|Metal Gear Solid|
|Developer(s)||Konami Computer Entertainment Japan[a]|
Metal Gear Solid[c] is a stealth game developed by Konami and released for the PlayStation in 1998. It was directed, produced, and written by Hideo Kojima, and follows the MSX2 video games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which Kojima also worked on. It was unveiled at the 1996 Tokyo Game Show and then demonstrated at trade shows including the 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo; its Japanese release was originally planned for late 1997, before being delayed to 1998.
Players control Solid Snake, a soldier who infiltrates a nuclear weapons facility to neutralize the terrorist threat from FOXHOUND, a renegade special forces unit. Snake must liberate hostages and stop the terrorists from launching a nuclear strike. Cinematic cutscenes were rendered using the in-game engine and graphics, and voice acting is used throughout.
Metal Gear Solid sold more than seven million copies worldwide and shipped 12 million demos. It scored an average of 94/100 on the aggregate website Metacritic. It is regarded as one of the greatest and most important video games of all time and helped popularize the stealth genre and in-engine cinematic cutscenes. It was followed by an expanded version for PlayStation and Windows, Metal Gear Solid: Integral (1999), and a GameCube remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (2004). It produced numerous sequels, starting with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), and media adaptations including a radio drama, comics, and novels.
The player must navigate the protagonist, Solid Snake, through a nuclear weapons facility without being detected by enemies. When Snake moves into an enemy's field of vision, he sets off an "alert mode" that draws enemies. The player must then hide until "evasion mode" begins; when the counter reaches zero, the game returns to "infiltration mode", where enemies are no longer suspicious. The radar cannot be used in alert or evasion mode. In addition to the stealth gameplay, set-piece sequences entail firefights between the player and enemies.
To remain undetected, the player can perform techniques which make use of Snake's abilities and the environment, such as crawling under objects, using boxes as cover, ducking or hiding around walls, and making noise to distract enemies. An on-screen radar provides the player with the location of nearby enemies and their field of vision. Snake can also make use of many items and gadgets, such as infra-red goggles and a cardboard box disguise. The emphasis on stealth promotes a less violent form of gameplay, as fights against large groups of enemies will often result in severe damage to Snake.
Despite the switch to 3D, the game is still played primarily from an overhead perspective similar to the original 2D Metal Gear games. However, the camera angle will change during certain situations, such as a corner view when Snake flattens himself to a wall next to an open space, or into first-person when crawling under tight spaces or when equipping certain items such as the binoculars or a sniper rifle. The player can also use the first-person view while remaining idle to look around Snake's surroundings and see what's ahead of him.
Progress is punctuated by cutscenes and codec, as well as encounters with bosses. To progress, players must discover the weaknesses of each boss and defeat them. Play controls and strategies can also be accessed via the Codec radio, where advice is delivered from Snake's support team; for example, the support team may chastise Snake for not saving his progress often enough, or explain his combat moves in terms of which buttons to press on the gamepad. The Codec is also used to provide exposition on the game's backstory.
In addition to the main story, there is also a VR training mode in which the player can test out their sneaking skills in a series of artificially constructed environments. This mode is divided into three main categories (practice, time attack, and gun shooting), each consisting of ten stages. After completing all 30 stages, a survival mission is unlocked in which the player must sneak their way through ten consecutive stages under a seven-minute limit.
in Metal Gear
Metal Gear Solid takes place in an alternate history in which the Cold War continued into the 1990s, ending at some point near the end of the 20th century. The game's events take place six years after those in downfall of Zanzibarland, and form the third chapter in an overarching plot concerning the character of Solid Snake.
The protagonist is Solid Snake, a legendary infiltrator and saboteur. During the mission, Snake receives support and advice via codec radio. Colonel Roy Campbell, Solid Snake's former commanding officer, supports Snake with information and tactics. While he initially keeps some secrets from Snake, he gradually reveals them. He is joined by Naomi Hunter, who gives medical advice; Nastasha Romanenko, who provides item and weapon tips; Master Miller, a former drill instructor and survival coach; and Mei Ling, who invented the soliton radar system used in the mission and is also in charge of mission data; the player can call her to save the game.
The main antagonist of the game is Liquid Snake, leader of a now-terrorist splinter cell of the organization FOXHOUND, and genetic counterpart to Solid Snake. An elite special forces unit, FOXHOUND contains experts specializing in different tasks. Members are Revolver Ocelot, a Western-style gunslinger and expert interrogator whose weapon of choice is the Colt Single Action Army; Sniper Wolf, a preternatural sniper; Vulcan Raven, a hulking Alaskan shaman armed with an M61 Vulcan torn from a downed F-16; Psycho Mantis, a psychic profiler and psychokinesis expert; and Decoy Octopus, a master of disguise.
