North American box art.
|Publisher(s)|| Ultra Games (North America)|
|Platform(s)||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Release date(s)|| NA April 1990|
EU March 1991
|Prev game (release)||Metal Gear (NES)|
Snake's Revenge is a stealth action game developed by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in North America in April 1990 (under the Ultra Games label) and in Europe in March 1991 (under the Konami label). Snake's Revenge was never released in Japan, despite the fact it was developed there. Although it was the only Metal Gear game to have been developed in Japan exclusively for Western releases, it was not the only Konami-made game to undergo this, as Konami had previously done this for licensed titles such as RollerGames or Mission: Impossible.
It was made as a direct sequel to the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the original Metal Gear. Snake's Revenge was the first game in the Metal Gear series made without the involvement of creator Hideo Kojima, although members of the development team previously worked with Kojima on the original MSX2 version of Metal Gear. It is not part of the series' canon. The game is generally hated by fans of the series due to its removal from the series' canon, and is considered by most to have nothing to do with the Metal Gear series at all.
This is the only Metal Gear game that doesn't have the words "Metal Gear" in its title. On a related note, the game has been given the alternate title Snake's Revenge: Metal Gear II by other publications.
Snake's Revenge plays essentially like an updated version of the original Metal Gear. Aspects from the MSX2 version of Metal Gear that were missing from the NES version, such as the ability to take rations and ammo by punching enemies or the double exclamation mark alert, were restored in Snake's Revenge. The actual Metal Gear, which was missing in the NES version, makes an appearance along with a new prototype. The game also has more varied locations than the original Metal Gear, such as a jungle, a warehouse, a transport train, and a cargo ship filled with smaller mass-produced Metal Gear units.
The player begins the game armed with a pistol and a knife, which can be equipped and used in place of punching for a quick kill. However, in doing so, the player won't get any rations or ammo from enemies in Infiltration Mode. Many of the weapons from the original game are carried over to Snake's Revenge, as well as new weapons such as a shotgun and a flare gun for visibility in the dark. Promotions are now made by injecting enemy superiors with truth serums in addition to saving hostages. However, two of the series' trademark items do not appear in Snake's Revenge: the cigarettes and the cardboard box.
The main addition of Snake's Revenge is the side-scrolling areas between the main overhead areas. Although side-scrolling areas were utilized in the original Metal Gear, they were used only to the extent of accessing an elevator, not in action sequences as is the case with Snake's Revenge. In the side-scrolling areas, the player can jump over booby traps or crouch and crawl to avoid being seen by the enemy. In these areas, the player can only use the knife or handgun and place plastic explosives, which cannot be heard by the enemy in side-scrolling mode. Strangely, Snake's clothes turn red in these areas.
Another notable in-game difference from the original Metal Gear, is Solid Snake's character sprite, which has him dressed in an orange jump suit, with a yellow skin tone. This is switched to a more realistic shade during the side scrolling mode.
The transceiver mode was greatly simplified. Whereas the original Metal Gear required the player to memorize each character's frequency, Snake's Revenge has all of Snake's contacts available from the start via a menu. This would later be repeated with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The radio is also equipped with a radar which detects the proximity any signal transmitted by an ally, although it is only used twice during the entire game. However, the transceiver is jammed when the game enters Alert Mode and isn't used much as a result. Snake's Revenge is the first Metal Gear game in which the faces of Snake's allies are displayed when they speak.
- Lt. Solid Snake - The main character. In this game, Snake is still working for FOXHOUND, instead of quitting like in later installments. Rather than infiltrating the enemy's complex alone, he leads his own FOXHOUND team and starts the mission with a knife and pistol already in his equipment. He is given the title of Lieutenant and is often called "Lt. Snake" by his peers in the game.
- John Turner - Former United States Navy Intelligence officer working for FOXHOUND. He serves as an infiltration professional in Snake's mission.
- Nick Myer - Former United States Marine and member of FOXHOUND. Nick serves as the team's firearms and explosive expert.
