Despite the fact that the plots of the games usually appear barebone, Metal Slug has its fair share of characters, all of whom have a great deal of backstory to them. The backstory to each character is where the real plot points stand out.
Protagonists (Broken down by game appearance)
Marco (Marchrius Dennis Rossi)Marco joined the military's vocational school following technical high school, and after graduating, joined the Peregrine Falcons Squadron, soon becoming its leader. Though generally a good-natured guy, he tends to flip his shit whenever Morden is mentioned, given the fact that Morden was responsible for the deaths of many of his good friends.Off the battlefield, Marco is an expert computer technician, often creating computer viruses for fun, but one in particular that unintentionally made its way onto the net infected the military's mainframe, made it past all of the firewalls and almost caused the launch of several nuclear missiles. He intends to take that secret to his grave.From Metal Slug 6 onward, Marco's unique ability is to deal double damage with his handgun. If playing on Easy, though, this ability transfers over to the automatic Heavy Machine Gun. In Metal Slug 7/XX, he can also use the Burst Shot, which allows for rapid fire, though he can't move.
Marco Rossi's Tropes:
Tarma (Tarmicle Roving III)Son of a military man, he entered the Special Forces Training School after finishing junior high. At age 20, he joined the Peregrine Falcons on a mission to rescue the president, at which point he met Marco, the two becoming fast friends. When he found out Marco had been selected to take part in the counteroffensive against Morden, Tarma was quick to volunteer. Though he often pokes fun at Marco, he holds his friend in the highest regard.Whenever he's not engaged in battle, he builds custom motorcycles with such attention to detail that he puts most professionals to shame. If and when he can retire from active service, he intends to open his own motorbike shop.Tarma's engineering skill from Metal Slug 6 onward allows him to make better use of the Slugs that he comes across. They can take twice as many hits, he can use the vulcan fix, the vulcan's damage is increased, and he obtains twice as many Slug Shells on pickup. In 7/XX, he can also kick Slugs, which can either recover or damage them. However, the double durability and recovery/damage kick only works on Vehicle Slugs.
Tarma Roving Tropes:
Metal Slug 2
Eri KasamotoEri was found abandoned on the steps of a church. When she became wise to the ways of the world, she eventually ran off and became the leader of a gang of street kids. The Intelligence Department of the Regular Army noticed her leadership skills, and thus recruited her. She went on to receive spy training, and took part in a number of missions requiring assassination. She found these types of missions distasteful, and requested a transfer to the SPARROWS division. Given her impressive track record, it was approved. Once transferred to the SPARROWS division, she was assigned the role of team demolitions expert.Given Eri's background of growing up among street children, her demeanor and attitude in life mostly boils down to "Rely on nobody but yourself."Eri's unique talent from Slug 6 onward is handling grenades. She starts each life with 20, gains double grenades on pickup, deals more damage with them, and is the only one able to aim her throws, which includes straight upward.
Eri Kasamoto Tropes:
Fiolina "Fio" GermiDaughter of the massively wealthy Germi Family, hailing from Italy. The Germi family has historically been a military family, sending their oldest into service, so naturally her father wished for a healthy son to carry on the name. However, following Fio's difficult childbirth, her mother was unable to bear anymore children, making it the first time the Germi heir was female.Eri's polar opposite, Fio was raised in a loving family, and has a cheerful and upbeat demeanor. Aside from her soldier training, she also studied chiropractics, acupuncture and moxibustion in university, and hopes to become a sports doctor in the future.Fio's special trait from the sixth game onward is carrying extra ammo for her weapons. She starts each life with a Heavy Machine Gun, and gains 50% more ammo on weapon pickup. If playing on Easy, though, she automatically gets the Big Heavy Machine Gun as her initial armament.
Fio Germi Tropes:
Metal Slug 4
Nadia CasselInitially, Nadia wanted to go into the modeling business, but she couldn't stop eating, which meant she kept gaining weight, so she enlisted into the Regular Army for the exercise. Here, she discovered her skills as a soldier, and was chosen to help in stopping the Amadeus Syndicate from releasing its supervirus. Here, Nadia was a stand-in for Eri, who had been assigned to other duties. The one thing putting her apart from Eri is that her alternate melee weapon is a souped-up taser, capable of shredding the enemy. Unfortunately, due to some in-game bugs, she doesn't get as many points for using her melee.
