How far away is science from developing a real Metal Slug?

This probably belongs on the hardware/tech board, but I figured it was as much game-related as anything.

The applications of a gelatinous tank are obvious. It’s just a more versatile type of assault vehicle than a standard tank - and much moreso than a mech. While it would fail in the area of robustness, it would more than make up for it in mobility, not to mention parking.

If possible, I’d like opinions from science guys.

This is a pretty stupid topic, but I’m interested in seeing how far it can be taken seriously.

Finally, I think it would be cool to see a Metal Slug game made with Gish physics technology.

Tanks today aren’t what they were 60 years ago. They’re very vulnerable to even infantry-held anti-tank weapons. Their role is more in line, in fact, with how they were envisioned during the Blitzkrieg - charging through enemy lines and using their mobility to cut off the enemy.

While a slug may be more mobile as in able to cross tougher terrain, I very much doubt that it would ever attain the kinds of speed necessary for a blitzkrieg. Also, putting that tank on tougher terrain is pointless - infantry can get closer to him much easier, thanks to the cover from rough terrain - and disable it with their anti-tank weapons once in range.

History has proven time and again that no bombardment and no vehicles are capable of displacing entrenched infantry except more infantry. There are exceptions if the infantry in question are starving or have poor morale, but I can provide examples from as far back as Thermopylae, through the mid ages, World War I, examples during World War II (Monte Cassino, Bastogne, the entire Pacific campaign), Korea and Vietnam in general and even Grenada.

Tanks are simply the cavalry of old ages reborn. They’ll cut you to pieces on an open field or cut your supply if you don’t face them. But their role in an assault is only as a supporting role - providing cover and fire support for friendly infantry, as well as suppressing pinned enemies.

I see what you’re saying, but I think it highlights just how useful a Metal Slug could be in its niche role. Not in the role of a tank, but as a highly mobile bullet sponge. Faster than walking, highly resistant to gunfire, quick-turning turret (vertical and horizontal) for picking off craftily-placed troops, and it can jump, crouch and climb stairs - it’s basically an almost-impenetrable exoskeleton, worth three or four extra lives. Any soldier would want that. The sore point is grenades and rockets, but snipers and machinegun fire would be powerless to stop it. It has the potential to revolutionize modern combat - and especially urban combat.

Today, anti-tank rockets are cheap and readily available to everybody.

Making up science-fictiony stuff without regards to things like “cost” and “how are you going to power the thing again” and then claiming that it would work is well… not exactly sound logic.

That’s right folks, don’t forget to pick some up next time you’re at the store, for when the metal ones decide to come for you – and they will.

  • Alan

For all I know, a gelatinous tank could cost the same to build as a mini-van and run on human sweat. How much do you think it would cost to build and run a fully-functioning one-man gelatinous tank, XPav? Give me a ballpark figure.

But it’s a huge, slow target. It can’t take cover behind a small rock or in a crevace. It has to be either in the open (where it’ll be torn apart by the rockets and grenades you mention) or take cover behind big, obvious marks (often blinding it to encircling enemy infantry, and a tank that is taking cover is a tank that’s not moving).

Every infantryman carries grenades, while LAWs and RPGs are almost as common as machine guns.

Also, if it’s going to climb stairs and mountains, it has to be LIGHT. So light, in fact, that it probably won’t have the armor to stop even .30 cal MGs.

It’s hard to say how big the Metal Slug is. The enemy tanks are the same size, as are cars, but the character sprites are nearly as big. I guess to talk about feasability and usefulness we’d have to agree on some definite physical proportions. The machine is nearly as maneuverable as a soldier - it can take cover behind a rock or in a crevice, though it’s obviously a bit bigger and thus has a little less flexibility … but still considerably more than a jeep or a tank. And however (relative to its strengths) weak it is against rockets and grenades, people are weaker. I strongly disagree with the assertion that anything capable of climbing a stair-like-gradient or mountains wouldn’t be able to stop a .30 cal MG (though I wouldn’t drive a MS up a flight of wooden stairs). In any case, what’s the MG doing there if it’s so impractical to have armored vehicles in these kinds of environments?

People aren’t weaker against rockets or grenades. Yes, if you hit them they get killed and injured more easily, but hitting them is the hard part. Then you have to hit enough of them. Tanks are both easy to hit and few in number.

