25 years later, Metal Gear Solid has aged very, VERY well

Original Metal Gear Solid Now Runs On Current PCs | eTeknix

Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2 now available for PC on GOG | Rock Paper Shotgun

 

For nearly 25 years, the first Metal Gear Solid game has and continues to stand as the most fan requested video game to get a movie adaption and still not get one. No other video game comes close. Why? Because the game’s presentation is itself literally a blockbuster movie.

…That may actually be why to date, we are still waiting for a movie adaptation: It’s already perfect as it is.

Like its sequel Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, MGS1 was a game far ahead of its time in terms of storytelling and attention to detail. Some critics of the series like to contrast the game being a masterpiece to the fact none of the games that followed it were able to hold a candle to the first one but I won’t digress.

 

Metal Gear Solid: The first modern video game | Eurogamer.net

The game’s signature hallmark is actually included in the game’s full title: Tactical Espionage Action. Emphasis on “Tactical Espionage”.

Metal Gear Solid was actually the third Metal Gear Solid game. The first two, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake–both are heavily referenced in MGS1 on that note–were both stealth games but MGS1 makes that the key mechanic for navigating the game from start to finish.

It makes sense when you consider the backdrop for the game which is something out of the early 2000s TV show 24: A rogue mercenary group takes over a base in a remote Alaskan Nuclear Weapons Disposal Facility. It just so happens the facility was also being used to secretly develop a new nuclear-equipped walking battle tank: Metal Gear Rex. Due to the sensitive nature of the situation as well as conflicting political and corporate interests, a lone highly trained operative with plenty of experience is chosen infiltrate the facility and diffuse the crisis.

Going in outnumbered, outgunned and with only 24 hours to complete what’s basically a suicide mission, Solid Snake must prioritize stealth over engaging the enemy just to survive. This is where the game’s trademark stealth infiltration mechanics come to bear. In case it isn’t obvious, series creator Hideo Kojima consulted with former Navy SEAL and Delta Force members for the development of both MGS1 and MGS2. How would a lone highly trained soldier thrust into that kind of situation react and respond to not just the kinetic threat in front of them but the awareness of the threat of a nuclear strike and a limited window with which to resolve everything? The lengths Kojima went to put the player in Snake’s shoes is what makes you empathize with him especially during the constant lows he encounters during the course of the game.

 

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That brings me to Solid Snake’s dysfunctional family dynamic as it is specifically why he’s involved with this mission. To understand Snake’s origins, you need to turn the clock backwards to MGS3. In that game we’re first introduced to his father, Big Boss who is a rookie special ops soldier. In the aftermath of that game, Big Boss decides to start a mercenary outfit which is explored in the PSP Metal Gear Solid Games. During that time, soldiers and vets from around the world rallied under the banner of the charismatic mercenary leader. He became known as a capable leader and commander who could complete any job no matter the circumstances.

Fast forward to Solid Snake’s first game, Metal Gear. As a member of Fox Hound, Solid Snake is sent in to infiltrate Outer Heaven, a mercenary compound in Guyana to rescue POWs and confirm rumors of a powerful new weapon rumored to be located somewhere inside. It is during the course of this mission that Snake first meets his friend Frank Jaeger aka Grey Fox, who is considered the greatest living soldier alive. It as at the end of the mission that Snake learns Big Boss, the man in charge of the mission who’d been giving him advice up to now was in fact the leader of Outer Heaven. Snake manages to beat Big Boss and escapes to safety.

Three years later, Snake is sent into Zanzibarland. This is where the second game Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake takes place. Snake runs into his old friend Grey Fox again but this time, they’re on opposite sides. Snake manages to kill his best friend–which comes back to haunt him in MGS1, more on this later–and more importantly, Big Boss. Before Snake kills the legendary soldier, Big Boss tells him that he’s his father.

Liquid Snake explains the rest in MGS1. One day after Big Boss was gravely injured, the governent took a DNA sample and used it to clone him. We know who two of the children born from that were: Solid and Liquid Snake. A third son, Solidus is mentioned during MGS1’s postcredits audio conversation and we meet him properly in MGS2. After Big Boss is killed, the U.S. Government takes possession of his body and more so given his DNA is considered a treasure trove. That and $1 Billion happens to be two of the demands levied by Liquid Snake. I’ll explain the third later.

 

Genome Soldiers - Characters & Art - Metal Gear Solid | Metal gear, Metal gear rising, Metal gear solid

 

Throughout the game, Snake will encounter and do his best to evade the Next Generation Special Forces who make up the majority of Fox Hound’s manpower on Shadow Moses Island. These soldiers are veterans who’ve seen their share of combat. What makes them even more dangerous is they were also genetically modified. This is why they are also called Genome Soldiers. With their genetically enhanced senses of sight, smell and hearing, your textbook run and gun tactics will fast-track Snake into a body bag. It doesn’t matter how many enemies you kill, reinforcements will keep coming until they’ve overwhelmed Snake. For the most part the Genome Soldiers fight smarter, not harder.

When Snake is discovered by an enemy or surveilance camera (or trips an infrared beam), they sound the alert and go into Search and Destroy mode. The Soliton Radar (The minimap) is disabled and is replaced by a timer with three color codes as follows:

  • Red (Alert): The enemy has spotted Snake and is actively trying to dispatch him. Get out of the sight of the enemy long enough to transition to the next level. Electronic doors and elevators will also be locked during this time.
  • Yellow (Searching): The enemy is actively looking to for Snake and know he is nearby. If Snake is spotted, things go back to the previous mode. If Snake manages to stay hidden, things will transition to the next level. Electronic doors and elevators will still be locked during this time.
  • Green (All Clear): The enemy has determined Snake is no longer in the area and transitions back to standard patrol protocols. If Snake is able to stay hidden, the all clear will be given and you will regain the use of the Minimap. In addition, Elevators and electronic doors will be usable again. If Snake is spotted during this time, things go back to Alert Mode.

You absolutely cannot ignore this mechanic outside a few scripted moments in the game. This also places a very heavy emphasis on strategy and more so when you need to get past patrolling guards to proceed. If you manage to ambush and quietly kill a guard without triggering an alert, you’ll be rewarded with a random item such as rations or ammo.

When you’re outside mainly at the helipad or snowfield, guards will spot your footprints and follow them (“Whose footprints are these?”). You can get guards to move out of the way without engaging them by knocking on walls or posts. The guard will temporarily step off their route to investigate the source of the sound (“Huh? What was that noise?”). This attention to detail is quite sophisticated for the time to say the least.

 

Abrams Main Battle Tank Mi24D Hind D Helicopter 1/48 Trumpeter

 

Speaking of.

Two of the boss encounters involves not one but two real world military vehicles: The U.S. Army’s M1A1 Abrams Tank and the Russian Military’s Mil Mi-24 Hind D helicopter. Normally, a single soldier would not be able to take down one, let alone both with only what they found unless they were highly trained. Let’s break things down a bit more, shall we?

The Abrams last saw combat in the second Iraq Conflict where it served as the vanguard of the U.S. invasion. No other country’s tank brigades can hold a candle to what was then the most technologically sophisticated tank in the world. That’s still true now. As highlighted in the game, the tank really only has two weaknesses: The interior and the tank’s built-in anti-personnel tracking system. You’ll need to jam the tank’s tracking system which you can with Chaff Grenades. That keeps the tank’s main gun silent from a distance and forces a soldier to man the turret atop the tank. Get in close, toss a few grenades and eventually you’ll disable the tank.

Mind you, these same tactics would work in an obviously much less likely to happen real life scenario. I’ve spoken to quite a few military vets who’ve worked on or around tanks. Many of them have played MGS1 and they will tell you in no uncertain terms it’s common sense to a soldier anywhere in the world if they want to destroy a tank without anti-tank weapons, they need to either get inside or preferably, throw a grenade inside.

The Hind D is to Russia what the Blackhawk is to the U.S. The difference is the Hind can more easily navigate enclosed areas and make tight turns. In the hands of an experienced pilot like Liquid Snake, it’s damn-near unstoppable. The first time we see the Hind D, Liquid is getting into it to go intercept two F-16s. Liquid probably knew they were sent over to draw him out and buy time for Snake to get inside. By the time Snake infiltrates the first building, Campbell reports Liquid has already shot down both F-16s. That’s pretty impressive given the Hind D should have been outmatched by the F-16s AND there was a blizzard going on as well. That’s a situation where Liquid’s skill made up for both the hardware and weather handicaps he was working with.

That brings me to Snake’s duel with the Hind D atop the Communications Tower. Let’s be blunt, under normal circumstances a lone commando would have no chance. The Hind can be operated with one or two pilots. Liquid was alone when he shot down the F-16s but he had a co-pilot when he took on Snake. My guess is while Liquid operated the main weapons, his co-pilot was doing the actual flying. The Hind D’s onboard tracking systems neutralized the disadvantages of flying at night in bad weather. It also helped the target was in relatively open space with little cover. For all intents and purposes, the Hind should have won very easily.

What happened? Snake was that damn good. Stinger Missile launchers have been in the news a lot lately because the U.S. shipped them by the thousands to Ukraine over the last two months. They actually require very little training and can be used by a single person. That makes them extremely versatile to say the least. Oh and yeah Liquid should have died when the Hind went down. All I can really say is plot armor is why he survived.

 

Favourite Combat Unit? - Metal Gear Forum - Neoseeker Forums

 

Since I’ve already covered two of the bosses, I might as well discuss the others. There be spoilers for not just this game but in the case of one, MGS2 and MGS3 as well. Consider yourself warned.

 

Decoy Octopus

Decoy Octopus (Character) - Giant Bomb

You didn’t know it at the time but Decoy Octopus was actually the first member of Fox Hound you meet. When Snake drops into the cell where the DARPA Chief was being held, he suddenly dies of a heart attack. When we see his body later in the game, it looks like his blood had been drained. Grisly and odd to say the least given to that point, only a few hours had passed. After your second encounter with Vulcan Raven, you learn the man who died way back at the beginning of the game was really Decoy Octopus in disguise! Why did Fox Hound go that far? You’ll find out why in a bit.

Decoy Octopus was a master of disguise. He literally became the subjects he impersonated ala the movie Master of Disguise. He has impersonated so many people for so long, he often had to undergo deprogramming afterward. He had his ears surgically removed and his cheekbones shaved to make it easier to impersonate a wider range of people. I’m also going to presume he underwent gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatment to be able to better impersonate women. As is revealed in MGS1, Decoy Octopus wore a mask and even perfectly copied the DARPA Chief’s voice. That’s pretty impressive to say the least.

 

Revolver Ocelot

10 Facts You Didn't Know About Revolver Ocelot In Metal Gear Solid

 

Although he’s officially introduced in MGS1, Chronologically he first appears 30 years earlier during the events of MGS3. In this game, he is the first boss encounter and the first member of Fox Hound Snake encounters. Snake walks into the room where the ArmsTech President is being held but there’s two huge problems. The first is he’s been tied up and strapped to a post surrounded by C-4 explosives rigged to blow at the slightest touch. The other: Revolver Ocelot.

The reason he’s called “Revolver” is because as the name suggests, he is obsessed with old-fashioned pistols. This was also true when he’s first encountered 30 years earlier during the events of MGS3 and on that note. Ocelot likely remembered his encounters with the man now known as Big Boss–then going by the codename Naked Snake–and wanted to see how Snake compared.

Ocelot’s skills are no joke: He can ricochet bullets off walls to hit his targets (“Six bullets. More than enough to kill anything that moves.”). Snake ultimately wins the battle by exploiting the one weakness of Ocelot’s weapon of choice: Its reloading time. Suddenly the Cyborg Ninja pops up, frees the ArmsTech president and slices off Ocelot’s right hand, forcing him to retreat. Ocleot makes subsequent appearances and actually ends up being the sole survivor of Fox Hound. The reason he isn’t infected with FOXDIE despite being in close contact with Snake is because he had been given the vaccine for it prior to arriving on Shadow Moses Island.

It’s revealed during the postcredits scenes Ocelot was actually a double agent: Not only was he working as a member of Fox Hound but he was also secretly working for the President at the time, George Sears (Solidus Snake). The DARPA Chief apparently knew who he really was so Ocelot “accidently” killed him while torturing him (Did I forgot to mention Ocelot is also a legit sadist?). Ocelot does gain a new hand as of MGS2 but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Aside from killing the DARPA Chief, Ocelot’s other mission was recovering Metal Gear Rex’s test data which Snake received from the ArmsTech president earlier. When they are alone, Ocelot cryptically asks Snake if the Optical Disc is the only copy of the data. Snake says he doesn’t know–not that he would know either way–and Ocelot feels secure in knowing he has the only remaining copy of the test data and more so after he had the super computers destroyed.

 

Vulcan Raven

Dave Bautista as Vulcan Raven. Art by Erasmus Brosdau : r/metalgearsolid

Your first encounter with the crow-obessed Shaman Warrior is during the Hind D battle. He survives the encounter and we actually hear him speaking to Liquid as Snake takes a keycard from a fallen soldier and moves on. Raven is clearly intrigued as he notices the remarkable similarities between The Twin Snakes.

You next encounter him in the deep freezer near the end of the game. This time, he’s wielding a massive M61 Vulcan gun normally installed on fighter jets. Stand in front of it if you don’t mind getting shot to pieces. His field of vision covers 80% of the room at any given time. The key to winning the battle is to either attack him from a distance with the Nikita Missle Launcher or plant mines in advance in pathways and then lure him into them. After the battle, Raven rewards Snake by telling him the DARPA Chief he met was really Decoy Octopus. They had to do that after Ocelot “accidently” killed the real DARPA Chief while torturing him. Raven decides not to say why they went that far, saying he’ll have to keep going if he wants to know more. Raven’s ravens converge and consume his flesh as Snake heads to the exit. When Snake turns back, only Raven’s gatling gun remains. Raven’s last words were “Snake…I will be watching you!” and we get a throwback to this during the Tanker portion of MGS2.

 

Psycho Mantis

Metal Gear Solid Twin Snakes: Psycho Mantis Boss Fight - YouTube

 

 

Mantis is arguably one of the most iconic bosses in the entire MGS series. The guy’s even got his own music to boot (For some od reason, YouTube Age-Restricted the game version). Check out the organ cover above which oddly sounds better than the in-game version to me. If it sounds eerie and hypnotic to you, wait until you see what Mantis does before you fight him. Snake first encounters Mantis immediately after breaking out of the prison area at the beginning of the game. After the female soldier–revealed to be Campbell’s niece Meryl a bit later–beats him to the elevator, Mantis suddenly appears before Snake and then disappears just as suddenly. Snake is so disturbed by what he witnessed, he thinks he’s hallucinating.

If you listen carefully during Snake’s Codec call to Meryl after he rescues Otacon you’ll hear Mantis’ music in the background.  Later after Snake hooks up with Meryl, the two head over to the Commander’s Room and that’s where things get weird. Meryl suddenly suffers a brief and intense headache and then tries to seduce Snake. When he refuses to bite and she pulls her pistol on him, Snake realizes she’s been brainwashed and knocks her out. Disappointed Snake didn’t outright kill her, Mantis reveals himself. Weather you’re playing the PS1 version of Gamecube remake, Mantis will read your memory card and comment if you have certain game saves on it. He will also rate how you, the player have been doing to now in the game. If you have a dual shock controller inserted, Mantis will take the demonstration one step further by telling you to put the controller on the ground and then activates the vibrate fuction. If it feels like Mantis is talking to you, the player and not Snake, that’s the point.

The craziness doesn’t stop when the battle begins either: You’ll notice none of your attacks are hitting Mantis and explosives go off as soon as you prime or set them. The reason is because Mantis is “reading” the controller in Port 1. The secret to beating him is on the PS1 version, use the other port (“So…you used the other…”) or in the Gamecube version, use Port 4 (“So…you used other…”). He will not be able to “read” your moves, allowing you to hit him (“Why can’t I read you?!”). At two random points during the battle, you will also see a HIDEO Black Screen that lasts for about 30 seconds each. Yes, the creator himself is trolling you, the player! Halfway through the battle, Mantis will revive Meryl so you will need to knock her out again (watch her health! It’s an instant Game Over if her health drops to zero!). He will do it a second time, this time trying to get Meryl to shoot herself in the head. You will need to quickly incapacitate her because it’s instant Game Over otherwise.

After the battle, Mantis tells you about his past. It turns out he was born with his powers. The first person whose mind he read was his father’s. He learned his father despised him because he mother died in childbirth. Feared and hated by everyone in his village, Mantis burned it down in a fit of rage to bury his past. He tells Snake he’s not idealistic and only took pleasure out of inflicting pain and suffering on others. Mantis also reveals in his final moments the reason he wears a gas mask is not because of his deformed face and body but to keep the thoughts of others from forcefully entering his mind. Mantis also says something real interesting: Snake has a large place in Meryl’s heart but he doesn’t know if their futures lie together or not. Snake says what of the best lines in all of gaming history after he downs Mantis: “A strong man doesn’t meed to read the future. He makes his own.”

Chronologically, Mantis crosses paths with Big Boss in Peacewalker. In that game, he uses an alias and has red hair. According the dossier on Mantis, he was actually pretty uh…sane before and long after his run-in with Big Boss. After the events of Peacewalker, Mantis found work in the Russian KGB and later the American CIA. It was during his work with the CIA Mantis was called in to dive into the mind of a serial killer to crack a cold case. Mantis dove a little too deep and when he came back, he became a (excuse the pun) psychopath himself.

 

Sniper Wolf

Dan Ryckert on Twitter: "I'm continuing with Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes tonight, starting with a showdown with Sniper Wolf. Going live soon at https://t.co/15UpEcy07I https://t.co/O7ThSQCjWs" / Twitter

 

This Femme Fatale is long looked at by MGS fans as one of the bosses you truly regret killing in the end and more so after Otacon falls in love with her. Your first encounter with Sniper Wolf happens when you reach the base of the Communications Tower for the first time with Meryl. Perched on the other end of the long corridor is Sniper Wolf. She shoots Meryl and unfortunately for Snake, he doesn’t have a Sniper rifle of his own with which to fight back. There IS one on the base (two in The Twin Snakes, the second being a tranquilizer gun) but the problem is Snake will have to backtrack all the way back to the Armory to get it.

By the time he returns, Meryl is gone. With the PSG-1 Sniper Rifle, Snake injures Wolf. When Snake approaches the entrance to the Communications Tower, Wolf ambushes him and he is captured (“It’s hard to miss when you’re this close.”). Before Snake is taken away Wolf marks him and tells him “Until I kill you, you’re all I’ll think about.” Wolf is present in the torture chamber and Ocelot asks her if she wants to “watch the show”. Wolf declines saying she’s not interested and wants to go feed her “family”, referring to the Wolf Dogs you encountered earlier. Ocelot remarks sometimes Wolf falls in love with her targets before she kills them after she leaves. When Otacon visits Snake, he gives Snake a few items including Wolf’s Hankerchief. If you walk through the Wolf Cave with it equipped, the Wolves will not attack you.

