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Metal Gear Solid

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Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (2004)

Metal Gear Solid is the classic 1998 Playstation game (later ported to the PC in 2000 and PS3 in 2008) that brought the previously obscure Metal Gear franchise up to date and made "stealth gameplay" the gimmick every game felt it needed to copy. Starring an agent named Solid Snake (David Hayter) working for a secret special operations unit called FOXHOUND, the story finds him ordered to infiltrate a nuclear disposal facility to rescue hostages and deal with terrorists. However, soon things prove to be far more complex as the series' titular Metal Gear, a nuclear-armed bipedal armored vehicle, becomes involved.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a 2004 remake released exclusively for the Gamecube. Released after the formal sequel, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, it uses the same graphics engine and has vastly improved visuals, and incorporates almost all the gameplay improvements of the sequel, such as first-person aiming, as well as including tranquilizer weaponry. It was criticized for featuring a series of additional cutscenes where Snake performs cartoonish feats including using a missile as a platform for launching himself into the air and throwing a hand grenade down a tank's gun barrel by pitching it like a baseball.

The following weapons appear in the video game Metal Gear Solid and its remake Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes:


Overview

Metal Gear Solid is relatively simple compared to its later successors, being more of a remake of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (and by a lesser extent, Metal Gear) which shares most of its gameplay elements to its prior game, and expands upon them. At the beginning of the game, Solid Snake (referred to as Snake then on) starts off with a small health bar and can carry a limited amount of ammo, but as more bosses are defeated, Snake's maximum health and maximum ammo will increase (though in the Twin Snakes, Snake starts with the maximum health and ammo possible).

The player can carry an unlimited number of inventory items, all of which is accessible at any time. Although two of them (one for a weapon slot and another for items) can be quick used at a time, this same system would be applied later to its sequels. Having no weapons equipped will allow Snake to perform melee throws up close, which can briefly stun regular enemies (but never kill them) or a chokehold (which Snake can either choke out or break the neck of guards to kill them) Snake's melee punch will be the same regardless of the current equipped weapon. Snake can perform what is known as a "Tactical Reload", where in unequipping and re-equipping the weapon will allow the weapon to be reloaded instantly, and it is the only way to reload with a firearm that has remaining rounds in the magazine. This feature would be retained in the following games (and its remake) until Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

The game introduces the term "on-site procurement", which serves as a gameplay mechanic throughout the series (though it was unnamed in its predecessors). Snake starts off without any inventory items barring smuggled cigarettes; he can only obtain weapons that are available either lying around levels or at storage areas throughout the game world. He cannot obtain weapons that are dropped from slain enemies nor some characters in some events, though they can sometimes drop items or ammo which Snake can use.

Exclusive to the Integral version and the PC port of the game, the player can optionally enter through the first person perspective for most of the sections of the game, although Snake's weapon is not seen in his hands while equipped. It is different from the first person view system that was used in MGS2 or its remake below. In addition to this, bonus VR training missions can be played as a sort of side content to the game.

The Twin Snakes remake heavily derives on the gameplay mechanics from Metal Gear Solid 2 as mentioned earlier. As such, it uses the same first person view system as that game as well as non-lethal takedowns (through the use of aforementioned tranquilizer weaponry and melee attacks). Since the base game layout isn't changed, the net result is to make the game excessively easy compared to the original (since the player can abuse the first person perspective behind cover and perform one-hit headshots on common enemies) which was also a source of its negative criticism, and the only difficulty-increasing mechanics in the Twin Snakes only apply once the Snake has already been spotted (backup units that carry better equipment with enhanced AI).

Since the cinematics are mostly not deviated from the original game (excluding exaggerated feats), defeating some bosses with non-lethal weaponry will not have its cinematics altered (but the gameplay will register it as non-lethal takedowns for ranking purposes), and will end as if Snake defeated the boss with lethal weapons. Snake also has proper weapon melee animations, which were ported from MGS2. The Twin Snakes does not feature the VR missions.

Pistols

Heckler & Koch Mark 23 Phase II Prototype

The Phase II prototype of the H&K Mk 23 Mod 0, referred to in-game as the "SOCOM," is Solid Snake's weapon of choice throughout the game, always brandishing it most cutscenes involving an armed confrontation. It comes with a LAM unit and can accept a suppressor. At least one of the Genome Soldiers also carried the gun, seen when Snake travels through the hallway where Gray Fox slaughtered the soldiers stationed outside Emmerich's lab.

