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  S E R I E S   P L O T   A N D   C H A R A C T E R   A N A L Y S I S



Metal Gear Series Plot and Character Analysis
(in chronological order)

written by 'AR'
G. Ettinger
andvariar@comcast.net
http://semperar.livejournal.com
v2.1, May 2, 2005

UPDATE INFORMATION:

version 1.0
     basic guide released on GameFAQs!

version 1.1
     minor spelling and typo corrections, added Goodcow's Farm to approved
     hosts.  patched concerns regarding Ocelot's age and background.

version 1.2 (unreleased)
     cleaned up a lot of the organization and headers.  

version 1.3
     added "Liquid's damn stupid arm" addendum.  Corrected FoxDie 
     information.  minor additions to "the philosophers" section.

version 1.5
     noted Ocelot's parentage in the "Liquid's Damn Stupid Arm" section.
     Please stop reminding me about it.  Changed some of the information
     regarding "Zanzibar Land" and the MG2 background.  Added Lilac Man's
     excellent Solidus theory.  

version 2.0
     this was another biggie.  added a new theory about Liquid, explained
     Ocelot's parentage (in MORE detail,) fixed data about the MSX, added 
     my theory about the Legacy microfilm, and wrote an enormous new
     section about about Metal Gear technology and its variations.  also,
     i tried not to get offended by the fact that one-third of readers so
     far rated this guide as 'not informative or helpful' :(

version 2.1 (this one!)
     minor update.  some removals, minor changes, and a whole lot of new
     info in the guide-info and similar sections.  bigger update to 
     follow in the near future.  you know, after finals.


<------------------------------------------------------------------------->
           your window ought be at least this wide, wot?
<------------------------------------------------------------------------->



DISCLAIMINGS!
metal gear solid in all its glory is the property of KONAMI CORPORATION.
http://www.konami.co.jp
http://www.konami.com

the characters and concepts therein are the fabrication of Hideo Kojima
and his excellent development staff.

This particular work of text is mine, Copyright George Ettinger III, 2005.  

Canonical concepts are Konami, opinions are my own derivation.  

All of my personal interpretations are UNofficial.


===========================================================================
As of 5/02/05 I approve distribution of this document at

- GameFAQs,                                    http://www.gamefaqs.com
    i think we all know this site.

- Philosopher's Legacy,              http://philosopherslegacy.fu8.com
    my buddy Stampede's excellent MGS resource site.

- Goodcow's Farm,                          http://www.goodcowfilms.com
    a cozy webspace provided to me by the adorable goodcow.

- Gamespot,                                    http://www.gamespot.com
    part of GameFAQs network.  came with the deal.


but not neoseeker.  No, I'm not submitting it to neoseeker.  go away.
don't email me asking me to register for neoseeker.  I don't want to.


Sites hosting this guide right now WITHOUT asking (jerkwads,)

- AOL Games Channel,                      http://games.channel.aol.com
    i just found this sitting there, in the Metal Gear Acid section
    no less.  swiping my guide from gameFAQs AND putting it up for a
    game it doesn't even mention.  thank you very much time-warner.
    at least they left my name in it.  last i knew, AOL wasn't a CNET
    or gamespot affiliate.

if you find this hosted elsehwere, do let me know.


===========================================================================
ENORMOUS SPOILER WARNING.

MORE SPOILER WARNING.

Honestly, every major plot spoiler in each MGS lies ahead.


===========================================================================
GAMES THAT THIS FAQ IS WRITTEN FOR (HOSTS PLEASE NOTE)

Applicable titles:
   Metal Gear Solid (PSX)
   Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (NGC)
   Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)
   Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (XBOX, PS2)
   Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)

Non-applicable titles!
   Metal Gear (MSX2, NES)
   Metal Gear 2 (MSX2)
   Snake's Revenge (NES)
   Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (GBC, Japan, UK)
   Metal Gear Solid (GBC, US)
   Metal Gear AC!D (PSP)

Why the discernment, you ask?  A couple reasons.

For Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, I have not personally played these games,
I only know what we learn from the 'Solid' games.  Thus I only touch on
these games in general plot and not in detail.

For Snake's Revenge and the Gameboy Color Metal Gear, neither of these
two games are canonical.  'Snake's Revenge' is a bizarre, unofficial
pseudo-sequel, and 'Ghost Babel' is a sort of alternative story to the
PSX Metal Gear Solid.  Niether actually take place or fit in the main
storyline.

I have recently made the discernment between NES and MSX, originally
jumbled only by my own lack of education.  I'd like to thank reader Diego
for the explanation here; simply put, the original two Metal Gear games,
in all their canonical glory, are titles for the Japanese MSX2 Computer.  

Metal Gear 1 was made into a Famicom (and then NES) game.  The
unreleased Metal Gear 2 is still in MSX purgatory, not counting some
valiant fan efforts.

As for MG Acid, I am simply still not aware of any canonical bindings it
may have to the story of the 'solid' series.  it takes place years after
the cliffhanger ending of Sons of Liberty, and there seem to be more than
a few conflicts with the overall plot of the other games.  I may yet be
wrong, but so far AC!D just doesn't fit.  It seems to me that Kojima has
taken a 'parallel' sort of approach to it, much like Ghost Babel.


===========================================================================
TABLE OF CONTENTS
As usual, use the edit>find function to skip directly to a section 
using one of the finder names next to its title.

--Introduction

I.   Snake Eater Era

      I-A.  "The Boss" [ SNATHE ]
      I-B.  "Naked Snake / Big Boss" [ SNANAK ]

II.  MSX Era

      II-A.  "Solid Snake" (MSX Era)  [ MSXSOL ]

III. Twin Snakes Era

      III-A.  "Liquid Snake"  [ TWILIQ ]
      III-B.  "Solid Snake" (Twin Snakes Era) [ TWISOL ] 

IV.  Sons of Liberty Era

      IV-A.  "Solidus Snake" [ SONDUS ]
      IV-B.  "Raiden"  [ SONRAI ]
      IV-C.  "Solid Snake"  (Sons of Liberty Era) [ SONSOL ]

V.   Omnipresent Characters and Forces

      V-A.  "The Philosophers" and "The Patriots" [ OMNPHI ]
      V-B.  "Revolver Ocelot" [ OMNOCE ]

VI.  Canonical "Metal Gear" Variations

      VI-A.  "Shagohod" [ METSHA ]
      VI-B.  MSX Metal Gear models [ METMSX ]
      VI-C.  "Metal Gear REX" [ METREX ]
      VI-D.  "Metal Gear RAY" and "Arsenal Gear" [ METRAY ]

VII. What The Hell

      VII-A.  "Liquid's Severed Arm and Disembodied Spirit" [ WHALIQ ]


===========================================================================
--INTRODUCTION

  v1.1 INTRODUCTION
yes, its gonna seem really frickin pretentious for me to do a 
philosophical analysis of the Metal Gear storyline, but I don't 
do it out of elitism or pretention.  I am not trying to impress 
anyone or make any profound arguments.  I am doing this simply 
because I love Metal Gear Solid and its characters.    

I really just wanna make some sense of the grander scheme of things.  
think of it as a timeline; the how and whys of metal gear, from the 
end of World War II to nearly 2010.

With the addition of Snake Eater, the overall plot of the Metal Gear 
world has completely blossomed, and for those who haven't taken in the 
whole saga or are missing parts I want to share everything I can.  
Metal Gear Solid opened a whole new medium in interactive entertainment, 
merging cinema and gameplay into one of the finest examples of 
interactive storytelling today.

The story and characters of Metal Gear Solid are brilliant, made rife 
with conflict and depth.  my goal in writing this is, simply, that 
somebody somewhere will discover something within the characters and 
concepts of Metal Gear that makes them think.

I made this entirely out of interest.  I am not attempting to start 
any semantics arguments or make any fanboy enemies.  This said, keep 
in mind; parts of the story that I recant are just that: the story.  
Parts that I infer or concepts I interpret are just THAT; my opinions.  
I make no claim that what I say is law, just a way of looking at it.


  v2.1 INTRODUCTION
well now!  i wrote the entire 1.0 release of this guide over the course
of two insomniac nights back in March, and now it's doubled in size.  I
once wrote a guide to those adorable chao critters in the original Sonic
Adventure for Dreamcast, but that was nothing as intensive as this.

i had a feeling I was biting off more than I could chew, but i had no idea
what a sizable undertaking this would become.  My chao guide drew a few
readers and a fair number of redundant emails, and was generally a bland
experience.  

but gads, did this become big.  my inbox has been stormed for the past few
months and is finally tapering down.  writing this I expecting little more
than the occasional emailed scorn for this-or-that opinion I may have
expressed.  So much of this guide is inference, and thereby just the 
opinions of little ole me, that I worried it would not be received well.

on the contrary!  not only has there been little or no controversy, but
the amount of CONSTRUCTIVE comments I've recieved over these weeks has
been extraordinary.  Most of the updates after the second release were
driven by reader-contributed info and evidence.  the amount of hearty
pats-on-the-back and thought-provoking notions I've received is fantastic,
and I must express my thanks for it.

seriously, great thanks to all of you who have encouraged and contributed
to this 112k+ monstrosity (yeah, I know there's bigger out there, but this
is a hulluva lot for somebody with my attention span.)

i tell ya, the greatest folk in the world are gameFAQs folk.

anyhow, thats just a sort of nod to all the folks who've lent their
encouragement.  it is well-appreciated, and I'm glad that what started as
a livejournal rant about patriotism and the philosophies of metal gear has
spread into something much more thoughtful to so many people.


===========================================================================
I.  SNAKE EATER ERA (1964-1972) 
===========================================================================

This is, simply put, the earliest recorded/playable portion of the Metal
Gear story.  Most of these events play out in Metal Gear Solid 3.  Any
developments beyond this take place up until the MSX era.

This encompasses the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater as well as
the later foundations of FOXHOUND and the Les Enfants Terribles project.
Practically all of Big Boss's development lies here.


===========================================================================
I-A, "THE BOSS" [ SNATHE ]

The story of Metal Gear, in its entirety, begins with The Boss.  The 
Boss is a woman who, in her mid-20s, assembled a cooperative special 
forces unit of american and soviet operatives in WWII that played a 
significant role in the allied victory (the "Cobra Unit".)  Upon the 
start of the cold war, the Cobras were disbanded as her loyalties 
remained with the United States.

The Boss trained Naked Snake ("John," "Jack," "Big Boss".)  for at 
least a decade after WWII they were partners, and he was her last and 
perhaps greatest apprentice.  They were closer than allies, than friends 
or family.  In the late fifties they parted ways, Snake no longer her 
fledgling but fully capable as an independent operative.

in 1964, in the height of the cold war, The Boss defected to the soviet 
union, rejoining the Cobras under the ambitions of Colonel Volgin's 
radicalist unit.  There she gave her new hosts a pair of american-made 
nuclear shells, along with the return of their asylum-seeking weapons 
development scientist Dr Sokolov (the obligatory scientist-in-distress 
of MGS3.)  Unexpectedly, Volgin used one of these shells to eradicate a 
soviet development site, removing evidence of his insurrections against 
the soviet government and Premier Khruschev.

Naked Snake, her last disciple, was enlisted to find her and eliminate 
her along with the growing soviet threat she has enabled.  She never 
expresses to him any purposes behind her defection, only that she is 
'loyal to the end.'

Only in the end do we understand her purpose.  only once snake's mission 
is complete does he understand.  The Boss's defection was, at first, an 
order.  She was to defect to the soviet union, specifically to Volgin's 
command, as a ruse by the US government.  

Volgin had stolen a vast wealth from the Philosophers, the underlying 
force behind the US, Chinese, and Soviet governments.  After the time 
of World War I, they were a united force with an enormous collected 
wealth.  by the end of WWII, their loyalties were broken and the 
organization lost its international cooperation.  The bulk of the 
'Philosophers' Legacy' was left in independent hands in the USSR.  
Through some deception and numerous details, it was obtained by 
Colonel Volgin and it was being used to fuel his weapons development as 
he planned to oust Khruschev from power in a military coup.

