Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
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 community fisters, 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

TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
The first thing I do when I see clickbait is click on it and complain about clickbait.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Wow, uh, after having a lovely time with Kirby Air Ride, I decided to try playing some melee, for old times sake... I pretty much disliked my whole time with it. More details in a comment if I get around to it.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Help me gather games for a new blog series - "Worst Sequels Ever"
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
The backend code on the site so fun to read. Going through some of Julio's old stuff: if($vars["fappers"]){ $fappoids = 0; $_xt_loop_name = "fappers"; $vars["fappers_cnt"] = count($vars["fappers"]); reset($vars["fappers"]);
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Watching the second Guyver Movie: Dark Hero, starring David -Solid Snake- Hayter.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
You didn't think I forgot what day it is did you?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Gonna retire the MOARgasmic avatar for awhile.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Will you be mine?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Got out of Deadpool. It definitely was a movie with Deadpool in it. Some parents were shocked to learn it was also rated R for a reason.
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So... gender and biology. All I'll say here is please respect people and their identities and don't try to push assumptions as fact. It doesn't need to be said to most here but denying people their identities is pretty harmful and very unpleasant.
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
Any PS4 recommendations for a guy who can't afford PS+, since all I've got is Battlefront and there's next to nothing to do in that game?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
if you were experiencing lag with the dev site today, can you please try again? I moved some js around and am loading smaller avatars for people. some quickpost photos are scaled from gigantic raw uploads so we are optimizing those next to zip things up
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's happening people... they're gonna kill off my favourite character... but he's taking someone else with him *massive spoilers in video*
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Can I just say that I really dig the intro music for Yakuza 5? It's pumping!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Hmm... yeah, this seems right.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
Would anyone be willing to help out dear ol' Dreamweaver with Destiny? Need a partner to tackle 7+ matches of Crimson Doubles for that 320 Light Ghost Shell. Will have to work on Comments of the Week first, but will be on later. I suck at the game though.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I'm not digging Trine too much. It has really screwy controls.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Sonic the Hedgehog's Twitter account gave dating advice here: I am now significantly less bitter about Valentine's Day.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Tried out The Lost Vikings for the first time in Heroes of the Storm. Lots of fun, but I've got a long way to go before I could consider myself remotely good with them.
Malthor avatarMalthor
Dear Lord, I think I've stumbled over the most bullshit boss fight I've seen in a long time. "Here, let me summon 2-3 mnions each turn. They inflict all of the status effects btw, as do I. Have fun!"
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 -