Mini-Review: Metal Gear 1 for the MSX – 1987

It’s about damn time that I got around to playing Solid Snake’s original adventures, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the MSX system. I don’t actually have an MSX, obviously. By now those things are harder to find than God, and a working one with legitimate Metal Gear 1 and 2 Cartridges would likely cost a fortune. No, I didn’t bother tracking them down, but what I did do is download fMSX for the PSP. The fMSX is a software emulator designed to play MSX computer games. I downloaded MG 1 and 2 despite the fact that I actually do own both of them due to having the Persistence disc of the MGS 3 Subsistence edition. Let’s just say that playing those type of games on a big TV screen just isn’t my thing. I prefer them on a portable system. Actually, I’d prefer all my games on handheld devices, but that’s another topic for another day.

Let’s get down to it.

The Story:

The year is 1995 and the United States received information that a Metal Gear was being produced within Outer Heaven. In response, the High Tech Special Forces Unit: Fox Hound, led by Big Boss, sent agent Gray Fox. Some time after he successfully penetrated the fortress’ outer walls, contact with Gray Fox ceased. His final transmission was, “Metal Gear”. Big Boss then sent in rookie agent, Solid Snake. His mission was to rescue Gray Fox and find out whether or not the enemy had a Metal Gear, and destroy it if they did.


Compared to other games in the series, Metal Gear 1 is pretty simple. Solid Snake doesn’t have any neat tricks here. All he has are his guns, and a punch that comes in handy. Of course, there are also a nice array of gadgets, but he isn’t able to crawl, or make noise to attract enemies.

The Boss Fights:

The bosses in Metal Gear are straightforward. None too challenging, although I do remember having a bit of a rough time against the Bulldozer. This giant machine is just coming towards you, and you have to throw bombs at it in rapid succession. I think ten was the number of hits it required to fall, but I was having a hard time getting them all in before it crushed me. Eventually though, it I destroyed it. The rest of the bosses, including Big Boss, were also extremely easy. It’s also nice to see that many of the bosses in recent MGS games have been around since the beginning. There’s a Tank, a Hind, and a nut case with a flamethrower. The fight against Metal Gear was pretty lame to be honest. It isn’t even activated. Your only threat comes from two cameras with death beams that kill anyone in the room. What you have to do, while avoiding the camera’s line of sight (which is incredibly easy) is plant (or throw? I forget) a crap load of bombs by Metal Gear’s legs. And they have to be planted in the correct order or else it won’t work.

I can’t say I enjoyed Metal Gear 1 all that much, though I did like it. The sneaking was pretty difficult this time around, but that was only because sometimes when you exit one screen and enter another, you’ll end up right in front of an enemy guard. It’d be almost impossible to beat the game without a guide. It was that damn confusing to me. I hardly ever knew where I was supposed to go, so I always kept a Gamefaqs tutorial handy.

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