In games, players control a character who has to infiltrate into his enemy's area alone to complete his mission.Across the mission, the player receives assistance by a supporting team communicated by Codec. While the team tells the player hints about the mission, it also helps expand the characters through their interactions.During their debuts, player characters Solid Snake and Raiden are meant to represent the player while in the following titles they acquire more defined personalities.A common motif in the series is the use of powerful enemies. As games were released, new concepts were given to the bosses to make them innovative and notice their strength. As the first games used humans with supernatural abilities, for Metal Gear Solid 4, the staff decided to use monsters rather than humans as enemies.A notable boss battle was The End from Metal Gear Solid 3 that was meant to differentiate it from all the other bosses in the franchise due to its strategic gameplay.
Another common motif has been the transformation of a previously normal character returning as a ninja. It started with Kyle Schneider in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake when he fought against Snake as "Black Ninja". Several other characters have done the same since, including Gray Fox, Olga Gurlukovich, and Raiden.
Much as Metal Gear began as a pastiche of action movies of the time, characters were pastiches of contemporary action movie heroes.Ever since Metal Gear Solid characters have been designed by Yoji Shinkawa. Several of their real names and aliases are references to films that Kojima watched.Because of the timeskip between titles, a few of the characters have been redesigned to fit in the game's year. With the improvements from new video game consoles like the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, the staff gave the characters a more realistic look although they initially had doubts about it.Kojima's thoughts regarding Snake's improved abilities by the time of Metal Gear Solid led to the concept of cloned characters who would be able to match him in combat.By Metal Gear Solid 2, Kojima was inspired by the Sherlock Holmes novels to introduce a sidekick character in order to view Snake from a different perspective.Although the series will continue after Metal Gear Solid 4, that title is Snake's final canonical appearance as Kojima does not want future developers to handle the character.
DevelopmentThe first Metal Gear game was intended to be an action game that featured modern military combat. However, the MSX2's hardware limited the number of on-screen bullets and enemies, which Hideo Kojima felt impeded the combat aspect. Inspired by The Great Escape, he altered the gameplay to focus on a prisoner escaping.In a series of articles written for Official PlayStation 2 Magazine, Hideo Kojima identified several Hollywood films as the primary sources of inspiration for the storylines and gameplay of the Metal Gear series. He further noted that the James Bond series is what influenced him the most regarding the creation of Metal Gear Solid.The original plot has references to the nuclear war hysteria during the mid-1980s that resulted from the Cold War.Following games would revolve around nuclear weapon inspections in Iraq and Iran, but such idea was left out due to growing concern regarding the political situation in the Middle East.Other changes to the series were made in Metal Gear Solid 2 as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
After Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Kojima planned to release the third Metal Gear rehash in 1994 for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer in 1994.Besides changing the console, the game was renamed, and its subsequent sequels, were given the word "Solid" as the series started using 3D computer graphics.Games since then were designed to be more realistic to further entertain the players.Metal Gear Solid 3 was initially meant to be made for the PlayStation 3, but due to the long wait for PS3, the game was developed for the PlayStation 2 instead.As previous game's settings were indoors areas due to difficulties with the consoles, ever since Metal Gear Solid 3, Kojima wished to drastically change it despite difficulties.Since Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty had several plot points unresolved, it was originally meant to leave it to players to discuss them to come to their own conclusions.This has led to consistency issues in the English version from Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 as they mentioned plot elements that were further explored in Metal Gear Solid 4.