Metal Gear Solid 2

Big Shell: Diving In

Let's start the main part of the game Metal Gear Solid 2 - Sons of Liberty, the Big Shell part.

The Big Shell is an offshore plattform somewhere in front of the coast of Manhattan to clean up the oil spill of the Tanker desaster some years ago (or minutes ago for you) caused. It is now under control by the terrorists of Dead Cell but they haven't demanded any ransom yet. You are the special agent from Foxhound, sent out to rescue the hostages and the president, that happens to be among the hostages. And you are there to stop the terrorists from destroying the Big Shell and thus causing an ecologic accident never seen before. Is it possible there are even Metal Gear Robots on the Big Shell? Play the game and find out!

The structure and look of the Big Shell could be and most probably is inspired by various british army forts from the 2nd Worldwar era which later became home for various radio stations. Scroll down a bit on the linked site until you reach Radio Sutch or do your own research on Red Sands Army Fort or Shivering Sands Army Fort.
Both are part of the Maunsell Forts east of the coast of great britain and named after their indian architect Guy Maunsell.

Throughout this solution you will find some boxes within the text here and there, here is an explanation what they mean.
Cutscenes, and there are a lot of them in Metal Gear Solid 2, are always summarized in a box like this. Or maybe a longer paragraph, depending on how much I want to write about nongameplay things...

Interesting things you can discover and fun things to do on the game, and there are also a lot of these, are always in a box like this.

And a last small note before we start, when I write about directions you have to move to I tend to use just the cardinal direction on the map (or the abbreviation of this cardinal direction).

When I write go to the north this means go to the top of the map.

And now please press start on your controller.

After you fought your way through masses of computer graphics and intro story you can finally become the active part and start controlling your character on screen.

The chapter of the Big Shell starts in the

Strut A deep sea dock

If you start here and not in the Tanker you can get used to the controls and press around on the buttons and run around and discover. Do you see the small ventilation opening next to the stairs to the two lockers? Crawl in here and take the right path to find the first RATION in this part of the game.

And now crawl back through the ventilation and get to the two lockers. Open the lockers and grab another RATION to finally open the door here.

As soon as you are standing in front of the door the Colonel calls in on his very own Codec Frequency and explains to you how to open a door. Does he think you are stupid? Well, just to make sure, I will now explain how to open doors in Metal Gear Solid 2 too: position yourself in front of the door and press the action button (button) and keep it pressed until the door is open. You can see a guard patrolling behind the door, but he won't see you as a cutscene starts playing immediately.

And the Colonel explains some more things about the FPV and other gameplay mechanics.

Walk along the hallway, turn around the corner and get ready for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
Another cutscene plays:

Someone slaughters all the people on the Big Shell and leaves a trail of destruction. Raiden has to report this to the Colonel und he therefore explains the radar and that the radar won't work when you are discovered as the soldiers distort your radar signal in case they spot you.

And now is your chance to actively play again for a short time, on top of the crates on the left is a RATION, and one of the unconscious guards also drops a RATION.
If you don't want to trigger your first alert already you drag the unconscious guards aside so that they can't see you when they wake up and you are still standing at the node.

Now run to the upper right corner and connect to the Node. The Colonel will now talk to you a lot and then you can enter you name, your sex, you birthdate, your bloodtype and your STDs, uhm, I mean your nationality and download the map of the room you are in.
Every time you enter a new area where you haven't been before you have to use your eyes and ears until you found the node responsible and holding the map for this area. When you connect to the Node in the area you can always download the map for the area you are in atm (most of the time a strut of the Big Shell). Then you can use the radar to observe your surroundings way better than without.
Later, when you have the SENSOR A you can use it to get a rough display of where the Node is in the area you just entered for the first time.
For more information just read on in the Radar chapter or find out more about the Sensor A in the Items Chapter. There is more to read.

After yet another explanation from the Colonel about some hightech stuff a familiar face comes on the scene, and Raiden doesn't really like this. Rose will be available for you under the frquency 140.96 from now on, you can save your progress with her and listen to her remarks about what is happening and make some mundane smalltalk.

