Concept Art

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Most of the commentary in this section is sourced from Enomosiki's "Missing Concepts in Action" section from the Metal Slug Database.


Tagged "rejected 1P & 2P characters", these are likely "Phil John" (left) and "Michiko Nakajima" (right), the names of the original protagonists according to RetroGameTest's Metal Slug History videos, probably from the early development period when the tanks were the main characters. The 2P character has a hair style that strikingly resembles that of Fio's, and she even wears glasses to go with it.

Concept art for dialogue scenes between characters, for the opening stage or between levels according to the Metal Slug official guidebook. From left to right: Michiko Nakajima, Phil John (top), different Michiko? (bottom), early Morden (top) and Satiko Suzuki (bottom).

Unknown characters drawn by Max D., found in the Other gallery. Possibly early characters from the same era as those above; the girl is likely an alternate design of the rejected 2P character. The bottom pictures even depict her with the SV-002 Metal Slug.

Ivo speculates the top-right character is the same as the unused soldier who pops out of tanks from various angles.

Early concepts (top & middle) and final design (bottom) of Sophia Greenville, the Combat School instructor. Note how she goes from cute to serious from left to right.

Sophia in various get-up. Otherwise only seen in the Official Guidebook, they were probably unfinished pieces for the Special gallery.

Animation tests for the player character; their knife attacks on the left (including a fancy reverse kick and mighty punch) and entering the Slug on the right. Probably just the artist getting colourful.

Marco as a fire-breathing dragon demon. A stylistic interpretation of the Super Devil mode unlocked in Combat School, which merely turns his skin green (and makes his pistol shoot tank shells).

The guy resembles Amadeus from Metal Slug 4, but this picture was drawn during the development stage of Metal Slug 1, with six years of gap in the time period between them.

"Devil Rebirth" Morden! A goofy bit of art depicting a bald Morden as an Allen O'Neill-like musclehead.

Special Madams

ゲルハルト市には主婦になりすました女性特殊工作員が多数潜入している。 彼女らは外見こそ主婦だが、中身は正真正銘の戦鬪のプロで、 ゲルハルト市進攻の際は、豪雨のような敵弾をかいくぐり、マルコとターマを街の中心に導いた。

Special Old Lady Unit
Female secret agents impersonating ordinary housewives infiltrated Gerhardt City. Don't let the appearance deceive you, this "homemaker" is a genuine military professional. During the Gerhardt City invasion when bullets were raining down everywhere, they led Marco and Tarma through to the city's centre.

"Special Madams", they call her.
She looks as if she's about to shove that rocket launcher up someone's ass.
But in the game, however, all she really does is to act like... civilian, a non-combatant.

The same lady, looking more ghoulish than ever. Those poor villagers get no respect!

Sergeant Allen O'Neil drowning in water.
We don't actually see him drown until Metal Slug 2. And this art is suppose to be part of Metal Slug 1's concepts.

Mrs. O'Neil.
Now you realize where Allen Jr. had come from, eh? Talk about Beauty and the Beast.

From page 27 of the PlayStation version's manual: Chris Key, Alexander Suvorov and Rumi Aikawa. These characters appear only in the exclusive Another Mission mode, albeit as P.O.W.s without unique appearances. Notably, this is Rumi Aikawa's first appearance, six months before Metal Slug 2 hit arcades.


↓ でふせてよける
A = バルカン
B = ジャンプ
C = キャノン

Player Tank (Metal Slug)
↓ take cover
A = Vulcan
B = Cannon
C = Jump

← 弱点 (weak spot)
☆ 背中からうたれると死ぬ。

* You'll die if shot in the back.

This must have been a really early design of the Slug Tank. The crew is unprotected, no hydraulics that allows the tanks to jump are visible, and there are no armor platings that shield the threads.

Two particularly outrageous early concepts for the Metal Slug, if the Metal Slug Official Guidebook is to be believed.

Arts for mission 1 of Metal Slug 1. If you look at the Slug Tank in the pictures, you will notice that its pair of Vulcans are missing, as well as strange barrel sticking out of the rear and missing piece of hardware on top of the turret.
The threads also look weirder. Also, the two things that stick out from the side of the thread shield are missing, too.

