The Metal Gear Wiki's Manual of Style aims to provide a comprehensible framework of "dos," "don'ts" and best practices for editors at this wiki. Its goal is to make the wiki easier to use for both editors and readers alike and to make its appearance more consistent and streamlined.
For information on the most basic writing techniques and styles, which are used here, see Wikipedia's Manual of Style.
The name of the article should be bolded in its first usage in an intro, as should any alternate names mentioned in the intro. These bolded titles should not have links within them.
If something is in-universe, or is described as such, it belongs to the Metal Gear universe exclusively and not to the real world. Characters, for example, are in-universe, but the actors who play them are out-of-universe.
The only section where out-of-universe information is appropriate is the "Behind the scenes" section and its subsections of an in-universe article. See below for more details.
All in-universe articles should be structured as follows:
- Main article
- Behind the scenes (notice the capitalization)
- Notes and references
- See also
- External links
- Interwiki links
Please note that not all articles use every section.
Out-of-universe refers to the perspective in which an article is written; it is the opposite of in-universe. Something written from an out-of-universe (OOU) perspective is written from a real-life point of view. It will refer, for example, to real-life publications, actors, authors, and so on, acknowledging that its subject is fictional. In contrast, an in-universe perspective will strive for verisimilitude; that is, it will be written as though the author existed within the Metal Gear universe. Articles about any in-universe things, such as characters, vehicles, terminology, or organizations, should always be written from an in-universe perspective. If a section in the article is not, such as the listing of a character's published appearances or behind the scenes details, it should be tagged as such.
In contrast, articles about games, novels, guides, or other real-life Metal Gear material should obviously be written from an out-of-universe perspective, but should still be noted as such. Basically, in-universe articles should never refer to game titles by name, or any other real-life things such as publications, actors, or the like.
All out-of-universe articles on games, books, comics, etc. should generally be structured as follows. This list is typically more flexible than main articles.
- Publisher's/Developer's summary
- Plot summary
- Cover gallery
- Succession box
- Notes and references
- See also
- External links
- Interwiki links
== (heading) markup for headings, not the
''' (bold) markup. Example:
===This is a heading===
- This is a heading
If you mark headings this way, a table of contents is automatically generated from the headings in an article. Sections can be automatically numbered for users with that preference set and words within properly marked headings are given greater weight in searches. Headings also help readers by breaking up the text and outlining the article.
- Capitalize the first letter only of the first word and of any proper nouns in a heading, and leave all of the other letters in lower case.
- Avoid links within headings.
- Avoid overuse of sub-headings.
Usage and spelling
Though the readers and editors of the Metal Gear Wiki speak many varieties of English, we mandate standard American English spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage. This is the variety of English used most often in translations of the original Japanese sources.
If the title of an article differs in different varieties of English, the American title should be the article title, with alternate names being used as redirects (for example, Grey Fox redirects to Gray Fox).
If a direct quotation from a source has a word which is spelled differently in American English, the original spelling must be preserved. However, a [sic] sign may be put after the word.
All in-universe articles should be in past tense. For example, use "Snake infiltrated the disposal facility", rather than "Snake infiltrates the disposal facility".
For subjects such as weapons, items, etc, if only one instance is ever seen, always assume that more than one existed, unless there is evidence to the contrary. That way, general facts are written in the present tense, whereas specific facts about one instance are written in the past tense. For example, "The Solid Eye appears similar to a plastic eye patch" is a general fact, whereas "Snake's model also acted as a corrective lens" is a specific fact.
Whenever you are writing in the present tense (no matter what the article), always be wary of the distinction between general facts and specific events. For example, "The Solid Eye combines ENVG light amplification..." is a general fact and the present tense is used, whereas "The Solid Eye was destroyed in a microwave tunnel..." is an event and the past tense is used.
Despite this, do not include phrases like "his ultimate fate is unknown" or "what happened to the ship after that is a mystery."
Note that "Behind the scenes" sections are always written from a real-world perspective.
Ranks and titles
A rank's name is not to be capitalized if it refers to the rank, not a person. "Volgin was a colonel in GRU." or "As a colonel, he had many responsibilities."
However, if the word refers to a person, it should be in capitals. "As an experienced soldier, Colonel Volgin..." or "He never liked giving bad news to the Colonel."
There are three ways to refer to a game when writing out-of-universe, and it is important for consistency to use a standard format. Taking Metal Gear Solid 2 as an example, it can be easily seen which title to use in what circumstance. Note that all titles and initialisms must be written in italics.
Metal Gear Solid 2
This is the main title of the game. It refers to everything at that point in the series, both Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance. If you are referring to a game as in a point in the real-world timeline of Metal Gear (including the main playable game, menus, bonus features, etc.) use just the main title.
As this would be the most used of all the name formats, it is acceptable to initialise this format from the second time it is written in an article. The correct initialisms for the official series are, in order of release: MG1, MG2, MGS1, MGS2, MGS3, MPO, MGS4, MPW and MGR. Only the main titles can be initialised.
Sons of Liberty
This is the subtitle. It is used to refer to the campaign part of the game (in both the original release and in Substance). This is obvious when thinking about Substance. When playing Substance, starting a new game would produce the option to "Play Sons of Liberty...". If you are referring to just the campaign mode, then use just the subtitle.
If a game is a member of the official series but has no subtitle (e.g. Metal Gear, Metal Gear Solid), use the main title as the subtitle. An exception is made for Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Although Solid Snake is the subtitle, use Metal Gear 2 as the subtitle when referring to this game, to avoid confusion with the character.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
The full name for the game is only used when referring specifically to that one release, to distinguish it from other releases (such as, in this case, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance). This would be the least used format of the name.
Similar to the first format, the main title portion of this format can be initialised, creating, for example, MGS2: Sons of Liberty and MGS2: Substance. If the main title has already been written to refer to another release, it does not need to be written again. For example, if one wrote Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and then needed to distinguish it from the special edition release, MGS2: Substance would be acceptable, even when writing it for the first time.
Apostrophes and possessives ending in "s"
While plural nouns ending in "s" should be made possessive by adding only an apostrophe, singular nouns ending in "s" can be made possessive by adding either an apostrophe followed by another "s" or simply an apostrophe, providing each article is consistent throughout. Users are encouraged, but not required, to use only an s' for possessive nouns ending in a Z-sound. For example, while discussing the armor of multiple soldiers, one would write "soldiers' armor"; but while discussing the armor of Solidus Snake, one could write "Solidus's exoskeleton" or "Solidus' exoskeleton."
A subject should be linked once upon its first appearance in the article's infobox, once upon its first mention in the article's intro, and once upon its first mention in the article's main body.
Units of measurement
Many official Metal Gear sources use the metric system of measurement, while others use American measurement units. It is recommended that in-universe articles use the metric system, but users should include American measurements in brackets if they are given in the source.