The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2
This is a comprehensive making of and documentary of one of the biggest, most anticipated, games ever.
This is a rather unique PS2 disc. Itís not a game like a normal PS2 game, but itís not a DVD like a normal movie DVD. You canít play it in a normal DVD player; you can only play it in the PS2.
When you start it up youíre greeted with an introduction movie made just for this disc. On the title screen you get three choices: Making, VR Training, and Options. Making contains the meat of the disc. All the documentaries and extras are located here. VR Training contains five VR missions and works as a preview for MGS2: Substance. Iím a little puzzled why the option to save your score was included since itís just a demo. In Options you adjust various screen and sound settings.
Here is a look at what Making contains.
Characters: In Characters you can browse and examine all the different 3D character models and various preliminary and production sketches of the characters. This is pretty cool. You can use the camera to zoom in and move all around the models. This also contains preliminary character models and the unused model of Mei Ling, the cute and spunky com operator for the first game. For the ladies, the naked Raiden model is also included.
Mechanics: Similar to Characters, the Mechanics section lets you peruse the 3D models and sketches of Metal Gear Ray and all the vehicles, cyphers, and cameras in the game. You finally get to see what Arsenal Gear really looks like. Also included are some vehicle models from the first MGS and the model for the unused Osprey.
Backgrounds: Here you can view flat and 3D models of all the areas in the game. This section is divided into four categories of Tanker, Plant, Arsenal Ė New York, and Unused. You can get a good view of the sinking tanker and check out all the destruction that Arsenal did to Manhattan when it crashed. Also included is the heliport from MGS.
Polygon Demos: What are polygon demos? Basically theyíre all the cinema moments from the game when you are not playing, just watching. Itís all the movies and cinemas from the game divided in to four categories: Tanker, Plant 1, Plant 2, and Plant 3. Unfortunately there is no sound, so you canít just go watch the cinemas to see most of the story. The subtitles still appear though so do some role-playing and do your own voices for the characters. Underneath the demos selection are the interesting storyboards. Check out the storyboards and see how they compare to the final movie, youíll notice that some little things get left out in the transition.
Program: This is the most technical of the selections. Program explains all the aspects of programming the game in slightly simpler terms. You learn that the code contains over 1.15 million lines, where the program allocates the data of the PS2 Emotion Engine during game play, the language used in programming, an example of code, that the streaming system used was originally developed for Policenauts, and much more technical goodness about the game.
Sound: Here you can listen to the music played during the game. What is interesting is that you can control the sneaking around music. Listen to the normal infiltration music then switch over to the being discovered music on the fly.
Game Plan: Here are the original ideas, plans, and notes Kojima had for Metal Gear Solid 2. Marvel at the manís innovations, genius, and inner thoughtsÖ but only if you can read Japanese. Itís too bad this wasnít translated, because Iím sure this would be an intriguing read. My Japanese isnít this good. If yours is though, or you want to spend a week or two trying to translate everything, then have fun.
Script: This is the section will take the most amount of time to get through. Itís the full main script of MGS2, and this thing is long. Reading this will actually give you more info and possibly more understanding of the story than what you get in the game. You can get additional information of the characters that you wonít see in their actions or hear in their speech while playing the game. For instance, did you know that Snake originally mistook Olga for Meryl when he first saw her? The script also points out exactly when the Colonel is lying to Raiden (might be more than you think), what sequences resemble those in MGS, and the ironies of certain events. Reading the script may even help you understand the ending a little more. I highly recommend reading this. Itís well worth it.
Staff: Here you get to know a little about some of the people that worked on the game such as the I-really-need-to-know-this blood-type that the Japanese are so fond of.
Chronicle: This is a time-line of events from the release of Metal Gear Solid all through the development and release of Metal Gear Solid 2. Itís very interesting to see how much time really went into making the game. Work on MGS2 started much earlier than you probably think (it was very shortly after the release of MGS). Links to videos and pictures are included so you know what is being described.
Special Footage: This is divided into two sections of promotional videos and making-of videos. The promotional videos are all the various trailers and teasers seen at shows such as E3. Something I thought was cool was that in one of the videos the marines on the tanker are watching a video of Zone of the Enders. The making-of videos show the many things that the crew did to make sure everything in the game was as accurate as possible. You see them learning how soldiers clear a room, their research trip of New York, interviews with the Japanese actors, and movies on sound mixing.
Items: The final section shows all the MGS and MGS2 merchandise out at the time of the discís release. This is divided into four sections of Books, Figure, Goods, and Illustrations. Books contains books and magazines featuring and about the game. Figure contains photos of the awesome little Kubricks, McFarlane Toysí figures, and the trading figures. Goods includes all of the promotional material from E3 and for retailers, the various packaging of both games in different countries, posters, and the awards that both game received. Illustrations is all the illustrations made for MGS2. All of the pictures in Items can be zoomed in on, giving a closer look at the merchandise.
Whew, thatís a lot of Metal Gear Solid info. The Document is quite a comprehensive disc that gives the reader a greater understanding of the game, the aspects of its production, and how much was really done to make the game as good as it could be.