Early (top & middle) and final (bottom) concepts of the Metal Slug. The early versions look much more cartoonish since most of the parts are round and seperated; the middle image shows some of the exaggerated animations the Slug would have had. The final design is more rigid and tighter looking.

SV-001 メタルスラッグ

SV-001 Metal Slug
The top-secret project developed by the Regular Army and put to use during Morden's coup d'etre of 2026.


Its body armour is based on snap-lock structure, using depleted uranium, ceramics, reinforced plastics, etc. as filling material. Its contents are shaped by its weight. [?]

全長 : 2575mm
全幅 : 2266mm
全高 : 2163mm
重量 : 2850kg
乗員 : 1 名

Length: 2575mm
Width: 2266mm
Height: 2163mm
Weight: 2850kg
Occupant: 1 person

The never-used SV-002. It's more sleek, and has a machine gun and a missile launcher instead of a vulcan. Its cannon's caliber is smaller, and the chassis profile is much lower. The headlights have also moved further to the rear of the top of the turret. The mineplow is also higher off the ground, and the all-bearing antenna has been changed from being cylindrical shape to a shape that of a cutter.

It's implied this would have been Player 2 in the tank-only version of the game, piloted by Michiko Nakajima, based on the story presented in Gamest #152, though all early footage only shows a recoloured SV-001.

The Middle-Son class submarines. The older variant on top, Middle-Son 1986, has been used in the final mission of Metal Slug 1 after you fall down the bridge when Morden blows it up.
The newer one below, Middle-Son 1999, is seen in the first mission as a derelict submarine.

At the top-left is the old design of Type-2 Di Cokka. To its right is a very funky design of it that got scrapped. The final design is on the bottom; it shows how close the tank looked like M3 Lee battle tank used by the Americans during World War II.

In the Official Guidebook there's an inset for the KT-21, which survived long enough to get a full set of sprites (its chassis based on the bottom design, while its turret uses the top-left design) but never got used. Based off its animations it behaved much the same way as the Di Cokka.

Early (top) and final (bottom) concepts of the Type-2B Melty Honey.
The first picture shows the Melty Honey as a battle tank. The second and third images makes it resemble a fire-support vehicle, with its open-top crew compartment. The difference between the second and third designs is that the third has the spikes on its front armor, while the previous one does not.


These were deployed en masse in remote locations. When the general's coup d'etre was issued, it was assumed the Regular Army would advance from the border where they had very little firepower to work with; the Bull Chan was designed for guerrilla-like warfare.

Early (top) and final (bottom) concepts of the Type-4 Girida-O battle tank.
The top-right image makes the tank resemble the M4A3 Sherman used by the Allies during World War II.

反逆軍各重要拠点の守備力強化を目的として開発された防御戦車で、長射程のキャノン砲と頑強な裝甲を持つ。 しかし、生産コストが高い為、あまり配備が進んでいないのが実状である。

A defensive tank with robust armour and a long-range cannon. Designed for strengthening the defensive power of each Rebel base. However, their high cost of production means only a few have gotten deployed.

Early (top) and final (bottom) concepts of the Type-5 Iron Iso assault tank.
The top-left picture makes the tank resemble the German SdKfz173 Jadgpanther, although the latter resembles the PzKw VI Tiger. But more importantly, the first picture shows how the designers were planning to add more sophisticated projectile/armor characteristics into the game, seeing how the shell is being bounced off of the top armor of that vehicle.

Anti-aircraft gun. There was suppose to be another AFV for the Rebellion designated as "Type-6" which serves as an anti-aircraft vehicle. But it seems that it was scrapped due to the fact that there were no controllable aircraft for the players in Metal Slug 1.

Another mobile ack-ack gun that never made it into the game.

Early (top) and final (bottom) concepts of the Tani-Oh, the level 3 boss from Metal Slug 1.
The first picture shows a blocky tank with three turrets and a lot of and barrels. The second image shows a huge tank with just a huge turret with a huge gun. The third shows a huge turret mounted on its chassis that has even more smaller turrets with cannons mounted on it. It also has guns located on the side of its chassis.
The final two, however, shows a completely different picture with the majority of its smaller cannons replaced by just two monstrous guns with two minelayer/Vulcan pods on each end.