Other characters include Meryl Silverburgh, Colonel Campbell's niece and a rookie soldier stationed in Shadow Moses who did not join the revolt; Dr. Hal Emmerich, the lead developer of Metal Gear REX; and the "Ninja", a mysterious cybernetically enhanced agent who is neither an ally nor an enemy of Snake but does oppose FOXHOUND.
In 2005, renegade genetically enhanced special forces unit FOXHOUND seizes control of a remote island in Alaska's Fox Archipelago codenamed "Shadow Moses", which houses a nuclear weapons disposal facility. FOXHOUND threatens to use the nuclear-capable mecha Metal Gear REX, being secretly tested at the facility, against the US government, if they do not receive the remains of Big Boss and a ransom of $1 billion within 24 hours. Solid Snake is forced out of retirement by Colonel Roy Campbell to infiltrate the island and neutralize the threat.
Snake enters the facility via an air vent and locates the first hostage, DARPA Chief Donald Anderson. Anderson reveals that Metal Gear REX can be deactivated with a secret detonation override code, but dies of a heart attack. Colonel Campbell's niece Meryl Silverburgh, held hostage in a neighboring cell, helps Snake escape. Snake locates another hostage, ArmsTech president Kenneth Baker, but is confronted by FOXHOUND member Revolver Ocelot. Their gunfight is interrupted by a mysterious cyborg ninja who cuts off Ocelot's right hand. Baker briefs Snake on the Metal Gear project and advises him to contact Meryl, whom he gave a PAL card that might prevent the launch, but he too dies of a sudden heart attack.
Over Codec, Meryl agrees to meet in the warhead disposal area on the condition that Snake contacts Metal Gear's designer, Dr. Hal "Otacon" Emmerich. En route, Snake receives an anonymous codec call calling themselves "Deepthroat", warning him of a tank ambush. Snake fends off the attack from Vulcan Raven and proceeds to the rendezvous, where he locates Otacon. The ninja reappears, and Snake realizes it is his former ally Gray Fox, believed dead. Devastated over learning REX's true intentions, Otacon agrees to aid Snake remotely using special camouflage to procure information and supplies.
Snake meets Meryl and receives the PAL card. As they head for the underground base, Meryl is possessed by psychic Psycho Mantis and pulls her gun on Snake. He disarms her and defeats Mantis, who informs Snake that he has "a large place" in her heart. After they reach the underground passageway, Sniper Wolf ambushes them, wounds Meryl, and captures Snake. Liquid confirms Snake's suspicion that they are twin brothers. After being tortured by Ocelot, Snake is confused to discover Anderson's body in his cell, seemingly dead for days. He escapes with the help of Otacon, makes his way up the communications tower, and fends off a Hind D helicopter attack from Liquid. As he emerges onto a snowfield, he is confronted again by Sniper Wolf. He kills her, devastating Otacon, who was infatuated with her.
Snake continues to REX's hangar and is ambushed again by Raven. After Snake defeats him, Raven tells Snake that the "Anderson" he conversed with was, in fact, FOXHOUND disguise artist Decoy Octopus. Infiltrating Metal Gear's hangar, Snake overhears Liquid and Ocelot preparing the REX launch sequence and uses the PAL card, but this unexpectedly activates REX. Liquid reveals that he has been impersonating Snake's advisor Master Miller and that FOXHOUND has used Snake to facilitate REX's launch. He and Snake are the product of the Les Enfants Terribles project, a 1970s government program to clone Big Boss. He also reveals to Snake the government's true reason for sending him: Snake is unknowingly carrying a weaponized "FOXDIE" virus that causes cardiac arrest in FOXHOUND members on contact, allowing the government to retrieve REX undamaged.
As Liquid, in REX, battles Snake, Gray Fox appears. He reveals to Snake that he was Deepthroat, destroys REX's radome, and is crushed to death by REX. Snake destroys REX and defeats Liquid, then escapes with Meryl or Otacon[d] via a tunnel, pursued by Liquid in a Jeep. After their vehicles crash, Liquid pulls a gun on Snake but dies from FOXDIE. Colonel Campbell, briefly ousted from command, calls off a nuclear strike to destroy evidence of the operation and has Snake registered as killed in action to stop the US government searching for him. Naomi Hunter, who injected Snake with the FOXDIE virus, tells him that he has an indeterminate amount of time before it kills him. Ocelot calls the US President; he was a double agent whose mission was to steal Baker's disk of Metal Gear specifications.
