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Heartwarming / Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Even in the darkest Metal Gear game ever, there are still heartwarming moments.
  • The Last Day in Outer Heaven fancomic is one whole moment of this in addition to being a tearjerker. Not only does the real Big Boss thank and warmly "relieve" a dying Venom Snake of being Big Boss, but in his last moments, Quiet comes to bring the man she loved into the afterlife.
  • From the E3 2014 trailer, doubles as a Tear Jerker.
    • "I won't scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea... I will always be with you."
    Venom Snake
    • And the context in which he's saying it, resolving not to scatter the ashes of his fallen comrades, but instead make them into diamonds that will be carried and remembered by the living Diamond Dogs. Even after falling into darkness and depravity, Snake remains a Father to His Men.
  • Hard to miss, but the medic in the ending throwing himself in front of Big Boss to protect him from the incoming inferno shows that Big Boss's men love him as much as he loves them.
    • Ending spoilers incoming: There is actually far more to this gesture than most realize; that medic that saved Big Boss actually is one of the best MSF soldiers around, and during the nine-year time-skip he is given plastic surgery and memory replacement to become Venom Snake. This man sacrificed everything for Big Boss even down to his own memories and identity. That is some goddamn dedication for ya.
  • During Episode 1: Phantom Limbs, when you rescue Miller from the Soviets, as you're carrying him he says "Magic words, Boss. I've been waiting nine years to hear 'em. 'Kept you waiting, huh?' C'mon... say it for old time's sake." While there's no prompt for it visually whatsoever, Kojima-savvy players know that there's a hidden continuation if you press the button/key normally used for fulton extracting whilst carrying Miller. The dialogue that follows is chock full of this very trope.
    Venom Snake: Kept you waiting, huh?
    Miller: (excited gasp) It's really you, Snake... All these years without you... I knew this day would come.
  • Ocelot gets one of all people when he and Big Boss adopt a wolf puppy together in the TGS Demo, and Ocelot names him D.D. A massive Pet the Dog moment at the least.
    • After finding him as a pup, and then meeting DD for the first time on Motherbase, Snake picks the pup up and lets him lick away at his face. It's the first time in TPP that Snake is clearly happy.
  • The scene where Ocelot waves goodbye to Big Boss as he and D.D ride off in the helicopter together, it's such a brief moment but the slow deliberate pace at which he does it makes it seem all that much more heartfelt. It's stuff like this that really helps to reinforce the idea that Ocelot was Big Boss's one and only true friend.
  • DD's still warming hearts even on a mission. The way he wags his tail when you parachute him in, how excited he always seems to be by Snake's side. There's even a context command to pet and praise DD for doing a good job, and you can tell by his voice that Snake really means it. It's nice to see that even after all he's been through, Snake can still love DD the way he does.
  • Ocelot in general for this game. We get to see a different side to the devious Manipulative Bastard that has only been alluded to in the previous games, that of Big Boss's loyal subordinate who would go to the ends of the Earth for the man he loved and idolized, even readily altering his own memories and serving Venom Snake to sell the lie even further.
    • The fact that Ocelot isn't even loyally serving the real Big Boss but his Body Double instead is a small one. For the master of the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder who usually seems to only care about the real Big Boss, even with the sacrifice of his own memories it's still a nice gesture on the usually self-serving Ocelot's part.
  • One easily missed is a small, background detail from a recent game-play trailer (the one showing the FOB resource raiding mechanic) the design of the FOB, and probably the new Mother Base proper has designated berths for lifeboats. Whoever finished up preparing the new Facility seems to have made DAMN sure that, if History Repeats yet again, the personnel have a CHANCE to evacuate this time around.
  • A meta-example. After Hideo Kojima left/was forced out of Konami, they removed the words "A Hideo Kojima Game" from the game's box art. However, almost immediately upon its release, a great number of Steam reviewers left reviews that simply stated "A Hideo Kojima Game".
