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YMMV: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • Anticlimax Boss: A common complaint leveled at the Shagohod, due to the sheer excitement generated both by Sokolov's championing of the weapon's power and the high-energy chase scene that happens before the player gets to face it head on. It's possible to immobilize it by shooting out the augers (which the player's support team will tell them to do if they happen to call them during the fight), which makes it very easy to simply snipe Volgin. Of course, the Shagohod has already been damaged from the explosion on the bridge.
  • Anvilicious: The Cold War, and any conflict that bases itself around the idea of an eternal, absolute enemy is utterly pointless.
    • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "There is no such thing as an enemy in absolute terms." The entire game is built around that message, and reminds you of it every chance it gets. Its relevance to The Boss' life is what gives it such a huge emotional weight.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Best Boss Ever: Though the members of the Cobra Unit don't add much to the story (see Filler below), the actual boss fights more than make up for it. Probably the best of them is The End. Though the fight against The Boss herself definitely rivals him, being a plain awesome fight, while at the same time slamming the Central Theme of the game home, making it one of the most emotional boss fights ever created.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Fury dies. Then he turns into a huge flaming skull which chases Snake around and explodes. This is never, ever explained or even mentioned again.
    • Also, Snake's Nightmare. It was supposed to be a preview of a game in development, Guy Savage. This game was never mentioned again, making it a real life example.
    • Though the Nightmare only partially qualifies in that Snake and Sigint DO talk about it if you call him immediately afterward, after said conversation it's never mentioned again.
    • The Pain. All the antagonists in the series have some sort of backstory. Not The Pain however. To this day, nobody knows how he ended up with bee powers.
  • Cargo Ship: Snake and the custom 1911.
    • And his boxes.
  • Complete Monster: Colonel Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin is a Sadist who, within minutes of appearing, fires a Davy Crocket nuke at his countrymen just to give it "a test drive," knowing full well that he won't be blamed for it, even when one of his subordinates is clinging to his arm, begging him not to. Then come one of the most vicious Cold-Blooded Torture scenes in video games. It's clear he didn't care if the torture victim lives or dies before getting the proper information, as long as he gets his kicks. Then we also have the fact that Volgin, long before the events of the game, had participated in the Katyn Forest Massacre as a NKVD member, where he managed to kill over 20,000 Polish officers with his bare hands, and not only that, but he also removed their blindfolds before beating them to a pulp, and he killed several people in both the Hungarian Revolution and the East Germany Uprising, which he not only had absolutely no regrets, but even boasted about killing 100,000 anti-communist activists.
  • Ear Worm: "I'm stiiiiillll in a dreeaaammm, Snake Eater..."
  • Even Better Sequel: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty showed a lot of potential that was only fully realized in this game. Add in a simpler, but still complex, and powerful character-driven story, and even those who didn't like MGS2, were won over by Snake Eater.
  • Foe Yay/Ho Yay: Ocelot and Snake, though it's a little one sided.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In one of the videos for Secret Theater, Para-Medic and Snake argue over whether Snake should kill and eat The Boss's horse, with The Boss becoming incensed enough to run off in a train fashion and presumably send some GRU soldiers to kill them in retribution. This funny video becomes a lot less funny when Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker has Big Boss being forced to shoot The Boss's horse to put it out of its misery after it ended up severely injured from attempting to scale and falling off the mountainous Nicaraguan/Costa Rican border in pursuit of Peace Walker.
    • EVA states that the only time she gets off of her bike is when she falls in love or falls over dead. Come Metal Gear Solid 4...
    • A mixture of this trope and Harsher in Hindsight, depending on how you view the mask's appearance: Because Big Boss lost the use of his right eye, and thus has to wear an eyepatch afterwards, any attempts at having him wear the Raikov Mask will show the mask constantly having its right "eye" permanently closed. Let's just say that Raiden will end up having a similar experience to both Big Boss and Solidus Snake where he ends up having his left eye removed thanks to a fight with Sam and using a bandana as a makeshift eyepatch in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
    • Sigint's nightmare may seem all crass and funny it first til you notice that said walking turd monster was a huge tank with legs launching missiles at everything. What else is a walking tank on two legs that can launch missiles at everything? A Metal Gear, a version of which Sigint, who later in his life becomes the DARPA Chief, would go on to assist in the development of, ironically letting his nightmare come true.
