Close Up: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Original Soundtrack

Metal-Gear-Solid-2-Official-Soundtrack-CD-Disc

When it comes to the music, Metal Gear Solid 2 marked an important shift for the series. Hideo Kojima brought a professional Hollywood composer on board, Harry Gregson-Williams. He would contribute a truly cinematic and epic sound to the series, and together with Hibino, create MGS2’s distinct musical score.

Aside from that, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has a very specific jazzy sound to its music. The soundtrack is a distinct mix between jazz, electronic and orchestral music.

Metal-Gear-Solid-2-Official-Soundtrack-CD

This CD (a US reprint) contains a selection of MGS2’s music tracks, mainly the more prominent tracks featured during the cutscenes or credits.

Metal-Gear-Solid-2-Official-Soundtrack-CD-Back

There are 17 tracks on the CD:

001
“Metal Gear Solid” Main Theme – 3:53
Harry Gregson-Williams

002
Opening Infiltration – 3:44
Harry Gregson-Williams

003
Russian Soldiers from Kasatka – 2:23
Harry Gregson-Williams

004
Olga Gurlokovich – 2:12
Harry Gregson-Williams

005
Metal Gear? – 1:47
Harry Gregson-Williams

006
Revolver Ocelot – 2:10
Harry Gregson-Williams

007
RAY Escapes – 2:54
Harry Gregson-Williams

008
Can’t Say Good Bye to Yesterday (Piano Version) – 4:10
Carla White

009
Big Shell – 2:09
Harry Gregson-Williams

010
Fortune – 3:10
Norihiko Hibino

011
Kill Me Now! – 1:05
Harry Gregson-Williams

012
Vamp – 1:32
Harry Gregson-Williams

013
The World Needs Only One Big Boss! – 1:50
Harry Gregson-Williams

014
It’s the Harrier! – 1:03
Harry Gregson-Williams

015
Arsenal is Going To Take Off! – 1:40
Harry Gregson-Williams

016
Who Am I Really? – 2:39
Norihiko Hibino

017
Can’t Say Good Bye to Yesterday (Full Version) – 7:36
Carla White

A good selection of tracks, though mainly Gregson-Williams’s work and some co-composed tracks with Hibino (also, in Japan another soundtrack CD was released containing songs by Hibino). But this soundtrack does include some great music, such as the famous Metal Gear Solid Main Theme, Fortune’s gloomy, jazzy and immediately recognizable tune and the dynamic Opening Infiltration. Although these 17 tracks give a fair representation of MGS2 musical score, it must be said that it feels somewhat incomplete since some recognizable tracks are missing (such as Peter Stillman’s theme).

Arguably the five most notable tracks on this CD are:

1. Metal Gear Solid Main Theme

This is the music track people think of when they think ‘Metal Gear’. It’s a rearrangement by Harry Gregson-Williams of TAPPY’s original music for the first Metal Gear Solid game. It has also been remixed for MGS3, but is now no longer used due to plagiarism claims. Still, this is the most iconic track of the series, and the orchestra that brings this rearrangement to life really adds an extra dimension to it, and gives it a very powerful and vivacious quality.

2. Fortune

The musical track associated with Fortune, one of the game’s characters. Fortune is haunted by constant loss, and an inability to die and be reunited with her loved ones, and as a result of that she has a very dark and fatalistic outlook on her life. This gloomy and melancholic track echoes her sentiments very well, and it’s immediately recognizable.

3. Opening Infiltration

The music used during the game’s first cutscene. A very dynamic theme that starts off subtly yet ominous, followed by more fast paced electronic tones and an enchanting choir that greatly complements the actions on screen. It really helped setting the epic mood of this game right from the start.

4. Can’t Say Goodbye to Yesterday

Played during the credits of the game, this track was also used in one of Metal Gear Solid 2’s trailers, and its theme can be heard at several points during the game, making it one of MGS2’s most prominent songs. It’s a long track that starts off calmly and gets more jazzy towards the end.

