Metal Gear

Snake Charmer Or Snake-Bitten ...

Metal Gear Title Screen

Game Specs for Metal Gear

NOTE: When possible, the game's official manual or official documentation from the game maker's company or Nintendo is used — with spelling or terminology presented as is, despite some translation errors.

SPOILER ALERT: Some of the categories below may have a question mark to conceal important or secret revelations in the game. If you would like to see the unknown revealed, a rollover option or external link will be attached to the question mark.

Title Metal Gear
Metal Gear
Company Ultra/Konami
  • Yoshihiro Sugimoto, Masahiro Ueno
  • Kazuki Muraoka
Year: 1988
Release Date: June 1988
System: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Genre: Action, Stealth
Ratings/Suitable For Age Group?:: ESRB Rating Unavailable

Animated Deaths, No Blood, Character Just Collapses, Weapons
Arcade Version?: No
Port To Other Game Systems:: No
Part of Franchise:
  • Original stand-alone title (first) in Metal Gear series on NES

  • Snake's Revenge (NES) [direct sequel]

  • Numerous sequels and re-issues loosely-based off of this title ... however, later titles are not directly connected, acknowledged or regarded as canon to this NES Metal Gear title; even though, some characters' names and items are used.
Rarity/Availability: Cartridge is still fairly common and inexpensive (at least, in the St. Louis, MO metropolitan area).
Add'l Game System Peripheral Needed To Play?: N/A
1 or 2 Player: 1 Player
Number of Reserve Players: Start with 1 Player
1-Up's None
Life Meter Vital Sign increases as your Rank rises.
Password Password Screen of Metal Gear
Battery No
Continue? Yes, but will begin at checkpoint from earlier point.
Perspective/Orientation Gameplay 2D (some pseudo-3D) and Screen by Screen freedom to explore - Overhead/Bird's Eye View
Number of Levels 5 Strongholds/Buildings
Checkpoints? Usually begin at start or end of building, after arrival inside first building.
Save points? No
Uninterrupted Play? Upon death of Solid Snake, play stops and resumes from last checkpoint.
Internal Map(s)? No
Score? No
Difficulty Settings No
Time Limit? No (exception being final escape sequence)
Hero Solid Snake of Metal Gear
Solid Snake
Sidekick(s)/Cast Yes - Big Boss, Ellen, Diane, Jennifer, Schneider, Grey Fox, Dr. Pettrovich (but, not playable)
Weapons Weapon Select Screen of Metal Gear
Fists (default)
Items/Equipment Equipment Select Screen of Metal Gear
  • Rescuing the P.O.W.'s in Metal Gear raises Snake's rank.   Rank will rise with rescue of P.O.W.'s

  • Rations in Metal Gear refill Snake's energy.   Rations fill energy

  • Ammunition in Metal Gear adds bullets to Snake's firearms.   Ammunition fills weapons (guns)

Power-Downs Beware! If P.O.W.'s are shot, Solid Snake will lose stars/ranks.
Main Enemy Metal Gear's Main Enemy... Revealed
Spoiler alert! Click here to see.
Person/Place Being Saved Grey Fox first, then the world
Objective/Goal Rescue Grey Fox, Destroy Metal Gear
Ending? Yes
Secret Code(s)? Yes... secret passwords
[Click here for details from Secrets & Tips - SPECIAL PASSWORDS! Section of Metal Gear Review.]
Stage Select No
Invincibility No
Extra Players No
Continues N/A
Sound Test No
Additional Secret Codes ?
Trivia/Little Known Facts
  • Metal Gear is unique, in that it is the title of the game and is described in detail as the actual main enemy of the game, yet you never actually battle it or even get to see it, except for on the game box's art work.

    Metal Gear as pictured on Metal Gear box art front cover

  • Hideo Kojima has actually disowned this first Metal Gear release, and does not acknowledge it as an official part of his famous series' legacy or canon. This title was developed independent of his guidance.

  • Konami/Ultra utilized a still, or screen capture, from the movie, The Terminator, to model Metal Gear's cover artwork after.

    Metal Gear's Snake Box Cover vs. The Terminator Screenshot

  • Additional inspiration from the 80's era can be seen in certain characters' names found in the game's manual: Vermon CaTaffy (a twisted, non-politically-correct play on Libya's former authoritarian dictator, Muammar al-Qaddafi); Commander South (inspired by former Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North — a central figure in the 1980s, American political scandal known as the Iran-Contra Affair); Arnold (after Schwarzenegger for two strongmen foes in the game) and Coward Duck (probably after George Lucas' Howard The Duck movie).

  • Metal Gear — along with a number of other classic hits on the NES, including Bionic Commando, Blaster Master and Castlevania II - Simon's Quest (Click here to read our What A Horrible Night For A Curse! NES review.) — provided the source material for a series of short novelizations known as The World Of Power series.

    Targeted to and created for younger audiences, these publications in the early 1990s hit school book fairs and populated order forms. Printed by Scholastic Inc., this paperback was written by author, F.X. Nine. It first landed on shelves on July 1, 1990.

    Metal Gear was novelized into a book for young NES fans in the 1990s.

    Because of the youthful readership, tamer stories were crafted — loosely-based around the plots and characters. (Note the missing gun in Solid Snake's hands on the book's cover.)



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