Mesal Notes & Any% (NG & NG+) Guide

By SRGTsilentSRGTsilent Last updated

General Info:
Diving is the fastest form of movement, however you cannot dive around corners or change directions.
Diving also gives you I-frames to most everything in the game that can cause adverse affects to Pipo Snake.
For diving movement, the angle of the analog can be extremely important for some tight dives.
Upon entering any area for the first time, a cutscene must be skipped, Snake is locked in place afterwords.
Skipping this cutscene asap is important because cycles are room based and have already begun.
Turning while crawling is slow, however you can use wall and corner bumps to adjust Snake slightly.
When aiming the pistol, left and right are normal but the vertical up down axis is inverted.
It takes a long time to swap from aiming the gun to throwing a grenade and vice versa when in first person.
Bullets do half a cookie in damage & Bombs/Shotguns/Rockets do a full cookie in damage, friend or foe.
When using melee, only the kick flip stuns/knocks out tags; these tags are irrelevant to Any% but not 100%.
A pipo will call in an alert if they see you directly in the vision cone, or you touch them on the back/side.
Not only does triggering an alert lose 30 seconds at select gates but it also induces high amounts of lag.
This lag actually slows down the games internal clock, leading to ridiculous IGT save at the cost of Real Time
Pipos take a couple seconds to call in an alert, every stagger resets this timer. Cameras/lasers are instant.
After being stunned, Pipos lack a hitbox for a short time, take advantage of this to pass through them.
A single headshot (or two dives) will stun most pipos but thinking quick is key to stopping an alert this way.
Alternatively, hip firing the pistol will knock a monkey out in one shot if Snake is adjacent to them.
If an alert is called, laying prone and standing still at a gate will greatly contribute to Snake remaining hidden.

If playing on 'Difficult' the following things change:
Pipo monkeys can no longer be stunned by dives or free-aimed shots in a reasonable amount of attempts, i.e. it takes more the 5
Pipo monkeys now turn instantly instead of staring the direction they were facing for a second
Snakes radar does not exist, making some cameras and Pipo monkeys harder to gauge position on
Pipo monkeys can both see and hear significantly further then they can on normal
Pipo monkeys move slightly faster and shoot much faster
Pipo monkeys will call in an alert in significantly less time then it would take them to call on in on normal
Ocelot takes 6 hits to defeat instead of 5 hits & Mesal Gear attacks significantly faster (MG & Charge esp.)

Fort Banana:
Skip both codecs and then the first cutscene of the area, run up left and crawl under the box, then begin diving forward and knock out the yellow pipo. There are multiple approaches to the red pipo here; but the fastest method is to walk around him, diving up the slope, then scrape the railing while diving left so he hears you, then turn towards the vent after 2 dives and crawl inside. Line Snake up w/ the right side of the button and aim after you crawl out of the vent and stand up. If done correctly, the button will be hit w/out needing First-Person. Once the door opens dive out the door at, using Snakes helmet as a visual cue, dive over the railing when his helmet light hits the right frame of the window. Dive directly to the end of the level and skip a codec. Should you trigger an alert, a gate will pop up for about 30 seconds, preventing Snake from continuing. Wait behind the crate parallel to the elevator or around the corner, but don't let them see you walk there or pipos may follow.

Snow Festival:
There are 3 methods of approach here, the first, fastest, and most difficult, requires a very precise angle that requires practice to nail down. Begin diving up right, and Snake can squeeze in between the camera's vision and the rock face into the corner, then holding the analog up right (a different angle) he can jump over the railing and bypass shooting the button to lower the bridge. This saves time only if you get the railing dive before the White pipo on the far side rounds the crates, about 2-3 dive attempts, and after getting across, you must dive precisely at the corner of the railing to not get seen by White. The easier method is to simply shoot the button after beating the camera cycle. DO NOT attempt to dive onto the bridge until the second half has begun extending. At this point the White pipo will be rounding the crate. By making a semi-precise dive to the up-left, Snake can jump over the gap and railing without alerting him. The third method is the same thing but you dive under the camera instead of relying on getting the angle. If you wish to attempt the corner dive you only have 1 attempt, so this isn't advised. If you are too slow or do the 3rd method and bridge, shooting the White Pipo in the head is faster then performing a PPK if your aim is good. Also be aware White pipo can see you on the far side of the bridge if you are moving.

Depending on your speed, the Red pipo will be in different spots. If his front is to you or he is at the top, stun him, if his back is to you and he is on the ramp, dive through him and move on. If you are not out from in front of him asap he will see you at the top. Yellow pipo's cycle can very rarely be beaten, just stun him and move on. Be careful diving over both upper gaps, too early and you'll fall down, too late and you'll ledge grab. The camera before the vent can be ran directly under as long as it isn't moving towards you while half way through its rotation. Judge this accordingly and go around if needed. Crawl through the vents using corner boosts. If the Red pipo is walking towards you, crawl out and shoot the button laying down or simply stand up and dive when he turns. If he is walking away, just dive into it. If he sees you dive, he will call an alert during the button cutscene. Dive through or stun him depending on his position (he cant see you at the right button most of the time) and then dive over the bridge railing to the ground below and exit the level; skip the codec. Should you trigger an alert, both exits to this are have gates that prevent exiting, but laying down will provide cover.

Mech Fight:
Skip the cutscene and walk to the pineapple grenades, diving will get you shot. Once the mech begins moving, aim for his left flank and throw, the pineapple grenades (PG) explode on contact and the mech will be destroyed in 4 hits to the gear on its back. It requires 5 hits if the gear is not hit. Remain on the PG for instant refills and stun lock the mech. If you missed a grenade, delaying the stunlock, he can still hit you on the PG causing you to drop the one in your hand. I-frames should prevent you from being blown away from the spot. Dive to the exit door once he begins exploding; skip the codec. Be sure to exit holding 3 PG. NG+ does this fight the same way.

Edo Town:
Right at the start is a VERY tight cycle. Skip the cutscene ASAP and begin diving forward, as straight as possible. Once the yellow pipo sees you and starts calling, do a long dive (dive while moving) or short dive (from stand still, judge based on distance) and it will knock him down and put Snake in front of him. Stand still in front of him and then do another dive and it will stun him and move Snake past. Dive to the lasers and walk under the first one. The hitboxes on them is very wide so don't stand too close to the middle one, likewise diving is not recommended, however they can be dove over and under. Crawl under the middle one and wait for the third laser to pass the front of the left railing (while going up) to begin crawling forward, once it passes the back end, stand and begin diving as usual to the left, avoiding the cameras up top. If diving over the lasers is desired, diving off to the right after the yellow pipo provides a better cycle. Should you trigger an alert, run all the way left and hide behind the stone structure in the upper right till the alert ends. It is faster to wait for the lasers if worried than cause an alert to be triggered and have to wait it out.

Once past the Torii gate and on the stone, a Red pipo will be patrolling in the back right. If you had good enough movement, he will remain facing up and can be dove through, entirely skipping him. Otherwise he will turn and see you; Stun him if so. Keep the camera looking at Snake and Red pipo from the side by hugging the back wall, as the overhead view induces some atrocious lag. Dive along and up the pagoda inside. Attempt to dive over the pagoda's back facing railing a single time. If successful Snake will end up at the very bottom of the pagoda and can move onto the switch after a quick PPK. If missed, dive around, then once down the slope (more lag from overhead) and dive right to fall all the way down into the pagoda and, if aimed correctly, land directly on button exposing a wall panel to the north. Shoot the wall button and dive out of the room, ignoring all pipos; skip the codec. It is possible for the Red pipo on the Banana Pile to be facing the button and see you when Snake lands/shoots. Be conscious of this and react if needed. Should you have triggered an alert before the Torii gate, a Yellow pipo will have been loaded in and be patrolling with the White pipo. Watch out for him as this is a bug and he can be in some very awkward locations. In the event of an alert, dive down left and climb up two flights, then wait till the alert ends and dive over the railings and through the exit door. DO NOT dive early!

