Metal Gear Ghost Babel

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Snake and Chris.

Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, retitled Metal Gear Solid for its Western releases (much to everyone's confusion), is a Game Boy Color spin-off of the Metal Gear series released in 2000. Although it has a completely different storyline from the actual Metal Gear Solid (essentially serving as an alternate sequel to Metal Gear), it does share a few game and plot elements with it.

Seven years after the Outer Heaven incident, a separatist guerrilla group known as the Gindra Liberation Front, has hijacked the latest Metal Gear model codenamed Gander, which was secretly being developed by the U.S. military. The organization's stronghold is in the fortress of Galuade, which was built over the remains of Outer Heaven. Solid Snake is called back into action and sent to Galuade to neutralize the threat. There he meets Chris Jenner, a surviving member of a Delta Force team sent to to recover Metal Gear from GLF, who reveals that the guerrillas are being aided by the surviving members of Black Chamber, a defunct U.S. Special Forces unit that once rivaled FOXHOUND. Throughout the course, Snake fights the members of Black Chambers and finds out there's more to the terrorists' objective than Gindra's sovereignty.

The game itself looks and plays a bit like a 2D Metal Gear, particularly Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. However, the screen actually scrolls with Snake (instead of using flip screens like the MSX2 and NES games), the player can move diagonally as well, and Snake can lean himself into walls like in the PS game. Almost all of Snake's arsenal from the PS version (with the exception of the Sniper Rifle and the Stinger Missiles) are featured as well. Even a good half of the training stages from the VR Missions expansion are included as well.

