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[[caption-width-right:187:Not pictured: [[SmokingIsCool cigarettes]] and [[CargoShip cardboard boxes]].]]

->''[[ParrotExposition "Metal Gear!?"]]''

The '''''Metal Gear''''' series (not to be confused with a PC mecha game of the same name), created by HideoKojima in 1987, is the TropeMaker and TropeCodifier of the StealthBasedGame genre. The idea came when Kojima realized that the {{MSX}}2 couldn't show more than a few enemies at a time without flashing epileptically and generally breaking--so why not make a game where avoiding your enemies is the theme? This concept received a lot of criticism--one famous quote from Kojima's boss is, [[ItWillNeverCatchOn "Hiding from your enemies? That's not a game!"]]. But then they started playing it. [[CashCowFranchise And it became quite a hit,]] spawning a great many sequels (with countless ports and editions):

[[folder:Games in the Metal Gear Franchise]]
[[index]]
!!Main Titles
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' (1987, [[{{MSX}} MSX2]])
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'' (1990, [=MSX2=])
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (1998, [[PlayStation PS]])[[/index]]
** ''Metal Gear Solid: Integral'' (1999, [=PS=]/PC)[[note]]The bonus VR Disc for the [=PlayStation=] version was released by itself overseas as ''Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions'' in North America and ''Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions'' in Europe.[[/note]]
** ''Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes'' (2004, [[NintendoGameCube [=GC=]]])
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' (2001, [[PlayStation2 PS2]])[[/index]]
** ''The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2'' (2002, [=PS2=])
** ''Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance'' (2002, [=PS2=]/Xbox/PC)
** ''Metal Gear Solid 2: HD Edition'' (2011, [=PS3=]/Xbox 360/PS Vita)[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' (2004, [=PS2=])[[/index]]
** ''Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence'' (2005, [=PS2=])
** ''Metal Gear Solid 3: HD Edition'' (2011, [=PS3=]/Xbox 360/ PS Vita)
** ''Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D'' (2012, [[Nintendo3DS 3DS]])[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'' (2006, [[PlayStationPortable PSP]])[[/index]]
** ''Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus'' (2007, [=PSP=])[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' (2008, [[PlayStation3 PS3]])
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' (2010, PSP)[[/index]]
** ''Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker: HD Edition'' (2011, [=PS3=]/Xbox 360)[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' (2013, [=PS3=]/{{Xbox 360}}/PC)
* ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain Metal Gear Solid V]]''
** ''Ground Zeroes'' (2014, [=PS3=]/Xbox 360/[=PS4=]/Xbox One/[=PC=])
** ''The Phantom Pain'' (TBA, [=PS3=]/Xbox 360/[=PS4=]/Xbox One/[=PC=])
[[/index]]

!!Spinoffs
* ''[[ReformulatedGame Metal Gear]]'' (1987, [[NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]]/[[{{Commodore 64}} C64]]/DOS) - Technically a port of the [=MSX2=] original, but different enough to be considered a separate game.[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/SnakesRevenge'' (1990, NES) - An unauthorized sequel to the first ''Metal Gear'' produced before Kojima decided to make his own sequel.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearGhostBabel'' (2000, GBC) - Released outside Japan as ''[[ReformulatedGame Metal Gear Solid]]''.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearAcid'' (2004, PSP)
* ''Metal Gear Ac!d[[superscript:2]]'' (2005, PSP)
* ''Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel'' (2006, PSP)
* ''Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinee'' (2008, DVD) (Japan only sequel to the ''Digital Graphic Novel'')
* ''Metal Gear Online'' (2008, [=PS3=]). (Included with ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', patched out as of 2012)
* ''Metal Gear Solid Mobile'' (2008, Phone)
* ''Metal Gear Solid Touch'' (2008-2009, [=iOS=])
* ''Metal Gear Arcade'' (2010, arcade) (a port of ''Metal Gear Online'' which uses a combination of stereoscopic glasses and a gun controller)
* ''Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops'' (2012, smartphones)
[[/index]]

!!Collection Sets
* ''Metal Gear 20th Anniversary: Metal Gear Solid Collection'' (2007) - A box set released exclusively in Japan that includes ''MGS'' and ''[=MGS2=]'' in their original Japanese editions, plus the ''Subsistence'' edition of ''[=MGS3=]'' (first disc only), ''The Document of [=MGS2=]'', a bonus [=PS2=] disc featuring the [=MSX2=] games (as they appeared in ''Subsistence''), the PSP game ''MPO'' in a special UMD case and a ''Metal Gear Saga'' DVD Video, essentially including all the canonical ''Metal Gear'' games prior to ''[=MGS4=]''.
* ''Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection'' (2008, [=PS2=]) - The international equivalent of the previous set. It includes the original PS version of ''MGS'' in a [=PS2=]-style DVD case, as well as the ''Substance'' and ''Subsistence'' editions of ''[=MGS2=]'' and ''[=MGS3=]'' respectively. Unfortunately, it's missing the [=MSX2=] games, despite the fact that they were included in the previous Japanese set.
* ''Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection'' (2011, [=PS3=]/Xbox 360/PS Vita) - A collection featuring HD editions of ''[=MGS2=]'', ''[=MGS3=]'' and (except on Vita) ''PW''. The [=MSX2=] games are also included as part of ''[=MGS3=]''. The Japanese version of the collection lacked ''PW'', which had a separate physical release instead, but the [=PS3=] release made up for it by including a product code to download the original ''MGS'' on the [=PlayStation=] Network.
** ''Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection'' (2013, [=PS3=]) - A collection of every canonical game directed by Kojima (leaving out ''MPO'' and ''MGR'')[[note]]both of which are also canon (''MPO'' by BroadStrokes), but have less of an impact on the main storyline[[/note]], which means every game previously included in the ''HD Collection'', plus the original ''MGS'' and ''[=MGS4=]''. As a bonus, this set also includes the ''VR Missions''/''Integral'' expansion and both Digital Graphic Novels for the first time in Blu-ray Video format.

The chronological order of the series (ambiguously canon entries are in parentheses):
* ''Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater'' - 1964
* (''Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops'' - 1970)
* ''Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker'' - 1974
* ''Metal Gear Solid V''
** ''Ground Zeroes'' - 1975
** ''The Phantom Pain'' -1984
* ''Metal Gear'' - 1995
* ''Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake'' - 1999
* ''Metal Gear Solid'' - 2005
* (''Metal Gear Solid: Mobile'' - 2006)
* ''Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty''
** Tanker chapter - 2007
** Plant chapter - 2009
* ''Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots'' - 2014
* (''Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance'' - 2018)
[[/folder]]

The plot is [[KudzuPlot far too complicated]] (and occasionally [[MindScrew batshit crazy]]) to write here in any detail. In general, it centers around the main character, Solid Snake, his family and the titular Metal Gears--[[HumongousMecha walking battle tanks]] capable of launching nuclear strikes from anywhere in the globe. A major theme is the mental and spiritual cost of being a soldier, especially one expected to [[SavingtheWorld save the world]] on a regular basis. Simply put, [[BeingGoodSucks being good sucks]] in the Metal Gear canon. However, [[EarnYourHappyEnding some things are worth fighting for]].

The series loves [[NoFourthWall breaking the fourth wall]] and has a distinct quirky sense of humor--running jokes involve the iconic use of a cardboard box to sneak around a base [[MobileShrubbery (wait until nobody is looking, run to a new location, and repeat)]]. Kojima's irreverence is such that he's been trying to kill the series off since ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' made its protagonist switch, so he can get on with more interesting things, but a rabidly devoted fanbase simply won't let him.

One of the most engaging parts of the games is the huge focus on multiple uses for items; for example, whilst smoking cigarettes seem like a gag item that just drains your health and [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing earns you a lecture from your contacts]], they come with [[NotTheIntendedUse the hidden bonuses]] of showing laser beams with the smoke, and allowing for steadier aiming by calming your nerves. ''Metal Gear'' was also a pioneer of non-lethal gameplay. Every title in the series after ''Metal Gear Solid'' allows the player to complete the game without killing enemy soldiers. There are pros and cons to each approach, and the player's willingness or refusal to kill becomes a plot point in several stories.

Following the initial ''Metal Gear'', each game has been a {{deconstruction}} of action movies and video games, playing tropes so painfully straight they curve right back in on themselves. Very few tropes are invoked without logically following them through, especially those of spy movies - we see exactly what kind of mind and complete control of a situation would be needed to pull off the absurdly complex [[GambitRoulette Gambit Roulettes]] that happen once per game, exactly what happens to a {{tykebomb}} forced to take up a normal life, and there's a female on male sexual abuse subplot which is [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale not at all okay]], to name just a handful.

Solid Snake began as a DeconstructedCharacterArchetype of the {{badass}} trope, as his wartime experiences had not turned him into the ultimate action hero, but into a [[ShellShockedSenior bitter, broken-down wreck of a soldier]] who just wanted to retire but could not escape the life of conflict that had entwined him for so long. After fans [[MisaimedFandom missed the point slightly]], this theme was hammered home with Raiden, who was put through the same torments as Snake in explicit detail. Not even Big Boss is immune to this theme: as Naked Snake, he's not the suave, impeccable agent that would fit perfectly into the '70s spy film pastiche of ''Metal Gear Solid 3'', but a likable, kinda-dorky (though admittedly brilliant at what he does) [[TheEveryman everyguy]]. Only after going through immense [[BreakTheCutie psychological and physical scarring]] does he begin to resemble the ultimate soldier known as Big Boss.

The series is acclaimed for a lot of good reasons - stellar gameplay, superb boss fights, very complex plots with pitch perfect deconstructions, excellent direction, intelligent character development and weird stylized dialogue. Just prepare for a lot of cutscenes. A ''lot'' of cutscenes. No, more than that. Honestly, you play the game for two-fifths of the time, watch a full-length movie the other three-fifths. If you like the plot, though, you'll probably love the cutscenes.

The spinoff''Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance'', featuring Raiden, a controversial bait and switch protagonist who has certainly been RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap since his introduction in ''Metal Gear Solid 2'', was released in 2013. Although stealth is present to some extent, it is an (very over the top) action game.

In addition, ''[[MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain Metal Gear Solid V]]'' has been announced. ''Metal Gear Solid V'' is the first [[WideOpenSandbox open world game]] in the series, and is also the first to use Roman numerals in the title instead of Arabic (which is apparently symbolic). ''Metal Gear Solid V'' is composed of a prologue called ''Ground Zeroes'' and a main section called ''The Phantom Pain'' to be released in early 2015. ''Ground Zeroes'' was released in March, and was criticized for its short length, despite its reduced price, but was met with some praise in regards to the Fox Engine.

There is also ''[[Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound The Last Days of FOXHOUND]]'', a webcomic based off ''Metal Gear Solid'' which parodies certain aspects of the games as well as discussing some questions that were unanswered before ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', as well as another webcomic titled ''Webcomic/TheCobraDays'' chronicling the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII adventures of a similar {{quirky miniboss squad}} from ''Metal Gear Solid 3'', and {{hiimdaisy}}'s {{affectionate parody}} comic series ''Let's Destroy the...''

