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I haven't played MGS5 in a couple of years and got back into it recently with the help of a few mods, notably Infinite Heaven (a convenience and tweaking mod that lets you streamline the game or alter the difficulty to your liking). As it so happens, I did a restriction run back in 2015 where I was only allowed to play as crappy Diamond Dogs soldiers with no real gear. It was fun and challenging but I sucked at the game and it was boring. I'm a lot better now than I was, so I decided it might be fun to do another runthrough with a similar idea but more freedom allowed. I don't have a nailed down ruleset yet, but the following things are generally going to be obeyed: Play as Snake/Avatar. Bionic Arm passive upgrades are OK. No Quiet, D-Dog, or D-Walker (unless something funny comes up), as they're way too powerful. D-Horse is OK. Mission deployment budget cannot exceed 10,000 GMP. Anything can be brought, subject to additional restrictions, as long as it's under budget. Exception for vehicles: Vehicles cost no GMP to deploy as long as you have one in reserve, so I'll just say unarmed vehicles are alright but anything with a gun is not. No fighting Quiet with a tank. As far as material requirements go, I don't really count those as part of the budget because it'd be too annoying to do so. Most things that cost under 10k don't have onerous material requirements anyway. No Primary/Back slot weapons. They can be acquired OSP from enemies though, and used if desired. Pistols and the Bionic Arm are more powerful than rifles anyway. No Fulton. I've actually set up IH in such a way that prisoners and hostages cannot be Fultoned at all, but I will also not Fulton guards. No Supply Drops or Support actions in general. Most of them are rank-restricting anyway, and cost GMP. No Intel Team updates to enemy positions. This is normally impossible to turn off but IH allows it so I did it. Marking is still allowed because the game is pretty annoying without it. Reflex Mode is off. I'd have it off anyway because I use CQC a lot and that often triggers Reflex unnecessarily which kills your rank. Daytime infiltrations only. Any time between 6 AM and 6 PM is fine, with a preference for starting no later than 1-2 PM. Timescale is set slower in IH so it should never reach sunset mid-mission but obviously letting the sun set is not OK. Start all missions on foot (IH lets you skip helicopter rides in) and exit by land wherever possible. Choppers are allowed if required or if Miller calls one for you, and if there are >3 people to extract since it's impossible to extract four or more people via land without Fultoning. I'm not going to restrict myself to an unupgraded chopper because the lowest rank takes ages to arrive but I won't use any missiles or armor on Pequod. I will also not use the exploit where you call in Pequod and let him kill everyone for you with his machinegun without those kills "counting." S Rank every mission with Foxhound, so of course no rank restricting items or actions (not a problem, most are too expensive anyhow). No Traces (the super bonus) is not required but I may aim for it now and then (so far I haven't managed to get it once). Other than that don't worry about score. Due to the nature of this I'll be avoiding kills too, though I will have to destroy vehicles (vehicles have drivers, but enclosed vehicle kills don't count the driver deaths against you). All of these rules can be overridden in the name of fun, within reason. The full playlist is here. Useful Equipment & Why It's Useful Water Pistol (210 GMP): Free, infinite ranged distraction (though not as reliable as a Magazine). It's also cheap, can hold up enemies (they don't know it's not a real gun), and can extinguish fires and short out electrical equipment. While technically more expensive than the cheapest tranquilizer pistol, the Water Pistol tends to be my preference. Burkov TB (2940 GMP): The only tranquilizer gun I normally use, and I try not to use it much. Unlike the Windurger (default tranq pistol), it's an automatic and has a much faster rate of fire which is good for quickly incapping somebody without needing a headshot. Carries more ammo too. Has a shitty suppressor, but with weapon customization I can fit a tier 3 suppressor on there. There's an improved Burkov with an infinite suppressor and much better iron sights, but it's too expensive to deploy with under my rules. Riot SMG (700-4900 GMP): Another non-lethal Secondary slot