This year marks 32 years since Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was first released on the MSX in Japan, and to celebrate, its designer Hideo Kojima has taken to Twitter to share a fun, little detail about its name (Thanks Eurogamer!).
Regarding the name, Kojima revealed, "I had planned to make this sequel title in the style of "Indiana Jones" only with the name of the main character."
According to Kojima, "I didn't want to put 'METAL GEAR 2' in the title, but the sales staff said to put 'METAL GEAR 2' in the title! So we ended up with both."
It's easy to see why Kojima may have wanted to steer clear from using 'Metal Gear 2' in the title. Around the same time, in 1990, Konami published an unofficial sequel for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America under the name Snake's Revenge, with many western publications erroneously referring to it as "Metal Gear 2: Snake's Revenge".
Perhaps Kojima didn't want to confuse international audiences, with Konami appearing to market two direct follow-ups under the Metal Gear 2 banner in two different territories. It's possible. Nevertheless, both western and Japanese players ended up accepting Solid Snake as the true successor in the decades to come, thanks in no small part to the future sequels.
In addition to the naming, Kojima also commented a little bit on the original outline for the game (which was scrapped but eventually reused):
"At the beginning of the project, the plot was about a terrorist attack on a nuclear weapons storage facility, but when I asked the staff for their opinion, they said, 'It was not realistic' (at that time)! and the project was put on hold. This became MGS1."
If you want to pick up a copy of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake to celebrate 32 years of the game, there are various ways to do this. Perhaps the most obvious solutions are to buy a secondhand copy of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence or Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, which comes with full English localisations for Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2.