Role in the series
In 2028, the Rebel Army launched a massive attack against the Regular Army forces around the world. Although the Regular Army intelligence agency had many indications that such an attack was imminent, the corrupt higher-ups within the chain of command ignored the warnings. With the Regular Army forces surprised, the Rebels nearly annihilated them with their superior numbers and emergent technologies. The Regular Army planned a massive counter-attack against the Rebel Army. Advanced tanks, designated "Super Vehicle-001" (nicknamed "Metal Slug") were designed to aid the Regular Army commandos, and were in the process of being converted to operational status by resistance fighters. Despite the Regular Army's best efforts to keep the SV-001 a secret, the project was discovered by Rebel spies, and as a result, many tanks were captured by the Rebel Army in a crushing attack.
Marco Rossi and Tarma Roving are sent to recover the stolen Metal Slugs before the Rebel Army could make use of them, destroying them if there are no other options. It can be safely assumed that enough of the tanks were recovered for use in the final assault on the Rebels, as they can be seen in the final mission against General Morden; this assault would lead to the end of the First Modern War.
Sometime in the year 2031, the laboratory developing the next generation of Metal Slugs comes under attack and a data disc containing Metal Slug secrets is seized. Marco Rossi and Tarma Roving are ordered to retrieve the disc, and rush to track it down. Meanwhile, Eri and Fio, who are investigating the paramilitary organization known as the Ptolemaic Army that is raiding historical ruins, succeed in tracking it down at an ancient temple known as the "Corridor of Fire." They storm the site and attempt to overtake them, but they are repulsed by the natives and giant-sized Metal Slugs. This incident makes it clear that the enemy behind the pilfering of Metal Slug secrets is the Ptolemaic Army. The Regular Army is no longer the only army to utilize Metal Slug tanks from this point on; the Ptolemaic Army used them all through the Ptolemaic War and the Ptolemaics even made their own variants.
The SV-001 is a small, silver or gunmetal gray tank and is the very first "Super Vehicle" developed by the Regular Army. It weighed 2850 kilograms (but still light enough to be air-lifted), and is 2163mm in height, 2266mm in width, and 2575mm in length. The tank also featured a digital all-bearings antenna, a periscope with thermal and night vision functionality, navigation and GPS systems, and is powered by a Hobten T-659G air-cooled Superconductivity Diesel Turbine Generator with an output of 12.00EP. It also has a top speed of 36 km/h (or 22.4 mph), slower than the famous M4 Sherman. The Metal Slug also has modular, 100mm thick armor plating consisting of depleted uranium, ceramic, and reinforced plastic (possibly kevlar). It also has a mine plow on the front of the chassis, but it had often failed to deploy and is unreliable. The vehicle can jump over obstacles using special hydraulic systems that operate at a pressure of 25,000 PSI. The hydraulics also allow the tank to crouch forward. Its claw-shaped treads are designed for maximum traction, and to climb over steep hills. In the ending cutscene of Metal Slug 3, the SV-001 is depicted as having an inflatable raft that deploys when the tank falls onto a body of water.
The tank is armed with a 127mm low-pressure rifled main cannon and two 12.6mm caliber Vulcan cannons. The main gun is located directly at the front like most conventional tanks and fires large, high explosive shells that detonate on impact; the shells can be reloaded on the fly from a container should the vehicle run out (SV-001's tend to come with a 10-shell preset amount). However, the short, rifled barrel couldn't allow the shells to travel too far when they are fired, making for poor armor-piercing capability. However, what the shells lacked in range, they made up for in size and explosive power. The cannon is also capable of using special ammunition, such as high velocity armor-piercing shells. The 12.6mm Vulcan cannons are fully controllable by the user and capable of turning 360 degrees with no delay and a continuous stream of seemingly unlimited rounds are shot at very high rates of fire when used. However, the Vulcans are supported by weak frames, making them susceptible to falling out of place or being easily destroyed by enemy fire. On the sides of the main turret are smoke bomb launchers, but these could never be used during gameplay.
Crouching opens the entry hatch, through which grenades could be thrown. The grenades are independent of the cannon's ammo system. The vehicle can also run over infantry and perform a highly damaging suicide attack, with the driver jumping clear and the tank ramming into and exploding upon the target. The vehicle can take three direct hits (four in the later titles) before it is destroyed. Although impervious to Rebel infantry, they can still grope onto the vehicle or the cannon (front bore) to try and prevent it from firing and cause damage if not shot or shaken off. They do such things in a humorous way, though. One unused animation depicts one of the clinging Rebels throwing a grenade down the entry hatch.
