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Headscratchers: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
  • Stillman. Everything about him faking the injury makes zero sense. First off, if he pretended to have lost it, there's doctors and nurses in on it, along with paramedics. For some reason, all these people, therefore, were like "Hey, sure you killed a bunch of people due to your idiocy, but we'll help you fake injury in order to get sympathy". Secondly, he then needs to trick doctors and medics pretty much all the time, since he's working as an instructor and therefore likely had to do checkups in order to keep working. On top of this, he could never wear shorts or sandals or be seen barefoot by anyone, which is rather difficult, considering those are normal things normal people do. On top of this, he'd have to heavily refuse to ever let anyone see the prosthetic, which would get rather hard, since human nature dictates that just about everyone would be asking to see it. Sure, he has no kids, but let's all hope he's not married, because then either he'd have to somehow fool his wife or have her in on it. At this point, it's more likely that he was in on the Patriots' conspiracy too, because otherwise, he's just built his own conspiracy.
  • This really could go for the first game as well, but the information that really makes it a headscratcher is given here, so I'm putting it here. Otacon and Emma talk about their family's dark history, starting with Otacon's grandfather working on the Manhattan Project. However, even here, the weight given to it implies they know about Otacon's father, Huey, and his work alongside Big Boss and MSF. However, this rips the entire plot asunder. Firstly, if they knew about Huey's work, there's no way Otacon would have been involved in Shadow Moses. Secondly, the moment the two of them started talking about their families, both of them would have had a collective "What the hell?" moment when they realized destiny basically forced them together. Of course, if Huey was extremely secretive about his past with Otacon, that also means he never left any notes, a journal or diary, and was somehow able to deflect questions from his genius son with the exact same interests as him. Whis is highly unlikely. And that's completely avoiding the theory that Strangelove was his mother, because then there'd be even more issues. Like, Otacon asking at one point "Hey dad, how did you and mom meet anyways?"
  • Are there other members of Philanthropy besides Snake and Otacon? If there are, why the hell aren't they ever seen or mentioned? As Badass as Snake is, he can't be two places at once. If he really wanted to shut down every Metal Gear on Earth, you'd think he'd look for some help. In any case, it seems like he'd need to get more members if he wanted to get recognition from the UN. To the UN, one field agent doesn't look like an organized group...it just looks like a lone terrorist. And if there are more members of Philanthropy, then what happened to the organization after Snake faked his death?
    • Its just Snake and Otacon.
    • No they're not. Snake makes it pretty clear that Nastasha Romanenko was involved with Philantrophy after the incident in a codec call in the Big Shell chapter, and Otacon heavily implies Mei Ling was involved in one way or another too.
  • When Raiden sees Solidus for the first time, shouldn't he recognise him as the former president?
    • You'd think he'd recognize him as his adoptive father as well?
      • Did you forget that it's a huge major plot point that Raiden explicitly doesn't remember his past?
      • That doesn't really answer the question about Raiden not recognising Solidus as the former president. In-universe, Solidus/George Sears resigned after Shadow Moses, 4 years before the Big Shell incident. I don't think Raiden's short-term memory is that bad.
      • IIRC, Raiden always did remember his past, but tried to repress the memories and made it quite clear he didn't want to discuss the subject with Rose; he's able to recall with clarity what was done to him as a child soldier, but doesn't talk about it until forced. As for not recognizing Solidus as the former President, it could that he did but didn't say so out loud, but in flashbacks, Solidus was depicted without a beard as George Sears, and looked a lot different. It's not implausible that Raiden didn't make the connection between the Big Boss clone in an exoskeleton in front of him and vague recollections of yet another suit-wearing older politician, distinguished only by position, that he could have only seen on TV.
      • Raiden is himself also under the influence of Patriot nanomachines. In terms of what the 'Selection for Societal Sanity' plan was trying to do (which is still unclear in some ways), it seems to at least put the subject through the wringer pretty hard. Chances are the Patriot nanomachines could have been suppressing Raiden's bad memories of Solidus right up until the point that it would hit the hardest.
      • Plus, accelerated aging. Chances are, he looks several decades older.
  • Not about the story, but about the game itself: Why can't I play half of the game (the Tanker chapter) if I haven't played the first MGS? Granted, it only depends on how you answer the question after selecting the New Game option and you can lie to the game if you want to, but why would they put that question in anyway? To avoid spoilers? I'm playing the sequel first, I think I'm already prepared for spoilers.
    • It's all a part of the "Player = Raiden" idea. If you hadn't played MGS1, you, ideally, wouldn't know who Snake was. So the whole Snake being Pliskin thing would be a reveal to both, not just to Raiden.
    • Also, just to clarify, the Tanker isn't nearly half the game. It's the intro. The Big Shell is the bulk of the game, while the Tanker will take, tops, an hour the first time through.
      • Not really. The Big Shell is physically not that much larger than the Tanker, there's just loads of backtracking.
      • I was talking about how much gameplay is spent in each one, not physical size.
    • Was this only in the first release of the game? The Substance re-release let's you choose to play either or both right from the menu.
      • It's only in the UK release of Sons of Liberty. In the US release, it does not ask you this question. (trust me, I have the US release)
    • It's actually rather clever if you think about it: The plot of the Plant section is exactly the same as the plot for MGS, with characters changed (Raiden is Snake, Snake and Olga are Grey Fox and so on). Someone who has completed MGS 1 before playing will have noticed these things, thus spoiling The Reveal.
