Metal Slug is a run and gun video game for the Neo-Geo console/arcade platform developed by Nazca Corporation and published by SNK. It was originally released in 1996 for the MVS arcade platform. The game is widely known for its sense of humor, fluid hand-drawn animation, and fast paced two-player action. It is the first title in the Metal Slug series.
The evil General Morden and his rebel army has launched a coup d'état on the world's governments, and all attempts by the Regular Army to stop his growing power fail. His most recent attack has given him access to a new form of all-terrain combat tank dubbed "Metal Slug". In a last effort to stop Morden, the Regular Army send Marco Rossi and Tarma Roving of the Peregrine Falcon Squad to locate and eliminate Morden's powerbase, as well as reclaim or destroy any Metal Slugs they can find so as to keep the technology out of Morden's hands.
The player (1 is Marco and 2 is Tarma) has to constantly shoot at a continual stream of enemies in order to reach the end of a level. At the end of each level, the player confronts a boss who is often considerably larger than regular enemies and takes many shots to defeat. On the way through the level, the player finds weapons upgrades and "Metal Slug" tanks, known as the SV-001 (Super Vehicle), that can be used not only as weapons but also as added defense. The protagonists can perform melee attacks by using a knife and/or kicking. The player does not die for simply coming into contact with most enemies. Correspondingly, many of the enemy troops have melee attacks. Much of the game's scenery is destructible. Sometimes this reveals extra items or powerups, most of the time it simply results in collateral damage. During the course of a level, the player encounters prisoners of war. If they are freed, the player can receive bonuses in the form of random items or weapons. The player receives a score bonus for freeing POWs at the end of the level; at this point the game shows the name and rank for each of the prisoners freed. If the player dies before the end of the level, the tally of freed POWs is restarted. There are a total of six levels, with themes ranging from forests, garrisoned cities, snowy mountain valleys, canyons, and military bases.
The vast majority of enemies encountered in Metal Slug are enemy soldiers, who are given weaponry that fits their specific role. There also a host of mechanized enemies: tanks, mobile artillery, aircraft, armored personnel carriers and technicals. Much of the game's humor comes from how the enemies portray themselves. The player encounters them at many times of leisure: sunbathing, roasting food over a fire, or just conversing among themselves. They will also scream loudly if they see the player, while doing these things.