Remember, Naked Snake/Big Boss debuted in the original Metal Gear, and tropes for him should go on that page. This is only for characters that debuted in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
This page lists characters who first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
For other characters in the franchise, see the Metal Gear character index at Characters.Metal Gear.
Characters that debuted in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater:
Naked Snake's Commanding Officer in FOX. Also known (briefly) as "Major Tom." A British man obsessed with James Bond and scones.
It is revealed in Metal Gear Solid 4 that he was the founder of the Patriots. As such, Zero is probably the closest thing to a main antagonist that the series has.
Adorkable: Obsesses over the silliest and most trivial of things, much like Naked Snake does.
Alas, Poor Villain: Possible in-universe example. At the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, Big Boss felt compassion and brotherly love for Zero shortly before killing him; tenderly hugging him in his death throes to ease the pain of his passing.
Audience Surrogate: Basically acts as this when calling Zero in two conversations regarding the Raikov mask/disguise. Specifically, he acted as the surrogate for the audience who disliked Raiden.
Bigger Bad: The founder of the Patriots and thus responsible for a great deal of the events of the series. He can't be considered the absolute Big Bad as his actions don't drive most of the plot (his network of AIs ran things instead) and he is never actually encountered either (until The Stinger in 4).
Dangerously Genre Savvy: In a series about espionage, the guy who's obsessed with James Bond movies turns out to be the most successful villain in the entire storyline, avoiding practically every common villain mistake. He's so good at his job that he manages to successfully Take Over the World without anyone even knowing he's done it, and he rules the world's governments unchallenged for around four decades. His Bond-like nemesis, Big Boss, couldn't punish him for his sins until he's a wheelchair-bound vegetable.
Dead Guy Junior: His real name is listed as David Oh, suggesting that Solid Snake was named after him.
The Dog Was the Mastermind: Metal Gear Solid 4 reveals that he founded and ran the Patriots, even while on life support. Peace Walker and the other games that take place before The Twin Snakes on foreshadow this, though.
My Hero Zero: Zero momentarily changed his handle to "Tom", thus dooming the Virtuous Mission. The irony did not escape him; he switches it back for Operation Snake Eater. Subverted in later games, when Zero becomes obsessed with control.
Noodle Incident: When calling Sigint about the Active Sonar, Sigint will remark that Zero must have lived in the Stone Age, and that he bought a brand new washing machine, but Zero cuts him off. It is never revealed what exactly happened.
The CIA's tech specialist. Sigint developed most of Naked Snake's on hand equipment and is the one Snake talks to about said equipment.
Sigint would later join DARPA under his real name (Donald Anderson) and help develop Metal Gear REX. He is kidnapped during the Shadow Moses Incident and Solid Snake has to rescue him. He is killed by the FOXDIE virus, but not before revealing that FOXHOUND cannot activate REX. Snake later learns that the real Anderson was killed before he even got to Shadow Moses, and the Anderson that he had talked to was Decoy Octopus.
It also revealed that he was a founder of the Patriots.
Subverted in the overall chronology. He was actually the second of the Patriot founders (particularly those still loyal to Zero) to die, the first being Dr. Clark, a.k.a. Para-Medic, who is white.
Breakout Character: In the Secret Theatre clip Metal Gear S... from Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, Sigint ends up stealing scenes from Naked Snake, right to the punch, in fact.
Captain Obvious: When the player calls Sigint, he comments on the weapon they have equipped, the item, or the camouflage they are wearing, and some of them are so obvious it's just plain stupid. Here's one:
You're wearing the snow face paint. Snow face paint was originally invented for arctic operations. If you want to use it efficiently, wear it in a snowy environment.
Hypocritical Humor: He often complains about being the only normal person within the FOX Unit, but has some of his own quirks.
Irony: Shortly after Snake gets a nightmare after Para-Medic tells him about Dracula, Sigint tells him about the worst dream he's had, which bore various similarities to Metal Gear, and then asks Snake not to let his dream come true. Snake ends up not being able to keep his promise later in life. Bonus points come in when Metal Gear Solid 4 reveals that Sigint was actually Donald Anderson, the one who had REX developed in exchange for bribe money, meaning he didn't even allow himself to prevent his nightmare from coming true, and if we go by Peace Walker, he apparently had a hand in developing the AI Weapons, meaning he made his nightmare come true even before Snake did.
Mad Scientist: Has shades of this. Namely, he developed a mask of which what he views as his proudest achievement is that it was the first mask that could blink, and it was referred to as a crackpot a few times.
Another member of Naked Snake's mission control who gives Snake information on the edible flora and fauna in the Russian forests, as well as medical advice. She's also quite the movie buff, telling Snake about all kinds of popular movies from the time.
Metal Gear Solid 4 revealed that she, like the rest of FOX, went on to found the Patriots and was also the scientist behind the Les Enfants Terribles project as well as the sequencing of the soldier genes. She meets her end at the hands of Gray Fox.
Arc Welding: She wasn't intended to be "Dr. Clark" until Metal Gear Solid 4 revealed she was.
For Science!: Actually admits that while she can't condone things like cloning on moral grounds, she is fascinated by the possibilities. Guess what happens later on?
The Ghost: She (technically he, given the information at the time) didn't actually appear on-screen until Metal Gear Solid 3, but was given a few mentions in Metal Gear Solid as the one responsible for the creation of the gene therapy as well as the creation of the Genome Soldiers.