''Please do not dump tropes that only apply to specific games on this page; put them on the appropriate pages or on the [[Characters/MetalGear character page]]. This page is for tropes that appear several times throughout the series.''
----
!!This franchise provides examples of:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: A-H]]
* AbsoluteCleavage:
** EVA, even as [[spoiler:a much older woman in ''4'']].
** Naomi Hunter in ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', where she leaves her labcoat unbuttoned and is obviously wearing no bra.
*** Naomi's lack of a bra is even a point that gets brought up in gameplay in one level; after being "rescued" by PMC soldiers and Haven Troopers, you're forced to track Naomi. The Haven Troopers use a variety of tricks to try and catch you including a voice recording and a ''pink bra'' left on the trail. According to the ''Integral Podcast'', the designers wanted to have leave various pieces of female clothing throughout the trails, and a naked, unconscious female soldier near the end of the level.
** Sniper Wolf got there before any of them.
** The Boss during the final battle of ''Metal Gear Solid 3'' when she opens her shirt to reveal [[spoiler: her snake-shaped C-Section scar]].
* ActionDuo: Several:
** Solid Snake and Meryl Silverburgh in ''Metal Gear Solid''. Also, Snake and Otacon in the final car chase [[spoiler: if you let Meryl die]].
** Snake and Raiden in ''Metal Gear Solid 2''.
** Naked Snake and EVA in ''Metal Gear Solid 3''.
** [[spoiler: Meryl and Johnny]] in ''Metal Gear Solid 4''.
* ActionGirl: The Boss, Meryl, EVA, Olga Gurlukovich, Sniper Wolf, the Beauty and the Beast Unit, and the [=FROGS=].
* AirVentPassageway: Handy to escape guards. At least half-invented this trope, at least in the world of video game publishing.
* AllUpToYou: In most of the games, the radio contact who usually supplies info in regards to how to defeat various bosses is, for various reasons, unable to help Snake out in defeating the final boss. The only notable exceptions to this rule are ''Metal Gear Solid 3'' where everyone in Snake's control team is cheering him on in beating The Boss, and ''Portable Ops'', where Roy Campbell supplies some hints on how to beat Gene.
* AllThereInTheManual: Many of the characters' backstories are only revealed in supplemental materials or in optional radio/Codec conversions within the games. The most notable is the true identity of The Boss and The Sorrow's son, who is only revealed if you trigger a radio call between Snake and EVA in ''Metal Gear Solid 3''. It's [[spoiler:Ocelot]].
** The ''Metal Gear Solid 4 Database'', in addition to compiling every piece of ''Metal Gear'' lore up to ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', features an extensive backstory for Raiden of what happened to him between ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' and ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' that is not even mentioned in the game itself.
* AlmostDeadGuy
* AlternateContinuity: ''Ghost Babel'' is an alternate sequel to the original ''Metal Gear''; the first ''Acid'' game follows a different story (though Snake is still a legendary soldier) and the second goes further.
** ''Ghost Babel'' had some hidden foreshadowing to the plot of ''Metal Gear Solid 2''.
** ''Snake's Revenge'' was also relegated to an alternate continuity after ''Metal Gear 2'' was made, although it was originally intended to be a true sequel.
** ''Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance'' included "Snake Tales", a series of five missions that featured Snake going through stages from ''Sons of Liberty'', but with different plot point (there's no mention of the Patriots, and Snake's backstory is subject to changes). "A Wrongdoing" features Snake trying to save the President from Fatman, which turns out to be a [[ThePlan plot by a third party]]. "Big Shell Evil" features Snake saving Emma Emmerich from [[TheMafiya Russian drug traffickers]], while another [[GambitPileUp third party is planning another plot]]. "Confidential Legacy" features Snake facing off against Sergei Gurlukovich and [[FaceHeelTurn Meryl]] aboard the Tanker, and serves as a direct sequel to the first game. "Dead Man's Whisper" features Iroquois Pliskin helping Commander Dolph apprehend Vamp, with another conspiracy transpiring in the background. "External Gazer", the fifth and final tale, involves an alternate-universe Solidus planning on wrecking the multiverse by having Solid Snake destroy a fifty foot tall guard with death ray eyes.
* AlternateHistory: In the ''Metal Gear'' verse, history appears to have diverged at some point during WorldWarII with the Cobra Unit being instrumental in the defeat of the Axis Powers. Cloning, AI and robotics technology of the [[TheSeventies 1970s]] are more advanced than even now in RealLife and TheColdWar ends later (though ''MetalGearSolid4'' appears to have retconned this).
* AlternateUniverse: Cloning was perfected extremely early, and apparently, so were exoskeletons and mecha and [[spoiler:gigantic BigBrother ships.]] Oh, and [[spoiler:batshit AI.]]
** The first game, made in 1987, takes place in 19XX (later established to be 1995). The second game, made in 1990, takes place in 1999 and has the Soviet Union survive past 1991. ''Metal Gear Solid'', made in 1998, takes place in 2005 and contains the line "the nuclear age ended with the turn of the millennium." ''Metal Gear Solid 2'', released in 2001, took place in 2007 and 2009. So it takes place in the future, which is now the past, but the next game takes place in the future anyway, which won't happen because the past didn't happen because it was just a theory about what the future would be, This makes for one of the most confusing timelines in the history of fiction. Only the addition of time travel could it make it more confusing.
*** Hilariously enough, that actually ''did'' happen with Raiden... in a non-canonical Secret Theatre clip from ''Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence''.
** And if you take the information in ''Snake Eater'' about the [[spoiler: Philosopher's Legacy, fortune amassed by a conspiracy consisting of China, the US and the Soviet Union,]] the world of Metal Gear diverged from our own ''at least'' some time between the First and Second World Wars.
* AncientConspiracy: Subverted in ''Portable Ops'' and further in ''Metal Gear Solid 4''. The ''actual'' conspiracy, [[spoiler:the Patriots]], were formed fairly recently, in the 1970s, and only use the "ancient" conspiracy, [[spoiler:the Philosophers]] which was itself founded in the early 1900s as a disguise to hide behind. The only link between the two is that [[spoiler:the Patriots were founded with the money that the Philosophers left behind when they split]].
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:Zero]]. Even though he is behind creating [[spoiler:the Patriots]], his ultimate goal was good and he is far more caring and humane than the typical KnightTemplar. However, this is extremely debatable given his 'caring' solution led to a network of AI crashing the world into sterile, hopeless future dominated by proxy wars and iron-fisted information control.
** Overall, straight-up non-{{Anti Villain}}s are more the exception than the rule in this series.
* AnyoneCanDie: A good number of main characters do. At the end of ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', more than 80% of all characters are dead.
* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: Particularly in ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', most of the elite cyborgs favour swords and other melee weapons over guns (in Rising, {{Mook}}s use guns, but the EliteMooks use giant hammers and most of the [[MechaMook UGs]] have some form of melee weapon or other). It's justified by explaining that bullets don't have the energy to get through cyborg armour, while [[VibroWeapon HF Blades]] and other advanced weapons do.
* ArcNumber: Sort of. Three of the years in which major events of Big Boss' life occur have the number 4 at the end.
* ArcWords: You'll hear "It's not over yet!" in a lot of the games.
** Also: "Neither enemy or friend", "I've still got a job to do", and "The world needs only one Boss/Snake/Big Boss".
*** Don't forget Snake's usual response to people telling him smoking is dangerous; "So's war and I've done that all my life" tends to show up, making for [[spoiler: a heartwarming moment when Snake gives up at the end of 4, after he learns he doesn't have to fight anymore]].
** Both Snakes like to say 'Kept you waiting, huh?' whenever they make their first appearance.
* ArrowCam: ''Nikita'' Remote Controlled Missiles - First Person Mode.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Most infamously in the original ''Metal Gear Solid'', where it is revealed that [[spoiler: Solid Snake]] and [[spoiler: Liquid Snake]] are both clones of [[spoiler: Big Boss]]. Yet somehow they have different genetic make-up.
** Finally revealed/retconned in ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' as the two being genetically manipulated by the Patriots for different purposes. Solidus is the only 100% identical clone of Big Boss.
*** Not exactly retconned as [[spoiler: in Metal Gear Solid, Liquid straight-up says that they were trying to isolate the genes that made Big Boss the ultimate soldier, and to do this they created two imperfect clones to see which had the greater natural ability. (They did this by genetic modification, Snake and Liquid were originally exactly identical, being from the same egg.)]]
* AudioAdaptation: There was a two-volume ''Metal Gear Solid Drama CD'' in Japan (titled ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Drama CD Metal Gear Solid]]'') that basically served as a continuation to the PS1 game, while the [[ShowWithinAShow fictional radio drama]] ''IdeaSpy 2.5'' in ''Ghost Babel'' became an actual radio drama starring Hideo Kojima as the title character.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Metal Gear concept itself. Sure, it seems like the ultimate weapon, given that it can launch nukes essentially undetected from any terrain, but the idea seems to run on RuleOfCool. The games seem to acknowledge this, though. The [[VideoGame/MetalGear first]] [[VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake two]] games have the legs of the titular Metals Gears as a serious weak point (The TX-55 is brought down with multiple C4 charges at its feet. Metal Gear D is destroyed by hurling frag grenades at the knee joints), a flaw that is uncorrected until the development of [[MetalGearSolid Metal Gear REX]]. The Shagohod, while technically not a Metal Gear, also has a similar (but not quite as fatal) flaw with its augers, as well as needing three miles of runway to launch its nuke.
* AxCrazy: Half the freaking cast.
* BackTracking: One of the more {{egregious}} examples occurs in ''Metal Gear Solid''. Upon encountering Sniper Wolf, Snake is told to go find a sniper rifle, which is in a room fairly close to where the player started the game. Snake even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it.
** ''The Twin Snakes'' alleviates this by placing a non-lethal one much closer to where the player actually needs it.
** ''Metal Gear 2'' forces backtracking for nearly the whole game.
* {{Badass}}: Well, yeah.
** BackToBackBadasses: ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' [[spoiler: Johnny and Meryl]] get one of these during their CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
*** And in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', Snake and Raiden when they fight off the Tengu Commandos.
** BadassBookworm: Otacon, eventually.
** BadassGrandpa: Several. There's Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot, and The End. Solid Snake becomes one in ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', and [[spoiler:EVA is a badass grandma in the same game as well]].
*** Snake's case is a DeconstructedCharacterArchetype, as Snake fighting in spite of his condition isn't solely treated as being heroic or inspiring. Rather, it's occasionally treated as being foolish and suicidal by the other characters at the minimum, and said characters aren't above patronizing and treating him like a burden.
** BadassLongcoat: Ocelot. Liquid would count except he only has the coat on for maybe two scenes maximum.
** BadassMustache: Old Snake.
*** Ocelot, too.
** BadassNormal: Snake, at least when compared to the majority of his supernaturally-gifted or crazy-equipped foes. He does have enormous willpower and is MadeOfIron, but he can't carry an M61 vulcan cannon and doesn't [[spoiler:usually]] have kickass battle armor to help him.
*** Big Boss arguably even more so seeing as he isn't a cloned super soldier.
*** Oddly enough, Johnny qualifies for this trope. He's patently useless in the majority of appearances, but his actions at the end of ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' cement his status (considering he was just a normal completely unmodified human soldier).
* TheBadGuyWins: Most of the ''Metal Gear Solid'' games (barring ''Metal Gear Solid 4'') has the main characters actually unwittingly allowing the bad guys from behind the scenes to succeed in their overall evil plan, usually revealed in TheStinger. ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' and, to a certain extent, ''Peace Walker'' are notable exceptions to the whole Stinger route, where it is made pretty clear that the behind the scenes villains won even before we get to TheStinger.
** It helps that the bulk of the series is essentially one big EnemyCivilWar, with the Patriots as an elusive BiggerBad. The {{Big Bad}}s of all of the main series games ([[Videogame/MetalGear Big]] [[VideoGame/MetalGear2 Boss]], [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid Liquid Snake]], [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2 Solidus Snake]] and [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4 Ocelot]]) all turn out to be rebelling against the Patriots for personal gain, so stopping them invariably just helps the Patriots maintain their stranglehold on the world.
* BananaRepublic: Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land in the original [=MSX2=] games. Oddly enough, the ''Metal Gear Solid'' games mostly avert this, with the exception of "Army's Heaven" in ''Portable Ops''. The sidestory installments also have Gindra in ''Metal Gear: Ghost Babel'' and the Moloni Republic in ''Metal Gear Acid''.
* BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame: Sniper Wolf and then Crying Wolf... the matching second names are not a coincidence, right down to a similar location for the boss fight, both in a snowfield and Communications Tower on Shadow Moses Island. Although it's not impossible to take down Sniper Wolf with Nikita or Stinger missiles at the final confrontation.
