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Headscratchers / Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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  • Was the "9-11" Sundowner and Radien refer to actually Arsenal Gear crashing into Liberty Hall, or was the event more similar to the real-life 9-11?
    • The real 9-11 since the plant Chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty takes place in 2009 on April 30th, as stated in that very game.
      • It's been a while, I guess I just confused the game's timeline with the fact the ending was censored because of 9-11. Oops.
  • Why are everybody (but Raiden specially) surprised that Bladewolf was a sentient AI capable of speech and communication, when the Patriots were exactly that? Raiden spent an undetermined amount of time speaking to the AI Colonel Campbell.
    • Because the Patriots put literally billions of dollars into constructing an Artificial Intelligence that could not only control the entire information flow of the Internet and censor what it saw fit, but could converse with Raiden on a highly intellectual level about the philosophy of the Patriots. This takes years of time, dollars, and programming to achieve, AIs on the intellectual scale of the Patriots are not going to be common. Bladewolf even goes out of his way to explain to Raiden that his level of intelligence evolved from being exposed to massive quantities of information on things like culture, literature, movies, and memes, etc. until they all conversed together into a being that understood and appreciated them, that even his ability to speak human language evolved from constant exposure, and that this is not the norm for AIs but the exception. Bladewolf considers himself an abnormal AI, an accident of machine evolution.
      • Bladewolf isn't an accident, he was designed to be an UG that could operate with human-like intelligence and decision making abilities, and that exactly what he is. He is unique in the sense that there is no other like him, but if you gave a similar AI Brain (which was the key to his success, it is mentioned that his brain has several times the neuronal capacity of other AIs) to another UG and gave it a similar level of education and human interaction, it too would develop like that.
      • Bladewolf said that his intelligence came from no small amount of luck, he says that even with a high neuron capacity there is no guarantee that intelligence of his level will evolve. Wolf is certainly proof that it can happen but the technology is in its infancy, there is no way there are gonna be hundreds of Bladewolf-like AIs running around just yet.
      • There is a difference between an accidental discovery, and not being sure of the outcome of an experiment. Blade Wolf was an experiment in advanced autonomous AI, and he was build and taught to become something different to a mindless machine, even if full sentience and sapience wasn't 100% sure to be achieved it was still something within the paramaters of the experiment.
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    • In a codec call with Kevin Raiden talks about his nice long conversation with the Patriots at the end of MGS2 and says that even years after the fact he's still not sure if those AIs were actually sentient or just very good at faking it. The conversation even has a throwback to the Turing Test that Strangelove talked about in Peace Walker and referencing the mindfuck of the ending. So in short, not even Raiden is sure if he was talking to sentient AIs or just normal ones programed to fake it.
      • There is no meaningful distinction to be made between "true sentience" and a program which merely simulates it with perfect fluency within the limits of analysis. (See Searle's "Chinese Room" thought experiment.) Blade Wolf is a different case; unlike the Patriot AIs, which were built by humans to fulfill a specific purpose and presumably ran on reasonably conventional (if extremely powerful) hardware, Wolf's brain is a new design, which can be inferred from Wolf's and Doktor's descriptions to be built from what are essentially solid-state (as opposed to chemical-electric) neurons. Unlike the programmable machines running the Patriot AIs, Wolf's brain can't be programmed, but only taught; thus, to the extent that there is any such thing as "true sentience", Wolf has it, every bit as much as humans do.
  • I thought Raiden's cyborg replacement were everything below his upper jaw, and the rest of his head was human. But in his fight with Armstrong they headbutted HARD into each other, and considering how strong Armstrong is, there is no way normal organic tissue and bone would survive such impact. So, what's up with that?
    • There are likely two explanations for this: 1) Along with increasing his strength and speed the artificial musculature of Raiden's new body might have increased the durability of his organic head. 2) Raiden might have some form of metal plating inside of his skull, which is likely why there are screws in his forehead.
      • The screws (and the bar code!) weren't there during MGS4, so yeah, he probably got the rest of his head augmented or reinforced at some point.
      • It is mentioned in game that his (Raidens) skin is not real, so most likely the rest of his head is also upgraded. And one of the codec talks says his new body is a full body job so only brain is organic.
  • How could any of the bosses speak on codec after being sliced to tiny pieces?
