[[WMG: All of Metal Gear Solid 2 is a V.R. simulation. Metal Gear Solid 1 the Twin Snakes may also be, or may not be reliable as an information source to the player. (Context from only the first and second games.) ]]
Metal Gear Solid 2 was entirely V.R. This includes the Tanker mission at the start. Let's start from the beginning.
* You land on the ship and play as Snake. Kojima used this bit and the advertisements outside the game to make you think you were going to play only as Snake. And then, he took that away, but from the stories' perspective, it's because the simulation doesn't entirely know what happened to Snake in the tanker chapter. They know what kind of tanker it was, so they plotted his likely path, but when the tanker detonated, the simulation took the only likely explanation that Snake bought the farm there. Raiden played this simulation, as you did. In fact, you were controlling Raiden controlling Sim-Snake. Raiden is supposed to be the player analogue after all.
* Then, you (and Raiden) are sent on your seeming first real mission so far. (This would be the first long mission you were sent on in this game.) Raiden comments on having done three hundred V.R. missions, including Shadow Moses. What if Kojima has been training the player/Raiden longer than we know? How are we to know whether or not we are ever given the truth? There is a theory farther down that states that Twin Snakes is the V.R. simulation, especially with the new crazier things (e.g. jumping over a missile). Maybe that's what Raiden saw during his mission. After all, Raiden never witnessed the real events. So Raiden begins his mission in the Plant, but he doesn't know that the Plant is either a giant V.R. station or a real station that is being influenced by the nanomachines in his body. I am partial to the first, as according to mission control, Snake is not supposed to be in the simulation and should not be trusted. I think he can be trusted, but not for events taking place outside of his philosophical rants or memories. His reality is being just as subjective as Raiden's. He says he has infinite ammo, but that obviously can't be true. Assuming he is not another V.R. illusion, he merely brought plenty of equipment and figured he had brought enough for them to share. But the V.R. simulation may actually have made his proclamation real. The simulation needed to stay consistent, and when he said he had infinite, it gave him infinite, at least for the next battle. Snake was probably being fooled by the station into thinking he was fighting all those soldiers just like Raiden was, and that he had continued to have enough extra equipment for Raiden to share with him. For that matter, they may have never been firing weapons of any kind at all at that point, it's nearly impossible to tell. Snake also said that the Tanker simulation Raiden took place in probably wasn't accurate to the real events, as shown by his surviving. Either the simulation didn't know what happened to Snake or was deliberately censored, it's hard to tell. The Patriots have a want to censor and control information, but it's unknown if they know know exactly what happened.
** In any case, Raiden/the player never could bounce bullets with a sword, didn't destroy 25 Metal Gears, and never went to Manhattan. But the player/Raiden were trained to think they could and did, as part of a military V.R. simulation. Raiden never left the Big Shell. He passed out, woke up in "Manhattan", met "Rose", and then the game ends on a note of confusion for Raiden and most likely the player, leaving you wondering who Raiden is and what exactly he did, if he and you did anything at all. To sum it up, you did not. It was just more training, but it's up to the player and Raiden to decide if there was any merit in it to learn from. As for Snake showing up in the end, well, in that form, it's hard to say. He may have shown up in an attempt to free Raiden, or he may have been a V.R. illusion or a hallucination, it's difficult to tell.
* You don't even have to go so far as to say that only The Twin Snakes was a V.R. mission. [=MGS1=] being a V.R. mission explains why Meryl is alive in [=MGS4=] even though you may have let her die in the ending you saw. As the player, you get your choice of endings because you are a soldier being trained in the Shadow Moses V.R. mission. The ending where you save Meryl is what really happened. The other is a mission failure but perhaps something the Patriots want in a soldier for some reason (Haven't thought it out enough to figure out why they'd want you to give up under torture.)

So, essentially, Kojima has been training Raiden/the Player since the first game's remake through the entire second game, Both were V.R. missions since Raiden never saw the original missions with Snake in them. The V.R. mission had Snake in the game, but his reality was just as skewed as Raiden's, assuming he wasn't just another part of the simulation.

[[WMG: Alternative: VideoGame/MetalGearSolid is real, but ''The Twin Snakes'' and the V.R. missions are Raiden's "Force XXI" V.R. training.]]

