Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid

by Raymond Benson


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Metal Gear Solid by Raymond Benson

This explosive Metal Gear Solid novel ventures beyond the thrilling videogame and delves into the dark heart of Solid Snake’s world!

Highly skilled former FOXHOUND agent Solid Snake is called out of retirement to do what he does best–neutralize a crisis of epic proportions. A deadly team of renegade FOXHOUND operatives has taken over the nuclear disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island in the icy Aleutians. If their demands aren’t met, a powerful, top-secret weapon will be unleashed upon the world.

Solid Snake’s mission is to breach the heavily fortified base to rescue hostages and to destroy the superweapon. His only obstacles are brainwashed commandos, DNA-enhanced troops, and six first-rate killers with extraordinary abilities. All alone in hostile territory, armed with nothing but his wits, Snake has only a snowball’s chance in hell of taking out his target and keeping nuclear nightfall from descending on the earth.

But nothing is as it seems. Somebody is hiding something. Somebody has a hidden agenda. And somebody wants Snake to learn secrets about his dark past–secrets that would shake any man to his core.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345503282
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/27/2008
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 8.08(w) x 5.34(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Raymond Benson is the author of many novels, including The Black Stiletto and its sequel, The Black Stiletto: Black & White. His rock ‘n’ roll thriller Dark Side of the Morgue was a Shamus Award nominee for Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel of 2009. He is also a prolific tie-in writer, his most recent work being Homefront: The Voice of Freedom (co-written with John Milius). Benson was the fourth—and first American—author of the official James Bond novels, and his 007 novels are collected in the anthologies Choice of Weapons and The Union Trilogy.

Read an Excerpt



Dr. Clark quietly reentered the Visiting Chamber, stood still behind the U.S. president and General Jim Houseman, and listened to them whisper. The two men were transfixed in front of the observation window that overlooked the operating theater.

“Is she in pain?” the president asked.

“I thought she was supposed to be sedated,” the general replied. “Now they’re blocking our view, damn it.”

“What’s happening?” the president asked. “Can you see?”

“Do not be alarmed, Mister President.” Dr. Clark’s seductive and eloquent voice echoed in the chamber, startling the president.

“Oh! You gave me a start, Doctor,” the gray-haired politician said. It always had struck Clark that the president was a very nervous type when he wasn’t in front of a camera. She rather enjoyed scaring the poor man; that was ironic because she was a woman, albeit a woman with a commanding presence and powerful charisma.

Clark stepped closer, out of the shadows, and addressed them. “I apologize, Mister President. I thought you were aware I was behind you.”

The president laughed nervously. “It must be because we’re down here so far underground. I guess I’m a little claustrophobic.”

General Houseman said, “We’ll get you back up to the surface as soon as you want to go, Mister President.” Clark noted that the general didn’t look too pleased to be there either.

“Is she giving birth?” the president asked.

“She’s been in labor for a long time,” Clark answered. “It’ll be very soon, I’m sure.”

The president squeamishly turned away from the window and waved his hand around the chamber, indicating the hundreds of stalactites on the limestone ceiling. “Do any of those things ever fall?”

“They’re thousands of years old, Mister President,” Clark replied. “They won’t fall on their own, I can assure you of that. And the likelihood of an earthquake occurring in the southeastern corner of New Mexico is quite remote.” Her voice reverberated with upper-class sophistication and the timbre of a Shakespearean actress.

The president nodded. “I know. It’s just amazing to think that on the other side of that cavern wall is one of America’s most popular national parks. Hundreds of tourists pour through it every day.”

Carlsbad area was perfect for the project. I’m in debt to your predecessor for backing it.”

The president tilted his head and said, “You know, Doctor, I inherited this project. Tell me how you got established in this facility.”

Clark smiled. “Ever since the caverns were discovered, there were many caves not open to the public. Caves just sitting here, available to the government. I believe the first time this cavern was used by the government was during World War II. The Roosevelt administration built a safe house here in case America was attacked. Since then, it’s been used for a number of research projects.” Clark glanced at the general. “Most of them military in nature.”

