The Built to Crew explore the world of Metal Gear Solid, tracing the series from its MSX origins to its increasingly nonsensical conclusion.

Metal Gear Solid, first released in 1998, is one of the biggest game franchises out of Japan. Its combination of stealth gameplay, cinematic presentation, and charismatic voice acting has lent this series a charm it would have had otherwise. As for all of its moments of brilliance, Metal Gear Solid often feels like a game about the American military made by a film director for a Japanese audience. Which is exactly what it is, in all of its glory.Metal Gear Solid so frequently crosses the line between camp, military fetishisation, and half-hearted attempts at meaning that its hard to make heads or tails of any one part of it.

Yet, it's impossible to deny that it's entertaining. Metal Gear Solid is the kind of game that drives up to your house around 3 a.m. and screams, "Get inside!" without telling where it's going or why. You get in anyway, not because you trust the driver, but because your life was so boring up until this lunatic stopped by.

In the next two episodes, we follow Metal Gear Solid from its beginning to its conclusion, and how the game intersected with our lives and those who worked on it.   

In Part 1: 1987-1998, we trace the origins of Metal Gear Solid and how it affected games as a whole:

  • The history of Metal Gear on the MSX, and the rise of its designer Hideo Kojima (1:00-12:30)
  • The localization efforts of Jeremy Blaustein, and his time working on Snatcher, Metal Gear Solid, and Blackmore's Bane (12:35 - 30:20)
  • Metal Gear Solid's plot, development and legacy, digging at why it became so popular (30:30 - 46:10)
  • The novelisation process with Raymond Benson, and how Snake became more like Kurt Russell in the novel (46:10 - 56:30)

This post and the audio file have been updated to reflect a correction regarding Jeremy Blaustein's translation work on Metal Gear Solid. The erroneous statement has since been removed. We regret the error.


THANKS TO THE FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE FOR THE FOLLOWING MUSIC. "DARK MATTER" and "Rarified" BY PODINGTON BEAR, "It Was" by Cosmic Analog Ensemble, "Praise Book" by Bleak House, "OCLP" by Marco Raaphorst and we played the full "A Spy in The House of Love" by Noise Problems Selections by live at NP50th.

From OCRemix, our opening theme is "Liquid Metal" by Vig. 

FROM FREESOUND, THANKS TO "diesel truck pass" BY the bizniss.

WE ALSO USED CLIPS FROM Escape from New York, Metal Gear Solid, Snatcher, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The feature image is Jen Wynne as Meryl Silverberg from Metal Gear Solid by hypersapiens.

BUILT TO PLAY IS A PRODUCT OF THE SCOPE AT RYERSON RADIO STATION IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN TORONTO. IT WAS PRODUCED AND EDITED BY ARMAN AGHBALI AND WRITTEN BY DANIEL ROSEN.

IF YOU LIKE THE SHOW PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND RATE US ONLINE. IT HELPS MORE PEOPLE FIND THE SHOW AND GIVES US AN IDEA HOW WE'RE DOING. FEEL FREE TO COMMENT DOWN BELOW.

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