The Future of Storytelling MOOC offered by Iversity has been a great experience so far! Formal analysis combined with practical advice from successful people in the industry gives great insight.
Every week, the MOOC has a ‘Creative task’. For the first week, here is the task in general:
Please think about which story you have read, seen, listened to, played or experienced has impressed you most in your life. … Which story can you still very well remember? Write down both, the summary of this story (what you remember of the story, not what Wikipedia says.. 🙂 and – on the other hand: – what made it so special to you that you can still remember it.
It was very hard to pick such a story, especially because I do not ‘pick favorites’. Every story has underlying themes that are very different from each other, and picking which story is better is like ‘comparing apples to oranges’.
However, I needed to pick one, and I decided to be a little biased. They say that media you consume as a kid will give you immense impression, not because the medium is impressive per se, but simply because you don’t know any better! I guess I’m a bit biased in this regard, but anyway, this is the full post I have for the creative task:
It’s really interesting to see the different stories listed here! I think it really shows the evolution of storytelling (We have listings of books, told-by-mouth stories, comics, and movies!)
(If you like music, play Encounter in the background while you read 🙂
A Nuclear Weapons Facility, Shadow Moses Island, is taken hold of by a group of terrorists, threatening to launch a warhead if the U.S. do not comply to their demands. Solid Snake (here-to called Snake), a retired soldier regarded as a legend, is forced by the U.S. government to infiltrate the island to neutralize the threat and rescue two hostages.
What follows is a blockbuster-esque plot, with lots of action, drama, and plot twists, complete with a post-credits stinger.
After successfully infiltrating the island, Snake manages to gain contact with the hostages, but the two die shortly after him gaining contact with them, and things are not what they seem to be. Snake also meets two other people. Meryl, a rookie who is the niece of who Snake reports to, is the potential love interest. The other one is Hal Emmerich (Otacon), a genius who was key to inventing the titular Metal Gear (a bipedal walking tank)
The terrorists are also a wide bunch. First of all is Ocelot, a western/cowboy type who prefers the SAA. Snake engages him in a gunfight. Second is, Vulcan Raven, a gigantic soldier who serves as the group shaman. He fights Snake in a tank, and a second time in a huge room, with him hauling a freaking air craft machine gun!
The third is Psycho Mantis, whose fight is perhaps the most memorable for me (and I’m sure lots of others). Psycho Mantis is the group’s mind reader, and the fight with him almost seems helpless as he can read Snake’s every move. The way to beat him is by breaking the forth wall; you switch the game’s controller ports, hence he will not be able to ‘read your mind’. Needless to say it was very memorable, and the game plays with this idea more as he reads your save slots, so he can know what other games you play.
Fourth is Sniper Wolf. She and Snake engages in a frantic shoot off, when the former shoots Meryl. She is also the love interest of Otacon, which Snake thinks is the result of Stockholm’s syndrome. Her death triggers a very dramatic scene with Otacon (Can love bloom, even on the battlefield?).
There is also Decoy Octopus, a member specializing in impersonation. Weirdly enough Snake does not meet him. Or does he?
Last but not the least is the leader, whose code name, weirdly enough is Liquid Snake. Further more, he looks exactly like Solid Snake. A classic plot, the two are actually twins, and their fights are the most action packed. He goes against Snake on a Russian Helicopter, Snake rappelling down the tower to escape. He also fights Snake aboard Metal Gear, a towering walking tank/robot. The two engages in a fist fight afterwards, and even then, Liquid Snake continues to hunt down our protagonist in a vehicle driving shootout.
The supporting cast is also filled with rich characters, with completely fleshed out back stories and personalities. The Colonel, the Ninja Gray fox, Naomi, Natasha, Master Miller, the list goes on!
The theme of the story is also quite deep, showing how one is not bound by genetics, a “Nature vs Nurture” type story (Solid Snake triumphs over his twin, Liquid Snake, despite the former being genetically inferior of the two).
I love this game very much, and it started from a very young age. I still vividly remember staying in the crib, standing only to get a peek of my father playing this wonderful game. This is the only memory I have as a baby! There is a very definite growth in my appreciation of the game as time went on. As a kid, I would play this game fully in sweat, as I try to stay out of the guards’ sight (and fail miserably). As time went on I got better, and with the growth in character a clearer message of the game’s story. Till now, when I play it, I’m impressed with the richness of the story and the complexity of the theme, along the way it tells it.
It got quite longer than expected, and most of it has been stream of consciousness without edits. I still liked how it came out though, and I really think I did a good job describing what ‘Metal Gear’ was.