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Escape from Metal Gear Solid

18/01/2010 Specialist Tech Gamer Article
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Escape from Metal Gear Solid Article

Escape from Metal Gear Solid

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It's not surprising that Escape from New York inspired the famous PlayStation franchise Metal Gear Solid. Although I still hold that technique and technology are key, here we see that it's all about the content and the emotional stories they tell.

Watching movies at home can still be a magical thing even more so with Blu-ray and 3D TV keeping the technology fresh - and our pocket light. But more exciting than the technology itself is using it to watch a movie which helped create a groundbreaking genre and franchise, which in turn inspired a lot of people - including yours truly.

Escape From New York, directed by John Carpenter starring Kurt Russell, is one of these films. Although little thought of in some quarters, it created a whole genre of action possibilities. After being released in 1981, the movie went on to inspire a young Japanese game designer who created his second video game in 1987 for the MSX2, which was then later ported to the NES in 1988 for the west. The game was Metal Gear, and the young director Mr. Hideo Kojima.

As some of you may know, the Metal Gear Solid franchise was heavily inspired by movies, from the movie star like characters, to the game's original cover being inspired by a scene from The Terminator.

But the film that inspires Mr. Kojima the most was Escape From New York. To this day Kojima constantly references it, with one of the most notable appearing in Metal Gear Solid 2. Not only does Solid Snake already share the name with Kurt Russellís Snake Plissken but in Metal Gear Solid 2, Solid Snake is thought to be dead at the beginning of the Plant Chapter, as was Snake Plissken was in the movie. And yes, you got it, Solid Snake then sneaks into the Cleaning Toxic Waste Plant, as a Navy Seal by the name of Plissken.

In that moment I had the double memory of both the film and the game.

But this isn't just about the past. Sitting down to watch the up-scaled Escape from New York on my HD 3D Ready TV, got my creative juices running all over again. Then, about ten minutes into the film, Snake Plissken just taken off to the prison, I began to hear something in the background, at first thinking it was nothing until that familiar "!" sound rang loud and clear, closely followed by the Evasion theme from Metal Gear Solid.

It was a housemate playing Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation1. In that moment I had the double memory of both the film and the game. Watching and hearing them collide like this, almost coming full circle made me glad to be getting involved directly in the gaming world myself.

I instantly fell in love with the game for its story, characters and amazing voice work.

Just as Escape from New York has inspired Kojima, so his game inspired me. First to become a hardcore gamer and truly became a fan of the industry. But also then make to makes moves to enter the industry proper. So today I can say that from the age of 12, I've been working my way to becoming a video game designer in hopes of one day, I'll get to work on an Metal Gear Solid game.

Watching this movie with my childhood in the background brought a smile to my eyes. Remembering my first experience with Metal Gear Solid, how I instantly fell in love with the game for its story, characters and amazing voice work, it seemed like a fairy tale land. Only now, I can see how that place is constructed as I slowly become one of the fabricators of these effecting fantasies.

Written by Simon Arquette

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Simon Arquette writes the Tech Gamer column.

"Gaming technology and techniques fascinate me, always have and always will do. They've driven me to a gaming degree, and aspirations to a whole lot more. Here though, I'll be reviewing games for how they put their technology to work to deliver a compelling experience."

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