Tropes used in Metal Gear Ghost Babel include:
  • Aborted Arc: The ending provides hint of a sequel, as Snake swears to take out Parker and Gardner for their involvement in Project Babel's conspiracy. However, most of the game's staff ended up working on the Boktai series for the GBA and it would be 12 years until another Metal Gear game was released for a Nintendo portable (even then, it was a port of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, not a new game).
  • All There in the Manual: Gander's name isn't actually stated in the game; it's only mentioned on the official site and in the Japanese manual.
  • Alternate Continuity: Serves as an alternate sequel to the original game,Metal Gear. The biggest indicators that it is not part of the same world as Metal Gear Solid are that Snake meets Mei Ling for the first time in this game and that Snake killed Big Boss in Outer Heaven, and not in Zanzibar Land.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Dr. Harks. How'd he get a doctorate at that age, anyway?
  • Call Back: You can find the original TX-55 in the 100th floor basement.
  • Child Prodigy: Jimmy 'The Wiz' Harks, Gander's developer. Also the only survivor of the research team that worked on Metal Gear. Until he dies.
  • Continuity Cameo: In addition to Snake himself, Mei Ling and Campbell are both supporting characters in this game, while Big Boss, Gray Fox and Meryl Silverburgh are all mentioned at different points, which leads us to...
    • Early-Bird Cameo: A hidden game mode has the player controlling a VR-trained soldier who is going through tougher versions of the same stages from the main game. When the training is complete, the soldier's name is revealed to be Jack.
  • Costume Porn: The bandanna on Snake's sprite is incredibly well-animated; it looks better than in the PlayStation game.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The maintenance base is 100 floors down, in a Continuity Nod to the original |Metal Gear. It even has the room where the TX-55 Metal Gear used to be, complete with its remains!
    • It also expands on these floors; you visit the 49th, 50th, and the bottom three floors.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: The fight with Viper at the end.
  • Expy: Black Chamber to FOX-HOUND. They're both led by an Evil Counterpart of Snake (Liquid Snake in MGS, Black Arts Viper in MGGB).
    • Gander to REX. Although Gander has another railgun for no reason other than it looks cool, and has a weakness similar to the original Metal Gear. It could be said that Gander is based on both, REX and |TX-55.
  • Humongous Mecha: Metal Gear Gander.
  • It's Raining Men: How Snake gets into Galuade.
  • Kill It with Fire: Pyro Bison.
  • Kill Sat: Metal Gear GANDER's ultimate weapon is an uplink system that allows for seven nuclear satellites to rain destruction on the Earth.
  • Market-Based Title: Known as Metal Gear: Ghost Babel in Asia, and Metal Gear Solid everywhere else.
  • Mission Control: As per usual in a Metal Gear game. You get Colonel Campbell, Mei Ling, who once again explains your radar (although this time it's more like the radar from Metal Gear 2), McBride, a CIA agent sent to supervise the operation, and Weasel, a mercenary who knows stuff about mercenaries. Snake is immediately suspicious of Weasel, with each of them eventually fighting amongst themselves as to who it could be. It was also initially believed that Jenner was the mole after it became apparent that she lied about her status or even her job. It turns out Weasel, Jenner and McBride are all moles for different agencies, but Weasel pulls a Heel Face Turn at the end and Jenner helps never really does anything to interfere with Snake's mission.
  • Mistaken Identity: Snake, when he sees a woman boarding a Havoc, thinks it is Chris Jenner, and ends up fighting her. After it crashes, he finds the crash site and gets to the woman... only to discover that she is not Chris Jenner, but Sophie N'dram.
  • No Smoking: Snake's cigarettes are replaced by a conspicuously shaped smoke emitting device called a "Fogger". This applies even in the Japanese version, where the item is given the less embarrassing moniker of "smoke emitter".
    • Slightly subverted in the beginning. If you look closely at the opening cutscene before it flashes back, you'll notice that Snake is smoking a cigarette.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: With everyone focusing their attention towards the pre-release hype of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty at the time, most people weren't even aware that another Metal Gear sequel was being released, let alone the fact that it was on the Game Boy Color.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Slasher Hawk carries a pair of six-foot long, bladed, metal boomerangs, one of which has a aerodynamically improbable zigzag trajectory.
  • Playing with Fire: Pyro Bison, to the point that even his essentially committing suicide by immolating himself has him screaming in ecstasy.
  • Red Herring: After Jimmy Harks reveals not only that he was saved by another surviving member of Delta Force, but in fact, Jenner wasn't even among the Delta Force squad sent to Galuade, Snake and the others began to suspect that Jenner was the fifth Black Chamber member that Pyro Bison alluded to. The fact that Chris Jenner (or rather, a woman who bears a strong resemblance to Chris Jenner) was seen boarding the Havoc and then fighting Snake in it, made the suspicions towards her even more sound. Turns out, Jenner was not the fifth Black Chamber mole, but an agent of General Parker sent to delete all records of the Babel Project. The actual fifth Black Chamber member was actually McBride, who went as far as to change his name, paperwork, and even go through plastic surgery just to keep up the act until the time came.
  • Shout-Out: The music that plays when Snake parachutes into Galuade is the intro theme from the MSX version of Metal Gear, while the alert theme is the same one from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Marionette Owl. Justified as his mutation that allows him to see in the dark on par with an owl also results in his eyes shining in the dark, thus necessitating them to keep himself disguised effectively.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: A subtle example. "Ghost Babel" has the same initials as "Game Boy", the platform it was released on (hence "Metal Gear GB").
  • The Mole: Jenner for General Parker of the Joint Chiefs, although she apologizes to Snake later on.
    • Also McBride (who was in actuality an alias of the last surviving member of Black Chamber besides Black Arts Viper) and Weasel (an agent of the true enemy, Steve Gardner), but Weasel pulls a Heel Face Turn in the end.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Can be a bit confusing here. At first, the Big Bad looks like it's going to be the General; then Viper reveals his plan. Then the General reveals his plan has been to use Viper all along. Then Viper reveals that his plan was to use the General. The guy behind it all was the National Security Advisor in an attempt to get Gander under his authority again.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The cardboard box puzzle in the barracks. Why is there such a complicated and unnecessary packaging system in Galuade, anyway?
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Great! You saved Dr. Harks! Now let's just get him out of those handcuffs... Oh wait, there's a microphone in them that has recorded the entire conversation. And they're also explosive.