Slushy Snake – Merry Gear Solid: Secret Santa

Hic! Oh hello there. Hic! I’ve been playing this excellent free stealth game ‘Merry Gear Solid: Secret Santa’ [official site] from 2006 and I don’t understand anything in it. Alice tells me that it’s about ‘Solid Snake’ but this seems like a joke name she made up.

I’m here as Alice’s plus one at the RPS Castle for the Christmas Party but we seem to be lost in the WEST wing of the castle, not the EAST wing which is where I can hear all the Carly Rae Jepsen coming from. (I presume this means KG is somewhere over there.) The west wing seems to have a lot of tartan and possibly…. wolves. But our party is BETTER.

Let’s put on Bing Crosby and a silly paper hat and ignore all the howling. CHRISTMAS GAME AWAITS!

So there’s this guy ‘Solid Santa’ in this top down stealther which I guess means that this particular Santa is more tangible than the normal santa, who I admit is usually not real. WAIT – WAIT – no he is real. He’s real. You at the back there – he’s REAL. Everything’s fine.

Anyway Santa has some presents to deliver – STEALTHILY. But some person called Tim calls you on this weird communicator thing with a shrill tone which is bound to alert every parent in the level – I mean, house. The mysterious TIM annoyingly interrupts most of your progress via communicator and has an unnecessarily long chat with you about candy canes that look like cigarettes and getting in gift boxes with holes so you can sneak around without children seeing you.


Santa’s voice is somewhat……….. BREATHY. GRAVELLY, even. His voice would not be out of place in a divebar populated by bikers who smoke six packs a day. I always imagined that Santa would sound a bit like Stephen Fry. But anyway.

IF a small child sees you sneaking around in gift boxes, or god forbid you trip a laser in this RIDICULOUSLY SECURE FIFTY STOREY HOUSE POPULATED BY SIXTY CURIOUSLY FERVENT AT PATROLLING FIVE YEAR OLDS, then they tend to yell ‘SANTA! SANTAAAAAA! SANTAAAA!’ and you have to start infiltrating the house again which just seems excessive.

It’s actually quite a jape. Definitely an office shirk-off, if you’re looking for a neat way to procrastinate doing the accounts for Neville, or finishing that spreadsheet for that bastard John who always eats all the office hob-nobs when no one is looking.

You might also fancy Merry Gear Solid 2: Ghost of Christmas Past.

Why is this called Merry Gear Solid. Why are the gears Merry. Why is Santa so solid? Is he part of So Solid Crew? Is this… Is this relevant, I wondered?

I suspect not. Each level is not 21 seconds long. I checked.

(This game is really quite awesome! It is cute and Santa’s feet have a cute pitter patter sfx on them. All items are Christmas themed! And yes, it is free. Merry Christmas, RPS friends. I miss you now I’ve passed over to the sunny pastures of game development.)


  1. Nereus says:

    I understand you’re busy working on video games Cara, but it’s a shame you don’t write more for the site because your contributions are always excellent.

  2. Jekadu says:

    I was just thinking about this game! It’s pretty awesome. They even did a sequel which has some pretty good Snake/Otacon sound-alikes and which could probably have been sold commercially if they made some script changes.

  3. Kefren says:

    I’ve always thought there was something creepy about things coming down the chimney, delivering presents or not. Probably because I don’t celebrate xmas.

  4. bishmanrock says:

    Discovered this last month when digging through some old PC Zone demo disks, was quite surprised at how fun it was to pass some time

  5. KillahMate says:

    Hi Cara! I hear you’re busy with that there vidyagamemaking, but do stop by anytime, always nice to have you around and not knowing about Solid Snake!

    • Cara Ellison says:

      I really have no idea about this bloke. Every time Alice laughed at something Solid Santa said on the comms I was like ‘uuuuuuuh, what is happening’

  6. theblazeuk says:

    I thought the writer was drunk but then I saw it was Clara, and all was well. The slightly hard to comprehend present we all wanted from Horace’s endless stocking!

  7. Rogerio Martins says:

    That’s an old one, from the times that there were quality indie games were released for free.

  8. tigerfort says:

    Thanks. I now have a mental image of Dara O’Briain going “Santa. Santaa? Santaaaaaaaa.”

  9. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Yay, it’s Cara Ellison! :D

  10. Fontan says:

    What a lovely surprise to see, on my usually dreadful facebook timeline, an RPS article by Cara Ellison! Too bad this videogame making business is keeping you from writing about videogames (or about anything, really). Please show up more often!