TGS 2005: New MGS3: Subsistence details

Game to be three-disc package: one for the main game, one for bonuses, and one for a three-hour movie. Rumble Roses wrestler confirmed in online mode.


Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

TOKYO--During a stage presentation at the Tokyo Game Show, director Hideo Kojima revealed additional details on Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, which is turning out to be more than just a rerelease of the original MGS3 with an online mode. The father of MGS revealed that Subsistence will be a three-disc set, featuring a "Subsistence" disc, a "Persistence" disc, and an "Existence" disc.

The Subsistence disc will include a modified version of the single-player mode of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. As revealed at E3, it plays the same as the original MGS3 but will feature a number of additions, including more camouflage and face paint options and a controllable camera angle. "First-person shooters are popular overseas, and the camera angle in the original MGS3 wasn't too popular," commented Kojima. "A [camera angle] engine was already in development, so we decided to add it."

Another addition in the Subsistence disc is a demo theater mode, where players can check out the cutscenes from the game with the option to change camouflage and face paint on the game's hero, Solid Snake. Kojima added that the Metal Gear Solid series is intended for older audiences and revealed that there's a mysterious "kinky theater" extra that's unlockable in the theater mode.

The Persistence disc will include MGS3: Subsistence's main bonus material. The biggest feature is an online-multiplayer mode where up to eight players can battle each other in teams. "We've been working on an online feature since three years ago, exploring ideas by repeatedly creating them and destroying them," said Kojima. "It's really fun. As game designers, it's our job to pave the roads that gamers will take. But when the game goes online, everything is unpredictable." For more details, see GameSpot's impressions of the multiplayer trailer.

"The online mode will be free," revealed Kojima, talking about the price plan within Japan. "If our company goes bankrupt for the fans, that's totally acceptable." (Konami of America officials also confirmed it will be free in the US as well.) Kojima commented that users will have enough headaches just connecting online with the PlayStation 2 to have to worry about cost. Like Xbox Live, the game can be played with a microphone-enabled headset to communicate with other players. For specific details on the online mode, check GameSpot's hands-on impressions.

Another thing to look forward to in MGS3: Subsistence is its cameo appearances. The original MGS3 featured appearances from the primates of Sony's Ape Escape and had a mode where Snake needed to catch the apes. The ape-catching mode is back again in the Persistence disc, and there are two new stages: a stage that features an ape version of Metal Gear named Mesaru-Gear, and a flower garden stage.

But on top of the apes, Subsitence also features the character Reiko Hinomoto from Konami's female pro-wrestling game, Rumble Roses. She will appear in the game's online mode as a player character. When both teams have Reiko as a member, one side will use the normal version, and the other side will use the "heel" (evil) version. A trailer shown during Kojima's presentation showed Reiko performing a backdrop to an enemy, which seems to be one of her close-quarters-combat attacks.

As another bonus, the Persistence disc will include the original MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The games will feature some minor adjustments for the convenience of gamers, such as more legible fonts. "I'm a bit embarrassed to show it since it's an old game," laughed Kojima, who explained that he decided to throw in the two games since that will complete a "Big Boss Trilogy" that depicts the history of the legendary mercenary. "The original games sell at around 20,000 yen ($179.38) on auction sites, so that means there's going to be 40,000 yen ($358.78) worth of bonuses in this game," Kojima jokingly stated.

The Subsistence disc also has an unlockable duel mode, where the player can go one-on-one with bosses in the game. Kojima revealed that there are two sub-modes to duel mode: normal rule mode and special rule mode. The normal rule mode lets players control Solid Snake and fight exactly as they would in the original MGS3, while special rule mode plays with new rules. Kojima revealed that his favorite duel is the special rule mode against the game's top sniper, "The End." "Players can experience a real sniper-to-sniper battle where they won't encounter each other at all," he said. "It's real survival. When we originally created it, it could take up to about a week before one of the sides won. But my developers got angry, and it's been toned down."

The Persistence disc also includes a "Secret Theater" bonus, which features all the comedy movies that Kojima's team posted on the official MGS3 site not long after the game's launch. In addition, the Secret Theater will include Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser, which is an extended version of the E3 trailer that depicts the agonizing storyline of how the series' second hero failed to become the main character in MGS4.

Last but not least, the Existence disc features a three-hour compilation of all the MGS3 cutscenes that have been edited together to play like a real movie. "Creating this disc has taken us about the same time as editing a real film," said Kojima. "It takes a long time to actually play through MGS3, so there are probably people that never finished the whole game. With this disc, anyone can experience the drama in MGS3 and cry."

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