Metal Gear Solid is an action-adventure stealth video game developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and first published by Konami for the PlayStation in September 1998.
Hideo Kojima is the director and producer of the game. He began to work on a sequel of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake in 1994. The game (called Metal Gear 3) was going to be released for 3DO, as Kojima was still working on Policenauts, which came out for that system in 1995. Prior to its release, Konami issued Policenauts: Pilot Disk, which contained a playable demo of the game and other features. Among them there are two artworks by Metal Gear Solid’s illustrator Yoji Shinkawa, one depicting an early version of Snake and Meryl Silverburgh (also a Policenauts character), the other one showing presumably an early version of the FOXHOUND group, or different Metal Gear Solid characters. Images via Ashura on lostlevels.org forums.
The development naturally switched to the Playstation, with Kojima also working on the conversion of Policenauts and Snatcher. The game’s name was also changed to Metal Gear Solid, reflecting Kojima’s ideals for a new Metal Gear title (via Wikipedia):
Kojima: “Metal Gear” is as it is, and “Solid” has a deep meaning. Let me explain. This time Metal Gear is displayed in full polygonal form, and I used “Solid” to describe the cubic structure. also, the “Solid” means to the third power mathematically. Also, most of the people don’t know that there is a Metal Gear 1 and 2 for the MSX, and I wanted it to be the sequel for those. And, of course, Solid from Solid Snake
The game was first shown at the Tokyo Game Show 1996, and previewed in various magazines.
This version shown in this video is probably a non-playable tech demo, not even running on a Playstation hardware. The game engine is completely different from the final game, along with other differences. Decoy Octopus is missing from FOXHOUND members, and Vulcan Raven is spelt “Valcan Raven” (it may be some sort of Engrish). Snake seems to be around a very early version of B2 level Armory in the Tank Hangar. The interfaces of the inventory, HUD and CODEC are completely different; the radar is quite different too, especially in Danger situation (there is also a Caution alert when an enemy is near Snake). Early versions of the Ninja and Revolver Ocelot also make appearances, as well as the Metal Gear Rex. The trailer showcases all the features of the game (“Sneaking In”, “Armed”, “Encounter” etc.) but I find really strange that “Escape” is associated with a picture of the Hind-D helicopter (one the bosses). You can see various screengrabs and magazine scans in this gallery (some magazine scans from DarkMirage, on X-Cult Forum):
Images, 1996 version:
Another possible build is the one shown in these screenshots, featuring a very early Tank Hangar, a different Heliport (with a forklift) and an unknown test room with soldiers (it could be a much earlier version of the Tank Hangar, since the shape of the passageway is similar). All screens are from IGN.com (thanks to looser for the link).
Early Tank Hangar and unknown test room:
Then we have many different trailers, all dating back from 1997, shown at the E3 and Tokyo Game Show. They all look from the same build (some of them even show the same scenes), and the most famous of the group, the one in which Snake blow up everything with the C4, was featured in many Playstation’s demo discs in various magazines. They share many differences from the final version: the camera appears to be more controllable, vision cones are different in colour, the lifebar is in the middle of the screen, not in the upper left corner, the radar is simpler in its Danger and Caution status, and it’s active during boss fights, Snake carries a lot of ammunitions and he can move while he’s crouched. Let’s analyze everyone of them:
Notable differences: the Heliport is similar to the final version, although the forklift is still present (and it’s moving too! at 1:45 you can see another view of the moving forklift), first person view does not feature the green vision cone in the radar (also the Surveillance Camera is without vision cone), Tank Hangar has got the wrong type of guards (I’m not very sure about this), Snake has a flying kick move (in the final version he can kick, but not with a jump), Snake remove the pin of grenades with his teeth. If you know what Hideo Kojima is saying please drop a comment in the comments section!