Later after you’ve made it to the Snowfield, Snake is hit by sniper fire. Snake knows there is only one person capable of hitting a target in the middle of a blizzard. Otacon pleads with Snake not to kill her but he rebuffs Otacon, reminding him that she was the one who shot Meryl. Wolf cuts into the conversation and goads Snake into accepting her challenge. She also tells Otacon not to get in the way of her prey. Here’s a bit of an easy way to find Wolf in he snowfield: Wear the Thermal Goggles. The side of the tree or post where you see her breath is also the opposite side she will pop out of to either move or shoot at you. If you see her breath on the left, she will go right and vice versa.

After fatally shooting her, Snake and then Otacon approach her. Wolf tells them about her past. She is a Kurd and anyone who knows anything about the history of the Kurds knows they are easily the most persecuted ethnic group in the Middle East but I’ll get into that a bit later. Wolf feels dejected after having lost to Snake but when he encourages her in her final moments, she asks him if he’s Saladin in reference to Big Boss. Fatally wounded, Snake grants her request to end her suffering and shoots her between the eyes. He then covers her face with her hankerchief. Otacon asks him why and he tells him he’s returning it to its owner, adding “I have more tears to shed”.

 

Liquid Snake

Metal Gear Solid Remake: 6 Important Things It Must Include

 

Last but certainly not least, he is the leader of the Fox Hound squad that has taken over Shadow Moses Island and is also happy to play “the evil twin” opposite Solid Snake. Liquid is not just an adept soldier but he’s also a bit of a tactical genius as well. It’s why 5 other members of Fox Hound and the Genome Soldiers joined up with him after all.

As the ringleader of the faction that has taken over Shadow Moses Island, we don’t really see Liquid up close until Snake has been captured and they look each other in the eye for the first time in their lives. The build towards their first face to face meeting when Snake is restrained is something else. I remember the first time I saw it, I was tense and waiting to see how they would react to each other. “There definitely is a resemblance.” Liquid says to Snake, who cut and dyed his hair before the mission so that they would not be mistaken for each other by the Genome Soldiers.

While pretending to be Master Miller, Liquid tells Snake what he knows about FOXDIE via Codec. Having already raised suspicions about Naomi in a previous Codec call to Snake and then Campbell by referring to a “different group” that may be involved (more on this bit later), Campbell decides to personally investigate the matter after hesitating at first and learns Naomi was indeed a spy. She’s caught sending coded messages to the base and is arrested. After Snake learns the truth from Naomi which Liquid overhears as Miller, he realizes she has indeed betrayed him. After he later reveals he was pretending to be Miller to Snake, Liquid says he has added the FOXDIE vaccine to his list of demands to Washington. Liquid tells Snake he’s not personally worried about FOXDIE since they have the same DNA. Seeing as Snake is fine, he feels he has no reason to be concerned.

Liquid also admits to Snake he’s got an inferiority complex. He was put down by their father and felt like the black sheep of the “family”. When Snake killed Big Boss in Zanzibarland, Liquid felt cheated so he decided to do the next best thing: Kill the man who killed the man he wanted to kill. Keep in mind Liquid not only survives the Hind D being shot down but Metal Gear Rex being blown up and then a 20 to 30 foot fall off the top of it afterward (you do hear the audible thud of his body hitting the ground below). After all that, Liquid STILL chases after Snake up the escape tunnel.

In the end, Liquid’s life is claimed by FOXDIE in a bit of irony. If that’s not crazy enough, Snake actually does encounter Liquid again in MGS2–sort of. Revolver Ocelot receives a hand transplant. The donor? Liquid Snake. When Snake is nearby, Liquid’s personality actually takes over Ocelot’s body. Liquid takes full control of Ocelot–referred to as Liquid Ocelot–by the end of MGS2 and he is one of the main antagonists of MGS4.

 

Cyborg Ninja (Grey Fox)

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Friend or Foe?

Snake first encounters the Cyborg Ninja at the end of his battle with Revolver Ocelot. The mysterious warrior contacts Snake a short time later to warn him he’s walking into an ambush and the area is mined. Things get real interesting later when Snake goes to Otacon’s lab. The Cyborg Ninja challenges Snake to a duel with Otacon’s life as the prize. The Cyborg Ninja is so powerful, nothing Snake has will work on it. “You cannot defeat me that way, Snake!” It exclaims, challenging Snake to hand to hand combat. Snake accepts and during the grueling contest, the name of one man comes to mind.

“It can’t be…you were killed in Zanzibar…!” Snake exclaims at the end of their duel. After the Cyborg Ninja leaves, Naomi confirms it was indeed Frank Jaeger. Code Name: Grey Fox, the same man Snake killed years earlier. His body was recovered and he was subsequently revived. He was outfitted with an exoskeleton and was subjected to gene therapy experiments. His revival was actually orchestrated by her predecessor Dr. Clark who was later killed in a lab explosion though Naomi later reveals Grey Fox killed the late doctor and she helped him cover it up as an accident. When Campbell asks Naomi why she never mentioned Grey Fox before now, she curtly replies “Because it’s confidential information”. “Was that the only reason?” Snake then asks though Naomi doesn’t answer. He has the strong suspicion there’s more to it than that and he’s proven right later on.

While Snake is working on the terminals in the Control Room for Metal Gear Rex, Naomi is arrested after it’s discovered she has been sending coded messages to the base. Naomi later contacts Snake directly and among the things she talks to him about, she reveals Grey Fox is her adopted older brother. After the first round against Metal Gear Rex, Grey Fox shows up to help Snake out. He confirms he was “Deepthroat”, the mysterious person who helped Snake a few times earlier via Codec.

When Snake tells him Naomi is hellbent on seeking revenge for him–in reference to the FoxDie Virus–Grey Fox tells Snake the story of how they first met. A young soldier at the time, Grey Fox killed her parents in present-day Zimbabwe. He was about to leave when he saw her and realized it was her parents he had just killed so he decides to adopt her out of guilt. Before running out to confront Metal Gear Rex for the last time, Grey Fox tells Snake to tell Naomi he was the one who killed her parents.

Despite having his left arm sliced off by a laser, Grey Fox manages to disable the Raydome on Rex’s left arm. “A cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal!” Grey Fox exclaims after Liquid pins him to the wall but before he disables the Raydome. This forces the cockpit where Liquid is to open. “Impressive! You are indeed worthy of the codename ‘Fox’!” Liquid exclaims in awe. Grey Fox urges Snake to fire a Stinger Missle but Snake hesitates when Liquid points out his friend would be caught in the resulting blast. Liquid moves Metal Gear Rex out of the way, causing Grey Fox to fall to the ground and then steps on him.

We are then treated to one of, if not one of the greatest sendoff lines in gaming history. “Snake…we’re not tools of the government or anyone else! Fighting was the only thing….the only thing I was got at…but at least I always fought for what I believed in. Farewell, Snake.” Snake quotes the line to Raiden in MGS2 after the latter learns he was betrayed by his superiors. When Snake escapes the base and talks to Naomi again via Codec, he tells her Grey Fox asked him to tell her to forget about him and ove on with her life. He then goes on to tell her that her brother is a hero and saved the world.

 

5 Reasons The Metal Gear Movie Should Do The Meryl Ending (& 5 For Otacon)

 

Metal Gear Solid 1 actually does have two endings. It’s confirmed in MGS2 Meryl’s Ending is the Canon Ending though Otacon does get out, too. The Divergence Point is the Torture Chamber. Ocelot tells Snake if he submits to the pain while being tortured, Meryl will die. If you want the ending with Meryl, don’t submit. Try to avoid even lightly touching the Circle or B button (or whatever you have set as the Confirm button on PC) if you want the ending with Meryl.

Keep in mind the rest of the game plays out exactly the same for both endings after the Divergence point until after your hand to hand duel with Liquid atop Metal Gear Rex. Before the duel, Liquid directs Snake’s attention to Meryl’s limp body nearby. He tells Snake Meryl was alive a few hours ago as far as he was aware but isn’t sure about now. After Snake wins the duel, you find out based on if you submitted during torture or not. The escape sequence is mostly the same regardless of who is with Snake on that note.

If you did submit to the torture, Snake is inconsolable when he realizes Meryl is dead. Otacon arrives and tells Snake he released all the Security Locks for their escape route up a service tunnel. After their escape, Otacon gives Snake his Stealth Camo. You will be able to use it in subsequent playthroughs. While equipped, it makes you invisible to the Genome Soldiers and Security Cameras but NOT bosses or Infrared beams. Snake actually still has it at the beginning of the Tanker half of MGS2 but unfortunately, it breaks when he lands on the ship.

In the three years that pass between the start of MGS1 and MGS2, Snake and Otacon form the Non-Gonvernment Organization Philanthropy. It’s an organization dedicated to eradicating Metal Gear from the world. Otacon plays double duty in the Tanker half of the game as Snake’s support and taking point at saving your progress. Save enough times and eventually, Mei Ling will get tired of hearing his butchered Chinese proverbs chastise him. Otacon returns during the Plant half of the game to once again back up Snake as well as Raiden, reuniting with and then losing his half-sister Emma Emmerich while there.

 

If you didn’t submit to the torture, Meryl will regain consciousness. Otacon contacts Snake via Codec and tells him to escape through the service tunnel with Meryl. He will stay behind and release the security locks. After their escape, Meryl reveals she found a bandana and gives it to Snake. You will be able to use it in subsequent playthroughs. While equipped, all weapons have Infinite Ammo. Snake actually references it near the end of the Plant half of MGS2, pointing to it. While fighting alongside Snake in a certain boss battle, he will randomly throw you Ammo as well.

Campbell reveals to Snake after he escapes with Meryl she had been assigned there as a security detail just before Fox Hound took over the base as a way of forcing him to cooperate in exchange for her life. If Snake escapes with Otacon, he tells Snake he recent learned Meryl is his biological daughter. Meryl reenlists in the U.S. Military with Campbell’s help. Apparently, Meryl was born from an affair and the man she knew as her father was actually her uncle. Meryl later has a falling out with Campbell after he suddenly marries a brunette who is the same age as her.

Post Shadow Moses, we do not see or hear from Meryl again until MGS4. Officially, Meryl’s absence from MGS2 is intentionally done to keep the ending to MGS1 ambiguous. She is indirectly referenced serveral times though. Her survival becomes canon due to her appearances in MGS4 where she and Snake do reunite. The two are estranged when they reunite and Meryl is shocked by Snake’s now aged appearance. Coincidences forces them to work together to deal with Liquid Ocelot though this time, Meryl is leading a joint Army-Marine squad of her own. The two have a bit of deja vu later when Meryl is mind controlled by Screaming Mantis. After the final mission, Meryl decides to accept her former enemy turned squadmate Johnny Sasaki’s marriage proposal after spending most of the game giving him a hard time.

 

Metal Gear Solid/Finding Meryl — StrategyWiki, the video game walkthrough and strategy guide wiki

Before I forget.  After you meet the ArmsTech President you will need to contact Meryl. Her Codec frequenct is 140.15 for those of you who never played the original physical  PS1 version. Campbell references “The back of the package” and he’s specifically referring to the back of case for MGS1. You’re welcome. After you meet Otacon, you will need to head one floor up and look for Meryl. To spot her, switch to first person view and pay attention to the guard with “a unique way of walking” if you catch the meaning. When you spot her, approach her and instead of triggering the Alert system she will run into the Women’s bathroom. If you follow her within 10 seconds of her going in, she will not be wearing pants for the first half of the cutscene that follows.

When you meet Otacon–real name Hal Emmerich–he reveals he’s an Otaku and he got into robotics specifically to make bipedal robots like the ones in Anime. His codename Otacon is actually the name of an actual convention and they gave Konami special permission to use it royalty-free.

 

Brain Vomit. — tastytofusoup: Metal Gear Solid | Codec

 

Snake may technically be a 1-man army but he’s not alone per se. Aside from Otacon (141.12), Meryl (140.15) and Grey Fox whom he eventually meets in person, he is also assisted by five others exclusively via Codec.

 

Colonel Roy Campbell (140.85)

He was previously in charge of the Zanzibar mission (Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake) and is brought back to oversee the Shadow Moses Incident. I touched on this earlier but Campbell was forced to be involved after was Meryl was assigned to the base a leverage to guarantee his cooperation. Campbell is torn between assisting Snake and doing what everything he can to ensure his niece’s survival. Snake realizes after he’s captured Campbell hasn’t been honest with him about a lot of things but despite that, still considers him a friend which he tells Naomi. Likely moved by this, Campbell does eventually does tell Snake the truth by the end though.

 

Dr. Naomi Hunter (140.85)

Fox Hound’s chief medical officer, she is assigned to assist Snake due to her intimate knowledge of the members of Fox Hound and to monitor Snake’s vitals in real time. If you call her during battles with a member of Fox Hound, she will give you the rundown on your opponent. It’s revealed near the end of the game Naomi was actually a spy working for Liquid and is caught sending coded messages to the base and is arrested. Naomi contacts Snake and confirms she was a spy and her reasoning: Revenge against him for the death of her late benefactor Big Boss and her adopted brother Grey Fox “being sent home a cripple”.

On that note, Jaeger is the German word for Hunter. What’s real interesting is Naomi tells Snake although she was the one who injected with FOXDIE, he was injected with it as a part of the operation. After Snake escapes with Meryl or Otacon when he asks about FOXDIE, she cryptically tells him to “live with the time he has left”. It’s not explicitly said but basically, Snake won’t die from FOXDIE. A side effect of FOXDIE does cause him to greatly age prior to the events of MGS4 though.

 

Jim Housemann (140.85)

The Secretary of Defense during the Shadow Moses incident, you hear from him for the first time near the end of the game after Metal Gear Rex is destroyed. Campbell tells Snake now that Metal Gear Rex is destroyed, the Pentagon is sending a bomber with a tactical nuclear warhead to wipe the base off the map to cover up all evidence of what had transpired. Campbell tells Snake he will order the bombing to be cancelled knowing eventually he will be overridden and arrested to buy Snake time to escape. Just as he is about to, Housemann steps in and stops Campbell from giving the cancel order.

Housemann tells Snake he let Campbell think he was in command up to now but decided to step in now to keep Campbell from delaying the bombing. Housemann offers to cancel the bombing in exchange for Metal Gear Rex’s test data but since he no longer has it, Housemann bids him goodbye. After Snake escapes with Meryl or Otacon, Campbell contacts Snake to tell him he was able to get in touch with the president an had the bombing order rescinded at the last minute. The president was unaware of Housemann’s activities and he was arrested, placing Campbell back in command of the operation by default. It’s revealed in MGS2 Housemann was placed under House Arrest but later commits suicide.

 

Mei Ling (140.96)

A data systems expert, Mei Ling designed not only the Codec but the Soliton Radar. She is also in charge of saving your progress in the game. After you save, she will share a Chinese proverb with Snake. It’s revealed in MGS2 Mei Ling was actually 17 years old during the Shadow Moses incident but on paper, she age is 18. Like I mentioned earlier, Mei Ling does make a cameo appearance in MGS2’s Tanker half of the game. If you Save enough times, she will butt in and chastise Otacon for butchering Chinese proverbs so much.

 

Master Miller (141.80)

A survival expert and Snake’s mentor, Miller provides advice to help guide Snake during his mission on Shadow Moses Island. As I mentioned earlier, Liquid is revealed to have been pretending to be Miller the whole time. Acting on a tip, Navy SEALs go to Miller’s home where they find him dead. Upon learning of this, Campbell realizes Miller’s Codec calls had actually been coming from inside Shadow Moses Island. He puts 2 and 2 together but before he can tell Snake, Liquid personally reveals himself.

Liquid personally thanks Snake for activating Metal Gear Rex. Liquid reveals Ocelot “accidently” killed the DARPA Chief before extracting the detonation code he knew to activate Metal Gear. Without the treat of a legit nuclear strike, Liquid was at a disadvantage so he bluffed the whole time by making Snake think he already had both codes and it ultimately paid off. Liquid personally pretended to be Master Miller to ensure his plan worked as intended. It’s worth noting Decoy Octopus (as the DARPA Chief) tells Snake that Psycho Mantis got his code by reading his mind. It’s such an obvious lie, the ArmsTech president calls it out. The reason: Both the DARPA Chief and the ArmsTech president had powerful brain implants to keep a powerful psychic like even Psycho Mantis from reading his mind. This is why Ocelot had to torture them in the first place.

Before I forget: If you try to call Miller after shooting down the Hind D, he’s suddenly not available for a while. Miller is oddly worked up when its discovered a bomb was placed in Snake’s inventory after he was captured and you hear Liquid’s voice a little (!). Snake remarks Miller is oddly excited after Snake changes the PAL Key’s shape for the third time but he doesn’t answer, instead quietly smiling coyly. It’s as if he knows something no one else does which turns out to be true obviously.

 

Nastasha Romanenko (141.52):

 

A member of the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) and an international military systems expert, Nastasha was assigned to Snake’s support team provide him with information about nuclear weapons, nuclear safety and other related information. In addition to this, Nastasha will also give Snake the rundown on any weapon he acquires and equips for the first time. Nastasha will also provide information during your battles with the Abrams Tank, Hind D and Vulcan Raven. It’s revealed in MGS2 Nastasha was basically forced to assist Snake by her ex-husband whom she met in the DIA where they both worked during the Cold War. Her apartment was turned into a command center for the Department of Defense during the Shadow Moses Incident and she unwhittingly learned a number of classified government secrets.

After Snake successfully completes the mission, her ex gave her an optical disc containing information about The Pentagon’s FOXDIE Virus and then disappeared from her life forever. This would guarantee her safety from the anyone in the government who might try to come after her. Her ex does appear in person in MGS2 on that note. After going into hiding, Nastasha does publish a tell-all book titled In The Darkness of Shadow Moses Island: The Unofficial Truth in which she talks of what happened from her perspective. She donates the royalties from the book to Philanthropy, the NGO Snake and Otacon form after Shadow Moses.

 

Dr. Hal “Otacon” Emmerich (141.12)

An ArmsTech scientist and the Lead Engineer for Metal Gear Rex. When Fox Hound takes over Shadow Moses, Dr. Emmerich is locked in his lab and is forced to work against his will. After the Cyborg Ninja slaughters his security detail, Snake rushes to his rescue. Otacon realizes although he’d been misled by the higher-ups, it doesn’t change the fact he is the reason the world is in danger right now. He decides to assist Snake in his mission and uses his stealth camo to avoid detection by the Genome Soldiers. Snake is relieved his recue goes as planned with the deaths of the ArmsTech President and Decoy Octopus (disguised as the DARPA Chief) still fresh in his mind to that point. Otacon knows everything about the layout of Shadow Moses Island and you can contact him via Codec to learn about an area.

At some point after Snake escapes the Torture Chamber, Otacon falls for Sniper Wolf but he knows eventually she and Snake will have to fight each other. When Otacon meets up with Snake inside the Communications Tower, he asks Snake one of the most iconic and philosophical questions in all of gaming history: “Do you think love can bloom on a battlefield?” Snake tells him he believes it’s possible but you need to be able to protect that person, referencin Meryl. Otacon stands by helplessly when Snake vs. Wolf: Round 2 happens not long after their chat. He retrieves Wolf’s Sniper rifle and places it in her arms before Snake finises her off. Despite being devastated by Wolf’s death, Otacon resolves to keep helping Snake with his mission.

