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The LWOG Backlog: Metal Gear Solid (GBC)
Gaming has a rich history that spans multiple decades. To this end, The Last Word on Gaming Backlog is a series that looks back on titles across all generations. From the golden 8-bit era to the landscape-changing 64-bit scene and beyond, The LWOG Backlog’s aim is history. This week’s edition of the Backlog shifts its focus to the Game Boy Color , highlighting an underrated game in its library – Metal Gear Solid for GBC.
Metal Gear Solid for Game Boy Color – An Overview
The importance of ghost babel.
Conceptualized by Hideo Kojima and published by Konami, the company famous for such series as Castlevania , the Metal Gear franchise is one of the most legendary in gaming history. The series began in 1987 with the title simply known as Metal Gear. From there, the series evolved and innovated, whether it was on the Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, or in the case of the topic of this piece, the Game Boy Color. In fact, it’s the GBC title that’s one of the lesser-known in the franchise. Despite this, it remains a gem in the portable system’s lifespan.
Released in Japan as Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, Metal Gear Solid for Game Boy Color is a pseudo-scaled-down remake of the 1998 PS1 classic of the same name . It was developed and published by Konami before being released in 2000. It’s important to note that while many of the mechanics were carried over, the story is completely different. Moreover, it can best be described as a supplementary entry in this long-running series. What makes this a title worth revisiting the GBC? Here’s what inquisitive minds should know.
Metal Gear Solid for GBC takes place in a separate timeline, seven years after the original Metal Gear. A prototype for a new Metal Gear, known as Gander, has been stolen by a guerrilla group in Central Africa, the intention being to use it for their war exploits. To this end, FOXHOUND recruits Solid Snake, who retired following the original title before relocating to Alaska. Colonel Campbell provides Snake with clear instructions: infiltrate the area formerly known as Outer Heaven, now known as Galuade, for one more mission.
In terms of story, Metal Gear Solid for GBC is very much in line with other entries in the series. The stakes are high and it feels like the mission at hand is one that is truly life or death. What’s also impressive about the story is the opening cutscene that tells it. The fact that a GBC would have a cutscene almost 15 minutes long is telling of this title’s quality. However, to truly be considered a Metal Gear game, it has to play like one, which is exactly what the entry alternatively titled Ghost Babel does.
Not unlike older entries in the series, Metal Gear Solid for GBC plays like an overhead 2D action game focused on stealth. As Solid Snake infiltrates the enemy’s perimeters, he must evade enemies, keeping out of sight by either hiding behind obstacles, crawling through air ducts, and following the advice provided via the Codec. If one has ever played an MSG game, the premise isn’t much different from a gameplay standpoint. Rather, mechanics and philosophies are remade to fit the limited hardware of the GBC.
Evading enemies may be easier said than done, however, especially given their intelligence. In addition to having sights that allow them to detect intruders, they may pick up on noise that Snake makes, which will prompt them to investigate certain areas. If Snake is spotted, he will either have to flee to hide or engage in combat. Snake isn’t short of offensive maneuvers, especially when he finds weaponry throughout the game’s 13 stages. However, to achieve the best score, stealth should be prioritized.
For those that are partial to the 3D entries in the franchise, Metal Gear Solid for GBC takes some getting used to. However, many of the series’ conventions have been brought over, translating well to this portable platform. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the supplementary modes, which we will discuss later. Metal Gear Solid for GBC is an ambitious title in many ways, gameplay included.
Presentation (Graphics and Sound)
From the opening cutscene discussed earlier to the minute-to-minute gameplay, Metal Gear Solid for GBC makes the most of the system’s capabilities. The opening cutscene alone is early evidence that this will be a different beast on the GBC. While it may not be the most technically impressive game in the series, it may be the best-looking game on the platform itself. It’s easy enough to make out environments, differentiating Snake from everything else on the screen. Visually, Ghost Babel hits the mark.
