Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Передняя обложка. Click to zoom.
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Передняя обложка
Composed by Konami Kukeiha Club
Published by King Records
Catalog number KICA-7501
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 37 Tracks
Release date April 5, 1991
Duration 01:00:05
Genres
Rate the album!

Overview

Hideo Kojima's sequel to the original Metal Gear improved every single aspect considerably. The graphics were the highest quality available at the time, the gameplay was greatly expanded upon, and the deep storyline was unlike anything ever seen in video games before. I often consider this game to be the "lost chapter" in the Metal Gear series due to the fact that most people haven't played it. When the game originally came out in 1990, the MSX-2 was not a popular computer system except in a few countries. Due to this reason, the game never saw a release outside of Japan for many years. Besides an unofficial fan translation, there was no real way to play this game. This was finally remediated in 2006 with the release of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence for the PlayStation 2. With re-drawn sprites, a completely new translation, and other minor gameplay tweaks, the rest of the world could finally experience this wonderful game. It was also later released as part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PlayStation Vita.

Featuring a cutting-edge soundtrack by seven composers, led by Masahiro Ikariko, the music was a huge step up from the original Metal Gear. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any indication of who composed what. Only the most sharp-eared of listeners will be able to recognize the differences in composition between tracks. Utilizing the most of Konami's SCC sound chip, Metal Gear 2's soundtrack pushed the MSX-2's sound capabilities to its limits. Back then, Konami was ahead of the competition in terms of their audio quality. Other Konami classics like Snatcher, Space Manbow, and Gofer no Yabou Episode II used a similar type of sound chip. All that being said, how does MG2's soundtrack fare on a stand-alone basis?

Body

The first two tracks "Theme of Solid Snake" and "Zanzibar Breeze" appropriately set the tone of musical style for the rest of the album. Militaristic, brooding, and slightly techno-inspired, these cinematic pieces accompanied the opening cutscenes of the game. While they sound modest by today's standard, they were incredibly well-implemented for their time. The first area theme "Frequency 140.85" is more upbeat than previous tracks. Nevertheless, the piece's syncopated rhythms and melodic synth add perfect backing while the player gathers items, takes out guards, and staying unseen. The next area theme we have is "The Front Line." Faster-paced and more tension-filled," this track perfectly matches the stealth-gameplay aspects of Metal Gear. The third is "Level 1 Warning." Utilizing a similar type of composition as the previous two area themes, I found myself enjoying its mysterious melody.

When the player gets spotted by guards, the music changes from subtle to tense. The main alert theme, "Level 3 Warning," incorporates fast-paced, but repetitive techno loops to create emotional progression. "Return to Dust" begins with ambient synth. About twenty seconds in, the piece progresses into a brooding and suspicious melody, as if Solid Snake has stumbled upon a hidden secret. "Shallow" and "Imminent" are both similar in tone, utilizing eerie and off-setting melodies. "Advance Immediately" is another enjoyable theme as well, reminiscent of many 80s action movie soundtracks. The Metal Gear series is also known for its memorable boss fights, and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is no exception. "Killers" and "Battle Against Time" are both fast-paced, low-octave boss fight themes. As expected, the music evokes a certain sense of danger and menace while Snake fights against Zanzibar Land's Special Forces. "Mechanic" and "Big Boss" are slightly disappointing, as they loop too quickly and have rather repetitive melodies.

For an 8-bit soundtrack, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake surprisingly delivers many levels of emotion with its cinematic tracks. "Tears" is a sad and patriotic march. The synth plays a melancholic melody while a secondary theme provides a reverberating response. The piece was originally used when Snake defeats his former comrade, Gray Fox, in hand-to-hand combat. "Night Fall" is a sad love theme, reflecting on the relationship between Snake and female operative Holly White. "Wavelet" is another love theme that conveys the emotions of loss and sadness. If not limited by the MSX-2's audio quality, "Natasha's Death" could have easily fit in a newer Metal Gear game. The amount of raw emotion and composition coming from this track is nothing short of astounding. "An Advance" and "In Security" are both "revelation" tracks that played when major plot twists were revealed. Needless to say, the serve their purpose well with their suspenseful melodies.

There are also several short miscellaneous tracks that are really hit or miss. "A Notice" and "First Instruction" don't really go anywhere. Both are really just bouts of ambient synth noise with no real musical progression. "Zanzibar National Anthem," is a sixteen second theme for the eponymous fictional country. Outside of the game, it doesn't offer much other than nostalgic memories. "Zanzibar National Anthem Part 2" is the exact same theme, only with distorted sound. "Flight Into Enemy Territory," while short, is an enjoyable track that returns to the series' militaristic roots. "Afterimage" is a short jingle that plays when Snake loses all life, and "Disposable Life" is the game over theme. Again, when taken out of context, these tracks mean very little. On the other hand, "Swing, Swing ~ 'A' Jam Blues" is a jazzy theme that's a joy to listen to, even if it does feel out of place with the rest of the album. The only way to hear this theme in the game is to call a specific frequency while smoking a cigarette.

