Monthly Archives: August 2015

Analysing a scene from one of my favourite video games

Metal Gear Solid 3 is a weird game. It’s a fantastic game. But it’s really bloody weird.

Released in November 2004 on the PlayStation 2, it was technically the fifth in the Metal Gear series – depending on how you’re counting. Historically the Konami-published games had a tendency to be a bit odd already (a boss in Metal Gear Solid 1 could only be beaten by physically unplugging your controller), but MGS3 ramped it up a notch.

It featured this guy for example.

The_Pain

He’s called The Pain. And he’s a man made out of bees, who shoots a gun made of bees, that fires bees at you.

Bees.

Seriously, bees. Bees everywhere.

It totally bananas, but we all loved it. I still DO love it.

And with the latest entry in the series – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – coming out VERY SOON, I wanted to take a look back at the best cutscene in the game. But first, some background.

Chronologically, MGS3 is actually the first in the series (mind-binding twists happening ALREADY just in the title omg) so you don’t really need to know much about the characters or backstory. Basically, our hero is a guy called Snake – a codename, as he’s an agent who’s been sent into deep Russia to find a Soviet rocket scientist to extract back to America (the game is set in the Cold War).

In this scene, Snake has just found the scientist and is escorting him off. But he’s ambushed by his former mentor – The Boss – who…. is defecting to the Russians!

Let’s go through this line-by-line shall we? [Script courtesty of MHamlin]

Snake: Boss?

(The Boss drops the cases, causing the bridge to go unstable)

Huh. Why does she do that? She’s trying to get Sokolov (the scientist) back, and he’s clearly not the steadiest walker. He could literally fall off, and making the bridge wobble for NO REASON isn’t really going to help.

Boss: Good work, Jack.

Snake is called Jack I guess.

Snake: What are you doing here?

Boss: Sokolov comes with me.

(A swarm of hornets then appears)

This is gonna be good!

Snake: Hornets!?

Oh yeah. Snake has this super annoying tendency to verbally repeat everything he sees and hears. I don’t know why he does that.

(In the confusion, The Fear descends down, grabs Sokolov, and pulls him up to
a helicopter)

Right so The Fear is another of these wacky characters. He’s basically a human spider. I don’t know what the hornets were for. Some kind of annoying distraction?

Boss: My friends… let us fight together again!

I don’t think she’s talking to the bees. The weird guys in the copter are her old squad from WW2. So I guess this is her announcing her defection. But they didn’t know already? She just did it just then by shouting up at the helicopter? So they previously thought she was with Snake or something? I’m a bit confused.

Fear: I have waited long for this day.

Nobody talks like that.

(The Pain, The End, and The Fury are also in the helicopter)

So The Fury is this angry astronaut dude who shoots fire at you. And The End is a well old sniper who is LITERALLY DEAD some of the time. Yup.

Pain: We will fight with you once more.

End: Welcome back, Boss.

Boss: Now that the five of us are together, it’s time we go to the depths of
hell itself…

Huh, what does that mean.

(It begins raining)

Does she just mean it’s raining. Because rain isn’t the depths of hell. Hell is usually depicted as a really hot place. Not much rain.

Boss: It’s raining blood…

No it isn’t. It’s raining water.

(A ghost of The Sorrow walks up behind The Boss)

The Sorrow is another member of this team. But he’s a ghost. You still have to fight him at one point (a boss fight that just involves walking down a river until he goes away. It’s the worst).

Boss: …is he crying?

Is who crying? What’s the object in this sentence?

(Colonel Volgin walks up and joins The Boss)

Colonel Volgin is like the leader of these soviet chaps. He’s a weird character. His special power is shooting electricity out of his body. It’s so stupid. Also, where was he up until now? Just hanging out in the bushes, waiting to show up?

Volgin: Kuwabara, Kuwabara… Ah… What a joyful scene.

Probably the oddest line. It’s a Japanese phrase used to ward off lightning. But he’s Russian. So I don’t know why he knows it or is saying it now. He’s also electroconductive – so I don’t know why he wants to ward off lightning. Overall, it’s a bizarre entrance for a character we haven’t met before in the narrative.

Maybe it’s because Konami is a Japanese studio. But maybe if you’re writing a script set in Russia with Russian characters saying stuff, don’t put obscure local folklore references in?

The way he delivers “What a joyful scene” is also hilarious. Nobody would say that.

Boss: Colonel Volgin…

Volgin: Welcome to my country… and to my unit.

The way he punctuates this with his fist is super incredible. Also I guess he heard her yelling up to the copter from the bushes.

Snake: Boss? What is this?

Dude, it’s pretty clear. She’s defecting to the Soviet Union.

