Video Game: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
"But what better place for us than this? It is our only home. Our Heaven... and our Hell. This... is Outer Heaven." Peace amongst men living alongside one another is not a natural state. On the contrary, the natural state of man is that of war. War manifested not only by open hostilities, but also by the constant threat of hostility. Peace, therefore, is a state that must be established by law.Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
— Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace, Chapter 2.
is a Metal Gear
game released for the PlayStation Portable
in 2010. The follow-up to Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
, unlike its predecessor, Peace Walker
was directed, written and designed by Hideo Kojima
, with most of the same team from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
involved in its development. With much higher production values than Portable Ops
, Peace Walker
was at one point considered to be "Metal Gear Solid 5
" during its development and is officially regarded as a full-fledged installment in the Metal Gear
series alongside the numbered entries in the series rather than a sidegame.
Ten years have passed since Operation Snake Eater
, and Snake, a.k.a. Big Boss, has created his army, the Militaires Sans Frontičres (MSF). He is approached by representatives from Costa Rica
requesting they support their government and push out a mysterious armed force occupying the region. Kazuhira Miller, Snake's second-in-command, encourages Snake to send the MSF to protect these clients; Snake, however, is initially reluctant of this offer until one of the representatives presents Snake with a tape that contains a recording of interest to him, along with a complimentary Sony Walkman. Six days later, the MSF move into action.
Borrowing elements from the hugely popular Monster Hunter
games (including the monsters
) and with a greater emphasis on succinct mission structure and plot, as the player captures more enemies and rescue allies, their army and arsenal grow from a handful of guys on an oil rig to a huge base with fantastic weapons. The game is probably the biggest yet in terms of sheer content for the Metal Gear
series, features a much more balanced Story-to-Gameplay Ratio
and can be played single-player or cooperatively.
Despite its origins as a portable game, Kojima Productions saw fit to release Peace Walker
on home consoles as well with added HD graphics, bringing the game to a much wider userbase. In 2011, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Edition
was released for the PlayStation 3
and Xbox 360
, sold as a standalone game in Japan and included with the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection
overseas (however, while Metal Gear Solid 2
and Metal Gear Solid 3
are both on the same disc and ship together, if you purchase them online on Xbox 360's Games on Demand service, Peace Walker
is a separate purchase).Peace Walker
has received a strong critical response as well as approval by the Metal Gear
fanbase. Being the first game to succeed the series "finale" Metal Gear Solid 4
yet taking place earlier in the series continuity, it adds new gameplay and fleshes out the Metal Gear
universe while delivering more of the series' well known quirky humor and political commentary.
Warning: This game may make you want to visit Costa Rica
. Not to be confused with Metal Walker
When Tropes Divide:
open/close all folders
- Electric Torture: Staple of the games, used by Strangelove to try and get the truth of the Boss's death out of Big Boss, who won't give it up.. It's one of the hardest bits in the game. Censored in the Japanese version to be laughing rods instead of electric rods.
- Enemy Detecting Radar: A version of the Soliton Radar featured in the first two Metal Gear Solid games can be used, but the battery runs down very quickly, so until you get it to the highest rank, it's mostly just useful for tight areas full of blind corners. Other enemy detectors include the Surround Indicator (from Portable Ops) and the Sonic Eye (a technological precursor to the Solid Eye from MGS4).
- Enemy Scan: You have an "analyzer" device which is very important for several reasons. Besides coming in handy for boss fights when fully developed, it lets you see if a soldier you're looking at has good enough skills to be worth recovering and adding to your own army. Once the population of Mother Base hits its limit, this becomes fairly important.
- End of an Age: The ending has Big Boss finally start to cement his Face-Heel Turn towards creating a military for hire and eventually making Outer Heaven, even calling his group Outer Heaven. This is promopted by Big Boss' traumas and Miller pointing out the world will soon change from an era of counter-communism to an era of counter-terrorism and information control, as well as Paz revealing she worked for Cipher and they see the change coming and want to control it all.
- Escape Pod: The AI Pods double as these for the giant robots. After smashing up their bodies and stealing as many memory cards as you can, the AI Pod blasts off on a rocket to parts unknown.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The CIA Kicked Upstairs/exiled Hot Coldman, due to both this and Pragmatic Villainy in regards to his being behind both the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater, and thus The Boss's death. Also, Zadornov, despite trying to have Peace Walker launch a nuke at Cuba to frame the U.S., shouted "I should have killed you when I had the chance!" when Coldman activated Peace Walker, and seemed legitimately horrified when learning that Coldman also programmed Peace Walker to leak the false data to NORAD, indicating that even he felt what Coldman was doing right then and there was terrible.
- Even the Girls Want Her: One of Paz's tapes has her discussing whether or not Strangelove is attracted to her because she stares at her in a bikini and helps her put on sun lotion. Cue copious amounts of Les Yay and Fanservice you'd only expect from a Fan Fiction.
- Everybody Smokes: This game breaks the tradition of Snake's supporting team lambasting him for his smoking habit; in fact, just about every named character either smokes (Snake, almost every single MSF soldier, Amanda, Chico and Paz' true persona), has smoked in the past (Miller and Galvez quit) or otherwise uses tobacco products (Huey uses an electronic cigarette, Strangelove and Pacifica Ocean snuff).
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Coldman activated Peace Walker and programmed it to leak the Peace Walker data to NORAD so the military brass would be forced to decide whether or not to hit the button for nuclear retaliation, firmly believing that they would not have the will to push the button. The military posthumously proved him wrong, although Coldman hinted in his final words that he never actually cared if they did fire or not, or at least no longer cared. In addition, he certainly didn't predict the possibility that Peace Walker would actually attempt to drown itself than go through with it.
- Executive Meddling: An in-universe and rather literal example. During The Boss's participation of the Mercury Project, things were going smoothly in terms of researching, but then the Department of Defense asked for a window to be installed on the spacepod that The Boss was to go into space in upon discovering that the Soviets were going to send Yuri Gagarin into space with a window as well, and wanted to beat the Russians. Ultimately, the last minute decision did not end well.
- Extended Gameplay: After you beat Peace Walker, credits roll and the game seems to have reached a pretty good conclusion. Then a "Chapter 5: Outer Heaven" ominously shows up. There aren't any new story missions except for the occasional "Capture Zadornov" missions. Turns out there's still a True Final Boss to be seen...
- Huey is nearly identical to Otacon in every way that matters, from the role in the story to personality to facial appearance to voice actor. About the only thing different is that he's confined to a high-tech wheelchair, he smokes, and he isn't an otaku. His voice actor, Christopher Randolph, had some trouble getting his performance down pat for Huey, because many line readings wound up being "too Otacon".
- Liquid is canonically able to feasibly pose as Miller, so both characters resemble each other. Notable because Miller manages to resemble a clone of Big Boss but not the man himself.
- Metal Gear ZEKE's default form is extremely similar to a thin Metal Gear REX; the main difference is that unlike REX, ZEKE's rail gun doesn't launch nukes, using it in a more traditional way to shoot you.
- The "Pupa" is effectively an upgraded, miniaturized Shagohod. Snake asks Huey about this and he admits that he saw some of Sokolov's designs for the Shagohod, which inspired him to create the Pupa.
- Gear REX is basically a dinosaur version of Metal Gear REX.
- The Kidnapper drones are basically the Cypher drones from MGS2.
- Evil Laugh: Hot Coldman, plus Paz, but hers is more creepy evil than evil evil.
- Eye Beams: In a bit of a literal Mythology Gag, Peace Walker (often called "El Basilisko") is able to freeze you in place with its "Poison Beam" it shoots from its giant eye. In other words, Huey just threw in a basilisk's petrifying gaze.
- Faceless Goons: A wide variety of them! There's actually a large number of enemy types, each with their own form of facelessness. Snake's own MSF troops also wear balaclavas that make them all look the same, unless they're wearing shades, which actually manage to obscure any identifying facial features. Surprisingly, there's one enemy type that doesn't wear face-covering gear, the white shirt-wearing soldiers inside certain base interiors, but they too wear shades.
- Fake Longevity:
- Did you think those first few boss fights against armored vehicles, tanks, and choppers were fun? You won't after doing them what feels like fifty times.
- Enemy placement is never randomized, unlike in Portable Ops, which at least had the wonder of randomizing pre-set search patterns.