The Heart: Served this role in Metal Gear Solid 3.
Karmic Death: Killed by the man she used as a guinea pig for genetic research.
Large Ham: According to the novelization for Metal Gear Solid(which also acted as the first clue to Dr. Clark actually being a woman), she pretty much became this (it mentioned she acted Shakespearean in the first chapter taking place during Solid and Liquid Snake's birth).
Naked Snake's mentor and a war hero who led the Cobra Unit, a multinational team of elite Supernatural Warriors who practically wonWorld War II for the Allies. During the events of Metal Gear Solid 3, she apparently defects to the Soviet Union with her fellow Cobras, and Snake is assigned the mission of assassinating her.
Absolute Cleavage: The Boss unzips her sneaking suit for her final bout with Snake, revealing the jagged scar on her chest.
Anti-Villain: Type IV. Though nominally poised as a major baddie, she was only an enemy because the U.S. Government essentially screwed her over after her fake defectionbackfired due to Volgin and presumably the CIA's influence. It's also worth pointing out that, despite the many clashing personalities and agendas in Snake Eater, she's the only person that everyone respects. (In Volgin's case it's more due to fear, but considering that he's Ax-Crazy, that's still saying something.)
Cry Cute: Well, not exactly "cute"; she's too dignified for that. But any doubt to her being a fundamentally good person should disappear at the end.
Death Faked for You: Twice, to two different people, as a matter of fact. The first was in the Virtuous Mission, where she had thrown Snake over a bridge nearing the end of the mission, knowing full well that Snake would in fact survive the fall. The second time was prior to Sokolov and Snake's torture at the hands of Volgin, where she apparently supplied him with a fake death pill.
Heroic Sacrifice: After it became apparent that an unexpected occurrence (Volgin bombing the Sokolov Design Bureau) will force her to have to give up her life at the hands of her disciple, she willingly does so to prevent World War III. Subverted in later games where it turns out that, although she did still intend to prevent nuclear war, her death was actually intended from the very beginning.
Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Her combat uniform is white in a game largely designed with camouflage in mind, which makes her stick out like a sore thumb among the pitch black jungles of Russia. It is, however, very effective to the point where infrared goggles are recommended when you fight her in her final battle, set in a field of white flowers.
Honor Before Reason: Even before her death in Operation Snake Eater, it's revealed that she put up with years of abuse and exploitation at the hands of the U.S. government; she was simply that loyal to her country.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: Naked Snake must be the one to kill her; otherwise, the USSR will have no one else but the United States to blame for the nuke detonated within their territory.
Image Song: Snake Eater could be considered one, foreshadowing her motivations for going on what was basically a suicide mission.
Mama Bear: It was established that she and The Sorrow ended up fighting each other and she ended up killing him in 1962 at Tselinoyarsk, and the only "visual" aspect (a flashback from The Sorrow's memories) implies that The Boss killed him unwillingly. Peace Walker elaborates on the exact circumstances as to why she and The Sorrow fought: basically, the American and Russian Philosophers forced them to fight each other (in a manner that is eerily similar to Raiden and Solidus's fight in Metal Gear Solid 2) with the threat that if both survived the fight, they would murder The Sorrow and The Boss's child, Revolver Ocelot.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Boss's intention of getting the Philosophers' Legacy for America was to reunite the warring factions of the Philosophers and make it as it once was, an organization to revert the brutal aspects of warfare. Unfortunately, she not only forgot to specify that it was to stop war, but when it got to the United States, and the Patriots were founded, it arguably made the feuding even worse.
Also earlier. The CIA offered to take over mission control of the mission to exploit some Russian Philosophers who were dissatisfied with Moscow into sabotaging various Soviet projects (with the not to subtle reason of wanting to take the credit). The Boss let them do so. Afterwards, they cut the sleeper agent The Boss planted in there's pay by a large percentage, resulting in him defecting completely to the Soviet Union, and then falsifying several documents. The Boss got suspicious and decided to go in alone after the CIA refused to back her up. In other words, she really should have continued being directly involved in the operation a bit longer rather than let the CIA take over.
Posthumous Character: Even after her death, she casts a long shadow over the franchise, and arguably counts as the Big Good in that everything that happened (everything Big Boss and the Patriots did) was an attempt to live up to her legacy.
Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains: Unquestionably a Type IV. The only reason you fight her is because she's wrongfully branded a traitor, and revealing the truth would only compromise her mission.
Suicide by Cop: Essentially, she knows she has to die and wishes for Naked Snake to be the one to kill her.
Super Strength: She certainly had enough strength to carry the container with two Davy Crockett warheads and the container with the launcher, which had a combined weight of 300 kg (700 lbs), and presumably use it by hand.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Olga Gurlukovich, who was forced to lead her own men into slaughter by the Patriots, who were holding her child ransom. Adamska (a.k.a. Ocelot) was used as leverage to pit his parents against one another.
Training from Hell: It's implied that this was her method of training Naked Snake in Snake Eater. The Boss told Volgin that his methods of torturing Snake for information are fruitless, as he was trained by her to not break under torture. Now, take note of the fact that he was delivering electric shocks at Naked Snake that were heavily implied to be within the ten million volt range ("This is where the fun really begins! My body carries an electric charge of ten million volts! Let's see how you like this!") at the time she told him, so the mere fact that that wasn't enough to even break Snake due to The Boss's training speaks for itself.
