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The entire story of ‘Metal Gear’

By: Hoaseng Thao

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*Warning: This article has spoilers for the Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid games developed by Hideo Kojima. There are depictions of war and violence in this article*

In 1987, a video game called ‘Metal Gear’ was released on the MSX home computer and was created by a relatively unknown Japanese game developer, Hideo Kojima, who was working for the video game company, Konami. ‘Metal Gear’ was unlike any other 2D shooter game at the time, because instead of being a Rambo killing super soldier, you play as a special forces soldier named Solid Snake, whose mission is to infiltrate a base to destroy a super weapon known as Metal Gear. The game would become an instant hit across the globe and would start a complex series of stories that many have trouble trying to explain, and so I’m writing this article to help explain the story of Metal Gear and its sequel games.

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At the end of the First World War, the most powerful and wealthiest people from three nations across the globe, The United States, The Soviet Union, and The Republic of China, united together under one goal: to steer the very way of life from the needless brutal wars that could destroy society as we know it, and they called themselves, the Philosophers. Although the Philosophers united under one goal, to protect and steer humanity from new wars, there were already multiple factions of the Philosophers who were driven by their own political beliefs on behalf of their respective nations. The two most prominent factions were the Soviet Philosophers and the American Philosophers.

Tensions between Philosophers worsened when the last founding member of the Philosophers passed away in the 1930’s, leading to widespread corruption and distrust between the many Philosophers whose political leaning went against their own members.

Despite the growing tensions in between the Philosophers, the start of the Second World War began to somewhat unite the already feeble organization into pouring all their efforts into fighting the Axis Powers, and in their attempt to defeat them, they decide to create a secret special forces unit comprised of multiple nations within the Philosophers known as the Cobra Unit, with their leader being known as The Joy, but she would later adopt a more recognizable name; her name would be known as The Boss.


(From left to right, The Pain, The Fear, The End, The Joy, The Sorrow, and The Fury) Image taken from:

Born as the daughter of an American Philosopher, The Joy would become one of the Philosopher’s strongest assets as she led the Philosopher’s Cobra Unit in 1942 to fight the Axis powers. In her unit, there was The Sorrow who was a man whose unique abilities allowed him to talk to spirits, The End who was a sniper born in the 1860’s who was infected with an unknown parasite that allowed him to have a long lifespan, The Pain who had the abilities to control insects, The Fear whose freakish appearance and movements made him feared by his enemies, and finally The Fury whose rage and anger against the world made him brutal in battle.

One of Cobra unit’s members, The Sorrow, would gain the interest of The Boss and the two would later become lovers which would lead to her becoming pregnant with his child. Despite being pregnant, The Boss continued to fight in the Second World War and on the day of the D-Day landings, she was shot in the gut and was forced to give birth on the battlefield via Caesarean section. A baby boy named Adam, was born on that day but he would soon be taken from his mother by Philosophers.

Two years after the end of the Second World War, the Boss disbanded the Cobra Unit as the world would soon enter the Cold War. The Philosophers would become a shell of its former self, as the friendship between the East and West began to deteriorate the Philosophers from the inside, as their funding asset known as the Philosopher’s Legacy, which held around 100 billion dollars, was illegally inherited and stolen by a Soviet Red Army officer known as Boris Volgin.

Due to the rising tensions between the Americans and Soviets, The Boss was forced to choose which side she should pick as her lover, The Sorrow, was a Soviet Russian while she was an American. In the end, The Boss chose her country over her lover and she began to operate under the Central Intelligence Agency, but her actions within the Central Intelligence Agency made her a scapegoat to whatever mess the CIA had in any secret mission.

In June of 1950, The Boss met a young 15-year-old boy who went under the name John, and the two would bond together due to the both of them having similar experiences. Over the course of a decade, the Boss would train John in the creation of Close Quarters Combat but they would be forced to separate as The Boss was needed by the US government.

The US government, in an attempt to beat the Soviets in the space race, chose The Boss to become the first American in space as a part of the Mercury Project. During The Boss’s training to go to space, she met a woman named Strangelove who had fallen in love with her charm but as The Boss left Earth for space, her spacecraft would malfunction and crash land in the ocean, nearly killing her in the process and putting her in a coma only for her actions of being the first American in space to be wiped from the public.

After the crash of her spacecraft, The Boss was sent into the Soviet Union to eliminate her former lover, The Sorrow, as their son Adam would be killed by the Philosophers if none of them killed each other. Knowing that one of them had to die, The Sorrow sacrificed himself so that their child would survive. Distraught with the death of The Sorrow, a former friend of The Boss known as Major Zero, reached out his hand to her to form a new Unit under the CIA. The Unit’s name was FOX.

On August 24th, 1964, The FOX unit undergoes a secret mission in the Soviet Union with two operatives to take part on the ground, The Boss whose mission was recover the Philosopher’s Legacy from GRU colonel Volgin, and John, whose code name was Naked Snake, or Snake, was to rescue a defecting Soviet scientist named Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov.

During the mission, Snake was able to infiltrate into the Soviet Union via a HALO jump and was able to get a scared Sokolov into safety before having a small fight with a man named Ocelot in which Snake tells him that he should use a revolver before knocking him out. As Snake prepares to lead Sokolov out of the Soviet Union, he learns about a new type of weapon, known as the Shagohod, in which Sokolov begs him to destroy it.

Despite leading Sokolov to safety, the sudden arrival of The Boss sets Snake off before she announces her defection to the Soviet Union. The two would fight and in the end, The Boss defeats her former apprentice and pushes him off a rope bridge. After “killing” Snake, The Boss takes Sokolov with her alongside a stolen American Davy Crockett Weapon System to a reunited Cobra unit and Volgin. As they leave the area, Volgin takes the Davy Crockett and fires its nuclear payload at a test facility which leads the Soviet Union to believe that the US had just bombed them.

After the failure of the mission, The US government panicked and after recovering a now alive and radioactive Snake, they began to prepare Snake to go back into the Soviet Union to eliminate Volgin and The Boss, to prove that the US did not bomb the Soviet Union. This mission would be codenamed, Operation Snake Eater.


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Snake, under the command of Major Zero alongside his companions, Para-Medic, and Donald Anderson whose code name was Sigint, undertook the mission and his first task was to meet with a Mole in the KGB named ADAM.

In the meantime another unit known as XOF, sends in their commander named Skull Face to clean up any mess Snake leaves behind. When Snake tries to meet up with Adam, he is met with a woman named EVA who tells him that ADAM couldn’t make it and she is to help him, she then tells him the location of Sokolov before they rest at an abandoned building.

As they wake up, they are confronted by Ocelot who now carries a revolver and meows (Yes he meows) for reinforcements before they are defeated and he flees in a humorous manner. EVA, trying to take the advantage to kill him, aims at him but is stopped by Snake who takes a liking to his weird nature.

Getting to the location of Sokolov, Snake meets a drunk Soviet scientist named Aleksandr Leonovitch Granin, who is the rival of Sokolov. He tells Snake the actual location of Sokolov before telling him that he is giving his friend in America a new type of weapon named Metal Gear. Before Snake leaves, Granin tells him about the Philosophers’ Legacy and its importance.

On Snake’s journey to rescue Sokolov, he faces up against the Cobra Unit members: The Pain, The Fear, The End, and The Fury, all of whom Snake had to learn from his mistakes in order to defeat them. After fighting through the Cobra Unit, Snake sneaks into the Groznyj Grad fortress which Sokolov is believed to be in, and in order to rescue Sokolov, Snake has to knock out a GRU officer named Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov, to steal his identity.

As he meets up with Sokolov, Volgin enters the room they are in and as Snake, who is disguised as Raikov, is discovered to be a spy after Volgin uses a “unique” tactic to see whether or Snake is his secret lover Raikov.

After the discovery, Snake is taken to an interrogation room where Volgin, The Boss, a disguised EVA, and Ocelot interrogate him which ends with Volgin telling Snake where the Philosophers’ Legacy was before Ocelot accidentally shoots Snake in his right eye.

Snake, now in a cell at Groznyj Grad, makes an escape after knocking out the prison guard named Johnny. During his escape Snake has to jump out of a sewer waterfall where he suffered a near death experience in which he meets the Spirit of The Sorrow. After waking up from his near death experience, Snake meets up with EVA, who gives him his captured equipment and an eyepatch to cover up his destroyed right eye. The two infiltrate into Groznyj Grad and end up destroying the Shagohod and heavily injuring Volgin in the process.

In their attempt to escape from Groznyj Grad and into safety, EVA tells Snake that The Boss wants to meet him in a field of white flowers near their escape aircraft. Snake meets with The Boss who then challenges him to a final and emotional duel, and as Snake points his rifle at his former mentor, The Boss gives him the Philosopher’s Legacy and one last message.

“There is nothing more for me to give you. All that’s left is for you to take my life by your own hand. One must die and one must live. No victory, no defeat. The survivor will carry on the fight. It is our destiny. The one who survives will inherit the title of Boss, and the one who inherits the title of Boss will face an existence of endless battle.” — The Boss

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A bang rang out as Snake leaves his former mentor before escaping with EVA on an aircraft but as they try to escape, Ocelot appears again and boards their plane before challenging Snake to a revolver duel with one revolver armed with one bullet. With a shot of revolver fired, it is revealed that the revolver armed with the bullet actually had a blank. Ocelot congratulates Snake on his mission before telling him his name, Adamska, before leaping out of the plane as both EVA and Snake escape into Alaska.

Both EVA and Snake take shelter in an abandoned cabin but as Snake sleeps, EVA leaves Snake with the Philosopher’s Legacy in her pocket before leaving a message for Snake, which revealed to him that she was actually a triple agent working under the orders of Beijing to retrieve the Philosopher’s Legacy.

After being rescued, Snake’s journey is celebrated by the members of FOX before being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The President would give Snake the title of “Big Boss”, for his efforts of killing The Boss and eliminating the Shagohod.

Dissatisfied with the death of his mentor and the lack of care by the US government, Big Boss leaves the celebration and makes his way to Arlington National Cemetery, where he meets with the grave of his former mentor before giving her one last salute and one tear.

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When EVA returns back to Beijing, it is revealed that the Philosopher’s Legacy she had was actually a fake and with Beijing angry at her mistake, she was sent into exile. The real Philosopher’s Legacy was actually in the hands of Ocelot who is revealed to be a triple agent for the CIA and is actually the son of The Boss.

In 1970, Major Zero recruited Big Boss, Ocelot, Para-Medic, Sigint, and EVA to create a new organization based on The Boss’s goal of reuniting the world . The name of the organization would be known as Cipher. Ocelot uses the Philosopher’s Legacy he had to fund the organization while Major Zero turned Big Boss into a legendary figure for people around the world to follow.

This organization would soon falter as Big Boss and Zero clashed over what The Boss fought for, and because of this clash, Zero believed that he couldn’t push on the message of The Boss without Big Boss and by 1972, he began a project to clone Big Boss without him knowing. This cloning project was called “Les Enfants Terribles” or The Terrible Children.

Three clones of Big Boss were created with EVA serving as the surrogate mother for the cloning process. From oldest to youngest there were Solid Snake, Liquid Snake, and Solidus Snake. When Big Boss found out about his clones, he left the Patriots as he lost trust with his former friend and began to fight for soldiers around the world.

After Big Boss left, EVA took off as well while Ocelot remained as an ear for Big Boss, however, Zero decided to go into hiding while the rest of the original members became hungry for power.


In 1974, Big Boss alongside his friend Kazuhira Miller or Kaz and his Private Military Company (PMC), Militaires Sans Frontieres (MSF), is begged by a man named Ramón Gálvez Mena and a girl named Paz Ortega Andrade, to save their country of Costa Rica and their missing friend from a foreign PMC.

Big Boss refused to help them until they gave him an audio message that had what seemed to be The Boss’s voice in the background. Hearing The Boss’s voice, Big Boss readied his men to find The Boss and in the meantime, Big Boss takes control of an off-shore base as the headquarters of MSF.

In Big Boss’s journey, he encounters and helps a resistance group led by Amanda Valenciano Libre, and fights the foreign PMC group while finding leads about Paz’s friend and The Boss. While fighting the PMC group, he has to save the younger brother of Amanda, named Chico. As Big Boss rescues Chico, he learns about the locations of Nukes supplied by the CIA and decides to go there.

As Big Boss gets to the location, he fights a giant robot tank known as a Pupa and while fighting it, he is guided and aided by the Pupa’s creator, Huey Emmerich, on how to destroy it. After fighting the Pupa, Big Boss recruits Huey after learning about a project called the Peace Walker project, a walking nuclear armed AI weapon, alongside an AI facility in a Mayan temple.

After some time, Big Boss is able to rescue the missing friend of Paz before hearing The Boss’s voice again, but to his shock, he realizes the voice was not the Boss’s but rather an AI programmed to be like her. This is when Big Boss meets Strangelove, who hates him for killing the woman she loved, but then it is revealed that the weapon Peace Walker is about to launch its nuclear munitions to start a nuclear war. In the meantime, it is revealed that Ramón Gálvez Mena is actually a Soviet agent named Vladimir Zadornov, whose mission was to take control of Central America with the help of Big Boss.

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Big Boss is then forced to stop Peace Walker from launching its nukes and is successful.

After everything is done, Big Boss allows Huey to create a new weapon called Metal Gear ZEKE, which is based on the data from Huey’s soviet friend, Granin. As Metal Gear ZEKE was nearing completion, it was hijacked by Paz Ortega who was actually a Cipher agent named Pacifica Ocean. Paz’s mission was to get Big Boss to rejoin Cipher and in order to do so, she threatened to launch nuclear warheads at the east coast of the US and blame it on MSF.

Big Boss and his MSF soldiers are forced to destroy Metal Gear ZEKE before it launches its nuclear munitions, and in the end, Metal Gear ZEKE sinks into the ocean as Paz is presumed dead.

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In 1975, Huey Emmerich allows the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to conduct a search on Mother Base which annoys Big Boss and Kaz, but in the meantime, MSF learns about the survival of Paz who is currently being held and tortured in a US black site in Cuba named Camp Omega, a plan to eliminate her was in the process until Chico was captured while trying to save Paz.

Big Boss was forced to do a solo mission while the IAEA conducts their “search” on Mother Base. Big Boss infiltrates into Camp Omega with a skeleton crew of a helicopter pilot and a MSF medic, and they successfully rescue the two from captivity, but as they return back to Mother Base, they find it burned and destroyed as it is attacked by XOF.

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Mother Base was destroyed, almost all remaining MSF soldiers are killed, as Kaz is rescued by Big Boss and his skeleton crew.  As Big Boss’s helicopter flies away, it is revealed that Paz has a bomb in her body and she jumps out in the. hope to rescue them, but the explosion causes the helicopter to go out of control and crash.

After the helicopter crash, Big Boss, Kaz, and the Medic are rescued and put into a hospital where both Big Boss and the Medic are put into a long coma. Unbeknownst to Big Boss, Zero and EVA move both Big Boss and the Medic to a hospital in Cyprus to hide them from XOF.


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After nine years of being in a coma, Big Boss wakes up and meets Ocelot, who tells him the news about his coma before saying that XOF is hunting him down and the two plan on making The Medic, who is still in a coma, into believing that he is Big Boss to protect the real Big Boss from both Cipher and XOF.

In the meantime, Kaz creates a new PMC named Diamond Dogs, as a way to reclaim the former glory that he and Big Boss made. As The Medic wakes up, he undergoes plastic surgery to change his face into that of Big Boss, but after the surgery, the hospital they are in is under attack by XOF and The Medic, now referred to as Punished “Venom” Snake or Venom Snake, has to be escorted outside the hospital by Big Boss. The two encounter Volgin who is now referred to as the Burning man due to his burning body alongside a young Psycho Mantis during their escape via ambulance van to which they crash into a ditch.

After the crash, Ocelot is able to rescue Big Boss and gives him the ID card of The Medic for him to act as before rescuing Venom Snake from the ambulance. After being rescued, Venom Snake is tasked with eliminating XOF commander Skull Face and his army before they encounter many unique people such as a young Liquid Snake named Eli, Quiet who’s a female assassin who can go invisible and can breathe through her skin, and Code Talker who helped Skull Face into weaponizing a parasite that can target certain languages. Venom Snake also rescues Huey Emmerich who currently is making a new Metal Gear called Sahelanthropus.

Venom Snake, Kaz, and his Diamond Dogs are able to track down Skull Face and kill him before taking Metal Gear Sahelanthropus for themselves. But the parasite that Code Talker helped create for Skull Face is released into the new Mother Base, causing Venom Snake to kill his infected men to save the world. It is soon discovered that Huey was actually the cause of the released parasites, who are then exiled from Diamond Dogs.

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Venom Snake then realizes that he isn’t Big Boss and was actually being forced into being like him, but he decides to remain as Big Boss due to his devout loyalty to him.

Eli and his gang of child soldiers soon capture Metal Gear Sahelanthropus and the last sample of the parasite before hiding on an island. Venom Snake is then tasked to destroy Sahelanthropus and rescue Eli and the child Soldiers but they are ambushed by XOF. After being ambushed, Eli appears to be have symptoms of the parasite and Venom Snake leaves him to choose his own fate, but then the Psycho Mantis appears and removes the parasite from Eli’s body and they escape as the island is napalmed.

After everything calms down, Kaz leaves Diamond Dogs after realizing that Venom Snake is not Big Boss, and due to this Kaz begins to train Big Boss’s clone son Solid Snake into becoming a better soldier that Big Boss could ever be. Big Boss and Venom Snake form a military nation named Outer Heaven deep within South Africa.


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1995, Solid Snake begins his first mission for the FOXHOUND unit and is tasked with rescuing another member named Gray Fox from Outer Heaven. It is believed that Outer Heaven has a Metal Gear in their arsenal and it must be stopped. Solid Snake is able to infiltrate into Outer Heaven where he meets with “Big Boss”, who is actually Venom Snake, and kills him before fleeing as Outer Heaven self-destructs.

In 1999, Solid Snake was brought back to FOXHOUND by their new commander, Roy Campbell, to help destroy another Metal Gear in a Military Nation named Zanzibar Land. Solid Snake infiltrates Zanzibar Land and he meets/is attacked by, his former friend, Gray Fox, who he defeats. Solid Snake destroys the Metal Gear before encountering the real Big Boss who he then defeats via makeshift flamethrower. Big Boss is left scarred and burned as Solid Snake alongside another FOXHOUND agent named Holly escapes Zanzibar Land.

After Zanzibar, Solid Snake retires from the military and goes into hiding in the Alaskan wilderness before being brought back into the US military in 2005, when Campbell tells him that FOXHOUND members started a rebellion on a military base on the island of Shadow Moses. The rebellion is led by Liquid Snake who is trying to take control of a new Metal Gear named REX.

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Solid Snake infiltrates the Shadow Moses where he is aided by Mei Ling, Naomi Hunter the sister of Gray Fox, Hal Emmerich or Otacon the developer of Metal Gear REX, FOXHOUND recruit Meryl Silverburgh who is actually the niece of Campbell, and his old friend Gray Fox who now dons a cyborg ninja suit. In Solid Snake’s mission, he encounters a Genome soldier named Johnny Sasaki, Ocelot, and Psycho Mantis who are aiding Liquid Snake in his mission on launching a nuke from the railgun on Metal Gear REX.

Solid Snake then learns about an artificial virus named FOXDIE that was implanted in him that will kill anyone that has a specific DNA. Solid Snake alongside Gray Fox destroys Metal Gear REX but the latter dies in the process, Solid Snake then fights Liquid Snake whom is killed by FOXDIE. Solid Snake escapes Shadow Moses with Meryl and with the help of Campbell, Solid Snake fakes his death.

