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Here's I am writing the very first game spotlight article for NES WORLD and what better way to start off with the very first NES game I ever bought, besides the Super Mario Bros pack-in with my NES console of course.

Way back in 1992 the Nintendo Entertainment System was at its high even though the Super Nintendo was just around the corner. Here in Denmark games were extremely expensive, probably too expensive, for any kind to afford. So my brother and I started saving together to be able to buy a new NES game and a few months later we had approximately 500 Danish kroner (approximately $100 with today's exchange rates).

So we went to the local "BR" toys shop, which wasn't that local but anyway we went there and browsed their collection of NES titles safely stored behind a glass window. As far as I remember we weren't looking for anything specific and I remember that we looked at R.C. Pro-Am racing but didn't buy it because the box was missing.

We ended up buying Snake's Revenge, probably because of the extremely cool looking box art as well having seen the game in an issue of the Club Nintendo magazine. So we bought Snake's Revenge, price 499,- Danish kroner, a damn lot of money.

Snake's Revenge was developed by Konami and released in Europe as a key title, which was why it was released using the Konami brand and not Palcom like all mediocre titles were. In the US the game obviously wasn't a key title as it was released using Konami's Ultra Games brand. The US received the game in April 1990 while Europe had to wait until March 1992.

The game was made as a sequel to the already released Metal Gear game, released back in 1988 by Konami - originally for the MSX system. This is why the game often is referred to as Metal Gear 2, however a completely different Metal Gear 2 (Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake) was released for the MSX2 system in Japan and is considered as the real Metal Gear 2 game. The first NES Metal Gear game had sold well over a million copies in the US alone and Konami therefore planned a sequel with western world consumers in mind.

While the first Metal Gear game was designed by now famous Hideo Kojima, no plans were made by himself at that point to design a sequel, mainly due to low MSX sales in Japan. But when Kojima met the lead developer of Snake's Revenge on a train ride and they talked about kojima creating his own Metal Gear sequel it actually happened. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was created released exclusively for the MSX2 in 1990. The NES/Famicom game Snake's Revenge was never released in Japan but became the sequel to Metal Gear in the US and Europe. While many people believe that Kojima hated Snake's Revenge I have to point out that it's simply not true. Kojima once expressed his oppinion in an interview and he was quite happy with Snake's Revenge and that believed that it was faithful to the Metal Gear concept.

I have never been a huge fan of the Metal Gear series and I actually hated having bought Snake's Revenge at first, mostly because I sucked at playing it, though I later grew to love the game so much that Snake's Revenge has become one of my favourite NES games of all time. Unfortunately I never managed to find the original Metal Gear game in any store around there and even today I havn't played the original Metal Gear game sadly.

The story takes place three years after the Outer Heaven incident - the first Metal Gear game. FOX-HOUND has gained intelligence that an unknown terrorist group has seized a remote facility containing mass produced Metal Gear tanks, as well as a new Metal Gear prototype which was under development. The newly promoted Lt. Solid Snake is called back into action to infiltrate the terrorists' base with the help of two FOX-HOUND rookies, former marine Nick Myer and navy intelligence agent John Turner.

Snake's Revenge takes off in a jungle terrain, you're Solid Snake, armed with only a knife, a pistol with very limited ammunition and a communication device that soon after entering the jungle is shut down when Snake enters enemy terrain. Hereafter the game takes place in locations such as a warehouse, transport train and a cargo ship.

Solid Snake is controlled from a sort of top down view in most of the game, but it also features normal side viewed action like seen in games such as Super Mario Bros. This type of sidescrolling is used in special stages in between the min locations. In some cases Snake just has to walk through a tunnel while defeating enemies, while in other cases the tunnels are flooded and blocked by stone so you have to watch the air meter and place bombs to proceed. This brings great variety to the game in my oppinion, but it's one of the things Metal Gear fans are greatly annoyed by.

To be able to survive Snake must collect life potions, this can be done by punching enemies without letting him alert other enemies. The same procedure can be used to collect ammonition. Another great thing about the game is the huge collection of weapons, mines and such which is available in the game. It's said that a gasmask was programmed into the game but never used, but can still be found in the graphics data for the game.

One thing I do not understand about Solid Snake though is that he's dressed in a red suit in Snake's Revenge and not dressed in a green army suit which would make a lot more sense - like in the Metal Gear game. The only reasonable explanation as to why Snake is dressed in red would be to make him more visible to the player, which he indeed is compared to the first game.

Metal Gear

Snake's Revenge

One of the things I hated about Snake's Revenge back when I got it was the difficulty level of the game, there's only one difficulty level and I believe it's programmed to be hard. But this is also one of the things that made me pick up the game again, I just didn't want to be defeated by the Metal Gear robot!

Snake's Revenge is a great action filled game with large levels to explore and just small enough for you not to get totally lost in the maze of corridors. The sound and graphics form a great athmosphere, in fact the game is so catchy that I spent the afternoon playing the game instead of writing this article. So if you havn't checked out the game yet I suggest finding a copy on ebay or whatever and explore the amazing world of Metal Gear.

If you've like to skip a few levels I've prepared some passwords that lets you start off on various levels in the game. Enjoy! :-)

The Ship

First Prison Camp

The Train

Second Prison Camp

Second Building

2nd Building, items B3-4 found

5th Building, items collected


I've heard a lot of people bitching about how crappy Snake's Revenge is and how many story flaws there are in the manual and such. But for me back in the days who didn't know where the game originated from I absolutely loved it once I got used to collecting mroe than enough life potions and using them more ofen that I probably should've and the sidescrolling eventhough Snake wasn't animated well, he looked a bit stiff to be honest, I thought was a nice break from the top down perspective.

I clearly believe that this game doesn't deserve all the bashing going on around it, treat it as the great action game it is and you'll have hours of fun if you're up to the challenge, cause the game sure is hard to play and you will definately get a little annoyed when you have to start over and recollect items and such in a level.

That's it for now... I'll be back with another game spotlight very soon! :-)