    • In reciprocation, Kojima issued a personal message on Launch Day, thanking all the fans who had been there along the way and saying that they were as much responsible for the development of the game as he was. Clearly, he's aware of the fan appreciation and response to what Konami has done, and this was a great nod to that.
  • If the player goes to Mother Base on their birthday, the player will be greeted by a majority of Diamond Dogs personnel singing Happy Birthday to Big Boss. Proof.
  • The reveal that despite all that's happened, despite becoming a Fallen Hero himself, Zero looked out for Big Boss, ensuring he and the man who would become Venom Snake got the medical treatment needed to keep them alive for nine years, placed Ocelot at their disposal and even funded Miller's Diamond Dogs. All because in the end, he cared that much for his old friend and despite it being ultimately too late, picked Snake over his grand scheme which he had realized wasn't going to do the world any good.
  • Snake playing with Quiet in the rain. To see such stoic, hardened soldiers having a moment to relax and just enjoy the simple things in life is rather sweet. The beautiful music helps too.
    • Also in the same scene, seeing the first implication that Venom Snake reciprocates Quiet's love.
  • In the tapes, it's revealed that Ocelot is one of the few people on the base who sticks up for Quiet, rebutting Kaz's angry concern about the hostile feelings she's generating from the Mother Base staff.
  • Ocelot and Kaz's reactions to what Huey did to Strangelove and tried doing to his son. The disgust in their voices just bubbles to the surface as they pass judgment on Huey.
    • Even more so when you recall Strangelove's work at MSF. Despite eventually moving on, it seems even Kaz appreciates her work and is upset that she died the way she did.
    • Ocelot in the cassette tapes chews out Huey in an epic fashion after catching him in a lie about his son. Considering Ocelot's own father willingly took a bullet to save his life, it's not hard to see why he has sympathy for Hal, whose father is the absolute opposite of The Sorrow.
    • While never the most likable of individuals, there's the fact that Strangelove still loved her son and did her best to get him away from trouble, even at the cost of her own life. Not to mention that some part of the AI Pod still functioned, recording her final words for posterity. And given how Otacon turns out as he grew up, Strangelove succeeded even in death.
    • Strangelove's recording of her final words has her lament over betraying The Boss's final will and wishes she could have passed it on to her own child so that he could succeed where she failed. It's a huge tearjerker until you remember who that child grows up to be and what he ends up doing. Then it becomes incredibly heartwarming. Through Otacon, Strangelove succeeded.
    • It even retroactively adds some Fridge Brilliance heartwarming to Metal Gear Solid. There are four people in Shadow Moses who arenít brainwashed and arenít loyal to Liquid. One is tortured to death by Ocelot before the game starts. One is killed by FOXDIE. One is shot by Sniper Wolf the moment she gets the chance. One is Otacon. While heís certainly useful to keep around, it seems incredibly out of character for his captors to never once harm him in any way, especially when Ocelotís primary way of making anyone do anything for him is torture. Ocelot, in his own weird way, showed Otacon mercy and kindness.
  • Snake and especially Kaz get an incredible moment in one of the later missions. The scene has to be seen to be believed. An unnamed general is paying you handsomely to assassinate his former men. Snake gloomily carries out the mission, killing the first target (although you can choose to Fulton him instead). But even he has a line he won't cross when he realizes that the remaining targets are children. Rather than kill them, he helps them escape and brings them to Mother Base. Upon arrival, however, he says to Kaz that he intends to recruit them into Diamond Dogs rather than free them from being child soldiers. Miller will have none of it. He smacks one of the kids on the side to demonstrate to Snake how weak the children are. The kid, in response, ''grabs'' Snake's rifle and aims it at Kaz, with Snake remarking that the kid's stronger than he looks. But Kaz, unfazed, grabs the rifle from the kid's hands, removes the magazine, and ejects the round in the chamber. Mind you, he does all of this in five seconds and with only one arm.
    • The player is then treated to the following exchange:
      Kaz: We've expanded our housing. They'll have their own quarters. Separate from ours, won't be counted as staff.