* {{BFG}}: Lots and lots of them, especially in ''Metal Gear Solid 4''. Remember the rail gun Snake takes from Crying Wolf?
** In ''Metal Gear Solid'', Vulcan Raven uses a M61-A1 Vulcan 20mm gatling gun that he ripped out of an F-16.
** Crying Wolf uses the same rail gun as Fortune.
* BecauseImGoodAtIt: The mentality which leads to the formation of the Patriots, and various incarnations of Outer Heaven. Regardless of their allegiances, they're all military. Their lives revolve around war, and nobody in ''Metal Gear'' goes unscathed.
** The theme of indoctrination and war propaganda runs deep in ''Metal Gear''. The Genome Soldiers from Shadow Moses are genetically predisposed to war, creating in months what once took Big Boss several years and an army of war orphans to build. Raiden's old unit is snidely referred to by Snake as "grunts of the digital age," conditioned using the Force XXI virtual reality programs and lacking any real talent or experience. [=MGS2=] focused on memes instead of genes, so the S3 Plan was a method of trying to ensure that people who support the Patriots could be generated at will and, theoretically, at a mass level. The Paradise Lost Army is, or course, yet another example.
** Even in [=MGS3=], Big Boss' support staff had that tiny bit of psychosis in them: Paramedic talks enthusiastically about genes and cloning, Signt's kinda obsessed with his projects, like the mask that could blink and the bioelectric battery; Zero loves his Bond movies, but seemed to have had a particular fascination not just with the gadgets, but also the warmongering Bond ''villains'', like Blofield.
** One of those little moments occurs in ''Peace Walker'' when Big Boss talks to Paz about the great stone spheres of Costa Rica. He instantly thinks of [[MonumentalDamage shooting them in a fire fight]]. Because, to Paz's horror, he just doesn't get or understand the value of anything that can't be used for war.
* BigBad: One per game, and also one for the entire series, until the plot goes into GrayAndGreyMorality.
* BiggerBad: The Patriots are this for the overall series. They're the biggest threat, but Snake never comes into direct conflict with them until the GrandFinale. For the most part, they're vaguely defined and stay in the shadows. Ironically, most of the big bads that he faces in individual games are actually battling the Patriots themselves, though for differing reasons.
* BittersweetEnding: Every individual game, though the bitterness and sweetness varies with each one.
** ''Metal Gear Solid 3'' verges on DownerEnding territory.
** The only ''Solid'' game that doesn't really count is probably the original ''Metal Gear Solid''. [[spoiler:Even then, the non-canon ending where Meryl dies is very bittersweet and wasn't revealed as non-canon until ten years later in RealLife, when ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' was released]].
* TheBlank: Decoy Octopus and Laughing Octopus.
** And, by extension, [[spoiler:Old Snake, after he gets Laughing Octopus's mask]].
* BlockingStopsAllDamage:
** Any Cyborg Ninja worthy of the name in ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' can deflect more than they weigh. Grey Fox held back Rex from crushing Snake easily and Raiden could also block hits from a massive mech easily. ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' gave Raiden a block function that is pivotal to success, but he can still take damage while blocking if his opponent is [[HopelessBossFight awesome]] or [[HumongousMecha big enough.]]
** Similarly, [[BadassNormal any MSF member]] in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' can prevent any damage from being crushed by a HumongousMecha, especially the ''massive'' tank that is Cocoon, simply by catching their massive weight with their hands.
* BloodKnight:
** Big Boss. He wants to create a place in the world for people like him.
** Solid Snake as well, although he is downright repulsed by the thought of being one.
** Liquid and Solidus, who want to carry out Big Boss' fantasy.
** Gray Fox. Well, kind of. He doesn't necessarily enjoy battle, but he does feel like he needs it.
** Raiden. Not until he turns into his [[SociopathicHero Jack The Ripper]] persona, but when it happens, he becomes '''THE''' BloodKnight.
* BookEnds: If taken chronologically (and canonically, in light of ''Revengeance''), the series begins and ends with Big Boss smoking a cigar.
* BoringButPractical: All games post-[=MGS2=] have a tranquilizer gun than can attach a suppressor. It's usually one of the first weapons you get. It will likely see more use than all of your rocket launchers, shotguns, railguns, grenade launchers, and heavy machiens guns combined.
* BossBattle: The series is famous for, among other reasons, its excellent boss battles.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGear'': Shotmaker, Machinegun Kid, Hind D, Tank, Fire Trooper, TX-11 Cyberoid "Bloody Brad", Dirty Duck, TX-55 Metal Gear, [[spoiler:Big Boss]].
** ''[[VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake Metal Gear 2]]'': Black Ninja/[[spoiler:Kyle Schneider]], Running Man, Hind D, Red Blaster, Four Horsemen, Jungle Evil, Night Fright, [[spoiler:Drago Pettrovich Madnar]], [[spoiler:Metal Gear D, piloted by Gray Fox]], [[spoiler:Gray Fox]], [[spoiler:Big Boss]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'': Revolver Ocelot, Tank (controlled by Vulcan Raven), Cyborg Ninja/[[spoiler:Gray Fox]], Psycho Mantis, Sniper Wolf, Hind D (piloted by Liquid Snake), [[spoiler:Sniper Wolf]], [[spoiler:Vulcan Raven]], [[spoiler:Metal Gear REX (piloted by Liquid Snake)]], [[spoiler:Liquid Snake]].
** ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty Metal Gear Solid 2]]'': Olga Gurlukovich, Fortune, Fatman, Harrier (piloted by Solidus Snake), Vamp, Tengus, [[spoiler:Metal Gear RAY]], [[spoiler:Solidus Snake]].
** ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Metal Gear Solid 3]]'': Major Ocelot, The Pain, The Fear, The End, The Fury, [[spoiler:The Sorrow]], [[spoiler:Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin]], [[spoiler:Shagohod (piloted by Volgin)]], [[spoiler:The Boss]].
* BossRush: Very often a bonus mode, seen in ''[=Metal Gear Solid 2=]'' and individual boss battles of 3, and an extra treat in the ''Acid'' series and ''Portable Ops Plus''.
* BottledHeroicResolve
* ButNotTooForeign: Pretty mild for most characters but up the ying-yang for the Snake "family." Although Western in origin, and in spite of the fact that both Otacon (who's surname is Jewish-German) and Mei Ling look much more Asian than any of the Snakes, the characters are told again and again how Asian they are. Says Vulcan Raven in ''Metal Gear Solid'': "The blood of the East runs in your veins" and he then goes on to describe (how he knows this we have no idea) that Snake's ancestors were from Japan and before that the Mongolian plains. As it turns out, Snake and his brother Liquid were cloned using a donor egg from a Japanese woman (so their mitochondrial DNA is East Asian).
** Otacon himself is a pretty good example as, while (as far can be told) he's entirely European in origin, he is an emphatic Japanophile. Likewise, Raiden, while not a Japanophile, seems like he walked straight out of one of Otacon's Japanese animes.
* ButtMonkey:
** Johnny, who gets knocked out a lot and keeps getting bad diarrhea problems, and is TheScrappy of Rat Patrol Team 01... up until he gets [[TookALevelInBadass some badass points]] and [[spoiler:steals Meryl from our lovable, crotchety old clone.]]
** Raiden has it pretty rough as well. In ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' he is nagged by his girlfriend, is urinated on, he gets [[spoiler:beaten up and used as bait for certain people]], it is revealed that his [[spoiler:parents were murdered by Solidus]], and that's just his first appearance. In ''Metal Gear Solid 3'' he was parodied by Volgin's gay lover Raikov, a usable face mask that Major Zero and Sokolov both apparently dislike, and ''Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser'' where he travels back in time to kill Big Boss so that he could become the main character of the series. To say he failed miserably there would be a understatement. In between ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' and ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', he is told by Rose that [[spoiler:she suffered a miscarriage (don't worry she was lying)]] after which [[spoiler:he is tortured by the Patriots and used as a guinea pig for their experiments, his head is severed from his body at the jaw and transplanted to an entirely synthetic body, which is later upgraded to the exoskeleton we see him wearing in Metal Gear Solid 4]].
* {{Camp}}: So, so much. This is a very tongue-in-cheek series.
* CanonDiscontinuity: ''Snake's Revenge'', a sequel to the NES version of the first ''Metal Gear'' which Konami produced for the international market without Kojima's involvement. It was technically the first ''Metal Gear'' sequel, as it actually inspired Kojima to make ''Metal Gear 2'' in the first place.
* CaptainObvious: There are a whole lot of these. Some examples:
-->'''Otacon:''' Snake, this a war zone, so you have to be on your toes.\\
\\
'''Snake:''' [[ParrotExposition A surveillance camera?!]]
* CharClone: Gray Fox in the remastered ''Metal Gear 2'', Ocelot in ''Snake Eater'' and Liquid in the original ''Solid''.
* CharacterOutlivesActor: Creator/KojiTotani, the Japanese voice actor of villain Revolver Ocelot, died during the production of ''{{Metal Gear Solid 4}}''. As a result, the role was recast to Creator/BanjoGinga (Liquid Snake's Japanese voice), with Liquid Snake's persona having (apparently) taken complete control of Ocelot's mind as a convenient excuse for the recast. This wasn't much of an issue in the English version, since Ocelot's English voice actor Pat Zimmerman was still alive and reprised the role anyway.
* ChekhovsGunman: The first we hear about Sunny is while she's still a developing embryo in Olga's womb early in VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2. She becomes a recurring character in VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4, and at the end, [[spoiler: plays a big part in defeating the Patriots]].
** Johnny Sasaki was just a guard who had his clothes stolen and caught a cold in the original ''Solid'', but still warranted a full name in the credits. Come ''Metal Gear Solid 4'', and he was one of the major players who TookALevelInBadass.
* ChildSoldiers: [[spoiler: Null/Gray Fox, Raiden, Drebin, Chico, and technically the Les Enfants Terribles clones]].
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: The name comes from ''TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'', a webcomic based upon the game, which is used to describe Revolver Ocelot's habit of betraying anyone and everyone. [[spoiler:Including his own soldiers in ''4'']].
* CodeName: Every special forces group in the Metal Gear universe seems to have some sort of codename system. Most notably, the FOX unit (and later FOX HOUND) uses animal-themed names.
* ColdWar: The setting of the Naked Snake games (''[=MGS3=]'', ''MPO'', and ''Peace Walker'').
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Meta-example. The packaging art for each ''MGS'' game (at least in Japan) have a main color each. This is further reflected in tie-in products such as the ''Acid'' series and ''Social Ops''.
** ''MGS'' = red[[note]]Starting from the ''Integral'' edition, since the original release only had a plain black logo.[[/note]]
** ''[=MGS2=]'' = blue
** ''[=MGS3=]'' = green
** ''[=MGS4=]'' = black
** ''MPO[=/=]MGSPW'' = yellow
* CombatSadomasochist: Vamp and Raiden seem to enjoy hurting each other a little [[HoYay too much]].
* CommLinks: The codec.
* CompanionCube: The cardboard box. Both Solid and Naked Snake apparently have some sort of sexual fetish with it, and Naked Snake believes that not only is his being in the box his destiny, but it is also the true key to happiness. The former finds it relaxing to sit in the box - or, y'know, barrel. Solid Snake doesn't just find the box relaxing, to him, it's the most important thing he has on him. He even lectures Raiden about it, giving the famous "Take care of your cardboard box, and it'll take care of you" comment.
** "I'm not exaggerating when I say the success of your mission hinges on how you use that cardboard box."
* ConspicuouslySelectivePerception: AI can only see in front of them in the earlier games. Of course, [[RuleOfFun an enemy spotting you right away would piss off many]].
* ContemplateOurNavels: The series has to be a Lifetime achievement Award contender, especially the ''Metal Gear Solid'' games. Characters spend lots of time waxing poetic about the harshness of war, the dangers of genetic engineering, the military-industrial complex, their tragic childhoods, etc.
* ContinuingIsPainful: Variation: You can continue as much as you want without any harm except your rank at the end suffer. On the other hand, with the exception of a few bosses that your support team gives you more specific advice for (and on [[MindScrew two cases]], both tell you the secret that makes the fight possible) on future attempts, there is no reason to not just select "exit" to go the main menu and then load instead as long as you remember to save at the start of each area (where "continue" will return you to).
* CopyProtection: Both, the [[OlderThanTheyThink MSX2 version]] of ''Metal Gear 2'' and the original ''MGS'', had a certain character's contact number written on the back of the retail packaging. In the latter's case, this became problematic to players who bought the game secondhand without the original CD case or were merely renting it.
* CreepyCrows: Vulcan Raven in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Raging Raven in ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots MGS4]]''. The similar codenames are ''not'' a coincidence.
* CutScene: Let's just say there are two types of people in the Metal Gear fandom: those who hate Metal Gear because of the cutscenes, and people who don't.
** It is frequently said by fans that Metal Gear's an interactive story, rather than a game, not that it's a bad thing.
* CutSong: The ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUHJsU_ooWQ Metal Gear Solid main theme]]'' was cut out of post-2006 MGS games because of accusations of plagiarism from ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JL4JXEv-RY Winter Road]]'' by Sviridov.
* CyberCyclops: The Ninja in ''[=MGS1=]'' and Metal Gear Ray are both cyclopes.
