hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Memory Card .03: The encounter with Psycho Mantis

11:27 PM on 05.11.2007 // Chad Concelmo

What makes a video game moment memorable? Well, in the case of the last two Memory Card inductees it was the story twists and emotional heart tugging sequences that helped seal them in the memories of gamers everywhere.

But sometimes story doesn’t always matter. It is a vital building block, sure, but sometimes it is just the innovation of the gameplay itself that makes a moment unforgettable. In fact, I may go so far as to say some of the most amazing moments in video game history are memorable based on innovation alone.

Nothing is more exciting than experiencing something you have never seen before in a video game. Most of the time this is because of creative game design, but sometimes it can be attributed to new technology. Once (good) designers get their hands on a “next-generation” console and all the bells and whistles that come with it, well, the sky’s the limit.

Metal Gear Solid is the perfect example of a game made all the more memorable due to its leaps in technology. Hit the jump for one moment in particular that stands out above the rest due to some of the most creative and, frankly, coolest techniques ever used in a video game.

The Set-Up


In Metal Gear Solid you play as everyone’s favorite infiltrator Solid Snake. This time, the game’s mission sends Snake to a huge nuclear weapons disposal facility in Alaska, dubbed Shadow Moses.

The first part of your adventure is filled with loads of stealth missions, gun battles, and over-the-top cinematics (all common to the Metal Gear Solid universe). Not so long after the opening sequence you meet up with a girl by the name of Meryl. It turns out that she is the niece of Roy Campbell, Snake’s former commanding officer.

After this brief introduction you and Meryl are separated during a bloody escape from the base prison. During this escape, Snake experiences a quick glimpse of a strange, floating man clad in a gas mask and full body gear. Before he can realize what is going on, the man creepily mutters something about Meryl being a “good girl” and disappears into thin air.

Snake, obviously confused about what he sees, finds comfort in his Codec to find out more about Meryl and the mysterious hovering figure.

Snake's Codec companions inform Snake that the enigmatic vision must have been that of Psycho Mantis, one of the members of FOXHOUND, run by the evil Liquid Snake, Solid Snake’s brother and the main antagonist of the game. Confused yet? Yeah, I know, it’s a Metal Gear Solid game, what can you do?

Anyway, after some pretty memorable sequences unto themselves, Snake is finally reunited with Meryl after, well, recognizing her “assets.” Following a sexual tension filled conversation, the two decide to make their way further into the facility.

Here is where the next Memory Card moment occurs. As Meryl and Snake make their way to a back office in the nuclear warehouse they have a full on encounter with Psycho Mantis, only briefly seen earlier in the game.

The Moment


Before entering the office, right as Snake approaches the door, Meryl collapses to the ground and starts to act very strange. There is even a brief moment when her voice sounds eerily familiar to a certain character you met earlier in the game.

Once she supposedly shakes off whatever is wrong with her, Meryl insists that she is fine and her and Snake run into the office, ready to continue their journey.

As the office door closes behind them, Meryl immediately begins acting stranger than she ever has before. She even goes so far as to holding a gun up to Snake and saying things like “Hold me, Snake!” and “Make love to me!” Man, pretty serious stuff.

Right before she manages to get a shot off, Psycho Mantis appears floating above her and it is obvious to Snake that the psychotic man is controlling her mind somehow. Not wanting to kill her, Snake just knocks Meryl out with a few choice punches to the head.

Now, this is where the game takes a mind blowing turn and really makes this moment one of the most memorable of all time.

Angered that you knocked out Meryl and foiled the first part of his plan, Psycho Mantis begins showing off and bragging about his telekinetic powers.

First off, Psycho Mantis proceeds to read the actual memory card you have in your system. If you have played any other popular Konami game at the time (particularly Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) Psycho Mantis will remind you how much you like “Castlevania,” eventually even commenting on how much you have saved during the game.

After displaying this impressive (and pretty darn innovative) feat, he asks you, the actual player (!), to place your controller on the floor so he can show you how powerful he really is. Upon your abiding to the creepy video game boss’s wish, Psycho Mantis grabs his head and, using the built in rumble of the DualShock, has the controller shake uncontrollably, even, if you happen to have to set it on a high table, making it fly in the air and tumble to the ground below.

If that weren’t already enough, once the battle begins you realize that there is no way to beat Mantis. Since he can read minds, he manages to dodge every single attack you throw at him.

