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Psycho Mantis is different in Metal Gear Solid Master Collection

We know the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection is largely full of ports, but it's the Metal Gear Solid port specifically that we were concerned about.

Metal Gear Solid - red line drawing of Solid Snake with writing surrounding him.

While it is common knowledge that the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Volume 1 will feature straight-up ports of the MGS HD Collection from back in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, we now know that Metal Gear Solid is the PlayStation version, which, as it turns out could have had unintended consequences in one of the stealth game’s boss fights.

This news came from a recent Konami press event, where we got to sit down with the Switch version of Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Volume 1.

For those who don’t know, this includes Metal Gear Solid 1 – 3, as well as the MSX and NES Metal Gear games. It’ll be the first time these games are available digitally via Steam, but it’s worth noting that Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 ports were available on PC digitally via GOG. In recent months, the latter has been delisted from the store, though the original MGS PC port is still available at the time of writing.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake is sneaking around a base with a guard and a camera in the distance.

The Steam listing for MGS Master Collection mentions that Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 are the HD Collection versions created by BluePoint games over a decade ago, but with minor tweaks regarding tutorial messages about controller inputs. This means that all the features in the HD collection will be present here; however, you won’t be able to experience the madness of Snake vs Monkey, where Solid Snake must catch the slippery simians from Ape Escape.

The original Metal Gear Solid was conspicuously absent from that HD Collection, though, so Konami has instead ported the PlayStation version, with similar tweaks to the control instructions, and includes both Special Missions and VR Missions expansions. Those looking for something close to what you can find on GOG can play Metal Gear Solid: Integral in the same collection. In this instance, it’s still technically the PlayStation code with some significant tweaks, such as making the torture event against Revolver Ocelot significantly easier on all difficulty settings.

Metal Gear Solid: the DARPA chief in his jail cell wearing a cream shirt and salmon tie.

From our brief time with it, it’s exactly the same action game you remember from the ’90s, complete with its aggressive motion blur that masked the PS1’s technical limitations. That said, news of this Metal Gear Solid version does bring up one big problem: is Psycho Mantis now invincible on PC?

For those unfamiliar with this particular boss encounter, this creepy adversary in a gimp mask will begin this memorable, heavily fourth-wall-breaking encounter by goading you with tricks to mess you up and make the fight impossible to win.

The PC version had some tweaks made to this fight, mainly to make every strategy possible against Psycho Mantis have a PC-specific twist, such as using keyboard controls. However, since we now know the Master Collection MGS uses the PlayStation 1 code, this raises essential, potentially game-breaking questions that need answering.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake is talking to the Colonel via the codec.

We reached out to Konami to check if the encounter is possible at all for PC players due to the nature of how you beat him in the original. “The way that particular boss fight will work has been addressed in the collection, but the team would like to keep this method spoiler-free for anyone who may not have had a chance to play the original/see how it’s implemented.”

We look forward to seeing how this issue is resolved when the MGS: Master Collection Vol.1 release date rolls around, which is October 24, 2023. Most later entries of the series, including Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and spinoffs such as Metal Gear Rising: Resurgence, are also among some of the best PC games available on Steam.