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Visual Novel / Snatcher

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All controversy begins with DOUBT.

This story is dedicated to all those cyberpunks who fight against injustice and corruption every day of their lives.

On June 6, 1996,note  a chemical weapon known as Lucifer-Alpha under development in Russia, is released into the atmosphere, resulting in the death of 80% of the Eurasian and Eastern European population which in turn results in the death of half of the world's population. The contaminated area becomes uninhabitable for a decade, when Lucifer-Alpha mutates into a non-lethal form. This tragic event later becomes known as "The Catastrophe".

Fifty years later, a breed of artificial life-forms or bioroids known as "Snatchers" began appearing in the artificial island of Neo Kobe City, skinning their victims and taking their place in society. Nobody knows exactly what they are or where they come from. It is up to Gillian Seed, an amnesiac working for an Anti-Snatcher task force called J.U.N.K.E.R., and his Robot Buddy, Metal Gear, to track down the source of the Snatchers and discover Gillian's mysterious connections to them.


A graphic-adventure game written and directed by Hideo Kojima, set in a Cyberpunk universe (with clear Blade Runner overtones), with all of the quirkiness the game designer is known for, and more than a couple Shout-Outs to other Konami games and the Metal Gear series. Snatcher was first released in Japan for the PC-88 and MSX2 computer platforms in 1988. These original releases of the game ended the story on a cliffhanger at Act 2, which was intended to set up a sequel that was never made due to the prolonged development of these original versions. Instead, Konami remade the game as an RPG for the MSX2 titled SD Snatcher in 1990, which depicted the characters in a chibi art-style, but also concluded the story in its own matter. Kojima would later revisit the game in 1992, with a new version for the PC Engine Super CD-ROM2 add-on titled Snatcher CD-ROMantic, which not only updated the graphics to 16-bit standards and added CD-quality music and voice acting to certain scenes, but also concluded the story with the added Act 3, which drew some of the plot elements from SD Snatcher's extended ending.


Konami decided to localize Snatcher to English with a Sega CD port released exclusively in North America and Europe in 1994, although Kojima was not involved with this version (having moved on from Snatcher by this point to work on his next project). Because of its late release during the Sega CD's lifespan, this version received a low-print run of 250,00 copies and now regularly sells on eBay for about $600, as a result of being the only official English localization of the game. Snatcher would receive another set of re-releases in 1996 for the newly-released 32-bit consoles, the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, with these versions once again being specific to Japan.

A Spiritual Successor titled Policenauts was released for various platforms. The Snatchers also make an appearance in the "Jamais Vu" mission of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, in which they're fought by a certain cyborg ninja. A trailer for the mission can be found here.

Snatcher provides examples of:

  • Adventure Duo: Somewhat inverted as the main character is the Handsome Lech, and the Robot Buddy is the down to earth one.
  • Advertised Extra: Isabella Velvet is one of the few characters outside the JUNKER crew to get a bio in the manual. Despite this, she's a One-Scene Wonder who isn't even a voiced character in the console versions.
  • Aerith and Bob: Gillian, Jamie, Harry, Jean, Mika, Benson, Elijah, Katrina...Random? It's later revealed to be Elijah's full Sdrawkcab Name, as Random was built using his likeness.
  • After the End: As staple of cyberpunk. Lucifer-Alpha ends up killing off a significant portion of the human race.
  • Alternate Continuity: Compared to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and all the Metal Gear games that followed it. In Snatcher, the events of Metal Gear happened by means of explaining what Metal Gear's namesake is. However, given that Solid Snake is set in 1999, and the Catastrophe happens before that in the Snatcher continuity, the Metal Gear franchise pretty much ignores Snatcher aside from giving it an occasional Shout-Out.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: While the game itself is hardcore regardless which version, the Sega CD version had a few changes to make it a bit less goofy.
    • When the time bomb is about go off, Gillian has a comedic shock face in the PC Engine version. The Sega CD version uses a different portrait for Gillian where he is still scared, but is drawn more seriously.
