Metal Gear (universe)
The Metal Gear universe (メタルギア, Metal Gear) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the popular Metal Gear stealth-based video game franchise developed by third-party developer Konami. The long-running series is famous in the Smash Bros. community for being the first third-party game franchise to contribute characters and properties to the otherwise Nintendo-exclusive Smash Bros. series, mainly the series' main star, Solid Snake. The logo was formerly the logo for FOX, the unit that Naked Snake hailed from in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (also the former logo of Kojima Productions, the developer of the franchise). The current logo is the "!" Alert for when the player gets spotted in the Metal Gear Solid games.
The history and legacy of the Metal Gear franchise is deeply intertwined with its creator Hideo Kojima. In 1987, the then-unknown video game planner, working at Konami, was asked to take over a project that had been intended as a wartime action game for the MSX2 home computer. Technical limitations to the MSX2 prevented Kojima from creating a game that had many bullets and enemies onscreen at any given moment, though, so Kojima made a decision to design and direct a game that drew inspiration from the film The Great Escape, wherein the focus of the game was to avoid visual contact and direct confrontation with patrolling enemies. His bosses' questioning over this decision nearly prompted Kojima to leave Konami, but after one of his bosses encouraged him to continue, he proceeded to complete and release Metal Gear on July 12, 1987. It is credited by many today as the progenitor of the stealth action genre in the video game industry. The game was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System without Kojima's involvement, and published under the Ultra Games label in North America. This port was successful enough that Konami began development on a sequel, Snake's Revenge. Kojima was likewise not involved with the development of Snake's Revenge, and had no plans for a sequel, only changing his mind with encouragement of a colleague who was on the development staff of Snake's Revenge. Kojima's sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, was released on July 20, 1990. This game pioneered the franchise’s reputation for twist-filled narratives and introduced many of the evolved stealth gameplay aspects that would be present in the rest of the series.
The series became dormant after Metal Gear 2, with Kojima working on a number of unrelated projects in the meantime. But it was only with the release of the seminal third game in the series, Metal Gear Solid (for the original PlayStation), that brought the franchise and its creator into the mainstream on September 20th, 1998. Universal critical praise and chart-topping sales propelled the Metal Gear intellectual property into a flagship franchise for Konami, and it is often recognized as one of the key titles involved in popularizing the stealth-action game genre. As a result, Metal Gear Solid became a killer app for the console and Solid Snake became a de facto mascot for the system, like Squaresoft's Cloud Strife before him, with the choreography of voice actors Akio Otsuka and David Hayter cementing Snake as a symbol of character complexity in video games. In addition to featuring the gameplay style of the previous game, only now in three dimensions, Metal Gear Solid made extensive use of cinematic storytelling to tell a gritty, twist-filled narrative like a blockbuster film. It proved to be a huge success, and both it and its sequels have been regarded as being among the greatest video games of their respective platforms.
The Metal Gear franchise, often referred to with the name Metal Gear Solid due to almost every subsequent game featuring "Solid" in its title, proceeded to release a large number of sequels, prequels, interquels, expanded re-releases, and non-canonical side games on a regular basis. In most of the games, the player takes control of an elite, artificially enhanced special forces operative codenamed Snake - either it is Solid Snake (real name David) in games set in the postmodern present, or it is his father, Big Boss (real name John), back when he operated as Naked Snake in games set after the Cold War era. A younger secondary protagonist codenamed Raiden (real name Jack) is also sometimes featured in a leading role. The games have Snake, operating under the command of the highest orders of government, sneaking into the compounds of militant enemy forces that threaten Earth politically with revolutionary nuclear weapons technology, which in many cases take the form of a bipedal walking tank named "Metal Gear". Snake uses his stealth skills and cunning to bypass enemy guards when necessary, neutralize guards and elite enemies that stand in his way with weapons procured on site, and interrogate hostages and enemies alike to gather intel and gain access to where he needs to go to complete his mission to neutralize the war weapons and the villains that threaten to use them.
Each release in the central Metal Gear chronology adds to the series' ambitious lore, which is closely grounded in the politics of real-world Earth from the Cold War onward. Core themes explored include many issues about nuclear deterrence, social engineering, artificial intelligence, information control, conspiracy theories, questioning integrity, censorship, the manipulation of free will, and social taboos. This takes place throughout narratives that are rife with betrayal, revelations of identity and family, and other plot twists that span many games. Depictions of Snake and other Metal Gear characters and elements in a more lighthearted air are usually relegated to non-canonical side games and cameos, such as when Solid Snake became the first third-party character to be featured as a playable character in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, revealed in 2006 to be playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
During the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, disputes were frequent between Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami over the game's development. The game, along with Kojima's other concurrent project, Silent Hills (a return to form for the Silent Hill series), were coming at a time when Konami began their transition away from AAA studios like Kojima Productions and towards mobile and pachislot games. Kojima's name and studio would be removed from any Metal Gear Solid V promotional material, including the box art, and the much-anticipated Silent Hills would be cancelled and its playable demo removed from digital stores. The Phantom Pain would eventually be released to universal acclaim, though this was a bittersweet accomplishment as this would be Kojima's last project for Konami. The undisputed tension between Kojima and Konami ultimately culminated in him leaving the company in December 2015, thus giving him the opportunity to re-establish Kojima Productions as its own independent studio.
