Monday, July 25, 2011

Top 50 Video Game Moments: Number 39

This fine Monday's moment comes to us from Metal Gear Solid 2. It's a fairly late game spoiler, so if you haven't played through Metal Gear Solid 2, do that first - then check out number 39.

The Metal Gear Solid series has always amused itself by ensuring that as little of the fourth wall exists as can be, while still insisting that the player take the game seriously. Usually, that would be a recipe for tragedy, but Metal Gear Solid is just so good that it just works - for the most part anyway.

Toward the end of Metal Gear Solid 2, things start falling apart a little bit. The Colonel starts speaking in non-sequiturs, the love story gets smothering (and then gets bizarre), and you learn that pretty much the entire game to this point has been, to a large extent, a lie. These plot twists are annoying, and haven't really aged well. What has aged just fine is the scene in the elevator chase in the Sigmoid Colon (?!) of Arsenal Gear. You get a sword (the coolest weapon in the game, and you get it for something like five minutes), you get Solid Snake as a wingman (infinite ammo, he helpfully reminds you shortly before), and about halfway through the wave, you get this screen.

We do not recommend that you attempt to mail fission.
It looks strikingly similar to the "Mission Failed" screen that pops up when you die. In fact, the first time it happened, I was low enough on health that I thought it very possible that I did die (and I did in fact die on the 'Fission Mailed' screen, which I doubt happened to many players). The second playthrough is where I noticed that all of the action is still taking place in the upper left. A great example of breaking the fourth wall in a way that doesn't piss me off.

Just don't get me started on the rest of the ending...


  1. I hear its amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hari Kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!

    Man, I loved this game. Not as much as MGS3, but much more than MGS4.

  2. I've only played the first half of Metal Gear Solid 1. I enjoyed it, but I was kind of turned off by the endless cut scenes, despite liking the story. Does it get any better?

  3. God, no. If anything, there's more cutscenes. Still awesome, though.

    Also, while I've not played MGS 4 (yay, 360...) I otherwise completely agree with DK. MGS 2 was fantastic. MGS 3 was much better.

  4. MGS4 is the point, for me, when the sheer volume of the cutscenes finally tipped the scales enough to affect my overall enjoyment. I'd always enjoyed following the ridiculousness of the storylines, but 4 was just a little too bloated even for me. It's too bad, because it's plenty of fun to play when it actually lets you, and Act 4 at least manages to hit every right note of nostalgia.