- You need to repeat the same missions over and over while you wait for your R&D team to stop lounging around and work on your weapon upgrades. Ditto if you're getting weapon details from Outer Ops.
- Trying to even get certain Monster Hunter related items to even have the chance to develop certain weapons is going to be, at the very least, an annoyance, and at worst a complete, nightmarishly long, irritating swearfest (to wit: even with fully upgraded explosive weapons, fighting the three monsters is an exercise in tolerance for grinding). Ditto in regards to certain weapons related codenames.
- You thought fighting the AI weapons plus Peace Walker were fun? You won't after fighting them about a thousand times just to get their parts or all of their AI chips (which gets progressively more annoying to get when you have most of them and end up having to gain repeats).
- Fallen Hero / Horrible Judge of Character: In the cutscene where Big Boss meets Huey, shortly after Pupa was destroyed/decommissioned, he mentions that Coldman, at the height of the Cold War, was regarded as a hero, indicating that Coldman was either a fallen hero, or the masses and the government really misjudged him.
- Family-Friendly Firearms:
- In order to receive a lower rating in Japan, a certain scene had to be censored. Instead of lightning rods to torture, laughing rods are used.
- Big Boss has traded in his knife for a stun rod since the last game; no more throat-slitting for him! That didn't stop the Peace Sentinel or KGB soldiers from using knives in close quarters when Big Boss or an MSF soldier is caught/raised an alert, however...
- Fan Disservice: Paz constantly taunting you and chortling about killing you quickly turns it into Erection Rejection. Shut up already, Paz.
- Fanservice: Two cutscenes allow you to see Paz in her underwear, though the first is mostly so we can examine her injuries. Cécile was stripped to her undergarments to try to prevent her escaping (of course, this does have Truth in Television - going into the jungle without an appropriate amount of clothing and without survival skills is suicide). After getting the bikini or S-ranking the Date with Paz, you can see Paz, Cécile, Strangelove or Amanda in bikinis. As a bonus, screwing with the camera a little can make their breasts jiggle, but it's not always visible.
- Femme Fatale: Strangelove (pre-Chapter 4) was evidentially of this. However, Paz/Pacifica Ocean qualifies for the entire game, in a way that would shock a lot of players when this is found out.
- Flash Back: Multiple ones to Metal Gear Solid 3.
- Flash Back Echo: The Boss's horse must be euthanised by the player in a manner similar to that of The Boss.
- Flash Step: The flying "Chrysalis" weapon is able to dodge missiles while in attack mode. If you don't have something that can lock on, you're not going to hit it very much.
- If Snake contacts Huey via radio while near the river, Huey will remark that he has always dreaded being near the water. Two guesses as to what happened to him years later.
- When Cecile meets Snake and suspects he is a poacher because of his gun, he assures her that it's just for self-defense. Zadornov left Snake with no choice.
- In a conversation with Strangelove, she discusses that the future of AI and notes that AI could evolve in the opposite direction to her own vision of humanlike, empathic AI - AI networks that work seamlessly with each other, analyzing information and drawing conclusions automatically and efficiently, but lacking in empathy. She notes that this system is perfect would be perfect for controlling society and disseminating select information, and calls to mind the Patriot AI that ultimately began controlling America - and how their focus on control contrasted and supplanted the idealism of those who created them.
- During character introduction scenes, characters who are "sympathetic" to Snake's cause will have their names written in yellow (such as Miller and Amanda), while antagonists (Coldman and Strangelove) have theirs written in red. Paz's name is written in red, a hint of her true nature as a spy for Cipher. She also wears a red raincoat for most of the game.
- In Paz's first few cutscenes, she beats you over the head with her message of peace, but becomes significantly more nuanced as the game goes on. Her briefing tapes confirm that Pacifica Ocean had a hard time staying in character for the first few days of her infiltration of the MSF, and as she grew closer to Snake and Mother Base she became more comfortable with acting as Paz.
- It's an entirely subtle one, but eagle-eyed fans who looked at the hi-res character illustrations put out for Peace Walker just might have spotted the name drop of Paz's real identity, Pacifica Ocean, as it's printed across her galoshes.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Forget that the regular "Naked" option lets you go shirtless (or with a tanktop, for the ladies) into battle; you can get a "Swim Trunks" (or Bikini, for female soldiers) option that lets you carry virtually no equipment and has a terrible camo index. The benefit is that you can run a lot faster without all that pesky clothing getting in the way ("You know, I bet if I took off all this heavy gear I could catch her!"). This form of bravery also boosts Heroism earned at the end of the stage by 30%... (the damage you take is also outrageous, often certain death, but...)
- Paz strips down to her undies when she pilots ZEKE during the True Final Boss fight. This is either because she's gone a little crazy or because ZEKE's pilot pod fills with water when it goes into battle mode.
- She takes off the clothing because it's technically symbolic of her shedding her skin, and revealing her true identity, which is not a school girl, but a 21 year old woman. And fanservice, of course.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- Even after a certain character (namely Paz Ortega Andrade a.k.a. Pacifica Ocean) betrays the team and is "killed" via Never Found the Body, the character is still in the roster; with the character's skills positively affecting the team (and occasionally offering advice via radio, even during the mock ZEKE battle).
- Also, the final cutscene of the first ending, Snake takes off his bandanna to symbolize that he is now Big Boss, but the bandanna is still on his character model, even in later story missions and even during the final mission against Metal Gear ZEKE.
- Big Boss is hailed throughout the franchise as the "Greatest Warrior of 20th Century", but MSF soldiers quickly outrank him in every possible stat as you progress through the game, and unlike Big Boss, they also have a wealth of passive abilities that enhance them in various ways.
- Snake seems to go back to Mother Base in between each mission (given the micromanaging and helicopter sound effects), which he obviously doesn't do in the story.
- Game Over Man/Woman: The series' standard of Mission Control characters shouting Snake's name upon death gets played with this time. On rare occasions, characters will actually sing along with the Game Over theme. The game even displays the respective character's name and their voice actor/actress afterwards.
- Gaussian Girl: Amanda sees Snake as this when learning his true identity. Like in Metal Gear Solid 3 with Ocelot, this is justified, as she was losing consciousness at the time.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: A rare mechanical case of this. Peace Walker is activated in bipedal mode and after being blown about by a few rockets from Snake, seems to malfunction and starts to lose it. A passing helicopter with Coldman inside fires a couple of shots at it, which seems to bring it to its senses; it shifts into its much-stronger quadrupedal form and remembers it has to go to Nicaragua.
- Miller also performs one of these to Snake in regards to the Boss. Snake remains distraught over the ending of Operation Snake Eater, but Miller reminds him that it was ten years ago and that Big Boss should leave it behind him.
- Genre Shift: The game design is a mix between MGS4 and Monster Hunter, with RPG-style "Ranking Up" of individual weapon skills, linear equipment upgrading and grinding missions for resources. This change has introduced a greater emphasis on repetitive battles with large enemy vehicles with multiple weak points that can be looted based on a luck/damage system. This change has led to a complete absence of the boss fights the Metal Gear series is perhaps best known for: one-on-one combat against creative and bizarre human-sized adversaries. This changes has led to Kojima Productions' classifying Peace Walker as a "Tactical Espionage Operations" game, rather than "Tactical Espionage Action."
- Get Back Here Boss:
- The Chrysalis, a flying Unmanned Weapon that shifts between a hovering Attack Mode and a Flight Mode that lets it zoom around the landscape. In its Attack Mode, you can't land good shots with missiles because it will Flash Step out of the way, and it likes to hide beneath the horizon (or in the fog) while in Flight Mode. Bottom line: Get something powerful, preferably one with anti-air homing capabilities, or you're in for a long, hard fight.
- Almost every boss can end up being this if the AI doesn't cooperate. Even Peace Walker, the final boss, can get into a really long loop where it wanders around the inaccessible backlot of the Nicaragua base, occasionally launching a few missiles (that always miss you) but otherwise ignoring you. And if Peace Walker decides that it doesn't like you anymore, it turns on its EM pulse, which circles its head in orange light and deflects any rockets fired anywhere in the vicinity of its entire body. This pulse lasts for five minutes at a time, and once PW decides to activate it, it will typically re-up the EM pulse immediately after one runs out.
- The tank and chopper missions don't usually have this problem, but with their increased speed, the APC missions can end up being this, as they just drive around in circles trying to escape you (even though these fights happen in about a quarter of a square mile).