5. Who Am I Really?

The track used during the ending when Raiden reunites with Rose, after Snake gave him some last words of advice and disappeared. Now Raiden has to start over, choose his own name, and find out who he wants to be. It’s an optimistic ending, underlined by the calm and soothing piano melody, that begins to play as Raiden approaches Rose. It’s as if he just woke up from a long nightmare, and has now returned to the real world, one where there is hope and a chance to shape your own life.

As for the presentation of this CD: the front label can be folded open to reveal some artwork of Metal Gear RAY and another index of the track list. It also comes with a shiny ‘limited edition PS2 sticker’, in the shape of a circle and somewhat smaller than the cd. As the name suggests, it’s meant to stick on your PlayStation 2 console.

Metal-Gear-Solid-2-Official-Soundtrack-CD-Open Metal-Gear-Solid-2-Official-Soundtrack-CD-Booklet

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Original Soundtrack
King Grooves
2002
KCD-226 (US Reprint)

  • Golgari

    Personally I think that MGS2 have the best soundtrack from all of the games. I’m not even sure that MGSV will top it because it does not have even main theme so far (Maybe there will be one with Donna Burke) but at the same time in GZ there was an excellent moment (remix – “Love Deterrence” from Peace Walker) with Paz resque where you hear a bit of piano and synthesizer mix with electronic bits and of course at the end you hear Metal Gear’s atmospheric choir that was basically created by Harry Gregson-Williams in MGS2. It creates that atmosphere of occultism and something mystical for Hideo Kojima’s world. Gregson is not just a great composer, he understands Hideo Kojima’s vision.

    Music is very important for Metal Gear franchise and in my opinion KojiPro should make the best decision regarding this topic for MGSV. One thing for sure that MGSV does better than all MGS games is that it can change the music that is appropriate to the situation (exmpl: Red Dead Redemption, GTAV)

    • crimsonfox

      I have literally Re-played Ground Zeroes for the sole prupose of hearing this song. I want a official Sound Track for Ground Zeros and The Phantom Pain as soon as they are available. Fucking awesome stuff.

      • Yeah, hopefully they will release a soundtrack, looking at all the different CDs there are with Metal Gear music it does seem likely they will.

      • Golgari

        +1 to you.

        Yes. The same thing. I re-played Ground Zeroes to hear that moment too after my first completion for S-Rank to hear it.
        It was the best moment for me in MGS:GZ cutscenes. I know there are moments where shit blows up, helicopters and stuff. It’s great but Paz moment was just so special because you love and hate her at the same time and her body was punished (piano mix tells us about it) and that small end of the song with atmospheric choir tells us that she is going to die no matter what and Big Boss does not really know that. He can;t hear what we as players Can experience.

        Awesome stuff.

        • crimsonfox

          Yeah that scene is amazing, How he gently holds her face to look for any injuries and seeing her completly beat and down is heart breaking in the best way possible. knowing though her tapes that she started to care for MSF and Big Boss made it all that much better too.Another high light for me is when Kaz is holding out his hand for Snake in the chopper. If Ground Zeros and the E3 Gameplay are any indicaton, The Phantom Pain might take the crown of my favorite sound track. I can’t wait to hear everything this game has in store for us.

          Awesome stuff.

          • Janeo

            It all has to be amazing what about the part in the demo where big boss and ocelot look out into the huge open world that music is pretty amazing. I also like the small touch of music when ocelot is telling snake to rise up as big boss again.

  • ObsessedGeorge

    MGS2 tanker has the series’ best alert theme song! The fight with Olga is also accompanied with an amazing battle song. Even if MGS2 was released three years after MGS, the difference in the soundtracks is like night and day. Harry Gregson Williams is a master composer. I kind of liked the difference in between the two games music. MGS2 had more realistic tunes compared to MGS.