    • Doktor explains that so long as the brain is still intact then a cyborg can stay alive for a period of time after their body has been destroyed. The nanomachines in their bloodstream provide special chemicals that preserve the brain, by doing so the brain then can be transferred into another cyborg body to keep them alive. Doktor notes that had N'Mani been a cyborg Maverick probably could have transferred his brain into another body. Raiden never destroys any of their heads so this gives them time to talk before they die. If you're asking how they relay the Codec signals then probably by activating it with their brainwave patterns.
      • The main issue there is that only Monsoon's head is ever actually spared being cut to ribbons. Raiden can absolutely destroy Mistral, Bladewolf and Sundowner's bodies beyond recognition, head included.
      • You don't have to cut their bodies to ribbons, you can just cut them a few times and they are still just as dead. All we know is that they canonically died, how many times they were cut is irrelevant. Bladewolf is probably exempt from this since he is a machine and his entire body is basically one giant computer.
      • If you actually take a good look at all of them you can't destroy the part of the head that contains the brain. That always stays intact, although everything below the molars is fair game.
      • First: Gameplay and Story Segregation. You can choose to just cut off a hand, but it's more likely that Raiden took off a lot more than that. Second: Due to how the engine works, If it's a part of their body, it's fair game. Including the brain.
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    • Mistral's post-battle transmission is even weirder, since she was frozen solid before being sliced by Raiden. Her organic brain shouldn't have survived that.
    • The existence of ghosts and souls has been established in previous games. Presumably this is a variation on that.
    • Remember in MGS4 how Raiden could project a static-y voice out of his voice box when he was too weak to speak? Safe to assume the bosses are capable of the same thing.
    • How are they coughing and sputtering while given their final speeches? Even with cybernetic organs, they would likely be far too damaged at that point to even function.
      • They are using codec, and they don't talk using vocal cords, or at least Monsoon doesn't so presumably they just cough because of Rule of Drama.
  • Nanomachines have become THE item that explains the series' more bizarre moments (vampires walking/running on water! Soldiers being mind controlled and turned into puppets! Cancer being stopped!), but how on earth can nanomachines allow Armstrong to summon giant walls of fire out of the earth?!
    • Seeing as how Armstrong's absorbing the power of the Excelsus mirrored Volgin's absorbing the power of the Shagohod, I think it may be fair to say he's some kind of psychic on top of being a big guy.
    • Nanomachines, son.
    • Seriously though, the nanomachines probably have some sort of energy producing device. Whatever allows Raiden to produce electrical energy allows the nano machines inside Senator Armstrong to produce fire energy. It isn't much of a stretch to believe that a man could produce fire with his fists when there are blades that can superheat themselves to the point where they can cut through solid steel.
      • I believe it's just that the Metal Gear EXCELSUS started exploding so that's why there is so much fire. Why does Armstrong produce it? ....Nanomachines, son!
      • But there's hardly any fire when Sam fights him on the roof of World Marshal.
    • Ironically, curing cancer is about the only realistic use of nanomachines in the whole game. That's something scientists today are actually working on.
  • I've only seen videos so it's possible this is actually explained in the game, but why is Raiden's blood red now?
    • It's explained in a Codec conversation with Doktor, in the North American version at least, that Raiden's white blood was outdated and inefficient due to the dialysis treatment that it required (that particular drawback kept him out of action for the third and most of the fourth act in Metal Gear Solid 4). The red blood doesn't have that issue. No idea how that particular conversation is handled in the Japanese version, where the blood is still white.
  • So Raiden claims that he has difficulty blending into civilian society because his artificial skin stands out. In his own words, "I couldn't even hold a job driving an ice cream truck without standing out." To me the skin he dons whenever he's wearing that business suit looks convincing, sure there's a scar near his jawline but other than that he looks fully human. It comes off as an Informed Attribute to me.
    • Consider that as a Cyborg, He'd have absolutely (except for the aforementioned scar) flawless skin. I believe Uncanny Valley applies.
      • Also consider he is made of metal. Every step he has must make a strong sound and any accidental physical contact would make people easily notice.
      • Not metal, he's made of artificial musculature, it's probably no louder than a really buff dude walking around, and ingame his footstep noises are no louder than a civilian that he saves' .
    • Yeah, sorry, but I don't buy the Uncanny Valley explanation. Cosmetic prosthesis has been used for years to disguise injuries or disfigurements. Modern (that is, 2013) technology can now be used to create near-perfect artificial skin, right down to the veins, freckles, or even fingerprints. Hell, even the cheap latex prosthetics used in movies and television can be nigh-indistinguishable from real skin. I see no reason why Raiden couldn't have a really nice prosthetic face made for himself that lets him walk around without getting stared at.
