Metal Gear Solid V’s 80’s music

Metal Gear Solid V is set in 1984, and of course makes a few references to the current events of the time (such as the brief warming up of the cold war) and George Orwell’s novel also set in a fictional version of that year-Metal Gear Solid V, like many other ‘open world’ games-utilizes a licensed soundtrack. It’s not necessarily the first Metal Gear game to do so-Metal Gear Solid V and Ground Zeroes utilized “Here’s to You” and Peace Walker had “Sing” by Karen Carpenter. Like those songs, some of the music selected for inclusion in MGSV have some connection to the story. I’ve already covered The Bowie/Ure Man Who Sold the World, this will look into some other features. I’ll admit, some of this is guesswork, and may not represent the intentions of Hideo Kojima.

 

 

 

First up we have Laura Braningan’s song “Gloria” from 1983 (Although based on a 1979 song). The song somewhat alludes to a woman being increasingly paranoid, to the point of hearing voices in her head. In the game, this sort of has a double meaning-Venom Snake experiences hallucinations due in part to severe trauma such as having shrapnel logged in his head….while Kaz Miller, his second-in-command, is increasingly paranoid throughout the game-likewise due to his own trauma and desire for revenge against Cipher.

 

Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”‘s inclusion seems kind of obvious. Just compare Idol’s look in the video, and Eli’s (Liquid Snake’s). Plus Eli is quite the rebel himself.

You Spin Me Right Round from Dead or Alive is a bit tricky, to be honest. Although here’s a few guesses:

-Peter burns is wearing an eyepatch in the video, like Big Boss/Venom Snake/Solidus Snake.

 

Or Revolver Ocelot’s spinning guns trick:

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or the fact that the beat of the song is based on part of the Ride of the Valkyries (really!) which is also included in V’s soundtrack.

 

Dancing with tears in my eyes is by Ultravox, one of Kojima’s favorite 80’s  bands-in fact, Midge Ure sings the 80’s version of the Man Who Sold The World featured in the opening. The song is sort of talking about a lost love, which could be Big Boss’s loss of the Boss, although that’s not a major theme of V (as it was as Peace Walker). The video however deals with a couple’s moments before a nuclear explosion, and one of the main themes in the games? Nukes of course! They play a fairly important role in the FOB multiplayer missions of the game….

 

I’m guessing this might also in part explain the use of Europe’s Final Countdown as well, as that has similar apocalyptic imagery in it’s lyrics.

 

 

 

Katchagoogooo’s “Too shy”? Well I’m guessing it was chosen to reflect Quiet’s “hush-hush” (She doesn’t speak for reasons explained in the game) or “Eye-to-eye” (Well, the weird blotches in her eyes when she uses her powers).

Japan’s Quiet Life? Same thing, except it’s somewhat more obvious by the title of the song.

Hall and Oates’s Maneater is also fairly easy. Quiet might be Quiet of course, but she’s also extremely dangerous.

It’s very telling that this tape is at Lamar Khate palace, where Quiet, in her final mission, goes totally berserk on her captors.

 

 

 

Spandau Ballet’s “True” is of course known best as one of the tunes from Sixteen candles, but it’s also in this game.

Metal Gear Solid V in a way, deals with the concept of truth-the endgame tapes which reveal the deception used to create Venom Snake detail this.

  However, some of true’s lyrics deal with the true meaning of words, and words themselves. In Metal Gear Solid V , words can  kill, via Skull Face’s language-targeting viruses.

“This is the sound of my soul,
This is the sound.
I bought a ticket to the world,
But now Ive come back again.
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
Oh I want the truth to be said.”

A-Ha’s “Take on Me” is of course the song with the famous music video of a guy in a newspaper comic coming to life and dragging a woman from a cafe into his world.

The song in part deals sort of an unspoken love-which is truely the case with Quiet and Venom Snake.

This is even clear in Quiet’s song, originally created for the game:

Birds in the sky
Carry these words for me.
Life tasted sweet,
It let me live,
It let me breathe.

Love hurts so bad,
But still saved my soul.
Flowers of a brighter past,
They bloomed so free,
Beneath the sun.

Memories,
I want to give them to you,
So you can see,
What we left there.

When all hope bleeds out,
What remains is doubt,
Should have left it all for you for tomorrow.
As your time draws near,
Will you live in fear?
Could have left it all for you,
But we let go.

 

and her final tape:

I did not choose to be Quiet. I wanted to express my feelings to you. If only we shared a common tongue. Vengeance was what drove me to them… The only language left to me, revenge. But the words we shared… No, that was no language at all. That is why… I chose the language of gratitude instead, and go back to silence. I am Quiet… I am… the absence of words.

