"There's a saying I like: 'One sword keeps another in the sheath.' Sometimes, the threat of violence alone is a deterrent. Sometimes, by taking a life, others can be preserved. It's the code the samurai lived by..."
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a 2013 spin-off of the Metal Gear series developed by Platinum Games in collaboration with Kojima Productions. Starring Raiden following his cybernetic transformation in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Metal Gear Rising is an Action AdventureHack and Slash like Devil May Cry, with a particular emphasis on clean cutting enemies and the environment itself apart. However, the game also incorporates classic Metal GearStealth Based Gameplay like cardboard boxes, stealth kills, thermal goggles, and distracting guards with various sub-items.The game started life some time after development finished on Metal Gear Solid 4, as a Kojima Productions title called Metal Gear Solid: Rising, handled mostly by the younger staffers entrusted by Kojima himself. It originally intended to strike a balance between the series' trademark stealth action and a new combat system based around being able to cut almost everything in the game. However, this build was canceled several months after being shown at E3 2010 due to difficulties achieving a balance between the old and new game design concepts, and the project was handed over to Platinum in early 2011.While the plot initially detailed what happened to Raiden between Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 4, the final Platinum Games version was set four years after the events of MGS4. Raiden, now a member of a PMC known as Maverick Security Consulting, Inc., finds himself caught up in a Roaring Rampage of Revengeance when an African Prime Minister he's guarding gets taken hostage and murdered by a competing PMC, which spirals into something much bigger when he uncovers a plan to make children into cyborg super-soldiers like himself and re-ignite the war economy.Metal Gear Rising was released in February 2013 for the Xbox 360 (outside of Japan) and PlayStation 3, making it the first game in the series ever to get a Multi-Platform debut. A PC port was also announced by Konami and was released on January 9, 2014. You can purchase it from Steamhere.On April 9, 2013, the first DLC campaign, "Jetstream", was officially released on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Store. This story puts players in control of Jetstream Sam, detailing how he came to be affiliated with World Marshal.On May 14, 2013, the second DLC campaign, "Blade Wolf", was officially released on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Store. This story puts players in control of LQ-84i, detailing his time under Mistral's command before encountering Raiden.NOTE:JetstreamandBladewolf,being high in spoilers, are in their own separate folder and have no spoiler tags. If you haven't finished bothproceed at your own risk.
The game contains the following tropes:
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100% Completion: Even the achievements/trophies show how sadistic Rising can be:
Brutal Bonus Level: "Virtually A God" requires the player to beat the gold medal time/score on every VR mission.
Gotta Catch Them All: Left arms, data chips, and VR missions need collecting, as well as all of the secret weapons, costumes, items, and upgrades.
Less nasty but still annoying is left arm #40, the owner of which only spawns if Raiden completes two of the area's three objectives or eliminates all enemies present without causing an alert. If you've been playing MGRR as a Shinji Mikami game instead of a Hideo Kojima one, you'll only find it by checking a guide.
No Damage Run: Five achievements/trophies require you to complete some of the bosses without being hit at all on Hard or higher. This even needs to be done over all three stages of Armstrong's fight in one run.
Absurdly Sharp Blade: All high-frequency blades count as this, by their nature. It's what allows a sword to easily cut a tank in half. Special mention goes to Jetstream's blade, which is sharper than all the rest and glows red just to make sure you know it.
Raiden's latest high-frequency blade can hack heavily armored Metal Gears and most other things to pieces.
LQ-84i's chainsaw cuts through an entire section of a building, and its throwing knives are hot enough to melt steel.
Actionized Sequel: Goes without saying, but still. Boris even explicitly says early on that this time around, it's not an infiltration mission. Some stealth elements remain, however, such as the opportunity for stealth kills and the series' trademark cardboard box trick. In general, stealth allows you to get through individual sections without fighting a swarm of enemies that spawn if you raise the alarm, and stealth-kills can take out even very tough enemies in a single hit, which is normally impossible otherwise.
As well, the Blade Wolf DLC provides additional point rewards for stealthy players, with bonuses for stealth kills and a end-of-segment bonus for not being detected. However, Blade Wolf lacks access to the cardboard box, which forces you to rely on other stealth options.
Aerith and Bob: Sam is the only person who is almost never called by his codename (Jetstream), which can seem a little odd when fighting Raiden/"Jack the Ripper", or working with Sundowner, Mistral, and Monsoon.
Confusing the issue even more, "Jetstream" isn't actually his codename; it's actually just a nickname. According to the DLC, it's Minuano, which is something that is only ever mentioned offhandedly by two characters in the DLC intro cutscene.
Alien Blood: In the Japanese version, cyborg enemies bleed artificial white blood, like Raiden in MGS4. Averted in the North American and European versions of the game, where everyone's artificial blood is plain red. In the Japanese version, only Jetstream Sam has red blood (due to the reveal that he has very few cyborg upgrades).
Aliens in Cardiff: The majority of the US-centric action takes place in Denver, Colorado. While not a small town by any means, it's a far cry from the usual suspects like New York or Los Angeles.
All There in the Manual: True to the series' form, there's a huge amount of information about pretty much every major plot point in the game, as well as character background material, hidden away in codec calls. Doktor is perhaps the most prominent example, harbouring a massive amount of backstory regarding the history of in-universe cyborg science.
Ambiguous Robots: In addition to the Gekkos and a RAY, there's Raptors and a few other robots that act like animals rather than machines. Unmanned Gears use a neuro-matrix similar to a living being's brain that can learn from mistakes.
American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese box art has Raiden brandishing his sword. The North American and European box art has Raiden slicing a cyborg clean in half.
Though one could argue that the Western box art is actually more appropriate to the game's content.
An Arm and a Leg: Raiden loses an arm during the battle with Sam in the game's opening ("Notagain!"). Hacking off enemy limbs is also encouraged for extra upgrade points and collectibles.
And I Must Scream: Cyborg mooks have fear inhibitors that prevent them from expressing their internal thoughts of doubt or horror, even as Raiden cuts through them and their comrades.
The child brains, when not in VR simulations, are FULLY conscious and are unable to do anything but move their eyes and flail their brain stems.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: The player can unlock new cyborg bodies for Raiden by completing a certain number of VR Missions, as well as progressing through the main story. Particularly, Raiden can use use his "standard cyborg" body (the one that gets destroyed by Sam during the prologue) after clearing the final mission once on Hard or above, as well as a suit when the player clears the prologue on Very Hard. His wigs can also be changed as well.
Anti-Frustration Features: You're completely invincible while using Zandatsu to keep you from taking damage from enemies (who continue to attack while you're in blade mode).
Anti-Hero: Though he's battling the vicious mercenary group Desperado Enforcement LLC., Raiden still takes psychotic glee in slaughtering even police cyborgs affiliated with them.
Armed Legs: For heavy sword attacks, Raiden grabs the weapon with his foot and kicks the blade into enemies' faces.
Arc Words: "Maybe I misjudged you." or variants are repeated across the game.
"My sword is a tool of justice."
"Let's Dance!" The Battle Cry for Murasama-wielders.
Artistic License - History: The moral code of samurai varied wildly over the social class's centuries of history, making Raiden's assertion that Japanese military nobility lived by a code of deterrence a rather extreme over-generalization. In fact, Raiden's philosophy is more reminiscent of the Japanese Buddhist "issatsu tasho" (One life for a thousand) philosophy or Munenori Yagyu's martial philosophy of "katsujin-ken" (Sword that gives life).
Which is fine anyway, as a codec call will reveal that Raiden does follow the teachings of katsujin-ken. In the same call he cites George Herbert as the source of the quote he told N'Mani, noting that Yagyu and Herbert lived at around the same time with the same ideas.
Especially noticeable in one particular sequence where Raiden navigates several rooftops. Falling off any will result in a Game Over screen, but the sequence ends with Raiden falling through an elevator shaft, which runs the height of the building and goes further underground, with no damage to show for it.
Courtney explains the entire rise and fall of the SOP system of Metal Gear Solid 4 when Raiden asks her what she knows about it, despite Raiden having been personally involved with those events. Lampshaded as he's actually quizzing her about what she knows.
Lampshaded in the cutscene at the start of the Abkhazia insertion mission, where Raiden tries to say that he's been through the briefing material, only for Kevin to insist.
All of the conversations with Doktor about the history and specifications of Cyborg enhancement is full of this, for obvious reasons. Funnily enough, Raiden gets annoyed at Doktor a few times for rambling about things he already knows.
Attack OF The Fifty Foot Whatever: Metal Gear EXCELSUS, a giant even for a Metal Gear. The Doktor even suggests the size was intended for use in urban warfare as it would allow it to trample over buildings with no difficulty and is too big to be brought down by weapons carried guerrilla fighters.
Doktor comments that Metal Gears are cool, but also impractical as nuclear payload weapons. In his estimation, this is what led to development of smaller Unmanned Gears and cyborgs designed for regular warfare.
Raiden's assessment of Sundowner's scissor blades.
Raiden: "Gimmicky shit like that won't cut it in a real fight."
The Fox Blade pre-order bonus blade may also count. One one hand, it's the sword of Gray Fox, and at full strength can rip the crap out of anything sans bosses in one to two hits, making it a Game Breaker for beating the game. On the other hand, it's not very effective for going for S ranks, and it has a short blade mode time.
Back Stab: You can run up behind enemies before they spot you and stab them through the back for an One-Hit Kill.
Similar cats can be found in Sam and Wolf's DLC campaigns.
Badass Boast: "That nickname you love so much... Wanna know how I got it? Actually, I'm gonna give you a demonstration. I think it's time for Jack TO LET 'ER RIP!"
Badass Normal: Boris, who shows up as backup to a cyborg fight (albeit in an armored vehicle with a really big gun). Sam also applies during the main story, as his only cybernetic enhancement is his right arm.
Sam does this in his final duel with Raiden. Averted, however, as Raiden breaks through it anyway and slashes his chest, which weakens his armor enough for Raiden to finish him off by impaling him at the end of the fight.
Armstrong blocks Raiden's sword this way. He even breaks his normal sword this way, which is why Sam's superior sword is his only hope.
Battle in the Rain: Raiden has one with Monsoon, fittingly enough given his codename. Raiden also fights Sundowner on the top floor of World Marshal during a heavy rain storm.