** Only the mass production models of Metal Gear RAY are Cyclopes. The prototype has two optical sensors.
** Also, although Gray Fox's mask affects the appearance of a cyclops, if you look closely the eye holes are actually two slits immediately next to the giant red scanner. However, the aesthetic remains similar.
*** However, and this is more noticeable in Twin Snakes but still present in the original, if you look at Gray Fox's face when he's unmasked you'll note that he only has one eye left, as the result of his near-death experience.
* DarkSkinnedBlond: Fortune, Drebin and Scott Dolph. Also, technically Liquid, but his dark skin and blond hair were the result of bleaching during his time in the Iraqi prison camp, and he's not black in any percentage, like the other three examples.
* DeathSeeker: ''Metal Gear Solid'' had Gray Fox, who was looking for one last battle with Solid Snake. ''[=MGS2=]'' introduced us to Fortune, whose father died in the tanker incident, followed by her husband's death and a miscarriage as a result of all the stress. She cannot be hit by bullets [[spoiler: due to a top secret electromagnetic weapon that she unknowingly carries]]. Vamp doesn't really start playing this role until ''[=MGS4=]'', and [[spoiler: injects himself with nanomachine suppressants in order to cancel out his healing factor and finish himself once and for all]]. Snake himself arguably counts in ''[=MGS4=]'', since his reasons for living are rapidly disappearing. [[spoiler: He decides to see the world with Otacon during his last few months, however]].
* {{Deconstruction}}: Lots of it.
* DepravedBisexual: Both Volgin from ''[=MGS3=]'' and Vamp from ''[=MGS2=]'' & ''4''.
* DerivativeDifferentiation: The games were initially just a tongue-in-cheek take-off of American spy and action films, but ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' was where the series started to establish its own identity (as the SequelDisplacement can attest to).
* DidNotGetTheGirl:
** In ''4'', [[spoiler:things don't work out for Snake and Meryl, what with Snake being an IneffectualLoner and Meryl falling in love with, then marrying the series' "perennial loser."]]
** Also happens to [[spoiler: Raiden and Rose]] in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', although they end up together in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'', and [[spoiler: Big Boss and EVA]] in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' -- though technically subverted as she got pregnant with Big Boss' "child" clones.
*** And lest we forget that there were two full games before the Solid Series, Snake obviously does not end up with Holly White ([=MG2=]), even ditching her at the end of the game to retire to Alaska.
* DieHardOnAnX: On a [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid nuclear missile disposal site]], [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty cargo tanker, oil decontamination facility]], [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Russian jungle]] and [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots the battlefields of 2014]] respectively.
* DivorcedInstallment: ''VideoGame/SnakesRevenge''. Although it lacks the ''Metal Gear'' name, it still follows the plot of the first game and has some of the same characters (Snake, Big Boss, and Jennifer).
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Awesome, world-renowned badasses who smoke heavily and advise the player not to smoke. In this franchise, it's kind of a motif. In [=MGS1=], Natasha actually says this with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. ("Zey are bad for you.")
* DrivingQuestion: The Patriots' identity, during games 2-4.
* DysfunctionJunction: The games go to lengths to point out just how incredibly screwed up almost every single character is, and the tragic consequences of such.
* {{Eagleland}}: Mostly Type 1 through the [=MGS=] series. America's got a few skeletons in the closet, and some of the people in power are in it just for the perks, but all the heroes and even many of the sympathetic villains (most notably Solidus and The Boss) believe American ideals are worth fighting for.
* EasterEgg: Tons of 'em.
* EdgeGravity: Unless of course you encounter a pit [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F4qzPbcFiA trap]].
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: Played with. In ''[=MGS1=]'', the 'high-tech next-generation special forces' are the useless Mooks of the game, and in ''[=MGS2=]'', the US Marines and Navy [=SEALs=] are [[RedShirtArmy Red Shirt Armies]]. Normal forces are more or less never shown, and the RedshirtArmy status of supposedly elite forces just go to show how [[TheWorfEffect dangerous the enemies are]] or how {{Badass}} the heroes are.
** Played straight with FOXHOUND, Dead Cell, the Cobras and the B&B Corp. In each case, they are specifically described as some of the most dangerous people on planet Earth.
* EliteMooks: The Hi-Tech Soldiers, Arsenal Tengu in ''[=MGS2=]'', the Rocket-men and FROG units in ''[=MGS4=]''.
* EnemyChatter: Only during Alert, Evasion, and Caution phases. However, there is some chatter to be found in most games, if you look hard enough.
* EnemyDetectingRadar: Present in all of the main MGS games, in one form or another. The first two had the "Soliton Radar" which showed you the position and facing of enemies on a nearby radar minimap. Some people complained--justifiably--that the radar actually made things a little ''too'' easy. For ''[=MGS3=]'', the prequel, they had a number of lower-tech solutions that all ran off of battery power: a motion sensor that would not detect stationary enemies, a "sound ping" radar that could give away your position to someone nearby, and an "AP sensor" that made the controller vibrate when enemies were near. ''[=MGS4=]'' gave players the "Threat Ring" which showed the relative locations of enemies surrounding Snake, but only when he held still and knelt on the ground, and also a sound-detecting radar in the form of the Solid Eye--loud explosions, gunfire and other turmoil would make it not work as well, but it provided a nice balance between the previous incarnations of EnemyDetectingRadar.
* EqualOpportunityEvil: The ranks of the various Quirky Miniboss Squads tend to be quite diverse. [[spoiler: And then there're the Patriots]].
* EscortMission: Raiden and Emma; Big Boss and EVA; Old Snake and Drebin's Stryker; Old Snake and the Van.
* EverythingFades: Averted - except for the first [=MGS=], dead bodies don't go and need to be hidden.
** However, enemies killed in alert mode or action sequences will disappear (flicker out more like it), and occasionally in normal status if one waits long enough.
** As a possible reference to this, Liquid Ocelot's elite FROG units immolate themselves once they're dead, and if Snake touches the bodies, they crumble to dust.
** Played straight in ''MGR: Revengeance'', since bodies cut down by Raiden exploded right after, of if cut down for to much time in Blade Mode or the HF Wooden Sword, simply faded (this happens due to the possible crash that lots of scattered enemies pieces would cause to the game).
* EvilBrit: Two of the most influential villains in the entire series are British: [[spoiler: Zero, founder of the Patriots, and Liquid Snake, one of the only men in the world who can face Solid Snake in equal combat]]. Ironically enough, in the Japanese version they're voiced by the same actor, Banjo Ginga.
** Subverted with Strangelove, who is more like an [[HeroicAlbino anti-heroic albino]], Emma (who was the daughter of a British woman), and possibly Otacon, as the in-game novel ''In The Darkness Of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth'' implies that Otacon has some British ancestry.[[spoiler: Peace Walker ends with Strangelove and Huey coming to an 'understanding'. It's entirely possible but not confirmed for certain that Strangelove might be Otacon's mother. For what it's worth, 'Emmerich' is a German name]].
* EvilIsDumb: Johnny Sasaki and, arguably, Fortune.
* ExpositionBreak: Utterly infamous for these.
** The [=CODEC=] seems to [[NoFourthWall stop time]], so Snake and his VoiceWithAnInternetConnection can carry on [[TalkingIsAFreeAction long conversations]] during a firefight.
** Averted in ''Peace Walker'', where not only does time not stop during a Codec call, but it's also actively encouraged that you ''don't'' attempt to call when near enemies.
** Subverted in ''Revengeance''. There are standard codec calls as well ones that occur in real time, preventing you from doing anything else other than walking. Justified in the fact that real-time codec calls are disguised loading screens, akin to the infamous ''Franchise/MassEffect'' elevators.
* {{Expy}}: Snake shares many characteristics with Snake Plissken from ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'', while Colonel Campbell is Colonel Trautman from ''{{Rambo}}''. Given that Kojima is an avowed movie fan, this is no surprise.
** Raiden is an {{Expy}} of Solid Snake, and probably Jack from ''Film/{{Titanic}}''.
*** Raikov is an {{Expy}} of Raiden.
* EyepatchOfPower: Subverted slightly in that Big Boss' eyepatch really is an eyepatch, while Old Snake's Solid Eye simply provides optical enhancements... as well as 'radar,' of sorts. Well, then there's also Solidus.
** Raiden Custom Body's eyepatch acts as a cybernetic eye, since Doktor couldn't get a replacement after he lost his eye to Sam (In fact, the eyepatch he uses has all the benefits of an fully operational artificial compound eye, and all the coolness of an eyepatch).
* FakeoutEscape: One of the ways Snake can escape jail cells he ends up in (in Metal Gear Solid) is by simply hiding under the bed while the guard is gone.
* FallenHero: Big Boss, along with [[spoiler:Major Zero, Para-Medic, and Sigint]].
* FamousLastWords: See FinalSpeech below.
* FanDisservice: See trope entry.
* AFatherToHisMen: Big Boss and Gene.
** The Boss in reference to the Cobra Unit.
* {{Feelies}}
* FemaleGaze: A good deal of ''Franchise/MetalGear'' is geared towards the Female Gaze, given [[MrFanservice how taut and firm Snake's ass is]], even when he's an [[GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave old man]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' allows you to have Raiden run around doing handless cartwheels naked.
** Or the option to take off Big Boss's top in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'' with his Naked Camo and turn him into a WalkingShirtlessScene.
* FemmeFatale: Sniper Wolf, EVA, Naomi, Mistral.
* FightLikeACardPlayer: The ''Ac!d'' series.
* FinalSpeech: Every single character death includes one of these. No exceptions, bar the bosses in the first ''[[VideoGame/MetalGear Metal Gear]]'' game.
* FirstPersonSnapshooter: Each ''Metal Gear Solid'' features a digital camera that allows the player to take screenshots of the game and save them to the memory card.
* FissionMailed: TropeNamer.
* FisticuffsBoss: At least twice.
* FiveBadBand: Several.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid's'' FOXHOUND:
*** The BigBad: Liquid Snake
*** TheDragon: Revolver Ocelot
*** The EvilGenius: Psycho Mantis
*** TheBrute: Vulcan Raven
*** The DarkChick: Sniper Wolf (FemmeFatale DarkActionGirl)
*** The SixthRanger: Decoy Octopus
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'''s Dead Cell:
*** The BigBad: Solidus Snake (PresidentEvil)
*** TheDragon: Revolver Ocelot (MagnificentBastard-slash-{{Chessmaster}})
*** The EvilGenius: Fatman (MadBomber)
*** TheBrute: Vamp (male twist on the LesbianVampire)
*** The DarkChick: Fortune ([[DeusAngstMachina grieving]] DeathSeeker)
*** The SixthRanger: Olga Gurlukovich (does a HeelFaceTurn, to put it in its simplest possible way)
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'''s Cobra Unit:
*** The BigBad: The Boss
*** TheDragon: The Sorrow (when he was alive, anyway)
*** The EvilGenius: The Pain (learned how to mind-control BEES)
*** TheBrute: The Fury (KillItWithFire)
*** The DarkChick: The Fear (more about instilling emotion than experiencing it himself)
*** The SixthRanger: The End (an [[BadassGrandpa aging]] warrior who doesn't participate in most missions, but is brought out for one last op)
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'''s B&B Corp A.K.A. Snakehound:
*** The BigBad: Liquid Ocelot (MagnificentBastard)
*** TheDragon: Screaming Mantis (leader of the [[FourIsDeath four]] B&B Corps members; [[spoiler: [[DemonicPossession controlled by Psycho Mantis]]]])
*** The EvilGenius: Laughing Octopus (EvilLaugh-prone stealth expert)
*** TheBrute: Crying Wolf (Snipes with a BFG and has enough strength to stop ''and flip over a bulldozer by charging it'')
*** The DarkChick: Raging Raven ([[UnstoppableRage ANGRY]])
*** The SixthRanger: [[TheVamp Vamp]] [[spoiler: Turns out he just wanted someone to [[DeathSeeker kill him]]]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'''s Winds of Destruction
*** The BigBad: Senator Armstrong [[spoiler:(the final boss with beautiful ideals, but enough strength to [[RuleOfFun kick you in the air like a football]])]]
*** TheDragon: Samuel Rodrigues (The arch-enemy that just [[BloodKnight wants to fight to see blood, or until someone can kill him]])
*** The EvilGenius: Monsoon (he is genius enough to use ''memes talk'' to MindRape someone who [[ChildSoldier led an army at just 11 years because he was the best at cutting people down]]).
*** TheBrute: Sundowner. The guy uses two '''GIANT''' HF Machetes that are used like ''scissors''.
*** TheDarkChick: Mistral.
*** TheSixthRanger: IF Prototype LQ-84i (side boss that like always, did a HeelFaceTurn to become the [[SociopathicHero hero]] companion)
* FlawedPrototype: The eponymous Metal Gears, nuclear-armed walking tanks that never actually get into the production stage. RAY and the GEKKO are exceptions, but as the games are quick to remind us, they aren't actually Metal Gears.
* ForgottenSuperweapon: REX was more or less abandoned at Shadow Moses. Justified since REX was developed illegally.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In ''SuperSmashBrosBrawl''. Yes, Hideo Kojima snuck in hints about [=MSG4=] on the KillerApp of a competing company in an IntercontinuityCrossover. [[RefugeInAudacity It's really not out of place]].
** The games themselves are riddled with foreshadowing. Starting from the first ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' we have references to Snake not aging well and the mention of a few characters from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2''. [=MGS2=] gave us the revelation that the Metal Gear technology was originally Russian. MPO brought in hints of who the Patriots really were.
* FormFittingWardrobe: Everyone's sneaking suits.
* FutureBadass: Raiden in ''[=MGS4=]'', Null [[spoiler:to Gray Fox]]. Additionally, Portable Ops can count - the remaining survivors of the San Hieronymo incident later become part of Big Boss's mercenaries.
* FutureSpandex: The sneaking suits.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Meryl (who doesn't wear a bra) and EVA.
