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Fan Fic: The Joy Of Battle
The fic writer cosplaying with her husband.
"When this war is over, whose side will you be on?''
—The Fury

The Joy of Battle: Historical Espionage Action is a Metal Gear Solid 3 Fan Fic by the writer CobraShipper on Fanfiction Dot Net.

Like the fan webcomic The Cobra Days, The Joy of Battle follows the missions of the Cobra Unit during World War II. The story first appeared on fanfiction.net in July 2010 and remains incomplete though it is still updated regularly. According to CobraShipper's deviantART page, under the name slythgeek, The Joy of Battle was only meant to be a short novella but blossomed into an over 100,000 word epic.

The main arc of the story so far takes place from late 1943 to 1944 in England, France, and Germany with flashbacks to times earlier in the war and earlier in the lives of each of the Cobras. As the title of the fic implies, the story is mostly about the Joy (known as The Boss in MGS3) and features extensive Back Story about her relationships with her father and David Oh (aka Major Zero). As the fic is classified under "Adventure/Romance", there is a lot of time given to relationships, especially the one between Joy and Sorrow. It also focuses more on the spy game of the beginnings of Cold War and how the Cobra Unit was involved.

For the most part, the story incorporates Metal Gear canon and includes many Call Forwards to the MGS series with a healthy dose of the series' infamous Fridge Logic.

All of the story's reviews so far have been favorable.