Through trial and error (and most likely a guide), you eventually figure out that, in order to beat him, you must unhook your controller from port #1 and attach it to port #2. Once this is accomplished, Psycho Mantis will actually comment how he can’t read your mind anymore. Then you are only one fairly simple boss fight away from defeating the definitive character.

While it won’t be as memorable since you won’t get to see the actual controller rumbling (that is the best part!), check out some video of this classic gaming moment right here:

The Impact


I will admit, Metal Gear Solid is a pretty polarizing game and a lot of you out there are probably disappointed that something like this made the list of most memorable moments of all time. A lot of gamers cry foul when people mention the greatness that is Metal Gear Solid, claiming the series is highly overrated.

But regardless of your feelings, you can’t really argue that this moment does little to change the experience of what it is like to play a video game.

For one of the first times ever, the fourth wall that separates the player from the action on-screen was shattered. Not only was this an amazing thing to experience, but Kojima’s decision to randomly and unexpectedly place it in the context of a game like Metal Gear Solid was surprising, to say the least. It was a pretty amazing and partially surreal moment that, weirdly enough, hasn’t really been duplicated to this day.

Seriously, think about it, how many other games have ever utilized or even brought attention to the actual technical functions of the player’s controller, the memory card, even the video input on the television? Maybe zero. This was pretty revolutionary for the time and still holds up as being just as revolutionary now. It is very shocking that more game designers have not experimented with this innovative and ridiculously original gameplay technique.

While not nearly as emotional or heart wrenching as other sequences most of us have played in the past, the encounter with Psycho Mantis still ranks as one of the best moments ever. There is a reason critics and gamers alike call this one of the best boss fights in the history of video games.

If you are not a big fan, or, at least, don’t remember being one, give this sequence another run-through and I think you will be convinced of its drastic innovation. In my mind, this entire encounter will not be forgotten anytime soon, and that is why it easily takes the rank as one of the most memorable video game moments of all time.

Memory Card Save Files

Chad Concelmo,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network.
Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
Hay check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network on youtube.
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
[img][/img] Dayum. Billy Mays is back and lookin' good.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Pivot smash my way to victory
Osc44 avatarOsc44
You ever dream of flying through the clouds, but couldn't so you just watch TV? Me neither.
Zack Furniss avatarZack Furniss
Oh GOOD, The Flock is awful. I was hoping to break my high review score streak. (this is a joke)
Zack Furniss avatarZack Furniss
So many PAX things to write. So many.
Shinta avatarShinta
Bwahahahaha .... my helicopter now arrives in the middle of a fight blaring "Take on Me" on the loudspeakers. Metal Gear 5, 10/10. [youtube][/youtube]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh neat, Hollow Knight got through the Colosseum of Fools stretch goal while no one was looking. Shame they couldn't get to three characters but the game still looks awesome.
techsupport avatartechsupport
S Rank is so satisfying. Too bad I rarely earn it!
Bardley avatarBardley
My MGSV: The Phantom Pain playthrough has quickly devolved into a journey to fill out Big Boss' 80's synth pop collection. And I couldn't be happier.
Dinosir avatarDinosir
You know what I love? Game tgat force you to connect to their servers even though you only want to play single player. Then the servers are down an the game tries for like 5 minutes, not even giving you a way to cancel the process, you just have to wait
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In today's Spelunky daily challenge, I was nibbled by a bat that pushed me into a Tiki trap that landed me dead on Kali's alter. Kali was pleased with the bat's sacrifice.
Shinta avatarShinta
It's pretty good guys ... [youtube][/youtube]
Shinta avatarShinta
FFXV is supposedly 10x as big as The Witcher 3. Wow ... [img][/img]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The ending of "Return to Crookback Bog" in TW3 I got was so depressing. Wow. I think I need a break...
Shinta avatarShinta
I'm sitting here play Metal Gear V, absolutely loving it. But in the back of my mind ... all I can think about is Mario Maker. I'm really excited for that game!
Patrick Hancock avatarPatrick Hancock
Sold a digital item on Steam, that came with a physical item, for more than the cost of the physical item. This is the second time I've done this. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Everyone right now is playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. And here I am, waiting for Super Mario Maker to come out. And also Star Fox Zero.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Patrick Hancock hates babies. Rick and Morty.... I wish I could view thee second season. I need to play MGSV. I spray farted earlier.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -