In 1986, the then young Hideo Kojima joined the Japanese company Konami and
worked for six months on the game Last World, which was eventually canceled.
Under pressure to do something before being fired from the company, Hideo was
ordered to make a war-themed game. But the Japanese platform MSX2 for which he
was supposed to work that game wasn’t exactly hardware capable of displaying
big action. Namely, those computers could then display a
very limited number of bullets and opponents on the screen.
He tackled this problem with a game called Intruder, in which opponents were not killed in an open fire, but avoided by sneaking and hiding. The bosses at Konami were not thrilled with this concept, but the game was still complete and was released on this day exactly 34 years ago, under the full name: Metal Gear.
The game puts us in the role of Solid Snake, a young soldier who
infiltrates the Outer Heaven military facility in South Africa to rescue a
missing agent codenamed Gray Fox. In addition, Snake has the task of
destroying weapons capable of mass destruction -
a walking tank called Metal Gear.
It was our first encounter with Snake, as well as his first encounter with Big Boss, a character who marked the Metal Gear series to the same extent. The events that took place in this game later formed the basis for by far the most popular game in the series - Metal Gear Solid for the first PlayStation. Snake got its code name after the character of Snake Plissken from the movie Escape from New York.
This was not the only link between the game and the film world, because the cover of the physical edition of Metal Gear "borrowed" a character from the movie Terminator. Allegedly Kojima had nothing to do with it.
The first Metal Gear contained a similar concept as later games - hiding and
chasing, radio communication, and crazy boss battles. There are
two different versions of this game, and players in the West got the
worse one for the NES console, where the story was mixed and some elements of
gameplay thrown out - to the point that in the end there was no conflict with
the great Metal Gear. This version was also played by most people because it
sold more than a million copies.
The original game, however, got its justice with the release of Metal Gear
Solid 3: Subsistence version, which included an updated Metal Gear. As for the
series itself, I don't think it's worth mentioning how much success it
achieved later. But it is worth remembering how the beginnings of the series
were modest in performance and ambitious in ideas.