  • Why does the door to the mess hall in Strut C have a level one security clearance, when the door for the kitchen is unlocked? Obviously it's for the benefit of the blocking in the cutscene- having Pliskin enter the kitchen from the mess hall side when Raiden meets Peter Stillman. However, would it have killed the developers to have two versions of the scene- one where Raiden enters from the kitchen door and one where Raiden enters from the mess hall side? Otherwise, it would seem that low-level employees at the Big Shell are required to bring their own lunches.
    • The low-level employees probably were the people with Level 1 clearance.
    • Okay, that's valid. But it still does not answer the question of why just anyone can go into the kitchen, but a security card is needed for the mess hall. Also: if every employee is issued a security card of one level or another, why are all the doors in the Big Shell not security doors?
      • Cost.
    • Fan Wank solution: Builders screw up. Doors were originally meant to go other way around, but someone screwed up. By the time they found out they got doors wrong way, decide to leave them since 90% percent of people would have level 1 clearance, thus no problem. Patriots didn't either know or didn't care.
  • Why are there mines in the flooded Shell 2 Core? Did the soldiers just leave them in the halls on the off chance the area would be flooded and someone would be swimming around in it, or did Vamp leave them there?
    • Probably Vamp.
      • More likely supposed to be a large clue that something isn't right. "Wait a minute, why would a facility that does nothing but clean up an oil spill have underwater mines in their storage?"
  • What about Vamp's super regenerative nanomachines allows him to swim in buoyancy restricting water?
    • The out-of-story reason is that was a boss arena for another character who was cut, and they decided to use it anyway.
    • In story, the water probably flushed him out under the struts to where we see him next time. He probably was technically dead while in the water, but after he got flushed into real ocean water the nanos fixed up his lungs to allow him to... well, make a huge annoying chunk of the game completely meaningless.
    • Also keep in mind that he didn't get those nanomachines until after this game. He always had a hell of a regenerative factor and could do impossible feats like running on water or all perfectly vertical walls. He could swim through that water because he was inhumanly strong and dexterous.
      • According to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, his regen ability is ONLY because of his nanonmachines, and that he's had them since deadcell existed. A VDW force is how he was able to run up buildings and across water (thanks to extreme physical fitness). his shadow pin attack is him using a radio emitter in the knife handle to cause Raidens nanomachines or suit to lock his leg movement. What ISN'T explained is how he can sit on top of the water or swim. The swimming could POSSIBLY be handwaved the same way the water running was, if poorly, but the standing on water is impossible without some sort of weird power. Metal Gear Solid 4 broke a lot of the series
      • Could we get a citation on that? Because the game never says any of that, and supports my theory more. For example, all the wounds he got in 2 are still on his body in 4, but all of the new wounds he gets in 4 are healed up completely by the nanomachines. And Naomi herself says that he already had an impressive regen ability;
Naomi: He was never immortal. His natural healing abilities were enhanced by the nanomachines inside his body. But after so many battles... He's finally reached his limit.
  • Also his shadow attack was not technological in nature, Otacon suggested it was more hypnotic in nature. And he can sit on the water because he does have some degree of supernatural power. The nanomachines in 4 were just to keep his body from falling apart.
  • That quote from Naomi is highly ambiguous. It could either refer to Vamp having some innate healing factor, like Wolverine, or it could just refer to the natural healing abilities the human body possesses, which were amplified in Vamp's case by nanotechnology. Given the Guns of the Patriots' tendency to de-mystify the series, the latter explanation is more likely.
  • When you bring Emma up to the first floor of the Shell 2 Core, a guard comes out of the elevator after you've moved a significant distance away from it. Where did he come from? That elevator only goes to the flooded floor and there wasn't anyone down there.
    • There is a sealed blast door to the left of the elevator Raiden can't enter.
  • How does Otacon get the hostages out of the Shell 1 core and to the helicopter pad on Strut E? The bridges out of the core were out on both sides.
    • Err, what? You walk across a bridge to get to the core!
      • The BC bridge, yes. The FE bridge side has false panels, so it's somewhat questionable how they refugees managed to get over that.
      • He probably just landed directly on the roof of the Shell 1 core.
  • Why does Fortune capture Snake even though she's only wanted to kill him the entire time and no one else has expressed any interest in taking him alive? And where did she get those handcuffs?
    • Nobody expressed an interest on screen, but Ocelot, who was sorta her boss, probably told her to grab him.
    • While we're at it, how did she get him up that ladder with his hands cuffed behind his back? She doesn't seem quite large enough to have carried him.
      • She uses a gun that if you set down vertically is almost as tall as she is. Assume that she has good upper-body strength.
      • The game likes to portray the illusion Snake is having his own story off-screen, keeping with him being the main character. Something happened, but we the players aren't privy to it, just like we aren't privy to Snake's bomb-defusing, his uncovering of the nature of the Big Shell, or his boss battle with Olga. Also, nothing in the game says the ladder is the only way up to Arsenal Gear's top.
  • When does Fortune's magic box get turned off? It was active during her fight with Snake, but they go upstairs, Ocelot says it's the source of her bullet deflecting powers, and then it's suddenly off.
    • Ocelot probably had a remote control for it.
  • If the magic box deflects bullets fired at the person wearing it based on an electromagnetic field projected around them, why doesn't it divert the path of bullets fired by them? Fortune's railgun might be long enough to bypass this, but Ocelot's revolver isn't.
    • The field is probably tuned to push bullets away from the wearer. If the gun is shooting the bullets away, they're not going to be affected by it so much. Alternatively, Ocelot might have been packing non-magnetic bullets just for the occasion.
