« Back home

Myth: Metal Gear: Ghost Babel takes place before Metal Gear Solid

Fact: Ghost Babel is non-canon and takes place in an alternative universe in which the events of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid do not happen.

By Ravi Singh, Posted in 2004

Don’t get me wrong. Metal Gear Solid on the GameBoy Color (which is supposed to be called “Metal Gear: Ghost Babel” but renamed for marketing purposes) is a damn good game for the GameBoy Color, considered to be one of the best on that handheld. While Hideo Kojima’s only role in development of this game was “producer,” I still thought it was a great game.

It being “official” still doesn’t make it part of the main storyline though, thus, it doesn’t take place before Metal Gear Solid… or even after Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Nor is it a VR Mission Raiden goes through (read my other myth article regarding that afterwards). It’s just a “side-story” which doesn’t take place in the “main canon.”

Let’s first get to the reason WHY this game was even made. Konami of Europe (of all people) did some market analysis or something and announced that a Metal Gear Solid port to GameBoy Color will sell a lot. Of course, the PlayStation (or Nintendo 64) to GameBoy Color ports (more like “remaking them so they are eight bit”) that many developers made all had one thing in common: suckage to fucking humility. So instead of porting it, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (EDIT 05/13/06: Now called Kojima Productions) decided to go against the latest trend of making shitty ports and developed a new game very similar to Metal Gear Solid – that means a similar story, characters, moves, weapons, equipment… hell, even VR Missions. Hideo Kojima approved of the story, in fact, just in case some loon decides to pull a Snake’s Revenge. This is possibly the reason why many reviewers went “OH MY GAWD! THIS GAME IS LYKE THE PLAYSTATION GAME ON GBC!” because it sort of was. In a twisted way. Konami created a successful port by not porting it or even remaking it, but by making a game with similar concepts.

The game even starts off almost the same as the BRIEFING in Metal Gear Solid. Colonel Campbell meets Snake from Alaska and tries to encourage him into accepting it. By sort of playing with his mind into his “past” or something – quite similar to him telling Snake that he’s a “natural-born soldier” in the Metal Gear Solid BRIEFING.

Now lets analyze when the game’s story takes place. Here’s some screenshots from the “briefing” in Ghost Babel:

By the way, no, that’s not a man’s crotch shadow, but the Metal Gear in the game’s shadow. God damn you.

Ok, so seven years before that is 1995 (that’s when the Outer Heaven uprising occurred). Do the math and you figure out the game takes place in 2002. The more important Zanzibar Land uprising occurred 1999. Snake fought a modern ACTIVE Metal Gear model, in comparison to the one that was under development in Outer Heaven. So the question is – why the hell would the US Government take the data from Outer Heaven and build one when an even better Metal Gear – one that’s already done – was in Zanzibar Land?  Now before you attempt to answer that one, may I note that before the above screenshots, when Colonel Campbell mentions a new Metal Gear, Snake is shocked. Too shocked to even complete the sentence “But…” in which Campbell above helps by telling him that even though he destroyed the one at Outer Heaven, the US Government stole information to develop their own. But wouldn’t Snake be shocked because he destroyed one even more recently? The Metal Gear D? You know, the one that actually had the ability to MOVE?

Well, this happens a lot. The glorious Zanzibar Land mission Solid Snake accomplished is not mentioned once, yet his first Outer Heaven mission, Operation: Intrude N313, is mentioned a damn lot. Of course, this is due to the story’s theme of history repeating itself as the game actually takes place where Outer Heaven once stood, but still – Zanzibar Land is a mentionable event in Snake’s life, as seen in game manuals. We’ll get back to that later. Anyways, the only mild mention of Zanzibar Land is when Campbell says that he hasn’t seen Snake in three years. But this could mean a lot of things besides Zanzibar Land.

For those who don’t really know much about Zanzibar Land, here’s a big key factor in the contradiction this game has with a game you should be familiar with: Metal Gear Solid’s Mei Ling.

