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Marlon Agüero
Marlon Agüero

Metal Slug: The Fan Community and How to Join It

Metal Slug: A Legendary Run and Gun Game Series

If you are a fan of action-packed shooting games, you have probably heard of or played Metal Slug. This is a Japanese multimedia franchise and run and gun video game series that has been around since 1996. It is known for its fast-paced gameplay, colorful graphics, catchy music, hilarious humor, and challenging difficulty. In this article, we will explore what makes Metal Slug such a great game series, how it evolved over the years, and how you can enjoy it today.

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What is Metal Slug?

The history and development of Metal Slug

Metal Slug was originally created by Nazca Corporation, a company formed by former employees of Irem, the developer of another famous run and gun game series, R-Type. Nazca Corporation merged with SNK, a well-known arcade game company, after the completion of the first game in the series. SNK continued to develop and publish the subsequent games in the series until 2001, when it went bankrupt. Since then, the rights to the franchise have been acquired by various companies, such as Playmore, Ignition Entertainment, Atlus USA, Namco Bandai Partners, Dotemu, and SNK Corporation (the current owner).

The gameplay and features of Metal Slug

The gameplay of Metal Slug consists of run and gun elements as well as shoot 'em up mechanics. The player controls one or two soldiers who fight against a rebel army, aliens, zombies, mummies, and other forces intent on world domination. The player can run, jump, crouch, shoot, throw grenades, melee attack, and use various vehicles and weapons to clear the stages. The game is divided into missions, each with a different setting, enemies, obstacles, and bosses. The game also features branching paths, hidden items, bonus stages, and multiple endings.

The main characters and vehicles of Metal Slug

The main characters of Metal Slug are Marco Rossi and Tarma Roving, two members of the Peregrine Falcon Squad, an elite unit of the Regular Army. They are joined by Eri Kasamoto and Fio Germi from the Sparrows Intelligence Unit in later games. Other playable characters include Trevor Spacey, Nadia Cassel, Ralf Jones, Clark Still, Leona Heidern, Walter Ryan, Tyra Elson, Roberto Nicola, Gimlet, Red Eye, Hyakutaro Ichimonji, Rootmars (as a secret character), Allen O'Neil (as a secret character), Abigail (as a secret character), Whip (as a secret character), Heidern (as a secret character), Clark Still (as a secret character), Ralf Jones (as a secret character), Leona Heidern (as a secret character), Tetsuyuki (as a secret character), Nathalie Neo (as a secret character), Alisa Stewart (as a secret character), Vita (as a secret character), Nova (as a secret character), Morden (as a secret character), Oguma (as a secret character), Beatriz (as a secret character), Ashley (as a secret character), Rocky (as a secret character), Whip (as a secret character), Heidern (as a secret character), Clark Still (as a secret character), Ralf Jones (as a secret character), Leona Heidern (as a secret character), Tetsuyuki (as a secret character), Nathalie Neo (as a secret character), Alisa Stewart (as a secret character), Vita (as a secret character ), and Nova (as a secret character).

The vehicles of Metal Slug are called Slugs, and they are usually armed with heavy weaponry and have special abilities. The most iconic Slug is the Metal Slug, a small tank that can fire cannon shells, vulcan bullets, and drop landmines. Other Slugs include the Slugnoid, a bipedal walker with dual cannons and jet boosters, the Slug Flyer, a fighter jet with missiles and vulcan guns, the Slug Gunner, a mecha with a gatling gun and a laser cannon, the Slug Copter, a helicopter with rockets and machine guns, the Slug Driller, a drill tank with a flamethrower and a drill attack, the Elephant Slug, an elephant with a vulcan gun and a trunk attack, the Ostrich Slug, an ostrich with a vulcan gun and a kick attack, the Camel Slug, a camel with a vulcan gun and a spit attack, the Donkey Slug, a donkey with a vulcan gun and a jump attack, the Turtle Slug, a turtle with a cannon and a shell attack, the Slug Mariner, a submarine with torpedoes and vulcan guns, the Astro Slug, a spaceship with lasers and bombs, the Slug Digger, a digging vehicle with missiles and drills, the Slug Mobile, a car with machine guns and nitro boosters, the Slug Armor, an armored suit with missiles and punches, the Slug Gigant, a giant robot with rockets and punches, the SV-001 Type-R (Metal Slug), an upgraded version of the Metal Slug with homing missiles and drop shots, the SV-Camel (Metal Slug), an upgraded version of the Camel Slug with homing missiles and drop shots, the Rootmars Slug (Metal Slug), an alien creature that can fire lasers and spit acid balls, the LV Armor (Metal Slug), an upgraded version of the LV Armor with homing missiles and drop shots.