  • Why are Snake and Solidus surprised by Ocelot's change into Liquid while he has control of RAY? Solidus has been in the room with Ocelot while he was having a "change into Liquid" spasm and referenced Liquid by name. Granted, he fought it off, so it's possible that Solidus only recognizes them as spasms and not a full takeover. Snake, however, is not only surprised by the change, but that it was Liquid on the tanker even though Liquid called out to and chatted with him before Ocelot took back over.
    • Been a while since I've seen it, but it might be they were surprised at how it was happening, or that it was happening just then. As you said, he'd fought it off previously, so maybe it asserting control like that was something Solidus wasn't used to, and Snake had only seen it once, two years ago.
    • There's no indication that Ocelot actually speaks in Liquid Snake's voice when his persona takes over; it could be just for the viewer's benefit. As such, during the Tanker chapter, Snake may have assumed that Ocelot was just having some sort of seizure, although he did notice Liquid's arm. Perhaps he was surprised on Arsenal Gear because he realized Liquid really was possessing Ocelot. It wouldn't surprise me if the incident on the Tanker bothered him for a year, and then during the Plant chapter he got the explanation that his brother was alive again.
      • This. Solidus in particular only seems aware that there are issues with the arm, not that they involve Liquid. If he was, then he wouldn't be complaining about how much the surgery cost to Ocelot during the sections where we can listen in. Given it's Ocelot, chances are Solidus doesn't even know whose arm that really is.
  • How did Liquid choose Ocelot as a host for his disembodied arm? Why did Ocelot decide to graft Liquid's arm onto his body? A conversation with Solidus implies that he was the one that decided to put Liquid's arm onto Ocelot, but why Liquid's arm?
    • Ocelot may be a bit of a psychic, considering his pedigree. He might have 'talked' to Liquid between the games.
    • He didn't, it's revealed in MGS4 that the entire Liquid arm possession thing was an elaborate lie. Ocelot used hypnotherapy to turn himself into Liquid to fool the Patriots, why that was necessary is anyone's guess
      • No, he did. The hypnotherapy only happened after this game. Before, it really was Liquid's spirit taking over, and Ocelot ditched him for a prosthetic arm and hypnotherapy afterward.
      • Depends on the source material, unfortunately when it is explained we didn't get a time-line. The MGS4 database and the MGS wiki go with the hypnotherapy thing, the MGS2 comic goes with the Ocelot is part psychic thing, I feel the hypnotherapy deal goes better with Ocelot's series spanning xanatos gambit. Ocelot is the son of The Boss and The Sorrow. So he's the son of a spirit medium, making his body ripe for possessing. After the events of MGS 2 he did the hypnotherapy, but during the events of MGS 2 he was possessed. This isn't spoilered out because You Should Know This By Now.
      • That's only ever mentioned in the comic, if the MGS4 database on PSN is word of god then it's hypnotherapy.
      • Technically the database also says he removed the arm after 2009 to "balance his psyche", but it's wrong on a million other things so it's hardly Word of God.
      • It's a bit of both actually, the actual Liquid is dead and gone, his ghost is still floating in REX's cockpit in MGS4, Ocelot used hypnotherapy to create a new Liquid persona entirely in his own mind which "possessed" him every time snake was around. So yeah A Liquid is possessing Ocelot, just not THE Liquid. Ocelot has no direct control over his actions, but it's part of his huge master plan. The point was to fool the Patriots into thinking they we're fighting Liquid and not Ocelot so they couldn't predict his actions. So his Ocelot persona is completely at whim of his Liquid persona, but it's got nothing to do with him being the Sorrow's son.
    • Okay, first off, the MGS4 Database was marketed by Kojima Productions as being canon, so unless proven otherwise it's the word of god. Following that, he was possessed during the Sons of Liberty incident, cut the arm off as soon as he got control again and got a new arm, then use hypnotherapy to continue with the ruse.
    • You can accept the first answer if you just discount MGS4. I always just figured Ocelot needed a new hand, saw Liquid's fresh corpse and said, "Why the fuck not?".
  • What was Solidus doing while Raiden was having that long codec call with AI Colonel and AI Rose before they started fighting? For that matter, what was Solidus doing while Raiden was having that long codec call with AI Colonel and AI Rose in the middle of the fight?
    • We can probably assume that the longer ones during fights are meant to take place as the character's fighting, sort of like talking on your cell phone while you're driving. Gameplay and Story Segregation.
    • Are you kidding? This is the Metal Gear series we're talking about here. The one that repeatedly breaks the fourth wall for shits and giggles (and to yell at the player once in a while). When you're using the codec, either everyone around you waits for you to be done or time literally stops.
    • Same thing Liquid was doing when Snake was talking to the Secretary of Defense; waiting for him to realise just how screwed over he is.
    • In the novelization, Solidus is monologuing the entire time and doesn't even notice that Raiden isn't listening. Raiden just happens to finish talking to GW at the same time Solidus finishes.
    • Solidus is a very polite killer. While they're fighting Raiden just says "Hold on man, I gotta take this call. Gimme like 5 minutes."
    • First time I saw it I assumed the Patriots had been talking to him too at the same time and giving him reasons to fight Raiden. Can't remember if there's anything in game to imply this.
  • How did Snake get from the middle of the Hudson River to Federal Hall National Memorial swimming and on foot that fast? He jumped off well before Arsenal crossed under the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge. That's a big distance to cover at all let alone in that short time frame.
