...

“C4’s are high-yield plastic explosives that can go through walls on the thin side like cookie dough. C4’s are the standard issue plastic explosives for the Brits, the U.S. and other major armed forces. The color is white with clay-like texture, and it consists of an extremely stable chemical composition of 91% RDX and 9% inert plasticizer. In fact, it won’t detonate even if it’s thrown into fire. When it does go off, it has a detonating velocity of approximately 26,400 fps with a relative effectiveness of 1.34. One of the better explosives around.”

Well, that was slightly more informative than the usual gameplay tips. Weasel is pretty finicky when he decides to channel Nastasha from Metal Gear Solid regarding weapon info dumps. I can fish around for any extra calls for a Codec centric bonus update of fluff later on, if anyone’s interested.

Snake bugs the CIA...

“...Harks’ records. James Harks, age 18. Considered a child prodigy from an early age, received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University at age 16. Later recruited by Ramdyne Systems, a DOD contractor, ad headed the Metal Gear development in co-operation with the U.S. Army. Also known as ‘Jimmy the Wizard’. He’s already accepted as one of the foremost experts in the field of robotics, but here are some of his subordinates’ comments regarding him:”
“’I will not tolerate being asked to humor a child’s whim constantly.’; ‘He certainly knows what he’s doing, but we’d all be happier if he could do something about that stubborn streak’; ‘Spoiled rotten’; ‘I don’t care about anything else, but could he please shut the bathroom door when he has to go.’...“
“Seems a fun sort of guy...”

TLDR: Jimmy Harks is the worst.

Snake checks in on the babysitter...

“You head for Metal Gear, Snake. Head north from the barracks exit to reach the underground base.”

I don’t recall anyone mentioning an underground base to you...

Oh well, let’s get crackin’. Here’s what the stage looks like if Snake neglects to wear his thermal goggles.

Anyway, with the power cut all the conveyor belts have stopped functioning. As such, Snake now feels it safe to walk along them like normal platforms. Why couldn’t he do that while they were moving at roughly one mile per hour before? Fuck you, that’s why!

The power outage has also sent all the lifts from earlier to the bottom level, leaving a hefty drop in their place. But fear not. Snake isn’t afraid to get his James Sunderland on with bottomless holes in his path.

Guards are still patrolling the area in exactly the same positions as the first time around. Just without the ability to see worth shit in pitch darkness. They’re not completely blind. Stepping a couple feet in front of them will still trigger an Alert phase. But their tunnel vision has still been significantly reduced. On the flip side, their hearing has gone way up so they’ll instantly dash over to investigate any noises like Snake walking on gratings or tapping walls.

The power has cut off other electronics in the area such as the elevators and security cameras. So Snake is forced to find an alternate way up.

Luckily, just to the west of the Basement elevator is an emergency ladder to the next floor. Unfortunately, it’s behind a Level 3 keycard. Yeah, we’ve already got that card. The problem is inventory shuffling.

This is in the dark ages before Keycards were an automatic use item. So every time we come to an electronic lock (why are these still functioning in no power?) we have to unequip the thermal goggles, shuffle through to the keycard, exit the menu to use the keycard, and then shuffle back through back to the ability to see in the dark. Items are all in a cycled menu that doesn’t really have any sort of particular order. So this gets annoying very quickly.

In any case, on the first floor Snake has to go from west to east to another locked door. This one leads...

...back to that gas filled room we initially found the Level 3 key in the previous stage and the ladder back to the second floor.

From here, Snake finds himself back at the dreaded Cardboard Box Maze. However, without the power on the lifts, Snake can now just run along wherever he pleases and crawl under the machines. He’s still not allowed to just jump off and go where he wants. But this is a fair enough compromise.

From the conveyor belts, Snake needs to make his way in a northward direction until he arrives back in the container maze from before (the one that had the laser maze on the eastern side that lead down to Jimmy’s floor.)

Our goal in this room is to make it to the western end of the maze. However, halfway there Snake will get a codec call...

Snake answers his beeping...

“Everything all right? Is Jimmy okay?”
“Yes, he's not injured or anything. He seems to have been keeping out sight well but...”
“But what?”
”Amazed someone that size could stay out of sight...?”
“This kid's a real... pain in the butt...”

Jimmy butts into the call... I have no idea how that works...

“No, nothing.”
“Liar. I heard you. You're the one who's a pain, telling me what to do all the time. Who do you think you are, my mom?”
“I wouldn't want to be your mom even if someone paid me to do it.”
“ 'Scuse me?”
”I said I didn’t want my vagina wrecked by giving birth to Pluto!”

“Nothing. Look, I'm in the middle of a conversation, do you mind shutting up?”
“Shut up yourself. You've got a real attitude problem, you know that? It's just going to make things more difficult for you as a woman in the military.”
“Muzzle it! You shut up when I tell you to shut up!”
”Just SHUT UP! I will shoot you in the gut, leave you in the jungle to be eaten by flies, and NOBODY will know it was me. I will do it. I'll frickin' do if you say another goddamn word!!”

“...Sorry, Snake.”
“Glad to hear you two are getting along.”
“Hah. I never thought I'd be babysitting again, especially under fire... But I guess it's like riding a bike.”
”Just replace the belt threat for spoiled brats with a semi-automatic rifle.”
“That's what I'm counting on.”

Snake hangs up and continues onward...

So at the western part of the storage crate organization disaster is another conveyor belt. This one fed inward back when the sorting system was active, so there was no way to see what was over this direction. But now...

We gain access to a new part of the first floor. In this room are two sets of staircases to the west of here. The lower one leads upstairs, and the upper one leads down to the basement. We want the basement one first...

And it leads to, wouldn’t you know it, ANOTHER damned laser sensor maze. Why are these still active in a total power failure?! Thankfully, it’s a fairly short one. And it leads to a spiffy prize...

The Night Vision goggles! These allow Snake to see in the dark without an eye raping red tone over everything. Slap ‘em on and...

...they just animate everything like if the power was still on.

Oh well, nice to be able to see normally either way. Now that we’ve picked up that optional trinket, Snake is ready to continue to the next area.

The upper stairs lead to one final stretch of inactive conveyor belts which deposits Snake in the sole area we’ve yet to explore in all the barracks.

Snake wanders onward to the last of the doors left to investigate and...

“Who's there?!”

...This is gonna get weird, isn’t it...?