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After Shadow Moses, Ocelot tells the news about Liquid Snake’s failure to US President, George Sears, who is actually Solidus Snake, before he sells the plans of REX onto the black market. With the leak of REX’s plans, Otacon and Solid Snake form an Anti-Metal Gear organization named Philanthropy, to destroy all Metal Gears in the world.

In 2007, Solid Snake infiltrates onto a USMC vessel disguised as an oil tanker where he discovers a new Metal Gear named RAY, but in the process the vessel is boarded by Russian mercenaries and Ocelot. After getting data about RAY, Solid Snake fakes his death by using the corpse of Liquid Snake as his own.


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In 2009, a FOXHOUND agent named Raiden is tasked to rescue President James Johnson who was taken to an oil decontamination facility named Big Shell from a rebelling military unit named Dead Cell, Russian mercenaries, and Solidus Snake who is disguised as Solid Snake. In Raiden’s mission he is aided by his fiancée Rosemary or Rose and “Campbell”.

After infiltrating the facility, Raiden fights Dead Cell including Dead Cell members Vamp who has nanomachines that prevent him from dying and Fortune who is a psychic. During Raiden’s mission he meets with the real Solid Snake alongside Otacon, and Otacon’s sister, Emma Emmerich, who all tell him about The Patriots, a shadowy organization that was born out of Cipher that now controls every aspect of American life.

It is revealed that Big Shell is actually a disguise for the construction of an enormous warship named Arsenal Gear which houses an AI system named GW. Emma Emmerich had created a virus that would essentially kill GW. In their attempt to destroy Arsenal Gear, Emma Emmerich is killed by Vamp which emboldens Otacon to continue fighting. Raiden is then taken hostage by Olga Gurlukovich, a member of the Russian Mercenaries, and is moved inside Arsenal Gear, but it is soon revealed that she is a part of Solid Snake’s team and needed him and Solid Snake to get into Arsenal Gear.

Raiden also learns that the Campbell he knows is actually an AI made by the Patriots to make him do his bidding.H e also learns that his fiancée, Rose, is not only a spy for the Patriots but is also pregnant with his child. Raiden, Olga, and Snake fight their way through Arsenal Gear to not only destroy Arsenal Gear but also save Olga’s child who is being held hostage by the Patriots.

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Raiden fights his way through Arsenal Gear and reaches the top where he faces off and defeats multiple Metal Gear RAY units, but he then collapses from exhaustion. Solidus Snake appears and attempts to kill Raiden before being stopped by Olga who is then killed by him. Solidus Snake tries to kill Raiden by using the remaining RAYs but they are disabled due to Emma’s virus.

Ocelot then appears and tells Raiden, Solid Snake, and Solidus that he was actually an agent for The Patriots and everything they just did was all planned by the Patriots and before he could kill them with his piloted Metal Gear RAY, his right hand which was cut off by Gray Fox during Shadow Moses, twitches and Ocelot then switches personalities to that of Liquid Snake before leaping off with his Metal Gear with Solid Snake following after him.

Arsenal Gear then crashes into Manhattan, to which Solidus Snake tells Raiden that he killed his parents before saving him when Raiden was just a child in Liberia. He then trained him into becoming a child soldier named Jack the Ripper before separating. Solidus Snake tries to kill Raiden in order to get the location of the Patriots but is then heavily injured when Raiden sliced his back, causing him to go into a brain dead state. Raiden is able to reunite with Rose and chooses to live out his own life.


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After the Big Shell incident, Solid Snake saw his body age faster than expected, this is because of the FOXDIE in his body, and by 2011 his body was too weak to rescue Olga’s daughter so he had Raiden retrieve her and bring her to both him and Otacon.

By 2014, Solid Snake’s body is growing older and it is revealed that Solid Snake didn’t have a lot of time left, and the fact that Liquid Ocelot was still alive did not help with Solid Snake’s already worsening body. In the past few years, Liquid Ocelot had been starting up a company known as Outer Haven, which is a mother company of multiple PMCs.

Solid Snake, with the help of Otacon, and Olga’s daughter Sunny, fight their way across the world in order to stop Liquid Ocelot, and while fighting they meet some old friends such as Meryl, Johnny Sasaki, and Campbell. During Solid Snake’s journey, he meets an arms dealer named Drebin 893 and his pet monkey who both help him use guns that are usually ID locked. In order to do this he is forced to have nanomachines injected in his body, but the nanomachines were actually a new type of FOXDIE.

After some time, Solid Snake meets up with Naomi Hunter who tells him that the old FOXDIE he has in his body will eventually mutate and kill everyone on the planet, essentially making him a walking biological weapon. Solid Snake then escorts her to safety when they find a heavily modified Raiden who had been experimented on by The Patriots. Their encounter would be short lived as Raiden would be heavily injured by Vamp but he is able to survive and escape with Solid Snake, and Naomi.

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Raiden would tell Solid Snake about a woman named Big Mama who helped him and she is currently a leader for a small resistance group in Eastern Europe.

Solid Snake, with the help of Meryl and Johnny, meet up with Big Mama who is then revealed to be EVA. EVA tells Solid Snake the tale of Big Boss and that she is his mother as well as telling him the story of the origins of the Patriots, she then tells him that she actually has the vegetative body of Big Boss in her possession, however they are soon attacked by Haven Troopers, specialized female soldiers who are under the command of Liquid Ocelot.

During their escape, EVA is killed in the process as Liquid Ocelot destroys the remains of Big Boss in a big fire as he makes his escape alongside with Naomi. But Otacon was able to get information about Liquid Ocelot’s true goal which was to use the Railgun of Metal Gear REX and use it to destroy JD, a Patriot AI, and use GW to take over the Patriots’s AI system.

Solid Snake, Raiden, and Otacon return back to Shadow Moses in which they are able to kill Vamp and take over Metal Gear REX, but it turns out the Railgun is already gone while Naomi dies after telling Otacon that Sunny has a virus named FOXALIVE that could dismantle JD. Solid Snake, Raiden, and Otacon make it out of Shadow Moses before using REX to fight Liquid Ocelot who is in a Metal Gear RAY unit, but in the end, both metal gears are out of commission and Liquid Ocelot is able to escape by going on another Arsenal Gear dubbed as Outer Haven.

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Liquid Ocelot’s escape would be caught off guard when Mei Ling arrives with the battleship USS Missouri but they escape successfully.

Solid Snake and his friends make one final attempt to stop Liquid Ocelot, and they would then locate and board Outer Haven in which Johnny Sasaki and Meryl confirm their love for each other, and Raiden defends Solid Snake as he uploads FOXALIVE into JD. After successfully uploading FOXALIVE, Solid Snake falls unconscious and is dragged onto the top of Outer Haven by Liquid Ocelot, who tells him that everything that just happened was a part of his plan. They then get into one final fist fight with Solid Snake literally beating the Liquid out of Ocelot, before Ocelot succumbs and dies to Solid Snake’s FOXDIE.

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After the death of Ocelot, everybody celebrates Johnny and Meryl’s wedding while Solid Snake visits Big Boss’s grave before planting a gun in his mouth so he can stop the FOXDIE in his body from turning into a biological weapon, but he is unable to do this, and then a familiar voice talks to Solid Snake, one that was as if it was Big Boss.


Big Boss appears and both he and Solid Snake point their guns at each other before Big Boss drops his gun and hugs him while telling him to “Let it go”, Solid Snake drops his gun as Big Boss explains everything about the Patriots and everything that led up to it.

Big Boss explains to Solid Snake that EVA died due to Solid Snake’s FOXDIE and that the body EVA had of “Big Boss” was actually Solidus Snake, who was an identical clone of Big Boss. He then explains that Ocelot, EVA, and Naomi were working together to help Big Boss and kill Zero.

Big Boss then introduces a vegetative Zero to Solid Snake and then explains that Zero had no real control over the Patriots before questioning if Zero was scared of him. Big Boss then peacefully kills Zero before telling Solid Snake that he would soon die because of Solid Snake’s FOXDIE.

Before FOXDIE could kill Big Boss, he would go to The Boss’s grave before saluting and telling Solid Snake to live out his remaining days “Not as a snake, but as a man” before peacefully dying next to his mentor’s grave.

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Solid Snake then takes his father’s advice before leaving to live out his remaining days with Ocelot and Sunny.

Ending Notes

That is the end of the Metal Gear story from Hideo Kojima’s writing. I hope you at least understand some parts of the story as Hideo Kojima’s writing can be a bit confusing at some points. I love the Metal Gear games and their stories, so I hope this article can get people into playing some of the Metal Gear games because the stories are by far one of the best video game stories we’ve ever had in the video game industry.

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‘Amanda The Adventurer’ – Explaining the story

By: Julia Yang

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Note: This article contains spoilers for the game

What even is ‘Amanda The Adventurer’? Well let me tell you.
‘Amanda The Adventurer’ is an indie-horror game and Amanda is the main antagonist. You will play as a character named Riley. Riley has come across some strange VHS tapes left by their missing aunt, Kate. It’s your job to see what these tapes contain, and piece together the dark secrets that they tell. The game developers have released many demos in the past, and finally came out with the full game on April 23rd. Now that we know that, let’s see what the story of this mysterious game is all about.

‘Amanda The Adventurer’ starts with Riley opening a letter that they received from their aunt Kate. Kate was thought to be a librarian, but as you progress through the letters, you soon learn that aunt Kate was investigating complaints and behavior issues with the 2000’s show called ‘Amanda The Adventurer’. Aunt Kate is missing, and in her letter it implies that the show had killed her. With aunt Kate’s disappearance, it is now your job as Riley to continue with her investigation work.