Bittersweet Ending: Raiden kills the leader of the Winds of Destruction and sees to it the children kidnapped by the group have a chance at a normal life. However, Raiden is now fighting a new war against World Marshal, echoing the words of Snake and Big Boss that one can never truly escape the battlefield. Not to mention that the collapse of the Patriots hasn't lead to the death of Liquid's war economy, especially with people like Armstrong around.
Subverted with Steven Armstrong in Metal Gear EXCELSUS, who can cause minor damage to Raiden, if Raiden blocks blows from that character. Just goes to show how insanely strong the Excelsus is. Also subverted with the powerful blows of Steven Armstrong himself.
Bloodier and Gorier: Gameplay focuses on cutting enemies into hundreds of bloody bits, instead of sneaking around and shooting as in the Solid games.
Subverted with the Japanese version of the game, as all the blood in the game is changed from red to white. Technically, this is more accurate, as Raiden and all of the enemies are cyborgs, meaning they'd be using artificial blood which is canonically white.
A codec conversation points out that the white blood is inferior to the current red variety, since, as seen in Metal Gear Solid 4, its users need regular dialysis treatment. Whether or not this codec conversation exists in the Japanese version of the game or if it's worded differently isn't known.
Blood from the Mouth: In the fight against Armstrong, Raiden gets his ass kicked to the point where he's coughing up blood. Armstrong also coughs up blood himself when Raiden rams his hand through his chest.
Blood Knight: Raiden begins moving towards his battle-loving "Jack the Ripper" persona again, after his failure to protect Prime Minister N'Mani from Desperado Enforcement LLC in the prologue. It gets to the point where he gleefully massacres a cyborg police unit later in the game.
Enforced, too, by game design. You can't reliably heal yourself unless you are constantly cutting out enemy spines to keep yourself going.
Body Horror: Desperado has been removing the brains of hundreds of children and placing them in a cyborg skull casing for VR training to brainwash the children into becoming cyborg war criminals.
Bonus Feature Failure: The H.F. Long Sword is unlocked by ranking first place in 20 extremely difficult optional VR missions. A more powerful Murasama sword can be unlocked simply by completing the story once on any difficulty. However, the H.F. Long Sword has the benefit that it can be used to achieve the "Naked and Unloved" title, since unlockables in VR Missions are not erased when starting a new game.
Book Ends: The game begins and ends with Raiden brandishing his cool carrying case that contains his sword, before going into battle. The first boss of the game is Metal Gear RAY. The penultimate boss is Metal Gear EXCELSUS, both of which have oddly familiar projectile attacks and massive blades. You even defeat them by throwing them through the air by their blade arms after catching them in a Bare-Handed Blade Block.
Boss Arena Recovery: Every boss fight includes either mooks, destroyable projectiles, or item containers you can cut up for health and fuel cells.
Boss Rush: downplayed, because it takes place at a time when you've only faced two of the game's traditional five bosses. You face their spare bodies under AI control (despite having fought the second of them earlier that day, in-game-chronology-wise). The other three are only fought once. Also justified, in that all the bosses are cyborgs and it makes sense for them to have spare chassis to throw at you.
Bowdlerise: In the Japanese version, enemies bleed white blood like Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4, instead of the red blood as in other regions, and any cutscenes that involve non-cyborgs getting killed use different camera angles so less gore and violence is shown.
Bragging Rights Reward: The HF Long Sword gotten for placing first in all the VR Missions. Considering the difficulty of the VR Missions, most players will have a maxed HF Murasama Sword and will already have a preferred range, making its strength and reach bonuses pointless.
Breather Episode: For the franchise, seeing as to what we'll be offered in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Not that it's saying much, given that the plot revolves around a Social DarwinistMagnificent Bastard trying to start a pointless war in order to eventually end all pointless wars, alongside the use of mass-produced cyborg child-soldier slaves who are kidnapped, have their brains removed, and are then forcibly subjected to a horrific indoctrination regime (as nothing more than a brain). On the upside, you actually put an end to the Big Bad and rescue the kidnapped children, but the pointless war is still ignited.
Bruce Lee Clone: Yes, there are, believe it or not. In true Platinum fashion, there are hidden Dwarf Gekkos imitating a human body, and fight with martial arts, complete with the Bruce Lee swagger. There's a trophy for finding and defeating all of them.
Mission 11 also requires you to know about the invisible midair platforms over a set of camera turrets to be able to finish it in the required amount of time. The platforms are visible if you toggle Augment Mode, but good luck figuring that out since it turns off automatically when you use Ninja Run and most people wouldn't even consider the possibility since none of the other checkpoint missions require you to use it.
Bullet Time: A fully charged Blade Mode slows down time to set up directional slashes.
Bulungi: The African country during the game's prologue, despite every other level taking place in named, real world locales. It doesn't even get a name.
Oddly enough, the flags on the Prime Minister's car resembles the flag that once belonged to Biafra before it was reintegrated into Nigeria.
Although both Kevin and the Soundtrack refer to it as "Montenegro," which is actually a country in Southeastern Europe.
Call Back: Multiple events from MGS2 and MGS4 are discussed throughout MGR.
If asked, Courtney will explain the history of the SOP system from MGS4.
Raiden relates to Kevin how at the end of MGS2, he learned his code name came from the World War II "Raiden"/"Jack" fighter plane.
When Raiden loses an arm during the prologue, he'll moan "Not again...", referencing how he lost both arms in MGS4.
Raiden asks Bladewolf about some of the crazy gibberish the AI Colonel in MGS2 was spouting: they come to the conclusion that Gubayama might've been a sumo wrestler based on the "yama" part of the name, but who or what Shibomnigee is is lost on them.
Canine Companion: Bladewolf accompanies you on a number of missions to scout ahead and advise you over codec.
Central Theme: This game is a love letter to the themes of nearly all MGS games, so there are a few of them that weave together.
invokedMimesis was a very important theme in Metal Gear Solid 2, and returns here: it's questioned how much worth Raiden had if he didn't have any control over his own destiny, as his ideals and ideas were governed by others, thus questioning the accuracy of "free will."
The core theme at the heart of the story is whether or not the strong should use their strength to protect those weaker than themselves, or to ruthlessly exploit their power for their own gain, or as Armstrong puts it, "Purge the Weak."
Changing of the Guard: From Snake to Raiden. From a thematic standpoint, Snake left the world behind at just the right time, as warfare and soldiers within it were evolving to a point that even his enhanced genetics could no longer handle. By passing on the mantle to Raiden, he leaves behind a successor who stands a chance in the new world.
Charged Attack: The Bloodlust is powerful enough as it is, but you can hold down the attack For Even More Massive Damage and anything killed by the charged attacks is cut in half automatically. The skill upgrades add a second and third attack which can also be individually charged. You can also buy the "Iaido" move, which is also charged.
Sam's playstyle is more or less based around this: using charged quickdraw slashes is his main way of dealing damage, and each of them has different properties depending on what point of his normal combo you use it if you charge it fully: by default, it's a multihit dashing attack with some degree of vertical homing if used in midair, a Launcher Move if used after the first light attack, a Spin Attack if used after the second light attack and a Razor Wind projectile if used after the third light attack or during a Ninja Run. Unlike Raiden, he can also use his quickdraw slash during Blade Mode, which allows him to Zandatsu enemies from much farther away than Raiden, but he can't change the angle of the slash, only where he aims it.
Clean Cut: Just about anything Raiden's sword slices will be cut through with a perfectly straight slice.
Cluster F-Bomb: Compared to previous Metal Gear games, there is a ton of four-lettered words uttered. Steven Armstrong easily takes the cake as the most foul-mouthed character in the game, hell, the entire series.
Collapsible Faceplate: Mistral aside, every major cyborg has head or face protection that slides into place when they get serious.
Combat Stilettos: Raiden is such a fan of these that they're built into his cyborg body, which makes sense as Raiden can fight with blades attached to his feet due to this.
Combos: Well, this is an action game after all. In fact, one of the major drawbacks of the Bloodlust is that it originally only has one attack, although skill upgrades allows you to do up to a three-hit combo.
...but really now, that only applies if you end up starting a Very Hard game from scratch. You CAN bring everything you've earned from previous playthroughs, including upgrades and weapons, but it's not going to totally save you.
Continuity Nod: Metal Gear Rising has multiple minor, non-story relevant references to previous Metal Gear games.
Raiden gains power-up points from Doktor by cutting off the left forearms of enemy soldiers, a reference to Gray Fox cutting off one of Revolver Ocelot's forearms in Metal Gear Solid.
DLC costumes include Gray Fox's exoskeleton from MGS1 and Raiden's original cyborg body from MGS4.
Japanese DLC includes a wooden sword that contains the spirit of the late Solid Snake (which speaks when it strikes).
Before his upgrade, Raiden's HUD is visually the same as the one in MGS4.
Sunny has a blue rose hair clip on the left side of her hair, the same side Naomi had placed the rose on during their cooking lesson in MGS4. Her attire, a set of coveralls with the top pulled down, showing off a tank top, is identical (sans hat) to that of her mother Olga in the Tanker chapter of MGS2.
Sunny's "this is a no smoking flight" is a nod to one of the mission briefings in MGS4.
Sunny will comment "science always ends up being used for war", echoing Sokolov and Otacon's laments in MGS3 and MGS4 respectively.
The eye that Raiden loses during the first chapter is his left eye, the same eye that Solidus lost during the Harrier Fight in MGS2.
The final duel takes place on top of a ruined Metal Gear, like in MGS1, MGS2, and MGS4.
Most of Raiden's combat moves are taken directly from cutscenes of MGS4.
Defensive Offense, Raiden's dodge move, is essentially the same move he used to finish off Solidus in MGS2 — flanking the enemy and slashing them in one motion.
The spaceflight company Sunny works for is called "Solis", which is spelled incredibly similarly to "Solidus".
At the end of the cutscene preceding the second phase of Armstrong's boss fight, Raiden and Armstrong both assume the exact same fighting stances that Old Snake and Liquid Ocelot assumed prior to their own fight atop Outer Haven in MGS4.
Controllable Helplessness: Two such segments appear in this game: one in the prologue, after Sam cuts Raiden's eye and severs his arm; and one before the fight with Monsoon.
A cop shoots at him, before telling him to pull over.