  • Game Breaker: The Photo Camo feature in the 3DS version, which generates in-game camouflages from photos taken with the 3DS' cameras, can make camouflages that make the Camo Index 100%, normally only available with the Stealth Camouflage item or the Moss Camo (obtained by holding up The End, and you get a 100% camo rating only in the area where you fight him, which has no enemies, and which you leave immediately after the battle). And it's available at the very start of the game.
    • The game gives you a silenced handgun almost almost right off the bat. The tranquilizer gun is significantly harder to use this time around, due to no Laser Sight and the ridiculous size of it's silencer, but the M1911A1 is practically a buffed SOCOM, since the gun now takes up less of the screen, making it easier to use in first-person. Again, ridiculous accuracy, making it capable of across-the-map headshots, common ammo, and on top of that it's CQC compatible. Abusing it means you should never be in Alert mode. Almost seems to be lampshaded with Snake's infamous Description Porn when EVA first gives it to him, and who goes on to give a 3 minute lecture to Sigint about how great a gun it is.
    • The shotgun in a straight fight. A single shell can and will knock over several mooks and it can even take The Boss off her feet. Many multiplayer servers actually banned it for this reason.
  • Good Bad Bugs
    • If you heal your crossbow wounds during the fight with The Fear but neglect to remove the bolts themselves, eventually your health will regenerate to full anyway. By that point, you will no longer be able to remove the bolts, and you spend the rest of the game running around as a human pincushion.
    • The Infinite Puke Glitch.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the Japanese version, Naked Snake is Akio Ohtsuka, who is also the voice of Solid Snake naturally (as well as Solidus Snake), while Zero is voiced by Banjō Ginga, who previously voiced Solid Snake's nemesis, Liquid Snake. While Snake and Zero were friends, their relationship began to resembled that of Solid and Liquid's to say the least, as we find out in Metal Gear Solid 4.
    • The Boss and Ocelot don't get along very much, which is hilarious because she is his mother, though neither of them are aware of this. It gets even more hilarious when you realize Big Boss considered her a mother, and her real son was gay for the adoptive one.
    • Naked Snake having nightmares relating to Vampires gets hysterical after Hideo Kojima, the series creator, ends up involved in the creation of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
    • The radio conversation with Para-Medic where she speculates that attack dogs might be replaced with robotic duplicates becomes even more hysterical with the advent of BigDog a year later.
    • The pre-fight images for Boss Rush in Subsistence gets even funnier once Solid Snake is included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which possesses a similar pre-fight screen.
    • Mixed in with What Could Have Been: At one point, the developers considered making phase 2 of the Shagohod be a fusion between it and a WIG aircraft, with it then transforming and launching the gun, and assuming that Volgin joyriding it was still present, it would have likely resulted in Snake and Volgin fighting it out on the WIG. Apparently, Volgin had taken some notes from Johann Schmidt, and these notes would eventually be reviewed by Albert Wesker.
    • Raiden being mistaken for Raikov by Volgin when the former ends up inadvertently trapping himself in a jail cell in a failed attempt to kill Naked Snake in the Secret Theatre film "Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser" becomes a bit more amusing when Portable Ops reveals that Raikov does end up in a Jail cell, although at a completely different place, and was intended to be in there.
    • The Updated Re-release added an achievement for interrogating soldiers called "Tell Me Where the Bomb Is". Now consider who Big Boss' new voice actor is in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain...
  • I Knew It: Why would a hero whose motto is "loyalty to the end" betray her country? She says it herself near the beginning: "I didn't." That she's a Fake Defector never really crosses Snake's mind, but everyone playing the game expected that to be the case. That it doesn't turn out okay for The Boss in the end... that's the real nasty twist.
  • It Was His Sled: Naked Snake is Big Boss. In an interesting variation, knowing this twist beforehand isn't detrimental to the experience, as it makes the game's role as a prequel more explicit.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ocelot, obviously.
