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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Trial Edition is a playable demo of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was included as a separate game disc with the initial release of Zone of the Enders as a pre-order bonus, thus leading to various misleading sales figures as many pre-ordered the game solely to play the demo. Another, more updated version, simply called the Trial Version, was also released in Europe via the Official PlayStation Magazine. It had three versions within that version: one that was included in a special edition sports disc in Europe via the Official PlayStation Magazine, one released separately, and a third that was released as a direct result of the announcement of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
The Trial Edition contained the demo itself, which covered the beginning of the Tanker Chapter up to the immediate aftermath of the fight with Olga Gurlukovich (or in the case of the European version, up to the arrival at Deck 2); the options; the previous story; and the specials menu. For the demo itself, it had Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard difficulties, and selecting whether the player wants Radar 1 on, Radar 2 on, or simply not have the radar activated at all.
The demo's title screen focused on the George Washington Bridge, with a few appearances from the Ka-60 Kasatka choppers overhead.
After beating Olga and the scene that followed, the demo has some statements made by later characters that hinted at what would happen later on in the game (e.g., Liquid's return, Otacon's admission that he got the Metal Gear info via a tip, and Solid Snake apparently being killed or captured) as the screen showed the words "To Be Continued."
Differences between the demo and the final version
- Being an early demo, all of the characters' dialogue is still in Japanese, although the subtitles are in English.
- In the Trial Edition, Snake is equipped with a set of binoculars, which Otacon will comment on if contacted by Codec. In the final version, its function is replaced by the camera, although the Codec dialogue concerning the binoculars remains in the text code.
- In the Trial Edition, the cigarettes were called tobacco.
- Snake's life meter is significantly shorter than in the final version.
- Olga's life meter looked identical to Snake's, lacking a stamina meter.
- The soldiers standing and walking animations are slightly different than in the final version.
- The guards still react to tranquilizer rounds in the Trial Edition, even when they are suspicious.
- The M9 was called the M9 15 in the Trial Edition and the weapon icon was red instead of blue.
- The field of vision of the surveillance cameras was colored yellow in the Trial Edition, and the width of the camera's field of visions varied greatly.
- The cardboard box has a different name and description in the Trial Edition. It's called C. Box / Dry and the description reads, "A box made of cardboard." The cardboard box icon is also different.
- Olga doesn't have a stamina bar in the Trial Edition, and her life doesn't decrease as a result of the tranquilizer rounds.
- The Codec screen is vastly different from the final version, including Snake and Otacon's character models.
- In the Trial Edition, guards can hear Snake when he steps into the puddles on Deck B.
- An extra box of USP ammo can be found in Deck A - Crew Quarters in one of the lockers. This ammo pick up was removed in the final version.
- The Book weapon was called the Magazine in the demo, while it is called Book in the final version. In addition, when placed on the map, it was represented by a pack of C4.
- The tutorial-text explaining Corner View and 1st-Person-View was blue instead of yellow.