Psycho Mantis was one of the memorable, if not the most memorable, bosses that players had to face in Metal Gear Solid. Because of his psychic abilities, which are strong enough to pass through the fourth wall, Psycho Mantis can know what games players like, and he can also make the controllers vibrate on demand—feats that blew the minds of players back on the old PlayStation.
These neat little tricks relied on the PlayStation’s hardware features, like its memory card and the ability to switch your controller to the P2 slot. But now that the game is in the Master Collection and can now be played on PC and on other current gen consoles, these tricks are still present in the game, but the steps to achieve them will just require a few different steps.
How to make Psycho Mantis read other games’ save data
Psycho Mantis has the ability to surprise the uninitiated player by telling them the games that they like, as if he read their minds, but all he did was just read through their PlayStation’s memory cards. This trick was sold better by the fact that Psycho Mantis can read them out with an audible voice, and although the only games he can read are those that were published by Konami back in the day (he can even comment on how you like Konami games), it was still an entertaining trick to experience for the first time.
Now that the game can be played through different consoles, it is still possible to replicate this trick without the need for a memory card and just by going through the game’s settings.
All you need to do is to follow these steps:
Launch the Metal Gear Solid menu
Go to Game Selection
Select Metal Gear Solid
Select Edit Saved Data
Choose a blank slot in any of the Saved Data List, then select Add Virtual Data
Select the game’s saved data that you want to add
Rinse and repeat steps 5 to 6 for all the games that you want to hear Psycho Mantis say on your encounter for his boss fight.
The games that are on the list are:
Castlevania Symphony of the Night
CONTRA Legacy of War
KENSEI SACRED FIST
How to do the Player 2 port trick against Psycho Mantis on PC and consoles
Psycho Mantis is one of the hardest bosses to fight, as he can seemingly read all of your actions and avoid most of your attacks. But this telepathy of his can be countered by simply switching your Dual Shock from being plugged into the P1 slot into the P2 slot. Although it’s not really necessary to do this trick to be able to beat Psycho Mantis, doing it will just make the fight a whole lot easier.
To do the P2 trick against Psycho Mantis, follow these steps:
Open the Stance Menu within the game
PlayStation: L1 + R1
Xbox: LB + RB
Switch: L + R
PC: E + M
Go to Controller Settings
On Controller Connection, switch to Connect as P2
After doing this, Psycho Mantis won’t be able to read your moves anymore, allowing you to land your attacks against him.
How to beat Psycho Mantis
Psycho Mantis uses his telepathy to control minds and his psychokinesis to make things move with his mind.
Once you enter his room, where the boss fight happens, he will first control Meryl and make her attack you. To deal with this, you will need to attack Meryl with your hands to knock her out. This will still deal damage to Meryl, but only enough to not kill her.
After knocking out Meryl, Psycho Mantis will then proceed to attack you instead. He will activate his cloaking to make himself much harder to see. This can be countered by equipping your thermal goggles, which will make him visible to you.
He will be using the objects inside the room to throw them at you or make them orbit around him, so getting close to him will be tricky. Also, if you play against him without using the P2 port trick, he will evade most of your attacks.
Should you wish to play without doing the trick, there are still ways to defeat Psycho Mantis.
The first strategy is to constantly attack him until he can dodge no more, then, right by the time he’s open, usually on the 8th strike, use your gun to deal damage to him. This is a slow way of defeating Psycho Mantis, and you’re more likely going to die first before you can kill him, but it is still doable with this method.
The second strategy is possible with the help of the colonel and Naomi. After getting a call from the colonel about the P2 port trick and still dying afterwards, you’ll receive a call from him again asking why you couldn’t do the trick. Naomi will then offer a suggestion, which will have you shoot at the masked busts that are found around the room. Doing so will break Psycho Mantis’ focus and allow you to land hits on him much easier.
Regardless of which strategy you choose to play against this boss, the fight will remain relatively the same. You will need to avoid the projectiles that he throws your way while taking advantage of the windows to deal counterattacks against him.
Once the Psycho Mantis’ health is down to <50%, he will control Meryl again, but instead of shooting you, he will make Meryl shoot herself. You will still have to knock out Meryl to stop her and be able to deal damage to the boss. You will have to be efficient and quick, as Meryl can only take enough hits from you before you ultimately kill her, which will result in failure.
After defeating Psycho Mantis, a long cutscene will play where he will help you open the secret door to the next area before dying.