** Possibly borrowed from ''VisualNovel/{{Policenauts}}'', in which you could jiggle almost every female character's breast. Except, ironically (unless under special circumstances), Meryl's.
* GambitPileup: Almost every game has one, which thanks to continuity build up and create a bigger pileup for the entire series.
* GameShark: Mentioned, but not actually used.
* GenerationXerox:
** All of Big Boss' children are skilled soldiers. Not surprising, since they're clones and were in fact raised specifically to be perfect soldiers.
** Even more egregious is Otacon and his father, both genius robotics engineers with similar personalities, who wind up unwittingly creating walking nuclear death tanks and then actively work to stop their work from being used. Huey's relationship with Big Boss mirrors Otacon's with Solid Snake's as well.
* GetOnWithItAlready: Many cutscenes and conversations throughout the series. But none compare to all of ''[=MGS4=]''. (Fortunately, almost all of the ''[=MGS4=]'' cutscenes are skippable. Unfortunately, the exceptions include [[spoiler:Big Boss' death]], the awfully long credits, and the post-credits ending.)
* GoodBadTranslation: The NES ''VideoGame/MetalGear''. "The truck have started to move" and "I feel asleep", for instance.
* GoneHorriblyRight: The Patriots started the Les Enfantes Terrible project because they wanted perfect soldiers like Big Boss. They succeeded, and ended up with three guys who do not enjoy getting dicked around at all.
* GratuitousFrench: The name of the project that spawned the Snake clones; Les Enfants Terribles (The Terrible Children).
** There's also the first incarnation of Big Boss's Outer Heaven, Militares Sans Frontiers (a take off Medicines Sans Frontiers, which they had to throw a legal disclaimer saying the two weren't related.)
** Mistral's polearm L'Etranger. Justified in the fact that she is a big ShoutOut to Albert Camus' novel ''Literature/TheStranger'' ("L'étranger" in French).
* GrayingMorality: Most of the games feature a de facto villain while playing with moral ambiguity as a thematic device. That is until ''[=MGS4=]'' which is a full on GreyAndGrayMorality story which also retcons the entire series conflict into one as well.
* GroinAttack: In ''[=MGS2=]'' and ''[=MGS3=]'', shooting an enemy in the family jewels was a one hit kill. In ''[=MGS4=]'', you can knock out a male enemy by crushing their balls. Performing it on a FROG-Trooper, however, turns it into a grope and a very angry FROG trooper.
* HandCannon: Meryl's long-barrel Desert Eagle in MGS, [[JustifiedTrope which she claims to have used since she was a child.]] There's also the Patriot in [=MGS3=], essentially a sawn-off version of an M16 prototype that only The Boss can effectively fire one-handed. And Gray Fox has a plasma cannon which replaces his left hand when he needs it.
* HarderThanHard: The European releases of [=MGS2=] and 3 add an unlockable "European Extreme" mode as a PALBonus. It's like the regular Extreme difficulty, with the added stipulation that triggering an Alarm phase [[NonstandardGameOver ends the game immediately.]]
** In Metal Gear Rising we have the [[IdiosyncraticDifficultyLevels Revengeance]] difficulty, where if you die, you go back to the beginning of the level.
* HeKnowsAboutTimedHits: Made into an art form.
* HealThyself: Resting in hidden areas in ''[=MGS3=]'' and ''[=MGS4=]'' restores health, not to mention the fast-regenerating camouflage given to you by one of the bosses in ''[=MGS3=]''. (In ''[=MGS4=]'' there are at least two iPod songs that specifically increase Old Snake's recovery rate.)
** In ''[=MGS2=]'', when bleeding, Raiden can stop the bleeding if he stays still because of the fast acting nanomachines.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Snake and Otacon. They're serious competitors with Mario and Luigi for the title of "Most {{Badass}} Bromance in Videogame History".
* HonorBeforeReason: Averted and commented on by everyone, especially Solid Snake, who mocks the idea.
* HopelessBossFight: In ''[=MGS4=]'', [[spoiler:Vamp ''would'' be unless you use the Syringe to end his nanomachine-enhanced regeneration]].
** In ''MGR:R'', Senator Armstrong just punches and kicks you like a ball in the first and second fights, [[spoiler:until you get Murasama HF Blade and kicks his butt]].
** Fortune in ''[=MGS2=]'' is truly a hopeless fight; all you can do is dodge her shots until events force her to leave.
* HospitalHottie: Dr. Naomi, Rosemary, Para-Medic and Elise.
* HotScientist: Naomi Hunter. Otacon also becomes significantly more attractive with each game, ironic as Snake becomes older and uglier with each game.
* HumanWeapon: The franchise has this as the main theme. The plots usually revolve around the protagonist ''and'' their direct opposition being manipulated by politicians, conspiracies, and other forces, and being treated as expendable tools with no goal or aspirations of their own.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Unabashedly. You can carry about fifty weapons in ''[=MGS4=]'', but only five at a time that you can wield in your menu. You can also carry an oil drum.
** ''Portable Ops'' and ''Peace Walker'' downplay this trope heavily. ''Portable Ops'' allows you to carry four items only, regardless of type. ''Peace Walker'', on the other hand, will allow you to carry between one and three primary weapons, depending on which outfit you're wearing, and a couple of secondary weapons as well as a limited number of items.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: I-P]]
* ICannotSelfTerminate: Gray Fox has absolutely nothing to live for except one last battle with Solid Snake. Vamp's [[spoiler: nanomachine-enhanced HealingFactor]] prevents him from committing suicide. Fortune cannot be hit with bullets, and any grenades thrown in her vicinity end up being duds [[spoiler: due to the top secret electromagnetic weapon developed by the Patriots that she is unknowingly carrying]], but she lost everything after the tanker incident so this is actually a curse. All three are [[DeathSeeker looking for]] a WorthyOpponent to finish them off. The Boss was a special case, as [[spoiler: the Philosophers ordered her to die at Naked Snake's hands for the sake of a cover-up. She couldn't commit suicide, and she couldn't tell Snake what was going on. The fact that nuclear war would likely result if she stayed alive was also a factor]]. Even Snake fits this during ''[=MGS4=]'', as he cannot die until he completes his mission.
* IdenticalGrandson: Big Boss and the three Snake brothers are meant to resemble each other (notably in the fact that Solid Snake is a dead-ringer to Naked Snake, the young Big Boss, while Solidus Snake resembles the elder Big Boss).
** Johnny, the jailer from the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', has a grandfather who worked as a jailer for the GRU during the Cold War. Guess whose cell he had to watch over in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater''.
* IdiotHero: Despite [[ParrotExposition having the situation explained to them every 3.5 seconds]], both Snakes and Raiden are ''unbelievably dense''. Though considering how many plot twists get revealed in each cutscene and the MindScrew nature of ''[=MGS2=]'', it could just be an [[PaintingTheMedium effort to identify]] with the players who are probably just as confused.
** Johnny (Akiba) in ''[=MGS4=]'' also qualifies.
* IgnoranceIsBliss: The Emmerich family are never told that they are working on a machine that is going to be used to destroy the world because they would not help. Thankfully they are incredibly gullible.
* IHaveManyNames: Many examples.
** Ocelot, [[spoiler: ADAM]], Adamska and Shalashaska are the same guy.
** Big Boss, Naked Snake, Saladin, and Jack/John.[[note]]Jack is sometimes, though not always, diminutive for John. Ex: Jack Kennedy[[/note]]
** Solid Snake, [[spoiler: David]], Iroquois Plisken and Old Snake.
** Major Zero is also Major Tom, [[spoiler: David Oh]], and [[spoiler:Cipher]].
** Frank Jaeger is also known as Gray Fox, Cyborg ninja, [[spoiler:Deepthroat]], Null and The Perfect Soldier.
** EVA is also Tatyana, and later on, Matka Pluku or Big Mama.
** Raiden is otherwise known as Jack, Jack the Ripper and Mr. Lightning Bolt.
* IJustWantToBeBadass: [[{{Deconstruction}} Deconstructed]] with Solid Snake, and even more savagely deconstructed with Raiden.
* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Justified in the fact that A) the blades are meant to deflect bullets, and B) the suits they wear increase reflexes.
** When playing with Cyborg Ninja Raiden, you don't have a block button, you just have to [[LeParkour Ninja Run]] to automatically deflect bullets.
%%* InMediasRes
* InterfaceScrew: For realism (when sniping, if you don't take a relaxant medicine the character's hand shiver) or just messing with the player's mind (FissionMailed, the Psycho Mantis battle).
* IntercontinuityCrossover: ''Peace Walker'' features a bonus mode crossing over with ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'', and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' had "Snake v. Monkey", a crossover with ''VideoGame/ApeEscape''.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha: The Metal Gears themselves.
** Seriously, though...[[spoiler:piloting REX]] in ''[=MGS4=]'' proves why Otacon's design was ''the'' most badass weapon ever developed in a semi-realistic setting.
* InstantSedation: Subverted and played straight. Shooting a guard (with no vest or helmet) in the chest, butt, or head does this; but it'll take anywhere from thirty seconds to five minutes, depending on the difficulty level, to knock out a guard in any other zone.
* IntercontinuityCrossOver: With ''SuperSmashBros. Brawl''.
* KidnappedScientist: At least one per game.
* KillItWithFire: Pyro Bison, Fire Trooper, The Fury, Incendiary Grenades and Molotovs in ''[=MGS4=]'', and flamethrower units in ''Metal Gear Acid 2''.
* KnightInSourArmor: Solid Snake, Big Boss, and the Boss are all this.
-->'''Solid Snake''': ''"I'm no hero. Never was, and never will be. I'm just an old killer, hired to do some wet-work."''
* KudzuPlot: Starts off mild in the early games. Taken UpToEleven with ''[=MGS2=]''.
* LampshadeHanging: Taken to an art form.
* LargeHam: Liquid Snake and his wacky arm gestures, Revolver Ocelot, and DeathSeeker Fortune are guilty of this. And when [[spoiler: Liquid's arm possesses Ocelot]], the hamminess can barely be described.
** Ocelot even calls Fortune out on this [[spoiler: at the end of 2, before killing her "You were hamming it up as the tragic heroine, thanks to the script the Patriots wrote for you."]]
** Justified in MGS with Liquid as the graphics in the 90's didn't exactly allow for subtlety of movement. Not to mention it's supposed to be a deconstruction/homage of classic 60's spy and horror movies, a fact which Paramedic effectively spells out in 3.
* LaserSight: Useful. Since you don't use iron sights in ''[=MGS2=]'', it's the only way to aim; and in ''[=MGS4=]'', you'll need it if you use third person a lot.
* LatexPerfection: Somewhat subverted; the mask's lips don't move, Snake's facial structure is roughly recognizable beneath the mask, and the [=FaceCamo=] used by Laughing Octopus and Snake is MUCH more advanced than current technology.
* LegacyCharacter
** Three characters has taken the mantle of the Cyborg Ninja throughout the series: [[spoiler:Frank "Gray Fox" Jaeger]] in the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', [[spoiler:Olga Gurlukovich]] in ''Sons of Liberty'', and [[spoiler:Raiden]] in ''Guns of the Patriots'' and ''Revengeance''. Prior to that there was [[spoiler:Kyle Schneider]] (aka Black Color/Black Ninja) in ''VideoGame/MetalGear2'', but he wasn't actually a cyborg.
** Big Boss was the original Snake and Solid Snake inherited the codename from him. While Liquid and Solidus both have "Snake" in their full codenames as well, only Solid is referred as "Snake" by other characters.
* LibertyOverProsperity: Freedom is pretty much the entire point for "followers" of Big Boss' supposed ideology.
* LimitedAnimation: The CODEC cutscenes in the first three of the ''MGS'' series:
** The first one represented conversations on the radio by showing a picture of each person in the conversation, with MouthFlaps when they spoke. The most expressive they got were the occasional change in expression, Mei Ling sticking her tongue out at you, and Otacon jamming his face up against the camera to warn you about stealthed assassins.
** ''[=MGS2=]'' upped it with full models of the characters - however, the MouthFlaps were really off, and the characters frequently used CODEC when they were standing right in front of each other. (In-universe CODEC calls are inaudible to those who try to listen in)
** ''[=MGS3=]'' dealt with the first problem by representing the characters with still pictures, as it took place in the 1960s, when two-way video-phone devices would be nonexistent.
** ''[=MGS4=]'' avoided it entirely by showing full videos of the character Snake was speaking to, although Snake only has two main contacts in that game (Otacon and Rosemary).
* LoadBearingBoss: Golab in AC!D2, Fatman in ''[=MGS2=]''.
* LostInTranslation: "La Li Lu Le Lo" are "missing" vowel sounds in Japanese; the point of the name is that it's not technically possible to write or say it in Hiragana (because there's no distinction between "L" and "R" and the string is usually "Ra Ri Ru Re Ro"), so the Patriots censor their name to something that can't be written down or spoken. This is never really gone into in the dub (since English doesn't do that), so it just seems to be meaningless babble.
** Some could say that it worked out fine, while in English you can say "La Li Lu Le Lo", anyone who says that in the middle of a conversation for no reason seems silly and out of place. This makes it difficult to take their opinion seriously, thus getting the characters (and the viewer) to wonder about the legitimacy of their claims as [[LuckyTranslation well as the declaration of the existence of the patriots]]
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Snake, Liquid, and Big Boss]]; [[spoiler:Raiden and Solidus]].
* McNinja: The various incarnations of the Cyborg Ninja, none of them Japanese. ''Revengeance'' even opens with Raiden quoting from the code of Samurai, whom he obviously esteems.
** In ''Sons of Liberty'', the Russian soldiers eventually trade in their camo for futuristic "Tengu" uniforms, complete with naruto sandals and blades.
* MadeOfIron: All the Snakes qualify to some extent, but Liquid takes the cake. He survives a helicopter crash, a large explosion, a high fall and several gunshot wounds before finally succumbing to the [=FOXDIE=]. Even then, he is able to possess Ocelot through his arm [[spoiler: except he isn't possessing Ocelot, it's a trick]].
