Metal Slug is a franchise that has been around for quite some time. Here are some things you may not know about the series.
By Richie Nguyen
Published Mar 14, 2021
Video game arcades are an important part of pop culture. As it holds a variety of games that holds historical relevance to players all over the world. From fighters like Street Fighter II and Tekken. However, the arcades are also known for their arcade shooters which have stuck around for a long time, with one of the most notable being the Metal Slug franchise. Originally created for the Neo-Geo arcade machines, the Metal Slug series has become one of the most popular franchises in SNK. With new games being planned for development. However, there might be some developmental facts that newcomers might not know about.
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These are some facts regarding the Metal Slug franchise that players should know about.
Although SNK is the primary publishers for the Metal Slug series, the series is originally created by Nazca Corporation. The company was only present for roughly 2 years before it eventually merged into SNK proper. As a result, the developers prior to the merge created the original Metal Slug.
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Through the merge, the Metal Slug team eventually developed the second and third entries. However, due to the?2001 bankruptcy, the original team eventually disbanded completely and the series became held by other developers going forward.
Prior to the development of the original Metal Slug,?the game was inspired by a variety of different arcade shooters. These include Gunforce?and the sequel, as well as In The Hunt. Gunforce 2 in particular is often considered the spiritual predecessor of Metal Slug. This is detailed based on the gameplay similarities and sprite work. Gunforce 2 essentially laid down the groundwork for what the Metal Slug franchise eventually became.
Thanks to the longevity of the franchise, the Metal Slug series has over 30 games under its name. The mainline titles have roughly 7 entries overall. But the series also includes 2 remakes and 4 spin-off titles. Metal Slug also includes a variety of mobile entries and a series of compilations that contain several games in the series. The series also has several pachinko machines and a game that eventually got cancelled called Metal Slug Online Zero.
As a result of the series having a large plethora of games, it is arguably the biggest franchise that SNK owns right next to King Of Fighters. Unlike Metal Slug, the King Of Fighters series is a fighting game series that calls back to their previous franchises such as Fatal Fury.
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However, due to King Of Fighters being a crossover series that many SNK properties come to be a part of, some Metal Slug characters appear in the game. Specifically Ralf Jones and Clark Still, who are also the protagonists of the Ikari Warriors.
According to development facts regarding the original Metal Slug, the game wasn’t gonna have the colorful characters that players became aware of. Instead, the game was originally about a white soldier as they are riding the titular Metal Slug tank. However, it seems the idea was scrapped fairly early on?as the gameplay eventually evolved into something different. Which has stuck around with the franchise to this day.
From the beginning, the conception behind the Metal Slug franchise was simple. According to an interview within the Metal Slug Anthology,?the game was intended to be friendly with players with 2 buttons and a joystick. The game was meant to be fairly comedic from the start, however, the developers wanted to make strong action with interesting mechs. As a result, the developers followed the slogan of “Gameplay will be sometimes comical, but also challenging at important points and always cool to look at and play!”
During the same interview, it has been elaborated that fans have input to the development of the franchise. By researching the reactions and feedback from players, developers were able to create balance changes. That way, the games would be more accessible with other players going forward. Although the developers wanted their players to play the game without a lot of stress, they are willing to break that rule if done on purpose.
Players who have finished Metal Slug 2 may notice that the game pulls a reference to Independence Day. The Rugname battle homages the main climax of the movie, where it makes reference to one of the characters flying his jet into the mothership core. The game pays homage to the same scene where following the end fight, where one of Morden’s pilots flies upward to destroy the weapon.
Due to SNK’s history revolving around its bankruptcy and eventual return, the Metal Slug franchise was held by different developers over the years. Starting with Metal Slug?4, the series was?co-developed by Noise Factory with help from other developers like Mega Enterprise. SNK Playmore eventually helped developed the fifth entry with Noise Factory. Prior to this, Noise Factory was only responsible for the soundtrack of the third entry.
The King Of Fighters franchise is a series where characters across SNK’s lineup would appear as fighters. Metal Slug is one of them, with characters such as Fio Germi appearing as a striker in King Of Fighters ’99 and 2000. Characters from the Ikari Warriors does appear in both King Of Fighters and Metal Slug as playable characters. Not only that, but many original characters that appear in King Of Fighters make their appearance as playable characters in Metal Slug. Most notably Leona Heidern.
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About The Author
(50 Articles Published)
Richie Nguyen is an aspiring comic book creator and journalist living in Calgary Alberta. A lover of anything pop culture since childhood, Richie Nguyen is sure to write plenty about the newest comic book, manga and movie news. Having written journalistic coverage during his time at Mount Royal University’s Calgary Journal, as well as interning in Tourism Calgary, Richie has plenty of experience writing things from general news to listicles. Outside of work, Richie actively plays video games, spends time with his family and friends, and of course drawing to one day achieve his dream.
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