    • Maybe Otacon picked him up after dropping off the hostages. I mean, sure, he was all Hot-Blooded there, but eventually Snake's gonna realize he's not going to chase down a swimming mecha, and would call to be picked up.
  • Where is Raiden keeping that ration, cold medicine, and box when he's naked?
    • You don't want to know.
      • If he did shove them up his ass, then how was he able to put that box up his ass? Unless he's like Cartman from South Park, how he's able to shove ANYTHING up his ass (even Disneyland), as revealed in the episode where he went to juvenile hall.
    • Women may have more hiding places than men, but men still have one good old reliable spot...
    • He did the same thing Snake did at the beginning of MGS and swallowed them. Foxhound agents are taught to regurgitate items on command.
      • So how was he able to swallow the box???
    • Assuming it's any better than hiding stinger in skull suit.
    • The same place he keeps all those boxes (and assault rifles and missile launchers) when he's not naked: his inventory.
  • Where are the missiles Solidus fires out of his tentacles coming from?
    • Probably from inside the tentacles.
  • Did Snake collect all the dog tags necessary for his headband while defusing bombs in Shell 2? He didn't have it during the tanker mission, so he couldn't have gotten it from Shadow Moses. Unless he just left it at home for the tanker infiltration, he could have only gotten it from dog tag collection.
    • My money's on him just leaving it home for that mission, since he intended to be stealthy, not go in guns ablazin'. Besides, Metal Gear Solid 4 shows that Meryl survived, so her ending is canon.
  • I am not sure what goes into testing on dead bodies, but, when Rose has the body of Snake tested to make sure he is really him, it comes up as Snake's DNA. This is later revealed to be Liquid's but my question is this; how did the examiners not notice that the body they were testing has been decomposing for 4 years not 2? Also it is stated that the body was missing an arm, we know that was removed for Ocelot, however because Ocelot could not know Snake would use it to fake his death, when he had the arm removed it would be done carefully and the results would be much to clean for the examiners to assume it was ripped off in the sinking of the tanker. So that should have tipped off those who were testing on the body. Sorry for the wall of text, and I realize that my questions somewhat contradict each other, but this always irked me.
    • Maybe they (Ocelot?) have been keeping the body on ice? He is the clone of the greatest soldier of all time, and the US government saw fit to preserve Big Boss in a similar fashion.
    • The answer is simple; Rose is working for the Patriots, so therefore the body was never exhumed. They just gave her a script to read off of, like how they told her to make Raiden fall in love with her. While Liquid's body was used as a stand in by Snake to fake his death at the tanker, the Patriots saw through it pretty much instantly but didn't care enough to correct anyone. So his body is probably somewhere that the Patriots control.
  • Fortune's magic box and angst powers are stated to disarm explosives and deflect bullets (and seemingly all other projectiles), but nobody ever says why it's impossible to close the distance and punch her in the face. Unless the invisible wall you run into happens to be another manifestation of her powers, but that just makes it worse. (Seriously how does that magic box even work?)
    • There is an invisible wall. When you 'fight' Fortune, i.e. run out the clock without being killed by her, if you try to run at her you come up against just such an invisible barrier. I was specifically trying to see if I could do any damage in CQC like you were suggesting but I couldn't get close enough to do anything.
    • Some sort of electromagnetism which both deflects bullets, and does...something to the detonators on explosives. As for closing the distance? That big honkin' railgun is probably the main reason.
      • She couldn't hit Raiden at ten feet, and the refire rate was pretty bad. I reckon he could make it if he really tried. And how did she capture Snake if she never engaged in hand-to-hand combat? I don't expect they make railguns with a "stun" setting.
      • I imagine there was some amount of physical combat involved. My best guess is she clocked him in the head with the butt of her railgun when she got an opportunity.
  • Why were Snake and Otacon against the Marine corps' Metal Gear Ray project? Ray is an anti Metal Gear, designed to combat and destroy other models. In fact, it even lacks a Metal Gear's defining trait; Ray is not equipped or designed to fire nuclear warheads! By all accounts they should be on the same side.
    • Because at the end of the day Ray is still a Metal Gear. America is offically against the use of Metal Gears, so Snake and Otacon were going to release images of Ray to show just what the US goverment were up to. Plus, they didn't know the full details of Ray; for all they knew it had the ability to launch nukes too.
    • This. REX is arguably a handy weapon for world peace in the right hands. Taken and sold by Ocelot to hundreds of other countries, it becomes a weapon of terror; Given the chance, what's to say that RAY couldn't be taken and abused in the same way? It's all about escalation. If opposing countries - not just the US - had the 'Metal Gear killer' in their arsenal, where does it go from there?
  • Why didn't Raiden try and shoot Fortune after he "killed" Vamp, when he had a clear shot? Would her magic box have deflected a bullet from him if he pressed the gun against her head and pulled the trigger?
    • Fortune could have turned around at any moment, also Raiden did not know the nature of her powers, he just wanted to get the hell out of there.
    • Raiden didn't know the extent of her powers; all he knew was that from one gunfight he'd witnessed basically all small-arms fire deflected away from her and grenades near here failed to detonate. For all he knew, trying to do that would just cause his gun to explode in his hand.
    • On top of that, he was just alerted that Fatman placed another huge bomb somewhere on the Big Shell and he had to get out of there ASAP. If there was the slightest chance the bullet wouldn't work and he had to spend his time safely leaving to deal with the bomb if Fortune got pissed, he really could've wasted time.
    • That and, in the (admittedly questionable) novelization, Raiden thought it would be a dick move to kill her while she was angsting.