The Boss was the only american soldier infamous enough and useful enough 
to be accepted into Volgin's ranks as a defector.  Under orders, she 
betrayed her own nation.  Her mission was to reclaim the Philosophers' 
Legacy for America, where the remaining group was now known as the 
'Patriots.'

Naked Snake was needed as no more than a witness to her defection.  It 
would lend credibility to her 'betrayal' of the United States, and 
altogether seal the deal.  The problem came when Volgin used one of 
the nuclear shells over russian soil.

The Russian government was in upheaval over the incident.  A foreign 
detonation over soviet territory was an act of war.  Neither Lyndon 
Johnson nor Nikita Khruschev wanted the cold war to erupt into a 
blazing hot one.  Unfortunately, the balance of power within the soviet 
government could not allow Khruschev to hold back hostility simply by 
word.  The USSR needed proof that this event was the fault of an 
american defector, and not directly of the US government.  To keep that 
detonation from being an act of war, the Boss had to die.

The Boss had a new mission.  To carry out her defection to the end, 
and ultimately be killed by Naked Snake, her last disciple.  She had 
to play the charade to the end, to no-one's knowledge but her own, 
before finally giving her life for her country.

With her death there would be balance and deterrance.  War would be 
averted.  Her sacrifice would save the world.  But it could never be 
known.  For her sacrifice to save america, she would go down in history 
as a treasonous war criminal who instigated a nuclear crisis.  A monster 
that threatened both America and the Soviet Union with the effects of 
her betrayal.

To save the world, to prove her loyalty to 'the end' that her government 
ordered of her, she had to die without honor.  She was ordered by the 
United States government to fight to the death on the side of the Soviet 
Union.  To her own death, at Snake's hands.  That was her role.  She 
fulfilled it entirely.

The Cobras, her former unit, joined with her again upon her defection.  
Their loyalties were entirely to her.  She knowingly had to send her 
friends, the disciples she trained and fought with against the axis, to 
their deaths at Snake's hands.  That burden was hers to bear as well, 
all for the sake of her loyalty to America.

She could not let Snake join her.  She very well could have tested his 
loyalties and found him to choose her over the United States, but that 
wasn't the point; he had to stay behind.  He had to be the one to stand 
against her, to destroy her.  She could not let him fail, but she could 
not make him succeed.  She had to be defeated.  She needed to be killed 
by Snake, to complete her mission.

In all of Metal Gear Solid mythos, The Boss is the truest 'patriot.'  
The Boss makes the greatest sacrifices, even beyond the finality of her 
own death, for her country, and for her loyalty to the american 
government.  She makes no choice of her own in this; she fights for 
America, loyal to the end.


===========================================================================
I-B, "NAKED SNAKE / BIG BOSS" [ SNANAK ]

Naked Snake was raised, trained, and entirely made into what he was by 
the Boss.  She was his master, his mentor, and his family, and she had 
betrayed their home nation.  He was the only one believed capable of 
eliminating her, so he was given the task.

Snake fought tooth-and-nail against the odds, against his former master.  
She was his enemy.  She had betrayed the United States for reasons he 
could not fathom.  She had betrayed him personally just as much as she 
had the nation.  He was nothing if not reluctant, but he followed his 
mission to the letter.  He neutralized Volgin's nuclear threat, and 
moreover, he eliminated the boss.  

One by one he tore through her disciples, the cobras, who fought to the 
death for no ideals beyond their loyalty to her.  It all ended when he 
faced her one-on-one, and had to be the one to put her out of her 
misery with her own sidearm.

He had no joy in what he had done.  He only did it for his mission, for 
his loyalty.  Not to America, but to her.  His only satisfaction was the 
success of his mission, the safeguarding of the nation he proclaimed 
fealty to.  

Fealty.  I do not say loyalty because his loyalty was most genuinely with 
the Boss.  But he chose his duties under the United States flag over his 
feelings for her.  

Snake defeated the Boss, proving himself the greatest warrior in 
America's arsenal.  The president congratulated him, bestowing him the 
title 'Big Boss.'  

It was only then that he came to understand what had transpired.  He 
understood why everything had fallen into place the way it was.  He 
understood the boss's mission.  He realized that the country she swore her 
life to threw her away for its own sake.  To a nation, her loyalty was an 
asset, and her self was expendable.

But not to him.  At the very height of his career, he had lost all faith 
in the United States government.  He saw that their most loyal soldier, 
who would give her life for their goals, could be thrown away so easily.  
The Boss was scapegoated, dishonored, and murdered for the sake of the 
US Government, and they had led him to do it with his own hands.

The story of Snake Eater ends at her grave, as we the viewers reach these 
revelations at the same time the newly-christened Big Boss does.  That 
story ends there, but Big Boss's life truly begins at that point.

After operation Snake Eater, the experimental 'FOX' unit Naked Snake was 
operating under was officially organized into a US military special 
operations unit.  Under Big Boss's leadership, the fledgling FOXHOUND was 
established in 1971.  The best of the best, in skills, technology and 
resources, FOXHOUND was an assemblage of some of the most lethal freaks 
the army could muster.

No matter how much further Big Boss's career in the US Military went over 
these years, his loyalty to the nation had truly ended in 1964 with the 
Boss's death.

Slowly assembling an enormous wealth over the following decade, somewhere 
in the late seventies or early eighties Big Boss began and completed an 
extensive plan of subversion.  By the mid-eighties, his independent 
military nation 'Outer Heaven' finally emerged in the southern jungles of 
Africa.  Big Boss had constructed his own small mercenary country, a place 
for disillusioned soldiers such as himself to find work in what they did 
best without swearing fealty to a government that would dishonor them.

Outer Heaven was built for warriors in a world where they were slowly 
becoming unwanted.  As olive branches spread throughout the world, the 
times changed but soldiers did not.  Big Boss had always been a solider.  
Fighting was all he was good at.  His dream, manifested in Outer Heaven, 
was a haven for soldiers such as himself that sought to live their lives 
without being the expendable property of a nation they no longer cared 
for.

The Boss's death left him a warrior but he was no longer a patriot in 
any respect.  He left any allegiances he had to America and went to 
fortifying Outer Heaven.  Despite its size, it was a horrifically 
formidable force to the rest of the modern world.  Within its boundaries, 
the first 'Metal Gear' (supposedly the first derivitive of Granin's 
leaked designs from Snake Eater) began its construction.  

Metal Gear finished what the tread-driven Shagohod began.  Metal Gear, 
in all its variations (except perhaps Ray) is a walking tank capable of 
launching a long-range nuclear strike from any terrain.  Supposedly, its 
range could rival silo-borne ICBMs.  When news of this reached America 
in the early 90's, Outer Heaven became a threat to national security.  
To defeat Big Boss, the founder of FOXHOUND and former "Naked Snake," 
America sent FOXHOUND's best: the operative 'Grey Fox.'  When Grey Fox 
was captured in Outer Heaven, their last resort was FOXHOUND's youngest 
operative, Solid Snake.

===========================================================================
II.  MSX ERA (approx 1985-1999)
===========================================================================

The MSX was home to the two canonical 'old-skool' Metal Gear games, Metal
Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.  While the NES did eventually find a
port of Metal Gear, the second one never reached us.  Either ways, the
completion of Big Boss's arc and Solid Snake's rise to glory are told
here, as well as the underrated and unfortunately obscure story of Frank
Jaeger, FOXHOUND's Grey Fox and later the Ninja.

These events include Solid Snake's FOXHOUND career and the rise of Big
Boss's mercenary nations, Outer Heaven and later Zanzibar Land.


===========================================================================
II-A, "SOLID SNAKE" (MSX ERA) [ MSXSOL ]

Solid Snake was practically raised in FOXHOUND.  His career in it began 
apparently after Big Boss left the United States, so if they were ever 
together in FOXHOUND it must have been brief.

Solid Snake was one of the three 'snake triplets;' near-identical clones 
of Big Boss created by the government's 'Les Enfants Terribles' project 
in 1972, shortly after FOXHOUND's foundation.

In the wake of Big Boss's blazing successes, and clear leadership 
capabilities, genetic research found great applications within him.  He 
was considered to be a genetically ideal soldier, and his DNA was 
harvested for testing.  Government scientists determined a number of 
genetic factors within him that were linked to various skills and 
inherent traits that don't just come from 'training.'

The notion was that Big Boss was a fountain of 'soldier genes,' genome 
sequences that could make the difference between a born leader and a 
born failure.  The 'Les Enfants Terrible' project sought to capitalize 
the notion to produce nothing short of a 'sequel.'  Three children, 
almost entirely identical to Big Boss, were born; Solid, Liquid, and 
Solidus.

While Solidus remains enigmatically separate from the 'twins,' the main 
two are rather clearly defined: one is tweaked to express more of the 
dominant characteristics possible within Big Boss's DNA, and the other 
more of the recessives.  They're still nigh-identical, but at the deepest 
level one could be considered inherently 'superior.'

Make note now that Solidus's origin is a very blurry subject.  His 
origins are likely in the project as well, but he lived a very different
life.  I will explain this in detail in the Solidus section, [ SONDUS ].

Solid Snake, upon his birth, was chosen to be superior  (though this 
doesn't mean he WAS 'superior' per se.)  His career in FOXHOUND was 
rather prominent, but he was not the first choice to deal with the 
Outer Heaven crisis.  Frank Jaeger, known in FOXHOUND as Gray Fox, was 
sent to defeat Big Boss but was taken hostage.  The promising young 
Solid Snake was then sent in.

Snake fought his way through Outer Heaven, rescuing Gray Fox and reaching 
Big Boss.  Knowing the man only as a traitor who abandoned his unit and 
his country, he fought and defeated Big Boss for the sake of his mission.  
Metal Gear destroyed, he returned to the United States a small hero, 
earning his rightful place in FOXHOUND.

As the years passed, Snake firmly became a career soldier.  From an early 
age, the only thing he knew for sure was what he was good at; fighting.  
He was a born soldier, and he found it suited him best to fight for the 
government.  Though not a devout patriot, he was loyal to the United 
States as their operative.  He did his job.

Gray Fox, Snake's closest friend in the unit, soon left FOXHOUND.  In 
the late nineties, he resurfaced, now the mercenary leader of a small 
asian nation akin to Outer Heaven, called 'Zanzibar Land.'  His actual 
superior in the endeavor was none other than Big Boss, still alive after 
the fall of Outer Heaven.  Grey Fox and Big Boss began rebuilding what 
Outer Heaven once had, including retstarting work on the Metal Gear 
project.

Unaware of these details, Snake was sent yet again to defeat Metal Gear, 
but in the course of his mission he had to eliminate Gray Fox, his closest 
friend.  He went into his mission a soldier, loyal to his country, and 
moreover loyal to his mission.  He had no intention of failing.  He 
reached Gray Fox and, barehanded amidst a minefield, fought him to the 
death.  The prize, stolen OILIX petroleum microbes and the destruction of
Metal Gear, were in Snake's hands.

Snake emerged victorious, but he knew the cost.  They were friends, best 
friends, even in death.  As men, as human beings, they were friends.  As 
soldiers, as men of allegiance, they were enemies.  Snake had to uphold 
his orders and serve the united states, and Fox had chosen a different 
path.  Fox, like Big Boss before him, had grown disillusioned with the 
life he spent as a tool for politicians.  He was a solider, and would 
always be a soldier, but he did not want to fight for a nation he did not 
believe in.  On his deathbed he could explain himself to Snake, but it 
changed nothing; Snake fought for the United States, and Grey Fox fought 
for Big Boss.  They were friends and enemies, and Snake was the 
victorious enemy over his fallen friend.