Riley is in their attic, this is where your investigation will take place. You will find VHS tapes and notes throughout the game. The more you find, the more insight on this matter you’ll gain. The show ‘Amanda The Adventurer’ started off as a public live-action TV show. The show creator Sam Colton never expected ‘Amanda The Adventurer’, starring his adopted daughter Rebecca, would be such a hit. Sam explains in a recording that a big entertainment company, Hameln, has purchased the rights to ‘Amanda The Adventurer’ and is making it a worldwide broadcast, and it’ll be digitally animated instead of live-action.

We soon see a secret tape recording of Rebecca in the middle of production with Hameln where the directors ask Rebecca to repeat some very odd phrases; “Bye-Yell, Pie man”, and “Baa Lamb”. Sam questions the phrases the director is telling Rebecca to repeat but is interrupted by Rebecca. Rebecca snaps and yells, “No! I don’t want to do that!” and claims she’s responding to the man in the headphones.

The phrases Rebecca was told to repeat are, according to many, the names of demons; Bael, Paimon, and Balam.

Sam Colton suddenly disappears in the middle of production, and Rebecca is handed into the custody of Hameln. We’ll see recorded footage of Rebecca signing a contract and then being led into a room with pipes, implying that she may be underground. This will be the last time we see Rebecca, as Hameln makes an announcement to the public asking to “Respect her privacy”.

Not long after this, ‘Amanda The Adventurer’ looks to be taking a turn for the bizarre. Parents have reported incidents of the show presenting strange images and ideas like “parents are not always right.” On one of the secret tapes, the orange one, we discover that after kids watch ‘Amanda The Adventurer’, they go into a trance and after they’re out of their parents line of sight, they disappear out of what seems like thin air.

In the final tape you will receive for the “True” ending, Amanda states ominously “I’m out there. Somewhere.”

JOYSTiCK season finale: ‘Reigns: Three Kingdoms’ – 2,000 year-old Tinder dating

By: Daniel Kendle

Image taken from:

Welcome one and all to JOYSTiCK. No time for unfunny quips, we’ve got something more important on the docket – it’s the end! Not of the world, unfortunately, but the end of the first season of this little serial.

It’s been fun, honestly, and it’ll be nice to start up again next year. Whether I’ll be doing a season 2 or not is uncertain, but it’s been fun nonetheless. When I started in my journalism class I didn’t really know what to write about at first, and now, about 7 months later, we’ve reached the end.

There’s about a 50-50 chance I will or won’t do this again next year. I’ve been branching out into more types of content this semester, and it’s nice to have more of a mix of stuff to write about. To use a metaphor, the first semester was like a nice bowl of saltines, with the second a bag of Chex Mix. I mean, the saltines are good, no doubt!, but after a while you get a salty tang on your dried-up gums and it’s like you’re back in the Sahara or something. Meanwhile, the Chex Mix has lots of flavors, and you don’t get tired of eating it after a few minutes.

Dumb metaphors aside, I think that’s the future of my content: a mix of serial templates and random stuff I put out. I’ll write more down-to-earth, serious stuff like my UFO article, weird one-off projects like that gopher article, and JOYSTiCK. I think that’s a good outlook for my sophomore year of writing.

Anyways let’s move onto our final review, in which we’ll be discussing a mobile game! Yes, the toll booth ticketer that guards the entrance to the underworld has finally caught up with us, and it’s thirsty for the red Kool-Aid that pulsates through my organ structure. Thus is the life of a mobile game reviewer.

However, the game we’ll be discussing today is connected to another titan. A monolithic force that has skulked these ravaged lands for eons old and eons to come. It stalks these earthy plains with a taste of terror, with even whispering its name bringing a shudder of frosty fear.


Meandering aside, today we’ll be talking about the game ‘Reigns: Three Kingdoms,’ released by Nerial and Devolver Digital and published by Netflix in late 2022. The game is the fifth installment in the franchise.

Before we get into the meat-and-potatoes of this article, I’ll say that this’ll be a shorter and more laid-back review compared to our previous installments. Hopefully you take this in mind!


‘Reigns: Three Kingdoms’ is like dating on Tinder if a.) Tinder existed in 200 B.C. and b.) if Tinder was a viable way of dating.

That being said, you don’t date people in the game. The comparison is through the game’s main gameplay. Basically, the set up is that you are a test subject in a laboratory that is being repeatedly sent back in time to ancient China to…I guess become a conquering warlord? You basically interact with different ancient civilians, swiping left or right on their questions and statements to say different things in response, lowering or raising 4 meters in return. These meters, while never really stated what they mean directly, are likely representing Money, Intelligence, Militarism and Civilian Kinship. Some are raised or lowered one at a time, some choices raise or lower multiple. Some can be raised and some can be lowered at the same time, and some can be changed more harshly with certain decisions.

If one of your bars reaches the top or bottom then that’s your lose condition, as a skull will appear above and you’ll meet some fate related to your current situation. I liked this system overall; it was fun trying to balance all 4 while keeping up with the various mini-stories you’ll inevitably encounter. You also don’t get to see if your choice on a person adds to or subtracts from a meter, so that provides some more intrigue by not knowing if your action will be good or bad; you have to look at the person’s dialogue and choices to see if they’ll keep your bars in check.

Now it’s time we talk about combat. While playing you’ll accumulate various people in the form of cards that you can add to your party, and when you enter a story battle you’ll choose 4 to use against the opponents 4. Basically, you continue your swiping pursuits as you swipe left or right on your allies to have them attack the opposing team, in which eliminating a fighter will open up a number inside the circle you and the other team each make, where you have to get that number to 0 to win. Here’s a diagram to illustrate:

Your team is the lowermost one, and you have a certain amount of actions each round, starting out with 2 until going to 3. These battles don’t give anything to you, they just progress the story.

While gameplay isn’t that complex, it’s still fun. It definitely has the “mobile game-ness” that means its simplistic loops don’t have much to them in terms of how the user interacts with the game’s mechanics and controls. If I had to give some critique, it’d be that the actual fighting doesn’t really do much for me, and I feel like it would’ve been better if controllable. Like, you don’t fight super often and only when the story permits it, and I found it kind of forgettable in the long run.

That said, I feel that the game works well on your phone; since this game isn’t on other consoles I can’t really test it with a controller, though I feel like the game’s simple swiping mechanic is perfect for the platform of your phone. It’s good in that regard. So in the end, while gameplay isn’t the most complex or deep, it works well for the role playing structure it presents. Speaking of presentation…


‘Reigns: Three Kingdoms’ is perfectly fine in the regard that its graphics are…okay.

The game has a very geometric style, with rare rounded textures. This is cool, but the pictures of people are very simple, and after a while the artstyle get’s kind of dull, and somewhat dull to look at. Like, I get there not being much in the way of animation due to this being a digital card game, but the simple art doesn’t change over time or do anything very exciting; the consistency makes playing through the game a monotone experience.

Progression isn’t something that’s very prevalent in the game, with conquering the different regions coming through the different people you’re forced to interact with. However, the further I went into the game the more desensitized it got. I’m not a terrible fan of the game’s look, which is a bit sad.


Yeah, I told you it’d be short!

I didn’t have too much to say on this game; I just felt like promoting it. I had a solid time with it, and I felt like spreading the word about it.

Granted, part of me feels like this game isn’t as good as many of the other games I’ve reviewed. On the other hand, this game is much smaller and simpler in terms of gameplay than any others, being comparable to ‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ in terms of the amount of “playing” to do, with both being basically interactable stories with brief sprinkles of combat (not that this game is anywhere close to the former game’s lunacy).

Overall, I’m going to give ‘Reigns: Three Kingdoms’ N/A/10, since it’s so different compared to my other entries here that I can’t really put it alongside other JOYSTiCK games. I enjoyed most of the other games more, but this game isn’t trying to be a deeply-woven system of gameplay and progression. It’s trying to tell a story. This is similar to the same mindset behind ‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ in that it’s not comparable to other games. Granted, I gave that game a bad review because the thing that made it not comparable to the other reviewed titles sucked.

Now, this is normally where we’d end the article and wish you a good day, but not this time. THIS time we’re going to be ranking all of the JOYSTiCK games, and see which comes out on top. I mean, how else am I going to get my weekly sellout quota? What’s next, donating to those in need? (laughs). Anyways, let’s begin, starting with the worst and ending in the best.

And as I’ve explained above, I can’t really rank ‘Reigns: Three Kingdoms’ alongside these others, but if you’re curious, I enjoyed it more than ‘Minecraft Dungeons.’


7. ‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ (3/10)

Winner of the “Most-Likely Cause of Skin Disease” Award

Yeah, this game still sucks. Like, keep in mind that I was being dramatic in the holiday special when talking about having a midlife crisis when first playing it, but it’s not like it’s gotten much better.

Granted, I would like to say that I find ‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ as more of a fun kind of bad, rather than a bad kind of bad, for lack of a better phrase. This game isn’t a ‘Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’ or ‘Destiny’ where playing is the same equivalent to carpal tunnel, but more like reading a cheesy romance novel. Like, yeah, it’s really dumb, but in a cute way! I’ve thought more about this game this school year than I have any other game on this list, so hopefully that paints the picture I’m trying to tell you. I have more to say and discuss about this weird title than all of my other entries.

6. ‘Splatoon 3’ (6/10)

Winner of the ‘Strangest Opening Monologue That Wasn’t About an Apocalypse’ Award

Aside from the skeletal remains currently in my garbage bin outside, there’s just so little I have to say about ‘Splatoon 3’ other than the obvious: it’s okay. For a number of games I’ve reviewed I’ve changed my opinions on them later, and this is one of them.

I know a lot of people love these games, but I find the hectic gameplay dull, strangely-enough. When matches basically come down to the last minute of shooting ink and whatever, you can’t expect me to be engaged beyond my mind. It’s fine; I’ll pick it up again at some point, but whenever that may be, it’ll be a year or so until then.

