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Headscratchers: Metal Gear

Note: In an effort to bring some order to the Metal Gear Headscratchers page, Headscratchers that focus on something from a single game have been moved to that games page. If you have a Headscratcher that you think only applies to one game, please consider putting it on one of the following pages:

Otherwise, if your Headscratcher applies to the series overall, post it here.
  • Why does Raven refer to Ocelot as Ivan in the aftermath of the tank battle in MGS1? Presumably this is his name. So why is he known as Shalashaska in MGS2? If this isn't his name and is instead a nickname, why does he announce it to Cmdr Dolph, "I'm Shalashaska also known as Revolver Ocelot" in a way makes it appear like he's declaring a double barrelled nickname. Most people would say "I'm Crazy Ivan also called Revolver Ocelot." So... why is he called Adamska in MGS3 and 4? no mention given of Ivan or Shalashaska even though one of these names is apparently famous enough to be reconized by the US Marine Corps.
    • "Ivan" is a popular catch-all nickname for Russians. "Crazy Ivan" is a fictional submarine maneuver supposedly employed by Russians to check behind them in case another sub was following them.
    • You're taking everything way too much at face value. You're talking about Revolver Ocelot, a guy most famous for simultaneously lying to and backstabbing everyone he meets for his entire life. He's a guy who went Up to Eleven as far as double agenting and backstabbing goes, and you're taking him at his word for any of those names? You can never presume he's telling the truth.

      Ivan, as mentioned, is a catch-all nickname for Russians and Russia in general. Shalashaska is explicitly a nickname (referring to his torture methods, if I'm not mistaken). Adamska is a reference to the fact that he was the real ADAM from MGS3, that Naked Snake was supposed to meet.
      • Betraying anyone and everyone except anyone with the word "Boss" in their name. No one else mattered to him.
    • You're making the mistake of believing a single goddamn word Ocelot says. Seriously, you could make a convincing case for renaming Chronic Backstabbing Disorder "Ocelot Syndrome."
      • He is the trope namer for that, well, his Last Days of Foxhound version is anyway.
    • Adamska could be his last name.
    • According to the official Metal Gear Database, Ocelot's first name really is Adamska (or Adam in the States).
  • Why is it that you can't take things like weapons and uniforms from defeated enemies?
    • You can take weapons from defeated enemies in the third game, it's just that what the enemy drops is random. As for the uniforms... well, that would make the game way too easy, wouldn't it?
      • As for the uniforms, there are such things as the correct size to take into consideration. And stealing a uniform didn't work too well for Meryl, since you could still track her down. Though there are a couple sequences (in 2, and probably 3 if I recall correctly) where you do disguise yourself.
      • In the fourth game you can take guns of enemy soldiers. You just can't use them at first.
    • It's against the Geneva Convention. And Snake is honorable.
      • No it's not. The Geneva Convention covers declared wars and armed conflicts, not anti-terrorist actions.
      • Geneva convention does indeed cover anti-terrorist actions. Specifically through the "And everyone not mentioned above" clause.
      • No it doesn't; Geneva only applies to conflicts between two or more nations, not to internal actions. The Genome Soldiers are Americans and Ocelot's army aren't operating on behalf of Russia, so neither would be an applicable case. As a result, wearing the enemy's uniform would be entirely legal; this would even apply to MGS3, since it's a espionage action, not an international conflict of any kind.
      • Even within the Geneva Convention, it's still legal to wear the uniforms of the enemy or fly their flag. You just have to take off the disguise before you start shooting.
      • And why is that?
      • Presumably since all the missions in the series are top secret black ops that the Geneva Convention doesn't apply. Ocelot even tells Snake that FOXHOUND is flat out ignoring it during the Shadow Moses incident.
    • In the first two games, the guns are locked onto the genetics of the holder, meaning that they'd be useless in Snake's or Raiden's hands. Although since Snake's a clone just like the rest, he really ought to be able to use them...
      • The Genome Army is genetically-enhanced, not cloned, and the mooks in MGS2 are ordinary Russian mercenaries, who are somehow more intelligent than their (pre-Twin Snakes) predecessors.
      • But the Genome Army is enhanced with Big Boss's 'soldier genes', right? Unless they were also modified with some other set of genes that served purely as the weapons key, the 'soldier genes' would be the only thing they would all be guaranteed to have in common. And Snake would, being a clone of Big Boss, have those.
      • The guns could be registered to the entire genome, though, and not just the 'soldier genes,' or some other gene sequence. It could even just be a gene that was only introduced into the soldiers that neither Snake nor Raiden would have.
      • But that would be a logistics nightmare, since as soon as a genome soldier died, their gun would become useless until it could be rekeyed for someone else, rather than just shelved temporarily and reassigned later or picked up by one of their comrades and used instantly. Moreover, having the guns individually keyed would create a constant risk of guns getting mixed up and carried into battle by the wrong people, or other potentially disastrous scenarios. Additionally, since this JBM is about the lack of pickups in general, there's no way that single-use weapons, like grenades or bullets, would be gene-keyed, and therefore no reason why these couldn't be looted.
