|Metal Gear: Ghost Babel|
North American packaging.
|Developer(s)|| Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (West)|
|Designer(s)|| Shinta Nojiri (director)|
Hideo Kojima (producer)
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Color|
|Release date(s)|| JP April 27, 2000|
NA May 5, 2000
EU May 5, 2000
|Rating(s)|| ELSPA: 11+|
|This article is about Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, which was released outside of Japan as Metal Gear Solid. You may be looking for Metal Gear Solid, a game that was released in 1998 for the PlayStation.|
Ghost Babel is not a port of said game but an original game made specifically for the Game Boy Color. Ghost Babel is a non-canon game that serves as an alternate sequel to the events of the original Metal Gear. The game is set seven years after the events of Operation Intrude N313.
Ghost Babel uses the same overhead view of the early Metal Gear games for the MSX2 and Nintendo Entertainment System. The gameplay format is largely similar to the previous 2D Metal Gear game, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, in addition to several elements from Metal Gear Solid. As with previous games, the objective is to infiltrate an occupied enemy base while avoiding detection from guards and surveillance systems. The player can acquire numerous items and weapons to help them fulfill their mission. Unlike the earlier MSX2 games, the game's screen scrolls while the player is moving through a single area instead using flip screens. Another difference is that Snake can now move in eight directions instead of four, allowing him to move diagonally in addition to the four basic directions. The player can also lean into walls and move the position of the camera above Snake's back like in Metal Gear Solid and tap walls. Almost all the weapons in Metal Gear Solid are included with the exception of the stinger missiles (which required the use of the radar in Metal Gear 2) and the sniper rifle. Like in Metal Gear 2 and Metal Gear Solid, the player can use the Codec to receive information from allies and save their progress.
Unlike the console installments, Ghost Babel uses a stage-based structure, with a total of 13 stages. After completing a stage, the player's performance is graded from "Terrible" to "Excellence." The player can replay previously completed stages in the Stage Select mode for a higher ranking. After the game is completed, a special sub-menu becomes available where the player can replay the stages with new objectives (such as FOXHOUND emblems or completing the stage without being seen). Other additional game modes include VR Training, where the player can test their sneaking and shooting skills in over 180 missions (most of which are taken from Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions) and Vs. Battle, where one player competes against another player in a mission via the link cable. After completing all the Special Mission stages, a mysterious person named No. 4 makes a cryptic reference to the unknown participant taking part in the VR missions, referring to the participant as "Jack."
In stage 11, there is a secret room containing the destroyed remains of the TX-55 Metal Gear. Calling Campbell while looking at the remains will trigger a special Codec conversation about it.
After completing the game, a hidden Codec frequency (140.07) can be accessed in every stage to listen to a radio show called IdeaSpy 2.5. This is only for the Japanese and European versions of the game.
Seven years after the events of Outer Heaven Uprising, a C-5 Galaxy transport plane containing a U.S. funded Metal Gear prototype codenamed "GANDER" is hijacked en route to South America by a dangerous separatist rebel group, located in the small South African country of Gindra, known as the Gindra Liberation Front, led by General Augustine Eguabon. The group planned to use Metal Gear to finally win the civil war it has been engaged in. Roy Campbell, is called in to convince retired FOXHOUND agent Solid Snake to come out of retirement for one last mission: to infiltrate Gindra and destroy Metal Gear. Snake refuses initially until Campbell reveals that GLF's fortress, Galuade, was formerly Outer Heaven, where Snake had destroyed the original TX-55 Metal Gear years ago. Snake consents to go through with the mission, commanded by National Security Adviser Steve Gardner. Snake then met his support staff, consisting of Campbell, Mei Ling, mercenary expert known as "Weasel" and Brian McBride, CIA agent. Snake is also informed that the United States Army's Delta Force, at the behest of General John Parker, Army Chief of Staff, was already inside the fortress, and that Snake had to carry out the mission in concert with them.
