As we enter the month of July, the most american month of the year, It’s appropriate that we finally got a release date for Metal Wolf Chaos XD, a remaster of a 2004 mech game created by FromSoftware and published by Devolver Digital. Finally coming out on August 6th, this little know game by FromSoftware (of Dark Souls/Bloodborne/ballbusting difficulty fame) […]
As we enter the month of July, the most american month of the year, It’s appropriate that we finally got a release date for Metal Wolf Chaos XD, a remaster of a 2004 mech game created by FromSoftware and published by Devolver Digital. Finally coming out on August 6th, this little know game by FromSoftware (of Dark Souls/Bloodborne/ballbusting difficulty fame) back before they created the iconic series, and they’re forte was making mech (Giant fighting robot) games such as Armored Core, Frame Gride, and most notably, a little game called Metal Wolf Chaos. This game was a original Xbox exclusive that only got released in Japan, which unfortunately means it didn’t sell very well. So how did a poorly selling, original Xbox exclusive and japan region locked video game attract enough of a cult following to be remastered and re-released by a well known publisher like Devolver Digital?
By being the most American god damn thing video games have ever seen.
The player takes control of fictional President of the United States Michael Wilson piloting a mech to battle the rebelling military led by fictional Vice President Richard Hawk as they visit all the famous american landmarks that have been re purposed with mechs, lasers, and other giant robots the president to fight. Aside from making him literally the most badass president in the history of fiction, the game features themes of hyper exaggerated american patriotism, cheesy voice acting that borders on absurdity, dialogue and writing that borders on satire, and a sincerity that just sells the whole thing. The heroes and villains of the story are so over the top and the voice acting is delivered with such a goofy tone that it might as well be a Saturday morning cartoon from the 90’s. I’m surprised that the Team America theme song isn’t playing with bald eagles all over the screen during these cut scenes. Just the clip below should tell you just what you’re in for, and that’s the FIRST THING YOU SEE!
So the game has gained a massive cult following over the years since it’s easily the most American thing since America, and it’s notoriety grew. Either through word of mouth of videos of the game, people were hearing about this masterpiece, but the game didn’t really pick up traction until it was featured on the Let’s Play Youtube Channel “Super Best Friends Play.” According to Devolver, they had seen the videos and that was drew their attention to the game. Recognizing absolute gold when they see it, and being no stranger to being kinda out there, they began contacting FromSoftware and pushing for the game’s re-release. At first, FromSoftware was confused as to why people would want a remaster of a 13 year old game that didn’t sell much, but Devolver showed how much support the game had by tweeting out to a hashtag #Freemetalwolf, something that had started in the wake of the Super Best Friends Let’s Play. The reaction was so strong that for the first time, the conversation was started about bringing the most american thing since the bald eagle to the land of the free.
When describing the game’s tone, the game’s producer Masanori Takeuchi told Destructoid
“It is America as perceived by the Japanese. It’s completely fictional, but at the time, it was our idea of this ideology of American culture and comic book heroes, and we pieced that together and it became the president piloting the mech. We think that when Japanese look at it that way, from the American point of view, it’s almost like how they imagine a Japanese ninja, and sort of the same ideologies, the same kind of fantasy, so it goes two ways.”
“Originally we had this dynamic between President Michael Wilson and Vice President Richard Hawk, and we wanted it to be this comic book hero dynamic of good versus evil. In terms of our initial image for Richard Hawk, we looked at WWF – the heroes and the antagonists there. The bad guys even have their own sense of justice and personality and they think they’re right and they’re very bombastic, and we wanted to base the character on that sort of idea.”Source: https://www.destructoid.com/from-software-reflects-on-metal-wolf-chaos-its-american-mecha-fever-dream-557798.phtml
This actually makes perfect sense when you think about it, as you never really think about the vision of what one culture looks like to another one from our perspective. Like the example given, we in the United States have stereotypical versions different cultures like ninja, samurai, Canadians, etc. So when that mirror is turned back onto us, games like Metal Wolf Chaos are how other see our values. That’s why I think the game recieved the cult following it did, and the push for a remaster was so strong. Because you know what, if what they see when they thinki America is some hyper patriotic, mech loving, justice seeking, explosion creating badasses, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
USA! USA! USA!
Posted by Austin Hamblen, Owner and Main writer of Endlessmonkey.com