From a sound perspective, Metal Gear Solid for GBC gets things right as well. Many iconic tunes make their return here, such as when a stage begins or when one is completed, not to mention the iconic “Game Over” jingle. Ghost Babel’s soundtrack is equal parts tense and thrilling, capturing the mood of the Metal Gear series perfectly. The game was composed by Kazuki Muraoka and Norihiko Hibino, the latter of whom composed music for other MGS solid games, including Sons of Liberty for PlayStation 2 and Guns of the Patriots for PlayStation 3.
When it comes to value, Metal Gear Solid for GBC is jam-packed. A single playthrough can take a seasoned player anywhere from 10 to 12 hours to complete. However, it’s important to note that, at the end of each stage, the player is given a score based on their performance. Depending on how invested a player is, they may wish to replay certain stages to achieve the best rank possible. Even if one simply wishes to reach the end credits, the main campaign is substantial for a GBC game. However, this isn’t all that Ghost Babel has to offer concerning value.
In addition to the aforementioned campaign, Metal Gear Solid for GBC has a VR Training mode, which consists of 180 training missions. These are used to help players hone their skills, from sneaking to the utilization of firearms; players that are familiar with Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions will feel right at home here. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the VS. Battle mode, which requires two players to link up via the GBC Game Link Cable. For being a portable game, Ghost Babel offers plenty that will have avid gamers coming back.
Upon its release, Metal Gear Solid for GBC reviewed incredibly well. Various publications lauded the title, even considering it the best Game Boy Color game ever. This is high praise, to say the least; keep in mind that this is the same platform that offers such experiences as Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, as well as The Legend of Zelda : Oracle of Seasons/Ages. MSG stands alongside them as one of the essential titles to play on the platform.
Taking a game that hit its stride in 3D gaming and scaling it down to a 2D environment isn’t a simple endeavor. Given that there is less to work with in 2D, sacrifices may have to be made. However, the Game Boy Color edition of Metal Gear Solid was able to provide an experience all its own. Not only is it the same MSG action fans have come to expect but it can be experienced in the palms of their hands.
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Metal Gear: Ghost Babel Walkthrough
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This is just a basic walkthrough for the non-canon game, Metal Gear: Ghost Babel consisting of 11 diagrams each one representing a different portion of the game.
When following these maps the numbers connect to each other e.g. start at 1 then go to 2 then 3 and so on
Images came from http://www.neoseeker.com/Games/Products/GBC/metal_gear_solid/faqs.html
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Metal Gear Solid – Guide and Walkthrough
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Guide and Walkthrough (GBC) by Bagman007
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 06/05/2003
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Video Game / Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
The Gindra Liberation Front, a separatist group in Central Africa, has set a stronghold in the fortress of Galuade, the place formerly known as Outer Heaven. When the GLF hijacks GANDER, a new Metal Gear model under development by the U.S. military, Solid Snake is called back into action and sent to Galuade to neutralize the threat. There he meets Chris Jenner ( no, not THAT one ), a surviving member of a Delta Force team sent to to recover GANDER from the GLF, who reveals that the guerrillas are being aided by the surviving members of Black Chamber, a defunct U.S. Special Forces unit that once rivaled FOXHOUND. Throughout the course of his mission, Snake fights the members of Black Chamber and finds out there's more to the terrorists' objective than Gindra's sovereignty.
The game design is based closely on Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake , but with elements introduced in Metal Gear Solid . For example, the screen scrolls instead of flipping between sectors and Snake can flatten himself against walls to see ahead like in the PlayStation game. The player's inventory is also handled similarly to Metal Gear Solid .
Metal Gear: Ghost Babel provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc : The ending provides hint of a sequel, as Snake swears to take out John Parker and Steve Gardner for their involvement in Project Babel. However, this plot point was never followed up due to this alternate continuity being abandoned after this one game. KCE Japan (later known as Kojima Productions) would end up making the Boktai series on the GBA and DS instead, and there wouldn't be another Metal Gear game on a Nintendo portable until Snake Eater 3D on the 3DS, which was a port of Metal Gear Solid 3 .
- Abusive Parents : Weasel's father.
- Absurdly-Spacious Sewer : Galuade's sewer system. Justified as the Gindran region frequently suffers from massive storms and needs the space to prevent the water level from getting even higher than it already does.