Vasquez Always Dies: She's not exactly butch, but is considerably more experienced and less fanservicey than EVA, Metal Gear Solid 3's other Action Girl. Guess which one survives the game.
Wrote the Book: The Boss originated the very concept of a "stealth mission". It was originally a tool deployed for "snatch missions" during WWII, in which her unit needed to extract VIPs and hostages from a war zone without being spotted. The first stealth mission on record was Virtuous Mission — an inauspicious start.
An American spy, who defected to the USSR, sent to help Naked Snake during Operation Snake Eater. It turned out, however, that she was a disguised Chinese agent working to obtain the Philosophers' Legacy. She later joins the Patriots and serves as the surrogate mother for the "Les Enfants Terrible" project.
She also shows up again in Metal Gear Solid 4, this time with the code name "Big Mama".
A Mother to Her Men: All members of the Paradise Lost Army refer to her as "Mama", and she calls them her "children."
Blondes are Evil: EVA straddles the line, to be sure. Snake's Asian heritage, to say nothing of EVA's dietary preferences, would lead us to conclude EVA is Chinese, and thus a bottle blonde. She also wears heavy makeup and eyeliner to disguise her slanted eyes. However, previous games had alluded to Solid Snake being "part-Japanese", and she's still blonde in her sixties. Given the lack of information about her background and the inconsistencies of canon, it's impossible to discern from the game footage alone if she's full-blooded or part-Asian. Metal Gear Solid 4 would seem to suggest the latter.
But Not Too Foreign: She is a Chinese agent, but her birthplace is in Meridian, Idaho, which is in America. It's strongly implied in her message to Naked Snake in the ending that she was taken by the Philosophers at a very early age alongside other children across the world to be trained as a sleeper agent.
Genre Savvy: It is implied in a radio conversation with Sigint that the reason why Snake could shoot out the C3 on the rail bridge despite them being stable enough to not explode when shot is because EVA rigged them with detonators to activate its explosive properties when touched in case they were discovered so GRU would not be able to disarm them.
Lady Swears a Lot: See Precision F-Strike. Although most of the characters swear in the series, only two (one in the English version) actually went as serious as dropping the F-bomb.
Missing Mom: She was absent from the lives of both Liquid and Solid Snake. As far as we know, she never met Liquid after giving birth to him, and only met Solid Snake again when he was 42. And dies the same night.
Nice Boots: Ocelot says this exact phrase when, after briefly threatening to shoot her with the Little Joe crossbow that formerly belonged to The Fear under suspicions of her being the spy (which are well founded), hinted that she's wearing the wrong boots (she's wearing her biking boots instead of her officer boots). It's actually a Red Herring, as motorcycle gas is what gives EVA away.
Precision F-Strike: In the Japanese version, after EVA (as Tatyana) was discovered to be the spy within Volgin's ranks, she says "Fuck you!" to Volgin before attempting to shoot him with the Kiss of Death. This was toned down during localization to "Go to Hell!"
Trojan Prisoner: She posed as the KGB officer Tatyana as early as a few weeks before the Virtuous Mission, and was later captured by Volgin. Given Sokolov's comments on her to Snake, its implied that she deliberately allowed herself to be captured in order to infiltrate Groznyj Grad.
The Cobra Unit
The Boss's greatest apprentices. Each legendary warriors in their own right, their supernatural powers allowed them to win the Second World War for the Allies in the Metal Gear universe... and Snake has the misfortune of having to fight them. They consist of The Pain, who can control hornets; The Fear, an animalistic hunter with a crossbow; The End, the world's oldest sniper; The Fury, a pyromaniac cosmonaut, and The Sorrow, a person who is both a ghost and a medium.
Anthropomorphic Personification: Each and every warrior of the Cobra Brigade represents the definition of the emotions felt in battle, condensed within a lethal physical personification of the concept they represent.
Cool Old Guys: Most of them are in their fifties, and The End is over a century old.
Defeat Equals Explosion: With the exception of The Sorrow and The Boss, all of the Cobra Unit members exploded upon being defeated, regardless of lethality or lack thereof. It's Hand Waved by Zero and Sigint explaining that they carried microbombs to detonate in the event that they fell during battle so as to deny the enemy even the chance to retrieve their body and personal belongings.
Driven to Suicide/Death Seeker: It is heavily implied via various radio conversations that the reason why the surviving members of the Cobra Unit (barring The Boss) still carried a microbomb, even when not being in enemy territory, and also why they are even fighting against Snake is because they wanted to die in battle.
Quirky Mini Boss Squad: Even quirkier than previous entries. Their already formidable combat abilities are enhanced by surgical-modifications and/or Pulp-Novel-Era Weird Science funded by the 100 billion dollars of the Philosophers' Legacy rather than Hard-Science of the Universe's later-years.
A member of the Cobra Unit. Controls a nest of bees and hornets, and can form them into weapons like guns and grenades. The one with the least characterization, he interrupts Naked Snake's fight with Ocelot and subsequently confronts the former in the caves.