After a high-speed chase, Raiden finally comes out with his hands up... and the cops just laugh at him and declare that he is threatening an officer, and therefore, lethal force is authorized.
Justified, as the cops are explicitly stated to be on World Marshal's payroll, and since World Marshal is both allied with Desperado and know that Raiden has discovered their brain smuggling scheme, they likely gave the cops orders to kill Raiden on sight.
Corrupt Politician/Well-Intentioned Extremist: Colorado Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Steven Armstrong genuinely wants to restore America as the sole world superpower, albeit by instigating a new Revolutionary War.
Cowboy Cop: Deconstructed. As the game progresses, Raiden abandons legal and social institutions, considering them deadweight in his desire to bring "justice." Rather than applaud his actions, the game calls him out on this attitude, showing that Raiden is resorting to "Might Makes Right", causing untold damage because of personal conviction, making him no better than the villains. Ultimately, Armstrongcalls him his successor based on the willingness to do whatever is necessary,and the game remains troublingly silent, questioning whether Raiden's victories were worth the personal sacrifices, as he becomes more and more of an anti-hero by sacrificing his body (becoming a creepy cyborg), his mind (accepting Jack the Ripper again just to finish the mission), and finally his ideals ("This isn't my sword.")
The Cowl: The ending appears to imply that Raiden is now essentially Batman, albeit with none of his inhibitions, declaring a one-man war on World Marshal and its allies.
Cross Counter: One of the quick-time events during the final phase of Armstrong's fight involves this.
Cutscene Incompetence: In Denver, Raiden starts doubting himself when fighting cops whose fears have been sealed by nanomachines so that they will do their work. Raiden listens to their thoughts and can barely stop them in the cutscene. However, in the gameplay, the player can execute Zandatsu on them so that Raiden will rip the cops' spine while Raiden yells "Dead on!" or "Bull's eye!" as usual. Hell, the player may even opt to not kill any of the enemies with some well-timed Blade Mode strikes or with the HF Wooden Sword. In the next cutscene and part of the gameplay, Raiden is exhausted and barely responds to the player's actions.
A really curious one is how the player receives a game over if Raiden starts falling from a building. Raiden is never seen hitting the floor. When Raiden and Doktor are escaping from Denver, Raiden falls from a big distance, and even though Doktor designed the new body, he believes Raiden is dead. Raiden is seen walking with ease shortly after and tells Kevin that he himself cannot believe he survived that and finds his body's resistance amazing.
Cutscene Power to the Max: Falling from a building in-game results in instant death or at the very least a mission failed, but falling from a helicopter at near terminal velocity leaves a bit of a dent in the concrete.
Cyberpunk/Post-Cyberpunk: While Cyberpunk themes have always been present to some degree or another in the Metal Gear storyline, they are much more apparent here. Since the fall of the Patriots, the world has experienced a vast technological boom. Most military forces now include cyborgs, there are self-piloting vehicles everywhere, and holograms are used in public places for advertising, to name a few examples.
Wolf: "Raiden. It would appear your only way forward would be to return to the surface. You will exit into an evacuated commercial district. [...] Do not be distracted by the advertisements. You are not here as a tourist." Raiden: [sarcastic] "Sure. I'll just buy a quick souvenir or two for Rose and that'll be it." Wolf: "Raiden, we must hurry." Raiden: (beat) "Remind me to teach you about sarcasm sometime." Wolf: "I understand your attempts at humor. I simply do not find them entertaining."
Death by Irony: The senator. When Blade Wolf determined his "own freedom" and begun "fighting his own wars" he decided to give Sam's sword to Raiden, allowing Raiden to defeat the senator.
Development Gag: The character of Boris was actually featured in the original version of Metal Gear Solid: Rising that was set prior to the events of MGS4. He alludes to this by mentioning he met Raiden at Area 51, the place Raiden was turned into a cyborg.
Diagonal Cut: Most moves (not including manual Zandatsu cuts) are this.
Difficult but Awesome: Many players have noted that while the Parry mechanic takes some time to master effectively, it feels deeply satisfying to use once they do.
Difficulty Spike: Sam and Blade Wolf's DL Cs are this, due to them playing completely different from Raiden
Dirty Cop: The cops Raiden fights in Colorado are all Desperado Private Military Contractors hired at World Marshal, Inc.'s behest to serve as security for the firm. As such, they have no problem trying to kill Raiden instead of allowing him to surrender.
Distracted by the Sexy: Distracting girly pictures return! You, the player, can also find centerfolds hidden around the game, covered by police tape that you can slice away to see the uncovered image.
Downer Beginning: File-0 ends with Prime Minister N'Mani dead, Raiden losing an eye (one of the very few parts of his original human body he has left), and Desperado getting away. That's not to mention all of the property damage caused by Metal Gear RAY.
Downloadable Content: Two packs have been released that focus on Bladewolf and Samuel Rodrigues. Another Japan-exclusive pack includes a weapon based off of the HF Wooden Sword and speaks in Solid Snake's voice when swung. There's also a set of pre-order armors that double the maximum amount of repair nanopaste, grenades, or RPGs you can carry, Raiden's Metal Gear Solid 4 armor, an armor that resembles Grey Fox's exoskeleton, and his overpowered sword, as well as a set of VR missions with more varied circumstances, such as a minigun turret shooting gallery, several platformer levels, levels where you play as the Dwarf Gekko, and a sidescrolling level that makes use of Raiden's temporary unarmed moveset.
Dramatic Shattering: Raiden replenishes his life and fuel cells by removing a cyborg's spine, before making it explode by crushing it in his hand.
Dual Wielding: Sundowner has a funky variation on this. He can wield his two machetes in either hand, or he can pop out a little clamp from his right arm to hold his second blade, so he swings both blades with one arm, like scissors.
The additional mechanical arm also appears on Raiden's arm when he wields the weapon.
Dummied Out: The Hebidamashi, a wooden sword that speaks with Solid Snake's voice, was only included in the Japanese version of the VR Missions expansion pack. The reason for its exclusion in the English version wouldn't become obvious until months later, when Konami announced they would be replacing David Hayter with Kiefer Sutherland as the voice of Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Eagleland: The question of whether America can restore its Flavor 1 values after years of being brainwashed into a warmongering Flavor 2 version by the Patriots becomes central to the final act of the game. Then it becomes a question of how America should become Flavor 1, whether by forcefully rebuilding the culture, or letting things work themselves out.
Also, Armstrong played college ball, y'know. The University of Texas Longhorns, no less.
Early Game Hell: The intro level on Very Hard and Revengeance, since you don't have access to any of Raiden's upgrades or skills, yet the game expects you to take down a Gekko and a group of normal cyborgs right when you begin. The following enemies are even tougher, but thankfully you can just run past them to the next checkpoint and only the RAY fights are ranked. By the time Raiden lands in Abkhazia, the odds manage to even up a little.
Expy: The members of Winds of Destruction have many similarities, in terms of role and physical appearance. Most notably Dead Cell, and to a lesser extent, FOXHOUND.
Jetstream Sam: Vamp note Both of them are Raiden's rival
Mistral: Sniper Wolf note Both of them are only female in their respective group and enjoy the company of dogs and Fortune note Both of them have dark skin
Monsoon: Psycho Mantis note Both of them use their power to attack using parts of the environment, as well doing a Breaking Speech to the main lead
Sundowner: Fatman and Vulcan Raven note All three are the largest body of all members of their respective groups, and all of them have exploding weapons
Eyepatch of Power: Raiden starts using a black piece of cloth for an eyepatch after Rodrigues cuts out his left eye in the prologue. The cloth itself acts as a second eye for Raiden, since it's got millions of tiny photoreceptors on it and can act as a compound eye; Doktor didn't have time to whip up another cybernetic eye for Raiden before the mission, so he improvised. So, Raiden has all the coolness benefits of an eyepatch and none of the realistic disadvantages.
Also done in the mission before Raiden's upgrade, where he wears a cybernetic eyepatch over his left eye.
Eye Scream: Raiden loses his left eye to Sam early on.
Face Palm of Doom: When Raiden knocks his sword out of his hand during the battle with him, Sam switches to an unarmed fighting style and starts charging around the battlefield with his fist raised; if he hits Raiden, he grabs his face and slams his skull into the ground in a spray of blood and rubble.
Finishing Move: Blade Mode, where you momentarily slow down time and cut an enemy to shreds. Whether you weaken, stagger, or stealth kill an opponent, you are actively encouraged to deliver the final blow in this manner. This is required for Raiden to use his Zandatsu technique, allowing him to steal enemies' fuel cells and replenish his own supply in addition to health.
Also Executions, which involve Raiden slamming down, vaulting under, or sending a stunned enemy flying while breaking the rest of their armor in the process, allowing for a midair Blade Mode kill.
First Name Basis: How the crew of MSC address themselves (Boris, Kevin, and Courtney).
Fisticuffs BossArmstrong breaks Raiden's sword, and he decides to just fight the guy hand to hand. Can't do any real damage, though. During the final phase of his battle, he can disarm Raiden as well.
The Evil Genius: Monsoon. The most philosophical of the Winds, spouting poetic phrases and psycho-analyzing people. Particularly evident with his Breaking Speech directed to Raiden.
The Brute: Khamsin. Possesses what is easily the largest and most imposing Cyborg body among the Winds, and is also intent on spreading freedom through sheer brute force.
The Sixth Ranger: Sam. Not an official member of Desperado or the Winds, but is more of a hired mercenary. Couldn't care less about Desperado's plans, and is only in it for the thrills. Is also the least blatantly evil among them, being more True Neutral.
555: When leaving Denver by stolen motorcycle, Raiden carves an apology into the sidewalk with a phone number that starts "111-555-".
Flunky Boss: Many bosses will summon weaker enemies as backup during different phases of the battle. Raiden points out that this is to his advantage, since he can chop up the flunkies to instantly heal himself.
Bladewolf summons backup soldiers and a Gekko while he takes a break (even saying, "Only a fool fights alone!"). Mistral is completely surrounded by Dwarf Gekkos at all times, so she can steal their arms to rebuild her arm-lance while the rest pin you down and occasionally throw what remains of them as explosive projectiles. Monsoon periodically throws most of World Marshal's hardware at you (Not necessarily 'enemies', but filling the same niche). Sundowner has a bunch of attack helicopters taking potshots at you and he rarely summons backup soldiers in his second form. Armstrong also summons upgraded Gekkos during the Metal Gear battle, but since they rarely last longer than 10 seconds due to the twin Wave Motion Guns he's constantly sweeping the arena with, they also essentially function as mobile health packs for Raiden, assuming he makes it to their sparking torsos before they blow up on their own and avoids getting a face full of plasma in the process.