The weapons and power-ups of Metal Slug

The weapons of Metal Slug are mostly firearms that can be obtained by destroying crates or rescuing prisoners of war. The default weapon is the handgun, which has unlimited ammo but low power. Other weapons include the heavy machine gun (HMG), which fires rapidly but has limited ammo; the shotgun (SG), which fires powerful blasts but has short range; the rocket launcher (RL), which fires explosive rockets but has slow reload; the flame shot (FS), which fires flames that can ignite enemies; the laser gun (LG), which fires piercing lasers that can bounce off walls; the iron lizard (IL), which fires remote-controlled missiles that can crawl on walls; the enemy chaser (EC), which fires homing missiles that can track enemies; the drop shot (DS), which fires bouncing balls that explode on contact; the super grenade (SGD), which fires grenades that have larger blast radius; the two machine guns (2MG), which fire two HMGs simultaneously but have limited ammo; the Zantetsu sword (ZS), which slashes enemies with a sword that can deflect bullets; the thunder shot (TS), which fires electric bolts that can stun enemies; and the stone (ST), which throws stones that can knock down enemies. The weapons can be upgraded by collecting the same weapon type multiple times, increasing their power and ammo capacity.

The power-ups of Metal Slug are items that can enhance the player's performance or provide extra benefits. They include the bullet-proof vest, which reduces the damage taken by bullets; the fire bomb, which creates a large explosion that damages enemies; the gas mask, which protects the player from poison gas; the medal, which increases the score; the food, which restores health; the prisoner of war, who gives a weapon or a power-up when rescued; the monkey, who follows the player and helps with shooting; and the mystery crate, which contains a random item.

The enemies and bosses of Metal Slug

The enemies of Metal Slug are mostly human soldiers, but also include animals, mutants, aliens, robots, and supernatural creatures. They have different weapons, behaviors, and abilities depending on their type and rank. Some enemies can be captured or befriended by the player, such as the mummy, the yeti, the crab, and the hyena. The enemies also have different reactions and expressions when they are hit or killed, adding to the humor of the game.

The bosses of Metal Slug are large and powerful enemies that appear at the end of each mission or stage. They have more health and firepower than regular enemies, and often require a specific strategy to defeat. Some bosses are vehicles or machines that can be damaged by destroying their parts, such as the Tani Oh (a giant tank), the Shoe & Karn (a pair of helicopters), and the Rugname (a flying saucer). Other bosses are living beings that can move around and attack with various methods, such as the Huge Hermit (a giant crab), the Allen O'Neil (a muscular soldier), and the Hi-Do (a flying fortress). The bosses also have different personalities and dialogues that reveal their motives and backgrounds.

Why is Metal Slug so popular and influential?

The graphics and animation of Metal Slug

One of the most distinctive aspects of Metal Slug is its graphics and animation. The game uses hand-drawn pixel art that is rich in detail, color, and style. The game also uses fluid and realistic animation that gives life to the characters, vehicles, and environments. The game has a unique aesthetic that combines realistic military elements with cartoonish humor and fantasy elements. The game also has a lot of visual effects, such as explosions, blood splatters, smoke trails, sparks, flashes, shadows, and weather effects. The game is widely praised for its graphics and animation quality, which is considered to be one of the best in the genre.

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