Metal Gear

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Name: Metal Gear/Metal Gear Solid メタルギア
Abbreviation(s): MGS
Creator: Hideo Kojima
Date(s): 1987 Metal Gear

1990 Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
1998 Metal Gear Solid
2000 Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
2001 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
2004 Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear AC!D
2005 Metal Gear AC!D 2
2006 Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
2008 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

2010 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Medium: video game seriers
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: Metal Gear Solid Official Website
Kojima Productions Official Website
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One of the most popular video game franchises around the world, Metal Gear, with its complex plot lines and bizarre characters, has inspired fanworks and communities since its 1998 revitalization. The series popularized stealth genre games and long, dialogue-driven cutscenes.

Early Metal Gear Fandom

The earliest installments in the series offered a different gaming experience than gamers were seeing - the opportunity to play a soldier-spy character on a stealth mission. The goal was to avoid enemies rather than attacking. The first Metal Gear game told the story of rookie special ops soldier Solid Snake who is sent to a fortress called Outer Heaven to investigate a weapon called "Metal Gear". From the beginning, Kojima's game verges on science fiction as it twists a story of betrayal and the power-hunger.

While this game was popular enough to spawn both an official sequel and an unofficial American-made project, fans had not started creating fan works in any significant amount.

Metal Gear goes "Solid"

With the release of the series' first 3-D game in 1998, Metal Gear gained a fandom. The strange characters and complicated plots that would continue through the rest of the installments of the series were the focus of this game. Kojima gave the squad of minibosses outsized personalities and quirks that were interpreted later as fetishes by a segment of the fandom. With a sniper who flirts by killing, a mind-warping psychopath who forces the main female in the game to seduce Solid Snake, a sadistic gunslinger who makes sexual innuendos while reloading during battle, a ninja who moans in ecstasy every time he gets hurt, and an intentionally flirtatious conversation with a geeky (and male) scientist, fans were given plenty of fodder for creating their own back stories and situations for these characters.

The archives on for Metal Gear go back as far as 2000. Most early fics are alternate tellings of moments in the game, but the stories quickly begin to delve into characters' inner thoughts. Sniper Wolf is the most popular enemy character in these early fics. Snake/Otacon was already a popular pairing by the time Metal Gear Solid 2 was released.

Metal Gear Solid 2 in 2001 introduced new mini-bosses and a story so convoluted that fans began forums simply to discuss what had actually happened. Virtual reality and the nature of truth were the main themes of the game, and the government conspiracy within the game resonated in the post-9/11 world. "La Li Lu Le Lo", arc words within the game, became part of MGS fans' vocabulary. Fan works turned to interpretations of current events through the decidedly speculative fiction lens of the Metal Gear universe. The game itself angered many fans as Kojima chose to have the main playable character be a younger, more feminine man named Raiden rather than the Solid Snake gamers knew. Large numbers of fans felt cheated by the way the game had been marketed and wanted Kojima to make a sequel to redeem himself in their eyes.

As cosplay was becoming more popular around 2001, more Metal Gear costumes started turning up at cons. In 2003, Metal Gear fan named Chris Doucette started a webcomic called The Last Days of FOXHOUND which wove an hilarious and, at times, sad back story for FOXHOUND, the mini-boss squad of Metal Gear Solid. Terms such as "chronic backstabbing disorder" worked their way into the fandom (and also onto TV Tropes) because of his comic.

Metal Gear Solid 3 - Into the Jungle

Metal Gear Solid 3 in 2004 was Kojima's redemption. The game won both critical and popular acclaim for its gameplay and story. It told a simpler tale than its predecessors and was, in fact, a prequel which followed Big Boss, the main villain of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 through a mission in the Soviet Union. It introduced strong woman characters that appealed to the female gaming audience, including fan favorite The Boss. Metal Gear Solid 3 saw the largest influx of fanwork creators for the series. The Cobra Unit, the new mini-boss squad, became a favorite fan subject, as did a young version of the aforementioned gunslinger, Revolver Ocelot. Stray by Daphne is one of the most popular Metal Gear fics, telling an imagined love story across time between young Ocelot and the future Otacon (who was not even born when Metal Gear Solid 3 takes place).

In 2006, deviantArt user inonibird started the webcomic The Cobra Days. The Cobra Days is a romance-centered story about the Cobra Unit. Characterizations of the Cobras from her comic became part of Metal Gear fanon. The Cobra Days was never completed.

The Continuing Saga

The Metal Gear games to follow would never reach the heights of popularity enjoyed by Metal Gear Solid 3, but they have continued to inspire writers and artists to create fanworks. Metal Gear Solid 4, with Snake and Otacon now living together, having adopted a young girl rescued by Raiden, solidified Snake/Otacon as the main pairing of the series. Other slashable moments in Metal Gear Solid 4, including Ocelot kissing Snake on the cheek during their final fight, would make that game a favorite for slash fic.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker each saw a rise in popularity of MGS fic and art when they were released, especially works referencing Metal Gear Solid 3, to which they were sequels.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a new game announced by Kojima Productions, has spawned both criticism and curiosity already as well as speculative fics about its story.

In 2009, Italian fan filmmakers Hive Division created the film Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy, and in 2011, Beat Down Boogie' created the film series Modern War Gear Solid, combining the Metal Gear series with the Modern Warfare series.

Metal Gear Fan Communities

The Metal Gear Fanbooks

In 2009, MGS fans created a fanbook full of art and stories about the series. The project is being repeated for 2012 with all-new works. The book is meant to be a collective fanzine, created over the internet and then bound so that fans have a physical copy. As with the 2009 book, the organizers are hoping first to have a purchasable printed copy and then to post the PDF for free download.

Metal Gear Fan Events

Though there are Metal Gear gatherings at most large anime conventions, there was no Metal Gear convention until 2011 when the chairs of Kawa Kon held their first Escape from Outer Heaven event in St. Louis, MO. It was not a large event but did attract attendees from three states. There is no news on whether it will become yearly.

External Links