The original Metal Slug logo
|Run & Gun|
Metal Slug is a series of run and gun video games first released on Neo-Geo arcade machines and game consoles created by SNK. It was also ported to other consoles, such as the Sega Saturn, the PlayStation, the Neo-Geo Pocket Color and more recently, the Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS. There is also an anthology of the first seven games in the main series (including Metal Slug X) available for the Wii, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2.
The gameplay of the series is characteristic of run and gun games: large numbers of enemies and a player character with extremely powerful weapons. In most run and guns, contact with an enemy leads to immediate death. In this series, however, contact results in the opponent's death if an attack is performed. This leads to the ability for the player to run in and use melee attacks to take down a number of troops.
The player starts with only a simple pistol, as the game progresses the player picks up new weapons. The player can only carry one weapon at the time, when a new weapon is found it replaces the old one. Similarly, when the ammo runs out, the player reverts to using the handgun. A new system was implemented with Metal Slug 6 allowing players to carry two larger weapons and switch between them as well as the default pistol.
The SV-001 or Metal Slug is the main vehicle of the Metal Slug franchise. It is a small, cartoonish silver tank (SV is short for "Super Vehicle"). The tank is armed with one cannon and twin vulcan cannons. The vehicle can jump and crouch. Crouching opens a hatch on the top of the tank through which grenades can be thrown. The grenades are independent of the cannon's ammo system. The vehicle can run over infantry and perform a suicide attack, with the driver jumping clear and the tank ramming into and exploding upon the target. The vehicle can take three direct hits before it is destroyed. The enemy chaser variant has a shield that must be destroyed before the vehicle can be destroyed. It is propelled by caterpillar treads. Over time, these specifications changed into any vehicle armed with a vulcan cannon and a cannon variant suited to the role of the vehicle, and propelled suitably for that vehicle's environment. In Metal Slug 6 (and the home version of Metal Slug X, 3, 4, 5), Tarma can lock the vulcan cannons into one position and fire continuously. The "slug gunner" is considered the epitome of slug evolution.
The first game's story involved the Peregrine Falcon (PF) Squad, a small but skilled team of soldiers serving under the Regular Army's special operations division, who fight against the army of General Donald Morden in order to prevent a massive coup d'état and the creation of a New World Order under General Morden. Later games featured characters from the Sparrows Unit, which is under the control of the Regular Army's intelligence division. In the games following the first, the PF Squad also battles an alien threat to Earth (the Mars People), as well as several other supernatural threats including yetis, zombies, ambulatory Venus flytraps, giant crabs, and mummies. Outlandish elements were removed from the fourth game to return to the feel of the original title, which resulted in poor critical and commercial reception. The fifth moved to the motif of modern guerrilla warfare, leaving only traces of the series signature quirky humor and paranormal enemies (except for the final boss). Metal Slug 6 returned to the plot of the first three installments, bringing back Morden's Rebel Army and the Mars People. Metal Slug 7 has less outlandish elements with the Mars People replaced by an alternative universe of Morden's Army with futuristic equipment and weapons
Marco Rossi and Tarma Roving were the first playable characters, but each was reserved solely to the first and second player, respectively. In the second installment, Eri Kasamoto and Fiolina "Fio" Germi were added to the cast. These four are considered by fans to be the quintessential Metal Slug team. In the fourth game, Nadia Cassel and Trevor Spacey made their debut, replacing Eri and Tarma, respectively, but have not returned for later games. Eri and Tarma returned in the fifth game. The Game Boy Advance edition of the game features two new characters specific to that title: PF squad trainees Walter Ryan and Tyra Elson. King of Fighters/Ikari Warriors characters Ralf Jones and Clark Still appear in Metal Slug 6, released for the Atomiswave hardware in February 2006. They are also playable characters (along with the downloadable character Leona Heidern) in the latest installment, Metal Slug 7.