Kojima originally planned the third Metal Gear game in 1994 for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. Kojima was initially planning Metal Gear Solid while Policenauts (1994) was still in development. Conceptual artwork by Yoji Shinkawa of the characters Solid Snake, Meryl Silverburgh, who was also a character in the adventure game Policenauts, and the FOXHOUND team, were included in the Policenauts: Pilot Disk preceding the release of the full version of the 3DO game in 1995. After the 3DO was discontinued, development shifted to the PlayStation after Policenauts was released.
The game was titled Metal Gear Solid, rather than Metal Gear 3, as Kojima felt that the previous MSX2 games that he worked on were not widely known, due to the fact that they were not released in North America and only the first one was released in Europe (an NES version of the first Metal Gear was released in North America, but Kojima had no involvement with it or its sequel Snake's Revenge). The word "Solid," derived from the codename of series's protagonist Solid Snake (as well as the title of the second MSX2 game), was chosen not only to represent the fact that it was the third entry of the series, but also the transition from 2D to 3D computer graphics.
Considering first person games difficult to control, the team opted to give the gameplay a 2D style by having it predominantly played from an overhead angle, while using 3D graphics and the ability to switch to first person on the fly to make it feel as though the game were taking place in a real 3D world.
Development for Metal Gear Solid began in mid-1995. Developers aimed for accuracy and realism while making the game enjoyable and tense. In the early stages of development, the Huntington Beach SWAT team educated the creators with a demonstration of vehicles, weapons, and explosives. Weapons expert Motosada Mori was also tapped as a technical adviser in the research, which included visits to Fort Irwin and firing sessions at Stembridge Gun Rentals. Kojima stated that "if the player isn't tricked into believing that the world is real, then there's no point in making the game." To fulfill this, adjustments were made to every detail, such as individually designed desks.
The characters and mecha designs were made by artist Yoji Shinkawa based on Kojima's concepts. According to Shinkawa, Solid Snake's physique in this particular installment was based on Jean-Claude Van Damme, while his facial appearance was based on Christopher Walken. The characters were completed by polygonal artists using brush drawings and clay models by Shinkawa. According to Kojima, "the ninja's cloaking effect is the result of a bug. Of course, it wasn't totally coincidence since we wanted that effect anyway, but we did get a somewhat unexpected result." Kojima wanted greater interaction with objects and the environment, such as allowing the player to hide bodies in a storage compartment. Additionally, he wanted "a full orchestra right next to the player"; a system which made modifications such as tempo and texture to the currently playing track, instead of switching to another pre-recorded track. Although these features could not be achieved, they were implemented in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
Kojima used Lego building blocks and toy figurines to model 3D areas and see what the planned camera views would look like. The game was developed by a staff of twenty people, a small team for such a major title. Kojima preferred to have a smaller team, so that he gets to know everyone in the team, knows what they are working on, and can know if anyone is sick or unhappy.
A gameplay demo of Metal Gear Solid was first revealed to the public at the 1996 Tokyo Game Show and was later shown at E3 1997 as a short video. The 1997 version had several differences, including a more controllable camera and blue-colored vision cones. The demo generated significant buzz and positive reviews at the event, for its game design emphasizing stealth and strategy (like earlier Metal Gear games), its presentation, and the unprecedented level of real-time 3D graphical detail for the PlayStation. The enthusiastic response to the game at E3 took Kojima by surprise, and increased his expectations for the game's performance in the American market. The game's Japanese release was originally planned for late 1997, but was delayed to 1998.
It was playable for the first time at the Tokyo Game Show in 1998 and released the same year in Japan with an extensive promotional campaign. Television and magazine advertisements, in-store samples, and demo giveaways contributed to a total of $8 million in promotional costs.
Main article: Metal Gear Solid Original Game Soundtrack
The musical score of Metal Gear Solid was composed by Konami's in-house musicians, including Kazuki Muraoka, Hiroyuki Togo, Takanari Ishiyama, Lee Jeon Myung, and Maki Kirioka. Composer and lyricist Rika Muranaka provided a song called "The Best is Yet To Come" for the game's ending credits sequence. The song is performed in Irish by Aoife Ní Fhearraigh. The main theme was composed by Tappi Iwase from the Konami Kukeiha Club.
Music played in-game has a synthetic feel with increased pace and introduction of strings during tense moments, with a looping style endemic to video games. Overtly cinematic music, with stronger orchestral and choral elements, appears in cutscenes. The soundtrack was released on September 23, 1998, under the King Records label.