Thomas Dolby’s “She blinded Me with Science” sort of has an explanation too. There’s at least two key scientists in Metal Gear Solid V-one, Huey Emmerich, who is-more or less-the guy who developed Metal Gear in the first place (based on plans from his Russian friend Granin).

and of course Code Talker, whose research into parasites is perverted by Skull Face…

 

although I suppose it could also refer to the eyes of Kazuhira Miller, which are extremely sensitive to light (therefore requiring him to wear sunglasses).

 

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The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary (season 4 analysis Part one)

 

But what the world is out there isn’t what you saw on TV. It is much, much worse and it changes you. Either into one of them, or something a lot less than the person you were. Please do not… do not send us out there again.-Rick Grimes, season 2

 

At the end of Season 3 of Walking Dead, things seemed to be looking up for Rick and co. Despite several loses-his wife Lori, T-Dog, Oscar, Axl and Andrea-the war with Woodbury comes to a close when they’re able to successfully cause the governor and his small army to flee, causing the Governor to go nuts on most of his own people-and Rick brings in the remaing Woodbury residents, as well as the Williams siblings (Tyreese and Sasha), who were kind of caught in the middle of the conflict.. As things stabilize within the walls, Rick starts to build a small farm, with the advice and aid of ex-farmer Hershel. He also is willing to let new people in, provided they answer three questions.

 

However, that peace is not long-lived-but not from an enemy from out there, but an enemies within, both human and not.  Their first enemy is viral-perhaps caused by the pig farming-a nasty virus which kills in a matter of days if not treated properly-and once a person is killed, unless it’s a blow to the head? Instead zombie. The walls and fences may keep the zombies and potential trouble starters out, buy they’re not quite as well defended from within. Plus there’s another problem-one of the kids at the prison-Lizzie Samuels-is pretty much psychotic, and thinks the Walkers are still good-natured people-she feeds them rats and compromises the security of the fence. We also have Bob Stokey, who although good natured-is haunted by his inner demons of alcoholism-something which jeopardizes the supply runs quite a few times-including a literal domino effect of shelves which winds up with the death of Beth Greene’s boyfriend Zach.

 

Perhaps the most unexpected enemy within is Carol-the kind former wife and mother, who started out somewhat meek but has been hardened through tragedy (as well as hanging out with Daryl). She unfortunately kills two members of the community, hoping to keep the virus from spreading. One happens to be Tyreese’s girlfriend and Woodbury survivor Karen, and Tyreese is none-too-happy about it.

 

It’s this moment in which Rick’s attempts to become more peaceful start to generally unravel, and prompts a change that will show Rick sort of have another break-becoming more violent in his attempts to survive. After Tyreese attacks Rick, Rick falls into his own violent rage, badly beating Tyreese before restrained by Daryl.

 

He also unfortunately has to abandon his attempt at farming when the zombies manage to weaken the fences due to Lizzie’s bait. He also is forced to exile Carol once she admits to killing the two (Rick works this out by doing some very basic CSI work, showing that some of his police training still exists).

Hershel-who has had his own attempt at sanctuary somewhat shattered in season 2-at least is able to do what he can to help the infected before they die and turn into Walkers. He seems to have taken Rick as a sort of protege. Like Dale before him, Hershel’s sort of the kind older gentleman of the group, keeping them from going over the edge.

 

But now an old enemy-one once with a sanctuary of his own but one built more on lies and destroyed through his own demons-is coming back, for revenge on the prison group….

James Bond in Review: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Part One

In 1967, Sean Connery left the series, due to being typecast and also the strain of too much publicity and paparazzi. In an unexpected move, the producers then cast George Lazenby, an Australian model and commercial actor, in a controversial choice, which only became more controversial with rumors of trouble on the set and then Lazenby bowing out of the role as the film premiered (While the film didn’t do as well as the Connery films, Lazenby still had a chance to do six more films-but declined. He wasn’t fired).

 

OHMSS starts with an interesting gunbarrel, which, like the Dr.No Gunbarrel, pauses to briefly bring up the producers. The theme has changed a bit-it’s certainly a bit less grand, and the spanish guitar is pretty much gone (although it would show up again in the next film).

 

We open on Q and M, oddly enough, with Q showing off some new magnetic lint that can be used as a tracking device…. (Q by the way, doesn’t do too much in this film, as it’s fairly light on the gadgets) but M wishes he could put a tracker on 007, who seems to not be up to much. Turns out, since the events of You Only Live Twice, MI6 has put into effect “Operation Bedlam”-an attempt to track down and capture the SPECTRE leader before he strikes again. But the trail’s gone cold.