      Snake: So what, we're running a daycare now?
      Kaz: They'll learn how to read and write; do basic jobs.
      Snake: A chance at a real life... just not from behind a gun.
      Kaz: Being behind a gun is what we do, Boss. There's no room for angels in our heaven.
    • In one moment that is easy to miss, if you interrogate the first soldier, the only adult of the six, he says that he 'was only trying to protect them.' He deserted from on an African warlord so he could save the children. This guy had some serious balls.
    • It's nice knowing that despite their obsession with revenge, there's still a glimmer of the noble men they used to be.
  • The True Ending. Revolver Ocelot extracts Big Boss from the destroyed ambulance in Cyprus and leads him to a getaway motorcycle he's prepared in advance. After providing his friend with a new passport and travel documents, the two friends share a final smoke and their last quiet moment together, before seeing each other off for the final time.
    • Considering it's the last time in their lives where both men have a little peace, it's sweet to see Ocelot tenderly light his friend's cigar.
    • Big Boss's farewell message to Venom Snake is a big one. He congratulates the man on performing his role to perfection, how we made his legend together, and informs him that he's worthy of the title of Big Boss, and thanks him for all the sacrifices and suffering he's been forced to endure throughout the game. Gets even more heartwarming when you realize he's also talking to the players who were with him from the start.
    • After seeing the True Ending, a secret cassette tape is unlocked, which provides more information. At the end of the tape's first track, we get the following exchange:
    Ocelot: All right....John. I've never forgotten you in these nine years, but I have to forget you now.
    Big Boss (real): Adam, I'm counting on you.
  • The side mission series "Extract The Wandering Mother Base Soldiers" involves tracking down ragged, confused soldiers wandering around the combat zone. When you find them, they turn out to be surviving MSF operatives who, despite barely being able to stand, struggle to salute you all the same.
    Wandering Mother Base Soldier: B..Boss... I knew you were alive!
    Wandering Mother Base Soldier: I never believed you were dead. Not for a minute.
    Wandering Mother Base Soldier: It's you, Boss! Allow me to serve under you again!
    Wandering Mother Base Soldier: Nine years... Nine years I've waited for this day.
    • Playing Love Deterrence on the iDroid also has the effect of attracting said MSF staff to your direction. Hiding in the cardboard box has a similar effect. Even after nine years, they still remember Paz's song and Big Boss's antics.
  • Even The Man on Fire, of all characters, gets one at the end of his story thread. Upon realizing that Venom Snake isn't the same Snake who killed him back in Operation: Snake Eater, what's left of Volgin just lets Venom go, and finally allows himself to die for good. Remembering how his character treated people who got in his path in MGS3, you would probably think that Volgin would just tear this imposter apart for stringing him along, then keep searching for the genuine article. But no. Instead he lets his anger—the force that kept him going after death—dissipate, and with that, he stops terrorizing some soldier who had nothing to do with his demise (outside of being a very convincing doppelganger of Naked Snake). Perhaps he sees Venom Snake as a fellow victim of Big Boss's actions, having been unwittingly turned into his Body Double? In any case, one more ghost from Big Boss's past is finally put to rest.
  • Paz's "final" tape contains the following message:
    It is no mystery now. I am just a phantom, a fragment of the mind you have lost. The real me died a long time ago. But even so...more so...I can tell you what you are really feeling. The real emotion that is locked away at the bottom of your heart. Let it fly out. Let it guide you. Live. I think it's my job to tell you that...That is why I exist. So this tape is the last one. Once you are done listening to it, I am one phantom limb that will be gone for good. My flesh, my bones, joining the silt on the ocean floor. But do not forget... As long as you remember me, I will always live within you. Not a phantom limb, or a phantom anything. As part of your heart. I will always be your angel of peace. So I know exactly how to finish. Say "peace"!