Metal Gear Solid was first released for the PlayStation in Japan on September 3, 1998. The game was available in a standard edition, as well as a limited "Premium Package" edition sold in a large box that also contained a t-shirt, a pair of FOXHOUND-themed dog tags, memory card stickers, an audio CD featuring the soundtracks from the MSX2 Metal Gear games (including a few bonus arranged tracks), and a 40-page booklet, Metal Gear Solid Classified, featuring production notes, interviews with the developers, and a glossary of terminology in the game.
The North American version was released a month later on October 20. Changes and additions were made to this version, such as a choice of three difficulty settings when starting a new game (with a fourth setting that is unlocked after completing the game once), an alternate tuxedo outfit for Snake (which the character wears on every third playthrough on the same save file), and a "demo theater" mode where the player views every cutscene and radio conversations relevant to the main story. Jeremy Blaustein, who previously worked on the English localization of Snatcher for the Sega CD, wrote the English version of the script. One change in the English script was the addition of Western sources and authors to Mei-Ling's pool of motivational quotes; originally the character only cited Chinese proverbs natively, providing an explanation afterward in Japanese, but this proved challenging to adapt during the translation. The games detected by Psycho Mantis when he reads the player's memory card were also changed, due to certain games (such as the Tokimeki Memorial series) not being released outside Japan. This resulted in Kojima's cameo (in which he thanks the player for supporting his work via a voiceover) being cut from the Western versions, as save data from two PlayStation games not available outside Japan, Snatcher and Policenauts, needed to be present on the player's memory card for this Easter egg to appear.
The game was launched in Europe on February 22, 1999, with versions voiced in French, Italian, and German available in addition to English. A Spanish dubbed version was later released on May 1. Like in Japan, a limited edition of the game was released, although the contents of the European limited edition differs from the Japanese counterpart. The European Premium Package comes with the game software itself and its soundtrack album CD, along with a t-shirt, dog tags, memory card stickers, a double sided movie-style poster and a set of postcards.
The Japanese PlayStation version of Metal Gear Solid was reissued twice: once under "The Best" series and later under "PS one Books." Likewise, the American and European versions of Metal Gear Solid were reissued under the "Greatest Hits" and "Platinum" series respectively. The game is included in the Japanese Metal Gear Solid: 20th Anniversary Collection set and in the American Essential Collection set. The original Metal Gear Solid was released on the PlayStation Store for download on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable on March 21, 2008, in Japan and on June 18, 2009, in North America and on November 19 of the same year in Europe.
Metal Gear Solid is one of the twenty PlayStation games included in the PlayStation Classic released in 2018. The game is included in both the Japanese and western models of the unit in their respective versions.
Released on June 25, 1999, for the PlayStation in Japan, Metal Gear Solid: Integral[e] is an expanded edition of the game that features the added content from the American and European versions. It replaces the Japanese voices from the original version with the English dub, offering players a choice between Japanese and English subtitles during cutscenes and CODEC conversations (item descriptions, mission logs, and other text are still in Japanese). Further additional content to the main game include an alternate "sneaking suit" outfit for Meryl (which she wears when Snake is dressed in the tuxedo), a "Very Easy" difficulty setting where the player starts the mission armed with a suppressor-equipped MP5 submachine gun with infinite ammo (substituting the FAMAS rifle in Snake's inventory), an eighth Codec frequency featuring commentary from the development team (unvoiced and in Japanese text only) on every area and boss encounter, hidden music tracks, an alternate game mode where the player controls Snake from a first-person perspective (on Normal difficulty only), an option for alternative patrol routes for enemies, and a downloadable PocketStation minigame. The Torture Event was also made easier, reducing the number of rounds to three per session on all five difficulty settings.
The VR training mode is now stored on a separate third disc, known as the "VR Disc", and has been expanded into 300 missions. These new set of missions are divided into four main categories: Sneaking, Weapons, Advanced, and Special. The first three categories feature standard training exercises that test the player's sneaking, shooting, and combat skills, while the fourth category contains less conventional tests involving murder mysteries, giant genome soldiers, and flying saucers. One particular set of missions has the player controlling the Cyborg Ninja, unlocked by either completing a minigame on the PocketStation and uploading the data to the VR Disc or by achieving the Fox rank on the main game. Completing all 300 missions will unlock a concept artwork of Metal Gear RAY, a mech that would later appear in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Additional content includes preview trailers of Metal Gear Solid from trade events and a photoshoot mode where the player can take photographs of fully expressive polygonal models of Mei Ling and Dr. Naomi after completing the main game. Famitsu magazine rated Metal Gear Solid: Integral a 34 out of 40.
