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October 19 2018

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  Metal Slug 2 - ©SNK 1998 (Page 2)


When talking about the soundtrack on offer here, I will just jump right in and say that "awesome" is a word that I would use to describe the music. It is a vast improvement on the already good soundtrack that Metal Slug had. While the first game had a very military feel to all of it (which suited the setting of game), MS2 features some extremely catchy music in places that will be instantly stuck in your head right as soon as you play the game.

Stage 1 kicks off with perhaps one of the most memorable tunes in fact. It mixes a middle-eastern feel with a little guitar and a kick-ass beat, and I tend to find myself humming along with it whenever I play the game, it's such a classic. Stage 2 has a couple of more atmospheric Egyptian style themes playing as you are venturing down into a Tomb. Others like stage 3 for example do have the more familiar military type music though, as the Nazi soldiers are the main enemies you'll be fighting there.

I have made a couple of samples of the music for your listening pleasure. Right click on these links to save them to your HD:

Stage 1 Music - MP3 Format, 46 Seconds, 567k
Stage 4 Music - MP3 Format, 39 Seconds, 459k

Although the sound effects in the game haven't changed a great deal from MS1, like the graphics there is a little bit more variety to them, which is mainly due to the larger amount of enemies. This means that you don't hear the same death scream from the Nazi soldiers over and over quite as much as before, which is a definite plus point. Other than that everything is pretty much untouched (all the weapons etc sound the same), but that is not a bad thing at all as they were good to begin with.


Here is a list of the six stages and bosses in the game, along with screenshots and some basic tactics to use in getting past them. If you have not played the game before you would probably be best to skip this section so you don't spoil the surprise.

Stage 1

You begin your assault on a small middle-eastern desert town. Although most of the enemies here are arab guys with swords, there are a few of General Mordens troops later on. Not a difficult level at all, you should be able to get through it without any major problems.

Start off by blasting your way through the initial wave of enemies, but when you reach the guy on the camel, throw a grenade or two to kill him. Before you move on, shoot the palm tree in the middle of the screen to get some fruit and to reveal two hidden POW's who will give you another small bonus. From here on out it is pretty standard stuff, but you will need to fight a sub-boss halfway through, which is three towers with missile launchers in them. You'll also get the chance to use the Camel Slug on this stage!

Keep a look out just before the sub-boss as there is a POW hanging from the top of the screen (only his legs are showing); shoot him down and he will accompany you for a while (either to the end of the stage or until you die).

Stage 1 Boss: Large Jet

This boss is a big jet that floats above you (Harrier style). Once it is fully on screen, begin shooting at it and keep jumping up and throwing grenades when you can. Enemy soldiers (either Mordens guys or the sword guys) will attack you, so just shoot and avoid then. After a while the Jet will power up its engines and you'll need to avoid the blast from this as it moves from side to side. Before long the jet will be destroyed, and the Arab General on the right will be waving his white flag in surrender! Slug team 1, Morden 0 ;-)

Stage 2

You will now be making your way into an Egyptian Tomb... so I hope you are not scared of curses or of the undead! The Tomb is a little more difficult and longer than stage 1, but still quite easy really.

You'll start off just outside the Tomb and if you managed to keep the Camel at the end of the last stage you will still be riding on it. This is short lived however as you will automatically jump off as you approach the entrance and the Camel will be left behind drinking some water. You'll rescue a hostage and get a shotgun just before this happens though, and you will need it to dispatch some oncoming goons. At this point your initial reaction will be to blow up the dynamite barrel on the right, but before you do that I suggest you jump on the barrel, then jump up again and fire your shotgu to the right a couple of times. This will reveal three hidden POW's. The strange thing is that the first guy that drops is actually 2 POW's - they just drop down at exactly the same time so you can't see them both properly.

If you stand next to the miners that are digging in the Tomb as you enter, they will dig something up for you. Before long you'll find some mummies heading your way, and I suggest you shoot them as quickly as possible, otherwise their attacks will turn you into one of them, and this will make you slow! Continue through until you reach a big door - this will take you deeper into the Tomb. You'll now have to jump across a number of platforms to get to the top of this area. At the top you will come to a large tower - collect the powerups and jump in the Slug mecha that you find. Now it's time for the boss!

Stage 2 Boss: Jaws of Death

This boss will attack from the bottom of the screen and follow you as you continue to climb up the tower. You'll be in the Slug Mecha for the duration of this fight unless you get hit too many times and have to bail, so just keep hammering the fire button and jumping, as well as firing the cannon when you get the chance. Don't get too close to it or you will be killed via electrocution, and make sure to avoid the various projectiles it shoot's at you. Very simple.

Stage 3

After the first couple of stages that are set in the Middle East, you'll now be back in more familiar territory... yep, it's time to fight Mordens troops once again! You'll start off on a non-moving train, although it won't be that way for long. Shoot the slackers that are sitting around the campfire and then carry on to the right. You'll be dealing with a number of foot soldiers, guys on motorcycles and a couple of tanks.

