Metal Gear Famicom Sample
Hope you’re not tired of Famicom samples. I know I’m not. Once you pop, you just can’t stop.
It’s Metal Gear‘s time to shine. Go on with your bad self, girl.
Now, in full disclosure, I am not a big Metal Gear… er. I completely missed the NES games when they came out, and I still don’t quite understand what an MSX is; this commercial doesn’t exactly clear the clouds, either.
My first outing with Snake came in 1998 with Metal Gear Solid on the PSOne, and all I remember about that experience was a pixelated ass and a boss named Psycho Mantis who gave my DualShock controller seizures.
In any event, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty followed on the PS2, and brought more sneaky scenarios, this time on a boat. There’s probably more to the game than the boat, but that’s as far as I got with the demo that came with Zone of the Enders, a flashy mecha extravaganza. (Giant Japanese anime robots, I can always get behind.)
Years later, I discovered Metal Gear on the NES, and its 1990 sequel, Snake’s Revenge. At that point in my gaming life, though, I had my fill of stealth missions, so I never gave either game much time.
That ambivalence is at least one thing I have in common with Metal Gear‘s creator, Hideo Kojima. He had some choice words for the NES port in an interview with Nintendo Power:
“I had absolutely no participation in the development of the NES version. The NES version was a pitiful title developed cheaply and simply by a small team in Tokyo. That was during the bubble economy where anything and everything that was released would sell. I came across the game in a bargain bin and tried play it, but the game design is pretty bad. There is some gameplay that includes infiltrating a base that didn’t exist in the original. However, even I, the developer of the original game, was unable to infiltrate the base even once.
Furthermore, being Metal Gear, it goes without saying that Metal Gear should make an appearance at the end. However, from what I’ve heard, due to the technically difficulties in displaying the sprite on the screen, they swapped Metal Gear out for a gigantic monitor. That made me see that whoever created the game had no sliver of appreciation for the players. However, even thought it was an abomination, it was during the bubble economy and it sold millions overseas. That title has only soiled my reputation.”
I unfortunately can’t elaborate much on the sample because, well, I couldn’t tell you who bought it. Here’s what I do know.
According to a post on DieSnake.com, a forum for collectors of all things Kojima, the last Metal Gear sample to surface on Yahoo Japan Auctions went for a solid (get it?) 40,000 yen (~$500) back in 2008. That came complete, sealed, and wrapped—white cardboard box and all.
Either times have changed, or white cardboard boxes have become the new gold standard, because this bare-bones sample sold on YJA in June for “only” 14,944 yen (~$185).
Interestingly enough, the buyer used Rinkya, a Japanese deputy service that allows people in other countries like the United States to place bids on YJA. (Yahoo does not otherwise allow overseas bidders.)
Snake, where are you?
This single screenshot of the title screen doesn’t reveal much, as it appears to be identical to the Japanese game. The US version was published by Ultra, a subsidiary of Konami, to circumvent the five game limit Nintendo had in place at the time. No such software restriction was placed on the Famicom, so Konami didn’t have to hide behind another name.
If you have any additional information about this sample, please comment below or drop me a line.