Metal Gear Solid, aside from its intense story and stealthy gameplay, has been known to have some epic boss battles that have made an impression on me for a lifetime. Each of the first three Solid titles offered a good handful of these battles. Though all are great in their own right, here are my top five boss encounters.
1. Psycho Mantis (appearance in MGS1): This boss battle has made the top lists on other industry lists, and also is at the top of mine. The cleverness with the blank screen reading “HIDEO”, Mantis reading your mind (or memory card), and moving the rumble-enabled controller when he instructs you to place it on the ground were all new innovative ways to fight a boss. All of these are just the beginning as you are then required to beat him with the second player controller, as he can predict every move you make with the first player port controller. Not only do you have to use your knowledge of the controls, weaponry, and equipment in the game, you also have to use your wits to defeat this formidable foe.
2. The End (appearance in MGS3): The End can be a tricky boss if you are not careful. The battle takes place in three zones: a river, a plateau, and a clearing. The old sniper is very crafty, having his pet parrot as a spotter and being able to blend in completely with his surroundings where thermal goggles and sonar radar have little to no effect. There is also the fact that he can wait for days for his prey and the vegetation and sun give him the ability to outlast anyone he encounters. The End is armed with a Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle for those long-distance shots and stun grenades, for those who think they can battle him at close range. As you battle across the vast playing field, you cannot afford to be caught or it’s off to a prison cell in Graniny Gorki for Snake. A nice variation to a boss battle, as the fight is not a stellar display of action, rather that of patience that snipers enjoy.
3. Metal Gear RAY (appearance in MGS2): Deep with the Arsenal Gear, Raiden encounters what would be any soldier’s worst nightmare: two dozen Metal Gear RAYs. Raiden is pitted against these massive machines in groups of three. As Raiden takes down one of the beasts, it is soon replaced by another. If being surrounded by a trio of Metal Gears is not bad enough, the factor of their weaponry will certainly change your mind. A barrage of water jet cutters and swarming missiles also rain down on you. Better save your rations, Raiden.
4. Liquid Snake (appearance in MGS1): The leader of FOXHOUND in the first Solid title, and for good reason. His persistence is like none other and surrendering is never an option for this guy. Throughout the course of the game, Liquid will take up the fight with Solid Snake in a Hind D, again piloting Metal Gear REX, then in a hand-to-hand combat bout, only to appear for the final time as Snake tries to flee the compound in a jeep. If not for FoxDie, I am sure Liquid (in full form) would still be after his brother. I will say no more about the legacy Liquid leaves behind—for now.
As Liquid put it in the beginning, “I’m going to go swat down some bothersome flies.” I think it was the other way around as Solid was repelling the bothersome sibling.
5. The Boss (appearance in MGS3): Not only is this a good blend of gunplay and CQC (close quarters combat); it also is a very compelling battle. This is a battle to the death; the pupil, Naked Snake, or the teacher/mother-like figure, The Boss, would be victorious. Only one would survive the battle in the flower-covered field. There can only be one Boss.
Metal Gear Solid 4 looks to have plenty of villains from the screenshots and trailers released by Kojima and Konami. The last of Solid Snake’s adventures will undoubtedly hold nothing back and every battle with contend with the bosses of old.