Returning to Shadow Moses: My Journey back through Metal Gear Solid

Last year I replayed Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots through March and April. I tweeted out my experience in some semblance of real time, but did a terrible job of threading. So I went back and rounded up all the tweets I could find and formatted their contents below for a more cohesive account of my journey.

For some slight context, I originally played these games early in high school (2009-2010) in a wacky order; 2, 3, 1, then 4. This was my first time playing the games in release order. It was also my first time ever seeing Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes in action. Enjoy!


February 21, 2019

1:20 PM – Ironically, I just came home from snagging a CIB copy of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes! It was at a local retro shop, which is one of the topics I talk about in my article!

February 28, 2019

8:37 PM – Random trivia-like question: What game is this from?

March 1, 2019

12:56 PM – GAH. Meryl’s codec frequency is found on the back of the game’s box. What a delightfully meta puzzle!

  • @MaverickTenSays – Rebt e the game from Blockbuster in 1998 couldn’t figure out the puzzle so asked a guy at school who told me that. I was upset bc I rented it unlike him who owned it but I got home a lo and behold they had put it on the back of the BB rental case too!
March 2, 2019

11:52 AM – Always Watching

12:39 PM – Abby just saw the Psycho Mantis fight. She thought it was nuts he read the memory card and I had to swap controller ports. Video games used to be rad to the max.

March 3, 2019

4:13 PMMetal Gear Solid is the best. I need to dig out my copies of MGS2, 3 and 4

4:28 PM – Hello…

10:40 PM – The gang is all here.

March 4, 2019

12:14 AM – And that’s a wrap on MGS: The Twin Snakes. That’s how you remaster a game. I got the “Save Meryl” ending for the first time too. Onto MGS2 tomorrow (today, after I sleep)!

12:20 AM – My stats. I’m not *super* stealthy, but I did do a “no-kill the bosses” run. Used tranqs on each one. That was fun and stressful during some fights, like Raven.

12:24 AM – Time to see if that link works!

12:25 AM – Certainly doesn’t on my phone. I’ll try the computer tomorrow.

12:41 AM – I feel like those 20 killed all came at the end with the Jeep slaughter. I did accidentally kill one with a surprise explosive that was in my gear. I was moving an unconcious body, then was prompted to throw the bomb…It landed on his head. Whoops!

12:03 PM – The back of MGS2 is all about the Tanker. Nothing about what takes place after the intro. What an incredible psych out. Was Raiden or the base known at all beforehand?

3:29 PM – Apparently I beat MGS2 for the first and only time back in October 2010. I was 16. I was in 10th grade. Sheesh!

Editor’s Note: This actually can’t be true. I gave a speech in the 9th grade about Metal Gear Solid, so my PS2 clock must have been out of date, or I loaded the save in 2010.

March 5, 2019

7:38 PM – Playing the MGS games in order is sorta blowing my mind. I originally played them in 2, 3, 1, 4. Context is sorta important. Also, Raiden is a whinny baby so far. I don’t remember that.

But also, that was probably a great parallel to myself at the time, since I it was my first.

March 8, 2019

3:40 PM – How does MGS2 keep upping the ante? They way it subverts expectations by manipulating MGS1’s plot, it’s fantastic.

March 9, 2019

3:12 PMMGS2 may just be a gosh darn masterpiece. I am amazed I played this one first. Good gravy I missed a ton.

10:30 PM – And that is a wrap on MGS2! That cliffhanger blew my mind 9 years ago. Still does today. What a game.

March 10, 2019

8:36 AM – Time to see how my tried and true favorite stands. Totally forgot about the killer 007 themed intro set to “Snake Eater.” I’m down.

5:10 PM – Camo meter is the best. Sorry for the low number. I’m hiding under a building.

5:31 PM – I had to.

March 11, 2019

1:34 PM – Maybe 4-5 hours into MGS3. It’s so radically different. The hardocre focus on survival and stealth is refreshing. No radar! It also seems to put you in more “kill or be killed” scenarios. I’m finding it tough to be a tranq only run.

March 13, 2019

2:44 PM – In the spirit of MGS3, I dug out a speech I wrote in the 9th grade. It was the speech that conquered my fear of public speaking. I talked about patriotism by referencing MGS3, 24, Band of Brothers, and Lone Survivor. MGS3 was a big deal to me in 9th grade.

2:46 PM – You can read it at the link in the previous tweet. I’ve come a long way in both public speaking and writing. Man, MGS3 is the best.

Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks I went on a couple of trips, so I had a big gap in my play time. 

March 19, 2020

10:05 AM – I miss MGS3. Wish I could have brought my PS2.