      • You're ignoring the fact that Raiden doesn't just have "injuries or disfigurements". He's missing all the skin on his body and most or all of the skin on his face (leaning towards "all" given the markings and method of his dismemberment). That means that all of his skin has the same consistent level of perfection, and his lack of discrete muscles means that they move unnaturally. Even if veins, freckles, and fingerprints were emulated correctly, you still have the issue of the sheer amount of skin following different physics than most people's skin. It's noticeable.
      • Raiden also mentions in a codec call with Courtney that artificial skin and whatnot wasn't very good way back when, and that you looked pretty unnatural up close. While the artificial skin he has now looks fairly close to real, back when he first got the cyborg body it was apparently pretty crappy.
    • It might be related to discrimination though there might be an unseen element that might be more noticeable in-universe.
  • I'm a bit confused as to how Raiden's eyepatch works. Is it linked to the nerves in his other eye so that he can "blink" with both "eyes", or is the unit always on so he's always got one eye open?
    • It has millions of photoreceptor microbes that take in the light reflecting off of surfaces and interprets them as images, and according to the Doktor it has the resolution of a high end picture taking camera. The eye patch actually enhanced his vision more than having an actual eyeball would have. It is never addressed if Raiden can "blink" with his eye patch, but I would imagine if having an "eye" open all the time ever became odd for Raiden that he would have mentioned it so it probably isn't an issue.
  • On another note, how does Raiden's sword's ability to hack U Gs and warplanes by stabbing them in their "brains" (I'm assuming that's what he's targeting) work? I would imagine such a thing would immediately knock them offline. Is it ever explained? Something in the construction of the blade? A connection to his body through the sword?
    • When Raiden hacks into the mini gekko he extends a wire from the Gekko and implants it directly into himself. This implies that Raiden is sending a signal from his cybernetics that overrides the machine. The sword might be able to transfer signals on some level as well. Either that, or Rule of Cool is at work.
    • I always assumed that he wasn't hacking them in any way and his sword pass through areas that wouldn't automatically disable the U Gs, but just somewhere with good leverage. So it would sort of function like this: Blade on to increase cutting power, ram down into the machine with the tip while simultaneously turning the blade off so it has just enough to go through the armor and get stuck. From there he uses the sword almost like the control stick in helicopters, but instead of moving it just making them move, he uses his strength to force them to bank to any one side, dive, or pull up and they have to choice to since he is stronger and the blade won't come out easily. To remove you just turn the blade back on and pull it out. Notice how the U Gs and the planes are constantly moving at the speed they were beforehand, he can't make them slow down or reverse in flight, he can only control the direction.
  • Little John....where is he?
    • Raiden's family is in New Zealand. Raiden notes that over there they'll be safe from all the fallout over his illegal actions in America. Also over the course of the various Codec conversations Raiden has with his crew he mentions his family on occasion. They are still perfectly safe and healthy.
  • Am I the only one who's a tiny bit disappointed that we never got a short dogfighting sequence a-la "Long Night of Solace" when Raiden hijacked that drone?
  • I have a bit of an issue with the character Mistral. In her backstory it's mentioned that she fought with the French Foreign Legion in places like Iraq and Afganistan. The only problem with this is the Legion only allows men to fight in their ranks. A tradition that has continued to this day. So how come Mistral is mentioned as having served with them?
    • It's really no more absurd than The Boss serving in World War II or being an elite agent during the early days of the Cold War. I guess we just have to assume that the writers for Metal Gear don't care about gender restrictions and will justify a woman's place in an implausible military setting by saying she was "badass" enough to get an exception to the rule.
    • A codec conversation also says that Mistral wasn't the first woman to join the French Foreign Legion. No idea if this is true in real life, but it's perfectly consistent in-universe.
    • Susan Travers was able to join French Foreing Legion and real life, is the only woman to have served in. MSG universe might have French Foreign Legion take more open stance later.
    • If her Légion Etrangère service predated her cyborg body, she might've bound her breasts and passed as a man. If her cyborg body predated her service (which seems somewhat implausible, given the relatively recent advent of the technology at the time of MGR:R) then she might've switched torsos for one not quite so generously proportioned, and done likewise. In any case, it's a hell of a lot less absurd than the thought of a heavily pregnant woman, however badass, participating in the Normandy landings.