Bee Bee Gun: The Pain's special skill is getting his pet bees (except when they're hornets) to carry grenades for him, tossing a special liquid at Snake that attracts the hornets, using them as makeshift armor, and even creating a duplicate of himself out of hornets. He also has an attack that involves spitting a "bullet bee" at Snake (which he keeps inside himself), which burrows underneath the skin and has to be removed via the survival window. They can also form a metal-and-wood Tommy Gun that actually fires. Feel sorry for the one that has to be the firing pin. The downloadable Metal Gear Solid 4 Database and the official Snake Eater website's character bio for The Pain explains it as him having a queen bee inside of his backpack that he has its sounds amplified.
Calling Your Attacks: He even gets little cutscenes whenever he changes his hornets into a different weapon, the name of which he (naturally) shouts. "Tommy gun!"
A member of the Cobra Unit. Is double-jointed and very animalistic. Likes to use booby traps and poison-tipped arrows. The joints in his body were surgically modified by the Philospher's Scientists to freakish flexibility for heightened combat-agility. He was also granted a prototype of the stealth camo, augmenting his already legendary hunting abilities.
Badass Pacifist: Despite inventing modern sniping, he apparently refuses to kill anyone. If he defeats you, he drags you to a jail cell earlier in the jungle. His Mosin Nagant is custom-made to fire tranquilizer darts so he can snipe and be a pacifist at the same time.
Cherry Tapping: The End actually does this to the player. He only uses tranquilizer rounds, and if the player loses to him, then he must backtrack from the lab Snake visited earlier. The player can pull the same thing on him, by using the tranquilizer pistol he has been carrying since the beginning of the game. In fact, the player must do this in order to get his tranquilizer rifle.
Dirty Old Man: Was depicted as such in the Subsistence joke video "He's Still Got It," where he apparently has some sort of fascination for EVA/Tatyana for her "reviving" him.
Guide Dang It: To get his Moss camo, he must be "held up" at gunpoint like a normal mook — something you can't do to any other boss.
Last Dance: He knows this will be his last battle.
Nature Hero: Intelligence agencies assume he has no spotter, because no one could possibly believe he uses a parrot and a variety of forest creatures as his spotters. He will also essentially pray to the forest itself to regenerate his health.
No Kill Like Overkill: Likewise, you know his flamethrower? Well, unlike other flamethrowers, his flamethrower uses rocket fuel as its flammable source, thus ensuring that anyone who was hit with his flamethrower burns to death in an extremely slow fashion.
Man on Fire: When the Fury removes his helmet, his body mysteriously absorbs all of the flames in the boss arena.
Pyro Maniac: The Fury uses a rather nasty flamethrower that is so strong it can block the player's bullets. Hell, even his jetpack lights up the terrain he flies over.
Revenge Before Reason: The Fury's microbomb turns him into a pair of fireballs, each shaped like a screaming head. The first one misses Snake and explodes against the exit, jimmying the door open so he can escape.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Strongly implied to be the case: He suffered from a Cosmonaut mission-related accident that resulted in most of his skin being burned and being incapable of feeling any pain. When killed, he is also seen "radioing" mission control, to which the director's commentary strongly implies is actually his reliving his memories of the day of his accident.
Turns Red: The Fury gets much more aggressive near the end of his fight. There's really no place to hide during this phase; the Fury jets overhead and floods the passage with flames. Even the various nooks and crannies aren't safe.
A member of the Cobra Unit that is dead before Metal Gear Solid 3 begins. The Sorrow had psychic powers and could communicate with the dead. He was killed by his lover, The Boss, but Snake still sees him as a ghost during his mission.
Has a plot central cameo in the fourth game, where he arrives to banish the equally dead Psycho Mantis back to the grave to protect Old Snake.
Animal Motif: Fish. It's done far more subtly than with the other Cobras.
Dead All Along: You can actually glimpse his body in the epilogue of Virtuous Mission. Seems The Boss executed him not far from the bridge where she nabbed Sokolov.
Eye Scream: It is implied that he was shot through the eye.
The Ghost: Appears throughout Metal Gear Solid 3 (as well as having a cameo in Metal Gear Solid 4) as a literal one.
Heroic Sacrifice: The Sorrow willingly allows The Boss to kill him in their confrontation in Tselinoyarsk in an attempt to save their child, Ocelot (both the American and the Russian branches of the Philosophers said that they either fight to the death and kill the other side's soldier, or Ocelot dies by their hand).
Hopeless Boss Fight: Subverted. While you cannot kill him (his health readout is, hilariously and chillingly, already at zero) and the boss fight can only end with Snake "dying", the fight still has an attainable goal of surviving the entire river.
Jacob Marley Apparel: Everyone he revives is still wearing their fatigues or pilot uniforms. Also, if you slit a GRU soldier's throat, his neck is still spurting like a water hose.
Likewise, the mooks killed in the mountains are still being harassed by vultures. The Sorrow himself is constantly bleeding from his eye, and The Fury and any enemies you kill with WP grenades are still on fire.
Enemies killed with Nutshots are still bleeding, clutching their crotch.
Raikov, should you take his life rather than resort to KO, is prowling the afterlife in his underoos.
Kamehame Hadoken: Apart from sending his mooks after you, he can only fire drill-shaped energy waves. Snake's sluggish pace in the water, coupled with the encroaching ghosts, can make them difficult to dodge. Getting hit by one results in a brief picture of him flashing on the screen punctuated by a bloodcurdling scream, after which Snake takes damage and falls to the riverbed.
Nice Guy: Dies to save his family, helps his lover's adoptive son from beyond the grave, and is the only boss who never directly harms Snake. His attitude towards war is boundless sorrow about all the lives that are ended.