UFO Fight:
Stand still as this boss is RNG and moving closer will trigger some annoying attacks. If you see the boss open up, he has a ~75% chance of firing a rocket at you, this may be distance based, is definitely camera dependent, and he rarely fires a missile right at the start even if he opens immediately. Shoot this with the pistol and remain in FPV so you see it hit him. Failing to do so may cause the missile to despawn from camera distance. After two-three missiles the boss will be defeated. Dive towards the exit door the moment he starts to explode; skip the codec. It is possible to speed up the fight by throwing PG at the boss. It takes two hits but if he begins to fire a rocket, you are most likely going to eat said rocket. Weigh the options accordingly. The boss takes a large amount of knockback, making it possible to hurt him and knock him on top of a missed PG. His other attacks are: a love beam that stuns Snake, a close range laser for damage, and homing missiles. Exiting with at least 1 PG is suggested, you can get more by grabbing the box in the top left corner.

Southern Resort:
After skipping the cutscene, dive slightly right to grab the green box of Watermelon Bombs (WB). Then cut left and dive up onto the resort pier. Triggering an alert at this point is acceptable, and is bound to happen on either the laser, camera or three pipos. Triggering the alert here also lines up the last Red pipo so he is in a better position later in the level. The goal of this level is to find and destroy four devices in order to open the exit door. The first is located at the NW corner of the first hut. Place the WB along the outside west wall and detonate it while diving. Always aim for flat wall and not corners. If done correctly (and you hang back) you will see bits of metal pieces fly out, confirming the machine broken. At this point while diving north, a pipo will see you if not already in alert. At the four-way junction dive up left and then left to the hut. Place a WB tight against the east wall (not in the corner by the crate) and dive away. If desired, the WB linger the entire duration of Snakes time on this map, so detonate them as you see fit.

After returning to the center platform, the camera's cycle will be such that you can enter the pagoda and, hugging the fence, dive through the WBs and not extend the alert. If the alert is extended you will have to wait an additional 10 seconds at the end gate. Continue around and then east until Snake reaches another hut. Place a WB on the southern half of the west wall and continue on north. Depending on movement, you may see a Red pipo ahead of you turning a corner; he is irrelevant. The final WB needs placed on the southern side of the west wall at this north-eastern most hut. This final WB will cause a cutscene when blown, but as long as the Red pipo is not next to you, he will not turn and see you when it starts. Dive through the bombs, waiting on the laser if required (at least half way up), then the exit door; skip the codec.

Should the door fail to open, a machine was missed and must be found. A dive into the water sets you back at the beginning of the room with the initial ammo count, but costs ~10 seconds of time watching the death, load, and game over screen. If you choose to backtrack instead, be aware of your WB count. There is a second set in the SE edge of the middle platform, but getting an alert adds more time loss. If you exit with less then two, you will need to get some backup in the next area.

Elephant Fight:
Simply dive to the PG directly in front of you and begin throwing them towards his trunk gears. It takes nine hits to destroy the elephant, possibly more if you fail to hit the gears, and you do not need to aim high to arc them. He is immune to damage during his rear and stomp animation. If the elephant begins to move closer to Snake, meaning you lost the stun lock, he will begin swinging his head while stepping forward, it is very important to regain the stun lock during this. If you fail to do so, he will begin sucking Snake in towards the trunk, moving him off of the PG. Getting sucked in causes an animation and damage. After the elephant begins exploding, dive around him as he has a lingering hitbox that will shunt you, and exit the room; skip the codec. Be sure to exit this room with three PG and DO NOT throw anymore PG. If on NG+ holding forward while throwing PG is acceptable.