weapon. Shoots rubber bullets which are easier to hit with than tranqs but don't do much against armor, and has a crappy suppressor. Still sometimes useful, and inexpensive at the lower Grades. Grade 7+ has a better suppressor but costs 29k GMP so that ain't happening. Stun Arm (3700 GMP): Relatively cheap at Grade 4 despite being very powerful. Can be charged up to stun every enemy within 40m every few minutes or so. I don't abuse this too much but it's really handy sometimes, and for its cost it's a steal. Hand of Jehuty (4600 GMP): Ranged CQC/grab enabler. There are three ranks of this, each adds more battery and increases the range it can snag people by 10m. First rank doesn't have enough range or charge to be worth anything, and the final rank is Grade 7 and costs over 60k (plus almost 600 Precious Metal, itself worth at least that much GMP). Grade 5 makes a good compromise on range (20m is fine) and price (4600 GMP is a little expensive but sometimes worth it). Rocket Arm (4800 GMP): I never use this because I can't aim it for shit but it's capable of multiple ranged KOs. More expensive than Hand of Jehuty but workable. Magazine (0 GMP): They're free, infinite distractions that don't put enemies on alert. There's no reason not to bring them every mission. Decoy (1200-3600 GMP): Distracts enemies and more important makes vehicles stop for a second to destroy them. There's a version that makes noise and a version that can shock enemies for even more GMP but all are affordable except the Grade 7 Stun Decoy. Infrequently used but sometimes nifty. Hand Grenade (200-5000 GMP): Cheap and effective ranged destruction as long as you don't go past Grade 5; price jumps from 5000 GMP to 56k (jesus). Smoke Grenade (400-5200 GMP): Concealing smoke is sometimes useful. Doesn't really damage anybody though. Stun Grenade (1600-4800 GMP): Instant incapacitation, but really hard to use and loud as hell. Mostly there for bosses. Sleep Grenade (2800-4600 GMP): Excellent way to cause knockouts, though guards will dodge them a lot. Most useful against certain bosses as the gas is fairly quiet and enemies can't trace thrown weapons back to you as easily as they can gunshots. C4 (400-5200 GMP): Because I can't Fulton vehicles, I need to destroy them, and C4 is the only remote-detonated explosive available. Fortunately, it's also very cheap. ATB Mine (2500-6640 GMP): Tank mines, stronger than C4 and good for vehicle-heavy missions. Pricey though, but under this ruleset cheaper and more useful than the EMN Mines since I can't Fulton vehicles after disabling them. Cardboard Box (100-4900 GMP): The ultimate weapon. Has a variety of uses I haven't really touched on thus far. Its main value, to me, is the ability to fast travel by shipping yourself between outposts. Usually I go with the Grade 1 Desert box because it's the cheapest. Noctocyanin (1100-5300 GMP): A drug that lets you see enemies through walls. Pointless in single player where you can just use D-Walker or D-Dog to mark enemies through walls, but since I'm not using either of those guys this is often worth shelling out for. However, its high cost at the ranks where it matters mean sometimes I have to go without in order to make budget. Phantom Cigar (100-1500 GMP): Have yet to use it, but it allows for passing time more quickly which can sometimes be useful on timed missions when you finish your objective early. Camo (0+ GMP): Sneaking Suits are expensive and not that useful in daylight and Battle Dress is pointless if not going loud. That leaves camo fatigues, which are really good even if they offer no benefits to sound or health. Their main advantage is that choosing the right one for the operations area reduces the range at which enemies will see you, both in terms of noticing you (white mark onscreen showing they're aware of something) and in terms of spotting you to start an alert. I try to pick camo that matches and explain what it is every time, but the general rule of thumb is: "Rocky" camo for Afghanistan, "Greenery" or "River/Swamp" for Africa, "Concrete/Metal" for bases and other installations. Camos acquired through online events cost 0 GMP to deploy in as well, though sometimes I still use Olive Drab/Tiger Stripe because they only cost 100/200 GMP and that's rarely going to break the bank. Squares (the stock Concrete/Metal camo) costs more so having alternatives that don't cost anything is nice. D-Horse (0 GMP): The only buddy I'm allowing myself to use (so far), D-Horse is balanced and not gamebreaking. He offers