    • After the Turbocycle falls off, a cutscene shows Gillian comically chasing Randam in the early Japanese versions of the game. The Sega CD version changes this to just Gillian holding on the back of Random motorcycle (even though the voice acting still suggests that Gillian is chasing after Random on foot), which was transition to the later Japanese ports for Saturn and PlayStation.
    • After Random blows himself to destroy Chin Shu-oh in Queens Hospital, Gillian and Metal end up being stuck inside a dark air duct. When Metal turns on his searchlight, it shows Gillian in a awkward pose with a frustrated expression and his legs sticking out in the earlier versions. This shot was cut completely removed from the Sega CD version and in the later 32-bit versions it was replaced by a new shot of disembodied bioroid head that flew by them as a result of the explosion.
  • Alcohol Hic: Harry, during a scene where he's drunk.
  • Alien Blood: Snatchers leak green 'blood' out of theirs mouths once defeated.
  • All There in the Manual: The manuals for the PC-88, MSX2, and PC-Engine versions all featured an elaborate plot guide with information about the game's backstory and setting. The American Sega CD manual is unfortunately very basic by comparison, including only the character bios and a guide to JUNKER HQ. The European Mega CD manual thankfully has the whole plot guide translated.
  • Always Night: Subverted in the ending sequence, when daylight finally returns to Neo Kobe. Just in time for a large chunk of the city to get blown off the map.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The plot of Snatcher takes place in the last week of December. "Jingle Bells" plays in Alton Plaza, and Napoleon even greets you in a Santa outfit at one point.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the ending, Gillian and the JUNKER team — what's left of it, anyway — depart to destroy more Snatcher factories around the world, starting with Moscow.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Snatchers have a conveniently-placed "vent" on their cranium, used to adjust the size of their skulls, which is their sole vulnerable spot.
  • Audio Adaptation: The Snatcher Sound Clip, a mini-CD that was given out as a Pre-Order Bonus to people who purchased the PC-Engine version, featured a short radio drama which involved Metal and Jamie pulling a prank on Gillian on the day of his birthday.
  • Badass Biker: Random Hajile, a badass Billy Idol / Sting / Yazan Gable / Roy Batty look-alike.
  • Badass Longcoat: Standard JUNKER attire as it turns out that JUNKER coats have a number of protective features. Both Gillian and his predecessor Jean wear one.
  • Big Applesauce: Neo Kobe is considered a melting pot of various races, like real life New York. This would explain why some of the Asian characters (eg. Napoleon and the food vendor sellers) sounded more American than their native countries.
  • Bowdlerise: When coming to North America, a small bit of nudity and off-color jokes were edited out, probably to keep the Teen rating. Katrina's age was also bumped up from 14 to 18, which makes Gillian's (largely untouched) Handsome Lechery all the creepier in retrospect.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: It's Hideo Kojima... What did you expect?
    • Painting the Medium: At one point, the player is asked to turn up the volume to listen for a faint noise, and to further achieve this, the menu sounds are quietened as well. When a loud explosion occurs shortly thereafter, Gillian complains his ears are ringing. "That's because you left the volume turned up." Metal cheerfully replies. To which Gillian blames the Snatchers.
  • The Cameo: Played with, as said cameos are Outer Heaven customers dressed up as various of characters, depending on your version.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Outer Heaven, Gillian mentions that he remembers playing Castlevania as a child, only to realize that he's far too young for that to be true. Turns out he isn't.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: An extension of Videogame Cruelty Potential, as Gillian can hit on most every woman he comes across, despite being married. Including in front of his wife.
    • Though this is justified, at least somewhat, by Gillian and his wife having split apart because neither of them can remember each other anymore.
    • You can even choose to hit on the 18-year-old daughter (14 in the original version) of the man whose decapitated corpse you were looking at just a little while ago. So, maybe drop the "chivalrous" part, depending on how you play the game.
  • Concealing Canvas: The vase picture in Cunningham's office.
