[[caption-width-right:229:This is Solid Snake! Your reply please...]]

->''"OUTER HEAVEN is the name of heavily armed land in the depth of southern Africa where the dreadful weapon called METAL GEAR is developed. It is the mission of SOLID SNAKE, one of the members of secret army 'FOX HOUND' to sneak into OUTER HEAVEN and destroy METAL GEAR. [[ForGreatJustice GO AHEAD SOLID SNAKE!]]"''
-->-- Game description from the [=MSX2=] version.

The very [[SequelDisplacement first]] installment in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series. Released in 1987 for the {{MSX}}2 computer platform in Japan and Europe, the original '''''Metal Gear''''' is considered to be one of the earliest examples of the [[StealthBasedGame stealth action game]] genre (though, ''Castle Wolfenstein'' for DOS predates ''Metal Gear'' by a good six years), as well as the first game ever released designed by HideoKojima.

The game came into existence when Kojima's superiors, enamored with Capcom's arcade game ''Commando'' and noticing its success, asked him to create an overhead military shooting game for the [=MSX2=]. However, Kojima quickly discovered that a fast-paced shooter would be impossible on the [=MSX2=], thanks to the system's own hardware limitations that limited the number of sprites that could be grouped together on the same horizontal plane before the sprites would start flickering (a hardware limitation that the [=MSX2=] shared with the NintendoEntertainmentSystem, and which many old-school NES players are familiar with). Kojima then decided to retool the game around ''avoiding'' combat instead, and decided to base the game around stealth and infiltration.

The player controls Solid Snake, a rookie member of special forces group FOXHOUND, who is sent on a mission to infiltrate the fortified state of Outer Heaven and destroy their top-secret weapon Metal Gear, a walking tank capable of launching nuclear missiles from any angle. The game's story is mainly remembered for the plot twist at the end that reveals that [[spoiler:Snake's commanding officer, Big Boss, is the leader of Outer Heaven]], which served as the foundation for future games in the series.

In addition to the original [=MSX2=] game, Konami also released a version for the NES, which actually saw release in North America. However, this version was made without Kojima's direct involvement, and while the plot is generally the same, the game itself lacked elements, both good (such as the parachute), and bad (such as flying rooftop enemies and a higher level alert phase that couldn't be bypassed by exiting the screen). It also had different level layouts and most notably, lacked the actual Metal Gear itself (replaced by a Super Computer that allegedly contained the data for building the machine). It also had several upsides, as the layout was less linear, the trucks that [[MemeticMutation have started to move]] are a means of getting around instead of a trap, its own unique soundtrack, and a new starting area before the first building. It also had bosses that were unique to its version, such as the Twin Shot and Tank (the latter, arguably inspired the tank battle from Metal Gear Solid), albiet, at the expense of other bosses such as the grounded Hind D.