* MagicBullets: Quite literally with some bosses.
* MagicFromTechnology: Even though some abilities of characters seem downright magical, mostly they are given a scientific explanation. For example, Vamp's regeneration and Screaming Mantis' mind control both take advantage of nanotechnology. There are a few notable aversions in the series as well - the source of Psycho Mantis' or The Sorrows powers are never explored and they appear to be genuinely paranormal.
** However, the series is infamous for its love of complexity. Don't expect any single explanation to cover a character. In the case of Vamp, while he used nanomachine regeneration, his other abilities are never given solid explanation, and at least one character turned out to have genuine powers separate from the technology that was assumed to provide them. Basically, don't assume that [[DoingInTheWizard the wizard]] has been done in until you see the body. And even then...
* TheManBehindTheMan: Like you wouldn't believe, though the Patriots [[spoiler: could be more accurately described as the ''computer'' behind the man]].
* ManlyTears: In ''Snake Eater'', [[spoiler: after Naked Snake is promoted to the rank of Big Boss, having killed his mentor, The Boss, he visits her grave, and salutes her one last time as a single tear roll down his cheek]].
** [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4 Fifty years later]], [[spoiler: Big Boss visits her grave one final time, and attempts to salute her before collapsing from exhaustion...as as he enjoys one final smoke with his son, one more tear rolls down his cheek, and he dies with a faint smile on his face]].
* MenuTimeLockout: Generally played straight. Subverted in only one instance so far: in ''[=MGS3=]'', [[spoiler:pausing for 10 minutes during the final battle with The Boss will result in the [=MiGs=] destroying the battlefield as she said they would if she wasn't defeated in that time]].
* MethuselahSyndrome: Three different characters are stated to have lived for over a century (The End, 1861?-1964; Old Boy, 190?-2008, and [[spoiler:Major Zero, 1909-2014]]).
** Snake and Solidus (and Liquid, but he doesn't live long enough to decay) are an inversion, similar to the Replicants from ''Film/BladeRunner''. They're not engineered to last.
* MissionControl: In every game, there's not just one VoiceWithAnInternetConnection; there is a whole ''team'' dedicated to providing backup for the player. You can call them at any time to have conversations that alternate between useful and amusing (and {{Anvilicious}}). [[StopHelpingMe Unfortunately]], they can call ''you'' as well....
* MindScrew: The last few hours of ''[[MGS2Ending [=MGS2=]]]''.
** Also anything involving Psycho Mantis and Screaming Mantis, who sometimes attacks [[NoFourthWall the ''player'']]. Screaming Mantis can even [[spoiler:fake the game resetting to the title screen]].
* MindScrewdriver: Presumably, the two games immediately after the glorious insanity of ''[=MGS2=]''[='=]s ending were intended to be this.
* [[MobileShrubbery Mobile Cardboard Box]]
* MrExposition: Happens at the start of every game with the Colonel, Otacon, Major Zero, et cetera.
* MysteriousInformant: Used in ''Metal Gear 2'', ''Metal Gear Solid'', and ''[=MGS2=]''. The reason it was repeated in the original MGS was because ''Metal Gear 2'' was only released in Japan, and ''[=MGS1=]'' followed more or less the same plot in a different setting. The second time this happened was [[MindScrew for another reason]].
* MythologyGag: The series has a few recurring jokes and themes, most notably the cardboard box (which appears in every main game in the series).
* {{Nanomachines}}: Everything supernatural that happens? It's caused by these buggers in one way or another (with the possible exceptions of The Sorrow, Psycho Mantis, and Vulcan Raven).
** Lampshaded by Armstrong [[spoiler: during his battle]] with the [[MemeticMutation now memetic]] sentence : "Nanomachines, son !"
* NewGamePlus: You start out with goodies in games before ''[=MGS4=]''. ''[=MGS4=]'', you get all your weapons and earned gear, plus goodies.
* NinjaButterfly: Your support crew in each game.
* NintendoHard: "Extreme" and "European Extreme" mode. The difficulty varies depending on the title, with ''Snake Eater'' on the low end, and ''Sons of Liberty'' on the "Holy-Shit-Twenty-Metal-Gears-Are-You-Serious" end.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The cover artwork of the original ''Metal Gear'' is blatantly traced from a well-known publicity still of Michael Biehn in ''{{Terminator}}'', while the character designs in the [=MSX2=] version of ''Metal Gear 2'' are clearly modified photographs of actual celebrities such as Sean Connery, Mel Gibson, Tom Berenger, Richard Crenna, and Albert Einstein. In subsequent ports of ''Metal Gear 2'', the character designs were revamped to resemble Shinkawa's designs from the later ''MGS'' games. Which still draw a lot from actors: Solid Snake started as Christopher Walken in ''TheDeerHunter'', evolved into Kurt Russell (after all, he was [[EscapeFromNewYork Snake Plissken]] - Big Boss resembles Russell even more) and then became an eyepatched Lee Van Cleef. Who had already inspired Revolver Ocelot.
* NoFourthWall: One of the trademarks of the series. Characters explicitly describe the game's controls with a straight face; the CopyProtection involves a character asking you to look at the back of the game package; one of your [[VoiceWithAnInternetConnection Voices With An Internet Connection]] provides constant real-world advice on how to play your video game properly and healthily; a JackBauerInterrogationTechnique scene involves the resident MagnificentBastard warning you not to try to use autofire to beat the MiniGame; and ''everything'' involving Psycho Mantis, who used your save game content to "read your mind," the rumble feature on your controller to move it with "telekinesis," had a special move that caused your screen to turn black, and could only be defeated by unplugging your controller and plugging it into the second port (or by already having a second controller in the second port, and picking it up). And that's only what the first game does; the second, which explicitly aims to break the fourth wall, was [[MindScrew worse]].
** It got to the point of LampshadeHanging: during Act 4 of ''[=MGS4=]'', Otacon calls Snake and tells him to put in disc 2. Then he remembers that, because the game is on a dual-layer Blu-ray disc, there ''is'' no disc 2. (Snake tells Otacon to stop fooling around, while players freak out due to the exact location of this conversation.) Then, [[spoiler:when Psycho Mantis shows up ''again'', he tries to pull the same tricks. However, he can't read your memory since the PS3 doesn't ''have'' a memory card, and he can only make the controller vibrate if the player is using the Dualshock 3. And again in the previous boss fight, where the Colonel recommends using the same tricks against a different psychic boss, only to have them all shot down.]] Oh, and in ''Metal Gear AC!D2'', when General Wiseman explains bits of the COST and CARD system to Snake, "Agent" Dalton hears all of this and confusedly says, "That just went right over my head."
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Volgin to Naked Snake in ''Snake Eater,'' and even worse, Ocelot to Solid Snake in ''Guns of the Patriots.''
* NonLinearSequel: Why this series has one of the messiest chronologies known to man. ''Metal Gear Solid Mobile'' is a good example. It seems to clearly fit in to the main timeline between ''[=MGS=]'' and ''[=MGS2=]'', but the game's ending apparently makes it CanonDiscontinuity.)
** Also, you might wonder why a lot of characters like to talk to you through the Codec screen rather than to your face or with Codec real-time. This is because time stands still during the process, [[NoFourthWall because it's a video game]], and ''[=MGS2=]'' went and injected {{Postmodernism}} through where the fourth wall was supposed to be, [[MindScrew which is why you're so confused right now]].
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: Averted. Almost every Metal Gear built is based on the plans of the previous Metal Gear. Then the plans to make one got on the black market and everyone had a Metal Gear.
* NoticeThis
* NotSoDifferent: Despite professing complete difference from the enemies they fight, Big Boss and Solid Snake are often pointed out to be exactly like the soldiers on the other side. This also extends to each other, while Solid Snake absolutely denies that he's anything like his father the two are very similar, to the point that they even profess similar ideals about being a soldier.
* {{Novelization}}
* NuclearWeaponsTaboo: The whole franchise stands in defiance of this trope.
* OldSaveBonus: See Psycho Mantis, above.
** If you save during the fight with The End, and wait a week (or just advance your Playstation's internal clock by a week), [[spoiler:''he dies of old age'']].
* OldShame: Proudly averted. Not only are the earlier games in the series referenced in the ''Solid'' storyline, they become large parts of the story, and the original graphics are even used in flashbacks--no re-renders here. True, "Bloody Brad" and "Running Man" aren't given quite as large a remembrance as Gray Fox or Big Boss, but even so, remarkably little of the original games was retconned by later installments.
** Portable Ops seems to play the trope completely straight however. While elements are referenced in Peace Walker and it is in official canon, Kojima more or less denies its existence, and the game was left off of a recent history of MGS poster. This is understandable given that, like Snake's Revenge, Kojima didn't direct or write it, and by many accounts the game is an inferior entry in the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
* OminousSavePrompt: Two of them. In ''[=MGS2=]'', [[spoiler: immediately after being captured and brought onboard Arsenal Gear,]] and in ''[=MGS3=]'', [[spoiler: after taking a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown from the BigBad]].
** ''[=MGS3=]'' actually kind of inverts it. [[spoiler:When fighting The End, Para-Medic]] says that she has a bad feeling about saving. If you save and reload the game, [[spoiler:The End sneaks up behind you and tranqs you in the head]]. However, if you save and [[spoiler:wait a week before playing again, The End will have died of old age]].
* OnSiteProcurement: TropeNamer.
* OnceAnEpisode: Regardless of which game you're playing, you can set your watch by these ("Snake" refers to whomever currently goes by the moniker):
** Snake makes a memorable (and death-defying) entrance
** Snake will be imprisoned, then [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy escape without much fuss]]
** Snake [[{{Catchphrase}} keeps somebody waiting]]
** Snake gets tortured at some point
** Snake's CO will betray him, usually more than once. (This has become a recurring {{Unreveal}})
** Snake must backtrack to an earlier point in the game to retrieve an obscure item
** Snake will exclaim, "What the hell...?!"
** Snake's antagonist, whoever it is in this game, will shout a variation of "It's not over yet!"
** And of course, Snake will always exclaim, "Metal Gear!?"
** TheStinger puts the events of the entire game in a completely different light.
* OneBulletClips: Portable Ops does this, and so does the R2-tapping strategy.
* OneSteveLimit: Strongly averted. The series has ''six'' characters whose names are variants of John - two Johns (one also called Jack), another Jack, two Johnnys and an Ivan, plus two more of the similarly-sounding Jonathan. Five of them appear in ''{{Metal Gear Solid 4|GunsOfThePatriots}}'', and each game in the series has at least one. The same series also includes two Davids, Jim and James, Natasha and Nastasha, two President Johnsons (the real-life UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson and the fictional James Johnson), and no less than five characters who have at some point gone by the codename Snake.
* OneWingedAngel: This trope usually doesn't come into effect in the series, since it deals more or less with more realism compared to most games. That being said, there are a few points where it comes pretty close canonically. For instance, Volgin merging with the Shagohod's wiring during the final battle, or Peace Walker turning from bipedal into a quadruped. The only game to play it completely straight is the non-canon sequel to VideoGame/MetalGear, VideoGame/SnakesRevenge, with Big Boss.
* OptionalStealth: ''Franchise/MetalGear'' ''is'' a stealth-based game series-- Rather, it's ''[[TropeMaker the]]'' [[TropeMaker stealth-based game series]]. The games have varying difficulty levels. If one chooses the easiest difficulty, then it's a valid option to plow through the game without really needing to use its stealth elements. However, selecting anything above "Normal" makes using stealth absolutely necessary, as guards will be vigilant and difficult to take down, and using stealth is far easier than trying to macho one's way through. The most extreme gameplay modes in the Metal Gear series actually force the player to restart from the beginning if they are so much as noticed by one guard.
* TheOtherDarrin: The English voice acting agency got a bit lazy when it came to rehiring the original voice actors in spin-off works. Most notably, Solid Snake is voiced by Peter Lurie (ironically the voice actor of Vulcan Raven) when he guest-starred in the third ''VideoGame/ApeEscape'' game.
** They're also not great at continuing the Actor Allusions onto the English localised versions. In the Japanese [=MGS2=] Olga and Solidus were played by Kyoko Terase (Meryl) and Akio Otsuka (Snake) respectively. In the English language versions Olga and Solidus are played by different actors than Meryl and Snake, so the idea that both sound alike is lost. This also happened with the BonusBoss fight against Meryl in the ''Substance'' re-release - Meryl uses the same sound clips as Olga does in her boss fight from the main game, since they shared the same seiyuu, which results in Meryl gaining an inexplicable Russian accent for the fight in the English version.
** As of [=MGS5=] the role of Big Boss is now played by Kiefer Sutherland, replacing David Hayter.
* PacifistRun: You receive a lower score at the end if you kill everything. Also, in ''[=MGS3=]'' and ''[=MGS4=]'', you get good bonus items from the bosses if you tranquilize them into submission instead of kill them. In ''[=MGS3=]'', [[spoiler:The Sorrow, a sub-boss that can't be killed, tries to kill you with guilt, sending the ghosts of your fallen (but not tranquilized) enemies stumbling towards you. The other bosses show up regardless of their ultimate demise, since even if you sedate them, they still use bombs to self-destruct.]] In ''[=MGS4=]'' [[spoiler:beating the Beast forms of the Beauty & the Beast Corps allows the player to acquire their statue (collect them and the FROG statue for the Solar Gun), and beating the Beauty forms allows the player to collect their [=FaceCamo=]]]. As before, some of the Emblems (ranks) require a certain amount of kills (less than or more than) to acquire; the Pigeon and Big Boss Emblems for example require no kills.