This fanfic uses the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Joy.
  • Alternate History: As this fic is based in the MGS universe, alternate history is a given. Historical notes at the end of each chapter explain how certain details were changed for the sake of fitting into the MGS universe and the Hollywood version of WW2. There's also the matter of V2 rockets being deployed pre-D-day.
    • Interestingly, some things, such as CQC, that were given an alternate history in MGS3 are explained in the context of true history in The Joy of Battle.
  • A Mother To Her Men: Joy. Whether or not she is actually using them as pawns is a major plot point.
  • Anachronic Order: More than using traditional flashbacks, The Joy of Battle is told with the scenes almost entirely out of order except, notably, most of the V2 arc.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Philosophers, whose reach may be larger than any of the characters knows.
  • Arc Words: "Until we meet again" and several variations.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Fear uses one.
  • Badass Normal: Joy has no special powers like many members of her unit, and Fury, early on, claims that he's not a "freak" like the rest of them.
  • Bastard Girlfriend: Sabine though sometimes on a psychological level rather than physical.
  • Bee Bee Gun: Pain. This is based on MGS3, so it actually covers the origin of Pain's bee bee gun abilities.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Joy's pilot training as a teenager.
  • Circus Brat: Fear, only mentioned in passing in the long fic, but CobraShipper's short story about him tells much more.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Most of Fury's dialogue.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Averted with most characters in the requisite MGS torture scene despite the fact that the torturers are Nazis. The only character who is tortured somewhat brutally is the End.
  • Cold War: The Joy of Battle lays the beginnings of the Cold War.
  • Continuity Nod: Occasionally, a character will say a line from MGS3.
    • Joy: Am I still in a dream?
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Most of the time when Joy is fighting people, they give little resistance.
  • Daddy's Girl: Joy is... well, almost enamored by her father. And she hates her mother passionately.
  • Dad the Veteran: Joy's father, who was one of the first pilots in the Army Air Corps. He was afraid that he would end up a military father like his father (that fear was entirely justified).
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Subverted with Joy's mother. When Astrus first mentions her, it seems the trope will be played straight, but Joy's reaction to Sorrow channeling her mother's ghost later shows that she did not like her mother. Still later, when Joy's back story is told in flashbacks, we see why she didn't like her mother.
  • Doomed by Canon: By the end of the MGS series, ALL of the canon characters will be dead. The main romantic relationship in the fic will end with Joy killing Sorrow to protect their son.
  • Double Agent: Mark Astrus and Sabine DeMille, though neither has been clear yet on which side he/she is on.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Joy and Sabine. Sabine to Joy, in fact. Sabine has a scene with Joy that borders on rather non-consensual Les Yay.
  • Epunymous Title: The JOY of Battle and most of the chapter titles which are stealth puns or at least double entendre.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: While most of the time, a simple "said in French" Translation Convention is used, characters sometimes use phrases in other languages, usually when they switch from one language to another mid-conversation.
    • The Germans use "Herr" when they are supposed to be speaking German anyway.
    • The French Resistance members call Joy "La Joie" when they are speaking French, which implies that the rest of the characters are called by their English code names.
    • Several German weapons in the last few chapters are called by their German names and then translated.
    • The Russian characters use Russian swear words a few times, and Joy teaches Sorrow an offensive Mandarin phrase to repeat to Fury.
  • Historical In-Joke: Because the writer is a self-proclaimed history buff, the story is full of historical figures and characters loosely based on historical figures.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Sorrow suffers from Power Incontinence several times in the first half of the story. It's not so much a new power as the realization that he can actually be possessed.
  • Husky Russkie, Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Both averted with Sorrow who is thin, physically weak, and kind-hearted. The character who is the most like a Russian stereotype is actually Canadian. But Russians. Canadians. Same difference.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Fear does this when acting the villain toward several different women in the story... with his tongue. He also attempts it on Joy.
  • Interrogating the Dead: This is Sorrow's main power and, in fact, the way the Cobra Unit gets out of quite a few sticky situations.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fury uses a flame thrower a few times, and Le Feu likes to set really big fires by blowing things up. There are quite a few fires in the story in general - fires from bombings, an accidental fire set at the headquarters of the Soviet Philosophers outside of London.
  • Lady of War: Joy swings between this and an Action Girl.
  • La Résistance: Subverted in that the French Resistance members in the V2 arc are complacent in a murder conspiracy in which they killed their former leader. Their current leader keeps them in line through fear rather than friendship and dedication to a cause.
  • Large Ham: Mark Astrus and Sabine [DeMille].
  • Leave No Witnesses: When the Cobra Unit learns that Parasite's Resistance circuit murdered the real Parasite... and his wife... and the one member of their circuit who disagreed, they kill everyone but Le Feu. Granted, they were attacked first, but it's still a rather horrifying moment.
  • Living Lie Detector: Fear. He uses his ability to read people's body language quite a bit though it seems he has trouble concealing his own feelings.
  • Meaningful Name: All of the Cobras have meaningful names, but they are code names Joy gave them. The origin of Joy's code name has not yet been revealed. The French Resistance members in the V2 arc also have meaningful code names that seem to serve the same purpose.
  • Mundane Fantastic: The Cobra Unit fights alongside normal armies. The V2 rockets seem to be coexisting alongside some sort of strange wonder weapon that will be explained soon (maybe).
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Fear again. He obviously gets off on scaring people. A woman's bloody wound turns him on. Twice. Same woman.
  • OC Stand In: Everyone who is not already an OC or Joy. In the original game, the Cobra Unit members got only their battles and one other scene as screen time.
  • Old Soldier: The End
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Most characters. All of the Cobra Unit calls one another by code names only (except in intimate moments when Joy uses Sorrow's real name). The French Resistance does the same.
  • Original Flavour: The Joy or Battle includes the requisite MGS torture scene and changes none of the existing canon.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Joy with non-action guy Sorrow
  • Pregnant Badass: Joy during the V2 arc.
  • Prequel: To Metal Gear Solid 3.
  • Pyro Maniac: Fury and Le Feu who both seem to be turned on by talk of explosives.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A girl soldier, a beekeeper with the inability to feel pain, a Soviet serial bomber, an almost inhuman Gypsy who has lived most of his life in the woods, a sniper so old he has great-grandchildren, and a naive spirit medium. It's amazing they can function as a unit. Then again...
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Fear's eyes go from amber to red when he gets excited.
  • Red Scare: The American Philosophers' paranoia about being infiltrated by the Soviet Philosophers drives much of the plot.
  • Running Gag: Fear is hungry a lot. He also seems to be having some sort of thing with Fury.
  • Sensual Slavs: Sorrow uses the male version of this to his advantage to gain access to an American hospital.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Le Feu... maybe...
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Averted. Despite the characters' names being said with "the" in MGS3, they are referred to (most of the time) in the narration and by each other simply as Joy, Sorrow, Pain, Fear, and Fury. The exception is the End whose "the" is lowercased.
  • Stage Magician: What Mark Astrus was for some time with the residual that he can do rather intricate sleight-of-hand.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Fury does this to Sabine for a short while, and then Sabine does it to Joy. In flashbacks, we learn that David Oh also did this to Joy.
  • Story Arc: The Joy of Battle has three distinct arcs so far (with several mini-arcs in the flashbacks): the Otto Skorzeny arc (traveling through France and Germany, meeting Otto Skorzeny, and escaping), the "joy is dead" arc (several stories at once including Joy going to America to assassinate John von Neumann and the Cobras working for the Philosophers in England), and the V2 arc (parachuting back into France to destroy the V2 rockets). Presumably, there will be another arc post-D-Day to lead up to the end of the war.
  • Theme Naming: The Cobra Unit. Also Le Feu ("The Fire") and La Glace ("The Ice") of the French Resistance.
  • Translation Convention: The narrator often says what language the characters are speaking. This is well-done in most places in that some characters who speak multiple languages to varying degrees (like Sorrow) speak each language a little bit differently in the English "translation".
  • Undercover as Lovers: In the Skorzeny arc, Joy has to pretend one of the men in her unit is her husband. She chooses Sorrow, which puts them in compromising situations.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: Doubly Subverted with Sorrow who had never drunk vodka before because he spent most of his life in a German research facility. Then, after he drinks his first sip of vodka, he takes the entire bottle, presumably to drown his sorrows. For three months after that, he lives in the hotel as an alcoholic.
  • War Fic: It's set during World War II. War is definitely happening, but many of the War Fic tropes are averted.
  • World War II: Most of the story takes place during World War II in the European Theater.

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