Concept Art

Some of the commentary in this section is by Enomosiki.
Dodgy translations are marked with a [?] and I encourage qualified folks to translate it better.

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Early rough designs for Fio and Eri; she has both Eri's exaggerated cowlick and quiff with Fio's long hair/ponytail. The left image is tagged "しっぱい" (failure).

Not necessarily an early design, found among other oddball doodles, but shares some design similarities with the above images.

Roughs for Fio's preliminary wobbling-on-a-ledge animation, featuring her twisting around and catching her hat. Her in-game animation is more simpler, though Eri's animation is slightly similar to some of the keyframes here.

Rumi Aikawa carrying an anti-materiel rifle. She doesn't serve a combat role, and no such weapon shows up in the games.

A variety of doodles, including chibi vehicles, soldier and Mars People attack patterns, and two curious characters. The girl is labeled "U.S.P.D. うさぎ さん ポリス ディフェンス" (Usagi San Police Defense). The man with the coontail hat and moustache-like nose hair (yuck!) is "Borscht Hepokovich" (ボルシチ ヘッポコビッチ). Likely just more arsing about from the art staff, but who's to say?

Another image features what looks like the U.S.P.D. firearm.

[transcribe that kana!]

Murder 20XX Super Deluxe Splash Burst Dangerous Heat Laser Pyooon! Golden Lucky Strike Pure Healthy Taste Funky & Funny Top Shelf Special Gun!
or, in short, the Laser Gun (miso flavored)

Made up of 28053 individual parts.
Uses a 1.54 battery.
If you use alkali battery, it will only run for 2 seconds.
Firing distance: 358000 light years (you have to go into the future to know if it hit anything)

translation from Shmuplations

(actually let's get rid of those suspenders)

ナッシュ (gnash)
マジックテープ (magic tape)
パッド (pad)

(it's not underwear, it's like gym shorts)

(sides of the pants open up)

A breakdown of Eri's combat attire.

Preliminary designs for the "chubby gun" alongside "Fat Eri-Chan" and "Fat Fio-Chan".

Animation tests for the mummified player characters; they seem to have experimented on how they threw bombs, including spitting them, shooting their hands, or even tearing it from their bandaged flesh! Other changes include how they aimed down (arms forward, only pointing the wrist down), their bow-legged jumping animation, the loose-limbed walking and their hunched-over crouching pose.

A tiny doodle of Satiko Suzuki, the grieving girl in first Metal Slug's bad ending. She's walking a dog instead of praying in this picture. What's she doing in this game's art?

Early designs (top) and final design (bottom) for the Combat School instructor Margaret Southwood.

Sophia Greenville. I don't know how she snuck into Metal Slug 2's concept art.

A giant vomiting snail labelled "デンデンビームのひみつ" (top secret snail beam). This is found in doodles from Neo Geo Freak's June 1998 issue, two years before Metal Slug 3 was released.

Probably a stretch, but this silly doodle bears a faint resemblance to the Big Eye enemies in Metal Slug 3.



The president
(Duke Koudou) [?]

The powerful president of a Japanese game studio who globetrots on his own. Selling to customers young and old is what makes his studio acclaimed across the world. [?]

Enomosiki translated this guy's name as "Parker" back in the day, and I can't source where he got that from. please don't tell me we've been calling this guy a made-up name all these years


Commander of Ajirabia (Abul Abbas)
The commander of the Ajirabia revolutionaries. Despite suffering defeat after defeat, he keeps rising to the challenge because of his indomitable fighting spirit.

アジラビア地下遺跡に眠るといれる伝説の巨大ルビー 『アジラビアの涙』を求め、アジラビア地下遺跡で消息を絶った考古学者。

Mummy explorer (Scott Amundsen)
An archaeologist who sought out the legendary ruby Ajirabian Teardrop. He entered the underground ruins of Ajirabia in search of it, and was never seen again.


Scott Amundsen Jr.
An archaeologist whose ancestors before him were archaeologists. He began investigating the ruins after hearing the Ajirabian Teardrop was found, but he hasn't been heard from since.


Pot bat
Smart little critters that protect the sleeping King of Ajirabia in the ruins. They ward off intruders by using their mysterious "Mummy Poison".


An ancient watchman who guards the King of Ajirabia's tomb. A corpse that was dried with secret poisons, it expels the gas through its mouth to turn invaders into mummies.


Mummy Gate
A mysterious gate that connects to an underground morgue, summoning waves of mummies.


Mutant soldier
It was once an ordinary civilian, but after the Morden army's human experiments it serves as their enhanced infantry. It once walked like a human, but now any trace of its humanity is long gone.


Mars People
Nobody knows where they came from or who they are, they just crash-landed on Earth and asked the Morden army for repairs. That said, there's a theory they're upset with Morden for harming such a beautiful planet.


Hyakutaro Ichimonji
There's always a mysterious light in this old man's hands. One person said they saw him run across the battlefield and unleash his "ki", though he might have been misrembering things. [?]




