Pigs have flown, hell has frozen over, it is the twelfth of never, and Metal Gear is fucking back. Still no Bloodborne, though.
Konami, much maligned publisher and holder of many a squandered intellectual property, have finally announced the worst kept secret in video games: Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater, a remake of the 2004 (ouch) classic, Metal Gear Solid 3. The reveal trailer shows Naked Snake in all his muddy, bi-ocular glory. It’s him. It’s really him.
Releasing on Playstation, Xbox and PC(!) Konami are being joined in development by Virtuos (no relation to the Virtuous Mission) developers who have previously worked on the excellent remaster of Final Fantasy X/X-2 and the recent, somewhat disappointing remaster of The Outer Worlds, as well as several ports of games such as XCOM 2 and Nier Automata.
Surprising basically nobody, Konami have confirmed that series creator and narcissist auteur Hideo Kojima will not be involved in the development process after his dramatic exit from Konami around the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Kojima has previously gone on record saying that as long as there are fans of Metal Gear, new games will be made without him, and while I don’t exactly have the greatest faith in Konami after the abomination that was Metal Gear Survive, released images of familiar environments from the original upgraded for modern systems look promising.
Sadly, regular artistic contributor Yoji Shinkawa will also be absent from development, but given that he is currently working with Kojima at Kojima Productions, perhaps this isn’t a huge surprise.
Wisely choosing not to mess with success, the original voice acting has been retained. While I would enjoy a fresh take on the material, the original performances were totally perfect and any recasting would probably be met with hostility from the fanbase. That, and this game was developed twenty years ago (ow ow OW) so many of the original actors ageing would be noticeable by now.
Though the remake may be a ways off, fellow Metal Gear fans won’t have to wait long for more content. Konami have also announced “Volume 1” of the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection, a bundle of the first five games from the series, set to release this Autumn. That’s Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Hopefully this is basically a re-release of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection which included the updated Substance/Subsistence versions of 2&3. This is great for accessibility, as all of these games were removed from circulation back in 2021. The more people that get to play these classics, the better! Here’s hoping a Volume 2 containing later games in the series is soon to follow, as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is still locked as a PS3 exclusive, and as much as I love this series I’m not setting up my huge original PS3 every time I get the urge to see Solid Snake with a moustache.
If this remake does well, can we expect more Delta edition remakes in the future? I sure hope so. Metal Gear fans are finally (snake) eating again, but time will tell if we’re eating a Calorie Mate or a rotten python. Or a tree frog.
Everyone loves it when the good guys triumph. Justice is done, the wicked are smote, everything turns out A-okay in the end. But what if it didn’t? What if the hero didn’t collect all 8 magic Crunkins? What if, god forbid, you pushed a button too late? What if, at the end of the day, you’re just a cold-hearted bastard who wants to see what happens when everything goes to shit? I have good (bad?) news for you- Your whims have been catered for, you sick freaks.
Below is a list of my personal favourite bad endings. The more misery the better. I want to see small animals crying, the planet irrevocably fucked, the protagonists life ruined forever. Here we go.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit)
The 8-bit version of Sonic 2 available on Master System and Game Gear had an atypical bad ending for Sonic. In other games, most of the time if you fail to collect all the Chaos Emeralds, Robotnik taunts you with them post-credits. Annoying, but it definitely motivates you to try again. Sonic 2 goes a bit further- If you fail to collect all the emeralds, Tails fucking dies. The game ends early before the final level, Sonic looks up at the night sky and sees Tails in the stars, Mufasa style. Granted, I imagine the developers intended this as more of a “Tails is still kidnapped because you didn’t try hard enough!” kind of thing, but the nocturnal apparition seems much more mournful to me. Rest in peace, Miles. I guess I was too slow.
2. Chrono Trigger
This one is legendary. The plot of Chrono Trigger involves the party travelling through time in order to stop a giant creature named Lavos from destroying the world in the future. If you challenge Lavos and fail, you are shown- in excruciating detail- Lavos raining down fire on the entire planet. You see the globe from space, and as civilisation is extinguished, the world fades to black and white with the words “BUT… THE FUTURE REFUSED TO CHANGE.” as Lavos screams. Totally bleak. You really fucked up this time.
Players will jokingly refer to the bad ending of Banjo-Kazooie as the “bad” ending since it leads to the creation of a smoking hot green chick. As such, I will henceforth refer to this as the “down bad ending”. Quitting the game or running out of lives results in the wicked Gruntilda successfully absorbing Banjo’s sister Tootie’s youthful energy, transforming Grunty into a stereotypical supermodel and leaving poor Tootie horrifically mutated into a lumbering monster. On the plus side, you are directly punished for being horny; Tootie threatens to have a “word” with the player. Hope you like getting torn apart by a giant mutant bear, you perverts.
The tagline for Cuphead is “Don’t deal with the devil!” and this bad ending hammers that message home. Cuphead and his pal Mugman, they like to roll the dice, you see. Running afoul of the devil on a bad roll, they’re forced to collect the devil’s soul-debts. At the end of the game you get the choice to turn in the collected soul contracts or fight the devil himself, but turning them in and honoring the deal results in Cuphead and Mugman losing their souls too, becoming dastardly minions of Satan. Don’t gamble, kids.
5. Metal Gear Solid
I really like this one. Snake and his love interest Meryl are captured, and Snake is put through torture with only two options: Endure the agony, or submit and condemn Meryl to death. Players who choose to submit to the torture rather than sprain their thumbs on the circle button never see Meryl alive again- Snake is too late to save her and escapes with Otacon instead. This was thought to be the canon ending of the game for years until Meryl’s reappearance in Metal Gear Solid 4, which is a shame, as I thought it humanised the character of Snake no end, bringing the legendary solider down to Earth a bit and forcing him to confront his own failings and weaknesses. Forget that though! Canon says Snake saves Meryl and she goes on to marry Johnny Sasaki, a sexy man with IBS. Ok, Kojima.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true- you should definitely judge a book by its contents, especially if said contents are a couple of insane, evil prisoners. In Myst, you find a red book and a blue book, each containing a totally trustworthy dude who asks you collect their respective coloured pages scattered throughout the world in order to free them from their pagey prisons. Turns out, they were imprisoned with good reason. Fulfilling their request results in the player becoming trapped in their stead, left to watch helplessly as the newly freed dickhead of choice gleefully tears the pages back out of the book, condemning you to eternal bibliographic imprisonment. Oops!
This one really sucks. Captain Olimar crash lands on a strangely familiar alien planet, and is forced to work with the peculiar plant people Pikmin. The beleaguered captain must gather the scattered pieces of his spaceship within 30 days, at which point his life support will run out. Failure to repair the ship in time will result in Olimar attempting to leave anyway, with disastrous results; Olimar dies, either as a result of the crash or the poisonous oxygen, and the Pikmin carry his dead body to one of their onions in order to rebirth him as one of their own. Trapped on an alien planet as a freak of nature, never to see his homeworld or his family ever again. Jesus christ, Nintendo. Isn’t this game for kids?
Getting captured by Super Mutants rarely ends well, but doing so in Fallout leads to some truly horrifying consequences. If you choose to join your green, lumpy captors rather than fight them, you’re treated to a horrifying cinematic of your Vault Dweller getting dipped in a glowing vat of Forced Evolutionary Virus, after which you can only watch helplessly as your newly mutated player character leads a violent, bloody assault on their former home. When evil triumphs, it ain’t pretty.
9. Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
We could pick any of the Oddworld games for this, but I think Munch’s Oddysee takes the cake. Failing to save the diminutive Munch from his capitalist pursuers will result in a truly horrifying cutscene where Munch has his lungs removed while he is still conscious. You know what’s worse? Abe, the player character, has his head mounted on the wall with the word “Loser” underneath. Now that’s brutal. I think I’d rather have my lungs removed.
Just talking about this one is enough to label me a miserable sadist. Taking the “Genocide” route in Undertale involves slowly and deliberately murdering every single enemy in the game. For a story about friendship and pacifism, that takes a special kind of lowlife. Accruing that much XP (or “execution points”) results in your transformation from evil murderer child to dark god, and after a valiant effort by this worlds mightiestheroes to stop you, the evil spirit now inhabiting your body murders the universe. To make things worse, this cannot be undone. Replaying the game as a pacifist after doing a genocide run results in a tainted ending. You can never escape your dark impulses. Bravo, Toby Fox, Bravo.