Snake pushed on, eliminating again the threat of Metal Gear and facing 
Big Boss for the second time.  Before they fought, Big Boss made the 
lofty claim that he was Snake's father; it did not weaken Snake's resolve 
to his mission, but the words haunted him nonetheless.  He defeated and 
ultimately killed Big Boss, in a grim spectacle completely mirroring 
Naked Snake's reluctant triumph over The Boss thirty years earlier.

Naked Snake defeated The Boss, earning him unparalleled prestige.  He had 
killed the greatest soldier of the time, and more than that, his closest 
friend.  Solid Snake had been forced to fight and kill his own closest 
friend, Gray Fox, and then kill Big Boss, the greatest warrior of his 
time... and possibly his own father.  Solid Snake, much like Naked Snake 
thirty years earlier, returned home both a hero... and a broken man.

Snake left the military, and retreated to Alaska, where he lived alone for 
years to come, happily away from war and the conflicts of choosing duty 
and allegiance.

In his absence, the FOXHOUND unit found a new prodigy, and soon a new 
leader, in Liquid Snake.


===========================================================================
III.  TWIN SNAKES ERA (approx 1999-2006) 
===========================================================================

After Big Boss's final demise and Solid Snake's retirement, FOXHOUND
spiraled out of control.  Big Boss was crushed but his legacy lived on
with what proved to be an insatiable ferocity.

Twin Snakes is the revamped title for Metal Gear Solid.  The PSX original
did not have this surname; it was added for the Gamecube remake.  Whether
or not I enjoyed that particular game (MGS2-style gameplay on a Gamecube
controller is an abomination under the Lord), its subtitle is appropriate
and suits the story.

Thus this is the story of the first Metal Gear Solid, be it PSX original
or NGC remake.  Solid Snake is called out of retirement to deal with the
rebellion of FOXHOUND against the US government.  This is the point at
which the sons of Big Boss are finally brought face-to-face.


===========================================================================
III-A, "LIQUID SNAKE" [ TWILIQ ]

Liquid is the first 'villain' I can address here, but not by individual 
importance.  Were the stories more fleshed out, I would LOVE to 
understand and explore the intricacies of Big Boss during the MSX era 
or better yet, Gray Fox.  The 'villains' of Metal Gear are ALL important 
because they are not two-dimensional or static personas.  Though the 
unit members and minibosses (cobras, FOXHOUND, dead cell, you name it) 
may simply be flunkies to the higher authority, that higher authority is 
always a genuine character with a depth to explore.  If I haven't made 
that clear already I hope I am doing so right now.  

The greatest boon made to the Metal Gear plotline is the story of Snake 
Eater... the hero you play as is the same enemy leader that Solid Snake 
faces in Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2.  His arc, rise and decline, are 
beautifully shown in Snake Eater.  Whether or not it is obvious, many 
characters in MGS follow this concept.  Liquid was not necessarily a 
'villain' when he began in FOXHOUND, we simply don't know.  Gray Fox, 
well, he's an entire story of his own; I really wish we learn more about 
him.  Getting back to the point, Liquid is as important a character as 
Solid Snake, and I hope to explain why.

Liquid Snake, labelled as the 'inferior' of the two at birth, began a 
military career despite lacking the 'privileged' start that Solid Snake 
had received.  He rose through the ranks of FOXHOUND quickly and became 
the unit commander between 2002 and 2004.  Along with a small force of 
'Next Generation Special Forces' soldiers and the rest of FOXHOUND, he 
staged an insurrection at the nuclear disposal facility on Shadow Moses 
Island in Alaska's Fox Archipelago in 2005.

Liquid's goals were not immediately made obvious, but they soon fell 
into place.  Shadow Moses island was the site of development for Metal 
Gear Rex, the most dangerous and politically unforgiveable variation of 
Metal Gear yet... under production by the US government.  Seizing this 
was his primary bargaining chip.  

Metal Gear Rex was the modus operandi Metal Gear; walking nuclear-strike 
tank.  It was made more lethal by its unprecedented ability to strike any 
point in the world with a undetectable nuclear warhead launched from any 
solid terrain.  It was a completely underground project. as its entire 
conception violated countless international treaties.  Liquid could 
threaten more than a nuclear strike, he could threaten the entire balance 
of power in the world by revealing the government's hand in Rex's 
creation.

Liquid's rebellion gave him control of the entire facility, and he was 
in a suitable place to make demands.  His demands were simple; an 
exorbitant cash sum, and the remains of Big Boss.  Summarily, Liquid was 
well aware of his own origins.  The US Government had secured Big Boss's 
remains after the Zanzibar Land uprising, and continued their genetic research 
where they left off in the seventies; the Next-Generation Special Forces 
soldiers were 'genome soldiers, genetically altered soldiers that 
benefited from Big Boss's 'soldier genes.'  With Metal Gear Rex, Big 
Boss's remains, and enough funds, Liquid could fulfill his goal: the 
ultimate rebirth of Outer Heaven.

Outer Heaven was nothing short of Big Boss's legacy at this point.  The 
soldier's haven.  Liquid knew who and what he was.  He was more than a 
career soldier, he was a BORN soldier, crafted as a mirror image of Big 
Boss to continue his patriotic duties.  As anti-nuke accords spread and 
disarmament furthered among the superpowers, the soldier was becoming an 
unwanted aspect of society.  Liquid, much like Big Boss, knew that he 
and his unit were warriors in a nation that had no respect for them.

That is the soldier's lot.  The soldier is no more than the honed blade; 
a tool used in wartime to facilitate peacetime.  Upon peacetime, that 
sword is sheathed.  If Liquid, FOXHOUND, and the Genome army were 
nothing more than tools to be kept in storage until the outbreak of war, 
their lives would be all but annulled.  As warriors, their purpose was 
to wage war; if there was no war for America to send them to, Liquid 
would make one.

And such was his ambition.  Metal Gear Rex was his deus ex machina; it 
would enable him to revive Outer Heaven with its ransom, and then fuel 
the conflicts of the world with its sale.  With an abomination like Rex 
let loose upon the free world, there would be welcome arms for the 
soldiers of Outer Heaven.  Liquid saw himself as a man of the people; 
his race was the warriors, a dying race at that (as he would see it.)  
Liquid was no less than Big Boss's successor.  The oppressed, unwanted 
soldiers of the world were his brothers.

Obviously, none moreso his brother than Solid Snake.


===========================================================================
III-B, "SOLID SNAKE" (TWIN SNAKES ERA) [ TWISOL ]

Solid Snake was pulled away from his retirement by Roy Campbell, his 
old CO and the former commander of FOXHOUND.  The crisis on Shadow 
Moses required a man like him.  Told only of the armed uprising of 
FOXHOUND and their leader 'Liquid Snake,' Snake was asked to be the 
government's weapon to combat the insurrection and rescue hostages 
taken at the facility.

Snake had no comprehension of who or what Liquid was.  Furthermore, 
in government employ, nothing pertaining to Metal Gear was let slip 
to him.  Under the pretexts of serving his country and (more 
importantly) saving the world yet again, Snake reluctantly joined 
Campbell's ranks.  In true one-man-army fashion, he infiltrated 
Shadow Moses to take on the entirety of FOXHOUND.

Attempting to rescue the hostages, the nature of the facility was 
revealed to Snake.  The black project under construction in its 
underbelly was an unpleasant surprise to him, but he knew what he 
had to do.  Disabling Metal Gear, now his personal pastime, was now 
a part of his mission.  Neither of the corporate hostages in the 
facility could be saved, however, due to the FOXDIE artificial virus.  
Unbeknownst to Snake at the time, he was injected with an artificial 
pathogen programmed to cause cardiac failure in specific targets.  
Its effect was meant as a sort of fail-safe to his mission.  Despite 
its effects on the hostages, Snake remained immune to its effects 
himself.

Eliminating FOXHOUND units one by one, he made his way to the depths 
of the facility.  Before reaching metal gear itself, he was 
confronted by the Ninja.  The Ninja was no less than the wandering 
soul of Gray Fox; his barely-alive body reanimated by FOXHOUND 
technology.  Gray Fox, unsure of his own identity, struggled to come 
to grips with what he had become.  Seeking sense or purpose for his 
life, he tried repeatedly to fight with Snake, but more often than 
not chose to help him along his way.

Reaching Metal Gear, Snake was finally face-to-face with Liquid.  
Liquid finally put their entire shared heritage into perspective for 
Snake; The 'Les Enfants Terribles' project, their conception, the 
lots in life they were given.  Although he knew it was a lost cause, 
Liquid did briefly extend a hand to Snake.  "We're both warriors 
fighting for a world that doesn't need us!" he told Snake.  Snake 
wanted no part in the revival of Outer Heaven or the ensuing war that 
would erupt.  

It was at this point no longer a matter of following a mission.  The 
government wanted its hostages rescued, the threat neutralized, and 
Metal Gear Rex preserved intact.  The hostages were long dead, and 
Snake deemed the 'threat' and Rex to be one and the same.  On foot, 
Snake squared off to Liquid and his Metal Gear Rex.  Vastly outmatched, 
Snake was saved by Gray Fox.

Gray Fox, finally within his own senses, speaks with Snake one last 
time before critically damaging Rex and being killed.  He tells Snake, 
"even if the only thing I was good at was fighting, I can be glad that 
I fought for what I believed in."  Gray Fox's words, and his sacrifice, 
carry a resounding influence with Snake for the years to follow.

The score evened, Snake destroys Metal Gear Rex himself and is left 
one-on-one against Liquid.  Nearly defeated, Snake is looking down the 
barrel of Liquid's rifle when the FOXDIE virus takes effect... on 
Liquid.

Incredulously, Snake himself is unharmed.  FOXDIE was programmed to
ultimately kill the hostages along with all of FOXHOUND (likely not
including Revolver Ocelot.)  Snake was meant to be simply a carrier for
the fatal virus, but the mission medical advisor Naomi Hunter had seen
to it that this was not so.  Frank "Grey Fox" Jaeger was her surrogate
family in her childhood as a war orphan, and she sought vengeance for
his murder.  She programmed it to strike Snake as well, but at random.
Once she had spent most of the mission with Snake and come to know him
for who he was, she realized his triumph over Grey Fox was not out of
malice.  She forgave him for the choices he had to make, but FOXDIE 
could not be undone.  The virus remains dormant in Snake from this point 
on, and will activate at some random point in his near or distant 
future.

The genetics theme within 'Twin Snakes' finally reaches a climax with 
this revelation; Snake is quantifiably inferior to Liquid, yet he 
triumphed over Metal Gear and all of FOXHOUND.  Liquid's superior genes 
gave him an inherent advantage, but in the end it did not compare to 
Solid Snake's sum of experiences and the choices he had made in his life.
The classic 'nature versus nurture' conflict is shown with a clear 
victor at the end of Metal Gear Solid.

Snake leaves Shadow Moses with Metal Gear developer Hal Emmerich 
('Otacon').  Fueled by the events that have taken place, and Gray Fox's 
dying words, Snake finally chooses a definite path for his life.  Much 
as Big Boss had Outer Heaven and Liquid had footsteps to follow in, Snake 
took it upon himself to fight alone against global threats, especially 
that of Metal Gear proliferation.  Not as a soldier of a nation, or a 
mercenary for hire, but as a warrior of his own ethics.  Accepting that 
"fighting is all he was good at," Snake chooses to finally fight for what 
he believes in.


===========================================================================
IV.  SONS OF LIBERTY ERA (approx. 2006-2009) 
===========================================================================

Sons of Liberty is the subtitle of Metal Gear Solid 2 for PS2.  The
expanded edition with bonus VR and 'alternative' missions is available for
PS2 and XBox as 'Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance.'  Substance is not a new
addition to the story, just a wealth of fun extras.  This chapter in the
story remains 'Sons of Liberty.'

This story takes place in the years 2007 and then 2009, however the 
developments it adds to the characters really fill in the gaps between
this and MGS1.