Foreshadowing: Sam's relative lack of cyborg parts is kind of obvious in hindsight. In the prologue, where Raiden and Sundowner are shown effortlessly leaping great distances, Sam waits for the helicopter winch to to be lowered only a few feet above his head before jumping for it. Even then, he almost misses.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Raiden calls Sundowner's pincer blades "gimmicky shit", when in reality, they're one of the best weapons in the game, offering long invincibility frames and cutting mooks in half with one slice.
Entering a Quick Time Event against Armstrong when the real fight begins does more damage to him than just attacking him, even Raiden mostly uses his fists in a the battle's Quick Time Events and when he tried attacking Armstrong bareheaded before the most he could do was annoy him.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Granted, Rising is a Metal Gear game, but arriving at the end of the game results in the sudden appearance of Metal Gear EXCELSUS. Considering the gross amount of foreshadowing the Metal Gear Solid games put into the unveiling of the superweapons' existence, it's somewhat unexpected to find a giant crab mech appearing.
Similarly, while Armstrong didn't exactly come out of nowhere, him turning into a Fist of the North Star villain certainly did.
Gone Horribly Right: Sam and Monsoon break Raiden's mind, convincing him that his "justice" motivation is to veil his bloodlust. This reawakens his Jack the Ripper personality, leaving them with a more formidable and now-psychopathic enemy to deal with (and which ends up being their undoing).
Armstrong, who believes "survival of the fittest" should govern the world, claims Raiden's murdering of those who stood in the way of "justice" makes their philosophies the same. When Raiden then kills Armstrong, he unwittingly proves the Senator right; as Armstrong couldn't stop Raiden, the latter became top dog in his place and won the ability to carve his own path.
Guide Dang It: In addition to the stuff listed under Last Lousy Point, some of the Data Storages can be extremely tricky to find: one of them requires you to cut down a passing Slider, another is dropped by the very last enemy on an exploding elevator that's basically impossible to escape once you get it and both of the ones found in the intro level are well hidden and require you to break open a nondescript sewer grate during a chase sequence and slide into a hidden room through it as well as dropping off a train car just before a cutscene trigger to see it lying on the ground instead of leaping off the train car into the cutscene during another chase sequence.
Guns Are Worthless: Against cyborgs, small arms fire is a minor annoyance thanks to their ridiculously strong carbon nano-tube fiber bodies. Explicitly lampshaded when Raiden goes to Denver and a cyborg Dirty Cop says "deadly force is authorised" before putting away his handgun for a telescoping baton.
Happy Ending Override: At the end of MGS4, Raiden retired from battle to settle down with his wife Rosemary and their son John. In this game, he has already come out of retirement to provide for his family.
On a broader level, the ending of MGS4 saw the elimination of the Patriots, which despite some Reality Ensues from Drebin, was framed as a new beginning for humanity to start fresh without the baggage of the past and Big Brother Is Watching to guide them in the wrong direction. Come Metal Gear Rising, and the world is still embroiled in wars under the influence of smaller scale PMC conglomerates, with new cyborg technology taking the place of the SOP system to make up the difference.
Hard Mode Perks: To compensate for the ridiculous amounts of damage the enemies do to you, the appearance of tougher enemies much earlier on and their increased aggressiveness, properly timed parries that result in a counter do tons of damage to all enemies on Revengance difficulty.
Heroic Safe Mode: It could be argued that Raiden recovered his Jack the Ripper personality to be able to fight Monsoon since he was going through a Heroic BSOD.
Herr Doktor: The brilliant Germanic cyborg engineer Wilhelm Voigt. Also lampshaded by his call sign, "Doktor."
Hidden Depths: The lyrics for the boss battle songs say volumes more about their respective boss characters than what is stated in the actual story. At most you only get a superficial idea of their psychological motivations before you fight them, the lyrics go much more in depth on those matters.
Hopeless Boss Fight: You cannot win the boss fight against Sam at the beginning of the game: he's far more aggressive and has far less obvious tells than any other enemies fought during the intro level, you have no dodge move and even if you manage to block his attacks, you still take Scratch Damage.
The first two phases of the final boss, Senator Armstrong (one-on-one) are this. In Phase 1, you have to survive for a fixed amount of time, but Phase 2 is basically you being unable to hurt him in any fashion.
Hope Spot: Twice with the final boss. Raiden successfully goes hand-to-hand against Armstrong after losing his sword, only to earn a beatdown. Raiden then manages to trick Armstrong by feigning a change of heart, but in spite of landing a few more good hits, Armstrong ends up pummeling Raiden so hard he's only saved when Bladewolf finally intervenes.
Humans Are the Real Monsters: Bladewolf doesn't openly despise humans but it does say that they're way more violent than it could ever hope to be, as it lacks the instinct for brutality that comes naturally to humans.
Human Resources: Raiden heals by cutting up a cyborg and tearing out their artificial spine, which are filled with regenerative fluids.
Justified in-game by the nature of Raiden's customised cyborg body; it's deliberately missing that particular component in order to maximise combat efficiency and because doing it Raiden's way is an infinitely quicker way to heal compared to using the repair units their intended way, which isn't much faster than the speed humans would naturally heal at.
I Am Not a Gun: An interesting take on the trope. When the Winds of Destruction call Raiden out on being a blood-thirsty killer, he rebukes them with "My sword is a tool of justice!" As time passes, though, Raiden comes closer and closer to subverting this trope...
Implausible Fencing Powers: Using Ninja Run makes Raiden automatically deflect any bullets with his weapon. He can also cut enemies and objects into tiny pieces in a blink of an eye in Blade Mode with a ridiculous degree of precision and can strip most of the clothes from civilians with a single swing.
Another lesser known property that shows off Blade Mode's extreme precision is seen if you use it on custom cyborgs when they're blocking: if you aim at their sword, they're unable to block the slash and become instantly stunned as a result.
In a Single Bound: Omnipresent. Even generic mooks can jump their own height or more and custom cyborgs like Raiden and the Winds of Destruction can do much better.
The Fox Blade, which requires the Gray Fox DLC and 200,000BP to unlock. Not only does it carry a ~50% chance of ignoring armor and dismembering, but it can be upgraded to "Fox Blade+" for a further 100,000BP which extends the effect to all non-boss enemies.
Without the DLC, the same effect can be achieved by collecting all 30 left arms to unlock the Armor Breaker sword (which works like the un-upgraded Fox Blade after 288,000BP of upgrades). Collecting the arms and beating the game on Hard or above similarly unlocks the Blade Mode Wig (50,000BP) which allows Raiden to instantly cut apart any non-boss enemy in Blade Mode without weakening their armor first.
Infinity–1 Sword: The HF Murasama Blade (better known as Sam's Blade) is unlocked for purchase after beating Armstrong and completing the game once. It serves as a general upgrade of Raiden's default HF Blade, possessing great speed, strength and very good fuel consumption (its only weakness), making it the best "normal" sword available. If well-upgraded, it serves as a viable replacement for the FOX Blade for players who lack it and can make mince meat of the Final Boss.
Injured Vulnerability: Using blade mode (and Jack the Ripper mode if you've unlocked "him") allows one hit kills, but only against enemies without any armour. You have to attack armoured enemies a bit to break up their armour and make them vulnerable (or hit them with a Sneak Attack).
Destroying the custom cyborgs' arm armor also makes them unable to counter your parry counters, making it much easier to land hits on them.
Interspecies Friendship: There are shades of this between Raiden and Bladewolf, a cybernetic human and a robot dog. Bladewolf shows minor degrees of hostility, or at least reserved annoyance, at some of Raiden's behaviors but nevertheless is intensely loyal to Raiden. They spend a lot of the game debating philosophy, and by the end of the game Bladewolf acknowledges the bond that he and Raiden have formed.
In the epilogue, Bladewolf is shown living at Solis with Sunny. Judging by their earlier interaction, it's safe to say they're this as well.
Invisibility Cloak: Desperado cyborgs use the series' famous Stealth Camouflage technology to ambush Raiden. Raiden also seems to use some form of Stealth Camo to conceal the case he carries his sword in at the end of the game.
Ironic Echo: Monsoon delivers a monologue to Raiden about how the strong preying upon the weak is just nature running its course, war is the way things have to be because it is an essential part of our nature to dominate others. After Raiden defeats Monsoon by decapitating him Raiden throws his words back at him, "Don't be ashamed. It's only nature running its course." Needless to say, this was very much deserved.
Irony: The leaders of Desperado that Raiden fights in the game subscribe to the philosophy of an anarchic existence where the rule of law is established by who is the strongest. The strong are allowed to do whatever they want and the weak are preyed upon. Raiden believes in the idea that the strong, like himself, should protect the weak and that if the rule of law does have to be bent that it should be done so when it can benefit the weak. Ultimately Raiden being the hero of the story defeats them; the ironic thing being that by their own moral standards that means they were weak so they were preyed upon by Raiden, who now has the right to do whatever he desires.
Sundowner's speech about war being natural, and how not every war in history is part of a conspiracy. The wars World Marshal and he are involved with, are part of Armstrong's conspiracy. Plus the fact that he must have known about the Patriots controlling the scenes behind post-Cold War history and the Sons of the Patriots system...
Jumping the Shark:invoked Referenced in one trophy/achievement where you get it for destroying a total of 10 Hammerhead enemies in the game. This might be a Lampshade Hanging of the opinion of some fans who felt that the Metal Gear series jumped the shark with this game.
Visual Pun: One literally jumps over Hammerheads during their final attack.
Katanas Are Just Better: Various cyborgs wield katana-like high frequency blades, and Desperado's modified Metal Gear RAY units are equipped with huge blades on their "arms."
Armstrong: "Played college ball, ya know?" (punts Raiden like a football)
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Surprisingly minimal, as the game is treated as completely separate from Metal Gear Solid 4, so only the most obvious things (e.g. Snake defeated series villains the Patriots) are actually spoiled.
Layman's Terms: Inverted. In one codec conversation, when Boris explains the new functionality of the soliton radar in a simple manner, Raiden wants to hear the technical explanation, which Boris is having none of.
