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Replaying Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater eighteen years later


Jamie John
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On 20/07/2022 at 18:07, Nick R said:

 

Awkward button contortions were required on the PS2, but from what I remember it's even more awkward on the 360 because it doesn't have the pressure-sensitive face buttons, so functions like raising/lowering the gun to threaten an enemy without firing had to be given dedicated buttons. (IIRC, the same goes for the original Xbox port of MGS2 Substance.)

 

I never had an issue with aiming with the left stick, though; for some reason my brain just doesn't think of MGS's first person view like a twin-stick FPS, so aiming with the "wrong" thumb doesn't feel weird. (Except, that is, for the FPS missions in MGS2's VR Missions, which tried to force a control scheme designed for first person aiming while standing still into an FPS with full walk movement! The perfect example of Japanese developers not being into making first person shooters.)

 

 

The definitive MGS3 tutorial was by James Howell on YouTube. This is his video on CQC - however he's on PS3 so the pressure-sensitive commands are different in 360.

 

 

 

 

Have you tried switching the camera mode to the one introduced in MGS3 Subsistence, which is a conventional third person action game camera? I can't remember the command to toggle it (stick click maybe?) but it's better in most situations.

 

I couldn’t play the remakes of Metal Gear Solid on the Xbox One due to the controls “feeling wrong”. Same with Yakuza on the Xbox for that matter.

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Play session 6

 

Following on from my nosedive into the crevice, it turned out that the cave I'd landed in was pretty dark.

 

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As luck would have it, however, my cigar had remained lit in my backpack the entire time, despite the various bogs I'd waded through, so I was able to use its meagre light to get my bearings.

 

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Trying not to step on any frogs, crabs or cave-dwelling snakes, I fumbled around, looking for an exit, but ended up running around in circles, my cigar whittling away my health the entire time. I do tend to prefer the particularly cancerous brands, so it's my own fault, really.

 

Eventually, I stumbled across a torch, and once I'd recovered it from its former occupant (

 

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), I was able to find my way a lot more easily, using it to swat away some annoying bats with mixed results.

 

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At last, though, I found the light at the end of the tunnel, but my relief was short-lived: those pesky bees were back again!

 

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This time they were accompanied by their keeper, one of The Boss's 'sons' who I'd seen in the chopper when she'd relieved me of Sokolov. I'd been privately referring to this guy in my head as 'Mr Bumble', but he was actually called 'The Pain', which I know because he kept on saying 'The Pain!' a lot.

 

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This guy was a real piece of work, some sort of bee cheerleader, able to get them all riled up with his pom-poms and gymnastic routines (he was oddly spry for a larger man).

 

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He sent wave after wave of bee bombs at me, and even had a tommy gun made of bees that he whipped out every so often, laughing hysterically, reminding me of a Prohibition-era gangster - an Al Capone sort (only with lots of bees).

 

Mid-way through our battle, he tore off his bandana to reveal his disgustingly disfigured face beneath and then started to shoot me with belly bees that he literally spat out of his mouth. In other circumstances, this would have been pretty cool, but those fuckers stung, forcing me to dive beneath the surface of the water that surrounded the platform he was doing his bee dancing on.

 

After a while, I cottoned on to his battle tactics, mainly because he announced exactly what he was going to do a good time before he did it, allowing me to prepare accordingly.

 

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Ultimately, it wasn't long before he'd run out of luck, and bees, and health, and it was time for me to shut up his buzzing once and for all. I have to admit, I didn't expect to him to suddenly explode when my final shot hit home, but perhaps keeping a hive of hornets in your stomach makes you more prone to spontaneous detonation than the rest of us.

 

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So much for that guy.

 

Out through the back of the cave, dusk was beginning to creep over the jungle, and I only just escaped detection from two sentries on their hover bikes.

 

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These were definitely new, and I worried that their presence would make my journey through the ensuing mangrove swamp a lot trickier that it otherwise would have been.

 

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I needn't have feared, however, as large, noisy, hovering machines with big lights on made for easy targets, and it wasn't long before I'd brought them down.