Snake HALO jumps into enemy territory, where he successfully infiltrates Galuade. Once inside, however, Snake is contacted by Delta Force operative Chris Jenner, who told Snake that Delta Force had been ambushed and massacred by the mercenary group named Black Chamber. Jenner was the only survivor. Snake and Jenner agree to work together, and Chris leaves to investigate Galuade's power plant. Snake sets off in search of Metal Gear's chief engineer, Jimmy Harks. But along the way, he meets his first member of Black Chamber, Slasher Hawk. After killing him, Snake reaches the prison barracks where Jimmy is being kept. Snake rescued Jimmy and learned that Metal Gear fires its nukes via a rail gun that consumes insane amounts of power. Suddenly the power in the barracks goes out. Metal Gear is about to fire. Snake rushes to disable the weapons before the rail gun is fully charged (leaving Jimmy's safety to Chris) and he hurries to reach Metal Gear before it can fire when he confronts and defeats yet another member of Black Chamber, Marionette Owl. Before he dies, Owl reveals that Black Chamber was betrayed by the U.S. Government two years ago, in a mission commanded by "Anonymous", a man that they have vowed vengeance upon.Escaping the barracks, Snake discovers that Metal Gear is already above ground. Rushing to its location, Snake is waylaid by an armed helicopter being piloted by Black Chamber's leader, Black Arts Viper. Then it's too late. Metal Gear fires its warhead. Viper leaves and Snake flees the area under heavy bombardment when he learns the terrorist's intentions: the missile Metal Gear GANDER had just fired was set to land in an unpopulated region of Nevada - a test to prove the GLF had the capability to make a nuclear strike. "The General" gives the U.S. three hours to pull out all of its peacekeeping troops and recognize Gindran sovereignty or else it will fire another nuke - this time at a major population center. To prevent Metal Gear GANDER from firing another warhead, Snake goes to destroy the power plant when he suddenly loses contact with Jimmy and Chris. However, Chris is able to contact Snake later on. She tells him how they were ambushed, and Jimmy was recaptured but she escaped. After consoling her, Snake is attacked by another member of Black Chamber, Pyro Bison. Snake succeeds in defeating him, but before he dies he makes several revelations to Snake: first, that Black Chamber was a special forces group that performed missions FOXHOUND would've taken on normally, had the group not become too famous after Operation Intrude N313, and that there is a spy in their ranks. Five members of Black Chamber survived "Anonymous'" ambush. Snake destroys the power plant, but as he escapes, he sees a surprising sight: Jimmy in handcuffs with a dead soldier next to him. Jimmy reveals that he escaped from captivity when the plant was blown up, alongside another prisoner, who was another operative from Delta Force. When suddenly Jimmy's handcuffs exploded, killing him.
These revelations prompt McBride to accuse Chris of being the fifth member of Black Chamber, a fact that Snake argues passionately against. However, when he attempts to contact her, he receives no reply. With a heavy heart, Snake continues on his mission, when he's attacked by the same armed helicopter, this time being piloted by the General's second in command, Sophie N'dram. Snake destroys the helicopter and wounds her, but refuses to kill her. She reveals that Chris is still alive, but has been captured by Viper. Snake proceeds to the underground maintenance base, where Metal Gear is being kept, but before he can reach the dread weapon, he's confronted by Viper. Viper reveals to Snake that Black Chamber was assigned to a mission two years ago by the government to recover Metal Gear, which at that point had been seized by a South American terrorist group. Fearing that Black Chamber's existence and Metal Gear's construction would spell doom for the U.S., certain government officials ordered in FOXHOUND to ambush and wipe out Black Chamber when they returned home. Five members escaped (but now only two remain, thanks to Snake). Viper and Snake proceed to fight, but Snake proves the victor. As the room explodes behind them, Snake and Chris escape. Chris revealed that she escaped Delta Force's massacre because she wasn't with the group at that time. She'd been given special orders by John Parker to destroy all data on "Project Babel" and Outer Heaven and to assassinate "the General." Charged with finding an escape route, Chris leaves and Snake proceeds to finally fight Metal Gear GANDER.
