|Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater|
North American packaging.
|Developer(s)|| Konami Computer Entertainment Japan|
|Designer(s)||Hideo Kojima (director)|
|Writer(s)|| Hideo Kojima|
|Composer(s)|| Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Aspect ratio|| 480i (NTSC, 60Hz)|
576i (PAL, 50Hz)
|Release date(s)|| NA November 17, 2004|
JP December 16, 2004
EU March 4, 2005
AUS March 17, 2005
|Rating(s)|| BBFC: 15|
|Prev game (release)||Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty|
|Next game (release)||Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops|
|Next game (canon)||Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops|
|This article is about the video game, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. You may be looking for the titular operation or theme song.|
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (メタルギアソリッド3 スネーク・イーター Metaru Gia Soriddo 3 Sunēku Ītā?) (commonly abbreviated as MGS3) is a stealth action game directed by Hideo Kojima, developed and published by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan for the PlayStation 2. It was released on November 17, 2004 in North America; December 16, 2004 in Japan; March 4, 2005 in Europe; and March 17, 2005 in Australia. The game, which serves as a prequel to the Metal Gear series, was followed by a direct sequel titled Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, which was released for the PlayStation Portable in North America and Japan in 2006 and Europe and Australasia in 2007.
Set in Cold War-era Soviet Union, the story centers on FOX operative Naked Snake as he attempts to rescue a weapons designer and sabotage an experimental superweapon known as the Shagohod. While previous games were set in a primarily urban environment, Metal Gear Solid 3 adopts a 1960s Soviet jungle setting. While the setting has changed, the game's focus remains on stealth and infiltration, while still retaining the series' self-referential, fourth wall-breaking sense of humor. New gameplay elements are also introduced, such as CQC and camouflage.
Metal Gear Solid 3 was well received critically and commercially, selling more than 3.96 million copies worldwide and scoring a metascore of 91 on Metacritic and an average of 91.77% on GameRankings.
|Metal Gear series chronology|
| Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (1964)|
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (1970)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (1974)
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (1975)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (1984)
Metal Gear (1995)
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1999)
Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes) (2005)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2007/2009)
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2014)
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2018)
At the height of the Cold War, America's greatest agent, a woman known only as The Boss, defects to the Soviet Union. At the same time, an extremist named Colonel Volgin fires an American-made portable nuclear missile at the Soviet design bureau OKB-754, sparking an international incident. In order for America to clear its name and avoid World War III, The Boss' last apprentice, a man named Jack and codenamed "Naked Snake", is dispatched by the special forces unit FOX to assassinate the woman who taught him everything.
- For a full summary of the Virtuous Mission, see here.
- For a full summary of Operation Snake Eater, see here.
Although most Metal Gear games involve stopping a nuclear holocaust from occuring, this is the only game in the series to actually have a nuclear explosion occur early on in the game. This is notably the first canonical game to not feature a Metal Gear threat, as the Shagohod is actually an entirely different development project.
|Character||English Voice Actor||Japanese Voice Actor||Motion Actor|
|Naked Snake||David Hayter||Akio Ôtsuka|| Mizuho Yoshida|
|Major Zero||Jim Piddock||Banjô Ginga||Takashi Kubo|
|Para-Medic||Heather Halley||Houko Kuwashima||Eriko Hirata|
|Sigint||James C. Mathis III||Keiji Fujiwara|
|EVA||Suzetta Miñet||Misa Watanabe||Yumiko Daikoku|
|Ocelot||Joshua Keaton||Takumi Yamazaki|| Taro Kanazawa|
|Colonel Volgin||Neil Ross||Kenji Utsumi||Mark Musashi|
|The Boss||Lori Alan||Kikuko Inoue||Eriko Hirata|
|The Pain||Gregg Berger||Hisao Egawa||Yasuhiro Masuda|
|The Fear||Michael Bell||Kazumi Tanaka||Akira Ohashi|
|The End||J. Grant Albrecht (credited as Grant Albrecht)||Osamu Saka||Akira Ohashi|
|The Sorrow||David Thomas||Yukitoshi Hori||Yasuhiro Masuda|
|The Fury||Richard Doyle||Masato Hirano||Yasuhiro Masuda|
|Raikov||Charlie Schlatter||Ken'yû Horiuchi|
|Granin||Jim Ward||Takeshi Aono||Takashi Kubo|
|Sokolov||Brian Cummings||Naoki Tatsuta||Takashi Kubo|
|Johnny||Michael Gough||Naoki Imamura|
|Lyndon B. Johnson||Richard McGonagle||Shinji Nakae|
|Nikita Khrushchev||David Thomas||Kôzô Shioya|
|DOD Official||Fred Tatasciore|
|CIA Director||Paul Collins|
|Commander||Jesse Corti||Yasuhiko Kawazu|
|Ocelot Unit member(s)||Tetsu Inada|
|HALO instructor||Tetsu Inada|
|Colonel Campbell||Paul Eiding||Takeshi Aono|
Robin Atkin Downes
The major theme in Metal Gear Solid 3 is "Scene", the climate in which events occur and the impact it has upon them. This contrasts with the "Gene" and "Meme" themes of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2, respectively. Scene deals heavily with cultural relativism, the idea that concepts such as right and wrong or allies and enemies are not absolute or eternal; but instead are personal and transitive, shaped by our cultures and the "times" we live in.
