Over the years, Premium Packages, limited edition versions containing several extras, have released alongside nearly every Metal Gear game. The first game in the series to receive such a special edition was Metal Gear Solid for the original PlayStation.
The Metal Gear Solid Premium Package came out in Japan on September 3rd, 1998. This is the only Premium Package that was also released outside of Japan – or to be exact: a somewhat different version was available in the PAL region, with some of the contents being the same and others different.
One more thing to note that there is actually another version of this Premium Package: the stock holder version, which came in a gold colored box. Needless to say that that one is significantly rarer and more expensive. The contents are exactly the same, though the artbook has a different cover.
But back to the normal Premium Package. It comes in a large paper box with a shiny, metallic look. On the top is only the game’s logo and the text ‘Premium Package’. Fold away this lid and the contents are revealed.
First thing you’ll see when you open it is a t-shirt. It has a simple design: white with the game’s name on the front, for some reason they used a different font than the actual logo. The logo is printed on the label though.
The next thing is a surprisingly big book called Metal Gear Solid Classified. It doesn’t have too many pages but they are impressively large and the prints are of high quality, with some fold out sections, shiny silver pages and even a few see through sheets that give a nice effect overlaying the page beneath it.
It contains information on the development of the game such as production notes and comments from those who worked on it. Of course, it’s all in Japanese. The last few pages are all artwork, mostly by Shinkawa, but not solely.
The book itself has this cool metallic effect, it looks like it has been made of brushed steel.
Now we get to the discs. First of all, the game, in this case of course the Japanese version. It comes with a demo for Suikoden, another Konami published game.
You also get a sheet with stickers that you can use to decorate your PlayStation memory cards. It features different blueprints of Metal Gear REX.
Furthermore, a soundtrack cd. It may surprise you to hear this disc doesn’t contain any music from the game itself, rather it consists of music from earlier Kojima games: the first two Metal Gears, and some tracks from Snatcher and Policenauts.
Lastly, a collectable dog tag is also included, tucked away in a space below the game case’s.
On the card it says there are 35000 of these things, not sure if that means there are 35000 Premium Packages, but it seems likely. Quite a lot though.
The exact number is imprinted into the metal, this particular dog tag carries the number 16017.
There’s one last thing to show: a set of postcards featuring Shinkawa artworks of several characters from the game. Apparently, these cards were special pre-order bonuses, so they’re not actually part of the contents. This is the silver set, there also exists a gold set. The characters portrayed are the six members of FOXHOUND: Psycho Mantis, Decoy Octopus, Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven, Revolver Ocelot and Liquid Snake.
In conclusion, a nice bundle. The contents aren’t exceptionally creative compared to later Premium Packages, but you have to remember this is the first one. Besides, the book is actually really nice. This Premium Package is one of the more expensive ones if you want to buy it right now, and usually displays a degree of wear and tear. You’ll either find one that is clearly used, or one that is in mint condition, but the latter one is of course very expensive. Either way, an interesting item for the Metal Gear collector, if not just for its contents at least for its history.