Early (top) and final (bottom) concepts of the Shoe & Karn, the level 4 boss of Metal Slug 1.
Note the difference in armaments between the old and new designs. The old one carried an anti-aircraft cannon on the back instead of a cruise missile. The new design also has a longer barrel for the gun, as well as twin auxiliary guns below it. Mineplow has been added to the new design, and the new turret now resembles that of the Girida-O's.


A tourism and sight-seeing ship from Ronbertburg City that Rebel Army weaponised with wooden shipbuilding. Can carry a staggering number of soldiers.

Both are named Land Seek, although the early concept, which is suppose to resemble American World War II GPV, is replaced by a simple transport truck that resembles German Opel truck of World War II.

A destroyed World War II German PzKw IV Ausf. H Panzer tank, which is definitely not in the game.

Early (top-left) and final (rest) concepts of the R-Shobu. The first and second pictures make the damned thing look like a child's toy, while the fourth makes it look like a joke, and the third making it much more respectable than others.
Notice how the aircraft looks considerably different by comparing the fourth picture to the others.

Early designs for the Flying Tara and Eaca-B when they had unique models, a dive-bomber and a fighter-bomber respectively. In-game the two planes use the same graphic; see below.

基本的な設計は両機とも同一。 反逆軍陸上部に採用されたものがフライング・タラ、同海洋部のものがイーカ・Bと呼称される。

Flying Tara and Eaca-B are single-seat battle bombs that share the same design, and serve as the Rebel Army's air forces. The Flying Tara patrols the Rebels' land fortresses, while the Eaca-B patrols the seas.

Early (top) and final (bottom) concepts of the Hairbuster Riberts, level 2 boss from Metal Slug 1 and level 5 mini-boss from Metal Slug 3.
Not much has changed in design, except that the two engines located on its wings were replaced with a single engine that is placed on top of the aircraft.

[transcribe that kana!]

If all UFOs come from space...
...then shouldn't there be a lot of UFO traffic accidents? I mean, all the UFOs that come to Earth end up crashing or exploding, right? If you look at the whole universe, I wonder how many UFO accidents there are every year...?
Length: about 16 meters
Capable of carrying 34 passengers ("Little Greys")
Top Speed: Mach 8 (in atmosphere) 0 to Mach 8 in .06 seconds
Flies through a mysterious power
The people of my planet made the UFO. By the way, we're clones (with telepathy!)
Oh, I see! (closewise from top of diagram) Ship stabilizer, little grey, white bed, generator, experiment room, propulsion, light, window, light.

translation from Shmuplations

A schematic for an alien UFO. UFOs do tie into Satiko Suzuki's bio, apparently, but how much space stuff had they planned at this point?

I have... no clue... what these... are supposed to be.
Gundam spin-offs, maybe?
But I do know that there was a seperate project for developing a spin-off of Metal Slug 1 that was going to include these robots. However, the project was cancelled due to lack of interest from the staffs due to the fact that Metal Slug 1 was suppose to be World War II oriented, not sci-fi.


The arts are for the first mission of Metal Slug 1. However, you don't actually see the flak cannons mounted on the stoneheads in the game.

Middle-Son 1999 missile submarine. The hull looks slightly different from the one used in the first mission of Metal Slug 1.

Art for mission 1 of Metal Slug 1. That's the wing of the crashed-landed Tetsuyuki gunship that you fight as the boss. Notice how many things are different, including the wingspan and the wooden platforms that you use in the game to climb up to the wing.

Art for mission 3 of Metal Slug 1. That tank is not suppose to be there, let alone exist, in the game.

Art for mission 3 of Metal Slug 1. Note that the gun turret in the picture is not in the game, but just a pile of sandbags blocking the entrance.

Art for mission 4 of Metal Slug 1. Sure, they had that shack in the game, but no machine gun was mounted in one, either.

The ship resembles an aircraft carrier, and it probably is. But the deck is angled wrong.

Arts from Metal Slug 1, although you never fight any blimps until the first mission of Metal Slug 4.
Perhaps this was all part of MEGA's plan, after all.


For art sourced from the "Other" or "Special" galleries, or simply doesn't fit in the other categories. There's some far-out crap in those sections, some of it possibly intended as serious concept art...

... and then there's boob rockets. I've no idea who the woman is or its relevance to Metal Slug, but it's in the game, so...?!

Sophia in some sort of demonic dress. Touché.

