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Mesal Gear Solid: Snake Escape, also known simply as Mesal Gear Solid, is a minigame featured in the 2005 PlayStation 2 game Ape Escape 3 that serves as a crossover with the Metal Gear series. It is a counterpart to the Snake vs. Monkey minigame featured in the PS2 versions of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. The word "Mesal" in the title is a portmanteau of "Metal" and "Saru", the Japanese word for monkey and a reference to Ape Escape's Japanese title of Saru! Get You! (サルゲッチュ?). The minigame is unlocked by completing the main campaign once and then purchasing it from the hobby shop for 573 coins.
Mesal Gear Solid runs on the modified version of the main Ape Escape 3 engine that implements traditional elements from the Metal Gear series, such as multiple alert phases, clinging to walls, hanging onto ledges, and first-person shooting. The player controls Pipo Snake, a simian covert-ops agent who has been tasked to help out Solid Snake in thwarting a group of guerrilla apes who have hijacked the latest model of Mesal Gear (a simian version of Metal Gear).
The latest model of Mesal Gear has been hijacked by an army of specially trained guerrilla apes, who are threatening to launch Mesal Gear's Lazy Cannon if their demand for 10 billion bananas are not met in 72 hours. The legendary soldier Solid Snake was sent in to ascertain the situation, but all contact with him was lost during the mission. Colonel Campbell, in desperate need of help, seeks the assistance of an old high school acquaintance known only as the "Professor" to come up with a solution. An ape, programmed with the battle data of Solid Snake, is sent to infiltrate the enemy base, establish contact with Snake, and prevent the launch of Mesal Gear. His codename is Pipo Snake.
- Secret Base
- Banana Fort
- Snow Festival
- Snow Arena
- Emperor's Castle
- Edo Town
- The Big Ring
- Eversummer Island
- Southern Resort
- Plaza of Ruins
- Wild West Town
- Western Entrance
- Final Mesal Gear Battle!
- The Mark of the Monkey
- Pipo Snake's default method of attacking, automatically used when he runs out of ammo.
- Banana Pistol
- A banana-shaped gun equipped with a suppressor and a laser sight. It fires knockout rounds that immobilizes enemy apes for a few seconds.
- Pineapple Grenade
- A grenade shaped like a pineapple.
- Watermelon Bomb
- A remote detonated bomb shaped like a watermelon. It's primary purpose is to destroy the supercomputers spread across the Southern Resort in Eversummer Island, but can also be used to destroy cracked walls and rescue POWs.
- Cardboard Box
- An essential tool in sneaking mission that allows Pipo Snake to hide from enemy sight as long as he remains still or isn't touched.
- The traditional recovery item of the MGS series, although it functions more like the cookies from the Ape Escape games, as picking one up will automatically refill a single life point.
- Monkey Tags
- A kind of dog tag worm by certain ape soldiers. They can be obtained after hitting them with the somersault kick. Collecting all 30 Monkey Tags will reveal a password for the main game.
- Monster Cap
- A parody of the Crocodile Cap unlocked for completing the minigame after rescuing all 20 prisoners. It provides Pipo Snake with unlimited ammunition for all of his weapons.
Behind the scenes
David Hayter and Paul Eiding were unavailable to reprise their roles, so Snake and Campbell were instead voiced by Peter Lurie, the English voice actor of Vulcan Raven, and Michael McColl, respectively.
Most of the minigame's soundtrack consists of recycled music from Metal Gear Solid 3. However, the title theme is an arrangement of the "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme" composed by Masato Koda, which is played during the final battle against Pipo Ocelot.
The Game Over is a parody of the one that appears in the original Metal Gear Solid. Just like in that game, a random character (namely Snake, Campbell or the Professor) will try to contact Pipo Snake to no avail.
Some locations feature posters of female apes wearing bikini similar to the gravure posters in Metal Gear Solid 3.
The player can kill Solid Snake with a pineapple grenade or a watermelon bomb while he is being tortured by Pipo Ocelot, causing a Game Over.
The room where Snake is being tortured is decorated with figurines of Snake himself and the Mesal Gear, as well as Spike and Natalie (the protagonists of the original Ape Escape).
One of the ape prisoners in the Snow Festival is dressed like Donald Anderson.
- Japanese press release (web archive link)