Hey, look, I figured out how to make the blog layout display full text. Now maybe people will comment again. Or maybe I need to stop writing such mediocre garbage first?
Apparently I repeated a Metal Gear anecdote from an old episode of Retronauts on today’s Games, Dammit! To make up for my tendency to completely forget everything I say in the course of a podcast, have a fresh new Metal Gear anecdote.
Yesterday I mentioned the fact that I was always bummed out about the way Metal Gear never actually appeared in Metal Gear despite showing up on the box. I didn’t know about the whole thing with it being a compromised conversion from the MSX2 at the time; I just knew that there was this amazing-looking walking robot featured in the box art that didn’t appear in the game itself.
What I didn’t mention was that it actually became a small obsession for me for a few weeks. I felt cheated by Metal Gear and decided I should do something about it. With the impractical bullheadedness of youth, that self-mandated mission took the form of designing a Metal Gear sequel. I called it… Metal Gear 2. The premise? Blowing up the supercomputer didn’t do the job, and Metal Gear remained mostly intact. The Soviet army salvaged the technology from the ruins of Outer Heaven and began reconstructing the machine in a secluded base near Vladivostok, so Solid Snake would have to sneak into their base to finish the job he had begun. This premise is nothing at all like the eventual actual Metal Gear sequels would turn out to be; for starters, I figured Big Boss was legitimately dead. Heresy!
Anyway, I carried around a small pad of graph paper with me for weeks, drawing maps and designing weapons, enemies, and bosses. We’re not talking award-winning design here — I pretty much just shuffled around buildings and ideas from the original game. But I drafted maps for just about an entire game in my free time — at family dinners after church, in the bleachers at my brother’s Little League games, and uhhhh… in geometry class. Look, I was never good at math. I figured, why fight a lost cause?
Crummy as my adolescent game design sensibilities surely must have been, I do wish I still had that graph paper tablet. I’m pretty sure my Metal Gear mech design was, as the kids say, off the hook. Off da hook, even.