Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #14: The Sorrow and the campfire scene
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!
Time to break out! OK so I’ve already broken out, but that’s not especially dramatic. Today I made my way out of the Groznyj Grad fortress following that amazing cutscene, The Boss actually gives Snake the means to escape. She’s obviously torn over her role in the whole fiasco and is starting to have regrets about her involvement in a possible nuclear Armageddon. As most would, I dare say.
Anyway, Snake manages to bust out of the fortress (with my assistance, of course), only to come across another member of the COBRAs. The Sorrow finally surfaced in a creepy cutscene and boss battle rather unlike any of the others. It’s an unusual, but brilliant, segment that essentially forces the player to reflect back on the way they’ve played the game. I had to slowly walk through a misty river overwatched by The Sorrow, as ghosts of everyone I’d killed up to that point attempted to drain my life. I’d killed quite a few people, so the river was pretty full with dead souls. Not enough to make it difficult to navigate, but certainly enough to make me feel a little bad. A really, really great idea that, forcing the player to question how they treat human lives within videogames.
The encounter also threw up a challenge by being seemingly impossible to actually complete. You see, once I reached the end of the river Snake just keeled over and died without any outside effect. It was more than a little surprising and a real pain in the arse. Considering all the goons I’d killed, it did take me a little while to get through the level. So I headed back in feeling rather cheated, fearful that it would happen again. Well, to my dismay, it did happen again only this time I pressed some random buttons on my controller out of frustration. At which point the item menu popped up, reminding me that I could use the revival pill that Snake keeps in his tooth. So I selected it and voila! Snake came back from the dead! That was a lucky escape, if I’m honest.
With the gameplay section completed, a bit of detail was provided on The Sorrow. Turns out he’s been dead for a couple of years, killed by The Boss during a mission. There’s a cool little flash of audio between The Sorrow and his previous commander in which The Boss expresses fear and pain at the idea of killing her friend. Plus, The Sorrow was some kind of ESP expert who could talk to the dead. Which explains (in MGS logic) why he was able to ‘summon my dead’.
Today’s session ended with yet another golden cutscene between Snake and Eva, a little (sort of) romance story that’s fast becoming my favourite element of the narrative. The sexual tension between the two reaches a tipping point, only for Snake to back off once again. He’s clearly still conflicted between his obvious desire for Eva and his desire to stay on track with the mission. Then the scene takes a turn for the weird. I’ve done a little research online, and it turns out that if I don’t remove the transmitter from Snake’s body before the cutscene, then a special scene is unlocked in which Eva removes the transmitter herself.
Basically, there’s a heavy heaping of sexual innuendo mixed in with some odd stuff that I don’t even know how to describe - just, just watch it for yourself. It actually partially ruined an incredibly emotional scene, in particular an awesome moment where Eva explains why she loves to ride her motorbike.