- The Cocoon boss can also have this problem, as aside from the massive cannon mounted to the front, nothing about the Cocoon is very threatening, and most of the fight can be spent just trying to find the rapidly-rotating AI pod so you can shoot at it.
- Glass Cannon: MSF soldiers in Extra Ops, once the Kampfpistol is developed. With it, they can destroy even custom vehicles in a few shots, but of course, they can't take much facing missile launchers or vehicle fire.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: As a rule of thumb, yellow denotes good and red denotes evil.
- Notably played straight with Gálvez and Paz. There's a reason they're introduced wearing a bright red prosthesis and raincoat respectively.
- Yet, to offset this, Paz has bright blonde hair.
- Which heavily implies interesting things near the end of the final ending-screen-slash-exposition, plus your saved game preview image color changed from yellow to red (which happened in other games in the series, but still)...
- This could also be reflected in the "Custom" versions of bosses, whose paint schemes involve some amount of red.
- Gratuitous Spanish: They must have picked up this habit from Ubisoft.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Played straight with the Peace Sentinel, in typical Metal Gear fashion.
- Averted in the case of your own group, the Militaires Sans Frontičres. They actually proved themselves to be quite capable soldiers, and when Zadornov escaped custody the first time and was recaptured the first time, they immediately removed his prosthetic hand in order to ensure that he doesn't try to use it to escape again. It didn't quite work, but then again, that's mainly because of Paz's actions, a person who not even Big Boss suspected as being a spy.
- Guide Dang It:
- Good luck finding out everything there is to find out about this game on your own. You need to beat certain missions to unlock other missions (ones with highly desirable weapon schematics, like a rail gun) but the official strategy guide doesn't explain which unlocks which. Some missions also must be defeated with an "S" rank (meaning no kills, no alerts, and pretty much speeding through as fast as possible) to unlock a few weapon schematics, and the Extra Ops where you collect weapon schematics actually don't unlock them. On that note, good luck trying to get any codenames for yourself, as the game does not tally the amount of weapons one uses or even weapon range, and the guide doesn't elaborate further on exactly how to unlock them.
- Trying to get the Neo Moss camo (with the best Camo rate) alone. To start with, you need to be in a specific ghost mission. S Ranking that mission only gets you a missile design spec. Guess how to get it. You use your codec near a ghost until you contact The End. Yes, him.
- Getting parts for ZEKE. Most people don't know how to get them (you must leave the part you want either completely undamaged, or rather, you can damage it, but any parts below 90% health gives you a very low chance of getting the parts — and some require no damage at all, very hard with the AI weapons that move around a lot, and even then, it is still very much of a small chance of actually getting the parts even if you don't damage them at all).
- Hand Cannon: The M19, which knocks enemies down. Bonus points for the second and third levels of it, adding a longer barrel and a massive laser sight. Also, the Kampfpistol, a converted Nazi flare gun that shoots grenades.
- Hard Mode Filler: The Zardonov Search missions in Chapter 5 involve revisiting previously cleared areas from the first three chapters during nighttime in order to recapture Zardonov. This can also be applied to most of the Extra Ops, especially the boss battles, which involve fighting harder recolored versions of the bosses from the Main-Ops, but these missions are technically optional - not doing them means missing out on new weapons.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe example: in the ending, when Miller is explaining his motivations for aiding Cipher's plot so he could expand MSF, he says "The Cold War's not going to last forever. Sooner or later, it's going to give way to an era of regional conflicts and terrorism." The game takes place in late 1974. About four to five years later, in early 1979, Jimmy Carter, as history buffs as well as Kengor will note, will end up giving an unsure response about whether the Shah of Iran will live through the turbulent times, resulting in several militant Shiite extremists overthrowing the Shah of Iran and implementing Ayatollah Khomeini and creating the Islamic Republic of Iran, which later resulted in the Iran Hostage Crisis as well as later the rise on the War On Terror after the Cold War's end.
- Heroic BSOD: Although Big Boss was shown to be feeling remorse at The Boss's death in Snake Eater, it is implied in this game from various intrusive flashbacks to Tselinoyarsk and reacting with shock at someone referring to "Jack" and learning about The Boss AI's existence that the Heroic BSOD he earned after completing Operation Snake Eater had worsened significantly by the events of this game.
- Heroic Sacrifice / Redemption Equals Death: The Peace Walker's Mammal Pod, after fighting Big Boss twice, decided to not carry out Coldman's final will in regards to leaking the NORAD data (especially when it was going to cause a nuclear war), and allowed Big Boss in so he could remove all the uplink drives in the Mammal Pod, and when that didn't work, decided instead to drown itself in order to short-circuit the transmission of the false data, and it is also implied that because of these actions, The Boss was cleared of all charges of treason.
- Historical In-Joke:
- Probably not that surprising given one of the things the series is known for, but in one of the briefing tapes, specifically the rather infamous one involving Big Boss mentioning that he believes in Santa Claus, the conversation had him mentioning that he thought NORAD tracked Santa Claus, referring to a real life event in the early 1950s where, due to a mistake in printing phone numbers, a tracking Santa phone number intended for a Sears Department Store was mixed up with the phone number for NORAD, which spawned a tradition called "NORAD tracks Santa."
- The Football War was briefly referenced by Paz/Pacifica Ocean in one of her briefing tapes.
- Hold the Line: Base Defense missions have you fending off wave after wave of enemies.
- Humans Are Bastards: Hinted to be one of Coldman's beliefs due to the tattoo on the back on his head depicting a wolfman holding a peace symbol also including the phrase "Homo Homini Lupus", which is a latin phrase that translates to "Man is a wolf to [his fellow] man", although this also may be a form of Lampshade Hanging on his part about his characterization as unrepentant. In addition, Paz hints that humans are naturally inclined to battle each other and thus be absolute jerks towards one another, despite being Peace-loving (though it's just an act).
- Humongous Mecha: Even by Metal Gear standards, this game is saturated. "Huey" Emmerich has developed four prototypes for the Peace Walker deterrent system, each designed with a significantly different motor-control systems and armaments. He also develops a fifth for Big Boss, bringing the total to five.
- Identical Son-slash-Grandson: Not only do we get to meet Otacon's father "Huey" for the first time (after seeing him in a photograph with Granin in Metal Gear Solid 3), we also see a photograph of Huey's father and what do you know? He looks just like Otacon too!
- Idiot Ball: Big Boss finds himself holding it when first meeting Dr. Strangelove, who emotionally gets a rise out of him. He even admits it later that "she played [him] like a piano."
- Instrument of Murder: The AI Weapons are primitive Vocaloids put into big, heavily-armed tanks.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Listen to some of the tapes with Paz. You can definitely tell there's some of this between Snake and her.
- I Knew It: In-universe, comes from Strangelove when she's trying to interrogate Snake into revealing the one piece of data that will allow her to complete her recreation of the Boss's mind: why she apparently nuked Russia when she was (a) defecting to them and (b) supposed to be ultimately loyal to America in the first place. The only possible solution is that the Boss was a Fake Defector; Snake's silence under torture proves the theory. Big Boss also immediately deduces that Ramon Galvez Mena is actually a KGB agent and not a Professor of Peace, because of his prosthetic hand. A prosthetic hand which has the letters "CCCP" on it, but nonetheless...
- Irony: A KGB agent named Vladimir Zadornov, a.k.a. Ramón Gálvez Mena, as well as his entire KGB unit, were taken down by FSLN Members who were originally organized by them behind the scenes, similar to how Zadornov betrayed Coldman and his Peace Sentinel unit.
- Also, you build your own final boss, ZEKE. How powerful it is is directly influenced by how well you've built it.
- Paz is forced to shoot Hot Coldman. Oh no, the poor pacifist! ...oh wait, true ending; she's been manipulating the entire thing, and actually really fucking hates peace. Oops.
- As noted by IGN in their review, it is quite ironic that Peace Walker, easily the biggest Metal Gear game in terms of content, is on the PSP, Sony's smallest device.
- Also, Hideo Kojima's stance on Nuclear War is that it is never supposed to be accomplished, yet in this game, he has several of the main protagonists (even people like Miller, who aided Solid Snake) admiring Che Guevara who, for the record, stated that his desire was essentially to nuke the entire United States and anyone else who didn't agree with his pro-Socialist beliefs.