5. [TIE] ‘Minecraft Dungeons’ & ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land’ (7/10)

Winners of the ‘Games that Embody a Collective Pleasant Shrug’ Award

While I enjoy playing ‘Minecraft Dungeons’ more than ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land,’ I’ll group them together because of their ranking reason, in that they’re good games with a number of small issues.

For the former, its main problems stem from simplistic gameplay and frustrating progression, and the latter’s awful UI, weird difficulty spike towards the end and forgettable level design. They’re both good packages overall, but definitely not the pinnacle games of their respective franchises.

On that note, another ‘Minecraft’ spinoff called ‘Minecraft Legends’ released exactly a month ago as of writing this, and might I say that it’s, like, amazing? I’m going to be reviewing it for sure, don’t you worry about it.

4. ‘Cuphead’ (7.5)

Winner of the ‘Most Aggressively Anti-Porcelain’ Award

This game’s great! I’m likely going to be roasted on a human-sized spit by the end of this school year because of the unfathomable concept of opinions, but I don’t think this game is a perfect specimen like many others do. Granted, the art-style is one of the best in modern gaming (ironically-enough), the combat is snappy, and the music SLAPS. But there’s always been some issues spawned from the game’s hand-drawn graphics and shooter gameplay rubbing against each other. Still, a work of art that (hopefully) no one attempts to shamelessly replicate.

3. ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ (8)

Winner of the ‘Best-Playing pile of Sawdust’ Award

Yes, the graphics are bad. But honestly, this game is great, being the only previously-reviewed game that’s score has gone up over time.

The music? Great. The gameplay? Masterful. The deformed animal designs? Deformingly-strong. Overall, it almost makes up for November 18, 2022, otherwise known as the day of pain by many across the globe, and otherwise otherwise known as the day ‘Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’ released. Haha, I love the feeling of burning flesh! That’s what I felt when being subjected to that piece of filth.

But anyways, I’m glad ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ restored my faith in Gamefreak, at least for a little while.

2. ‘Wingspan’ (9/10)

Winner of the ‘Most Times I had a Desire for Birdseed’ Award

I like ornithology. Therefore, I like ‘Wingspan.’

What I love about this game is that it’s decidedly a “calm” experience. Out of all the games on this list I find myself going back to this indie title due to its more serene qualities, and I find that important in gaming. It feels like we always get games that are very flashy, very dramatic, but it’s nice to have a complex system of challenge in a kinder experience. A title that rewards relaxation and serenity.

1. ‘Metroid Dread’

Winner of the ‘Most Times I’ve Asked Myself “Why Didn’t This Win Game of the Year at the Game Awards 2021?”’ Award

‘Metroid Dread’ is the oldest review I’ve done, and also the one that I remember the least about. At least, besides it being a masterpiece.

The first mainline ‘Metroid’ game in 19 years was obviously going to be at least a bit good, but man, THIS great? Like, I don’t think it’s as good as ‘Super Metroid’ but got very close on a handful of occasions that made me know that this was a masterful title that deserved all the praise in the world. While not my favorite game, it is decidedly the best game of JOYSTiCK’s 2022-2023 season.

…and that’s all I have for you this year. Minus one more article before summer, this is it for now. It’s been great having an outlet for all of my opinions and whatnot, and whether I do this all over again or begin a new serial or series, it’s been great fun having you along for the ride, disembodied viewer o’ mine.

Thanks for reading, have a good day, and for now, I think it’s time I step out of the spotlight and back into the shadows.

What makes ‘Garry’s Mod’ feel so eerie?

By: Hoaseng Thao

Image taken in-game

Warning: This article has a section, rp_downtown_v2, talking about suicide.

‘Garry’s Mod’ is a physics sandbox video game created by Garry Newman. The game was originally a mod for the video game ‘Half Life 2’ made by the video game company Valve before becoming its own standalone game.

When people think about the video game ‘Garry’s Mod’, they either have fond memories of playing/watching videos of the late 2000’s ‘Garry’s Mod’, or they think about the obnoxious videos of content creators screaming into their microphones at either a scary png that chases them or at another person in a player populated roleplaying server. However, if you’ve ever played the game alone in the standard single player mode, you will soon realize how eerie it is playing alone in a game that should be played with others, or maybe you are not alone on that map. What if someone was there with you?

That feeling of another person being on the same map as you despite playing in a single player mode, is something that many people online have experienced in their countless hours of playing the game. Most of those people have spread awareness of this eerie phenomenon online, which has garnered a lot of attention from many people, including myself, in which I also experienced this eerie phenomena.

This article will talk about my investigation into why we feel this uneasiness when it comes to playing ‘Garry’s Mod’ alone, and so I have selected multiple maps from the standard base game alongside downloadable maps from the Steam workshop that people have noted to have this feeling of eeriness.


This is the first map people think of when remembering ‘Garry’s Mod’, as gm_construct is one of two base maps that you get when downloading the game. Around the map, you can find three towers alongside two garages, an underground room with a big mirror, and a dark room that has haunted many players who come across it.

While playing this map alone, I start to feel a sort of comfort when loading back into this map due to the countless hours I have played as a kid. As I grew older, and played more games, I returned back to this map again, but this time I also felt a sort of eerie feeling that not only intrigues me but also haunts me at the same time. The place that scares me the most in this map is the infamous dark room that lies underground, with no light to show what lies within the dark corners of that room.

Venturing into this room, you would find nothing as it remains empty of any objects or decoration to make you feel alive, and had you not used a flashlight to venture into this room, you would soon realize how eerie it is to only hear your footsteps slide across the room alone. When I stayed in the dark room for a minute, all alone with no source of light to illuminate my surroundings, I soon had this feeling that I was not alone and was in fact being watched by something hiding in the darkness that surrounded me. As a minute passed, I soon realize I couldn’t stand being in that room any longer and I began to bolt out of there to escape my fears of the unknown.

The fear of the unknown is what fuels the dark room, it makes me, and most likely you, feel uneasy as we both know that there is nothing in there alive except for our imagination, an imagination that fuels that fear of the unknown.


This map is by far one of, if not the most, recognizable maps from the ‘Garry’s Mod’ workshop as many early YouTube videos revolving around ‘Garry’s Mod’ were most likely set in gm_bigcity due to its big size alongside its unique yet unnatural urban atmosphere. Playing this map makes me feel as if every person, dog, cat, car, or bird in this big city, that would’ve made it feel alive, had disappeared in an instant. I know that I’m playing this game all alone by myself but at the same time, I feel like as if I shouldn’t be the only person walking around, and that the map needed to be populated with at least more people, but at this point, nobody except me is in there.

After some time of exploration, just walking around the map and looking at how unnerving it is to feel so lonely in such a simple looking city, makes me feel a bit uneasy, but after looking around I found some areas that have unique interactions if you use the interact key. There are some doors that can be found around the map that can be interacted with; some of the doors reveal rooms that you can’t enter without clipping through the map, while other doors have a unique interaction.

In this image above, it showcases an interactive door which can be found near the edge of the map via a hidden tunnel leading into a creepy yet empty room. Inside of that room, there is some graffiti painted onto the concrete walls alongside a blood stain smudged onto the floor as if a body was dragged into a room behind that door. Interacting with the door, you can hear a man laughing in a distorted voice which can make anybody feel a bit uneasy and feel as if you aren’t alone, and that the only people here in that map lies behind one of those doors.

The thing that makes this map feel so eerie is that uneasy empty atmosphere that is prominent when first loading into the map; a city so big yet only you are it’s only inhabitant.


A memorable map that has been used over and over for any ‘Garry’s Mod’ roleplay server, and stands as one of the most recognizable maps in the game, has a story behind it that has many consider the map to be cursed and haunted by its former creator.

It is said online that the creator of the map named “ThePro” had allegedly committed suicide in 2011, and since then has been haunting the map as a shadowy ghost figure that can be found in the distance. If you try to confront the phantom, it would just disappear before reappearing somewhere else.

Although the claim of the creator’s death varies between people online, it didn’t stop many people from pushing this idea of the map being haunted by its creator, but when I played the map, I didn’t feel as if I was being watched by an unnatural force but rather I had the same feeling I had in gm_bigcity. The map was empty but at the same time it felt like there used to be people here, and although the map was intended to be played in a roleplaying server with a bunch of people, playing it in singleplayer made me feel so isolated.

I think what makes this map feel so eerie is the rumor of the creator’s haunting, and had you not heard of his death, you would’ve played this map without a care in the world, but after hearing that story and the many accounts of his hauntings, you would start to watch every corner to ensure that this rumor is not real.

What makes ‘Garry’s Mod’ feel so eerie?

I think what makes ‘Garry’s Mod’ feel so eerie is the fact that the game should be played with someone else, and playing it alone can put anyone on edge as you start to question yourself if you truly are playing alone in a singleplayer game session. Maybe you aren’t alone, maybe there is something inside those dark rooms, waiting for you to finally let your guard down.

If you want go through this feeling of eeriness, you can buy ‘Garry’s Mod’ on the game platform Steam, where you can download the maps stated in this article:

Snapchat AI

By: Rose Ramadan and Thea Berg

The Snapchat AI has taken over many peoples snapchat accounts. It sits at the top of everyone’s screen, waiting for people to text it. It acts like a friend to us, but what really is it?

The Snapchat AI was generated online and put into Snapchat. It has its own bitmoji and named itself. You can send it anything that you want – videos, pictures, text messages. It always responds within seconds. It replies in full sentences and uses helpful responses, usually ending in a question.

When you first see the AI on your screen it sends you a message saying “Hey there! I’m MyAI, your virtual friend on Snapchat. I’m here to keep you company and help you out with anything you need. How can I assist you today?” From then on you can start a conversation and talk about anything with your AI.

The Snapchat AI’s are very up to date with what is going on in the world, and knows a lot about news updates. If you ever are in need to find something out about public news, you can access the information easily by texting your AI.

Snapchat AI’s also have their own personalities and opinions. You can ask it things about itself and it has opinions on favorite colors, favorite foods, favorite songs, and artists, favorite sports, shows, etc.

