Even before Kojima brought composer Harry Gregson-Williams on board, Metal Gear Solid games were accompanied by great music. The soundtrack for the original PlayStation game is one of the most beloved, setting the perfect tone with its mix of ambient, atmospheric and emotional tracks. Composed by the KCE Sound Team Japan, Tappi ‘TAPPY’ Iwase and Rika Muranaka, many of them have become legendary and instantly recognizable, with its vocal theme still considered among the best in gaming.
A soundtrack CD was released by Konami on September 23rd, 1998. It contains 21 tracks, to be specific:
- Metal Gear Solid Main Theme – 2:42
- Introduction – 0:57
- Discovery – 5:05
- Cavern – 3:11
- Intruder 1 – 2:04
- Encounter – 2:20
- Intruder 2 – 1:55
- Warhead Storage – 3:39
- Intruder 3 – 2:55
- Mantis’ Hymn – 2:56
- Hind D – 1:58
- Duel – 2:22
- Enclosure – 2:14
- Blast Furnace – 2:58
- Colosseo – 1:53
- REX’s Lair – 3:05
- Escape – 3:11
- End Title / The Best Is Yet to Come – 5:46
- VR Training – 2:37
- Metal Gear Solid Main Theme (1997 E3 Edit) – 5:23
- Metal Gear Solid Control Mix (Mixed by Quadra) – 6:53
Let’s have a quick look at 5 of the best tracks on the disc.
The Best is Yet to Come
One of the most well known Metal Gear songs, it was composed for Konami by Rika Muranaka and performed in Gaelic by Aoife Ní Fhearraigh. Parts of it play during the intro and certain dramatic parts of the story, and the full song during the credits, juxtaposed with nature shots of Alaska. It’s a song you can keep listening to, and it returned in several Metal Gear games as an optional song to play during gameplay. It also plays in MGS4 when Snake reaches the now crumbling base on Shadow Moses, nine years after the events of MGS1. The song was recently covered in English by Donna Burke.
One of the most emotional songs in the game, this plays during Sniper Wolf’s death scene, and when Naomi tells Snake about her past and her connection to Gray Fox. It was remixed for Metal Gear Solid 4 and played during Naomi’s death scene, mirroring Sniper Wolf’s death in MGS1.
Psycho Mantis’ theme can be heard just before his battle. Haunting, somewhat creepy nut also beautiful and gripping. It returned in Metal Gear Solid 4 when Mantis made a cameo appearance near the end of the game.
A song that evokes mystery and suspense, slowly building up layer by layer. There’s something sad about its melody, but it also seems to display determination. A subdued version plays in the Briefing File menu.
This gloomy, threatening music plays during the gameplay in REX’s hangar. It starts off with the famous ‘zoooom’ before the ominous electronic sounds kick in. Its low, humming undertones seem to imply a constant lurking threat.
On the cover of the CD case is an artwork of Solid Snake and Liquid Snake by series’ artist Yoji Shinkawa.
The booklet can be folded open, revealing more art by Shinkawa, the tracklist, the lyrics for The Best is Yet to Come in both Gaelic and English, and credits.
Despite being released over 17 years ago, this CD is still pretty easy to get your hands on, and it’s a nice item for Metal Gear fans to add to their collection. Some of the tracks have been rereleased numerous times on newer CDs, but to have it all in one place including the memorable gameplay music still makes it worth it. Unfortunately some tracks are missing, as is often the case with soundtrack CDs, but with its tracklist of 21 songs there’s a pretty good selection.
The CD can be found for a good price at CDJapan. If you’re interested in purchasing it, follow this link.
Metal Gear Solid Original Soundtrack