We cut to Bond on some beachfront somewhere, driving a new Aston Martin DBS (Which bears some cosmetic resemblance to the later Valante used in The Living Daylights). He’s wearing Bond’s trademark hat, what appear to be sunglasses and smoking a cigar, but he’s mainly obscured in semi-darkness (Dalton and Brosnan would have similar slow reveals)

A woman in a red car cuts him off. Wouldn’t be the last time, as “Goldeneye” proved…(although Xenia Onatopp was far, far more nefarious than Tracy here)

 

Although instead of a race, she just wants to get to the ocean. Bond, intrigued, uses his scope to check her out-until he realizes’s she is in fact trying to drown herself. The gallant Bond saves her, although it’s a reluctant rescue for her-and Bond does his trademark name catchphrase-revealing Lazenby for the first time in full.

 

…and of course, this being a Bond pre-credits sequence, there’s got to be action…and in this case, Bond and the woman are quickly surrounded by armed men, who seem to want to take her away. Bond quickly gets free though, and we’re given a fairly chaotic fight on the beach and in the waves, a bit hampered by the dark early morning setting (You can’t really make out too much going on). There’s a lot of fast cuts and sped-up shots-Peter Hunt, the director, after all edited a lot of the other films and seems to have pretty much been given more free reign here, although if I’m not sure the edits are to show Lazenby’s weaknesses as a fighter or what (He’s certainly better than Moore at it though). This Bond seems to use a lot of judo as well.

In all the chaos, the woman slips away, using Bond’s car to drive up to her own and then escape, but leaving her slippers behind. Picking them up, he remarks “This never happened to the other fellow!”

 

 

It’s sort of a meta-joke about Sean Connery, although in the context of the movie, it’s probably intended as a reference to Prince Charming from Cinderella (hence the slippers). Although it’s certainly spawned about a gazillion “Bond is really just a code name!” theories to explain the change in actors throughout the series.

We then come to the title sequence, which is really brilliant. A martini glass also functions as a bit of an hourglass, and Bond hanging from a clock arm also deals with the concept of time. One of the themes of the movie is “We have all the time in the world”-but it’s kind of clear that time may not be on Bond’s side with the draining of the hourglass/martini.

The opening credits also use various stock footage from the first five films, in part perhaps to sell that this is the same Bond we’ve known for the past decade-there’s villains, girls, actions and some other elements. Of course there’s also shots of the union jack, the crown (Given the movie’s title after all!), and of course the silhouetted  girls.

 

…..and then there’s the theme, which has no lyrics and is pretty much the best non-Bond theme instrumental theme in the series. It’s influence can certainly be felt in the score for the (Far inferior IMO) View To A Kill, and one of the trailers for SPECTRE likewise used a version of the tune. It was also memorably used in the 2003 teaser trailer for the Disney/Pixar film the Incredibles:

 

 

 

 

Metal Gear Profiles-Solid Snake Part IV

War has changed. It’s no longer about nations, ideologies or ethnicity. It’s an endless series of proxy battles, fought by mercenaries and machines. War, and its consumption of life, has become a well-oiled machine. War has changed. ID tagged soldiers carry ID tagged weapons, use ID tagged gear. Nanomachines inside their bodies enhance and regulate their abilities. Genetic control. Information control. Emotion control. Battlefield control. Everything is monitored, and kept under control. War has changed. The age of deterrence has become the age of control. All in the name of averting catastrophe from weapons of mass destruction. And he who controls the battlefield, controls history. War has changed. When the battlefield is under total control, war… becomes routine.

 

Five years past-and Snake starts to age much faster than anticipated, seeming to age nearly at 5 times the normal rate as he reaches his 42nd birthday, physically resembling a man in his early 70’s. Solid Snake becomes “old Snake”-although he’s still formidable. He grows a mustache as well. He appears to have only a year to live as well…

 

 

He lives mostly on board the carrier Nomad with Otacon and Sunny Emmerich, Olga’s daughter who was rescued by Raiden and adopted by Otacon. However, one day Roy Campbell-his former commanding officer-tells him that they’ve located Liquid Ocelot in the middle east-and it’s time to take him down. Ocelot has formed his own PMC-part of a military industry being controlled by the Patriots AI-which has extended it’s database into much of society (The dream of the Boss and Zero-but badly warped)…but has other plans up his sleeve as well.

 

Arriving in the Middle East-and musing the war has changed-and after evading multiple “Gekkos” (Mass produced Metal Gear-esque units) FROGS (Ocelot’s main soldiers) and the Beauty and the Beast Unit.Snake soon teams with Meryl’s rat patrol unit, and Meryl is shocked at the aged sight of her ex. Snake also receives some extra support in the field-gun runner Drebin 893 (Who gives Snake an injection to take control of SOP ID weapons) and Metal Gear Mk.II, a tiny remote robot much less deadly than it’s larger cousins.

However, about to confront Ocelot, Snake is incapcitated by Liquid activating the SOP system, causing all the soldiers in the area with nanomachines in their systems-including Meryl’s team (minus Johnny Sasaki) suffer seizures..and Liquid Ocelot escapes.