  • Console Cameo
    • In the 8-bit versions of Snatcher, the computer used by Jean-Jack Gibson is either, a PC-88 or MSX2 depending on the platform the game is running. In later versions Gibson uses a PC-68, a completely fictional model.
    • A much more subtle example comes in the model numbers of Metal Gear and Little John in the 8-bit versions, which referenced the platforms that Snatcher was originally released for: "Metal Gear Mk. II/SR" (the "SR" was a specific model version of the PC-88) and "Little John msx011."
    • In the end of the CD-ROM versions, Metal Gear Mk. II is rebuilt into the console the game is running on depending on the version (i.e. a PC Engine Duo, a second model Genesis with Sega CD attachment, a PlayStation or a Sega Saturn.)
  • Cool Car: Gillian's Turbocycle. Contrary to the name, it's actually a 3-wheeled hover car, with joysticks instead of a steering wheel.
  • Crusading Widower: Jean is out to avenge his wife, who was slain by the Snatchers.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Somewhat justified in Queens Hospital. The first floor waiting area is identical to the secret basement, giving the illusion of two hospitals.
  • Cyberpunk: Heavenly inspired by Blade Runner, and a fair-sized Kitchen Sink thereof.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Elijah is rooted to a life-support apparatus, owning to own incredibly-advanced age. It's gotten to the point where his legs have been replaced by cybernetic tubing.
  • Death Cry Echo: Snatcher!Lisa.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die in one of the shooting sections, you get a choice of either continuing or quitting the game. Continuing resets you back in the shooting part, while quitting re-spawns you back to the last save point. Metal states this if you die in the first shooting section.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Gillian joins JUNKER in hopes of recovering his lost memory.
  • Dirty Communists: The Snatchers began life as a secret Soviet project.
  • Divided for Publication: Subverted. The original PC versions of Snatcher were written as a five act story, the original intention being the original Snatcher would include Acts 1 and 2, while Acts 3 through 5 were going to be saved for a potential sequel. However, Konami choose not to pursue development of a sequel after Kojima's team took too long to finish the game. Konami would instead conclude the story in SD Snatcher, an RPG spinoff, and its ending would later be adapted back to the later console versions of the original Snatcher, which added a new Act 3.
  • *Drool* Hello: Blood drips from the ceiling in Cunningham's office. Upon glancing up, you see his Snatcher grimacing back at you.
  • Dub Name Change: Many of the game's terminology were altered during the localization process. The acronym for JUNKER was something entirely different and more nonsensical, Gillian's Turbocycle was originally called the Tricycle in the Japanese version (which localizer Jeremy Blaustein considered too childish sounding), Junker's Rush chewing gum were originally called Junker's High, and many of the locations in the game referenced popular bands at the time such as Joy Division and Queen.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: How well you do on the Junker's Eye practice system determines how hard the game's later shootouts will be. It's possible to make them really easy by deliberately bungling said training system.
  • Dynamic Entry: Random's debut, in which he relieves Gillian of the task of shooting the Snatcher strangling him using a mirror as his guide.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Dr. Elijah Modnar and his father Petrovich were mentioned in the original PC-88 and MSX versions, but didn't actually appear until the CD-ROM versions. However, they both make an appearance in the SD Snatcher RPG remake.
  • Easter Egg: Try entering the names of Konami staff (Such as Hideo Kojima) in the JORDAN database at JUNKER HQ. Not to mention the bonus videophone numbers you can call triggering such funny little scenes such as Gillian attempting to hold a conversation with Jeremy Blaustein, Konami's translator.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: JUNKER has a database filled with extra information regarding Neo Kobe City, Snatchers, The Catastrophe, and other data.
  • The Engineer: Harry.
  • Evil Laugh: Chin Shu Oh.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Cancerous Snatchers often smell pretty horrible due to their melanomas.
  • Explosion Propulsion: Gillian and Metal Gear after outrunning a Time Bomb planted inside the factory.