The Boss is the major illustrator of the "Scene" theme. Her speech before the last battle of Metal Gear Solid 3 poses the dramatically ironic point that in the 21st century, America and Russia may no longer be enemies. The Boss is a victim of circumstance. Her "scene", Cold War era America, forces her to, ultimately, give her life. Naked Snake is forced to kill his former mentor due to a "scene" he not only has no control over, but has no knowledge of.
There are very notable similarities purposely shared by Big Boss in this game and Solid Snake in most other iterations of the Metal Gear series. This allows their differences to be highlighted to represent contrasting themes in their respective games. In previous games, Big Boss is seen as a major antagonist. However, in this game, Big Boss resembles the heroic type prevalently portrayed by Solid Snake in the games he is protagonist. Following the events of Operation Snake Eater, the impact The Boss and her death had on Big Boss greatly altered his moral perspective over time, a situation which was unparalleled in the lifetime of Solid Snake. Thus, his "scene" had altered his outcome, and superseded the inclinations provided by his genes that Solid Snake would live by.
All the major characters of Metal Gear Solid 3 are affected by the scene. EVA is forced into a deadly game of espionage in which she falls in love, ultimately causing heartbreak. Sokolov is forced to build weapons as a result of the climate of fear and deterrence, which nearly led to his death. Volgin becomes consumed by power due to the Legacy he inherits. The "scene" of the Cold War consumes him, turning him into a madman consumed by the desire to "win" the Cold War - by deposing Khrushchev and creating the perfect weapon. He also suffers death from the "scene."
The Sorrow is a foil through which the tragic scene of The Boss is shown. The Cold War, the "scene" that splits the Cobra Unit apart, causes The Boss to kill her former lover. The Sorrow refuses to let go, clinging to the place - the "scene" - where he was killed.
Another theme in the game is the concept of "patriotism." Throughout the game, Naked Snake's loyalty to his country and his patriotism is tested in some way, and the passcode to root out ADAM and/or EVA as an ally was intended to be a reference to the question of who is the patriot during the story. Officially, Naked Snake was the patriot due to disposing of a traitor and his saving the world from nuclear war, but the true patriot was later revealed to be The Boss, who faked defection and later ended up giving her life so as to save her country and the world even when it meant that her name would go down in history as a traitor and war criminal.
Metal Gear Solid 3's gameplay is similar to that of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2. Snake, controlled by the player, must move undetected through a hostile, enemy-filled environment. Although Snake acquires various weapons, the emphasis is on using stealth to avoid confrontations. A number of objects and gadgets can be found along the way to aid in this, including motion detectors to track hostile soldiers and the series' trademark cardboard box, which Snake can hide under to avoid visual detection.
Despite the fundamental similarities, Metal Gear Solid 3 introduces many new gameplay aspects not present in previous Metal Gear games, including camouflage, a new hand-to-hand combat system called "close quarters combat" or "CQC", a stamina gauge, and an injury-and-treatment system.
Most of the game is set outdoors in a fictional Soviet Union rainforest, and using this varied environment to its fullest potential is often the key to success. Of the new features, particular emphasis is placed on camouflage and using the jungle environment itself to avoid being seen by the enemy. The advanced radar from previous games has been removed in favor of a simple motion detector and sonar system more suitable for the game's time period.
