Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, known outside Japan as Metal Gear Solid (much to everyone's confusion), is a 2D Metal Gear game released for the Game Boy Color in 2000. Despite the game's overseas title, Ghost Babel is not a port of the actual Metal Gear Solid, but has enough of the same elements to be considered a reformulated game (the game was developed after KCE Japan received a request from Konami's European division demanding a Game Boy Color version of Metal Gear Solid). The story is non-canonical and takes place in an alternate continuity which branches off seven years after the events of the original Metal Gear.The Gindra Liberation Front, a separatist group in Central Africa, has set a stronghold in the fortress of Galuade, the place formerly known as Outer Heaven. When the GLF hijacks GANDER, a new Metal Gear model under development by the U.S. military, Solid Snake is called back into action and sent to Galuade to neutralize the threat. There he meets Chris Jenner, a surviving member of a Delta Force team sent to to recover GANDER from GLF, who reveals that the guerrillas are being aided by the surviving members of Black Chamber, a defunct U.S. Special Forces unit that once rivaled FOXHOUND. Throughout the course of his mission, Snake fights the members of Black Chamber and finds out there's more to the terrorists' objective than Gindra's sovereignty.The game design is based closely on Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, but with elements introduced in Metal Gear Solid. For example, the screen scrolls instead of flipping between sectors and Snake can flatten himself into walls to see ahead like in the PlayStation game. The player's inventory is also handled similarly to Metal Gear Solid.
Metal Gear: Ghost Babel provides examples of:
Aborted Arc: The ending provides hint of a sequel, as Snake swears to take out John Parker and Steve Gardner for their involvement in Project Babel's conspiracy. However, most of the game's staff ended up working on the Boktai series for the GBA and it would be 12 years until another Metal Gear game was released for a Nintendo portable (even then, it was a port of Metal Gear Solid 3, not a sequel to Ghost Babel).
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Galuade's sewer system. Justified as the Gindran region frequently suffers from massive storms and needs the space to prevent the water level from getting even higher than it does.
Alas, Poor Villain: With the exception of Pyro Bison and possibly Brian McBride, most of the members of Black Chamber give a somewhat sad story of their past when killed, and in the case of their leader, Black Arts Viper, he ends up apologizing to his deceased unit for failing to avenge them when Snake defeats him and shuts down the satellite uplink of GANDER.
Alternate Continuity: Serves as an alternate sequel to the original Metal Gear. The biggest indicators that Ghost Babel is non-canon is Snake meeting Mei Ling for the first time and Big Boss being "killed" in Outer Heaven, and not in Zanzibar Land.
Attack Animal: Slasher Hawk has a pet hawk that he uses as a third method of attack.
Back Tracking: The cardboard box transport system in the barracks.
Blackout Basement: Metal Gear GANDER consumes a lot of energy, draining said energy from certain structures when needed, leading to a stage played entirely with the help of night vision or thermal goggles.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: A good deal of Weasel's advice. They start off battlefield-related, then turn into an advice given to the player, such as Weasel mentioning that unnecessary sounds are lethal on the field, then telling the player not to forget using headphones or keep the Game Boy's volume down when in public space.
Call Back: You can find the original TX-55 in the 100th floor basement.
Catching Some Z's: GLF soldiers, complete with small ZZZ's coming out of their heads.
Child Prodigy: Jimmy "The Wizard" Harks, GANDER's developer. Also the only survivor of the research team that worked on Metal Gear. Until he dies.
Competitive Multiplayer: Contains the first instance of a multiplayer mode in the Metal Gear series. The "VS Mode", in which two Snakes (one in a red sneaking suit) compete to see who collects the most disks.
Continuity Cameo: In addition to Snake himself, Mei Ling and Campbell are both part of Snake's support crew in this game, while Big Boss, Gray Fox and Meryl Silverburgh are all mentioned at different points, which leads us to...
Early-Bird Cameo: A hidden game mode has the player controlling a VR-trained soldier who is going through tougher versions of the same stages from the main game. When the training is complete, the soldier's name is revealed to be Jack.
Costume Porn: The bandana on Snake's sprite is incredibly well-animated; it looks better than in the PlayStation game.
Dressing as the Enemy: Chris does it to maintain her cover, and you have to identify her thanks to her red beret and tied back blonde hair.
Dual Wielding: Metal Gear GANDER is a variant on the REX model, except with the radome replaced by a second rail gun. To counterbalance this, the leg shape is reminiscent of what would later become Metal Gear RAY.
Elaborate Underground Base: The maintenance base is 100 floors down, in a Continuity Nod to the original Metal Gear. It even has the room where the TX-55 Metal Gear used to be, complete with its remains. It also expands on these floors; you visit the 49th, 50th, and the bottom three floors.
Black Chamber to FOXHOUND. They're both led by an evil counterpart of Snake (Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, Black Arts Viper in Ghost Babel).