Like the FAMAS, the Mk 23 was deliberately chosen for its large size and blocky appearance; the former to make the pistol easier to see in Snake's hands in the overhead view the original game mostly took place in, and the latter to go easy on the PlayStation's relatively weak 3D capabilities.

Airsoft Heckler & Koch Mk 23 Phase II Prototype (note front cocking serrations, deleted from production models) with Tokyo Marui replica of a Knight's Armament suppressor and prototype Laser Aiming Module - (fake) .45 ACP
The "SOCOM" in the VR Missions menu.
Snake aiming the Mark 23 Prototype out of the back of a truck in front of the Disposal Facility. This truck is the first place the Mark 23 can be found in the game.
Snake offering to switch guns with Meryl.

Twin Snakes version

While in first person mode, Snake uses the Mark 23's iron sights as opposed to using its LAM laser to aim, which was carried over from MGS2.

Aiming the SOCOM in first person.
Reloading the SOCOM.
Snake points his SOCOM at a guard in a cutscene.
Snake reloads his SOCOM with a suppressor attached.

IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX

The Desert Eagle Mark XIX appears in the game as Meryl's weapon of choice. It appears to be the .50 AE version due to it not having a fluted barrel in either versions of the game.

Desert Eagle Mark XIX - .50 AE.
Meryl shows off her Desert Eagle.
Meryl reloading the Desert Eagle.

Colt Single Action Army

The Colt Single Action Army appears as Revolver Ocelot's weapon of choice; he has the ability to precisely bounce shots off multiple walls to hit targets in cover with it. He refers to it as "the greatest handgun ever made", claiming that its six bullets are "more than enough to kill anything that moves". After losing his right hand, Revolver Ocelot is seen wearing his Single Action Army in a holster when Snake is captured.

Single Action Army w/ 5.5" barrel aka "Artillery" model with wooden grips (this is a Cimarron reproduction - and an actual movie gun) Note lack of 4th screw on revolver frame in front of cylinder. The Colts all have this.
Gun Barrel ala James Bond
Revolver... OCELOT!
"The Twin Snakes" version.

Submachine Guns

MP5SD2

The MP5SD2 is only available in the Japan-only Metal Gear Solid: Integral and the PC port of the original game. It can only be obtained by starting a new game on the "Very Easy" difficulty, where it will appear in your inventory immediately after the introductory cutscene. It has a extremely fast fire-rate and infinite ammo, that together with it being integrally suppressed enables far more reckless play of the game on the "Very Easy" difficulty.

Heckler & Koch MP5SD2 - 9x19mm
Snake outside the Disposal Facility with the MP5SD2. Note the "999/999" ammo counter, displaying infinite ammo.

Rifles

FAMAS G1

The FAMAS rifle (albeit named "FA-MAS" in the original game) is the standard issue weapon of the Genome Army. It comes equipped with a laser sight, although Genome soldiers have flashlights mounted on their guns. Solid Snake, Meryl, and Liquid Snake also use the FAMAS. Like most weapons in the game, the FAMAS was deliberately chosen for its blocky appearance, something of a requirement given the rather limited 3D capabilities of the original PlayStation console.

FAMAS G1 - 5.56x45mm NATO
The FAMAS in the VR missions menu.
Meryl holding her FAMAS on Snake after stealing a guard uniform.
Genome Soldiers with "Flashlights" on their rifles, there is no flashlight model on the FAMAS in the original game so there's just a sprite at the end of the gun.

Twin Snakes version

Exclusive to the Twin Snakes remake, the FAMAS comes equipped with a laser sight (which is complementary to the first person view of the game) and the flashlight used by NPCs is actually modeled. The Genome soldiers in the Warhead Storage Building have underbarrel M203 grenade launchers attached. These launchers are loaded with non-lethal ring airfoil projectiles, although gameplay mechanics have Snake getting wounds from the ring airfoil projectiles instead of having his stamina depleted. It is not possible obtain the rifle either with a flashlight and its launcher.

Somewhat impressively, the FAMAS in the remake specifically is actually depicted with a sling attached to it, all enemy soldiers have a sling connecting their FAMAS rifles to them (which would explain why their rifles wouldn't fall to the ground when doing specific actions, such as performing melee attacks against Snake), a detail that would never be replicated in most entries of Metal Gear Solid, though this detail will sometimes bug with glitchy looking slings.