After recovering, the Nomad received a clue from Naomi Hunter-who helped Snake during the Shadow Moses inciddent. He went to meet her in South America, and also have her examine why he was rapidly aging. Unfortunately, he had double the bad news.

 

Not only was Snake aging to death because of his clone nature, but FOXDIE-the virus designed to target the rogue Foxhound unit-was mutating, and wouldn’t just target any specific person-it could target anyone. The only way to stop it was for Snake to die before it mutated to that stage. With the help of Raiden-now a cyborg ninja, he was able to rescue Naomi. Raiden-injured in a battle with Vamp-implored him to seek out the mysterious “Big Mama” who might hold the key to defeating Ocelot.

 

Big Mama as it turned out, was Eva, Big Boss’s friend and lover during Operation Snake Eater, and also one of the founding members of the Patriots. She outlined her involvement in his birth-The Les Infant Terribles-and how it led to the Patriots breaking into two factions-One-Big Boss, Ocelot, and Eva-who went with the “Outer Heaven” idea, and the others-Zero, SIGINT/Donald Anderson and Para-Medic/Dr.Clark-who went for AI control over society. She then worked with Snake to move Big Boss’s body to a safe location, but unfortunately Ocelot caught up with them, and used the body to hijack the SOP system, giving him total control over the world’s nano-machined controlled weapons-and starting his own war on the Patriots.

 

 

The chaos that followed led to a fire that consumed the body, fatally wounding Eva and burning Snake’s face, scarring him permanently (Meryl nearly died, but was saved by Rat Patrol team member Johnny Sasaki). He and Otacon next worked out that Liquid’s plan was to use Metal Gear Rex-which had laid dormant at Shadow Moses after his battle with Liquid nearly a decade before-to take out the Patriot’s AI using it’s nuke to attack an orbiting satellite. He would have to once again return to Shadow Moses, to get to the gear before Ocelot did.

Snake re-entered the base, which had been mostly abandoned except by Ocelot’s AI weapons, the Gekkos and their dwarf counterparts.  REX was still in it’s hanger, but Snake was too late-Rex’s railgun had already been taken-and he found himself surrounded by Gekkos. Naomi Hunter also took her life as well.

With the help of a grieving Otacon and Raiden, however, Snake was able to reactivate Rex, and the old gear still packed a punch.

Finally reaching the outside, Snake found himself to face with Ocelot, who had his Metal Gear Ray handy, and the two might war machines clashed. Eventually Ocelot however summonded his arsenal gear, the Outer Haven, and started heading toward a point where he could attack the satellite.

Snake and the others then boarded the USS Missouri, and laid out a plan to take out Outer Haven before Ocelot could use Rex’s railgun (Which Snake dubbed “Liquid’s very own Death Star” to attack the satellite. Their plan was to board the ship-despite heavy opposition-FROGS,Gekkos, Metal Gear RAYS and the last member of the Beauty and the Beast unit, Screaming Mantis.

 

Supported by Raiden, Meryl, and Johnny, as well as Otacon and Mei Ling in the Missouri, Snake undertook his final mission.  After grueling combat-and most agonizingly of all, a long  corridor of microwaves….

Snake finally reached the GW AI that was giving Ocelot control of the SOP system, and sent it a virus. Unexpectedly though, the virus actually erased the entire Patriot control network-undoing their influence but leaving several other systems intact. The virus was called “FOXALIVE”.

But there was still a score to settle with “Liquid”. On the top of Outer Haven, the two got into brutal hand to hand combat, mirroring Solid Snake’s duel with Liquid on top of Rex a decade before. Liquid also revealed that he wanted Snake to defeat the Patriots all along, although he thought society would tumble into anarchy, like the Wild West.

Finally, Ocelot collapsed, and seemed to once again regain his former personality, giving Snake his catchphrase one last time “You’re pretty good!” as he died.

As others celebrated at Meryl and Johnny’s wedding, Snake went to Arlington, and considered ending his life so that the FOXDIE virus would not turn into an epidemic. However, he had an unexpected guest-Big Boss-who had been revived.

However, Big Boss was not there to fight, but to explain things-and reconcile somewhat with his ‘son’. How both he, Zero, and the Patriots managed to mess up the will of the Boss; how Ocelot in fact hypnotized himself into believing he was Liquid to get the Patriots confused; how the body of Solidus-and not him-was used to get into the system etc. He also explained that the FOXDIE would not mutate into an epidemic-in fact, a *new* virus was implanted into Snake by Drebin earlier (as Drebin was acting on behalf of the Patriots), that actually killed Eva and Ocelot-and which would now kill Big Boss, but not anybody else.

 

Big Boss finally pulled the plug on Zero, who had been in a vegetative state since the 80’s due to the machinations of Skull Face, and ending the last trace of the original Patriots.

