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YMMV: Metal Gear
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     For the entire series 
  • Broken Base: Some fan have debated as to what Raikov's actual fate was, as well as whether recruiting him is canon. Heck, there are even some who wonder if Raikov was actually related to Raiden due to their likeness.
    • Similar to other franchises, the fandom seems to have its divisions. There are the classic purists who state the series went downhill with Metal Gear Solid 4 and that the storyline is getting ridiculous.
  • Complete Monster: Metal Gear has Volgin, Wiseman, Sundowner.
  • Crazy Awesome: A badass soldier with a strange affection and reliance on cardboard boxes is this. Metal Gear Solid 4 upped the ante with the drum barrel which had much of the same functionality plus it could be used to literally barrel over multiple enemies. Peace Walker seems to be taking the crazy awesomeness to even greater heights with a tank-shaped cardboard box (with a working gun turret), an ambulance-shaped box (complete with siren) that can heal people dragged into it, and a "Love Box" that has room for two. There is no implications there at all.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: So much it has its own page.
  • Die for Our Ship: Rosemary and Johnny.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Vamp, Volgin and Ocelot.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Quite a few.
    • Gray Fox and Raiden in their Cyborg Ninja forms.
    • Psycho Mantis, for having one of the most ingenuous boss fights in the series.
    • The End.
    • Raikov, whose main reason for existing was to make fun of Raiden.
    • Steven Armstrong.
  • Fan Favorite:
  • First Installment Wins: The original Metal Gear Solid easily has the most famous story and gameplay, followed by Metal Gear Solid 3. It's a weird case of third and installment wins twice.
  • Ho Yay: So much.
  • It Was His Sled: Solid Snake is Liquid's twin brother. The remake gave this away in its title.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Revolver Ocelot is widely considered to be one of the most magnificent bastards ever created. Also Big Boss, The Boss, Zero, Liquid, and Solidus.
  • Memetic Badass: Solid Snake, naturally. Big Boss to a slightly lesser extent.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Memetic Sex God: Everyone is gay for Big Boss. Also, Snake's Thong of Shielding.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Each one of the Patriots crosses it at one point or another, and that's just with the human founders. Going by the AIs, the AIs probably were already on the other side in a very short time, especially given the fact that not only were they the ones who masterminded the Big Shell Incident as well as the mess that was the war economy, but the Head AI also implied to Raiden that they viewed humanity as nothing more than tools and weapons for them to discard once they no longer serve a use.
    • Vamp's pointlessly cruel murder of poor Emma Emmerich, Otacon's adorable little sister.
    • Major Zero. He had Paz attempt to get Big Boss to rejoin Cipher (a.k.a. the Patriots). Snake refused, so what did Zero do? He also ordered Paz that, should Big Boss refuse, she frame him and the Militaires Sans Frontières by having her launch a nuke via a hijacked ZEKE at the East Coast, and then pinning them as an extremist cult.
  • Narm: It has its own page.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The series as a whole, really.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Rosemary's very memorable Codec conversation.
    • Major Zero's radio calls about tea and James Bond. And Sigint's about the Metal Gear made out of feces.
  • Periphery Demographic: It's rather odd that women like this series so much, considering it's basically a crazy action movie in video game form. Yes, even the strong male bonding is verbatim action movie.
  • Player Punch: E.E, The Boss, the list goes on.
  • Recycled Script: Several plot elements and set pieces used Metal Gear 2 reappear in Metal Gear Solid, with no comment from anybody. Metal Gear Solid 2 returns the favor and cribs off of Metal Gear Solid. This time, the lead character is well aware of this and won't let the player forget as the storyline spirals inexorably towards its Mind Screw Gainax Ending. Part of this has to do with the (then) low profile of Metal Gear 2 and the megahit status of Metal Gear Solid.
    • This is arguably done purposely across the entire series; There are similarities between Big Boss and Solid Snake's entries into the series that are done to emphasise their similarities and show that Big Boss took the wrong path.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Raiden, before his cybernization.