After Snake passes through the Blast Furnace, Otcaon contacts him to tell him he’s going to try to access the late ArmsTech President’s confidential files to find out how to deactivate Metal Gear Rex. This is also where he reveals he’s also a Hacker. While Snake is making his way to the control room, Otacon decrypts files that point to ArmTech’s many years of corruption which its president eluded to during his conversation with Snake earlier.

Things get real scary when Otacon stumbles upon the specs for Metal Gear Rex: The rail gun on Rex’s right arm used magnets to fire projectiles at a high velocity. Since it doesn’t burn fuel, the projectiles are not considered missles. This allows Rex to ignore international treaties missiles would be bound by. I haven’t even gotten to the scariest part: Since it doesn’t burn fuel, it’s invisible to radar and anti-missile systems, making it impossible to intercept. ICBMs are scary enough. Now try to imagine invisible ICBMs capable of hitting any target on the planet. Snake is so disturbed, he asks Campbell if he knew and the latter comes clean.

By the time Snake reaches the Control Room for the first time, Otacon finally accesses the info on how to use the emergency shutdown system. The PAL Card Snake received from the ArmsTech president is actually three cards in one: The card itself is actually made of Shape Memory Alloy which changes shape depending on the temperature (I’ll explain that in more detail below). The card can only be used three times, once at three different temperatures. After you insert the card at Normal Temperature, you will need to either go to the Deep Freezer or outside to Freeze the key. After that, you will need to go to the Blast Furnace to Warm the key but hurry on the way back: If you take too longer going through the Deep Freezer, it will revert to Normal Temperature and you’ll have to go all the way back. In The Twin Snakes, you can bypass running to the Deep Freezer and Blast Furnace this by accessing two special pipes in Rex’s Hangar. Puncture the pipes to instantly change the key but be careful, Snake takes a little damage too.

When Snake activates the last terminal, he is horrified when Rex is activated. This is when Liquid drops his disguise and reveals he manipulated Snake into activating Rex for him. The control room is suddenly sealed off and gas is released inside. Otacon manages to hack the security system to get Snake out. If Meryl lives, Otacon will contact Snake and tell him he is staying behind to secure the escape route. If Meryl dies, Otacon escapes with Snake.

 

Meryl (140.15)

Campbell’s niece (revealed to be his daughter born from an affair in MGS4) and a soldier assigned to the base shortly before the Shadow Moses Incident began. She is thrown in the cell next to Decoy Octopus (disguised as the DARPA Chief) for refusing to join the the others in taking over the base. Snake spots her exercising in her cell on his way to who he thought was the DARPA Chief. After Decoy Octopus dies, Meryl (who overheard most of their conversation) breaks out, steals the guard’s weapons and uniform and works with Snake to bust out. The funny thing is the guard–revealed to be named Johnny Sasaki in MGS2–eventually marries Meryl at the end of MGS4 but I digress.

After you meet the ArmsTech President, he reveals Meryl looked out for him until he was tied up by Ocelot. He confirms she’s somewhere nearby still disguised as a Genome Soldier. Snake contacts her via Codec and they hit if off right away. Meryl opens the bay doors leading north for Snake offscreen, allowing him to proceed to the Nuclear Weapons Disposal Building. They later meet up after Snake meets Otacon in the Women’s Bathroom. Meryl tells him more about her past and after having seen the reality of a war zone up close and personal, she realizes she was wrong to fanticize it so much to that point.

The two then head to the Commander’s Room where Meryl is mind controlled by Psycho Mantis and ends up getting knocked out a few times by Snake. After Snake defeats Mantis, Meryl regains consciousness and listens to tthe dying psychic talk about his past alongside Snake. She gasps in horror when Snake removes his gas masks and she sees his horribly scarred face. Before he dies, Mantis reveals Snake has a large place in Meryl’s heart but he doesn’t know if their futures lie together. Anyone who’s played MGS4 already knows they end up not being together.

After Mantis dies, Meryl basically asks Snake if he has a life outside war and he tells her no. It’s all he knows and wants to know. “You are a sad, lonely man, just like Mantis said.” Meryl remarks after hearing his answer. Her fangirl image of Snake now completely destroyed, Meryl is at a loss for words but Snake is short with her and doesn’t catch on. When the two walk through the Wolf Cavern, the wolf dogs don’t bother Meryl but give Snake a hard time and she teases him for it at the end. When the two enter the passage leading to the Communications Tower, Meryl is shot by Sniper Wolf. Snake is forced to withdraw to find a Sniper Rifle and by the time he gets back, Meryl is gone. She has been captured by the enemy.

This is considered non-canon but in the Metal Gear Solid Digital Graphic Novel (PSP), it’s revealed Sniper Wolf forcefully made Meryl watch Snake being tortured by Ocelot. Like I mentioned earlier, if Snake endures Meryl regains consciousness. If he submits, he finds she has died. Canonically, Meryl survives but her fate is intentionally kept ambiguous in MGS2.

 

“Deepthroat”

This was the alias Grey Fox used the few times in contacts Snake via Codec. He later reveals he was Deepthroat after he links up with Snake to take on Rex.

In case you don’t know your recent American history, Deep Throat was the alias used by the informant who gave the tip that forced Nixon to resign over the Watergate scandal. His true identity was the biggest mystery in modern American politics ever and for 50 years, it was a compete mystery. Near the end of his life, retired Washington Post reporter Mark Felt came forward in 2005 to reveal to America and the world that he was Deep Throat. He explained in an interview he always planned to come forward at a time of his choosing and was content to let people guess who Deep Throat really was all that time. The only people at the Washington Post who knew he was Deep Throat died, taking his secret with them to the grave. Felt passd away in 2015.

 

Shape Memory Alloys: New Ways of Using Heat for a Technology Advantage | 2015-09-02 | ASSEMBLY

There’s nothing like getting a crash course in Metalurgy!

I went over the PAL Key earlier but yes, it is based on real-world engineering. Shape Memory Alloy is a type of material that changes it shape and makeup depending on its temperature. You typically heat it up to shape it into whatever form you want, then quickly cool it down to keep it in that form. Dental braces use Shape Memory Alloy. The wiring has to be firm enough to not break inside your mouth but still flexible enough to move your teeth.

Unlike when you for example craft solid metal molds designed to always be in one form, Shape memory Alloy is designed to change form or shape when the core temperature greatly changes. It’s actually a pretty simple concept but the way it’s explained and used in MGS1 is very clever.

 

The first two Metal Gear Solid games are back on PC, but they are not looking their best - The Verge

 

Ah, the iconic Cardboard Box.

In MGS1, you will find three of them in three different points. Why three boxes? I’ll get to that in moment but first, here’s how you properly use them in-game to evade patrols. First things first, don’t walk while using them in front of a patrol. Second, don’t park right in the middle of a patrol route unless you’re cool with them kicking the box or just pulling the box off you. They CAN be used after you were spotted to hide though. If you’re in a hallway, immediately head to a corner with poor lighting a guard would not normally go to. If you’re in an area with side rooms, go into one of those rooms and deploy the box. If a guard comes in, they’ll ignore the box while looking around. It goes without saying but no, the boxes are not bulletproof.

Now let’s get to why there are three boxes and not just one. You will find Box A in the Armory building. That’s the first building you’re in. Box B is in the Nuclear Warhead Storage Building. That’s the second building you’re in. Box C is in one of the storage rooms in the Snowfield beyond the Communications Towers. In each area, you’ll notice a truck you can jump in the back of. Get in a truck and then equip a box that corresponds to one of the other two areas you’re not currently in. Box A takes you to the Helipad, Box B to the Warhead Storage Room and Box C to the Snowfield. Make sure where you park is near the truck’s opening. After a few moments, a cutscene will play and Snake will be shipped to wherever the box’s label says. This is pretty handy for backtracking and more so if you need to return to the Armory to replentish your ammo in particular.

 

 

Benefits of Nano-machines being injected into the body

 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Nanomachines. Although the way they’re used in the Metal Gear Solid games is fiction, all of it is grounded in science fact.

Before the mission, Snake is injected with Nanomachines (along with FOXDIE and an anti-freezing peptide) by Naomi. The Nanomachines are what Naomi uses to remotely monitor Snake’s vitals. She also uses them to stimulate Snake’s shoulder muscles after he’s undergone a round of torture. There are limits, however. After Snake catches a cold, Naomi remarks the Nanomachines don’t contain antibiotics. He’ll have to either wait for the illness to run its course or find some cold medicine.

In the real world, you’ve probably started hearing a little about Nanomachines in the medical world. As usual, Japan is lead the world in their development. The hope is to develop and program nanomachines that can assist in complex surgeries as well as aid in dealing with various types of cancers and viral infections. With enough research, there is also the hope they could be used to help heal injuries or if you want to go full sci-fi, regenerate limbs or other body parts. Yes, really.

Keep your eyes peeled. Fiction is getting real.

 

Radioactive Waste Management | Nuclear Waste Disposal - World Nuclear Association

 

One of the fun things about MGS1 is by the time you finish your first playthrough, you know WAY more about nuclear weapons and nuclear energy than you probably ever wanted to. The way the game’s characters are able to explain the politics of nuclear weapons in ways anyone is able to understand is pretty sobering and terrifying as it should be. More so given what’s explained IS fact based as of 1998 (or in the case of The Twin Snakes, 2004). After all, the game takes place in a Nucler Weapons disposal facility. You have to pass through a nuclear warhead storage room early in the game. Don’t worry, the detonators were removed so there’s no fear of them exploding. That doesn’t mean there’s not danger to be mindful of though.

Your first time there, Campbell contacts Snake to tell him firearms and explosives are banned in that area. Naomi follows up to tell Snake she took it a step further and programmed the Nanomachines so that you will not be able to use any weapons aside from the Chaff Grenade (and Tranquilizers in Twin Snakes) in that room. In case you’re wondering, the guards use non-lethal weapons. You’ll also notice they are wearing gas masks and biohazard suits mostly as a precautionary measure. Even Foxhound understood if there was a firefight with live rounds and one of the warhead casings was damaged, nuclear materials could leak out and that would be a HUGE problem for everyone involved. Nuclear waste is not just highly toxic to all living things but it’s also highly corrosive. It’s typically sealed in lead containers for that reason.

 

Nastasha and the ArmsTech President in particular give you a deep dive into both the business and political sides of the overall global nuclear arms race. You learn a lot of inconvenient truths and more so given current events. For context, Russia has the world’s largest Nuclear Weapons arsenal. On paper, Russia has a little under 7,000 nulcear missiles but it’s believed to be closer to 10,000. The U.S. has around half that. As mentioned in-game, the U.S. and Russia have so far signed the START-1 and START-2 treaties which mandated both countries must reduce the number of nuclear weapons they have.

Unfortunately, it’s MUCH harder to dismantle and dispose of nuclear weapons than it is to make them. The biggest issue is and continues to be finding or making places to safely store nuclear materials FOREVER. Emphasis on that last word. Why? Because the amount of time it takes for nuclear waste to lose its radioactivity ranges from minimum 30 to 48,000 years. Again, see Chernobyl. The disaster happened almost 40 years ago but it’s been frozen in time and remains uninhabitable because of the radiation ever since. I’ve said this several times on my News and Politics blog but although there are thousands of nukes in the hands of about 16 countries, only 32 are needed to render the world ininhabitable. I am well aware Google says “at least 100” but it in reality, it would only take about a third of that.

Getting back to storing nuclear waste. I do think eventually once the costs of space travel have significantly dropped, it will be sent into space. Likely to an uninhabited planet or moons either in our solar system or another. In the meantime, we’ll have to be very careful with how and where we store nuclear waste materials. Not just for the obvious health and safety reasons but to ensure some of it doesn’t “disappear” if you catch the meaning.

I’ll put it like this: Al Qaeda still has aspirations to build and set off a Dirty bomb in the U.S. A dirty bomb is a regular bomb with nuclear materials–usually nuclear waste–mixed in. IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) are dangerous enough. The risk of inhaling radioactive particles on top of it is a whole other ballgame. When you hear about radioactive materials going missing, that’s a good reason for everyone to be concerned because there are people out there–in the case of North Korea and Iran, countries–that are desperate to get their hands on nuclear material so they can make nuclear weapons.

The threat of Nuclear War began the day the U.S. bombed Japan in 1945. Russia has been doing a lot of nuclear saber rattling after its invasion of Ukraine began. It’s not the initial strike the rest of the world is worried about. It’s the chain reaction it sets off that everyone is rightfully concerned with. Mutual Destruction has kept the U.S. and Russia from using their Nukes to now but due to grave concerns from the international community over Russian President Vladomir Putin’s state of mind, nothing is certain anymore.

 

USSOCOM's mini-subs progress into the 2020s - Naval News

 

This is a Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV). It’s what the U.S. Navy used to get Snake close enough for him to be able to safely swim the rest of the way to Shadow Moses Island. They are mainly used by U.S. Navy SEALS and in the UK for covert ops. They’re also known as mini subs but the interesting thing about them–and is the main reason why the U.S. and UK special forces use them–is they do not have a propulsion system and that makes them invisible to sonar. Perfect for covert ops.

SDVs are no bigger than actual torpedoes and naturally, they can be “fired” from submarines. They’re lightweight and though they’re considered disposable, a salvage team will recover it at a later time. Most SDVs are designed for 3 to 4 people but there are also smaller, more compact ones designed for one or two people. Some SDVs are outfitted with retractable periscopes and some even have a small torpedo bay (preloaded) for a covert attack.

 

How to Become a Private Military Contractor - Combat Adventures Magazine

 

 

I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the real world topic of Mercenaries.

Mercenary groups are a big part of the Metal Gear Solid games good and bad. Fox Hound was the Mercenary group Snake was a part of during his first mission to Outer Heaven. In MGS1, this time he’s taking on members of Fox Hound. Snake was basically contracted by the U.S. Government to deal with the Shadow Moses Incident. He was not a member of the U.S. Military at the time. You may be wondering why the U.S. Government didn’t just send in a SEAL Team or Delta Force and instead chose to send in just one person and a Mercenary at that (Speaking of, was Snake even PAID afterward?).

A lot of it had to do with the location of Shadow Moses Island. It was in the middle of nowhere relevant and the U.S. Military doesn’t have a significant presence in Alaska’s Fox Islands Archepelago despite its proximity to Russia. By the way, the Fox Islands really do exist but Shadow Moses Island itself does not. Anywho, there’s just no way the U.S. Military would be able to deploy to such a remote region of the world without flagging someone’s attention. Even if they sent in a highly trained SEAL member on the black op, if that person died or was captured then there’s just no way they could keep it a secret. There would also be the matter of then having to publicly disclose the fact terrorists took over a nuclear weapons disposal facility and were threatening to launch one if their demands are not met within 24 hours.

There is where using a mercenary comes in handy. More so one already known to the Pentagon. As a bonus, the government knows one who’s dealt with this kind of crisis twice before and even better, they know he’s in Alaska already. Even though they know he’s more than capable, if things go south they can disavow him (Campbell to Snake during the Mission Briefing: “This is a top-secret black op. Don’t expect any official support”), nuke the island and just say it was the terrorists who took over the island that did it.

Mercenaries have been getting a lot of attention internationally over the last 25 years in particular as governments subcontract them to do work their own militaries either can’t do or more often, they don’t want their own military to do. Mercenaries have been around forever–from Sellswords to Hired Guns–and they’re affectionately referred to as “Dogs of War” who sell their skills and their lives to the highest bidder. Governments and private contractors both view them as disposable pawns in the long run and most mercenaries are WELL aware their employer could betray them before or sometimes even after paying them. Nevermind the fact some mostly older active duty military look down on them as “soldiers without a country”. Most of today’s mercenaries are ex-military though there are some capable mercenaries who never spent a day in a uniform. If it isn’t obvious by now, it’s extremely dangerous work being a mercenary. Aside from the obvious risk of being killed in action, you also have to worry about betrayal and sabotage. Nevermind really bad revenge situations where people go after your family to get to you.

This then begs the obvious question: Why are countries like Russia and the U.S. relying on them more and more these days? Aside from the reasons I gave to now, it’s because they can. The U.S.-based Blackwater Mercenary group became the epicenter of scandals 20 years ago after some of their people were arrested in Iraq and Afghanistan for mistreating prisoners and locals. A congressional investigation revealed they were basically being paid hundreds of millions to do nothing and got bored.

At the time this all happened, the Bush Administration was basically handing out Defense Contracts to anyone who asked. Things got cleaned up by the time Obama became president and more so after the U.S. gradually began pulling its military out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Government-sponsored Mercenaries–publicly referred to as “Defense Contractors”–were hired to fill the gaps. During the Syrian Civil War, the Syrian government initially hired mercenaries to fight on their behalf.

Most recently in Ukraine, the Ukrainian government founded the Foreign Legion which is made up of soldiers from across the world to help them deal with the Russian Military invasion. As of May 2022, it’s estimated half of Ukraine’s Foreign Legion is from the U.S.  In response to Ukraine’s counteroffensives and their own forces getting decimated by Ukraine’s, Russia has started calling in mercenaries from Syria, Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state) and elsewhere to fight on their behalf in Ukraine.

 

America's Addiction to Mercenaries - The Atlantic

Those who do decide to work as Mercenaries are WELL aware that certain rights, protections and privilages granted to military soldiers don’t apply to them. This is highlighted in two moments in MGS1. The first is during Snake and Meryl’s in-person meetup. It’s basically a continuation of his lecture to her during their first conversation via Codec earlier. Now that she’s seen the reality of what it means to be in a combat zone up close and personal, she’s shaken to the core. “But this isn’t a war”. She tells Snake in regards to Shadow Moses Island. “This is a terrorist action”. Snake rebuffs Meryl and tells her straight up politics and words mean nothing to those on the ground at the end of the day. It’s dog eat dog, kill or be killed. “If you lose, you’re worm food.” (in The Twin Snakes, the line is changed to “If you lose, you die a dog’s death”.).

The other instance is just before Snake is tortured. Ocelot tells him to his face “You’re no POW, Snake. You’re a hostage. There is no Geneva Convention here. Scared? You should be.” When a soldier is captured, the are required to give up what’s known as “The Big Four”: Name, Rank, Blood Type and Serial Number. They are under no obligation to reveal anything else to enemy forces upon capture but the Geneva Conventon stipulates POWs must be treated humanely. When a soldier is killed in action, there is typically an expectation and assurance their body will be return to their country of origin and ultimately, their family for burial. The government takes care of everything.

When Mercenaries are killed in action, if they’re lucky their outfit or employer will make sure their families are informed and financially compensated. If they’re really lucky, their bodies will be sent back. Mercenaries that get captured know not to expect any special treatment. Some may be forced or pressured to betray their employer in exchange for their lives or freedom. These are the two biggest dangers that come with working as a mercenary.

While most Mercenaries are hired as bodyguards, escorts or guards, some are hired specifically for deployment to war zones. Some like Snake are used for “off the book” Black Ops. Basically, plausible deniability. Presuming things don’t go as desired, it gives the government that hired them space to use their own assets should their hired gun(s) fail and sweep it under the rug, typically at the same time. It’s actually not uncommon even for those who do succeed to still not be adequately compensated. More so if there are casualties, severe injuries or sensitive information is compromised.