Just past them you will reach some of the trains carriages, and this is one of my favourite parts of the stage. Shoot/stab the handle at the bottom to bring out a ledge and jump up to the top of the carriage. You'll be playing a bit of a game of hide and seek with your enemies here, as you can jump down in-between carriages and then back up to shoot or throw a grenade. Next up are a number of hovercraft that appear at the bottom and shoot rockets, but these are easily to deal with.

You'll now be back to playing hide and seek with Mordens troops for a short time, before finding the brand new Plane Slug! Jump in and have some fun taking care of yet more troops and vehicles. Now, I hope you are ready for the games next boss! =)

Stage 3 Boss: Huge Robot

You need to hit the top half of this boss, otherwise your shots will miss, but provided you are in the plane this won't be a problem. The large gun that emerges from the top will either fire small or large shots at you, and the big cannon on the top fires large flame shots which float down the screen slowly. Just keep shooting and avoiding anything that it throws at you and it will be toast in no time. Once it is done, your character will parachute out of the plane. Now it's time to pay a visit to China!

Stage 4

For some reason or another, Mordens goons have invaded what seems to be a Chinese city. There are a lot of civilian trucks on this stage that you can blow up, and by doing this you will uncover a lot of food that you can pick up for a points bonus. Pick up too much of it however, and you will go into "BIG" mode, making your character very fat. Although this makes you slow, I still recommend doing it as it makes your attacks more powerful (and gives them a new look).

You'll have to blast your way through a number of different obstacles blocking your path as well as the other usual suspects (tanks and choppers and the like), before finding the Slug Tank for the first time! After this it's a short trip to the boss!

Stage 4 Boss: HUGE Tank

This one is the most challenging boss so far, and it looks like the bastard offspring of a tank and a boat! Your first task will be to take out the numurous gun turrets on it - in fact, these are the only parts that you can actually shoot. Once these are done, you'll have to take out the large cannon to finish it off! This cannon fires at you every few seconds and will follow you around - simply wait for it to lock onto you (while still firing) and then quickly move out of the way when it fires. You can also jump onto the various platforms so that you can get high enough to hit it with grenades.

Stage 5

You'll now be in a large western city (possibly NY or something?), and this is the point where things start to get VERY hectic indeed. At the start of the stage there are a number of cars parked at the bottom - if you shoot these they will not just explode; they will shoot right up into the air, and if you are standing on top of them you will shoot upwards too!

After a short time you will reach your objective - the entrance to an underground railway. Just inside the subway you will find the laser for the first time, so have some fun using it to take out some enemy soldiers/helicopters. Next up will be an oncoming train, as you are doing the very sensible thing of standing on the track... thankfully it won't kill you instantly if it hits you, but it will push you back across the screen, and if you reach the left hand side you will be crushed. So in other words, don't stop shooting until it is has been reduced to a million pieces!

You'll have to take out some more bad guys right after this, and then it's time for another train, so just repeat the process. You can breath easy for a second, but it won't be long until a third train comes down the tracks, and this time you'll have to deal with some enemy soldiers who will jump in and try to knife you! Just carry on shooting at the train so you don't get crushed, and deal with the soldiers when you need to. Before you can move on one last train will come down the tracks so you'l need to deal with that as well as some soldiers before you can move on. This one is a little tricky, so I suggest you save some grenades for this, and just throw them at the train (as well as firing) to get rid of it in the quickest time possible!

After this you will leave the railway tracks and head through a door, after blasting it open in typical Metal Slug style of course! You'll now be in the sewers, and what appears to be some kind of secret lab - there are some dead lab technicians lying against the wall! Just what is going on down here??? Before you blow away the first door on the right, walk over to the crank with the arrow next to it and press fire a few times. A weapon will drop down for the ceiling - there are more of these up ahead, so make sure you turn all of them to get some more goodies!

You are now going to find out what is hidden down here, but you'll probably wish you didn't. A hoard of mutants will attack, who look like something that jumped out of a Resident Evil game, so obviously those stupid scientists have been messing with something they shouldn't have! Just keep blowing them away, but make sure you stay out of their way when they turn red, as they will self destruct and the resulting orange goo that comes from them will kill you. Before long you will find a crank that will give you a shotgun and a tank, and I suggest you hang on to the tank for as long as possible as you will need it! Before long you'll have to deal with a few more of Mordens troops, and then you will be at the boss!

Stage 5 Boss: Submarine

The submarine will emerge from the water below you. Now, this one *is* quite a difficult boss. It will shoot numerous balls of energy at you and it becomes very difficult to dodge them all, so I suggest you concentrate as much firepower as you can on it, as quickly as possible (although I know that goes without saying really ;-). Shoot the gun on the tank, duck down and throw grenades from it and use the cannon on it as well. Jumping out of the tank to gain invincibility for a few seconds may help too.

Final Stage

As I mentioned in the MS1 review, practically every 90's platform style game *HAD* to have the obligatory ice stage, although you'd be forgiven for thinking that MS2 hadn't got one... however the final stage turns out to be the ice stage of this game. You really are going to be bombarded by attacks from all sides here, so it will take one hell of a lot of practice to make it through without dying.