Talking with Signs: He provides the player with the radio frequency to escape their cell and later a countdown to the C3's detonation. That's some impressive signage right there.
Trickster Mentor: His ultimate goal is to help Snake, but not without showing him all the suffering he's caused.
Together in Death: Shortly after you beat The Boss, pressing R1 will allow you to see The Boss's and his ghost reuniting.
What Measure Is a Mook?: It's the Night of the Living Mooks! The bare minimum of enemies Snake can face is four - namely, the other four Cobras fought before The Sorrow, as they explode once you defeat them no matter how you do so.
A GRU Colonel nicknamed "Thunderbolt" and the primary antagonist of Metal Gear Solid 3, seeking to overthrow the Khrushchev regime and get the USSR to fully control the Earth via his use of the Philosopher's Legacy, which he has inherited from his father, whom was entrusted with it during World War II.
0% Approval Rating: Implied in Portable Ops, where Jonathan reveals that after Volgin's death, Naked Snake/Big Boss, the person who killed him, was made a hero of the Soviet Union.
Bad Boss: Abuses his troops for fun. When he drives the Shagohod, he guns down countless grunts that are unlucky enough to inconvenience his chase.
Big Bad: Of Metal Gear Solid 3. It's important to remember that he's the reason The Boss's sacrifice became necessary; Operation Snake Eater was conducted in order to deflect responsibility from the United States for the Davy Crockett Volgin used to blow up Sokolov's facility and blame The Boss instead, and making it look like they themselves dealt with the problem by sending Snake to kill her.
Cold-Blooded Torture: He often tortures people, although he is an extremely bad interrogator (bad as in skill). Basically, all the people whom he interrogates either die before giving out information, or they don't give out information, and usually (as evidenced with Naked Snake) the only thing he succeeds in is backwards interrogation (i.e., he gives the interrogatee information they didn't already know), also within earshot of other people. The commentary strongly implies that it’s because he failed to control his sadistic nature during his interrogation. As a bonus, he inspires the same tendencies for Ocelot.
Covered with Scars: The electricity travels along specific pathways in Volgin's body, leaving behind glaring scar tissue. Most of these burns are accidental, which compelled Volgin to wear a protective rubber suit.
Crazy-Prepared: Implied a few times: For one thing, Groznyj Grad, his creation was built around the mountains of Krasnogorje, which he also arranged to have them be heavily fortified with anti-aircraft turrets to prevent the enemy (whether it be American or the pro-Khrushchev faction) from attacking them from the air, and he also arranged for helicopters to patrol Krasnogorje and have additional manpower just in case Naked Snake somehow managed to defeat the Cobra Unit members. Oh, and that tunnel Snake had to go through to get into Groznyj Grad? That was an underground air-raid shelter according to one of the guards at Krasnogorje, implying that Volgin took into account even the already very unlikely possibility that an air-raid would actually occur at Groznyj Grad/Tselinoyarsk and built the shelter for his personnel.
Cruel Mercy: After torturing Naked Snake, Volgin allowed Snake to keep his medical supplies so he could mend his wounds, although only because he wanted him to last just as long next torture session.
Deadly Fireworks Display: A somewhat literal example: Shortly after he was defeated for the final time by Naked Snake, Volgin ends up being hit by lightning. Then as he is immolated the bullet bandoleers he is wearing go off one by one, ensuring he died a slow and painful death. As Snake and EVA re-unite, the bullets make what resemble miniature firework explosions.
Death by Irony: Was killed by a lightning bolt, which is especially ironic given the element he manipulates. However, there is some evidence that he knew the risks ("Kuwabara kuwabara...") and let himself be struck rather than let Snake escape.
Depraved Bisexual: He's in relationships with EVA (disguised as Tatyana) and Major Ivan Raidenovich Raikov, who are a woman and a man, respectively.
Dirty Old Man: Both of his lovers are in their twenties whereas he himself is approximately fifty years old. In the case of Raikov, he's probably in his very early twenties or in his very late teenage years.
Reinforced by EVA's very particular "medical condition" which you can discover when she partners with you at the end.
Disproportionate Retribution: You know those Flame Troops that arrive on Krasnogorje shortly after meeting EVA at the Mountaintop Ruins? Well, they were sent by Volgin with burn on sight orders specifically to repay Snake for killing off three of the Cobra Unit members.note Of course, had the player killed more than just the Cobra Unit members, they also pretty much went there on their own volition as well for the same reasons. And then there's his No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Snake upon capturing him after discovering that he disguised himself as Raikov, because of the implication that he hurt Raikov in order to do so.
Driven to Suicide: Some of his actions (such as responding rather starkly to a thunderbolt with "who's afraid of a little thunder?", and, just a split second before being hit by lightning, gave this grimace that indicated that he was either in pain or bracing himself) arguably imply that his being hit by lightning was actually intentional.
Despotism Justifies the Means: Volgin's exact plans after overthrowing Khrushchev and installing Brezhnev and Kosygin in his place, involving the Shagohod and the Philosophers' Legacy essentially amount to this: complete the Shagohod, mass-produce it to all countries within the Eastern Bloc and Communist Asia, and then constantly orchestrate uprisings in various third-world countries, all so he can take over the world in the ensuing chaos. He doesn't care if the nations are eternally locked in violence, as long as he owns Russia and the philosophers are back together, the world can burn.
