Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – November 30th -December 13th, 2009

November 30th 2009: The title screen has a visual filter that looks different from any other part of the game so far.

After Snake slew the FROGs, Laughing Octopus cried out. “What a riot… People suffering… People dying… It’s all so fucking hysterical! Laugh! Laugh with me!”

It’s spooky to fight a slithering opponent with OctoCamo. She can even spew ink! She leaves the lab through the windows and pops up elsewhere. If she’s too hard to find, try night vision instead of the Solid Eye’s normal viewing mode.

She can imitate anything – even Metal Gear Mk. II!

She laughed even as she crumbled into a heap. She stood up, but her tentacles fell off.

I… am octopus. An eight-legged beast. These tentacles are beyond my control.”

She vomited up an absurd amount of ink and seemed to regain some mindfulness.

Under the mask, she was a blond, blue-eyed woman with a soft face.

Laughing Octopus
Laughing Octopus

I’m so sorry… so sorry I laughed. I’m not laughing anymore. I can’t. (laughs) I don’t want to.”

As she struggled, her OctoCamo went wild with different patterns until she decided to try to kill Snake again as Laughing Beauty.

In the first phase of the battle, there were creepy laughing children in the BGM. The second phase was even more cacophonous:

A battlefield. Gunshots. A screaming woman. A man panting. More screaming. A thunderclap. Laughing. Crying. A light bulb breaking. A camera snapping.

As Snake fought her, all the color drained out of the environment. After he dealt the last blow, she screamed… but then she laughed. Her body erupted into blue flames, and white flower petals laughed as they flew off of her body.

Was that supposed to be a reference to MGS3 and the white flowers strewn across Naked Snake and The Boss’ final battlefield?

Her camo shifted into a rough, black texture as she curled up into the fetal position and died.

Snake stepped on her discarded mask. Suddenly, Drebin called over CODED to suggest that Snake use the mask, but it did not fit him. Drebin claimed that a friend of his could tailor it for him, however.

Drebin also claimed ignorance of the virus in Snake’s body before he explained Octopus’ backstory.

A cult killed her entire Scandinavian village except for her and her family. The cult forced her to torture and kill her family, and laugh all the while. The blood was so thick, it turned black, like the ink of an octopus.

Why are you telling me this?” asked an annoyed Snake. “You expect me to feel sorry for her?”

No,” replied Drebin. “I know you got no room for that stuff in your world.”

Snake left the lab but almost immediately fell ill. It passed as quickly as it came. He checked the nearby terrain and found footprints – boots mixed in with heels.

Then, Jack called over CODEC. He suggested that Snake track the footprints.

Snake claimed that he was not Big Boss, because tracking was more his suit, not Snake’s.

He asked how Jack got so good at tracking. He claimed that he met a tribal leader in Alaska that taught him how.

When Snake asked if he went back to Rose in his worldly wanderings, Jack claimed, “Rose doesn’t exist”. He said they existed in different worlds and times. Whatever, dude.

Snake said that he sounded “like a ninja”.

Exactly,” said Raiden. “Ninja are the ultimate scouts.” Believe it!

I’m guessing that Crying Wolf cries all the time, that Raging Raven is angry all the time, and that Screaming Mantis screams all the time.

December 13th, 2009: On Naomi’s trail, Snake overheard some guy talking about his UFO abduction. Wha?

Eventually, Otacon note that Naomi’s footsteps just disappeared. Later, Snake found Vamp and several soldiers escorting Naomi to a helicopter.

As Vamp communicated with Liquid remotely, Snake had a shot. And he took it.

Before Vamp passed out, he said that they had the go-ahead to use the disruptor again. The soldiers in the helicopter injected themselves with whatever protected their nanomachines from scrambling. Naomi reminded Snake to use the syringe. It kept him in the fight.

Since the helicopter had not taken off, Naomi was able to jump out into Drebin’s tank. In the chaos, they tried to escape.

Snake had to help them reach the plaza where Otacon had an escape helicopter prepped. This set piece involved one of my favorite kinds of gameplay sequences: fending off attackers while someone else drives.

Some complain that MGS is too cinematic – that the coolest parts aren’t even the ones you play. I don’t totally agree, but I do know that they could have let us play the part where Naomi almost got on the helicopter. There were Gekkos and the attack on Vamp…

Drebin turned over the tank as they fled the Gekkos. Afterward, he drank a soda while Naomi comforted his monkey.

Oh, shit,” said Drebin as more Gekkos closed in on them. But Raiden arrived to disptach all of the Gekkos. Drebin stayed behind to watch the fireworks as Snake and Naomi left.

Raiden defeated all of the Gekkos with a sword and amazing athleticism. “Snake… It’s my turn to protect you.”

The cinematography in this game is reminiscent of a documentary.

Raiden threw his trenchcoat onto one of the Gekkos, obscuring its targeting computer.

He got turned into a cyborg ninja. For some reason, that means he got a creepy robo-jaw.

His abilities are the reason why they are making an Xbox 360 game based on him.

You don’t say! =D

Snake told Naomi to go on ahead.

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