Assorted female characters. The top-left woman is wearing the same uniform as one of the early Sophias above... only with grenades in her hair. The top-right woman has "Metasura" (メタスラ), an abbreviation for Metal Slug on her forehead.
The bottom two have fully painted illustrations and bear vague resemblances to Eri. The bottom-right image appears to be the same design as one of the early Sophia Greenville revisions - the scar and skull earrings are identical. Cheers to RockmanXX for this catch!

Well, would you look at that. Mazinger Z with an ugly face attached to it. Not used in the game, but it says "final weapon" at the top right of the picture.

A skeletal soldier holding a gun that Enomosiki claims somewhat resembles the .30 cal Browning Automatic Rifle. There's no skeletons or rifles in this game!


Stuffed bear
It may look like a soft toy that's fallen onto the battlefield, but it's actually a means of communication used by Morden's army. Confidential documents can be stored inside the stuffed doll. Worth points.

An explanation for the stuffed bear item. Metal Slug 2's concept art would feature new innovation in bear-communication technology.

みっちゃんのお人形戦法 爆弾を埋め込んだ人形を子供に持たせ、子供だからと気を許した正規軍兵士を葬る、という非人道的な戦法。中には重要なマイクロフィルムなどを運搬する場合もあったという。人形を運ぶ子供は一律に‘‘みっちゃん’’と呼ばれたためこの名がある。

Mitsumi (braided) girl doll
The Mi-chan doll strategy:
An inhumane tactic where dolls with bombs embedded inside were given to children, blowing up any Regular Army soldier who came to help. It's said these dolls have been used to transport microfilm and other documents on occasion. Children carrying dolls were often nicknamed "Mi-chan" because of this toy.

Metal Slug 2 would also expand upon this grisly bit of lore.

"Special Box (with sauce)". An item that doesn't appear in the game. (will anyone dare transcribe/translate it?)


その多くはなにかしらアイテムを出してくれたりするが、中にはわざと捕われの虜となり、 マルコとターマの進攻を助けるために物資をひきわたす任務をおびている者もいる。この任務には正規軍の、マルコとターマも_属する特殊部隊、ペルグリンファルコンズが?たった。

Metal Slug Secret Files: The Captive's Secret
A prisoner of war, a common sight on the battlefield. Many of them offer rewards, though some have been captured on purpose to deliver supplies to Marco and Tarma on the field. Marco and Tarma belong to the PF Squadron, who are co-operating with the Government Army; so who do these guys belong to? [?]


元帥反逆軍の中には"Dogs"と呼ばれる特殊部隊がある。 これは野良犬にカムフラージュして諜報活動を行う部隊で、マルコとターマのロンベルトブルグ市侵入をいちはやく発見、 アイアン・ノカナが出撃した。

Metal Slug Secret File: mutt soldier
In the Rebel Army there's a special unit known as "Dogs" that conduct intelligence missions camoflauged as wandering mongrels. They finally found Marco and Tarma during their invasion of Ronbertburg City, just in time for the Iron Nokana battle.




Late in the war, the Rebel Army began researching "remodelled" soldiers, replacing 60% of their human body with machinery. By installing a variety of weapons into their body, its battle prowess is improved by a factor of 5.6 compared to an ordinary soldier.

Robotic soldiers. How gentleman of him to have his pinky up like that!

Destroyed Super Bio-boosted Soldier from the pictures above. Quite a gruesome scene that we have here.

superior vena cava ⇘
right pulmonary vein ⇘
dinner plate ⇘
⇙ arch of aorta
⇙ pulmonary trunk
⇙ left pulmonary vein

This must be the artificial heart that the SBS units use.

rostrum ⇘
armet ⇘
deltoid ⇘
rheumatism ⇘
⇙ vertical pupil
⇙ zygomatic bone
⇙ chin strap
⇙ brachial

An early concept of the mutants from Metal Slug 2's fifth mission?

I assume that Max D. had too much time on his hands.

One of the game's creators, Andy, is drawn here by Max D. An incredibly geeky aura surrounds him.

Early logo designs, from the Official Guidebook. The one second-from-the-left looks closest to the final; the two beside it have similarities to the logos from In The Hunt and Gunforce.

A fusion of the right-most logos is used in the storyboards for the intro.

art gallery

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