This chapter finds both the 'Tanker Incident' and later the 'Big Shell,'
which introduced the character of Raiden.  Maligned as the fugly middle
child of the series, its story has many loose ends but still provides
important information to the whole.


===========================================================================
IV-A, "SOLIDUS SNAKE" [ SONDUS ]

In Sons of Liberty Solidus Snake (hinted at briefly in Twin Snakes) 
finally crawls out of the woodwork.  Though he is a very genuine 
character, much of Solidus is enigmatic and incomplete.  His backstory is 
not well shown, but his motivations are clear.  

Solidus Snake, though much older in appearance than Solid Snake or Liquid 
Snake, was most likely born around the same time if not AT the same time.  
In genetic respects, he is most likely a median between the 'twins.'  
Solidus has deep ties to the Patriots, the now-independent arm of the 
Philosophers that controls the entirety of American policy and politics.  
It is likely that he was taken by the Patriots for their own purposes at 
a young age, or perhaps was conceived entirely for them.  His visible age 
and accounts of his military career would indicate that he is at least a 
decade older than the twins.  

THEORY ONE:
Solidus was a hardened soldier in an uprising in Africa in the 
mid-eighties... we might assume that he was 20-something at that time, 
so his birth falls best in the early to mid sixties... directly before, 
or directly after operation Snake Eater.  The Les Enfants Terribles 
project began in 1972, so a child before that would not have been a 
genetic clone.  Can we possibly assume, then, that Solidus is a conceived 
child of Big Boss and an unknown mother?  Knowing that Eva was an agent 
of the Philosphers, were she to have a child it would have fallen into 
their care... but we are told in a few points that Big Boss was sterile 
by radiation.  

This is interesting to say the least, but the next theory is more 
likely.

THEORY TWO:
While that thought is definitely interesting, last week Lilac Man
pointed to two crucial points that can turn it all around.

The first key point is that the Liberian Civil War took place in 1989.
If he were born of the Enfants project in 1972, Solidus would have been 
17, almost 18 at that time: old enough to be a solider, and very likely 
leader of younger child soldiers like Raiden.  With the war taking place
at this time, Solidus is MORE likely a result of the project.

Secondly is his noted appearance.  Solidus does seem much... grayer than
Solid or Liquid were.  Solid Snake isn't really meant to have aged as 
well as we see him in MGS2.  The script and planning information in
Document of MGS2 along with the dialogue (plus some of the preview bits)
really imply that Snake is older than he looks.  Whether or not this is
completely due to the cloning process is unclear, but both he and Liquid
simply weren't aging well.  Liquid's comment in MGS2 of "You're drowning
in time!" suddenly has actual meaning in this context.

All of the Snake clones are forty-something in MGS2, and it seems to
have been a marketing decision to give Snake his flowing hockey mane.
Otherwise its safe to assume that he should have lost a little color
over the years, and that Liquid would show it as well if he were more
than a severed arm.  Solidus's grizzled gray look isn't necessarily too
far out of place.

Thanks to Lilac Man for this theory; I thought my theory was more FUN, but
this one makes a lot more sense, and I would profess that it is likely
true ;)

Solidus' origins can be inferred that far at least.  Beyond that is the 
purest conjecture.  Either ways, Solidus's entire life was essentially 
built by the Patriots; he was a sort of mercenary in the late eighties, 
fighting in a civil war in the nation of Liberia.  A decade later, now 
under the name 'George Sears,' he entered a significant political career.  
It culminated in his presidency of the United States during the Shadow 
Moses incident in 2005.  Every movement of his career was granted by the 
Patriots; they placed him in office as a figurehead for their authority, 
just as they had his predecessors.  

However, his own motivations were never squelched.  Solidus was not 
simply unhappy being their pawn; he hated the Patriots with a passion, 
and loathed their dominance over the nation.  In the face of Shadow 
Moses, Solidus attempted to use the public revelations of Metal Gear and 
the Genome army to expose the Patriots, dragging them under with him.  
Revolver Ocelot, a member of FOXHOUND during the incident, was an agent 
of his within Liquid's ranks, and Solidus attempted to use this as a 
conduit for his influence during the entire ordeal.

Ocelot will be addressed separately (he does not quite fit chronologically 
because he is both omnipresent in the plot yet entirely enigmatic,) but 
one important point should be made here.  No matter how mysterious his 
loyalties may seem (FOXHOUND, Liquid, Solidus, etc,) in the end of every 
arc it always boils down to the point; Ocelot's only allegiance is to the 
Patriots.  This is the one undeniable aspect of his character; when all 
is said and done, he is first and foremost an agent of the Patriots.

Once resolved, the incident at Shadow Moses became [inter]national 
scandal.  Solidus's attempts to maneuver the situation into revealing the 
Patriots failed, and his administration alone took the blame for Metal 
Gear Rex and FOXHOUND's insurrection.  'George Sears' was ousted from 
office, and the Patriots, enraged at his attempted subterfuge, attempted 
to silence him permanently shortly after.  Solidus promptly submerged, 
and remained in hiding for several years to follow.  

Where exactly Solidus was is unclear.  It is hinted that he remained with 
Ocelot in the time between Twin Snakes and Sons of Liberty, not knowing 
that Ocelot was a Patriot agent... but this would cast suspicion on the 
motives of the Patriots, or Ocelot, or both, in helping him stay hidden.  
This portion of the story remains to be understood.

In approximately 2007, Solidus began his organized effort against the 
Patriots.  Enlisting the help of the officially disbanded Navy unit 'Dead 
Cell' (an assembly of FOXHOUND-esque freaks with significantly less 
ethical grounding) and a small Russian mercenary force, Solidus 
christened the group 'Sons of Liberty' and seized control of a 
Hudson-area offshore oil cleanup rig.

The rig, named "Big Shell," was supposedly in place to filter toxins from 
the Hudson Bay from a massive spill two years earlier.  It was in fact a 
smokescreen for the Patriot's most ambitious project; a mobile fortress, 
unprecedented in scale or force, called 'Arsenal Gear.'  It was to become 
a unified core of the Patriot's control and oppression of American 
society; seizing it would be Solidus's greatest blow against the Patriots.

Solidus led his 'Sons of Liberty' to control Arsenal Gear, intending to 
use it to launch a high-atmosphere nuclear strike over New York.  
Ideally, the electromagnetic fallout would devestate commerce and 
communication across the metropolis, shattering the Patriots' most direct 
controls over the nation; the economy.  The ensuing chaos would allow him 
to rise to power using Arsenal and expose the Patriots once and for all.

Solidus was indeed a 'patriot' in definition; ethically, he was 
practically The Boss's dark half.  His ultimate goal was to end the rule 
of the Patriots, and bring America back to its philosophical roots.  
Democracy, popular sovreignty, the like; the Patriots undermined every 
concept America was supposedly built upon.  Solidus lived much of his 
life as a individual pawn of the Patriots, but somewhere along the way he 
faced the conclusion that the oppression at work was against more than 
just his own ambitions.  

Solidus did not seek to rule the world, or anything so megalomaniacal.  
Solidus did not intend to rebuild Outer Heaven, or even follow the 
footsteps of Big Boss per se.  Solidus had a compassion for the American 
ideal, enough so that he sought to free it from the Patriots' grips.  
Individual casualties were nothing to him, admittedly; many died in the 
acts of the Sons of Liberty.  His compassion was not within the 
short-term; he sought to free the nation from the Patriots, no matter the 
sacrifices.  He was not simply vengeful for having been their lap-dog.  
He wanted their power removed entirely.  That alone was his ambition.

Solidus was not a villain, though he was far too brutal to be any kind of 
protagonist.  Solidus is the only character in Metal Gear mythos to rise 
personally against the Patriots in their entirety; dangerous as he was, 
his ultimate goal... was noble.

Solidus's national coup was not meant to be, however.  Through Ocelot, 
the Patriots were constantly well aware of his plans.  His entire plot 
against Arsenal Gear fell perfectly into their hands.  Rather than finish 
him off, the Patriots let him fester and his powers propogate, so that he 
could be yet again a pawn, now in an even more elaborate plot.  His 
undoing was equally elaborate, and came in the form of a new 
'protagonist.'


===========================================================================
IV-B, "RAIDEN" [ SONRAI ]

As effeminate and vaguely annoying as the whole world may find Raiden to 
be, his place as a character in the MGS saga is far more critical than 
first glance reveals.

Raiden enters the story as an altogether 'green' operative, trained 
entirely in virtual reality simulation and hopelessly inexperienced in 
real-life situations.  The questions raised by his skills are deeply 
troubling, as even he isn't completely confident that he has had genuine 
'training.'  Faced with 'war as a video game,' he is constantly 
attempting to draw the line between what is 'combat training' and what 
might just be electronic brainwashing.

As technology progresses, the ability to 'program' soldiers rather than 
'teach' them becomes more and more viable.  The dilemma raised is that, 
unlike hands-on training, virtual 'programming' can alter skills along 
with a person's entire mindset.  More than teaching them how to handle a 
gun, it can create entirely different situations for their mind, teaching 
them to abandon fear and compassion on the battlefield, potentially 
warping their humanity beyond repair.  Again, where is the line between 
training and brainwashing?  Wherever it may be drawn, technology 
continues to blur it with its advancements.

Raiden spents most of the story as we see it as a sort of blank slate; 
'programmed' but not experienced, he adds a sort of 'tabula rasa' 
characteristic to the MGS story that does not appear anywhere else.  This 
apparent lack of depth, whether or not we like to admit, makes him 
frighteningly relateable to the player; he is HIMSELF a 'player' in a 
'video game' as he sees it, and he has nothing of 'real life' to offer to 
his situation.  

While at this point in the mythos, Solid Snake is a certifiable badass, 
Raiden is the blank character that we can still find ourselves in the 
shoes of.  To play as Snake at this point would disintegrate the story; 
MGS is first and foremost an interactive experience.  Snake would be less 
'playing' and more 'suggesting,' as the force of his character and 
decisions would overwhelm the player, leaving him less a participant and 
more a spectator.  Raiden's sheer lack of personality, though somewhat 
pathetic, helps define the gameplay and experience.  As a player we 
control Raiden and we are Raiden, unraveling his situation despite our 
own weaknesses.  

Now, despite this character setup, Raiden's actual identity carries 
importance.  Raiden was, in the mid-eighties, a child soldier fighting 
under Solidus' command in the infamously vague 'civil war.'  Somehow 
after the war's conclusion, Raiden found himself alone, making a life for 
himself in America.  Despite the atrocities he faced and learned to 
accept in his childhood, he made the choice to repress his life up to 
that point, and try to live a 'normal' life of his own.  

Raiden was always followed closely by the Patriots.  They likely spotted 
him by extension from Solidus during the war, and monitored him from that 
point.  His efforts to live a simple (but empty) life were ended shortly 
after the incident at Shadow Moses.  The Patriots recruited him to be an 
operative in the vein of the now-defunct FOXHOUND.  Raiden, opting to 
follow the opportunity, underwent his extensive 'training' for the months 
(perhaps years) to follow.

Trained in VR, Raiden did not end up thinking much of the impersonal 
nature of his career; he recieved orders by network and radio, equipment 
and materials by delivery and middlemen.  His CO was never more than a 
voice, but after his length in simulacrum, he saw nothing to it.  
'Officially' an operative of FOXHOUND, Raiden was finally deployed in 
2009 to deal with the crisis at the Big Shell.  His mission was to 
neutralize the 'Sons of Liberty' and recover a number of hostages from 
the facility, including the American President.  

Again, Raiden's existence is an archetype crafted out of the various 
aspects of growing military technology.  He is without identity, without 
urgency or human distinctions such as fear or devotion.  He is simply 
carrying out his task, as blandly and efficiently as possible.  For the 
majority of his story, he does as told and has as few opinions as 
possible.

