Part 35: Episode XXVI: Gunship Grasshopper
Welp, I do believe it is time to continue the early Metal Gear game tradition of a surface-to-air battle against a helicopter. That is...after we hear briefly from the peanut gallery.
Snake gets Campbell's take on the situation...
"Is that Chris... in the cockpit?"
"...I don't know."
"I mean... I'm sure there is more than one blond haired white woman in the middle of Africa..."
"But unless you do something about that chopper, you can't go any further."
"I know. And I have no intention of dying here."
"A handgun or a rifle won't be able to pierce an attack chopper's armor. Use the grenades and stay sharp for rockets and machine gun sweeps."
So yeah. There's no standard rocket launcher, like a Stinger, in Ghost Babel. And standing around using a slow moving remote control rocket would be silly. So instead, the Colonel's advice is to just lob grenades at a helicopter in flight and hope for the best.
Snake gets in touch with Weasel. Go grab a snack, the guy has a TON to say about this helicopter...
"...now is a Mil Mi-28 Havoc, the successor to the Mi-24 Hind, fully loaded with 30mm cannons and your usual suspects of rocket launchers. You'll be able to evade machine gun fire and missiles if you duck behind objects. Toss in grenades while you dodge the Havoc's offensive."
Welp. I guess if Weasel says it, then it's official. I don't think I ever used grenades in most of the Metal Gear Solid series beyond the M1 Tank in Metal Gear Solid. But in Ghost Babel they are far and away the best weapon for 90% of the bosses. Including helicopters. Who knew?
"The Havoc relies on two TV3-117V engines mounted on each side for power. Maximum speed is 300km/h, with capability for lateral or reverse flight at 100km/h and hovering turn at 45 degrees a second. But the craft's infrared signature is about two-fifths of the Mi-24's."
A quick bit of research reveals that all that is fairly accurate. And this game set in 2002 as written by someone from 2000. So cannot be cheating with Wikipedia. Since I looked up the Wikipedia wiki and that was launched in 2001. Wiki doesn't sound like a word anymore... Is it a word or just some weird internet derived shorthand that became a word...? Yes... It's a Hawaiian word meaning "quick".
How people get by wondering things in the '80s...? I don't remember. It was the '80s. We were all doing way too much coke to worry about anything besides the Red menace.
"The Havoc has a tandem cockpit. The pilot has the rear seat and the navigator/systems officer sits up front. During emergency landings and low-altitude drops, the crew can endure a drop of up to 12 meters per second since the landing gear and the seats absorb a sufficient enough percentage of the impact."
Translation: Don't worry about killing MaybeChris, she'll survive into a cutscene even if you shoot the helicopter down.
"You're up against a high-tech attack chopper. Normally, I'd say flesh and blood don't stand a chance but... You're supposed to be used to this kind of stuff, right? By the way, Snake, you think that Grace Kelly's the traitor too? You saw her climb into that chopper, didn't ya?"
"Hehe, you're a real softy all right. Man... But... you being that way doesn't exactly bother me all that much..."
I like Weasel. He's good people. Ya know, for a slimy gun for hire. Anyway, let's hear from...
"...attack helicopter, but your Fox-Hound training would have prepared you for this. There's no much time left until launch. Go!"
Helpful as always, Brian. Welp, no sense in calling Chris since she is
Click here for Mil Mi-28 Havoc Boss Battle
Hind D (Metal Gear Solid)
So, we're up against a helicopter on a mountain top. The only cover is a few jutting rock formations scattered around the area. But that's okay. The bulk of the Havoc's attacks can be easily evaded by just running to the left or right (while chucking grenades all the while.) The Havoc's most common attack is flying toward the northern edge of the screen and launching a pairing of missiles at Snake. The missiles have roughly the same explosive radius (and by roughly I mean exactly) as a normal grenade. So just a second jog to the right or left as the missile fires is more than enough to escape the blast.
The chopper's second most common attack is to fly off to the right or left side of the screen and open fire with a turret. The Havoc's turret is basically a hitscan attack so if Snake is not behind cover when it's firing, he'll take damage. But with the bulletproof vest equipped, it's only a couple pixels. Still, it's enough to stun lock him before he can toss a grenade so taking cover until this phase ends is a fairly decent idea.
When the Havoc's health falls below 33%, it gains a new attack pattern where it will fly back and forth across the arena and drop bombs on the area. It's out of range for retaliation (there's just a shadow to show its position) so all that really can be done is to have Snake run like hell until it's over.
In any case, after a dozen plus grenades chucked with enough force to make a MLB player blush, the Havoc will catch fire and quietly sputter down into a crash landing in the next stage.
See ya there!