In typical Hideo Kojima fashion, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake features a spectacular ending accompanied by great music. "Spiral" is a fast tempo chase theme. Snake and Holly escape Zanzibar Land while fighting through waves of soldiers. Just as they are surrounded, backup arrives and they are saved. The theme that plays at this time is "Return," a victorious and upbeat march. Snake and Holly fly off into the sunset with the operation successful. "Red Sun" is a forlorn ending theme. Although Snake has won, he is still torn on the inside. Realizing that he can never fit into a normal society, he disappears. The final ending theme is more upbeat with "Farewell," as we are greeted with images of the games cast of characters. This masterful game and soundtrack is now over.

Summary

The soundtrack to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is nothing short of a milestone in video game music. Even though Konami was limited with the MSX-2 hardware, its composers were still able to craft fitting and emotional music that laid the precursor to cinematic soundtracks in video games. Had this game reached a mainstream audience earlier, its soundtrack would have been ranked among the likes of Mega Man and Castlevania. However, due to the game's relative obscurity, this was never the case and the soundtrack is often overlooked by retro enthusiasts. Make no mistake, though. This is one of the best chiptune soundtracks ever composed. Although there are a few tracks that are slightly lackluster, they do little to detract from the many great themes presented here. With this being an older release, it can be quite hard to come by, but it is worth every penny. If you enjoy classic soundtracks, than look no further than Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.



Album
9/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Oliver Jia

Overview

Those who purchased the Metal Gear Solid Premium Pack in Japan received the Metal Gear & Metal Gear 2 -Solid Snake- Music Collection as a bonus. It collects the entire soundtrack to the original Metal Gear, selections from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, and four bonus tracks from other Hideo Kojima games. Not to be confused with the Metal Gear >> Solid Snake Music Compilation Red Disc arranged album, this collection only contains the original music within the games. That said, I found this soundtrack to be slightly redundant, despite it holding a few exclusives.

Body

The major exclusive of this collection is the soundtrack for the original Metal Gear, released in 1987 for the MSX-2. That said, while a historic soundtrack, the score from Iku Mizutani, Shigehiro Takenouchi, and Motoaki Furukawa is a mixed bag in terms of quality. "Operation Intrude N313" only contains the title screen sound effect and a short jingle. The first ever main theme in the series, "Theme of Tara" is certainly a catchy and memorable track. The distinctive bass line ("Ta-ra, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum") really captures the infiltration feel, while the main melody has a deeper quality. It's a good thing this track is well-composed, since it plays constantly throughout the game. That said, I wasn't such a fan of the melody of the second BGM theme, "Sneaking Mission". It serves its purpose, but doesn't offer anything interesting or noteworthy.

"-!- Red Alert," like all future alert themes in the series, is a fast-paced and repetitive action theme that plays when Snake gets spotted. The main boss track "Mercenary" is effective but nothing special either, while "TX-Metal Gear" is even more repetitive, looping far too quickly with no musical progression. "Escape -Beyond Big Boss-" is a tension-filled techno beat that plays towards the end of the game while Snake escapes Outer Heaven's self-destruct sequence. Rounding things off, "Return of the Fox Hounder" is rather enjoyable with its simple, yet upbeat melody and "Just Another Dead Soldier" is a game over theme. Overall, the soundtrack to the original Metal Gear works well in the game, but isn't too inspiring as a stand-alone listen. While I enjoyed one or two themes, the rest of the soundtrack is rather forgettable.

Next we have selections from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, a much bigger soundtrack composed by a seven-person team led by Masahiro Ikariko. Militaristic, brooding, and slightly techno-inspired, "Theme of Solid Snake" and "Zanzibar Breeze" accompany the opening cutscenes of the game. While they sound modest by today's standard, they were incredibly well-implemented for their time. "Frequency 140.85" utilizes syncopated rhythms and melodic synth that add perfect backing while the player gathers items, takes out guards, and staying unseen. When the player gets spotted by guards, the music changes from subtle to tense. The main alert theme, "Level 3 Warning," incorporates fast-paced, but repetitive techno loops to create emotional progression. "Killers" and "Mechanic" are both fast-paced, low-octave boss fight themes. As expected, the music evokes a certain sense of danger and menace while Snake fights against Zanzibar Land's Special Forces.

For a MSX-2 soundtrack, Metal Gear 2: SOlid Snake surprisingly delivers many levels of emotion with its cinematic tracks. "Night Fall" is a sad love theme, reflecting on the relationship between Snake and female operative Holly White. "Natasha's Death" could have easily fit in a newer Metal Gear Solid game. The amount of raw emotion and composition coming from this track is nothing short of astounding. "Mechanic" was slightly disappointing, as it loops too quickly and has a rather repetitive melody. Faster paced and more tension-filled than "Frequency 140.85," "The Front Line" perfectly matches the stealth-gameplay aspects of Metal Gear as another area theme. Another area theme we have is "Level 1 Warning." Utilizing a similar type of composition as the previous two area themes, I found myself enjoying its mysterious melody. "Advance Immediately" is another enjoyable theme as well, reminiscent of many 80s action movie soundtracks.