 

After finally saluting his mentor one last time, Big Boss implored his son to live not as a not as a snake-but as a man…although he probably would die soon himself, he would be at peace and not waste the life he had left fighting. Solid Snake lit his father’s cigar as he died.

 

Solid Snake then joined Otacon and Sunny once again, but as he left, Otacon noticed he forgot his cigarettes.

 

Otacon : Snake, wait up! You forgot these….

Snake : No thanks. I’m quitting.

Otacon : Snake? Snake : These things will kill ya.

Otacon : Where will you go…? Our fight is finished. There’s nothing left for us to do.

Snake : No. There’s one thing I still have to do. I have to see this age off… See what the future brings.

Otacon : Sounds good to me. I’ll go with you.

Snake : Otacon, I’m gonna be dead soon. You don’t have to come.

Otacon : You said it yourself, Snake. There’s nothing inside you can pass on to the next generation. No genes, no memes… You’re man-made… You’re a beast.

Snake : I know… A blue rose. There won’t be any happy “Beauty and the Beast” ending for me. What little time I have left will be spent living… As a beast. A shadow of the inside… Of the old age.

Otacon : Exactly. That’s why you need me. As a witness.

Snake : A witness?

Otacon : Yeah. Someone on the outside to bear witness to your final days. Someone to pass on your story… Not that I’m the only witness. But I’ll remember everything you were… And stick with you to the end.

Snake : Otacon….

Otacon : Besides, you wouldn’t let me suffer Sunny’s eggs alone, would you?

Solid Snake, at some point later, died…but peacefully.

 

 

 

 

Bond In Review: You Only Live Twice Part IV

 

 

Bond and Tiger next meet at Tiger’s ninja training school near Himeji castle. The Castle’s shown up in various films, including King Kong vs. Godzilla.

 

Which also starred Akiko Wakabayashi (Aki)

 

This cool shot of a ninja passionately training with his sword and facing the camera even made it to one of the stock clips used in the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service opening…

 

He later introduces to a more “modern” Ninja training range with various guns being used, as well as some more specialized equipment. This is pretty much the “Q” lab scene of the film, minus Q. Tanaka in particular has another of the film’s signature gadget-a cigarette that launches a small explosive dart.

There’s a bit of a funny quip here, too.

 

Tiger: It can save your life, this cigarette.

Bond: You sound like a commercial.

Next comes one of the somewhat more implausible parts of the movie-to get closer to the island and find out what’s really going on there, Bond has to go undercover as a Japanese man, complete with a wife on the island (To his disappointment, not Aki but a local “Ama” girl. Ama girls are shellfish divers from Japanese islands).

 

It’s not exactly the most convincing disguise. Spending one last night with Aki before his “wedding” Aki unfortunately succumbs to poison meant for Bond.

Not only that, but they’ve also slipped another spy among the ninjas, who nearly kills Bond. It’s apparent that the Himeji castle base has been compromised by SPECTRE, so Bond heads for the island, although I think it’s very clear at this point that SPECTRE pretty much knows what he looks like even with his ‘disguise’.

Bond then gets “married” to agent Kissy Suzuki in a nicely shot and scored sequence. This isn’t the first or last time Bond would be fake married-He and Tataiyana were the “Somersets” in From Russia With Love, and he would be the “Sterlings” with Anya in Spy Who Loved Me. Likewise, Rosie Carvier posed as a “Ms.Bond” for part of Live and Let Die Of course, there’s only one true Mrs. Bond…if only for a few moments.

Now on the island, Bond of course starts making the moves on Kissy, arguing they must “keep up appearances” on their “Honeymoon”- there’s even an oyster joke here similar to “Thunderball”. Tiger later shows up, and warns them that there’s going to be another launch, sooner than expected. But now they’ve got a vital clue-a local girl died near a cave.

 

 

Rowing away from the fishing fleet-with a few nice shots-looks like Aki is starting to warm to her “husband”.  Although this is still a blue-screen shot I believe, it’s one of the better ones in the movie.

They stop by the cave, but it’s filled with poisonous gas-with the dive pretty much destroying Bond’s disguise. Bond realizes that there’s something weird about the volcano despite his earlier Arial recon.

Finally the two embrace, but their moment is kind of ruined by a SPECTRE helicopter-which lands in the crater. So, if having four helicopters earlier try to kill you didn’t convince you something was up about that volcano, one landing prompts a closer look?

Once they figure out that the lake is fake and it opens to reveal another helicopter, Bond quickly adopts a ‘ninja’ look and infiltrate’s SPECTRE’s fortress and it’s monorail. Bond quickly finds the captive astronauts (minus the one who died in the opening) and frees them. There’s some nice sort of detente’ dialogue here, with the Astronaught and Cosmonaughts talking about training. Bond rescues them, and quickly tries to disguise themselves as SPECTRE astronauts to attempt to sabotage SPECTRE’s rocket. But Bond makes a stupid mistake by taking his AC unit in, which Blofeld notices.