  • Exposition Break: The finale is one comparable in length and impact to most Metal Gear games.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: When you encounter Freddy in the end of Act 1. Because the target areas where you need to kill him are undetectable, you really can't beat him. note 
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Harry is actually Gillian's son, having aged normally while his parents were put into a cryogenic freeze.
  • Fan Disservice: Following the shoot-out with Snatcher!Lisa, she falls backward onto the floor with her breast exposed... An image which is juxtaposed with her exploded head and metallic skull. The nudity was removed from the Sega CD and later version.
  • Fanservice: Gillian walks in on Katrina showering on his apartment prompting a Naked Freak-Out following by her kicking him out. When she comes out to talk to him, she has a Modesty Towel wrapped around her hair and body, and even does a Shaking Her Hair Loose when unwrapping the head towel. During the following conversation, the player has the option to try to investigate said towel.
    Gillian: I'm going to need to check out your towel...
    Katrina: Don't you ever quit!? I know what you have in mind!
  • Fantastic Aesop: Tries to claim we should all trust each other more... By besieging us with Ridiculously Human Robots who exploit that trust for the purpose of destabilizing society...and then using that destabilization to fulfill the Big Bad's authoritarian plans.
  • Fantastic Drug: Liquid Sky.
  • Fission Mailed: One Easter Egg in the game has Gillian attempt to pick up a girl, claiming that, as a JUNKER, he can protect her from Snatchers... Only for said girl to reply that she doesn't need protection as she's already been snatched! Metal's motion sensor goes off and the line "Game Over?" comes up complete with the Game Over music... Only for a very much alive Gillian to wake up a moment later, seemingly having dreamt it up or lost consciousness.
  • Flashback Effects: Elijah Modnar's flashbacks are shown in a blood-red negative exposure, like an undeveloped roll of film.
  • Fortune Teller: A sort of Easter Egg. She's actually just a hacker who uses Gillian's retinal patterns and pulls up his personal info.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: There's an easy, portable test to determine if someone is a Snatcher or not. It requires a search warrant to use on civilians, but in true Blade Runner fashion, apparently no one thought to regularly test the people who are in charge of destroying Snatchers
  • Foreshadowing: While being taken to Chief Cunningham's office, Mika describes him as the real Big Boss of Junker HQ Guess who ends up being an enemy in disguise?
  • Fun with Acronyms: Who wouldn't want a business card stating their occupation as a "Japanese Undercover Neuro-Kinetic Elimination Ranger"? Probably the ones who would want "Naked Kind" in the middle, vis-à-vis the Japanese versions. Judgment Uninfected Naked Kind & Execute Ranger, for the sake of completeness.
  • Gender Flip: The voice heard at the airport in Act III. In Japan, it's a girl, but was flipped in the Sega CD ports. In both the PS1 and Saturn ports, they actually kept both voices. This helps out since Neo Kobe is a melting pot, but still Japan.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • You can get Gillian to call a phone sex line in the Sega CD port, exclusively added for that version.
    • He can also call a prostitute with another number from the same source. She correctly deduces that the reason people in the game can only talk about sex in double speak is because someone is watching them.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Chin Shu Oh reveals his true Snatcher nature in this way.
  • Going by the Matchbook: Finding a matchbook from the Outer Heaven bar is one of the red herring clues to the identity of the Snatcher that has infiltrated the JUNKER's.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Benson Snatcher's final words in the original 8-bit versions is said in Russian (Желаю вам усцеха, "I wish you luck").
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: The game predicts the destruction of the Soviet Union by an airborne biological weapon in 1991 in the Japanese version and 1996 in the English version. Never mind the fact that the Soviet Union was dissolved by the time the English version was released in 1994. (The original PC88 version was released three years before the Union's collapse.)
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: When you find the decaying skeletons. Bit of advice: When exploring the hospital, don't eat anything. Just trust us on this.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Katrina's hair color is blue in the game, even though it's listed as "dark brown" in the Snatcher Pilot Disk and colored that way in most official illustrations while Lisa Nielsen (a witness in Act 1) is described as being raven-haired by Metal, despite her hair being green in-game.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Mika explains how to shoot your Blaster at the start of the game. Metal Gear will take over in explaining other new game controls for the rest of the game after you meet him.