  • I thought Snake was smart enough to tell the differences between special forces, be it their purposes, their tactics or their mottos. So why is it he goofed up by saying "Semper Fi" to Raiden when he was clearly not impersonating a Marine? Even Stillman caught on to it fairly quickly.
    • He did it on purpose. That was the point. He dropped several hints that he wasn't a SEAL like he was claiming to be. Pretty sure it was because he wanted Raiden to actually think about it, put the pieces together, and question what was going on rather than just blindly accepting everything he was told.
  • Okay, so one of the game's themes is about how blindly doing everything you're told and not to take things at face value, right? This unfortunately results in a massive bit of Gameplay and Story Segregation because the game itself doesn't give you any other options on how to resolve a situation. The story's linearity detracts from the impact of The Reveal that the Patriots played you like a fiddle. It also seems disingenuous for The Patriots to mock the player on a meta-level for their conformity when the game doesn't offer alternative courses of action to you, however discreetly they'd have to be with the Patriots' planning.
    • You forget the one, obvious thing you could have done: TURN THE GAME OFF. In a more serious tone: Would that not have undermined their point? The Patriots specifically represent the game designers, as Raiden represents the player. Designing an alternate route would make little sense - 'Hah, instead of submitting to what the game designers told me to do, I will submit to another completely different thing that the game designers told me to do!'. The only winning move in Metal Gear Solid 2 is not to play.
      • So The Patriots are trolls now? "Turn THE GAME console off right now."
      • Yes. See: The Patriots specifically represent the game designers.
      • Raiden does what he's told because he's a helpless, weak-willed pawn (just like the player, or so the argument goes). However, during the final cutscene, Snake urges Raiden not to take things at face value and think for himself, at which point he throws away the dog tags with the player's name on them: he's done being controlled and ordered around. The game is implicitly suggesting the player follow Raiden's example. The game is using the inherent linearity of the gaming medium to show how, despite the illusion of freedom, Raiden and the player have no real choice in their actions. But what happens after the game is over is up to Raiden (and the player) to decide.
  • To be fair they couldn't possibly have known that the War in Iraq and Afghanistan were going to happen at the time Metal Gear Solid 2 was made, but since then why haven't Kojima Productions retconned things so that Raiden saw combat in the Middle East? Raiden would have had to have been part of the regular U.S Army to be eligible for their Force XXI Trials, and it seems improbable that he wouldn't at least be stationed in the Middle East during that time period. It can't be because Raiden was viewed as too valuable to be put in danger as Solid Snake was a prized clone of Big Boss and yet they still put him in harm's way during the 1991 Gulf War and numerous CIA black ops missions before he was utilized against Big Boss and Liquid.
    • Because the history is most likely different from ours. There aren't any references to those events in Metal Gear Solid, which is set in 2005. Therefore we can safely assume that they never happened in the world of the series.
      • I could have sworn that they made reference to the Iraq War in Metal Gear Solid 4 and how Private Contractors were used heavily during that war leading to the current trend we see in the rise of PM Cs.
      • It's easy to interpret as a sort of Take That to the Middle East situation, but in the game itself, no, they never mentioned the Iraq War. A situation in that approximate region is part of the plot, but we can safely assume that the Iraq War never happened in the Metal Gear universe.
      • Because, as the game points out, Raiden became a special forces soldier entirely through VR, bypassing the need for actual combat experience. He was also handpicked by the Patriots, who, given that they control the US military, can decide not to deploy him.
  • How does anyone in reality confuse Raiden for a woman? He's whiny, has no stubble, and thick platinum-blonde hair, but otherwise, his voice, body build, and facial features are pretty clearly masculine. Basically, sure he's not a gritty badass but if there are people who actually did ever look at him and think "yep, that's definitely a chick" it seems to me they need to take a closer look at real women more often.
    • The President mistakenly confuses Raiden as a female because he thought it was Olga, who he thought the Patriots were sending after him. To be fair to both of them, they do look a bit similar and on the ambiguous side, with Raiden having very feminine features and Olga having very neutral, not too feminine features. Plus the President had been held hostage, so it's possible he was delusional.
      • If the president thought Raiden was Olga, why did he try to grab his Raiden's groin? I could understand him attempting a punch but last time I checked from a self-defence point of view there really isn't anything down there to grab on a clothed female. He would have been better off either going for her stomach or improvising a weapon from the furniture or machinery in his cell.
      • He really didn't thought Raiden was Olga, he simply wasn't sure if was Olga or some effeminate guy that looked like her so he did the crotch grabbing test to find out for sure.
      • Yet another way to mock Raiden, perhaps?
      • Uh, you're all pretty way off. "I'm ready for my punishment!" he says, before going for crotch. Guy probably thought the hot, dominant russian babe was going to give him an... "interrogation".
    • And bear in mind it's been established that within the games' universe, realistic masks indistinguishable from a real face have been around since at least the 1960s, and since Olga is seen wearing a cyborg-ninja suit that gives her masculine features, it's not far fetched for someone in-universe to suspect that what looks like a male is really a disguised female.
  • I'm mostly just pissed about his name. Three common states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Three sons of the Big Boss: Solid, Liquid, and... Solidus? Okay, so Gas Snake sounds goofy, but why not Vapor Snake?
    • Thats actually an awesome name for him.
    • Think about it for a while. Solidus's genetic structure is a balance between Liquids and Solids. If he was Vapor, it would imply that Liquid is in between Solid and George Sears. Solidus refers to the temperature where a solid object begins to melt, but is not always completely melted.