* Twin Snakes clues us in with that random shooting mission target in the Metal Gear hangar. The random acrobatic bullshit they added to the cutscenes is for additional difficulty in training Raiden, which is one half of how he got the skills to be a BadAss cyborg ninja in Metal Gear Solid 4.
* V.R. missions, when completed, gives you a picture of RAY. Raiden had to complete all of the missions as part of his mission preparation. The picture was a part of his briefing, to know the Metal Gear he was supposed to be on the lookout for. Completing the Ninja missions explains how he was so quickly able to get used to the sword in Metal Gear Solid 2, and the other half of how he became the ninja in Metal Gear Solid 4.

[[WMG:The whole ending of ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' was just Raiden having a major psychotic break.]]
Raiden's dressed in a jet-black rubber gimp suit, and the ex-President of the United States is lying on a plinth in a powered suit, dead. And yet, people just keep walking on by. Rose appears and the people ''just walk on''. Vamp appears and the people ''just walk on''. Snake comes out of absolutely nowhere to share philosophical platitudes and then disappears back into nothingness, and Raiden throws a dog tag with ''the player's name on it'' into the gutter and ''just carries on''. Not to mention all the other loony stuff. Therefore, it didn't really happen, Raiden was [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion pulling a Shinji]], and god knows what really happened to Dead Cell and Snake. They were lucky they didn't end up in a fantasy dream high school of Raiden's imagining, to be honest. That would be even more terrifying.
* Not to mention that Arsenal Gear just ''crashed into New York''. Those people in the street don't seem to notice at all. Several cops gathered around it wondering what was going on, but they seemed more focused the corpse of the aforementioned ex-President than the big metal internet-controlling submarine just a few feet away. If you look *real* closely some people seem to be glancing at Arsenal Gear as well.
** Can anyone say, "[[Series/DoctorWho perception filter]]"?


[[WMG:Arsenal Gear is the TV Tropes Wiki server.]]
As already established, the whole ending of MGS 2 happened only in Raiden's head. That means Arsenal Gear was not destroyed, and must still be active today. But the continuated existence of 4chan, for example, clearly indicates that it is not controlling the Internet as it was supposed to do. On the other hand, you have this wiki here, with it's unstoppable power to ensnare new tropers, that will someday become Suzumiya Haruhi, it just cannot simply be stored on some server in Seattle. So, obviously, Arsenal Gear was really created to be the TV Tropes wiki server, and its Internet Control function was only a cover.
* On the contrary, 4chan was created by the Patriots to serve as a testbed for memetic soldier programming techniques, and continues to exist because Arsenal Gear periodically seeds it with CP so that they can V& everyone involved in the event that the project outlives its usefulness.
** TheGreatCrash was the result of Raiden crashing Arsenal Gear into New York ''in the future''.
*** Therefore, the admins need scissors. 61.
**** But I gave you scissors YESTERDAY.
***** TIME PARADOX

[[WMG:The Patriots and the Sons of Liberty are the heroes, Raiden and his allies are the villains]]
Current internet forums are the small gated communities Arsenal Gear wanted to destroy. Websites like TVTropes, 4Chan, Reddit, Tumblr and practically any big forum created their own board-cultures with their own ideas of how the world should work and doublespeak for even the most insignificant words. When the general society or outsiders to these websites were confronted with said ideas they dismissed them at first but nowadays society welcomes all of these ideas, as incompatible as they are, resulting in conflict between members of the different communities that then try to decry each other by claiming the others are politically incorrect for not being accepting of their ideas. This entire situation already halts progress by yet again forcing society to re-establish what is humanely or proper behavior.

The Patriots just wanted to ensure that humanity could move forward in at least some way as otherwise the population will just devise new "problems that need to be solved" that are actually just mindless dribble that sidetracks discussion of real and important matters. The Patriots just went too far when they started trying to assign peoples personalities and lives with the research of the S3 plan.

Solidus and the Sons of Liberty wanted to reject the digital age altogether by alarming the world of the Patriots´ plans of complete control. They wanted to create Outer Haven in the place of New York as a refuge for people that want to flee a stagnating world or a world without choice.

Raiden in the end just enabled the world of Metal Gear to be as ours is today. People are left occupied with trivial problems and trying to tackle things that are impossible to solve in the name of justice when it will just serve to either halt real cultural progress or destroy our world and possibilities at a faster rate.