The young Asian girl who knows a lot about computers first meets Solid Snake in this mission. Wait. No. She meets him in the Shadow Moses mission, right? I mean, I remember her saying something like: “It’s an honor to speak to a living legend like yourself.” Did Snake respond with “Bitch, you spoke to me and saved my game back in Galuade, you don’t even remember me?!” No. Even he doesn’t know who the hell she is beforehand, saying “Who’s that?!” after hearing her voice.

Ok, then some fools start saying Ghost Babel somehow, in some way, takes place three years after Shadow Moses. Even though this makes the above “Solid Snake destroyed Metal Gear but it came back!” contradiction with Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake now a problem with Metal Gear Solid. But alas, this goes past some people’s heads. So here’s some more screenshots:

Taken from Ghost Babel (naw Ravi, I thought these were hi-res Guns of The Patriots screens!). Snake has no idea who Mei Ling is when Colonel Campbell introduces her to him.

Mei Ling in Metal Gear Solid. Both have never talked to each other before. Solid Snake seems to hit on her in this game, though. And he has eyes! Wow!

Yeah. There you go. Liquid Snake said something relevant to this.

“There’s only room for one Snake… and one Big Boss!”

Not really relevant, but the two games’ storyline cannot exit in the same universe. In fact, it’s a good argument that Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake’s storyline can’t exist in Ghost Babel’s. Even though the Zanzibar Land uprising is important to know about before you try to understand Gray Fox and Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid’s story.

Not even the remake of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes “fixed” any of these contradictions that the people who believe (some still do) that Ghost Babel is in the main storyline wanted to be “fixed.”

To give a bigger slap to the face to these people, the fact that the “Gindra Incident” or “Galuade Uprising” or whatever you want to call this event is NEVER shown in the Metal Gear “PREVIOUS STORIES” in the instruction booklets. Sure, you can give the excuse of Ghost Babel coming out two years after Metal Gear Solid, except that the games that came out after Metal Gear: Ghost Babel don’t mention this event either.

Both Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (all versions) that have the PREVIOUS STORIES page in their instruction booklet has “OUTER HEAVEN UPRISING,” “ZANZIBAR LAND DISTURBANCE,” and “SHADOW MOSES ISLAND INCIDENT.” No mention of Galuade. In fact, the character profile for Solid Snake says he has “…thrice saved the world from the menace of Metal Gear…” Thrice as in three times, not the band I hate. Let’s count, shall we? Metal Gear TX-55 in Outer Heaven – one. Metal Gear D in Zanzibar Land – dou. Metal Gear REX in Shadow Moses – tres. Uh oh, we ran out of numbers for Metal Gear Gander in Galuade!

Okay then, what about The Twin Snakes manual? Since it was “supposed to” fix the “errors?” Same thing as the Metal Gear Solid 2 manuals, except it doesn’t have the Shadow Moses Incident… because the damn game is about the Shadow Moses incident! Likewise, the PREVIOUS STORIES section inside the game is exactly the same as the original – which in other words means that there’s NO mention of the Galuade mission!

The only two remaining arguments that I can remember that people who believe the myth is that one of the bosses in Ghost Babel plays the Hind D music from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, and the Colonel mentioning the Galuade mission when he gets all fucking crazy in Metal Gear Solid 2. Both of these arguments are sad. Using music as a source of proof is just… dumb. In that case, can we say that Online Mode in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence is part of the storyline – just because it uses remixed tracks from Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake? No, seriously, music is irrelevant to the topic!

The Colonel thing may seem smart at first, but there’s a reason why it’s dumb. Read my myth article regarding the myth that Metal Gear: Ghost Babel is a VR Mission Raiden trained in before going on his mission at The Big Shell in Metal Gear Solid 2. After all, you’re a stubborn bastard who INSISTS that this game is somehow connected to the main timeline. Fucking Jerk.

« Back home