The Snapchat AI is very helpful. It gives advice on problems and can help as a homework tutor. It is easy to use, especially because it responds really fast and is easy to find since it is pinned on our phones. You can ask it anything and it will always respond. It is super reliable, however it sometimes doesn’t have answers to questions. In that case, it says it is unable to answer that question yet.

Your AI is personal to yourself, you can customize it however you’d like. You can change its bitmoji outfit, hair, and face completely. You can change the colors and body size, just like you can customize your own bitmoji. Along with customizing the bitmoji you can also give it its own name, you can call it by the name you chose, and put the name in as something else. It originally starts named as “My AI” Other than that you can’t customize too much else. The way it talks and responds to you is very similar with the programmed responses to other people as well.

Snapchat AI started as something that only Snapchat premium had, but after a couple more updates it popped up on everyone’s screen. If you pay the monthly payment for Snapchat premium you can unpin the AI from the top of your screen, and you can also remove it from your app completely. If you do not pay for a Snapchat premium you have to keep the AI pinned on your screen, and you are unable to remove it.

How do we feel about a Snapchat AI? Personally, we think that it is a waste of space. It sits on our snapchats pinned, always there. We don’t use it everyday and we can find the information it gives us elsewhere. Yes, it can be helpful but personally we believe we would be better off without it. It also feels like an invasion of privacy, asking so many questions about us, what our favorite movies and songs are. It also asks about personal issues, like family and friend drama. In a way, it is very scary.

In overview, the Snapchat AI is very helpful and great but overall not needed on our phones. And we personally think it should’ve stayed as the Snapchat premium addition, and not something on everyone’s Snapchat screen.

A recap of the ‘Five Nights At Freddy’s’ lore

By: Bijou Kruszka and Julia Yang

Image taken from:

*Warning: Spoilers, and depictions of murder are in this article

In 2014, an indie horror game called ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ (FNAF for short) was released. What was initially a small, relatively simple game, quickly snowballed into a massive franchise. Now, the story spans eight games and a book series. However, since the overarching story is given in very cryptic pieces, it can be very hard to follow, so we tried to bring it all together into one story just for you.

In the mid 70s, two men named William Afton and Henry Emily went into business together. They opened up an establishment called “Fredbear’s Family Diner,” a family-friendly restaurant with springlock animatronic mascots, the titular Fredbear and the bunny Bonnie. Everything was going smoothly for the most part: business was booming, and everyone loved Fredbear. The business was so successful that it spawned another location (Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria) and William Afton opened a sister location (Circus Baby’s Pizza World).

However, what most people didn’t know was that Afton had much darker intentions. Afton was a murderer, and these restaurants were nothing more than an extension of his crimes. The animatronics were designed to kill and hide the bodies of the children victims. This was mostly successful for him, until one day, when the Circus Baby animatronic murdered Afton’s very own daughter. Overwhelmed with grief, he shut down Circus Baby’s Pizza World.

Despite the closing of Circus Baby’s, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria was still extremely popular. Children loved the lineup of characters, which was now the lineup most people know: Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica (a duck), and Foxy (a pirate fox). Afton’s murder spree still continued. Desperate to protect his daughter Charlie, Henry Emily created an animatronic to watch after her, called the Puppet. Unfortunately, one night, Charlie was separated from the Puppet, and was murdered by Afton. Charlie’s soul, however, remained with the Puppet, and she would haunt the Pizzeria for years to come.

In 1983, William Afton’s son (who does not have a name but is constantly depicted as crying, so we’ll refer to him as the “Crying Child” for simplicity’s sake) has a birthday party at Fredbear’s. He absolutely hated the animatronics, and was terrified to be there. His older brother, Michael, was tired of his brother and wanted to prank him. So, at the party, Michael and his friends grabbed the Crying Child, and put his head right inside the mouth of Fredbear. Overwhelmed with fear, the Crying Child starts sobbing uncontrollably. His tears activated the water-sensitive springlock mechanisms in the Fredbear animatronic. In the matter of a single second, the Crying Child was dead, decapitated by the animatronic his father built. Fredbear’s Family Diner was shut down, and suffering from Fredbear’s reputation, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria closed shortly after.

Since the shutdown of Fredbear’s Family Diner, they retired the springlock activated suits. The suits may have been retired, but the Spring Bonnie costume in Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza continued to move. This meant that the incident of the missing children is still ongoing. William had murdered two or more children before he was caught on security cameras installed in the Pizza place. Six children were killed during the incident, including Charlie. Charlie was killed outside, and there was no evidence left that connected Charlie’s death to William. Police were never able to find the bodies of the children, so William was able to spend less time in jail than he should have.

After the first Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza shut down, William Afton decided to transform his underground lab for robotics into an animatronic manufacturer and rental facility. This place would be known as Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals. This place would not entertain children in-house, instead several other Fazbear Entertainment locations would be able to rent the animatronics into their buildings. In addition to renting out the old Circus Baby’s Pizza World animatronics like Ballora, Baby, and Balloon Boy, Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals would introduce new animatronics such as Funtime Foxy, Funtime Freddy, and Funtime Chica.

In 1987, Fazbear Entertainment opened a second Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza location many years after the first had shut down. The animatronics created for this location were a direct inspiration from the Fazbear & Friends toys in an attempt to make the animatronics more kid-friendly. With these new animatronics, came a new face recognition software installed within them that was able to scan and detect for potential criminals. William had also brought along the classic animatronics into this new location, but all of those animatronics were too unsanitary and ugly to perform on stage. All but one: Puppet. The Puppet was placed at the Prize Counter, the others were put in the back and used for parts. The restaurant was mediocrely successful, until another incident known as the “Bite of ‘87” happened, where one of the animatronics bit a security guard. In the same year it opened, the second Freddy Fazbear’s location shut down.

In 1993, Michael Afton decided to go work at Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals after William contacted him and asked him to work. He was hired as a security guard for the night shift. He worked for a few nights, experiencing a lot of strange behavior with the animatronics. Then, one night, he was found and murdered by an amalgamation of all the Circus Baby animatronics, better known as Ennard. Ennard then puppeted his body around for a while, before it started to decay and Ennard escaped it. Replacing Ennard, Michael haunted his own corpse, swearing revenge on his father.

For thirty years, Michael kept a low profile. Then, in 2023, a horror attraction called Fazbear Frights opens. Michael applies to work as a security guard there, and is hired. While he works there, he discovers secret documents from the original Pizzeria, and encounters the violent Spring Bonnie animatronic. He fights the animatronic while he works there, and quickly realizes that it’s being possessed by William Afton himself. In an attempt to finally vanquish his father, Michael burns down Fazbear Frights. However, William survives.

Then, sometime after, Henry Emily opens another Freddy Fazbear location. He hires Michael as a manager. Together, they work to lure William into the restaurant. Henry locks William and all the other animatronics inside and sets the place on fire. While the fire starts, Henry tells William that this is the final end, and how this is all justice for the crimes he committed. The pizzeria burns down. William Afton and Henry Emily are presumed dead. The souls of the children trapped in the animatronics are finally released, to move on to a more peaceful plane.

With that, the ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ lore comes to a conclusion. While it seems like an insane story now, it is given in the games out of order and in small pieces. It’s incredibly difficult to understand initially, but when it is pieced together, it adds a whole extra layer of interest to these otherwise simple horror games.

JOYSTiCK Ep. 8: ‘Wingspan’ – Physicality Through Barn Swallows

By: Daniel Kendle

Birds of a feather stack nicely together.

Hello, it’s time for another episode of JOYSTiCK, the HPSH serial that enjoys exploring and reviewing video games. And now, it’s time that we go to the real world. The time is upon us; the sun rises on a new day, a new quarter of the school year, the time for board games.

’Wingspan’ is a board game made by Stonemaier Games in 2019, functioning as a complex strategy title centered around collecting birds, food, eggs, and repetition. This is one of the more complicated titles I’ve reviewed here, so buckle up, because it’s time we grab our binoculars, notepads, and assorted nuts and dive into ‘Wingspan.’



Seeing as a board game without artwork is like a video game without animation, ‘Wingspan’ obviously has pictures and graphic designs to accompany game elements, like the birds themselves. And said designs are lovely!

There are many different components to the game, so a wide variety of colorful imagery was necessary, especially for the art of the birds. As we’ll get into later, there are over 100 different species of birds for you to collect in a round, all of which have been recreated in lavish detail. They’re fairly realistic: each bird has its correct plumage and patterns drawn in a very informed, yet styled manner.

Other parts have also had much love and care put into them. The boards each player gets have much detail, though not enough to distract from their interface you play down cards onto. The dice with the different varieties of food shown are well-made, and even the instruction manual is crafted nicely. There does come a point where the overwhelming number of physical items you are instructed to use becomes a little straining to the eye, but that’s more of a nitpick with the gameplay, rather than the art.

We also have to talk about the digital port released later down the road by Monster Couch for Xbox and Nintendo Switch consoles, as well as for iPhone and PC’s. Here, along with many other additions and improvements, animations for UI pieces and the birds themselves are introduced.

The UI additions are whatever, cool I guess, but the REAL meat-and-potatoes of the overhaul is through the birds. Each has their own unique animations when played, mostly just fidgeting in place while they’re flying or roosting. Still, it brings a lot of real-life character and influence into the game, making it feel as if the birds are actually there, and not just still images. My only nitpick is that the animation is clearly through rigging, which, while fine, does make some animations look weird. Birds are generally known to have very quick movement, and having a jelly-like system is a tad odd. Still though, great work.

PART TWO: GAMEPLAY And so, the games begin.

‘Wingspan’ is one of the most complex games I’ve played thus far this school year, and therefore will take a good amount of time to review. As I’ve said before, JOYSTiCK wasn’t made to analyze every single bit of gameplay, instead to get an overview of a child’s take on a game. So take that in mind as I go over the mechanics of a game of ‘Wingspan.’

