With the recent Retro Rumble Podcast episode focused on the Metal Gear Solid series, it got me thinking about my favorite aspects of the franchise in general. What makes the series so memorable? The personality of the franchise certainly comes to mind. Much the franchise’s personality comes from the wacky members of terrorist organizations that you fight. Whether it be Fox Hound from Metal Gear Solid, Dead Cell from Sons of Liberty, the Cobra Unit from Snake Eater, or the Beauty and Beast Corp from Guns of the Patriots. You have everything from mind-reading guys in gas masks to vampires that can walk on water.
But just who is the best of the best? I’m here to answer that question today. My usual warning about spoilers and opinions ahead. You have been warned. These picks are mine and mine alone. Please let us know who you would put in the comments below!
5. Vulcan Raven – Metal Gear Solid
First up, we have the often overlooked, in my opinion, Shaman with a Gatling Gun: Vulcan Raven. Raven stalks you in a freezing warehouse, with the large shipping containers on the ground creating a grid for Snake to hide behind. This also limits his movement. What I love about the Vulcan Raven fight is that it does what no other fight in the game does. It takes every skill that you’ve learned so far, and puts it into practice for a fight. Not even the final battle against Liquid Snake does this.
As Snake, it is up to the player to stealthily sneak behind your opponent who outclasses you in every way. Only in this way can you hope to get in shots that will take Raven down. You can lay mines for him to step on or launch a couple Nikita missiles at him. Options are limitless. Raven is one tough Inuit.
4. Fatman – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Now imagine the Vulcan Raven fight if he were wearing roller skates, a bulletproof turtleneck, and he planted bombs of his own all over the field. This is basically what the fight against Fatman boils down to in MGS2. Named after the nuke that annihilated Nagasaki in World War II, Fatman plants bombs that you must freeze during the fight. This creates a faster pace to the boss fight.
It is so satisfying using the first person view of MGS2 to shoot him in his belly. He then falls over and you can snipe him in his big dumb head. You must do this when not distracted by his bombs that he leaves out for you to freeze.
I admit, while he is a lot of fun to fight, a lot of the reason Fatman makes the list is because of his personality. Barry Dennen sounds exactly like the cocky, slimy fat guy who glorifies destruction and violence. He makes you want to shut him up.
3. Laughing Octopus – Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
For everything that Metal Gear Solid 4 got wrong, it did a lot of things right. One of those things includes giving fans a chance to experience a boss fight that never took place in Metal Gear Solid 1. Snake never got to fight the member of Fox Hound, Decoy Octopus. He was only fooled by him.
Now, in Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake fights the shapeshifting member of the B and B Corp, Laughing Octopus. Moving from room to room, Snake must look for someone who is hiding in plain sight. Imagine creeping around a house trying to get the drop on your opponent. But you can’t without turning on your x-rays. She sometimes hides in the rafters and sometimes as your friends. You never know where she is. Laughing Octopus is no laughing matter.
2. The Boss – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
There are so many elements that make the final fight in Metal Gear Solid 3 as spectacular as it is. The beautiful flower field is a spectacle of a setting. The game has lead the player to this moment, and you know exactly what is at stake. You can hide in the grass, making sure that she doesn’t know where you are.
But the thing that makes this fight so special is that once you find out the truth, the game knows you won’t want to kill her. But you must. The game does not move on until you pull the final heartbreaking trigger. But there can be only one boss. Just make sure it’s you.
1. The End – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Marking the end of this list, we have The End. This old-timer takes the mechanics of the fight with The Boss and turns it up to eleven. What we have left includes a massive prey and predator situation that takes place over three different areas of the jungle. The only way to fight this camouflaged menace includes getting out your trusty microphone to listen to where he is hiding. You better pray that he doesn’t find you first and snipe you dead.
They say that The End survives without eating by performing photosynthesis. Once you save your game when the fight starts, if you don’t beat him in two weeks of your system’s internal clock, The End dies of old age. Win that way, and you may regret it. He offers, in my opinion, the best boss fight that Metal Gear Solid has to offer.
Who are your favorites bosses from the Metal Gear Solid series? Let us know in the comments below! And do you want to see more of this kind of content? Do you want to have the chance to win awesome prizes? Give us a +1 or follow us on our Google+ or YouTube. Just click on the Google+ / YouTube emblem below!
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.