All that said, obviously some people like being Mercenaries. Some are in it for the thrill. Some military vets do it because it’s what they know and like. Some prefer being mercenaries over being in the military because they’re not bound by certain things. Most Vets who get into mercenary work do admit there are a lot of freedoms they’re able to enjoy that they didn’t have when they were still active duty. The biggest perk being having a say in what they do and with few exceptions, the freedom to turn down a job. Many typically use their work as a mercenary as extra income though those who do it full-time typically take on several jobs at a time.

This is a general overview of course. These days, there are also cyber mercenaries who sell their tech skills to the highest bidder. Things are much more nuanced these days to say the least.

 

PIPES: Welcome, Kurdistan - Washington Times

The highlighted area are the historical boarders of the former Kurdistan state. You can see Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria would all lose territory should the Kurds be allowed to reclaim their former territory. As things stand now, only Iraq and Syria are in favor of recognizing Kurdanstan as an independent country and mostly because of how integral they were in defeating ISIS during the first half of the 2010s. Iraq has already granted the Kurds their own land along its boarder with Turkey but it’s not recognized by Iran or Turkey.

Turkey views the PKK, which are the Kurds’ military–also known as the Peshmerga–as a terrorist organization simply because they refuse to allow their people to be slaughtered by the Turkish Military first and Jihadists are hiding on their lands second. The PKK famously fought ISIS while being bombed by Turkey in 2013. The Iraqi Military eventually stepped in and established a no-fly zone over Kurdish territory in their boarders, forcing Turkey to stop. Iran opposes Kurdistan as an autonomous state mostly because they know the Kurds are allied with Iraq.

Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous Kurdish region within Iraq. Syrian Kurdistan are remote autonomous regions in Syria. The main reason there is growing regional opposition to an independent Kurdistan is because they are WELL aware of what the Kurds are capable of militarily. At the same time, Iran and Turkey are well aware that if they don’t cede territory, there’s the real possability the U.S. could get involved on behalf of the Kurds.

 

Covid success of mRNA vaccines opens way to a new generation of drugs | Financial Times

 

I want to make sure I mention this because of the technical specifics of FOXDIE.

I did a bit of research online and turns out a biological weapon capable of assassinating specific people actually can be made now. The science explained by Naomi in the game is legit. While such an engineered virus can’t be mass produced, you wouldn’t need to. All you would have to do is make a few doses more or less.

The FOXDIE virus Snake was infected with was programmed to kill several specific people on Shadow Moses Island. We already know who at least 3 of them were: Decoy Octopus (disguised as the DARPA Chief), the ArmsTech President and of course, Liquid Snake. We know Liquid told Snake Naomi altered part of the virus’s programming just before the mission but no one knows how or why. We find out why during the ending: To ensure it didn’t kill Snake.

Liquid speculated the reason Sniper Wolf and Mantis weren’t affected is because Wolf always took Diazepam (a muscle relaxant commonly used by snipers to reduce hand tremors while aiming) and Mantis always wore a mask. Liquid didn’t know it but the reason Ocelot wasn’t affected is because he had received the vaccine for it in advance. Otacon, Meryl and others who were in close contact with Snake also weren’t affected because they weren’t included in FOXDIE’s programming. That’s what makes it such a potent assassination weapon to say the least.

 

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes - 4Upscale - v0.3

Smash 3C Solid Snake | Super Smash Brothers | Know Your Meme

 

I referenced this a few times already but in 2004, a remake for MGS1 was released on the Nintendo Gamecube. We can now presume Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai likely had a hand in the Gamecube getting The Twin Snakes. The story goes, Hideo Kojima approached Sakurai about including Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Gamecube which was still in development at the time. Sakurai replied basically saying “I’d love to BUT unfortunately, Melee is almost done at this point”.

Snake would be introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii alongside Sonic the Hedgehog as the first non-Nintendo characters to be featured in the now iconic franchise. He would return in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch. Snake’s Final Smash involves him jumping on a helicopter rope ladder and firing 6 rounds from a grenade launcher. Snake’s stage is based on Shadow Moses Island and you will see some of the franchise’s Metal Gears roar in the background at intervals.

It’s worth noting both MGS2 and Melee were released in 2001 while MGS3 and The Twin Snakes were released in 2004. That’s no coincidence. It’s worth keeping in mind Konami did announce both MGS3 and The Twin Snakes at the same time. Silicon Knights was sub-contracted to work on The Twin Snakes while Konami focused on MGS3.  It’s worth noting due to availability issues, not all of the voice actors reprised their roles from the original. Cam Clarke, who voiced both Liquid and Miller in MGS1 are voiced by James Flinders in The Twin Snakes.

Aside from the obvious graphical upgrade, The Twin Snakes includes the “Stick Up” and hanging mechanics introduced in MGS2. The Tranquilizer Gun and PSG1-T Tranquilizer Sniper Rifle from MGS2 are also in The Twin Snakes, making it much easier for you to do a “no-kill” playthrough if you want to. In MGS1, Disc 1 ends after the Snowfield. In The Twin Snakes, Disc 1 ends when you enter the Communications Towers. I like that change personally as it feels like more of an even split.

Unfortunately, most fans of the original hated the remake at the time it was released. Most saw it as a cheap cashgrab while the majority hated how much more exaggerated most of the cutscenes were compared to the original. For example, Snake does a backflip to avoid getting shot by Revolver Ocelot and Liquid’s death throes to FOXDIE is slowed down a bit for dramatic effect. Those touches don’t take anything away from the game to me at all and more so knowing Kojima himself was still involved. It’s a solid game in and of its own though it’s a shame Nintendo would only get one other Metal Gear Solid title: A 3DS port of MGS3.

 

In Case You Forgot: A Metal Gear Movie Is Coming | EarlyGame

 

Shortly after MGS1’s initial release, it was quickly revered as the Holy Grail of movie adaptations of a video game. You have to keep in mind by the time MGS1 came out in 1998, aside from 1995’s Mortal Kombat all live action movie adaptations of video game franchises were horrible and mostly from bad creative choices. Fast forward to 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog movie which, until its sequel’s release two months ago was the highest-grossing video game movie ever.

All that said. While MGS fans were in agreement someone should try to adapt MGS1 into a full-blown movie, that’s about it. This is where the 1990s video game movies being so horrible needs to be kept in mind. On the one hand, most agree it’s impossible to mess up a movie adaption of MGS1 even if you cut a lot from the source material. On the other hand, the source materal needs to be done justice in the movie adaptation.

Believe it or not, Hideo Kojima did confirm shortly after MGS4 was released that there would be an MGS movie. 14 years, the pandemic and Kojima’s breakup with Konami later, most have just assumed the project was quietly cancelled. Actor Oscar Isaac has reportedly been cast to play Solid Snake. He did reveal last year that an MGS movie is still going to happen but nothing more than that. That’s literally all we know.

At this point, I am expecting an MGS movie to suffer the same fate as the ill-fated Warcraft movie: Took too long to do and by the time it was done, no one cared. There is also Kojima’s split from Konami and how that could impact the movie’s development if it hasn’t already. Konami took the MGS franchise from him but he created the series. It wouldn’t be right to do the movie without its creator to say the least.

 

Part 16: MGS1 - Big Boss Rank, Minimum (11) Kills - YouTube

 

One of the series hallmarks is of course the postgame ranking.

Based on how you do in the game, how long you take to complete the game and what difficulty you plan on among other things, you will be given a ranking. The Big Boss ranking is the most difficult to achieve and you can see why above. You can’t use Rations, can’t be discovered even ONCE–excluding scripted moments of course–must complete the game quickly (bosses included) and obviously, you can’t die once. Oh and you must also do this on the hardest difficulty.

…Starting to sweat bullets yet?

Not gonna lie, I have no interest in trying to get this personally in any of the MGS games I’ve played (1, 2 and 3 and some of the side games so far). The reason is I play games for fun. When it’s no longer fun, what’s the point? These kinds of challenges are there for those who want the challenge. To each their own but that’s not “Fun” to me.

 

 

 

Of course I’m going to end with one of the most beautifully done songs in all of gaming.

For those who never knew, the lyrics are in Gaelic.

 

Here they are in full:

 

An cuimhin leat an grá
Crá croí an ghrá
Níl anois ach ceol na h-oíche
Táim sioraí i ngrá
Leannáin le smál
Leannáin le smál
Lig leis agus beidh leat
Lig leis agus beidh grá

Cuimhne leat an t-am
Nuair a bhí tú sásta
An cuimhne leat an t-am
Nuair a bhí tú ag gáire

Tá an saol iontach
Má chreideann tú ann
Tug aghaidi ar an saol is
sonas sioraí inár measc

Céard a tharla do na laethanta sin
Céard a tharla do na h-oícheanta sin
An cuimhin leat an t-am
Nuair a bhí tú faoi bhrón

An cuimhin leat an t-am
Go sioraí sileadh na ndeor
an ormsa nó orainne a bhí an locht

Ag mothú cailte s’ar fán
Cén fáth an t-achrann is sileadh na ndeor
Tá áilleacht sa saol Má chuardaíonn tú e
Tá gliondar sa saol
Creideann sé

 

Come on, admit it. You were singing along as you were reading and listening to the video. The first two lines of the song are what you hear at the beginning of the game. You also hear snippets of the song at various emotional low points, most of which I already covered above.

 

Here is the English translation for the lyrics:

 

Do you remember when the little things made you happy?
Do you remember when the simple things made you smile?

Life can be wonderful if you let it be
Life can be simple if you try

Whatever happened to those days?
Whatever happened to those nights?

Do you remember the times when little things made you sad?
Do you remember when the simple things made you cry?

Is it just me or is it just us
Feeling lost in this world?

Why do we have to hurt each other?
Why do you have to shed tears?

Life can be beautiful if you try
Life can be joyful if we try

Tell me I’m not alone
Tell me we are not alone in this world fighting against the wind

Do you remember when the simple things made you happy?
Do you remember the times when little things made you laugh?

You know life is simple
Because the best things in life are yet to come
The best is yet to come

 

The name of the song is The Best Is Yet To Come and yes, Frank Sinatra’s more famous but unrelated song will pop up first if you YouTube search just like that. To help filter out Sinatra’s song, just put Metal Gear Solid or MGS1 before or after the song’s title to only see that song.

Although the song clearly sounds and feels like a requiem to someone who’s lost everyone and everything they ever loved or cared about, it’s actually meant to convey optimism and hope for a better tomorrow. The last two lines are why: “Because the best things in life are yet to come. The best is yet to come”.

Overall, I rate MGS1 and its Gamecube remake a 10/10.

I would also give it the Retro Ranking Legendary.

If you’d like to play the original PS1 MGS1, you can get it digitally on the PS3 or Vita Playstation Stores. The Twin Snakes never got ported though I still own my Gamecube copy. I also still have my physical PS1 copy and a digital copy of the PS1 version too. There are those rumors The Twin Snakes might get ported to current consoles and Steam though so we’ll see.

 

If you liked these games, you will also like:

 

Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 HD Edition are now backwards compatible on Xbox One - Just Push Start

Metal Gear Solid 4's Return to Shadow Moses Argues You Can Never Go Home Again

 

If you enjoyed MGS1/The Twin Snakes, you owe it to yourself to play the three main series games that followed it.

 

  • I talked about it a lot already but MGS2 takes place several years after the events of MGS1. It’s split into two Chapters and introduces the main Antagonists of the MGS Universe, the Patriots. By the time of the events of MGS1, The Patriots are actually a group of AI that secretly controls the United States from the shadows. A modern equivalent is the Deep State conspiracy theories. George Sears (Solidus), who was president during the Show Moses Incident and his immediate successor who you meet in MGS2 were the first two presidents chosen by the Patriots. The game’s second protagonist Raiden was universally hated almost immediately by fans of the original game. MGS2 has recently been getting renewed attention for accurately foretelling the emergence of social media, memes and the political discourse the U.S. has been dealing with since at least 2012. This game has the subtitle “Sons of Liberty” because that is the name of the mercenary outfit Raiden has to deal with, Solidus himself the final boss.
  • MGS3 is quite the swerve compared to MGS2 because it not only takes place in the past, the iconic Big Boss is the game’s main protagonist. Until MGS3, very little is actually known about Big Boss, who is known in MGS3 as Naked Snake. MGS3 gives you a deep give into what set him on the path to becoming the greatest soldier who ever lived. Unike the first two games, MGS3 mostly takes place in the untamed wilds. You’ll need to keep your wits about you if you want to get through the game. One of the game’s bosses–named The End–can be cleared one of two ways. One way is killing him obviously. The other is Saving during the battle and then coming back after a few days have passed IRL. When you return, you’ll see a cutscene where Naked Snake is saddened to discover because he took so long, The End has since died of natural causes! For context, The End wanted Naked Snake to grant him the peace of death. He died while waiting and because of this, you will also lose out on the game’s True Ending as well. I have never been able to kill The End on that note though I do currently have the 3DS version of the game.
  • MGS4 takes place several years after the events of MGS2. Revolver Ocelot, who was fully possessed by the ghost of Liquid Snake at the end of MGS2 is now just referred to as Liquid Ocelot. The FOXDIE virus has caused Snake to rapidly age and his appearance now looks like an old man. Familiar faces such as Meryl, Raiden, Otacon and Naomi Hunter do return and Snake does return to Shadow Moses Island for part of the game (!). Snake does meet the woman who served as his surrogate mother for the Les Infants Terribles Project: Eva. She was introduced in MGS3 and Snake meets her in MGS4. All that said, the subtitle for this game IS “Guns of the Patriots” for a reason. The Patriots are the big-bads and they are permanently dealt with. The most poignant moment in the game happens at the finale. Snake is standing in front of someone’s grave and is about to kill himself when none other than his father Big Boss stops him. It turns out Big Boss, whom the world assumed had died years ago was actually in a coma caused by the Nanomachines in his body all this time. In a twist a cruel irony, Big Boss dies for real in Snake’s arms to the FOXDIE virus.

I purposely left out MGS5: Ground Zeroes and MGS5: The Phantom Pain because according to Hideo Kojima, MGS4 was intended to be the series finale. Why do Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain exist? Corporate greed.

It was the liquidation of Hideo Kojima’s 2nd Party studio that caused Konami to replace Electronic Arts as the most hated video game company almost overnight. The story goes, sometime between 2012 and 2013 Konami executives approached Kojima about making another MGS game. Kojima refused at first, saying MGS4 was the end of Solid Snake’s story. Konami reminded Kojima he was contractually obligated to make one more MGS game so Kojima reluctantly agreed to make what became Ground Zeroes.

While Ground Zeroes was in being developed, Konami approached Kojima again to let him know the game currently in development would be part 1 and a second game would need to follow. That did for Kojima, who resigned almost immediately after finishing Ground Zeroes. Kojima then went public with how he and his team were basically treated like slaves during Ground Zeroes’ development. The alliegations were so horrific, the Japanese government launched an investigation that revealed the alligations were not only true but much worse.

Despite the messy breakup with Konami, Kojima was paid for Ground Zeroes after he left. This created a bit of a rift among MGS fans after Kojima went public with the fact he was basically forced to work on the game nonstop until it was done. Konami went on to develop and then release The Phantom Pain without him and disbanded Kojima Productions. This is also why the logo for the former second party company is on Ground Zeroes but not The Phantom Pain. Some like myself refuse to play either game ever while others like my older brother will play it “because it’s a new MGS”.

David Hayter, who is Snake’s original English voice actor is also a personal friend of Kojima’s. Hayter’s never publicly said it himself but one popular fan theory is his friendship with Kojima is why “24” star Kiefer Sutherland was brought in to voice Snake in Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain instead of Hayter. Hayter was shocked and saddened when he found out along with the general public his iconic role had been recast by another actor. Hayter revealed in an interview to this day, he has never played either MGS5 game and no plans to ever. Commenting on it, he said “I just can’t bring myself to. No disrespect to [Sutherland] but it just doesn’t feel right knowing another actor’s voice is coming out of the mouth of such an iconic character everyone knew was mine to now.”

Hayter has no hard feelings toward Sutherland and even though he now knows Sutherland actually voiced Big Boss and not the current Solid Snake, he’s more hurt over the fact Konami didn’t have the spine to tell him they were recasting the role. On that note, Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain take place in the the 1980s. Chronologically, the events of both games happen 20 years before the events of the first Metal Gear Solid.

 

 

Metal Gear Solid 6 – 15 Things We Want | Page 13

 

All that said. At this point, the future of the Metal Geat Solid franchise is uncertain. That and Konami losing its reputation as the legendary developer it once was were the prices Konami decided it was willing to pay for its greed. There have been no new Metal Gear Solid games since The Phantom Pain at least to my knowledge. You’ve already read what I know about the movie said to be in developement so…yeah.

I’ve heard rumors online in recent years Konami IS looking for buyers for some of its franchises. Sony is reportedly VERY interested in buying the Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill franchises in particular from Konami and fans are hoping it happens for obvious reasons. If Sony gets them, they will make use of them. The recently announced HD remasters and remakes planned for at least both of those franchises is likely Konami’s way of boosting their value for a potential buyer. Who knows? Maybe the Switch will finally get MGS4 which it should have gotten 6 years ago. These are some dark days for the MGS franchise. Until I’m proven wrong, the franchise is dead as far as I’m concerned.

I almost left this out but MGS2 and MGS3 were recently delisted from digital stores due to copyright issues. Konami quietly announced last year they were temporarily delisting all digital versions of MGS2 and MGS3 from all platforms last summer. If you already bought the games, you can’t redownload them. The copyright issue involves newsreel footage that plays during some cutscenes in both games. Konami promised to relist the games once the copyright issue is resolved. For those who don’t understand copyright licenses, they are not permanent or indefinite. They are in place for several years, often a few decades. Its now been 20 years since both games were released so it makes sense for the copyrights needing to be renewed.

Mind you, this only applies to digital versions of the games but not physical copies. Many were quick to hold these games up as good reason to avoid buying digital and only buy physical. The problem is these 20 year old games have not gotten physical re-releases on current consoles. The Vita did get HD ports and the 3DS did get a What that means is you’ll have to buy a PS2, a PS2 memory card and PS2 copies of the games. Either that or buy The Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection for the PS3 which of course requires you to own the console. It didn’t get a digital release on that note.

 

At 15,000 words, this is now the longest WordPress article I have EVER written across all of my blogs. Every single section of this article could itself be its own article so…yeah. I could easily keep going too actually but I’ll stop here.

 

 

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Posted in Brendan Aurabolt, Metal Gear Solid, Retro Gaming, Serene Adventure, Video Games | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking News: Atlus announces Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal are coming soon to Xbox Live!

May be an anime-style image of text

 

Give credit where credit’s due, this is a LONG time coming. More so giving the fighting games Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax had been released on the Xbox 360 (and PS3) despite not having gotten the source games (Persona 3 and Persona 4). P4AU did get a much needed Steam port a few months back (also ported to the PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S) and of course, Persona 5 Strikers was oddly released everywhere too. Atlus is finally making Xbox console owners who are fans of the series whole by giving them the “complete” versions of Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5.