A percentage value called the "camouflage index" displays Snake's visibility, on a scale from negative values (highly visible) up to 100% (invisible to the enemy). In order to minimize visibility, the player must switch between different camouflage uniforms and face paints to blend in with the environment. Other devices for camouflage, such as a fake "Crocodile Cap" to decrease chances of being detected in water, may also be used, though they must be found by the player as they are hidden throughout the game.
The basic close combat from previous installments has been heavily refined and expanded into the CQC system. When unarmed or using a one-handed weapon, Snake can grab opponents and put them in a chokehold, at which point a variety of actions can be performed, such as choking the enemy unconscious, interrogating them at knife-point to obtain information or slitting their throat. The amount of pressure applied to the button and movement of the analog stick determine the action performed.
While previous games used only a simple life bar, Metal Gear Solid 3 also keeps track of injuries over the entire body. For example, a long fall could fracture Snake's leg, slowing him down until the injury is properly treated with a splint and bandage. Unless these injuries are treated, Snake will not be able to fully recover his health for some time.
The location brings in the need to rely upon native flora and fauna to survive. This is manifested in a stamina gauge, which constantly depletes during gameplay. Failure to restore the gauge by eating has detrimental effects on gameplay, such as decreasing Snake's ability to aim his weapon and being heard by the enemy due to Snake's stomach grumbling. Food can be stored in Snake's backpack until it is needed. However, some types of food rot over time, and consuming rotten foods may result in Snake developing a stomach ache, causing the stamina gauge to deplete faster.
Metal Gear Solid 3 includes a minigame called Snake vs. Monkey, in which Solid Snake has to catch Ape Escape-style monkeys. In addition to containing tongue-in-cheek humor, bonus items usable in the main game can be unlocked by progressing through various stages.
Metal Gear Solid 3 is the first game in the series where it is possible to complete the game without triggering Alert Mode. Previous games included sequences where the Alert Phase was mandatory.
The game's development was officially announced at E3 2004. However, prior to its official announcement, a voice cast sheet was leaked.
The game was originally supposed to be developed for the PlayStation 3, but due to the long wait for PS3, the game was instead to be developed for the PlayStation 2. From the outset, Hideo Kojima wished to drastically change the setting from previous games in the series. He stated that the jungle setting was what both his development team and the Metal Gear fans wanted. However, he acknowledged that the elements of a jungle environment, such as the weather, landscape, and wildlife were features that would present problems during the game's development. Whereas in previous installments the player started out close to, or even within, the enemy base, Kojima wished Metal Gear Solid 3 to be more realistic, with Snake starting out miles from the enemy and having to work his way to the enemy encampment.
Kojima commented that the outside environment was very difficult to create. He explained that the reason previous games were primarily set indoors was because the current consoles at the time were not powerful enough to portray a true jungle environment. In contrast with urban environments, the outdoors do not have a flat surface, resulting in Snake having to cross uneven terrain such as rocks, dirt mounds, and treestumps. As a result, the collision engine used in previous installments could not be used, and a new one had to be built. Setting up the motion capture technology to fit with the terrain was also a challenge during development.
With all the features and graphics that were implemented, the game was given a lower frame rate at 30 frames per second, compared to Metal Gear Solid 2's 60 frames per second.
Many fans wanted Metal Gear Solid 3 to use a interactive camera rather than a fixed camera, but this was ultimately not implemented in the game. Kojima viewed Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Metal Gear Solid 3 as a trilogy, and wished to keep the camera the same as the previous two in order to keep the feel of the three games the same. He did, however, acknowledge that the current trend for video games was to use the interactive camera. This camera was later implemented in an updated version of Metal Gear Solid 3 titled Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence and was also implemented in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
Kojima designed Metal Gear Solid 3's boss battles to be different not only from those in previous Metal Gear games, but also from any other game. He said that the boss battle with The End best represented free, open gameplay in the game, as the battle with The End is fought in a large, open environment in the outdoors rather than within a building. The player also has the ability to both avoid this boss battle altogether by killing The End earlier in the game; or save and quit during the fight, wait a week, and reload the game to find The End having died of old age. Kojima commented that features like this do not appear in other games.
In one of his blogs, Kojima stated that in early development, the game's storyline featured a space development theme. However, as the game's development progressed, that theme lost its significance, so the developers ultimately removed it from the game. In addition, the game was to have taken place during August 24, 1963, which was Kojima's date of birth, but was instead set a year later in order to factor John F. Kennedy's assassination into the plot. Kojima and other staff members also intended to visit the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. to gain more ideas for the Cold War setting of the game, but their plans were put on indefinite hold and eventually cancelled due to the Beltway Sniper Attacks.