    • According to the director's commentary, the English localization team apparently did not like EVA due to some parts of her behavior. It doesn't help that the player has to assist her in the most tedious part of Metal Gear Solid 3 and that she appears only in one act in Metal Gear Solid 4 which is considered one of the worst parts of the series.
    • Raiden's girlfriend Rosemary, who's received hatred largely for her relationship drama with Raiden (some of which wasn't written well), as well as a mixture of Die for Our Ship and Stop Helping Me!! feelings. Not to mention the fact that people rarely take kindly to anyone that actually waits until her lover is off at a safe distance - trying very hard not to get killed - before steam-barraging him via digital communication with everything that's bugging her about their relationship. Granted, such an idea could work out with ensuing hilarity.
      • She's less disliked in Metal Gear Solid 4 due to the fact that her romantic relationship with Raiden is downplayed and that she doesn't show up too often. However, it doesn't quite count as Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The serious dialogue at times.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The wonderful mix of the complex story and the engaging gameplay.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: While a lot of video games are content to simply let players have fun and let them learn something from the experience if they so choose, this series hammers its players over the head with complex philosophy and hard-hitting truths about the way war works that even most novels shy away from. And it doesn't stop. The repetition may seem a bit like overkill, but it's exactly what makes each game's message so effective, because it will not let you forget. Check out the trope page for more details.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3 is an excellent example. It constantly drives the point that enemies are not enemies in absolute terms and that enemies today may be friends tomorrow and vice versa. The game's ending makes this point all the more poignant.
  • Too Cool to Live: Gray Fox and The Boss. And Big Boss. Eventually.
  • Unconventional Learning Experience: How often do you learn about nuclear weapons, ICBMs, gun mechanics, genetics, psychology, philosophy, Cold War politics, PTSD, etc., all in one video game franchise? Even better: how often do you even become interested in and curious about these concepts?
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Meta example. The teaser site before E3 2009 showed this image, and many fans wondered who the hot chick in Raiden's armor was. Turns out it was Raiden.
  • Villain Sue: Ocelot. Aside from the slight complication of getting his hand sliced off by Gray Fox in Metal Gear Solid, absolutely everything in the many Xanatos Gambits he sets up goes perfectly to plan. By the time he eventually died at the hands of FOXDIE 2.0 in Metal Gear Solid 4, he had achieved everything he set out to do, so he probably wouldn't have cared anyway.
    • The Boss, particularly in Metal Gear Solid 4. In the preceding game, her politics are presented as something of a moral grey zone, with some good points and some bad. By Metal Gear Solid 4, however, almost every character you meet takes the time to gush over what a wonderful, brilliant person she was, and one character evens states his belief that she was a messiah who was martyred before she could bring forth her vision of a perfect world. Possibly a deconstruction of Villain Sue with the fact that the Boss was actually dead for years by that point, not to mention she never actually betrayed her country, and more of an Alternative Character Interpretation.
    • When Metal Gear 2 was released, Big Boss had made nuclear threats twice, raised orphans as child soldiers and terrorism which was resulted in the deaths of multiple people. The story in the Metal Gear Solid games has Big Boss being defended by several people. The Patriots brought the idea that Big Boss was fighting in defense.
  • Wangst:
    • How Old Snake (and quite a few players) sees the predicaments of the Beauty and the Beast Unit. It's part of the reason why he doesn't really give a crap and why he's annoyed whenever Drebin comes in to explain their origins.
    • Fortune. Ocelot awesomely calls her out on it, saying that she was "hamming it up as the tragic heroine".
  • The Woobie: Nine tenths of the major characters in the series. Where do we start?
    • Nastasha, Otacon, Emma, Meryl, Olga, and Stillman.
    • Iron Woobie: Snake and Roy Campbell. Big Boss as well, considering how many times he gets blown up.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Liquid, Naomi Hunter, and Psycho Mantis.
    • Stoic Woobie: The Boss.
    • Badass Angster: Gray Fox and Raiden.
      • Big Boss also goes through this in Peace Walker to the point he demands to be killed for what he did to The Boss.