I obviously have all of them myself but here’s a quick overview:

  • Persona 3 Portable: Originally released on the PSP (hence the “Portable” name), P3P is actually two games in one. P3P famously introduces the option of choosing a Female protagonist. The storylines are mostly the same though in an extra story scene that takes place in Inaba, two characters from P4 make a cameo appearance. The P3P Female Protagonist was so popular, Atlus brought her back for Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth (Nintendo 3DS). The second-biggest selling point for P3P after the Female Protagonist was of course, the portability on the PSP. This is continued in the Vita version of Persona 4 Golden. The biggest selling point for P3 in general is of course, the soundtrack. Japanese rapper Lotus Juice was made famous for the tracks he did for this game. Mass Destruction and Burn My Dread are instant classics.
  • Persona 4 Golden: Originally released on the Playstation Vita, P4G is easily the most known of the three games because of its Steam port from a few years ago which I also have. P4G includes internal jukebox and video player features and couple of other fun stuff. The game has an extra Social Link with an additional ending associated with that person. The gameplay is much faster compared to the original P4 (PS2) and it’s easier to use the Card Roulette mechanic too. Like the other two games, P4 is well known for its soundtrack.
  • Persona 5 Royal: Originally released on the PS4 and PS5, P5R was a blatant attempt to emulate P4G and failed horribly in terms of storytelling compared to the base game. The P5R adds two additional social links, one of whom is a Persona user. That person is built as if they’ll eventually join the Phantom Thieves but ultimately decides not to and abruptly leaves the stage before the game’s “You really, REALLY might want to save NOW in case you mess up” point. It’s as if during the game’s development, Atlus decided not to permanently add a new party member. Even worse is we don’t even get a temporary party member from P5 permanently in this game. What a missed opportunity there. That aside, P5’s signature feature is the soundtrack without question. Turn the sound all the way up while playing! P5 was also a bit of a departure from P3 and P4 in two regards. One was it brought back the Demon Negotiation Mechanics that were absent since the P2 games. The other was unlike P3 and P4 in which dungeon layouts are randomly generated each time you enter them, the story Palaces are linear with fixed routes. Mementos does maintain the randomness of course but you don’t spend as much time in there as the Palaces in comparison.

 

Likely in response to backlash against Hideo Kojima announcing he’s making an Xbox brand game a few week back, Atlus circled back to announce P3P and P4G also are also coming to the PS4 and PS5. Hopefully the PS4 and PS5 versions of P4G has cross save support with the Vita version but if it doesn’t, I won’t mind. P4G is like Tales of Symphonia and Final Fantasy VI to me: A game I have no problem playing over from the beginning again and again.

The bigger story is easily P3P getting ported though. I forgot to say this before but I do remember reading somewhere Atlus figured out how to make a 3DS port of P3P but ultimately decided against it because of the”slight” audio and graphics downgrade the 3DS port would have required to make the game fit on a 3DS game card. All you have to do is look at the 3DS port of MGS3 to understand that much. Atlus also reminded folks P4G is already on Steam and clarified P3P and P5R will be coming to Steam at some point too.

All three of these games also need to come to the Switch. Hopefully that gets announced before the end of this year so we’ll see.

 

Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection

Persona 4: Dancing All Night - GameSpot

 

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Rhythm games for Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5. P4:DAN was originally released on the Vita but was later ported to the PS4 and PS5 digially. P3:DIM and P5:DIS were both released digitally for the PS4 and PS5 though they also got special edition physical releases. I’m guessing there may be some technical challenges involved with a Steam release of these three games not present in console ports. The biggest being the required framerate and processing power needed to run the game without it studdering. If you’ve played any of these games, you probably already know.

It is worth mentioned P4:DAN is actually CANON and has a story mode. The story takes place a year after the events of P4. The Invesigation Team is invited to participate in a music festival but they are pulled back into action to solve a mystery similar to the one they dealt with in Inaba. Kanami Mashita, an Idol like Risette who was mentioned by name in P4 is officially introduced in person in this game as a playable character. There are two versions of her: Her “normal” self and her “idol” self which are like night and day to say the least.

Without getting into heavy spoilers, Kanami found the body of an idol who comitted suicide by hanging at the height of her popularity when she was younger. The other world The Invesigation Team and Kanami’s stable of idols are drawn into is related to her repressed memories of that person. The late idol’s final song Calystegia was actually also a suicide note.

 

Here’s the song with the lyrics translated but fair warning, MAJOR spoilers for the story:

 

 

It sounds happy and upbeat but when you know what the lyrics are translated to English (or whatever your language is) and the story behind it, you realize how super depressing it is. As time goes on, you the player come to realize the world most of the game takes place is basically a world of the dead idol’s making. It’s a world where “no one hurts or gets hurt”. Why that idol killed herself and kidnapped Kanami’s stable is gradually revealed along with some sad truths about the Idol Industrial Complex Japan and South Korea are both imfamous for.

All three rhythm games do have DLC and at this point a “complete” version of the games with all DLC included needs to be released and hopefully sooner than later. It was annoying to me having to buy the DLC for P4:DAN twice for example. They DID release the Steam version of Persona 4 Ultimax with all DLC for it included–including the story campaign for P4A–so we know it’s certainly possible to do with other games. It’s a question of willingness at the end of the day.

 

 

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth Review | GodisaGeek.com

Persona Central on Twitter: "'Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth Roundabout Special' Manga Begins - https://t.co/Br4TTFs8De https://t.co/SK2LabrVSD" / Twitter

 

Released on the Nintendo 3DS, these games are literally Persona x Etrian Odyssey. The first game features the cast of P3 (minus P3P’s FeMC) and P4 while the second game features the cast of P3 + P3P’s FeMC, P4 and P5 (including Akechi/Crow). While PQ1 did get an English dub, PQ2 did not mostly because by the time it came out everyone knew the Switch was replacing the 3DS as a dedicated handheld console. Atlus just felt it wasn’t worth spending the money to dub it is all.

Storywise, each game has its own story so you don’t need to play PQ1 to play PQ2 and vice versa. You also do not need to have played P3, P4 and/or P5 either which is the express point of this game. If anything, you should want to play the games everyone comes from after playing PQ1 and/or PQ2 if you hadn’t before. I know people like to complain about the fact every game isn’t released on every console or platform these days but it’s up to the company in short.

That said. Given Rune Factory 4, which was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS was later ported to Steam and consoles I do think it’s time for Atlus to bring the Etrian Oddyssey games to other platforms. The biggest reasoning I kept hearing was “They won’t work on other platforms because of the two screens the DS/3DS uses”. That’s not a problem at all to make it work on a single screen just like the reverse has been done with DS and 3DS ports. It’s really a matter of willingness on Atlus’ part and the fact that we haven’t seen any of the Etrian Oddyssey games on other consoles is a travesty given how popular they were.

 

 

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Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2: The Movie (2022)

 

 

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Rotten Tomatoes

We knew it was coming for two years and like the first one, it exceeded expectations. When I say “exceeded”, I mean this is the highest-grossing video game movie EVER.

Although the movie hit theaters on April 8, I didn’t actually watch it until May 29. While I did watch the first movie for the first time in theaters, I decided to wait for the home release version of the sequel. Then I happened to find out Xfinity just started airing the movie on demand for free. Saturday night movie fun, anyone?

Like the first movie, the sequel was chock full of easter eggs from the games. It also naturally picks up where the first left off in terms of storytelling. Turns out Tails’ postcredits intro from the first movie takes place about 15 minutes into the sequel. Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba) runs into Robotnik (played by Jim Carrey) on the mushroom planet and offers to help him find Sonic (Ben Schwartz voices him again) in exchange for getting him back to Earth. Knuckles is looking for the fabled Master Emerald and he believes Sonic is the key to finding it. Meanwhile, Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaunessey) decides to back up Sonic and heads to Earth himself. As an aside, Tails’ Voice Actor is the same one from the 3D video games and the recent cartoons.

Robotnik and Knuckles enter an alliance of convenience because of their shared interest of beating Sonic. We do get some more Lore and let’s just say the director was smart to push the Chaos Emeralds to the sequel. It turns out the Master Emerald basically turns the bearer into a god. When Robotnik gets his hands on it, he turns on Knuckles. Having had a moment with Sonic earlier in the movie and then getting rescued by him after being betrayed by Robotnik, Knuckles agrees to bury the hatchet and team with his his foe turned new friend.

 

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is the highest-grossing video game movie ever in the  U.S. - Meristation USA

During the movie’s climax, the trio manage to wrest the Master Emerald away from Robotnik. Despite being backed into a corner, Robotnik obsessed with finishing Sonic. It’s short-lived but we do see Super Sonic make an appearance. After pulverizing Robotnik, Sonic reliquishes the power much to Knuckles’ surprise. When asked why, he simply replies “Blue is my favorite color…and I still have some growing up to do.” Sonic has speed, Tails has brains and Knuckles has brawn. That’s quite the combination!

Remember the militar guys from the first movie? They’re back and played a more prominent role this time. After Tom uses a Ring to pull Sonic and Tails out of a pinch, it’s revealed the world militaries created a unified force to deal with otherworldly threats. Even they are powerless to stop Robotnik while he had the Master Emerald though.

MASSIVE SPOILERS] Mid-credits scene | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022 Film) |  Know Your Meme

During the postcredits scene, it’s revealed Robotnik is missing (of course) and apparently, he was secretly working on something in a lab somewhere: Project Shadow. We’ll have to wait until the third movie to find out more on that but those who are familiar with the games already know Shadow was created by Dr. Robotnik. I’m speculating here but I wouldn’t be surprised if Metal Sonic also makes an appearance in the next movie.

The big theme of this movie was Sonic gaining new friends. Knowing Robotnik, he’ll be looking to build a team of his own. The first two movies leaned heavily into the 2D Sonic games but I’m expecting the third–likely coming in 2024–to lean hard into the 3D Sonic games. It’s probably a fair assumption the third game will mostly take place away from Earth as well. I’m speculating here but I’m sure Sonic, Tails and Knuckles will want to put the Master Emerald on another planet to keep Robotnik from finding it again (and presumably by now Sonic recovered the rings he dropped off the cliff in Siberia).

 

 

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 movie poster absolutely nails it | AllGamers

Anyone who saw the poster for Sonic 2 from 30 years ago probably geeked out seeing the movie poster being such an obvious throwback to it. Like I did for the first movie two years ago, I will do a retro review for the Sonic 2 game as well. Also like the first game, Sonic 2 is not hard to find on current hardware, Steam or mobile platforms.

Overall I give Sonic the Hedgehog 2: The Movie a 10/10 obviously. An absolute must-watch for any gaming fan. Period. Like the first one, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. So glad they didn’t mess that up for sequel.

Although Sonic 2 the movie is still in theaters as of this writing–it just hit theaters last month–you can already find it digital for $20, watch it on Paramount+ and now Target is advertising the Blu Ray version. So, you can pick how you wanna watch it right now. My guess is it will likely stay in theaters through June though. I plan to buy it digital on iTunes like I did with the first one and then later buy both movies Blu Ray bundled…or maybe I’ll wait until Sonic 3 the movie is released and then buy physical copies of all of them at once. The possabilities are endless!

 

 

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Blizzard unveils World of Warcraft: Dragonflight and announces Wrath of the Lich King Classic

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will add playable and rideable dragons | PC Gamer

 

 

Last year, the Devs announced the current expansion Shadowlands would be the end of the first part of the ongoing Warcraft Saga. If the opening Cinimatic doesn’t make it clear already, Dragonflight is the start of the a new era for MMORPG that ruled the 2000s with an iron fist.

The expansion takes place in the mythical Dragon Isles, homeland of the Dragonflights. 10,000 years ago when The Sundering happened, the magical energy that powered the realm went dormant. The Dragonflights left to help the mortal races an the Watchers were instructed to signal the Dragonflights to return once the magical energy recovered. As is revealed in the Cinematic, one of the Watchers reactivates Tyrhold and the Dragonflights return and reclaim their ancestral home.

Alextrasza invite the Alliance and the Horde to help them reclaim their homeland and both factions are all too eager to accept the invitation to repay the Dragons have done for them. Not soldiers but scientists and settlers. The Explorer’s League and the Reliquiry send a joint expedition team called the Dragonscale Expedition. The Alliance and the Horde are working together. Wrathion, who was first introduced back in Cataclysm will have a prominent role to play. He wants to restore the Black Dragonflight to how it was before it and his imfamous father were corrupted by madness. Weather or not he will be the one to lead the reformed Black Dragonflight will be a big focus of this expansion.

 

The overall focus of this expansion will be exploration of the Dragon Isles. Blizzard is pivoting hard away from the existential threats of Zovaal, N’Zoth, Sargeras and others we’ve come to know and love with Dragonflight as promised. The armistice between the Alliance and the Horde after the events of Battle for Azeroth continues as they are now openly working together in Dragonflight. Given the focus of this expansion is on their the Dragonflights they mutually respect, it makes sense to not have conflict between the factions right now. We will learn about the culture of Dragons on Azeroth as well history only the Dragons know.

 

Here’s a quick rundown of what Dragonflight introduces:

  • New Race: Dracthyr: Before Neltharion became Deathwing, he secretly created a new race by infusing Draconic Power with Mortal Races to fight the Primals. After a fateful battle 10,000 years ago, the Dracthyr went dormant on the Forbidden Reach until something that came their island caused them to reawaken. Like the Pandaren, the Dracthyr can choose to join the Alliance or the Horde. Like the Worgen, they have two forms: A dragon form and a humanoid form.
  • New Class: Evoker: The Dracthyr only have one unique class and that is the Evoker. Like Demon Hunters, they only come with two specs: Devastation (Ranged/Caster DPS) and Preservation (Heals). Like Death Knights and Demon Hunters, they are also considered a Hero class and start at  higher level.
  • The Dragon Isles: Four Leveling Zones + the Dracthyr Evoker Starting Zone. Due to the emphasis on exploration, each zone will be MASSIVE in size with an emphasis on verticality. There was no mention of a max level zone which likely means there will be max level areas and max level quest chains once you reach max level.
  • Dragon Riding: A unique Flying system exclusive to the Dragon Isles. You’ll be able to ride a Dragon that will not only move faster than normal flying mounts but will allow you to reach areas
  • New Max Level: 70
  • The return of Talent Trees
  • Complete Professions System Revamp and the return of Profession Specializations such as Armorsmith
  • Complete UI Overhaul

 

Dragonflight is a clear effort to put the WORLD back in World of Warcraft. It will be far less story focused than every expansion since Warlords of Draenor. It will still have a clear sense of direction though. Blizzard claims none of the existing classes felt like a fit for the Dracthyr but I am going to assume that will change either mid-expansion or after it. I dare say they could be the first race to get access to every playable class. After all, every race can be a Death Knight as of Shadowlands so…yeah. They blanket explained it by simply saying during the Fourth War, the Ebon Blade basically acted as undetakers and secretly took the bodies of fallen soldiers to raise as Death Knights.

Likewise, I can also see most or all of the other playable races getting access to the Evoker class. After finding Neltharion’s research on how he created the Dracthyr, the Dragonflights decide to share that lost knowledge with the Alliance and the Horde. This allows the other playable races to become Dracthyr. Just an idea on my part.

 

Coincidentally, I discovered the laptop I got two years ago is powerful enough to run Retail WoW. I haven’t really played WoW since…I wanna say early Legion. Last expansion I bought was Battle for Azeroth. The reason is I lacked a computer powerful enough to actually run the game as it is now. Things have changed in that regard for me very recently. I mean to the point I plan to resub later this year.

 

World of Warcraft®: Wrath of the Lich King Classic™ to Transport Players Back to the Icy Realm of Northrend Later This Year | Business Wire

 

…And this, ladies and gents would be the main reason WHY I am resubbing.

For those who want to see the original Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic, here it is:

 

By the time the time Cataclysm was announced, WoW was the undisputed MMO King. WoW reached its peak during WotLK with its imfamous “Over 20 Million Subscribers can’t be wrong” tagline. I wrote an article for the 10th Anniversary four years ago. You can read it in full here. Read it and come back since I won’t repeat what I said here.

 

There is one major change the vocal minority demanded that Blizzard has agreed to: Wrath Classic will not have the controversial Dungeon Finder (LFG) feature. Originally added to the game mid-expansion, Dungeon Finder allowed you to que to enter dungeons without physically going to them with 4 other people, usually random people. The vocal minority who hated the feature from since it was first announced back in 2009 despise it because of the simple fact it made content more accessible to casual players. That’s the simple truth and this is coming from someone who was a hardcore player back then. That was also around the time when I noticed the more hardline vocal minority’s rise to prominence within the WoW Community online. I won’t digress further though. This change is not game-breaking for me since I already have the locations of every dungeon and raid up to Pandaria committed to memory.

 

The other much smaller change involves Death Knights. Originally, you had to first have a level 55+ character on the server to create a Death Knight. Blizzard announced this precondition will be removed for your very first Death Knight. If you only play on one server in Classic, this isn’t that big of a deal for you. If you play on two or more servers–for example Alliance on one server and Horde on another one–then you will need to make sure you have a level 55+ character on subsequent servers that you play on if you want a Death Knight on them. I am also going to assume the Spec Swap that happened later in the expansion will just be correctly done from the beginning. Originally, Frost was Tank and Blood was DPS but they were swapped with each other with the first content update. Yes, you could actually dual wield tank back then!

I will be watching very closely to see how Heirlooms are handled. Heirlooms were first introduced in Wrath. Until Shadowlands, Heirlooms provided an EXP boost and a significant stat boost as well as leveled with the wearer. There were a few stat squishes since Warlords of Draenor and a level squish in Shadowlands but when Heirlooms were introduced, it made levelin faster. It also made those who had Heirlooms sought after for dungeon runs while leveling because your stats were almost always better than gear from drops, quest rewards and otherwise. It just wouldn’t mak sense for Blizzard to take that away but we will see.

 

World of Warcraft: Legion's Class Halls Are Superior to Garrisons, and  Here's Why.

 

Remember that time Blizzard gave us the closest thing to Player Housing in Garrisons in Warlords of Draenor? Well, it sounds like the Dev Team wants to do Player Housing. In a recent interview, one of the topics Ion Hazzikostas commented on was the concept of Player Housing. He revealed the Dev Team wants to do it but it would be a massive undertaking if they were to do it. He also said adding it to the game would span several expansions and take a lot of time to get it right. Oh and he made it clear Player Housing would not be introduced in Dragonflight.

This is quite the development and more so given the Draenor Garrisons got thrown under the bus by the Devs hard and fast after players complained about the lack of new max level content in that expansion. Blizzard basically blamed development of the then new character textures and Garrisons as the main reasons why WoD was underwhelming in terms of max level content. Pre-nerf, Garrisons were a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you would spend most of your time on Draenor there. On the other hand, it was most cost efficient to farm thousands of Gold a day without ever leaving your Garrison if you knew what to do. Blizz nerfed Garrisons hard later in the expansion in an effort to get players to stop spending so much time in them.