    • Alternatively, it is not impossible that Mistral used to be a man before she became a cyborg. Remember that Doktor jokes about getting a female body for himself in a codec conversation? Apparently it can be done, so who can say that Mistral didn't do it?
  • Another Mistral question (different troper than above). Her gimmick doesn't make a lot of sense to me. She can plug a bunch of extra robot arms into herself, but the only thing she uses them for is to build her weird pole-arm thingy? Why doesn't she, say, use her robot arms to punch with eight fists at the same time? Or shoot ten guns at once? Or swing 4+ swords at once if she's really that into melee combat? I'm not saying her pole-arm thingy wasn't a cool weapon, I just don't see what good it is having a bunch of extra arms that she doesn't really use.
    • Now that you mention it, yeah it's weird. Her pre battle cutscene show the arms in great detail, yet she flat out doesn't use them in battle. Then again, they're so tiny compared to her original arms, one can wonder what she could at all with them. She sure ain't Asura.
      • The arms are used as armor, and probably also used as "extra ammo" for her polearm.
      • Whats the point if she seems to have mini gekko following her around constantly
      • The extra ammo theory is confirmed if you pay close attention to the second stage of the fight. Whenever she leaps into the air and uses the pole to slingshot herself into the ground you can see that she's using the arms on her back to extend it's range and when she lands she detaches them from the pole and puts them back on her self. Sure there are mini gekkos all around her but there aren't enough for a full set of arms at a moment's notice and there's still the time it takes to remove them from the gekkos. Still that said, it's a shame all she uses the arms for are armor and ammo, even with short reach it would be neat to see her using firearms or unique grapples.
    • I assumed that the hands would do something if you were to lose the quicktime/quick slash segments of her fight.
  • Wasn't Raiden put back into his organic body at the end of MGS4?
    • It's implied that it was a more human-looking cyborg body so he'd blend in easier in living in theory though Raiden's post MGS4 backstory seems to suggest it didn't work as well as he'd hoped.
      • The above troper has it right, except it wasn't implied since in all our shots of Raiden's new body at the end of four you can see plenty of lines and barcodes and the like on everything bellow the molars showing that it's still a cyborg body, just much more subtle.
  • Why did Raiden's upgrade include stripping the flesh from his lower jaw? (I know it was probably fake flesh before, that's not the point.)
    • More armor? His jaw does end up getting hit a lot.
    • Considering that Raiden's final appearance in The Stinger has him looking roughly as human as he looked at the end of MGS4 and the beginning of MGR, I suspect it's not so much that he deliberately had the flesh stripped from his lower jaw, but rather that they only had the time and resources to put proper skin on his upper face. Putting Raiden back into action does seem to have been a rush job.
    • It might also be for psychological impact against non-Cyborgs, given this body was intended to be permanent. If he's very obviously not human and even has a skeletal bottom jaw for extra intimidation value, it's much less likely he'll be forced to defend himself against overconfident human enemies and open up a whole hornet's nest of legal issues. Alternatively the Doktor decided it made for a nice aesthetic, he seems slightly romantic like that.
    • In one codec call, he mentions that he can't eat with the current jaw, and will need his old one back. So it seems he didn't merely have the flesh removed, but that it's a completely separate combat jaw. Perhaps to interact with his face shield.
  • Holographic memory units in the left hand? Why the left hand? And why the hand? Why not the chest? Or the head? Or the back? Or the leg? Just...why the left hand?
    • Going through it logically, the head and chest are both going to be targets in a war zone and the most likely to be damaged. Ditto the back and the rest of the torso. Legs can be damaged by landmines and will see a lot of stress on them. Putting it in the hand is good because it's not going to be a target in normal battles and because it allows a convient uplink (like when you have to cut off one commander's hand to open the locked gate, or when the two cyborg guards change shifts by holding up their hands to each other). Putting it in the left hand and not the right can be chalked up to most cyborgs being right-handed, which means that would be the hand used most for violence.
      • Really? I was under the impression that lost limbs were some of the most common injuries for soldiers. Especially in the Revengeance universe where apparently every soldier and his mother is walking around with high-frequency blades. If the holographic memory unit is analogous to a black box on an airplane I would think putting it in the center of mass where there's the most armor to protect it would be the safest bet.
