Part 28: Episode XXI: Pyro Bison
"I use specially blended fuel; my flames burn more purely, and more fiercely, than any other."
"Are you in Black Chamber too?"
"Do you really have to ask...?"
"I am Pyro Bison! This is our last day in your shadow."
"Yes - but you wouldn't know, would you? How much blood was shed to purchase your glory....? Snake, you're no 'Legend' - you're a sinner. And you will make your reparations now! The price for your sins is your life!"
"...did you know that? The way the skin scorches, the fat burns, the innards char - changes from person to person. And you see there the burdens of their sin..."
"I'm gonna have to take your word on that one..."
"I wonder how you'll burn? I'll know soon enough!"
*shoots a stream of fire* "BURN!"
Edit: Hold on a sec, Pyro. Snake forgot to check back with home base!
Before we begin battling with Flamer Buffalo, let's take a minute to hear from the clowns back at base. Where are they, anyway? Piled up on that C-130 still flying in circles...?
And... that is all Campbell has to say on the matter. You make the greatest of assets in the field as always, Colonel.
Snake tries his luck with Weasel...
"You won't find anyone else in a war zone with a flame thrower, but he's obsessed with his, even when all the rest of us have a machine gun or grenade in hand. But I have to admit, his flame thrower packs some power. Don't ever get in front of him."
"So what's his story...?"
"With the flame thrower. Village burned down as a child? Mother died in a house fire? Lived in some obscure village that performed human sacrifices by burning people alive? That sort of thing."
"...Guy just likes burning things."
"...And nothing. That's it. Dude just REALLY enjoys watching stuff burn."
"Oh... Err... I see..."
"You have issues, Snake."
As usual, Weasel has the most to say during the boss battle. Just... no backstory. Bison doesn't have any. The Fury had more background info and his entire story was "I went to SPAAAAAAACE! And saw FIIIIIIIRE!"
"He wears a custom body suit made of flame-proof material lined with ceramic plating. You'll get nowhere with a frontal assault. Go for his back."
So flameproof is equal to bullet proof in Metal Gear Solid mechanics. Good to know.
"His flame thrower, the fuel tank on his back, the body suit -- added up, they can't weight any less than around 300 lbs. But winning battles isn't about muscle mass. Keep moving fast and take him down!"
And... that's it for Pyro Bison talk from Weasel. Dude is really buff and likes fire. The end.
Snake takes a minute to hear from McBride...
"...but you can handle it. Don't forget what you're here for!"
Snake, your mission is not to get set on fire!
And now you can see why I forgot to include this earlier... Alright, back to the main event!
Click to view Pyro Bison Boss Battle!
Duel (Metal Gear Solid)
Alright, time to take on the third member of Black Chamber - Pyro Bison. If you cannot tell by the boss arena consisting of a bunch of cargo containers against a burly bald man using a highly impractical weapon, this is Ghost Babel's Vulcan Raven boss fight analogue.
Unlike Slasher Hawk, who jogged back and forth on a small platform, and Marionette Owl, who kind of just spun around the room like an idiot, Pyro Bison has no set path of attack. He just locks on Snake and marches toward him with hopes of setting the cloned super soldier ablaze.
Also unlike the previous two bosses, P. Bison is actually kind of difficult if you don't know what you're doing. Despite having a weapon that just shoots fire and nothing else of note, Pyro has a decent variety of attacks. They're mostly based on his range from Snake. If Bison catches Snake up close, he'll sweep the flamethrower in an arc in front of him. This attack doesn't have a lot of range, but if Snake is in the general area he can and will get set on fire. And there is no just running past him either. Bison's flame arc will follow Snake 180 degrees until he gets some distance away from the jerk.
It's worth noting early on that fire does a decent chunk of damage plus chips away a bit extra until Snake can put himself out. This is accomplished by not being actively set on fire for a few seconds. Crazy, but true!
Bison's second attack is a long range projectile. He only seems to use this in horizontal or vertical directions. But the stream of flame will extend from all the way to the nearest solid object and the fire will stick around for a few seconds. Overall, it's a lot easier to evade then the close range fire arc.
Pyro Bison's third and final flamethrower trick is to aim that sucker straight in the air and fire. You know how flamethrowers are pretty much specially mixed gasoline made to stick on shit to burn them better? Well, this is a video game so forget that rubbish.
The airborne fire will create a number of shadows across Snake's general position after a few seconds. Since fire is well known for making shadows beneath itself.
And then flames will rain down all over. This attack is kind of a pain in the ass since the flames are randomly distributed, stick around for a few seconds, and Bison is free to march over and set Snake on fire at close range while he's looking at the sky dodging the aerial bombardment.
Now, let's talk about the offensive side of the battle. Bullets are useless against Pyro Bison. As he possesses a video game flamethrower, it has been imbued with magical video game properties. Like melting bullets shot at it. Gunfire still works if it hits him from behind. But it does so little damage that it's not even worth it.
So instead our best bet is explosives. Particularly, the landmines we picked up via crawling disarm back in Stage 7. Tossing landmines around crates and herding Bison toward 'em both deals a sizable amount of damage with absolutely no fire hazard to men in rubber Sneaking Suits.
Barring that, Grenades will fuck P. Bison up. In fact, if you get good at timing you can straight up stun lock him to death with grenade throws. Cheap, but effective.
In any case, Ghost Babel gives us a closing insult for not dealing with its utter bullshit level design in a timely fashion as Stage 8 draws to a close. You know, we've only got five stages left in the game yet my game script opened here is only 50% finished...