Notable differences: now Snake has the first person vision cone, items have different names ( final->beta: Scope->Finder, Cigs->Moslem,), Snake fights the Ninja in the corridor (not only in Otacon’s lab), Snake use the Scope in Meryl’s prison (it’s impossible to go there while Meryl is still in prison), you can see Meryl and Snake shooting in Psycho Mantis’ room (without the boss, no action take place here, the radar also goes in Danger mode).
Notable differences: lots of unknown items (or early version of the final objects), it’s difficult to see the names and the icons. There are BD DISK (early version of Kenneth Baker’s disk?), WOLFS, HUIDADRG, MG GK2 and STEPS. The Scope does not feature a vision cone, the crane is missing from the Blast Furnace, the radar is active in the Underground Passage to the Communications Towers (it should be in Jamming mode), Night Goggles are named RNPAS-7, the door of the Nuclear Storage building is completely open, the elevator door of the Tank Hangar is different, and finally, Snake is fighting with Meryl at the top of the Communication Tower (in the final game Meryl is shot in the Underground Passage by Sniper Wolf, although this scene may not represent a plot change, rather a scene created only for the trailer).
There have been rumours about a Nintendo 64 and Saturn version of Metal Gear Solid. The Nintendo 64 version is mentioned in this article by Gamespot, but I couldn’t find any reference on the web about a Saturn version:
Konami insiders have informed GS News that Konami’s modern platform update to the popular NES series Metal Gear will be coming to the Nintendo 64 console system, though originally planned solely for the PlayStation.
HackOut Games has got a nice collection of hacking videos of Metal Gear Solid’s Pilot Disc on his YouTube channel: you can see a collection of unused animations, unused music and unused camera angles.
Also, John Doom found some differences between the final version of MGS and its Pilot Disc (SLPM-86098): check the video below to see them.
What do you think about this unseen game? Give your vote!
Would you like to add more info, screens or videos to this page? Add a comment below!
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I really like the early proto’s design and atmosphere
I was just rewatching and… in the 1997 E3 Video… Snake has an extremely high number of rounds?
If you look closely to the first video, you’ll see that Snake can walking crouched (maybe only in alert fase). And you can also lock on the enemy (at 0:53) like in mgs3: in fact Snake fires while he’s walking back (and in mgs you can only fire firm or while moving forward)
Sorry for my horrible English xd
Monokoma have a look pls!! I found some level map script text in the file STAGE.DIR. Some script are in japanese (transliterated I think)
Err Err Enemy Reset Num Err CALL KOREKADOOOOOOOOOO!!
COM_ST_DANBOWL 0 !!
COM_ST_DANBOWL 1 !!
COM_ST_DANBOWL 2 !!
climb area 0
climb area 4
climb area 3
Err Err Liquid Near Err!!
Pad rec start
Err Err Change Root Num Over !!
Err Err Change Defend Num Over !!
meryl KILLED !!
snake KILLED !!
Asiato Mikke !!
I wonder if someone could make a level editor of MGS :)
it’s awesome, specially the proto version, but the diferences in the last video, everytime you start the game it have a different angle of camera, it’s not a diference between the versions
The “Huidadrg” you mentioned is a Japanese food called Kuidaore, similar to Calorie Mate in MGS3 or all of the branded food in Japanese Peace Walker and in MGS4. The “WOLFS” item is Sniper Wolf’s handkerchief, hence it being Wolfs and not wolves, plus its the same photo used. STEPS is probably a dev tool. I’m not sure why the cigs are called MOSLEM and the MG GK2 you saw is actually Metal Gear MK II, like in MGS4, for fans of Kojima’s work, you might know that Meryl, Johnny Sasaki, and Metal Gear Mk 2 all showed up first in his game Snatcher (as in thr snatchers you fight in the MGSVGZ mission Jamais Vu.) Theres plenty of overlap between Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear, Policenauts, and Snatcher. Ciao!
Here is a video where I try to pull some of these features out from the pilot disk. Some things the developers did not want you to see, for testing purposes.
Could you make a short list of the differences in those pics? I don’t remember the game much :O
monokoma, too many differences. list them would take a lot of time
rare beta footage
New old videos: