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Metal Gear Solid Enemy Alert refers to the sound effect and exclamation mark prompted when a player is spotted by the enemy in the stealth action video game series Metal Gear Solid. Following the mainstream success of the series, the alert has been referenced in webcomics, cosplay outfits and YouTube poop videos.
In the Metal Gear Solid series, originally released on September 3rd, 1998, an alarm sound (shown below) plays when the player is detected by an enemy, which is accompanied by the appearance of a red exclamation mark placed directly over the enemy’s head. The player must then hide for several seconds before the enemy stops patrolling the area in order to avoid combat.
On May 7th, 2006, Flickr user tokyoselbstmord uploaded a photo titled “metal gear exclamation mark,” featuring several cosplayers dressed to resemble enemies from the Metal Gear games with red exclamation marks above their heads (shown below, left). On March 3rd, 2008, Cafe Press user charlieface uploaded a design for a white baseball cap with a red exclamation mark printed on the front (shown below, right).
On October 1st, 2010, YouTuber Egoraptor uploaded a parody animation titled “Metal Gear Awesome” (shown below, left) featuring the enemy alert noise several times throughout the video. On October 14th, Egoraptor uploaded a sequel video (shown below, right), which also used the alert noise.
On October 18th, the webcomic site Awkward Zombie published a comic titled “Vwingtone,” in which a character changes his phone’s ringtone to the Metal Gear Solid enemy alert noise (shown below).
On November 4th, Etsy member agirlfrommars sold a custom laser-cut keychain made to resemble the exclamation mark. On June 2nd, 2011, YouTuber Brissles uploaded a video titled “YouTube Poop – Bottom Smells,” featuring the enemy alert noise (shown at 1:11 below, left). On October 5th, 2012, YouTuber GreatJailFang uploaded an hour long loop of the exclamation point sound (shown below, right).
The signature exclamation mark has often been used in parody images and cosplays referencing the game Metal Gear Solid.