It is so damned hard to kill someone who is prepared and doesn’t want to die. Just read up on the battle of Monte Cassino and what it took to finally get those Germans rooted out. It will absolutely amaze you just how tough men are to kill.

Infantry can take cover anywhere. A 6" deep indentation in the ground, a small pile of bricks, a bush, a tree, a tree stump, a crater - and you’re damned hard to spot and incredibly hard to kill.

Now, multiply that one infantryman with his rock or tree by one thousand. There are roughly 1000 soldiers for every tank in the armies of first world nations.

I don’t know for sure, but I imagine the way tanks are being employed in urban operations in Iraq is to have hundreds of GIs storming building after building, clearing, securing, and moving on, to make sure that the tank doesn’t get ambushed from the side or the top. The tank’s only purpose is to provide close artillery support, mobile cover and suppressing fire. As long as the front of the tank is facing the enemy, it’s safe from RPG attacks. To make sure of this, it needs a lot of infantry to clear the way.

To clear infantry out from a mountain stronghold would be much more difficult. There’s more cover, the terrain is uneven, you don’t have the advantage of light at night - nothing. Plus, the metal slug, not being heavily armored, would be vulnerable from the front.

A regular tank fears no grenade, but if a slug does, it simply can’t survive on the field of battle long enough to make itself worth it.

Plus, I really think you underestimate how dangerous mountainous terrain is, particularly to a vehicle. There’s a reason there are special mountain divisions in every army.

Clearly the real wave of the future is powered armor for infantry cyborgs!

The time for Buster Machines is now!
We just need the galaxy’s immune system to kick in and start sending freaky space monsters against us.

Ironically enough, that’s a pretty reasonable assessment. Throughout history you can spot when a particular armament has reached the end of its life, usually by a combination of excessive size and fear for its deployment. Whether heavy cavalry, battleships, or tanks (today), once something becomes too costly in order to remain competitive it becomes a liability more than an asset (e.g. The Bismark and Tirpitz).

One thing has remained constant, and that is the general utility of the armed soldier. A single infantryman, while physically weak, has been provided more and more powerful individual weapons as time marches on. Between night vision goggles, amplified hearing, grenade launchers, LAW rockets, sniper rifles, etc. a single infantryman is far more devastating today than he was 100 years ago.

So there is an emphasis on amplifying that infantryman’s capability. It would be far more productive to invest in that soldier’s survivability, communications, and leverage than it is to take those same dollars and build, say, a B2 bomber or another M1 (granted, the M1 is arguably one of the finest tanks in the world, but the only reason it can remain dominant is that it is only deployed AFTER air superiority has been established – against dedicated ground support aircraft it wouldn’t stand a chance).

Ironically enough, that’s a pretty reasonable assessment. [/quote]

I’ve got no contribution to the rest of this amusing thread, but I figured I’d chime in to back up mr. bacon here. A good friend of mine worked on Brown’s monkey-controlling-robot-arm-with-their-brain experiment ( http://donoghue.neuro.brown.edu/motor.php ).

While there, the lab had meetings with reps from DARPA, and DARPA most definitely is funding that kind of research. And they aren’t doing it to help quadriplegics either.

Well, it looks like it’s time to pull out the flashing circle…*

  • Alan

[size=1]*Thanks Derek Meister![/size]

Seriously. How far away is science from porting Metal Slug 5 to a console I have?

That’s more like something I’d expect a Wagner Au to do. :shock: ;)

Infantrymen: Oh, shit, an RPG attack! Run aaawwwaaaay!

BTW, Mike, that would be this winter, coming to an Xbox or PS2 near you. And packaged with Metal Slug 4 if you live in the US, which I hope you still do. And hey, have you played Tales of Symphonia yet? Don’t tell me I went through all that trouble… ;)

-Kitsune

That’s right folks, don’t forget to pick some up next time you’re at the store, for when the metal ones decide to come for you – and they will.

  • Alan[/quote]

Apparently they’re only about $700 for a Stinger in Russia and China on the black market…

It’s OK. I’m all paid up on my Old Glory Robot Insurance policy.

It’s OK. I’m all paid up on my Old Glory Robot Insurance policy.[/quote]

That OGRe coverage is shit. Get term Robot insurance. It costs less and provides the same coverage. Just make sure Old Glory is covered because some policies are starting to leave it out (probably to get you to buy OGRe).