mobility on demand which makes the runs less boring, he can teleport prisoners on his back to your position (rarely used, but might be useful), and he can poop on command. This is tactically crucial. That Guy You're Playing As Doesn't Look Like Big Boss... At the beginning of MGS5 you're allowed to create a custom avatar. Finishing the last story mission allows you to select your avatar as a character instead of Snake or a Diamond Dogs soldier. Mechanically, your avatar is identical to Snake (can use the Bionic Arm, has access to Naked/Scarf camo variants, voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, etc.). I tried to kind of make his face resemble a clean-shaven Big Boss, but you can only do so much with the editor. E1: Phantom Limbs Join a suspiciously clean-shaven Venom Snake in the rescue of Miller. We could get in and out stealthily, but instead we'll capture the entire outpost where Miller is held with a Water Pistol and our Zone of the Enders powers. E2: Diamond Dogs Skipped because it's a tutorial. E3: A Hero's Way This won't be the last time D-Horse is used as an ersatz mine layer. E4: C2W It's time for some actual espionage as I attempt to minimize knockouts/holdups and deal with the objective decisively and stealthily for once. E5: Over The Fence I briefly discuss the No Traces bonus as I almost got it on this run. No Traces is sort of a super duper point bonus that is hidden; the game doesn't even tell you it exists. To earn it, you basically have to avoid ever using the trigger action (anything with Mouse1 or whatever attack is on a controller) and certain other things. It's extremely restrictive and more or less requires ghosting; the main advantage is that it gives so many points that you're guaranteed an S rank if you acquire it regardless of how long it took. Don't worry about it. E6: Where Do The Bees Sleep? The first proper "story" mission, meaning there are some restrictions on starting and exiting. We can bypass some of the tedium with a Cardboard Box. A new threat reveals itself, which would be surprising if the opening credits for every mission they appear in didn't spoil that they were coming. E7: Red Brass While it's possible to extract two of the three commanders before they even reach Da Wialo, there's no reason to do so when they willingly put themselves in range of all of Big Boss's love, anger, and sorrow. E8: Occupation Forces This is one of the easiest missions in the game to get No Traces on. Just bring a vehicle and D-Horse, block the road with both, and Fulton all three vehicles in the convoy while they're stopped and honking. Regrettably I will have to actually engage the enemy, but it all works out in a rather surprising way. E9: Backup, Back Down This mission is fine, but I hate it because it isn't really a Metal Gear mission. You're on a clock to eliminate armored fighting vehicles, though technically you can complete the mission after killing just one (S Rank will usually elude you though without the bonus points). This would all be much easier if the engine didn't make landmines stop working past a certain distance, but apparently Hideo Kojima doesn't quite get what landmines are for. E10: Angel With Broken Wings A fairly easy rescue mission that only becomes difficult if you linger to rescue the extra prisoners at Lamar Khate Palace before their execution and then head for the outpost to rescue the main target. As it happens, we exit the mission with Malak in tow before any of the prisoners are executed anyway, not that it matters for ranking purposes. E11: Cloaked In Silence The first true "boss" in MGS5 if you don't count the Skulls in Episode 6 (and I don't, since you can just avoid them). Quiet is a sniper with deadly accuracy and the ability to kill you in one or two hits, plus invisibility and running like Sonic the Hedgehog, among other things. There are many cheesy ways to easily defeat her, but we're using a particular vintage since many of the cuter ones (airdropping a box of supplies on her head) are not allowed. The ending is not what I expected. Also, Quiet's normal outfit is a skimpy bikini, which you'll notice she isn't wearing here. That's because I installed a mod that forces her to actually wear clothes, game lore be damned. So your whole family can watch this episode, I guess. More episodes coming as I get around to playing and editing. I've managed to get up through Episode 17 so far, so I'm about halfway through the unique missions (not counting variants, which I may or may not do).