  • Hover Board: While inspecting the board in Surfer Dude Ivan Rodríguez's apartment, Gillian comments that he must be a recreational "air surfer."
  • Human Popsicle: Gillian and Jamie were both put into suspended animation during the '90s, and haven't aged since.
  • Human Shield: Cunningham takes Mika hostage for this purpose.
  • Infodump: Reading through every entry in JORDAN's Fact File can easily take an hour or more, depending on how fast of a reader you are.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Die and refuse to continue in the final shooting scene, you will hear a voice clip of Gillian saying, "Ugh! No, not here... Jamie, I tried... Ugh..." presumably that he is dying. Accidentally shoot Jamie during the final shooting scene, on the other hand, you will see a cutscene of Gillian cradling Jamie and saying, "Jamie! Jamie! Oh, no, what have I done?" And if that happens, you can't continue and are immediately sent back to the title screen.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Gillian shoving his gun barrel into Ivan's mouth. Even after more or less concluding that Ivan isn't a Snatcher, Gillian STILL feels the need to shove the blaster into Ivan's mouth.
  • Jump Scare: Used liberally. Jamie answering the videophone while wearing a Snatcher mask is the most glaring example. Also, once you reach Queens Hospital with Random, be prepared once you see that an inactive Snatcher you could've sworn was there a second ago has disappeared.
  • Klingon Promotion: More or less on Gillian's part. In Act 3, Metal points out that Gillian is now the highest ranking authority JUNKER has... Having killed a Snatcher posing as Chief Cunningham, the real one being dead for a few months.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Sunlight. Snatchers' artificial skin is very sensitive to UV Rays and develops cancer quickly if exposed to too much sunlight, which is probably why most Snatchers show up during winter. Copious use of sunblock is one of the telltale signs you may be dealing with someone who's not human...
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Gillian and Jamie were originally Soviet scientists working alongside Elijah Mondar. Unbeknownst to Jamie, Gillian was also a CIA spy.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: A Snatcher demo disc (known as the Pilot Disk) was released for the PC Engine a few months prior to the full version of the game which contains, among other content, a trailer rendered in real-time. Since Snatcher had already been released for Japanese PCs prior to this, the trailer has no qualms about spoiling most of Acts 1 and 2, namely by showing who dies and which characters are Snatchers.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The original 8-bit versions features people dressed up as not-so subtly renamed versions of Kamen Rider, C-3PO, a Xenomorph, Cornelius and Kanegon at the Outer Heaven costume party, along with a bartender dressed as the Metaluna Mutant. The PC Engine version adds Guyver to the mix. They were all replaced by Konami characters in subsequent versions (including the bartender, who dresses up as the Golem from Salamander in the 32-bit versions), avoiding this trope altogether.
  • Let's Play: Done by Slowbeef twice.
  • Lighter and Softer: SD Snatcher, a super deformed version of the MSX game, plays this totally straight.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The theme of Joy Division/Plato's Cavern. It's only heard while in that district of town, which becomes inaccessible after Act 1.
  • Love Makes You Evil: The reason Elijah Modnar continues the Snatcher project long after it was supposed to be discontinued. When he grows too old though, it is later replaced by delusions of World Domination.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: Somewhat justified, as Gillian notes that "nobody uses those things anymore" upon finding a floppy disk.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: To say that Modnar took it hard when Jamie rejected him is an understatement. He leaked the Lucifer-Alpha virus to kill off everyone on the continent, then when that didn't take, developed a horde of robots with which to repopulate the Earth.
  • Mister Muffykins: Referenced rather darkly, as a new pet craze in Neo Kobe is animals that can be used as cute purses, and tend to be internally lacerated by sharp objects.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Not exactly subtle. Chin Shu Oh expressly compares the Snatcher's fear-mongering tactics to that of the Nazis.