What follows is the release history of the canonical Metal Gear continuity:
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
A popular story tells that during development of the Nintendo fighting game, Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima "practically begged" Masahiro Sakurai to include Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a playable fighter, but the addition was not viable because development of the game was too far in with a tight deadline fast approaching. As a result, no mention of Metal Gear appears in the game whatsoever.
Metal Gear makes its official debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first third-party game series to feature in the Smash Bros. series, generating an outburst of excitement and speculation across the industry and broke the glass ceiling for third-party franchises appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series.
When Hideo Kojima was asked about the possibility of Snake reappearing in Smash 4 during an interview in March 2014, he replied: "I'm not working on that game, but I don't think it's likely [that Snake will return]. If Mr. Sakurai is watching this, hopefully we see Snake." Snake, along with the entire Metal Gear universe, would ultimately be cut in SSB4. In addition, Snake is the only cut veteran from Brawl who does not have a trophy in either version of Smash 4. Snake was also mentioned during the 50 Fact Extravaganza when Palutena's Guidance was being compared to the Codec Conversations.
The Metal Gear franchise makes its triumphant comeback in Ultimate after being dropped from Smash 4. The series logo has been changed from the FOX Unit logo to the iconic "!" exclamation point that appears when the player is spotted. On top of most of the content from Brawl, being one fighter, one stage, one Assist Trophy, and several music tracks, even more was brought in from across the franchise in the decade since the series was last featured, including two brand new remixes and a plethora of Spirits.
Main article: List of SSBU Music (Metal Gear series)
Arrangements and remixes unique to Ultimate.
Arrangements and remixes returning from Brawl.
Tracks sourced directly from the Metal Gear games.
Main article: List of spirits (Metal Gear series)
Games with elements from and in the Super Smash Bros. series
Solid Snake, the main character of the Metal Gear series, made his debut in this game. Theme of Tara also originates from Metal Gear.
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Theme of Solid Snake, one of the game's two intro themes, is an unlockable music track usable on the Shadow Moses Island stage. A new remix was featured in Ultimate.
Metal Gear Solid
The Shadow Moses Island area from the game is a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Solid Snake's support team, Colonel Roy Campbell, Otacon, and Mei Ling, appear in Codec transmissions in Snake's Smash Taunts. Gray Fox, a major character from the game, appears as an Assist Trophy. Metal Gear REX makes an appearance as a part of the background in the Shadow Moses Island stage. Other characters from Metal Gear Solid appear as stickers, such as Meryl Silverburgh and Liquid Snake. Two musical themes in Brawl are taken from this game: the original version of Cavern, and a remix of Encounter.
In turn, a reference to Super Smash Bros. Melee appears in the GameCube remake of MGS if the player has saved data for it on the memory card in use. Before the boss battle against Psycho Mantis, he will read Snake's mind (in actuality, the player's memory card) and note that Snake's played Melee if data from the game is found.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Snake's intro animation resembles his appearance aboard the Discovery's aft deck, wherein his stealth camo system disengages and malfunctions due to landing impact. Metal Gear RAY first appeared in this game, as did Snake's up special, Cypher. Snake's Navy SEAL disguise, "Iroquois Pliskin", is an unlockable trophy. Raiden and Solidus appear as stickers. Yell "Dead Cell", the "Plant" chapter boss theme, is an available music track as well.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Facially, Snake has a full beard similar to Naked Snake/Big Boss's appearance in this game, and his alternate colours consist of camouflage patterns used by Naked Snake. Snake's C4 may occasionally spawn a butterfly-shaped C3, in reference to a scene from this game. Naked Snake and the Shagohod (a predecessor to the Metal Gear) appear as trophies, while EVA and The Boss appear as stickers. Two musical themes are directly taken from this game: the original version of Battle in The Base, and an instrumental version of the game's main theme, Snake Eater. In Ultimate, the latter song receives a more intense remix.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Calling to the Night, the game's end credits theme, is an unlockable theme in Brawl and Ultimate.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
MGS4 ~Theme of Love~ is a remix of this game's main theme. In turn, the remix is present in Metal Gear Solid 4 proper, as a song on Snake's in-game MP3 player. Gekkos first appeared in this game; two of these mechs, along with Metal Gear REX and Metal Gear RAY, appear on the Shadow Moses Island stage as a reference to the game's climax. Spirit designs for Hal Emmerich, Roy Campbell, Meryl Silverburgh, Mei Ling, Rosemary, Metal Gear REX, Metal Gear RAY and Gekko are taken from MGS4.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The main theme from this game appears as a song in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Additionally, spirits of Dr. Strangelove, Paz, and Metal Gear ZEKE appear as well.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Raiden, in his design from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, appears as a Spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain & Ground Zeroes
Spirit designs for Cardboard Box, Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot, Kazuhira Miller, and Sahelanthropus appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Additionally, Snake's Final Smash in Ultimate, Covering Fire, takes cues from this game's airstrikes.