The VR Disc from Integral was released by itself during the same year in other regions as Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions in North America on September 23 and as Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions in the PAL region on October 29. While the content of both, VR Missions and Special Missions, are virtually identical to the VR Disc, the unlocking requirements for the Ninja missions and the photoshoot mode were changed accordingly, so that save data from the main game was no longer required. The Special Missions version also adds an additional requirement in which the user must also own a copy of the original Metal Gear Solid in PAL format in order to start the game - after booting Special Missions on the console, the player will be asked to switch the disc with the first disc from Metal Gear Solid to load data before asking the player to switch back to the Special Missions disc to proceed through the rest of the game. This requirement renders Special Missions incompatible with PlayStation 2 consoles made before the SCPH-70000 model.
The PC version of Metal Gear Solid was released in North America, Europe, and Asia in late 2000. This version was published by Microsoft Game Studios and developed by Digital Dialect. It supports the use of a keyboard or a USB game controller with at least six buttons (with the manual recommending the Sidewinder Game Pad Pro). It also supports Direct3D-capable video cards, allowing for a high resolution of up to 1024x768. The PC version is labeled Metal Gear Solid on the packaging, but the actual game uses the Metal Gear Solid: Integral logo, although it has some differences as well from the PlayStation version of Integral and lacks some of its content. The most significant change was reducing the number of discs from three to two, which was done by giving each disc two separate executable files, one for the main game (mgsi.exe) and the other for the VR training portion (mgsvr.exe), thus eliminating the need for a stand-alone third disc.
One notable omission was the removal of the cutscene before the Psycho Mantis battle in which he reads the player's memory card and activates the vibration function of the player's controller if a DualShock is being used, as this scene involved the use of PlayStation-specific peripherals. The method for defeating Mantis was also changed from using the second controller to simply using the keyboard (regardless of whether the player was using a game controller or not up to that point). Other omissions include the removal of the eighth Codec frequency (140.07), which featured written commentaries by the developers, Meryl's alternate sneaking suit outfit, and the mission logs when loading a save file. However, the PC version adds the option to toggle moving and shooting in first-person view mode at any time regardless of difficulty setting, and players can now save their progress at any point without contacting Mei-Ling through the use of quicksaves. On the VR training portion, all 300 missions, as well as the photoshoot mode, are available from the start, although the opening video and the three unlockable preview trailers from the PlayStation version have been removed.
Scoring 83 on Metacritic's aggregate, the game was criticized for "graphic glitches," the aged nature of the port, and being virtually identical to the PlayStation version.
Main article: Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
A remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, was developed by Silicon Knights under the supervision of KCE Japan and released for the GameCube in North America, Japan, and Europe on March 2004. Although Twin Snakes was primarily developed at Silicon Knights, its cutscenes were developed in-house at Konami and directed by Japanese film director Ryuhei Kitamura, reflecting his dynamic signature style, utilizing bullet time photography and choreographed gunplay extensively. While the storyline and settings of the game were unchanged (although a select few lines of dialog were re-written more closely resembling the original Japanese version), a variety of gameplay features from Sons of Liberty were added such as the first-person aiming and hanging from bars on walls. Another change in the English voice acting was the reduction of Mei Ling's, Naomi's and Nastasha's accents, as well as the recasting of Gray Fox from Greg Eagles, who still reprises the role of the DARPA chief, to Rob Paulsen. The graphics were also updated to match those of Metal Gear Solid 2.
A Japanese radio drama version of Metal Gear Solid, directed by Shuyo Murata and written by Motosada Mori, was produced shortly after the release of the original PlayStation game. 12 episodes were aired, from 1998 to 1999 on Konami's CLUB db program. The series was later released on CD as a two-volume series Drama CD Metal Gear Solid. Set after the events of the PlayStation game, Snake, Meryl, Campbell and Mei Ling (all portrayed by their original Japanese voice actors) pursue missions in hostile third world nations as FOXHOUND. The new characters introduced include Sgt. Allen Iishiba (voiced by Toshio Furukawa), a Delta Force operative who assists Snake and Meryl, Col. Mark Cortez (v.b. Osamu Saka), an old friend of Campbell who commands the fictional Esteria Army Special Forces, and Capt. Sergei Ivanovich (v.b. Kazuhiro Nakata), a former war buddy of Revolver Ocelot from his SVR days.
