The Metal Gear universe refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the popular Metal Gear stealth-based video game franchise developed by third-party developer Konami. The long-running series is famous in the Smash Bros. community for being the first third-party game franchise to contribute characters and properties to the otherwise Nintendo-exclusive Smash Bros. series, mainly the series' main star, Solid Snake. The logo is the logo for FOX, the unit that Naked Snake hailed from in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (also the logo of Kojima Productions, the developer of the franchise).
The original Metal Gear was released on the MSX2 computer in 1987 in Japan and Europe, and later released on the Famicom worldwide, and it was a moderate hit for its day. Franchise creator Hideo Kojima developed it as one of the first games in which using stealth was emphasized over direct confrontation with the enemy. The sequel Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was released on MSX2 in 1990 in Japan only, sporting significant improvements all around, and was moderately successful as well. After an eight-year hiatus, the Metal Gear series exploded into international stardom with the 1998 release of the seminal Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation. Presenting the stealth-based gameplay of Metal Gear 2 sucessfully in full 3D, as well as sporting unique fourth-wall-breaking scenarios and a gritty, mature-rated world and content that was refreshing for all the cheery Nintendo-inspired games at the time, the game was a huge hit, selling over 6 million units. Most subsequent canonical games in the series focused on the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid and were named with Solid in their titles, hence making the name Metal Gear Solid practically more famous than the name Metal Gear.
After Metal Gear Solid established the series as a major international game franchise by 1998, the immensely hyped and successful follow-up Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released on PlayStation 2 in 2001, shortly before the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee. (As a side note, Hideo Kojima allegedly "practically begged" to Masahiro Sakurai to include main character Solid Snake as a playable fighter in the game, but development of Melee was too far in to make the addition viable.) The game received critical praise for its gameplay, though its complex and intricate storyline somewhat divided the fanbase. Practically in response to that, the next major game in the series was Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a prequel to Metal Gear Solid featuring a much more straightforward and effective storyline, even better gameplay enhancements, and some of the best graphics ever seen on the system. After that, an interquel between Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid was released for the PlayStation Portable as Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, and it is hailed as among the best games for the system. Recently released on the PlayStation 3 is the heavily hyped post-apocalyptic sequel to Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
In between all of these canonical releases were many remakes and "supplements" to existing titles. Metal Gear Solid had two supplemental games named Integral and VR Missions released on PlayStation in 1999 while an enhanced version of Metal Gear Solid 2 subtitled Substance was released on PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and the PC in 2002. In 2004 the original Metal Gear Solid was majorly remade for Nintendo's GameCube, titled Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and it featured the gameplay style of Metal Gear Solid 2. In 2005, Metal Gear Solid 3 received an enhanced version as well, subtitled Substinence, and in 2006 and 2007 there were released some "Digital Graphic Novels" for PSP. There have also been some non-canonical releases, including Snake's Revenge for the NES, a 2000 Game Boy Color game simply titled Metal Gear Solid (also called Metal Gear: Ghost Babel) that won critical praise for its gameplay, and released in 2005 and 2006 on PSP were a subseries of two games titled Metal Gear Ac!d, uniquely combining stealth elements with a card-based interface. Perhaps most notable is Solid Snake's inclusion in the Nintendo Wii fighting game Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first-revealed third-party character to be featured as a playable character in that series.
The Metal Gear franchise is essentially a series of stealth-based shooting games set in real-world Earth. Taking place anytime between the Cold War to some point in the apocalyptic future, a given game in the series usually sets the player in the role of an elite military operative, usually Solid Snake, who is often tasked by the U.S. government to sneak behind enemy lines and battle an eponymous superweapon named Metal Gear, usually a bipedal tank with the capability of launching nuclear missiles. The series explores many themes relevant to real-world circumstances, such as the futility and immorality of war, nuclear deterrence, the psychological effects of warfare on our nation's adults and children, and especially the influence of political intrigue upon the military, and several of the games revolve around the concept of an "Outer Heaven" nation that is purely military, run by mercenaries solely for mercenaries, as an attempt by in-game villains to counter the political corruption of normal military forces. The series provides social commentary of a serious nature on these sorts of issues.
The first game chronologically is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, set at the height of the Cold War, where an agent of the governmental unit FOX (whose logo is the universe symbol pictured above), codenamed Naked Snake, is controlled by the player and witnesses that he is subject to the machinations of the government, and is heavily influenced. He splits away from the FOX Unit and assumes the identity of Big Boss, and in Portable Ops he must contend with the revolt of his former FOX comrades. He then recruits other soldiers to form the FOXHOUND organization, and through a secret government project named "Les Enfants Terribles" he uses his DNA to produce three genetic clones of himself as his sons, one of which would be codenamed Solid Snake. In the original Metal Gear, Solid Snake as a rookie operative of FOXHOUND is assigned to infiltrate the Outer Heaven stronghold in South Africa in 1995 to investigate and sabotage the nuclear Metal Gear weapon system inside. As his final encounter, he finds that the commander of Outer Heaven is actually Big Boss of FOXHOUND, and Snake defeats him in battle. In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake in 1999, Snake must perform a similar operation into the stronghold of a nation named "Zanzibar Land" and defeat its Metal Gear weapon as well. Snake finds that Big Boss is the leading man behind this terror plot as well, and Snake dispatches him for good. After completing his mission, Snake leaves the military for the Alaskan wilderness.