- Toyed with due to the fact that the characters who idolise Che also idolize Big Boss, who in this game first coins the term "Outer Heaven", takes on his first child soldier with the demand of giving his 'new life' to him, and actively agrees to take on nuclear weapons as a symbol of MSF's power even after the main plot of the game. The entire point is that there's two sides to every story, and the game deliberately reflects the insanity of mutually assured destruction through several lenses, including the insane Coldman's, and that of Miller and Big Boss, who rationalize it purely as a display in order to make other powers leave them alone - all the while seemingly oblivious to the fact that their work-for-hire mercenary group has suddenly taken on power equivalent to a small nation. The game is deliberately grey.
- Pacifica/Paz's dedication to the mission is extremely similar to The Boss's dedication to the mission. Though, Paz was scared out of her mind of what would happen if she betrayed Zero, compared to The Boss's total dedication to the US despite knowing what would happen to her, and kept denying she hated the MSF, and eventually gets her ass kicked with little fanfare (besides Chico's grieving and what-ifs and Miller's grumbling about her betrayal - which he oversaw in the first place).
- Just Between You and Me: Shockingly reversed at the beginning of the game, then hugely played straight multiple times later on. Before the first mission proper, Gálvez reveals himself as a KGB spy after Big Boss calls him on it, and still hiring him to help usurp U.S. control of Central America to trigger a massive socialist revolution that will allow the USSR to destroy America (although to be fair, he also conveniently leaves out the fact that he also intended to use an experimental mech to essentially frame the United States for nuking Cuba, and makes it seem as though the primary reason he wants to hire them was to investigate the CIA's activities besides driving out the Soviet presence). As Big Boss is a mercenary (and Galvez waved a small child at him) he doesn't have too many moral qualms about this and takes the mission anyway (and it is strongly implied that one of the main reasons he decided to undergo the mission initially was to investigate if The Boss had indeed survived).
- Later on Coldman exposits most of his plan to Big Boss twice, both on occasions where Big Boss was at Coldman's complete mercy and Coldman had nothing to gain from either keeping him alive or letting him know what his plans were (excluding his false data/NORAD gambit, which would probably have been unnecessary had Big Boss known nothing at all). Indeed, if Coldman had kept his mouth shut and/or double-tapped Big Boss on sight, MSF would have had no idea that a large nuclear bomb was about to fall on them until it was too late.
- Then Vladimir bursts in and exposits about how he's going to kill Big Boss and let him act as a martyr as Che did, buying MSF enough time to kick the doors in and stop their collective scheming. And Zadornov didn't even have the insanity excuse that Coldman had.
- Kick the Dog: Coldman pushes Huey, a paraplegic in a wheelchair, backwards down a flight of stairs.
- In order to show how cold she initially was, one of Paz's tapes has her expressing hate and disgust towards a kitten.
- Last Day to Live: Subverted: Coldman activates Peace Walker so that it would not only launch at Cuba despite Zadornov's betrayal, but also leaked the false data set to NORAD with the intention of forcing them to decide whether to launch the nuke due to the president and most of his staff being out of the country for the SALT II Negotiations, mostly because he is dying from bloodloss from Zadornov's gunshot. Why is it subverted, you ask? It's because unlike most cases, it really did turn out to be his last day to live, and to add insult to injury, they couldn't abort the program because Coldman died before he could divulge the abort code (it was also heavily implied that he specifically did this knowing he'd die before giving out the abort code, and he was the only one who knew about it.)
- Lethal Chef: There are a few quotes that indicate this, such as one soldier who states that they shouldn't worry, as his/her cooking's 100% safe for human consumption. Likewise, the player during certain missions can also invoke the trope on themselves by either taking the ration off the BBQ spit too early or too late, making the Rare Ration and the Burnt Ration, respectively (and if the player does the former, Miller will call in and say "Don't quit your day job.")
- Level Grinding: All the weapons have a "Usage Level" that increases the more you use it. Each weapon Rank has their own level unfortunately, and there is even an insignia for leveling all categories of weapons to the maximum for each rank.
- The Codenames, if not sought after earlygame, can become this, too. One of the worst to grind for by far is the "FOXHOUND" codename.
- Lighter and Softer: Since kids and adolescents are the largest audience for PSP users in Japan, Kojima had to tone down the language and the violence in this installment. Examples include completely removing blood, replacing Big Boss' knife with a stun rod, and reducing the amount of sexual innuendos. Moreover, in the Japanese release, Konami heavily edited the torture scene by instead featuring the use of laughing rods, and disregarding any other story references to the torture.
- Lightning Bruiser:
- All of the AI Weapons (with the exception of the Cocoon) qualify in one way or another; some of them are capable of jumping around, and they are some of the most agile ones seen in the Metal Gear franchise. Unless you've got a homing missile launcher, which makes things a lot easier.
- With enough grinding of AI boards and the right custom AI parts you can make Zeke become a very deadly unit in Outer Ops. And the better you build it, the faster and deadlier it is during the Extra Ops version of its own boss fight.
- Lost in Translation: There are three MSF recruits based on voice actors from the Japanese version: Yumi Kikuchi (Dr. Strangelove), Tomokazu Sugita (Miller) and Akio Ohtsuka (Snake). They are found in certain missions as prisoners that the player must rescue. These voice actor recruits are still present in the overseas versions, but instead of being redesigned after any of the English voice actors, they were simply given randomly generated animal codenames. Recruiting all three of them along with Kojima will award the player with the "special staff recruiter" achievement, despite their lack of any significance in the overseas versions.
- The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Peace Walker is about Costa Rica recruiting a heroic mercenary group to defend it from mysterious invaders, since it legally can't keep its own defence force.
- Manipulative Bastard: Coldman was heavily implied to have manipulated most of the factors of the mission for him to have the perfect excuse to use Peace Walker and nearly cause a nuclear holocaust.
- Zadornov manipulated the Militaires Sans Frontičres into taking the mission and training the Sandinistas so he could essentially hijack Peace Walker without needing to dirty his hands as an intelligence operative for the KGB.
- Paz, or rather, Pacifica Ocean actually tops them all (and that's even assuming Zadornov's plan on MSF was separate of Paz's), as she, under orders from Cipher, manipulated everything in the mission so that they could either recruit Big Boss back into the fold or eliminate him/frame MSF.
- Meaningful Name: It's a Metal Gear Solid game, so it's expected.
- Paz's name means "peace" in Spanish. Her real name, "Pacifica," means "peaceful" and the full name is blatant pun on the Pacific Ocean.
- Miller's first name, Kazuhira, is an inversion of "heiwa", meaning "peace" in Japanese.
- Huey's name is actually a nickname given him by Strangelove, which she claims to be taken from the drone in Silent Running. This was in itself a reference to Donald Duck's three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie.
- "Dr. Strangelove" refers to the film of the same name, which was also about nuclear deterrence gone horribly wrong involving an automatic doomsday device. However, she says that the other reason she's nicknamed this is because her colleagues derided her for her "strange love", but she liked it though as "being strange means you have a unique perspective."
- Amanda's last name, Libre, means "free" in Spanish.
- Chico means "young man" or "boy" in Spanish.
- Cécile's middle and last name is pronounced Kojima Kaminandesu in Japanese, which is a play on the phrase Kojima, kami nan desu ("Kojima, he's definitely a god").
- The AI Weapons, Pupa, Chrysalis and Cocoon, (and the codenames for the Reptile Pod, Aurelia, and (arguably) the Mammal Pod, Imago) are all stages of a butterfly's life cycle.
- Hot Coldman's name most likely refers to his paradoxical belief that to achieve world peace, he must blow up the ocean. It's also a pun off the Cold War thing.
- Numerous references call Peace Walker itself a "basilisk." Partly because basilisk lizards are so agile they can run on water, partly because the basilisk of legend was the "king of snakes" and partly because of its intended use as a deterrence weapon: when struck, the basilisk's poison killed the knight who struck it down. Peace Walker is also unflatteringly analogued to an infamous historical figure, William Walker, a 19th century American mercenary who became President of Nicaragua.
- Zadornov mentions that his first name, "Vladimir," translates to "ruler of peace." He appreciates the irony.