In September 2004, IDW Publications began publishing a series of Metal Gear Solid comics, written by Kris Oprisko and illustrated by Ashley Wood. The comic was published bimonthly until 2006, lasting 12 issues fully covering the Metal Gear Solid storyline. The comic was adapted into a PlayStation Portable game, Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel (Metal Gear Solid: Bande Dessinée in Japan). It features visual enhancements and two interactive modes designed to give further insight into the publication. Upon viewing the pages, the player can open a "scanning" interface to search for characters and items in a three-dimensional view. Discoveries are added to a database which can be traded with other players via Wi-Fi. The "mission mode" allows the player to add collected information into a library. This information must be properly connected to complete a mission. Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel was released in North America on June 13, 2006, Japan on September 21 and the PAL region on September 22. In 2006, the game received IGN's award for Best Use of Sound on the PSP. A DVD-Video version is included with its sequel (Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinée), which was released in Japan on June 12, 2008. The DVD version features full voice acting.
A novelization based on the original Metal Gear Solid was written by Raymond Benson and published by Del Rey. The American paperback edition was published on May 27, 2008, and the British Edition on June 5, 2008.
A second novelization by Kenji Yano (written under the pen name Hitori Nojima), Metal Gear Solid Substance I, was published by Kadokawa Shoten in Japan on August 25, 2015. This novelization is narrated through a text file written by a young man living in Manhattan in 2009 (the present year of the Plant chapter in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty). The story also acknowledges certain plot elements from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain regarding certain characters such as Liquid Snake and Psycho Mantis.
|Japan Media Arts Festival||Excellence Award for Interactive Art|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly|
|Game of the Year (Runner‑Up),|
PlayStation Game of the Year,
Adventure Game of the Year,
Best Sound Effects,
|Electronic Gaming Monthly|
|Game of the Year (Runner‑Up),|
PlayStation Game of the Year,
Adventure Game of the Year,
Best Sound Effects,
Best Music (Runner-Up),
Best Graphics (Runner‑Up)
|Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine|
(1998 OPM Editors' Awards)
|Best Game of '98,|
Best Adventure Game,
Best Graphics (Runner-Up),
Best Story (Runner-Up)
Prior to release, the game's demonstrations at several trade shows between 1996 and 1998 had received a positive response. This had generated significant worldwide interest in the game prior to its release in 1998.
Prior to its North American release, an estimated 12 million demos for the game were distributed in 1998. Upon release, the game was a commercial success. It became one of the most rented games in the United States, and topped sales charts in the United Kingdom and Japan. PC Data, which tracked sales in the United States, reported that Metal Gear Solid sold 1.06 million copies and earned $51,834,077 (equivalent to $86,175,000 in 2021) in revenue during 1998 alone. This made it the country's fifth-best-selling PlayStation release of 1998, and the third highest-grossing PlayStation title that year. In the United Kingdom, it was the third best-selling video game of 1999. In Germany, it received a Platinum award from the Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (VUD) in June 1999 for sales above 200,000 copies within several months, and it became the year's second best-selling PlayStation game. In Europe, the game grossed €40,034,122 or $42,668,367 (equivalent to $69,406,415 in 2021) in 1999, adding up to more than $94,502,444 (equivalent to $157,111,760 in 2021) grossed in the United States and Europe by 1999.
By early 2001, it had sold 6 million units worldwide, including 1 million units in Japan and approximately 5 million units in the United States and Europe. It went on to sell more than 6.6 million units worldwide by 2002. By 2004, the original release had sold 5.51 million and Integral had sold 1.27 million for a combined 6.78 million units worldwide. As of March 2005[update], the game has sold over seven million units worldwide. In the United States, 2.81 million units were sold as of 2007[update].
Despite its high success even in sales, Kojima, during an interview with Geoff Keighley in 2014, revealed that Metal Gear Solid sales expectations were low and said: "Neither I nor anyone else expected Metal Gear Solid to sell at all. [...] I didn't think at all of how to make this game sell well, because I didn't expect it to sell."
Metal Gear Solid received "universal acclaim", according to review aggregator Metacritic.
PlayStation Official Magazine – UK review called Metal Gear Solid "the best game ever made. Unputdownable and unforgettable". The review by IGN opined Metal Gear Solid came "closer to perfection than any other game in PlayStation's action genre" and called it "beautiful, engrossing, and innovative...in every conceivable category." Computer and Video Games compared it to "playing a big budget action blockbuster, only better." Arcade magazine praised it for "introducing a brand new genre: the sneak-'em-up" and said it would "herald a tidal wave" of "sneak-'em-ups." They called it a "brilliant, technically stunning, well thought through release that's sure to influence action adventure games for many years." GMR called it a "cinematic classic."
