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Headscratchers / Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

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  • How is Big Boss able to support entire multi-story robots above his head? Is there some kind of balancing quirk built into them, or did Big Boss magically develop super strength?
  • Quoth the former Big-Lipped Alligator Moment entry:
    "Big Boss has a tense stand off with the enigmatic Dr. Strangelove, who he knows little about and trusts even less. She goads and coaxes him, deliberately attempting to get a rise out of him emotionally. The scene runs to a tense fever pitch until she lures him into her lab by claiming she can reunite him with his beloved mentor. Then he sniffs snuff off her hand before going in. Wait what?"
    • "Fever pitch"? Things calmed down before getting invited into the lab.
      • Redundant. He still had no reason to trust her enough to partake in her snuff. He could simply have declined.
    • Discounting the Neptune-sized Idiot Ball Big Boss needed excavating out of his anus that caused him to accept an unidentified narcotic from an untrustworthy ally of the enemy when she has just displayed immense contempt for him, are we to believe that he simply couldn't go for a few minutes without sparking up a stogy? When the alternative is literally getting on your knees before the enemy?
      • Actually, I'm not sure if the "snuff" that she gave him was even intended to drug him. In fact, Strangelove's reaction to Snake fainting (What? Damn It! End simulation!) indicated that this was not what was supposed to happen.
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    • If you pay attention: She actually takes a sniff of the stuff herself at the beginning of the cutscene. He knew it wasn't drugged from seeing that nothing had happened to her. It still doesn't explain why he did it, but he knew it wasn't drugged or anything like that.
    • Entirely possible that it was meant to be a measure of Sacred Hospitality— sort of a temporary truce situation. The tobacco is meant to cement it.
      • It's largely this. He's voluntarily entering an enemy base out of trust over their talk of The Boss. The snuff is really pointless to consider a trap in that regard because if she really wanted to do... well really ANYTHING to him, she'd just need lead him into any trap she wanted once he got inside. She even mentions that she could incinerate him in her lab with a single button press if he acted funny.
  • "Vic Boss! Vic Boss!" What was this meant to be about? Obviously it started out with the MSF goon on the beach referring to BB as such, but why? Is it due to mispronunciation? Is it a play on the word "Victory"? Is it a reference to Vic ''Viper''? Did it have a completely different meaning in Japanese which the localization team completely failed to translate? How can a plot element this redundant have more interpretations than the rest of the plot put together?!
    • This one I would really advice you not think too much of and just let go. ^^U
      • I still don't know what the complaint is, here. It's an obvious play on the word victory.
      • Correct, 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.' Boss: 'Call me Snake' Soldier: 'Oh sorry, Vic Boss!' Snake: Listen up, for us there is no victory'" Snake directly acknowledges what it's supposed to stand for.
    • Even you've had to change your tune as to what it was meant to be Jack (You originally claimed it was due to accents). My point is that whatever it was that Hideo was getting at, it didn't come across coherently. Thus I am bugged.
    • You are aware it's both? Remember Amanda mispronounces it and insists on mispronouncing it, then there's the whole "V for Victory/Peace Sign" theme going on.
    • It's most likely just an oddly translated artifact from Japanese. In Japanese V and B are largely the same, so "Biggu" Boss turns into "Vikku", these would sound nearly identical.
  • "Hey Kaz! You see that nuclear football the Big Bad has on a cuff? Why not shoot it off and secure it for transport separately from the dying mad man with nothing to lose?"
    • Listen to the after-game tape.
      • My point is that any number of soldiers could have called him on this and undermined whatever The Plan was apparently in play. It would be more fair to describe this entry as "MSF: Nil".
      • Good point, especially seeing how there was one MSF soldier on-board the chopper besides Kaz. Strangely enough, Kaz seemed quite surprised about the whole thing even before Kaz warned Snake about what was going to happen.
      • They were all riding the high of their victory over the Peace Sentinels, and didn't expect Coldman to launch the Nuke after its target had been changed, since nuking Cuba would run counter to his goal of mass producing Peace Walker for all of Central America. They underestimated how devoted he was to the idea of proving that the idea of deterrence administered by humans was a faulty idea. Plus shooting off handcuffs is movie stuff anyway, so they would have to wait until they found a pair of bolt cutters first.
      • Cut off his hand. It worked for Faith. Or break his fingers. Anything other than leave him able to use the football. It doesn't matter that they think he won't — you just don't leave a powerful weapon in an enemy's hands.
  • Why does Snake not seem to remember the entire speech EVA gave at the end of Snake Eater. Why does he keep trying to figure out why The Boss defected when EVA spelled it out for in explicit detail? He seems to remember it perfectly fine in Portable Ops, or are we pretending that game didn't happen now?
    • It's implied from dialogue that he does remember EVA's speech, but he is beginning to think her debriefing was actually forged by the CIA for their coverup. Plus, if he didn't remember EVA's debriefing, then why was it playing shortly after he euthanized The Boss's horse? The fact that Gene pretty much mentioned that The Boss was set up by a single deviously cunning strategist would also have lowered some confidence in EVA's debriefing as well. Now what really doesn't make sense is why Big Boss seemed to not even know The Patriots or even the fact that he separated from them? Even when Paz flat out tells him about their history, the best he could give was a confused, unfamiliar "huh?"
      • This troper sees that as Kojima deciding that EVA's "Big Boss helped found the Patriots" speech from MSG 4 wasn't the direction he wanted to go with the story, considering Peace Walker goes out of it's way to contradict it as much as possible, even outright stating Snake left FOX immediately after he got his title and implies he spent the last decade more or less wandering the earth and living off the grid. EVA's assertion that he left over being cloned doesn't work considering he doesn't even seem to be aware they exist(and the only evidence Les Enfants Terribles has happened is from a very hard to unlock tape conversation where Miller mentions it). At best, you could infer broad strokes that Big Boss helped found the Patriots by getting them their startup funds(without realizing it). One could either see this as EVA either lying to Solid Snake wholesale or yet another of Kojima's Retcons(like the infamous non-existent "Snake, I am your father" moment from MG 2).
  • Why is the game's logo a commercial airplane? What does that have to do with the rest of the game?
    • That's the symbol for peace, not an airplane.
      • Right, but it's got the little plane tail fins at the end.
    • It is a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, which was U.S. Strategic Air Command's prime airplane for long-range nuclear strikes. The organization known as Strategic Air Command always made sure that a large number of B-52s were patrolling the skies at any given moment as their job was to be the first responders in a nuclear war, they had to be able to get airborne before their home fields could be hit by enemy ICBMs and stay airborne for long periods of time for their patrols, this strategy was a cornerstone of American deterrence strategy. Using the plane's outline in place of the arms of the peace symbol plays heavily to the game's themes of peace via nuclear deterrence.
    • The plan for nuclear attack if the United States ever had to engage in such a war would be to send the B-52 bombers to key points of infrastructure like nuclear missile bases and points of economic and Military value to throw the Russian Government into disarray. Once the B-52 had nuked its intended target the American Military would see fit to follow up with a full nuclear assault from all of their nuclear submarines and missile bases, the B-52s purpose was to be the first responder so that the Russians' ability to counterattack would be severely reduced. This is brought up in the game by Huey, potentially the entire need for nuclear deterrence could be invalidated if one country could totally obliterate its enemy by removing their chance to counterattack. That would effectively be the only way that anyone could "win" a nuclear war, you would need to have a highly effective first responder to cripple the enemy. Metal Gear would be highly useful in being a first responder, only on the ground rather than the B-52s job in the air, it would serve as a supplement to the United States' Military's nuclear strategy. As noted before the B-52 being inside the peace symbol is supposed to be ironic, that peace can only be maintained by powerful weapons of war.
  • Was it really necessary for Peace Walker to retcon Big Boss's age a second time? It was understandable the first time because he would have been an active fighter on the field of battle during his 50s and would have been the head of FOXHOUND in his 70snote  MGS3 put Big Boss more comfortably into his 30s, and had this game followed that canon he could have comfortably stayed in his 40s (not terribly old for a Military Officer). Big Boss being 39 during 1974 means that he joined the Army at 14 (canon says The Boss left Snake June 12, 1959, meaning the 10 years as her disciple lasted 1949-1959), and first saw combat during the Korean War at 15. Changing his age just so they can make a throw-away reference to Big Boss being like El Che (both dying at 39) was pretty lame.