Let's Play: With Chip Cheezum at the helm and General Ironicus as his co-comentator. They go through the game on Hard difficulty and also go through the Bladewolf and Jetstream Sam DLC.
Two Best Friends Play also did a full playthrough of the game and it's two DLC's when they each came out.
Lethal Joke Item: The Wooden Sword, which can only be made weaker but carries the chance of making enemies disappear. Taken Up to Eleven in a Japan-only DLC pack, which includes a Wooden Sword variant that makes Solid Snake shout phrases when things are hit.
Le Parkour: "Ninja Run" mode allows you to dash over walls, gaps and other architectural obstacles on the fly.
Level 1 Music Represents: Subverted. The theme song that stuck with players the most is LQ-84i's theme, I'm My Own Master Now, since it was the boss players fought in the demo. LQ-84-i also happens to be the game's second boss, the first being Metal Gear RAY.
Lightning Bruiser: Raiden can move very quickly with his "Ninja Run" ability, yet he can also flip 10 story tall Metal Gears with his bare hands.
Mastiff U Gs are very aggressive, can wall jump and charge at you, can knock Raiden around like a ragdoll, and they're very durable. They're the first enemies you face on Very Hard mode.
Lost Aesop: The game's stance towards violence is somewhat nebulous, considering how the previous title kind of promoted non-violence.
The franchise has never talked about violence as it considers war common. The main theme of this game is Raiden's Katsujinken and if it is legit even though the user has strong personal feelings like revenge or sadism.
Another alternative is Right needs Might as expressed here.
Mecha-Mook: The Gekkos from MGS4 return, along with the new Mastiff, Grad, and Raptor. Bladewolf is also one, but ends up defecting after being shown mercy.
Mega Corp.: Raiden uses the term "mega corp" by name to describe World Marshal. While certainly no where near as powerful as Liquid during Metal Gear Solid 4, or the Patriots and their virtually limitless resources, they have enough power to fund a massive PMC business with cutting edge equipment and an army of cyborgs and unmanned gears. They even have enough political clout in the United States to utilize U.S military equipment, as Raiden encounters U.S Air Force drones at one point in the story and notes it should be illegal for a corporation to use U.S military equipment without permission; meaning that they have deep enough pockets to hire U.S personnel to scramble military equipment. On top of this they control the police in Colorado, and Raiden suspects their media branches are helping to censor the media the old fashion way.
Menacing Stroll: If you don't attack immediately in the first boss fight against Sam, he will slowly and casually approach you with his sword on his shoulder. After Raiden's arm is chopped off, Sam will casually walk behind you if you attempt to limp away from him.
After going into his "invincible" stage, Monsoon will approach you in this manner until he's within attack range. Additionally, in the first two stages of the Senator Armstrong battle, he will approach in the same manner.
Metal Slime: Humanoid Gekkos are generally found in out-of-way places, often drop large Holo-Chips that give a lot of BP when killed and one of them can only be found if you get to its location undetected and it quickly starts to fade away after you drop your disguise to attack it.
Mobile Shrubbery: The series' iconic cardboard box returns as a means to sneak around almost any area when no one's looking. There is also the Drum Can from Guns of the Patriots.
Mook Chivalry: Enemies attack one at a time except on Very Hard and Revengeance. Unlike in Bayonetta, they will still attack if they're off-camera.
Mook Horror Show: Revealed to be the case for the cyborgs that go up against Raiden. When revealed to Raiden himself, he can't bring himself to fight them to the fullest... until he reverts to being Jack the Ripper.
Moral Myopia: Dolzaev calls Raiden a murderer for killing Mistral, upon which Raiden calls him out for the hypocrisy of saying such while being involved with Desperado.
Mundane Made Awesome: Never has cutting watermelons looked so badass. Nor has wearing a sombrero or a Senator kicking ass.
Mundane Solution: Should the player fail to obtain the first left hand of the game in R-01 so that they can use it to bypass the biometrics scan of a security gate, Boris—exasperated at Raiden botching things up—tells Raiden to forgo obtaining the ID data and simply do what he's been doing up to that point: slicin' and dicin'.
Mysterious Stranger: When Sam first attacks, Courtney states she honestly doesn't know what he's doing there, as Sam has no affiliation with any of Maverick Security Consulting's competitors.
Mythical Motifs: Subtle, but there. Raiden, associated with lightning, is fighting villains named after winds. In essence, "Raijin" and "Fujin." Let it be known that while Raiden's explanation of his "Mr. Lightning Bolt" moniker to Kevin has him translate rai as "lightning" and den as "electric", Raiden is also another name for Raijin.
The first demo of Metal Gear Rising was included in the Zone of the Enders: HD Collection, a reference to the first demo for Raiden's previous game Metal Gear Solid 2being included in the original release of the first Zone of the Enders.
As with all Metal Gear games, the cardboard box makes an appearance as a wearable item. The same goes for the wigs from MGS2 that activate cheat effects, which can be found by cutting off enough officer arms.
Monsoon's monologue before his first boss fight is a Controllable Helplessness section stuck in first person with Raiden having recovered from a serious beating, just like Liquid's speech to Snake near the end of Metal Gear Solid.
Boris's first words in person in Revengeance? "Kept you waiting, huh?"
Raiden does the kneeling pose after he's dropped off by the plane.
Each one of the "Men in Boxes" found unlocks a collectible statue, each being a cyborg mook replicating a famous Metal Gear pose with a box. In order, they are: Gray Fox (MGS1); Raiden (MGS2); EVA (MGS3); Old Snake (MGS4); and Raiden (MGSR).
Calling Boris during the fight with Metal Gear EXCELSUS will prompt Raiden to deliver the classic Parrot Exposition.
Raiden: "Metal Gear?"
If you call Courtney on Codec in chapter 2, you can have a conversation with her on nopales, a cactus leaf that goes well with Mexican food. After she describes it, Raiden goes out of his way to ask "How does it taste?", then dismisses the thought since it's unlikely he'd need to catch food in the sewers anyway with his cybernetics keeping him going.
Raiden is now two for two in having a final boss fight with a super-powered politician.
Blade Mode is, by default, controlled with the right analog stick, same as when Raiden first acquired an HF blade at the end of MGS2.
Nanomachines: The game lampshades the series's frequent use of the concept as a magical plot device. "NANOMACHINES, SON!"
Name's the Same: In-Universe. Raiden meets a young Guyanese child named George in the sewers of Mexico. Raiden, needless to say gets instantly uncomfortable due to his past.note Solidus Snake, his stepfather and villain of MGS2, was ex-President George Sears prior to the Sons of Liberty.
George: "Mi name George, like 'Georgetown.'" Raiden: "George..." George: "An' just like all dem America president." Raiden: "... Yeah."
Necessary Drawback: Bladewolf and other UGs use a neuro-matrix for a brain rather than a Von Neumann bit-processor that most computers use. This means they can learn from mistakes, react to various situations using "fuzzy logic" and even, in Wolf's case, attain sentience, but this has drawbacks: each brain must be "grown" and "trained" rather than programmed and the training can't be downloaded instantly to another robot. Bladewolf also says that this means his memory can be "fuzzy" like a human's, so he doesn't memorize faces the way a regular computer might and can't talk directly to other computers because of a difference in protocols.
New Tech Is Not Cheap: A Codec conversation with Kevin reveals that cyborgification is really expensive and that Desperado must have some kind of really involved payment plans for their recruits to have so many cyborgs in their ranks. This also explains why the Mistral and Monsoon body doubles weren't mass-produced.
There's also another minor Codec conversation with Boris regarding the new type of fragmentation grenades you find lying around in boxes: while they're vastly superior to normal grenades and work even on cyborgs, they're also 3 times as expensive.
N.G.O. Superpower: World Marshal, described as being the biggest PMC in the world since the downfall of Liquid Ocelot's Outer Heaven, has enough money to not only fund all kinds of cyborg and unmanned weapon development, but also to privatize a cyborg police force in Denver.
Ninja Run: Sort of. Though Raiden's Le Parkour sprinting is referred to as Ninja Run, he doesn't assume the stance while doing so. The cyborg mooks in the Japanese garden do this when running.
Nintendo Hard: In true Platinum Games fashion, Metal Gear Rising requires a strong understanding of all Raiden's techniques to even survive. God help you if haven't mastered your skills by the time you fight Senator Armstrong.
Noodle Incident: Kevin reminds Raiden of something that happened in Montenegro in order to prevent the latter skipping out on an As You Know briefing.
Not Quite Dead: The CustomDesperado Metal Gear RAY pulls this off twice: first when you cut off one "arm", then once more when you sever the other.
Not So Different: Senator Armstrong, while clearly deranged, taunts Raiden over his methods in burning down World Marshal and killing anyone that got in his way, just like him. Even the boss theme for Armstrong himself points this out:
"Standing here, I realize, you are just like me trying to make history."
Raiden gets this impression from pretty much all of the boss characters. They lecture him at length about the Blood Knight and Knight Templar character traits he is repressing inside of him, and even in defeat claim that Raiden will one day become like them even if he isn't right now. It gives the unsettling implication that Raiden's victory is Pyrrhic at best.
Quite a few of their songs apply to him just as much as them, highlighting their similarities.
Sam makes this point when he shows how Raiden's not so different from the cyborg enemies he's been chopping up, fighting was the only means for them to stay alive.
Nothing Personal: There is a subtext of this sentiment between Senator Armstrong and Raiden during the final boss battle. Both of them are men that have shed a lot of blood to get to where they're at, and only want what they think is best for the future. The thing is that only the victor of their duel will be able to invoke their ideal future for the world, and so even if they are the same they must fight. It's very reminiscent of what Solid Snake said about his fight with Gray Fox: It was just two men, with no malice or absurd politics in the way, doing their jobs as soldiers fighting for what they believed in.
No, You: In the climax of the battle Monsoon yells "You are dead!" as he tries to kill Raiden. Raiden shouts "Dead on!" and literally stomps Monsoon.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't get to see Raiden's entry into Pakistan, the game just goes from Raiden taking off in a space shuttle to him already landed.
Old Media Are Evil: Raiden is furious when Kevin brings up the argument that even though The Patriots media filtration is destroyed, American political media would never bring up allegation's of Senator Armstrong's human trafficking, torture and conspiracy.