The main flaw of the SV-001 series lies in the tank's height and top-heavy weight distribution, causing it to tip over at inconvenient times, especially when firing the 127mm cannon. Another problem is its very high radar cross section, making it susceptible to high-speed guided missiles.
|Armor Piercer: The SV-001 is also capable of using high-velocity AP shells that travel farther and cause more damage than the standard shells.|
|Normal shells: Converts AP back to the standard low-velocity HE and adds ten shells. Found at the end of Mission 5 in Metal Slug 2, before the boss battle, because the AP shells can't hit the Hozmi in water.|
|Gas canister: Can recharge some energy for the Slug by one hit. If the Slug has full health, it scores 1000 points instead.|
Note: If the player marches by foot, each one of these items scores 1000 points instead.
Versions used by the Regular Army, each one shows the evolution of the SV-001.
|SV-000/Proto 2: The prototype version of the SV-001, featured in Metal Slug:1st Mission and Metal Slug: 2nd Mission. At the time of the game's setting, the Metal Slug tank was still in the development stage. Unlike the finished product, the SV-000 is able to turn around by double tapping on the opposite direction it's facing.|
|SV-001: The standard model, this version is the most commonly seen. It has the main cannon and Vulcans. Although it is not the strongest, it still gets the job done.|
|SV-001 Type-R: Sometimes referred to as the Gold SV-001. An upgraded version that features faster movement and can jump higher than the normal SV-001. Used during Metal Slug X, 3 and 6. It had also appeared in the opening cutscene of Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001's Final Mission. These are seldom seen, due to having higher production costs than the standard tanks. In Metal Slug Defense, it is faster but is also lesser armored and has a shorter range than the normal SV-001. In Metal Slug Attack, Marco takes full control of the Slug.|
|SV-001 Experimental: A Metal Slug appearing in the opening cutscene of the Final Mission from Metal Slug. According to Metal Slug Defense, this variant has better armor and firepower than the standard SV-001, but moves slower. The Slug's name suggests that it was an earlier test unit of the SV-001.|
|SV-001 Bronze: A rare variant of the SV-001 that only appears in the opening cutscene of Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001's Final Mission. Practically nothing is known about this model, but there is speculation that it may be stronger than the SV-001 Type R.|
|Blue SV-001: Also known as the SV-001 Type-B. An improved Metal Slug that is very powerful and has strong armor. Nonetheless, it still can be destroyed by certain attacks, so players must be careful and use it wisely. Very rare, it appears only once in Metal Slug Warriors and Universal Metal Slug: Triumph, being obtained by defeating the Alien Floating Structure using no continues.|
|Black Hound (Slug): This variant is playable in Metal Slug Advance, unlocked by finding its card and enabling it. Doing so replaces the standard SV-001 with the Black Hound. However, unlike the boss version seen in Metal Slug 5, its Vulcan cannons are absent and the laser cannon is unusable. In the case of Metal Slug Advance, its mortar fires Enemy Chaser-style missiles.|
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|SV-002: A planned successor model to the original SV-001. It only exists in Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001's concept art. It features a streamlined, futuristic-looking design with a lower profile, along with a pair of gun pods in place of the original's 12.6mm Vulcans. The gun pods each have a machine gun and a rocket launcher, for extra firepower. It also has a smaller bore main cannon for extra range and accuracy.|
|MS-Alice: An unmanned variant of the SV-001 introduced in Metal Slug Attack, piloted by Alice, an artificial intelligence created by Marco. The tank itself has a light blue color scheme with a silver cannon barrel and Vulcan units, improved jumping ability, and is able to fire its cannon in a triple-shot burst. Along with that, the Vulcans have a disruptive jamming effect on enemy equipment.|
Versions based on data stolen from the Regular army.