    • First of all, MGS has its share of child soldiers (Raiden, Gray Fox, Chico, heck even Solid Snake) so Big Boss joining the army in his teens is plausible. Second, where in Snake Eater do they mention Big Boss' age? For all we know, he could be under 29 (if we have to accept what Galvez says in this game). And third, how many times has Kojima made retcons which create plot holes?
      • MGS3 commentary and promotional material listed Big Boss as being in his 30s, meaning that Word of God said so. This means that the earliest he could have been born is 1930 and the latest being in 1934. During World War II there were of course a small percentage of the Allies who were composed of teenagers who lied about their age out of a patriotic duty, so that at the very least is plausible for Big Boss during the Korean War. However what would be special enough about a young John to be noticed by The Boss who is made out to be one of the best Special Ops soldiers in the world? Also Special Forces in the United States are based off of the SAS and just like them you have to be a minimum of 20 years old and have a background in the Army Rangers and Army Airborne before you can be eligible for selection, meaning if Big Boss really was a teenager during the Korean War (1950-1953) then his status as a Green Beret would be impossible. Big Boss being born in 1930 (20-23 during the Korean War) makes his career leading up to Operation Snake Eater more plausible.
    • He could have lied about his age when joining up.
    • Not just anyone can join the Special Forces, the Pentagon puts a great deal of trust into the men who work in black operations, which means that very thorough background checks are given before they ever join. The age change makes his career prior to MGS3 highly implausible. I don't mind Jack joining the Army by lying about his age, but he is specifically mentioned as a Korean War veteran who was a member of the Special Forces. The Special Forces is a whole different game from the regular Army.
      • The United States was very backwards in many respects for a significant portion of the early 20th century. A great number of teenagers fought in both World Wars and Korea by lying about their age in a time when not everyone was issued appropriate documentation and when there really was no way for a military recruiter to gather that information if a person came from an out-of-the-way place. Big Boss is the world's greatest soldier (the legend meeting the man is a running theme of his story arcs) and so it hardly stretches inevitability that he was in the Special Forces as a teen, especially since the Green Berets are apparently inspired by a multinational team of soldiers possessed of supernatural ability and led by a woman who single-handedly won WWII.
    • His age isn't specifically given in MGS3.
      • His age is given, indirectly. He is stated to have been born in 1935. This makes him 29 in MGS3, 35 in Portable Ops, 39 in Peace Walker.
      • Read the above line. Not specifically given in MGS3. The point is that his age wasn't retconned from then.
  • Doesn't Big Boss becoming Outer Heaven's full time boss and operator, and outright leaving his country entirely, contradict earlier canon? Every game since Metal Gear Solid has emphasized over and over again that Big Boss was America's greatest Military Soldier and that he did countless black ops on their behalf, and that Outer Heaven was simply something he created on the side. Also how did Big Boss maintain enough trust with Zero to regain control of FOXHOUND if he has come toe to toe with his plans in this game? Snake Eater and Portable Ops were fine as they were with what they told us about Big Boss' future, Big Boss takes command of FOXHOUND and stays as their commander for 20 years until he has had too much of Zero's crap and finally activates Outer Heaven. This game raises a lot of questions.
  • If Coldman was exiled to that station in South America then how is it possible that he has the funding required to create and maintain all these high tech bases and machines? The Metal Gears and their mass production copies alone must have cost billions of dollars to create, and Big Boss even notes that the technology used to create them is more advanced than anything he has ever seen before and speculates that it might be alien technology from something like Area 51. This isn't even talking about the various mines, factories, and bases the CIA has all over the place, and the nuclear missile base where Peace Walker is stored. There is no way in hell a rogue CIA Agent has enough serious cash to fund all these endeavors. We are talking about billions of dollars here, only the Patriots would have any hope of funding what Coldman is doing.
    • Considering the codenames of the four basic A.I. Weapons, GW-Pupa, TJ-Chrysalis, TR-Cocoon and AL-Aurelia share the same initials as the later Patriot A.Is, the Patriots probably are the ones funding what Coldman was doing. Although it should be mentioned that the various mines and factories were probably already there, the CIA just moved in and renovated.
