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North American front cover
Ultra Games (North America)
|Designer(s)||A. Nozaki, Takeshi Fujimoto|
|Programmer(s)||H. Akamatsu, Kouki Yamashita, Yasuo Okuda, S. Fukuoka|
Snake's Revenge is a stealth action game by Konami released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. The game was produced as a sequel to the NES version of the original Metal Gear, made specifically for the North American and PAL market following the success of the first NES game. However, Hideo Kojima, the game designer of the original Metal Gear, was unaware of Snake's Revenge, and decided to develop his own sequel for the MSX2 computer after being informed of the game's creation. The resulting game, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which was released exclusively in Japan only a few months later, is recognized as the canonical sequel to the original Metal Gear, relegating Snake's Revenge to a non-canonical status.
Like in the original Metal Gear, the player's objective is to infiltrate the enemy's stronghold while avoiding detection from enemy soldiers or surveillance devices. To fulfill their mission, the player must collect a variety of weapons and equipment, such as firearms, explosives and rations, as well as card keys to access new areas. If the player is discovered by the enemy, the game will go into an alert phase where enemy soldiers will enter the screen to attack the player. The player must defeat a specific number of enemy soldiers to return to the infiltration phase or go to a different floor or area. In some cases, particularly when an enemy soldier sees the player and only a single exclamation mark (!) appears over his head instead of two (!!), the player can also escape the alert phase by going to the adjacent screen.
A change to the original Metal Gear formula is the fact that the player now begins the game with a combat knife and a handgun already in their equipment. In the regular top-view segments, the A button is used for firearms and explosives, while the B button can be assigned so that the player will attack with a punch or with the knife. The knife can be used to instantly kill most enemy soldiers at close range. However, guards who are killed with a knife during the infiltration phase will not leave any item behind, unlike enemy soldiers who are defeated with punches, who will randomly leave food or ammo sometimes. The player must rescue prisoners in order to be promoted to the next rank, much like in the original Metal Gear, and interrogate enemy commanders. To interrogate an enemy commander, the player must equip the Truth Gas and apply a single canister on each commander to reveal vital information. Increasing the player's rank will increase the player's maximum health and carrying capacity (with the highest possible rank being six stars). The transceiver has been simplified from the original Metal Gear, with only three preset contacts available (John, Nick and Jennifer). The transceiver will become unusable when the player enters alert phase or fights a boss. The transceiver is now equipped with a radar which is used to track down the location of an ally whenever the player is required to do so in order to progress.
Snake's Revenge features a varied progression of areas such as a jungle, a warehouse, a cargo ship, and a train, as well as the usual encounters with enemy bosses. In addition to the regular top-view areas, the player must also progress through a series of side-view areas as well. In these side-view areas, the player can jump and crawl like in most side-scrolling action games to avoid traps, while still avoiding detection by the enemy as usual. While in a side-view area, the player can only equip the knife or the handgun as their main weapon, as well as plant plastic explosives to blow up obstructions and use rations to recover. Some of these areas require the player crawl underwater to progress. If the player has an oxygen tank in their equipment, it will be used automatically to fill their oxygen meter, allowing the player to crawl underwater without sustaining damage. If the oxygen meter runs out and there are no additional oxygen tanks left, the player's health will start to decrease.
Set in 1998, three years after the events of the original Metal Gear, FOXHOUND discovers that a hostile nation in the Middle East may have gotten a hold of the plans for Metal Gear and are secretly constructing a new model. Lt. Solid Snake, the FOXHOUND operative responsible for the destruction of Metal Gear, is given orders to lead a three man team to the enemy's base consisting of himself and two fellow operatives: John Turner, a former Navy Intelligence agent and infiltration pro; and Nick Myer, a weapons and explosive expert formerly with the Marines. The codename of the mission is Operation 747.
Snake infiltrates the enemy's jungle base with the help of John, who acts as a decoy by allowing himself to be captured. Snake eventually learns that the enemy are transporting their weapons, a set of mass-produced Metal Gear tanks, on a cargo ship. Snake blows up the ship's ammunition cache and escapes with the help of the team's helicopter pilot while the ship sinks.
The pilot informs Snake that the enemy has a prototype of the new Metal Gear 2 model in their main base and is told to contact their double agent, Jennifer, on the inside. As Snake goes deep into the base, he defeats an impostor posing as John, regains contact with Nick and eventually comes in touch with Jennifer, who reveals that the enemy commander is planning to launch nukes around the face of the globe. However, as Snake approaches the commander's lair, Nick is mortally wounded and dies, while Jennifer is exposed as a spy and gets captured. Snake confronts the enemy's commander, who reveals himself to be a cybernetically enhanced Big Boss, having survived his previous encounter with Snake. Snake defeats Big Boss and rescues Jennifer, who shows him to the storage facility where Metal Gear 2 is located. Snake destroys the weapon before its launch countdown is completed.
In the aftermath of Operation 747, the United Nations declares "World Peace Day". John Turner is declared missing in action and removed from Navy records, while Nick Myer is awarded three posthumous promotions.
Much like the NES version of original Metal Gear, the packaging and instruction manual for Snake's Revenge features an alternate version of the story that is inconsistent with the actual plot featured in the game. At the time of its release, Konami of America/Ultra Games (the game's publisher) had a habit of not taking their games seriously. This was reflected by the humorous tone of their instruction manuals, which made several jokes and puns at the expense of the game and paid little or no respect toward the game designers' original intentions. Whereas the game reveals the main villain to be Big Boss, who betrayed Snake in the first Metal Gear, the instruction manual identifies the villain as "Higharolla Kockamamie" (a play on Ayatollah Khomeini), an Eastern despot who obtained the plans for his "Ultra-Sheik Nuclear Attack Tank" (the manual's name for Metal Gear) from Vermon CaTaffy (a play on Muammar Gaddafi, the supposed villain from the original Metal Gear).
Konami produced Snake's Revenge following the release of the NES version of Metal Gear, as a sequel produced specifically for the Western market. Hideo Kojima, the designer of the original MSX2 version of Metal Gear, was not involved in the production of Snake's Revenge. According to Kojima, one of developers working on Snake's Revenge informed him of the game. He then asked Kojima to develop a true sequel to Metal Gear. This inspired Kojima to direct his own sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the MSX2, which was released as the official sequel to Metal Gear in Japan. Snake's Revenge was released in North America and Europe with no corresponding Famicom version. The game has been referred in publications by the alternate title of Snake's Revenge: Metal Gear II, although this title is never actually used on the game's cover artwork or title screen.
When interviewed by Steven Kent in 1999, Kojima stated that he enjoyed Snake's Revenge and that he thought it was "faithful to the Metal Gear concept". Although during the 2009's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco Kojima stated that Snake's Revenge was a "little crap game", he later stated in an interview with Nintendo Power that he doesn't consider it to be a "bad game".
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