March 20, 2015

The End

BOSS RUSH! opens tonight at Light Grey Art Lab. It's an exhibition that pays tribute to videogame's most memorable and beloved (or maybe, reviled) boss encounters. Of course this is exactly the type of show I can't resist taking part in, and after a lot of soul searching I knew I had to do The End from the PS2 classic Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

The End
The End has always resonated with me. Considered to be the Father of Sniping, The End is over 100 years old and rumored to be photosynthetic, meaning he can sit unmoving for an incredible amount of time, feeding off sunlight. He's strange, stoic, and ready to die. He's got a bird who calls him 'Grandpa' and he can bulge his eyes out of his head to peer through his sniper scope.

The battle against The End is an epic and thematic test of skill and patience, as any sniper battle should be. It all takes place in a massive section of the Sokrovenno forrest and uses all of the survival skills Snake Eater is known for; listening for audio clues (like snoring if The End happens to fall asleep), searching for telltale visual cues like the sunlight glinting off The End's sniper scope, or watching for The End's parrot as it flies to and fro alternating between spotting Snake and waking The End if he falls asleep.

Depending on your approach and patience, the battle with The End can take hours (although Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima originally envisioned it taking a week). But it's one of the most memorable boss battles I've ever played.

And if all that sounds like too much to handle, just turn the game off and wait. After a week of inactivity The End dies of old age and you sidestep the battle entirely.

Sneak peek of my BOSS RUSH! piece. Opens Friday at Light Grey Art Lab. Be there or be square.
Also, The End derives his name from his emotional state on the battlefield; total oblivion. How could anyone be cooler than that?

Go to Light Grey Art Lab's online BOSS RUSH! gallery to see over 100 pieces from the show, and head over to the Light Grey Art Lab shop to buy prints. BOSS RUSH! is on display in the gallery through Friday, April 11, and you can see a special on-the-road appearance at GlitchCon on Saturday, March 28.

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