Nadia Cassel Tropes:
Trevor SpaceyTrevor received his first computer at age three. By the time he was seven, not only could he perform complex coding, he also worked on creating antivirus progams during summer break, many of which are still in use at the school he attended. When he ended up joining the Peregrine Falcons, he found a great deal of respect for Marco, whose own computer skills surpassed his own. Here, he acted as Tarma's stand-in. His melee involves kicking the enemy so hard, it shreds them apart; he gains double points for this, but he has to hold still.
Trevor Spacey Tropes:
Metal Slug Advance
Walter RyanWalter joined the Peregrine Falcons squad with the hopes to train his mind and body, knowing he had the stamina to keep up with the rest of them. However, he never would've guessed his initial "training" would turn out to be a rescue mission.
Tyra ElsonTyra's strong desire to fight evil is what motivated her to join the Peregrine Falcons alongside Walter. After getting the highest score on the written test, she was immediately put to the physical training course on the island where the game takes place.
Crossover AppearancesRalf and Clark, the Ikari Warriors, inbetween their appearances in the King of Fighters series, appeared alongside the core team for Metal Slug 6, and are back for Metal Slug 7/XX. Joining them in XX is Leona. A better amount of information about these three can be found on their respective series' page.
Ralf JonesAside from his participation in various fighting tournaments, little to nothing else is known about him or Clark. There's rumors flying around, but he tends to ignore them.Though carrying half as much ammo and grenades as anyone else, Ralf makes up for this with his Vulcan Punch, capable of destroying tanks, and his melee speed is much faster than anyone else's (and his normal melee can also damage things that others cannot). He's also the only character capable of taking two hits. He's just that tough.
Clark StillClark and Ralf have been longtime friends, even in the unit the two of them are assigned to.Clark's unique ability is his Super Argentine Backbreaker, a special melee move capable of earning him a lot of points in a short time frame. He also gains a small window of invulnerability with each enemy he tosses with this. However, it only works on certain human-sized enemies.
Leona HeidernLeona was adopted by Commander Heidern following her involuntary transformation and slaughter of her hometown, and Clark and Ralf helped to oversee her training.Leona joins the team for XX, but has to be unlocked via DLC (she's only 99 cents, well worth it). She carries an almagation of everyone else's skills (Stronger pistol fire, 20% more ammo and grenades, Slugs can take an extra hit, and she retains her weapons after losing a life. Interestingly, her special melee, Moon Slasher, can destroy bullets). According to her profile, Clark, Fio and Leona finished a mission that also further bonded the three as being good friends.
Leona Heidern's tropes:
Antagonists (By game appearance)
Donald MordenMorden was formerly a Vice Admiral in the Regular Army Marine Corps. Though a tough and efficient commander, he was also something of A Father to His Men, which greatly earned him their respect.Things went well for Morden, up until the Central Park bombing, which not only took away his right eye (hence the eyepatch he wears), but it also killed his young son. To twist the knife even further, he later found out that Regular Army Intelligence knew about the bomb threat and pushed for the high command to stop it, but due to rampant corruption in the system at the time, the higher-ups dismissed the threat as being a mere prank or so (later blaming the bombing on a lack of intel), which, when combined with his emotional instability and rampant alcoholism following afterwards, ended in Morden's resignation.When Morden left, all of the soldiers under his command (including Allen O'Neal) followed him out of sheer loyalty to him. This allowed him to form the Rebellion Army, and he began making swift tactical moves against the Regular Army, nearly destroying them and finally motivating them to get their act together. In fact, during his attack on the president, he gained his nickname as the "Devil Rebirth", due to just how frightening he was.Though he was a main threat in Metal Slug, in Metal Slug 2 it turns out he teamed up with the Mars People, who gave him the technology he needed, but were quick to turn on him. He barely showed up in games 3 (where a Mars Person was impersonating him) and 4 (there were robotic duplicates of him, possibly including the one in the intro demo), and was completely absent in 5, but made a return in 6, where he, again, made a pact with the Mars People, but this time, due to the Venusians invading, it was soon under different terms. Taking a certain route in Stage 4 will mean that he's the one who actually saves the player at the end of the game.His biggest return to the spotlight was in 7/XX, where it turns out his own soldiers, from some unspecified time in the future, went back in time to help him out, again out of sheer loyalty to him.