The Twin Snakes version of Meryl pointing her FAMAS at Snake.
Snake aiming the FAMAS in first person view.
Mid-Alert, Snake reloads his FAMAS after killing a backup unit, the reload animation only consists of inserting a new magazine, the weapon is not chambered.
A dead Warhead Storage Area Guard with his M203 equipped FAMAS, like the SPAS-12, Guards will load the M203 then fire it when attacking, likely to balance out the high damage, instead of firing then reloading.

H&K PSG-1

The Heckler & Koch PSG-1 sniper rifle is used by Solid Snake and Sniper Wolf. Equipping the rifle immediately scopes the player's view and precise aiming is only possible if the player uses a dose of diazepam medication, otherwise the scope reticule will uncontrollably sway in random directions.

Heckler & Koch PSG1 - 7.62x51mm NATO
The PSG1 in the VR Missions Menu.


Twin Snakes version

In Twin Snakes a tranquilizer variant is available, called the PSG-1T, this version also holds only 5 bullets in a magazine as opposed to 10. An odd oversight is that while Sniper Wolf's PSG-1 has a magazine during gameplay, during cutscenes, her rifle always has no magazine loaded.

A side-view of Wolf's sniper, while using a lasersight for close-range like this makes sense, just like the original game, Wolf always uses her lasersight, even during long range boss battles, Snake must also feel stupid for surrendering to someone with an unloaded weapon.
Wolf holds her PSG-1, showing the lack of a magazine.
Wolf takes cover during gameplay with an actually loaded rifle as seen through a Nikitia Missile.
Snake's rifle is shot into the air, showing the loaded magazine.
Snake and Sniper Wolf take aim at one another after a boss fight in The Twin Snakes. Perhaps one of the most ridiculous events of the remake, where Snake does a 720 degree spin - after a backflip in which Snake landed on the very back edge of the stock to knock the gun into the air for him to grab - and no-scopes Wolf in one shot.

Launchers

FIM-92A Stinger

The FIM-92A Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher capable of locking on to various targets. Used by Solid Snake. Unlike the real Stinger launcher, the weapon is capable of locking onto surface-level targets, fired missiles does not need to travel a minimum set distance for it to arm itself, does not need to actually reload after firing a shot, and comes with a futuristic scope view when aiming.

FIM-92 Stinger - 70mm
The Stinger in the VR Missions menu.

Twin Snakes version

Like MGS2, holding down the "First Person" button when aiming a Stinger will oddly "descope" the Stinger.

Aiming a Stinger while holding the First Person button.
The Normal view for the Stinger, the Red icon indicates a locked-on target.
Snake aiming the Stinger at Liquid's Mi-24 Hind-D.

"Nikita"

A fictional missile launcher that fires remote-controlled missiles, first used by Solid Snake to destroy a generator powering an electrified floor. Supposedly designed for reconnaissance missions, the Nikita is only capable of traveling on the x-axis and cannot travel vertically, unless its travelling on an ascending surface, and its missiles have a limited amount of fuel before detonating.

From a realistic point of view, the Nikita could never work as a practical weapon as the missile simply travels too slow to maintain lift. Any faster and it becomes a fancy wire-guided missile launcher. The weapon's impracticality is even referenced within the games, stating that all the electronics and ancillaries inside the missiles leave so little space for the warhead that its damage ends up being pitiful, barely enough to destroy the electrical panels that it's used against.

The Nikita in the VR Missions Menu.

Twin Snakes version

While in the original PS1 version you could control missile through both third and first person, Twin Snakes is like MGS2 where you can only see through the missile's camera after firing.

Snake holds the Nikita.
Snake watches himself through the missile.

Explosives

Mk 2 hand grenade

The original game mention the Genome Soldiers using the obsolete Mk 2 hand grenade, resulting in Snake's infamously silly line that "They're armed with five five sixers and pineapples."

Mk 2 high-explosive fragmentation hand grenade

M67 hand grenade

The M67 hand grenade is used by the Genome Soldiers in Twin Snakes and is used by Snake only in the original game. The weapon is also used by Solid Snake as the only throwable explosive device available. Its also used by Snake to take down Vulcan Raven's M1 tank, by tossing grenades into the open hatch to damage the crew (who apparently insist on manning the exposed turret-mounted M2 Browning instead of operating it remotely or using the co-axial gun).