  • Nightmare Face: A recurring theme with the Snatchers, whose faces usually end up in bad shape.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Averted. Gillian overhears Katrina's Evil-Detecting Dog (Alice) barking at the trees outside, but it turns out to be nothing. Later on, however, Alice's disemboweled body is found in the yard, having been thrown through a closed window. In the Japanese version, her body is still twitching.
  • No Ending: In the 8-bit releases, the planned ending was actually left out due to time constraints, though most of the story is wrapped up with a blatant Sequel Hook. This was fixed for the CD-ROM versions.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • While the game doesn't exactly call you for cheating, if you get any of the answers to Napoleon's password(s) correctly without looking at JORDAN, Metal will ask Gillian how he knew about it, with Gillian responding he probably guessed it (either if you looked online with looking at JORDAN, already knew the answer or like Gillian himself guessed it).
    • Even if you know Freddy is the snatcher and not Ivan, the game can't let you interrogate Freddy because of how the game is programmed.
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • There is an optional scene where Gillian can interact with a woman in Alton Plaza. However, she reveals herself to be a Snatcher and kills Gillian, prompting the text: "GAME OVER?," to appear along with the music. Gillian wakes from it, realizing it was a nightmare, subverting this.
    • Played straight if you lose the final shooting scene in Act 3 and choose not to continue, or if you accidentally shoot Jamie at the end.
  • Not My Driver: Gillian hops into a taxicab, only to discover that the Not Quite Dead Chin Shu Oh is the cabbie.
  • Not Quite Dead: Random survives his own Suicide Attack by virtue of being a Snatcher himself.
  • Nuke 'em: The world intended to use nukes on Neo Kobe, just to make sure there are no Snatchers ever. Thanks to Metal Gear, the military uses their Kill Sat to eradicate the cathedral instead.
  • Number of the Beast: The Catastrophe occurred on 6/6/96.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Despite how violent the game is, the only swear words commonly used are "damn", "hell", and "crap"..
  • Oddly Small Organization: JUNKER consists of a mechanic, a "Chief" who does nothing but sit at his desk all day, a glorified receptionist, and only two agents who are on active duty. There were supposedly four other guys, but they were killed or incapacitated just before the start of the game. By the end of the game, Gillian has become JUNKER's top-ranking officer by default!
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. JUNKER has a Benson Cunningham and a Harry Benson as employees. This becomes a problem for Gillian when he finds evidence of one of them being a Snatcher, but has nothing to go for other than the name Benson.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Chin Shu Oh shoots Gillian and Random in their arm and leg.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: "You're Insane!! Humanity won't be so easily dominated! You underestimate the strength of the human spirit!" —Gillian.
  • Production Throwback: Since this was Kojima's first game after the original Metal Gear, there's quite a few references throw in. Most notably Gillian's robotic partner, who was built after the "Metal Gear menace from the late 20th century" and whose leitmotif theme is the "Theme of Tara" from the original MSX game. Other references include Benson Cunningham's former membership within FOXHOUND, the Outer Heaven nightclub, and the inclusion of Dr. Petrovich as one of the developers behind the Frankenstein Project that created the Snatchers.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Act 3, which was first featured in the console versions, was based on the final portion of the game that was added in SD Snatcher.
  • Removed from the Picture: Harry's childhood photograph of himself cuts out the portion showing his parents. It turns out that his parents are none other than Gillian and Jaime themselves, who were kept in cryogenic stasis for decades, causing them to be physically younger than their now 55-year-old son.
  • Replicant Snatching: The Trope Half-Namer. Fittingly enough, Blade Runner is the other half.
  • The Reveal: Metal Gear identifies a decomposing body as that of the real Benson Cunningham.
  • Robot Religion: The Snatchers worship Elijah Modnar as their creator, and even attend church in his name.
