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.
In 1987, then-unknown video game planner Hideo Kojima, 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.
Years later, Kojima was asked to develop an MSX2 sequel to Metal Gear, and the result, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, was released on July 20, 1990, introducing many of the evolved stealth gameplay aspects that would be present in the rest of the series. But it was only in 1998 when the September 20th release of the seminal third game in the series, Metal Gear Solid, brought the series into the mainstream. Universally glowing reviews and chart-topping sales propelled the Metal Gear intellectual property into a gigantic franchise, and it is often recognized as one of the key titles involved in popularizing the stealth action genre. In addition to featuring the gameplay style of the previous game in three dimensions, Metal Gear Solid made extensive use of cinematic cutscenes to tell a gritty, mature, twist-filled narrative like a film. It proved to be a huge success, and it and its sequels have been regarded as being among the greatest games of all time.
The Metal Gear franchise, often referred to with the name Metal Gear Solid due to almost every subsequent game featuring the word "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 stealthy cunning to bypass enemy guards that can be avoided, neutralizes guards and elite enemies that stand in his way with weapons procured on site, and interrogates hostages and enemies alike to gain directions and 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, censorship, the manipulation of free will, and taboos such as incest and homosexuality. 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 light-hearted air are usually relegated to non-canon 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 in 2006, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
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" Sakurai to include the third-party character 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. As a result, no mention of Metal Gear appears in the game whatsoever. What would eventually happen is that Snake would become a playable third-party character in Melee's follow-up, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Metal Gear debuts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first third-party game series to feature in the Smash Bros. series, generating an outburst of excitement across the game industry.
When the first Brawl trailer was shown and Snake debuted, Hideo Kojima stated that Solid Snake wouldn't be able to fight Shigeru Miyamoto's Mario in the game, because it would be dishonorable for Hideo's character to beat up on his mentor's creation. Clearly that was a joke, as the Nintendo World 2006 trailer shows Mario smashing Snake out of the ring in one scene and was said to have fought against Mario in a match against Sakurai.
The Metal Gear franchise returns in Ultimate after being dropped from Smash 4. The series logo has been entirely changed from the FOX Unit logo to the iconic "!" that appears when the player is spotted.
Games with elements from and in Super Smash Bros.
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.
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 ending theme, is an unlockable theme in Brawl.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
MGS4 ~Theme of Love~ Smash Bros. Brawl Version 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. Gekko 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.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain & Ground Zeroes
Big Boss's design from from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Kazuhira Miller's design from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain appear as Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Additionally, Snake's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes cues from this game's air strikes.
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