Don’t worry James, you’ll make it to space someday. But in something a little more yellow and drab than this suit right here (Which was actually worn by the other astronauts in Moonraker, minus the name and union jack)

Brought to Blofeld, the SPECTRE leader is finally revealed, with his iconic bald head, Mao suit and scar in addition to what we already are aware of-the cat. Although it would really only be the suit which would survive to most later versions; even Waltz’s version had one.

 

 

 

 

Although he’d certainly get the scar, if not the baldness-yet.

Of course, he gets to say the title, when noting Bond’s fake death.

Bond: Yes, this is my second life.

Blofeld: You Only Live Twice, mr.Bond.

Pleasence’s performance of Blofeld is quite good, although as noted he’s a bit more high-pitched than the previous ‘no face’ Blofeld. He’s sort of got an atmosphere of seething menace, while future Blofelds would be somewhat more camp (including Waltz), if less visually distinct.

 

Blofeld’s about to start World War III with his rocket, although Tanaka’s ninjas-along with Kissy, are on their way. Using his machine guns to take them out and close the crater, he states that it’s like watching a TV program.

 

Blofeld: The firing power inside my crater is enough to annihilate a small army. You can watch it all on TV. It’s the last program you’re likely to see.

James Bond: Well, if I’m gonna be forced to watch television, may I smoke?

Blofeld:
Yes. Give him his cigarettes. It won’t be the nicotine that kills you, Mr. Bond.

….and there you go Blofeld, you’ve practically handed Bond his means of escape, much like Red Grant with the attache case. At least Goldfinger inspected or damaged most of Bond’s gadgets. Bond uses the cigarette to knock out a few guards, and open the crater just enough for Tanaka’s ninjas to slip in. Although Bond is quickly re-captured, Blofeld decides to take care of him personally-but first shooting Osato. Thankfully, a timely ninja shuriken injures Blofeld enough to save Bond. Cue big action scene!

 

 

This is pretty much the equivalent of Thunderball’s big navy vs. SPECTRE action scene, and would be followed by more in later films. 

In Blofeld’s office-which holds the destruct button for the rocket-Bond faces off against Hans, another SPECTRE henchman who is pretty much just Red Grant without dialogue. He’s pretty much the first Grant ‘clone’-strong, largely silent, blond etc. although certainly others would follow-Eric Kreigler(For Your Eyes Only) Necros (The Living Daylights) and Stamper (Tomorrow Never Dies). Bond sends him into the piranha pool after a brief struggle.

Meanwhile, if Bond can’t stop the rocket, World War III might happen at any moment. As a radar technician watches. You might remember this guy-he’s Shane Rimmer, who has played a number of small roles in Bond and other films.

 

 

His most substantial role? That of Commander Carter in “The Spy Who Loved Me” where he shared several scenes with the later Roger Moore.

That same year he also appeared in “Star Wars” as the guy who asks Luke if he wants a fresh R2 unit…

Most recently though he showed up as the guy controlling the train lines in Batman Begins…

 

 

Rimmer was a Canadian actor living in Britain, so he appeared in several films-American and otherwise-shot there. He also worked for Gerry Anderson’s shows in the UK.

 

Anyway, back to the movie, Bond manages to destroy the rocket, but Blofeld has his own self-destruct for his base, although he escapes to fight Bond another day.

Like at the end of “Thunderball” (and to a degree “Dr.No” Bond is once again adrift at sea with the girl as they escape the now-active volcano). Although he doesn’t need a fulton balloon this time, as M’s sub surfaces right under them.

Lois Maxwell in You Only Live Twice, Miss Moneypenny in You Only Live Twice

I should note that this is a far happier-and Bond like-ending than the novel, which has Bond amnesiac and actually believing he is Kissy’s husband (and she’s actually pregnant with his son!), until he’s captured by foreign agents who brainwash him (leaving into “Man with the Golden Gun”)

Although Bond certainly would not get a happy ending in the next film-On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

YOLT is a great film visually as far as set design and locations are concerned-not quite the tropicalness of Thunderball but still a cool look at another country and it’s culture. Plot-wise it’s a bit thin, and acting-wise although Pleasence, Tetsuro Tamba and the ladies (or their dub actresses) try their best, I feel it’s one of Connery’s weaker performances in the role-he seems somewhat disinterested and lacking the spark of the earlier performances.  Not to be too judgmental or anything, but it also looks like he’s gained some weight, and not quite as healthy as he was in the previous films. Not as bad as he looks in Diamonds Are Forever though….