  • Robotic Reveal: Several characters turn out to be Snatchers.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: Doing well in the practice gun shooting sections makes the in-game sequences almost impossible. It is recommended to do intentionally poorly to keep the difficulty down. And even then, if you're running the game on an emulator (and, let's face it, in this day and age, you probably are,) you'll either have to be a keyboard magician or, if you're using your mouse as a Light Gun stand-in, aim high with your cursor to compensate for that tiny arrow not lining up directly with your shots.
  • Say Your Prayers: You have the option of saying this to Metal Gear when Gillian's Turbocycle goes haywire. Averted when Gillian admits to Metal that he's not the praying type. Still, it does open up the command that allows for escape, and a delightful fourth wall observation.
  • Scare Chord: Two different scare cords play whenever something bad or shocking is about to happen.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Random Hajile's name is "Elijah Modnar" spelled backward, a reference to Random being a bioroid created in Elijah's image.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The 8-bit computer versions ends with a shot of Gillian aiming and shooting his gun towards the screen.
  • Secret Underground Passage: The hidden tunnel to the 'real' Queens Hospital.
  • Setting Update: All the dates in the Sega CD were moved five years ahead from the Japanese version. Thus, the date of the Catastrophe was moved from June 6, 1991 to 1996 (allowing the translation to shoehorn a 666 reference,) while the actual year the game takes place was changed from 2042 to 2047. This was because the English version was made in 1994, three years after the date when the Catastrophe took place in the Japanese version.
  • Sequel Hook: The PC versions ends the game at Act 2 after Gillian destroys the Benson Snatcher, with Gillian still having no recollection of his past and the Snatcher menace still a threat to Neo Kobe City. Act 3, which was added in the console versions, ends a more conclusive (but still open) note, with Gillian and Metal flying off to Moscow to destroy the remaining Snatchers at the Kremlin.
    "Throughout history, suspicion has always bred conflict. The real conflict, though, resides in people's hearts. This conflict has just begun."
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Once Gillian and Metal Gear find out about Queens hospital in the second act, the game ends having less comedic moments. Chin Shu Oh reveals to the heroes what the snatchers' plan is, Benson Cunningham reveals to be a snatcher and killed Harry, and final straw was when Jamie is kidnapped. By the time the third act rolls around, there was hardly any funny moments and Gillian and Metal have to stop the snatcher invasion before the government nukes Neo Kobe. In fact, Metal splits with Gillian at the end.
  • Shooting It Out Of Their Hands: Gillian blasting the gun out of Ivan's mitts.
  • Shout-Out: In the Sega CD version, the Outer Heaven bar is filled with clients dressed in Konami costumes, with characters dressed as Goemon, Sparkster, Simon and Dracula, Bill and Lance, and Mr. Ueda. The PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions replaces Bill and Lance with Light and Pastel, Sparkster with Pawapuro-kun, and Mr. Ueda with "Designman." The bartender was also redesigned to resemble the Golem boss from Salamander.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: In the Japanese version several locations in the game were named after popular '80s bands such as the Joy Division costume shop (which became Plato's Cavern in the English version), the Alphaville computer (Alpha-One in the English version), and Queen Hospital (which was pluralized to Queens in the English version).
  • Signs of Disrepair: There's a sign in Central Plaza saying GREAT MEALS. Also, "QUEENS" Hospital reads as "OLEEN" Hospital thanks to a partially burnt-out neon sign.
  • Sinister Subway: The Snatchers use this to navigate around the city in the daytime.
  • SkeleBot 9000: Judging by Hideo Kojima's unabashed love for James Cameron, saying that the Snatchers are based on the T-800s from Terminator isn't that big of a stretch.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Several characters have their names spelled differently depending on which version of the game. Notably, Random Hajile is known as Randam Hajile in Japan. ... Thus making Elijah's full name "Elijah Madnar". This wouldn't be the only Madnar in Kojima's works.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Gillian's first field assignment is to go assist Gibson after he sends a message that he is pinned down by suspected Snatchers in an abandoned factory. One would think this is cause for some urgency, but once you arrive outside the factory, the game does not allow you to proceed inside until you meticulously examine everything in sight. Only once you hear a blood-curdling scream will Gillian and Metal Gear decide they should rush in.
