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Proto:Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation).

This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

Metal Gear Solid: Pilot Disk [SLPM-80254]

Acactussayswhat?
Please elaborate.
Having more detail is always a good thing.
Specifically: On top of all the visible differences in this demo, lots of hidden and disabled content has already been found on the disc. Needs proper documenting.

This was the first publicly-distributed build of Metal Gear Solid, and the first of three Japanese demo discs released ahead of the game's debut. (Officially, the first and third demos are Pilot Disks in Kojima-speak, a naming convention that started with Snatcher CD-ROMantic: Pilot Disk in 1992 and continued with 1995's Policenauts: Pilot Disk. The nomenclature was retired after Metal Gear Solid.)

This demo disc was built on April 26, 1998, a good three months before the final Japanese version, which was built on July 23, 1998. The game ends immediately after leaving the Heliport.

General differences

  • Pausing the game does not dim the screen or stop the BGM. The action simply freezes while a tiny PAUSE legend flashes in the upper-right corner.
  • Snake has totally different Codec portraits, both in and out of scuba gear.
  • Force-feedback effects haven't been implemented into the game itself, though the option menu's vibration test does work properly.

Intro

Hmmm...
To do:
Video comparison of the intros from SLPM-80254 and SLPM-86114 (retail Japanese version).

Most of the shots in this three-minute cutscene have changes compared to the final Japanese version, whether it be to the camera angle, lighting, Snake's acting, or a combination thereof. Detailed analysis needed here.

  • No music score whatsoever, and very little foley. (In the final audio mix, the dialog is nearly drowned out at several points by sound effects.)
  • The submarine's command center is devoid of any personnel.

Cargo dock

  • Only two rations present instead of three; the one in the southeast behind the pipe is missing.
  • If the player makes it to the elevator door before it has come back down, Campbell doesn't call advising Snake to hide somewhere and wait.
  • Totally different music cues for the opening and closing cutscenes to this stage.
    • In this demo, a dramatic overture reminiscent of the "Alert" theme plays during both cutscenes. This music was removed from all later public builds of Metal Gear Solid, and was not released on any soundtrack albums either.
    • In the final game, Snake's arrival is cued with the intro to "The Best is Yet to Come," and the elevator ride/title card is cued with a new piece of incidental music.

Heliport

  • Snake comments on his VR training during the Codec call, but the only way to hear this dialog in the final game is to actually do the VR Training missions and create a save file before starting the main story. (In this demo, there is no VR Training accessible from the main menu, and saving is disabled.)
  • No music cue when the Hind D takes off.
  • Chaff grenades don't make a continuous noise while they're active; the sound quickly trails off after detonation.
  • A bit of Engrish: Stun grenades show up in Snake's inventory as STAN.G instead of STUN.G. (This was correct in the original Japanese release of the full game, despite shipping with a few other English typos still intact.)
  • You can manually call up Miller, and have the conversation that normally takes place immediately following the Heliport, when Snake is in the air duct. He will still give out his Codec frequency as if he had called you first. In the final game, if you call Miller's frequency at this point, there is no response.
  • Cardboard Box A is sitting at the top of the stairs, above the security camera. In the final game, it's behind a locked door on the second floor of the Tank Hangar.
  • The radar map for the second floor doesn't actually depict the vent opening that Snake can use for infiltration, unlike in the final game.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Metal Gear Solid: Trial Version [SLPM-86098]

It's not clear when the actual release dates for these demos were, but this Trial Version sits between the two Pilot Disks with regard to time/date stamps of the files on-disc. This demo was built on June 17, 1998.

The game ends after the cutscene of Snake meeting the DARPA chief.

Tank hangar

  • Cardboard Box A is present on the upper catwalk, near where Snake drops down after infiltrating. In the final game, Cardboard Box A is behind a locked door and can only be acquired a while later.
  • The button for B2 on the elevator control panel is grayed-out and disabled.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Metal Gear Solid: Pilot Disk [PAPX-90044]

The Pilot Disk nomenclature made its last stand on this third Japanese demo disc. It was built on June 30, 1998.

This demo is very similar to the Trial Version; the only files on-disc with any binary differences are STAGE.DIR and the game executable itself. All other files are recycled from the Trial Version, down to the date and time stamps.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

NTSC-U/C demo [SLUS-90035]

Promotional demo version for the North American release. All text has been translated, but the original Japanese voiceover track hasn't yet been replaced. Built on August 2, 1998.

General differences

  • The script doesn't match up word-for-word with the final NTSC-U/C release, though it's extremely close. A few typos and minor semantic differences are present.
Hmmm...
To do:
Document those script differences.

Cargo dock

  • If the player makes it to the elevator door before it has come back down, Campbell doesn't call advising Snake to hide somewhere and wait.

Heliport

  • Snake comments on his VR training during the Codec call, but the only way to hear this dialog in the final game is to actually do the VR Training missions and create a save file before starting the main story. (In this demo, there is no VR Training accessible from the main menu, and saving is disabled.)
(Source: Original TCRF research)

PAL demo [SLED-01400]

Promotional demo for the PAL release. Built on August 4, 1998.

Pretty much identical to the NTSC-U/C promotional demo, just re-spun for 50hz PAL consoles.

NTSC-U/C trade demo [SLUS-80594]

"Trade demo" for the North American release. Content-wise, it's actually just Disc 1 of the retail NTSC-U/C version (SLUS-00594), cleverly disguised with a different label and catalog number. The actual data is identical. Built on September 9, 1998.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

PAL demo [SLED-01775]

Promotional demo for the PAL release. Built on December 1, 1998.

  • This is the only Metal Gear Solid demo disc which doesn't use the Japanese voiceover track; it uses the English dub.
  • This is also the only demo which uses the main menu system from the full game. LOAD GAME, BRIEFING, SPECIAL, and VR TRAINING are listed on the title screen, but are all disabled.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Camera Angles

Acactussayswhat?
Please elaborate.
Having more detail is always a good thing.
Specifically: How are these accessed?

Some camera angles were not used on the pilot disk of Metal Gear Solid 1.