Family-Unfriendly Death: Was zapped by lightning and then had his bandoleers set off their bullets from the resulting flames.
For the Evulz: Volgin has an alarming habit of getting through situations just by picking whatever option harms the most people near him. Highlights of Volgin's epic dickery include nuking his own country, trying to destabilize the Cold War, stealing a ludicrous amount of money, randomly torturing people, and repeatedly slaughtering his own troops just because he can. It is also established that his lover, Raikov, is much the same and takes great joy in punching his men.
General Ripper: So bad not even the Soviets, who used to train dogs as suicide bombers, fully approved of his methods.
Genius Bruiser: A villainous example. Volgin may not be the sharpest tool in the drawer (as evidenced by his "interrogation" which consists mostly of answering his own questions), Volgin is still an heir to the Russian power elite. Basically, several of the weapons were implied to have been designed by him, and it is also strongly implied that, aside from using the money to have Groznyj Grad built, he was also the one who actually designed Groznyj Grad. In addition, as noted in the Crazy-Prepared entry, he also planned ahead of occurrences relating to Naked Snake's infiltration, and even a direct attack on Groznyj Grad via air raid, and his reason for nuking the Sokolov Design Bureau without fear of reprisal implies that he knew that the various intelligence agencies would blame The Boss instead. He's also very large and strong, and possesses electrical abilities from birth.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: His face, never mind his arms, possesses a lot of scarring. The director's commentary implies that the scars are the result of his electrical abilities backfiring on him without that rubber suit.
Knight Templar: Volgin explained that part of his motivation for the things he did was as a means to reunify the Philosophers and essentially heal the rift caused by their infighting. Of course, whether that's a genuinely redeemable excuse for his behavior is debatable.
Last Name Basis: Everyone calls Volgin by his last name except Ocelot, who calls him Colonel.
Laughing Mad: Most of his evil laughs absolutely reek of this. For one thing, according to the director's commentary, the reason why he was laughing for no apparent reason when he deduced that Tatyana was the spy and was considering executing her? It's because he was reliving memories of several low-class and despicable things that he did.
Man on Fire: Immolated by a lightning strike, causing his body to short-circuit like an electrical transformer and be torn apart by a series of small explosions. In a game filled with graphic violence, this is the goriest moment.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gives a huge one to Naked Snake upon discovering him, just before throwing him in the brig. His reason is out of revenge for Snake "hurting" Raikov (referring to Snake's disguising himself as him).
In the non-canon Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser, he gives a similar one to Raiden (the person Raikov is an expy of) for the same reason.
One-Winged Angel: Sort of. Although he doesn't transform into a grotesque entity or the inverse, he does merge with the Shagohod's wiring in the final battle, which is the closest to the trope appearing in canon to organic living characters.note Big Boss transforming into a cyborg in [[Snake's Revenge Snake's Revenge doesn't count as the game's non-canon, and Peace Walker becoming quadruped doesn't count as it's a machine.
Pet the Dog: The closest thing to a redeemable aspect to his character is that he legitimately cares for his second-in-command, Raikov, being genuinely upset when he discovers that Snake disguised himself as such (not to the mention the implication that he hurt Raikov in order to do so).
Properly Paranoid: He suspected that there was indeed a spy within Tselinoyarsk, and was accusing and even murdering his own men to find the spy. He's right in that there was a spy helping Snake.
Psycho Electro: Albeit only he is crazy, not his powers, which he seems to have a firm grasp of.
Puppet King: Not him specifically, but he basically intended to run the country from behind the scenes with Brezhnev and Kosygin as the "official" leaders of the Soviet Union.
Rasputinian Death: This is one Colonel who just won't quit. The bout with Naked Snake leaves him hobbled and spitting blood, yet he still manages to climb into the Shagohod and keep up the pursuit. Volgin goes on to survive several head-on crashes (doing his internal injuries no favors), multiple RPG/anti-aircraft gun blasts, and finally a bolt of lightning... which merely stuns him before his bandoleers riddle him with rifle shell explosions, slowly finishing him off.
Renegade Russian: A rare case of such a character existing during the time where the Soviet Union was still in power and in its prime. Volgin spent most of his career under Stalin, and it is implied that his wanting to overthrow Khrushchev and replacing him with Brezhnev was so he could get the Soviet Union back to the days where it was under Stalin.
Sadist: He gets so much joy out of others' suffering and torturing people that, according to the director's commentary, he actually gets high while doing it.
Super Strength: It's unknown whether he was able to shatter concrete without his electricity, but it is clear that he at least had enough strength to not only carry the containers with the Davy Crockett warheads and the launcher, but also actually use them simply by holding it.
Tempting Fate: "Who's afraid of a little thunder?", unless one theorizes that he deliberately allowed himself to be electrocuted.
Unwitting Pawn: It is implied in the Plot Twist in Portable Ops that Volgin actually served as one to a single deviously cunning strategist within the American government, or at best an unwilling one. Peace Walker reveals the man in question was Hot Coldman, who is even worse than Volgin.
Unskilled, but Strong: The man's built like a truck, but it's clear he has very little in the way of actual fighting skills, relying solely on his brute strength and his electricity. Both Snake and the Boss are able to effortlessly subdue him in hand-to-hand combat, and during his boss fight, it is much easier to defeat Volgin with CQC than it is to use firearms.