      • The weapons are keyed to the nanomachines each soldier is using. Someone not registered as a member of a particular force cannot use their weapons.
      • This seems to stem from a common misunderstanding about DNA matching. It's the DNA fingerprint, which is matched, not a big list of your genes (that's a massive task which just does not happen outside of research). It's like comparing hashes of data. The DNA fingerprint database idea makes far, far more sense in this context.
      • I don't remember ANYTHING about the weapons being locked in any way in the first two MGS games. Plus, if Snake/Raiden already have the right weapon, they could easily jack all of someone ammo after knocking them out or killing them, thereby avoiding the whole gun-lock, if one exists. I attribute it to game mechanics, you didn't have legit CQC until MGS3 either (which was retconned for one, but doesn't explain why Raiden wouldn't know it. Snake DID know it, so therefore Raiden should too, with no qualms about using it)
      • Actually they do mention the guns being locked in MGS2. After Raiden meets the guards that Snake knocks out at the bottom of Strut A, fake Campbell calls and points out that all active weapons are locked by a code meaning he can't use them. He also points out that any weapon stored in item boxes are kept unlocked for whatever reason. We can reasonably assume the weapons in MGS1 worked exactly the same.
  • In light of what was revealed in Portable Ops I have to ask if Ocelot is either a Patriot spy or a member of the Patriots leadership?
    • His post-credits conversations suggest that he's actually spying on everybody for everybody, probably to his own ends but maybe he just needed a hobby.
      • Metal Gear Solid 4 reveals that he is...both. Originally a member of the Patriots, but when the great schism occurred, he covertly supported Big Boss while overtly working for the Patriots. So...yeah, both.
      • Ocelot was one of the founders, but stayed in Russia as a spy. Over time, he got cut out of the loop on certain things.
      • By the time MGS2 takes place, the A.I are in control, and Ocelot is reduced to an agent
  • The contrived appearance of a clone of Big Boss as the US president, almost as it was a twist for the sake of it that the sequel would neeed to handle later, has always bugged me. ¿What were thinking the patriots for placing George Sears as president? In MGS4 we learned about the love Zero professed for Big Boss, but if this was the only motivation for it it's kind of difficult to imagine what were the future plans for the US presidency after the Sears administration because there are only three clones (two of them not very qualified for ruling the US, and probably the people would notice that the three last presidents had the same friggin' face) and returning to common politicians as James Johnson would made the whole Big-Boss-Clone-As-President plan just for the whims of the secret ruler of the world a bit pointless. The alternative would be the patriots put Solidus in charge as president because they wanted him to do some important job that needed the leadership that only a clone of Big Boss could bring and after the MGS events this hypothetical task got delayed or canceled, but there's not even the slightest evidence of this theory and we don't wanna go into Wild Mass Guessing territory so this raises the headscratcher: Was all this for the whims of Zero or just a gratuitous twist for Kojima's part?
  • Why is it that Solid and Liquid look absolutely nothing alike, considering that they are clones?
    • Do you even know what Solid and Liquid look like? It's pretty easy to tell that they are physically identical.
    • Hideo Kojima got precisely one thing correct about genes. Blond hair is, in fact, a recessive trait. That and lifestyle differences.
      • No, he didn't. Solid is the "recessive" one, despite looking just like his father, Big Boss, at that age. Apparently, cloning is the crapshoot.
      • Solid Snake is the dominant clone.
      • No, actually, The Stinger reveals that Liquid is the dominant clone.
      • No, actually, the stinger reveals Liquid is the "superior" clone, which he would be to the Patriots as he has the Soldier genes. (which are recessive) Snake's got more dominant genes, but is "inferior" due to lacking Soldier genes. Inferior = recessive is only in Liquid's mind.
      • Also, if I recall, in the briefing Snake actually cut and dyed his hair so he would look less like Liquid. Their hair colour and style is pretty much the only thing that keeps them from being totally identical, apparently.
      • So does this mean Big Boss dyed his hair when he was Naked Snake?
      • No. There's no mention of him dying his hair, just cutting it.
      • Although, considering he was trained in stealth and specialised in woodland areas, it would make sense for him to dye his hair an earthier colour.
      • Except he just cut it and didn't dye it.
      • Liquid and Solid are supposed to look identical except skintone (MGS1) or skintone and hair colour (Twin Snakes). Snake was a blond in the original intro, and the claim about the light being above him is rubbish: there's a very clear side-image in the same briefing with all features discernable and his skin still darker than his hair. These days Shinkawa claims that Liquid's hair is pale because it was 'bleached' in the Middle Eastern sun. I'm not sure if that would really work, but hey.
      • If Snake is supposed to be blond then why wasn't he in Twin Snakes?
      • Because Shinkawa changed his mind. Even in the early stages of MGS2's development he was talking about how he originally wanted both Snake and Big Boss to be blond. However, it seems 'both are brown haired' won out, so there's a silly story about Liquid having his hair bleached pale. The argument the Liquid is blond therefore he's recessive invokes a Fallacy of Subverted Support, in that you're arguing both that the genetics is awful [if the entire genome was divided dominant / recessive neither Snake nor Liquid could live] but then making an argument based on the genetics being correct.