[[WMG:Ocelot is channeling Liquid's spirit through his arm]]
Probably quite obvious and the most logical explanation they could use, Ocelot is obviously the son of the Boss and the Sorrow (Kojima himself confirmed this). The Sorrow was known for being able to channel and communicate with the spirits of the dead as a medium, so it would make sense that this natural ability would be passed on to Ocelot himself. Now that Liquid Snake's arm is grafted to him, he is using it as a conductor of sorts in order to subconsciously channel Liquid's spirit.
* It really says something about the series that this is, in fact, perfectly obvious.
* And it's also [[spoiler:WRONG! Nothing more than a RedHerring. He's actually faking it because he's actually against the Patriots.]]
** [[spoiler:But maybe not entirely. I wonder if he did actually absorb Liquid's spirit, but only as a method to improve his acting. The Sorrow was similar, he absorbed the outward personality and skills of his targets but his motives and beliefs remained the same (Otherwise he would turn on the rest of the Cobra Unit the moment he used his powers). It would explain a couple of plot holes, and hardly be inconsistent with what we already know.]]
** [[spoiler: Turns out that he used to be possessed in Metal Gear Solid 2, but got a cybernetic replacement between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4, but kept up the illusion of it in order to get his LongCon to work.]]
*** [[spoiler: If he were possessed by Liquid, then why would Liquid allow him to remove the arm?]]
**** [[spoiler:Because Liquid was taking his orders from The Boss and The Sorrow the whole time?]]
**** [[spoiler: Liquid was only really able to physically channel when Snake is around. Thus, the arm could probably be removed at any time in between [=MGS2=] and [=MGS4=].]]
** [[spoiler: This troper believes that while most of the time Ocelot ''was'' acting, whenever Snake was present, Liquid's spirit would forcibly channel itself through Ocelot's latent abilities as a medium, taking control for the duration, and then giving Ocelot his body back once Snake was gone. Or, fleeing once Snake had beaten Ocelot's body to a bloody pulp, as it seems Ocelot was himself after [=MGS4=]'s final battle.]]
*** [[spoiler: Still wrong. Big Boss says there's no way this can happen.]]
**** That's hardly reliable. Ocelot himself says in ''Sons of Liberty,'' "There's no such thing as miracles or the supernatural, only cutting edge technology." He's clearly come up with some sort of silly, "plausible" explanation for how ''Psycho Mantis,'' who he ''served with for years,'' worked. Oh, and The Sorrow. Also, I don't think you're remembering what Big Boss said correctly; he was explaining that it was impossible for someone to ''perfectly impersonate'' someone to an absolute T, but possible to put on a reasonable facade that would fool people using hypnosis and nanomachines. And why ''would'' Big Boss discredit the supernatural, anyway? He ''did'' meet The Sorrow, after all. Really, there's absolutely no reason to disbelieve that [[spoiler: Liquid could, through tremendous will, usually motivated when Snake was around, possess Ocelot through his own arm,]] only for Ocelot to [[spoiler: remove it during a period when Liquid didn't have control so he could pretend it was still going on as a way of furthering his plans.]]


[[WMG: Raiden is an AlternateUniverse clone of [[YouSuck Shinji Ikari]]]]
You have to admit it makes sense. Especially since the ending of NGE and the ending of [=MGS2=] are very, VERY similar, and not just because they're both really weird. Explained more thoroughly [[http://users.livejournal.com/_dahne_/104748.html here]].
* By extension, the Patriots are American Main/BizarroUniverse-SEELE.

[[WMG: There is no "Patriots Wisemen's Committee"]]
The whole organization is simply a headless network of assassins, politicians, and bureaucrats, all of whom ''think'' they're reporting to a higher power, but are really just running on sick inertia. The "Wisemen's Committee" really did all die about a hundred years ago; in effect, the "meme" of the original Wisemen's ideals ''is'' running the organization, but it's not sapient or anything weird like that. Just a bit mutated, and propagated by the people who ''think'' they're working for them.
* Alternate theory: ''Ocelot is the leader of the Patriots''. He seems to be the one everyone else gets their orders from, and yet, we never see him taking any from the Patriots. He wields authority by ''claiming'' he's under orders from the Wisemen's committee and relaying those orders (or through his Main/FakeDefector routine, which is what we usually see him in the middle of. Liquid, Gurlukovich, Solidus...they all had the man they wanted nothing but to kill working directly under them). Presumably, Ocelot [[Main/YouKillItYouBoughtIt shot his way up through the ranks]] sometime in the 70's.
* These theories made by someone who has not played [=MGS4=] and is not going to be reading any spoilers about it for a while, for reference.
* Turns out that this is [[spoiler:true; the Wisemen's Committee (whose last member actually died after World War II) had nothing to do with the Patriots, and in a way the Patriots -- or rather, the [=AIs=] that succeeded the original Patriots -- kept much of the world unaware of their existence, as well as of the fact that they're [=AIs=]... who ''did'' mutate, hence the "War economy"]].