Pacifist Run: Using the Wooden Sword weapon allows for no kill runs.
Painting the Medium: The game opens with the HUD resembling that of MGS4. When Raiden gets his new body, the HUD changes to a similar but slightly different-looking one.
Likewise, if you equip the "Standard Body" costume, the Blade Mode reticule's color will be an MGS4-esque yellow instead of blue.
Papa Wolf: Having become a father, and given a chance to give an innocent boy the love and happy childhood that he never had, Raiden has sworn that no child will ever be made to endure what Solidus put him through. Hence, it is a suicidally stupid idea to abuse, harm, kill and exploit children and gloat about it in Raiden's face. The black-hearted mercenary-doctor in Chapter 2 found this out the hard and painful way.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Raiden tries to disguise himself as a Mexican local by putting on a sombrero and a poncho, while the rest of his cyborg body is completely visible. Lampshaded when the first pedestrians who see him spot him straight away and question if he's part of a mariachi band.
A Codec convo with Courtney afterward has her note that the sombrero probably wouldn't have worked anyway, as locals favor more low-key headgear, with sombreros really only being worn by mariachi; Raiden's choice of hats outed him as a tourist from the start.
Patriotic Fervor: Senator Armstrong is a staunch "American" patriot. Or rather, patriotic towards a Social Darwinist America that he plans to build over the actual USA.
Perfectly Cromulent Word: No, Platinum was not crazy enough to add a word to the lexicon, in spite of it being a rather redundant portmanteau of two similarly meaning words.
Perpetual Motion Machine: One of the left arm data collectibles has classified Patriot data that reveals the Patriots were working on creating such a device.
Pet the Dog: Aside from a literal example with Sunny and Bladewolf, Sam is shown to be not such a bad guy when, Raiden realizes if he'd wanted to stop him from reaching Pakistan, all he had to do was kill everyone at the Solis launch center, including Sunny. Instead, Sam just waited for Raiden on a road outside Denver so they could have a fair duel. Bonus points in that Bladewolf is accepting a petting session from Sam's hand, when he refused to be treated like that with Raiden. Even said dog being petted agrees that Sam isn't a bad guy!
One example that's easy to miss is in the "interactive" cutscene before the battle with Monsoon starts. Look at the mook to the right. At some point, he pets a cat. Makes you feel sorry for him when Raiden unleashes Jack the Ripper later.
Plot Relevant Power Up: Raiden receives his new cyborg body after he was severely injured during his first confrontation with Sam.
Portmantitle: The game's subtitle is "Revenge With a Vengeance", Revengeance.
Power Copying: After Raiden defeats a boss, Doktor will make him a copy of their signature weapon.
Power Glows: Samuel's sword, which he upgraded when he inherited it, now permanently glows red with power.
Pre-Order Bonus: Different bonus skins for Raiden are available for pre-ordering the game, including:
A Metal Gear Solid Cyborg Ninja skin.
A Metal Gear Solid 4 Raiden skin.
A red "Inferno Armor" that gives you more grenades.
A white "Medical Armor" that gives you more healing items.
A green "Commando Armor" that give you more surface-to-air rockets.
Raiden: "I said my sword was a tool of justice. Not used in anger. Not used for vengeance. But now... Now I'm not so sure. And besides... This isn't my sword."
Private Military Contractor: Desperado is the more traditional use of the trope (i.e. supporting terrorists and criminals, and overall being evil). Maverick (the group Raiden is a member of), is a more beneficial and protagonistic use of the trope, similar to the Militaires Sans Frontieres in Peace Walker.
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: The end result of the second phase of the Armstrong battle: if Raiden takes too much damage and is reduced to critical health or managed to avoid his attacks until he performs an unavoidable shockwave attack, he performs a last desperate Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs assault on him, while he just stands there and adjusts his glasses afterwards. Raiden tries it again but to no avail, at which point the battle ends. Unlike most other examples of this, Armstrong does take damage from the punches, but the grand total is barely above 10% of his health.
Mistral, a woman with a long lance and twelve arms.
Monsoon, a man whose body can segment itself so Raiden's sword just whiffs straight through.
Sundowner, a heavy man with two huge machetes and six pop-out shields on waldos that can combine to form a wall between himself and Raiden.
Reality Ensues: While the physics in the game are subject to Rule of Cool, the consequences of Raiden's actions lead to this. His actions in Denver lead to him being branded a criminal, and even though he kills the Big Bad, he admits that his actions aren't going to solve the problems that had been occurring in the game.
A darker version can be found with the Winds of Destruction. We have a American Blood Knight mercenary, a Cambodian ex-gang banger who served with Pol Pot, an ex-Child Soldier from Algeria, and a Brazilian Master Swordsman.
Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: In the second phase of the Armstrong fight, Raiden does this twice in a row. It does absolutely nothing. Though, the second time, Armstrong actually flinches from the punches and is knocked back about a foot by the final one.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Raiden's eye turns red when activating functions of his cyborg body, like killing a robot and draining its battery.
Redshirt Army: The other Maverick troops in the first mission. The suit-clad cyborgs do well against Desperado mooks but get trounced by Sundowner. Sam slaughters the rest. At least the Maverick guys get to die to bosses, though; the soldiers of the African country take this Up to Eleven, being slaughtered en masse by the mooks you go through by the dozen.
Required Secondary Powers: A codec conversation has Doktor declare that further upgrades to the special eyepatch Raiden is using would be pointless because the human brain would not be able to use any additional resolution it might give him.
Retro Upgrade: HF Blades can be made using any sword; even Sam's Murasama, which is centuries old, was made into a deadly anti-cyborg weapon.
Rooftop Confrontation: Sundowner is fought at the helipad atop World Marshal headquarters. Mistral also sort of counts, since her boss fight starts at the top of the refinery.
Rule of Cool: The game has a lot of silly or improbable elements simply because they're awesome.
In the Metal Gear RAY Boss Battle, Raiden blocks a strike from the Humongous Mecha, throws the entire thing into the air, and then runs up along its arm swinging his sword until he's sliced that entire section to pieces.
Platinum Games claims they used the archaic word "Revengeance" for the subtitle because it sounded cooler.
Running Gag: Bad things happen to Raiden's chin. In the final battle, he narrowly avoids an uppercut, backflips away, briefly rubs his chin while smirking and chucking to himself... only to sent sliding along the ground on his face an instant later courtesy of Armstrong's haymaker, leaving his chin glowing hot.
Say My Name: "AAAAAAARRMSTROOOOOONG!" ("STEVEN!" in Japanese version)
Scary Black Man: The African soldier in the trailers, especially the "Sword" trailer, qualifies. Of particular note is his brutal interrogation of a soldier regarding leaked information to the enemy, to which he threatens to kill his family if he doesn't admit to it, and also implies to planning to rape the interrogated soldier's wife before killing her.
Scratch Damage: Metal Gear EXCELSUS's attacks are slow, but so powerful that even if you do block any of its attacks, you still lose a bit of your health.
Similarly, in the prologue's Hopeless Boss Fight against Sam, even if you do manage to parry his attacks they still damage you.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Denver has a completely privatized police force, which shouldn't even be legal, as whoever pays them is effectively above the law. The leftovers of the Patriot world control system are still in place, too: the bad guys own so much of the media that no media institution dares to air the dirty laundry of politicians for fear of losing all their advertising revenue.
Self-Imposed Challenge: The HF Wooden Sword has buyable upgrades that lets you remove attack power, allowing you to cherry tap enemies to death. As mentioned in the game description, "Only master swordsmen looking to truly test their abilities would enable this."note On the other hand, the upgrades that increases chances of knocking an enemy unconscious are separate, meaning that fully upgrading that stat means you'll still easily wipe out human enemies. Mechanical enemies and bosses are another issue.
Shock and Awe: Electricity can be seen coursing around Raiden's blade and body.
Shoot the Hostage: A mad doctor, holding George at gunpoint and gassing a bunch of kids to death, is taken down when Raiden slashes straight through the doctor and George. It then turns out that George survived and gets a cybernetic body below the shoulders, but yeesh.
Desperado Doctor: Surrender! Or decide: The needs of the many, or the needs of the few?
Senator Armstrong refers to Raiden as Saucy Jack. Saucy Jack was what Jack the Ripper addressed himself as, in letters to Scotland Yard about his criminal activities.
Mistral has a few towards Albert Camus; her staff named L'Etranger after one of his novels, she is a French-Algerian like the protagonist of that novel, and her theme song is called "A Stranger I Remain".
When Raiden tells Doktor that Sunny's aircraft won't break the Karman line, Doktor expresses disappointment, hoping that Raiden would have brought him back a monolith.
The last two hostages that the player will encounter specifically, bear more than a passing resemblance to Harry Mason and James Sunderland.
Raiden's visor activating before a boss fight is likely one to Viewtiful Joe, a game which director Kenji Saito worked back during his days as Clover Studios. There's also the "Falling Lightning" move, which is Joe's Red Hot Kick in all but name.
Similarly, the "Lightning Strike" is effectively the Stinger from Devil May Cry.
In one of the codec conversations, Kevin makes mention that Detroit was kind of a pioneer for a privatized police force, which served as grounds for later cities to undergo such a process, like Denver. The privatization of the Detroit Police Department is a shout out to RoboCop.
The way Sam's sword fires out of its sheath like a gun is the same thing that Silver Chariot can do.
Show Their Work: At one point you can have a codec conversation with Kevin about Sam's Brazilian background, and every information is pretty spot on. Highlights are mentioning the big Japanese immigration and how that brought on Brazilian styles of certain martial arts (such as Sam's), and the spelling of his name being the Portuguese one: Samuel Rodrigues, as opposed to Rodriguez.
Also done to a lesser extent in the opening mission in Abkhazia, featuring rather realistic commentary on the state of affairs in the post-USSR Caucasus. Rather unexpected too, as the region has never been touched upon in any other work of media to date.
The gratuitous Russian spoken by several characters is mostly grammatically correct and features sensible and appropriate profanity actually used in everyday speech.
Sticks to the Back: After upgrading his cybernetics Raiden switches from wearing his sword and scabbard at his hip to storing them on his back. The scabbard is actually attached to his body by a mechanical arm and can shift from the back position to the hip position during certain post-level victory stances.