In Metal Gear Solid in 2005, Solid Snake is forced to come out of retirement by his old commanding officer, Roy Campbell, when FOXHOUND becomes the new terrorist menace and threatens to launch a nuclear strike at the U.S. with a new Metal Gear weapon that was actually developed by the U.S. government and that they are trying to steal and use for themselves, unless they get the remains of Big Boss. Snake defeats FOXHOUND and their elite operatives at their stronghold on Shadow Moses Island, and he learn of his genetic origins in the process. In Sons of Liberty, taking place in 2007 and 2009, a series of intricate, convoluted scenarios revolves around the revelation that an Illuminati-esque group called the Patriots are developing an amphibious mobile fortress called Arsenal Gear, armed with a large payload of missiles and defended by a fleet of Metal Gear variants, as part of a conspiracy to take control of public interests. Many questions are left unanswered by this game, but it is expected that these will be answered in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, taking place many years afterwards and starring an aged Solid Snake.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
A popular story tells that during development of the Nintendo fighting game, Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima "practically begged" Sakurai to include the third-party character Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a playable fighter, but the addition was not viable because development of the game was too far in. As a result, no mention of Metal Gear reposes in the game whatsoever. What would eventually happen is that Snake would become a playable third-party character in Melee's follow-up, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Metal Gear debuts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first third-party game series to feature in the Smash Bros. series, generating an outburst of excitement across the game industry.
When the first Brawl trailer was shown and Snake debuted, Hideo Kojima stated that Solid Snake wouldn't be able to fight Shigeru Miyamoto's Mario in the game, because it would be dishonorable for Hideo's character to beat up on his mentor's creation. Clearly that was a joke, as the Nintendo World 2006 trailer shows Mario smashing Snake out of the ring in one scene and was said to have fought against Mario in a match against Sakurai.
- Solid Snake: Solid Snake appears as a playable character, relying not on guns like in his games but on CQC (close quarters combat, martial art co created by Naked Snake in MGS3) and a variety of explosives, including his Remote Missile and Hand Grenade. Snake battles acrobatically and is seen using a punch-punch-spin kick fighting technique from the games, as well as his classic choke hold. He also seems to have a fantastic aerial recovery, thanks to the use of his flying camera, the Cypher. His Final Smash is the Grenade Launcher, which has him jump onto a passing helicopter and shooting players with 12 grenade missiles before the time runs out.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Snake occupies the ninth column (miscellaneous characters) along with Mr. Game & Watch, Sonic, and the random option.
- Gray Fox: Gray Fox appears in his Cyborg Ninja form and attacks with a sword like Lyn and Samurai Goroh. His slices, however, can reflect projectiles.
- Shadow Moses Island: A stage set in the location where the first Metal Gear Solid takes place. It features searchlights, crumbling walls, and the appearance of three Metal Gear models. The stage also includes a feature that allows Snake to talk to his allies using his Codec, and have conversations with them about his opponents. To activate this, tap down on the the d-pad very lightly. This easter egg is much like Fox and Falco's special taunts on the Corneria and Venom stages. It has been said that Hideo Kojima designed the Shadow Moses stage himself.
- MGS4~Theme of Love~Smash Bros. Brawl Version - A fast-paced version of the Love Theme from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots made for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The arrangement was handled by staff from Konami's Metal Gear sound team. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Encounter - A remix of the song from Metal Gear Solid when Snake is spotted by an enemy. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Theme of Tara - A completely redone version of the Theme of Tara from the very first Metal Gear game for the MSX2. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. For people familiar with Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, this is the theme played when Snake is on a VR Mission in the game. It reappears in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, as another VR Mission theme for secret character MGS1 Snake.
- Battle in the Base - Taken directly from the PS2 game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, this was the music track that played when Naked Snake was spotted by an enemy while indoors. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Yell "Dead Cell" - Taken directly from the PS2 game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, this was the song that was used during the boss battles with Vamp, Fortune, and Fatman, who are part of the Dead Cell unit. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Cavern - Also taken directly from a title, this was the cavern background music in Metal Gear Solid. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Snake Eater (Instrumental) - An instrumental version of the main theme to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, this track is also taken directly from said game. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Theme of Solid Snake - Taken directly from the MSX2 game Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the second game in the series, this was the title screen theme to said game. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Calling to the Night - The vocal theme song of the PSP game and direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater--Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. It is taken directly from said game, and it is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. This song also plays during Snake's Classic Mode credits.
- Metal Gear Victory - Snake's victory theme is the theme when you cleared the VR missions, but it is most known to be his game over theme from Metal Gear Solid.
- Solid Snake
- Grenade Launcher
- Gray Fox
- Iroquois Pliskin
- Naked Snake
- Metal Gear RAY
- Metal Gear REX
- Solid Snake
- Big Boss
- Liquid Snake
- Master Miller
- Mei Ling
- Naomi Hunter
- Gray Fox
- Revolver Ocelot
- Colonel Roy Campbell
- Hal "Otacon" Emmerich
- Solidus Snake
- Naked Snake
- The Boss
- Metal Gear REX
- Metal Gear RAY