- Marco Rossi
- Voiced by: Eric Summerer
- His full name is Marchrius Dennis Rossi. He is the main character and protagonist of the series, and has appeared in all the titles (except for Metal Slug Advance). He comes from the United States and has Italian ancestry. Born in Idaho, Marco is a computer expert who particularly enjoys writing computer viruses and programs; one virus he wrote managed to penetrate all of the US Military's defenses and nearly caused the launch of nuclear missiles. Marco graduated from Military's Special Technologies college and went on to serve in the Peregrine Falcon Special Forces Squad (PF Squad), starting in Metal Slug as First Lieutenant. As of Metal Slug 6, he is a Major. Marco is a gentle man but capable of falling into uncontrollable rages; the series' villain General Morden (who is responsible for the deaths of dozens of Marco's friends and colleagues in the PF Squad) will trigger these if he is even so much as mentioned.
- Marco also appears in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, being the first time he is seen in a fighting game. In the history of this game, Marco joins to Battle Coliseum tournament to once again stop General Morden, who's now financed by WAREZ Corporation to make new plans to conquest the world.
- Tarma Roving
- Voiced by: Dan McComas
- His full name is Tarmicle Roving III. Born the son of a distinguished soldier in Hokkaidō, Japan, Tarma joined the army's training college for special tactics and combat straight out of Junior High. When he was 20, he rescued the president and used this to get himself transferred to the Peregrine Falcon Squad (PF Squad). He fought alongside his best friend Marco Rossi in the Great War, leading to his promotion as Captain.
- Tarma is an expert motorcycle engineer and builds custom bikes for fun in his spare time. He had intended to retire and set up a shop, but his requests for a discharge from the military have always been denied.
- Eri Kasamoto
- Voiced by: Susanna Fera
- Eri is an orphan, abandoned on the steps of a church. Once she was mature enough, she fled the church and became a leader of street kids. The Intelligence Agency of the Government Forces noticed her combat skills and recruited her. She went on to receive special spy training for those with special talent and successfully completed a number of missions as a first rate agent. But Eri, weary from the series of missions involving assassinations and plots that took a hard toll on her conscience, requested to be transferred to the Special Ops Squad S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S. Her request, which normally would go ignored, was specially granted given her achievements and superior abilities. For her efforts in suppressing Morden's second coup d'état, she received a promotion to sergeant second-class.
- Fiolina Germi
- Voiced by: Melissa Ex
- Fio is the only daughter of a wealthy Italian family. After she was born, her mother was unable to have any more children, making Fio the first heiress in the history of her family, as she had no older siblings. Throughout the generations, the Germi family has made a tradition of sending their eldest child into the military; Fio upholds this tradition willingly, though she has aspirations of becoming a doctor someday, having studied chiropractics, acupuncture, and moxibustion in college. Fio is a Master Sergeant of the Intelligence Agency's S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S, which serves as a special forces group for the government. As with her comrades in Metal Slug 2 and beyond, she rose through the ranks for her service against General Morden. She has also appeared in the King of Fighters series, first as a Striker in The King of Fighters 2000, and then being playable for the first time in KOF: Maximum Impact 2; in the game, she has a special intro when fighting members of the Ikari Warriors mistaking Ralf, Clark, and Leona as Marco, Tarma, and Eri respectively.
- Trevor Spacey
- A South Korean computer prodigy by the age of 3, Trevor picked up his skills from his parents and by the time he was 7 he could understand complex computer engineering jargon and would upload vaccines to the net to fight viruses. While attending college he gained a reputation as a technical programmer and was recruited by the army, leading him to join Marco Rossi's Peregrine Falcon Squad where he is, as of Metal Slug 4, a Sergeant. Trevor admires Marco Rossi, especially for his computer skills, more advanced than Trevor's. He replaces Tarma in Metal Slug 4.
- Nadia Cassel
- Hailing from France, Nadia was destined to be a Model, if only she could stop gaining weight. Failing to do that, she decided to join the army for the exercise despite her manager's objections. While in training she discovered her fighting potential and volunteered for the S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S. special unit to gain battle experience leading to her being assigned to assist Fiolina Germi and Marco Rossi of the Peregrine Falcon Squad in stopping General Morden. She replaces Eri in Metal Slug 4.
