Metal Slug Advance is a run and gun video game for the Game Boy Advance handheld system created by SNK Playmore in 2004.
From the Metal Slug Advance UK manual:
The special ops squad Peregrine Falcons (a.k.a., PF Squad) is known for demanding the best of its members in any situation to carry out the mission. A day in the corps does not go by without a vigorous regime of training. The mission this time is a simulated battle drill for new recruits. The stage for this drill is a remote island in the South Pacific. Walter and Tyra, two recent recruits in the Government's PF Squad, must land on this island with only a minimum of provisions. Once they make it off the island through their own devices, the drill will end successfully.
Naturally, the two have not been provided with any intel on the island's flora, fauna and geography, making it difficult to imagine what obstacles await them, and once they set foot on the island, there is no turning back. This may be just a drill, but one false step could be fatal. Will the two be able to weather the onslaught of ordeals and take their place among the elite and glory, or will they suffer ignominious defeat? The terrifying trial that will test their abilities to survive has begun.
Walter plunges into the heart of the island, spurred by the quickening throbbing of tension and excitement. Tyra follows, putting all her five senses at her keen disposal while prudently passing on. Just as the two disappear into the jungle, a sinister ship approaches! Little do the two new PF Squad recruits know, but their first drill is going to become their first taste of combat. The training unfolds under gathering clouds of war!
Gameplay in Metal Slug Advance is very similar to any other Metal Slug game. Two new systems, the life system and the card system, are present in this game.
The life system is simply a life bar for the players, as it replaces the extra lives and credits from all the other Metal Slug games. As players take damage, the life bar depletes (different attacks cause different amounts of damage). Collecting food items restore health. Players instantly die from being crushed or falling down a pit. Dying places the player to a previous checkpoint rather than on the spot, and any prisoners rescued and cards collected are lost.
The card system is the collection aspect of the game. There are 100 cards to collect. Cards can be found from shooting certain parts of the background, obtaining it from certain hostages, and sometimes by doing both. The cards have many different purposes, from giving detailed info on items and characters from the Metal Slug series, boosting player abilities, and even unlocking Slugs.
Metal Slug Advance has five missions. The first four are straightforward while the Final Mission has multiple routes. Collecting a special card in the Final Mission unlocks the Dungeon, a maze-like cave where twenty-five prisoners are present and certain cards clear once blocked paths in Mission 1 and Mission 3.
All weapons bar the Two Machine Guns return in this game albeit with their weapon ammo reduced in half. Collecting the respective weapon clip card will increase ammo count to its original amount.
Some cards affect gameplay once collected; others are optional modifiers.
- Weapon Clip: Doubles the respective weapon's ammo count.
- Grenade Clip: Doubles grenades/fire bomb collected. Walter and Tyra also start each mission with 20 grenades.
- Weapon+: Increases the respective weapon's power.
- Super TNT: Increases grenade/fire bomb power.
- Army Knife: Slightly increases melee power.
- Demon God: Increases melee power.
- Flak Jacket: Walter and Tyra receive less damage from enemy units.
- Slug Armor: Increased defenses to the Slugs. There are five armor cards.
- Hyper Vulcan: Increases Vulcan power.
- Hyper Cannon: Increases the power of the SV-001 cannon and the Slug Flyer's missiles.
- Crawler+: Deals damage to enemy vehicles just by running over them.
- Stealth: Press the L button to become invisible. The Slug cannot attack in this state nor engage a Metal Slug Attack at all when Stealth is turned on.
- Marsnium: Makes the Slug invincible at the cost of slowly depleting its health.
- S.S. Sword: Melee attacks are effective against enemy vehicles.
- Paper Thin: Walter and Tyra die in one hit just like in the main series. This card is required for the Decoration card.
- Slug: All SV-001s are replaced by either the Type-R, Black Hound, or Slug Gunner.
- Thruster+: Increases the Slug's jump height.
- A.P. Cannon: Switches the Slug's normal cannon to the Armor Piercer.
- IR Sensor: Highlights hidden prisoners with a red glow.
- X-Ray Sensor: Highlights hidden items and weapons with a green glow.
- SV-001 Type-R: A light-brown SV-001 which aims the Vulcan in reverse (except vertically). Getting damaged does not knock it back. Unlike other Type-Rs in the series, this Slug's mobility is the same as the SV-001.
- Black Hound: A black Ptolemaic SV-001 that was a secret boss in Metal Slug 5. It only has its mortar that fires Enemy Chasers with a slight delay.
It must be noted that the Slug Mariner was planned for the game, as well as an underwater level, but was removed in the final product (although data for both still exist in its playable form).
- Formor: A slightly bigger green SV-001. Shoots rounds from its Vulcan and cannon. It jumps around smashing whatever it lands on. It is similar to the Metal Rear from Metal Slug 5.
- Emain Macha: Two twin tanks that attack with heavy explosives with a fiery residue and a Bazooka Soldier on top.
- Kaladgolg: Drops mines, shoots with a chain gun, and launches a lethal energy beam. It is similar to the Tani Oh from Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001.
- The Keesi III: Third in the Keesi series. Attacks with turrets, ground troops, and smashes the ground with a rocket.
- Cabracan: A machine capable of producing earthquakes. Launches two electric pods (three after some damage is dealt), fires arcing energy balls and bouncing laser shots.
Autofire is available; it is turned off by default.
|L||N/A||Metal Slug Attack|
Stealth (Non-Slug Flyer)
- This is the only game in the entire series where the main Metal Slug cast make cameos but are not playable nor appear in person, although the game's box cover shows both Marco Rossi and Eri Kasamoto cheering on both Walter and Tyra.
- Metal Slug Advance omits darker elements such as burning soldiers and blood (not even white blood/sweat).
- There are various typos for the cards. For example, Marco's card says "Leader of PF squid 1".
- The boss fights in the X-mas Event of Metal Slug Defense uses all of the bosses from Metal Slug Advance. Similarly, the "Boy Memories" Extra Ops in Metal Slug Attack follows the mission structure from this game.
- This is the only game where collecting the Fire Bomb changes the "Bomb" text in the Status Screen to "Fire".
- "Metal Slug Advance Manual UK". Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/metalslugadvancemanualuk/page/n3/mode/2up
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|Metal Slug Advance|
|Heroes||Walter Ryan | Tyra Elson|
|NPCs||POW (Names) | Rumi Aikawa | Allen O'Neil Jr. | Rebel Army | Regular Cadets|
|Enemies||Rebel Infantry | Fanatics | Grenade Soldier | Bazooka Soldier | Shielded Soldier | Bikers | Rebel Rifleman | Mortar | Cannon Diver | Rocket Diver | Natives | Japanese Infantry | Bat | Cabracan Pod|
|Enemy Vehicles||T-2B Melty Honey | Nop-03 Sarubia | Girida-O | R-Shobu | MH-6S Masknell | Flying Tara | Turrets | Balor|
|Bosses||Formor | Emain Macha | Kaladgolg | The Keesi III | Cabracan|
|Weapons||Heavy Machine Gun | Rocket Launcher | Shotgun | Flame Shot | Enemy Chaser | Iron Lizard | Super Grenade | Drop Shot | Grenade | Fire Bomb | Armor Piercer|
|Slugs||SV-001 (SV-001 Type-R) | Slug Flyer | Slug Gunner | Black Hound|
|Other||Cards | Items | PA33-21 Boat|