      • It's called somebody didn't do their genetics homework. Although, MGS4 does attempt to mildly remedy this error with a specific retcon - Naomi reveals that Snake and Liquid aren't true clones, merely highly rendered copies with some alternate DNA from the donor mother mixed in, hence why they weren't able to use Snake's DNA in the SOP experiments. This has actually been true all along, since even minor genetic differences (i.e. hair color) means they weren't true clones. In fact, the actuality of one of the clones having entirely recessive or dominant alleles from Big Boss means they would've had to have a secondary donor in order to pair off the chromosomes and allow the recessives genes to express themselves. MGS4 is just the first time Kojima's bothered to acknowledge it, however briefly. This actually makes MGS2 scientifically inaccurate, as there's no way Snake and Liquid would've had the exact same karyotyping, but fans can speculate about how Snake and Otacon got around that one.
      • All of this is made completely irrelevant by E.E. - when saying how the PATRIOTS suppress information, she said our widespread understanding of genetics is built around misinformation, and therefore completely wrong.
      • The computer screen with comparisons of Snake's and Liquid's DNA in MGS4 show there is about 1% of difference between the two. Maybe whoever run the test on Liquid corpse didn't run them hard enough to see the mistakes.
      • It should be noted that 1% is a HUGE difference when it comes to genetics.
      • Most likely that's just a lack of precision in the cloning process [Les Enfants Terribles was done before any official animal cloning had been done successfully, let alone producing viable genetically engineered humans], plus Naomi implies that the additional genes designed to make them unclonable and sterile might have been different for the two Snakes.
      • In fact, the actuality of one of the clones having entirely recessive or dominant alleles from Big Boss means they would've had to have a secondary donor in order to pair off the chromosomes and allow the recessives genes to express themselves - No, that's gone into. The only genes altered were the 'soldier genes' and the pairing was done by swapping alleles from one clone to the other and vice versa [hence Liquid's comment that the double-recessive clone was effectively the project's garbage: this is absolutely, literally true given the method and objectives]. This is more or less entirely pointless since both clones would express the desirable dominant traits already just as their clone source did, but hey. And given Naomi can't go four seconds without lying through her teeth, I wouldn't take her word on anything as final.
  • Why do Solidus and Big Boss, in MGS4 look and sound so different from Snake, considering Big Boss looked and sounded identical to him in MGS3 and Portable Ops? You might have been able to argue that aging played a role, except that we already have an example of Old Snake in MGS4 and he's still Snake.
    • Big Boss isn't completely identical to Snake. For that matter, even Solidus was at least a little different, on account of his rapid aging, even if he was close enough to fool the SOP system. Big Boss also didn't look and sound completely identical to him in MGS3 and MPO, just very close. Keep in mind that Snake and Solidus' DNA sort of mutated.
    • Snake and Big Boss smoked a pack a day. Solidus and Liquid didn't. That's all there is to it. Well, that and the fact that Big Boss's body was patched up with Solidus and Liquid's tissue in four.
      • Besides smoking, I think it's safe to say that Liquid sounds different because he was raised in England, obviously. Solid trained under Big Boss personally, so it seems pretty likely that he'd sound more like him as time went on. Solidus, I don't think had much/any contact with Big Boss and moved around a lot, and definitely met lots of different sounding people as the President, also, not smoking would make both Solidus's and Liquid's voice less gruff sounding. As far as Big Boss sounding different in 4, well, figure in the above spoiler content, and the fact that, even if his vocal chords were okay, he was still in a coma multiple times, and also BURNT UP. Plus, aging naturally could change his voice whereas Snake was engineered to be like him, so it'd make sense his would stay more similiar, especially with not having a whole lot of people around him to affect that.
    • Actually, in the Japanese version of the game, Solidus and Solid (Naked in MGS3 as well) are voiced by the same guy, Akio Otsuka. Big Boss in MGS4 was voiced by Akio Otsuka's father. So with the English version, it probably just boils down to casting. As much as I love Dayter, he really can't do a different sounding voice... Otsuka differentiates the voices of Solidus and Solid a little bit, just so you can see them as two different people. Liquid was raised in England, so there's a perfectly legitimate reason why he sounds different.
  • What makes a Metal Gear better than a nuclear-armed submarine, outside of Rule of Cool? Anything?
    • It takes only one person to pilot a Metal Gear, as opposed to the whole crew needed for the submarine.
    • At least for the REX model, the railgun makes the nuke undetectable and therefore uninterceptable. It might also be cheaper, what with having a crew of one and all.