M67 fragmentation grenade
The Grenade in the VR Missions Menu.

Twin Snakes version

Throwing an M67.
Throwing an M67 while prone.


M18A1 Claymore

The M18A1 Claymore mines is featured in the game, but has unique features. These mines are equipped with optical camouflage, rendering them invisible and are equipped with a sensor that will cause the mine to detonate if something gets in front of its cone of detection (this includes the player). They can only be seen with thermal goggles and the mine detector, but can also be obtained by crawling over them (which will not cause the mine to detonate).

M18A1 Claymore directional mine
The Claymore in the VR Missions Menu.

Twin Snakes version

A placed Claymore.
The front of a Claymore.

C4

Another explosive available to the player. Solid Snake uses them to enter the area where Kenneth Baker was being tortured by Ocelot. Ocelot, having anticipated Snake's arrival, had also wired Baker to tripwired C4 when he was tied to a pillar to deter Solid Snake from rescuing him, although Gray Fox managed to save the elderly ArmsTech president as well as blowing the tripwire C4 up when he ambushed Ocelot and Snake. Snake later uses it on a frozen door on the Communications Tower A, on Otacon's suggestion (this was apparently the only method for Metal Gear's designers to open the door if it froze) in the event that he needed to backtrack somehow. They came with scramblers so as to ensure they weren't prematurely detonated from wireless signals other than that of the wireless detonator.

C4 planted on one of the freshly cemented over entrances in Basement 2 of the Disposal Facility.

"Stun/Chaff Grenades"

"Stun Grenades" can be acquired throughout the game. They most closely resemble M18 Smoke Grenades, though owing to graphical limitations and being designed to be visible in a high overhead view, they are essentially rectangular and the size of Snake's head. When they explode, they'll instantly knock out enemies in a wide area, regardless if said enemies were even in the room where the grenade exploded, "Chaff Grenades" also use the same model.


M18 Smoke Grenade.
Snake preparing to throw a Stun Grenade down a hallway.

Twin Snakes version

In Twin Snakes, only Chaff Grenades use the M18-like model, it is seemingly re-used from MGS2.

Throwing a Chaff Grenade.
Throwing a Chaff Grenade while prone.


MK3A2

In Twin Snakes, The stun grenades have a new model resembling the MK3A2 offensive grenade, it is still a non-lethal Stun Grenade with a fairly large stun radius.

MK3A2 offensive hand grenade
Snake holds an MK3A2 grenade.
Throwing a MK3A2 grenade in first person.
A thrown MK3A2 grenade.

Machine Guns

M60

The M60 can be seen mounted on two M151 jeeps near the game's ending. Solid Snake uses the machine gun while riding a jeep in the final act of the game. The M60 manned by Snake has an infinite ammo supply and is hard to aim in third person so holding down the first person view button is advised for consistently hitting shots, especially in the segment where Liquid Snake chases Solid Snake and Meryl's jeep.

M60 machine gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
An M60 mounted on an M151 jeep.
Solid Snake armed with the M60.

Twin Snakes version

An M60 mounted on an M151 jeep, now with Gamecube Graphics!
In First Person, Snake now uses the M60's sights, this is mid-zoom in showing the text on the box magazine.
Snake fires his M60 at Liquid.


M61A1 Vulcan Cannon

When encountered for the second time, instead of a tank, Vulcan Raven attacks Snake with a hand-held M61 Vulcan rotary gun with a chainsaw grip clearly inspired by the M134 minigun in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Raven wears the ammo drum as a backpack, but it isn't explained precisely what's supposed to be powering it. Twin Snakes makes the rather bizarre addition that the M61A1 is somehow taken from one of the two crashed F16s that Liquid managed to shoot down using a helicopter with no dedicated anti-aircraft weaponry. Though it might conceivably be possible for a very strong man to dead-lift the assembly Raven carries like a barbell, carrying the 248-pound gun alone would be essentially impossible for any meaningful period of time, nevermind with an F-16 ammo drum containing another 285 pounds of ammunition. Even allowing that, all the muscles in the world would not be sufficient to stop Raven's arms being turned into paste by the average 3,200 pounds of recoil force generated by firing the weapon at full speed. Metal Gear Rex was also equipped with Vulcan cannons according to Otacon, although MGS4 retcons this rather nonsensically to them being a variant of the much too large GAU-8; even in the latter game, they are still shown as six-barrel Vulcans rather than seven-barrel GAU-8s on Rex's model.