 

Thinking back to Eva's instructions from the morning, I knew I was about half-way to the lab where Sokolov was being held, but I still had a ways to go yet. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I suddenly came across him at the back of a warehouse, being pushed around by one of Volgin's cronies.

 

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As I was considering whether to swoop in and grab him early, Volgin himself showed up, this time accompanied by a rather voluptuous bespectacled blonde in motorcycle boots, who I didn't recognise at all. From the fragments of their conversation that I could overhear from my position, this was Sokolov's woman, and Volgin has been using her as collateral in the twisted intimidation games he's playing with Sokolov.

 

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Following this little display, and seeing as it had been all of five minutes since he'd last butted in, these three were then joined by Ocelot. He had some sick games of his own, scaring Sokolov witless with a revolver juggling version of Russian roulette (he has three revolvers now - I'm starting to think he's taken the advice I gave him a little bit too much to heart).

 

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I get the impression that Sokolov isn't the most stoic of men, but Ocelot's act was enough to make him disgrace himself.

 

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Thankfully, The Boss herself was soon along to put Ocelot in his place, and to tell Volgin that I, the 'CIA dog', was still very much alive after putting an end to The Pain.

 

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It was gratifying to watch Volgin throw his tantrum upon hearing this news, pounding a nearby wall to dust, but also worrying - part of my mission is to deal with this guy, after all.

 

Before they started to head off, they rolled out some old geezer, sleeping in his wheelchair.

 

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I couldn't quite make out what they were saying about him - something about how he was close to death? I didn't doubt it: he was so ancient that he looked more like a skeleton than a man. As they started to leave, I had the opportunity of taking him out with a sniper rifle I'd recently acquired.

 

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In the end, though, I didn't take the shot - how dangerous could one old man be?

 

Anyway, after they'd all dispersed, making my way through the warehouse and sneaking past the guards inside was pretty simple. By the time I'd come out the other end, it was night-time proper. The forest I'd emerged into was a tad spooky, but, with the thermal goggles I'd found in the factory, not to mention my growing arsenal of weapons, I was sure there wouldn't be anything to fear...

 

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Play session 7

 

Following on from last time, I made my way through the trap-laden forest on the outskirts of the lab where Sokolov was reportedly being held, hitting only one or two minor snags on the way.

 

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Before long, however, I was within the compound walls and sneaking things up like a good'un.

 

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I infiltrated the lab proper and took the opportunity to equip the scientist disguise that Eva had given me, plus a super ugly mask of some dweeb with a bad haircut. My camouflage was a resounding success, however: the guards didn't even deign to look in my direction, and the other scientists were too socially awkward to make eye contact with me and realise I wasn't one of their fellows, so I had the run of the place.

 

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Eventually, I made my downstairs to where Sokolov was holed up. It turned out that Sokolov had been packing on the pounds since I last saw him, as well as re-growing his hair. He was also now calling himself 'Grenin':

 

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It transpired that this dude wasn't actually Sokolov in disguise after all, but was actually one of his colleagues-cum-rivals. Granin told me that he had been working on something even more revolutionary and potentially devastating than the Shagohod: a bipedal tank armed with nuclear weapons, able to navigate any terrain and fire off a warhead from anywhere on the planet - the Soviet's very own... "METAL GEAR". I took a moment to savour the phrase:

 

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But, as it happened, Granin was pissed off that Volgin had chosen Sokolov's tank baby over his, and was getting on the sauce bigtime as a result, taking frequent swigs from his hipflask. He spoke to my about something called The Philosopher's Legacy - essentially a shitload of cash that Volgin's rich daddy had passed onto him in order to bankroll this entire operation. He also informed me that my princess was in another castle: Sokolov had been taken to Groznyj Grad, an all but impenetrable military fortress, to put the final touches on the Shagohod. Luckily, Granin felt put out enough by Volgin and his crew to help me, letting me know of a secret way into this place:

 

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In exchange for this hot tip, he only asked that I save Sokolov and destroy the Shagohod, which, seeing as they were two of my mission objectives anyway, I immediately agreed to. He then gave me a key card and told me to retrace my steps; the route to Groznyj lay back through a warehouse I'd already passed, then a deep jungle, then up through the mountains.

