Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gaze Upon the Metal Gear Solid 4 Trophy List and Weep

So, just a few days ago, there was a Playstation Blog post that gave a 'full' list of Metal Gear Solid 4's trophies in the up-coming (for non-Japan regions at least) patch that was announced last month.  I say 'full' list because, as a person with a fairly discerning eye when it comes to trophies, I noticed that there were only 20 on the list, which is far, far fewer than I think most retail games would be happy with, much less Kojima.  And also missing from the list were the standard "Completed (Stage)" missions which seems to be a mainstay no matter what, which are generally Hidden trophies so that the player can't check the list and decide how much of the game is left.  Which is not to say that it helps with that, since said trophies are generally at the start of the list and after so many Hidden trophies, the visible list tends to start, so you can generally just count out how many hidden trophies are in a row, gauge how often they're giving completion ones to you and figure on a number that way to guess how close you are.  But....that's entirely more meta than it needs to be, and I think I've revealed too much.

Moving on, it was for this suspicion (and the fact that it was confirmed through Twitter in a tweet that I am not even going to begin looking for) that I held off on making a to-do about the list.  Since there is a friggin' to-do to be had about this list which I am going to do (Ha!).  But even more of a to-do with the hidden fifteen trophies since I'll be able to show them off as well as the visible list of twenty trophies, which comprises the much more satisfying looking list of Thirty-Five trophies in all.  I want to just go ahead and do the full list of trophies, visible first, then Hidden and get that out of the way so I can then discuss certain trophies in a little more detail.  So, since I'll be showing off the Hidden Trophies, and I'll bold it with extra clarification, do not read the list if you don't want to know what the Hidden Trophies in Metal Gear Solid 4 are.  Why would you not want to know?  Beats the hell out of me, but I'm quite fair when it comes to anything that might be a 'spoiler' of sorts (and being a hidden trophy falls under this umbrella) so I am just trying to be nice.

Bronze You enjoy all the killing, that’s why. Killed many enemies in one area, and vomited.
Bronze Divine Wind Caused a “divine wind” using the Tanegashima.
Bronze Hands Up! Held an enemy soldier at gunpoint and performed a body check.
Bronze Emotion Control Controlled an enemy soldier’s emotions using an Emotive Magazine.
Bronze Hurt me more! Shocked an enemy soldier using Mk. II/III.
Bronze Drum Can Addict Knocked an enemy soldier flying using a Drum Can.
Bronze That Tune Is His Mind Control Music Played Oishii Two-han Seikatsu and made one of the BB Corps dance.
Bronze Overhead view — just like old times… Used overhead view on Shadow Moses Island.
Silver SUNLIGHT! Obtained the Solar Gun.
Silver I Just Don’t Fear Death Caused ALERT status while wearing the Corpse Camo.
Silver Where I Can See Ya Located enemy soldiers using the Scanning Plug.
Silver Ghost Photography Addict Snapped at least 5 shots of ghosts on Shadow Moses Island.
Silver FaceCamo Addict Obtained 10 or more types of FaceCamo (excluding types obtained via password).
Silver Can you feel my power now!!!? Took control of an enemy soldier’s body using the Mantis Doll or Sorrow Doll.
Silver Are you an Otaku too? Viewed all model posters.
Silver You’re pretty good. Got kissed by Ocelot during the final battle.
Gold Flashback Mania Viewed all flashbacks.
Gold Sounds of the Battlefield Obtained all iPod® tracks (excluding tracks obtained via password).
Gold I am THE expert on weapons, equipment and cutting-edge technology. Obtained all weapons (excluding weapons obtained via password).
Platinum The Legendary Hero Obtained all trophies.
(Hidden) Bronze Liquid Sun Cleared Act 1 (Middle East).
(Hidden) Bronze Solid Sun Cleared Act 2 (South America).
(Hidden) Bronze Third Sun Cleared Act 3 (Eastern Europe).
(Hidden) Bronze Twin Sun Cleared Act 4 (Shadow Moses).
(Hidden) Bronze Old Sun Cleared Act 5 (Outer Haven).
(Hidden) Bronze Laughing Octopus Doll Defeated Laughing Octopus by non-lethal means, and obtained the Laughing Octopus Doll.
(Hidden) Bronze Frog Soldier Doll Escaped the Haven Troopers in the Middle East by non-lethal means, and obtained the Frog Soldier Doll.
(Hidden) Bronze Raging Raven Doll Defeated Raging Raven by non-lethal means, and obtained the Raging Raven Doll.
(Hidden) Bronze Crying Wolf Doll Defeated Crying Wolf by non-lethal means, and obtained the Crying Wolf Doll.
(Hidden) Bronze Screaming Mantis Doll Defeated Screaming Mantis by non-lethal means, and obtained the Screaming Mantis Doll.
(Hidden) Bronze Handle with Caution Broke off the most important part of a statue.
(Hidden) Bronze Liquid! Piloted Metal Gear REX and screamed at your enemy.
(Hidden) Silver Crop Circle Found a crop circle and heard a mysterious voice.
(Hidden) Gold Infinite Ammo Obtained the Bandana.
(Hidden) Gold Stealth Camouflage Obtained the Stealth Camouflage.