Slug Flyer

Engine: Hobuten R-32 Turbo Fan
Thrust: 10,750kg
Vulcan: H-AV-5963 Revision
Missile: AIM-9A short-range air-to-air missile

Nop 03型 ハイネック戦車

Nop Type-03 High Neck tank
Because the launch port is so high, the vehicle's frame receives heavy recoil. As a result, the shell loses most forward movement and falls out of the cannon. The cannonball rolls listlessly along the ground.


Tall Heavy Tank Sarubia
A tank that doubles as a barricade, designed to block out invaders. It has thick frontal armour and a cannon that fires slow, rolling shots along the ground.


A multi-purpose motor-vehicle that can mount machine guns, missile launchers, etc. on its roof mount.


Attack Jeep Heavy-B
An attack jeep equipped with a large rocket launcher on its roof mount. Its mobility is extremely high, even in rough desert terrain thanks to its four-wheel drive.

Although you can spot MV280B in mission 4 of Metal Slug 2 and X, you will not see any MV280A unless you manage to shoot off the MV280B's rocket launcher turret with explosives. And even that's rare enough.
When its rocket launchers are destroyed, the jeep will just try to ram you instead.

The R-Shobu in more elongated, realistic proportions.

A full view of the Mars People mothership, the Rugname. You'd never squeeze all that onto a Neo Geo screen!



Attache case
A briefcase containing Duke Koudou's business resources. It is consistently stocked with the newest game cartridges, a catalogue of new products, and a set of memory cards.

Animation tests for wall-vaulting soldiers and Rumi Aikawa. It may look like a fairy in centre frame, but it's actually 多段式ロケットちゃん, or "Multistage Rocket-Chan". A ridiculous precursor to the Mobile Satellite? Who can say. Other doodles include a stick figure getting hit by a car, and Doraemon and Nobita with identity-obscuring black bars (near Rumi's animations); amusingly, they were removed when this page was printed in Neo Geo Freak, but left in when published on the Metal Slug Attack Illustration Gallery.


Meat buns
The sleepy port is a tourist destination for travellers from all across the world. If you're stopping by, order the super-special special. It can be found at any dining establishment and comes with a lottery - if you win you eat for free, and what you can't eat you can carry home with you. [?]


Stuffed toy:
It may appear to be a teddy bear just sitting on the battlefield, but it's actually the Morden army's field telephone. Documents can be stored inside its empty body.

Guess what; the teddy bear is a portable radio! Funny, eh? Just unscrew its head and talk down its neck while listening to the receiver located on its head. Brilliant!


The Sa-chan doll strategy
A callous scheme where the Morden army rounded up young girls and armed them with dolls stuffed with explosives; if a Regular Army soldier came to help, the bomb would detonate and kill them both. All the girls were called "Sa-chan" regardless of their real names.

A decidedly less amusing description for the doll items.


Merle wheat bread
Bread made from Merle wheat, originating from the Merle region of Europe. It is fragrant and delicious, but it is easily bruised and prone to mould, particularly the Merle mushrooms associated with the region's wheat. It won't harm you if you eat it.


Red Sea cuckoo
The Red Sea Cuckoo seek out nests of other birds to lay their eggs. They will destroy any eggs found there before laying their own, which the other bird will treat as its own.


In the underground ruins of Ajirabia, their king's body was buried along with vast amounts of treasure. The treasure is the target of many excavators, which may be why there are blood-sucking bats in there to ward off bandits.

風にきいた みちしるべ
野に問うた 我があしどり
あの遠き日の 思い出のため
いま 生きている。

The wind is my guide
I walk, paying no heed to the land
Thoughts of that distant day
Are what keep me alive.


Slimming medicine
A weight loss drug, a secret formula from a sleepy port town from the demon capital of the Orient. For the longest time it was thought to be a poison due to its extremely powerful medicinal effects on normal bodies, but in recent years it has been precribed to help shed weight.


Ajirabian snake
A Kusari snake, found in the Ajirabia region. Not only is its venom deadly, it has an internal organ called a "bit" that can sense temperature, allowing it to find and attack foes in darkness, instantly and in any direction.


Sleepy port #26
A chicken native to the sleepy port, the town of delicacies. It looks like a male chicken, but special breeding allows it to lay eggs at an incredible pace, which take very little time to hatch. To prevent overpopulation, only infertile eggs are born after the third generation.


Katehilt Frog
A frog found in the Katehilt region of Europe, famous for not hibernating during the winter. It is large and very edible. Some will inflate themselves to partake in courtship behaviour, though on occasion they will exceed their limits.


Canned goods
The Morden Army and Regular Army supply the same brand of canned food to their units. During the time they were made natural preservatives were all the rage, which means the cans are overdue to burst open.


Ajirabian Teardrop
A huge ruby excavated from the underground ruins of Ajirabia. The ruins are said to be 7000 years old, but are crafted with incredible craftmanship. The legend surrounding the Ajirabian Teardrop mention other jewels such as the Midnight Sun and Quicksand Teardrop, but they have not been found as of yet. [?]