  • Suddenly Harmful Harmless Object: The fake "skeleton" in Queens Hospital is anything but.
  • Super Identikit: The JUNKER computer room's "Montage Mode."
  • Take Over the World: Most of Chin Shu Oh's Motive Rant revolves around this.
  • invokedTechnology Marches On: Jean's floppy disk. Partially justified in that Jean is shown to have old-fashioned tastes, since his computer is a PC-68 from the 1980's.
  • Take Your Time: Despite a time bomb is going off, you can take the time all you want if you don't pick to leave right away, as the bomb itself doesn't go off until you do leave.
  • Throw-Away Country: Most of Russia and continental Eurasia a good 50 years before the game begins, due to a seemingly unrelated virus. SD Snatcher does a good job of tying it into the plot, though.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Gillian and his wife were part of the team that invented the Snatchers 50 years ago and were cryogenically stored.
  • Transplant: Metal Gear Mk. II eventually found work as Old Snake's Item Caddy in Metal Gear Solid 4, while Cunningham got a Race Lift and was turned into a Scary Black Man in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Half of everyone else, though, couldn't score anything bigger than their own cards in the Metal Gear Ac!d series.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Actually a three-keyed lock. To unlock the rooms in Queens Hospital requires the input of Gillian, Random, and Metal Gear simultaneously.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Averted. There are two parts in Act 1 of the game where the player can be locked out from progressing further in the game for doing the wrong thing until a certain amount of turns are passed. Those being the player hitting on Katrina (never mind that her father just died!,) and showing the JUNKER ID at Outer Heaven. It's basically a video game equivalent to a time out.
  • Updated Re-release: Since the original PC-88 and MSX2 versions released in 1988 were Obvious Betas, Kojima and his team saw fit to remake the game four years later as a CD-ROM game for the PC Engine, adding not only the originally planned ending, but also improved graphics and voice acting. The PC Engine version was released as Snatcher CD-ROMantic. The later Sega CD localization and PS/Saturn re-releases are based on this version.
  • Videogame Caring Potential:
    • There is an optional scene involving an elderly man hanging with the freemen. One of them explained that the old man is sick. You have the option to call the video phone number provided to arrange for the old man's son to pick him up. Doing so nets you a scene.
    • As tempting as hitting on Katrina is, if you don't do it, she'll start to warm up to Gillian when you did all you can for investigating her home.
    Katrina: Can't you stay here a little longer?
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Not exactly cruel, but given the situation, if you try to hit on Katrina (even though her dad died moments ago), she locks you out of her home until a certain number of turns unlocks it.
    • Similarly (albeit not really cruel), showing the JUNKER ID to Isabella nets a similar result.
  • Voodoo Shark: Why does nobody ever use the easily portable, perfectly effective, completely non-invasive Snatcher detector without a warrant? Respect for civil rights! This would be a perfectly fine explanation if it didn't completely undermine the Snatchers' plans. How are they supposed to turn people against each other out of fear and mistrust when people are that trusting? Unless, of course, the Snatchers themselves initiated a crackdown to cultivate paranoia.
  • Weakened by the Light: The artificial skin of Snatchers is incredibly vulnerable to UV-ray born cancer, forcing them into largely nocturnal existences. Even then they will use copious amounts of sunscreen.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the PC Engine version, Mika and Katrina are nowhere to be seen in the ending and not indication is made of what became of them since their last appearance. The expanded ending in the Sega CD localization clears up what happened to them and they both make an unvoiced cameo at the end of the 32-bit versions as well.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Spend too much money ordering food and drink at Outer Heaven then go back to Chief Cunningham in order to have him scold the hell out of you for wasting time and money on the job.
  • You Didn't Ask: Metal Gear knows everything about Gillian and Jamie's pasts, but is forbidden from talking about it.
  • Your Head Asplode: Freddy getting shot by Random.

"Throughout history, suspicion has always bred conflict. The real conflict, though, resides in people's hearts. This conflict has just begun."

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