Metal Gear Solid is one of those games that’s baked into my skull. I played it not long after its release on the PS1 and I loved every second of it as a teenager and there you have it. It is a game of sneaking around and getting into things without being caught, and when you did get caught it was a matter of finding a good hiding spot. It was well-researched*, exhaustively lengthy in its exposition, and full of tiny details that you as a player could exploit. It’s not as good as it thinks it is, sadly, but that’s only because it takes itself a little seriously at times; that being said it was cleverly crafted experience that set a high personal bar for what games could be.
The sequel, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, was eagerly anticipated. Being the patient (not to mention perpetually poor) gamer I was, I had to wait and learn second-hand of the storyline’s major twist via magazine reviews. Eventually I did have a chance. I did not have a console at the time, but I was willing to snatch up a copy of the Substance version of the title for the Xbox and play it at my friend Tony’s place. Let me tell you, MGS2 is a multiplayer game if you have good friends who are willing to test the limits of what it had to offer.
The uproarious laughter was our constant companion. We fought our way through the Tanker, testing the limits of the game engine. Crawling along just out of enemy view, taking out enemy radios, testing out the roll-jump to see what we could get away with. Aiming in the first person mode was a first in the series, and with it you could do a lot of fancy tricks, like dick shots! You can shoot hundreds of dicks in MGS2, and each one is more satisfying than the last, so if you haven’t played it you’re kind of in for a treat.
Oh boy could you fuck with some guards in MGS2.
So the guards in MGS2 are patrolmen, usually moderately well-armed and generally observant of their immediate (and I mean immediate) vicinity. If they see you, or if you injure one, they will call for backup. Backup comes in the form of well-armed shock troops who will absolutely ruin you, so the mechanics are certainly pushing you towards remaining undetected in the first place. Tony figured out that we could shoot the radios with a silenced weapon and the patrolman(somewhat bewilderingly) would not notice. We would then assure that no other patrols were on the scene, and pop out in front of the dude and hold him up.
The guy freezes, holds his hands up. So he can’t shoot me back, I take a shot into his gun arm (like a total dick). I let down my guard and he runs away, newly shattered wrist limp at his side. I walk up behind him, not willing to let him get too far. He crouches down, panicking, and reaches behind him to grab his radio. He attempts to use it and then, as the horror started to creep into his gut, he shakes the radio, furious at the universe for taking his last salvation away. He vocalizes the flavor of that failure:
Then I fill ’em full of darts! Having whipped out my dart gun filled with Benadryl, I start shooting darts at his crotch. It turns out testicle shots force a sleepytime state instantly, so there sits this dude, scared out of his fucking mind, hand probably ruined for life, slumped in the corner of a boiler room with little letter Z’s floating over his head. Mission Accomplished!
OK, so we realized that we had to see what would happen if we were to have more than one charge at a time. Certainly if there were two incapacitated guards, they would try to help one another? When we played as Raiden later (spoiler alert!) we tried it out. This time we busted out 3 radios, then we took out both hands and one foot each with a pistol, leaving us with 3 disabled guards on the first deck of some strut out in the ocean, all asleep so we could process them more efficiently. Two of them woke up, and wouldn’t you know it, they really are just trying to get the hell away from you at that point. They would drag their sorry skinbags across the room, and once they each individually realized that help was not on the way, they broke for the door. It broke our hearts that all we could really do was knock them over time and again; all we really wanted was for them to notice each other, that in this dark time they still had each other. At the conclusion of our unrequited workshop, they took their broken bodies and stumbled to the nearest exit. Ok, so this part was more sad than fun but it gave us an idea:
Metal Gear Solid 2: Unwilling Informant Mode
Step 1: Capture the Informant!
The first guard you CAN capture, you DO capture. Sometimes you have to make exceptions but for most of the game this is viable.
What does capture mean? Capturing means you shoot the radio, gun arm, and a leg of the first patrolman you can get to in an area. You can knock him out if you want to but you are not allowed to put him to sleep if you don’t absolutely have to. Remember, sleeping men just sleep away the intel!
Step 2: Protect the Unwilling Informant!
Now, the unwilling informant is going to try and get away because he’s chock-full of juicy information and he wants it all for himself. He will usually run for the nearest way out of the current map. Your goal in every stage is to keep him alive and away from the entrance that you came into! You know that he’s the informant because he was closest to the entrance, which is exactly where anyone would expect the informant to be.
Step 3: Get the Unwilling Informant to the Exit!
He’s always going to want to go to the one nearest to the entrance, but that is not his fate. No, you sir are going to get the UI to the exit, which means clearing a path (so he doesn’t get caught in the crossfire while you get shot at) and oftentimes corralling him to said exit. This is sometimes a perilous task. It will sometimes require shooting guards or disabling them, which is usually a much more intensive task than simply sneaking by them. You may have to spend more time doing holdups to get enough ammo to finish the Unwilling Informant Mode, but it will be worth it to have the satisfaction of getting the UI to the exit. Once the guard is close enough to the ‘drop zone’, your UI should hobble to the exit. If not, knock him out and drag him to the exit yourself, and take pride in your forever uncredited accomplishment.
Step 4: Shoot the Unwilling Informant in the Dick