So it is...quite a list when you add in the Hidden trophies, really.  I mean, it almost doubles it in sheer entry size if not exactly adding quite as much content that is necessary to do.  No-killing the bosses is pretty simple enough, stage completions are a given, and the others are either optional things that are admittedly neat or just buying things (unless you're super awesome in your multiple playthroughs).  Though, the base list itself isn't quite that bad when you take the quick glance across it, mostly because at no single point does it say specifically "Earned the Big Boss Emblem" or anything of that sort.  The problem still -have- to get that.  The Big Boss Emblem is the dick-kicker of everything professional about a run-through, especially for Metal Gear Solid because a Big Boss Emblem run-through means beating the game in under five hours with no kills, alerts, continues or restorative items used.  On The Boss Extreme difficulty level which is, of course, the highest one.

What trophies do you need the Big Boss Emblem for, I hear you ask?  Why, the Gold ones, "Sounds of the Battlefield" and "I am THE expert on weapons, equipment and cutting-edge technology" which is a ridiculously long trophy title, by the by.  So there is that at least; I've seen more offensive lists simply for the fact that they award something equally ridiculous with a Bronze trophy as a giant troll-face move.  You see, you acquire the Patriot (a machine gun with unlimited ammo) and the Big Boss song for the in-game iPod upon earning that Big Boss emblem.  And of course, you will likely only be ready for an attempt at the Big Boss Emblem after getting the next highest Emblems (Fox and Foxhound) because those emblems (and the ones you unlock by proxy) will unlock some neat things that will not count against your 'no special item' requirement since the special items in question are basically just the Bandanna and Stealth Camo.  Well, by neat things, I basically just mean the Solar Gun, since the charged shot takes dudes out pretty fast and gets you a lot of items without killing them.

Beyond that, after consulting my Metal Gear Solid 4 Strategy Guide from when I bought the game, I have discovered that you only unlock the "Snake Eater" track after unlocking all forty emblems that the game has to offer.  That is, at minimum, probably five playthroughs since some of them focus on directly opposite things:  Being seen versus being unseen, killing mans versus not killing mans, etc.  Plus some are difficulty dependent and this and that and it kind of makes my head hurt just thinking about it.  According to the guide, you can get the Fox Hound, Fox, Hound, Wolf, Octopus, Pigeon and Scorpion emblems in the first, Big Boss, Mantis, Raven and Little Grey in the second, Twenty-three assorted animals that I'm not listing individually on the third, Tarantula and Assassin on the fourth, and then it's just sweeping the last few of Centipede, Spider, Jaguar, Panther and Leopard in a few runs on the easiest difficulty.  They aren't interesting at all and just basically have different combinations of alert phases, continues and kills that are impossible to total all on the same plays for all five.  Given that there is no difficulty requirement, nor is it barring you from using special items, these last few plays are likely to be pretty fun, if you're not just completely goddamn tired of the game by that point.

I am....not surprised.  There are several other things that I am, but chief among them is not surprised.  Absolutely horrified, acquiesced to the fact that I will never get a Platinum trophy for Metal Gear Solid 4, ensured that my efforts to go against common sense will result in pain, and oddly willing to give it the old try are the other things, mostly, but yeah, 'not surprised' pretty much covers it.  I'm not...not really bitter, I would say, about the difficulty, but I am a little miffed at the delivery since it is just the slightest bit deceptive.  There is a slight bit of difference between outlining the goal to effectively warn the player and just saying "Get this" when the method to get whatever that is is overwhelmingly difficult.  Especially because I'm sure a lot of players will find themselves mired in far too deep in the end-task that, by the time they realize the full breadth, the full scope of the mission, it will either be a challenge that will quickly suck the fun out of what remains, or be the point where they violently rip the game from the console and shelve it.  So if nothing else, perhaps this was a bit of caution thrown your way before you plan on giving the list your own shot.

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