March 27, 2019

10:31 AM – I’ll come back to you soon.

April 2, 2019

9:41 AM – Moby Dick Studio

April 12, 2019

11:29 AM – One Spring Break road trip, PAX East, and review assignment later, I’m back baby.

Kept you waiting huh?

11:29 AM – And I left off at The End. Oooo doggie let’s go! Sniper duel!

April 16, 2019

2:29 PM – Just finished off The Fury. I think he may be my favorite design/fight in MGS so far. The space suit outfit and the tense hallway walks. It’s good. PS2 sure does struggle rendering the fire though.

April 18, 2019

10:39 AM – Sekiro?

2:29 PM – Credits rolling on MGS3: Snake Eater. Still my favorite of them all. Camouflage, survival, the whole plot, it’s a cut above the first two.

2:30 PM – I found the game making killing the path of least resistence. There was a pressure to kill created by restrictions. Was this because of the encounter with The Sorrow? Not sure, but I could feel it.

2:32 PM – All that’s left for this run is MGS4. What a ride it has been so far.

2:34 PM – The first and only time I played MGS4 was when I borrowed my best friend’s PS3 while he was gone for a week on vacation. I took his phat PS3, stacked it on top of DS game cases on my floor so it could have air flow. I played on my CRT. It was a rush week to play.

2:37 PM – Playing the first three on my CRT, I was tempted to do the same for MGS4. But having never played it in HD, I want to see it the way the game was designed. Time to load that puppy up next!

2:38 PM – And here are my stats for MGS3. Most kills so far. RIP.

2:48 PM – Sure do miss not having to patch PS2 and Gamecube games…

2:56 PM – Best install screen ever?

April 19, 2020

8:20 AM – One final ride. Let’s go.

8:21 AM – What on Earth is this intro?

8:22 AM – I hope Death Stranding opens with an intro like that.

8:24 AM – War has changed.

8:25 AM – Snake sounds so old. I love it.

8:30 AM – Crouch walking is life changing.

8:41 AM – THE CALLBACKS TO MGS1 AND MGS3 ARE TOO MUCH

8:57 AMMGS4 dabbing on the haters

April 20, 2020

11:40 AM – Just met the bosses of the game. Wow. What a line up. I forgot about them all except the Octopus. This is a very good game.

12:04 PM – Act 1: Liquid Sun complete.

April 21, 2019

6:41 AM – Act 2: Solid Sun. Back in the jungle baby! I love the Octo camo

7:31 AMMGS2 references out the wazoo! Good gravy this game! Rosemary! Jack!

6:13 PM – I love these meaty, long cutscenes

6:43 PM – Laughing Octopus is best fight. Sorry Fatman. Sorry Mantis. Sorry Fury. Laughing Octopus is GOAT.

April 22, 2019

9:54 AM – Act 2 is a wrap. Those three kills were from the car chase at the end. Accidental cross fire when trying to destroy the robots.

12:07 PM – Holy snap crackle and pop. EVA dropping bombs

12:39 PM – Motorcycle chases are not MGS’ strong suit

1:55 PM – Act 3: Third Sun is a wrap! Not really sure what that fourth kill is? Maybe an accident during the motorcycle chase?

April 23, 2019

9:15 AM – Act 4: Twin Suns is up! Time to return where it all began.

9:51 AM – Having played MGS1 so recently, I feel like the return to Shadow Moses is so powerful. The layout is so fresh in my mind.

3:54 PM – God bless 4th wall humor.

April 24, 2019

8:45 AM – REX v RAY

8:54 AM – Act 4: Twin Suns is a wrap. One to go. What a ride that whole act is. Return to Shadow Moses. Metal Gear battle. Vamp. Raiden. Games collided where it all began.

9:03 AM – A giant microwave oven…

12:49 PM – Act 5: Old Sun is a go

3:48 PM – And the credits roll. With a plot twist in the credits! Kojima is a master

5:55 PM – With Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and the core four games under wraps, I feel a wonderful sense of satisfaction. Playing them so close together was a rush.

6:13 PM – Amazing how much I forgot in the last 10 years. This is a special series. Can’t wait to do it all again some day. Thanks Kojima.

11:33 PM – I can’t help but think about how MGS4 is such a radical evolution of the series. From a psuedo-2D/3D, top down fusion to full 3D person action, to full blown HD, while keeping the gameplay perfectly intact. The player choice in execution is rich, even with tight environments.


Replaying these games on their original and intended hardware was a treat. My original exposure to the series was so odd in hindsight and speaks volumes to the games themselves. I truly can’t wait to play them all again some day.