The original ''Metal Gear'' was followed by two separately-made sequels, both released in 1990 and each taking the story to a different direction: ''[[VideoGame/{{SnakesRevenge}} Snake's Revenge]]'' for the NES, which saw a release in North America and Europe, and ''[[VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake]]'' for the [=MSX2=], released exclusively in Japan until it was re-released as a component of ''Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence'' (along with the original [=MSX2=] version of ''Metal Gear''). The ''Metal Gear Solid'' games follows the continuity from ''Metal Gear 2'', rendering ''Snake's Revenge'' into [[CanonDiscontinuity canon discontinuity]] status.
!!This game provides examples of the following tropes:
* AllThereInTheManual: While the backstory is not quite as extensive as its sequels, the manual for the Japanese [=MSX2=] version has character and enemy profiles that reveal details not actually mentioned in the game itself (like Schneider's motivation for creating the Resistance movement), as well as the complete specifications of Metal Gear itself. The manual also implies that, besides the unfinished message by Gray Fox, he also reported the items and weapons locations discovered in building one shortly before his capture. [[http://www.msxnet.org/gtinter/mg1remi/mg1reme.htm Here's a page with a downloadable version.]]
* AmbidextrousSprite: Played straight when Snake is unarmed, but otherwise averted when he's equipped with a gun. All of the enemy guards and the final boss have different sprites when facing left and right.
* ArtificialStupidity: Guards won't notice you unless you're standing in a straight line directly in front of them. Even if you're standing just inches to their side. Even if you kill another guard in front of them (as long as you're using silenced firearm or punching them).
* BananaRepublic: Outer Heaven.
* BigBad: [[spoiler: Big ''Boss''.]]
* BlindIdiotTranslation: Both, the European [=MSX2=] version and the NES version, have their share of translation hiccups, especially the latter.
* BodyDouble: [[spoiler:The fake Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar in the basement of Building No. 2.]]
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Snake is a [[HeroicMime heroic mime]] for most of the game, the enemy leader ([[spoiler:Big Boss]]) is a [[CardCarryingVillain card carrying villain]], and Gray Fox has virtually no presence (he disappears from the remainder of the game as soon as he is rescued). This is particularly egregious, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation considering the sequels made the events of the Outer Heaven mission more epic than what actually occurs in this game.]]
** Grey Fox isn't too useful, even refusing to budge from his prison cell once 'freed'. Later, Snake would claim that Grey Fox was an active participant in the crisis and "showed him the ropes," much like how Snake mentors Raiden in [=MGS2=].
** FridgeHorror: [[spoiler: In ''Metal Gear 2'', Schneider reveals to Snake that Outer Heaven was bombed by NATO, along with everybody else involved in the conflict.]] This causes many of Snake's allies to defect to [[spoiler:Big Boss]]' side in the sequel, and [[spoiler:Big Boss]]' personal charisma would become an enduring trait of the character.
** Big Boss is utterly dismissive at the idea of Snake using a cardboard box to hide, which clashes with Big Boss' cardboard obsession in the later prequels.
* ComputerEqualsMonitor and Franks2000InchTV: In the NES version, the "Super Computer" is in fact an oversized personal computer with a keyboard to match. Destroy the giant Zenith TV set, and the global thwart is thwarted.
* CopycatCover: The cover illustration is a blatant trace-over of a publicity still of Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese from ''[[Film/{{Terminator}} The Terminator]]''.
* CutAndPasteEnvironments: All three buildings.
* DirtyCoward: Coward/Dirty Duck hides behind [=POWs=] while fighting Snake. Even his name (both of them) spells it out.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: When the game was first released, [[spoiler:Big Boss being the mastermind of Outer Heaven was a complete shock and appeared virtually out of nowhere. Although the player could get an early clue should they rescue the one POW in Building 3.]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: No crawling. No radar. A transceiver that was completely room oriented. A straightforward, simple plot. After playing this, ''Metal Gear 2'' becomes amazing for how much closer it is to the later ''Metal Gear Solid'' games.
* EliteMooks: The Flying Army who appear only on the rooftops of Building No. 1 and No. 2.
* EventFlag: The NES version won't allow you to destroy the supercomputer without first rescuing the doctor.
* TheFaceless: All of Snake's radio contacts are never actually seen in-game with the exception of [[spoiler:Big Boss.]] The Japanese [=MSX2=] manual has illustrations of all the main characters though (other versions weren't so lucky).
* [[VoiceWithAnInternetConnection Face With an Internet Connection]]: Inverted. The only character whose face we actually see in the transceiver mode is Snake's.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: Toward the end of the game, [[spoiler: Big Boss calls the player and orders him to turn off the game system.]]
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Meta-example: in the sequels, the events of the game are described to be somewhat epic, but the game itself seems to be lacking in that regard (in fact, the way the events of the game are described in the sequels make it a variation of a [[NoodleIncident noodle incident]]). It's largely for this reason why various fans are constantly demanding remakes of the [=MSX2=] games, this game in particular.
* GuideDangIt: Punching random walls to produce unusual sounds and blow them up? Frustrating, but a staple of games like this. Punching random ''doors'' which previously only opened with keycards so that you can open them? Not so excusable.
** Big Boss tells the player to contact Schneider whenever an item is needed to get through a certain location. However, Schneider's frequency number is never given by anyone in-game; it's not even listed in the manual. You have to play around with the frequency number of your transceiver when you're two screens north of where you start the game (or when you're standing in front of the west elevator in the third floor) to eventually stumble into it via an incoming transmission ([[spoiler:the number is 120.79]]).
** In the NES version, there are two maze areas in which the correct path is never given by any character. The correct path is the same for both mazes, which is: [[spoiler:West, West, North, and West.]]
* HeroicMime: While Snake does have lines of dialogue, most of it is just the same three generic messages: one when he dials a frequency number on his radio, when he attempts to obtain more rations/ammo when he has the maximum amount, and finally, one when he is in a moving truck. All of his conversions with the other characters are one-sided and the only time he ever says anything different is when he locates Dr. Madnar's cell (but not Madnar), and when he gives his final mission report in the ending.