  • Magnum Opus/So Cool It's Awesome: Snake Eater is regularly ranked by fans as the best game in the entire Metal Gear franchise. Considering there's not a single game in the series with much of a negative reception, that's saying quite a bit.
  • Mary Sue: The Boss has actually been accused of being this lately. How she always says the right thing, how she always wins every fight, how everyone in both this game and MGS 4 laud her to the point of ridiculousness, how she has a tragic backstory on top of it all. The fact is, she often comes off as waytoo perfect, or the people in game often treat her so perfectly.
  • Memetic Badass: The Ladder. So much so, that it's listed as a boss on the Metal Gear wiki!
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "You've created a time paradox! You can't go changing the future like that!"
    • Dubbing the Snake Eater theme song over sequences of game characters climbing really long ladders.
    • Young Ocelot spawned a few as well, such as "You're pretty good" and the cowboy hand gesture.
      • "MROW!"
    • Continuing the trend, a major antagonist uses the legendary phrase "it's not over yet!"
  • Memetic Sex God: Despite EVA's plentiful (fake) breasts and Absolute Cleavage, this honour still goes to Big Boss. And by the look of things, his sons seem to have inherited every bit of his charm.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Volgin crosses this right after he's introduced, launching a portable nuclear warhead at a rival research facility just to "give it a test drive." The whole time, Ocelot is clinging to his arm, begging him not to. When one of the greatest Magnificent Bastards in history disapproves of you betraying your countrymen like that, you know you've crossed the line big time.
  • Narm:
    • The Cobras can be really narmy when yelling their names every five seconds. The Pain gets extra points for spitting bees.
    • The way the Cobras die kills all the drama. The End's teeth fly away a second after his heart-touching speech.
  • Narm Charm: In the ending, after Snake shoots The Boss, her scar proceeds to turn into an actual snake and crawl away.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The rather infamous cutscene where Volgin beats Snake to a pulp shortly after being captured.
    • The torture sequence qualifies. According to the Director's Commentary, they even had to remove a potential questionaire game in the torture sequence specifically because the torture itself was far too disturbing as it was, and adding it in would have increased it.
    • The boss fight with The Sorrow, which is implied to take place as part of a near-death experience for Snake. You are tormented by the souls of everyone you've killed in the game thus far and they all appear in a very graphic fashion,
  • Player Punch: The death of The Boss is generally considered one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, Player Punch in the entire series. Only made worse by the fact that the player has to pull the trigger.
  • Polished Port: The 3DS version reverts to the original MGS3 framerate, which some may find irritating, particularly during the massive amounts of fire appearing during The Fury's boss fight. However, it does add some new features from the fourth game, such as crouch walking and third person aiming, and makes the CQC controls much easier to use. The Vita version also uses the original framerate, but still manages to look miles better than the original.
  • Recycled Script: The basic plot premise of the game, and a love interest who abandons Snake in Alaska, is a rehash of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: It can get a little irritating having to pause the game and flick through the various menus every time Snake is injured, particularly with bosses like Volgin who injure you almost every time they hit you. Ditto for the camouflage system, which is a pretty cool idea, it's just time-consuming to constantly readjust your uniform. This is probably why the camouflage system in MGS4 was changed to an automatic system and why health restoration went back to the old "eat ration, gain back life" mechanic. Supposedly justified by the game taking place during the freakin' Cold War, so advanced methods of camouflage and healing (the latter due to nanomachines) hadn't been invented yet.
    • It is not only that but the bag is very annoying. Snake can only a carry a limited amount of object to change freely. Whenever you need something else you need pause the menu.
    • Splitter, Tiger Stripe. Done. If you're good enough, you won't need anything else.
    • The CQC. Try not killing a soldier accidentally during an interrogation.
    • When standing back up, Snake will get on his knees. In order to stand up, the player must press X again. Many a time, simply trying to walk too soon will result in Snake going back into the prone position again.