GamePro called it "this season's top offering [game] and one game no self-respecting gamer should be without," but criticized the frame rate that "occasionally stalls the eye-catching graphics." GameSpot was critical of how easy it is for the player to avoid being seen, as well as the game's short length, calling it "more of a work of art than ... an actual game."
Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it five stars out of five, and stated that "rest assured that this is a game no player should miss and the best reason yet to own a PlayStation."
Metal Gear Solid received an Excellence Award for Interactive Art at the 1998 Japan Media Arts Festival. The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences nominated Metal Gear Solid for its 1998 "Outstanding Achievement in Character or Story Development" award, although the game lost to Pokémon Red and Blue.
In 1999, Next Generation listed Metal Gear Solid as number 27 on their "Top 50 Games of All Time", commenting that, "MGS is one of the most vibrant efforts in gaming history to bring serious ideas to games."
Metal Gear Solid is credited with popularizing the stealth game genre. The idea of the player being unarmed and having to avoid being seen by enemies rather than fight them has been used in many games since. It is also sometimes acclaimed as being a film as much as a game due to the lengthy cutscenes and complicated storyline. IGN called it "the founder of the stealth genre."
The game is often considered one of the best games for the PlayStation and was featured in best video games lists by Computer and Video Games in 2000, by Electronic Gaming Monthly and Game Informer in 2001, by Retro Gamer in 2004, by GameFAQs and GamePro in 2005, and by Famitsu. Hyper magazine in 2001 called it "Probably the single best game on the PlayStation."
In 2002, IGN ranked it as the best PlayStation game ever, stating that just the demo for the game had "more gameplay [in it] than in most finished titles." IGN also gave it the "Best Ending" and "Best Villain" awards. In 2005, in placing it 19th on their list of "Top 100 Games", they said that it was "a game that truly felt like a movie." Guinness World Records awarded Metal Gear Solid with a record for the "Most Innovative Use of a Video Game Controller" for the boss fight with Psycho Mantis in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008 edition. In 2010, PC Magazine ranked it as seventh in the list of most influential video games of all time, citing its influence on "such stealthy titles as Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell." In 2012, Time named it one of the 100 greatest video games of all time and G4tv ranked it as the 45th top video game of all time.
According to 1UP.com, Metal Gear Solid's cinematic style continues to influence modern action games such as Call of Duty. Metal Gear Solid, along with its sequel, Metal Gear Solid 2, was featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's exhibition The Art of Video Games in 2012. During August 2015, Eurogamer reanalyzed the game's technical and overall impact and claimed that Metal Gear Solid had been nothing less than "the first modern video game." In September 2015, Metal Gear Solid was voted the best original PlayStation game of all time by PlayStation.Blog's users.
Colonel Campbell: Next-Generation Special Forces led by members of unit FOX-HOUND. They've presented Washington with a single demand, and they say that if it isn't met, they'll launch a nuclear weapon.
Colonel Campbell:You'll have two mission objectives. First, you're to rescue DARPA chief, Donald Anderson and the President of ArmsTech, Kenneth Baker. Both are being held as hostages. Secondly, you're to investigate whether or not the terrorists have the ability to make a nuclear strike, and stop them if they do.
Colonel Campbell: Snake, I'm sorry I kept a lot of things from you.
Solid Snake: Naomi! The chief! What happened? / Naomi Hunter: I... I don't know. It looked like a heart attack but... / Colonel Campbell: A heart attack? No...
Colonel Campbell: Okay Snake. Sorry. I'll be frank. A person very dear to me is being held hostage. / Solid Snake: Who is it? / Colonel Campbell: My niece. Meryl. / Solid Snake: What was your niece doing here? / Colonel Campbell: Several soldiers were reported missing the day of the revolt. And my niece was one of those called in as an emergency replacement. / Solid Snake: She looks like you. / Colonel Campbell: She's my little brother's girl. He died in the Gulf War. Since then I've been watching after her. (...) That's what I trust about you. It's what makes you human. Please Snake. Save my niece Meryl.
Solid Snake: Colonel! Are you listening? Now he's dead too! / Colonel Campbell: I have no idea! / Solid Snake: Don't lie to me! / Naomi Hunter: It looked like another heart attack but... / Solid Snake: Some kind of poison!? / Naomi Hunter: Well, there are a lot of drugs that can cause a heart attack in large doses. For example. potassium chloride or dioxides... But we won't be able to tell without doing an autopsy. / Solid Snake: Damn!