- Mistaken for Gay: One of Strangelove's tapes reveals that, since she was too engrossed with work to date others, and she kept a photo of The Boss on her desk, the homophobic ARPA staff assumed she was a lesbian and mocked her for her "strange love" for The Boss. note
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal / Not What I Signed On For: Huey only worked with Coldman with the intention of effectively applying nuclear deterrence so a nuke won't be launched even once. Unfortunately, after learning that Coldman's just an omnicidal wacko whose idea of deterrence is "nuke everyone so no one can nuke anyone", he understandably refuses to cooperate with Coldman, and after Coldman shoves Huey (a paraplegic) off the stairs, he ends up aiding Big Boss in destroying the Pupa, and also later joining the Militaires Sans Frontičres. Strangelove herself is also implied to have undergone a similar help face turn, since she was originally quite hateful of Big Boss for killing The Boss, but when she was torturing him, it was implied that she covertly let him escape (presumably due to learning of Coldman's involvement in The Boss's death as well as his satisfaction in planning that event), and later thanked Big Boss for stopping the Peace Sentinel, and after the events of the fourth chapter, joined the Militaires Sans Frontieres.
- Although Miller was on Snake's side pretty much the entire time, he also briefly worked with Cipher as a neutral business partner only under the promise that MSF is allowed to expand as a result. However, after Paz hijacked ZEKE and then proceeded to, under their orders, prepare a nuclear strike against the East Coast of America, its implied that Miller quit working with Cipher afterwards, especially considering that the nuclear strike would jeporadize any chances of MSF expanding.
- It is heavily implied that most of the American operatives of the Peace Sentinel (and possibly some members of the FSLN) had joined the Peace Sentinel / FSLN and the Militaires Sans Frontičres later on because they had nowhere else to go, because the American government apparently abandoned them shortly after they returned from Vietnam.
- In one of EVA's tapes regarding The Boss's secret mission that resulted in her abandoning Snake (which, prior to the release of Peace Walker, had not been elaborated on), she mentioned that one of her moles for America that was within the Soviet Union ended up falsifying documents for NASA which The Boss noticed. It's later revealed he defected to the Soviet Union, although what shocked The Boss more was why he defected: The CIA pocketed a majority of his paycheck and giving him a tiny percent despite risking his life trying to get the intel, and so defected completely to the Soviet Union.
- Morale Mechanic: Morale is a stat which can be boosted by being in the unit with morale-boosting characters and dropped if, for instance, forced to fight while injured. If a character's morale hits rock bottom they may leave the unit.
- More Dakka: The "Cocoon" AI Weapon is made of this trope. It's slow, lumbering, and covered on all sides and surfaces with gun ports, gun turrets, mini-guns and missile launchers. Its main cannon is powerful enough that it can blow you away in one hit on higher difficulties, and one of its moves is spinning in place while firing every machine gun it's got. Snake himself can go for a "More Dakka" by equipping an oversized gatling gun straight out of Team Fortress 2.
- The Mutiny: What ended up happening when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, under Snake's advice, decided to call off the retaliatory strike due to the realization that the nukes are fake.
- Mythology Gag: Around the time of the main villain's death, the doomsday weapon ends up being activated and is going to fire a nuke at its programmed targets, thus forcing the main character to fight it within a time limit? Now where have we seen this before?
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero / Gone Horribly Right: Big Boss fires some rounds at Peace Walker's direction to prevent it from going through the Nicaraguan border. It worked, as it aborted the previous command temporarily. Unfortunately, it also replaced its command with entering small-scale threat suppression threat mode, meaning that Big Boss, as a result of his actions, just got himself into a fight with Peace Walker.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Zadornov reveals that he used Big Boss to force a revolution by aiding the Sardinistas, pushing Coldman into launching Peace Walker. He then prepares to shoot Big Boss, only for the revolutionaries Zadornov made into a credible threat to overrun the base and stop his plan.
- No Body Left Behind: Subverted and played straight; dying, unconscious or stunned guard soldiers remain on the ground so the player can use the Fulton Surface-To-Air Recovery System on them, while dead soldiers disappear after a few seconds, presumably so the player doesn't accidentally use a balloon on them. On alert or elimination missions, stunned or sleeping enemies disappear after a few moments with a non-lethal blue version of the "near death" skull.
- No Fourth Wall: It wouldn't be a Metal Gear Solid game otherwise. This one gets down to business immediately; we start off with a drill instructor angrily shouting at the troops (and the player, since Big Boss is joining the training exercise) that we need to press the X button to change stances, tap the X button to crouch, and keep it held to lie down. "DON'T FORGET IT!"
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Although many of the English voice cast (such as Tara Strong and Steve Blum) attempt to deliver an appropriate accent, none of the regular mooks you run into or employ have any inflection other than a standard American brogue. This is obviously intended to avert the reputation for bad accents the series has had since Metal Gear Solid 2.
- However, it does undermine the Running Gag of MSF soldiers referring to Big Boss as "Vic Boss", as some interpret this joke infers that they are mispronouncing the first "B" in his name due to their having South American accents. Which they don't have.
- Many think it's short for "Victory Boss". He still doesn't like being called Big Boss at this point, and prefers that if they insist on calling him something besides Snake it be this. Think about the dialogue at the beginning, it makes it pretty obvious:
Soldier: "Thank you, Big Boss."
Big Boss: "Call me Snake."
Soldier: "Oh sorry, Vic Boss!"
Snake (BB): "Listen up, for us there is no victory..."
- Snake directly acknowledges what it's supposed to stand for.
- The Japanese version tends to support the 'Victory Boss' argument, as the soldier calls him 'Shōri no Boss' meaning Boss of Victory or Victory Boss.
- Also, with Paz, for unknown reasons, despite her diary tapes explaining that she was actually raised in America (and also implied that she is of Latino descent), she seems to speak with a distinctly Russian accent when unveiling her true colors to him.
- Not So Different: Inverted in one of the Briefing Tapes: Big Boss expresses concern about Huey allowing him to place a nuclear warhead on ZEKE, as he thought this was no different than what the CIA Peace Sentinel did with Peace Walker. Huey then explains the fundamental difference between the CIA and Big Boss: The CIA charms people into helping them, yet as soon as things get hairy, they stab them in the back, whereas Big Boss is honest about his intentions, hence why Huey was willing to do so in the present.
- Nuke 'em: Coldman's favourite policy. How do you assure world peace? Prove you are insane enough to irradiate Central America and the Caribbean Sea! How do you deal with a poorly organized mercenary force with barely over a hundred soliders based in an easily-destroyed sea plant? Drop an IRBM on their faces!
- Oh, Crap: Big Boss' Start of Darkness. Not only does he denounce the Boss as a fraud because she put down her gun and wanted to embrace peace, Peace Walker also sees the rise of Outer Heaven, thanks in part to Zero trying to screw around with him yet again.
Big Boss: "We will forsake our countries. We will leave our motherlands behind us and become one with this earth. We have no nation, no philosophy, no ideology. We go where we're needed, fighting not for country, not for government, but for ourselves. We need no reason to fight. We fight because we are needed. We will be the deterrent for those with no other recourse. We are soldiers without borders, our purpose defined by the era we live in. We will sometimes have to sell ourselves and services. If the times demand it, we'll be revolutionaries, criminals, terrorists. And yes, we may all be headed straight to Hell. But what better place for us than this? It is our only home. Our Heaven and Our Hell. This is Outer Heaven."
- This speech has torn some people, due to the changes Big Boss underwent. It helps that David Hayter puts more of a gruff and bitter voice on Snake during this speech.
Peace Walker: Initiating Nuclear Launch Sequence. Launch Angle Set. Thirty Seconds To Launch.
The Player: Oh crap oh crap oh crap!!
- Hope you're fast enough to do enough damage to Peace Walker in time. If you're not, and the nuke launches, Snake will have this exact expression on his face.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: When Snake expresses confusion about the fulton hook being equipped to helicopters (thus forcing Miller to explain the reasons behind it), Miller's reaction is an irritated and exhasperated "Not this again..."
- Omniglot: Big Boss appears to be fluent in English, Russian, French, Spanish and Cat (assuming a tape with Big Boss and Chico can be trusted).
- On Site Procurement: Surprisingly averted in regards to the weapons and most of your equipment, considering the fact that the Metal Gear series was the Trope Namer. You actually have to gain design specs and create weapons and most of your equipment from scratch after gaining the design specs (some of which are also extremely annoying to get). Rations and ammo (sometimes ammo that belongs to weapons you have yet to develop [IE, Railgun Ammo]) are played straight, however.