What Could Have Been: It was originally intended that Colonel Volgin actually murdered his father which resulted in his inheriting the Philosophers' Legacy by consequence (thus making him a Self-Made Orphan). However, the still that had him murdering his father was cut from the final version. Had it been kept, it should be noted that his reasons for murdering his dad most likely had nothing to do with the Legacy, as he himself admitted that he didn't even know about the Legacy's existence, or even that his father had it, until after his father's demise.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Volgin only really has one superpower (besides his enormous size and strength), the ability to generate electricity. He finds a number of creative uses for it, though, most notably the ability to fire bullets held in his hands by cooking off the gunpowder. The aforementioned size and strength are probably required secondary powers since the kickback would really be rough on the palms.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Volgin is shown to have some fear of rain and water. Given the element he wields, as well as Word of God's statement about it interfering with his electrical abilities, his fear is perfectly justified. Also causes some questions as to how Volgin's even able to clean himself. He seems to get over the fear, though, as he fights against Snake and EVA for the last time while it is raining.
He also has a phobia of frogs, especially tree frogs. This can be used to the player's advantage in his boss fight. Bring along a tree frog and throw it at him to get a few extra seconds to lay into him while he's distracted.
The second-in-command to Colonel Volgin. Naked Snake had to strip him in order to infiltrate Groznyj Grad's West Wing. Is later found on the San Hieronymo Peninsula. Looks almost exactly like Raiden, but acts like a Jerk Ass.
Asshole Victim: Depending on the player’s actions, Snake could kill him or spare him. If the former, he fits in due to being rather abusive towards his officers.
Bad Boss: It is heavily implied in an optional call to EVA that the reason why Snake can get away with beating up soldiers and scientists without breaking cover is because this is exactly what Raikov does to them, and thus not make him suspect. This also acts as the reason why he ends up on San Hieronymo later on, although he presumably learned his lesson by the time Big Boss's group got to him and got better.
Portable Ops sort of makes his being this somewhat sympathetic and also somewhat tragic, where it implies that his sadistic behavior was the result of his trying to get into Volgin's good graces, and wasn't naturally sadistic.
Bigger Is Better in Bed: The specific reason how Volgin deduced that "Raikov" was actually Snake in disguise was because of the difference in their groin size. Going by what Snake commented on when EVA is inspecting his body, it's very likely that Raikov's groin was the bigger of the two.
Bookworm: Implied by one of his stops at the East Wing of Groznyj Grad being the library.
Dirty Coward/Know When to Fold 'Em: If an alert is triggered, Raikov immediately runs into the lavatories and hides there. Assuming that Raikov was aware of the fact that the intruder (Naked Snake) was planning on trying to impersonate him alive or dead to get to the West Wing of Groznyj Grad and rescue Sokolov, it's probable that his hiding was realization that he most likely wouldn't stand a chance against Snake should he take him on, which is supported by the fact that when he is cornered in the bathroom, he attacks Snake with various CQC attacks (Raiden's own two-punch-two-kick combo from MGS2, in fact).
The Dog Bites Back: It was strongly implied that, shortly after being exiled to the San Hieronymo Peninsula, but before the FOX takeover, the Soviet soldiers got their revenge on Raikov for his abuse in rank, took advantage of his current exile, and imprisoned him.
Likewise, if the players free Raikov, it is also implied that his motivations for joining the resistance was also so he could exact payback on the people who imprisoned him.
The Dragon: He fits the technical definition for Volgin (he's Volgin's second-in-command) as Ocelot filled the role for Volgin in spirit in Metal Gear Solid 3.
Enemy Mine: One of the reasons why he teamed up with Big Boss in Portable Ops amounted to this; due to the fact that he was locked up and humiliated by Gene's men as soon as the Red Army turned on him (he was also presumably humiliated before FOX arrived as well).
Expy: He was created as a result of the backlash towards Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2, hence why he has an uncanny resemblance to Raiden.
Groin Attack: Has it both ways. He inflicts this onto a disguised Snake if wearing a Raikov Mask (apparently even going so far as to unzip Snake's fly to do so), and at least one of the actions Snake does when disguised as him involves punching his "subordinates" in the groin. He himself apparently is on the receiving end by Colonel Volgin, as Volgin does this to test if Raikov is actually Raikov or an imposter (two guesses as to which one he discovers), and the directors commentary implies that Volgin does this with Raikov a lot, since they mentioned that the scene where EVA's photograph was taken from had Volgin having his hand in inches reaches of Raikov's groin, but the action was cut off from the photo.
Jerk Ass: His behavior to his subordinates is quite despicable.
Raiden, I Might Be Related To You: Even though Word of God was stated to be not related to Raiden at all (among other evidences), some fans still speculate that Raikov might have familial ties to Raiden, if not be his father due to his resemblance to Raiden.
Taken to even more strange levels, because of the name. "-ovitch" is a common Russian suffix for middle names, meaning "the son of". To take the middle name into translation, "Raidenovitch" essentially means "The son of Raiden."
Reassignment Backfire: Potentially. Although it's not explicitly revealed whether the Soviets allowed him back for his involvement in stopping a nuclear strike against Russia, or if the Soviets would still keep him exiled (probably the latter, as its implied that Russia was in fact already aware of Gene's real plan being to nuke America, and not Russia from Gene's call to Ocelot, and plus his potential involvement in stopping the ICBMG from being launched at America would probably be indicative of betrayal on his part).
Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: It's strongly implied that the only reason the Soviet military allowed Raikov to be as abusive as possible to his subordinates prior to Operation Snake Eater was because of Volgin's influence.
The Stool Pigeon: Despite being Volgin's most trusted man (and lover), he apparently has a habit of squealing about Volgin's various weaknesses if interrogated by knifepoint, like the fact that he is weak against water.
Took a Level in Badass: In Metal Gear Solid 3, Raikov often fled into a bathroom during an alert, and only fought Snake when he was cornered. This changed as a result of Portable Ops making him a playable character, where he does fight the enemy efficiently.
Villainous Glutton: He's not fat, but a radio conversation with EVA, as well as his bio in Portable Ops Plus establishes that he is a glutton, although in the former game he apparently has a weak stomach (which explains why one of the places he stops at in Groznyj Grad is the lavatories).
A Russian rocket scientist who defected to the United States during the Cold War. He had to be returned to Russia, where he was forced to work on the Shagohod by Colonel Volgin as part of a deal following the Cuban Missile Crisis. Snake is tasked to rescue him at the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 3. He fails, which results in Operation Snake Eater. Sokolov is later killed by Volgin as a warm up for his torture of Snake. Actually, he used a fake death pill to survive, and escaped with the help of The Boss. He reappears in Portable Ops, using the alias Ghost, and helped Snake to destroy RAXA and ICBMG.
Burn Baby Burn: His introductory cutscene has him burning documents that presumably related to the Shagohod project before he encounters Snake.
Despair Event Horizon: When the Shagohod was completed, Sokolov refuses to let Naked Snake help him defect, as he realizes that Volgin would most likely kill him as his usefulness was outlived, and even if he was going to be spared, Khrushchev will send him to the Gulags for similar reasons to Volgin's attempts to kill him, and even if he managed to successfully defect to America, he would end up being used by them to make weapons of mass destruction. He pretty much gave up.
Lethal Joke Character: He is unlocked in the first version of Metal Gear Online by the player by getting the lowest score when playing as a KGB unit.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Kind of: Although Sokolov disliked the Soviet Union's policies enough to attempt to defect to the West three times (with the third time being successful), he nonetheless retained a small amount of love for Russia as he was unwilling to let the ICBMG be launched into it.
Nice Guy: He genuinely held people's best interests at heart and does not want to see people suffer, as evidenced by his interaction to Tatyana's abuse by Volgin. What cements this is that Tatyana wasn't actually Sokolov's lover, yet he still expressed concern.
Reverse Mole: He was working for Gene, but he leaked information relating to the ICBMG to Snake's group under the alias of Ghost. It's also implied that he got imprisoned for this until Snake's group rescues him in a side mission.
Took a Level in Badass: In Portable Ops. In Metal Gear Solid 3, the one time he was playable was in an expansion, and it was as a joke character (as the player had to get the worst score to play as him when playing as a KGB unit). Let's just say that that's not necessary anymore in Portable Ops.
Your Cheating Heart: Invoked and ultimately averted. When Naked Snake first saw Tatyana (Volgin using her as leverage against Sokolov), he initially thought Sokolov had a girlfriend (note, Sokolov's married and has a daughter). Actually, Tatyana was actually posing as Volgin's lover. The closest she actually has to a relationship with Sokolov is the fact that she was his superior and an errand-girl to Khrushchev. Or so he believed.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Despite only being abused by its leaders, he has shown himself to be completely devoted to the Soviet Union.
Nice Shoes: His transmitter shoes. Snake even says that exact phrase when missing the point of Granin's attempts at communicating that the perfect weapon needs legs to merge infantry with artillery. Granin takes it as a compliment, although the director's commentary implies that Snake was attempting to be sarcastic.
Vodka Drunkenski: His first appearance has him drinking vodka. It's justified in this case, as he's drowning his sorrows from the fact that he is basically going to rot away in mediocrity, especially after Volgin cast him aside for Sokolov after it became apparent that his invention, the Metal Gear, did not possess the results needed to be immediately useful, thus essentially leaving him out of a job (he initially worked with Volgin specifically because Sokolov was hired by Khrushchev). It should be noted that he is the only Russian character to actually fit this stereotype (the main plot setting was the USSR, meaning the vast majority of the characters are Russian either by birth or via defecting from another country).
Wrote the Book: Apparently designed the SS-1C missile system, and if his comments are anything to go by, he was also directly responsible for some of the weapons used to drive out the Nazis during the Eastern Front.
Unknown Rival: He has an intense rivalry with Sokolov, strong enough to ally himself with Volgin's forces simply because Sokolov found favor in Khrushchev, although it is strongly implied that only he has any negative vibes towards Sokolov.
A prison guard at Groznyj Grad. Briefly befriends Naked Snake from being fed back meals that Snake was supposed to eat.
But Not Too Foreign: Johnny was born in Russia, but he left for America at some point and started a family, but then had to return to Russia, presumably because of it being his native land. He's consequently lonely, and if the commentary is anything to go by, he'd end up in big trouble from the Soviet Government (as in he'll pay a visit to the slammer) should they discover that he actually had a kid in America.
Disney Death: Implied in Peace Walker, when a character mentions that he "knows a guy named Johnny." He also reappears in Portable Ops Plus, but that's non-canon.
Generation Xerox: Is the grandfather of Johnny Sasaki. They are also both prison guards.