  • So what sort of rank is the title of Boss equivalent to? When Snake became Big Boss there was a night and day difference in authority from when he was an agent working for the CIA. As Big Boss John (that is his real name so don't argue) became the commander of FOX and later FOXHOUND which were both special ops units with top of the line training and technology, becomes an adviser for several well-known special ops units like the SOG, Delta Force and Navy Seals who helps develop their training regiments, technology, etc., goes on enough well-paying mercenary missions that he can afford to create a fortress for his Outer Heaven dream, and has enough authority and respect to his name that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff respects his opinion regarding the validity of his claim that a nuclear attack on their radar is false data over that of his own cabinet of other Joint Chief Generals. You would expect a man as legendary and as talented as Big Boss would have become a Colonel or a General a long time ago.
    • Big Boss was the head of the most elite special forces unit in America before he defected to Outer Heaven and Zanzibarland. In real life that would give him a title no less than General. It should also be pointed out that Big Boss is nothing but a codename; the title itself is equivalent to nothing.
      • I understand that the title itself is nothing more than a codename as President Johnson says that, "I hereby award you the title of Big Boss." instead of saying the rank of Big Boss. What bothers me is that I find it hard to believe that a man who saved the world from nuclear destruction 3(!) times and was awarded the successor title of Big Boss over The Boss along with the Distinguished Service Cross and Medal of Honor wouldn't be given an advancement in rank to go along with the new codename. If I were one of Big Boss's superior Military Officers I would have made him a Major or even a Colonel so that he could hold the kind of authority that he deserves in the Military Hierarchy. Also Big Boss being a high ranking General before Outer Heaven makes sense, I would imagine Zero would give it to him as a consolation prize for finally returning to FOXHOUND and America after all that Mercenary work he did.
      • Maybe they realized he knew the true objectives behind Operation Snake Eater, and thus felt it was best to keep the guy who was most likely bearing lots of resentment towards them getting too much authority in the military.
      • Though if realistically Big Boss would be a high ranking General if he were in command of one the U.S Military's greatest units; why was Roy Campbell a Colonel during his tenure?
      • Ranks are only really useful for the purpose of a chain of command, which Big Boss usually operated outside of. Mostly likely Big Boss's "rank" was considered one underneath whoever was ordering his unit around for the purpose of that mission, or something similar to that.
  • Did Big Boss give Solid, Liquid and Solidus their codenames? Seems pretty ridiculous to me that a man who never considered them his sons would give them titles that relate to his old FOX title. In fact, according to Liquid, Big Boss hated him so much he continually taunted him throughout his entire youth about his so-called inferior genes... although this in itself is pretty ridiculous considering it seems pretty out of character for a man who was an anti-hero at worst.
    • The novelization of Metal Gear Solid 1 makes it clear that Snake and Liquid were given the designated codenames of Solid and Liquid from the time they were born in a secret Military facility in New Mexico. Solidus is heavily implied to have been more of a top secret project even in comparison to Snake or Liquid, so I doubt Big Boss ever learned about him before MGS4. Also Liquid's claims about Big Boss seem rather exaggerated given what we know about the man's strong moral character, if anything Liquid's claims about Big Boss sound more like something the Patriots would have done as they were raising him.
  • The swords the Cyborg Ninjas use, the games claim that they vibrate the blade to incredibly high frequencies which heats them up to a point where they can cut through virtually anything. How? Any sword hot enough to cut through Metal Gears (armor that is stated to be able to withstand anything short of HEAT, or high-explosive-anti-tank, rounds) like butter would require internal hardware similar to a lightsaber and would totally obliterate the metal blade.
    • I've never heard of them generating heat through the vibrations. I've just heard that the vibrations just make it cut better. The same principle is why there's electric turkey carvers that vibrate.
      • Here is a direct quote from the MGS4 Database: "Electric signals in the megahertz to the gigahertz range are known as high frequencies. Channeling high frequency energy through a sword raises its temperature, thereby increasing its cutting ability." Energy hot enough to cut through Metal Gear armor should obliterate the blade itself unless it somehow has a dense layer of metal to be armored against that, which would make it very heavy and yet Snake carries it with ease before he gives it to Raiden.
  • So, a question from someone who knows about as much about engineering and the tactics of nuclear warfare as I do about the intricacies of being a magical unicorn from beyond the moon: Is Metal Gear Rex both technologically feasible (specifically, the idea of launching a nuke silently, not the 'walking tank' aspect) and practical (i.e. would a military even want one in the first place)?
    • The whole Mech concept in general is completely flawed from a real world point of view - not only would it be obscenely expensive but there is pretty much nothing a walking tank could do that either a treaded tank or a Stryker couldn't do either better or to an effective standard. But, by far, the biggest practical flaw with Metal Gear is that we already have two perfectly viable launching platforms to fire a nuke anywhere in the world: they're called nuclear submarines and B2-Stealth bombers. The whole nuclear aspect behind Metal Gear was obsolete even during the MSX Metal Gear series. As for the stealth nuke, yes, theoretically speaking it would work; Modern missile countermeasures scan for ballistic missiles using their tail fire, which a railgun nuke wouldn't have as it's fired like a bullet. Practically however, not only does the technology to build a railgun not exist, but firing a missile like a bullet would have horrific accuracy over even a moderate range. A cruise missile would still be far, far superior.