- Allen O'Neil
- Allen O'Neil is a sub-boss, who appears in all of the games except Metal Slug 5, and in Metal Slug 6 he appears as A in the 2nd level. He has been fighting the Regular Army High Command since the first game. He taunts the player with the phrases "C'mon, boy", "Go home to mommy", and "you're mincemeat" (or minced meat), as well as maniacal laughter. Upon defeat he always utters "See you in Hell!" He uses an M60 machine gun, a knife, and blue grenades that erupt in an angry red flame upon detonation. Despite the fact that Allen clearly meets his end at the conclusion of every encounter, usually he just seems to fall down dead except in Metal Slug 2 where he's eaten by a very large killer whale which spits his bones, the game makers have humorously brought him back in each new iteration of the series. An interview with the game-makers, which is unlockable in Metal Slug Anthology, reveals that the only thing that keeps Allen alive besides his muscles and guts is his devotion and will to return home to his wife and son after a hard day of fighting.
- Allen aids the player aboard the Mothership in Metal Slug 3 (unless the Metal Slug employed earlier is still surviving and in current use), laughing all the while (even though the player killed him earlier in the level). Despite his strength against the player(s) in Metal Slug 3 and before, his strength is much less on the Mothership than usual. One burst shot from his M60 cannot kill a clone by itself. He also has less "Life", and stands still against the hordes of clones. Thus, it does not take much for the clones to finish Allen, even by melee attacks. Because of this vulnerability, it can be assumed he's more of a decoy while the player assaults the clones.
- Allen appears again in Metal Slug 4, as a boss in Mission Two and during the Final Mission, where it is revealed that this Allen is in fact a Terminator-like android possibly built by the rogue scientist who is the main villain in Metal Slug 4. It should be noted, however, that using a similar process, the same scientist was successful in creating a mass produced Robot Morden Army that led people to believe Morden was behind the Amadeus Syndicate, possibly to frame him for the scientist's crimes. Unfortunately these mechanical incarnations were even weaker than their flesh & blood counterpart, having the weakness of falling after a few well placed shots from a simple handgun.
- After an absence in both Metal Slug 5 and Metal Slug 6, Allen returns in Metal Slug 7 as the boss of Mission 6, where the player and Allen fight each other in Slug Gigants, with Allen apparently dying again.
- Mars People
- The Mars People are aliens from space that are in a plot to take over Earth in the Metal Slug universe. They are similar to squids, using their tentacles as a form of movement, and a strange fighting style which involves gas and a laser pistol. In Metal Slug 2, they appeared as enemies near the climax of the game and their mothership is fought as the final boss, but they were defeated by the alliance consisting of the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force and General Morden's army after they betrayed Morden. In the Metal Slug X remake they appear as enemies earlier in the game. They tried again in Metal Slug 3, abducting Morden and one of the members of the Peregrine Falcons in the final level (which ever one the player uses will be abducted), only for the Peregrine Falcons and Morden's army to take the fight to their mothership and defeat them, and their leader Rootmars. In Metal Slug 6, the Mars People, Morden, as well as his rebel army and the Ikari Warriors, join forces with the Peregrine Falcons to fight a new alien invader who, ironically, feed on the Mars People. In the game, after Stage 2, the Mars People become the players' allies; some are even hostages.
- Mars People also are the first characters from Metal Slug series who appears in a fighting game: first in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos as a hidden (but playable) character and later in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum as a playable character once you complete 'Tag Battle' mode and, parodically, his partner in this game is Marco Rossi, who has a special ending picture in NGBC playing with this team.
- General Morden
- General Donald Morden is the main antagonist of the Metal Slug franchise. He is described as "...the Antichrist..." by the Regular Army High Command. He is depicted as a bumbling madman wearing a beret, eyepatch, and bomber jacket, and carrying a bazooka, not to mention bearing a resemblance to Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin. He serves the final boss of the first game. He is only not shown in Metal Slug 5. He apparently mends his ways by the end of Metal Slug 6, as he (or Rootmars depending on a Different route) rescues the player(s) after s/he is knocked off a wall by an explosion caused by the huge enormous alien end boss. His army is the main force of opposition in the Metal Slug games, with the exception of Metal Slug 5 and 6. He commands the ever loyal Rebellion, and in Metal Slug 4 he was thought to be behind the Amadeus Terror Syndicate. He once again return to his roots of world domination in 7, this time with the help of the Rebel Army from the future. It also marks the first time since the first game where he is the final boss.