Next Meat
The Next Meat Association has produced a processed foodstuff that has three times the nutrition of regular beef. The more you eat the better you feel, though its ingredients are a trade secret.


Army Cat
Cats found on the battlefield. A micro-sized radar sensor with no identification number is attached to their collars by Morden soldiers, allowing them to monitor the area around the animal's body.

A cat with radio-controlled gizmo on its neckstrap. Not in the game, of course. Likely related to the unused cat found in the graphics data.


Holy water
After the invention of Mummy Poison, an antidote was made by the ancient Ajirabians. Humans who have been poisoned and transformed into mummies can be cured. It is said a part of Queen Ajirabia's body was among the ingredients used to make it.


The sleepy port's vegetables are great with salads and full of nutrition, so much so that eating too much is prohibited.


The Devil of the Lamp
A demon who answers to those with vigourous curiosity. Its favourite phrases are "think carefully," and "hurry it up!"


Sleepy port Myamo
In sleepy port #26, only infertile eggs are born after the third generation, most of which are stillborn or die. On rare occasions a battle-ready gamecock is born. In sleepy port Myamo where rare goods are worth big money, even a chicken can be highly valued.

※「クラシックマーダー38」と いう名前は通称で、本当は 「MURDER38MK1Am」 と言います。後にレプリカなどが出たため、「クラシック」とされました。

1915年製造 バレル長8インチ

1915年当時のオリジナル部品は フレームとグリップぐらいなもので、ほとんどのパーツは 消耗により交換されている。本当はバレルも最近作られた 物だがオーナーのこだわりで刻印を入れなおしている。 (1915年製の部品もちゃんと取ってあって、組みこめばしっかり作動するらしいです。)

"Classic Murder 38" is short for "Murder 38 MK 1 Am." Since replicas were later made, "Classic" denotes the original.

1915 Production
Barrel length: 8 inches
38 Cal. x 6 shots

The only thing that remains from the original 1915 model is the frame and grip; almost everything else has been swapped out with replica parts. The barrel too is actually a recently made part, and the owner had those words inscribed on it (you could stick an original 1915 barrel in there and itwould probably work too)
Also, the owner calls it her"Grandpa Gun." (in reality it was her great-grandfathers gun)

translation from Shmuplations

連射性にすぐれた重機関銃。 銃を振りまわすことで弾をばらまくことができ 一点集中、弾幕にと使いやすい武器。

Heavy Machine Gun
A heavy machine gun with superior firepower. An easy-use weapon to break through a barrage, ideal for concentrating on one target or wide dispersal by waving the gun around.

ゆるいサーチのかかったミサイルを発射できる。 目標にヒットしたら爆風がとびちり、 周囲の敵にもダメージを与えられる。

Rocket Launcher
Launches missiles with weak search capabilities. If it hits its target, the blast wave will knock out nearby infantry.

1トリガーで複数の火球を発射、 射線上の敵歩兵を全て燒きつくす。

Flame Shot
One press of the trigger fires multiple fireballs, scorching all enemies in its path.


A strong weapon for close-quarters combat. Its range is the shortest of the Power-Up guns, but it dishes out maximum damage.


Laser Shot
Fires a multi-purpose laser intended for penetrating armoured vehicles. Its beam will pierce straight through enemy infantry.


Standard equipment for all members of the Regular Army Special Forces. Their surprising power makes good use against vehicular enemies such as tanks.


Jerry can
A jerry can containing fuel for the Metal Slug. Any energy drained by enemy attacks can be restored using it. A highly efficient fuel combing gasoline, alcohol, aviation fuel and other ingredients, though its formula is top secret.


Flame Bottle
A molotov cocktail for interpersonal use. The fuel ignites when the bottle breaks, spreading flames across the ground. Good for overwhelming densely-grouped infantry.



Mysterious affairs in the private quarters
In the Morden army's polar base dormitories, there were frequent cases of soldiers disappearing in the night. Despite intensive investigations, no answer was ever found.


Crossing the starry sky
At the Morden army polar base, communal life between Mars People and Morden soldiers would sometimes bloom into love. Despite the aliens' gender being unknown, it is interesting to observe the romantic sentiment shared between them.


Dear Allen
I am convinced your next job will take you someplace cold. Please take care of yourself, and don't let yourself get chilly. I have enclosed a photo of when little Nancy was born. We're counting the days until you come home again.
your wife, Henrietta

Early logos. The second one is a pastiche of the Neon Genesis Evangelion logo.

Possible early designs (top), work-in-progress (middle) and final piece (bottom) for the arcade flyer.

Concept art is sourced from the Metal Slug X PlayStation Art Gallery, the Metal Slug 6 Art Gallery, the Metal Slug Anthology Art Gallery, the Metal Slug 10th Anniversary website, the Metal Slug Attack Illustration Gallery, and Neo Geo Freak June 1998 (thanks to Divison 六 for the scans!).