|Slug Gunner: The ultimate evolution of the SV-001, the Slug Gunner was developed by the Regular Army engineers based on the rebel's LV Armor. This model is cumbersome in the three games it appears in (Metal Slug 5, Metal Slug Defense and Advance), moving at a ridiculously slow pace when in Mech mode.|
|Protogunner: A prototype of the Slug Gunner developed for testing purposes. Due to its status, it provides no protection to the player from upper and lateral attacks. It also lacks a melee attack, possessing only its ranged weapons. On the bright side, it is more maneuverable than the finalized Slug Gunner's Mech mode. It appears in Metal Slug 6|
|Ptolemaic Slug: Using the stolen data, the Ptolemaic Army developed these presumably unmanned Metal Slug tanks. There are two variants, each using only one of the two signature weapons of the original Metal Slug; some are armed with the 127mm cannon, while others feature the 12.6mm Vulcans.|
|Black Hound: In addition to the Ptolemaic Slugs, the Ptolemaic Army also developed an experimental unmanned prototype, the SV-001/III "Black Hound", with the stolen data disc's information. In addition to the 127mm main gun and 12.6mm Vulcan cannons, it is also armed with a rapid-fire mortar, and a laser cannon mounted on a mechanical arm that comes out from the entry hatch from time to time. It can be fought as a mid-boss in the first level's temple of Metal Slug 5, in the left side at the second fork in the lower path of the second area of the temple. It had apparently went rampant during a field test, having killed some soldiers and natives.|
|Formor: A Rebel Army-made variation that is twice as big as the usual Slug. It serves as the first boss of Metal Slug Advance. While it is a larger imitation of the Metal Slug, it is much smaller than the Metal Rear. It has the same characteristics of said model, but rarely uses the sidewalk attack.|
|Metal Rear: A giant Ptolemaic Army version that serves as the first boss in Metal Slug 5. It is several times larger than a regular Slug. The standard version's cannon has been changed into a large, incendiary fireball, and its Vulcans shoots oval-shaped bullets. It can also jump very high and use a sidewalk attack while firing its Vulcans.|
Appearances in other series
The SV-001 makes a very brief cameo in the Mars People's ending, where Marco Rossi uses it to ride into battle against the Martians, who were attacking New York City.
Marco Rossi is capable of summoning a presumably unmanned SV-001 Metal Slug to perform certain Desperation Moves. Marco can order the Metal Slug to either ram into his opponents, or fire its cannon at them.
In this game, there exists a mission where an SV-001 Metal Slug must be destroyed within a 60 second time limit. The Metal Slug attacks with its cannon and is presumably unmanned. The arena is also filled with mines and a laser. Once destroyed, it will self-destruct in the same manner as in the main Metal Slug games.
- The design of the SV-001 was believed to have been inspired by the mini-tank "Bonaparte" from the manga series Dominion: Tank Police. However, it was revealed in an interview with one of the developers that the Metal Slug tank design was not taken from Dominion.  Instead, it might possibly be loosely based on either the Japanese Type 74 or Type 61 MBTs, judging by the similarities between the turret designs of all these tanks.
- The earliest known design of the SV-001 also has a resemblance to Bonaparte, in which it has two sets of treads, a singular Vulcan gun, and a short-barreled main cannon. However, the pilot is exposed to enemy attack, along with not having the hydraulics for jumping, or any armor plating protecting the treads.
- Another early design of the Metal Slug was closer to the finalized version, except with a singular machine gun on a rear turret with limited traverse, instead of the dual Vulcans.
- There are two pieces of artwork for the original Metal Slug game, depicting the SV-001 with a simplified look and what appears to be high-caliber machine guns or autocannons in place of the Vulcans; one where the tank jumps onto a Rebel aircraft carrier, and another where it fires at armed zeppelins that may be an early concept of the Bura Gariae from Metal Slug 4.
- The near-final design of the SV-001 had a more cartoonish look to it, with the parts having a rounded and separated look to them.
- There are two unused animations for the Vulcan cannons; one in which their power cable flails after they fall off the tank, and one in which they float in a body of water, again with the power cable flailing, before sinking.
- There was also concept art of humanoid mechas based on the SV-001's design. These mechs were set to appear in a planned spin-off of Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001. This was cancelled because of the staff's lack of interest, due to the fact that Metal Slug is supposed to be a WWII-inspired run n' gun game, not sci-fi.
- It is also possible that these machines had provided the inspiration for the Slug Gunner.
- In the game T.N.K. III, the Iron tank's design shares some similarities with the Metal Slug.
|Mechanized||SV-001 (Metal Slug) | Slug Copter | Slug Flyer | Slug Sub | Astro Slug | Slug Gunner | Slugnoid | LV Armor | Walking Machine | Slug Mariner | Drill Slug | M-15A Bradley | Metal Claw | Forklift | Slug Mobile | Augensterm | Protogunner | Slug Digger | Slug Trolley | Slug Armor | Slug Gigant|
|Animal||SV-Camel | Elephant Slug | Ostrich Slug | Donkey Slug|
|Other||Middle-Son 1986 | Middle-Son 1999 | Motorcycle | Regular Army Helicopter | Landseek | PA33-21 Boat | RA-TTT | Rootmars|