“I see.”

“We took it over in the mid-sixties.” The president turned back to the window. “Well, is the project finally going to succeed?” he asked. “This is, what, the ninth try?”

“Have faith, Mister President,” Dr. Clark said. “I corrected the genetic code in the last batch. I also made sure that the surrogate mother possessed certain genetic latches, if you will, that could connect with those of Big Boss.”

The president shook his head in amazement. “I still can’t believe you have so many samples of his cells. What did he think you were going to do with them?”

“The man knew only that he was sterile and couldn’t produce children. He was unaware of our undertaking here,” Dr. Clark said.

“The Les Enfants Terribles project.”

“Correct. We extracted the cells when Big Boss was in surgery, when he was wounded in the last war. The Pentagon gave strict orders that he was not to know about the project’s outcome—whether or not we succeeded. Although, knowing Big Boss, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has learned about it by now. The security surrounding our activities has not always been ideal.”

“The security has been the best the U.S. government can supply,” Houseman countered. “You know that, Doctor.”

Dr. Clark went on without acknowledging the military man’s defensive remark. “We reproduced the cells through analog cloning and the Super Baby Method, fertilized them into an ovum, as you know, and then implanted the fetuses into the mother.”

“Does she know she’s going to give birth to eight babies?” the president asked.

Dr. Clark corrected him. “She’s not giving birth to all eight. Only two. Six of the fetuses were aborted months ago so that we could encourage the growth of the other two.”

“So she’s going to give birth to just twins; is that it?”

“That’s precisely it. But not exactly.”

“What do you mean?”

“There will be certain genetic differences in the two children. It was the only way we could succeed, as you know.”

“So does that mean one’s going to be better than the other? I thought they were supposed to be exactly the same.”

Clark shook her head. “Mister President, one will not be better than the other. But it’s entirely possible that one will possess more dominant genes than his brother. But it’s nothing to worry about.”

Some new activity behind the glass drew their attention back to the operating arena. All of a sudden, the sterility of the bright room intensified. It was as if the shine on the stainless-steel surgical equipment had imbued the space with artificial energy as the doctors and nurses surrounded the table containing the writhing female patient.

The steel door behind the observers slid open. A nurse entered and announced, “Doctor, they’re ready for you.”

Clark acknowledged her. “Thanks. I’ll be right there.”

“Is she giving birth?” the president asked.

“Mister President, I must go deliver two strong baby boys.”

The president stuck out his hand. “Look, Doctor Clark, this isn’t something I particularly want to watch. I need to get back to Washington. It’s good to see you.”

Clark feigned surprise, but she had expected the president’s prudish behavior. She shook the man’s hand and asked, “Are you certain? We could have a meal later before you depart.”

“Thanks, Doctor, but I must decline. To tell you the truth, this place gives me the creeps. Thank you for making us aware of the imminent, uhm, births. By the way—do I get the pick of the litter?”

“I beg your pardon, Mister President.”

“You know one of those . . . things . . . she’s giving birth to will belong to us. I’d like to pick which kid belongs to us, that’s all.”

“You have that right.” Clark held up her hands and laughed good-naturedly. “I have nothing to do whatsoever with the politics behind the project.”

The president nodded, satisfied. “All right, then I want the one you said has dominant genes. It’s got to have an advantage over the other one.”

Clark was astounded by the man’s ignorance. She reminded him, “There’s no guarantee. But I shall do as you ask, Mister President. Now I must get inside before . . .”

The president of the United States said, “Good-bye, Doctor. And good luck. Please keep me informed.” He looked at General Houseman and said, “Let’s go.”

As the president and his escort walked away from the observation window and toward the cavern’s reinforced steel door, Dr. Clark rushed back to join the drama that was unfolding in the operating theater.

It was terribly exciting. Finally, after several attempts, her efforts would bear fruit in the form of two live babies cloned from the genetic makeup of the most powerful fighting man the world had ever known, the legendary soldier Big Boss.

