Metal Gear Solid 2 can be punishingly difficult in its Extreme mode. Unlike Metal Gear Solid 3, playing MGS2 on Extreme is required for 1000G or a Platinum trophy. To get the Blue Wig and an achievement/trophy, you only need enough Plant dog tags to unlock it, which is 218. There is 242 total, so you don’t need every one. Getting the Tanker tags is not required. As such, the Tanker section in Metal Gear Solid 2 will not be covered in this Extreme guide. I highly recommend The Guild of Awesome’s dog tag guide for all difficulties. You should get 100% of the dog tags on Very Easy, Easy, Normal, and Hard to lessen the annoyance on Extreme, especially due to the mode’s difficulty.
Metal Gear Solid 2 Extreme Guide – General Tips and Info
By the time you finish Easy mode, you should get the Infinity Wig (infinite ammo), and by the time you finish Normal, you should have the Stealth Camo. Both of these are very useful for getting tags. Wearing the Stealth Camo will allow you to not worry about guards nearly as much, and you can simply walk right in front of them and hold them up. Then switch to the Infinity Wig and shake them down.
One of the reasons why Extreme is so hard is that only one ration is available for pick up from the ground, and that’s right before the Metal Gear Ray fight. The only other way to get rations is by picking up and dropping specific guards and by Snake during the Tengu fights. Make sure to keep the guards alive in the CD connecting bridge as one of them will drop a ration if you pick up and drop him enough.
You can get these rations continuously as long you do it before the Harrier fight. Simply spray the guard with coolant and then leave and come back. Tranq him again and pick up and drop him until he drops another ration. Make sure to get the Body Armor. It’s in the water area right outside of where Emma’s held. Make sure to save frequently, as at least for me playing on Xbox Series X, the game can freeze occasionally. You might also want to go back to an earlier save to get more health or to do a certain section better.
I do recommend only picking up the first 32 tags on Extreme if you just want to get the achievement and are worried about the incredibly tough fights ahead. The tags in the Shell 1 Core can be quite annoying. The tag you get from Snake might not be the best idea as you will want the most health possible for the coming encounters, and you will likely get hit by Snake going for his tag. Here is the Metal Gear Solid 2 Extreme guide for the boss fights and some other tricky sections.
For this encounter, you want to use the cardboard box trick. Equip a cardboard box and move left and right in order to dodge Fortune’s attacks. Always make sure she finishes her shot before turning in the opposite direction. If you turn around when her attack is still going, you can get hit.
Notice in the video that later in the fight, I go into the far left or right just so her attack’s finished. As long as you’re moving away from the shot, you should be okay. Just make sure not to start bobbing and weaving near the oil as that breaks the box. Also, don’t use any rations as your health gets completely refilled after the fight. Thankfully Fortune isn’t a one-hit kill like other fights later on, so you can take two hits.
This is the most frustrating fight, in my opinion. If he starts putting down bombs and lays all 5, you are probably dead. Often you will be given a timer that is completely impossible to disarm all the bombs. After the initial bombs, you will want to make sure to stay close to him at all times so he doesn’t place any more, and you can continuously knock him down. If you knock him down after he places bombs, he will trigger them upon getting up. If he only placed 2 bombs or less, then it is doable, but anything more will most likely result in a game over.
Make sure to equip the Infinity Wig and unequip, then equip the pistol to reload it frequently. You don’t want to manually reload the pistol at all. As well, make sure to run and shoot at the same time when chasing him. This can be done by holding X/Square. Then at the same time, hold A/X and start moving. Then release X/Square. Now you can move and shoot at the same time. If you stand and mash X/Square, often Fatman will get away.
Try as hard as possible to stay on him and ensure he doesn’t place any bombs at all or doesn’t place much. It is totally fine if you use all your rations here, as you can refill them from the guard at the CD connecting bridge before entering the Shell 1 Core. Plus, you’re going to be heading in that direction anyway if you’re following The Guild of Awesome’s dog tag guide for Extreme.
This fight requires a lot of practice. You will need to memorize the attack pattern that he does so you can be prepared for his attacks and focus on dodging them. Right at the beginning, you can get 3–4 shots on him if you are fast enough. Go forward, grab the Stinger, and immediately start blasting him to get up to 4 hits.
For the missiles he shoots from above in the short cutscene and the attacks he does from far away, you’re going to want to use the iframes of the hanging mode in the middle area. Press Y/Triangle to hang and then press it again to come back, which should evade those attacks. Make sure to not go up too quickly, as that’s a death sentence.
For the missiles he shoots in quick succession, simply walk up and down the stairs. When the short cutscene ends, walk downstairs, and as soon as you hit the edge, turn around and walk upstairs and repeat. When you walk upstairs the second time, you can get some free hits on him. For the machine-gun fire, go downstairs, equip a cardboard box behind cover and evade his fire. Thankfully this fight is not terribly long, unlike other fights ahead. Don’t use any rations since your health will be completely refilled after the fight.
This fight is straightforward. You will want to go to the upper right corner of the room and go prone against the corner. Then equip the Infinity Wig and Nikita missile launcher.
Always have the Nikita ready to fire at all times and when Vamp jumps either to the left or right of you, shoot the missile and guide it towards him. You can tell where he’s going to jump to before he lands there, so as soon as you know he’s coming toward you, shoot. Frankly, the only hard part of this fight might be the strain on your right index finger because you will want to be in first-person for almost the entire fight. You can do it with the normal camera, but it is a little harder just because of the drastic shift to first-person when firing.
Emma Escort on the Bridge
Use all of your Pentazemin right at the start. Then head far-right against the fence near Emma so you can shoot all the mines. The Pentazemin do stack, so you actually get the duration of all 5 together. If you’re having trouble aiming for the mines, don’t try to wiggle the cursor back and forth if you’re really close. Move the cursor a bit far away and push left or right, and that is likely to target the mine.
After all the mines are destroyed, kneel in the middle where the ammo spawns. Then start shooting the guards on the first platform. Unlike other difficulties, the ammo does not infinitely spawn, so anytime you are dealing with only the drones, equip the Infinity Wig instead of the Thermal Goggles. Emma can take a reasonable amount of punishment, so don’t worry too much. After you clean out the second platform, you are good to go as you only need to worry about drones, which shouldn’t be a problem. Pentazemin will respawn to the left, giving you a full 5. Get that if you need it, including at the start of the Vamp fight. Simply aim at Vamp’s head while Pentazemin is in effect and start shooting. Simple as that.
Tengu Room 1
Make sure to save at the start here in case you need to restart from this point. There is a coolant spray trick here if you want to do that, but it takes too long, in my opinion. It takes around 10 minutes. You, instead, can perform a glitch to skip the last part of the fight. At the end door, lean against it and go into first-person. Perform melee, and as you do the kick, release the first person. You should go through the door into the next area.
It’s advised to try to do the glitch when everyone is stunned by stun grenades because the auto-targeting from the melee attacks can mess up the skip. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any stun grenades. What I did was rush towards the door from the start while pressing A/X to cartwheel. When you get to the door, just try to perform the glitch while Snake shoots down the enemies. It’s fine to use rations here, as long as you get the rations back from Snake, who is actually quite generous with giving them out.
If you do not enter the next area with a full 2 rations, then just restart because you will need those 2 rations for the Metal Gear Rays and Soldius. If you need to, just perform first-person melee until Snake gives out the rations, then perform the glitch. I think you should do this method because it is quite fast, only taking over a minute, while doing it legit with the coolant spray will take over 10 minutes. The glitch isn’t very consistent but will complete the section very fast.
Tengu Room 2
This room is quite complicated. There are two ways to do this room: the glitch method and doing it legit. For both, you want to make sure your health is low enough, so Snake equips the M4 during the fight. The M4 allows Snake to defeat enemies quite easily, and he most likely will not die. If you’re doing it legit, you can spend most of the fight in the orange room, dealing with the enemies by peeking from cover and shooting. The orange room is a very good spot to recover health if you are bleeding and just to evade shots from enemies. You won’t need to worry about Snake much here.
There is also a way to skip this section with a glitch. When the fight starts, punch and grab the tengu towards the downright. Then carry him towards the bottom left part of the orange room while pressing X/Square whenever the tengu’s arms start to flail. When you’re at the corner, and his arms start to flail, press X/Square 5 individual times, then you need to switch it up. Whenever the arms start to flail, you need to release X/Square to free him. Right after the tengu tugs his chest, grab him again. Then normally choke him by pressing X/Square 2 times when he starts to flail. Next, keep doing the release method until the tengu passes out.
Now just chill to the right of the door, and the game should skip this section. This part is easy enough that I don’t think you need to perform the glitch. This section is quite long, though, in terms of time, so if you want to head straight to the Rays, then go ahead.
20 Metal Gear Rays
Make sure you have a couple of hours to spend because this will be a long one. This will take over 10 minutes for a successful run for a newcomer. As soon as you get to the arena and Solidus starts talking, use a ration to heal yourself and then pick up the last ration in the game. Equip Body Armor for this fight so you can take less damage from the machine-gun fire. Right at the start, head up a bit and start shooting with the Stinger.
For the most part, you will always want to shoot the knee and then the head. Sometimes they can do the machine-gun fire, and that won’t allow you to shoot the head first. At the start, shoot the middle, right, left, middle, right, left, and middle very quickly to immediately have the first Ray jump on the platform. Sometimes you won’t be fast enough to complete the full string, but one more knee and head combo should allow the first Ray to jump on.
Upon jumping on the platform, you can immediately kill the first Ray and should be able to kill the other two quickly. At this point is when you need to focus really hard. You actually can fight one Ray at a time since the Rays outside the platform only really perform the missile attack. That attack can be avoided by simply walking away or throwing a chaff grenade, which will not allow the missile to track your location. Do not try to fire Stinger missiles while the Ray missiles have already been launched, as that is a death sentence.
Fighting the Ray on the platform is actually simple. You want to fight about mid-range, so he tries to go for an attack. If you are quick enough, you can shoot his knee and then head without the attack going completely through. As soon as it starts to go into that knee stance, when eventually, an attack animation will start, shoot the Stinger, and you shouldn’t get hit.
Shoot as soon as he starts to go into that pose. Watch those knees, and as soon as those knees start to go in the direction of the pose, Shoot. This requires complete focus because if you are too late, you can get tagged or will need to dodge his knee missile attack, which is annoying. However, if you are completely focused, you shouldn’t get hit, and he will not be able to shoot the knee missiles at you. With this method, you can continuously pepper the Ray with rockets. There is a way to somewhat consistently dodge his knee missiles, however.
Run to either the left or right, and when they get mid-range to you, walk diagonally left or right (depending on what direction you were walking in the first place). Then when they start to get close, press A/X to cartwheel. If timed right, this will dodge it 100% of the time. It can still screw up if you dodge it too early or too late, but this is still the best way to avoid it that I know.
After the first 5, when a Ray’s health is depleted, I recommend only knee and headshot one Ray on the outside, not two. The reason why is you will need to focus on the Ray that comes onto the platform. This is a long fight, so don’t risk stuff. Again, after 5 Rays, you can basically fight this as a one-on-one encounter and focus on the platform Ray. The only attacks from the outside you will need to worry about are the missiles which have a very distinct audio cue. Most of the attacks besides the machine gun fire will one-shot you, so be careful and don’t risk anything. Be fully focused on this fight and use one ration if you need to.
You’re almost done with Metal Gear Solid 2 on Extreme, but the last thing in the game and this guide is Solidus Snake. Upon saving after the Ray fight, you will need to mash Y/Triangle for 12 seconds. The health you get after this sequence will be the health you get for the Solidus fight.
My technique is to grab the controller with my left hand and place it on my chest. Then mash Y with my middle finger, and when that finger runs out of gas, switch to my index and go back and forth. Make sure your left hand’s palm is moving the stick left because if you look towards Snake and Fortune, it reduces the damage you are getting. If the health you get isn’t enough, you think, it’s perfectly fine to reload the save and try again for a greater amount of health.
The Solidus fight is straightforward because you can simply evade his attacks and then punish. To evade the damaging missiles, just cartwheel towards them when the first one gets near. In order to beat this fight, you just have to practice dodging and punishing his attacks, which considering this should be your 5th playthrough, shouldn’t be very hard. After that, you have finished Metal Gear Solid 2 on Extreme, gotten the achievement upon getting the Blue Wig, and reached the end of this guide.
As stated in my previous Metal Gear Ranking list, MGS2 does have quite a few bonus modes. There are some tough VR Missions, so if you need any help with them, comment below, and I’ll see what I can do.
(Vamp YouTube video by Kagerasimaru)