Near the end of the 20th century, a small fortified nation named Outer Heaven (founded by a mysterious war hero whose name and identity are shrouded in secrecy) is threatening the nations of the "West" with the development of a new prototype weapon named Metal Gear, a walking tank which is capable of launching nuclear warheads from anywhere on the globe. As FOX-HOUND's (an elite black ops unit) newest recruit, going by the codename of Solid Snake, your mission is to infiltrate Outer Heaven and rescue your missing comrade, Grey Fox (who was captured after a failed infiltration), while gathering intelligence on Metal Gear.
In order to fulfill this objective, the player must collect various weapons and equipments (including keycards for further access into the fortress), while avoiding visual contact with the enemy. The player must also confront bosses in the form of Outer Heaven's elite mercenary force and rescue hostages hidden within the fortress in order to increase player rank, which gives Snake an extended life bar and increased storage capacity for replenishable items and ammo. The player can use a wireless transceiver to come in touch with their commanding officer, Big Boss, to learn more about their current mission objectives or contact one of the local resistance members operating covertly within the fortress to gain useful tips and insights.
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Japanese and Western differences
The in-game dialogue in the NES version was translated by Konami
in Japan, whereas the NES version's instruction manual was written by a writer Konami had in their US division, which were in charge of packaging and distributing their games. Konami of Japan had almost no editorial supervision over what the writer wrote in his manuals. Because of this, the writer would try to make his manuals as "humorous" as possible by taking any liberty with the game's plot.
In the manual for Metal Gear
, the reader is led to believe that a middle-eastern terrorist named Vermon CaTaffy is the bad guy in the game and that Snake's commanding officer is named Commander South. However, no such names are featured in the game's dialogue. In the actual in-game plot, the main villain's identity is intentionally kept a secret to the player since the eventual plot twist has the player's commanding officer (Big Boss) turning into a traitor by revealing himself to be the leader of the terrorists. The writer of the NES manual ignored this plot twist by making a made-up villain that's not featured within the game.Snake's Revenge
, the "American" sequel to Metal Gear
also suffered from a similar localization treatment. Snake's Revenge
was actually a Japanese-made sequel to Metal Gear
made with the western market in mind. At the time the game was made, Hideo Kojima
wasn't planning on doing a Metal Gear
himself. As a matter of fact, Kojima wasn't motivated enough to work on an actual sequel himself until he learned about Snake's Revenge
from one of the game's programmers, who encouraged him to make a true sequel himself. Snake's Revenge
continues the plot established in the first Metal Gear
for the MSX and NES and even has an appearance by the actual Metal Gear
mecha (which was replaced by a Supercomputer in the NES port of the first game).
In the in-game plot of Snake's Revenge
, the player is sent to neutralize a terrorist group from an undisclosed hostile nation who are developing a new Metal Gear prototype. Like in the first game, Big Boss is revealed to be the eventual bad guy, who has survived the events of the first game after getting cybernetic implants. In the manual, Big Boss is never mentioned and another made-up villain by the writer (Higharolla Kockamamie) is described in the storyline. Snake's Revenge
has even more banal attempts at humor, by describing one of the characters to be "related to Ginger from Gilligan's Island".
The writer of KoA's manuals did the same thing with several other Konami games, including The Adventures of Bayou Billy
and Life Force
, where liberties were taken with the manual for "humor" without any consideration of what the original designers intended.