- One Steve Limit: Played around with the randomly assigned codenames of MSF Soldiers. They're all animal-based and some of them were used by previous Metal Gear Solid characters (Wolf, Mantis, Raven, Octopus and even Viper and Swallowtail), but not a single Ocelot.
- One-Winged Angel: Not a human character, but Peace Walker transforms from a biped to a quadruped after beating it at the mine base. It should be noted that this is the closest Metal Gear has ever canonically gone to invoking the trope. The series overall, however, had Big Boss going One-Winged Angel in the non-canonical Snake's Revenge.
- One-Woman Wail: The AI Weapons in Peace Walker all sing an eerie, haunting song even as they attack you. Cecile also implies that the AI Weapons (barring Peace Walker) used Strangelove's voice.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Dr. Strangelove is named after the movie and never reveals her real name. "Huey" Emmerich never says his real name either.
- Pacifist Run: A heck of a lot easier to attempt than in previous Metal Gear Solid games, simply because the game is broken up into bite-sized missions. So you can S-Rank one or two missions here or there, and get back to the ones where you were forced to take lethal action later, aided by non-lethal weapons you've collected and developed since the last time.
- Playable Epilogue: A good half of the game's content isn't actually available until Peace Walker is destroyed, including an extensive amount of Extra Ops missions and a new storyline.
- Player Mooks: Peace Walker is the first game in the series where Snake has his own army of generic soldiers in the form of MSF soldiers.note
- Playing with Fire: Chico explains while being rescued that his "camping out" after getting into fights with his sister were actually attempts to burn down the various portions of the drug plant.
- Power Copying: You can outfit ZEKE with scrap parts from the AI weapons, giving it their abilities.
- Power Floats: Sort of. Chrysalis was designed to be a VTOL, but it rarely, if ever, lands (although Negishi revealed that it was originally intended to land in-game), making the only way for it to meet ground is to forcibly introduce Chrysalis to it.
- Press X to Not Die: Some of the cutscenes include quick-time events; however, this will not result in a Game Over and will simply replay that part of the cutscene over again.
- Although, some cutscenes do push on if you botch it, and your rank will be reduced for it.
- Private Military Contractors: How Outer Heaven came to be from Militaires Sans Frontičres. Unlike most uses of this, however, the MSF were not depicted as evil in the game.
- Product Placement: The Japanese version has Mountain Dew, Doritos, Pepsi NEX, Bon Curry, AXE Bodyspray, and Uniquo T-shirts. However, most of these products were changed to bland name products in the international releases.
- A Kotaku article prior to the game's release about the gratuitous product placement was absolutely flooded with angry comments from international gamers.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: While there isn't a cohesive unit to provide the series' staple of insane bosses, the nearest thing would be the unmanned AI weapons. They come bristling with More Dakka and chirp out their attacks in either an increasingly calm female computer voice (which takes on an angry tone when facing the Custom models) or an eerie tune.
- Randomly Drops: The Monster Hunter bosses may drop stuff which allows you to view their bios (and them) safely from Mother Base. It's also a disguise, since the drops let you design more weapons. Gear Rex drops three ranks of the same weapon in three increasingly harder missions.
- Rape as Drama: Heavily implied to be what happened to Paz while captured by the Peace Sentinel (specifically by Hot Coldman).
- Real Men Wear Pink: Invoked with a DLC uniform called the Pink Uniform. Invoked twice in the Japanese version, with the Maria T-shirt.
- Real Time with Pause: The first Metal Gear game to somewhat avert this. Time keeps on slipping while you're in the weapon and item screens, and the only way to outright pause the action without turning the game off is to put your PSP into sleep mode, or play single player. Pausing only really stops game time, but not alerts or comms.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: A flare gun that fires miniature grenades as its primary ammo couldn't possibly be real. wait a minute, such a weapon existed in World War II?
- Recycled Premise: The main character is called out allegedly to save a location from invading forces/a terrorist group, only for it to become apparent that there were ulterior motives from the people who sent the protagonist, to recreate a legendary hero to further control the populace, only for that to be revealed to actually be a front for a far more sinister objective involving human control, and the mole working for the hero also says "I'm taking it back!" and some variation of returning it to the mole's true employers when hijacking a Metal Gear? Oh, and the main villain for most of the plot up to a certain point also had a direct hand in manipulating one of the previous events in the series? Sounds a heck of a lot like the plot of Metal Gear Solid 2.
- Revive Kills Zombie: One of the side missions uses this literally. There are ruins haunted by ghosts, and the only way to get rid of the ghosts is to perform CPR on their nearby bodies, sucking the ghosts back into their bodies.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: Sort of. The Sandinistas are portrayed pretty sympathetically. When one of them reveals their recent source of funds is due to them working coca fields so they can pay for their food and ammunition, Amanda is clearly ashamed of it, and Chico's furious at her.
- Indirectly starts a plot point. Chico saw Peace Walker after getting into another fight with her over the drug shipments and running off.
- This applies to the many shoutouts to Che Guevara, too. The man was far from perfect, but his legend lives on in the hearts of the revolutionaries and is bigger than the man was. Naturally, when the Sandinistas encounter Big Boss, another man whose reputation precedes him, they gravitate to him too. One of them temporarily thinks he's Che when he steps into the boathouse, where they're tied up.
- Robot Me: Inverted with Gear REX, who is an organic dinosaur version of Metal Gear REX. Then again, given that Peace Walker is set in 1974 and the original Metal Gear Solid was in 2005, it's possible that Metal Gear REX might been modeled after Gear REX.
- Rocket Punch: Zardonov tries this in the endgame. It's not very effective, but it does give Snake a free cigarette lighter, which he's been looking for the whole game.
- Rubber-Band A.I. : A form of it: The better you've built Metal Gear ZEKE, the more formidable it is as an opponent.
- Running Gag: Snake not telling people they're going to be extracted, then the cutscene ending with the sound of a Fulton recovery and the rescued party being surprised.
- She's Just Hiding: Invoked In-Universe: A briefing tape unlocked after playing all of Paz's diary tapes that takes place after Paz was defeated by Snake has Snake hinting at the possibility that Paz survived the fight due to her both landing in the water as well as wearing scuba gear.
- Sapient Tank: the Pupa and the Cocoon qualify as tanks.
- Serial Escalation: The sheer scale of The Boss's trials and tribulations, as revealed by EVA and Strangelove. Hideo might have taken it too far.
- Sequel Hook: The post-ending content, particularly the revelation that Paz, as well as Miller, are members of an organization called Cipher.
- Sequel Non-Entity
- The soldiers that joined up with Snake at the end of Portable Ops, as well as Roy Campbell, Frank Jaeger and everyone else that made it out are gone. While it could be assumed that Campbell and Jaeger went to the States and remained in FOXHOUND, since FOXHOUND is mentioned by Miller in Peace Walker, the fate of Python, Sokolov, and all the abandoned Russian soldiers and mercenaries are left open to interpretation.
- The events of MPO in general is largely ignored by Peace Walker, aside from the aforementioned discontinuity nod about "leaving all the crap in San Hieronymo behind", even when there are plenty of opportunities for Snake to bring up the events of San Hieronymo in the story. MSF is dirt poor at the beginning of the game and needs a handout from Zardonov in order to function properly, despite Snake inheriting Gene's private funds, while Snake neglects to mention the fact that he already fought two Metal Gears before when Huey brings up the subject of Metal Gear itself.
- Short Range Shotgun: Heavily averted. Even the sawn-off shotguns have pretty good range once you take the time to focus your aim, and there's also the mentioned sniper shotgun that does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Shout-Out: As should be expected for a Hideo Kojima game, there's lots.
- 2001: A Space Oddysey is referenced numerous times, both by Huey and Dr. Strangelove. In fact, how you defeat the AI weapons is a direct reference to how HAL was dismantled in that movie; you climb into the weapon's brain, a cramped red room, and start yanking out circuit boards. In the final battle, both start spewing gibberish as the boards are yanked out.
- Multiple ones to Che Guevara, considering this game takes place in the 1970s in Latin America. Snake's camera is the same kind Che used, they make mention of his drinking mate tea, and his final words, "Shoot, coward! You are only going to kill a man!" are uttered by Snake himself. When it looks like Snake's number is up, the villain remarks, "Dead at 39. Just like El Che."
- Snake and his soldiers can perform the Leap of Faith from Assassin's Creed, with purposefully inaccurate history lessons over the radio telling of how piles of straw were used by assassins of the Third Crusade.