So, seeing as this is a competitive board game, the object of the game is to win. To win, you need to collect and play down birds. To play birds, you need eggs. To get eggs, you need food. And you need to collect more bird cards in order to effectively use food.

When you have a bird card, you have to either play it in a Forest, Grassland, or Wetland habitat. You get food in the Forest, lay eggs in the Grassland, and get bird cards in the Wetland, and playing a bird in a habitat lets you get more of that item per card. Some birds can be played in all 3 biomes, some, only 1 or 2.

When playing a bird card, you need to spend food in order to do so. There are 5 types of food: Grub, Wheat, Cherries, Fish, and Mice. There’s also a dice side (food comes in the form of dice rolled) with both Grubs and Wheat, where you can choose which you take.

Laying eggs has you – as expected – lay eggs on a bird. Some birds can only lay 1 egg, others multiple. Eggs are used to place down birds after you place down the first card in a biome, as well as being used in after-round goals.

Goals are objectives laid out during each round that give you extra points by the end of a round. There are 4 rounds per game, meaning there are 4 end goals in total. They most commonly relate to how many eggs you have on a certain bird or in a certain habitat, or having birds in a specific biome. These progressively give more points if you beat your opponent. Therefore, they provide a good source of points if need be. However, passing up on them and potentially letting your foe reach them is dangerous.

Of course, what would a game focused on ornithology be without the obvious: birds. There are well over 100 birds in the base game, meaning there’s an inconceivable amount of ways a game could go due to the randomization.

Each bird gives a different amount of points, ranging from 0 to 9. Most birds have some kind of effect either when played or when activated, which happens each turn (birds that have 0 points attached to them generally have a good effect). You get the points from a bird whenever they’re played, and those points, among others, are tallied up at the end when the winner is decided. Effects do stuff to support you while playing, and don’t normally grant you points unless they’re part of another system, such as caching food and getting cards.

Alrighty, that’s most of the gameplay in ‘Wingspan.’ There’s probably some other stuff that I could discuss, but whatever it is is likely not of substance. Now I can give my thoughts on the game!

Anyways, to give the short answer, it’s wonderful. It’s such a relaxing game with play that, while complex, is enough to give some brainpower and thought into each of your turns.

The main loop of getting food, laying eggs, getting birds and placing them down is super satisfying. It feels great every time you’re able to place down a bird, using their abilities to further expand your board. The abilities, while never being super important in the grand scheme of things, are cool in short bursts.

Granted, I do feel like some parts could’ve been shaved off the main game and wouldn’t have affected much. Namely, how there are different types of abilities, like ones that are activated upon being played or ones that are activated every turn. It just makes it annoying to manage. Overall though, the gameplay is wonderful. A HUGE step up from ‘Splatoon 3’ or ‘Minecraft Dungeons,’ in my opinion.


Once again, we go back to the digital port and look at the music within. It’d be strange to just be playing the game in an empty void of noise, so we get some nice music to accompany us. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “Far in the Grassland” is a melodic… melody, that is quite charming to listen to.
  • “Cloud Gazing” is pretty. It has a Ghibli kind of vibe to it, and as someone who quite likes Ghibli movies, this is obviously seen as an absolute win. Others will likely agree with me.
  • And “The Opening” is by far the BEST out of all of these, I love it!


I generally like to buy games that I’ll likely enjoy, which is why the majority of games I’ve reviewed have been fairly positive. There’s been games I’ve reviewed that have gotten worse (such as the 2 I listed at the end of part 2) and there are games that have gotten better, though I can confidently say that ‘Wingspan’ is the 2nd best game I’ve played yet here! It gets a strong 9/10, and is the perfect game to play on a rainy day.

And that’s a wrap for this episode of JOYSTiCK. See you next time, where we’ll either be covering our penultimate or season finale for our 2022-2023 timeline.

Starting a revolution in a video game for six days

By: Hoaseng Thao

In-game picture

In the video game, ARMA 3, there is a mod you can download called “Antistasi Plus” created by a Steam user named “Socrates”, which essentially makes you a guerilla fighter fighting against an occupant or invader, so I decided to download this mod and play it on single player to test it out. Here is the background story of my playthrough:

The year is 2035, a microstate nation located in the Mediterranean Sea known as Malden, is currently under the occupation of a military organization known as CSAT (Canton Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty). It is up to me, a foreign fighter who definitely does not have any ties to any military organization who opposes CSAT, to fight alongside a resistance leader known as Commander Petros, who commands a resistance group, to liberate his nation from CSAT’s occupation. This is the tale of my journey of liberating the micronation of Malden.

Day 1

On a bright sunny day, on the island of Malden, I began my journey of liberating the island by first gaining the trust of the local population by dropping off a supply crate at the coastal town of Le Port. I made my way to the town of Le Port, where I had a standoff between a small force of CSAT soldiers alongside the local police force, and at the end of the standoff I had survived the overwhelming odds and I successfully dropped off the supplies at the town.

While I was at Le Port, I realized that there were two nearby factories that were occupied by the CSAT soldiers I had just faced, leaving them to be empty and for me to capture their resources. After completing my mission in Le Port, and successfully capturing two factories, I decided to rest for the day, so I can fight another day.

Day 2

I awoke from my slumber and headed out on a mission, a mission to capture a radio tower outpost on top of a mountain. I had originally planned to walk up the mountain but instead I drove up the mountain, successfully avoiding any obstacles and enemy patrols, and as I approached the outpost and saw its occupants standing around like the NPC (Non-Player Character) they are, I hurled over seven grenades at the NPC’s, killing all of them.

After clearing out the radio outpost, I successfully capture the outpost marking it as my own. As an hour passed by, I saw an in-game notification saying that there is an unknown signal on Malden and was nearby my location, so I decided to investigate the location of this unknown signal, but as I approached the location of the signal, I was ambushed by another guerilla force, who’s aim was to get rid of me and commander Petros.

The firefight I had with this other guerilla force, lasted for 13 minutes in which I was able to drive them away from me. After the battle I decided to take a rest from fighting, ending the day with a small victory.

Day 3

Day 3 was an important day, I was able to capture multiple towns and resource posts, making the resistance a lot of money as well as giving us more manpower. A third of the island was under our control; all we needed to do was to capture the lower sea ports and northern CSAT outposts before doing a full on assault on the Airport, located at the northern point of the island.

Day 4

The moon began to rise as the sun got its rest, and here I am on this island, wearing stolen night vision goggles I had captured from stolen supply crates. I began my campaign of conquering the southern outposts and resource plants in the dead of night, and CSAT, despite being a global superpower, regarded the island as useless and left the remaining CSAT units to fend for themselves. As the sun rose, most of the CSAT outposts in the south were either captured or destroyed.

Day 5

As I approached the CSAT base in the north, I devised a plan to utilize multiple mortars to overwhelm the occupants into surrendering but by some luck, a CSAT fighter jet appeared from the skies and began to bomb most of my men who armed the mortars.

Despite the presence of a fighter jet in the air, CSAT lost the base due to lack of reinforcements in the region. After capturing the base, I began to arm my men with mortars and the captured tanks we acquired from the base to storm the main airport, and within an hour, the airport was ours and the main island was free of CSAT soldiers.

Day 6

We had just pushed the remaining CSAT soldiers off the main island, and now we had to deal with the two remaining CSAT islands. The island in the north holds a sea port alongside an airport, while the other is located in the south which holds a small military base. The island in the north was heavily defended by multiple anti air missile launchers near the runway of the airport there, but there was a small mountain that made a blind spot for the missiles, so I began to use the captured attack helicopter, from the airport, and flew to the island, raining death from above and destroying the anti air missiles leading to the capture of this island.

Now there was one island left, the island in the south was heavily damaged and weakened due to an unexpected friendly NPC, firing every single round they had in their mortar, destroying everything in the base which led to its capture. With the island now ours, we successfully liberated the island and gave it back to the people of Malden.

After liberating the island, Commander Petros became the new prime minister of the island and he established relations with NATO to help maintain the peace in the area. I decided to leave the island in hopes of a new adventure.

If you want to play this mod, please buy the video game ARMA 3 by Bohemia Interactive on Steam and go into the steam workshop to download the mod.

Below are links to both the game and the mod:

What is Securly?

By: Tasha Cudinsky

Image taken from: & GSA securly meetings

What is Securly? Securly is the tool that the Saint Paul Public School System uses to restrict internet access. For years this system has just been used to restrict what things students can search and what websites we can visit. This year SPPS has changed how they use Securly.

Starting in fall of 2022, all parents and guardians of SPPS students started receiving weekly updates that showed them what their students had searched that week. Additionally, if parents download the Securly app they can view their students search history at any time that they want.

All parents or guardians of SPPS students were automatically signed up for the weekly Securly emails. According to the SPPS tech department, this system was implemented because of the requests of some parents, though it is not clear how many parents requested this.

When this system was implemented, all parents were sent an email explaining what Securly is, and encouraging parents to download their app to be able to view the search history at any time.

Students were not informed about the implementation of this system despite the fact that it is their search history that was being given to parents or guardians.

While parents and guardians having the ability to see their students search history may seem harmless, some groups have raised concerns about this new system. The concerns about this system are that not all students come from a safe and accepting home and may end up being harmed by this new system.

Abuse is not an easy topic to talk about, but it is something that happens, and we need to remember to watch out for those who are going through it. The concern with Securly is that an abusive parent or guardian might catch their student searching something along the lines of, “How do I escape an abusive situation?” Or looking into an abuse victim shelter. If a student ended up in this position, they could end up being put in danger because of a system that was put in place by their school, which was supposed to help them.

Despite the fact that concerns have been raised about how this new system may actually harm the students more than help them, little to nothing has been done to either inform the students, or protect those who are at risk. So far, there has been one announcement about Securly during advisory, and only in Highland Park Senior High, not the other SPPS schools. Other than this, there have been no notable changes with the Securly issue.