      • The centre of mass that is drilled into anyone whose been taught to shoot a gun to aim at above all other targets? Even if it was heavily armoured it's still in the one part of the body that's going to get shot at the most in any theatre of war, not to mention that it has to share with all the organs that are keeping the body working and you lose the advantage of using it as a key-card. As for HF Blades, they do exist but only a few people in Revengeace have a proper one (Raiden, Sam, maybe Sundowner). The key part of the HF blade is the fact that there's a High-Frequency current running through it, whereas the mooks just have a regular machete that can't cut through everything. And lost limbs are common, but that's due to landminds and IEDs. Cyborgs, being tougher, can just shrug off injuries that would cripple a full human.
      • Someone missed Doktor's four CODEC conversations about this...
        Raiden: So Dok, what kind of data can you extract from those left hands, anyway?
        Doktor: Oh, all manner of information. But, the short list? Energy consumption, damage level, intracranial and blood pressure, blood sugar, other vitals... GPS history, speed and acceleration data, radio and optical readings... Recorded computations from the internal expert battle-support system...
        Raiden: Uh, Dok?
        (A bit later in the conversation...)
        Raiden: Makes sense. But why the left hand? Why store it all there?
        Doktor: Accessibility. A unit can remove it with its own right hand, or it can be recovered if the unit is damaged. I would advise you not to remove your own holographic data storage, however, unless absolutely necessary. To facilitate recording of everything you see, hear, and so on, it is tied directly to your cranial nerves. So each time the storage is connected or disconnected, your hippocampus is stimulated. This can result in memory loss, flashbacks — (and) all manners of...unpleasant effects.
  • When the Doktor rebuilt and reprogrammed Wolf, why was his chainsaw weapon removed?
    • They probably rebuilt Wolf to be more of a recon unit than a combat unit. I am guessing that the chainsaw weapon was deemed unnecessary for that purpose.
  • Why doesn't everyone get powers like Armstrong? They're just nanomachines, those things are everywhere. And it doesn't look like a complicated setup, unlike Monsoons.
    • Well aside from good old-fashioned anti-cyborg prejudice, I believe there's a codec conversation where someone (the Doktor I think) says that cybernetic enhancements are still very costly at the time of Rising. Armstrong's enhancement (whatever the Hell it is) looks to be far more advanced than any other cybernetics in the game, so it was probably stupidly expensive. Armstrong's enhancements might cost as much or more than Metal Gear Excelsus itself. An army of Armstrongs would be the most unstoppable force on the planet, but it's just not feasible. Yet.
    • It was mentioned at some point that Vamp's unique physiology made his healing nanomachines work better than they would on someone else. Armstrong might have something similar going on.
    • Both times that we see Armstrong use his nanomachines, he has to suck the energy out of something else first. Given that he had to drain either a giant Metal Gear or a small fleet of vehicles and part of a skyscraper, it doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that lends itself to mass manufacture, not unless you have even more generators supplying the juice.
    • Nanomachines doesn't always completely work for everyone, since the rejection for high-level implantation rate is apparently higher than that of cybernetics.
    • This Troper recalls a codec conversation with Doktor where he proposed that his body may be literally made out of nanomachines (as in sculpted out of a block) that can rearrange themselves at will. To be fair, it isn't exactly a new concept, if a tad bit exaggerated here. Google "Claytronics".
    • I wouldn't be surprised if Armstrong made an effort to prevent other people from rivaling his strength, and made sure that no one else got their hands on that tech. Going into WMG territory, he may have killed the guy(s) who invented it.
  • It's mentioned above that cyborg brains are generally treated to survive when severed from the body. This is actually a really good idea from a logistical standpoint, because one of the biggest expenditures of war, time- and money-wise, is training new troops. If you can essentially bring your soldiers Back from the Dead by simply sticking their brains into new cyborg bodies, you soon end up with a genuine Bad Ass Army. So, with that in mind, why do all defeated enemies in this game explode?!?
    • Because they know too much. If you do enough damage to them it triggers the explosion whilst enemies who are just crippled don't explode and the game counts that they are defeated without being killed. Every Cyborg you come across is doing something that World Marshall doesn't want made public knowledge. Alternatively you do enough damage that it causes their internal power cells to explode, which could have been fixed but would have cost too much and World Marshall is cheap seeing as they outsource most of their cyborgs from third-world warzones.
      • Some of the explosions might be a gameplay abstraction to get rid of the bodies so they don't have to render the corpses on screen. Enemies that are defeated in nonlethal manners disappear too, so the explosion probably isn't canonically what's actually happening. It seems highly unlikely that every cyborg has a miniature bomb installed in their cybernetics set to explode when they die, that's just absurd.