- Jennifer - Former member of the resistance force at Outer Heaven. Jennifer once again assumes the role of a double agent. This time, she poses as an intelligence officer within the enemy's ranks.
- Big Boss - Snake's former commander, who turned against him in Outer Heaven. In the Snake's Revenge storyline, Big Boss suffered great injuries from his battle with Snake, resulting in Big Boss being turned into a cyborg.
- The Pilot - An unnamed helicopter pilot and the only one of Snake's radio contacts who does not appear listed in the call list. He only calls whenever Snake needs the assistance of his helicopter. He appears during the Game Over, providing the player with the passwords, and before inputting a password at the start of the game as well.
Set in the year 1998, three years after the events of Operation Intrude N313, the United States Government discovers that a hostile nation in the Middle East may have obtained plans for Metal Gear and are secretly constructing weapons of mass-destruction. Solid Snake, the FOXHOUND operative responsible for the downfall of Outer Heaven, is recruited to lead a three men team consisting of himself and fellow operatives John Turner and Nick Myer, on a mission to infiltrate the enemy's base. The codename of the mission is Operation 747.
After infiltrating the enemy's sphere of influence in the jungle, Snake reaches the entrance of the warehouse, which is heavily guarded. John lets himself get captured by the guards, acting as a decoy that allows Snake to infiltrate the complex. The infiltration is successful and Snake learns that the enemy is indeed manufacturing mass-produced versions of Metal Gear and are now shipping them for deployment. After overcoming all adversaries and reaching the docks, Snake receives a call from Nick informing him that John was taken aboard the same cargo ship that is housing the mass-produced Metal Gears.
Snake boards the ship which immediately sets sail. Snake finds no traces of John, but learns that the new Metal Gear models cannot be destroyed by conventional means, and that he should sink the ship instead. Snake proceeds to the cargo holds of the ship, and detonates an ammunition cache. He makes his way to the deck and is rescued by the helicopter pilot moments before the ship sinks to the bottom of the ocean. The pilot informs Snake that Nick has been captured as well, and that his last known whereabouts are the rail yards outside of the enemy's main base. The pilot tells Snake to contact their double agent, Jennifer, on the inside, and drops Snake off.
Snake locates a hidden underground passage which leads to a train station. Snake boards the train, and receives a call from a captive John, who leads him to his whereabouts. After making his way past numerous suspicious traps, Snake finally reaches John's holding area, and as he frees him, John reveals himself to be an impostor that has taken the real John's place. The impostor attacks Snake, but is killed. The train stops, and Snake uses the opportunity to disembark. Snake then receives a call from Nick stating that the operation is still a "go" in spite of John's disappearance.
Still trudging through the exterior defenses of the fortress, Snake receives a call from Jennifer, asking to meet with him inside the main base. After reaching the bridge connecting the exterior of the fortress to the stronghold of the fortress, Snake receives another call from Jennifer stating she's inside. After successfully infiltrating the main base, Jennifer calls Snake yet again, telling Snake that Nick is ahead of Snake, and that the three of them should meet up somewhere. She also informs Snake that the enemy commander plans to launch a nuclear attack using the newest Metal Gear prototype, Metal Gear 2, and that he's on the top floor of the fortress.
However, while reaching the heart of the fortress, Nick becomes careless and is fatally wounded by enemy soldiers. Snake finds a dying Nick, who informs him that Jennifer's cover was blown by the enemy (a translation error has Nick say "we've discovered that Jennifer is a spy" instead of "they've") and reveals the identity of the enemy commander: Big Boss. The same mercenary who issued the construction of the first Metal Gear, Big Boss is being kept alive via a life support system in his lair, and in order to defeat him, Nick tells Snake that he must be lured out. Nick then dies.
Snake finally confronts Big Boss in his lair. Big Boss tells Snake that he wants revenge for the injuries that lead to him becoming a cyborg, and then attacks. After sustaining enough damage, Big Boss transforms into a tall cyborg and boasts that he doesn't have any weak spots. Snake lures him away from his lair and defeats him using mines (Big Boss's soles were his weak spot).
