Katakana in Metal Gear 1

By Vahan

Expert (95)

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11-09-2022, 19:53

Why was the original Metal Gear all in Katakana? It's clear a lot of the words were actually normally written in Hiragana or Kanji.

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By sdsnatcher73

Prophet (3656)

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12-09-2022, 04:16

Probably they ran out of space to fit all the glyphs into the ROM.

By aoineko

Paladin (685)

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12-09-2022, 07:48

Also, Katakana are much more readable when there are few pixels.

By gdx

Enlighted (5813)

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12-09-2022, 11:18

And Katakana are used for foreigner words, so it gives a foreign atmosphere.

By Takamichi

Hero (585)

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12-09-2022, 16:27

Though unusing hiragana fonts saves space, it had been deliberate given all other Konami games use hiragana.
Pre-1945 Japanese army & navy almost always used katakana instead of hiragana because official documents eg Meiji Constitution usually were so (see here). Also telegrams like Tora Tora Tora were & still are always transcribed to katakana without kanji. Therefore a text spelled in katakana, which is unorthographical nowadays, looks very classic and "military" to the post-1945 Japanese population.
Same can be said about the typewriter sound heard after every character which is after the sound effects in old American film/news.

By gdx

Enlighted (5813)

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12-09-2022, 17:12

I think the inspiration comes more from daisy wheel printers.
The old documents were written by hand or with the rare typewriters that only had KataKana.
In the '70s, the daisy wheel printer was futuristic, but Metal Gear is not from that time.
However daisy wheel printers with KataKana only too were probably still commonly used by the military until very late.