Of course, true Player Housing is a whole other thing. Now that we not only know the Devs want to do but it would take several expansions to fully implement, that should help temper expectations. At the very least, we know it will come in stages. Blizzard will add new recipes related to housing to existing professions and likely add a few new professions too. There will likely then be an intro quest chain to unlock the ability to build or buy your own home. Similar to Draenor Garrison, I’ll assume you’ll have preset areas where you can build. Over the course of several expansions, where you can build as well as what kinds of homes you can build will steadily increase in number and diversity. We’ll have to wait and see.

While Ion did say Player Housing will not be in Dragonflight, I would not be surpised at all if we get some preludes to its gradual introduction at some point in the expansion. Time will tell, pun intended!

 

 

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Farming-themed Video Games sure have been around for 30 years now

Harvest Moon: One World on Steam

STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town on Steam

 

Even after they split due to Copyright 8 years ago, the rebranded Harvest Moon and the more traditional Story of Seasons are still going strong. For those who may not know the backstory, Natsume and Marvelous Entertainment, which is Harvest Moon’s American counterpart decided they wanted their own division, XSEED take over distribution in North America. To avoid litigation, Natsume and Marvelous came up with an interesting compromise. The longtime series formula fans had come to know and love for three decades now would continue under the new name Story of Seasons. Meanwhile, Harvest Moon would hard reset as a new series but with the existing name.

I actually do still own a physical copy of the very first Story of Seasons game which was released on the Nintendo 3DS and plan to get a digital copy for my other 3DS very soon. I also have the last “old” Harvest Moon title released on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS, A Tale of Two Towns as well as the first “new” Harvest Moon title A New Beginning, also released on the 3DS. It’s actually not as confusing as it seems to remember. If you want a traditional farming experience, go with Story of Seasons. If you want to try something a bit more different, go with Harvest Moon.

Get it? Got it? Good.

I have actually played the very first Havest Moon game which was released on the SNES 30 years ago (I feel OLD saying that!). At the time it was released, I don’t think anyone could have imagined it would become a staple series on almost every console released after the SNES. Harvest Moon and Story of Story of Seasons is a Sandbox farming Sim that doesn’t take itself too seriously. In short, there is no Game Over. If you work yourself to the point of collapse, you’ll wake up in the local clinic with a warning to not push yourself so hard. The early games time gated animals and fruit trees but not as much in the more recent games.

The biggest key to the games is generating revenue daily if possible. It’s much easier to consistently do this in the newer games since you can buy livestock and fruit trees as soon as you have the money. You can even recruit help for your farm in the more recent games for certain tasks. The biggest grind is easily building relationship levels with people and Affection levels with livestock. There are benefits to doing both though. With livestock, the quality of goods they produce increases.

With people, you can marry some and in order to marry you need to also become a good friend of their family member(s). There are other requirements for marrying someone that must be met. You also typically need to upgrade your house, get the double bed and acquire a special item to trigger the proposal scene. Sometime after that, you’ll have a child. Having said all this, there are literally ZERO perks to getting married in the Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, Rune Factory or Stardew Valley games.

No, seriously.

It really makes you wonder what all the time and effort you spend courting a marriage candidate–nevermind upgrading your house for them–was for once you actually do it. Your spouse doesn’t help with any chores around the farm, you get no discounts if they or their family runs a store/business, nothing. Same for the kid you have together that stays a baby or young child forever. You are more or less better off being a batchelor/batchelorette indefinitely. In my book, if there is no benefit to it then what’s the point?

 

All that said. The games don’t “End” in the strictest sense. By the time you’re in Year 5 or later, you’ve probably done everything there is to do in the game. Most importantly, money is no object to you anymore (or rather, it shouldn’t be). At that point, it’s just a matter of “Ok, what do I feel like doing today?”

 

In some games, you can grow some crops in the Winter but in most you can’t. Regardless, remember that you can’t grow feed for your animals during Winter. Make sure you have PLENTY of Fodder in your Barn or Silo to get you through Winter. On a related note. You do not need to water your crops when it’s raining outside. You do still need to tend your animals though. If you do not take care of your animals, they will not produce anything. In most of the games, they can get sick so pay attention and give them animal medicine if that happens.

 

Rune Factory 5 for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo

The Rune Factory games debuted on the Nintendo DS 15 years ago and was described by Natsume as “Harvest Moon where you wield a sword”. That’s actually pretty accurate.

To date, I have played all of the mainline Rune Factory games except the just released Rune Factory 5. The first three were released on the Nintendo DS and you will need one if you want to play them since they were never ported to newer platforms. Rune Factory 4 was first released on the Nintendo 3DS but recently got ports to Steam and current consoles. I have both the 3DS version and PS4 port myself.

The Rune Factory games are basically Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons with RPG elements infused into it. One of the interesting things about the first game that I loved was the dungeons not only had farming plots but were locked to one of the four seasons. Even better is unlike your farm, you didn’t have to worry about weather disasters. This effectively made them greenhouses where you could grow crops out of season all the time.

Instead of animals, you encounter monsters. Almost all of them can be captured. Some could be tapped to help with your farm, some produced byproducts and all of them could be tapped to fight beside you. You can even ride some of them. It’s quite the adaptation to say the least. It’s still easily recognizable as Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons but with RPG elements woven into it.

 

Stardew Valley for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo

 

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the most successful fan game in video game history EVER. It is also the second most successful indie game after Minecraft ever made.

When Eric ‘ConcernedApe” Barone decided to make Stardew Valley in 2012, it was done for fun and was made as a tribute to the Harvest Moon games. First released in 2016, he worked on the entire game by himself. The game has since grossed over $30 Million as of January 2022.

I currently have the game on three platforms: iOS (iPad), Steam and PS4 in that order, all digital. The game has staying power like the game it was inspired by, Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons. The game has also received a few updates after its initial release, the last one introducing Multiplayer Co-Op. ConcernedApe has recently announced he is working on a whole new game that is unrelated to Stardew Valley. When asked if there would be any further updates to Stardew Valley, he has said there are no plans for further updates to the game.

It’s a solid, solid game and you can basically play it however you want. Like the Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons and Rune Factory games, the most important thing you need and want to do is set up and maintain an economy via your farm. The basics still matter in this one. Once you have a few animals producing eggs, milk and/or wool, gradually you’ll have a stable revenue stream to bolster what you make from crops and other stuff you ship daily.

 

 

 

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A recent Gamespot article summed up the end of E3 quite nicely: It’s No Longer Needed

Is E3 Gone Forever? – GameSpace.com

 

During the 1990s and most of the 2000s, it was the video game industry’s version of Wrestlemania or the Super Bowl. Anyone and everyone in the industry was a part of E3 in some capacity with Nintendo, Sony, Sega and Microsoft as console makers being the most anticipated companies in attendance for obvious reasons. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it’s more popularly known as was the venue the video game industry used to unveil new AAA games or consoles to the world for almost 30 years.

Those days are over.

Advances in technology have basically eliminated the need for E3. During the height of it popularity between 1994 and about 2008, everyone who’s anyone in the industry–and countless more who wanted to just be in the know–made it their business be at E3 in person. This was mostly because since it was technically a private event, it was super rare for there to be live feeds even during the tail end of the once iconic event’s popularity. It was also strictly an invite-only event and while established companies like Nintendo, Sony, Sega and Capcom for example were assured VIP status, indie studios and aspiring video game designers had a much harder time getting noticed.

Back in the day, it was unofficially required that companies withheld info on upcoming AAA games until E3. Why? Because it was expected, a given. Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Dreamcast, Playstation 3, Pokemon Black and Pokemon White, the Nintendo Wii, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Halo 2 are just a few of the many games and consoles announced at E3. Why did companies wait until E3 to announce their biggest games? Because it was as much about seeing what other companies were up to as it was about giving consumers something to look forward to.

Everyone remembers when Square Enix announced Final Fantasy VII was coming to the Playstation 1 but to that point, every game in the Final Fantasy series was released on a Nintendo console. The Final Fantasy francise became Playstation exclusive for about 5 years and the bombshell news was dropped at E3. It’s referred to as “The Great Betrayal” for a reason. When the Nintendo Wii was first announced, Nintendo also announced they were taking themselves out of competing with Sony and Microsoft and would instead focus on being innovative. I could go on but those are two big examples I remember.

By 2010, conventions like ComiCon and PAX were drawing representatives from the industry every year on a consistent basis. For the companies, they could connect directly with consumers and vice versa. Unlike E3, you could not only take your time with your presentations and do Q&A but you could also do press interviews at your own pace, too. Most importantly, you weren’t feeling pressured to stay within a preset window of time to get through everything.

 

The Best Video Games for Kids & Parents – SheKnows

 

At this point in time, most us gamers from the 1980s and 1990s are now in their late 20s to late 30s. Many of us have kids of our own and many more of us no longer have the spare time to spend on most of today’s games. Of course, that’s extra true for older Gamers as well. Times have changed, interests have changed and what’s most important to even hardcore gamers have changed. I do think the recent consumer interest in retro gaming will carry the industry through the 2020s and possibly even the 2030s. That’s assuming companies are willing to respond in kind. Why? Because of stuff going on in the real world such as the pandemic, economic hardships and most important to tech companies, the global shortage of semicondutors and microchips.

One thing the handheld video game consoles like the Game Boy, PSP and Nintendo 3DS made clear is suprisingly, many Gamers like the versatility that comes with being able to play console quality video games on the go. The Steam Deck exists for this purpose though obviously, you can also run Steam from a laptop. With games origially released on older consoles now making their way to Steam and mobile platforms, it may just be a matter of what happens first: Console makers release a PC App or Laptop-style console capable of playing their entire library from older consoles. I think both can and should happen personally.

 

The industry has always had its finger on the pulse of consumer demand on both sides of the Pacific. Increased demand from the West for Japanese Anime and Manga has spilled into the world of gaming too. We now see Onigiri (Rice Balls), Dango (Dumplings) and other stuff with their proper Japanese names. The West can’t get enough of Japanese entertainment and culture. 1980s era video games were what opened the door to it becoming mainstream in the early 2000s.

The surge in popularity of Anime Conventions in North America in the early 2010s were also a huge draw for Gamers and most specifically, 3DS owners. A highlight for me from 2011 to 2018 was going to Anime Boston with both of my 3DS handhelds and  having to refresh the Streetpass Plaza three to five times in just the line to get inside because of the sheer volume of 3DS owners inside. I also did this at Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony and even while just walking around. I live in Boston so finding pople to Streeetpass with isn’t that hard for me. For those who live in small towns, Conventions were often the only time they were gonna see a lot of other 3DS owners in one place.

These days, the industry is adapting with the times when it comes to breaking news on upcoming games. More often than not, your first heads up will come via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. All you have to do is Like and follow the company Page or Account and you’re good to go.

 

 

 

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So, I recently got half of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Titles

FINAL FANTASY Pixel Remaster series coming to Steam and mobile | Square Enix Blog

I first got FFVI but then got FF1 and FFVI, all from Steam. I plan to also get the Pixel Remaster versions of FFII, FFIII and FFIV as well.

 

The Pixel Master versions will replace the Mobile versions that have been available on Steam, iOS and Andoid platforms to now and in fact, the other versions were deplatformed everywhere ahead of the release of the Pixel Remaster versions last year. I actually got the mobile version of FFVI on Steam a few years ago. Only those who previously bought what’s not called a “legacy version” can redownload it.

The older versions can no longer be purchased but I’m not sure what this means for the 3D versions of FFIII and FFIV, which were both first released on the Nintendo DS which I STILL have now. I also have the GBA versions of FFI, FFII, FFIV and FFVI. The GBA versions of FFIV and FFVI included additional content and features not included in other releases. For example in FFIV Avance, you can actually regain your temporary party members such as Palom and Porom. In the GBA version of FFI, you are not locked into the starting classes for the whole game. You will be able to Class Change later in the game. In the GBA version of FFVI, there are three additional dungeons in the second half of the game and three additional Espers.

 

I Love Final Fantasy VI Much More Than Its Creator Does | Final Fantasy VI

 

Before I talk about the Pixel Remasters I have, I want to comment on the fan hate against the mobile version of FFVI in particular. For real, you’d think someone did them physical harm or something.

I actually have no problem with the changes from the SNES, PS1 and GBA versions of FFVI because they are minor and don’t actually change the game. The biggest gripe I see is the fact Celes getting “tortured” by Imperial soldiers during Lock’s Scenario in the first half of the game is removed in both the mobile and Pixel Remaster versions. Square-Enix made that call and it takes nothing away from the scene or Celes’ introduction as a playable character. If Square-Enix edited Doma getting poisoned or Kefka frying towns in the second half of the game then yeah you’d have an arguement. But, they didn’t.

As for certain lines being changed including Kefka’s iconic “Son of a Submariner!” Honestly, it’s not a big deal. They even made Cyan’s moment in the Nikeah bar during Sabin’s scenario a bit more lewd than it was in the SNES version. On that note, the SNES version of FFVI was released on Nintendo consoles via Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U and Switch) digitally with nothing changed. No one cared or complained. As for artwork, I actually don’t have a problem with the brighter presentation either. Why? Because the core game is unchanged. I also don’t have a problem with the credits sequence during the Magitek Armor march at the beginning of the game being removed either and more so given that sequence is not skippble in the mobile and Pixel Remaster versions.

Any TRUE fan of this game should be happy it got a universal rerelease period. More so with the massive popularity of FFVII, FFX, FFXV and to a lesser extent FFXII and FFIV over the last 20 years. FFVI got two unique rereleases in the PS1 port and FFVI Advance before the mobile version the Pixel Remaster replaced was released. FFIII and FFIV both got a 3D port first on the Nintendo DS. FFIV also got a direct sequel as did FFX and FFXII while FFXIII got two sequels. Don’t even get me started on FFVII, which is the most popular game in the franchise since it’s release.

One interesting but helpful change from the earlier releases involves Darryl’s Tomb, which is a dungeon you have to enter after you reunite with Setzer to get a new Airship. In earlier release versions of the game, you had to solve a puzzle to unlock the room where a chest containing the Growth Egg is. In the Pixel Remaster version, the room is already unlocked. What does the Growth Egg do? Not much, just doubles EXP gains for whoever has it equipped.

Another quality of life change involves the Esper learning mechanics: When a character learns all the Magic an Esper can offer, a star will appear next to its name. You will also see a checkmark if someone has an Esper equipped. This is helpful in the last third of the first half of the game and even more helpful in all of the second half of the game when you have more Espers to keep track of.

All the Pixel Remaster versions have upgraded graphics and every track was redone with actual instruments. You’ll be in for a treat with the Opera Scene in FFVI in particular. Auto Battle, which can be toggled off and on at will makes grinding much faster. The last action per character is simply repeated when it’s on. The Mini Map and World Map is priceless. So is Quick Save, which is great for taking breaks and Saving before doing something important.

So far, I am loving the Pixel Remasters. I plan to get the Steam versions of the three I don’t currently have a some point in the future and I am also considering getting some of them on iOS too. We’ll see.

 

The Final Fantasy 6 pixel remaster will let you suplex trains properly

 

I’ll end with some friendly advice with reuniting with everyone in the second half of the game known as the World of Ruin. You start the second half with Celes but you will get Sabin, Edgar and Setzer automatically. Once you have the Falcon, you have two choices: Go straight for Kefka’s Tower or go find everyone plus two secret characters you didn’t meet in the World of Balance. Of course, we’re gonna get the band back together!

 

Ok here we go but be warned, there are some Spoilers:

  • Terra, Part 1: After Sabin joins in Tzen, you can do Part 1 to get Terra immediately. Alternatively, you can do this after getting the airship. Travel to Mobliz and talk to Terra. She explains she can no longer fight and this gets proven when Hunbaba (Phunbaba in the SNES version) mops the floor with her. After you drive him off, Terra is bedridden so you might as well head to Nikeah. On your way out, one of the kids will give you the Fenrir Magicite.
  • Cyan: You get a lead after getting the Falcon to go to Maranda. Visit Lola, the girlfriend of the injured soldier in Mobliz who has since died. You get another lead that takes you to Zozo. Remember that one door you couldn’t open because it was rusted shut before? Talk to the man who warned you about jumping between buildings in the World of Balance. He will sell you something to open the door for 1000 Gil. That door will take you into Mt. Zozo. Travel to the deepest part to find Cyan but here’s an important warning: Near Cyan’s room, you will see an out of reach chest with a switch nearby. If you trigger the switch, the chest will open and an optional boss battle will immediately start. You will want to be much better prepared so ignore it for now.
  • Relm: Go to Jidoor and go to Owzer’s Mansion. Navigate the maze to find the room where Relm is. It turns out the painting she was commissioned by Owzer to paint has been possessed by a demon and now you must fight it. It’s a straightforward but long fight due to the mechanics. After you win the battle, Relm will join you. Don’t forget to examine the bookcase for the Lakshmi Magicite before you leave.
  • Shadow: In order to recruit Shadow in the World of Ruin, you need to have waited for him on the Floating Continent. He will usually show up within the last 10 seconds of the countdown so stay alert. Once that condition has been satisfied, go to the Cave on the Veldt. You will not only find Shadow and Interceptor there but the Ichigeki (Striker in the SNES version) in one of the chests. After taking out the monsters that downed Shadow, you will take him to Thamasa to recover. You can draw him out to a fight by going to the Coliseum and wagering the Ichigeki. Beat Shadow and he will permanently join you.
  • Relm, Alternate Method: If you didn’t wait for Shadow, you will find Relm in the cave instead of Shadow. Apparently she got hurt while looking for Shadow.
  • Gau: When you get Cyan, he will tell you where Gau went: The Veldt. Just trigger a battle with 3 or less party members to get him.
  • Mog: Go to Narshe with 3 party members. Enter the caverns through the secret entrance to the left of the town entrance and go to the Moggle room. Only one Moggle survived and it happens to be your old friend. Examine the spot where he was standing to get the Molulu Charm, a Relic that prevents random encounters. Only Mog can equip it on that note. If you get Mog first, this will make getting most of your other companions much quicker with the Molulu Charm.
  • Strago: Go to the Cultists’ Tower southeast of Nikeah with Relm and an empty party slot. You walked past it before so you should already know you need the Falcon to reach it. Apprach the Cultists with Relm in your party and he will snap out of it.
  • Terra, Part 2: Now that you have regained most of your companions, return to Mobliz for Terra. This time when Hunbaba shows up, Terra is ready after it blows away some party members. She transforms into her Esper form and is permanently in that form for this battle. After you put Hunbaba down, she decides to join you to help secure a future for the kids.
  • Locke: By now, you should have everyone from before except Locke. Where is he? Phoenix Cave. Keep in mind this dungeon has unique mechanics that require you to deploy two parties. If you want to save a bit of hassle, include Mog with his relic in one of the parties. Make your way through the cave and at the very end you’ll find Locke. It turns out he was looking for and ultimately did find the Phoenix Magicite though it’s badly damaged. Return with him to Kholingen for a scene with Rachel. He will then not only join you but give you all the loot from the open chests you saw in Phoenix Cave. Oh and you also get the Phoenix Magicite he went in there for.
  • Umaro: This is a secret character you may have glimpsed in the World of Balance. Travel to area where the Esper Tritoch is located. If you didn’t beat it before, beat it now to get its Magicite. If Mog is not in your party, go get him now because you will need him to recruit Umaro. At the end of this new area you will see a bone ornament. Interact with it and you will actually get some Magicite. Right after that, Umaro will attack. Spam Fira, Firaga and Fire-based skills to quickly end the fight. After the fight, Mog will reprimand Umaro for not recognizing him and recruit him. Umaro is a unique character in the fact you can’t control him directly. He fights on his own.
  • Gogo: Go to Triangle Island and enter random battles until you find the sandworm. Let it eat your entire party. You will find yourself in a dungeon. Be careful as some of the puzzles have instant Game Over mechanics if you mess up. Travel to the end of the dungeon and you will meet Gogo, who will join you after a brief introduction. Gogo’s Mimic Ability allows Gogo to copy the last party member’s action with no MP cost. Very handy!

