Part 11: 10. "You Napoleon?"
10. "You Napoleon?"
When we last saw our intrepid Junker, he'd gotten a membership card to Outer Heaven and was on the trail of Jan Jack Gibson's informant, Napoleon.
Welcome to Outer Heaven! This is the second most blatant Metal Gear reference in Snatcher - the first being, of course, Metal Gear himself. Itself. Whatever. Outer Heaven is the enemy base that Solid Snake is meant to infiltrate in the first Metal Gear games for the MSX and NES.
In Snatcher, Outer Heaven is sort of a combination bar/restaurant/social club. VIPs are known to frequent there, but being in a mask is a requirement for entry. Sort of a "What happens in Outer Heaven, stays in Outer Heaven" sort of deal. The only semi-illegal activity Gillian can engage in there is eating buffalo meat, which is illegal because the animals are endangered.
In the original, Jean Jack Gibson was on the trail of Snatchers (presumably Freddy Nielsen and Chin Shu Oh) and came to Outer Heaven while following them. In order to blend in, Jean orders buffalo. This becomes a major clue - it turns out Gibson suffered from ulcers and most likely wouldn't have eaten buffalo unless he had to... this leads Gillian to Outer Heaven. In other words, Outer Heaven and Napoleon don't have a relationship when Gillian encounters them. (Napoleon, later in Snatcher, gets a job there to throw off the trail of potential Snatchers.)
Here in SD, Napoleon is around Outer Heaven somewhere.
Metal: It appears your reputation precedes you, Gilian.
Isabella is a character we see in Snatcher who helps Gillian make a composite that leads him to Freddy Nielsen.
Here in SD, we're actually on the trail of a man named Purnet, which is completely different. You can't even talk to Isabella here. (Her sprite is too far away on stage, as we'll see in a minute.)
Gilian: We must be on the right trail. Gibson's definitely been here.
A commercial movie star? I think they mean he's in movie commercials - that is, advertisements that play in movies. Can you see the puzzle coming up?
Gilian: I feel sort of a kinship with this man.
I honestly can't tell if Kojima is a Leisure Suit Larry fan, or if Thevma and OASIS threw this in on their own. While the latter is more likely, keep in mind that OASIS is writing things like "Off-course" and "ROT OP" in the translation; so I don't know how likely it is that he's an LSL fan himself.
And the sprite actually does look it's got Larry's signature balding problem.
One other fucked up thing about Kojima games - or at least with Snatcher and Metal Gear - the protagonist is always trying to get laid. If it's not Ellen from Metal Gear, Holly White in Metal Gear 2, Mika Slayton, Katrina Gibson, Jamie Seed, a host of women in Alton Plaza and Isabella Velvet in Snatcher, Naomi, Mei Ling and Meryl in Metal Gear Solid -- then it seems like there's someone around who Solid Snake and Gillian Seed are trying to woo.
Interestingly, the only one who isn't, Naked Snake, is the only one who gets some. Onscreen, anyway. ("What about Raiden?" you ask. Tell him I hate him.)
This isn't getting us anywhere, so let's go to the barman. Of course, we can't talk to a bartender over the bar in the future, so let's go through the kitchen in back and talk to him face-to-face.
Metal: The only thing we know about Napoleon is that he's Chinese and in movie commercials.
Gilian: And that he frequents Outer Heaven. But that doesn't really narrow things down enough.
This means we have to backtrack to Joy Divsion to get another movie ticket, and then to the movie theater again. And that's not the end of our worries.
In one last little "twist the knife" section, the movie puzzle is made harder because now the theater is crowded.
I think this a Kojima "break the fourth-wall" moment that's lost in translation. I'll explain in a minute.
Gilian: I can't see anything!
Metal: Maybe we should try the view from the toilet as suggested. Quickly! The next showing is about to start!
I think the joke is sort of like, "The theater's so crowded you can't get the cinema display on screen. But the toilet lets you scroll up far enough to see it." Even though, there's presumably a wall dividing the toilets from the rest of the fucking theater. Gilian can't see the movie, really. YOU can.
Why would you want to see these four graphics that are supposed to be Godzilla anyway? Because after the movie, there's a commercial...
That shows a buck-tooth Napoleon!
So, basically the turn of events is... Napoleon decided to make us drop $70 on a movie ticket instead of just telling us he's Jan's informant. Thanks!
Also, Nappy is a really bad nickname for Napoleon.
Back to Outer Heaven...
Yeah, with a face like that, you sure look like a leading man. Also, why would a seedy informant be a celebrity? There's a lot wrong here.
Get ready to slap yourself in the face with the best translation we've seen yet!
Groan. At least we know what Gilian was trying to get at.
Napoleon: Well, I might be willing to help you out... if you can provide me with something...
POSSESSIONS > USE > CASH
Napoleon: Thank you very much!
(In SD Snatcher, Napoleon's greediness is not a character trait.)
Ah! Queens Hospital, which we learn of very early.
The American version of Snatcher makes things harder. You're given the image of an LCD "OLEEN" sign outside the hospital. You're supposed to figure out from the fact that Jean-Jack was holding onto a chess queen that the LCD light was missing lit sections in the image and the name was actually "QUEEN".
It's very interesting, I think, that in a Japanese video game, you have a puzzle like this based on English. Actually, two - the other involving the periodic table of elements. Also one of the characters' names is meaningful backwards - this only works in English.
For whatever reason, Konami of America made the puzzle harder by adding an "S" to the Sega-CD version that was supposedly off the right side of the image. It's "Queen" hospital in every version of Snatcher except the American/European releases. In fact, if you look at the original image, the letter S in Queens does look a little different from the other letters.
Baran Purnet is a completely new character to SD Snatcher. An assassin hired by Snatchers?
Gilian: I assumed we were going after a Snatcher, not a human.
Metal: If he is human, Gilian, we'll have to contact the regular police. Junkers are not authorized to kill human citizens, no matter the circumstances.
Gilian: ...Maybe we can persuade him to tell us who hired him...
Gilian: Rand Shaft, huh? Got it. Thanks, Napoleon.
Napoleon: Pleasure doing business with you, Junker.
No, and I'm glad to get the fuck outta Dodge. But let's head back to Junker HQ before I end the update.
Well, to be fair, the Chief wasn't very useful in original Snatcher, either.
Things that are completely new to Snatcher!
Also I need a name for this robot on the left:
- Gillian meets Napoleon via a videophone call first in original Snatcher.
- Outer Heaven is completely different and full o' Konami characters in the original.
- Napoleon sneezes a lot and has a cold in the original. Why'd they have to take that away?
- Larry Laffer?! That's not in Snatcher! You crazy game.
Relevant Snatcher Media
Meeting Napoleon (videophone)
Irrelevant Snatcher Media
Neo Kobe Pizza
Japanese Neo Kobe Yaki (and porn)
If anyone can fucking explain what the hell Metal Gear is supposed to be doing during the pornography scene, I'd effin' love to hear it. (I can't translate any of it. I think what's supposed to be going on is... Metal himself is playing the porno tape, displaying it to Gillian, and uh... has that... reaction himself... )