He enters the hangar where Metal Gear is being kept, and finds the General already there. He activates Metal Gear and history repeats itself, as Snake battles Metal Gear in the hundredth floor basement of Outer Heaven. After destroying Metal Gear, the General reveals to Snake the truth about the U.S., GLF and Outer Heaven: Outer Heaven was a U.S. funded project, established to investigate anti-U.S. forces at the time. The field commander of the Outer Heaven project, Big Boss was a loose cannon however, and rebelled causing Operation Intrude N313. After Outer Heaven was destroyed by Snake, the relationship between Gindra and the U.S. continued, up until Project Babel. Project Babel's objective was to establish the U.S. as the sole super power in Africa. The project was created by the Army Chief of Staff, John Parker. After that revelation, the General gives Snake the disk containing the project data before dying. It seems that it's all over, but Snake is again confronted by Viper, who reveals that he now knew the identity of "Anonymous", thanks to the General's speech, and that Campbell was in command of FOXHOUND the night Black Chamber was terminated. Finally the fifth member of Black Chamber reveals himself: Brian McBride. But there is still one final revelation: There was more to Metal Gear than just the rail gun; Metal Gear GANDER was programmed to control seven nuclear equipped satellites, able to launch nukes from orbit. As the elevator begins to ascend to the surface, where the satellites will become activated, Snake and Viper have a final duel to the death. Snake proves to be the victor, as Viper finally falls dead to the ground and the nuke system is deactivated.
Snake receives a call from Campbell, who tells Snake that he's sorry, he didn't know that Black Chamber was an American unit until after the whole thing was over. Weasel tells Snake that he killed McBride, and that Gardner is "Anonymous." Project Babel was actually created by Gardner, but he lost control of it after Metal Gear was seized by the South American terrorists. Control was transferred to Parker. Gardner planned the whole operation to disgrace Parker and get control of Project Babel returned to him. Weasel was actually under direct orders from Gardner the entire time. However, he decides to let everyone go free, instead of killing them. Chris reappears with a jeep that she found and she and Snake drive off together. Along the way, Chris explains that she joined the Army because she felt it was the place where an absolute right and wrong can be found, but she realized that she needs to look for it and not borrow it. Snake then explains that he endured something similar: he thought he would settle the score of his past by returning to Outer Heaven, but it turns out he only wanted death by returning, because he was afraid of seeing what he truly was. He does admit that, thanks to Chris, he found his salvation and intends to forgive himself for his mistakes. He also states that he intends to return to the United States, even though FOXHOUND is most likely waiting to ambush him, to confront the faceless men who played chess with peoples lives (referring to Parker and Gardner) and find out what he was like, and after making them pay, he will return for Chris.
According to Hideo Kojima, Ghost Babel was developed due to the request of Konami Europe to release a Game Boy Color version of Metal Gear Solid. The title itself shares its initialis with that of "Game Boy."
Since the game was developed for Game Boy Color, a platform that had a younger user base than the PlayStation, the "Fogger", a smoke emitting device, replaces Solid Snake's traditional cigarettes. However, Snake can be seen smoking in the story intro, though the cigarette itself is not shown.
Ghost Babel was extremely well received by critics, achieving an average of 95.61% on GameRankings. The game is the 17th best-rated game on the site and is the most critically acclaimed game in the series.
IGN gave Ghost Babel a perfect 10. The game was ranked #11 in Nintendo Power's best Game Boy/Game Boy Color games list, praising the game for successful bring elements from the 3D games. They also thought that the game was better than the previous two 2D installments. GamesRadar listed Ghost Babel as one of the games they want in the 3DS Virtual Console.
References in other Metal Gear gamesEdit
The Five-seveN, Chris Jenner, Metal Gear GANDER, Pyro Bison, Marionette Owl and Black Arts Viper all feature as character and weapon cards in Metal Gear Acid. Slasher Hawk is added to the previous set in Metal Gear Acid 2.