- Going back to the original inspiration for Solid Snake, the movie Escape from New York, our hero starts off trying to get people to just "Call me Snake." And like in that movie, he inverts it at the end. "Call me... Big Boss."
- Gear REX's origin story is a blatant reference to how Godzilla was created. Minus the necromancy bit.
- Coldman basically forcing the U.S. Government/military to decide whether to retaliate or not with the intention of proving that Humanity is too weak willed to go through with retaliation even when nukes are launched, only for them to prove his theory wrong, is very similar to The Joker's "social experiment" in the climax of The Dark Knight.
- Dr. Strangelove herself is the obvious Shout-Out to the film of the same name, but Peace Walker itself functions in much the same manner as the Doomsday Weapon from Dr. Strangelove.
- What do some of the MSF soldiers want to do with the money they made in MSF for after leaving? become a Shrimper and have him and his friends buy themselves a big boat.
- Character portraits for MSF soldiers include lookalikes for Jonathan Ingram and Ed Brown from Policenauts, Johnny Sr. and The Sorrow from Metal Gear Solid 3, the Japanese voice actors for Snake, Miller and Strangelove (Akio Otsuka, Tomokazu Sugita, and Yumi Kikuchi, respectively), staff members of Kojima Productions (Jiro Oishi, Sayaka Yamamoto, and Ayako Yoshioka), series' illustrator Yoji Shinkawa and Hideo Kojima himself.
- Smoking Is Cool: Oh, yes. Wouldn't be a Metal Gear game without it. However, this is the second time you don't actually get to use cigarettes or a cigar in-game, the first being Portable Ops, where there was only one mention of a Cigar in the whole game.
- Subverted with Chico. He always wants to smoke, but is denied it by Amanda. Big Boss gives him a cigar for him to light and snatch away.
- The game also shows a supposedly more "safe" way of smoking, electronic cigarrete (by Huey) and tobacco snuffing (by Strangelove), although they did it more for technical reasons than health reasons (smoke can easily damages sensitive equipments).
- Unlike most other MGS games, no one calls Snake/Big Boss out on smoking at all, and just about every named member of MSF smokes or is a tobacco user.
- Smug Snake: Gálvez/Zadornov. Paz, too, in her diary entries, at least until toward the end.
- She was obviously enjoying herself more than she cared to admit at Mother Base, and her petty "GRRR Stupid cat! Stupid soldiers! Bwahahaha!" kinda makes her endearing in oh god what a mustache twirling villain kinda way.
- Sniping Mission: Cargo Truck Demolition missions are set up to be these, though you can theoretically just use rocket launchers.
- Something Completely Different: Peace Walker lacks the human bosses that has characterized the series up to this point. In their place, Snake's main adversaries are all A.I. Weapons.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: "Sing" by The Carpenters, a song originally created for Sesame Street, plays in the background as Strangelove prepares to interrogate Snake.
- During the final mission to reach Peace Walker and prevent nuclear holocaust, Big Boss must battle through an onslaught of soldiers in a knock-down, drag-out firefight through the facility to get there in time. In the final area, he is overwhelmed by a platoon of entrenched enemies with a heavy machine gun and a Hind gunhship, that start bearing down on his position and ripping apart his cover. Just as the player pauses to take stock of the situation the game's theme, "Heavens Divide" is heard. It is a melancholic song of loss, futility and love destroyed by conflict.
- Spiritual Successor: To Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions due to its mission-based structure and emphasis on ranking. Coincidentally, completing all the missions in Peace Walker will unlock a sequel hook, just like achieving 100% in VR Missions.
- Spy Catsuit: The sneaking suit resembles one when worn by female MSF soldiers.
- Staircase Tumble: As part of his Establishing Character Moment, Coldman throws Huey, a helpless paraplegic, down a stairway.
- Start My Own: The point of the game and capturing enemy mercenaries. Mother Base starts off as little more than an offshore birdhouse-slash-ocean-thermal-energy-conversion plant crewed by five guys, but it eventually becomes a massive complex.
- Start X to Stop X: Coldman's insane plan to start nuclear war to end all future nuclear war.
- The Stinger: It's revealed in a briefing file you get after clearing all the missions that Miller was at least briefly in cahoots with Zero as a business partner and partially responsible for the mess, something that was also mentioned in the true ending. It's technically not a true stinger, though, as some comments, namely Paz's mention of another agent leaking her final modifications to ZEKE, as well as the lack of mention of ZEKE's destruction (or even a reference to ZEKE besides the "AI being validated") in the call itself, implies that the call was made before Big Boss fought ZEKE.
- The Stool Pigeon: Chico and presumably some other FSLN members were of the Lacerated Larry type (they end up squealing their allies whereabouts to the Peace Sentinel via torture, and it is heavily implied that they don't even live to see the day afterwards as the Peace Sentinel murder them after squealing).
- Inverted with Big Boss: Strangelove manages to deduce why The Boss seemingly betrayed her country because Big Boss refused to talk.
- Stopped Numbering Sequels: The working title was Metal Gear Solid 5: Peace Walker. Despite being designed as a portable title, Kojima treated the project with the same seriousness and dedication he normally gives to all the console Metal Gear Solid games and even brought along the entire Metal Gear Solid 4 staff for its development.
- Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: Vastly improved over most previous Metal Gear Solid games. Cutscenes usually only last five minutes and the plot, while smart, isn't overly complicated. There's about three times as many Extra Ops missions as there are story missions, too.
- And for those who like it when Kojima waxes poetic about every subject in the universe, the Briefing Tapes provide hours of audio recordings as such, and they are not only completely optional but indexed succinctly as well. It combines the best parts of the series' Codec conversations and the Briefing section in the original Metal Gear Solid to great effect.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Miller serves the same role Roy Campbell did in Portable Ops. He is Snake's second-in-command and primary radio contact and they're both blond-haired womanizers. Both also debuted as part of Solid Snake's support crew in Metal Gear 2 and both were returning characters in the original Metal Gear Solid. It should be noted that the Miller in Metal Gear Solid was actually an imposter.
- Sword of Damocles: Peace Walker, built on the idea that since humans don't have the will to wipe out humanity themselves, will launch nuclear retaliation automatically. The "perfect deterrent".
- Take That: Big Boss gives a subtle one towards the student movements in Japan and the hippie movement in America when talking with Cécile about the success of France's student movement.
- Taking You with Me: The entire point of using Peace Walker, as far as Coldman's concerned, is that the people in control of America's nukes couldn't bring themselves to do this if they were attacked by Russia. He was wrong, and they try it.
- That's not all Peace Walker does, either. For instance, as its second-most dangerous ability (barring the aforementioned NORAD thing), and its most dangerous physical weapon, the titular mechanoid was mentioned in the briefing tapes to have a hydrogen bomb equipped on it (specifically that huge, death-star esque sphere that acts as its "head") that has a vastly higher explosive yield than even the Tsar Bomba (the biggest nuke in existence). The reason why it has it? It is so that, if it is required to go into enemy territory and if needs be, it can simply waltz into the enemy nation and self destruct.
- It also borderlines Fridge Horror and High Octane Nightmare Fuel when you take both this and Coldman's plan of mass producing Peace Walker and placing them all over Central America: If he or some other madman sees fit, he could easily blow away Central America from the face of the Earth by having the various models self-destruct.
- Miller almost did this to Big Boss in their first encounter (stated in the briefing files) upon defeat by using a grenade to blow them both up, but Big Boss managed to stop him before he could pull the pin, and save his life as well.
- Theme Naming:
- Much like the game itself, several characters are named after the concept of peace in other languages, including Paz (Spanish), Miller (Kazuhira, which is Japanese), and even Gálvez and Paz' true names, Gálvez' real name being Vladimir, meaning "Ruler of Peace" in Russian, and Paz' being Pacifica, which is derived from Pax, the latin word for Peace.
- The A.I. Weapons are all named after different stages of a butterfly transformation (Pupa, Chrysalis and Cocoon). The reptile and mammal pods for Peace Walker itself are known as the Aurelia and Imago respectively. Moreover, their AIs share the same Presidential initials as the Patriots AIs in Metal Gear Solid 4, with the exception of the BS-imago, which stands for The Boss.
- Theres No Kill Like Overkill: Played with: The weapons that the Peace Sentinel are using (the tanks, choppers, and AP Cs, not to mention the AI weapons themselves) are described in game as going beyond even overkill, stating that even overkill has its limits.