As Clark washed her hands, snapped on gloves, and entered the operating theater, she wondered what would become of the remaining supply of Big Boss’s cells. Only a few trusted assistants had access to them. Would the president and his military cronies forget that there were some left?

Dr. Clark was thrilled by the possibilities. Perhaps there could be another birthing procedure—should the need arise.

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Metal Gear Solid 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here, my review will help faithful Metal Gear Solid fans decide if Benson's retelling is good enough for them to consider reading. I'll use examples just from chapter two, for space's sake, and keep in mind there are twenty-six chapters. On page 11, Snake begins 'relaxation exercises', which he never does during the canonical video games. The book says Snake was captured by the black ops forces 'two days' before the mission, and later says the mission takes place 'less than twelve hours later'. The book insists on bringing up multiple times that Solid Snake had been dreaming of picking blueberries before being awoken by the black ops forces. Snake had ¿heard something¿ about FOXHOUND going rogue - which happened that very day, keep in mind - before Campbell informed him of it, as if such knowledge was available on CNN or something. Naomi seems to have an accent ¿not quite British, but certainly Ivy League¿ because, apparently, one develops an accent after attending an Ivy League school? Anyway, the accent is no longer canon, as Metal Gear Solid 4 makes clear. Snake's hair is mentioned as being black in relation to Liquid¿s being blond. Snake clearly has brown hair, not black. On page 19, some nonsense about there being Genome Combat Veterans, despite them not ever having been involved in real combat, who call themselves Space Seals. Horribly, Snake jokes ¿Why? Do they sit up, clap their flippers, and bark for treats?¿ Meryl is mentioned as being good with computers and electrical circuitry. On page 23, Snake makes a nonsensical joke that because the DARPA chief knows the detonation codes for the nukes on Shadow Moses Island it would be ¿on the front page of the National Enquirer tomorrow.¿ Immediately after saying how this mission was On Sight Procurement as usual, the Colonel issues Snake a SOCOM pistol. Snake meets Mei Ling on board the Discovery, and, bizarrely, thinks that she¿s like ¿a manga character come to life¿. So, MGS fans, is this the novelization you'd like to read?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, I think metal gear would make a great book. Unfortunately this book does not capture the story. The book is almost a complete copy of the video game, almost down to every line. Not to mention that the english used can be hard to understand at times. Do your self a favor and play the game.
RShini More than 1 year ago
Novelizations are a craps shoot when it comes to Video Games. I had literally threw the Baldur's Gate one across the room because of it's banality and utter deviances from the game's characters. On the other hand, you get deep engrossing novels from the Warhammer 40k and Halo universes as well.

When I saw this - and knowing that the series relies on it's characters as much as it's actions, I hesitated when I picked it up, having become a recent fan of the series.

It starts off good, with Raymond Benson gently poking fun at the original MGS' screwball view on Genetics during the prologue while writing a succulent style that gets you hooked in immediately. It also doesn't fall into the traps of other books in this genre by spending an inordinate time describing the equipment that is being used beyond things that Snake himself wouldn't know.

Another good point is that it actually sticks fairly close to the plot, and even hinted at future games via the use of Psycho Mantis (and he provided a wonderful bit of a mindscrew to replace this character's infamous interface screw), it gave me the impression that Benson had either played the game himself, or he saw this more then a "Money Dear Boy" job.

The only flaw I would say in this novel is the Characterization of Solid Snake himself. What dialogs that wasn't in the game already does feel natural, except when it comes to the guards. Raymond Benson had previously written James Bond novels, and it shows here with the quips that Snake tosses out shortly before or after he kills a guard, something I personally cannot see the character doing from his remarks in later games.