[[WMG: The Big Shell incident was an actual training exercise run by Dead Cell for the SEALS, gone horribly, horribly, wrong...]]
What was Dead Cell's stated purpose? To run terrorist attacks to provide training for the US armed forces. Suddenly, FOXHOUND [[spoiler: (rather, the Patriot simulacrum thereof)]] has to jump in, and the whole thing goes south.
* Explains why everything was so weird right at the end; the remaining members of training exercise were just adlibbing madly.
Conversely, it was a training exercise and everyone but Raiden (or FOXHOUND as a whole) knew about it.

[[WMG: The Big Shell incident was a routine training exercise run by Dead Cell for Raiden.]]
Would explain why he starts out with a 'silent tranquilizer gun' (it's a MILES gun), and why all weapons procurement is on site (those are MILES guns too).
* And Dead Cell was bored and felt like messing with the FNG. Explains why you have all those weird fetch quests for the cards at the beginning, rather than being supplied at the start. Had they not been drinking (well, Fat Man was definitely boozing), they might have progressed to telling him he needed to mix elbow grease and headlight fluid to pour on the golden rivet to disable Arsenal Gear. As it was, they downed a few too many brewskis and went with the crazy superpowers and Presidents and robot conspiracies angle.
** Fat Man and the bombs? All the ones going off were only heard about.
** Vamp? Squibs.
** Fortune? MILES.
** Colonel Campbell? Someone spilled beer on the CODEC communicator. Possibly at the same time as someone else was playing a high-stakes game of...damn, whatever that dangerous game with the scissors was called.
*** Swiss Variation [[TheSimpsons Knifey-Spoony]]?
** The President? Played by William Hurt.

[[WMG: Solidus Snake was originally going to be called "Gaseous Snake."]]
It would have fit with his alias ('''G'''eorge '''S'''ears) and the Main/ThemeTwinNaming too well to pass up.
* "Solidus" fits better, though. He's supposed to be a balance between Solid and Liquid, and "solidus" is the highest temperature that a substance can be at and still be defined as "solid", so the name "Solidus" reflects his in-between state.


[[WMG: Rose was impregnated with Yet Another Clone of Big Boss (or Solid Snake) without her knowledge or consent.]]
The Patriots have had multiple opportunities to harvest cells from Solid, Liquid, or Solidus (or even Big Boss himself, since [=MGS4=] retconned it so that the Patriots have kept Big Boss in stasis since his first death). They didn't tell Rose because they were worried that she would break cover over guilt that she's not carrying Raiden's child. (Of course, they didn't count on her breaking cover because she [[BecomingTheMask genuinely fell in love with Raiden]], and believing that she was pregnant by him didn't help.) Or this was part of a massive GambitRoulette in which they could somehow use this new clone!baby to their advantage should the whole "turn Raiden into the next Snake via memes" thing didn't work out.

Still, Raiden more or less worships the ground Solid Snake walks on, so even should he ever find out, he wouldn't mind playing surrogate Dad. And he'd get to mentor a Snake, how cool is that?

(Extending this WMG, the Snake in ''Metal Gear Acid'' is a clone of Solid Snake raised by Rose and Raiden.)
* There are a few problems with that theory. First, the events of Metal Gear Solids one and two showed that the Patriots didn't particularly want to make more clones and were looking at alternate methods of creating super soldiers. Second, given that [=MGS2=] specifically proved that genes were less important than memes, it would be thematically inappropriate for them to give Rose a Big Boss clone. Finally, did you see the family resemblance on that kid? If he's a clone of anybody, it's Raiden. Actually, isn't blond hair supposed to be a recessive trait...?
** This is assuming that the pregnancy began before they kicked off the "genes verses memes" plan. Maybe the Secret Clone thing is Plan B. Plus, the kid is arguably albino, and we know of at least one other famous [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion albino clone]]...
** Or maybe one of his parents are albino. You know, like Raiden?

