Metal Gear Solid Novelization Break down (Part #2 Tangible Differences)

May 12th, 2009


Finally, Part #2 is just a run down of all of the differences between the Metal Gear Solid game and novel. As mentioned in part #1, author Raymond Benson occasionally deviated or intervened with the core plot, this post is a breakdown of all those changes, large and small. Some changes such as general narrative techniques are discussed in my review of the novel.

Spoilers from the entire series below

Les Enfants Terribles Chapter

The most significant difference between game and novel starts right at the beginning. The very first chapter of the book takes place at Snake’s birth; the Les Enfants Terribles project. The United States President is requested to witness the birth at a secret underground bunker in Mexico. Jim Houseman is also present, and the mysterious Dr Clark (ie. Paramedic) is discussing the procedure with Houseman and the President. The President is rather stressed by the whole ordeal. He seems disapproving of the project and states that he inherited it from the former president. The base (located specifically in the Carlsbad area) has been used for experiments before. Regarding the twins, Clark states that “neither is better, one is just dominant”. The President chose the dominant twin (Liquid) to stay in America, Dr Clark didn’t follow his wishes. The future of the remaining Big Boss cell samples were left in doubt.

Arrival – First Meeting with Ocelot

-the novel depicts Snake taken captive at his home before being brought into meet Colonel Campbell and Naomi on the submarine. This as well as the complete mission briefing is sliced in as Snake’s thoughts before being fired towards the missile base.

-Snake requests Master Miller be taken out of retirement to aid him on this mission, the third chapter details the murder of Miller at his home.

-the codec is actually strapped to Snake’s wrist, like a watch

-Snake comments on the rats at the facility

-Snake doesn’t digest cigarettes in his stomach, rather he steals them from a guard

-Snake takes a Socom pistol in with him though, it also already has a suppressor

-Snake also uses chaff grenades as a method of distraction (irrelevant to the security cameras)

-and has a penlight on his shoulder

-the book name troubled security guard and reoccurring staple Johnny Sasaki, where he isn’t named in the game until the credits

-Ocelot actually discusses his first meeting with Big Boss as in MGS3

-brief interludes of Naomi’s actions, this occurs several times in the novel, where she cries or thinks to herself, often after Ninja enters and exits the main storyline

-after Ocelot retreats, the (cut scene) sequence with Snake and Ninja is extended significantly, Snake uses his infrared goggles and Snake swinging off girders

-after the battle, the narrative ponders post-traumatic stress and how Snake has improved his senses since the events of the MSX titles

Ocelot Battle – Mantis Battle

-Snake wishes to himself that his sneaking suit would blend into the background; lame MGS4 joke

-the mine detector is now the ArmsTech Pathtracker 3000

-many references to Master Miller drills and techniques, goes into specifics of these techniques and the mentality behind them, another commonly occurring difference in the novel

-in the snowfield, the novel talks about the pain Snake is going through and the frosty weather

-Snake receives the level 3 key card from the gunner in the tank

-extended backstage discussion with Ocelot, Liquid and Raven at the end of the battle

-brief conversation between guards in the Nuclear Warhead Storage Building

-the codec watch has a built in camera that Snake used in the storage building

-Snake receives first call from Master Miller who tells him that he’ll need to acquire the Nikita missile launcher

-guard in B4 of Nuclear Storage Building is at his desk, not patrolling

-electrified switchboard is on the left, not right

-the Ninja attack on Otacon’s offices is extended, has a bit of dialogue and the guards getting coffee

-Snake takes Pan Card 4 from wounded soldier

-Otacon doesn’t hide in locker, he hides in another room

-a reference to Otacon’s sister (MGS2) is made

-Meyrl is found complete in her underwear and also has her own sniper rifle

Mantis Battle

As in the graphic novel, the Mantis battle is completely reworked. For starters, the Commander’s Room has a different arrangement and a quick cut to Otacon sneaking around preludes the battle. The key difference is how Mantis creates a series of hallucinations for Snake such as making his gun holster feel unbearably hot, tricking Snake with a fake Master Miller and leading Snake into a theme park (Kiddie Land) that he visited in Oregon as a child. This eventually takes Snake into a hall of mirrors area with Big Boss pleading for the deactivation codes and bursting in front of Snake. Snake breaks out of the hallucinations and defeats Mantis by forcing him to multi-task and then pulling his gun from the holster and shooting Mantis, accompanied by silly taunts (“Game Over Freak”). *cringe* *cringe* *cringe*

Mantis then peers into Snakes future and reveals a scene where Snake has a gun in his mouth (MGS4).

Mantis Battle – Hind D Battle

-the layout of the cavern is different

-Snake flashbangs the wolves (they’re not called Stun Grenades)

-Snake uses Meryl’s sniper rifle instead of retreating to the armory

-once Snake believes he has “defeated” Wolf, he walks to the vase of the Communications Tower to check and is then captured, Meryl’s body was taken away later (instead of when Snake returned from the armory, which didn’t happen in novel)

-Wolf put her arm in a sling

-Ocelot’s torture chamber dialogue is different

-Ocelot says that Johny used to be a technician before brain washed by Mantis (this is reference to his role in MGS4)

-Snake escapes captivity by clinging to the ceiling rather than hiding under the bed/using tomato sauce

-Snake spots two of Donald Anderson’s bodies

-Miller pre-emptively spills the beans on a mole within the unit

-Deepthroat warns Snake of the planted bomb rather than Campbell

-Snake finds a rope at the base of the Communication Tower

-alarm goes off at the 5th floor rather than at the entrance to the tower

-page 206 contains a 9/11 reference

-the Hind D battle is surprisingly short 1-2 pages

Elevator Action – Metal Gear Rex

-the lights in the elevator where Snake is ambushed go out

-no codec discussion on weight within the elevator

-Snake exits the elevator at the 8th floor, what ever happened to that broken stairwell?

-Snake spots a parachute on the snowfield

-Sniper Wolf is hiding in a tree, instead of behind it

-Miller doesn’t use dates to prove Naomi’s narrative about her father is false

-Snake tries to shoot down Vulcan Raven from top of containers with PSG1

-ends up blowing Vulcan up with C4 and Claymore mines that leaked from one of the broken containers

-slight suggestion of the Patriots involvement on p238 “It couldn’t be…”

-guesses made with models numbers to the various pieces of Metal Gear Rex

Metal Gear Rex – End

-Snake literally climbs MG Rex with the aid of wheely stairs and jumps from Rex’s head to the raised platform by the control centre

-the whole layout of the Control Room is changed, basically as in “final battle”, no stairs or rails at all, just an empty room, control centre, moat and Rex

-spotlight from the control room

-Snake has to literally swim around the sludgy moat

-Snake over hears conversation on supposed hostages being held in an underground bunker by guards when heating the key, asks Otacon about it

-he also picks up the Stinger from within the underground base

-Snake also wears heat resistant gloves

-an electronic transmitter is what changes Liquid’s voice to Miller’s

-no gas released in the control room

-Liquid pilots Rex during the big reveal, the conversation is completely different and not held on the platform

-Snake again adopts “Master Miller tactics” through the battle with Rex

-Snake and Grey Fox have conversation in the hall/entrance to the control room rather than behind a large shipping container

-the Grey Fox sequence is replayed out, in different sequence

-Wires are attached from Meryl to the time bomb

-Snake doesn’t recover his sneaking suit, instead taking a fur coat from one of the guards

-After Liquid dies, Otacon appears and they open this hidden bunker with the hostages in by using C4

-Campbell tells Snake that Meryl is actually his daughter (MGS4 reference)

-Corney interplay between Campbell and Snake is added at the end