- Action Girl : Chris and Sophie N'dram, respectively your Delta Force support and a boss who attacks you in a helicopter gunship.
- Alas, Poor Villain : With the exception of Pyro Bison and possibly Brian McBride , most of the members of Black Chamber give a somewhat sad story of their past when killed, and in the case of their leader, Black Arts Viper, he ends up apologizing to his deceased unit for failing to avenge them when Snake defeats him and shuts down the satellite uplink of GANDER.
- Alertness Blink : ! and ? , as always.
- All There in the Manual : GANDER's name isn't actually stated in the game; it's only mentioned on the official site and in the Japanese manual.
- Alternate Continuity : There's nothing in the promotional material that explicitly states that Ghost Babel is not part of the mainline Metal Gear canon. However, the game's plot clearly doesn't line up with what happens in the original Metal Gear Solid , with both games involving Solid Snake being brought out of retirement from Alaska and both games having him meet Mei Ling for the first time. Oddly enough, the description for the Five-SeveN pistol in Metal Gear Solid 4 references Snake as having undertaken a mission to Galuade.
- Angry Guard Dog : They show up in one stage as a step up from the regular guards, with better hearing (able to hear you walking near them regardless of terrain), better sight (longer range when they're awake) and able to sniff you out (so hiding in dense foliage won't work as well).
- The Artifact : Snake's MGS1 sneaking suit was already iconic even by 2000, so it makes sense thematically for him to continue wearing it for this game. Aesthetically, a blue-and-gray mixture of a wetsuit and cold-weather gear doesn't make any sense for a mission in which Snake spends approximately half his time sneaking through the lush green jungles or dirt-brown mountains of Central Africa.
- Artificial Limb : Black Arts Viper lost an arm in the past.
- Attack Animal : Slasher Hawk has a pet hawk that he uses as a third method of attack.
- Back Tracking : The cardboard box transport system in the barracks.
- Blackout Basement : Metal Gear GANDER consumes a lot of energy, draining said energy from certain structures when needed, leading to a stage played entirely with the help of night vision or thermal goggles.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall : A good deal of Weasel's advice. They start off battlefield-related, then turn into an advice given to the player, such as Weasel mentioning that unnecessary sounds are lethal on the field, then telling the player not to forget to use headphones or keep the Game Boy's volume down when in public space.
- Bulungi : Gindra.
- Call-Back : You can find the wreckage of the original TX-55 Metal Gear in the 100th floor basement.
- Canon Character All Along : Initially, the post-game VR Missions are just thought to be fun, non-canon missions under the pretense of being training missions (even with the game itself having no place in canon). No. 4's last line reveals you were actually playing as Jack, a.k.a. Raiden .
- Catching Some Z's : GLF soldiers, complete with small ZZZ's coming out of their heads.
- Competitive Multiplayer : Contains the first instance of a multiplayer mode in the series. The "VS Mode", in which two Snakes (one in a red sneaking suit ) compete to see who collects the most disks.
- Continuity Cameo : In addition to Snake himself, Mei Ling and Campbell are both part of Snake's support crew in this game, while Big Boss, Gray Fox, and Meryl Silverburgh are all mentioned at different points.
- Costume Porn : The bandana on Snake's sprite is incredibly well-animated; it looks better than in the PlayStation game.
- Descent Into Madness : The reason why Marionette Owl became who he is.
- The Dragon : Sophie to General Augustine Eguabon.
- Dressing as the Enemy : Chris does it to maintain her cover, and you have to identify her thanks to her red beret and tied back blonde hair.
- Early-Bird Cameo : A hidden game mode has the player controlling a VR-trained soldier who is going through tougher versions of the same stages from the main game. When the training is complete, the soldier's name is revealed to be Jack .
- Elaborate Underground Base : The maintenance base is 100 floors down, in a Continuity Nod to the original Metal Gear . It even has the room where the TX-55 Metal Gear used to be, complete with its remains. It also expands on these floors; you visit the 49th, 50th, and the bottom three floors.
- Elevator Action Sequence : The fight with Viper at the end, where you have a limited amount of time to defeat him before the elevator reaches the surface and the remains of Metal Gear GANDER send a signal to several nuclear-equipped satellites .