"Zanzibar National Anthem" is a sixteen second theme for the eponymous fictional country. Outside of the game, it doesn't offer much other than nostalgic memoires. "Spiral" is a fast tempo chase theme. Snake and Holly escape Zanzibar Land while fighting through waves of soldiers. Just as they are surrounded, backup arrives and they are saved. The theme that plays at this time is "Return," a victorious and upbeat march. Snake and Holly fly off into the sunset with the operation successful. The final ending theme is "Farewell" a more upbeat track that plays as we are greeted with images of the games cast of characters. "Disposable Life" is simply a game over theme. Overall, the soundtrack presented here is very good. The best way to experience MG2's soundtrack, though, is on the full album release.

We're not done yet, because there are four bonus tracks. "Theme of Metal Gear" is taken directly from the MSX-2 release of Snatcher. Really, it's more or less an enhanced version of "Theme of Tara" utilizing Konami's SCC sound chip. Next, we have a remix of "Zanzibar Breeze" by original composer Mutsuhiko Izumi, taken from the remix album Konami All Stars -The 1000-Ryo Chest Heisei 4th Year Edition-. Although the electric guitar is well done, the synth is terribly outdated. The remix found on the Metal Gear 20th Anniversary Music Collection is a much better listening choice. The final two tracks are "Policenauts" and "Danger Dance... & Justice All." I should note that "Policenauts" is actually "The Age of Policenauts", but is not listed as such on the album. Both tracks are taken directly from the Black Disc, but are actually shortened. Either way, you're not missing much as neither track offered anything special in the first place.

Summary

There really isn't any reason to get this album because a majority of the content can be found on far better albums. The Metal Gear score isn't featured in any other album, so it a major exclusive here. However, the music itself is largely forgettable and is better to experience in the game. The bonus tracks don't fare much better, mainly emphasising how the series ties in with Hideo Kojima's other work. The Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake portion is this album's saving grace, but the best way to experience it is on the complete soundtrack release dedicated to the game. The only reason someone would want this would be to complete their collection of Metal Gear music. Other than that, there's little other reason to own it.



Album
7/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Oliver Jia

The spelling mistakes on tracks 5, 14, 15, 19 and 21 appeared in the original track listings.
Album was composed by Konami Kukeiha Club and was released on April 5, 1991. Soundtrack consists of tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by King Records.

CD 1

1
THEME OF SOLID SNAKE (Opening BGM 1)
03:17
2
ZANZIBER BREEZE (Opening BGM 2)
03:06
3
A NOTICE (Start Demo BGM)
00:12
4
FIRST INSTRUCTION (Opening Radio Transmission Demo)
00:54
5
FREQENCY 140.85 (Alert Mode Level 1 part1)
02:50
6
LEVEL3 WARNING (Alert Mode Level 3)
01:14
7
RETURN TO DUST (Alert Mode Level 1 part2)
02:47
8
KILLERS (Boss BGM 4)
01:37
9
TEARS (Conversation Demo )
03:15
10
THE FRONT LINE (Alert Mode 1 part3)
02:08
11
CHASING THE GREEN BERET (Tailing the Green Beret BGM)
00:27
12
SHALLOW (Swamp BGM)
00:53
13
BATTLE AGAINST TIME (Boss BGM 2)
01:15
14
ADVANCE IMMEDIATECY (Alert Mode 1 part4)
02:07
15
MECANIC (Boss BGM 2)
01:10
16
IMMINENT (Alert Mode 1 part5)
01:50
17
NIGHT FALL (Conversation Demo )
01:40
18
LEVEL1 WARNING (Alert Mode 1 part6)
02:17
19
AN ADVENCE (Conversation Demo )
01:39
20
REPRIEVE OF THE DOCTOR (A Conversation Between Three People)
01:28
21
NATARSHA'S DEATH (Natasha's Death)
02:21
22
ZANZIBERLAND NATIONAL ANTHEM (The National Anthem of Zanziber Land part1)
00:16
23
SWING, SWING ~ "A" JAM BLUES (Radio Mode BGM ~ Radio Mode BGM2)
01:31
24
ZANZIBERLAND NATIONAL ANTHEM PART2 (The National Anthem of Zanziber Land part2)
00:16
25
UNDER THE CLOUD OF DARKNESS (Nighttime Infiltration BGM)
01:26
26
FIGHT INTO ENEMY TERITORY (Sneaking into Enemy Territory BGM)
00:51
27
INFILTRATION (Alert Mode 1 part7)
01:31
28
IN SECURITY (Holly is Captured)
01:15
29
WAVELET (Conversation Demo )
02:22
30
BIG BOSS (Big Boss Conversation Demo)
01:02
31
SPIRAL (Battle on the Spiral Staircase)
01:32
32
ESCAPE (Escape BGM)
01:57
33
RETURN (Repatriation Demo)
02:19
34
RED SUN (End Demo 1)
03:11
35
FAREWELL (End Demo 2)
01:51
36
AFTERIMAGE (Player Out BGM)
00:07
37
DISPOSABLE LIFE (Game Over BGM)
00:11
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