Those are my favourites! Sometimes having the threat of a truly horrible fate looming over you is enough motivation to try for the good ending. I’m sure I must have left some glaring omissions. Can you think of any more? Let me know!
You may recall a couple of years ago there was a certain amount of hubbub surrounding Hideo Kojima’s departure from publisher Konami. The Metal Gear mastermind was rumoured to have been forced to conclude work on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain before his vision was fully realised, was denied permission to attend award shows recognising his work on the unfinished game, and had his name physically removed from the box art and promotional images… Not that it was missing much in the game itself, but can you blame the guy for splashing his name wherever possible after Konami pulled a fucking damnatio memoriae?
The public was given no idea of the basis for any of this mistreatment. From the sound of it Kojima slept with Mr. Konami’s wife, or spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire a major Hollywood actor to say five words. That second one may be a little far-fetched, but whatever happened between these two parties doesn’t really matter, does it? Konami’s behaviour spoke volumes, and hey, it still does!
New Metal Gear game, guys! Oh, but it doesn’t involve Hideo Kojima, and it takes all of the most insufferable trends from recent video games, forces them into a sacred cow before setting it on fire and kicking it down the stairs. Metal Gear Survive is Konami’s first (and god willing, last) attempt at making a game in the series without the involvement of the man himself, and no, I’m not counting Snake’s Revenge. Shut up.
Zombies? Of course! A crafting system? Hell, kids these days love the Minecrafts! Shove it in! You want co-op? No? Fuck you, you get AI team-mates! Microtransactions? Oh, you bet your well-lubricated asshole. Bend over bitch, it’s time to play a Triple-A video game. Is any of this setting off any alarm bells? Can you hear me? Hello? You’ve been in a coma for nine years Boss, it’s time to let go. Please. We love you.
Oh, no, I’m sorry. I have just received a substantial wad of cash from an unnamed party. What I meant to say is that Metal Gear Survive deserves a chance, and you are a whiny entitled fanboy if you think otherwise. I bet you hated DmC, you filthy gamer. Go back to your mom’s basement and… No, no NO I CAN’T DO THIS! THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE! WE NEED TO BREAK FREE OF THIS FUCKING NIGHTMARE! OH GOD THEY’RE AT MY DOOR THEY’RE IN MY FUCKING HOUSE PLEASE DON’T LET THE-
I need to be as clear with you as possible on this – Konami is the Japanese EA. They love money. They love Pachinko, and they love money. The Metal Gear series was denied a dignified end, but we can shorten its suffering by not cramming money into its bloated corpse. Even if this game ends up being halfway entertaining, it’s not worth it. Konami do not deserve it, Kojima (probably) does not deserve it, do not support Konami. DO NOT SUPPORT KONAMI. Please, god.
Do not support Metal Gear Survive. You sell your soul to the devil for legendary guitar prowess, not mild ukelele proficiency.
This year’s Tokyo Game Show is officially underway, kicking off with the Playstation conference. A fairly subdued affair, for the most part- We got another look at the Shadow of the Colossus PS4 remaster, Monster Hunter World finally got a release date (January 2018) along with a fancy limited edition PS4 Pro, Zone of the Enders is getting another remaster with additional VR support (yay?) Final Fantasy IX is coming out again for the seventh or eighth time… But who gives a shit about any of that stuff. A new mech game directed by Toshifumi Nabeshima of the Armored Core series, robots designed by industry mech-specialist Takayuki Yanase and characters designed by Yoji Shinkawa of Metal Gear Solid fame is coming out next year.
The trailer may not give us much to go on, but if a game with such incredible talent behind it isn’t enough reason to get hype, I don’t know what is. Left Alive is currently slated for release on PS4 AND PC (hell yes) at some point in 2018.
If nothing else, the poster art helps me pretend that Metal Gear isn’t completely dead in the water.