The uncounscious guards awake now. Escape from the node back into the depths of the room and hide between the boxes between the paths. And here you wait for the elevator. One of the soldiers leaves the room so you can sneak to the elevator on the left side while the sentinel strolls through the right corridor. And now be quick and enter the elevator up.

Strut A roof

Finally arrived on top with the elevator you find yourself in bright daylight and realize it is not that easy to hide in daylight. Oh, the Colonel, he is so clever!

You can crawl under the fence in the northwest, there is a hole in the fence. Through this hole you reach a fenced in area in front of the door, walk through this door now please.

Here you have the proof that it is not a good idea to feed the birds, when there are way too many of them in one place, no matter if it are pidgeons in big cities or doves on an oil plant. These birds are not housetrained at all and shit all over the place. This can get so messy that Raiden can even slip on the piles of birdcrap.

Strut A Pump Room

Here 2 soldiers part ways, one of them stay in the area which you just entered and stays cautious. He guards the Node which you can use to download the map of the area.
The Colonel phones in again and explains how you can distract the guards by knocking on things like walls. So play with the soldier, lean against the wall, knock on it with the punchbutton button and run around the cubicles to the Node to download the map of the Strut A area.

Now you can get back on the roof of Strut A on the other side and pick up a CHAFF GRENADE.

So get back inside and pass the soldier on parole and exit the pumproom to the northeast (topright). This is not part of your mission but it is really helpful, just bear with me. If you want to have a tough time later on, just exit to the northwest (topleft) and read on under AB Connecting Bridge, if you like the ideal and easy way read on right here and exit to the northeast to the

AF Connecting Bridge

Here you run into a Cypher hovering around the bridge. Normally you get rid of this drone with a well aimed "Headshot" onto his small headlike camera, but as you are still unarmed you should rather wait, until it is looking at the lower level of the bridge and then just run past it to cross the bridge.
You can enter the Strut F on the upper level as well as on the lower level, for now you should enter the Strut F through the door on the upper level.

Strut F Warehouse

Here you get yourself into the southeastern corner and take the RATION behind the crates before entering the door in front of the crates. And here you can find the M9. This is the Tranquillizer Gun you know from the Tanker level already. It is very silent and thus very effective and helps you avoid a lot of trouble because of that. Get the 2 packs of M9 AMMUNITION and then get back to the AF Connecting Bridge through the upper exit.

AF Connecting Bridge

And now that you are armed with the M9 you can still do nothing against the Cypher beside avoiding beeing spotted as tranquillizers do nothing against machines.

Strut A Pump Room

Finally we are back at the place where I told you to first visit the Strut F before you continue normally to avoid a lot of stress.
And here both these threads come together, so get out of here to the northwest so that you finally reach the AB Connecting Bridge.

AB Connecting Bridge

The Colonel now explains the Hanging Mode and the Grip Gauge to you. after that he hacks into a conversation of the Navy Seals Team 10 and we get to know that the President is under attack on Strut B.
Btw, my explanations about the Gripgauge are more elaborate and helpful than what the Colonel tells you...

So, let's go to the Strut B and see what what is going on and how the President is doing. But this is easier said than done as there are guards on the AB Connecting Bridge.

The guard on the right side is just guarding the water or he is very interested in it at least, and he won't let you pass, that's for sure. So you should try your luck with the soldier on the left side.

Position yourself at the small balcony between the two bridgeparts and stay kneeled down. Watch the soldier on the left side from the FPV.
When he is approaching you stay calm and kneeled down, wait until he turns around, shows you his back and walks away again.

As soon as he does this get to the railing on the very left, take care to not step onto the dark tile on the ground, as this causes a loud noise and attracts the soldier, then use the action button (button) to jump over the railing and keep hanging on to it. Now climb all the way to the other end of the bridge. Here is another one of these loud dark floortiles, make sure you are past it.
Your Grip Gauge is getting almost empty, but the whole sequenze is perfectly timed and doable, the soldier then turns around and you can swing back up over the railing with the action button.
Congratulations, you learned how to hang and made it through the first task.

Now enter the Strut B Transformer Room

Tanker: The Photos of Metal Gear Big Shell: Iroquois Pliskin

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Metal Gear Solid 2 © 2001 Konami