    • This in and of itself is a bit of Fridge Brilliance: Big Boss clearly grew attached to Paz and was heartbroken over her death. But your character, the Medic (a.k.a. Venom Snake), didn't share such a bond with her nine years ago. So if Paz was this much of a positive influence on the Medic's actions both as himself and as Venom Snake, imagine what effect she had on the real Big Boss, who didn't have the "luxury" of nine years in a coma to forget about her sacrifice at that same point in time. It makes total sense that Big Boss would walk into that graveyard again, and tell his son to "Let it goÖand live." As if for just a moment, Paz was present again.
  • Quiet's love for Venom Snake was so great that she spoke English to guide Pequod's helicopter to him and save his life, knowing that by doing so she would activate the vocal cord parasites and condemn herself to death. Also doubles as a tearjerker.
    • Making it worse? Pequod's cheerful reaction when he realizes that it was Quiet who saved the Boss' life. Here at last was someone other than Venom also acknowledging her existence and humanity...only for the moment to pass so soon and so quickly.
  • The scene in which Quiet recovers Shabani's necklace has two:
    • First, she jumps into a room contaminated with chlorine to get it out—even she doesn't come out of it completely unscathed, since she's barely conscious and badly burned. It pretty much alleviates any concern about which side she's batting for. Even Miller seems stunned, his words of dismissal half-hearted and almost wavering.
    • Second, Venom Snake's reaction. He loses all composure when she jumps into the tank, ready to go immediately and at the very least recover her body. Then, when she climbs out, he instantly runs to her, picks her up, and carries her all the way to the medical strut himself. He definitely returned her feelings.
  • A meta-example: After Kojima's falling out with Konami and Konami removing Kojima from the credits of the game, fans erupted in anger and started stressing that MGSV is "A Hideo Kojima Game" whether Konami wants it to be or not, including some retailers.
  • The odd sort of friendship that develops between young Mantis and Liquid.
    • An arguable case. Ocelot's tapes state that Eli was the first and seemingly only person that Tretij wasn't a puppet to and that they developed a "symbiosis". In addition, the 'phantom episode' shows the two holding hands before making an escape from the island.
  • Mission 45, the moment he regains consciousness after being administered with anti-venom, Snake's very first question is to ask his rescuers how Quiet is doing. It's obvious that her love for Venom was not unrequited.
  • When Miller learns the truth about Big Boss' phantom that he'd soon be working alongside all game long, and that the real Big Boss is leaving the body double in his and Ocelot's care to go build his own nation, his response? State that he's willing to back up Big Boss' phantom (aka: us) and the cloned sons to send Big Boss to hell. Not the most positive reaction, but it shows that he cares very much for the Big Boss he'll come to know, even if he is a fake.
    • This, in turn, mirroring the memories of Che Guevara in Peace Walker, highlights how a part of Miller still believes in Big Boss as he knew him: the legendary soldier who befriended him and stood against the world through MSF. Not the Big Boss who seemingly turned his back on him and all of Diamond Dogs. And that Venom Snake is as good a substitute to the real Big Boss as any.
  • The 'Truth' tape featuring Zero and Paz; set against Paz's early recruitment by Cipher and detailing her assignment with Big Boss, has a number of heartwarming elements in stark contrast with the later relationship between the two. Zero offers her tea and drinks, even dresses up in what's suggested to be the first time in months rather than his pajamas to greet her, and actively enjoys the banter Paz offers while they discuss her assignment and Paz calls him out on a few things.
  • After beating Mission 46, if you go back to your base and greet your soldiers, it turns out that they have learned the truth about you being Big Boss' body double. But instead of berating you and calling you out as an impostor, they still accept you as their leader, and will follow you, no matter who you are. Awwwww.
  • In the final battle against Sahalenthropus, Pequod will come to your aid firing salvo after salvo with whatever the helicopter has on-board, all without your command, even if his opponent is a 15-meter-tall, death-spewing mecha. Undying Loyalty at its finest.
    • And if he gets shot down, he'll not only survive but come back for another round, drawing fire from Sahalenthropus' missile pods.