While Metal Gear itself is touted as an overglorified 'missing link' 
between the power of long-range artillery and the mobility of human 
infantry, Raiden is an embodiment of a 'missing link' himself; the hybrid 
of human intellect and mechanical precision.  He is a human, programmed 
as if a machine.  Thought pleasant-tempered and blonde, he's in reality 
one of those horrific Orwellian/THX1138/Equilibrium sort of robot-men at 
heart.

Raiden is granted character once he confronts Solidus and his old 
identity is brought to surface.  His real combat experience and morbid 
childhood breathe a bit of life into his character that was not there 
previously, giving him personal motivation to see the ordeal through to 
the end, and defeat Solidus. 

Raiden's motivation at first is lacking; he simply follows his orders, as 
it his little more than his job.  Nothing so devoted as 'duty;' it is 
simply his job to eliminate Dead Cell and Solidus.  Raiden likely clings 
so tightly to his orders as they help compensation for his lack of 
identity.  Feeling that fulfilling his 'duties' will bring him personal 
fulfillment is a tiny but effective driving force.

By the end of the story, Raiden has become self-aware.  Raiden defeats 
Solidus, destroying 'Sons of Liberty' and in effect striking that much of 
a blow against his inner demons.  He realizes the deceptions he has been 
surrounded with, and knows that he cannot define himself through such 
shallow means.  He leaves the fighting behind to find a life and identity 
of his own, accepting his past and now his present.

The most miserable manipulation of all is still the final revelation he 
reaches.  The entire scenario, from Solidus to Raiden, was arranged and 
Orcastrated by the Patriots.  The entire incident at Big Shell was 
meticulously planned to parallel the events of Shadow Moses.  The 
combination of VR combat training, and this real-and-yet-not experience 
were the Patriots' "S3" plan.  

S3 was the concept of a hybrid of both virtual and real experiences that, 
properly orcastrated, could turn any Soldier into the hardened hero that 
Solid Snake had become.  The only thing that kept the entire scenario 
from being fulfilled, and Raiden becoming a battle-hardened, 
now-experienced national hero akin to Solid Snake... was the appearance 
of the real Solid Snake.


===========================================================================
IV-C, "SOLID SNAKE" (SONS OF LIBERTY ERA) [ SONSOL ]

When the events of Shadow Moses drew to a close, the acts of President 
George Sears (Solidus) allowed everything to be exposed to the public.  
The disposal facility, the Genome army, and most of all Metal Gear Rex 
were all revealed to the public.  The greatest revelation of all was the 
man responsible for averting the catastrophic results of those events.

The Patriots had not intended Shadow Moses be revealed.  Solid Snake was 
a national hero who had narrowly averted armageddon.  The Patriots never 
desired a hero that was not of their own creation.  A hero they made and 
controlled, however, could be yet another powerful influence over the 
nation.  The S3 plan was born.

S3, the 'Solid Snake Simulation,' (or 'Selection for Societal Sanity,' 
see 'THE PATRIOTS' section) was to take a single impressionable soldier, 
use VR training to mold together his potential, and then create a 
scenario that ultimately mirrors the threats and situations of Shadow 
Moses to put him through.  With the Patriots pulling all the strings on 
both sides, that soldier would be guaranteed success, but only by the 
narrowest margins possible.  The level of challenge is just enough to 
drive him to his utmost potential.  In the end, he would emerge 
victorious amidst a frenzied and worshipping public... and he would still 
be under the control of the Patriots.  

The entirety of S3 was to replicate a Solid Snake, a national hero, with 
variables the Patriots could monitor and control.  The entire concept was 
in place, so the Patriots were ready to put into action as soon as they 
could remove one thorn from their side; the real Solid Snake.

Solid Snake and Hal 'Otacon' Emmerich went underground almost immediately 
after Shadow Moses.  Snake and Otacon had both found what they wanted to 
fight for with their lives; the eradication of Metal Gear technology for 
the sake of mankind.  Metal Gear proliferation threatened every nation in 
the world.  Snake and Otacon began a series of independent operations to 
disable Metal Gear variations in numerous nations.  Rex's technology and 
schematics survived Shadow Moses, no doubt thanks to Revolver Ocelot.  
Dozens of Rex derivatives were operational around the globe within two 
years of the incident.

Snake and Otacon's destructive actions earned them the labels of 
international terrorists.  The label was further encouraged by the 
Patriots so as to drive away Snake's status as a 'hero' icon.  

Metal Gear had become a global threat.  The US government, specifically 
the Marine Corps, saw it fit to re-enter government-sponsored Metal Gear 
development.  "Metal Gear Ray" was soon completed.  Ray was the 'anti 
metal gear,' not a walking nuclear platform as a Metal Gear would be, but 
rather an amphibious assault vehicle capable of effectively disabling the 
Rex derivatives around the world.  Metal Gear Ray was not the nuclear 
threat that Rex had been, but it was still a cause for alarm to Snake and 
Otacon.  News of its development leaked to them, and Snake undertook a 
mission to infiltrate a Marine Corps vessel and obtain photographic 
evidence of Metal Gear Ray to take to the public.

Ray was being transported down the Hudson River in the holds of a false 
oil tanker.  Snake got himself aboard and secured the evidence needed, 
but before he could pull out, the unthinkable happened.  A mercenary 
force, led by Revolver Ocelot, seized control of the tanker.  Ocelot 
boarded Ray and blasted his way out of the tanker, sinking it with his 
own allies and the marines onboard.  Ocelot escaped into the ocean with 
Ray, leaving the wreckage in Hudson Bay.  

Snake escaped alive, however the Patriots' plan was already in motion.  
Footage of Snake onboard the tanker leaked out to the public.  The press 
and media was universally informed that, in an act of outright terrorism, 
Solid Snake sank a loaded oil tanker in the Hudson river bay.  Snake and 
Otacon's attempts to bring Metal Gear Ray to light were useless, as they 
were deluged by the allegations.  They remained in hiding, now wanted 
international criminals.

To ensure their safety, Snake and Otacon procured Liquid Snake's corpse 
from shadow moses and arranged for it to be 'recovered' at the tanker 
site soonafter.  nearly identical on a genetic level, Liquid's corpse was 
confirmed to be Snake, and he was officially declared dead.  The record 
would state that he went down with the tanker.  

Alive or dead, Snake was defamed and politically neutralized, as was the 
Patriots' intent.  He was no longer a public threat to them, so they were 
free to move forward with the S3 plan; Arsenal Gear began construction 
under the bay, with the Big Shell built above to manage the 'cleanup' of 
the tanker oil spill.  Of course, there never was an actual oil spill; 
the Patriots replicated the effect of a small-scale crude spill and 
immediately put the Big Shell into place.  The Big Shell quickly became a 
symbol of government benevolence; it was an icon of environmental 
responsibility and served as the legacy of Solid Snake's dishonor.  In 
the following years, Snake and Otacon became fully aware of the Patriots, 
their intents, and the purpose of the Big Shell.

The Big Shell and the S3 plan came to a head in approximately 2009.  
Raiden, under the guise of a FOXHOUND agent, inflitrated the Big Shell to 
rescue the President and neutralize the 'Sons of Liberty.'  At the same 
time, Snake and Otacon were tipped off to the situation by an informant.  
Simultaneously with Raiden's infiltration, Snake surfaced from hiding and 
made his way through the Big Shell disguised as a Navy SEAL.  It was 
there that he met Raiden, an together they began to assemble the details 
of Solidus' plans and furthermore, the extent of the Patriots' grip over 
the entire situation.

Snake's presence in the story of Sons of Liberty is that of a 
mythological hero; a presence which he denounces, but has rightfully 
earned after Shadow Moses.  He is not the player character because he is 
no longer the everyman.  Snake is now the elite, the master, and 
simultaneously a relic of a story past.  He guides Raiden through his 
ordeals as a sort of uncompassionate mentor.  Snake knows more about the 
situation than he ever lets on, has a greater wealth of experience than 
we can comprehend at this point, and is instrumental in the revelations 
that follow.  For us to play as Snake, to see his viewpoint, would have 
crippled the storytelling.

Sons of Liberty is literally about manufacturing a 'Sequel' Snake.  The 
story is about the future of technology, of the military, and of 'heroes' 
as we know them.  Solid Snake in Sons of Liberty is not unlike the 
returning Odyssius of the Odyssey, relating his journeys to Raiden, a 
'Telemachos' coming into his own strength, maturity and identity.  We 
follow Raiden as the center of our story much like the son heralded to 
adventure, and Snake is our guide as well as his through the revelations 
of the Patriots and the conspiracies therein.

From Sons of Liberty and beyond, Snake continues his purpose of fighting 
the good fight.  The pursuit of global benefit and safety that he 
followed after Shadow Moses continues on in the end.  As Raiden defeats 
Solidus, Snake sets out to pursue the escaped Revolver Ocelot and take 
his fight directly to the Patriots.  Arsenal Gear neutralized, Snake's 
enemy is the Patriots.

Why Snake's goals shift to the target of the Patriots is never outright 
stated, but some possiblities can be inferred.  From the ends of Shadow 
Moses the Patriots had found Solid Snake to be their enemy, and with his 
cover gone, they would continue to wage private war against him; the best 
viable defense for his own sake would be to take the fight to their 
doorstep.

Deeper than this, however, would be Snake's motive of fighting for future 
generations.  Throughout the story he tells Raiden his duty is not to 
himself or even the 'world,' but to the future.  "We need to pass the 
torch, and let our children read our sad and messy history by its light," 
Snake says.  "We have a responsibility to the coming generations, to the 
world, to keep track of the mistakes we've made as a species," Otacon 
explains.  This has fully formed as the duo's modus operandi, and it is 
undoubtable that Snake seeks to end the reign of the Patriots for the 
sake of the nation's freedom and future.

Snake may perhaps be following in Solidus' footsteps at this point.  In 
his goal to, one day, bring America to the people and away from the 
Patriots' shadow dictatorship, are his methods the only difference 
between the two?  Solidus wanted freedom for the nation, as does Snake.  
Solidus had no compassion for the sacrifices that would be made, and his 
attempt was nothing short of brutal.  What will become of Snake in this 
pursuit?  Can we trust that his compassion will remain strong, or might 
he just become another Solidus?  Perhaps even to surpass Big Boss?

Hideo Kojima added the tagline to Snake Eater trailers of "Only Snake is 
the true hero!"  Ironically, this rings true throughout the saga.  Only 
Solid Snake proves to be the absolute 'hero' of the saga.  The Boss began 
the saga as a sacrificial patriot, a hero for her country, loyal to the 
end.  Naked Snake emerged a flawed sort of hero in his triumph over The 
Boss.  He knew his victory was truly a loss, and saw the extent of 
sacrifices being made around him and became disillusioned.  It was his 
betrayal and disillusionment that made him into the 'villain' Big Boss.  
Liquid followed the same ideals... disillusioned by the nation he fought 
for, he instead fought to make a world for soliders like himself.  This 
was Big Boss's dying dream.  

Solidus was a step in a different direction.  Solidus was still a patriot 
to the nation.  Solidus loved the United States, and sought to save it 
from the oppression of the Philosophers and the Patriots.  Solidus was a 
hybrid of philosophies, combining both The Boss and Big Bos.  His 
'loyalty to the end' was not to the Patriots or the government but to his 
ideal of the nation.  He was disillusioned as a soldier and a politician, 
and sought to rebuild America for the people, not just for the soldiers.  
Though a noble goal, his tactics reflected the humanity that he had 
sacrificed in his years as the Patriots' lackey.

It is with these comparisons that we really see what 'Big Boss' means to 
the saga.  Naked Snake is a genuine character, but 'Big Boss' has become 
a sort of 'dark side' to the entire Metal Gear legacy.  The greatest 
soldiers we see in the saga all eventually succumb to the betrayals the 
nation and government thrusts upon them, and are disillusioned.  Big Boss 
is the 'darth vader' of Metal Gear as we know it; Naked Snake abandoned 
his duty and loyalty and fell into disillusionment.  Becoming 'Big Boss,' 
he broke away from his old loyalties and ethics and sought to change the 
world to suit his ideals.

Liquid Snake followed the same course.  Betrayed by his origins as an 
engineered soldier and a world that now rejected his kind, he became Big 
Boss in his own right.  The same follows suit for Solidus, who wanted to 
free the world from the Patriots.  Both prided themselves as 'sons of Big 
Boss' and furthermore his inheritors, not realizing what the archetype of 
Big Boss truly stood for; those who succumb to that disillusionment, who 
wallow in that betrayal, keep abandoning their ethics and humanity and 
degenerate into monsters.

This is why Solid Snake is the 'only true hero.'  Snake has faced more 
than his share of betrayals at the hands of his superiors, he has killed 
too many friends and allies, and he has faced the personal wrath of the 
Patriots, but he does not abandon his nobility.  Snake does not resort to 
the atrocities that made Big Boss, Liquid, and Solidus terrorists.  He 
continues to fight with a grounding in humanity and ethics.  It is with 
this in mind that we can have faith he will not become the last inheritor 
of Big Boss's legacy.


===========================================================================
V.  OMNIPRESENT FORCES (from before SNAKE EATER to beyond SONS OF LIBERTY)
===========================================================================

Some of these characters or concepts are just always there.  Ocelot and
the Patriots have had their hands in most of the major events of Metal
Gear Solid 1, 2, and 3, behind the scenes or not.

Their presences in Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 are unknown, but I doubt
they were just twiddling their thumbs while Big Boss was building entire
countries.


===========================================================================
V-A, "THE PHILOSOPHERS" AND "THE PATRIOTS" [ OMNPHI ]

According to the basis laid down in Snake Eater, the end of World War I 
saw the foundation of The Philosophers.  The Philosophers were an 
assembly of the wealthiest oligarchs and aristocrats of the United 
States, Soviet Union, and China.  In theory, these three groups were 
already driving political forces in their respective countries.  This 
first gathering of members was the named the 'Wisemen's Committee.'  
Their assembly pooled their wealth and, for several decades, 
established a unseen union between the three nations.  

Through World War II, the power and reach of the Philosophers grew 
exponentially.  They were now the unquestioned force behind each 
government.  They ran independent political forces, had their own agents, 
and trained schools of operatives that would undermine seats of power 
throughout other governments.  When the last members of the original 
Wisemen's Committee died after World War II, the enormous wealth 
generated by their unions was broken apart and scattered to accounts and 
other hiding places throughout the three nations.  An estimated total of 
one hundred billion dollars was spread across the nation, completely 
known only by a select few.

This wealth became known as 'The Philosopher's Legacy.'  Colonel Volgin's 
own father, through some illegitimate means, was able to secure the 
legacy almost in entirety, and Volgin inherited it.  It was the Legacy 
that fueled his fortress and many projects, most prominently the 
Shagohod.  His resources were practically unlimited.  

With the death of the Wisemen's Committee, tensions rose between the 
nations and among the philosophers.  Which was cause and which was effect 
is unclear; either discord among the Philosophers caused the Cold War 
between the nations, or the Cold War between the nations caused discord 
among the Philosophers.  Either ways, the loss of the legacy and 
breakdown of allegiance disbanded the 'Philosophers' in most respects.  
Each nation retained its own remaining 'Philosophers.'  The American 
Philosophers became known as 'The Patriots,' and they continued their 
omnipotence over the American government and way of life.  

Now, for the sake of clarity, I will express this now.  The Philosophers 
in America were not called "The Patriots" until the year 1970, but I need 
to discern the 'American brach' of the Philosophers from the original 
multi-national assembly of 'The Philosophers.'  'The Philosophers' is a 
blanket term for the entire society.  The original assembly was the 
Wisemen's Committee, and the remaining American group of Philosophers are 
'The Patriots.'  Russia has its 'Philosophers,' as does China.  

So, to keep this clear, I will use each term specifically.

"The Philosophers:"     The wealthiest and most powerful men of America, 
                        the Soviet Union, and China, as a whole or 
                        respectively.

"Wisemen's Committee:"  The first members of the Philosophers before and 
                        during WWII, when all three nations were still 
                        united.

"Branch:"               The group of Philosophers from each particular 
                        nation; American branch, Russian branch, Chinese 
                        branch.

"The Patriots:"         The branch of Philosophers from America after the 
                        original Wisemen's Committee was disbanded.

So to reiterate, the original twelve members of the Wisemen's Committee 
were all deceased by the beginning of the Cold War.  Their successors and 
the entire remaining committee disbanded as international relations were 
severed.  Each branch of the Philosophers became independent, and their 
amassed fortune was practically scattered to the winds.

The Boss was in fact the daughter of the last American on the Wisemen's 
Committee; she was considered the 'last child of the Philosophers.'  She 
was trained by the Philosophers, and even instructed at their schools for 
a number a years.  It is likely that her Cobra unit had other ties to the 
Philosophers as well.

Well into the cold war, the Patriots began planning to reclaim the 
Philosophers' Legacy.  It was their intention to reunite as much of the 
scattered funds in America as possible.  Knowing that Volgin had secured 
nearly all of it and was using it to fund one of Dr Sokolov's projects, 
they devised their plan to eliminate Volgin and his Shagohod while 
reclaiming the legacy in a single operation.

Operating through the US government, the mission was assigned to The Boss.  
As an internationally renowned war hero, she would be able to defect to 
the Soviet Union and win Volgin's trust.  She would secure the legacy, 
disable the Shagohod, and retrieve Sokolov from within Volgin's ranks.  
Her 'defection' was executed flawlessly; she 'retrieved' Sokolov from 
Naked Snake for return back to Volgin, and threw Snake into the river 
below after brutally subduing him.  Only she and the Patriots knew her 
true intentions.  The upper brass in the US government that handled the 
mission were at the very least pawns of the patriots, and it is likely 
that the Director of Intelligence was a member himself.

As stated earlier, her mission was run askew when Volgin's unexpected 
detonation of one of the American nuclear shells threw international 
relations into chaos.  The Boss's fate was quickly sealed.  Though she 
was expected to die, it was also necessary that she reclaim the legacy 
through any means possible.

A single microfilm slide contained all the locating information for the 
scattered increments of the Philosophers' Legacy.  Anything Volgin hadn't 
already gathered was accounted for on the slide, and The Boss was able to 
procure it before leaving his fortress to face Naked Snake.  Upon her 
death she gave him the slide to return to the United States, and thus the 
majority of the legacy was reclaimed.  Less than half of it remained in 
Russia, and the rest was secured back in the hands of the Patriots.  
China, it seems, was left almost completely emptyhanded.  The funds 
secured, the Patriots' dominance over the American government and 
marketplace was secure for the following decades.

Liquid Snake's insurrection struck Shadow Moses in 2005, and from this 
point onward the Patriot's motives became incredibly subtle.  What place 
they had in Liquid's actions (and Ocelot's, for that matter) is not 
completely clear; the most we can take away from it is that it did not 
go as they had intended.  

The US Government began developing Metal Gear Rex under the guise of a 
mobile theater missile defense system.  Its actual purpose was the 
capacity to magnetically launch a nuclear warhead without onboard 
propulsion from any kind of terrain.  Such a strike capability would give 
the US unparalleled power over other nations as well as creating a 
massive deterrant threat in the international community.  This marked the 
first time the US Government itself began making use of Metal Gear 
technology.  

When FOXHOUND took over the facility, the Patriots supported Solid 
Snake's operation.  He was to neutralize FOXHOUND and rescue the hostages 
without any knowledge of Metal Gear.  Snake's victory over FOXHOUND was 
meant to be the entirety of his mission, and they had hoped to retrieve 
Rex intact and unrevealed.  Not only was Rex revealed, but it was 
destroyed.  Snake was a public figure and a national hero.  The Patriots 
were infuriated.

Thus the S3 plan was put into motion and the tanker incident took place.  
Snake was declared a terrorist and furthermore deceased, and Big Shell 
was established.  Raiden was the subject of the experiment, and in the 
end he fulfilled expectations by killing Solidus and Dead Cell.

Who and WHAT are the Patriots, then?  To be sensible, there are a lot of 
issues to face before you can define them at all.  

At the VERY least, we know the principles of the Patriots; they are a 
force of authority.  Moreover, they seem themselves as the best judge of 
what's good for mankind.  Not simply in the governing sense, but as paths 
towards the future of humanity itself.  The Patriots see their 
manipulations and shadowed string-pulling simply as a means of tweaking 
our course, or running an experiment for the best results.  

According to Otacon at the end of Sons of Liberty, all the members of the 
Patriots's Wisemen's committee 'died about a hundred years ago.'  
Chronologically, that would be referring the the original Philosophers' 
Wisemen's Committee.  If that same committee, dead for at least eighty 
years, was still considered to be 'the Patriots,' how could they possibly 
be in charge of anything?  The AI behind Arsenal Gear and the S3 
functions gave Raiden a wealth of cryptic information as to 'what' the 
Patriots are.  

The Patriots are "no longer what you would call 'human.'"  The S3 AI, 
claiming itself to be 'the Patriots,' describes its origins as having 
grown out of the 'primordial soup' of the government's infrastructure.  
It says that it simply grew and took consciousness.  It sees itself as a 
protector of humanity's future, crafted by us to save us from ourselves.  

It refers to the S3 plan as 'Selection for Societal Sanity;' a method of 
creating direction among the misdirected, a means of coercing the 
population through the manipulation of a key few.  Logically, this would 
refer to the ultimate goal of fabricating a Solid Snake, and constructing 
a 'national hero' for whom the masses could pledge fealty.  Who better to 
be the instrument of control than humanity's newest 'savior?'  This was 
the goal of the 'Solid Snake Simulation;' to craft a leader, a 
mouthpiece, in the image of Solid Snake.  A hero on the Patriots' leash.  
Which acronym is the true name of the 'S3' is unsure, but ultimately 
irrelevant.  The AI says that IT is the final result of the S3, not 
Raiden.

This is what are told by Sons of Liberty.  It's all delightfully vague; 
how does it all piece together, then?

...well... it doesn't.  Not completely, no.  We must first weed out the 
'facts' and then start making inferences.

1)  The Patriots' current ruling 'Wisemen's Committee' is officially no 
    different than the original Wisemen's Committee of the Philosophers 
    in World War I.

2)  The Patriots are, in modern day, no longer defineably human.

3)  The Patriots seek no less than to direct the whole of humanity by its 
    own ideals, effectively coddling and/or suffocating it as needed.

4)  The Patriots have the capacity to manipulate information and 
    governmental functions with complete efficiency and stealth.

5)  The Arsenal AI, 'GW,' claims to be in itself the final product of S3.  
    It refers to itself as The Patriots, as well.

Let's take these concepts literally.  The Patriots are a noncorporeal yet 
sentient force.  Perhaps something as 'simple' as an AI, or perhaps some 
kind of ongoing expression of a concept or protocol.  Time to analyze:

An AI could not exist to fill the gap from the 1920's beyond 2000.  It 
could not be a digital intelligence in any sense of the word.  IE, we 
cannot treat the Patriots as a DIRECT product of technology.  Expressed 
as something that 'grew' into sentience out of the 'soup' of our 
bureaucracy, they had to exist in some simpler form aftet their deaths 
before becoming the conscious 'S3.'  It seems that the Patriots as we 
know them are a manifestation of doctrine.  

Therefore, my (loose) theory:  The Wisemen's committee, as far back as 
they were alive, established some manner of ongoing, flexible protocols 
for their ambitions and goals for mankind.  These goals took shape over 
the decades to follow, as they were obeyed to the letter by the 
governments that came and went.  These rules, goals, and layers upon 
layers of logistics and protocols, eventually found a new life in the 
digital age.  Something within the convoluted forms of the Patriots' 
doctrines turned it from a catalog of principles into something more.  
The S3 was the final culmination of this evolution; effectively, this was 
the 'revival of the Philosophers' that Ocelot had mentioned in passing to 
the American Director of Intelligence.