During the story, it was originally intended that Snake and various Russian-aligned characters would have spoke in fluent Russian. However, the cast complained about the decision, and Kojima then decided to just do foreign languages like how Hollywood films generally do it (ie, having the characters speak English, or Japanese in this case, and also imply they're speaking in another language).
Along with several re-releases, the original version of Metal Gear Solid 3 has received the greatest number of updates compared to other games in the series. Overall, there are four versions: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, Metal Gear Solid 3 HD (a component of Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection) and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.
- Main article: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Original Soundtrack
Metal Gear Solid 3's musical score was composed by Norihiko Hibino and Harry Gregson-Williams, who provided material for both cutscenes and the game itself. The game features a largely orchestrated soundtrack, along with the return of "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme". Hibino wrote the game's opening theme, "Snake Eater", a distinctly James Bond-like vocal track performed by Cynthia Harrell. Composer and lyricist Rika Muranaka provides a song called "Don't Be Afraid" which is played during the game's ending, performed by Elisa Fiorillo.
In a break from tradition, one of the ending themes of the game is not an in-house production, but Starsailor's "Way to Fall." Kojima later revealed in his blog that he originally wanted to use "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes" by David Bowie for the ending themes because of the space development theme of the game that was in the game's early development. One of his colleagues then advised him to listen to Stellastarr*, though Kojima instead listened to Starsailor. He liked the song "Way to Fall" and chose it as an ending theme.
Pop culture referencesEdit
Metal Gear Solid 3 contains many references to musician David Bowie's Major Tom character. Major Zero uses the alias Major Tom briefly, however, he mentions that it is a reference to one of the tunnels in the 1963 film The Great Escape. The Fury is a former astronaut and wears a protective uniform that resembles a space suit. Both his words, "I'm coming home", and his outfit is a reference to "Major Tom (Coming Home)." Kojima also originally planned to have Bowie's songs "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes", both of which feature Major Tom, play during the end credits. During an early radio conversation, Snake asks the major, "Can you hear me, Major Tom?", which is a direct quote from "Space Oddity."
The scene where Naked Snake jumps from the sewer exit is a direct reference of the 1993 film The Fugitive. A secret scene that is accessible if the player retained the transmitter without removing it by the time the player arrived at the waterfall cave in Tikhogornyj has EVA removing the transmitter with the shadows engaging in a wrestling match akin to Austin Powers. Several of the scene cuts were also a direct reference to the drama series 24.
Archive film footageEdit
Similar to both Metal Gear Solid (both the original and its remake, The Twin Snakes) and Metal Gear Solid 2, movies showing real life footage were shown in the games. In this game, however, they were used in sepia tone, owing to the setting of the game. Most of the footage was supplied by CORBIS Japan. In several of the montage cutscenes, although some were composed of artwork from Yoji Shinkawa or in-game scenes rendered in sepia tone, others utilized actual film footage from this time and earlier that had been archived. Examples of archived film footage used in the game include:
- May Day Parade Red Square footage (seen in Sokolov's explanation of Colonel Volgin's attempted coup on Khrushchev, and in The Boss's explanation of her past).
- East Berliners Jump to freedom and Cross the Berlin Wall to Escape Newsreel (seen in the Virtuous Briefing).
- Cuban Missile Crisis Kennedy/American footage (seen in the Virtuous Mission Briefing, Sokolov's explanation of Colonel Volgin's attempted coup on Khrushchev, and The Boss's explanation of her past).
- United Nations debate on Bay of Pigs archive footage (seen in The Boss's explanation of her past).
Besides canonical continuations of the game, Metal Gear Solid 3 was also had at least one non-story reference in the series.
In Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, the logo for Metal Gear Solid 3 could be seen on a green wall. Kojima, when doing commentary on the Easter eggs in the game, quoted The Boss's statement before fighting Naked Snake regarding ten minutes.
The PAL release of the game came with a limited edition steel book.
A special limited edition CD was given away to those who pre-ordered the Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid 3, which included several songs from the game's soundtrack, as well as computer screensavers and additional camouflage for the main game. The pre-order package allowed cell phone users to access a special site featuring image and music downloads.