- He is quite ill-fated, with problems ranging from major injury, such as having a steel table crush him (to the dismay of his soldiers) and being dropped from his Chinook helicopter to minor embarrassment, such as being hung out of a flying saucer donned in only his ever-present hat, eyepatch, and a pair of pink boxer shorts and having his pants torn off.
- Morden sometimes makes an alliance with the Mars People to help achieve his goal of world domination. Unfortunately for him, he is betrayed and abducted, abused and thoroughly humiliated by the Martians.
- Like the main characters, General Morden appears in various SNK games as a cameo, especially in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series.
The aspect of the Metal Slug series was to create a simple, but exciting side-scrolling shoot-em-up game with a very easy control scheme (one joystick and three buttons). The same team that created Metal Slug for the Neo-Geo previously created a handful of games for Irem which have very similar graphics and gameplay. Gunforce (1991) and In the Hunt (1993) had noticeably similar gameplay, with graphics that have a slight resemblance to Metal Slug. Gunforce 2 (1994), another title by Irem, had a similar gameplay as Metal Slug. Because of this, some fans refer to Gunforce 2 as "Metal Slug Zero".
Some of the stock sound effects from Irem titles were used in the Metal Slug games. The art style is done by Meeher and the music is composed by Hiya!. They worked on Undercover Cops before forming Nazca.
However, the first 3 titles were developed by the Nazca team before SNK declared bankruptcy.
It is believed that composer Takushi Hiyamuta (Hiya!) was a designer for Sammy Corporation's Metal Slug-style arcade title, Dolphin Blue, when his name was displayed during the ending credits.
After Playmore retained intellectual rights to all SNK titles, the characters Trevor and Nadia no longer appear in future installments because they were created by the Korean-based Mega Enterprise.
Reception and Legacy
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|Metal Slug Project||SNK||Japanese / English||Contains original homepages of Metal Slug X, 3 and 2nd Mission. Now archived at Metal Slug Database|
|Metal Slug 1st Mission||SNK||Japanese||Now archived at Metal Slug Database|
|Metal Slug 2nd Mission||SNK||Japanese||Now archived at Metal Slug Database|
|Metal Slug X||Agetec||English||Now partially archived at Metal Slug Database|
|Metal Slug 3||SNK Playmore USA||English||N/A|
|Metal Slug 3||Ignition Entertainment||English||N/A|
|Metal Slug 4||MEGA Enterprise||Korean||First version of www.metalslug4.co.kr. Now archived at Metal Slug Database.|
|Metal Slug 4||MEGA Enterprise||Korean / Japanese / English||New version of www.metalslug4.co.kr. Now archived at Metal Slug Database.|
|Metal Slug 4||SNK Playmore||Japanese||N/A|
|Metal Slug 4||Ignition Entertainment||English||N/A|
|Metal Slug 5||SNK Playmore||Japanese||N/A|
|Metal Slug 5||Ignition Entertainment||English||N/A|
|Metal Slug 4/5||SNK Playmore USA||English||N/A|
|Metal Slug 6||SNK Playmore||Japanese||N/A|
|Metal Slug 6||SEGA||Japanese||N/A|
|Metal Slug 3D||SNK Playmore||Japanese||N/A|
|Metal Slug 7||SNK Playmore||Japanese||N/A|
|Metal Slug Advance||SNK Playmore||Japanese||N/A|
|Metal Slug Advance||SNK Playmore USA||English||N/A|
|Metal Slug Advance||Ignition Entertainment||English||N/A|
|Metal Slug Type-A||SNK Playmore||Japanese||Homepage for Metal Slug Pachinko machine|
|Metal Slug 10th-year anniversary site||SNK Playmore||Japanese / English||N/A|
|Metal Slug XX||SNK Playmore||Japanese||N/A|
Publishers, developers, & distributors
|SNK Playmore||Japanese||Developer & distributor of the Metal Slug franchise, as well as the main license holder|
|MEGA Enterprise||Korean||Developer & distributor of Metal Slug 4|
|I-Play||English||Publisher & distributor of Metal Slug Mobile|
|Agetec||English||Former distributor of the discontinued PlayStation version of Metal Slug X|
|SNK Playmore USA||English||Distributor of SNK Playmore titles within Northern Americas|
|Ignition Entertainment||English||Distributor of SNK Playmore titles within European Union|