 

…Ok, you should now have everyone.

As a bonus, here’s some additional advanced tips and hints:

  • Mog’s Water Harmony Dance: This is the only ability of Mog’s that is missable if you don’t get it during the World of Balance and given it’s his most powerful ability, it’s worth the trouble. Remember going through the Serpent Trench during Sabin’s Scenario? Go through it again with Mog in your party. By the time you get Mog, the landslide northeast of Nikeah has been cleared away. Park the airship outside Nikeah and then travel on foot from there through all the areas you passed through while in Sabin’s Scenario. Eventually you’ll return to the Cave on the Veldt. Jump into the Serpent Trench and win a random encounter with Mog in your party to learn Water Harmony.
  • Sabin’s Phantom Rain Blitz: Sabin will learn his most powerful Blitz from none other than his master. After you have leveled a bit and found a few companions in the World of Ruin, go to Duncan’s House with Sabin in your party. It turns out Duncan not only wasn’t killed by Vargas but survived the Cataclysm. He will personally teach Sabin his most powerful technique: The Phantom Rain Blitz.
  • Cyan’s Advanced Bushido Skills: The key to unlocking Cyan’s remaining Bushido skills is related to his trauma from the loss of his wife and son. In the World of Ruin, go to Doma Castle and sleep there with Cyan in your party. This will trigger a dream-like sequence your other party members must navigate. At the end of it, you will face Wrexsoul. After you beat him, Cyan will regain his confidence and gain access to his remaining Bushido skills.
  • Tritoch Magicite: Remember that Esper you encountered at the beginning of the game and then had to defend after the divergent paths? In the World of Ruin, it’s time to make its power yours. You should already know where it is from when you recruited Mog. Yes, go ALL the way over there. Interact with the Esper to trigger combat. Win and not only do you get the Magicite but the way to where Umaro can be found is also opened to you. I forgot to mention this earlier but you will see a dragon in the area where you made your stand against Kefka. DO NOT engage it for now.
  • Ragnarok Magicite: Every door in Narshe is locked up tight and the place is crawling with monsters in the World of Ruin. You will need Locke to open the doors so once you get him, head to the Weapon Shop. You will find the shopkeeper there who tells you he can either give you the Ragnarok Magicite or use it to form the most powerful sword in the game that can randomly cast Ultima. Choose the Magicite and you can teach everyone (except Umaro for obvious reasons) Ultima, the most powerful attack spell in the game.
  • Dinosaur Forest: North of the Veldt, you will find a forest with Tyrannosaurus and Brontosaurus. They’re the tougest non-boss enemies you will encounter but in exchange for beating them, you will get 5 Magic Points an 10 Magic Points respectively as well as MASSIVE EXP gains. High risk, high reward! Here’s some extra advice: DO NOT engage Brontosaurus without Reraise cast on at least one party member. The reason is because it might cast Meteor and it’s sure to wipe out the entire party when cast. Before I forget, this is in the World of Ruin.
  • Ancient Castle: When you first find Figaro Castle in the World of Ruin, it’s stuck underground. Later once you’ve gotten a bit stronger–and preferably after you’ve gotten Mog + Molulu Charm–have Figaro Castle move underground. It will get stuck and you will be asked if you want to stop or keep going. Stop there and then exit through the jail cell you entered to get in while following Edgar. You will be in an undergound cavern follow it to the end to reach the Ancient Castle. An in-game cutscene will play revealing this lost kingdom fell during the War of the Magi 1000 years earlier. This lost kingdom’s champion Esper Odin fell in a duel with a powerful Magus and you will find him in the grand hall. Odin teaches just one spell: Meteor.
  • Anicent Castle Redux: Preferably after you’ve taught everyone Meteor, return to the Anceint Castle’s Grand Hall. Enter the room on the right and examine the bookcase if you didn’t before to find a diary from the queen. The scholars in Figaro Castle will tell you they also found mention of a secret “5 steps from where the Queen stands”. Walk 5 steps from the throne on the RIGHT in the Grand Hall and then press the Confirm button (A, X, etc.). You’ll hear a sound in the distance. Return to the room where you found the queen’s diary to find a revealed staircase. Down here you will find a Blue Dragon and unlike the other two dragons I told you to explicitly avoid, you have to slay this one. Use Lightning spells and abilities to power through it. It will drop the Zantetsuken spear. Past where it was, you will find the Queen who’s been petrified. You now have a choice. If you interact with the statue, you will permanently lose Odin but gain Raiden. This is why I reccommended earlier you teach everyone Meteor before you swap it for Raiden, who teaches Quick.
  • Uncursing the Cursed Shield: In one of the Narshe’s locked buildings you will find a Cursed Shield. As the name implies, the item is bad news to whoever is wearing it without a Ribbon equipped. Why equip it? After using it in 256 battles, the curse will be broken and it will become the Paladin Shield which is the best shield in the game. Don’t worry, you’ll see a message when the curse is broken. It will not count if you equip the Cursed Shield to Gogo so try to keep that in mind. You DO NOT need to keep it on one person so for example you can euip it to Cyan for 128 Battles and then put it on Edgar for the other 128 Battles. It’s reccommended you put the Cursed Shield on someone while grinding Magic Points to learn Spells. Just keep it in your active party but make sure you remember whoever has it equipped is also wearing the Ribbon to block all negative statuses from it.

 

Ok, I think I’ll stop there. I’ll share some more tips and advice after I beat FFVI and post the review for it.

As noted, the extra content added in FFVI Advance and FFIV Advance in particular are not in the Pixel Remaster version. Given they have been getting tweaks and updates since their release, I do think we could see the extra content from those games–FFVI Advance in particular added 3 additional Espers and 3 additional dungeons that were accessible after you beat Kefka in the World of Ruin. We will have to wait and see as I do think they’re being called “Remaster” for a reason.

 

 

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Nintendo’s Virtual Console concept should have been standalone

Virtual Console: why Nintendo should bring its old games to iOS - TapSmart

 

At this point, I think it’s more than fair to say Nintendo’s Virtual Console concept is a massive failure. Why? Because at the time it was introduced with the original Wii in 2006, it and Nintendo’s online store in general wasn’t as streamlined as other consoles’ digital stores were. When the Wii was released, Nintendo was the last of the console makers to adopt an online store but unlike Xbox and Playstation’s respective digital stores, you still could not purchase retail Wii games digitally on the Wii. Your only options were digital online titles and Virtual Console titles. The two biggest reasons for this were the original Wii had limited internal storage (even with an SD Card) and most Wii games were massive.

Oddly, at one time I owned about 80% of all of the Virtual Console titles released on the Wii. It’s hard to forget spending over $300 worth of digital content on just that console. Pity your purchase history or save data couldn’t be transferred to the 3DS and Wii U. Yes, you had to not only repurchase every single Virtual Console title you bought before but you also had to start from scratch. Not a good look for Nintendo at all to say the least. More so for those like myself who owned a Wii and then a 3DS and Wii U. It felt like a slap in the face to not at least be able to download titles I already bought on the Wii for free on the 3DS and Wii U.

 

N64 Plastic Game Case and Artwork for GOLDENEYE 007 No Game. | eBay

 

For those who might not know or remember, as a concept the Virtual Console was supposed kill two birds with one stone: Give fans of games released on Nintendo’s first three home consoles–NES, SNES and Nintendo 64–as well as the Genesis, TurboGrafix-16 and NeoGeo the ability to legally buy and play them via emulation on modern consoles. What could possibly go wrong? After all, you’re giving those who pirated games from those consoles a good reason not to or so you’d think. The biggest problem Nintendo actually had no control over is copyright ownership of many highly wanted games including the most wanted one of them all, Goldeneye 007.

Released on the Nintendo 64, it is considered the genesis of modern FPS games for a reason. Why did this game never get released on the Virtual Console? Rareware, the UK-based company that co-developed the game was bought by Microsoft in 2002 and in doing so, Nintendo lost the rights to not just this game but the Perfect Dark, Killer Insinct, Conker and Banjo-Kazooie franchises. It’s also the only big N64 game released by Rareware that hasn’t been ported to a later system. Sure Nintendo no longer has the rights to it but its new owner could release it as a console or brand exclusive.

 

Apparently, that’s exactly what Microsoft planned to do: Last month, an almost 14-minute video of footage of the original game surfaced online. It seems Microsoft had been planning to release it on the Xbox 360 as a digital title but it ultimately ended up not being released for unknown reasons. The popular theory is when Microsoft learned about Goldeneye 007: Reloaded (developed by Activision), they decided not to release the original in favor of promoting the remake. Even though the remake ultimately bombed, Microsoft still has the original.

 

All that said. Copyright is why a LOT of games were not only never released on the Virtual Console but Xbox Live, Steam or the Playstation Network for that matter. This is something most gamers don’t respect or care about: Not only does the copyright owner have to give permission but licenses only last for a certain amount of time. If the license is not renewed, the platform owner has to remove it if they don’t want to get into legal trouble.

 

All that said: Microsoft and Sony haven’t had this problem as much with their online stores. That’s saying something and more so given how many iconic games were released on their first two consoles (PS1, PS2, Original Xbox and Xbox 360). Then again, both companies have been making efforts to make most of the libraries from their older consoles accessible over time so if you never played it on the original hardware, you can play it on newer hardware. Final Fantasy VII and Fable come to mind.

 

Nintendo has stopped producing its NES and SNES Classic Edition consoles - NotebookCheck.net News

NEW SEALED Nintendo Game and Watch: The Legend of Zelda & Super Mario Bros LOT 45496883270 | eBay

The irony with the novelty NES Classic, SNES Classic, Game & Watch: Super Mario and Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda is those concepts could have been permanent replacements for the Virtual Console if Nintendo was willing to do it. Instead, Nintendo does limited releases of these once or twice a year.

All four of these consoles are standalone: They all come with pre-loaded games you can play immediately without an internet connection. Imagine if Nintendo released an updated version of these consoles with the ability and storage to purchase and download additional games.

 

I would want to see the following NES games added:

 

  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
  • Tetris
  • Contra
  • Rush n’ Attack
  • Life Force
  • Dragon Quest
  • Dragon Quest II
  • Dragon Quest III
  • Dragon Quest IV
  • Yoshi
  • Yoshi’s Cookie
  • Rad Racer
  • Mega Man
  • Mega Man 3
  • Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Olympic
  • Metal Gear
  • Blades of Steel
  • Double Dribble
  • Ducktales
  • Ducktales 2
  • Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers
  • Popeye
  • The Three Stooges
  • Talespin
  • Home Alone
  • Little Nemo
  • Robocop
  • Friday the 13th
  • Trojan
  • The Legend of Kage
  • Bomberman
  • Paperboy
  • Paperboy 2
  • City Connection
  • Crash n’ The Boyz: Street Challenge
  • River City Ransom
  • Fire Emblem (English Translation)

 

I could easily keep going but that’s a good start. At the very least, there should be at least 100 games on the NES Classic.

 

As for the SNES Classic, here’s what I would add:

 

  • Pilotwings
  • Cid Meier’s Civilization
  • Super Mario All Stars
  • Super Street Fighter II
  • Street Fighter Alpha
  • Act Raiser
  • Act Raiser 2
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Tales of Phantasia
  • Mega Man X2
  • Mega Man X3
  • Sunset Riders
  • Final Fantasy II (FFIV)
  • Hook
  • Batman Returns
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition
  • Donkey Kong Country 2
  • Donkey Kong Country 3
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden (English Translation)
  • Star Ocean
  • Samurai Showdown
  • Sim City
  • Home Alone 2
  • Lufia
  • Lufia II
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom
  • Top Gear
  • Top Gear 2
  • Top Gear 3000

 

I know, it’s quite a lot. All the more reason to add them.

 

As for the Game & Watch hardware concept, that can be employed for a few other franchises:

 

  • Fire Emblem: Contains Fire Emblem GBA, Fire Emblem Sacred Stones and a music player with soundtracks from both games.
  • Pokemon R/B/Y: Three different units with Red and FireRed, Blue and LeafGreen or Yellow. Also contains The Pokemon Trading Card Game, the entire Pokemon Origins miniseries and select episodes from the YouTube Pokemon Evolutions and Pokemon Generations series. Also allows wireless trading for Red/Blue/Yellow/FireRed/LeafGreen and Pokemon TCG.
  • Pokemon G/S/C: Three different units with Gold, Silver or Crystal. Also contains Pokemon Pinball and select episodes from the YouTube Pokemon Evolutions and Pokemon Generations series. Also allows wireless trading for Gold/Silver/Crystal.
  • Pokemon R/S/E: Three different units with Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald. Also contains Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire and select episodes from the YouTube Pokemon Evolutions and Pokemon Generations series. Also allows wireless trading for Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald.
  • The Legend of Zelda Adventures: Contains The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past (GBA version), The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (GBA version) and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX.
  • The Legend of Zelda Oracles: Contains The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages.
  • Metroid: Contains Metroid, Metroid II and Metroid: Samus Returns (Game Boy version).
  • Classic Sports: Contains Baseball, Tennis, Soccer and Golf.
  • Donkey Kong: Contains Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong 2 and Donkey Kong 3.
  • Card Games: Contains Hanafuda, Blackjack and Poker.
  • Game and Watch Gallery Mega Collection: Contains all of the games featured in The Game & Gallery 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance).

 

Each of those would be instant collector’s items to say the least! Even better is any one of them can be picked up even if the receiver has never played a video game before. All would also include a digital clock feature and Save State feature for all games except the Pokemon games. They could also be connected to a potential Nintendo 64 Classic for the Pokemon Stadium games. Anything beyond that would probably drive up the price so I’d stop there.

Because of how poorly the NES and SNES sold–Nintendo intentionally did limited releases on that note–it’s anyone’s guess if we will see a Nintendo 64 Classic, Game Boy Classic, Game Boy Advance or even a Gamecube Classic. We should though.

 

I just remembered something about the GBA versions of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire that is important to keep in mind if you ever get your hands on one or both like myself. Both games do have a game-breaking Time Glitch. Once you have passed 100 hours in the game, time-based events and mechnics will no longer work. For example, Berries will no longer grow and you will not be able to evolve Eevee into Espeon or Umbreon. Oh and Mirage Island will no longer appear.

There IS a fix for it and it’s one of the reasons why I still have my Gamecube and Pokemon Coliseum. Connect Ruby/Sapphire to Pokemon Coliseum (GBA-Gamecube cable and GBA required). The fix will automatically be applied. The other option you can still do requires Pokemon FireRed, LeafGreen or Emerald as well as a GBA Link Cable and a second GBA. Start up Emerald, FireRed or LeafGreen in the other GBA. Press and hold B + Select on the Title Screen to see the above screen. Connect your first GBA with Ruby or Sapphire to apply the patch.

…Of course, this glitch does not exist in the 3DS remakes OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire =)

 

 

Is The N64 Classic Still Coming? | Screen Rant

 

Here’s my short list of games to put on a Nintendo 64 Classic:

 

  • Super Mario 64
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Star Fox 64
  • Donkey Kong 64
  • Diddy Kong Racing
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Paper Mario
  • Ogre Battle 64
  • Mario Party
  • Mario Party 2
  • Mario Party 3
  • Cruis’n USA
  • Cruis’n World
  • Pokemon Stadium
  • Pokemon Stadium 2
  • Starcraft 64

 

That’s a fairly rounded list. I left off Goldeneye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark and Conker’s Bad Fur Day because Nintendo no longer owns the rights to them. If Nintendo can secure copyright permission, I’d add a lot of Sports and Wrestling games to the list. The mini console would support 4-player splitscreen just like the original game did. The controllers would also have the Rumble Pak feature built into them.

Oh and Nintendo reportedly DID announce there would be an N64 Classic back in 2018. I assume those plans were quietly cancelled due to the microchip shortage that persists today. It’s harder to cheaply mass produce video game consoles and other electronic devices and this is why the NES Classic and SNES Classic had limited releases.

 

Nintendo Gameboy Family - Evergreen Traders

 

Nintendo could probably get away with making a Game Boy Classic, Game Boy Color Classic and Game Boy Advance Classic but it would probably be better to just make one handheld with games. A middle ground would be a Game Boy Classic with Game Boy Color games included and a Game Boy Advance Classic. Personally, I’d want one console with 80 Games: 20 Game Boy, 20 Game Boy Color and 40 Game Boy Advance games. Each kind would also come with an adpater to hook it up to your TV.

 

Here’s the original Game Boy Games I would include:

 

  • Super Mario Land
  • Super Mario Land 2
  • Super Mario Land 3
  • Dr. Mario
  • Tetris
  • Bomberman
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Donkey Kong Land
  • Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge
  • Mega Man II
  • Mega Man III
  • Mega Man IV
  • Mega Man V
  • Metroid II: The Return of Samus
  • Final Fantasy Legend
  • Final Fantasy Legend II
  • Final Fantasy Legend III
  • Paperboy
  • Kirby’s Dreamland
  • Kirby’s Dreamland 2

 

I left out the Pokemon games because those would have to be released separately for trading and battling purposes. This is why I rolled out the Game & Watch Pokemon concepts earlier. You can also play multiplayer wirelessly. I would price this at $60.

 

Here’s the Game Boy Color games I would include:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  • Dragon Quest I + II
  • Dragon Quest III
  • Game & Watch Gallery 2
  • Game & Watch Gallery 3
  • Tetris DX
  • Top Gear Pocket
  • Top Gear Pocket 2
  • Pokemon Pinball
  • Pokemon Trading Card Game
  • Pokemon Puzzle Challenge
  • Super Mario Deluxe
  • Shantae
  • Legend of the River King
  • Legend of the River King 2
  • Harvest Moon
  • Harvest Moon 2
  • Harvest Moon 3

Again, the mainline Pokemon games would be released separately. That’s why they are not included here. You can also play multiplayer wirelessly. I would price this at $60.

 

Here’s the Game Boy Advance games I would include:

 

  • Super Mario Advance
  • Super Mario Advance 2
  • Super Mario Advance 3
  • Super Mario Advance 4
  • Sonic Advance
  • Sonic Advance 2
  • Sonic The Hedgehog: Genesis
  • Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival
  • Metroid: Fusion
  • Metroid: Zero Mission
  • Fire Emblem: Burning Blade
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
  • Fire Emblem: The Sealed Sword (English Translation)
  • Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
  • Final Fantasy IV Advance
  • Final Fantasy V Advance
  • Final Fantasy VI Advance
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
  • Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
  • Phantasy Star Advance
  • Tales of Phantasia
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Mario & Luigi RPG
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Mega Man & Bass
  • Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
  • Mega Man Battle Network 4: Blue Moon
  • Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun
  • Boktai: The Sun is in your hand
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past + Four Swords
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
  • Castlevania Double Pack: Aria of Sorrow and Harmony of Dissonance
  • Guilty Gear X: Advance Edition
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer Advance
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Riviera: The Promised Land
  • River City Ransom EX
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland
  • Paperboy/Rampage
  • Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town

 

The best of the best excluding the mainline Pokemon games. I would price this at $80. Those would have to be released separately for trading purposes. The GBA Classic would allow wireless communications for multiplayer games as well as to a potential Gamecube Classic. Speaking of.