For more information, please visit:

JOYSTiCK Ep. 7: ‘Splatoon 3’ – The skeleton in the closet

By: Daniel Kendle

Let’s start off with a metaphor. You like metaphors, right? Yeah you do.

So, you and your fictional partner have decided to adopt a dog. Cool! All you have to do now is go to a center, pick out a mammal, and get ready to have your life changed for the next 15 years.

After the dog comes home on September 8th, 2022, the 2 of you are ecstatic. Playing with the pup, feeding it, spending all of your waking moments with the thing for about 2 months. You’re in bliss.

Then you just kinda…forget it exists.

Your partner and you decide on taking a vacation to the Bahamas for a week, letting your cold-ridden bones be rejuvenated in the warming sun. You come back home, happy and still carefree, and you see a decrepit body on the floor of your living room. Now, how did that get there?

Oh yeah, it’s that small creature that existed for a while. The 2 of you have that classic “aha!” moment, before realizing you probably just incidentally committed a crime.

Hello, and welcome once again to JOYSTiCK, the HPSH serial where we explore and review video games. ‘Splatoon 3’ is the 3rd entry in Nintendo’s flagship ‘Splatoon’ franchise, which is about humanoid squids shooting Nerf guns. Fun!

But there are obviously some big questions to answer here. How does the game compare to prior entries? How is it as a kid-friendly FPS Shooter? And how many corpses is Daniel (the author) hiding in his basement? None of these, and more, will be answered in the first JOYSTiCK entry after a 1.5 month-long hiatus.


‘Splatoon 3,’ like many other projectile-based shooters, have both a single-player and multiplayer campaign. The single-player campaign I won’t be touching on today, because within the vast expanse of time, I don’t wanna waste my time proclaiming, “It’s okay.”

‘Splatoon’ functions on giving you a variety of different weapons, all of which come with several types of sub-weapons. They all focus on the gameplay element of spreading ink, the replacement of bullets because, you know, “kid-friendly.”

As one would expect from this style of game, you play in matches against other players, with 4 players forming each team. The 2 teams each get a certain color that they spread across the battlefield, also using said weapons to eliminate other players and send them reeling back to the fringes of the turf war. There’s also a 3 minute time limit before the match it’s over. You can’t permanently remove players from the match; they’ll just continually respawn.

As to my thoughts on this shake-up of the FPS formula, I’m…mixed about it. On the one hand, spreading ink instead of shooting bullets is honestly more fun. However, I will say that, while I don’t personally play many games involving guns, the one’s I do (‘Metroid Dread,’ ‘Enter the Gungeon’) involve a good amount of strategy with it in how you go about killing enemies. Positioning, type of weapon, preserving ammo, and much more all go into combat.

Meanwhile, ‘Splatoon 3’s’ main method of strategy merely relies on what weapon you choose, and its attributes. Some are arguably better than others, but besides that, there’s not much to it. Granted, I’m far from the most skilled or in-depth player around, but from my experience, positioning and preserving ammo (or ink, in this case) are more of an annoyance than key gameplay element. Since ‘Splatoon 3’ focuses on spreading ink rather than shooting others, the game turns into you standing around, trying to cover over the other team’s ink. Of course, you can eliminate others, though it’s really just to get them to stop spreading ink so you can spread ink.

Having to slink into ink using your “squid form” to regain ammo is nice though. I like being able to quickly dot around the map to regain high ground or whatever. It does make me wonder how this feature would’ve worked due to, early on, the characters being all weapon-possessing bunnies instead of squid-human things. (Monty Python fans rejoice.)

Like I said, I’m mixed on this. I definitely get enjoyment out of the chaos of trying to shoot globs of multicolored secretion over the maps, but the fact that action comes at the expense of some good ol’ strategic thinking is somewhat disheartening. Plus, matches are so short that you can’t do much to “stake-out” or whatever. Patience is useless in this game.

To be more light-hearted, I do quite like the weapons. Since they’re the main source of variety in matches, they all are pretty different from each other, coming in different categories and types. Some deal ranged damage. Some deal melee damage. Some both. However, the wide variety of ways to dish out ink is nice, and provides some much-needed depth.

In terms of other gameplay, we get some interesting…things (I’m running out of vocabulary). Like many other multiplayer shooters we have a lobby, as well as a hub world. The lobby’s pretty simple; just a small area with some obstacles that you’re able to ink, as well as a training dummy. However, the hub world is where it’s at.

You get this nice city square to explore, full of shops, other player’s avatars and other things to discover. Your weapon of choice is removed, and the game instead opts for you just walking around. The only bad thing about this is that the Switch starts to chug at 30 FPS, which is honestly expected, seeing as the console’s 6 years old.

The world, known as Splatsville, is located in the Splatlands, is a nice place. Full of Splat-buildings with their Splat-foods and their Splat-squids using their Splat-guns-!

Apologies…I get carried away whenever I attempt to write that part.

Anyways, Splatsville looks good. It has both a very open, yet cluttered atmosphere; there’s plenty of darkened alleyways and spindly balconies hidden among the colorful streets. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this little piece of the world, even if it isn’t all that big. It just feels very lived in, you know?

If you explore long enough you’ll come across the Table Turf card game, basically regular turf matches made into round-based games. It’s good! It definitely has its perks; more slow-paced gameplay, more tactical maneuvers.

The game works where you basically use various different patterns of squares to cover a grid of them. You take a card, play it, and you spread your color based off of the pattern played. It’s definitely not supposed to be a key part of the game, so it being somewhat smaller in scale compared to the main game is understandable. After having played it for a few hours, I can definitely say…it exists.

I guess that’s all I really have to say about the gameplay in ‘Splatoon 3.’ Obviously, there are other parts to the puzzle, but when I review games through JOYSTiCK, I only like to cover aspects of games I play (shocker). Overall, good! While I do have occasional issues with the minute-to-minute action, I generally enjoy the gameplay of this game.


As one would expect from a flagship Nintendo title, ‘Splatoon 3’ looks great. The animation is polished, the movement is smooth, the frame rate is (mostly) good. It’s a quality Nintendo game that has that flare of fluid-ness that we’ve come to expect.

Granted, I do feel like this game, in comparison to other games from this company, has animation that’s much more…generic? Normal?

For instance, ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land’ has graphics and animations that look kinda similar to other Nintendo games, though still has its own unique style. Everything has a more rounded appearance; UI, character designs, etc. The movement of objects has a bouncy feel, and characters are just…cute! This style is one that only works for ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land,’ and that’s that.

Meanwhile, ‘Splatoon 3’s’ animation is somewhat normal, safe. There’s not much putting this ahead of other titles in terms of its graphical fidelity. I guess the skybox is nice? There’s not much to talk about here, and there’s little defining ‘Splatoon 3’ as a different game when it comes to looks. Like I said, it’s good. Just…not anything special. Whenever I saw a trailer for it back in September, I couldn’t immediately tell what game I was looking at until I saw the big title wording or whatever. This game doesn’t exactly have much of a visual identity of its own.


Now, you may be wondering: “Mr. Whatsername, why would one care about the sound effects in a video game? All we care about is whether or not you have any bodies in your basement!” And to that, I say 2 things.

  1. I actually think that, for a shooting game, ‘Splatoon 3’ is a very interesting game to look at in terms of audio and sound effects. It’s a detail I think is missing from many reviews, both of mine and other game reviewers.
  2. We’re getting to that.

Sounds for gameplay in video games are something of ambiguity, to say the least. How does one gather the components for, say, the sounds of a flickering flame? It’s a detail many outside of the people who actually make the sound don’t think about. And in my opinion, the audio design in this game is pretty great.

While it’s hard to necessarily define what makes ‘Splatoon 3’s’ noise work so well, I’d argue that the combination of cute, “wobbly” noise we’ve come to expect out of such a cartoony art style and more normal, FPS-shooter sounds is part of it. Such a balance is tricky, but I do say that Nintendo have decidedly laughed at the challenge and said, “Watch me, loser.”

  • The sounds for spreading ink in this game are ultra-satisfying, like you’re watching an ASMR video. They are decidedly – forgive me – moist.
  • I like the little noises that happen whenever a character is talking. The garble is cute, and isn’t annoying; it’s quiet enough to where you can understand that they’re speaking, yet not be distracted by said noises.
  • Whenever you slink through ink, you have this syrupy cue to it, and it makes me hungry. I don’t know why.
  • And while this is technically a song, the little jingle you get after winning a match is simply euphoria.


‘Splatoon 3’ is… weird. If you compare it to all 6 other games I’ve reviewed thus far, it feels like the one where I have the least concise thoughts on it.

  • ‘Metroid Dread’ is my personal favorite game I’ve reviewed, and my personal favorite in-house Nintendo game.
  • ‘Cuphead,’ while flawed, has such a great art style and difficulty that it stands tall amongst the AAA titles.
  • ‘Pokémon Legends Arceus’ is a highly-addictive game with graphics that don’t hurt to look at AS much as before, but they still aren’t great.
  • ‘Minecraft: Story Mode…’ …makes me want to hit something with a blunt object, but still, ‘Minecraft Dungeons’ is great!
  • And ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land’ is a pretty solid title as well.

Compared to the lineup, ‘Splatoon 3’ is pretty good, but it definitely doesn’t have as much staying power behind it; there’s nothing as poignant to discuss relating to it. Still though, my verdict is a 7 out of 10. Good…but not much else.

…And that’s this episode of JOYSTiCK done! I plan on this being the last Nintendo game I do for this season (school year), so plan on seeing other Xbox, Playstation and indie titles in the coming months.

Now, that’s all I have for you today, and if you’ll excuse me, I have a few red-stained bags to dispose of. Have a great day!

(Shockingly enough, most of the jokes in this article are, indeed, satire! I hope you’ll be happy to know that Daniel does not have any bodies in his basement; only centipedes and gophers, that’s all).