“What Is Metal Gear? I Have Never Heard of It.”
Solid Snake is dead. The Hind Ds have left the Heaven, the victims have been bled, red velvet lines the cardboard box, so on and so forth.[♬] But in a cruel bit of injustice, his murderers have gotten off scot-free. I am of course referring to none other than Konami Holdings Corporation; the former games conglomerate turned pachinko peddlers. Konami is guilty of far more than just terminating some of it’s most beloved games franchises though, with far more serious charges related to their mistreatment of employees, attempts to discredit and stifle some of their star developers, and embarrassing bouts of mismanagement bordering on self-sabotage. In other words: They stink.
But Metal Gear is a franchise that has always existed sort of perpetually on the verge of death, what with Hideo Kojima himself wanting to retire the series for the better part of two decades. With each new installment in the series promised to be “his last,” Kojima has always demonstrated a desire to move on to new projects and to let sleeping snakes lie. Hell, even as early as the first game in the series, he had no immediate intention of producing a follow-up. It’s by a series of fortunate events that Kojima would be inspired to direct his own sequel — a series of events that would first see an alternate sequel developed entirely without his input.
Snake’s Revenge for the Nintendo Entertainment System released in North America in April of 1990. Despite being developed by a team within Konami of Japan, the game was never intended to be sold in its country of origin. Designed specifically with what Konami considered to be the tastes of the “Western market” in mind, it represents something like a divergence — an alternate path the franchise may have well traveled down, if Kojima had not stepped in to steer the series back on course. As a Metal Gear title developed without his supervision or even so much as based on one of his own ideas, the natural impulse of many of Kojima’s most ardent fans is to dismiss the game outright. But while it’s most certainly not canon, is that really sufficient grounds to write it off entirely?
Today, we aim to declassify this top-secret project, and uncover the shocking truths hidden within. We’ll order a sitrep on how this whole fiasco got started, proceed to the mission at hand, and recount the details of what happened after the game’s release in our debrief. So grab your guns, bring your bright red camo, and prepare to infiltrate the “FORTRESS FANATIC!”