If you are a fan of the Game series, I would give this book a strong recommendation, if you are not - it's a good book to read on a rainy day, since it provides enough information that you are not missing much if you haven't played it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Metal Gear Solid games are a bit hard for me to get into so I found myself turning to this book which has been an enjoyable read so far. It's made me a bigger MGS fan and I recommend it for people who are interested in viewing another adaptation of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a long read in any sense of the word. However it is very entertaining, just as the game was on the playstation. It is nice that the author gave some back story to snake and the other charecters. Great for fans of Metal Gear Franchise.
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Zachhar More than 1 year ago
I'm a really big fan of the game, and the book doesn't disappoint. Going into reading this, I had heard of not so good reviews, but I was going to give it a try. Raymond Benson has written many James Bond novels and you can see it a bit in the novel. While the game character doesn't use snide remarks when taking out enemies he does in the book. These though are few and far between and don't really take away from the novel. The book stay pretty faithful to the game, with minor deviations in place of the games boss battles and other places. These are in no way deviations not in the game, but maybe not the way you played the game. He flushes out scenes not in the game, and adds some back story that fans will like. With occasional minor grievances, this is a great book and well worth a read if you are a fan of the game or the spy genre.
Rangernick More than 1 year ago
I have beaten the first two games, and I really don't like this book. This is VERY inaccurate to me. Do your self a favor and only read this book if you haven't played the game yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A FOXHOUND agent known as Solid Snake, is called out of retirement to avert a worldwide crisis. Solid Snake is to go after renegade FOXHOUND operatives that have taken control of a nuclear disposal facility that are located in the frozen Aleutians. Snake has to defeat a very powerful group of people. This group has been genetically engineered for war. They have incredible abilities, some of which extend into the extrasensory range. Snake himself is the product of genetic engineering. He was created from the DNA of a super warrior. Unbeknownst to him, he has a twin brother who has chosen to be a renegade. As Snake battles through this group of renegades and the soldiers in their control, he learns about his past and he also discovers that there are people whom he cannot trust. This teaches him to be more vigilant, and he learns a great deal about what he is made of. Snake also realizes that he has some secret supporters who are helping him on this mission. He has to race against time to rescue hostages and stop a nuclear catastrophe which will give the renegades power to control the world. ¿Metal Gear Solid,¿ is composed of the perfect combination of a thriller, a science fiction and an adventure story. The action is fast paced and nonstop. Several times, I caught myself holding my breath, as I was reading. In addition to a great plot, the character development is wonderful. Snakes character goes through some major transitions as he fights for both his life and to do what is right. Other characters in the story also evolve, and some severely regress. This book is associated with the game ¿Metal Gear Solid.¿ I have never played the game, yet I was still able to enjoy the story. People who enjoy science fiction, thrillers and espionage stories will all be thrilled to read ¿Metal Gear Solid.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, to be honest, the beginning would have turned me off if I wasn't an avid fan of the game. My biggest complaint was that Snake was portrayed as a cliche- toting, bad joke telling Englishman in the beginning, using expressions used by English authors. The problem with this was that he is, for one thing, American, and that his personality was nothing like it was told. The actions were ruined by the way they were told by the narration, which was in a way that was almost like making gold shine too much, and trying too hard at it. I did like, however, that a lot of the dialogue was taken almost word for word from the game. However, more details as to character reactions would have been greatly appreciated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Basical, when I played the game the first time back when it was on the PlayStation I kept playing the whole time until I finished it. And Just like the game, this book explans what happen just like in the Game. And there are some funny little facts told in the Book that was not able to be on the Game. If you like to play the game but don't like to read the play book to find where to go, just read this book and its more simple.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of the Metal Gear series, I suggest picking up the book. As a die-hard MGS fan, I had rather high expectations for such a novelization and I believe Benson did a good job. Benson stayed true to the plot and the feel of the game. I've read some complaints about a few lines of dialogue that might make you roll your eyes, but any fan of the MGS games will tell you there's a lot to roll your eyes at within the games themselves. I do hope, that if Benson is going to keep doing the MGS novels, that he will help us get into the character's heads a bit more. The novel is pretty verbatim to the game, but Benson did a good job adding in the parts we didn't really get to see. If you haven't played the Metal Gear games, I don't suggest reading the novel just yet. The characters in Metal Gear are incredibly complex, and without actually playing through the series, you'll get lost real fast. If you have played the games, definitely give it a try.