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LONG BLOG

The music of MGS and how it moves me

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I've had this idea in my head for a couple of weeks now to write about one of my most beloved pieces of music, the MGS theme. The problem is, I'm not sure how to quantify my feelings in relation to a piece of music. I can't talk about the mixture of harmonies and how certain notes combine with others to make me feel a certain emotion because I lack this knowledge. Still, I want to get the amazing feeling that I get from listening to the MGS theme down in writing so I'll just try to use descriptive writing to the best of my abilities. For the purposes of this essay, I will be using the piece "Metal Gear Saga".

A lot of Metal Gear has to do with persistence. Snakes, be them Naked, Solid, Liquid, or Solidus, always seem to be very hard to kill in the games they appear in and all of them rage against their obstacles time and time again before either finally overcoming or succumbing to death. Even in death, though, the snakes still persist as is seen in the persona of Liquid Ocelot, an amalgamation of Revolver Ocelot and Liquid Snake, and Naked Snake, who even in death moves the world with his past actions and his unshakable will. This theme of persistence seems to be at the forefront in "Metal Gear Saga". When listening to this piece, I couldn't help but notice that the theme of Metal Gear was being played quite prominently. In fact, most of the song is made up of the MGS theme. The theme also goes through different stages, first beginning with a rousing score that grabs your attention. This part of the song makes me think about all the high-lights of the MGS series, all of the snakes' most triumphant moments such as then Solid Snake uppercuts Liquid Snake off of Metal Gear Rex or when he engages Psycho Mantis and negates Mantis's mind control. This part of the song makes me think of how Snake is always unbeatable. The next part, though, reminds me that though he will always complete his mission, he is nto immune to pain and torment.

The song moves onto a guitar version of the theme. This part of the song seems to be meant to evoke a sense of melancholy that stands in contrast to the previous orchestrated version of the theme. It is almost like the many instances when the Snakes are faced with great pain and sadness such as when Boss broke Naked Snakes arm at the elbow and threw him into a river or when Solid Snake was withstanding electrical torture on Shadow Moses Island. The strings version of the theme makes me remember these instances because the strings echo, making me feel alone and exposed which I hazard to guess the Snakes might have felt in their times of utmost pain. The strings, however, are quickly replaced by the brass, the trumpet to be precise. The trumpet version of the theme brings with it a whole other tone.

While the strings where lonely, the trumpet's clear and stalwart sound makes me remember that the Snakes always persist, no matter what. Just like when Solid Snake slowly crawled through a corridor saturated by microwaves as his friends fought off certain death, he persists. The trumpet makes me think of these times, the times when the snakes continue on even when every fiber of their being is telling them not to. This is because the sound of the trumpet is so clear and the tone is so fresh that it simply cannot be ignored, much like Snake's missions. These missions cannot be ignored for the fate of many rest within Snake's hands and failure to complete the mission is simply not an option. So like the unignorable sound of the trumpet, the snakes also never ignore their mission and carry it through regardless of any pains that came before, like the haunting strings that came earlier in the song.

Phew, that's my attempt at trying to describe what I feel when I listen to a song. I hope other people also feel deeply moved and awed when listening to the MGS theme. Please, if anyone has any suggestions on how to describe music, clue me in. And remember... you're always better than you think you are. In fact... you're pretty good.

Added link to song:

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About Jomonoeone of us since 9:40 AM on 03.04.2010