    • Golgari

      YES! YESSS!
      Best alert song and god damn I hope that Harry Gregson works with Ludo on Alert songs and other stuff because MGSV sound design so far is superior to any previous MGS game and most of the games in this gen/previous gen. MGSV sound design basically adapts to the situations. In the past it had just triggers aka “Peaceful phase – Alert phase – cutscene custom sound/music” – that’s just example. Ofc it had more triggers but today it is something that every game have.

      but in GZ and Phantom pain music adapts to the player. Games are starting to use that method because it is superior.

      • ObsessedGeorge

        This is the combination that will always be my favorite! It never gets old! Funny, serious, tension and battle! BRING IT MOFOS!!!

  • crimsonfox

    The main theme for this game, including the opening cinematic is my favorite of the series main themes.But my favortie Sound Track still has to be MGS 3.All the games had awesome music but this is where the scores starting getting REALLY good. I have had the pleasure of meeting Harry Gregson Williams too. He does alot of the sound tracks for the movies at the studio I work at. He’s a super polite dude, seems like a cool cat.

    • That’s awesome, get some soundtrack CDs autographed! 😛

      • crimsonfox

        I wish I could but asking for one while I’m working makes me look like a fool haha.

        • Just bring him a whole pile. If you’re already making a fool of yourself, you might as well go all the way.

          • crimsonfox

            Hahaha, I should. He usually comes to the studio the day a movie releases. He doesn’t work here on a daily basis unfortunately. Otherwise I’d try to befriend him haha. When he comes down he meets with director’s and executives. Kind of hard to sneak in some face to face time haha.

          • crimsonfox

            DUDE HAYTER JUST STOPPED BY MY JOB!!!
            Took a picture with him!

          • !
            Awesome.

          • crimsonfox

            Proof!

  • SolidKenny87

    MGS2’s soundtrack is my favorite. Especially with the VR-esque electronic music.

    • The Hibono-Williams combo that graced MGS2 and 3 was something truly special… specially the “album” versions of hibino’s tracks really fare against Williams music, but in game they used their “MIDI” engine which worked well in the swifts between music phases but it has a pretty synthetic sound… (what you can expect from a MIDI?) but this gave people a bad perception at Hibino’s work (from the general public) and since MGS3 everything is per-recorded… but the in-engine audio was a interesting idea and fits with the experimental nature of MGS2 (something that MGS2’s more safe-playing younger brothers lack)

      • PrinceHeir

        Hibono was pretty godlike.

        There’s a reason why Portable Ops is one of my favorite OST in the series. Definitely one of the best in the business.

  • talking about soundtracks makes me feel the phantom pain of the MGS main theme… is now longer there but man how it hurts my soul… out of that the closest thing we ever get to a replacement is the “who Im really” wich was remixed in electronica emma, and more importantly on the 20th aniv dics.. (for some reason they can use that version but instead of elevating it to the new “safe version of the MGS theme” was relegated to MPO’s “revelation” Track (it’s also on the python boss theme) and when Raiden got crushed under outer haven… (also you can hear a short version on MGS4’s iPod from MGS2’s “father and Son”… those are the only instances where Konami openly used the theme after the Ban (right after the release of the digital graphic novel for the PSP)… then for some reason they une the MGS theme to promote MGS3 HD edition in japan only during their TGS conference a MGS3 TGS 2003 trailer remaster and on a promo dvd that used part of MGS2 opening… (and in the 25th aniv party video from konami news channel)….
    at least you can import the MGS theme to the walkman and pretend that is still there… but we will never get beautiful trailers (like MGS2, MGS TTS, MGS3 and E3 2006 MPO trailer) or like that amazing handshake, solidus falling, or the whole debriefing scenes…

    also MGSv:TPP…. T(a)PP(y)… half life 7 confirmed? or just coincidence

    • MGS4 had a remix of MGS3’s main theme though. And Peace Walker has its own main theme.

      • but is not “THE” main theme… usually after mgs2 all games where supposed to have their oun main themes, then just for a emotional high note the classic theme appears, hell with it the classic MGS theme plays more times than the HGWillians version on mgs3… even on mgs4 it only showed up 3 times, and from those 2 are “MGSaga repetitions and the only different composition is on that awful wedding scene where Mei Ling asks “Where’s snake” from that point the MGtheme loosed notes to the point of just being digital noises… (MPW theme is like MGS3 secondary theme but with even less notes.. and rising’s MG theme is MPW theme with even less notes…)

    • WhatTheJuicay

      I think they should bring back all these nostalgic theme songs for when we actually get to play as the Snake we know and love like our own child.. Solid Snake. It would make perfect sense and will be great for us long time fans and even new comers, because the music is just that good. Licensing shouldn’t be a problem.. Kojipro & konami has the funds for it. That’s all they need to do.

      I feel ever since MGS2, MGS has struggled with a solid (no pun intended) theme song. It should be as strong as the Uncharted series throughout all the installments.

  • what is that all about the plagiarism claims? i’ve heard it before, but i don’t really know about it, btw i also love the intro and the rearrangement of the main theme, i think it’s my favorite version

    • César H. Sandoval

      Got you covered.

      • wow. that’s surprising, and thanks for the info

      • crimsonfox

        Yeah, Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea what the whole thing was about either. I can’t believe they put him on blast like that though. That can be very embarassing. What a bunch of assholes ahaha

      • PrinceHeir

        It’s a shame how they waited for the series to be popular(around MGS4 release date) then started attacking them just to get some money.

        And the original composer of MGS1 Tappi Iwase either did plagiarize the music or use it for reference, but didn’t credit it.

        To be honest it’s not even that similar aside from a few tunes.

        Either way Kojima probably didn’t want to deal with any of this and just cut and make a new theme instead. Shame do love the original theme especially on Portable Ops.

        The Japaese are uptight when it comes to plagiarism, they will cancel all of your CDs, concerts, and even remove you from future works if you are caught doing this.

        Look at what happened Mamoru Samuragochi, the so called “Beethoven of Japan”. All of his records, CD’s were pulled the moment he confess for being a fraud for 18 years.

        http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/03/07/national/deaf-composer-samuragochi-says-hes-sorry-for-deceiving/#.U6jJJ_ldV8E

        http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2014-03-13/phoenix-wright-puts-fake-deaf-composer-on-the-stand

        I really doubt Kojima would want to risk all of that just for a theme(despite being amazing as is)

      • Raymondius

        This whole thing always pissed me off. I’ve studied music for years (a lot actually) and I wouldn’t even consider it the same melody. Sure, some chords are the same, but oh my god, just don’t know who decided this was fucking plagiarism. Fucking nothing it is. Tey really should keep using the main melody (or at least using covers or versions) whenever they want.

  • César H. Sandoval

    No “Yell, Dead Cell!” track?? I’m dissapointed!

    Still, MGS2 had the best soundtrack in the entire MGS series, such a shame they won’t use the HGW version of the Main Theme anymore, plagiarism or not, Konami should have just pay the russians for them to shut up, it’s a great loss to the franchise.

    • Yes there are some tracks missing. They released another cd called ‘The Other Side’.

  • ObsessedGeorge

    Since we’re talking about the music of MGS, this is the perfect topic to share my latest creation.

    It’s the song Ludo composed for the 6th episode of Kojima Station but with the lyrics transformed into gameplay. I always wanted to do that, but until now l didn’t have the time to do it. After 6 hours of playing and editing, it’s done.
    June 22, 2014

    Didju rike it?

    • Very nice!

      • ObsessedGeorge

        Thanks bro. Before making it, l searched if someone else had done it, but it seems the song is not even available on YouTube besides the 6th Koji Sta episode. Anyway, l sent it to Koji Sta. With a little luck, they will show it in the next English episode. That is if they like it.

    • Raymondius

      Fucking awesome, George. Really. ;D

      • ObsessedGeorge

        Thanks dude, l’m glad that you like it. 😉

    • Shadow Rex

      Ahahaha yeah I like it, I had a good laugh.

      • ObsessedGeorge

        Thanks! I apreciate the feedback. I had a good time making it. It may be 1:42 minutes long, but damn it took me hours to edit it all together. Well, the next will be much easier, now that l learned the ins and outs of SHAREfactory. 🙂

  • PrinceHeir

    Ahh the OST to my favorite game of the series! Played original version 9 times then substance version 8 times not even counting the VR missions, Snake Tales, Boss Survival mode etc.

    Definitely an evolution to the series. Amazing new features like that fire extinguisher can be used as weapon to distract or blind the enemy as well as revealing the censors for the semtex explosives. First person view mode, hanging, ability to attack from a cover(first of its kind; well after winback).

    I actually like Raiden here. I was able to relate him more than Snake during that time. Kojima pulled a Zeta Gundam on this by making the main character of the previous series act as a mentor for the new character.

    My favorite OST is Yell Dead Cell. Such an awesome music and get’s me pumped especially the battle with Fatman when disarming those C4 bombs

  • CrazyGuy207

    Unrelated to this, but I have a theory that this whole game (MGSV) is a sort of dream during Big Bosses coma. If you look at one of the old pictures when MGSV wasn’t MGSV, it shows Big Bosses arm still there. So Kojima, probably changed the story line at some point, or maybe the first portion of the game is during a dream state, and then he wakes up and then the actual story begins. So maybe he just imagines all this during his coma, because he doesn’t have his horn or robot arm in MGS4, not even a scar. Then again, Kojima talked about story line inconsistencies a while ago, so whatever.

    • Sly

      Or they were going to make his right arm prosthetic instead but decided to change it to the left.

      • CrazyGuy207

        But it still wasn’t there in MGS4 .

        • How can we know? He was wearing long sleeves and gloves. Of course they didn’t think of it at that time, but it’s not really inconsistent because we don’t actually see his arm.

          • CrazyGuy207

            Yeah, he didn’t have a horn or scar either. But I guess that’s the problem when working backwards with a series.

          • That’s true, although he might lose the horn at the end of the game, or something like that.

          • CrazyGuy207

            He’ll probably lose it with the one theory that all his “phantom pain” or whatever forces it out over time.

    • The tail seems to be there already. But still, this is very early footage, back when it was still called Project Ogre (it may have started as a different project and later changed to MGSV). So maybe they decided on the mechanical arm later, or this was a different character altogether.

      • CrazyGuy207

        Kojima did say something about story inconsistencies though a while ago, didn’t he? If so, then my little theory has no weight.

  • CrazyGuy207

    Sorry for the unrelated stuff, but this is the only website I know that might appreciate this stuff.

  • prothy

    Man I’d love to have this.

  • Cartmangus

    ‘Who am I really?’ is probably the most nostalgic Metal Gear track for me and I don’t even know why. It brings me back to march of 2002 sitting by my tv playing this. I wish I could’ve remembered beating the game the first time more clearly but that final theme definitely left an impression, I remember sitting by the tv watching those credits roll by and seeing the statue of liberty there at the end. Fucking hell, this game ;_; all these feelings. I’ll never forget MGS2, ever.

    Soundtracks for these games have been so great. They all have their own vibe to them, they all nail the feeling of their respective games perfectly. Between the first 3 games I really don’t think I can pick a favorite. The MGS1 has grown on me so much, it wasn’t that I ever didn’t love it, but at first I didn’t perhaps consider it up to par with 2 and 3 but, man, it definitely is. Norihiko Hibino doesn’t get the recognizition he deserves really, the man did such a great job with mgs2 and 3, I miss him. I’d love to see him return to the series, those gameplay tracks of his were so good, 2 and 3 wouldn’t have been the same without him.

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