Boss: I’m defecting to the Soviet Union. Sokolov is a little gift for my new
hosts.

See? Way to have to make it super explicit.

(Volgin picks up the two cases)

Volgin: Recoilless nuclear warheads… these will make a fine gift for me…

Ok wait what. Recoilless nuclear warheads? Is that a thing? A thing you can just carry around in a box? That doesn’t sound plausible. And they’re a gift for him? I thought she just said Sokolov was the gift?

And “a fine gift for me” – what does that mean? His use of “these will” makes no sense. Say “these ARE” or something.

Snake: This can’t be happening!

Volgin: Who is he? Another one of your disciples? Are we taking him with us?

Haha, Volgin has like no idea what’s going on. He’s in charge, but seems pretty down with the idea of just bringing people along who happen to be standing about.

Boss: No. This is one is still just a child. Too pure for us Cobras. He has
not yet found an emotion to carry into battle.

First off, Snake is no child. He’s like 30 or something at this point.

Too pure? What does that mean? Snake is a seasoned veteran. He’s seen war.

He has not yet found an emotion to carry into battle. What, like the emotion of BEES? C’mon.

Snake: (aiming his gun) What are you talking about!?

I wanna know too.

Boss: Think you can pull the trigger?

(The Boss grabs Snake’s gun and dismantles it with her bare hands. Snake tries
to attack but The Boss grabs him and breaks his arm)

Volgin: He’s seen my face. We can’t let him live. If Khrushchev finds out
about this, we’re finished. He must die.

I think if Khrushchev found out about this he’d been all like “wait, what’s the deal with the bee guy?” not “what was the guy’s face like?” Also, Volgin says the same thing twice here for no reason.

The thing with the bullets is weird too.

Boss: Wait. He’s my apprentice. I’ll take care of him. Jack, you can’t come
with us.

(She holds out her hand. Snake takes it and The Boss rams her elbow into his
ribs. Snake grabs hold of her bandana as The Boss throws him off the bridge
into the river below)

That throw is pretty impressive. This is also technically the origin story for Snake’s bandana from the other games if you’re interested.

Pain: The new blood has been rejected…

What.

Volgin: Are we done here?

Boss: Now… on to Sokolov’s research facility.

Why is The Boss saying this? She literally just defected but now she’s calling the shots?

Volgin: Shagohod is ours!

Shagohod is this walking tank thing that’s gonna destroy the world. It’s the ‘Metal Gear’ of the game’s title.

Boss: Drift away. My place is with them now.

Snake just fell down a whole canyon. He’s probably dead, mate.


And that’s that! If you wanna see what happens next, it’s pretty dumb. Basically, Sokolov fires one of the missiles at the weapons facility to frame America or something. Snake (who survives the fall and is just sitting around) sees the explosion and is like “daaayuummm” but apparently doesn’t die despite sitting really really nearby.

Volgin also has the great line “remember the Alamo” which is totally dumb, but might just be the best line in the game.

Anyway, I highly recommend the game. It’s all this wacky, and one of the better ones of the series.

Metal Gear Solid V comes out September 1st. Be cool like me and pre-order the special edition that comes with a mini ROBOT HAND.

Remember the Alamo.

ps. I also recommend Hiimdaisy’s take on this scene, as part of their whole MGS comic.
Part 1
Part 2

Review: The Dark Tower; The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King

It’s a Stephen King novel everyone! Yay. I actually really like Stephen King.

This book is supposed to be part of the Dark Tower series that I really love. It’s set between books five and six of the series (where’s there’s this weird unexplained shift in tone and location) – so it’s King going back and filling in a blank.

But really it’s not part of the series at all. It’s about the characters from the series hiding in some building from a storm, whilst Roland (the hero) tells them a story. That story is about him going off to kill some shape-shifting monster when he was younger. Ok, now bear with me because it doesn’t stop there.

In that story, Roland tells yet another story to some king he’s protecting. Yup, it’s story-within-a-story time! Thankfully that’s as far as it goes, Inception-wise, but it’s kinda dumb. There’s no big revelations about Roland from his past, and the bottom line story (which takes up most of the book) doesn’t really tie into anything else. It’s a nice little story by itself, but the whole framing around it is kinda pointless.

Btw, this is just a little reminder that Stephen King literally wrote himself in as a character in the Dark Tower series. Not like as a character that looks like him, but as real life horror writer Stephen King. Roland and the gang have to visit him (and save his life ofc) to stop him from stopping writing about them. Yup.

(Still recommend the entire Dark Tower series though).

So back to The Wind Through the Keyhole. Yeah it’s pretty fun. Lots of magic and stuff. If you don’t like King you won’t like this, but if you do… you probably will.

I do, so I liked it!

Rating: 5/5