Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #13: A cutscene from the gods!
Welcome to the Metal Gear Noob Diaries. This is the recounting of my experience through the MGS series from MGS2: Sons of Liberty all the way to MGSV: Ground Zeroes. I’ll be updating every so often with new thoughts on sections of the games and taking a look back at memorable and enjoyable moments. I’ve never played the series before, so for the fans out there it could be an amusing tale of one noob’s journey, while those as green as myself could well learn a little about the mad world of MGS. Enjoy!
“Snaaaaaakeeee Eaaaaaaaaateeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr!” Yup, that tune is now well and truly ingrained into my brain. I can’t get it out yet I can’t stop listening to it - the vicious cycle.
Another fantastic session, which by this point is probably not even worth mentioning. I mean, just about every session has been really good. This one was extra good though! Promise. Now, admittedly it didn’t get off to the best start, although I really shouldn’t complain about parts proving tricky after my previous moanings about everything being a bit easy. Upon entering Groznyj Grad (or rather the underground tunnel leading to the fortress) I came across The Fury, a member of team COBRA that I didn’t even realise existed. I can’t remember if he was present at the beginning of the game when the team were introduced, so it was a pleasant surprise.
The Fury was an interesting character, and just as weird as the rest of them. He had some kind of evil astronaut thing going and was by far the toughest boss fight I’ve faced yet. I spent a good hour or so on the bastard, dying on more than a few occasions. I just found his attack, a powerful flamethrower, to have incredibly long range and strength. To begin with, I was approaching him far too directly, but I steadily learned to take things slow and only ever attack from behind. Reminiscent of the boss fight with Vamp in MGS2, it was tough but definitely fair. At no point did I feel cheated - and that’s a great claim that can easily be made for every boss battle I’ve played so far.
With The Fury down I moved on to the fortress itself, a fun little semi-open landscape filled to the brim with guards and other nasties just waiting to catch me out. The aim here was to find Volgin’s second-in-command, one Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov who looked more than a little bit like Raiden. No, he looked exactly the same. I guess we’re to assume he’s some kind of ancestor, especially considering I wasn’t allowed to kill him. It was probably just a stupid reference though, wasn’t it? Ugh.
Anyway, after a fun succession of gameplay sections I found Raikov, stole his clothing and simply waltzed into the area of the facility where Sokolov was being held captive. So ensued one of the longest, but by far the best cutscene of the series so far. I’ve tried not to go into excruciating detail on story elements with these diaries, obviously not because of spoilers, but just because the plot is so damn complex, random and at times confusing, that it’d be impossibly difficult to adequately describe every detail. This cutscene, however, I’ll talk about in a bit more detail.
So Snake busts in and finds Sokolov, who describes the capability of the Shagohod and how the giant nuclear tank works. This, by the way, was completely barmy. Apparently, if the Shagohod travels across the ground at 300 mph then launches a nuclear missile, it more than doubles the range of the missile compared to if it had just been launched static. I’m no physicist, but that doesn’t seem logically sound in my books. Sorry, I’m being pedantic again, but like so many things in this series it made me chuckle.
Basically, Volgin is planning to mass produce the Shagohod and turn the Cold War hot. There’s some back and forth concerning Eva, all of which makes me increasingly suspicious of her activities, especially after she takes the Shagohod experimental data from Sokolov. Suddenly, Volgin bursts in and grabs Snake (still dressed as Raikov) by the balls. That’s not an analogy by the way, he literally grabs his balls, at which point he works out that Snake’s an imposter. Very odd moment, but an interesting one that seems to suggest (amongst accompanying dialogue) that Volgin is bisexual. He’s very much a generic bad guy, and one of my least favorite characters of the series so far, but he clearly has some interesting characteristics.
So Volgin, with the help of The Boss, unveils Snake and starts to beat the living crap out of him. He captures him and takes him to a torture chamber. That’s where the real action starts: Volkin kills Sokolov at this point, the whole murder presented in audial form with Snake and the player blindfolded. Snake then becomes the target of Volgin’s questions and brutality. He mentions the legacy, something that’s been brought up a few times before - the Philosopher’s legacy to be specific. Apparently it’s a huge stash of money that Volgin has possession of. It’s a horrific scene with constant violence and torture, that culminates in Ocelot shooting out Snake’s right eye as he tries to save Eva.
There was a lot more to the scene, and if you’ve yet to play MGS, this is just one of the many reasons to give it a go. I’ve never been so engaged in a game cut-scene before, especially one that lasts upwards of half an hour. Just an emotional roller-coasting that sees all the big players in the story colliding.