I missed our “Retro Achievement” launch last week due to an awesome visit from my very kick-ass mom, but this week I’m back with a vengeance and ready to offer up two helpings of vintage gaming goodness.
In case you didn’t see it, last week Hideo Kojima unveiled a video of two men on a horse fleeing from a ghost riding a flaming unicorn. No, Kojima isn’t in charge of Brokeback Mountain 2: Flaming Boogaloo, but was revealing that the much-discussed The Phantom Pain trailer was in fact a teaser for Metal Gear Solid V.
So to honor this latest round of Hideo highjinks, my two-part retro achievement list will center on arguably the most exemplary examples of Kojima-ness from the PS2 era: Zone of the Enders and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
Now before I start, I hear a few of you thinking “Wait a damn minute! Both of those games have been featured in HD collections that included actual achievements for them!” I own both of those collections, and rest assured that the “awards” listed below are drawn directly from a basement couch in Alabama circa 2001, as opposed to any recent re-exposure.
Zone of the Enders- Playstation 2
After reading a sidebar in Official Playstation Magazine’s reveal article for ZoE about Orson Scott Card’s “Ender” books and how they might tie in to the game, take time to read them all before the game’s release. Realize five minutes in that there is absolutely no connection.
Field questions from your friends and family about why all the orbital frames appear to have giant wangs – even the obviously female one with boobs and rounded hips. Explain that the pilots sit there, but accidentally use the word “cockpit” and never hear the end of it.
At any point in the game, get pinned against the environment by a mummy frame using the halberd, with absolutely no way to fly away or fight back. Die horribly.
Discover that Jehuty “skates” along the ground when you fly low enough, leaving behind really cool glowing lines. Cease to travel any other way.
Get to the end of the game and encounter Anubis; immediately decide all other giant robots are inferior. Read online that there are unlockable frames for playing the game more thoroughly!
Spend hours beating every difficulty and getting S rankings in the hope that Anubis might be unlockable in either Story or VS mode; Anubis isn’t unlockable. Realize you can’t ever get that time back.
Much Ado About…Something
Pay super-close attention to all of the cutscenes and dialogue, as you know Kojima weaves intricate stories. Eventually determine that the entire game is a really elaborate allegory for blind dates (the date being between Leo and ADA, obviously).
A Three Hour Tour
Buy the game on launch day and invite your best friend over to play, as you’ve both been super-excited for months now. Very early in the evening, you escape from Anubis and deliver Jehuty to the resistance, ready to continue the fight on Mars. Only, the credits are rolling. Why are the credits already rolling…?
BAHRAM Strikes Back
While browsing IGN one night, you blindly stumble across the reveal trailer for ZoE: The 2nd Runner. Even more months of getting pumped up finally pay off when the sequel is everything the first game hinted at but didn’t deliver on.
Eventually you relent and put in the demo disc for MGS 2, and then immediately cease to worry about the contents of ZoE as you pour untold playtime into this tiny taste of Snake’s newest epic tale. Get really, really pumped up for the full release…
Metal Gear Solid 2- Playstation 2
A Solid Start
After years of waiting, spend the first hour or so in slack-jawed amazement, leading up to Metal Gear Ray’s unbelievably cool reveal.
Watch the biggest curveball in gaming history go sailing past as the incomparable Snake is replaced by a skinny transsexual with Fabio hair for the remainder of the game.
My Heart Will Go On
Really, Hideo? Jack and Rose. Jack and mother*#&$ing Rose.
For Me To Poop On
Get splattered in the face by bird shit / slip in bird shit and fall. Realize that one of the major additions to the newest Metal Gear game is bird shit.
Endure a boss fight against a fat man on roller skates while realizing that its design mirrors the Vulcan Raven fight. You know, the one against a giant shaman toting an anti-tank Gatling gun? Except, again, now it’s against a fat man. On roller skates.
Rail Against The Machine
In the boss fight against Fortune, realize that her rail gun is the coolest thing in the entire game. Of course, you won’t get to use it until MGS 4 comes out seven years later.
Listen to Otacon tell the story of how his family dissolved. Never feel happiness ever again.
Watch Snake break free of handcuffs, sprint and dive into freezing water after Metal Gear Ray, presumably planning on fighting it with his bare hands. Continue to play as Raiden in a final boss fight that involves using a sword to defeat an old man in Doc Ock cosplay.
Discover that this entire operation was actually the cryo-sleep dream of a Ronald Reagan clone hidden inside Mount Rushmore by Colonel Sanders and the Illuminati.
Sons of Suckery
While watching the four-hour-long final cinematic, save multiple times in order to do chores, eat dinner, etc. Come to the realization that the finale is so drawn out they inserted save points. Get very, very close to never buying another MGS ever again.
We want to hear from all of you also! What achievements would you add to Zone of the Enders or Metal Gear Solid 2? Leave us a comment below or tweet us your responses on Twitter (@nerdrating) and use the hashtag #RetroAchievement.