    • Paz outright confirms Cipher(aka the Patriots) were behind the entire Peace Walker incident when you fight her at the end of chapter 5.
    • I got the impression much of the game is essentially showing How CIPHER(Major Zero and the rest of the Snake Eater Team) used all that Philosopher money to build the AIs that would later become the PATRIOTS. That and showing how Snake finally got over having to Kill the Boss in MGS3.
  • Out of curiosity, how customizable was the whole Vocaloid thing? Could I, theoretically, have the AI Mechs Rickroll me?
    • You could, but it would be to the tune of an entirely different song. You couldn't pick the music, or the beat to which the Vocaloid sings. You also might not have had enough room to do the entire chorus. It may have been possible in one of the longer songs. Maybe.
  • Does Coldman even know what "deterrence" actually means? There's one cutscene in particular where he flat-out admits a human submarine captain hesitating to launch during the Cuban missile crisis saved the entire world from all-out nuclear war - and then without even blinking, he talks up how Peace Walker would have pressed the button without hesitation and tries to pass that off as a good thing. The best I can assume at this juncture is either A) Coldman's trying to deter nuclear war by causing it - which is only technically "deterrence" in the same manner that JFK can't run for a second Presidential term, or B) there's some politician somewhere who sincerely wants the "ultimate deterrence" - but passed the actual work off onto someone else, who turned out to be an incompetent fuckwit.
    • He does know what it means. His point was that when push comes to shove the majority of humans will refuse to press that button and start armageddon. From his perspective is that 99 out of 100 men, when faced with the decision to wipe out all human life, will refuse to go through with it, which defeats the purpose of a deterrent if it's not a guarantee. Hence Peace Walker; Creating a perfect deterrent that will, without fail, retaliate 100% of the time without a moment's hesitation. He was so convinced of this fact he set Peace Walker to trick the Pentagon into thinking that there was a real nuclear strike coming to prove that they would choke and not retaliate and demonstrate the need for Peace Walker. Of course he wasn't anticipating that there were people in the Pentagon who were willing to retaliate and end all life.
      • That's all well and good, but then his final act before dying is to feed that dummy data directly back to Peace Walker when he knows that will make it counter with a real launch.
      • He also specifies at that point that he doesn't much care because he'll already be dead when the missiles fall.
  • Coldman had the Boss killed because he feared her charisma and thought her a threat to the United States. Clearly, he doesn't think too highly of her - why on Earth did he approve using her personality as the blueprint for Peace Walker's AI?
    • Given all the above I typed up about his idea of deterrence? He probably knew about Strangelove's relation to the Boss and did it just to be an asshole to her.
      • He was implicitly stated to be afraid of the weight her image carried as a 'hero', and the influence she could have. Having her tactical mind and ability under his control in the form of a machine probably appealed to him much more.
      • Also, the secret briefing tapes, some of Paz's comments before the final boss fight, and the names of the A.I. pods themselves imply that the Patriots, specifically Zero, were the ones backing the Peace Walker project. Zero was inspired by the Boss, and might have pulled the funding if Coldman had objected.
  • Despite the time period, there are no AK-74s in the game, not even the Soviet soldiers have them. Ironically you use weapons that haven't even been produced yet.
  • If Cecile stole the guard's ID card when she escaped, why does a guard have it when you find her? Did she get captured a second time during her escape and neglect to tell Snake?
  • So at the beginning of the game, Prof. Galvez/Zadornov claims to represent Costa Rica in wanting to hire MSF to deal with the heavily armed Peace Sentinel troops, since Costa Rica doesn't have a standing army. However, it's also immediately pointed out that Galvez is actually a KGB agent and wants to kick the US out of Latin America in favor of the USSR. Which begs the question, did he ever represent Costa Rica's government in any way in this manner? Or was MSF essentially an invading force of it's own due to lack of sanction from the government? The ending timeline implies that Costa Rica was friendly to the US, impling Peace Sentinels might have been sanctioned all along.
    • It's been a while since I've played or otherwise experienced the game in any way, but a double-check on the series' wiki says Zadornov "revealed that he never came on the Government's orders" right in that first conversation of theirs. If Costa Rica has an opinion on the various PMC-like organizations setting up shop within its borders, it's safe to say Zadornov doesn't care to hear it.

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