      • Granin's justification for Metal Gear having legs is that artillery has great fire power but has poor mobility and that infantry has minor fire power but excellent mobility, by giving a tank legs it would be able to quickly enter a battle unleash devastating force and then move on to a more strategic position in no time at all. Regular tanks weigh a few dozen tons and anything the size of a Metal Gear (they stand about 75 feet tall, which is longer than an Olympic Swimming Pool) would have to weight several hundred tons, give or take its ammunition, meaning those legs would give it terrible traction and would most likely collapse under its own weight. In real life tanks and artillery are not as slow as people think and could reach any tactical position necessary during a battle that a Metal Gear could achieve and even if it couldn't helicopters or planes could easily air-lift it, the legs don't provide any sort of advantage over treads/wheels. Anyway looking past the implausibility of Metal Gears as a concept RAY would be far more tactically versatile on the battlefield than REX would be, since it can operate on land or sea it could function as a submarine or tank when the situation calls for it, and has far more options for retreat, and because of this it would be more useful as a nuclear platform as it really can fire a nuke from anywhere on Earth.
      • As for the science of the Rail Gun, it is in a very experimental stage for the U.S Navy right now, it uses magnetic rails to accelerate its ammunition to speeds several times the speed of sound. At speeds like that shells that normally wouldn't even be able to dent heavy armor like on a tank or a Navy Ship would be able to turn it into mush and the sheer friction from the heat of the round traveling through the air would turn the air into plasma. As with all weapons a rail gun of course needs a power source, regular electricity would require it to charge for a significant length of time before it could fire so for it to be practical it would need a nuclear generator which are so big only an aircraft carrier or a Navy Ship would be able to carry one, a Metal Gear can't function as a power source for the rail gun. Even with that in mind no real world rail gun is (currently) capable of making a nuclear warhead reach escape velocity, the kind of power it would need to propel a warhead like a bullet to any location on the face of the Earth would overcharge the rail gun and blow itself up, so Liquid Ocelot's plan to destroy JD which is a satilite in space would have failed realistically and it certainly wouldn't be able to hit a target from any location on Earth as advertised. If you were to tell a U.S Navy guy that a rail gun could function as a nuclear platform they would laugh at you, the U.S Navy is planning to install the rail gun as a battlefield weapon in 2020 as a bunker buster type weapon that will destroy fortified positions from sea so troops can storm their target without issue.
      • The real world impracticability of the application of Metal Gear is well covered above however I think two things have been forgotten that need to be considered here: 1) Over the last 25 years there has been a shift toward protecting our soldiers using computers and unmanned combat as opposed to the Zurg Rush mentality of the previous centuries. 2) Traditional country on country warfare is rapidly dying out; America's last true war was all the way back in 2001. Replaced with proxy wars, small scale regional conflicts and battles against terrorist insurgents, as such, the need for huge hulking tanks such as Metal Gear has been replaced with the need for versatile multi-function vehicles. The unmanned Metal Gears, specifically the Gekko and the mass-produced RAY have a wide range of potential uses and could quite easily work in the real world.
      • The Gekko is capable of entering, climbing and jumping over a building which makes it superior to any wheeled vehicle we are currently fielding, has highly accurate friend or foe recognition, is immune to small arms fire the RPG and IED's, is capable of acting completely independently or in a group and is capable of demolishing a building using in-built explosives. The mass-produced RAY possesses the intelligence and armour of a Gekko and, piloted by a satellite, could potentially make a marine landing against a fully entrenched position easily and without threatening a single member of your side. Most ships would also find combating a group of mass-produced RAY's near enough impossible which would end the need for costly naval battles. Finally, as stated above, the submersible capabilities of the manned RAY would make it superior to the REX's nuclear launch capabilities; the mass-produced RAY would trump even that... a nuclear equipped, unmanned vehicle that could bomb anywhere on Earth without putting a single American life at risk.
      • As stated above already if Metal Gears functioned in the way portrayed in the games as opposed to how they would realistically function in real life then yes they would be far superior to any battlefield tank or artillery battery we currently have in service, could replicate the functions of a submarine, and could be used to supplement and enhance our current nuclear strategy. The game actually does acknowledge how it is possible for the Metal Gears to function the way they do, if you read the Database then it states that Granin's Metal Gear project couldn't be funded because his theoretical hydraulic system needed to make the Metal Gears function was so ahead of its time no one else other than him knew how to make it (the Shagohad was easier to make with the technology available at the time. Were it not for the blueprints Granin left behind Metal Gear probably would have been lost to history). This does raise a question however; any hydraulic system sophisticated enough to operate something like a Metal Gear would have virtually limitless capabilities for enhancing already existing technology like tanks, cars, planes, etc.
  • Why was FOX and later FOXHOUND both disbanded by the U.S Military? Just because a few key members of those organizations staged rebellions doesn't mean the whole unit was rogue. It would be like if a few members of the Navy Seals went rouge and started killing everyone and in response the Navy shuts down the entire Navy Seals program. That wouldn't happen in real life, they would simply replace the rogue members and be more strict about who they pass for selection.