First off you will have to jump across a few platforms without plunging into the icy water below. This task is made especially difficult by the amount of enemies firing at you, and also by the large missiles that are being fired out of the water. A little patience is the key here, because if you try to run across like a bull at a gate, you will get your ass kicked. You will eventually reach a bridge that is waving around in the wind - don't worry, as despite its appearance you can walk across it as normal, while kicking the crap out of any soldiers on the way.

After a short time you will be back on firm ground - it's now time to once again face off with our old pal from the first game - the bearded soldier who likes to taunt you during the fight. Although the setup for this battle is exactly the same as before (the platforms here are curiously similar), this one is a little bit tougher than the last one as a few enemy soldiers will also join in. The same tactic still work however - just try to stay below him so he can't shoot you, and move left/right to avoid the grenades he throws. When underneath him, keep shooting, and throw a few grenades while you have the chance, and he'll soon be dead, but don't stand too close to him as he will kill you instantly! When he dies it triggers a little cut scene that is very funny! This cut scene reminds me of the movie "Undercover Brother" so I think the makers of that movie possibly took some influence from this game!

Continue on through the next (reasonably difficult) section until you find yourself indoors. You'll soon meet up with a couple of rather unexpected visitors; is that an alien I see??? You'll soon find out that the base you are in is indeed filled with an army of these extra-terrestrial invaders... so start shooting! These aliens are a tiny bit thicker skinned than the normal human soldiers and it will take a couple of pistol shots to finish them off (the dark skinned ones are tougher). The shots from their pistols can be shot down or even stabbed down when you are close in.

In this next section you will be dealing with wave after wave of aliens, and you will have a lower and upper platform that you can swap between while fighting them. This section lasts for quite a while, so just keep shooting and stabbing for all you are worth until you are allowed to move on. Keep an eye out for a hidden POW whose legs will be dangling from the top of the screen, as he will give you a shotgun, and that will prove very useful indeed.

After a while you'll be outside again and here you will find General Morden at long last; it appears that he survived his tumble from the helicopter at the end of the last game. He looks rather happy with himself, but that won't last for long as the aliens decide to go back on whatever deal he has made with them and they fire on his troops! They then blow up his tank and beam him up into their spacecraft. Although Morden is still an asshole, it looks like you may just have to save him...

This small spacecraft will hover above you and fire energy beams at you. Avoid them and continue to shoot at it. You can also climb up on top of the hut on the left and use this extra height to throw a few grenades. After a while it will launch a few smaller crafts that hover around and shoot laser beams at you - they are very tough, but try to shoot or bomb them down as they will make things very hard on you. Lather rinse repeat until the craft is destroyed. This isn't quite the end though...

Final Stage Boss: Alien Mothership

Although the small alien craft crashes down, it isn't destroyed. A huge alien ship will come down and beam the smaller craft back up into it, and now it is time to show these alien sons of bitches what you really think of them! Keep firing up at the alien ship, but make sure to avoid the big energy beam that it fires out every few seconds. This is the only attack it has, but you will have to contend with lots of the tiny alien crafts too, so deal with them as quickly as you can.

Lots of Mordens soldiers will make their way onto the screen, but this time they are actually on your side and will shoot at the alien ship as well! I highly suggest being mean and using them and their tanks as a shield against the alien laser beams, as this is an effective tactic. After a while, a truck will come onto the screen and drop off the Tank Slug for you, so be sure to hop in and start blasting away! Before long the battle will end and the ships laser beam will start to charge once more. While I have mentioned a couple of times during this review that some movies may have been influenced by this game, what happens next is a scene that is definitely influenced by a movie! I won't say what happens exactly, but let's just say it is something along the lines of the trashy but entertaining popcorn flick "Independence Day". A fitting end to a very humourous game, and once again:


In case you haven't realised it yet, I really do love this game to pieces. The whole of the Metal Slug series really sums up for me what I love about the Neo Geo; in other words, fun arcade games that are just as entertaining as anything else you will find on any system, new or old. Metal Slug is one of the finest games on the Neo Geo too, with some of the most fun and addictive gameplay, and excellent production values on the graphics and sound. Getting Nazca to produce Metal Slug 1 for the Neo Geo and then deciding to buy them out was one of the best things that SNK ever did in my opinion.

Although it has chronic problems with slowdown, and although it is still a tiny bit short, I can whole-heartedly recommend any action game fan to add this game to their collection. Home cart collectors probably won't mind paying the asking price for it, which is quite high, although nowhere near as high as the first game. The rest of us however will probably be happy to grab the MVS cart which is dirt cheap in comparison. Either way, you will be getting a high quality title.

In closing, I'd just like to say that unless you are a hardcore fan and want to collect every title in the series (like me), you may want to skip this game and go for the semi-sequel Metal Slug X. MSX is more or less an upgraded version of this game that adds a few new things, but most notably solves a lot of the slowdown issues with some improved programming. Before you make your decision I suggest you take a look at my MSX review and play the game a little if you can!

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Game play: 9/10
Replay Value: 8/10

Overall Rating: 9/10

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