GANDER to REX. Although GANDER has another rail gun for no reason other than it looks cool, and has a weakness similar to the original Metal Gear. It could be said that GANDER is based on both, REX and TX-55.
Also Chris to Meryl, Jimmy to Otacon, Weasel to Master Miller (who even uses the same frequency number) and Brian McBride to Nastasha Romanenko and Decoy Octopus.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Literally. A GLF soldier, upon realizing that he narrowly averted death, says "Merde", which is French for "shit".
The Dark Id summed it up quite well in the lp. "A title approved for ages six and up involving serial killings, dismembered siblings, exploding teenagers, self-immolation suicide orgasms, threats of nuclear holocaust, government sponsored destabilization of the greater African, fratricide, attempted filicide, French swearing, and assorted other kid friendly activities. I hope you all enjoyed the ride!"
Mission Control: As per usual in a Metal Gear game. You get Colonel Campbell, Mei Ling, who once again explains your radar (although this time it's more like the radar from Metal Gear 2), McBride, a CIA agent sent to supervise the operation, and Weasel, a mercenary who knows stuff about mercenaries. Snake is immediately suspicious of Weasel, with each of them eventually fighting amongst themselves as to who it could be. It was also initially believed that Chris was the mole after it became apparent that she lied about her status or even her job. It turns out Weasel, Chris and McBride are all moles for different agencies, but Weasel pulls a Heel-Face Turn at the end and Chris never really does anything to interfere with Snake's mission.
Mistaken Identity: Snake, when he sees a woman boarding a Havoc, thinks it is Chris, and ends up fighting her. After it crashes, he finds the crash site and gets to the woman only to discover that she is not Chris, but Sophie.
The Mole: Chris for Parker, although she did apologize to Snake later on. Also, McBride, who in actuality was the last surviving member of Black Chamber besides Viper, and Weasel, an agent of the true enemy, Gardner, but Weasel pulls a heel face turn in the end.
No Smoking: Snake's cigarettes are replaced by a conspicuously shaped smoke emitting device called a "Fogger". This applies even in the Japanese version, where the item is given the less embarrassing moniker of "smoke emitter".
Slightly subverted in the beginning. If you look closely at the opening cutscene before it flashes back, you'll notice that Snake is smoking a cigarette.
Also do note that, unlike other renditions of Metal Gear featuring the "Fogger" with the name of Cigarettes, this one does not drain your health over time.
Overshadowed by Awesome: With everyone focusing their attention towards the pre-release hype of Metal Gear Solid 2 at the time, most people weren't even aware that another Metal Gear sequel was being released, let alone the fact that it was on the Game Boy Color.
Pacifist Run: Possible, except for the bosses, so there is no way of making Pyro Bison eat his words.
Precision-Guided Boomerang: Slasher Hawk carries a pair of six-foot long, bladed, metal boomerangs, one of which has a aerodynamically improbable zigzag trajectory.
Playing with Fire: Pyro Bison, to the point that even his essentially committing suicide by immolating himself has him screaming in ecstasy.
Red Herring: After Jimmy reveals not only that he was saved by another surviving member of Delta Force, but in fact, Chris wasn't even among the Delta Force squad sent to Galuade, Snake and the others began to suspect that Chris was the fifth Black Chamber member that Pyro Bison alluded to. The fact that Chris (or rather, a woman who bears a strong resemblance to Chris) was seen boarding the Havoc and then fighting Snake in it, made the suspicions towards her even more sound. Turns out, Chris was not the fifth Black Chamber mole, but an agent of General Parker sent to delete all records of the Babel Project. The actual fifth Black Chamber member was actually McBride, who went as far as to change his name, paperwork, and even go through plastic surgery just to keep up the act until the time came.
Sinister Silhouettes: Black Chamber and GANDER during the intro. Also Marionette Owl when you encounter him if you didn't get night vision goggles and are looking at with Thermal Goggles instead.
Sole Survivor: Chris of the Delta Force team that was sent in to Galuade. Or is she?
Sunglasses at Night: Marionette Owl. Justified as his mutation that allows him to see in the dark on par with an owl also results in his eyes shining in the dark, thus necessitating them to keep himself disguised effectively.
Super Title 64 Advance: A subtle example. Ghost Babel has the same initials as "Game Boy", the platform it was released on.
What the Hell, Player?: In trying to free Jimmy, if you blow up the wall that is not adjacent to his cell, he'll call you on it.
"Dude, what're you doing?"
Would Hit a Girl: Marionette Owl was hunted by the FBI for his gruesome killings of women.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Snake has his gun on Sophie after beating her in a man vs. chopper fight, but refrains from shooting under the pretext that he is out of ammo. Granted Snake prefers to not kill people when he has a choice, but she calls him on it.
Punching or shooting the disguised Chris results in her death (and a mission failure).