- Speaking of Dead Cell, Black Chamber's motivations and backstory line up with theirs more than they do FOXHOUND, as both were groups created in response to FOXHOUND that are now looking for revenge after their government tried to have them killed. Since both games were developed at around the same time, it's possible that the concept for Black Chamber influenced Dead Cell, or vice versa.
- GANDER to REX. Although GANDER has another rail gun for no reason other than it looks cool , and has a weakness similar to the original Metal Gear. It could be said that GANDER is based on both REX and the original TX-55.
- Also Chris to Meryl, Jimmy to Otacon, Weasel to Master Miller (who even uses the same frequency number) and Brian McBride to Nastasha Romanenko and Decoy Octopus .
- Fictional Country : Gindra, a former French colony in Africa.
- Foreshadowing : Actually foreshadows the main series despite being in a different timeline; Snake and Jimmy have a conversation where Jimmy says that Snake doesn't look as young as he says he is .
- Gas Mask Mooks : GLF soldiers in gas-filled rooms, naturally. Some of them later in the game also double as elite mooks .
- Getting Crap Past the Radar : Even though this game made some concessions to fit the E rating, the only content warning given is "animated violence". By the ESRB's standards, they should have also mentioned things like "mild profanity", "mature humor" (mostly due to one comment by Weasel), "alcohol mention" (right at the beginning of the game, no less!)... and despite all their efforts with the fogger, Snake still smokes a cigarette in the opening cutscene. Its ELSPA rating was the much saner (though still eyebrow-raising) E11+. note Instances such as Pyro Bison burning himself alive while seeming to enjoy it or Jimmy Harks blowing up are presumably covered under animated violence.
- Guns Akimbo : Metal Gear GANDER is a variant on the REX model, except with the radome replaced by a second rail gun.
- Human Mail : 2nd floor of the barracks. You have to use different-coloured boxes to be sent to different areas, sometimes during transit.
- Implacable Man : Snake and Viper.
- It's Raining Men : How Snake gets into Galuade.
- Kill It with Fire : Pyro Bison.
- Kill Sat : GANDER's ultimate weapon is an uplink system that allows for seven nuclear satellites to rain destruction on the Earth.
- Killer Doll : Marionette Owl's main weapons are two Bunraku dolls (named Osan and Koharu) with built-in knife-throwing defense mechanisms.
- Lampshade Hanging : Weasel calls pretty much everyone else out on their penchant for melodrama. This being a Metal Gear game, there's no shortage of that.
- The Man Behind the Man : Can get a bit confusing. At first, the big bad looks like it's General Eugabon. Then Viper reveals his plan. Then Eugabon reveals that his plan has been to use Viper all along. Then Viper reveals that his plan was to use Eguabon. In the end, the man behind it all was actually Gardner in an attempt to get GANDER in his authority again.
- Market-Based Title : Known as Metal Gear: Ghost Babel in Asia, and Metal Gear Solid everywhere else.
- IdeaSpy 2.5 has the character 714 fill this role, while Jack has No. 4.
- Mistaken Identity : Snake, when he sees a woman boarding a Havoc, thinks it is Chris, and ends up fighting her. After it crashes, he finds the crash site and gets to the woman only to discover that she is not Chris, but Sophie.
- The Mole : Chris for Parker, although she did apologize to Snake later on. Also, McBride , who in actuality was the last surviving member of Black Chamber besides Viper, and Weasel, an agent of the true enemy, Gardner, but Weasel pulls a Heel�Face Turn in the end.
- Mr. Exposition : All of No. 4's dialogue consists of elaborations on the events of the game, including details that never came up in the actual storyline.
- No Smoking : Snake's cigarettes are replaced by a conspicuously shaped smoke emitting device called a "Fogger". This applies even in the Japanese version, where the item is given the less embarrassing moniker of "smoke emitter". This is slightly subverted in the beginning. If you look closely at the opening cutscene before it flashes back, you'll notice that Snake is smoking a cigarette.