      • The Cobra Unit did it back during the Cold War to prevent the enemy from learning secrets from the soldier. It seems pretty damn likely World Marshall picked up on it.
      • Maybe for a select few who know a great deal of secrets about World Marshal... but every single grunt on the field? That just seems like a waste of resources to have that many bombs inside every cyborg.
      • Cyborgs are already super expensive, a microbomb probably wouldn't add much to the cost, and would improve security.
    • Like most confusing things about this game, the matter of the cyborgs soldiers exploding is discussed in the codec with Doktor. He speculates not that it's to prevent the cyborgs' knowledge from falling into the wrong hands, but to prevent the technology in their own bodies from being recovered and studied by rival companies or other such rabble, when the cyborg proves to be unable to defend themselves. It also explains why U Gs detonate as well.
    • It's been mentioned in codec that the cybernetic bodies Desperado uses contain some pretty secret tech that they'd rather not get stolen, and that the cyborgs using the bodies are informed of the self-destruct feature and are paid extra as compensation.
  • In The Stinger, the blade that Raiden draws looks similar to his old HF blade. However, he had already acquired Sam's Murasama, so why doesn't he use it instead?
    • Nostalgia? His old blade worked just fine on your average mook, which is what those guys in the stinger seemed to be, so Raiden wouldn't be handicapping himself too much by going back to his original blade. And there could be something unique about the Muramasa blade that makes it difficult or impossible to conceal/cloak.
      • Or he gave it back to Bladewolf.
    • It could easily just be the Murasama + scabbard in the same style case he used for his original blade.
    • "And besides, this isn't my sword." Raiden did not think of Sam's sword as his own, so I can see him not keeping it out of respect for Sam.
  • How can Sam use Blade Mode if he's not a cyborg?
    • He's just that badass.
    • I thought he was one, just with very few enhancements compared to the rest of his team.
    • I believe it's partly him being just that good and partly his super-suit, which I think is fuelled by the electrolytes you get with Sam's zandatsu.
    • While the first guy in the franchise with Super Reflexes was the original Cyborg Ninja, it's since been shown that people don't need cyborg enhancements to develop them. Raiden himself could block bullets with a sword even before becoming a cyborg, and the Boss could shoot down bullets with bullets. The real question is whether or not cyborg enhancements actually increase reflexes/thought speed by default. Given that there's still a human brain even in full body borgs, they just plain might not be able to make someone think faster.
  • This isn't really related to the game itself, but why does Armstrong act like it's a big deal that he played American football at the University of Texas?
    • The Longhorns are considered one of the highest-rated and prestigious football teams in the country. If you played for them and had the ability to go pro, you were damn good.
    • Plus, the whole proudly boasting "back when I played ball in college..." thing is a very american stereotype, and Armstrong is a walking american stereotype played for laughs.
    • Addendum to above. University of Texas is also a public university. It's more or less Armstrong's reply to Raiden claim that Armstrong went to a "Cushy Ivy League", which University of Texas isn't one.
    • Plus, as anyone not from America, or who isn't a fan of America, has noticed, Americans have a really big fetish for their handegg.
  • How come Armstrong doesn't do that thing in the Sam DLC where he starts glowing red or that unblockable move where he flies across the stage like a flaming meteor when he's fighting Raiden?
    • Oh that's simple; he's out of magic nanomachine juice.
    • That probably wasn't sarcasm either. He did those things against Raiden because he absorbed a lot of energy from Excelsus.
    • Technically Armstrong did use the meteor move against Raiden, but it triggers the QTE scene instead, showing that Raiden's enhanced cyborg body can resist it better than Sam, being Badass Normal.
  • Who hires Desperado to kill N'mani, and why?
    • Sundowner says it's to destroy peace in the area and boost business for PM Cs, so there's a good chance it was Armstrong.
    • A codec call with Courtney in the last stage has Raiden suggest that Armstrong's plan was to link Desperado's attack in Russia to the one in Pakistan, with the former used to build Desperado up as a credible threat. Chances are the attack in Africa was to build up credibility for the one in Russia.
  • Why can you get electrolytes from helicopters? I mean, other UM Gs clearly have biological components, but why do hammerheads bleed?
    • It could be that they're augmented, or perhaps only resemble helicopters but are in fact U Gs.
    "The stock Hammerhead. A real helicopter has more intellect."