Straw Nihilist: All of the boss characters seem to feel that fighting is the way things have to be. Their song lyrics even back this up by saying things like "it had to be this way", or "through no fault of our own", when obviously that isn't true.
The original, Metal Gear Solid version of the game was subtitled Rising.
Revengeance is also a Portmanteau of the stock subtitles revenge and vengeance — with the bonus of being an actual word, albeit an archaic one that's no longer in common use.
The Stool Pigeon: Going by the comments made by the black soldier when he was torturing a soldier in the "Sword" trailer, apparently the soldier the black guy was interrogating that soldier because the latter was suspected of leaking their strategic information to the enemy.
Spell My Name with an "S": Sam's katana is a work by Muramasa, but is intentionally misspelled in-game as "Murasama", implying that it was mistranslated by Sam's family when they received it. It's also symbolic of the imperfect translation inherent between ideals and the people who try to interpret them.
Super Speed: Raiden has the ability to run extremely quickly, as well as to slow down his perception of time so he can chop one target a hundred times in a second. Basically, he's like a sword-based version of Sam Gideon from Platinum's previous release, Vanquish.
For a great demonstration on exactly how fast Raiden actually is in Blade Mode, see this.
Swipe Your Blade Off: After a stealth kill from behind end, Raiden dramatically swings his blade down to shake the blood off.
He'll also wipe his blade across his arm, as seen after completing the first half of the RAY boss battle.
Armstrong gives one to the Tea Party Movement in the leaked conversation found here.
Armstrong's speech during the final boss battle takes a lot of cracks at the political and social climate of America, likening its weaknesses onto a disease that is rotting the country to its core. Stuff very reminiscent of what the AIs argued back inMetal Gear Solid 2in fact. It's marginally offset by the fact that his own vision for a revived America is comprised mostly of harsh, Social Darwinist rhetoric.
One of the titles you can earn at the end of the game is "Mr. One Percent" for earning at least 300,000 BP, and even one of Raiden's codec calls plays on the "1% of wealthiest Americans" term.
Raiden: "I've read that only one in fifty soldiers can kill without hesitation. Guess I'm a two-percenter, huh?"
Similarly, when Courtney recounts the tale of her joining up with Maverick after hearing Raiden's own story, she mentions the 1% as well, then speaks of how she was perturbed by the luxuries first-world countries enjoy at the expense of third-world ones.
Courtney: "Me? Ah... Well, it's funny. I was a business major, actually — thought I'd go for an MBA. When I was in school there was a lot of talk about the widening gap between rich and poor. I figured I'd join the 1%, and never have to worry about money again. Pretty noble, huh? Anyway, around then you started hearing all about this war economy stuff on the news. I was... I dunno — disgusted, I guess? Disillusioned, for sure."
There are numerous statements about the government response to 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, the military-industrial-congressional complex, etc. And, all these things are implied to directly lead to acts such as murdering peacefully-elected African leaders, kidnapping children and ripping their brains out, forcing soldiers to become privately-owned cyborgs, etc.
Tempting Fate: In Pakistan, one codec conversation with Kevin has Raiden state that he should be fine since none of Desperado's standard cyborgs or UGs are a threat and the Winds of Destruction are dead. Turns out, the enemy does have an ace up their sleeves after all.
That Poor Car: At one point in the VGA 2011 trailer, Raiden kicked an enemy soldier so hard, it triggered a car alarm on the black car behind them upon impact.
Theme Music Power-Up: The boss themes play with this trope in an unique way. For most of the fight, their themes are instrumental, but when the boss' life lowers to a certain point, vocals kick in just so you know it is on.
Some bosses utilize this in a different way. Sundowner's vocals don't kick in unless you slice off all of his shields. Sam's music starts out with vocals, but turns to instrumental should you cause him to drop his sword. And Armstrong's vocals stop if he causes Raiden to drop Muramasa.
The Winds of Destruction, true to the group's name, are each named after a different type of wind (Sundowner, Mistral, Monsoon, Jetstream, plus the DLC-exclusive Khamsin). Jetstream Sam is also known as "Minuano."
The ID-tagged soldiers are all named after U.S. Presidents (e.g. Barack, James, William, Ronald, Gerald).
The Theme Park Version: Two thirds into your raid on the World Marshal Headquarters, you land in a giant "Japanese Garden" created to host VIPs because one of the World Marshal executives is a "Japanese Culture Enthusiast." Inside is a simulacrum of Jidai Geki, with sliding doors, wooden umbrellas, red painted, tile roofed castles, and cherry blossoms blooming in a simulated evening. Amusingly, you can see the spotlights above the room that provide ambiance.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: It is entirely possible to use Blade Mode to cut someone/thing into over a hundred little bits. Hell the game even counts how many parts you cut them into! This is how all the members of Winds of Destruction and pre-Heel-Face Turn Bladewolf are dispatched.
It's worth noting that Metal Gear EXCELSUS was intended to be this, as a counter to the spreading use of cyborg soldiers.
Thirteen Is Unlucky: The Slider, an airborne enemy that could fire homing missiles that knock you off of your feet, had a charge attack you're most likely not paying attention to due to trying to evade said homing missiles, and always darted just out of your sword's reach. You get to face two waves of them in VR Mission 13, plus two Hammerheads.
This Is Reality: A codec conversation in Pakistan has Kevin rule out the use of an infiltrator on board Air Force One to assassinate the US president as foreign press would not be allowed on board in reality, "not like in the movies."
Thousand-Yard Stare: Raiden sports one on a couple of occasions in the game after significant moments of distress. In the immediate aftermath of his battle with Senator Armstrong after having crushed his beating heart in his hand Raiden has an especially haunting look of exhaustion on his face.
Too Awesome to Use: 3D Photo Frames, the equivalent of magazines in other MGS games. In a game with simplified stealth mechanics and enemy patrolling AI, an item that, when thrown well, can completely distract entire crowds of mooks can be extremely overpowered. Thus to balance it, 3D Photo Frames are more rarely seen compared to other items, giving a tendency to hoard them.
Traintop Battle: Raiden and Sam engage in a swordfight on top of a supply train in the prologue.
The Unfettered: Armstrong believes that everyone in the United States should be like this. He thinks the end result would be a nation culled of its weaklings while the strong thrive.
Raiden himself gradually becomes more and more unfettered as the story goes on, giving up body, mind, ideals, and weapon to win. It's why Armstrong is so confident that Raiden is a worthy successor to him.
In the fight with Metal Gear EXCELSUS, he throws it, rips off one of its sword arms, and uses it to slice the MG to pieces.
Variable Mix: Music regularly gains and loses instruments and tempo depending on events within the game. Boss themes in particular often shift to different parts of the song to go along with the actions of the battle, usually ending in a full vocal performance.
The cyborg troops hiding in cardboard boxes will never attack you. This doesn't stop you from slicing off their heads.
Provided you don't hit a cyborg's electrolyte core or head, it's possible to non-lethally carve off their limbs. You get more points if you do this to all of them. Granted, they're still alive, but...
Villain Has a Point: Raiden may believe that Armstrong is batshit insane, but he shares the villain's contempt with the whole idea of war being an industry with people fighting and dying for money and causes that aren't their own. He leaves his allies in the end to keep fighting elsewhere, presumably for a cause of his own.
Villain Song: Every boss fight has lyrics describing said boss.
"Hot Wind Blowing" - Khamsin's theme is a creed, displaying his pride about being a part of the Winds of Destruction, and stating his desire to bring freedom to otherwise forsaken countries in need of it.
Villain with Good Publicity: Armstrong, mostly because he admittedly doesn't write his own speeches. He's even a candidate for the 2020 Presidential elections.
Visual Pun: Mistral's L'Etranger pole-arm made from Dwarf Gekko arms; forming as pole, with a blade on both ends.
Walking Tank: The "Grad" is more of this than the Gekko is. It's covered in heavy, reactive armor plating, and it primarily attacks using conventional weapons like machine guns and rockets, whereas the Gekko prefers to kick most of its targets to death. The Grad can also transform into a roller mode to act like a more conventional tank.
Another thing to note about The Grad, is that it essentially is the closest thing to Granin's original definition as to what a Metal Gear is, a tank with legs linking infantry and artillery.
The War on Terror: Still happened in the past and Armstrong wants to restart it with Pakistan as a new target.
Wave Motion Gun: The modified Metal Gear RAY has a plasma cannon capable of cutting a building in half in place of previous RAY models using a hydraulic water cutter.
Weird Currency: Raiden can purchase upgrades from the Doktor using accumulated combat data, or "Blade Points." This includes the combat data of enemy cyborgs, which can be gained by cutting off their left arms and taking the data chips inside.
Wham Shot: In the Japanese version, when Raiden kills Jetstream Sam, he surprisingly bleeds red instead of white, serving as a reveal that he wasn't the same as the Winds of Destruction even on a physical level. In the English version, however, Raiden flat out explains it for obvious reasons.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Subverted. While cutscenes don't touch on the ramifications of earlier missions, radioing Codec contacts will give you details on the political and economic fallout after you stopped the coup in Abkhazia, the futures of the children rescued in Mexico, and so on.
Solid Snake's fate after MGS4 is not conclusively addressed. However Raiden does talk about him with Kevin during one Codec conversation when Raiden references the philosophy that Snake passed onto him. Raiden refers to him in the present tense, while Kevin uses past tense, leaving Snake's fate open for Kojima to decide on later.
The talking wooden sword (if one considers it canon) makes it pretty clear that Snake is dead.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Raiden coldly dispatches dozens of cyborg enemies, unnervingly saying they're nothing but "walking vending machines", but tries to do everything in his power to to protect non-cyborg civilians.
He is later called out on this mindset, however, when Sam claims that many of these cyborgs weren't really given much of a choice, but rather were exploited by the PMC system. Raiden had previously justified killing them in his mind by saying that the men he killed had chosen this path and thus deserved it. Raiden later laments to Bladewolf that he thought these men had been given a fair choice, unlike Bladewolf who had likewise been forced to fight.
Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Averted for the most part: you can't cut anything with the HF Wooden Sword and unlike other swords, you can actually make it even weaker for Self-Imposed Challenge purposes. However, it has up to 20% chance of knocking out enemy cyborgs with every hit, which counts as essentially defeating them instantly and finishing a battle by knocking out every cyborg enemy gives you a large point bonus. Then again, you can just as easily cut off their legs and run away from them to make them disappear in the same way, which also gives you the same bonus.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: During the initial stages of the Final Boss's battle, Raiden calls him out on his Social Darwinist ways, angrily remarking that he has no idea what it's like to be weak, poor, and hungry, let alone having to fight and kill just to survive. In a twist, the villain throws it back at him by saying that Raiden himself managed to overcome those things, validating the villain's philosophy.
Worthy Opponent: All of the boss characters express this sentiment towards Raiden to some degree. Sam most of all seems to care more about fighting Raiden than he does about Desperado's plan. During the final boss battle Senator Armstrong will say, "This is the greatest fight of my life," so he certainly thinks so too.
Wreaking Havok: Any time you Clean Cut a target, the game's physics engine will make a spectacle of it by making the pieces fly through the air or collapse in on themselves.
Wrecked Weapon: Raiden's sword is broken in the final battle, representing that the final thing he has to lose (his ideals) has been lost.
Wrestler in All of Us: The Mastiff enemies will occasionally perform full on drop kicks on you, especially after you cut their arms off.
In the final battle, Armstrong will attempt to pull off an elbow drop on Raiden in a QTE..
Dont forget Raiden performing an armbar on Armstrong. Pun not intended
Xanatos Gambit: Implied by Armstrong, that even though he and his entire force has been destroyed, he was able to share his ideals with Raiden, and he believes that Raiden will carry out those ideals in the future.
You All Look Familiar: Doktor justifies this on the part of the Desperado mooks by saying that many cyborg bodies are mass-produced.
You Are Already Dead: Done on a few occasions, such as the Metal Gear RAY fight; after impaling its head and running down to its tail, Raiden stops and dramatically sheathes his sword before it splits and explodes.
The designs for the Mastiff enemies (the hulking cyborgs with the cannon attached to their right arm) were reused from concept artwork from Guns of the Patriots that was originally meant to be the designs for one of the B&B Corps members. Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realize it's entirely possible that the Mastiff's design was based on the B&B's in-universe.
Sam, the cyborg that Raiden fights, resembles Vamp. The developers state that this is purely a coincidence, and that Sam is not related in any way to Vamp.
An Arm and a Leg: In Jetstream, Sam severs Armstrong's right arm, but because the cut was made at a harsh angle, Armstrong is able to use his nanomachines to harden the stump into a Blade Below the Shoulder and sever Sam's own right arm.
Awesome, but Impractical: Sam's moves. Although he has awesome offensive moves, he has a weak defense. He has short parries and lacks stealthy options. The latter can be explained by the fact he is a samurai, not a ninja like Raiden.
Awesomeness by Analysis: Sam figures out during the final cutscene of his DLC that Armstrong has nanomachines that harden his skin. He cuts Armstrong's hand off before it can harden.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: At one point in Sam's DLC, he's greeted by Monsoon in a wide open room. After a brief conversation, he then makes a smokescreen, just as he does in the fight with Raiden...and then a shutter opens, revealing Metal Gear RAY.
Backtracking: The story of the both packs almost entirely consist of this (save for a few points):
Jetstream receives a few new areas, but is effectively a replay of the main story's Desperado HQ level (albeit in a different ordering). The enemies have been changed up and made significantly more difficult, but the final boss is simply the main plot's Senator Armstrong with a couple of new moves.
Bladewolf is entirely made from doing part of Colorado again in AI, and then doing half of the main story's Abkhazia mission backwards. Again, the main difference lies in changing the minor enemies and hiking up the plot, but the pack also comes with a few DLC missions and a new boss battle at the end.
Batman Gambit: Mistral's plan relies entirely on Bladewolf stealing the remote to his Restraining Bolt, fleeing for the coast, and defeating Khamsin. Naturally, Bladewolf follows through perfectly, meaning Mistral can re-restrain him afterwards.
Of course, the remote turns out to be a Mock Guffin anyway; after Blade Wolf has disposed of Khamsin for Mistral, she re-enables the range limiter using an augmented-reality display.
Brick Joke: That motorcycle Raiden commandeers when he escapes from Denver? It belongs to Sam.
Brutal Bonus Level: The Jetstream Sam DLC gives us VR Mission 04, a brutally long fight against dozens and dozens of progressively tougher enemies, and is one of the only VR missions to feature a mid-boss fight.
Clean Cut: Actually works against Sam in Jetstream, as he severs Armstrong's arm in such a way that Armstrong manages to use the stump, sharpened to a point by his body-hardening nanomachines, to cut off Sam's own arm.
Cool Bike: Sam's motorcycle is the same one Raiden steals.
Difficult but Awesome: Jetstream Sam takes a lot of time getting used to if you've played with Raiden a lot. Specifically his taunt makes enemies take much more damage but they also deal more and can damage you through parry making a full defensive stance less effective. His charge attacks do damage on par with the Counter Parry and it can be done freely to enemies but the lead in time means you can't do it while directly under attack unlike the Counter Parry. He also can't keep pressuring the enemy by endlessly mashing weak attack like Raiden can thanks to his infinite combo string and the ability to cover distance automatically between slashes if the enemy is too far since Sam only has a 4-hit chain and all of his charged attacks that follow it have their own unique properties that need to be learned to to use them effectively. But once you've fully learned how to play him...
Doomed by Canon: In Bladewolf, the player learns of another major Desperado cyborg named Khamsin. Since Raiden never even hears of him, it's clear he won't be around for long.
Gameplay and Story Integration: Sam has the ability to bounce back if he's sent flying into a wall in normal gameplay. He does basically this off a helicoptor during the final Quick Time Event in his fight against Armstrong.
He also sometimes does it while on the train in his very first battle against Raiden.
Gone Horribly Right: When fighting Armstrong, Sam watches his movements and when he activates the shield nanomachines to evaluate when to activate his quick draw, he manages to slice Armstrong's arm off only for Armstrong to activate his nanomachines to make the pointed end of his stump into a sword. Armstrong then stabs and horribly mangles Sam's sword arm.
At the end of Sam's campaign, he seems to have Armstrong beat after cutting off his hand, only for Armstrong to use the sharpened stub on his arm to sever Sam's right Arm, before reattaching his own hand.
Bladewolf's campaign also has this during Mistral's mission to Abkhazia. Mistral disengages Wolf's Restraining Bolt as part of its mission, and Wolf takes the opportunity to make a mad dash for freedom; come the ending, it turns out to entirely be a Batman Gambit to get rid of Khamsin.
Mini-Mecha: Khamsin, who is connected to a humanoid mech with a chainsaw bladed axe.
Nintendo Hard: Both packs. All the enemies are much more aggressive by default even on Normal, several often-used tricks in the main game no longer work, parrying has a tighter timing and doesn't do nearly as much damage. Even taunting enemies as Sam, which in Raiden's case forces them to attack, instead stacks on speed and either block damage or non-counter attacks.
Protagonist Journey to Villain: This pretty much sums up the plot of the Jetstream DLC, showing how Sam went from a heroic individual who used his Blood Knight causes to fight crime and help people to losing hope and ideals and then joining Desperado.
Razor Wind: An attack for Sam. Apparently his sword is just so sharp, the sharpness goes flying off it if you swing it right.
Seinfeldian Conversation: The Jetstream DLC opens with Armstrong and Monsoon discussing cherry blossoms for two minutes; the former hates them, but the latter is indifferent.
Shaggy Dog Story: Bladewolf as per canon requirements. Bladewolf outsmarts Mistral, fights through Desperado mooks, kills Khamsin, and finally reaches the coast and earns his freedom. Cue Mistral reactivating his inhibitors, locking him in place so she can explain it was all part of her Batman Gambit.
Shout-Out: The platformer-style final VR mission in Sam's DLC shares its layout with the first level of Castlevania I, complete with shutters where doors would be and a breakable wall with BP items in the same relative location as the wallmeat in the original game.
Stealth-Based Mission: Bladewolf has more overall emphasis on stealth than other characters: he can do his Back Stab from farther away than Raiden and can do it to any enemy in his story (including Khamsin). This even extends to enemies during alerts if they're unaware of him or if he blinds them with an RP grenade.
As well, stealthy players can easily get greater score totals than even the main game if they haven't alerted any enemies and use stealth kills exclusively (or not kill anyone at all, if possible). In essence, just going berserker may be the easier route, but stealth is harder and more rewarding.
Sword Sparks: Finishing off Khamsin causes a chainsaw-to-chainsaw grind.
Sam turned from vigilante/rogue to Desperado as he was bested by Armstrong, who cut off his right arm. As such, he joined to both survive and to find an enemy better than himself (who would thus have a remote chance of killing Armstrong).
Bladewolf, whilst originally making a very sudden Heel-Face Turn, is revealed to be a lifelike AI who has always yearned for freedom; the reason he fights for Desperado is simply because refusing results in torture and death.
Taunt Button: Sam has one, which can be used to hit an enemy's Berserk Button and cause them to act more recklessly, attacking faster and harder without blocking.
Unnecessarily Large Interior: Sam explores Desperado HQ from the sewers up. Between the Server Room, the Japanese Garden, two freight elevators side by side, and an underground hangar large enough to store a Metal Gear RAY, all stacked on top of each other, all sense of scale seems to disappear the higher up you go.
Villain Protagonist: Jetstream covers how Sam joined Desperado, while Bladewolf provides backstory on his yearing for freedom.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Bladewolf again in Jetstream. He's even faster than in the main game and much more aggressive, presumably to teach the player that Sam is better at dodging than parrying.
We Can Rule Together: Sam's story ends with Armstrong dismembering Sam, but offering a partnership. Since Sam is bleeding, cornered, and has no other option, he agrees and becomes one of the Winds of Destruction.
Whole Episode Flashback: Blade Wolf actually occurs after the ending cutscene, and is Blade Wolf telling Sunny his history.
The Worf Effect: Armstrong hands Sam his greatest defeat. Adds emphasis to his Take Up My Sword schtick with Raiden, as explains why Sam needs to be defeated; only someone better than Sam can stop Armstrong.
It also explains why for as one-sided the fight between Raiden and Armstrong was initially, he began to make actual effort the moment Bladewolf arrived, because he already knows that Sam's sword is capable of cutting him.
Wrestler in All of Us: Armstrong adds to his main-story wrestling moves with lariats and giant swings. And then there's his sumo-esque stomps.