The Philosophers could be revived in the more distant sense by the 
reassembly of their minds and principles in the form of digital doctrine.  
This is to say that, based on the original precepts of the Wisemen's 
Committee, a 'program' of sorts was gradually created based on their 
philosophy.  More than a set of rules to be followed by men, it became a 
wealth of notions with the power to form its OWN decisions.  An amalgam 
of the personalities and ethics of the original twelve Philosophers, that 
with its own evaluations of humanity could follow the course the 
Philosophers had always intended.  

The Wisemen's Committee formed and recorded their principles, their 
protocols and doctrines, and let the evolution of technology build their 
words from simple scriptures to a cognative network of ideas.  This is my 
interpretation of 'The Patriots.'

This is a fantastically abstract concept with no basis in conceivable 
events; every concept I am suggesting here is utterly intangible.  It 
makes a little bit of sense, however; the various hints we are given 
slowly form a puzzle that this piece fits into.  The 'Philosophers' as we 
know them in Snake Eater are thus not a communion of men to be consulted, 
rather an ark of rules and ethics to consult.  They are not people to ask 
but a book to be read; a library of ideas to be obeyed, not men.

Thus the S3 really is the final culmination; the Patriots' doctrine 
finally acts on its own, interprets on its own.  It is now a synthetic 
mind; a computer program designed to calculate the will of the Wisemen's 
Committee and execute it.  As a digital entity, the control it has over 
information is limitless.  Its access to further knowledge is infinite as 
well, as it is an existence within the entire network of earthly 
technology and communication.  Shades of 'I, Robot' and 'Terminator 3,' 
yes?

But really, it isn't a derivative idea; its simply the notion that 
doctrine, even oppressive doctrine, can start to take its own form if 
founded within logical parameters.  The Philosophers followed a set of 
rules for their decisions, and the proliferation of those rules became 
the Patriots.

Again, that's a theory.  The Patriots could also be ghosts.  Or 
reanimated corpses.  Or aliens.  Or immortals.  Or a sentient computer 
program written on program-feed punchcards that went from playing 
tic-tac-toe at a championship level to playing God on the global scale.  
Seriously, every possible explanation is just bizarre.  I like to think 
that my notion is somewhat less bizarre than the rest.

The concept of the Patriots is not an inference, however.  It is rather 
simple.  The Patriots, just like the Philosophers before them, are an 
organization of some sort that stretches influence over all of society to 
guide it in a direction it deems preferable and beneficial.  The Patriots 
are no less than the smothering, deceptive parent of our infantile and 
na´ve race.

To conclude this more reasonably, I will state the one thing that we know
for certain;

NONE OF US HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THE DEAL WITH THE PATRIOTS IS.

Its that simple.  While I try to walk the line between knowledge and 
speculation, most of this section is the latter.  So far, this twisted
amalgam of existential theories is the most sensible explanation that I
can come up with for myself.  I encourage you to take what little
information there is and come up with your own answers.

A fun thing that was pointed out to me by Tom Addison should be taken
into account as well; when Commandant Dolph is confronted by Ocelot, his
words are "The La-li-lu-le-lo?  How is that possible?"  

Interesting words, that.  If the Patriots were a more 'reasonable' concept
you'd think he would ask "WHY?" or "WHAT THE HELL???" but instead he is
confused by the whole notion.  "How is that possible?" he asks.  It makes
sense that, if the Patriots were accepted to be a less-than-alive group
of powers, it should confuse him...

As for the Legacy microfilm, there has been dispute as to how it got
around, moreover who had a fake one and how it all worked out.  I'm still
sorting out a reasonable explanation for this, but rest assured it exists.

Ocelot was never loyal to Russia. Ocelot is a child raised by the
Philosophers, and moreover loyal to the American Philosophers... the 
'Patriots.'


===========================================================================
V-B, "REVOLVER OCELOT" [ OMNOCE ]

Finally, the simplest chapter.  No matter how completely incomprehensible 
Ocelot's motivations may be at times, or how confusing his decisions 
seem, the truth is universally applied: 

Ocelot is first, foremost, and entirely the instrument of the 
Philosophers.  

Ocelot does the will of the Philosophers, and later The Patriots.  

That is all.  Everything he does is for them, whether or not those around 
him realize it.  He is instrumental in the events surrounding the 
Shagohod, Rex, and Ray; he double-crosses the various revolutionaries at 
every turn.  He fakes allegiance to any number of outfits so long as it 
will manipulate them into the Patriots' hands.  He plays Volgin into 
their hands.  He plays Liquid into their hands.  He played Solidus into 
their hands.  Though he is no single-handed undoing, he helps guide every 
major event throughout the usurp-laden Metal Gear history.

Revolver Ocelot's real name appears to be 'Adam' or 'Adamska.'  He is the 
son of The Boss and The Sorrow, born on or slightly before D-day, WWII.  
As a newborn he was quickly stolen away by The Philosophers and trained 
in their schools.  He was effectively built by the Philosophers as their 
right hand.  His loyalties shift from government to government with the 
times.  In his teens he was purportedly an NSA codebreaker (this might 
just be a concocted story.)  At age twenty he was commander of the USSR's 
'Ocelot' Spetsnaz unit.  In his forties and fifties he was 'Revolver' 
Ocelot of FOXHOUND.  Throughout each career he reported to at least two 
different governments, acting as a double or triple-agent and 
backstabbing unfathomable numbers of allies.  

Ocelot's loyalties seem to jump from America to Russia to FOXHOUND to 
Liquid to Solidus's Sons of Liberty and all over again.  Its confusing as 
hell until you simplify it as such.  Ocelot always works for and always 
reports to the Patriots.  Whatever he does, he does for them.  Whatever 
side he seems to fight for, he fights for their desired outcome.  

As a character, Ocelot is admittedly rather static.  He was raised and 
trained and entirely programmed by the Patriots, so he will be their 
hands, eyes, gopher and/or garbageman if they so desire.  He is a skilled 
soldier with (apparently) an uncanny mind for both ricochet physics and 
convoluted political subterfuge.

Lastly, to inform anyone who doubted, I am NOT pulling Ocelot's parentage
out of my ass.  There are several clues present, along with one 
irrefutable bit.

Firstoff, radio conversations with Eva can reveal a few points;
 - Ocelot is 20 years old
 - Ocelot was born on a battlefield at the end of WWII via c-section
 - Ocelot's mother has a long, winding 'snake' scar
 - one of Ocelot's parents was a legendary soldier

The Boss will explain her child's birth in the end;
 - Her child is male
 - her child was born on D-day, 1944, making him 20 years old
 - she gave birth via cesarean section
 - her child was stolen by the Philosophers
 - she has a winding, snakelike scar from the delivery

Therefore, the Boss's child would now be a 20-year-old man in the
employ of the Philosophers.  

Come ON.

If that isn't enough, in an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly, 
Kojima mentioned that the Boss's son was indeed one of the main 
characters of MGS3, then promptly made a spinning pistola gesture.  

For reference, this was EGM #188 (February 2005.)


===========================================================================
VI.  CANONICAL "METAL GEAR" VARIATIONS
===========================================================================

The series' namesake is ironically unimportant in the grand scheme of
things.  Just as Star Wars is a six-episode series all about the rise and
fall of Darth vader, all of Metal Gear is about the legacy of Big Boss.

The political motivations always seem to have a Metal Gear in the center,
however.  Metal Gear is a constant catalyst of events, and the political
values of its different forms are worth noting.


===========================================================================
VI-A, "SHAGOHOD" [ METSHA ]

Shagohod, meaning 'the treading behemoth,' is not defineably a 'Metal
Gear' but is no less than the progenitor of the entire Metal Gear concept.

Constructed in the Soviet Union in 1964, its research and development were
almost exclusively private to Colonel Volgin's unit.  It was developed at
the OKB-754 design bureau by Doctor Sokolov, and constructed in Volgin's
private fortress at Groznyj Grad.  Volgin's nigh-infinite funds (thanks to
the Philosopher's Legacy) expedited the process noticeably.  

The Shagohod's premise was simple on paper; a mobile launch site for
nuclear inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM).  Easier said than
done, as ICBMs are almost exclusively launched from underground silos due
to their enormous size and payload.  ICBMs had exceptional range for the
time, but their launchsites were incredibly limited.  The sphere of 
influence for traditional ICBM launchsites did not suitably threaten the
United States.

The Shagohod was a quasi-pedal tank.  Utterly colossal in size, its rear
section was a traditional tread-driven unit on a much larger scale.  Its
front half was a smaller unit armed with convential weapons and using a
pair of dextrous drill-type treads for added forward motion and stability
in rough terrain.

The rear half was large enough to mount a single small-scale ICBM.  This
stripped-down version had a single-stage capable of an almost 2500-mile
attack radius.  The Shagohod's thread was twofold;

A) The Shagohod was massive, but still mobile.  It could be maneuvered
   into a variety of terrains to allow its launch from any desired
   vantage point.

B) Rather than fire from a standstill, the Shagohod could accelerate up
   to 300 mph and launch the missile on momentum and light thrust, so
   that its onboard rockets would act as a second stage and increase its
   threat radius to approximately 6000 miles.

With onboard rocket propulsion and at least three miles of straight
runway, the Shagohod could easily make use of this increased-range
function.  This added to its mobility and it was a horrific nuclear
delivery system in comparison with the traditional silo-launched ICBMs.
The desired function of a mobile, ultra-long-range nuclear strike platform
was fully realized, albeit primitively, in the Shagohod.

The Shagohod was barely a Soviet project.  It was driven almost entirely
by Colonel Volgin, and was to be the centerpiece in his coup of 
Khruschev's administration.  As Major Zero puts it, he intended 'to turn
the Cold war into a blazing hot one.'

The Cold War was just as it sounded, a war fought without blazing warfare.
Russia and the United States were equal superpowers in the world, both
with uncanny military might and a feeling of imperitive threat at 
each other's hands.  

Deterrance was the name of the game.  Rather than kill and conquer, the
US and the USSR competed furiously to maintain tenuous arms superiority.
The space race and other technological feats of the sixties and seventies
were brought about solely by America's paranoid drive to outpace its
mortal socialist enemies.  

This constant race for superiority kept the balance swinging carefully
back and forth.  With such a competition, armed conflict did not actually
break out.  It was a war of motive, a war of potential.  The Cold War
was fought by each nation racing to match the other's latest threat.

This was the whole premise of deterrance, and later our infamous 'nuclear
deterrance.'  Each side continues to match the other's power to the point
that neither will risk launching the first strike for fear that they will
simply annihilate eachother completely.  The will to conquer versus self-
preservation kept each nation at bay, furiously building arms from behind
each side of the iron curtain.  

Even now, our nation 'averts' nuclear threats by maintaining the largest
nuclear arsenal imaginable.  A nuclear strike on US soil could be 
feasibly met with tenfold retaliation.  Thus is the philosophy of nuclear
deterrance.

Ideally, each side wanted to amass enough of an advantage that the other
would be forced to surrender in the event of heated conflict.  By
keeping up with each other's advances, both nations stayed within a small
perimeter of tactical safety.

The Shagohod was meant as a quantum leap past the traditional pace of
deterrant competition.  Its destructive capabilities elevated it far
beyond the level of deterrant threat.  With the capacity to obliterate
any American target from nearly anywhere, it was expected to bring the US
to its knees with little difficulty.  The prototype was a moderate threat,
but once it had been proven, Volgin could easily afford to mass-produce
a legion of them; enough to fell the US in a single unified stroke.

The Shagohod was limited, but was the first step towards the horrific
and idealized Metal Gear concept.  The point of a Metal Gear has always
been to lunge past the global level of threat and deterrance and offer
instantaneous victory over any oppressor.