Allen O'NealMorden's right hand man and bodyguard. When Morden resigned from the Regular Army, Allen, alongside all of Morden's supporters, followed him out. He's most remembered for taking insane amounts of punishment and supposedly being killed each game (he's eaten by an Orca in Metal Slug 2), only to return later. In Metal Slug 3, he not only died, but came back in the same level. Aside from being nigh unkillable, he also has a wife and son to return home to at the end of the day.He appeared in Metal Slug 4's second and final stages, whereupon fighting him at the latter reveals him to be a machine, possibly meaning you also fought a robot Allen back in Stage 2. He comes back for Metal Slug 7/XX in a Rebel Gigant, still spouting his trademark quips and insults.
Allen O'Neal tropes:
Metal Slug 2
Mars PeopleAliens from Mars, if that wasn't obvious enough (though they do resemble squids, according to some). Possessing spaceships straight out of a 50's B-movie, they allied themselves with Morden, but were really using him to weaken Earth's defenses so they could take over with little to no opposition. Though defeated at the end of 2/X, they kidnapped Morden before the events of 3, sending a Mars Person to impersonate him, and eventually capturing one of the player's characters and creating clones of him/her.At the onset of Metal Slug 6, it appears as though they've allied with Morden again, but this time it was to find their leader, Rootmars. Unfortunately, the Venusians showed up before Rootmars could be fully extracted, and they spent the rest of the game imprisoned at the Venusians' lair, if they weren't outright killed or eaten.Taking a certain route in Stage 5 of 7/XX will show that the Mars People are back, and at the end of the game, just as Morden's about to be taken into custody, the Mars People swoop down and take him to safety.
Mars People Tropes:
Metal Slug 3
RootmarsThe leader of the Mars People, he was the one who orchestrated the events of 2/X and 3. Though originally looking like a larger Mars Person (just wearing a see-through helmet), his real form was revealed after his spaceship was destroyed (and he looked an awful lot like E.T.) He was defeated at the end of 3, his brain being blown out, and sank into the ocean, presumedly dead.....But he wasn't. At the beginning of Metal Slug 6, Morden and the Mars People were looking for his body, and just as they located it, the Venusians came in. It turns out that while he was on the ocean floor, Rootmars had apparently recovered from his freefall beating at the hands of the team, and learned his lesson as well. During Stage 4, if you take the alternate route, Rootmars will swoop down and grab your player, taking him or her to the next destination whilst also being outfitted with two gatling guns, helping take down the Venusians. Taking this route also means Rootmars saves you at the end of the game.
Metal Slug 4
Amadeus SyndicateA mysterious organization whose threat to the world was the release of the "White Baby Virus", a supervirus powerful enough to penetrate any mainframe's defenses. It also appeared as though Morden was supporting their efforts, though they had made a robotics plant at their base, creating several Morden bots, possibly including the one seen in the opening sequence.The main man himself supposedly died at the end of the game when his base was destroyed, making him the first antagonist in the series to die for good. However, the credits sequence showed an intact computer broadcasting something.....
Metal Slug 5
Ptolmaic ArmyThis army group attacked a Regular Army base and ended up stealing a disc containing blueprint data on both Metal Slugs and Rebellion Tech, which lead to them creating their own bastardized and upgraded versions. Due to the confusing nature of the game (and the fact that so much went unused), it was hard to tell who was really in charge. It appeared as though they had gained the trust of the natives by the Corridor of Fire, and was using them to keep intruders away.
SyctherThe name given to the Final Boss of Metal Slug 5, a huge Grim Reaper like demon that, we have no idea who this thing is. It just shows up at the end of the last stage and serves as the Final Boss.