- Title Drop: Peace Walker is used as one of the mechs of the game, and the game's (fake) final boss.
- Trojan Prisoner: Both played straight and inverted: Zadornov, when arrested, frequently escapes. His being arrested in itself wasn't a large factor in Cipher's plot. Rather, the escapes were one of, if not the most important part of their plot, as Paz released him from the brig seven times so MSF can be distracted long enough for her to finish making the necessary modifications to Metal Gear ZEKE.
- True Final Boss: Paz piloting Metal Gear ZEKE.
- Truth in Television: Big Boss and some other major characters look up to Che Guevara. It isn't that far from the truth in real life, where t-shirts are actually sold of Guevara.
- Also, it is heavily implied by some soldiers remarks that they were abandoned by their government after they risked their butts in fighting the Vietnam War, hence their reason for joining the Peace Sentinel. This was actually quite true, as many Vietnam veterans ended up being very much treated very badly, being referred to as "baby killers," among other things.
- Two-Timer Date: Miller, according to one of Paz's briefing tapes, intentionally went on a date with two female members of MSF at the exact same time. Paz implies that this wasn't the first time, or, well, not even the fifth time, Miller has done this. Naturally, it doesn't end too well, as the girls report to Big Boss about it, causing Big Boss to go and beat up Kaz in the showers.
- Unstable Equilibrium: In true form for a Metal Gear game, going for 100% Completion after the end of the game gets you many, many Game Breaker items along the way.
- Updated Re-release: HD Edition for the PS3 and Xbox 360, which featured slightly updated graphics and a revised control configuration.
- Unwitting Pawn: Big Boss. While most games had the player being manipulated by at least one organization, this one takes the cake with Big Boss, and several of the characters in some way or another, being manipulated by three organizations.
- Weapon of Peace: Peace Walker.
- Welcome to Hell: Big Boss tells Amanda this word for word when he tells her that she'll have to treat Chico like a soldier and not simply her brother.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- Amanda, the leader of the Sandinistas, is willing to kill others, and, per her own words, is willing to go to hell for her actions, as long as it at least allowed her native country, Nicaragua, to be free from a stranglehold over a very terrible government who frequently neglects its own people.
- Strangelove. Her intention was to find out The Boss's true intentions and then clear her name of treason if it wasn't treason she committed. However, to do this, she agreed to partake in a project headed by a monster, and also torture Big Boss for information.
- Miller wanted MSF to expand, so he worked as a neutral business associate with Cipher to ensure it expanded. Of course, when it became apparent that Cipher was willing to actually ruin MSF by having one of their agents frame it with a nuclear strike against the USA, he went against them.
- Huey wanted nothing more than to allow true deterrence for peaceful applications, so that a nuke will not be fired even once, hence why he agreed to work with Coldman and his Peace Sentinels (initially).
- Amazingly enough, Coldman. His whole intent was to make the "perfect deterrent" with Peace Walker, intending its launch to be the final nuke ever launched. Of course, the well-intentioned part is put into question by the fact that his pursuit of Peace Walker was just to reestablish his power base in the CIA and the fact that he's completely insane.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Previous titles averted this, but Peace Walker averts it harder than all those before it. Paz pleads with you to try to spare the lives of the enemies gunning for you, and your rank goes down if you kill an enemy or leave an injured enemy to die. A mortally wounded enemy may be rescued by another one who injects him with life-saving medicine and gratefully says "You saved my life!" Not to mention, every enemy you spare is a potential recruit.
- They've also got their own hopes and dreams... or arguments about Santa existing... or bug catching... or trying to hit on Big Boss... or being creepy...
- What Happened to the Mouse?: There is no mention of what happened to all the soldiers who joined you on San Hieronymo. By the time you are hired for the Costa Rican operation, there are only 15 soldiers in your company, with no Old Save Bonus to port them over.
- When She Smiles: Strangelove. She spends the game with a somewhat distant, hostile nature (even after she defects to MSF), and never removes her sunglasses; cue Huey asking how she feels about him in the true ending, and she's finally happy enough to crack a smile and show her eyes.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Averted with four of the five main locations: the MSF camp in the beginning of the game (prior to being hired by Gálvez and Paz) was explicitly stated to be at the Barranquilla Coast in Colombia. The main setting is not only explicitly stated to be Costa Rica, but the mission select map also goes as far as to show exactly where in Costa Rica the mission is being held at. The location at Nicaragua is explicitly stated to be at the southeastern shore of Lago Colcibolca. Lastly, Mother Base's specific location on the Carribbean Sea is shown on a map when Coldman is expositing his plan to launch a nuke at Mother Base. It's played straight with Isla del Monstrua, as well as the "hotspots" in Outer Ops, the former taking place near the Carribbean sea, but does not go further regarding its exact location, and the latter locations not even being elaborated at all outside of them not being in Costa Rica (and possibly not Nicaragua).
- Whole Plot Reference: Peace Walker's frame (set-up) is remarkably similar to The Two Jakes.
- With This Herring: Some Extra Ops missions require you to hold up and immobilize entire patrols armed only with a banana.
- Wild Teen Party: Every month, the Militaires Sans Frontičres throw birthday parties for soldiers whose birthdays fall on that month, and Paz implies that the parties are nothing more than an excuse to cut loose and drink alcohol. Similar to the wild teen parties, it primarily consists of heavy smoking, heavy drinking, eat meat, tell tasteless jokes (at least one of which is mooning) and crude insults. It's subverted slightly in that it rarely gets serious.
- Vulgar Humor: One of Paz's diary tapes indicated that the MSF, when holding birthday parties every month, often had very crude behavior at the parties. For one thing, when Miller attempted to do shield Paz from the crude atmosphere at the party, he ended up getting drunk enough to moon the attendees of the party and claiming that they should see the real Miller, causing them to laugh quite a bit.
- You're Insane!:
- Miller's reaction to Coldman when the latter managed to activate Peace Walker and nearly drove the world into an all-out nuclear war in his attempt to make retaliation inevitable.
- Amanda has this reaction when she realizes that the Peace Sentinel are actually continuing the drug trafficking route they originally used and were turning their own country, America, into junkies.
- Victory Fakeout: So you defeated Peace Walker and the credits roll... what's this? A huge post-game and a new villain?!
- V Sign: The V-sign. Also used in a Stealth Insult by Zadornov towards Snake, twice. Palm-inwards is the equivalent of giving someone the middle finger in Britain and Australia.
- You All Look Familiar: All MSF soldiers look identical in-game, despite the variety of (randomly assigned) character portraits shown during the staff viewer. This is especially noticeable when a soldier puts on a tuxedo or a swimsuit, the only outfits that don't include a balaclava. It will always be the same brown-haired white guy underneath the mask (or in the case of a female soldier, a short-haired brunette), even when the character portrait shows someone of a different hair color or race. Also lampshaded when Snake asks Cécile what does the man who has the ID card to Strangelove's lab look like, she says that she doesn't know to which Snake replies that it doesn't surprise him as they all look the same.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Strangelove implies in her memories tapes that Coldman will most likely have everyone in the Peace Sentinel executed after the Peace Walker tests are completed. Zadornov almost does this to Snake, had the MSF and the FSLN group not saved him.
- You Killed My Father: It is heavily implied that Amanda and Chico's father, the former leader of the Sandinistas, ended up killed by the Peace Sentinel when the latter infiltrated Costa Rica.
- Young Future Famous People: In one of Strangelove's tapes, she discusses how her childhood was mainly spent indoors as she is sensitive to sun exposure, and because she generally didn't care for the other children; as a result of this, she soon became friends with her neighbor Dr. Turing, who got her interested in computers and AI.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go: Invoked: Big Boss promised Cécile when meeting her that she could return to Paris, France if she got tired of Mother Base. She later demands in a briefing tape that she be returned to Paris after Miller ordered the wrong year of French wine to stock Mother Base with, only to be implied to be met with refusal from Big Boss. Given that Cécile was not thinking straight when demanding to leave (she was drunk), Big Boss was most likely justified in keeping her at Mother Base, as he implies that the reason why he refused is specifically because she was drunk and not thinking straight.
- Zero-Effort Boss: The third battle with Peace Walker, as by now it's crippled and can't move or attack. All you need to do is shoot it with rockets or bullets until you trigger a cutscene.