    For the first game 
  • Adaptation Displacement: Subverted. The NES version of Metal Gear was the only one available in North America for many years and the fact that it was a port of an MSX2 game wasn't even common knowledge until the release of Metal Gear Solid. Since then, Kojima has saw fit to release the original MSX2 games in various formats (most notably as bonus games in the Subsistence and HD Edition versions of Metal Gear Solid 3), whereas neither of the NES Metal Gear games have ever been properly reissued,note  not even on the Virtual Console.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: In the NES version, Snake has to destroy a Super Computer with plastic explosive in no particular order in order to stop the TX-55 Metal Gear, and the only enemies guarding it are four easily-disposable soldiers who don't respawn, making it a heck of a lot easier to defeat compared to the MSX2 version where you not only have to fight the TX-55 directly, but also place C4 on its feet in the order given by Dr. Petrovich, while avoiding laser-shooting cameras that cannot be destroyed.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base Breaker: The NES version. On the one hand, it lacks the titular mecha, and also features different level designs, changing the layout of the outdoor segments and most of the ground floors, as well turning the basement floor connecting Building 1 and 2 into a separate building, which is preceded by a maze segment with no clue on which is the correct path to take. It also removes the mercy invincibility when Snake gets hit, allowing enemy soldiers to bull-rush Snake into an easy defeat. On the other hand, the high alert phase (which occurs when two exclamation marks appear over an enemy's head instead of just one) was removed from the NES version, making enemies easier to escape from by simply moving onto the next screen, while several bugs and glitches were also added that actually makes the game easier in some instances (such as the fact that the player can skip Super Computer room and go straight to the final boss). The rooftop enemies also no longer fly, which means that being cited is no longer almost certain death, and it has some new areas and a different soundtrack that many prefer over the MSX 2 version.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Big Boss's sarcastic response to Snake's use of a cardboard box in the first game becomes especially ironic when it becomes apparent that Big Boss was the one who developed the technique as Naked Snake.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Although Snake does manage to destroy Metal Gear and escape Outer Heaven before the base self-destructs, the ending shows what is unmistakably a mushroom cloud from an atomic blast in the distance. The KNK radio station also mentioned that an earthquake occurred before sunrise. In Metal Gear 2, it is revealed that said mushroom cloud was actually the result of NATO's air raid that devastated both sides of the conflict, of which Snake was partially responsible for causing. It also falls into Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • It's Easy, so It Sucks: The NES version removes the high alert phases from the MSX2 (which happens when two exclamation marks appears above an enemy's head instead of just one), making it easier to escape after being discovered by simply moving to the next screen. The Super Computer boss is also a lot easier than the Metal Gear, since the player isn't required to memorize where to place the plastic explosives.
    • On the other hand, there's no mercy invincibility in the NES version, and since many of the early areas (especially the Jungle and the first floor of Building No. 1) consists of really tight corridors, it's easy to be stampeded to death by watchdogs and enemy soldiers. Likewise, the NES version also feature instant shortcuts to later areas, so novices are bound to get lost if they take a transport truck without knowing where it leads.
  • It Was His Sled: Thanks to the sequels, pretty much everybody knows the identity of the enemy leader. It's Big Boss.
  • Macekre: Konami of America had a habit of writing completely jokey story summaries in the manuals that didn't coincide with the actual game's stories, and the NES version of Metal Gear was no exception. The North American manual for the NES version notably gives a completely different account towards the events of the story than what is actually shown in-game.
  • Sequel Displacement: Most players began the series with Metal Gear Solid and the few that did played the original Metal Gear most likely played the NES version, unaware of its origin as an MSX2 game.
  • That One Boss: The titular Metal Gear (known as TX-55) in its "boss room". You have to place 16 C4 bombs into its legs while laser cameras shoot at you and they take a quarter of your life. If you happened to remember Dr. Madnar's pattern which he provided after rescuing his daughter Ellen and able to avoid the lasers, then it shouldn't be a problem, including with the bandana.

alternative title(s): Metal Gear 1987
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