Wild West Town:
Check your WB, if you have two, ignore this, else dive up right towards the set of three on the bench in order to grab some more, this takes roughly 7 seconds with good movement. Begin diving up left and do not fret about getting an alert on this side, though it is possible to dodge the Yellow pipo by hugging the porch tightly or climbing on it. It will cause lag and you may get shotgunned if an alert happens, but there is no exit gate at the end of this area; however, there is at the beginning if you wish to leave. Snake cannot dive onto the left porch directly and must climb, it is just barely outside of a couple dive lengths. If avoiding a second possible alert, hugging the right wall of the building with the camera will avoid the other Yellow pipo's vision cone and the camera should be facing the wood pile. Once past the building, dive up right and cross the bridge. There are three broken slats, landing in them will reset Snakes dive animation when they crack, but failure to be prompt will result in Snake falling into the crevice; it is sometimes possible, but rare, that Snake suffers a fall animation on the slats and falls to his death, or even just phases through. Once across, dive up left and ascend the slope. If an alert is on going or caused, bombs will begin to bounce down these slopes. They can occasionally hit Snake as he finishes a dive so be careful. Once at the top, dive north and exit the room. No Codec.

Mesal Gear Fight:
After spawning in, dive up left and collect the cookie/ration if needed. Dive forward and trigger a cutscene. Dive behind the prisoner and onto the PG. It is possible to collect all 15 in a single dive but missing is slow. After collecting them, turn south west and dive back out of the room. If needed there is a second cookie/ration that can be collected. As soon as you load into Wild West Town, turn around and hop back into the torture room. pick up a third ration/cookie if needed and retrigger the cutscene. Grab another 15 PG from the back. At this point it is paramount you have a minimum of 2 WB and 33 PG. Once ready, dive right and enter the railway to fight Mesal Gear. NG+ should hold up right and dive immediately to the boss.

Mesal Gear is random and consists of two phases, in a manner of speaking. Mesal will take just about everything Snake brought depending on how well throws are timed out and it's own attack RNG. Most of the time it will fire machine gun at you in 3 round spread bursts. These lock onto Snakes current position. Hanging out on the extreme right to left gives you time to dodge them as needed and hitting Mesal with a PG sends the bullets upwards causing them to miss. After about 11 PG have been throw Mesal will back up. Place a WB and dive into the camera. Mesal Gear will lurch forward and hit the WB, then crawl farther forward. At this new position, Mesal will begin to launch missiles in sets of five at Snake. There are two variations of this attack, one allows you to see the target recitals on the ground. The second shows only the front of Mesal Gear and the rockets coming out. Whenever this attack happens aim to be next to Mesal Gear so that at least one of the rockets hits it. Mesal Gear has enough i-frames that it will not take multiple hits from the rockets. Be aware that the drills do cause contact damage, as well as the direct front.

The second attack is Mesal Gear will begin to spew out PG at Snake. They are random semi-position tracking. He throws out a ton so hang out in front of Mesal Gear as long as you are willing too to get it to hurt itself a ton. Each self hit reduces the amount of PG that Snake must hit Mesal with by one. After about 22 more PG of Snakes are thrown, Mesal will rear back a second time. Repeat the WB strat and Mesal Gear should die. Again, this all depends on the RNG you got during the fight, and Mesal Gear can die very early on or even force a few PPK or pistol shots from Snake.

The Mark of A Monkey (Pipo Ocelot):
The final confrontation with Pipo Ocelot. Do not dive forward. A cutscene will start at a fixed time, irrelevant of both Snake and Ocelots position and alert status. Ocelot can kick you down for half a cookie or do a spin counter for a full cookie and a knock down. The goal is to stun-lock him. I find the most successful method of doing this is by positioning Ocelot against a wall (he usually runs to one) and, while Snake is against the wall, holding the analog towards Ocelot, and very slightly the wall, the entire time, all while doing non-stop Punch Punch Kick combos. After five kick-flips land, Ocelot goes down for the count. If he kills you, his HP is reset back to five.

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