* PaperThinDisguise: [[spoiler:In ''[=MGS1=]'', Liquid disguises himself as an ally on Snake's codec by putting on sunglasses and ''changing his accent''.]] Note that he still has the same voice, one distinctive enough that many players became suspicious the moment he opened his mouth. On the other hand, its subverted when the re-releases of Metal Gear 2 as well as his appearance in Peace Walker show that he actually does look like a disguised Liquid, and in the case of the latter game, even sounds like Liquid in disguise.
** And, of course, you can hide inside cardboard boxes, which are ''literally'' a paper-thin disguise. Soldiers aren't totally fooled by these, though, especially in later games, and ''especially'' if the box is out in the open and in their way.
** There's also Solid Snake disguising as Iroquois Pliskin in ''[=MGS2=]'', by changing his uniform and nothing else.
** And EVA as Tatyana in ''[=MGS3=]'', which had her wearing glasses and her hair differently. However, she was so much better at disguise than Snake in ''2''.
* ParrotExposition: David Hayter has joked in interviews that most of the dialogue he has to record consists of repeating the last couple words the other person said, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSJVSNhqa-s adding a question mark]] to it.
** {{Lampshaded}} in ''Metal Gear AC!D2'', when Snake hears General Wiseman describe what [[BigBad Doctor Koppelthorn]] did hi-jack: Metal Gear.
---> '''Snake:''' Metal Gear?!\\
'''Dalton:''' Huh? You're familiar with it?\\
'''Snake:''' No. Had to blurt it out...
*** Originally, the trope name for ParrotExposition was ''Metal Gearing''.
* PlayerGuidedMissile: Most of the games have at least one sequence where Snake must utilize a [[http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Nikita_missile Nikita missile launcher]] to solve an electrified-floor puzzle.
* PlayingWithSyringes: Les Enfants Terribles; the experiments that made Gray Fox.
** Ironically in ''[=MGS4=]'', used by Old Snake to restore Psyche until his body builds up a tolerance ([[spoiler:in both gameplay and a cutscene near the end of the playable part of the game]]), as well as [[spoiler:to make Vamp mortal and to free himself and Meryl from Screaming Mantis' nanomachine control]].
* PopCulturedBadass: Ocelot loves {{Spaghetti Western}}s, and Solid Snake's a fan of ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork.''
* PostEndGameContent: You'll always get something the first time you complete the game, and some more rewards if you also fulfill certain objectives during it. NewGamePlus gives you access to it.
* PoweredArmor: The Cyborg Ninja in the first MGS was a partial case, being a cyborg and all. The ninja and Solidus in [=MGS2=] on the other hand are textbook cases.
* PottyFailure: A running (ew) theme in the ''Metal Gear Solid'' games is toilet humour; generally, at least one case of someone wetting themselves occurs per game. ''4'' upped the ante with a scene of a man soiling himself in the middle of a heated gun battle. Um... Thanks, Kojima.
* PrisonEpisode: Both ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' and ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps MPO]]'' involve a relatively easy prison escape, while ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater MGS3]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker Peace Walker]]'' have relatively challenging ones.
* PunchPackingPistol:
** For every game in the series, as soon as you can find a silencer for the pistol, it instantaneously becomes your best weapon. This is especially true when the series introduces first-person view, because you can line up headshots so easily. Combine this with the fact that every gun is wildly accurate, and you can easily have situations where you line up a headshot from across the loaded map to where you can barely see the enemy textures, and it will work.
** Metal Gear Solid 3 not only skips the step of making you find the Silencers which make the pistol so effective (though you can run out and need to restock them), but when you get it, Naked Snake goes on an extended monologue about how awesome the pistol is, and if you call Sigint later, he'll go even more in depth.
** Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots almost seems to lampshade this when they give you the Operator at the beginning of the game, which is already a good gun, (according to the in-game stats) but then you can acquire the similar except better Mk 23 (the SOCOM from the original) and the [=M1911A1=] that Naked Snake used in the third game, each gun being better than the last.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Q-Z]]
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: See all the FiveBadBand entries.
* RareGuns: You have D-Eagles (and the long-barreled version, which is widely available), muskets, the Bizon, Chinese copies of Mausers, DSR-9s, and so on.
* RatedMForManly
* RecruitedFromTheGutter:
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Naomi reveals that her adopted brother rescued her (and put her through medical school) after she was orphaned. [[spoiler: Her brother was [[TheAce Grey Fox]], Snake's old FriendlyEnemy; she joined the team to get revenge on Snake for killing him]].
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'', Grey Fox reveals that he's defected to Big Boss's side because he was recruited to Foxhound by him as a child soldier (the later games which starred Big Boss would elaborate on this).
** Big Boss in general founded Outer Heaven as a refuge for disenfranchised soldiers and war orphans...albeit to form a private army. [[AFatherToHisMen To his credit, he does sincerely care about them]].
* RedshirtArmy: The [=SEALs=] sent in to deliver the Nuclear Football in ''[=MGS2=]'' (to be fair, they're up against a vampire and an unkillable woman with a railgun), the US Army/Marine Corps task force in ''[=MGS4=]'' (though they later fend off a horde of FROG units).
* RetCon: A few aspects of the story have been changed occasionally, such as ''[=MGS4=]'' ignoring that [[spoiler:Dr. Clark was a man in [=MGS1=] to allow the character to also be Para-Medic from ''[=MGS3=]'']]).
* RuleOfSymbolism: In [=MSG3=] (Naked) Snake is given the order to meet with his contacts Adam and Eva. Eva goes so far to ask him if he has come to seduce her.
** Rather interesting, as (Naked) Snake manages to successfully seduce ''[[EvenTheGuysWantHim both]]'' [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Adam and Eva]]. Without even trying or ''noticing'', even.
** In [=MSG4=] an apple falls from (Old) Snake's pocket and rolls towards Eva, who picks it up. Later she hands the same apple to Adam (aka [[spoiler:Ocelot]]), who crushes it and throws it away.
* SayMyName: Every single ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' has this, with both enemies and allies screaming "SNAAAAAAAAKKKEEEE!!!"
** Substituted with "Raiden, what happened?! Raiden! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIDEEEEEN!" in ''Sons of Liberty''.
** "FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOX!!" when Grey Fox is {{killed off for real}} during the REX battle.
** The intro to ''[=MGS2=]'' (itself a sort of NostalgiaLevel) with Otacon shouting, "...Snake..? Snake?! SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE" whenever your net a game over, and later "E.E.? E.E.!? E.EEEEEEEEE-!!" if the player screws the pooch and gets Emma killed.
** The series' use of it is inverted near the end of ''Guns of the Patriots'' when the [[spoiler:Scarabs start piling on Snake:]] "OOOTACOOOOOOON!" Inverted both for Snake being the one to use it, and it being a genuinely tense and dramatic moment instead of meme-fuel.
** Snake screamed Otacon's name again earlier in ''Guns of the Patriots'' when [[spoiler:he got half of his face burned very badly]].
** This almost qualifies as a CMOA during the final duel when [[spoiler:after Snake takes an absolutely brutal beating at the hands of Liquid Ocelot he turns the fight around by breaking his enemy's fingers. As Snake rises he screams his rival's name with a cry of rage and frustration, to be answered in kind as the camera spins]]. And they they really start beating the hell out of each other.
* SaveToken: You can save by using your codec/radio/etc to call a "data analyst" and have them save your game for you.
* ScareChord: '''[[color:#cc0000:!]]'''
* SequentialBoss
* SensorSuspense: You will be looking at the radar minimap quite often, and you will most definitely notice when one of the blip's vision cones turns yellow.
* ShirtlessScene: At least one per game.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' had both Snakes shirtless when they fight.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' had Raiden completely naked at one point.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' allows you to take off all your clothes (except your pants, to Naked Snake's disappointment and Sigint's anger/bemusement).
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' had [[spoiler:Liquid Ocelot]] take his shirt off before his climactic duel with Snake.
* ShoutOut: Vietnam War-era jungle setting of the game aside, Snake of ''Metal Gear Solid 3'' is a shout-out to Film/JamesBond AND [[Franchise/{{Rambo}} John Rambo.]] The former is paid tribute to in the music of the alert phases, whereas the latter happens when Snake roars Sylvester Stallone's trademark battle-cry when firing an M63 machine gun. Solid 'Old' Snake '''also''' roars like this when firing the [=M60E4=] in ''Guns of the Patriots'', signifying how much he has become like his father.
** There's many others as well. For example, Raiden's real name is Jack, and [[Film/{{Titanic 1997}} his girlfriend is named Rose]].
*** Not only that, but in both endings of ''[=MGS1=]'', Snake reveals his name to be David, or "Dave" as his rescue partner calls him. With his techie buddy [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey Hal.]]
**** Bonus points for Hal actually being named after HAL from [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey the movie]].
*** The Meryl ending continues the shout out fest, this time being one of several shoutouts to Kojima's earlier visual novel game {{Policenauts}}.[[note]]Meryl Silverburgh was a character in that game, albeit older and tougher. She worked in Beyond Coast Polices Vice unit along with a young officer named "Dave" Forrest. For bonus points, MGS!Meryl even wears the same orange vest that Policenauts!Dave wears.[[/note]]
** Drebin and his "naked guns" is a shout out to a [[PoliceSquad rather unexpected franchise]].
** Of course, Hideo Kojima has shoutouts to his own work as well, with ''Policenauts'' posters and Snake can actually use the Gun De Sol from ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' as a bonus weapon, the Solar Gun, [[spoiler:by acquiring the FROG statue and the B&B Corps statues, by defeating them (for the B&B Corps their Beast forms) all nonlethally]].
*** Metal Gear Mk. 2 originally appeared in Kojima's ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}''. Except that one was a reference to the original Metal Gear. A reference is even made to the "Metal Gear Menace" of the late 20th century.
** The freight Elevator in [=MGS=] is a near exact duplicate of the one in ''Manga/{{Akira}}'',and even leads down to a sub-zero area.
** Solid Snake's name is a shoutout to Snake Plissken from ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork''. The film is one of Kojima's favourites, and was a large influence on the series (particularly notable is the theme of [[spoiler:an uncaring government sacrificing heroes for minor or personal gain]]).
** The ''[=MGS4=]'' "Chair Race" trailer featured a battle between Snake and Raiden over a chair labeled "main character". Snake's gear and method of movement in the trailer is reminiscent of [[SplinterCell Sam Fisher]].
* SimultaneousWarningAndAction: ''Who's there?!'' In addition, the Alert/Caution/Evasion calls to HQ.
* SkippableBoss: ''[=MGS3=]'s'' The End - using two methods! Either set the clock ahead so that he dies of old age, or snipe him when he appears in his wheelchair -- albeit the latter will lead to the boss fight areas being instead patrolled by 20 enemy soldiers. In ''[=MGS4=]'' there are no truly skippable bosses, but any damage to her Life or Psyche that Raging Raven takes during the motorcycle chase sequence will carry over to the 'true' boss fight, so go fire on her with whichever bar of hers you wish to damage later.
** Also in ''3'', if you blow up the HIND at the ammo dump, you won't have to face it later when you're climbing the mountain. If you blow up the rest of the ammo dump along with it, the soldiers you face later will run out of bullets quickly.
* SmokingIsCool: You can say this is the TropeCodifier on the VideoGames entry.
* SniperScopeSway: Sniper rifles are common, and generally accompanied by this. You can use pentazemin (or a cigarette) to relax and reduce the tremble when scoping.
* SnipingMission: Raiden must protect Emma this way in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2''. The battle with Sniper Wolf in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', The End in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', and Crying Wolf in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4''.
* SolemnEndingTheme: Most of the games -- see the trope page for details.
* SpiderLimbs: Laughing Octopus and Solidus Snake.
* SpottingTheThread: The fact that the DARPA Chief refers to the terrorist act as a revolution is a major hint that he might not be who he claims to be. Yet no one picks up on this, despite the fact that they know for a fact a master of disguise is among the Fox Hound renegades.
** And in ''[=MGS3=]'', there are several blatantly obvious hints that EVA might not be who she says she is, in her very first scene. She fails to answer the code phrase, instead gunning down several mooks... with a Mauser C96, which was only used by one nation during the Cold War: [[spoiler:China]]. She even uses the "Bandit Shooting" technique that was invented specifically to take advantage of that gun's tremendous recoil. [[spoiler:She ends up being a Chinese triple agent tasked with tracking down the Philosopher's Legacy]]. Of course, Snake [[IdiotHero doesn't pick up on any of this]], due to EVA's AbsoluteCleavage. [[DistractedByTheSexy Neither do most players]].
* SpyCatsuit: Inverted - only the ''men'' get them. And look damn [[FanService Fan Servicey]] in them, too. EVA comes close in her form-fitting motorcycle outfit with AbsoluteCleavage, and the [=FROGs=] wear a combat version of this.
