Metal Slug 3 (2000)

by Nish
8 minutes read


Metal Slug 3 stands as a testament to SNK’s craftsmanship in game design, offering an unparalleled arcade experience with its intense action, rich visual style, and engaging gameplay mechanics. A must-play for fans of the genre and newcomers alike.


Embark on a thrilling mission with Metal Slug 3, a game that solidifies its legacy in the arcade world with fast-paced action, intricate pixel art, and exhilarating gameplay. As part of SNK’s esteemed series, it offers a blend of challenge and fun that has stood the test of time.


“Metal Slug 3”, developed by SNK, is a run-and-gun video game that was originally released in 2000 for the Neo-Geo MVS arcade platform. It is the sequel to “Metal Slug 2 / Metal Slug X” and was the last “Metal Slug” game that SNK worked on until its bankruptcy. The game was later ported to various platforms including PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, Wii, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo Switch.

The gameplay mechanics of “Metal Slug 3” are similar to its predecessors. The player must shoot constantly at a continual stream of enemies to reach the end of each level, where they confront a boss, usually considerably larger and tougher than regular enemies. Throughout each level, the player can find numerous weapon upgrades and “Metal Slug” tanks, known as the SV-001 (“SV” stands for Super Vehicle), which increase the player’s offense and considerably add to their defense. In addition to shooting, the player can perform melee attacks by using a knife and/or kicking.

“Metal Slug 3” introduced several features to the gameplay of the original “Metal Slug” and “Metal Slug 2”, such as new weapons and vehicles, as well as branching paths into the series. Much of the game’s scenery is destructible, and occasionally, this reveals extra items or power-ups. During the course of a level, the player encounters prisoners of war (POWs), who, if freed, offer the player bonuses in the form of random items or weapons.

The plot of “Metal Slug 3” begins several years after the evil General Morden was foiled in his attempted coup d’état against the world’s governments by the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force. After forming an alliance with an alien race in an attempt to stage another coup, Morden was betrayed and taken prisoner by his newfound allies. The rebellion orchestrated by General Morden to bring about a new global regime is now history, and order and peace have begun to return to the world.

Marco and Tarma of the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force, instrumental in squashing Morden’s rebel forces, are ordered to lead the team after their earlier requests for resignation were denied. Although General Morden has been written off as “missing” by his followers, they have hidden themselves throughout the world, and Marco and Tarma’s abilities and experience are seen as a necessity to destroy the remaining rebel strongholds, one by one.

Throughout the furious fighting against the holdouts, Marco and Tarma cannot help but suspect Morden’s involvement in this new evil plan for world domination. Meanwhile, the SPARROWS, a special strike force within the government intelligence agency, have come across a series of strange events running parallel to the Peregrine’s pursuit of General Morden. From trivial abductions of livestock to the disappearance of government officials and the appearance of freakishly large creatures, numerous occurrences with nothing in common point to one grim possibility. General Morden is not the only menace to worry about.

Eventually, it is learned that the alien menace that appeared in “Metal Slug 2 / Metal Slug X” has returned. After defeating what appears to be General Morden, it turns out that he really is an alien in disguise, while the real Morden was their prisoner (again). The aliens abduct the player character (if there are two players, only player one is abducted), and another character takes his/her place. Once again, an ad-hoc alliance is formed to combat the external threat, with Rebel Army supplying a rocket ship that allows the player to break into the aliens’ mothership.


The game features iconic characters Marco, Tarma, Eri, and Fio, each with their own unique attributes. Players can choose their favorite hero to battle against the nefarious General Morden and his new alien allies in a bid to save the world.


Metal Slug 3’s gameplay is characterized by its run-and-gun style, allowing players to shoot in all directions and navigate through levels filled with enemies and obstacles. The game introduces new Slugs and a variety of weapons, enhancing the combat experience and offering strategic gameplay options.


With its enduring appeal and status as a cornerstone of arcade gaming, Metal Slug 3 exemplifies the best of run-and-gun action. Its detailed art, strategic gameplay, and memorable characters ensure its place in the hearts of gamers around the world.

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