    • One possible option: scapegoatism. The Pentagon has to be able to say, "This person's at fault, we have punished them appropriately"... And if "this person" is dead, then he needs to be replaced with "That person" who is alive, regardless of whether that person actually did anything wrong. Of course, this would require the disaster to become at least-somewhat-public knowledge, and off the top of my head I don't remember whether they were able to keep Shadow Moses quiet. (Check out the Headscratchers page for 24 for more on this mentality.)
  • Do Solid Snake and Big Boss even have a formal rank in the U.S Military? Snake has a background in the Green Berets during the First Iraq War/Desert Storm and CIA Para-Military forces, and Big Boss was a Green Beret during the Korean War and Vietnam War. A general trend I have seen is that elite warriors tend to want to avoid becoming an officer so they can continue fighting; so what a Sergeant? Big Boss during his years as FOXHOUND Commander had to have become an officer by then, probably a Colonel or General. Do the writers intend for us to believe that Snake and Big Boss are so top secret that they don't officially exist and thus can't have a rank or are their ranks unimportant?
    • The short answer is no; FOX was a CIA division, and FOXHOUND was modeled after FOX by Big Boss. Both were geared towards Solo sneaking missions, so rank would be irrelevant as you shouldn't be interacting with allied forces anyway. The only person who had a rank in the operation would be the CO (aka Big Boss in MG 1, and Cambell in the second onwards, with Major Zero in 3 as FOX's), and there are plenty of members of both organisations who were never apart of the US military (ie; everyone in Liquid's FOXHOUND was either a civillion, a mercenary, or was a member of another nation's army before FOXHOUND). There's no need for them to have ranks, as they're not supposed to be in the field with other military units anyway.
      • However don't Special Forces have ranks? For example when former Navy Seals or Delta Force members are interviewed they occasionally state their ranks. I thought FOXHOUND was supposed to be an official Special Forces Unit underneath SOCOM authority. What you're saying is that it is more or less unofficial and is an "off-the-books" operation?
      • I'm not sure where you learnt that but I'm assuming you are referring to Meryl's In Name Only FOXHOUND? the one commanded by Big Boss and Campbell was beyond top secret and was reserved for use when official action would have been too dangerous or politically sensitive; for example assassinating or kidnapping foreign officials. Essentially FOXHOUND originally operated similar to the organization from Mission: Impossible; for all and intents and purposes they don't exist.
      • No I was talking about Big Boss's time in FOX and Snake's time in FOXHOUND as agents. Both Snake and Big Boss are repeatedly reminded of their mission priorities and are told that the Pentagon and Washington have command authority; I interpreted that to mean that FOX/FOXHOUND were official organizations that were under the authority of the Special Forces, which are overseen by SOCOM, and of course the Government. I mean official organizations that some times do top secret black ops on the side (i.e. Navy Seals killing Osama Bin Laden). I guess the picture you're painting makes more sense given the nature of the Patriots though.
  • Why aren't the ramifications of the Arsenal Gear crash ever really dealt with? It crashed through Manhattan and landed at Federal Hall which would have killed thousands of people and have cost billions in property damage which would have made it the most infamous terrorist incident in history even eclipsing 9/11. The first responders would have been on alert immediately searching for survivors and to seal off danger zones and sure enough the police are on the scene of the crash minutes after Raiden killed Solidus, the dead body of the former President of the United States would have been fun for them to explain to their superiors. Not to mention the Vice President would have to take over and address the nation since Ocelot killed the current President. Also the PMC response to this terrorist incident doesn't make sense to me either, 9/11 saw rapid militarization of the United States and put us in a war that lasted 10 years, you would think that the people of the United States would be calling out to Washington to build up the Military even more to protect its borders rather than privatize the Military. The illogical PMC response is the only thing Campbell has to say about the Arsenal Gear crash, there are so many other factors to consider that the Patriots must have had a field day trying to cover up.
    • It would have been hard work Yes, but the fact is that the Patriots DID cover it up.
    • 1) 9/11 doesn't apply to the Metal Gear Universe; In the real world America is controlled by the people (something ultimately called the Second Amendment) as well as a truly democratically elected government. 9/11 hit so hard because the real world US had grown complacent with too much faith in it's security given it's unequalled military superiority and the fact there hasn't been any true bloodshed on American soil (by a foreign enemy) since the Revolution. The Metal Gear Universe on the other hand is controlled absolutely by the Patriots - military, media, government, economy, resources everything. If they didn't want a 9/11 style build up then it wouldn't happen; if the Patriots didn't want a war it wouldn't happen or it would benefit them somehow. The death of the president could easily have been explained by him being taken ill or deciding to step down voluntarily as they had with Solidus not a few years beforehand. Let's not also forget the impact of SOP a few short years later, filtering out harmful digital information and controlling anyone in authority with the power to fight back,
      • Actually yes it does. In Metal Gear Rising one of the bosses Raiden fights makes explicit reference to 9/11 having happened in the Metal Gear universe.