After Big Boss's demise, an alarm sounds and an announcement is made that Metal Gear 2 is operational. Snake proceeds through Big Boss's lair and unties the captive Jennifer, who leads him to the complex where Metal Gear 2 is housed. Snake exits the top of the tower and proceeds via another gondola to the complex. After Snake marked a reinforced door to the complex with a smoke bomb he had located earlier, the helicopter pilot destroys the reinforced door to the complex, allowing Snake's passage inside.
Another set of alarms go off, and Snake hears another announcement: Metal Gear 2 is targeting New York, Tokyo, and Moscow. Snake navigates a small maze within the complex and arrives to Metal Gear 2's housing area. Snake cannot reach the autonomous bipedal tank, so he fires a series of remote control missiles through an air duct at Metal Gear 2's undercarriage. After enough damage is inflicted, Metal Gear 2 is destroyed.
In the aftermath of Operation 747, the United Nations declared World Peace Day. John Turner was declared MIA and removed from Navy Records, and Nick Myer was posthumously promoted three ranks.
One aspect of the game which has affected people's perception of Snake's Revenge is the storyline as depicted by the game's instruction manual. At the time of its release, Konami of America/Ultra Games (the game's publisher) had a habit of not taking their games seriously. This was reflected by the humorous tone of their instruction manuals, which made several jokes and puns at the expense of the game and paid little or no respect toward the game designers' original intentions.
Snake's Revenge was no exception. In the manual, the main villain's name, which is actually kept a secret in the game until the end, is given as Higharolla Kockamamie, a play on Ayatollah Khomeini, and one of the main characters (Jennifer) is described as possibly being related to "Ginger from Gilligan's Island." In addition, the main enemy fortification is referred to as "Fortress Fanatic," located in the nation of Ishkabibil, Teristan. None of these terms or jokes actually appear within the game itself.
After the success the NES version of Metal Gear had in the Western market, especially in North America, where Metal Gear sold over a million copies, Konami commissioned the development of a sequel for the NES made specifically with the Western market in mind without the consent of Hideo Kojima.
Kojima, who was not planning on making a sequel to Metal Gear due to the relatively lower sales of the MSX2 version in Japan, was unware of the development of the game until he ran into a member of the Snake's Revenge development staff during a train ride in Tokyo. The developer told Kojima about the game. He then requested Kojima to develop a true sequel. By the end of the train ride, Kojima had already developed the basic storyline for the entire game. The very next day, he went to his boss at Konami with a game plan, and was given the go-ahead to make Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, then exclusively for the MSX2, which was released in 1990.
As a result, the canonical Metal Gear 2 was released exclusively in Japan for the MSX2, while Snake's Revenge became the Metal Gear sequel for the North American and European market, although Metal Gear 2 would see an official release in the English market 16 years later as a component of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence.
From Hideo KojimaEdit
When interviewed by Steven Kent in 1999, Kojima stated that he enjoyed Snake's Revenge and that he thought it was "faithful to the Metal Gear concept", although during the 2009 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco he stated that Snake's Revenge was a "little crap game." However, he later stated in an interview with Nintendo Power that he doesn't consider it to be a "bad game."
As part of the series' 25th Anniversary, Snake's Revenge, alongside the rest of the Metal Gear games in existence, will be playable at the retro area of the Penny Arcade Expo starting on September 27.
Tiger LCD handheldEdit
A handheld electronic game based on Snake's Revenge was released in 1990 by Tiger Electronics. The game was released under Tiger's "Game Talk" lineup, due to the fact that it featured a voice-based navigation system in which the player is given spoken hints and messages through the radio. Gameplay is similar to other handheld games, playing more like an action game with exploration elements and, naturally, completely discarding the stealth elements. The player gets to fight against enemy soldiers, grenadiers and tanks using a machine gun, grenades and missiles respectively. The player can also open doors and passages using plastic explosives and keycards. In later stages, the player will fight against mass-produced Metal Gear 1 units. In the eighth and final stage, the player will fight against Metal Gear 2.