Shadow Moses Island
Shadow Moses Island (シャドーモセス島, Shadow Moses Island) is a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl developed by Hideo Kojima. It was officially recognized in the October 2, 2007 DOJO!! update, having appeared before that in many trailers and screenshots.
The stage features giant watchtowers as destructible walls, as well as a spotlight that generates the infamous "!" over a player's head and the also infamous "Discovery" sound if it shines on them (although it does not affect the players, and it is not meant to be a threat). The stage also features a random Metal Gear that will occasionally appear in the background: Metal Gear REX, Metal Gear RAY, or two GEKKOs. They do not interact with or affect the gameplay, and they do not attack other opponents. When the stage's watchtowers are broken down, the edges of the stage are exposed, making it more difficult for lighter characters to stay alive. They have two sections each; if the bottom section is destroyed, the top section will collapse as well, but the bottom section can stand without the top. After about a minute or two, a broken watchtower (if the entirely is shattered, not just the top) will resurrect, forcing all edge-bound characters back into the center. However, though generally unknown, most characters can get over the towers by jumping multiple times as a watchtower is resurrected. The walls can also be bypassed by using a Warp Star near the sides and tilting past them. The characters will remain trapped (and largely unreachable) until the towers are destroyed again.
When Snake uses his Smash Taunt on this stage, his teammates (Otacon, Mei Ling, and Colonel Campbell) will communicate with him via Codec and give him information about fighters he's playing against, similarly to Fox, Falco, and Wolf's Star Fox Smash Taunt. There is also a Codec transmission in which Slippy appears and tells Snake all about Falco. If Snake is KO'ed while on the Codec, the person on the other end stops their speech and gives the infamous "SNAAAAAKE!" Game Over shout.
The exterior of this stage, which is inaccessible in the game by normal ways, can be seen in this video . The destructible walls on either side of the stage will be destroyed after they take 72% damage.
Shadow Moses Island is banned in tournaments because of unfair advantages such as repeated abuse of chaingrabs against the watchtowers (more notably in the case of King Dedede's chaingrab - against any character with a weight of more than 87 (Marth's weight), he can infinitely chaingrab them against the wall and finish with an unavoidable up tilt for a KO), the difficulty of KOing horizontally (meaning that players would have to resort to Star KOs) and the removal of the bottom blast line, thus rendering spikes, edgehogs and similar techniques virtually useless.
The Shadow Moses Island stage draws its inspiration from Metal Gear Solid. The stage is made to resemble the helipad in front of Shadow Moses Island's nuclear weapons disposal facility's tank hangar. It is one of the first areas Snake ventures through in the facility, although it has some differences in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, such as the lack of the crawlspace, no staircases, the truck that was parked in front of the building is gone, and the height of the searchlight towers has been extended. Shadow Moses Island is one of the most important areas in the Metal Gear series. It is the first place Snake explores in full 3D, and was the housing area for the first nuclear-wielding Metal Gear. In Metal Gear Solid the nuclear weapons disposal facility building's search lights are focused on the helipad itself. If Snake gets into the light, the cover is blown and guards are called to kill him. Ever since Metal Gear Solid when the player would be seen by security the trademark sound would be heard and an exclamation point would be shown over the enemy. In Brawl, if a player got caught by the search lights the same sound can be heard and an exclamation point would be shown over the player who got caught. Also, in Metal Gear Solid when the player is caught by the search lights the lights would be focused on the player until he or she manages to find somewhere to hide. In this stage in Brawl the search lights would remain focused on the character.
In Metal Gear Solid, Snake was first commissioned out of retirement to infiltrate the facility to destroy Metal Gear REX before Liquid Snake could launch its nuke. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty the U.S. Marine Corps designed a new Metal Gear called Metal Gear RAY. It was designed as a counter to the immense amount of Metal Gear REX derivatives being constructed around the world. Both Metal Gear REX and Metal Gear RAY have a chance of appearing in the background of this stage; however, Metal Gear RAY never appeared on Shadow Moses Island until Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots when Snake and Liquid Ocelot fight each other using REX and RAY.
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots there is a class of mass produced mechas called Gekkos. Unlike REX, Gekkos weren't able to launch nukes, which means that Gekkos aren't true Metal Gears. In Guns of the Patriots, Gekkos do appear on Shadow Moses Island. The design of the Gekkos resemble their appearance in Guns of the Patriots; however, Super Smash Bros. Brawl was first released on January 31, 2008 in Japan while Metal Gear Solid 4 was released internationally on June 12, 2008 making Brawl the first game that the Gekkos appeared in. (Notably, Brawl also included the track "MGS4 - Theme of Love - Smash Bros. Brawl Version" from Guns of the Patriots before its release.)
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