Metal Slug 6
VenusiansObviously, aliens from Venus. The Mars People's nemesis, they not only appear to be physically stronger and more diverse than the Mars People, they also seemed to have better technology on their side as well. They formed the second half of Metal Slug 6's plot, especially after their first appearance was snatching up two martians and eating them.Their queen came to Earth via an asteroid, and was quick to set up an underground shelter for her brood. After one hell of a fight against the team, she fell to her death, releasing an explosion that apparently killed the protagonists as well. Depending on which route you took in Stage 4, either Morden or Rootmars will save the player.
Metal Slug 7/ XX
Future SoldiersMorden's own troops from an unspecified time in the future. Presumedly at some time after Morden was captured or killed, his own forces, again out of loyalty, gathered up their technology and, though the construction of what appeared to be a time window or portal, went back in time to help Morden out. Despite having new weapons and upgraded machinery, they still got their asses handed to them, and with their window destroyed, they were unable to do anything else.
Metal Slug Advance
Allen JuniorThat's right, Allen's own son is here. He posed as a training instructor, which allowed him access to the island where the Peregrine Falcon trainees were undergoing the test. From here, he was able to lead some of Morden's forces to launch a surprise attack on the trainees, capturing the most of them and allowing Morden's troops to set up a base.Unlike his father, though, Junior tends to act more strategically in direct confrontation against the player. However, once injured past a certain point, he eventually loses his temper and starts acting more like his father in battle. However, finding and defeating him is easier said than done.
Metal Slug 3D
OgumaPronounced Ogma, he is the head of the ridiculously massive company named after himself, Oguma was apparently funding Morden's efforts, but was actually using him to help find a recording device deep underground, the Alator. It turns out that Oguma was one of few survivors of a long-extinct race, the Tuaha de Dunan, who were shown to be technically advanced.His culture was said to self-destruct at the peak of their evolution; to combat this, they placed a recording device on a planet, then hibernated for 300 million years. If the information gathered by the device clashes with them, they simply erase the world's history and start over, which has possibly caused some time-space problems.Near the end of the game, after betraying Morden, he used the Alator to release the Lugas, which then absorbs the information from Alator and begins its mission to erase history, prompting the crew to stop it. When Lugas was absorbed by a previous experiment, the Luu (and beaten by the crew afterwards), it goes crazy as Oguma and his followers stay behind in an attempt to further stop it, despite Marco's protests.At the game's end, as Rumi is about to head out, Oguma shows up out of nowhere and hands her his information disc before leaving, hoping the people would learn from his prior mistakes.
Support Characters and other notable NPC's
Rumi AikawaRumi originally joined the Regular Army to make use of their medicinal facilities to help her ailing mother, who had a weak heart, and her twin sister Madoka, who was physically ill. Due to a paperwork SNAFU, she was shipped to the front lines, and despite having never completed her training, she made it back unscathed, a miracle in and of itself.She was offered the chance to leave and live life as a civilian, but she declined the offer, and was soon transferred to the Supply Division. Before each mission, she fills her backpack with various supplies, and treks out to deliver the goods to Regular Army Soldiers... but there's one problem. She's horrible with directions, and is likely to wander off and be found in a completely different location, earning her the nickname "The Wandering Ghost" by most soldiers. She later found out her sister Madoka also joined to become more physically fit, and was also placed in the Supply Division..... and shares the same atrocious sense of direction her sister has.Though mostly a background character in the main games, she was given a bigger role in Metal Slug 3D, giving information to Marco and even allowing access to a Garage where the player could customize their own Metal Slug vehicle.
Hyakutaro IchimonjiA Second Lieutenant of the Regular Army, he's a living legend among the soldiers. Pretending to be a captured POW, once he's "rescued" by the player, he helps out by firing homing Hadokens at the enemies and spin-kicking anyone else who gets too close. He will flee if you die, though.
Hyakutaro Ichimonji tropes:
Combat School Instructors
Sophia GreenvilleThe drill instructor from Metal Slug 1 (Neo Geo CD and PSX).
Margaret Southwood:The drill instructor of Metal Slug X.