    • Yes, I get what solidus means, I just don't get how it's supposed to describe George Sears. He's older looking than Snake,a much bigger jerk-ass than both Snake and Liquid, and he ends up being compared most often to the original Big Boss. So what part of that makes him "between" Solid and Liquid? If anything, he's like Liquid Snake, only more so.
      • Solidus is a direct clone of Big Boss; no genetic manipulation and possibly created before the rest of the Enfants. His brothers were modified to tip their genetic balance, giving Liquid only recessive 'Soldier' genes and Solid only dominant 'normal' genes. As Solidus has a normal compliment of both dominant and recessive genes, he is balanced between the other two.
    • Solidus, in science, is the temperature "mark" where below the Solidus, a substance is solid, and any temperature above means the substance is liquid. Also, it can be related to the Solidus, which was the payment of soldiers in Roman times, hence both referring to Solidus' link to Snake and Liquid, and also to his military roots.
  • How was Solidus the President at age 33, when the U.S. Constitution requires the President to be at least 35?
    • The Patriots wanted him to be President, and they run the country. It's not impossible that A. as a clone, he could have been aged a bit to look over 35 and B. he could have lied about his age.
    • Solidus sure didn't look to be in his 30s/40s by 2009, so even though his Presidency was a few years in the past by then, he would have definitely looked to be the right age.
    • Given his appearance, it would be easy for him to forge papers which legally certify him as well over 35. Either that, or The Patriots passed a constitutional amendment to lower the required age; they DO run the country, after all.
    • Since he was one of The Patriots' agents, they could get him in office in a heartbeat. As for his appearance, his accelerated aging was faster than Solid & Liquid's, and had (supposedly) kicked in between MGS1 and this game.
  • More on Solidus. Back before the game came out, I didn't mind that there was a super duper Big Boss clone named Solidus. What I did mind, and what I think counts as a massive case of Fridge Logic is that Solidus was the President of the United States. Granted in the chaos of the Shadow Moses incident, Solid and co. wouldn't stop and take a moment to ponder, "Gee, the Commander in Chief sure looks a lot like Big Boss, doesn't he?" and I think it's a shame that they couldn't have had a stinger with the POTUS decorating Snake for his actions and saying something like "Excellent work... brother. " And furthermore, why wouldn't the Patriots or someone else tell the media that it was the ex-President, and not Solid Snake? It sounds a lot more plausible that a disgraced American President would be behind a terrorist action than a "terrorist" who "died" two years ago.
    • Because the Patriots had a vested interest in giving Snake a rap sheet to prevent him from becomming an icon outside of the people who take "In the Darkness of Shadow Moses" seriously. Snake wasn't just going away, and blaming the Big Shell on him (made easier by Solidus himself deciding to use Snake's name) maintains the blame-game. Besideswhich, it's likely that the general public found out it was George Sears anyway, what with him being dead on the steps of Federal Hall at the end. As discussed elsewhere, this could, as you said, actually help the Patriots in the long run.
  • If at the ending the Patriots - except for Ocelot - have all been dead for several years (100 if I recall correctly) then how can they have been the manipulative force of most of the events of the series, AND how could one of them have been amongst Snake and Otacon's biggest contributors? Were they all AI's like the Colonel was?
    • Yes, they were all AIs. This seeming discrepancy is one of the key plot points revealed in MGS4
    • The "dead for 100 years" thing was bunk. Most of the series takes place after the AIs have come online to take everything over. MGS4 explains everything pretty handily.
    • No no no, They weren't AIs and the "dead for almost 100 years" line was true; but not for the Patriots. The list of names obtained from GW contained the names of the Wiseman's Committee: The leadership of the Philosophers, of whom the last of the original members did die almost a hundred years ago. With this, the last memory of the Philosophers would vanish; they were "ended", as Ocelot said he'd do to them in Portable Ops when the Patriots were just him and Zero.
    • The 12 men who were dead for 100 years were the Wisemen's Committee, the founders of the previous organization, the Philosophers. Their names were used by the modernday Patriots as their aliases, to distract from their true identities as AI's.
      • No, no, no. The Philosophers were founded to fight World War II. Therefore the founders were alive in the 1940s and later, and couldn't have been dead for 100 years by the time of this game, which took place in the early 21st century. That was a red herring.
      • "The last of the original members died in the 1930's." -The Boss. The Philosophers weren't founded for WWII. They died closer to 80 years before the game, though.
  • If [[spoiler:the Colonel was an AI here, was he the same in MGS1?
    • No, as Snake met the Colonel face-to-face in briefing prior to the mission, based on the novelization.
      • You don't need the novel for that, the pre-mission briefing shows a long-haired Snake being briefed by the Colonel, and IIRC he's also seen as a flesh-and-blood man on the submarine Discovery during the intro.
      • 'They' say that Campbell in that one is always an AI constructed from Raiden's idea of what his CO would look like, based on the Shadow Moses simulations, but he's always just referred to as "Colonel", never Campbell, and if he IS an artificial construct, why does his nametag say "Campbell"? Is it possible that the real deal Campbell was CO at the outset of the mission, but then after they realized Snake was in play, they pulled the ol' switcheroo? I mean, Campbell is obviously a real person, seeing as how Solid AND Big Boss have worked with him, but, really, how hard is it to snatch someone and replace them on CODEC? Liquid did it with Miller, and Snake should have known Miller better than anyone.
      • It was the AI all along, it has Campbell on the nametag because Raiden thought he was the same Colonel as the one from Shadow Mosses. The Patriots always intended it to be a replica of Shadow Mosses, Snake's appearance didn't really change anything.
    • It's worth noting that the Colonel isn't necessarily just an AI. Raiden has had his very brain messed with. Otacon says, "The Colonel is in part your own creation, cobbled together from your hopes and expectations."
  • Okay, so Metal Gear Solid 2. Ocelot exposits his master plan as being to put someone through a recreation of Shadow Moses in order to prove that putting someone through that will make anyone as badass as Solid Snake. But Shadow Moses isn't what made Solid Snake badass—he was already a true badass, otherwise he wouldn't have been sent to deal with it.
    • Considering the very next scene dismisses that it is actually the case...
    • The plan wasn't to make someone as badass as Solid Snake, it was to make someone as big a hero in the public eye as Snake was after Shadow Moses.
      • No, the entire Big Shell operation was to test whether or not the new GW AI could appropriately carry out the S3 plans - that being the Selection for Societal Sanity. Raiden is their final test subject, but in general, the entire Big Shell operation is ironing out the final flaws in GW and making sure that it can appropriately select the correct information for the Patriots agenda - namely filtering what people receive so they get what the Patriots want them to get. They finalised things by the manner in which they were able to manipulate events surrounding the incident. But generally, Raiden's role is nothing more than helping the Patriots wrap up GW's development, because of who he is.
  • If Fortune's magnetic luck device,is the same size as Ocelot's how come she didn't notice it earlier? it's not that hard to miss. also if she truly wanted to commit suicide why didn't she just take a knife and slit her throat? I'm sure that the device wouldn't have that much control that it could actually stop her from doing that, as it seems to focus solely on blocking artillery assaults.
    • She was a drama queen who wanted to die in combat. If she wanted to die, she probably could have jumped off a building too.
    • I was under the impression that Ocelot's device was the one that shielded Fortune—remotely. Far-fetched, maybe, but it already was. Alternatively, her device may have been inside her railgun or something. Either way, she couldn't have noticed it and Ocelot had the means to turn it off remotely. Also, I suspect she was convinced that committing suicide wouldn't work, leaving her in terrible pain. The drama queen explanation is just as likely, though.
    • Wasn't the device missing from Fortune in her final fight? I'd always assumed that Ocelot simply lifted it off her at some point without her noticing.
  • What was the point of the tanker mission? Philanthropy's purpose before knowledge of the Patriots came to light was tracking down and destroying Metal Gear REX knockoffs built by anyone with the money to buy the information off the black market, thus preventing the stealth-nuclear weapon REX is designed to fire from being mass-produced and starting a new nuclear arms race unchecked by Mutually Assured Destruction. Metal Gear RAY does not mount the rail gun necessary to fire the stealth-nuke, is not large enough to fire a traditional ICBM like the Shagohod and previous Metal Gears, and is specifically designed for the US Marines to use in taking down REX knockoffs. How is this anything but in line with Philanthropy's goals?
    • The point was to expose that the US Military was making its own Metal Gear. Philanthropy isn't anti-REX, it's anti Metal Gear.
      • That just makes it even sillier; without nuclear launch capability, RAY isn't a true Metal Gear (Otacon may have actually said this in Guns of the Patriots when discussing how the Gekko aren't Metal Gears either, I can't remember exactly,) it's just a walking tank that can also swim. Granted, this does make it a rather fearsome weapon, a tank that can follow soldiers or move to an engagement over any terrain, but it's still a conventional weapon. If Philanthropy's philosophy is simply "if someone sticks the name Metal Gear on it, it's got to go," it's more than a little short-sighted and not entirely in character. Otacon, at least, should be perfectly capable of sitting down and looking over the pros and cons of any given situation, and for that matter, they have something called Metal Gear much later. If they didn't care about RAY itself and just wanted to expose the government for having a huge cover-up, wouldn't that have happened anyway the first time the Marines used RAY out in the open to pwn someone's crappy REX knockoff? Not that they ever got the chance, but Snake and Otacon wouldn't have known that.
      • Let me think of a way to make this workable... okay, what about if what they are scared of is that someone will reverse-engineer the RAY's advances (for example, it lacks a radome as its only input device, which means a weakness is gone) and fit them into a new REX design, or some other new walking robot which IS capable of launching nukes? That would make true Metal Gears harder to take down from that point on.
      • I believe the real question here is; why did they build a giant robot to hunt other giant robots? If they can deploy a giant robot, can't they just deploy conventional munitions against REX knockoffs? In any case it wouldn't have been revealed to the public if RAY was used against a REX knockoff; your average elimination mission wouldn't really have the assets used advertised. The point of the mission was to raise public awareness by showing off the measures the US government were taking against Metal Gear proliferation, and thus gain support for anti-Metal Gear efforts.
      • Well for one, remember that the mission in the Tanker level was not to destroy Metal Gear - it was to take photographs so that the public was aware of the kind of weapons the military were using. Secondly, from a formal perspective, the Tanker mission was necessary to frustrate players even more. They thought they were getting a new game starring Solid Snake (the cover art points to this, as does the title screen). Then, throughout the Tanker, Snake fails to impress. His new 'stealth moves' like throwing bodies off the boat eventually frame him, the only cardboard box he gets is a sopping wet mess, the only boss is a pregnant woman with a pistol rather a cool FOXHOUND-like boss with special powers, there's a long shoot-out section where stealth goes out the window, Snake can sneeze and give himself away and eventually the mission is a failure. Then, we're introduced to Raiden who wants to be Solid Snake and that fails too - the whole thing is just to frustrate the player until Raiden 'awakens' and gains the sword.