 

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I left him to his booze and then made my way back via the route I had come. As ever, I stuck to the shadows, blended effortlessly into the environment and became one with my surroundings:

 

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My confidence was checked, however, when I found myself back in the curiously booby-trapped forest I'd navigated on the way here, where I immediately took an arrow to the knee:

 

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I was about to hand in my adventurer card then and there, but I had to deal with another one of The Boss's freakish scions first. This time it was that weirdo with the long tongue and the somewhat distracting habit of dislocating his limbs and climbing up vertical surfaces backwards. 'The Fear', he said his name was.

 

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As well as his spidey skills, The Fear was also able to turn invisible thanks to some fancy camo he had. I Fear-ed (:mellow:) the worst at first, but then remembered that I'd picked up some thermal goggles in my travels.

 

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With these equipped, his tricks and wily ways were all for naught, and it was a simple matter of just shotgunning him in the face each time he got near. Before long, he was toast, exploding in indignation, in must the same way as The Pain had:

 

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Deciding to keep my adventurer card for now, I continued on my way, back through the warehouse, using my newly-acquired key card to take an alternative exit.

 

It was at this point I received a call from Eva, wanting to catch up. I'd been expecting this: my tactic of not being the one to call her first had paid off. She told me about some place further ahead where she wanted to meet me, apparently to 'Discuss the mission', but I knew her game:

 

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She also mentioned that a guy called 'The End' was going to be waiting for me en route - the old geezer in the wheelchair, who I'd previously decided not to shoot in the back, was apparently some superhuman marksman:

 

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Far from heeding Eva's warning to be careful about this guy, however, I took the opportunity to absolutely smash her with some tremendous punning.

 

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She chose to end the call as soon as I said this, no doubt because she was still playing hard to get and didn't want to betray how much my razor wit had sent her spiralling into fits of incandescent desire.

 

Anyway, I figured that I'd deal with this 'End' guy no problem and get to mine and Eva's cosy mountain shack tout suite, before the effects of my ready repartee and salacious wordplay had worn off.

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Play session 8

 

Not wanting to miss my date with Eva in our cosy mountain shack, I soldiered on through the stretch of jungle behind the warehouse, having used the keycard Granin had given me earlier. Apart from raiding an enemy base on my way through, there wasn't much to report. This was until I reached a particularly dense area of undergrowth that lay in the shadows of the summits I was due to ascend. It was here that I was confronted by The End, the ancient sniper dude that I had been warned about:

 

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It seemed that he had been waiting for me all this time, and even though I couldn't see him, his voice and the forest's seemed to be one and the same. Freaking out slightly, I ducked down behind a tree and rang Eva for some encouragement. Her suggestion, however, that this guy was able to restore health using the sun, like Superman, didn't do much to quell my rising panic:

 

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What followed was a tense sniper battle across three different areas of the jungle. To begin with, this geriatric was always two steps ahead of me, shooting from the shadows before disappearing into the trees, the sunshine glinting off his scope the only indication he was there:

 

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He got me good a couple of times, including a tranquiliser dart right between the eyes:

 

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Just as I was beginning to get frustrated, however, I figured him out, and using a combination of my directional microphone, thermal goggles and AP Sensor, I eventually was able to find him before he could get a bead on me. Plus, I murdered his parrot, which appeared to upset him a lot:

 

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After that, things were pretty simple and I was able to get the drop on him with relative ease. I felt kind of bad about chasing this old guy through the jungle with a shotgun,  Benny Hill style, but I'd be buggered if I was going to miss my alone time with Eva, so he had to go.

 

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At long last, it was over. With my final shot he collapsed, and after he had said one last goodbye to his spectral parrot, it was the end for The End, popping his clogs and his dentures simultaneously before exploding in a manner I'd now become used to:

 

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From there I made my way through a short tunnel leading to a convenient but very, very tall ladder that seemed to ascend directly to the peaks I was aiming for:

 

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It was a long and tedious climb, not to mention unsafe - one slip would send me plummeting hundreds of feet to the cold concrete below. I remember thinking it strange that the reds had gone to the trouble of building this huge shaft through the mountain, yet hadn't bothered to install a simple lift to take people to the top, but I suppose that's communism for you. Anyway, I hummed a little tune to myself in order to pass the time, trying not to look down. It felt like I was in a dream.