- Pacifist Run : Possible, except for the bosses, so there is no way of making Pyro Bison eat his words.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang : Slasher Hawk carries a pair of six-foot long, bladed, metal boomerangs, one of which has an aerodynamically improbable zigzag trajectory.
- Playing with Fire : Pyro Bison loves this, to the point that even him essentially committing suicide by immolating himself has him screaming in ecstasy.
- Red Herring : After Jimmy reveals not only that he was saved by another surviving member of Delta Force, but in fact, Chris wasn't even among the Delta Force squad sent to Galuade, Snake and the others began to suspect that Chris was the fifth Black Chamber member that Pyro Bison alluded to. The fact that Chris (or rather, a woman who bears a strong resemblance to Chris) was seen boarding the Havoc and then fighting Snake in it, made the suspicion towards her even more sound. Turns out, Chris was not the fifth Black Chamber mole, but an agent of General Parker sent to delete all records of the Babel Project. The actual fifth Black Chamber member was actually McBride, who went as far as to change his name, paperwork, and even go through plastic surgery just to keep up the act until the time came.
- Related in the Adaptation : Played with. Ghost Babel implies that Solid Snake is Big Boss' natural son rather than a clone, as the game makes no mention of the Les Enfants Terribles project that led to the creation of him and his brothers (Liquid and Solidus, who also go completely unmentioned) in MGS1 .
- Shell-Shocked Veteran : Snake, Weasel, Viper and the rest of the Black Chamber.
- The music that plays when Snake parachutes into Galuade is the intro theme from the MSX2 version of Metal Gear , while the alert theme is the same one from Metal Gear 2 .
- Stage 10, Mission 3 has the test subject climbing a mountain while barrels roll and bounce down in a familiar manner. Sadly there's no gorilla to fight at the top.
- Show Within a Show : Snake can listen to an in-universe radio drama (conveyed only through text because of hardware limitations) called IdeaSpy 2.5 , being a tongue-in-cheek parody of Martini flavour Spy Fiction . Unfortunately, this is not available in the North American version. It would later be defictionalized into an actual Audio Drama , featuring Hideo Kojima himself as the voice of Two-Han. This audio drama would receive Call Backs in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots , as songs from the drama CD were included in the game as listenable songs in Snake's iPod.
- Sinister Silhouettes : Black Chamber and GANDER during the intro. Marionette Owl toys with this, as he and his two geisha dolls appear identical when looking at them through thermal-vision goggles - you can tell the difference between them with night vision, but he tosses flashbangs every couple seconds until you switch back to thermal vision.
- Sole Survivor : Chris of the Delta Force team that was sent in to Galuade. Or is she?
- The Stinger : After beating all the bonus VR missions, text appears that namedrops the player as "Jack", which would hint at Raiden's presence in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty .
- Sunglasses at Night : Marionette Owl. Justified as he has some sort of mutation that allows him to see in the dark on par with an owl even with them. This also results in his eyes shining in the dark, thus necessitating them to keep himself disguised effectively.
- Super Title 64 Advance : A subtle example. Ghost Babel has the same initials as "Game Boy", the platform it was released on.
- Taking the Bullet : After Jimmy and Chris get split up, Jimmy finds another survivor of Delta Force. By the time Snake finds him again, though, said survivor saved Jimmy's life by taking a bullet for him.
- The IdeaSpy 2.5 radio drama drops its title in a appropriately corny manner, with the final words of the show being 714 yelling for 2.5 by referring to him with his full title for the first time.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change : The cardboard box puzzle in the barracks. Why is there such a complicated and unnecessary packaging system in Galuade, anyway?
- The Unfought : Brian McBride .
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment : Sort of, with Pyro Bison telling you the number of enemies you killed and calling Snake out on his sins.
- The Voice : No. 5, the Mission Control for the VR Missions, doesn't have a portrait. Only his words appear on the screen.
- Wham Line : At the end of the VR Missions, the last word out of No. 4's mouth makes the entire game a bit more meaningful. "Get some rest for now... Jack ."
- What the Hell, Player? : In trying to free Jimmy, if you blow up the wall that is not adjacent to his cell, he'll call you on it. "Dude, what're you doing?"
- Would Hit a Girl : Marionette Owl was hunted by the FBI for his gruesome killings of women.
- Snake has his gun on Sophie after beating her in a man vs. chopper fight, but refrains from shooting under the pretext that he is out of ammo. Granted, Snake prefers to not kill people when he has a choice, but she calls him on it.
- Punching or shooting the disguised Chris results in her death (and a mission failure).
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle! : Great! You saved Jimmy. Now let's just get him out of those handcuffs... Oh wait, there's a microphone in them that has recorded the entire conversation. And they're also explosive.
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Myth: Metal Gear: Ghost Babel is a VR Mission Raiden went through
Fact: if this were to be true, it contradicts a few things from metal gear solid 2: sons of liberty and ghost babel itself..
By Ravi Singh, Posted in 2004
The main reason for this myth is because of this “ending” that has been spreading around message boards… well, it was, but I couldn’t find it again so I simply took my own screenshots:
Notice I put “ending” in quotes. Why? Yes, these screens are actually from the game. It’s just that it’s not the ending of the main game. The main ending involves Solid Snake and Chris driving in the sunset and not having hot sex. I would post it all here but I’m too lazy to beat Metal Gear Gander and such again. And it would be useless.
So, okay, the screenshots above are not from the ending. What is it from then? Well, one of the many replayability features of Ghost Babel was a Special Missions option. Basically, you sort of revisit the game with all sorts of different objectives and you talk to some mysterious fuck named No. 4. Maybe he’s a rapper or something. But anyways, No. 4 rewards you with some facts about the Ghost Babel story the main game didn’t tell. So in other words, you don’t gain much from beating these unless you’re bored or you’re REALLY eager to learn about Galuade and Outer Heaven and how Chris would love to get it on with Snake.
Anyways, we know now that Raiden’s real name is Jack. And Jack played a lot of VR Missions. Not only the ones we play on Substance or whatever, but VR Missions that portray missions, such as Shadow Moses, or even the Tanker Chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The fact that Ghost Babel’s main storyline doesn’t exist could sort of rule this out, but remember, the Shadow Moses and Tanker VR Missions Raiden played possibly weren’t even based on what really happened:
Plus, when the Colonel gets crazy after GW fucks up, he says:
Your mission is to infiltrate the fortress Galuade, rescue the hostages and neutralize Metal Gear before its assembly is complete.
So it’s possible that this is was VR Mission. Then how can it not be?
First off, note that the main storyline of Metal Gear: Ghost Babel involved Outer Heaven. A lot of Outer Heaven. So the question is, why the fuck does Raiden say shit like:
Snake: Outer Heaven?!
Raiden: Yeah. Know anything?
Colonel: Ah, yes. It is a despotic military state built by a guy called Big Boss, the greatest soldier in history and Snake’s father – genetically speaking.
No, seriously. The boy is clueless about Outer Heaven, yet, he is informed about it in the supposed VR Mission he plays. Ok, what about the SPECIAL MISSIONS? Same thing, No. 4 explains some crap about Outer Heaven. So either Raiden is the biggest dumbass in the world or he did not go through such a VR Mission.
Last, but not least, No. 4 here states the Galuade mission as if it actually did happen:
No. 4: Your combat capability is now undoubtedly beyond that of Snake at the time of Galuade’s fall.
Galuade doesn’t exist though. So this is just a game with it’s storyline having nothing to do with the main timelines. The mention of “Jack” is pretty much like a teaser for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. A similar concept was hidden in the Sonic The Hedgehog game Sonic CD, in which Tails said something lame like “SEE YOU NEXT GAME LOL!” even though Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (the game Tails debuted in) was already released. Back to “Jack,” looking at Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater… yeah, Jack is a pretty fucking common name.
OH! I get it! That was another VR Mission! The purple stuffed worm mission where you gotta get sixty-one scissors and… wait, no. Shut the fuck up.
Anyways, the remaining problem with this lies in that some people think that Ghost Babel IS in the main storyline. Read my other myth article regarding this if you have not already.