    • 2) As for who the Patriots told the American people who slammed a warship into Manhattan? Solid Snake. He had already been classed as an international Metal Gear terrorist after sinking the Tanker; it wouldn't take too much for them to claim something packed to the rafters with twenty five Metal Gears was attacked by notorious anti-Metal Gear terrorists considering his DNA is probably spread across half the ship after his various gunfights. Its also a little known fact that the original ending for Metal Gear Solid 4 was that Solid Snake would face trial for his perceived crimes - Kojima only changed it because he thought the fans would never accept that to be the ultimate ending and decided to write a happier one instead. What crimes you may ask? good question isn't it.
  • Something I've always wondered about the Patriots is what would happen if the civilian population ever found out about them. I'm assuming for the great majority of the American population it would come as a surprise that a secret society of Military and Corporate Interests controlled the United States government making all of their civil rights guaranteed under the law one big fraud. Most people probably don't believe in conspiracies, but they at least acknowledge the existence of minor cases of corruption which are just flaws in the men running the system rather than a flaw in the system itself. The more cynical that already believed that the corporations had long ago bought out the the government with their lobbying in the United States Senate and already controlled the flow of information probably wouldn't be too surprised they would only now have a name to place on those conspiracies. What do you think would happen to the future of the United States after the Patriots were found out?
    • Interesting question: personally I think it would be similar somewhat to The Matrix; People of establishment who are so dependent on what they perceive to be the US way of life such as Lawyers would probably just announce the evidence as fake or collaborate because they need the way of life they've become accustomed to; those who believe in the democracy and freedom the US represents would also probably ignore it given the realization they are living in a dictatorship. Only the young would (likely) rebel and they would of course fail; SOP would deactivate all weapons except civilian firearms which would give the US military a simple choice: allow the crazed civilians to run around with the only weapons available, join them and have all your weapons and equipment deactivate or continue to enforce the Patriots rule by suppressing the rebellion - some choice huh?
      • But what about after getting rid of them, and what would happen if you expose everything, from the era of the Philosophers until the present?
  • This is more so about development of the series, but under the Creator Backlash page it said that head creator of the series didn't want to make any more Metal Gear games after Metal Gear Solid. If that's the case, then why did he end that game and it's sequel on sequel bait and essentially make the fans demand more?
    • He apparently just thought the stinger to the first game was a neat twist, and the second game was less a Sequel Hook and more of a belligerent, "You like twists? I got your twist right here." There's a reason that, of all MGS2's bits that MGS4 went out of its way to explain, the "They've been dead for 100 years," line was just brushed off with, "Yeah, that was a load of bull, ignore it."
  • I know that Big Boss is a huge Blood Knight archetype and that his feelings towards the way soldiers ideally should be treated motivated him to make Outer Heaven; but how long was he really expecting to oversee that endeavor? Big Boss was 39 when he first made Outer Heaven back in 1974, and by 1995 he was 60 when he initiated his first rebellion and then 64 during Zanzibar. The longest a General can stay in the U.S Military is up until age 68 and then they are forcibly retired, there is a point where you are too elderly to serve your country anymore. I know since he made Outer Heaven he gets to make the rules but his health wasn't going to last forever, MGS4 shows that at 79 Big Boss could still fight but that level of activity won't persist into his 80s, 90s and early 100s, eventually he would be wheelchair bound just like Zero was. Who was he planning on entrusting that ideal to? Gray Fox? The War Economy that is displayed prominently in MGS4?
  • Say, whatever happened to those huge background events to Metal Gear 2? There was worldwide nuclear disarmament and the development of bacteria which could produce high-grade oil. Against that background it's weird how nuclear weapons continue to be a major theme of the series, and the world economy apparently wasn't changed a bit by a revolutionary new source of oil.
    • The opening of Metal Gear 2 talks about how Zanzibar Land, under Big Boss' Outer Heaven, stole stockpiles of nuclear weapons from other countries, it would be literally impossible for one country to steal all the many thousands of nuclear weapons in the world and keep them for themselves. The security in the majority of nuclear weapon facilities, especially in World Powers, would be too great to sneak in to, and even if they could disarm the rest of the world in such a manner they wouldn't have enough room to store them in their country. Rearming yourself with nuclear weapons is very expensive, even for a superpower like the United States, and yet the use of nuclear weapons seems like a clearly viable option in the Metal Gear Solid Saga as its use was threatened in MGS1, MGS2, and MGS4 by various characters. I don't think a global disarmament is canon to the Metal Gear Solid series.
      • As for the oil bacteria, I don't know to be honest as the later games don't even mention its existence. Hell EVA in MGS4 seems to think that oil is as "precious as diamonds", which is a rather strange thing for her to say when the PMCs are using a ton of vehicles that are almost certainly using oil as fuel to function. Anything as high tech as a bacteria that could multiply viable oil on a mass scale would effectively end all resource conflicts in the entire world as oil would be dirt cheap. That does raise the question of what all these PMCs are fighting for, resources are essentially infinite at this point. Perhaps the Military Industrial Complex likes maintaining these wars because it gives them a chance to sell weapons and thus make a profit?