 

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Rung by rung, I gradually arrived at the top of the ladder and, after a quick rest and some instant noodles to refresh myself, I emerged into an entirely different environment from what I'd been used to thus far. I relished the opportunity to get out of my green camouflage and try something with more earthy tones, which were a great fit for these rockier and decidedly more barren surroundings.

 

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Further progress up the mountain was fairly unremarkable, until I came to a series of open switchbacks set into the side of a cliff, overlooked by a chopper making periodic sweeps and packing some heavy ordnance:

 

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With my Desert Tiger camo donned, however, I had nothing to fear and was able to sneak up the path with ease, jumping out from behind rocks to tranquilise or otherwise incapacitate the patrolling guards.

 

As I was about to move on, I couldn't hope but notice an unarmed AA gun and, deciding that this would be a good way to rid myself of the pesky helicopter, I foolishly chose to hop on and take aim:

 

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Initially, this went well, and I was able to rip through the chopper from close range, sending it spiralling to the rocks below. When this helicopter was immediately replaced with another one, however, I didn't fare so well, falling foul of its relentless barrage of rockets:

 

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Making a desperate escape to a nearby shack, as luck would have it, I came across a rocket launcher of my own. Casting aside premonitions of my inevitable doom and equipping the bazooka with glee, I carefully chose my moment, aligned the crosshairs, pulled the trigger and it was goodnight chopper número dos:

 

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After all that, I was feeling downright knackered, but there was no rest for the wicked, nor parrot killers, so I couldn't stop. And besides, I had a date to keep.

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1 hour ago, Darwock said:

It’s disappointing that you aren’t going for the non-lethal boss takedowns.

 

Do you even solid snake bro?

 

[Mate, I'm still trying to get my head around the controls and camera in this old-ass fucking game. Screw making it any harder for myself. Plus, there are so many cool weapons at you that it'd be a shame not to use them.

 

I've been following a self-imposed rule of using the tranq gun on regular enemies in the first instance and trying to be stealthy, but when things go to shit I'm reaching for my AK faster than Ice Cube.]

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20 minutes ago, merrychan said:

@Jamie John are you aware of the alternative approach to The End boss fight? I found it inadvertantly back in the day on PS2...I don't want to say too much to spoil it but it's all part of what makes this game so special :)

 

I'm aware of a couple:

 

Spoiler

You can snipe him early, shortly after a cutscene, which I chose not to do.

 

I know that you can also just hide and allow his stamina to whither away until he eventually dies.

 

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4 hours ago, Jamie John said:

 

I'm aware of a couple:

 

  Hide contents

You can snipe him early, shortly after a cutscene, which I chose not to do.

 

I know that you can also just hide and allow his stamina to whither away until he eventually dies.

 

Not those, something even more Kojima along the lines of the second one though :)

 

Spoiler

I saved at the start / during the boss fight and by the next time I came back to my PS2 to play it they'd died! It was about 2 weeks but looking it up now they die of old age if the clock change is 8 days :D

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went to play this again a couple of days ago, but it's apparent my game didn't save after my most recent session. I must not have saved it properly last time. When I reloaded, as I hadn't played in in a couple of weeks, I got the cutscene where The End dies of old age, then I resumed in the jungle area right before the 'Snake Eater' song ladder.

 

Frankly, I can't be arsed to replay the next bit again to get back to where I was. It's only an hour or so of gameplay, but I wasn't desperate to keep playing this anyway, to tell the truth, and if it weren't for posting the updates in this thread (which I've enjoyed) I probably would have stopped playing it a while ago. MGS 3 will always have a special place in my gaming heart, but 18 years is a long time in video games.

 

What a shame! Sorry to anyone who has been enjoying my replay. Who knows - maybe I'll pick up my save file again at some point, when the mood takes me, but this will be my last update for the time being.

 

"Snake? SNAKE? SNAAAAAAAAAKE!?"

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