 

 

(I mean-hair aside-he looks older and less Bondian here than in Never Say Never Again-possibly he gained weight in part due to his personal stress at the time, such as his divorce)

Although I suppose his “Diamonds” look could be down to a bad toupee as well-Connery of course has been balding at that point already…

 

But alas, that’ll be explored later in my “Diamonds” review.

 

Bond in Review: You Only Live Twice Part III

 

Bond is taken aboard the Ning-Po to be interrogated by Helga-Spectre’s No.11 (One number less than 12, which would be the designation for another Fiona Vulpeish character-Fatima Blush-in Never Say Never Again). Bond confesses he’s a spy, but simply an industrial one instead of a government one-and hence still “Mr. Fisher”. He manages to avoid getting interrogated by bribing and seducing her.

 

….But just like Volpe before her, she doesn’t get redeemed like Pussy Galore did, and instead tries to kill Bond in a plane by locking him in and jumping out, allowing the plane to crash and catch fire. It’s a bit over elaborate, and of course Bond lands and gets out just in time. You’d figure he would’ve learned his lesson about SPECTRE women from Fiona Vulpe….but nope.

Getting back to Tanaka, Bond learns the identity of the island the Ning-Po’s been to-and of course wants to do some aerial reconnaissance. Enter Q, who gives him “Little Nellie”-a small gyrocopter that Tanaka thinks looks like a silly toy, but she’s quite formidable, with rocket launchers, SAM missiles, flame throwers, smoke jets *and* aerial mines!

We soon get a demonstration as Bond goes on the island, which seems to have nothing but a volcano-but then SPECTRE choppers move to intercept, so there’s obviously *something* there. We then get a cool sequence with Little Nellie, with the 007 “action” theme playing in the background at first, but then just the Dr.No stock version of the Bond theme. It’s certainly more fitting here than the Bond checking into the hotel scene in FWRL, but it might’ve been interesting for a fresh tune. While there aerial shots of the helicopters are of course great, some of the close ups of Connery don’t have great blue screen, he looks kind of silly in the helmet, and the helicopter explosions are obviously models (and possibly the same shot recycled). Oh well.

 

Meanwhile, the Russians make their space shot, and of course the SPECTRE rocket comes and steals it, making it of course look like the USA did it-making World War III imminent, and the United States even more skeptical of the Japan claim. This time, we see the rocket land-in the volcano-in reality, a huge SPECTRE base, and probably the main thing people remember about this movie apart from Donald Pleasence’s Blofeld. At the time, it was one of the largest sets ever constructed, although it would be later topped by the LIPARUS in Spy Who Loved Me, directed by the same guy and with a somewhat similar plot.

Speaking of Blofeld, he’s got a nice underground lounge that’s somewhat reminiscent of Dr.No’s.

Although instead of a glass aquarium magnifying mostly harmless fish, he’s got an open pool of deadly piranhas. He intimidates some men-possibly Chinese who would benefit from the upcoming World War between the United States and Russia-and they call him on it, saying it’s extortion-but of course, that’s what the E in Spectre stands for, as Blofeld notes.

He then brings in Helga and Osato, and shows him the X-ray of Bond’s gun taken in Osato’s office-noting that only one man they know carries such a weapon (seriously? As noted in-universe in Dr.No, there’s a lot of CIA guys who use it, for one) James Bond.

I wonder if Valentine’s recognition of the gun in “Goldeneye” is a bit of a callback to this-it even has similar dialogue.

They both use the excuse of Bond’s “death” in order to deflect responsibility, but Blofeld isn’t buying it. Much like Kronsteen, Count Lippe, and SPECTRE No.9, he decides to make an example of a henchman-this time, Helga, by dropping her into the pool.

Although pretty much free of gore, it’s still a pretty disturbing Bond girl death, one of the more shocking in the series along with Corrine in Moonraker and Della in License to Kill. And those were good Bond girls!

Blofeld-whose voice is now a lot less deeper than his previous incarnations-barks an order: “KILL BOND! NOW!”

 

Next: Ninjas, Bond goes native, and Kissy is introduced.

 

 

 

Metal Gear Profiles-Solid Snake Part III

Life isn’t just about passing on your genes. We can leave behind much more than just DNA. Through speech, music, literature and movies… what we’ve seen, heard, felt… anger, joy and sorrow… these are the things I will pass on. That’s what I live for. We need to pass the torch, and let our children read our messy and sad history by its light. We have all the magic of the digital age to do that with. The human race will probably come to an end some time, and new species may rule over this planet. Earth may not be forever, but we still have the responsibility to leave what traces of life we can. Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing-Solid Snake

 

After the Shadow Moses incident, Snake and Meryl eventually parted ways, with her taking control of the “Rat Patrol” unit (Unknowingly controlled in part by the Patriots- “Rat Patrol” being an anagram of Patriots). It was soon discovered that Revolver Ocelot had stolen the plans to Metal Gear Rex and had sold them to various world powers….so now *everybody* could build a Metal Gear.

