The year 1987 marked the birth of one of gaming’s most well-known franchises: Metal Gear. Originally released for the MSX, it was soon ported to the Famicom and its North American counterpart, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Though its localization was a tad spotty, it nonetheless became a surprise hit in the West, selling close to one million copies. Konami would go on to commission a sequel eventually titled Snake’s Revenge with the goal of specifically aiming towards their unexpected, newfound market.
Owing to the MSX version of Metal Gear having sold relatively fewer copies, Hideo Kojima, the creator of the series, wasn’t interested in making a sequel. In fact, until he ran into a member of the development staff behind Snake’s Revenge on a train headed for Tokyo, he was completely unaware of its existence. During this conversation, he was asked to create a true sequel to his original game. When the train reached its destination, Mr. Kojima already had the basic storyline in mind and approached his boss the following day with his new plan. He was quickly approved and in 1990, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was released for the MSX. Ironically, despite the NES port of his original game being such a success in the West, it wouldn’t be until sixteen years later that Metal Gear 2 would see the light of day outside of Japan as a bonus feature on an updated version of a future installment.