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Games time forgot: Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
I briefly talked about it on this week’s RetroforceGO! , but it bears repeating: Metal Gear Solid for the Game Boy Color, originally known as Metal Gear: Ghost Babel , is probably the best Metal Gear title nobody’s heard of.
You’d assume that since it’s on the Game Boy Color, it’d have really ugly graphics. Given the reasonably old handheld it’s on, you’d assume that it’d be plagued by the same sort of irritatingly arbitrary enemy AI of the first and second Metal Gear games. You’d assume the non-canon story would make the game a pointless waste of time.
You’d be wrong on all three counts. Hit the jump to see why.
That, basically. That video right there is as non-spoilerish a story summary as you’re likely to get, given the nature of the Metal Gear games.
Basically, the story is par for the course where the Metal Gear series is concerned — which is to say, a group of terrorists steal a Metal Gear in an effort to become a powerful worldwide army and Snake is brought out of retirement to stop them. Only the names of the bad guys separate the initial scenario of any given Metal Gear game from another.
After landing in Outer Heaven — I mean, Zanzibar Land — I mean, Shadow Moses — I mean, Galuade, Snake teams up with Holly — I mean, Meryl — I mean, Christine and Dr. Marv — I mean, Otacon — I mean, Jimmy the Wizard to destroy Metal Gear and uncover a massive US-backed conspiracy — I mean, destroy Metal Gear and uncover a massive US-backed conspiracy.
Ghost Babel differs mainly from the other titles in that none of it is actually canon. Not unlike Snake’s Revenge , Ghost Babel functions as an alternate sequel to the first Metal Gear , as a parallel universe version of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake .
In an odd way, that’s what makes Ghost Babel really stand out: the Metal Gear games are primarily appreciated for their epic, sprawling storylines, yet Ghost Babel ‘s is more or less irrelevant to the overall series and the game still remains surprisingly enjoyable.
Ghost Babel borrows some mechanics from both the original Metal Gear games, and the more technologically advanced Solid titles. As a result, Ghost Babel works as a neat sort of hybrid which successfully bridges the two series in gameplay terms, if not narrative ones.
The bad guys don’t have big, blue cones of vision, but their impossibly difficult AI has been significantly scaled down from the original MSX titles. I can’t get more than a half hour into the original Metal Gear , but I beat Ghost Babel within a few weeks; it’s difficult, but fair (and is nicely divided up into stages, to make it easier for occasional play). Enemies won’t magically see you through boxes after a minute of standing around, and the security cameras have a well-defined field of vision.
Many of Snake’s gadgets and weapons from Metal Gear Solid are back, along with some familiar faces including Colonel Campbell and Mei Ling. The sexy-as-hell 2D graphics have the fluidity of a PSOne game mixed with the NES’s color palette and pixel count.
In a way, Ghost Babel manages to take all the good stuff from the original Metal Gear titles, while replacing all the bad stuff with MGS mechanics and ideas. The boss fights are wonderfully different from one another , the story is reasonably engaging considering one of the bosses is actually named “Marionette Owl,” and the stealth gameplay works better than you’d expect it to on a handheld.
Actually, Ghost Babel includes two moments that, in my mind, actually outdo the Metal Gear Solid games in some respects. Firstly, the final confrontation against Metal Gear (viewable below), where the player must run from the stomping behemoth and trick it into stepping on land mines before attacking it directly with grenades, may actually be my favorite fight against the actual Metal Gear robot in the series’ history. Where the boss strategy at the end of the first Metal Gear Solid title could be easily summarized as “shoot a bunch of stinger missiles at that big robot,” Ghost Babel ‘s fight against the bipedal nuclear tank actually consists of several stages.
Secondly, there’s a bit at the end of Metal Gear Solid where Liquid tells Snake that he only signed up for the mission because “you enjoy all the killing.” Snake grunts, “WHAT?!,” as he tends to do, and then the conversation continues without Liquid really pointing out any concrete evidence behind his assertion. In Ghost Babel , however, the main bad guy has roughly the same argument with Snake…except he’s got some numbers to back it up. After condemning Snake for his bloodlust, the villain actually tells Snake exactly how many enemy soldiers he’s killed throughout the course of the game; generally speaking, this tends to hover around at least 50 people, and it really makes Snake (and the player) consider the bad guy’s point. The entire scene functions as a cool sort of precursor to the boss fight with The Sorrow in MGS3 , where the player has to manuever around the ghosts of every soldier he’s killed.