 

To combat this threat, Solid Snake, Otacon, Mei Ling and others from the Shadow Moses incident formed the group “Philanthropy” dedicated to ridding the world of these walking nuclear battle tanks.

 

Eventually, the US Navy began developing it’s own solution to the problem-an anti-Metal Gear…Metal Gear. RAY-sitting in a tanker on Hudson-held no nuclear weapons but still was formidable.

 

Snake and Otacon weren’t too happy about this, of course, although RAY had no nuclear capability. So Snake boarded the freighter where it was being stowed and worked to photograph it to expose it. However, they weren’t alone-Revolver Ocelot and the Gurlocovitch mercenaries had boarded too.

Snake confronted the second in command of the unit-Olga Gurlucovitch-and tranquilized her after a brief fight. He then headed to the hanger to photograph Ray, but the Commandant demonstrating the unit-Scott Dolph-was captured by Gurlucovitch’s father and Ocelot. Ocelot then turned on his former ally, killing both him and Dolph, before stealing the Metal Gear which damaged the tanker, causing it to to sink-allegedly with Snake onboard.  Before falling into the waves, Snake learned that Ocelot seemed to posses a split personality-that of Liquid Snake, whose arm now replaced Ocelot’s lost one.

In the two years that followed, Solid Snake was presumed dead, and Snake and philanthropy were framed for the loss of the tanker. A facility-Big Shell-was built on top of the wreck, supposedly to clean up the oil spilled in the bay…but in fact hiding something more serious. Soon, Big Shell, during a visit from the president, was taken over by the group known as the “Sons of Liberty”-which was led by a man claiming to be Solid Snake.

However, the real Solid Snake was still alive, and with Otacon’s help, infiltrated Big Shell as a member of the SEAL team, using the alias “Iroquis Pliskin”, where he ran into Raiden, the man tasked with rescuing the President, during an encounter with Dead Cell member Vamp. The two combined forces, helping defuse explosive devices left by Dead Cell member Fatman, and with Otacon. Solid also learned the identity of the man impersonating him-his other brother, Solidus Snake. They also learned that the Big Shell facility was in fact cover for a new Gear-the Arsenal Gear battleship, that Solidus intended to capture and launch a nuke to disrupt the Patriot’s network with an EMP.

 

No, that is NOT Solid Snake. Stop impersonating him!

Re-adopting his original identity, Snake also encountered Olga-working with her in her quise as Mr.X, and the two formed an alliance-in part because the Patriots held her child captive.  He also teamed with Emma Emmerich, Raiden and Otacon to attempt to disable Arsenal Gear’s AI GW, but was unfortunately unable to save Otacon’s stepsister, Emma Emmerich. Otacon was overcome with grief, but Snake trusted him to help save the rest of the hostages on Big Shell, while he and Raiden would take care of Arsenal Gear. The two shared an epic walk and handshake.

 handshake GIF

Donning his old sneaking suit and bandana-although knocking out Raiden first as a distraction to sneak into Arsenal Gear, Snake and Raiden began working together against Solidus’s forces, including elite “Tengu” guards. He also gave Raiden Olga’s High Frequency blade-which she used in her disguise as the Cyborg ninja (It would later become Raiden’s trademark weapon when *he* became a Cyborg ninja!)

 

Snake then confronted Dead Cell member Fortune while Raiden dealt with an army of mass produced  Metal Gear RAYS. Captured by Fortune, he was taken up to the hull of Arsenal gear, where he learned that Raiden’s mission was in part an attempt at gathering data for the Patriots-based on his own mission at Shadow Moses. He also learned that it was Ocelot’s Liquid persona who had lured him to the tanker in the first place. Once again, Ocelot escaped in RAY, although Snake was able to place a tracker on the gear…and gain some information on the Patriots via Emma’s work. He later met with Raiden after he defeated Solidus, and also vowed to rescue Olga’s daughter. He gave Raiden an inspiring speech, and then left him.

 

Otacon then looked at the information gleaned from Arsenal Gear, and briefed Snake on it….

Otacon : Snake, you there? It’s me. I’ve finished going over that disc.

Snake : Did you find the Patriots’ list?

Otacon : Of course. It contains the personal data of twelve people. There
was a name on it — Snake, it was one of our biggest
contributors.

Snake : What’s going on around here?

Otacon : I don’t know…

Snake : Anyway, where are they?

Otacon : Well, we were right about them being on Manhattan, but…

Snake : But what?

Otacon : They’re already dead. All twelve of them.

Snake : When did it happen?

Otacon : Well, ah…about a hundred years ago.

Snake : What the hell?

A mystery that would remain unsolved for quite some time-and just when Snake’s time itself was almost up.