Metal Gear Solid turns 15 – here are 15 facts about the game

Metal Gear Solid released in Japan exactly 15 years ago today. Here are 15 interesting facts about this timeless game.


Cardboard-Box-SmallWhen the game came out in Japan in 1998, hundreds of people lined up outside Akihabara game stores. All of the Premium Packages had been sold out shortly after noon.


Cardboard-Box-SmallDuring the production of the game, the designers would use Lego pieces to put the levels together.


Cardboard-Box-SmallWhen Yoji Shinkawa designed Snake, he looked at the existing character from the MSX games and went from there. Also, he based the character’s face on Christopher Walken, and his body on Jean-Claude Van Damme.


Cardboard-Box-SmallSnake is a musher living in Alaska, and he owns no less than 50 huskies.


Cardboard-Box-SmallInitially, Otacon was going to have a different design, described by Kojima as ‘a fat guy who seems to always be eating chocolate bars’.


Cardboard-Box-SmallThe cigarettes Snake smokes are a special kind: they can be lit by bending the tip, and they leave no ashes.


Cardboard-Box-SmallMeryl is able to sneak up on Snake after he tries to find her in the women’s restroom. According to Kojima, she was hiding under the sink basin.


Cardboard-Box-SmallAfter Snake has been captured and put into his cell, there are three ways to escape: you can use ketchup to fool the guard in thinking you are bleeding, you can hide below the bed so the guard comes in looking for you, or you can simply wait until Gray Fox shows up and slices up the door.


Cardboard-Box-SmallPsycho Mantis decides to help Snake with his last breath. The same way his mother died for him while giving birth. That’s the feeling he remembers at the end of his life.


Cardboard-Box-SmallSnake’s real name, David, was inspired by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Otacon shares his name with the artificial intelligence from the same movie, Hal. The fact that Snake’s voice actor is called David as well is purely a coincidence.


Cardboard-Box-SmallAt the end of the game, Snake and Meryl (or Otacon) leave the island by snow mobile. The general consensus among fans about how it got there is that Gray Fox used it to reach the island.


Cardboard-Box-SmallMetal Gear Solid is the only game in the series that has two different endings. While the ending in which Snake rescues Meryl is the official one, there’s certain information that can only be obtained by watching the alternative ending. This is where we learn Roy Campbell is actually Meryl’s father.


Cardboard-Box-SmallIn 2004, Nintendo, Konami and Silicon Knights collaborated on a Gamecube exclusive remake of Metal Gear Solid, called Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. The cutscenes were directed by Japanese film director Ryûhei Kitamura, who is a friend of Kojima’s. The script is almost identical, although it is said to be closer to the Japanese.


Cardboard-Box-SmallSince the release of Metal Gear Solid, the game’s story has been retold multiple ways: there’s a novel, a graphic novel, a digital graphic novel, and a radio drama. Currently a live action movie based on Metal Gear Solid is in pre-production. It isn’t supposed to come out until at least three years from now though.


Cardboard-Box-SmallMetal Gear Solid became a huge commercial hit, selling over 7 million copies worldwide, and became the 7th best selling game on PlayStation.


To conclude, after 15 years Metal Gear Solid is still one of the most beloved games ever created, and in all likelihood will continue to  live on as a classic.


Source: Metal Gear Wiki, Muni Shinobu Webs, Joystiq, Wikipedia

  • Dakan45

    I really dont get why people cared about syphon filter when metal gear came first and it was better in every way.

    • Nyxus

      To me, Metal Gear as a series is better than almost any other game out there, so if I set the bar that high, there are very few games I can still enjoy. That’s why I can personally still enjoy playing games that aren’t as good as Metal Gear, but are still good in their own right, and I don’t expect every game to reach Metal Gear’s level.

      • Dakan45

        Well, the new splinter cell does get close to metal gear stealth rather being a linear sneaking corridor that the series has been in the past.

        Story wise i dont think even bioshock infinite can touch metal gear.

        I do believe though there is room for more action and open world gameplay in the series as shown in mgs4, hopefully mgs v delivers.

    • punisher99

      Personally I dont see how the two are even comparable in any way. I enjoyed both franchises personally. Syphon Filter was a 3rd person shooter, MGS is more of a 3rd person stealth sci-fi action game.

      • Dakan45

        it was more like metal gear than splinter cell though.

  • Hiro

    Christopher Walken on the Deer Hunter. Guess it makes sense.

  • TheKastorian

    Would I be exaggerating if I say that this is my best game of all time? Great article.

    • Nyxus

      Not at all. 😉 And thanks!

  • James

    This game will always be THE ONE for me. Maybe just because of the nostalgia (I was a child when I first played this). Maybe beacuse it’s not a game, it’s an experience, a myth told in the medium of video games. But one thing’s for certain: the tale of this alaskan night will be a part of me forever.

    • Nyxus

      Well spoken. 🙂

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Why did the game have two endings in the first place? and this game was amazing and still is…hope that it’s never forgotten as time moves forward.

    • Nyxus

      I don’t know, just something Kojima and the team wanted to do I guess.

  • Mark

    Wonderful post! Reminded me of many moments in the game. I recently played through it with a cousin, and we finished with the official ending. I was wondering at the time when the game was going to reveal that Meryl is Campbell’s daughter… now I know. Haha!

    • Nyxus

      I always wondered if the fact that he is her father was canon, since it’s not in the canon ending, but then MGS4 came and confirmed it. 🙂

  • pythonselkanhd

    Here’s my Tribute Video to honor this ground-breaking blockbuster title on this occasion! 🙂

    Hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

    • Nyxus

      Thank you for posting! 🙂

  • PrinceHeir

    can’t believe i missed posted here.

    definitely one of my favorite franchise of ALL time.

    while MGS4/Peace Walker kinda slowed the series down for me, i have high hopes for this franchise!

    especially when i played Rising, the spin off series is soo damn addicting, it’s been awhile since AC!D 2 made me play a game like this.

    as for MGSV, i’m kinda reserved right now.

    even though i like the new information they’re releasing i kinda don’t want to overhype myself for now.

    i also recently played MGS1 last June 2012(Summer) and wow the game is still addicting and amazing all these years.

    besides some camera issues and controls may feel outdated. i definitely understand why they choose this design in the first place.

    also i suggest you also play Splinter Cell Blacklist Nyxus!!!

    another addicting game and definitely a fitting refresher for the franchise.

    i’m also getting Deus Ex HR Director’s Cut! so there’s alot of stealth games to play!

    now if only they fix Hitman’s Absolution problems in the next game, it’ll definitely rejuvenate the franchise once more!

    • Nyxus

      I might pick up Splinter Cell later, but other games have priority for me right now.

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