280: Psycho Mantis, Qu'est-ce que c'est?

carpathic

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Oct 5, 2009
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I would probably crap my pants if I ever had a video game enemy do this to me.

That would be absolutely amazing.

And just generally awesome. Talk about metagaming.
 

HeartAttackBob

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Sep 11, 2008
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Wow. Ok Brendan, I have to stop a moment and congratulate you. That article was Fuckin Awesome.
I literally shivered remembering how creepy it was listening to Mantis "read your mind."

Truly a puppet who can see the strings. We should all be so lucky...
 

Valagetti

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Aug 20, 2010
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Nice recap. Takes me back to a simplier time where, games were about good storytelling!
 

Madara XIII

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DTWolfwood said:
Yes sir, Psycho Mantis is my favorite boss in MGS.

Just curious tho, am i the only one who didnt swap out the controller and simply shot the flying busts out of the air to achieve the same thing? Cause you know, im lazy and breaking those didn't involve me getting up XD

There was another 4th wall breaking in MGS2 or 3(been too long >.<) where snake or raiden was escaping naked after being tortured. Campbell (in all his skull face glory) kept hounding you to stop playing the game. I thought that was an excellent lvl as well.
There was also another one in the 4th game.
When Snake is in Shadow Moses, Otacon tells him to stop and switch out discs, but snake says there's no second disc to which Otacon replies "OH yeah we're on the PS3 multi-layered discs"

Snake: "grrr Otacon get a grip"

That made me seriously LOL XD
 

The Random One

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May 29, 2008
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Ah, good ol' Hideo. He has such great ideas for games but always takes them so far out that any power they'd have end up being greatly dilluted. It really worked well for Psycho Mantis though.

I always thought that one of the signs of games stepping into the boundaries of SRS ARTZ would be when it started to make metacommentaries outside the realm of comedy, but somehow I missed they have such a powerful precursor in here.

The Metal Gear series is still pretty bad though.
 

DTWolfwood

Better than Vash!
Oct 20, 2009
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Madara XIII said:
DTWolfwood said:
Yes sir, Psycho Mantis is my favorite boss in MGS.

Just curious tho, am i the only one who didnt swap out the controller and simply shot the flying busts out of the air to achieve the same thing? Cause you know, im lazy and breaking those didn't involve me getting up XD

There was another 4th wall breaking in MGS2 or 3(been too long >.<) where snake or raiden was escaping naked after being tortured. Campbell (in all his skull face glory) kept hounding you to stop playing the game. I thought that was an excellent lvl as well.
There was also another one in the 4th game.
When Snake is in Shadow Moses, Otacon tells him to stop and switch out discs, but snake says there's no second disc to which Otacon replies "OH yeah we're on the PS3 multi-layered discs"

Snake: "grrr Otacon get a grip"

That made me seriously LOL XD
i'll add that to my "One more reason to actually play the game, eventually" list XD
 

Madara XIII

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Sep 23, 2010
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Madara XIII said:
DTWolfwood said:
Madara XIII said:
DTWolfwood said:
Yes sir, Psycho Mantis is my favorite boss in MGS.

Just curious tho, am i the only one who didnt swap out the controller and simply shot the flying busts out of the air to achieve the same thing? Cause you know, im lazy and breaking those didn't involve me getting up XD

There was another 4th wall breaking in MGS2 or 3(been too long >.<) where snake or raiden was escaping naked after being tortured. Campbell (in all his skull face glory) kept hounding you to stop playing the game. I thought that was an excellent lvl as well.
There was also another one in the 4th game.
When Snake is in Shadow Moses, Otacon tells him to stop and switch out discs, but snake says there's no second disc to which Otacon replies "OH yeah we're on the PS3 multi-layered discs"

Snake: "grrr Otacon get a grip"

That made me seriously LOL XD
i'll add that to my "One more reason to actually play the game, eventually" list XD
Would it also encourage you to find out that Raiden is No longer a Wussy!? Trust me that game is arguably the best of the 4 series.
Especially revisiting Shadow Moses. God the Nostalgia!! Plus there is a Certain someone in the game who No one ever expected to come back....and that narrows it down about 5 ppl. Sorry but that game is Spoilerific at comprehending the story
 

Memor-X

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Oct 3, 2010
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when i was playing Metal Gear Solid 4 and was fighting Screaming Mantis, i did the controller switch, trying to avoid using my syringe because of what Naomi said earlier that using it too much will reduce it's effects and i didn't want to loose it effects then cause i was expecting an apocalyptic battle against a new Metal Gear (shows how much of a sucker i was)

back in Metal Gear Solid, i was probably 15, i think, anyway, i worked out right away Mantis wasn't reading my mind, i didn't put my controller on the floor and felt it vibrate in my hands knowing that the rubble function was called at that moment and the trick relied on my doing as the game said, the reading of my kills and alerts i knew he was reading variables in the game code as i had played GHOST BABEL on the Gameboy Color and knew of the thats i would get at the end, the prediction of my attacks i knew that there was a function between the check for the button press and the call to the function to make Snake move that was only used just for that battle, as for reading about other games that was saved, never knew that, i had the PS1 game and Metal Gear Solid was my only Konami game, the rest of my memory card was for Final Fantasy and Digimon World, but it was still cool how the creators though about using the hidden data that players never saw to pull off tricks like that

as for beating him, i didn't do the controller swap till my second play though while i was trying to listen to every possible Codec message i could get in every situation, my first time fighting Mantis i used grenades and emptied every one of my weapons, he could dodge the grenade but sometimes it would bounce back and he wouldn't see it, sometimes he would be caught in the explosion, either way, i made a mess of the office and ran out of ammo at the end, made it hard after that, if you want a challenge in Metal Gear Solid, beat Mantis without switching ports and on the highest difficultly, i've yet to do that (mainly because the disk swap for Metal gear Solid doesn't work on my PS3, at least when i tried it 2 years ago it didn't)
 