  • Squick: Knocking out Eva near the ending will cause her to moan in her sleep (largely so that the player can't cheese the section by doing so, since she alerts enemies by doing this). Each of the three moans is "Mmm...Oh, (someone), that feels so good." The first is Snake, the second is The Boss and the third is, um, "Fido." It is very hard not to think Horrible Thoughts about the latter after the previous two.note 
    • Radio calls made beforehand, however, will lessen the squick factor of the latter two somewhat, as EVA mentions that she dreams about The Boss helping her with luggage, and for her dog, Fido, to be pottytrained.
    • Just read her medical history, you learn she has Proctitis. And breast enhancements! Proctitis? Huh, wonder what that... OH GOD NO. For those of you too scared to look it up, it's an inflammation of the rectum. Need I say more?
    • Raikov's underwear.note 
    • The way that The End bulges out his eyeballs. He does that trick in all but one cutscene he is in.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Not only is the Raiden expy portrayed as an absolutely terrible human being, the mission demands he be at very least beaten up and hidden in a locker in only his embarassing underwear. Subsistence's "Secret Theater" deals this to the real Raiden as well.
  • That One Level: Fighting Volgin? Piece of cake. Fighting both forms of the Shagohod? No problem. Escorting a wounded EVA through the woods? Hair-pulling excruciating! She loses stamina fast and constantly has to eat to keep it up. Knocking her out or tranquing her doesn't help either because she moans in her sleep, alerting enemy soldiers who might be nearby. Good luck keeping your sanity (and your food) with this one!
    • Just leave a series of Claymore mines on the path behind you, and the soldiers will never get close enough to present a problem. The alert won't even go off if they can't actually see you when they explode.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Cobra unit minus The Boss.
  • What an Idiot: Volgin. The guy reveals secret information when he is supposed be interrogating Naked Snake... Twice! The worst thing is that in the second one he knew that the base was going to explode and he just stays there with the enemy.
  • What Could Have Been: Early press releases stated that the player would be able to set traps for enemy soldiers, similar to the traps that the player must negotiate in the game. Also, there wouldn't be prescribed paths through the jungle, allowing for more freedom in navigation. These features were cut when the PS2 was found to be unable to process these.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Metal Gear Solid 2 had very much divided the fanbase as to its virtues, with many disliking the postmodernist plot and large amounts of backtracking (as well as Raiden). 3 has a much more straightfoward plot, minimal backtracking, you play as Solid Snake's father, and was duly greeted with cries that all was forgiven.
  • The Woobie: Quite a few characters, actually.
    • Naked Snake reluctantly participates in a mission that he knows full well will result in his mentor's death since it was either that or be falsely branded an accomplice to his mentor's supposed treason and then executed, and his woobieness increases after he learns that The Boss never even committed treason at all, that it was a Fake Defection gone wrong.
    • The Boss also qualifies, as she had a lot of things taken away from her, including her fathernote , her sonnote , any chances of her having another childnote , her lovernote , and eventually even her own life.note 
    • Raikov, retroactively, seemed to be of a Jerkass Woobie: His later appearance in Portable Ops did not highlight his abusive nature outside the reference to his past abuse when recruiting him, and he was also shown to hide in a bathroom when his men are confronting an enemy in Snake Eater. These facts as well as some evidence from Portable Ops seemed to imply that his abuse of the soldiers isn't simply due to sadism for sadism's sake, but because he thinks that's how he should gain Volgin's favor.
    • Sokolov. All the man wanted to do was make rockets for space exploration. Then he gets roped into developing weapons for the Soviets. He escapes over the Berlin Wall in an operation that saw him traveling 600 miles to be reunited with his wife and daughter, at the end of which he was so exhausted he had to go to the hospital. He leaves the hospital only to find he's going back to end the Cuban Missile Crisis and is dragged off begging for help. When the next rescue attempt ends in him getting abducted again, he finds himself working for Volgin on a weapon of mass destruction. The events of the game see him being humiliated by Ocelot, manipulated by EVA and shot in the knees, tortured and (it's heavily implied) murdered by Volgin. He shows up alive in Portable Ops, but the canon status of that entry is disputed.

Snake! You can't do that! The future will be changed! You'll create a time paradox!

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