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Game info

Metal Gear

Metal Gear
GenreAction Strategy
Reviewed byndial
By hearing the title "Metal Gear", most of you probably remember the amazing PlayStation 1 (and PS2 later) series of action adventure stealth video games called Metal Gear Solid. But Metal Gear is actually their "granddad"; a game originally released for the MSX2 computers back in 1987.
In the mid 90s, the Western world received intelligence info that warned of the existence of a mass destruction weapon, supposedly constructed deep within a mysterious fortress. Special Forces unit FOXHOUND, lead by the legendary soldier Big Boss, sends their best agent, Gray Fox, to infiltrate the fortress. However, some days later, the contact with Gray Fox is lost, with his final transmission consisting only of two words: "Metal Gear...". You control a special forces veteran called Solid Snake and your mission is to find the super-weapon called "Metal Gear", a bipedal walking tank with the ability to launch nuclear weapons. The game (as almost all games of the Metal Gear saga) is renowned for pioneering the stealth game genre, in which you start having only one weapon and you have to go through and accomplish your mission by yourself as stealthy as possible! You start the game unarmed, but you will eventually gain access to a variety of firearms and explosives. Use your weapon to either kill your enemies or destroy walls and electrified floors to make your way through. But beware! The ammo and supplies for each weapon are limited, though you can easily replenish them on the way. Apart from your (limited) firearms, you can use your fists to punch and knock out patrolling enemies. Defeated enemies may leave ammo, energy or even key-cards to open certain doors. Just take down an enemy when nobody is watching...and your mission will be easier! Metal Gear was later ported to the Nintendo NES console, but with many significant changes. This version was followed by ports to a variety of home computers such as the PC MS-DOS and Commodore 64.

The graphics are great on the MSX2. The levels are very detailed with various objects and buildings and the sprites move smoothly on screen. It is remarkable (and unique for the 1987 gaming standards) that you can easily hide behind objects like piles, vehicles, corners (!) and more, in order to avoid enemy patrols from spotting you! The devs did a really good job to this! The game's sound is great too, featuring a nice main menu tune while there is also an in-game tune along with several sound FX.
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Gameplay sample
Hardware information


MSX2CPU: ZiLOG Z80A at 3,58MHz
MEMORY: 64Kb to 128Kb RAM, 64KB ROM (32Kb for bios, 16Kb for Basic v3, 16Kb for DiskROM)
GRAPHICS: Yamaha V9938 with 128Kb VRAM (sometimes 64 or 192Kb) supporting 512x212 (16 colours out of 512) and 256x212 (256 colours)
SOUND: Yamaha YM2149 (PSG) 3 channels, 8 octaves. Also supports Yamaha YM2413 (OPLL) known as FM-PAC capable of 9 channels FM or 6 channels FM + 5 drums and 15 pre-set instruments!
The MSX2 (default) color palette
9-bit RGB 512-color palette (16 on-screen)
MSX2+: 15bit RGB 32,768-color palette (19,268 on screen)
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