[[WMG: Rosemary actually exists, but played no part in the Plant chapter whatsoever.]]
Metal Gear Solid 4 has already confirmed that Rosemary is not a figment of Raiden's imagination, but she and Campbell also know about the Big Shell incident. In the Plant chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2, the Patriots only tell Raiden they have Rosemary ''after'' GW became infected by Emma's virus; it is rather abrupt and without the subtle manipulation that the Patriots possessed without the virus.

* [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker Peace Walker]] revealed that the ability to compile convincing AI facsimiles of people as a non-continuous form of BrainUploading had existed since at least the 1970s. The technology was originally developed by Strangelove to revive [[spoiler:The Boss]] as the basis for titular mech's Mammal Pod, and the persona was compiled through feeding a superintelligent AI troves of documents relating to the individual in question in an effort to reconstruct their memory. They are - quite literally - sentient memes.


This Troper's theory goes something something like this:

* Rosemary knows that Raiden is joining the army but she doesn't know what for. Before Raiden is sent off on the Big Shell, they have farewell sex, resulting in Rose's pregnancy. The Patriots wire Raiden's house and base their AI depiction of Rosemary off of the very emotional post-coital Rosemary, exaggerating all of her traits to the point of absurdity. This exaggeration is why Raiden is so uncomfortable around the AI Rosemary.
* In [=MGS2=]'s denouement, Raiden makes no mention of the Big Shell incident to the real Rose, and keeps it hidden deep within him as a dark secret. The torment of having to bottle his emotions inside him, Rosemary's confused but ultimately calm complexion when the two finally meet up in the game's finale. Raiden hits the bottle and his condition deteriorates, becoming abusive but still never telling Rosemary what happened to him for fear of scaring her.
* Colonel Campbell, acting as a U.N. ambassador, tracks down Raiden as part of his investigation into Liquid Ocelot's war crimes, sometime after Arsenal crashes into Manhattan. Raiden is finally forced to confess his involvement in the Big Shell incident, and the pain of doing so leads him to leave Rose and his son, becoming a cyborg ninja. Campbell and Rosemary finally realize the danger Raiden's son is in and, trying to protect him, fake their marriage.

[[WMG: The ending of [=MGS2=] is all a dream (with a twist)]]
The twist being when it became a dream. Prior to the Shell 2 Core everything was real, but then something happened that caused Raiden to begin dreaming. What was the event that caused this? It was when the president grabbed Raiden's balls. The ball grab was a secret technique taught to each president and the secret service that knocks out anyone. Raiden passed out instantly and began dreaming that everything after that happened (due to a drug secretly injected into him before the mission). In reality Raiden was transported out of the Big Shell. As always, this was The Patriots' doing.

[[WMG: The "message" behind VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty is not meant for the player]]
Enter Kojima Hideo's name and personal info into the dog tag rather than your own, and the end where Raiden throws it away takes on a whole new meaning. He's not freeing himself from the player's control and chastising them, ''he's shrugging off the influence of his creator''. No longer is he a pawn forced down a road, part of a game designed by a contemptuous higher being, he's his own man; no one programs him or sets out a path for him to follow. Raiden is truly liberated.
** Except for the fact that he deludes himself into believing that Rose, and everything going on around him, is real. In that way, the Patriots, and Kojima, still win.

[[WMG: Solid Snake died in the Tanker chapter, Raiden is in a {{Lotus Eater Machine}} created by the Patriots, and Rosemary never existed.]]
Solid Snake was killed in the explosion at the end of the Tanker Chapter, so the Patriots decided to mold Raiden in the form of the new Snake. The entire events of Big Shell were scripted and the Patriots did intend to inform Raiden he was in a simulation. They placed Snake in the simulation to see if Raiden was complete with his training. The game ends on a total failure as Raiden was not ready so Solid Snake disappeared and Rosemary shows up just to taunt him with more confusion.
[[WMG: The Sons of Liberty are an Alternate History Tea Party.]]
I, the Great Kra'ul Sheykhon, am aware that the Metal Gear Franchise must take place in an Alternate History, what with the inclusion of Real Historical Figures like Lyndon B. Johnson & Nikita Krushchev in Metal Gear Solid 3, & inturn I have concluded that the Sons of Liberty are this Timeline's Tea Party, based upon these details:
1. The SoL are a Small but Vocal group that draw upon Patriotic Imagery & Symbolism.
2. The SoL tried to hold the Government Hostage(in a more Literal sense than the Tea Party's attempt).
3. The SoL threatened the Global Economy (with the EMP pulse of an Atmospheric Nuclear Detonation over Wall Street) while the Tea Party threatened the Global Economy by almost allowing the U.S. Government to Default on its Debts.
4. Both the TP & the SoL ended up helping their Enemies, the Tea Party did so by making themselves & the GOP look bad & by surrendering to Obama, thus allowing him to look like a Strong Leader, while the entire Plot of the Sons of Liberty was Planned out by the Patriots.
In light of these details, I think Hideo Kojima must either be:
1. A Prophet who covertly warned us about the Government Shutdown.
or 2. A member of the Real World Patriots.