Master Miller: The cause of death. Didn't the ArmsTech president and the DARPA Chief - I mean, Decoy Octopus - die of something that looked like a heart attack?
Deepthroat: Snake, be careful! There are Claymore mines around there. Use a mine detector. / Solid Snake: Who are you? / Deepthroat: Just call me "Deepthroat". / Solid Snake: Deepthroat? The informant from the Watergate scandal? / Deepthroat: Never mind about that. / Solid Snake: You're not using burst transmission. Are you nearby? / Deepthroat: Listen. There's a tank in front of your position waiting to ambush you. / Solid Snake: Who are you anyway? / Deepthroat: One of your fans.
Solid Snake: Gray Fox... Colonel, that ninja is Gray Fox. No doubt about it. / Colonel Campbell: Ridiculous! You of all people should know he died in Zanzibar. / Naomi Hunter: No, he should have died... but he didn't.
Liquid Snake: There definitely is a resemblance. Don't you think, little brother? Or should I say big brother? I'm not sure... Anyway, it doesn't matter. You and I are both the last surviving "sons of Big Boss".
Liquid Snake: We're shorthanded, so make this little torture show of yours as short as possible. / Revolver Ocelot: Torture? This is an interrogation. / Liquid Snake: As you wish.
Vulcan Raven: You are a snake which was not created by Nature. You and the Boss... you are from another world... a world that I do not wish to know. (...) The man who you saw die before your eyes... That was not the DARPA Chief. It was Decoy Octopus. A member of FOX-HOUND. He was a master of disguise. (...) The path you walk on has no end. Each step you take is paved with the corpses of your enemies. Their souls will haunt you forever... you shall have no peace. Hear me, Snake! My spirit will be watching you!
Computer: PAL code number three confirmed. PAL code entry complete... Detonation code activated. / Solid Snake: No! Why!?
Master Miller: Without the detonation codes, we had to find some other way. That's when I decided... you might prove useful, Snake. / (...) / Solid Snake: You mean you had this planned from the beginning? Just to get me to input the detonation code!? / (...) / Colonel Campbell: Snake, that's not Master Miller! / Master Miller: Campbell, you're too late. / Colonel Campbell: Master Miller's body was just discovered at his home. He's been dead for at least three days. I didn't know because my Codec link with Master was cut off. But Mei Ling said his transmission signal was coming from inside the base! / Solid Snake: So who is it? / Colonel Campbell: Snake, you've been talking to... / Master Miller: ...Me... dear brother.
Liquid Snake: We were created to be that way. / Solid Snake: Created? / Liquid Snake: Les enfants terribles... the terrible children. That's what the project was called. It started in 1970s. Their plan was to artificially create the most powerful soldier possible. The person that they chose as the model was the man known then as the greatest living soldier in the world... / Solid Snake: Big Boss...
Liquid Snake: You were sent in here to kill us so they could retrieve Metal Gear undamaged along with the bodies of the genome soldiers. From the beginning, the Pentagon was just using you as a vector to spread FoxDie!
Solid Snake: Naomi, Liquid died from FoxDie too.
Solid Snake: (...) What happened to the air raid and the nuclear strike? / Colonel Campbell: The orders were rescinded. The F117s and the B2 Spirits have returned to the base. Once again, I have complete authority over this operation. (...) I'll bet the boys at the DIA and the NSA never expected you to come home alive. / Solid Snake: Me neither. I better not show my face around here. / Colonel Campbell: No danger of that. You two officially died after your jeep sank into the ocean...
Revolver Ocelot: (...) The vector? Yes sir, FoxDie should become activated soon... Right on schedule. Yes, sir. I recovered all of Rex's dummy warhead data. No, sir. My cover is intact. Nobody knows who I really am. Yes, the DARPA Chief knew my identity, but he's been disposed of. Yes. The inferior one was the winner after all. That's right. Until the very end, Liquid thought he was the inferior one. Yes, sir. I agree completely. It takes a well-balanced individual... such as yourself to rule the world. No, sir. No one knows that you were the third one... Solidus. (...) Yes. Thank you. Good-bye. Mr. President.
Kojima: "Metal Gear" is as it is, and "Solid" has a deep meaning. Let me explain. This time Metal Gear is displayed in full polygonal form, and I used "Solid" to describe the cubic structure. also, the "Solid" means to the third power mathematically. Also, most of the people don't know that there is a Metal Gear 1 and 2 for the MSX, and I wanted it to be the sequel for those. And, of course, Solid from Solid Snake.
Mantis: 「小島作品が好きなようだな」 / Kojima (v.o.): 「いつも応援してくれてありがとう・・・」