I thought it was cool.
Why you’re probably not playing it:
For starters, the English localization team stupidly decided to call it Metal Gear Solid rather than Metal Gear: Ghost Babel . As a result, I’m sure many American consumers figured the game to be a low-fi remake or port of the PSOne classic rather than a standalone game in its own right.
Secondly, it is on the Game Boy Color. I know a lot of people bought a GBC (I still have mine right next to my Game Boy Camera), but that little handheld exists in the period after true relevance, but before nostalgia. If you’ve got one, great; if you don’t have one, you’re probably not rushing out to find one on eBay.
Should you check out Ghost Babel ? If you really love the gameplay behind the Metal Gear series, I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re more into the storylines and don’t really care about the gameplay, it might be worth taking a look if only out of curiosity. It’s absurdly easy to NOT emulate, all things considered, and maybe one day it’ll hit the Virtual Console.
Filed under... #Games Time Forgot
- View history
Background [ ]
Babel was founded by Theresa , the previous Sarkaz King of Kazdel , to further her vision of using her power and status to bring a better life for the Sarkaz and end the fragmentation of the nation. It consisted of both brilliant thinkers such as the Doctor , Kal'tsit , and Closure , and soldiers and mercenaries, such as Scout and Ace . Babel also possessed a mysterious, excavated landship from Rim Billiton which she christened Rhodes Island , thus becoming its mobile headquarters.
Throughout the most recent civil war in Kazdel, Babel was an active belligerent against Theresa's brother, Theresis , who had taken control of much of Kazdel. Meanwhile, Babel contracted a band of mercenaries which consisted of Hoederer , Ines , and W to escort the company through the Kazdel warzone. The convoys later ran into an ambush by Theresis' Sarkaz forces that forced Theresa and Kal'tsit to intervene and save the mercenaries, taking them into the Rhodes Island landship.  While Hoederer and Ines chose not to maintain their service to Babel after a couple of years, W continued working for the organization. 
Theresa was eventually killed in a "decapitation operation" during the autumn siege by Theresis' forces in the year 1094. It was said that the Doctor was involved in the incident and was responsible for the murder. Left leaderless, Babel was effectively disbanded, with most of its members becoming mercenaries or defecting to Theresis' side, while some managed to escape Kazdel with its mobile headquarters and reorganize itself into a pharmaceutical company named after the landship: Rhodes Island .
Notable members [ ]
- W is the only character affiliated with Babel as of the events of Arknights even though it has ceased to exist by then.
- Amiya, Closure, Kal'tsit, and the Doctor became the core members of Rhodes Island after Babel's dissolution while Ace, Ascalon, Logos, Pith, and Scout became R.I.'s Elite Ops ; after the Chernobog Crisis , only Ascalon, Logos, and Pith remain.
- Ines was originally associated with Babel along with W and Hoederer. Since her "resurrection" though, she has become officially affiliated with Rhodes Island.
References [ ]
- 1 Event/Upcoming
- 2 Operator/6-star
- 3 Headhunting/Banners/Upcoming
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About This Game
What is babel: tower to the gods.
- Precision - Using careful movements of your Vive controllers, slide a sword between blocks and push out blocks whilst narrowly avoiding the volatile and explosive bomb blocks , which will detonate with the slightest of your touch!
- Logic - Work out the correct order & method of deconstruction! Knock out blocks simultaneously to keep the tower balance! Or, is there a large amount of blocks ontop of a slippery ice block ? Give it a fast & hard whack from the side to sent it quickly sliding out of the tower without the blocks ontop falling off!
- Speed - Some towers may contain blocks that are being burnt away ! Once these blocks finish burning, they'll be reduced to ash & disappear! Solve the tower fast enough that these burning blocks don't cause it to topple!
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel i5-4590
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970
- Storage: 400 MB available space
- VR Support: SteamVR. Room Scale 2m by 2m area required
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