  • What's exactly the point of the Metal Gear Excelsus? Most of the Gears are chiefly exotic delivery systems for nuclear weapons, well armed for defensive purposes but not meant for the front lines. Then you have the Ray, which was built as a stealthy amphibious vehicle with the express intention of hunting Metal Gears. But the Excelsus is a hulking walker which seems to be designed mostly for direct melee, and while tough it obviously wasn't invincible, so it was a HUGE target for artillery and air strikes.
    • Doktor and Raiden talk about it in a Codec conversation. Dok suggests that it probably has limited use, being good for little other than scaring away non-combatants from a warzone when they see it coming.
    • From what little we see of it, it seems to have insane tunneling capabilities, which would give it a niche as a strategic weapons-delivery platform. Presumably, it's an upgrade on the Metal Gear's all terrain-ness in that it can ignore terrain AND other armed forces. If the games were go in-depth with it, it'd probably be compared to the rise of nuclear-armed submarines, which were pretty big naval game changers.
    • As I see it, Excelsus was a vanity project for Armstrong, he envisioned the mech as a glorious, mighty steed he'd ride on while bringing his new USA into existence.
    • Armstrong's plan was to destroy the US and rebuild from zero. Being the insane psycho he was, the guy probably meant in in a very literal sense. As in, he'd take Excelsus and physically destroy city after city.
  • Is there any source which goes into detail about the battlefield restrictions of cyborgs fighting 'normal' people, or is it solely discussed in Boris' codec calls? I'm quite interested in the smaller details!
  • So what was the point of translating Georges speech? It seemed pretty easy to just make sense of what he says without translations.
    • For the benefit of non-native English speakers, or those who simply wouldn't understand him without. You being able to understand George doesn't mean everyone could.
    • Think of it this way: if they didn't, everyone'd be complaining, even the people who are saying that there was no need. It's the Metal Gear franchise. They likely have an entire department just for trying to brainstorm things people are going to whine about at this point.
  • At the end of the first level, why did Boris even bother taking out the Stinger to attack the Tilt Rotor? The Brownings on the Strykers should have been more than enough to tear it to pieces. They were designed to be used against low-flying aircraft. Maybe Boris realizes that he's in a video game, and in video games you always have to kill choppers with missiles?
    • Surface-to-air missiles were invented precisely because it is very hard to hit an aircraft from the ground with a machine gun. He took the first Stinger shot because it was his best chance to knock down the tiltrotor, and even with the flares, he still had a better chance of scoring with the second Stinger than he would have with the M2.
  • So why does Armstrong initially lie about his goal when gloating to Raiden? Maybe lie isn't the right word, but he admitted he wasn't telling him his real goal until Raiden berated him for being "typical politician."
    • Whatever else he is, Armstrong is a politician. To a first approximation, bullshitting people is his job. When he saw it wasn't working on Raiden, and that Raiden might make a worthwhile asset, and that there was no one else around to be put off by candor, Armstrong changed his approach.
  • What exactly was Sundowner trying to accomplish by killing N'mani? None of the codec conversations indicate there was anything for Desperado or World Marshall to gain from it.
    • Sundowner himself explains it as soon as he's introduced - He's a war profiteer, and N'mani is making things too peaceful. He wants the country to turn into a warzone again so Desperado can be hired to deal with the situation.
  • Bladewolf's appearance. I haven't played his DLC so I don't know if it's answered there, but how did he end up getting a different head after his fight with Raiden? When this troper first played the game, he assumed Bladewolf was a different robot entirely from the one he fought earlier in the game. How and why did he get such a redesign between missions?
    • In his fight with Raiden, he got sliced into a thousand or so pieces, like most other bosses in the game. Naturally, they had to reconstruct him afterwards, and I imagine the Doktor decided the second head would be better.
  • Not exactly a Headscratcher, but does anyone else think that the music that plays in the Japanese garden sounds almost identical to one of the Ganbare Goemon themes?
  • Being the self-proclaimed samurai that he is, why does Sam carry his sword with the cutting edge facing towards the ground, when historically samurai carried their sword with the edge facing upwards?
    • This could be a legitimate aversion of Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana. The Tachi is another type of Japanese curved sword which was word edge-down suspended by cords from the waist, rather than edge up and stuck through the belt like the katana. The Tachi was the classic samurai sword before the katana became more fashionable, and many Tachi made in earlier periods were subsequently modified to be worn as katana. Since the handle prevents us from seeing the signature on the tang of the blade, it's harder to guess which it is, but wearing a sword Tachi style is the old-fashioned Samurai way.
    • Codec calls explain it. He's a student of a more violent school, and that's part of it.