** The Beauties get some ''very'' form fitting suits. When facing off against Raging Raven, after she sheds her suit and turns away, still quite insane, ''Snake stares at her butt''. Please note that originally, it was [[WhatCouldHaveBeen intended]] to be [[NakedPeopleAreFunny averted]].
* StartOfDarkness: ''Metal Gear Solid 3'', ''Portable Ops'', and ''Peace Walker'' detail the events behind Big Boss' transformation from a young, patriotic soldier into a war hero disillusioned with the modern world's treatment of soldiers.
* StealthBasedGame: TropeCodifier.
* TheStinger: Usually OncePerEpisode in a post-credits phone-call:
** [=MG1=]: [[spoiler:Big Boss survived the explosion and is waiting for Solid Snake, eager to fight him again.]]
** [=MGS1=]/Twin Snakes: [[spoiler:Ocelot was working with the President... and President George Sears is a third Big Boss clone named Solidus Snake]].
** [=MGS2=]: [[spoiler:Most of the Patriots (later revealed to be their predecessors, The Philosophers) have been dead for up to a hundred years, leaving Otacon's "contributor" to be one of the few living members]].
** [=MGS3=]: [[spoiler:Ocelot is triple crossing America and the Soviet Union, and stole the real Philosopher's legacy with the CIA Director to revive the Philosophers.]]
** Portable Ops: [[spoiler:Ocelot has retrieved the Philosopher's Legacy, and agrees to use it to start "The Patriots" with an anonymous figure on the condition Big Boss is allowed in too]].
** [=MGS4=]: [[spoiler:While the FOXDIE isn't going to become a non-discriminatory weapon, Snake's aging still means he hasn't long to live. Since he doesn't have the ability to pass on anything to the next generation, Otacon decides to spend the rest of Snake's life with him as a witness]].
** Peace Walker: [[spoiler:The first has Snake accept the title of Big Boss after learning the truth about The Boss. The second has Big Boss deliver a speech wherein he defines MSF's beliefs, and christens their base "Outer Heaven."]]
** Revengeance: [[spoiler:World Marshall is overthrown, but more [=PMCs=] are still on the rise. Raiden declares he still has his own war to fight]].
* StoryToGameplayRatio: To reiterate. There are a ''lot'' of cutscenes. ''[=MGS4=]'' has about nine hours of 'em. Check the helpful chart on the trope entry for how the average ''Metal Gear'' game breaks down.
* SupervillainLair: Shadow Moses, Gronzyj Grad, Arsenal Gear, Outer Haven (and its later incarnation), you name it...
* SympathyForTheDevil: Most villains in the series can be sympathized with to a certain extent. The Patriot AIs, Volgin and Hot Coldman avert this.
** Hot Coldman becomes a bigger aversion when it's revealed that he was behind probably the biggest TearJerker of the series.
* TakeCover
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (1998) introduced the peek-around-the-corner cover mechanic, where Snake can crouch behind and press against low walls and peak around corners.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' (2001) expanded on it, introducing a shoot-around-the-corner cover system, where Snake or Raiden can crouch behind or press against low walls and aim from behind them, to shoot from around the corner of a wall. This shoot-around-the-corner cover system has also been employed in later [[StealthBasedGame Stealth Games]] like the ''SplinterCell'' series and TacticalShooter games like ''VideoGame/RainbowSix Vegas'' (2006).
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' features an improved cover system similar to ''Kill Switch''.
* TakingYouWithMe:
** [[spoiler:Cunningham]] uses those exact words after his defeat in ''Portable Ops''.
** Big Boss later utters these words before fighting Solid Snake in the first Metal Gear game.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Happens with nearly all codec conversations, often at absurd times.
* ThemeNaming: All {{Quirky Miniboss Squad}}s (with the exception of Dead Cell) are some of the most notable examples.
** FOXHOUND had a two-part codename: the first part comes from the boss' specialty/weapon, the second part comes from an animal.
** The Cobra Unit base their names off the emotions they carry into battle. For reference, this is where The Boss' second codename, The Joy, comes from.
** The Beauty and the Beast Unit combines the emotion of a Cobra with a FOXHOUND operative's animal.
** The Peace Walker AI Weapons are based off different names of a butterfly's formation. In addition, Dr. Strangelove named the AIs after British Queens
** Lastly, the Winds of Destruction are named after powerful winds from their respective home countries.
* TitleDrop: Solidus Snake's terrorist group in [=MGS2=] are the Sons of Liberty, Snake's mission in ''[=MGS3=]'' is codenamed Operation Snake Eater, and Ocelot calls his master plan in ''[=MGS4=]'' the Guns of the Patriots. ''Metal Gear'' is first introduced this way in the first game. Also, ''Snake Eater'', despite not having an actual Metal Gear, introduces the man behind the original concept.
* {{Transplant}}: Very few people knew that Meryl Silverberg was originally from the Japan-only ''VisualNovel/{{Policenauts}}'', and a version of Metal Gear Mk. II from ''Snatcher'' appears in ''[=MGS4=]''. However, they are very different verisons of those characters. Versions of Jonathan and Ed appear in ''[=MGS4=]'' as well, and in Japanese are played by the same Policenauts actors, just like Meryl. Incidentally their actors happen to be Otacon and Psycho Mantis as well.
* TreacherousAdvisor: [[spoiler:Big Boss in the original ''VideoGame/MetalGear'', Liquid disguised as Master Miller in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (and technically Naomi and the entirety of the Pentagon in the same game), The Colonel/AI in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', The Boss in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' [[FakeDefector (kind of)]], General Wiseman in Metal Gear AC!D2.]]
* TryEverything: The codec frequencies, if you miss the hint.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Barring the Big Boss sections (which obviously take place in the past), the series tends to take place 4-8 years after the game's release and with appropriately advanced technology.
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: Since [=MGS3=], the games have been split into telling the stories of Solid Snake and Big Boss.
* UncleSamWantsYou: Not in any of the games themselves, but a promotional poster for GDC recruitment for Kojima Productions regarding the "Next" ''Metal Gear Solid'' game has Big Boss, a'la Uncle Sam, [[http://images.wikia.com/metalgear/images/9/9a/BBhire.png pointing at the viewer with the caption "BIGBOSS wants YOU! THE "NEXT" MGS"]]
* UnexpectedGameplayChange:
** The Shagohod chase in ''[=MGS3=]'' is an on-rails shooter.
** Escaping from South America in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' mixes ZombieApocalypse and turret gunplay, there's more on-rails shooter stuff with Big Mama again in Eastern Europe (albeit you're limited to one-handed firearms), and [[spoiler: mecha combat in Shadow Moses--REX versus RAY]].
*** And as if that wasn't enough, [[spoiler: the final battle with Ocelot]] is an arcade-style fighting game.
* UnusableEnemyEquipment: Though ''[=MGS2=]'' managed to partially subvert this by having one CODEC conversation that explained that the weapons had an ID system that recognized a specific person, it's odd though how they didn't explain this more directly.
** Finally averted in ''[=MGS4=]'' by Snake getting a "hack" into the system... as a result, weapon pickups are a notable part of gameplay, and in Screaming Mantis's case it's necessary to pick up her Mantis Doll to defeat her.
* UnwillingRoboticization: [[spoiler:Grey Fox and Raiden]] were turned into Cyborg Ninjas against their will.
* VariableMix: Quite stunningly good in this instance.
* TheVerse: The series frequently jumps between three protagonists; Solid Snake[[note]](Metal Gear 1&2; Metal Gear Solid 1&4)[[/note]], Big Boss[[note]]([=MGS3=], Portable Ops, Peace Walker & Ground Zeroes)[[/note]] or Raiden[[note]]([=MGS2=] & ''Rising'' series)[[/note]].
* VideoGamesAndFate: An underlying theme of many entries in the series, which is particularly pronounced in ''MGS'' and ''MGS2''.
* VideoGameCaringPotential: It's entirely possible (and [[OneHundredPercentCompletion encouraged]]) to beat Twin Snakes, 2 and 4 without killing a single enemy. 3 also falls into this, [[spoiler: as you are only required to kill a single enemy: The Boss]]. In fact, the fewer enemies you kill in 3, the easier time you will have with one of the miniboss fights.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Lots of [[http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=48 awful things you can do to guards]]... although in ''[=MGS4=]'', [[spoiler:touch a FROG the wrong way, and ''she'' will fight back.]]
** It gets worse in ''Metal Gear AC!D2.'' Setting them on fire, throwing them off trains or into the path of trains, dropping things on them.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: The Sorrow's boss fight, in a nutshell. Downplayed in that it just prolongs the "battle".
* VideoGameRemake: ''The Twin Snakes'' and ''The Naked Sample''.
* ViewersAreGeniuses
* VodkaDrunkenski: Several of the San Hieronymo Soviet personnel, Colonel Skowronski, and Granin were shown drinking vodka a lot, and they are also all Russian (obviously). Unlike most examples of the trope however, their reasons were completely justified, due to certain incidents that were depressing or angering enough for them to require getting themselves drunk.
* VoiceWithAnInternetConnection: The Codec. Probably a fourth wall breach, although it is also implied a few instances that the Codec does have people observing what is going on.
* WarpWhistle: In a few of the games, the cardboard boxes can be used to be transported to different areas.
* TheWarSequence: Raiden fights up to twenty mass-produced Metal Gears in ''[=MGS2=]'', and several Gekkos in ''[=MGS4=]''.
* WarriorHeaven: Big Boss and Liquid Snake try to make this ideal ''on Earth'' by making the world into "Outer Heaven," a world where warriors will ''always'' be needed, honored and respected, although [[spoiler:in ''[=MGS4=]'', it appears that Big Boss' motive may have been to create a world free from the Patriots... that was certainly why Liquid Ocelot claimed to have had Outer Haven, at least]].
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Major Zero, Big Boss, Ocelot, and Solidus Snake.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: You can get a lot of reactions like this if you screw around too much.
** '''Otacon''': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0SPEJGoa54 "Snake, what did you just do? Have you lost your mind?!"]]
* WhereIWasBornAndRazed: Psycho Mantis and all of the B&B Corps.
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: With the exception of ''VideoGame/MetalGear'', it's largely averted in the canonical installments, where they not only cite specifically where the location setting(s) is/are, they even show a map or other evidences to hint where it is located.
* WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell: Kicks off the ''[=MGS=]'' games, save for ''Snake Eater'' and its [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps direct]] [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker sequels]], which took place during the ColdWar.
* WithThisHerring: Justified as weapons and equipment being [=OSP=], On-Site Procured. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', we learn that Big Boss' original codename, Naked Snake, is taken in part from this.
** In a neat twist on previous games' weapons progression, the first weapon pickup in ''[=MGS4=]'' is the [[spoiler:AK-102 assault rifle]] found right next to Old Snake after one of the first cutscenes, and it's the [[spoiler:Mk.II suppressed tranquilizer pistol and suppressable lethal Operator pistol]] which are received next, instead of the other way around as in the past. It's markedly inferior though to the M4 Custom which you pick up not long after [[spoiler:the pistols]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' averts this by giving the player an M16, a [[StunGuns tranquiliser pistol]] and some grenades to start with. ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain Ground Zeroes]]'' [[ZigZaggedTrope zigzags]] this depending on whether you play a mission on Normal or Hard; Normal gives the player a rifle and a tranquiliser pistol and Hard gives the player only the tranq pistol with less ammo.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: One of the plans for Metal Gear Solid 5 involved playing a game that featured The Boss storming Normandy. It was put on hold due to the inexperience of the new blood at Kojima Productions, which also resulted in Rising/Revengeance.
* [[WMG/MetalGear Wild Mass Guessing]]: Worth mentioning because some of the WMG theories are ''less'' crazy than what's canon.
* WarIsHell: Largely no one is really proud of what they are doing, and only the real baddies don't suffer a lot because of it or have any real joy in what they do. ''Metal Gear'''s use of this trope is one of the most well-known uses of it in all of video games.
* WhenItAllBegan: Although it's not really apparent until the end of the series, everything that happens in the Metal Gear universe has its roots in [[spoiler: August 1964, the Virtuous Mission which sparked Operation Snake Eater and led to the creation of the Patriots]].
** Those are only the deepest roots of the main conflict. Some pieces of the puzzle go back to the turn of the 20th century, when the Philosophers were founded.
* WhiteShirtOfDeath:
** The most dramatic death scene in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' takes place in a snow storm, where the poor victim is wearing a white camouflage uniform.
** The most dramatic death scene in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' takes place in a field of white flowers, where the victim is wearing a [[spoiler:silver and white sneaking suit]].
* WorldOfBadass
* WorldOfHam: And how!
* YoungestChildWins: Inverted, the only one of the Les Enfants Terribles children who has anything close to a happy ending is Solid Snake, who was born before Solidus.
[[/folder]]
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[[GameOverMan Snake! What happened? Snake?]] ''[[SayMyName SNAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!]]''
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