The intro features Snatcher style animated computer screens showing off Metal Gear schematics, but sadly they don't come close in quality.
It is the late 1990s... The world is embarking on an age of peace and stability. The Cold War is over, regional conflicts are being resolved, and the threat of nuclear war is now a thing of the past. Hey, things are starting to look up!
I gotta say, as set up narration goes, this beats the shit out of; "The enemy base has a weapon. Is it Metal Gear?" from Snake's Revenge.
Though it wasn't a completely straight port, as they decided to make a couple of changes to bring it closer in line with Metal Gear Solid. For one thing they scrapped all the old portraits and replaced them with MGS style artwork, so Snake actually looks like Snake now. To be honest I think in this case I think I prefer the original art. Maybe because his original face reminds me of Zaeed from the Mass Effect games.
|Metal Gear (MSX)|
I'm here to rescue a scientist called Dr. Kio Marv, who will show up as a red dot on the radar. And... that's it. I was waiting for him to finish off his briefing with "And as always, DESTROY METAL GEAR." But nope.
In the original Metal Gear Snake is an eager rookie, ready to explode into action. Apparently hanging around walking nuclear tanks too long has turned Lt. Snake from Snake's Revenge into the Yellow Hulk. But by Metal Gear 2 Snake is a jaded veteran who just doesn't look that bothered about anything anymore.
Also they tend to hang around in one place this time. So instead of just hanging back and studying the enemy patrol routes before I make my move, now I'm stuck waiting to see what they'll do next.
And then the second I get out of the vents I get another call on the radio.
Now I'm curious what she looked like in the original MSX artwork.
|Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (MSX2)|
I had to crawl slowly to avoid making a noise on the grating, but that meant I couldn't outrun the other guy wandering on screen from the right. They're not giving me much room to be stealthy here.
I think they know I'm hiding under the tank. Trying to escape the enemies once the alarm has gone off is a pain in the ass, because they follow me onto every screen I run to, and I only barely have enough of a head start to crouch down and crawl under something before they get there. And so I get spotted just before I make it into my hiding place, and this happens.
Okay so where am I? A pointless dead end. Fantastic. There has to be one door out there I haven't tried yet.
What the fuck? The lift door isn't working! Oh shit, I must need a card key.
At least I restarted back in the tank hanger, so I don't have to sneak through the fences again. I think the checkpoints must be at the start of a new area, so when I see the FOXHOUND loading screen come up I know I'm safe.
Okay, new plan. Instead of wandering around blind I'm going to ask the experts for advice.
So that's one mystery solved. 30 minutes I was stuck wandering around that bloody tank hanger and all I had to do was punch a button. But now where should I go? Well I remember Holly mentioning an armory on B1, and a drainage ditch on B2, and... oh fuck it I'll just go up a floor.
Oh, also the dots flash, that's why the map looks blank right now. I caught them on an 'off' moment'.
Okay, I've revised my plan. Next time I make a run for the keycard, I'll press the lift button as I'm leaving, and then try to get back before the doors close. Then when I'm back in the lift I can travel to a new floor, save my progress, and the card will be forever mine.
Weirdly, in the original MSX version it seems that if you get Snake killed after picking something up, it'll still be in your inventory when you continue, plus you get your health refilled. But in the new version you're put back in the state you were in when you reached the save point.
LATER, ON FLOOR 3F.
A FEW ROOMS FURTHER ON.
|Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (MSX2)|
Hey, I see a red dot on my radar. That surely means I've finally located Dr. Marv!
Wait, so this guy is a special forces ninja, trained to fight in space... for NASA. Fight who?
Oh, it was the health bar.
EVENTUALLY, AFTER I MANAGE TO BEAT THE BASTARD.
The guy tells me how to find the real Dr. Marv, then explodes, leaving only the second keycard and a weird smell.
I'm not sure I liked this game much, though I did want to. The new radar expands the stealth puzzle gameplay beyond a single screen, but for me that mostly meant a lot of waiting around staring at tiny flickering dots. And often all it took was a couple of those dots to turn around and start walking my way to leave me trapped in a narrow corridor with no cover or way out. Oh, and the game still made me go into my inventory to switch through keycards at every bloody door and take off my gas mask to open locked doors. Apparently that was a feature they were happy with and saw no reason to change.
Anything you want to say about Metal Gear 2? Feel free to leave a comment.