  • When George got taken as a hostage by the mad scientist in Mexico, why did Raiden cut through both of them when he could have easily hit just the hostage taker? George was much smaller and shorter than the bad guy, and at that instant the scientist wasn't effectively holding George in front of him. Couldn't Raiden have targeted the guy's head or weapon arm at such an angle that George wouldn't get cut? Only reason I can think of is that Raiden's crazy side acted up due to his hatred for people who hurt children, but shouldn't Raiden have felt more guilty afterwards that he acted with complete disregard for George's life?
    • If I remember correctly, there are multiple codecs with the support characters after the event where Raiden shows great regret over the way he handled the hostage situation. It also helps that George gave him a call (thanks to Doktor) talking about how happy he was with his new body.
  • How exactly does an ID-Lock on a sword work? Unlike a gun, you can't switch off a sword's sharp edge.
    • My guess would be that if a sword was ID-Locked and placed back in its sheathe, then something would keep the sword from being removed until the sword was released by the owner or automatically
    • It might simply be the high frequency ability that's ID-Locked. It's still a perfectly functional sword without it, but not really up to snuff against cyborgs and robots that Raiden would be fighting.
  • If Armstrong powers up his nanomachines by absorbing electricity from his surroundings, why couldn't he just kill two birds with one stone and sap the power from Raiden's cyborg body, therefore killing him?
    • Probably doesn't work against cyborgs. Because reasons. Plus, Armstrong's the type to win with a show of force, brutally beating his opponent into the ground. He doesn't just want to win, he wants to win and prove he's stronger and therefore "right."
  • Why is Armstrong considered Not So Different from Raiden ? They were born in different country, diffrent social status, their childhood/upbringing were extremly differents, their goals are different, their means to attain these goals are different, their fighting styles are different and not even their looks are similars.
    • They both kill in the name of their own beliefs and listen to no one else. Also, Armstrong sees Raiden as the kind of person his world would create (made strong and strong-willed through hardship).
      • Which in turn is its own headscratcher: Raiden was supported, mentored, and assisted every step of the way to becoming an almost literal killing machine (sure, the people doing it were often cruel and inhumane, but to paraphrase Monsoon, they were effective teachers). How did Armstrong get the impression that he survived and thrived without help?
    • They're not similar at all; Armstrong is a bullshitter. People repeat his rhetoric because apparently even out-of-universe people are easily fooled by him. Raiden points this out in-game, of course.
  • If the entire point of their job at the beginning was to kill the Prime Minister, why didn't Sundowner do it right away? Why go to all that trouble of the chase across town and onto a train, go to the trouble of chaining him up... and then killing him?
    • Sundowner was using N'Mani as a human shield. Granted, it could be argued that he didn't actually need him, being such a powerful cyborg. On the other hand, he doesn't have Sam's speed and thus would need to tank through the gunfire. Not being shot at all beats being ineffectually shot at, I guess.
    • For the sake of cruelty, no doubt: This is Mr "Slow and Painful" we're talking about, remember.
  • It seems odd that Sundowner would want or need a "second" War On Terror. We're still fighting the first one, and likely will be by the time 2018 rolls around for real.
    • In our timeline, yes. In the Metal Gear timeline, The War on Terror was superseded by the War Economy.
    • Likely he wanted one that was much more heated and aggressive. And an attempted assassination of the POTUS would cause such a reaction.
      • Maybe actually wanted The War on Terror on state level, not against single groups. For example a US-Pakistan War, which would be more heated and with more soldiers. Pakistan actually got nuke, and could use if it is necessary. State vs State wars are usually considered more seriously. And Sundowner wanted to blame STATES for SUPPORTING TERRORISM.
  • Why the Denver Police is equipped with RUSSIAN MADE guns (MAK-200) and Rocket Launchers? This should not be the equipment of a Police department.
    • One of the plot points in the game is that the events in MGS4 changed the world profoundly, it's not just anymore a facsimile of our world where weird stuff happened in the sidelines. The Denver Police Department was not a regular police force, but subcontracted to the PMC World Marshall which provided all the equipment and personnel. The fact that Cyborgs were becoming commonplace and thus Cyborg related crime would be more and more of a problem, obviously meant that the government allowed the PM Cs in charge to escalate things and.
    • Also, even in real life, it's common for US police forces, or even the US military, to use foreign-made guns. The Beretta M9, the US military's primary handgun since 1985, is made by a firm called Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta, which I am pretty sure is not an American company.

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