GE M61 Vulcan 20mm Cannon
"Cryptic metaphor!"
Vulcan Raven prepares to use his M61.

Browning M2HB and M240D Machine gun

In the original game, Vulcan Raven's M1A1 Abrams is depicted with M2s on both the commander's and loader's hatches. In Twin Snakes it is correctly shown with an M240D on the loader's hatch and a Browning M2 on the commander's hatch. It's easy to see the Abrams is an M1A1 due to the lack of the A2 package's Commander's Independent Sight [CIS, also CITV for "Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer"] ahead of the loader's hatch.

Browning M2HB on vehicle mount - .50 BMG
FN M240D vehicle and aircraft-mount version with spade grips - 7.62x51mm NATO
Profile view of the Twin Snakes M1A1 Abrams Tank, showing both the M2HB and M240D.
"This is Raven's territory..."

Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B

Liquid's Hind-D is seen equipped with a Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B.

A real Russian Yak-B 12.7mm Gatling gun for comparison.
Liquid's Hind-D

Twin Snakes exclusive weapons

Beretta M9

Snake can acquire a modified Beretta M9. It serves as a special manually-operated tranquilizer gun, and is identical to the weapon introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It comes with a suppressor and a laser sight. Snake must cycle the gun manually after every shot. Where it is located depends on difficulty, on Very Easy/Easy/Normal, it is located in a locker in the docks at the start, on Hard, it is located behind one of the false walls in the Armory and on Extreme, it's in the vents before the DARPA Chief.

The M9 is the only weapon usable in the Warhead Storage Building, presumably since its less-lethal darts wouldn't risk damaging any warheads. Oddly though, this is actually dependent on difficulty: on Very Easy, Snake can use the M9 normally, this does not apply in Normal and difficulties beyond that, as with other lethal firearms in his arsenal. Genome soldiers with riot shields use the standard, lethal version of this gun; as before, these only appear in Twin Snakes and not in the original game.

Beretta 92FS - 9x19mm
Beretta 92F with Knight's Armament XM9 suppressor and slide lock lever - 9x19mm
An unconscious backup unit with his regular M9.
Aiming the M9 in first person.
Reloading the M9.

SPAS-12

The SPAS-12 is utilized by several attack teams when spotted. The Warhead Storage Building Ground Floor guards are implied to utilize a non-lethal variant of the weapon against Snake due to the risk of using lethal firearms causing the nukes to irradiate the area if hit, though as with the aforementioned FAMAS' underbarrel M203s, they deal harmful damage to Snake rather than depleting his stamina.

Franchi SPAS-12 with butt hook attached to stock - 12 gauge

Winchester 1300 Shotgun

The Winchester 1300 shotgun isn't actually used by any of the characters, but it does appear on the interior pages of the book item once it is set, held by a blond woman with the name "A. Roivas". Its presence is a reference to the game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, with the woman being the game's main protagonist Alexandra Roivas. Both The Twin Snakes and Eternal Darkness were made by the same developer, Silicon Knights, explaining the cameo.

The magazine in-game with the Winchester 1300 from Eternal Darkness.

Trivia

Railguns and stealth

A major plot point is that Metal Gear Rex's railgun is capable of launching a "stealth" warhead which cannot be detected by satellites and is "totally impossible to intercept." This is actually severely untrue.

This is because a rocket engine applies force to an ICBM over a prolonged period of time; for example, a Trident ICBM's boost stage, which accelerates the missile to roughly 20,000 feet per second, lasts roughly two minutes. If Rex's railgun is imagined to be around 50 feet long, it would have to accelerate the projectile to the same speed in the 0.005 seconds before the warhead left the weapon.

Imagining the warhead to weigh 862 kilos (the size of a Mark 23 nuclear shell for a 16" / 50 Calibre Mark 7 battleship gun), it would have 16,016 megajoules of kinetic energy at launch. Since no machine is 100% efficient and most are nothing like this, it would not be exaggerating to imagine the railgun's wasted energy (in the form of recoil, heat and mechanical deformation of the rails) would be the same amount of energy again, meaning the heat energy emitted by Rex on firing would be the equivalent of the detonation of about four tons of TNT. This and the superheated trail caused by the round's passage through the atmosphere would mean a Metal Gear firing its main weapon would be easily detectable by existing systems designed to spot ICBM launches.


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