* HisNameIs: Schneider's transmission was cut just before he is about to reveal the identity of the Outer Heaven commander.
* HostageSpiritLink: Shoot a [=POW=] and your rank goes down. {{Justified|Trope}} in that your rank is a representation of how many [=POWs=] you've saved anyway.
* HumanShield: Dirty Duck hides behind [=POWs=], and shooting them causes a demotion.
* HumongousMecha: The Metal Gear itself. Absent in the NES version.
* TheKeyIsBehindTheLock: The keycard required to access the prison where Gray Fox is located is inside the prison itself. [[spoiler:This requires Snake to allow himself to get captured and breakout from said prison.]]
* LostInTransmission: How the events of Snake's mission starts. Gray Fox's final words in his final transmission before it was cut were the words "Metal Gear..."
* MercyMode: Die enough times and your items and ammo are refilled to maximum.
* [[spoiler:MoleInCharge: Big Boss.]]
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The cover illustration is a blatant trace-over of a publicity still from ''The Terminator'' featuring Michael Biehn posing as Kyle Reese.
* NoPeripheralVision: The guards literally have no peripheral vision whatsoever. Snake can run alongside them, run past them on the side, and stand next to them as long he wants. They'll never see him unless he's directly in front of one or is already being pursued. The NES version gives enemies better vision, being able to see slightly off what's directly in front of them.
* OneNameOnly: Schneider, Diane, Steve, Jennifer and Dr. Petrovich. Subverted by Elen, whose full name is listed as "Elen Petrovich" [[AllThereInTheManual in the Japanese [=MSX2=] manual.]]
** ''Metal Gear 2'' gave two of those characters full names, ''Kyle'' Schneider and Dr. Pettrovich ''Madnar'', essentially {{retcon}}ing "Pettrovich" from a surname to a given name. In the re-released versions, Madnar's full name was further changed to Dr. ''Drago'' Pettrovich Madnar (turning "Pettrovich" into a patronymic), while Ellen's surname was officially changed from "Pettrovich" to "Madnar" for consistency.
* OrwellianRetcon: Some of the characters were renamed in the re-released versions of ''Metal Gear'', although the changes were not as extensive as in ''Metal Gear 2''.
** [[BlindIdiotTranslation Shoot Gunner]] become Shotmaker.
** The TX-11 Arnold "cyberoid" became Bloody Brad.
** Coward Duck became Dirty Duck.
** Dr. Petrovich now gives out his full name as Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar.
** Likewise, his daughter Elen became Ellen Madnar.
* PuzzleBoss: [[spoiler:Metal Gear can only be destroyed by planting 16 explosives on its legs, on a specific order. To make things worse, you have to guess where to put the last bomb.]]
* ReformulatedGame: The NES version, which featured redesigned level layouts (mostly due to [[ExecutiveMeddling executive meddling]]), different music for some parts and replaces the Metal Gear battle at the end with a dormant Super Computer.
* {{Ruritania}}: See WhereTheHellIsSpringfield below.
* RushBoss: The Bulldozer.
* ShoutOut: To [[HowardTheDuck Howard the Duck]] of all things. In the early versions, the boss that was later renamed Dirty Duck was known as Coward Duck. Also, a powerful android that was later renamed Bloody Brad was originally known as [[Film/{{Terminator}} Arnold.]]
* StealthBasedGame: One of the very first.
* TakingYouWithMe: The Madnar [[BodyDouble body double]] attempts to do this to Snake after the latter rescues him, via using a pit trap. It failed, though. [[spoiler:Big Boss also attempts to do this in the final boss fight.]]
* ThreeQuartersView: The overall perspective, which makes Outer Heaven's architecture seem [[FridgeLogic very weird once you think about it.]] Why ''is'' every single wall trapezoidical?
* TreacherousAdvisor: If you don't know who it is, [[LateArrivalSpoiler consider yourself lucky.]]
* TropeCodifier: For the {{stealth based game}} genre.
* TheUnfought: The Metal Gear itself in the NES version.
* UnwinnableByDesign: See HostageSpiritLink or VideoGameCrueltyPunishment concerning demotions. If you get a demotion in some situations, you will not have enough ammo to destroy certain bosses (or even to obtain an item needed to complete the game). This is particularly egregious during the Coward Duck boss battle, where he shields himself with three hostages. Killing all three will demote Snake to the starting rank. There might not even be enough [=POWs=] remaining or available to restore the required four-star rank.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: Killing a single [=POW=] will demote the player to their previous rank. Itís possible for the player to work his way back to his previous rank if there are enough [=POWs=] still left to save, but killing certain [=POWs=] (like Ellen or Jennifer's brother) will make the game {{unwinnable}}.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In the NES version, Snake is shown parachuting into Outer Heaven with three other soldiers. They are never seen nor mentioned again. These were probably supposed to be Schneider, Diane, and Jennifer, Snake's on-field contacts. It was most likely meant to establish how they ended up on the field with Snake. Although this is never stated and as such and contradicts with the implication that this resistance movement was operating locally before Snake arrived (with Diane working from her own home and Jennifer as an inside agent within Outer Heaven's medical staff).
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: Outer Heaven and the Galzburg region are stated to be in South Africa, but it is never actually specified where it is exactly. It should be noted that this is one of the few ''Metal Gear'' games (and certainly the only ''canonical'' installment) to play this straight.
** [[http://webzoom.freewebs.com/outerheavenresistance/Gear%20Site%20pics/Outer%20Heaven%20Map%202%20Redone.JPG Of course, there are persistent fan theories.]]
* WithThisHerring: Your starting equipment is a pack of cigarettes. You need to search for a basic handgun, and make a second search for ammo.