Brendan Main

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Jul 17, 2009
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Madara XIII said:
Would it also encourage you to find out that Raiden is No longer a Wussy!? Trust me that game is arguably the best of the 4 series.
Especially revisiting Shadow Moses. God the Nostalgia!! Plus there is a Certain someone in the game who No one ever expected to come back....and that narrows it down about 5 ppl. Sorry but that game is Spoilerific at comprehending the story
I had the longest gun battle in which I've ever participated in MGS4's Shadow Moses. Note to the wise: do not let one of those little robot drones see you...
 

vxicepickxv

Slayer of Bothan Spies
Sep 28, 2008
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I'm going to try to play Metal Gear Solid on my PS3. I'll let you know how the Mantis Fight goes. It could get interesting.
 

talkstogod

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Nov 24, 2009
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Funny no one's mentioned Eternal Darkness on the GC. Yes, it came out a year later, but 4th-wall breaking was pretty vicious in that as well... IMO, even nastier. It was also random, so you could play one or two times and never have it happen and then on the third playthrough hit the awesome "NOT MY SAVE FILE!!!!" moment.
 

beema

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Aug 19, 2009
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Good breakdown of the character/game, but just curious as to why you decided to write about this now? It's a pretty thoroughly-discussed topic, and the game itself is fairly old now. Not that I didn't enjoy the read, it just felt a quite random thing to bring up.

I agree with teknoarcanist's mini rebuttal though. Even though the boss did break the 4th wall, the way it did so somehow managed to pull you in to the emotional state of the game as well, often without the player realizing it.

DTWolfwood said:
There was another 4th wall breaking in MGS2 or 3(been too long >.<) where snake or raiden was escaping naked after being tortured. Campbell (in all his skull face glory) kept hounding you to stop playing the game. I thought that was an excellent lvl as well.
That was MGS2. It was the Patriots AI posing as Campbell to try and get you to give up. MGS as an entire series is riddled with 4th-wall breaking moments, from major things like that, to the more minor tips from characters on your codec, telling you to save your game or do things in various game menus. It's kind of a series trademark.

I'm just now playing through MGS4 for the first time, there's already been a bunch of those.
 

Andronicus

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Mar 25, 2009
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FA FA FA FA FA FFFFFF...
Raziel_Likes_Souls said:
Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa.
Damn, ninja'd. By several days in fact. I really should have read this earlier.

OT: I really must getting around to playing a Metal Gear game. I don't mind super long cutscenes, and the concepts they throw into these games sound really good. Question is, should I start from the PS1 and work my way up? Or just pick one at random? Or, an even better question still, will I even have the time to play one?
 

nipsen

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Sep 20, 2008
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Brendan Main said:
teknoarcanist said:
I don't think Mantis's aim was 'break immersion over his knee' and mock the player for taking the game so seriously *. Rather, I think the effect was to enhance immersion by expanding it into dimensions the player had not previously had a game expand into.

I agree with nearly all of what you argue, but I thought I might respond to a couple points.

This depends on the slipperiness of a word like "immersion," and how we've come to use it. You're right, for example, that Mantis' controller spazzing and save file reading enters into a new space, with new boundaries and dimensions
..I don't know. Isn't the game already fighting with the fact that you're only interfacing into the game-world with the controller, and watching a TV..?

Like the other guy - when the game was suddenly aware of me, that I saw the game through a TV - that immersed me in the narrative and the running theme about the nano-machines, the system, virtual soldiers, and so on, in a new way.

Because I didn't get Kojima's comment on video-games until that point. Or - I understood the reference, and I could read and hear the words, and so on - but I didn't experience it until the game broke the "rules".
 

Olikunmissile

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Jul 16, 2008
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That was beautiful. Mantis truly is head and shoulders above the rest of any of the bosses out there.
 

mjc0961

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Nov 30, 2009
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Madara XIII said:
There was also another one in the 4th game.
When Snake is in Shadow Moses, Otacon tells him to stop and switch out discs, but snake says there's no second disc to which Otacon replies "OH yeah we're on the PS3 multi-layered discs"

Snake: "grrr Otacon get a grip"

That made me seriously LOL XD
There's also a great part in Metal Gear Solid 4 where you fight another psychic boss. If you go into the PS3 options and change your controller to #2, there's a brief scene where Snake complains that he can't move and Otacon chides him for not having the controller set to #1. Good stuff.

Madara XIII said:
Would it also encourage you to find out that Raiden is No longer a Wussy!? Trust me that game is arguably the best of the 4 series.
Raiden is an even bigger wussy in MGS4. Sure he's a better fighter and indeed gets some great fight scenes, but he's also a suicidal wuss whose every line of dialog throughout the game made me wish he'd shut up and just end himself already.
 

ThisNewGuy

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Apr 28, 2009
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Really love this article. Gave me a new perspective on one of the weirdest and craziest boss fights I've ever encountered.