  • Big Boss had a total restoration of his body after being heavily burned, and given the extent to which Solidus' body was mutilated (Solidus was used as a body part donor by EVA according to Big Boss himself) that means he also lost all 4 of his limbs. OK so we have a fully rejuvenated Big Boss with no burns, fresh organs, and new limbs... yet somehow his right eyeball still needs an eye patch. Seriously? They honestly couldn't give Big Boss a new eye ball after all that? In the Rising trailers doctors operate on Raiden and they give him a cybernetic eye ball, so obviously it is possible.
    • Probably reasons of familarity. Big Boss had spent several decades without an eye, giving him a new eye would have been very disorienting for someone who spent the last three-to-four decades used to solely using his left eye.
  • In all the Big Boss prequels we see Big Boss reload his shotguns with some sort of big long stick. How does that push all the shells into the gun?
    • Looks like some kind of magazine. They probably didn't want to animate the whole reloading-one-shell-at-a-time thing.
  • how did snake and big boss eat instant curry and ramen on the field without bowls or the hot water needed to cook it in the first place?
    • I can tell you from personal experience (and a legion of Youtube videos) that it is very possible to eat instant noodles raw.
      • It's very crunchy. When I was a kid I used to have them for lunch at school.
      • Some military ration packs that come with noodles have eating them raw as a serving suggestion if pressed for time/short on water to boil.
  • Sort of a meta example, but how come the only characters/events that are "important" to the series myth arc are only the ones from the Solid series? It's been stated that the events of Metal Gear 1 and 2 had ramifications beyond those two games, and all the prequel games are leading up to them, yet the actual events that occurred in those games, and the people involved in them that weren't named Big Boss or Solid Snake are barely mentioned. ESPECIALLY if the Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land rebellions were Big Boss attempting to strike at the Patriots as canon seems to indicate.
    • Metal Gears 1 and 2 had a grand total of about six named, relevant characters. There were two fairly uninteresting love interests, one of whom died through treason, one doctor who has been namedropped at the very least, Big Boss and Gray Fox. The rest were characterless boss fights. I'm rather more bemused by the fact that the magic synthetic substance that could have replaced oil completely was never mentioned again.
      • In fairness to Oilix with the exception of Eva saying that she has trouble trying to find gas for her motorbike has the energy crisis ever been brought up again? on that note is it ever confirmed exactly what Oilix is? because the description of the product from Metal Gear 2 implies that it is simply a way to make petroleum more efficient rather than replace it entirely. I like to think that one of the reasons the war economy took off the way it did is because there are no longer any resource problems.
    • Op here: I don't buy the answer that there weren't many major characters. True as it may be, the events that occurred in those rebellions are essentially the lynchpins the series is held together by, if all the build up in the prequels is any indication. It seems really strange for a series that hinges so much on continuity to ignore a major chunk of it. It's basically breaking down to "Snake Eater thru Peace Walker = BIG MASSIVE BUILDUP. Metal Gear 1 and 2 = oh, yeah, some stuff happened here, we don't talk about it much. Metal Gear Solids = HOLY CRAP, WHOLE BIG CONSPIRACY THAT'S TOUCHED LITERALLY EVERY EVENT IN THE SERIES!" It's almost like Metal Gears 1 and 2 were Big Lipped Alligator Moments, for lack of a better descriptor. Add to that, those events are THE big moments of Big Boss's character arc, not to mention the catalysts to Solid Snake's subsequent career.
      • I suspect Kojima hadn't planned the story of the Solid games back then. The Solid games' story is so intricate that they were probably somewhat planned out before even MGS1 was released, but probably not before MG1 was released, so they the older games in as much as they could to the larger story. Also, as someone above mentioned, those games were old; there aren't that many characters and events to reference.
      • A far more cynical version of the previous comment is that Kojima is making it up as he goes along and as such a ridiculous amount of stuff has been retconned. Check how the story of Big Boss has gone: He goes from a complete heartless bastard in the original games who betrays his country purely on the basis of power, to scarred but legendary Gulf War vet who actually betrayed his country in order to usher in a new era for abandoned soldiers in the early MGS series, to a misunderstood messiah who was only trying to free the world of the Illuminati after being forced to shoot his mother figure/lover due to a conspiracy. In short; canon means pretty much nothing to Kojima and if he feels the need to change something to suit the needs of his story he will do it without hesitation. See also: The origins of Metal Gear Rex from being the sole brainchild of anime obsessed Hal Emmerich to being more or less stolen from the USSR.
  • Is "If I die in a combat zone," a song found on the fan translated Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake manual a real song or not?
  • If Ocelot was working against The Patriots all along, then why did he sabotage Solidus plan to do pretty much the exact same thing he wanted to do?
    • Because while Ocelot was working against the Patriots, he was still supposed to be working for them, and probably he just thought that Solidus's plan didn't really have a good enough chance at working. So he sabotaged it to keep his cover and hold out for a plan that he believed would work.

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