 

 

Nintendo GameCube and N64 Classic Consoles Leaked | Technology News

I know, the idea of a console that is STILL widely available 20 years after its initial release getting a Classic Edition is odd but the time is now to make this happen. The only real change would be giving it a virtual memory card though support for physical memory cards would be AWESOME. I would also make them compatible with original Gamecube controllers to help keep the price down. I would also put 40 games on this console.

 

Here’s the Gamecube games I would include:

 

  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
  • Star Fox Adventures
  • Star Fox Assault
  • Sonic Adventure DX
  • Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
  • Sonic Mega Collection
  • Soul Calibur II
  • Pokemon Box: Ruby and Sapphire
  • Pokemon Coliseum
  • Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness
  • The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
  • The Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventures
  • Tales of Symphonia
  • Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
  • Animal Crossing
  • Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO
  • Mega Man Anniversary Collection
  • Mega Man X Collection
  • Luigi’s Mansion
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
  • Resident Evil
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Custom Robo
  • Metroid Prime
  • Metroid Prime 2
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radience
  • Need for Speed Carbon
  • Need for Speed Underground
  • Need for Speed Underground 2
  • Def Jam: Vendetta
  • Def Jam: Fight for New York
  • Phantasy Star Online Epiodes I and II Plus

 

Basically, most of the console’s best games. This would need to be priced at $150 mostly for the library. It would also contain a Music Player and Image Gallery for many of the games including promotional content for some games. It would also contain a Memory Card Utility App allowing you to copy data from physical memory cards to the console.

…Whew.

If Nintendo did make these, they would easily make a fortune. It would also make it possible for people who live in countries where they simply could not afford to buy these consoles and games when they were current the chance to be play the lion’s share of the best games released on them in one package. That’s the idea and it gives people access to the majority of Nintendo’s 35+ years of gaming history.

If someone from Nintendo is reading this, feel free to make use of this idea. Thanks in advance ^_^

 

 

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Xbox CEO Phil Spencer to the Industry: “Preserve your Gaming History through Emulation”

Celebrate 20 Years of Play Together with 20th Anniversary Hardware and More - Xbox Wire

 

The Xbox brand celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year. It’s easy to forget at the time Microsoft announced it was throwing its hat into the gaming industry, Sega was in the process of filing for bankruptcy. The original Xbox proved to be quite the start but it was the release of the Xbox 360 in 2005 that saw the brand really start to earn some respect from within the industry. Yes, we all remember the legendary Red Ring of Death that plagued the 360’s original launch. The main cause was the console quickly overheating, resulting in the motherboard literally getting cooked. This was less of a problem with the redesigned slim model though.

Even though we are now 17 years and two gens later, the Xbox 360 is STILL being supported by Microsoft (though obviously much more limited). That’s good for fans of the original hardware to say the least. A few months back, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer made an appeal to his counterparts in other video game studios to preserve their gaming history. He’s said this before but this time he also said “…Through Emulation” at the end. Although Spencer’s comments were directed at the industry as a whole, it’s not exactly a secret his words were for Nintendo specifically.

Although Nintendo is the longest-running console maker in the industry, it has become imfamous for doing very little to preserve its own 40 years worth of gaming history spanning almost two dozen consoles. On the flipside, Nintendo has a track record of serving the harshest financial penalties allowed by law to those who engage in the piracy of their games. Do they seriously expect people to be able to pay them the $50 Million in damages for offering R@Ms online that they ask for? Of course not. They ask for that much to serve as a warning to others. At least Square Enix’s legal team only threatens legal action for non-compliance at first.

All that said. Spencer does understand one of the main reasons many people turn to pirating games especially when it comes to games from older consoles: They either can’t access them or it would be too expensive otherwise. Most of the games that are pirated are typically games from Nintendo’s first two consoles, the NES and SNES as well as the Sega Genesis. The Game Boy and Game Boy Advance round out the top 5 most pirated game libraries.

Aside from legal action, what is Nintendo doing about this? Nothing.

I think I mentioned this before but 70% of the games from the original Xbox console can be playe digitally on the other 3 consoles released after it while over 90% of physical games can be played on the others. Over 80% of Xbox 360 games can be played on the two consoles that followed it phsyical or digital while 98% of all Xbox One games can be played on the Xbox Series X. This is to say nothing of being able to stream select Xbox games on your PC, tablet or mobile device. Granted, the Xbox brand’s entire library is only about a third the size of Nintendo’s but the point is made: It’s doable if you give a damn and make the effort.

Sony doesn’t give a damn but is at least making the effort. When the PS2 was released, it was compatible with almost all PS1 games and memory cards. The PS3 and PSP saw the Playstation brand launch its digital store through which select PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games could be downloaded. You still needed the original hardware to play everything though there were some digital exclusive titles like Persona 3 Portable and Valhalla Knights 2: Battle Stance, both of which I own.

I covered this last year but Sony walked back plans to shut down the PS3 and PS Vita’s digital stores after public backlash at the initial announcement. They still shut down the PSP store and you will need the original hardware to access the digital stores. If you have a Vita, you can access PSP games as well. Even if the shutdowns had happened, you would still be able to redownload purchased games and other content on the native hardware.

The release of the Nintendo Wii saw the introduction of the Virtual Console, marking the first time ever one could legally play select games from Nintendo’s earlier consoles on modern hardware. It was one step forward but three steps backward for two reasons. One is unlike Xbox Live, the Playstation Network, Steam and Battle.net it was not a universal system. This was made more obvious with the later releases of the 3DS, Wii U and Switch consoles.

How so?

If you buy the Virtual Console version of Super Mario World (SNES) on the Wii, you will have to buy it again on the other 3 consoles even if you use the same account info. Why? Because your purchase history is not universal across Nintendo consoles. Of course, this also goes for game progress. At least with PSN purchases, you can redownload purchases on other consoles even after it’s no longer available for purchase. If you have a Playstation Plus Subscription you can automatically upload game saves to the Cloud Servers and redownload on another console. Alternatively, you can make a hard backup on a removeable USB Drive.

Steam’s system is the standard all the consoles should aspire to have. With Steam, all purchases are not only permanent but you can redownload everything without limitations. Game Saves are automatically backed up to the Cloud free of charge as well. It’s no wonder Steam has been getting serious about making a working console now, isn’t it? None of the console makers are willing to go this far and in this regard despite the fact Steam shows it’s certainly possible.

It is worth noting many console games have been making their way to Steam in recent years. Persona 4 Golden, Tales of Symphonia, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, Final Fantasy VI and Agarest: Generations of War to name a few (I have all of these games on that note). Steam supports controllers including PS4, PS5 and Xbox brand controllers via USB and Bluetooth. The versatility is something else to say the least. I recently got a 2TB hard drive for my desktop computer in part so I can have most of my Steam games on one machine. Not just the 60 Steam games I have now but the many more I’m sure I’ll buy in the future as well as DLC for them too. I also plan to eventually upgrade the SSD hard drive in one of my laptops from 250GB to 2TB so that I can play my Steam games on the go.

Of course, I don’t just play Steam games. I also play most of Blizzard’s games: World of Warcraft (now also known as Retail WoW), WoW Classic, TBC Classic, StarCraft (I have both the original and HD versions), StarCraft II, WarCraft III (I have both the original and Reforged versions), Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III and soon Diablo II: Resurrected + The Original Version. The one I spent the most time in was of course, WoW. After that, StarCraft II. I got Diablo III for free from the Mists of Pandaria promotion several years back though until very recently, I didn’t have a computer powerful enough to run it (!).

 

North American Nintendo 3DS And Wii U Eshops Will Stop Accepting Credit Card Payments In March 2023 - NintendoSoup

 

We knew this was coming soon for months but in mid-February, Nintendo announced the Wii U and 3DS eShops will be shutting down in “late” March 2023. You can get the full info here.

 

To save folks a click, here’s the big things to be mindful of:

 

  • The eShops will disable Credit Card use on May 23, 2022. You will not be able to use a credit card to add to your eShop balance.
  • The eShops will no longer accept eShop Balance Cards on August 29, 2022. You will still be able to redeem digital download codes for video games until “late” March 2023 though.
  • The Pokemon Company announced the 3DS App Pokemon Bank and its companion app Pokemon Transporter will become FREE to use after “Late” March 2023. For those who don’t know, there is currently a $5 annual subscription to use Pokemon Bank fully.
  • If you have linked your 3DS/Wii U account with your MyNintendo ID account and also have a Switch, you can still add to your 3DS/Wii U eShop balance via the Switch after the May and August dates pass since they share the same balance.
  • Free to Start 3DS games like Nintendo Badge Arcade will no longer will no longer be usable.
  • It will no longer be possible to download free content such as Demos, Videos and Themes from the eShop.
  • You will still be able to redownload previously purchased games and other content after “Late” March 2023 “for the foreseeable future”.
  • Online multiplayer will still work; local multiplayer and Streetpass will not be affected in any way.

 

There you have it. The 3DS and WIi U will officially become dead consoles after next March. The 3DS has been considered a dead console since the release of the 2019 game Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth while the Wii U’s last new game…I honestly can’t remember but it was years ago. If you never owned a 3DS or Wii U before, unless you have the money to spend right now there’s probably little point buying one at this point.

If you do decide to get one later this year, buy a Switch if you don’t already have one since you will not be able to add money to the 3DS/Wii U from 3DS/Wii U consoles after August 29, 2022 anymore. Since the eShop balance is shared via your myNintendo account across the 3DS, Wii U and Switch, you can put a balance from the Switch and then make the purchase on the 3DS/Wii U. Just remember to put a little more than the listed prices so you’re covered for sales tax with your purchase.

The 3DS carried Nintendo through the last decade to say the least. The Switch being a Hybrid Console means Nintendo’s handful department was folded into its Console department. I can honestly say I’ve played at least 90% of the games ever released on the 3DS Retail and Digital Only. Most of them need to be ported to the Switch, Steam and other consoles.

The only 3DS title to have actually later get ported to other consoles so far is this one:

 

Rune Factory 4 Special Review (PS4) - Good, Yet A Dated Genre Starting  Point For Newcomers - PlayStation Universe

 

On the one hand, I can see why they didn’t want to spend the amount of time and money they would have had to spend to remake the first game which was originally released on the Nintendo DS along with the second and third games. On the other hand, I can think of a lot of other deserving titles out there. I do have the 3DS version and bought it when it was first released. I also have the first three games and bought those when they were current, too. The 5th game appears to be Switch exclusive for a bit before it’s released on other platforms or at least I assume.

 

All that said. Here’s a short list of third party 3DS games I’ve played that absolutely deserve ports to other consoles:

 

  • Bravely Default
  • Bravely Second
  • Etrian Oddyssey Untold: Millenium Girl
  • Etrian Oddyssey Untold 2: The Fafnir Knight
  • Etrian Oddyssey Nexus
  • Aeterno Blade
  • Devil Survivor: Overclocked
  • Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker
  • Persona Q
  • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
  • Harvest December
  • Maiden Heaven
  • Stella Glow
  • Heroes of Ruin
  • RPG Maker FES

 

Once again, that’s a partial list of just third party games. All of them should be released on Steam and consoles too.

 

As for first party Nintendo 3DS games. Heres another partial list that should be ported to the Switch:

 

  • Fire Emblem Awakening
  • Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright + Conquest + Revelations
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
  • Fire Emblem Warriors
  • Hyrule Warriors (Released first on the Wii U)
  • Tomadachi Life
  • Pokemon X/Y
  • Pokemon OmegaRuby/Alpha Sapphire
  • Pokemon Sun/Moon
  • Pokemon UltraSun/UltraMoon
  • Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon

 

…I know, its odd that I would name all 8 mainline 3DS Pokemon games. For the sake of those who never owned a 3DS, it makes the most sense for them to get ported to the Switch. The 7th Gen Sun/Moon and UltraSun/UltraMoon games marked the last time the mainline Pokemon games had every single Pokemon ever coded into the games. Starting in Sword/Shield, Nintendo stopped including every single Pokemon past to present. Their reasoning was it takes a long time to code every single Pokemon. Then they added around 350 Pokemon via DLC to Sword/Shield. Whoops!

There actually have been rumors for quite some time Nintendo is planning to port Fire Emblem Fates to the Switch. The game would include all three campaigns and all DLC content from the original 3DS releases. Fire Emblem Echoes was released as the 3DS was at the end of its lifespan. It deserves another chance with a Switch port. Same with Fire Emblem Warriors. Awakening, which saved the franchise should have gotten ported by now as well.

 

…Whew.

Of course, this is all to say nothing about the Virtual Console introduced with the original Wii. I have my thoughts on that and why it ultimately failed but I’ll save it for a separate post.

 

 

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Posted in Blog, Brendan Aurabolt, Microsoft, New Nintendo 3DS, News, Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, Retro Gaming, Serene Adventure, Video Games, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atlus announces Persona 4 Ultimax for Steam and current consoles; Persona 4 Golden reportedly coming to consoles soon

TeknoParrot > Compatibility > P4UU: Persona 4 The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax to Release for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam on March 17, 2022 - Persona Central

There ya go.

A year after bringing Persona 4 Golden to Steam, Atlus announced Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is coming to Steam in a few months. It will also be released on the PS4 and Switch though oddly, Xbox One and Xbox Series X were left out. I actually originally played P4AU and its predecessor P4A on the Xbox 360. By the way, the original name is actually Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold but for the International releases they shortened it to just Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

The re-released of P4AU will include the story mode for both Arena AND Ultimax so you are getting two games in one. With the original release, you had to pay extra to get Arenas’s story mode in Ultimax. The re-release also includes ALL of the DLC content from the original versions for FREE. The part on the right side of the second poster above is VERY relevant to me since I have the Steam version of P4G: A limited time 30% discount on P4AU. Just in time for my birthday too ironically.

Almost 10 years after its original release, P4AU is STILL mega popular in Japan. The fighting game mashup is headlined by the playable cast of Persona 3 (Minus the main protagonist) and Persona 4 (Rise and Tohru Adachi are both playable in P4AU). If you couldn’t tell, P4A and P4AU both use the Blaze Blue Engine. Oh and yes, you can summon everyone’s Personas. Izanagi-no-Okami included. I enjoyed the story modes personally though due to how narrative-heavy they are, only do them if you’re really interested (don’t worry, the dialogue parts are voiced).

 

The time is right for Atlus to put Persona on the Switch

Atlus sure does like teasing Persona fans, don’t they?

 

Most Nintendo Switch owners were understandably VERY disappointed when last year’s release of Persona 4 Golden was only on Steam. It’s worth keeping in mind Atlus also promised more releases would come if the Steam port sold well. Let’s just say it exceeded expectations out the gate for P4AU to now get a release. This is to say nothing of the Shin Megami Tensei III remake and SMTV which were both released on Steam and consoles earlier this year.

It’s worth noting aside from Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable (PSP), none of the Persona games were ever re-released. The original Persona did get a PSP remake but that version never got a re-release and is no longer buyable unless you own a Vita. This is to say nothing of Persona 2: Innocent Sin (PS1) Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP). Don’t even get me started on Persona 3 (PS2), Persona 3 FES (PS2) and Persona 3 Portable (PSP). P3P is considered the most complete version on that note. Likewise, P4G is considered the most complete version of Persona 4.

All that said, I do think we will eventually see all of the mainline Persona games get re-released on Steam at least. P4G and P3P are the most likely to make their way to current consoles while Persona 5/Persona 5 Royal will probably make their way to Steam and non-Sony consoles in the near future. P5 was released on the PS3 and PS4 while P5R was released on the PS4. Oddly, the spinoff game Persona 5 Strikers was released everywhere.

Speaking of Spinoffs. Aside from P5S and P4AU, there are a few other spinoff games released over the last decade that will likely get ported to Steam and current consoles. I actually own all of them already:

  • Persona Q (3DS)
  • Persona Q2 (3DS)
  • Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PSP, later ported to the PS4)
  • Persona 3: Dancing in the Moonlight (PS4, digital only)
  • Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight (PS4, digital only)

 

The rhythm games will definitely need tweaking to work on a PC with a keyboard or gamepad and I specifically mean being forgiving if there is a delay with input. The Persona Q games are a crossover with the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Etrian Oddysey games that were also made by Atlus. They utilize the consoles’ two screens, the bottom screen you use while exploring dungeons. To make this work on one screen, they would likely have to either automate the map making or allow you to switch to the map. It’ll be quite the technical challenge but would still be doable.

Almost forgot but the PQ games both have optional paid DLC content I assume would be included in the Steam release for Free. The Dancing games all have a combination of paid and free DLC and if the Steam version includes them all for Free, it’s only right the PS4 versions make them Free as well.

There are reports Persona 4 Golden may be coming the Switch next month digitally. It would be a long time coming to say the least if that holds true. The original Persona 4 was first released on the PS2 back in 2008 and one of the reasons we had to wait almost 10 years for Persona 5 is because of the massive popularity of P4. Aside from the spinoff games and the Golden remake, it also got anime and manga adaptations. It is easily the most popular of Persona game ever.

 

Compared to Persona 3, Persona 4’s narrative is nowhere near as dark and that is actually the source of some criticism by fans of the series. Persona 3’s main theme is death. Every member of the Persona 3 cast experiences the death of a loved one and that is actually the prelude to that game’s finale I won’t say due to obvious major spoilers. The game’s soundtrack alone makes it WELL worth either tracking down the game.

 

Persona 4 is not “dark”? Without getting into major spoilers, the main story involves solving a serial murder and kidnapping mysteries that are supernatural in nature. Halfway through the game, a copycat killer strikes. This is to say nothing of the game’s main theme which is actually facing the darkness within yourself. Even the protagonist’s 8 year old cousin expresses a dark lonliness due to the death of her mother. The Protagonist’s uncle who you live with is haunted by the shadow of the hit and run driver who killed his wife who was on her way to pick up their daughter. I haven’t even gotten to the Investigation Team’s insecurities that they are forced to confront when their Shadows try to kill them. Did I forget to mention the bumbling detective who “randomly” leaks details of the police investigation to you? “Not dark enough” my ass.

Persona 5 noticably moved the needle back the other way but they were careful not to go too far and more so with how real a lot of the themes in that game were. From the abusive and untouchable high school teacher to Medjed (in-game equivalent of the online group Anonymous) to the corrupt political candidate who doesn’t care who he destroys on his way up, it’s pretty obvious who and what real world inspiration was tapped into.

I’ll get into this in a separate blog but Atlus is leading the charge in terms of making their older games or ports of their older games available on newer consoles and Steam. This is good for everyone. Persona 4 Golden is a game to be played to say the least!

 

 

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