  • Around Mother Base, chances are one will find "Safety First/Under Construction" signage with stylized images of Paz on them. Implying that not only have the Diamond Dogs forgiven her for her actions at the end of Peace Walker, but that they refuse to let her memory be cast out into the sea as well.
  • A meta-example. Stefanie Joosten, the Dutch-born model who provided her likeness and voice for the character of Quiet, is a long-time fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise and even has her own Twitch and YouTube channels where she streams herself playing The Phantom Pain. In episode 7 of her playthrough of the game, she finally encounters Quiet for the first time. Stefanie acts positively giddy with excitement over the fact that one of the game's main characters is based on her, and she keeps referring to her as "me" instead of "Quiet." The video also contains a Funny Moment where Stefanie defeats Quiet by kicking her while she's in the middle of regenerating her health via photosynthesis. Stefanie, and most of the people watching the live stream, had no idea that it was possible to do that.
  • A subtle one, but the fact that while Big Boss initially loathed being referred to as "Big Boss" in Peace Walker he's long warmed up to it to the point of unironically using it in a note addressed to Venom in the finale.
  • Even though Miller made his thorough dislike and distrust of Quiet clear when she sustains too much damage in the field, he gets her out of the area and sent her to the medbay. Even though his line is the same as for the other buddies, it's clear that he doesn't want any of Snake's allies to die, whether he likes them or not.
  • The beautiful symbolism contained in the ashes scene is worth discussing because of what it encapsulates about the philosophy of Outer Heaven. Big Boss explains Outer Heaven's logic to Snake in Metal Gear 2 with the following sentiment: He wants a world where soldiers are honored for their heroism and valued as loyal comrades rather than disposable tools. The moment Big Boss marks himself with the ashes of his fallen comrades he is saying with his actions, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he loves his men. Big Boss is anointed as the warrior king, a man after the warrior's own heart who understands and respects the spirit of the warrior. There is no doubt in the minds of his men afterward that Big Boss is anything other than the real deal; their leader is eternally loyal. He won't scatter their memory but will carry their memory into battle with him, literally manifested as the beautiful, invaluable diamonds he always thought of them as. Outer Heaven encapsulates a loyalty between warriors that transcends even death, they will always be with one another. Where other warrior kings would wear a crown, Big Boss is crowned in the ashes of his men because his troops are HIS treasure. Big Boss is a man who commanded such fanatical loyalty from his men not because he was the strongest warrior in the world (which he was) but because he was a warrior after the warrior's own heart; the spirit of the warrior was always with him, and he has the respect and an understanding for the value of a warrior that no other commander on Earth possessed. If there was ever a moment in the series where Snake fully becomes Big Boss then it would be this; where he's showing the most honest, unguarded sign of respect and love that he can for his soldiers.
    • And what truly seals it is the following moment when you get back to your ACC after the cutscene: Notice the small, shining item on Venom Snake's left shoulder? Your eyes don't deceive you. He is indeed carrying a diamond on his person. Right at the bottom portion of the Diamond Dogs emblem on the battle uniform, you can find a small yet bright diamond. All the words that Snake meant at that moment become all the more real once you catch that special detail.
  • There is a hidden cutscene in the game that has a very specific condition for triggering: there can be no nuclear weapons in any FOBs, and any that exist must be disarmed. The cutscene shows Miller holding a Dawn of an Era speech where he tells the Diamond Dogs that the total disarmament of the world is an accomplishment to be celebrated, but their work is far from over: now, they must work to ensure that the world stays nuke-free, and take action if anyone tries to build a bomb again. There is also the meta factor that this cutscene can only come about if enough players care enough about the world around them to work together for a nuke-free world. The chances of this happening legitimately may be remote, but the hope of a world free from the specter of nuclear war is enough to drive one to work towards a better future...
    • On 29th of July 2020, near 5 years after the premiere, this was achieved by a dedicated group of players, who started to push hard since March that year. Even if their achievement is only restricted to PlayStation 3 copies of the game and servers, it still took extensive effort and massive coordination between as many players as possible, all while doing a continuous disarming sweep.