  • In a similar vein, what made Arsenal a Metal Gear? A nuclear-launching bipedal battle tank and a world communications hub don't have that much in common. For that matter, if it's primary role was censorship why was it even called Arsenal?
    • Because it's an Arsenal Ship. But it's certainly not a Metal Gear in any sense the term has been used previously in the series.
    • To be fair, I dont think they ever call it a Metal Gear, just an Arsenal Gear. I guess if they'd made flying Gears, theyd have a different 'first' name too, to differentiate them.
      • Listen to the explanation of the exact payload that Arsenal Gear carries. It's definitely worthy of them name when you consider exactly how many missles the thing is carrying - which includes the newly developed bomb Solidus plans to detonate above Manhattan - and then there's the army of twenty-five RA Ys that it carries to protect itself. It's a fortress, not just an information hub, because it's more than capable of protecting itself. Furthermore, they call it the 'next stage' of Metal Gear, suggesting that they know they've produced something beyond the previous designs.
  • Why didn't Raiden go ahead of Emma, or test to see if it could hold them both, then go across the bridge next to her? If he went ahead of her, he could've taken out everything in her way so she could walk across all dandy and he could possibly be in a better position to save her from Vamp before she could get shanked. If it could hold them both and they both went across, Raiden could even better protect Emma from the things trying to kill her on the bridge AND from getting Vamp'd, since he'd be right next to her and able to shoot Vamp in the face on reflex. And before you tell me that going across together was impossible from the get go, let me remind you that it was able to hold Snake carrying Emma, and I'm pretty sure Snake weighs a little more than Raiden. Did Kojima just feel like putting some sniping in the game or what?
    • Emma was afraid of the water, so Raiden didn't want to risk her falling into the ocean and having a panic attack (Yes they could have both gone, but Raiden didn't know that for sure and the price for being wrong was pretty high). Plus did you miss the part where there were sentries around? He needed to stick around so he could have the best view to protect her. Plus he had no guarentee that more soldiers wouldn't come down the way they did, so he had to stay there to protect their flank.
  • Given how depraved some of the stuff on the Internet would get would the Patriots really feel like touching every piece of "junk" data? I mean would they really wanna touch stuff like Rule 34 or TV Tropes just to remove "trivial" information? Aren't there more politically radical websites that would deserve their attention or would the Internet culture's sense of humor be attacked as well?
    • When you consider how the human brain works, and how people are not only resistant to information that contradicts what they already know; but also REINFORCES what they already know in an act to avoid Cognitive Dissonance with the offending information, AND ALSO the fact that people seek information (bad or good) ONLY because it reinforces their beliefs, i think the Patriots are WELL justified on erasing EVERYTHING that can potentially make us stupider. Here are some links to prove this: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/?page=full
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2333165/The-best-way-win-argument-Shout-louder-people-simply-assume-youre-right.html In this kind of environment, there cannot be a free exchange of ideas because the first one that gets to you will stick with for a looooong time if not dealt with it properly. There cannot be enlightenment if the world works under the principle of Fox News, is it? Catch them young and fill their minds ASAP with our "Truth".
  • Why did the powers that be make the placeholder name for The Patriots, namely "la-li-lu-le-lo", nearly impossible to pronounce in Japanese, this game's home language?
    • Because it was supposed to be and sound like gibberish.
    • Actually, this is another aspect of information control. The Patriots wanted to make it so that people couldn't even talk or think about "the Patriots" because there are no words to do so; in that sense, the Patriots were totally secret from the public. This is similar to Newspeak from 1984: people can't have dissenting thoughts or conversations if they have no words to do so.
    • There's actualy as story behind those syllables. La, Li, Lu, Le and Lo are all in the Chinese "alphabet." The Japanese "alphabet" is largely taken from the Chinese, however these five sylables are missing from the Japanese "alphabet." According to one story this was done by a sort of secret organization so that no one but them would know what these syllables mean. There would literally a part of the language that only a select group of individuals could ever understand. This is also the reason Japanese Ranguage exists.
  • What would have happened if Kojima actually died for all the death threats he received because he refused to continue the series AFTER this one? Would the game be remembered as the piece of postmodern art that it is? Would the people who did the threats be STUPID enough to believe that with him dead they could obtain a worthy sequel? Were people really THAT dense in not getting that Kojima wanted to test their ability to choose on their own?
  • Otacon screws up a lot of Chinese proverbs in this game. The real meaning of most of them are fairly obvious, but what does it mean when you say "Better to be first among roosters than last among bulls"?
    • Be the best of whatever you can be, in spite of the circumstances.
      • And don't waste your time on things you're not good at even if they're more glamorous, as it's a recipe for failure.
    • The equivalent English idiom would probably be "It's better to be the big fish in the little pond than the little fish in the big pond."
  • Did Kojima actually admit the game's theme was inspired by the Japanese textbook controversy? I want to see the source.
  • Okay, so Snake and Otacon notice that the Marines aboard The Discovery are disguised as civilian crewmen so as not to draw unwanted attention from people on land...but Colonel Gurlukovich's men are not only dressed in bright brown/orange uniforms, but carrying military gear on (the mostly blue-colored) deck where civilians could potentially see them. This is even more baffling during the plant chapter, where we do see mercenaries in blue uniforms...on the very orange exterior locations on The Big Shell, yet the mostly blue-colored interior has the guards with brown camo. What's the purpose of camo again, exactly?
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