The Ten Most Insane Moments From Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Ten years ago on this day, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater hit the PlayStation 2. The Cold War Era throwback starred a young Big Boss on his mission to confront maverick Russian forces and secure a huge cache of money. Snake Eater is packed with awesome stealth gameplay, plenty of straight-faced reflections of the nature of war, and well-realized characters. But it's also filled with moments so crazy and absurd that we'll never be able to forget them. In honor of Snake Eater's 10th anniversary, we've gathered the ten most insane moments from the game.
Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for MGS 3.
As in any great Metal Gear game, Snake confronts a ragtag pack of enemies with names and related combat skills that would make them great matches for any comic book super hero. The Pain is a man in bulky black and yellow camo, making him look like a humanoid bee. The small bit of his face that's visible is pink and riddles with throbbing stings. This is probably due to the fact that he commands a huge swarm of hornets that protect him and do his bidding. Where it gets even more nutso is that he commands the flying pests to deliver hand grenades and he can fire blast the little buggers out of his machine gun. You haven't experienced the true MGS experience until you've dodged a barrage of hornets being shot out of a Tommy Gun. And he explodes when you defeat him, of course.
Snakes & Ladders
This entry isn't quite as over-the-top as the rest of this list, but its craziness comes from how surprising it is. Late in the game, Snake climbs an absurdly long ladder out of an underground facility. Snake Eater's theme music begins to fade in as the covert operative steadily makes his way up the ladder. Kojima Productions didn't just slip in a clip of the music, either. Snake's ladder climb is so long that there's enough time to play the entirety of the amazing 007-inspired track. Who could've guessed that one of the most memorable moments from Big Boss's early career would involve climbing a super tall ladder?
Metal Gear Solid 3 kicks off on an odd note by asking players whether they like Metal Gear Solid or Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Selecting the MGS 2 option makes for a very strange introduction. When our hero takes off his aerial drop mask we see none other than the blond, baby-faced Raiden from MGS 2. This little self-deprecating jab at MGS 2's surprise antagonist also ends up being a mask as well. The Raiden mask comes in handy later as a bizarrely important disguise when it's time to go undercover as Volgin's lover, complete with an awkward inspection.
A Premature End
Snake Eater is filled with legendary boss fights, not the least of which is an epic sniper showdown between Snake and an ancient old deadeye who only emerges from his deep sleep to sharpshoot. Players can subvert this battle (and rob themselves of an awesome experience) in a couple crazy ways. Players with true aim and a steady hand can actually assassinate The End during an early section in the game where he's being rolled into a warehouse on his wheelchair. PlayStation 2 players could also enlist the corroding power of time itself to off the old man by setting their system's time and date settings to two weeks or more into the future. In the end, time takes us all.
The Interrogation Nightmare
Snake hits hard times in Snake Eater, including some extensive torture at the electrified hands of Volgin. If the player saves and loads their game while locked up in the torture room, a bizarre nightmare sequence boots up instead of Snake Eater itself. A bad-ass hero named Guy Savage battles a crowd of demented, meat hook-wielding zombies in a dark room. The brief sequence is grim and jarring - two key components for any nightmare.
Speaking of nightmares, Sigint shares one of his own dark nightmares with Snake during a particularly weird codec conversation. Sigint recalls a terrible dream in which a bipedal tank made of fecal matter walks into his hometown, destroying everything he loves by firing a barrage of turd missiles. Snake Eater is packed tight with goofy codec sequences, including one where Snake reveals he's afraid of Dracula, but Sigint's fecalpheliac confession takes the dirty, dirty prize.
The Sorrow's River of the Dead
The Metal Gear Solid series' most abstract boss fight is also one of the most insane. Unlike his comrades, The Sorrow isn't actually part of our physical plain of existence. This spectral nemesis puts Snake through his paces by forcing the agent to slog through a river as the ghosts of those he's gunned down and knifed to death wade past him. Players must atone for their murderous sins by evading these vengeful spirits. The Metal Gear series has always awarded higher endgame scores for players who employ nonlethal stealth tactics, but The Sorrow's river is the most impactful way players have had to confront how many people they've killed. Snake dies at the end of this sequence either way, complete with a game over screen. Even crazier, players can still pull up their inventory on the screen and select a cyanide capsule, which is the only way to free Snake from this purgatory.
The mountainous woodlands of Russia are packed with myriad flora and fauna, all of which Snake can shoot and cram into his face. One such scavenged item is the Russian glowcap. Snake can call up the knowledgeable Paramedic to chat with her about the luminous mushrooms, and the conversation takes a bizarre turn. Snake is convinced that eating the glowing fungus will help him recharge his batteries. Paramedic calmly and thoroughly explains to Snake how this is impossible, but Snake tries it anyway. The trick works, but his radio support team begins to think the operative is losing his mind as he enthusiastically shares his discovery. Maybe Snake's days of sneaking behind enemy lines and eating his way through the forest have compromised his mental state.
The next couple entries aren't in the main campaign, but they're too nuts to leave off this list. Snake receives top honors from Washington for serving his country in Russia. He shakes President Johnson's hand, but blows off the Director of the CIA for the organization's betrayal against his former mentor The Boss. Kojima Productions included an insane extra video in the Subsistence re-release, in which the Director gets some revenge on Snake, before spiraling into a truly unexpected direction. Watch the video above for some unexpected CQC, a firm handshake, and some grade-A frolicking.
This extra mode in Subsistence mashes together two beloved PlayStation-era games - Ape Escape and MGS. Even though he's not packing an energy bat or net, Snake is sent on a special mission to track down a gang of escaped orangutans within the allotted time. Things get even more insane when Snake protests on this zookeeper-quality mission, asking why "Sam" or "Gabe" couldn't be sent on this assignment. Snake is of course referencing Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher and Syphon Filter's Gabe Logan, two popular stealth operatives from gaming history. Konami's nod to rival series makes these references even weirder and cooler.
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