[[WMG: Stillman's 'greatest failure' was in Romania.]]
Mostly because I tend to connect things via really tenuous connections and because I can't remember if Stillman said ''when'' the bomb he failed to disarm at a church was. Is it possible, maybe, that that particular church was in Romania, specifically at the church where Vamp almost died as a child?

[[WMG:[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin This!]] [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Is!]] [[TrueArt Art!]] [[EvilLaugh Mmm ha ha ha ha!]]]]
You know how on this wiki, there's a RunningGag of describ
ing this game's MindScrew nature and ending with the word "Maybe" potholed to the latter trope? Maybe that was intentional. [[YouJustHadToSayIt Maybe.]]

[[WMG: The Patriots are heartless self-serving bastards]]
What they were like when they were first created, we don't know, but by this point, they are all about themselves. They claim to have humanity's best interests at heart, but these are the same egomaniacs who taunt Raiden about how much they manipulated him just to make him feel insignificant, and they spend billions of dollars are Big Shell, which was just a cover up for Arsenal Gear, which was part of a needlessly dangerous GambitRoulette that killed hundreds, possibly thousands of people, just to test how well they could manipulate people's emotions. Even if they believe their claims, they're lying to themselves about their intent.
* As mentioned on the fridge page, they also intentionally designed the Big Shell to be too far to swim from and not have any life boats meaning they intended for the hostages to die when Aresneal rose. Killing those thirty people wasn't beneficial to them in the slightest and given the fact that humans had to build the thing, it was probably more bothersome to build the thing without life boats. There was literally no reason to kill the hostages yet they did just for the sake of it.

[[WMG: Arsenal onwards is a massive partial hallucination brought on by the nanomachines in Raidens blood being corrupted though Emma's virus.]]
One of the major themes of MGS2 is the sense of "self". Our identities, ideals, principles and flaws. The last %10 of the game, Arsenal Gear, demonstrates what happens when a persons "self" is manipulated by someone. It's stated by Otacon that the Colonel/Rose A.I was partially created from feedback on Raidens own experiences and thoughts (which is why it's so good at ripping him a new one- he's effectively talking to the worst, most nihilistic part of himself). This means that the A.I can interact with Raiden directly, possibly altering his nanomachines. Considering the magic technology nanomachines are in this series, it's more than plausible for a person to alter nanomachines and affect the afflicted persons sense of reality. GW, the A.I that Raiden is speaking to most of the game runs the simulation of the Plant Chapter a number of times in order to prepare itself for the real thing. To it, the entirety of Big Shell is just another huge simulation. When Emma uploads the virus and destroys Arsenals mainframe, it begins to go haywire. The simulation memories and the real version of the Plant begin to merge together in it's mind, and the world- to it- takes on the appearance of VR. This begins to feedback into Raiden, who already had a very small grasp on reality in the first place. Raiden begins to hallucinate effects of VR- hexagons on the floor, floating symbols in the air. As he goes further and further into Arsenal Gear, Raiden begins to lose all control of his nanomachines, and the world blends together with the VR simulation, creating a kind of virtual world. Raiden fighting the Ray armada may or may not have actually happened, but if it did then it did not take place on the weird floating platform, but perhaps on top of Arsenal Gear itself (explaining how Raiden was suddenly there at the end of the fight). When GW crashes into Manhattan, Arsenal goes offline and Raiden is freed from the control of the nanomachines, restoring his sanity. The end of the game has Raiden, fully in control of his sanity, realise that he has full control over his own reality, and that he needs to shape it himself rather than following others. How existentialist, no?