I got into the Metal Gear Solid series after hearing so much about it on this wiki. I finished Metal Gear Solid 2, and it occurred to me that the whole thing was Hideo Kojima telling the world that he simply didn't believe that he could make a good sequel to Metal Gear Solid that could live up to fans expectations. After I came to this conclusion, I realized that the very first action the player would take - saving - lampshades this, with Otacon's inability to quote correctly, unlike Mei Ling. Maybe I'm slow, but it seemed pretty clever to me. - randomfanboy
Also, I was very confused by the fact that Naked Snake kept on referring to EVA as Eva even after discovering her real name. Later I realized it was a deliberate reference to Rose referring to Raiden as Jack. In fact, the whole of Metal Gear Solid 3 is simply retelling Metal Gear Solid 2 in a way that people can swallow. Consider: A man named Jack is sent into a battlezone with no clue that his superiors are betraying him. His formally absent parental figure is the villain of the game. The woman he is in love with betrays him. He ends up killing his parental figure because an ancient conspiracy told him to, and he discovers that the whole mission he's been lied to and jerked around. I think it goes deeper than that, but there you go.
I haven't actually played a Metal Gear game, but, y'know, Popcultural Osmosis and all that. So consider this in reference to the above: in MGS2, "Jack" is an attempt at recreating Solid Snake's success at Shadow Moses Island. In MGS3, "Jack" is Big Boss. In other words, in their attempt to create a reprisal of Solid Snake, they instead created a reprisal of Big Boss (A dorky and whiny Big Boss, admittedly, but they knew that going in.) -Kimiko Muffin
Snake is an anagram of Sneak. No wonder they keep using it as a codename...
The series can be seen as an analysis of the nature of narrative and of the roles ascribed to its characters. In most instances, the villains seek to become heroes and desire to embrace that position, whereas the heroes resist this, often expressing displeasure with their narrative role, considering themselves killers. That's what separates our protagonists and antagonists. A noteworthy exception to this are The Patriots, who seek to control the flow of the franchise's story.
Snake's real name is David, and Raiden's real name is Jack. Since the two of them are known for going up against two-story Metal Gears and winning, it's appropriate that they're named after legendary giant-killers.
The Patriots of the are creepy enough as it is, but then you get into Otacon's backstory and realize that the Patriots are responsible for all of it. The sexual abuse, his father's suicide, his estrangement from his beloved little stepsister— they did it all. They made the life of one of the nicest, sweetest, most truly good-hearted people in the entire series hell just because they decided that his brain would be a good tool. And they've done it before, to multitudes upon multitudes of innocent people. Nobody can trace them. Nobody can identify them. They are faceless and near-omniscient, and they might just be responsible for everything in your life you thought was just a cruel twist of fate. Sleep tight.
I thought that his estrangement from his little sister was when his little sister nearly drowned because he was too busy having sex with his stepmother to be able to try and save her?
Who's to say the Patriots couldn't have caused that?
You think that's bad? The Philosophers make this conspiracy way more far-reaching and disturbing. America, Russia, and China had selected children all over the world that they raised from birth to be agents in their organization, guys like Ocelot were kidnapped from their parents shortly after they are born and raised to be nothing more than a cog/screw in a very nuanced and complicated machine. This conspiracy has been going on since at least the time of the First World War and when the Patriots took over the international power the Philosophers once had this means that by the time of Metal Gear Solid 4 this has been going on for almost 100 years.
In Big Boss's era of the Metal Gear Solid series all three of his games have the antagonist try to fire nuclear weapons at the United States. Think about that for a moment, this was during the Cold War when Americans and Russians alike lived in fear that their homelands could be turned into craters of radioactive dust at any moment, this illustrates how realistic the Cold War paranoia really was. Had it not been for the timely intervention of heroes like Big Boss the world could have ended like so many had feared during the Cold War.