A limited edition Premium Package was released in Japan for Metal Gear Solid 3 alongside the standard version. The package itself contains the game with a different cover art, a DVD, a special book labelled R, a special leaflet labelled L and a 1/144-scale model of the Shagohod. The stickers on both the book and the leaflet insists that owners do not open either of them until they have completed the game due to spoilers.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence Edit
- Main article: Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
In 2006, Konami released Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. This release was the director's cut, in which the game had an interactive camera similar to Portable Ops. The package also had the Metal Gear Online add-on as well as the first release of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake outside of Japan. Subsistence contained two discs, labeled Subsistence and Persistence, with Persistence containing a number of extras not included with Snake Eater. In the limited edition, there was also a 3 hour cut of the game sequenced as a film edited for the purpose of being viewed by those who were unable to finish the game, but still wanted to know the story. If pre-orders were made, then it was bundled with the Metal Gear Saga Vol. 1 documentary set.
The 20th Anniversary Edition of Metal Gear Solid 3 released in Japan includes the first disc of Subsistence, with a second disc containing the MSX2 versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, without the other extra game modes that were featured in Subsistence. On March 18, 2008 Subsistence was released for Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection but left out the second disc, Persistence.
An HD version of Subsistence was released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PlayStation Vita as a component of Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection. The original version of Metal Gear Online, Snake vs. Monkey and Guy Savage weren't included.
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3DEdit
- Main article: Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D was developed for the Nintendo 3DS. A technical demonstration called The Naked Sample was revealed at E3 2010. The game was released on February 21, 2012 in North America and March 8, 2012 in Japan and Europe.
A novelization for Metal Gear Solid 3 was announced by Kojima Productions and published on January 25, 2014. So far, only a Japanese version has been issued.
The events of the game were originally to have been novelized by Project Itoh, who had previously authored the adaptation of Metal Gear Solid 4. However, he passed away before he could do so.
|Compilations of multiple reviews|
Metal Gear Solid 3 was a commercial success and has sold more than 3.96 million copies worldwide. Although this is considerably lower than Metal Gear Solid 2, which sold more than 7 million copies, critics were pleased with the new protagonist, after fans were disappointed by Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2.
Metal Gear Solid 3 was critically acclaimed and was given high scores by some of the most prominent gaming critics. On the review aggregator GameRankings, the game has an average score of 91% based on 92 reviews. On Metacritic, the game has a metascore of 91 out of 100, based on 68 reviews. IGN awarded the game a 9.6/10 and Edge rated it 8/10. GameSpot, who granted it an 8.7/10, commented that the game is "richly cinematic" and "a great achievement." GameSpy hailed it as "probably the best Metal Gear Solid game yet", giving it a 4.5/5, and Eurogamer called it "overwhelmingly superior to MGS2: Sons of Liberty", giving it an 8/10. IGN users voted it the 5th best game in the 2008 Top 100 list.
Reviewers had mixed opinions about the game's camouflage system. Edge commented that "laying, camouflaged, in short grass inches away from a patrolling enemy is a gripping twist on stealth," while GameSpy criticized it as "just a number to monitor and not a terribly interesting one." Out of the variety of new features, GameSpot called it "the most important and best implemented." The game has also been criticized for its low frame rate, which has been reduced to 30 frames per second, compared with 60 frames per second in Metal Gear Solid 2.
Metal Gear Solid 3's cutscenes have been called "visually exciting and evocative, beautifully shot" by Edge. However, they commented that the script "ranges from awkward to awful" and criticized David Hayter's performance as Snake, concluding that the speech of Metal Gear Solid 3 is "not up to the standard of other games, let alone cinema." GameSpot said that some of the humor "falls flat, as if lost in translation from Japanese" and "should appeal to ... hardcore fans but ... takes you out of the moment."
See also Edit
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- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
- Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
- Naked Snake
- The Boss
- Metal Gear Solid 3 bosses
- Metal Gear Solid 3 healing items
- Metal Gear Solid 3 secrets
- Metal Gear Solid 3 weapons
- List of MGS3 Characters
- Time Paradox
- "Snake Eater"
|Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater characters|
| Naked Snake — Major Zero — Para-Medic — Sigint|
The Boss — Colonel Volgin — Ocelot — EVA
The Pain — The Fear — The Fury — The End — The Sorrow
Sokolov — Granin — Raikov — Johnny — DCI
Nikita Khrushchev — Lyndon B. Johnson — DOD Official — KGB Chief Director