Inspired by the upcoming MGS5 game, I wanted to try out the humble beginnings of the Metal Gear series. I have never seen a MSX computer in my life, so for now I will have to emulate it. I've installed the blueMSX emulator and patched a japanese Metal Gear rom with a fan translation patch...
The emulator has to be set to 'MSX2 - Japanese' for the game to run.
I couldn't immediately figure out how to save using the in-game save function, so I'll save to a state file instead using alt+F8 (load using alt+F7).
In-game keys: F1-F4.
Apparently, you can only carry 3 Rations and not raise your health above 50% early in the game.
Those sure are some roomy trucks.
Who the hell is Schneider?
Based on some maps I found, the game has 3 buildings, having 5, 3, and 1 levels, respectively.
Inspired by the Giant Bomb dudes, I wanted to get this up and running again. I found the fan translated version that I had used before, and tried running it in the blueMSX emulator. I couldn't get it to run, the machine kept rebooting. It turned out that because I downloaded a minimal version of blueMSX, it only had ROM replacements, which are called 'C-BIOS', and are not compatible with Metal Gear. After installing the full version of blueMSX, the game worked. I couldn't get Joy2Key to work with blueMSX, but you can map joypad buttons and joystick directions to keyboard keys in the emulator, so I just did that instead.
Apart from F1-F4, the game uses SPACE for shoot, N/M for punch, and RETURN.
I played through the early parts of this game again. Man, this is stressful. You have almost no health early on, and enemies can quickly swarm you. The game saves its state in the elevators, and I had to make a mad dash for the elevator door to make sure I retained my Keycard 2, Remote Missile, and Cardboard Box.
My next mission: Get out on 3rd floor and get the Grenade Launcher and Silencer, and get all the way east to find the other elevator.
I did those things. There was a frustrating period where I had 'saved' in the elevator with next to no health and no Rations. It was a nightmare, but at least I learned that you can hide from cameras in a Cardboard Box if you stay still. I got myself captured, and spoke to Gray Fox about Metal Gear. I retrieved my stuff again, and found a 'Bug' among my possessions and discarded it. I got the Bomb-blast suit and am ready to go to the 2nd floor and to the south-west to get infra-red goggles and then to the south-east and get the parachute.
I got the IR goggles with extreme danger to my health due to a lack of Rations. Rations are a real problem in the early game, because they are so rare. I got killed by the Machinegun Kid, but managed to beat him on my second try. That boss fight is annoying, because its unclear whether you're hitting him with your bullets. The game should really have had a clearer indication of hits. Blinking the sprite in one frame one help a great deal. I got the Parachute. After freeing one more hostage, I leveled up to CLASS 3, and collected 9 Rations on floor 3. Now I went to the Roof, stood to the side of the helicopter so it couldn't hit me, and destroyed it with grenades. Using the Parachute, I jumped down to the 1st floor, and used the Mine Detector to get Card4, after which I went to the Basement to get the Body Armor. Now I'm ready to go to the 1st floor and exit Building 1.
I got past the annoying tank guarding building 2 with 12 or so mines. I found the fake Dr. Madnar, and a lot of interesting equipment, including a rocket launcher. Next up is finding the real Dr. Madnar and using the rocket launcher on the two super-powered guards to get Card7.
The amount of player subversion going on here is ridiculous. I found Dr. Madnar, backtracked to Elen and freed her, went back through the treacherous tunnel to Dr. Madnar, went through the desert using the compass, and then Big Boss tells me to enter a truck. That truck drives away and puts you directly back to the start of the game. If you choose to ignore him and go straight forward, he will tell you to enter a room on the left, which is a pit trap. If you figure out how to blow the wall to the north, you get way down to the basement of building 3, and get the oxygen tank, which you can use to reach the strangely named boss Coward Duck. He's surrounded by hostages, making it almost impossible to hit him without hitting the hostages. Each hostage killed reduces your class (i.e. your hitpoints and max ammo and items) by one. If you do it without noticing, the game autosaves one screen later and you are screwed. I killed two of the hostages by accident, and now I've lost an hour of progress. KOJIMA!!!
OK, I did everything again, and got back to Coward Duck. I tried to very carefully shoot him, but I accidentally shot a hostage. Panicking, I immediately jumped into a pit and committed suicide. Thankfully, my CLASS was restored to 4 and I could keep retrying until I managed to kill him without hitting a hostage. Very stressful. Now I've got Card8.
completed the game (BlueMSX).
I reached Metal Gear, which was just hanging out and not doing anything, and I remembered Dr. Modnar's leg bombing sequence RRL RLL RLL RRL RLR, and I believe the final one that he didn't remember was R. After that I shot Big Boss with rockets and escaped using the left ladder, a final trap for people who accidentally killed Coward Duck's hostages.