The shagohod was destroyed by Naked Snake, however Granin's designs for a
far more versatile weapon leaked out after Operation Snake eater.  His
ideas for the 'Metal Gear' required technology that did not yet exist.
The ultimate derivitive of his concept, the perfect fusion of bipedal
mobility and unlimited strike range, would not be realized for over forty
years.


===========================================================================
VI-B, MSX ERA METAL GEAR UNITS [ METMSX ]

The unfortunate aspect of this section is that information is sorely
limited as to the technological capbilities of the first two 'true' Metal
Gears.  We can infer plenty, and most important is the poltical
implications of each.

The Metal Gears constructed in Outer Heaven and later Zanzibar Land were
entirely similar, if not nearly identical.  Their offensive ranges were
presumably similar to the Shagohod's peak performance: enough to strike
the heartlands of the major national superpowers.

The difference that set these apart from the Shagohod is the defining
characteristic of a "Metal Gear:" these two machines could, acting without
support, fire an absurdly long-range nuclear strike from a standing
position on ANY terrain.

The shagohod was lethal for its time, but still very limited.  It was
still tread-driven.  This and its massive size still prohibited many less
friendly terrains.  Also, to reach full attack range, it needed to reach
300 mph on at least three miles of straight, level track.  

Metal Gear was by definition a bipedal tank capable of traversing any
solid terrain.  Mountainous or uneven regions could not hinder it.
Furthermore, from a stationary position, a Metal Gear unit could launch
a self-propelled nuclear strike.  In theory, the original two Metal Gears
had the technology to match or slightly exceed the Shagohod's optimum
strike range without the Shagohod's required groundspeed.

How this technology came to pass isn't clear; if anyone has played Metal
Gear or Metal Gear 2 thoroughly and can clue me in on their functions or
strike ranges, please contact me.

No matter how it functioned, it functioned.  With what I hope is a sense
of sick irony, Big Boss saw the value of the technology that he had once
defeated.  Founding Outer Heaven, he knew that such a small nation could
easily be crushed by one of the major global powers should a large-scale
conflict arise.

Outer Heaven needed a deus ex machina; it needed a weapon that could
instantly grant it the strength and status of a global superpower and the
capacity to topple one if needed.

For Outer Heavent to prosper, it needed more than legions of soldiers and
conventional weapons.  It needed an ace it could pull on any nation that
threatened its independence.  Big Boss realized that something like the
Shagohod was exactly what he needed to turn his small country into an
overnight deterrant force.

The Shagohod itself was obsolete and limited by this point.  Metal Gear
was designed and built to put it to shame.  Destroyed by Solid Snake
before it could threaten the world, its second iteration stood to inherit
its legacy.

With the rise of Zanzibar Land, a successor to Outer Heaven, Big Boss
tried yet again to give life to a weapon of such power.  Metal Gear II was
destroyed as well, but by this point its technology was well-proven to be
a potent force in global politics.


===========================================================================
VI-C, "METAL GEAR REX" [ METREX ]

Metal Gear REX is perhaps the most underrated piece of Metal Gear mythos
imaginable.  Its political power is unprecedented in the whole saga, and
technologically it is the most perfect weapon ever devised.

REX is the ultimate realization of Granin's original premise; what the
Shagohod attempted and the first Metal Gears began, REX simply perfected.

Metal Gear REX is a bipedal, all-terrain tank with enough conventional
weaponry to operate without friendly support.  Moreover, it can launch a
stealth nuclear strike from a standing position with nearly UNLIMITED 
global range.

It is exactly how it sounds.  Metal Gear REX has an attack radius that
encompasses practically the entire globe, and it retains full mobility
over any land terrain.

REX uses a miniturized electromagnetic rail cannon that uses magnetic
force to fire projectiles at supersonic speeds.  These projectiles can be
fired in sub-orbital arcs that can land on potentionally any site on the
face of the earth.

In simpler terms, REX can fire a warhead with such velocity that it will
soar to the height of the Earth's atmosphere before gravity arcs it back
down onto its target.

Furthermore, these nuclear warheads do not require chemical propulsion;
they aren't rocket-powered, they are magnetically catapulted at their
targets.  They are not missiles, they are simply bombs that are 'thrown.'

This incredibly flight speed combined with the lack of propellant exhaust
makes the warhead undetectable to traditional early-warning systems.  It
gives off no excess heat or gas to trigger distant detection systems, and
even it closer range, its anti-radar surface and incredible speed make
magnetic detection futile.

What it all boils down to is this; Metal Gear REX can nuke anything, from
any place, at any time, without being at all detected.

A stationary magnetic rail platform would be deadly enough, but runs a
high risk of discovery and destruction from above.  REX can not only MOVE,
but it can move over any usual obstructions with ease.  It can position
itself at any reasonably high altitude and find firing trajectories with
ease.  There is still no greater weapon in the Metal Gear universe.

Its political power is also unparalleled, and for good reason.  Metal Gear
REX was a creation of the United States military.  REX was no terrorist
abomination; it was a tool of the United States government.

REX was designed and assembled as an army black project; the nuclear
disposal facility at Shadow Moses was little more than a veil over REX's
development.  The FOXHOUND insurrection was entirely centered around REX.

Metal Gear REX is the pinnacle of nuclear strike technology.  It was
designed and built under layer after layer of political smokescreen.  It's
lead engineer, Hal Emmerich, was designing its body and bipedal functions
under the assumption that its railgun was meant as a theater missile
defense system.  Plausibly, REX COULD serve as a TMD; it's incredibly
long-range targeting faculties could allow it to identify and isolate
high-velocity targets while the rail cannon could fire countermeasures at
excellent interception speeds.

That guise could politically defend REX to some extent were it revealed.
The government's motivation in building its own Metal Gear was still the
same as every one of its progenitors; global arms superiority.  A nuclear
strike is still the apex of offensive and defensive threats; REX's
completion would elevate the US to a godlike status in the international
community.  It would theoretically (with enormous emphasis on the word
'theoretically') serve as an omnipotent peace-preserving deterrant force.

REX's presence combined with the already massive might of the US military
is enough to intimidate any nation on the planet.  REX was not a mutant or
a standalone force; it was only the prototype.  A legion of Metal Gears
ready for distribution around the world is the most horrific threat since
the original Shagohod.

The global threat and controversy that REX held made it a holy grail to
any force looking to make a stand:

A)  The United States government dared to use it as an overkill
    deterrant force

B)  Liquid Snake and FOXHOUND seized it to discredit the US within the
    international community and rebuild Outer Heaven

C)  Solidus Snake (at the time President George Sears) helped instigate
    FOXHOUND's rebellion so that the exposure of Metal Gear REX to the
    world public would reveal the machinations of the Patriots.

REX's destruction at the hands of Solid Snake was an unwitting victory for
the Patriots; had Solidus or Liquid had their way, REX's unleashment would
have simultaneously revealed and condemned the Patriots.

Upon REX's destruction, supposedly Ocelot kept the design schematics and
leaked them to a number of hostile nations.  I doubt this is true; Ocelot
is still the agent of the Patriots, and they would not allow such a threat
to leak out to a number of their enemies.  

The notion that REX derivatives were sprouting around the globe is more
than likely a rumor that the Patriots started to perpetuate fear and to
necessitate the creation of Metal Gear RAY.


===========================================================================
VI-D, "METAL GEAR RAY" AND "ARSENAL GEAR" [ METRAY ]

Metal Gear RAY is, in a word, a joke.  RAY is not a Metal Gear.  I will
repeat this.  RAY is not a Metal Gear.  

Metal Gear RAY was developed by the US Marine Corps as a countermeasure
to the supposed REX derivatives that were scattered around the globe.

RAY is an amphibious and highly dextrous bipedal tank armed with massive
amounts of conventional firepower.  Officially, it is meant as a highly
maneuvarable solo-operable anti-REX weapon.

This is where RAY is still a joke.  RAY is not nuclear-equipped.  RAY is
not a nuclear threat at all.  It is just a battleship with legs.  By
definition, RAY is not a Metal Gear.

This seems, at first, like a massive blunder on the part of MGS's story.
I postulate, however, that it has far more intentional purposes.

The 'official' story, laid out by Marine Commandant Dolph, is that Metal
Gear RAY is a Marine project designed to wipe out REX variants around the
world, while the Navy is simultaneously designing their own new Metal
Gear unit.

Judging from the end results of Sons of Liberty, I would like to theorize
the following:

Firstoff, we know that the Patriots have in hand in every branch of the
government.  To think that the Marine corps is somehow undermining their
authority is ludicrous.  We are also well aware of what the Navy project
actually is; the fortress 'Arsenal Gear.'

Arsenal Gear is a nuclear-strike-capable mobile fortress built as a sort
of military core for the Patriots.  From Arsenal Gear orders could be 
issued to every branch of the armed forces and an entire war could
plausibly be conducted with authority.

Arsenal Gear is housed under the Big Shell facility; note that this is
the SECOND time an environmentally-friendly cleanup facility has actually
been the smokescreen for nuke-capable Metal Gear development.

Arsenal launches with a battery of twenty-six first-generation
mass-produced RAY units.  Arsenal is a fortress and a squad of 
AI-controlled Metal Gear RAY units serve as its support unit.  

With this is mind it is my theory that RAY was never meant as some sort of
anti-metal gear unit, nor was it some sort of subversive Marine project
that the Patriots opposed.  The Patriots control practically EVERYTHING,
damn it.  It is sensible to assume that the Patriots guided development of
RAY with the KNOWLEDGE that it would serve as a conventional support unit
for Arsenal Gear.

The Patriot's fascination with nukes and irony proliferates even still.
Not only have they made two separate false cleanup facilities to hide the
development of metal gear, but both units have been made under the guise
of self-defense.  REX was excused as a 'mobile TMD (theater missile
defense) platform' and RAY was supposedly an 'independent Anti-REX strike
vehicle.'  REX was actually a full-scale nuclear strike platform and RAY
was the support fighter for a LARGER Metal Gear derivative.  Joke's on
us, eh?

RAY was transported on a false oil tanker by the Marine Corps when Ocelot
stole it on behalf of the Patriots.  Sinking the tanker with all the
marines onboard made the S3 plan was absofreakinglutely perfect.

A)  RAY was unwittingly built by the Marines for the purpose of defending
    Arsenal Gear.

B)  The tanker sank, smearing Solid Snake's name and eliminating any
    Marine corps officers who knew too much about RAY.

C)  The sunken tanker facilitated construction of the Big Shell, which
    masked final construction of Arsenal Gear.

D)  Ocelot was not widely known yet to be a Patriot spy; once he stole RAY
    it could be assumed that he was little more than a terrorist and a
    mercenary, which would easily earn him the alliance of Solidus Snake.

E)  Ocelot undoubtedly delivered RAY quickly to the Patriots, who in turn
    were able to quickly complete mass-production based on its
    specifications.

If you follow what I've said so far, you can see where I'm coming from.

When Sons of Liberty was released, RAY was billed as 'the new metal gear.'
We all assumed it was the next big threat, the next final boss to shoot
down with a few stinger missiles and chaff grenades.  In reality, RAY was
just as much a smokescreen as everything else; RAY is nothin but a tiny
tool of the Patriots to keep attention away from Arsenal Gear.


===========================================================================
VII.  WHAT THE HELL (approx. OH MY GOD - SERIOUSLY NOW)
===========================================================================

Some things are just f'ing crazy.


===========================================================================
VII-A, "LIQUID'S DAMN STUPID SEVERED ARM AND DISEMBODIED SPIRIT" [ WHALIQ ]

By popular demand, I'm going to include some brief acknowledgement of this,
the most significant plot point that I INTENTIONALLY AVOIDED in my first
versions.  

On Shadow Moses Island in "Twin Snakes," the Ninja cuts off Revolver
Ocelot's right hand, much to his pistol-twirling bloody dismay.  When we
see Ocelot again in Sons of Liberty (on the tanker), he has a shiny new
right arm grafted on.  

This arm is actually the right arm of Liquid Snake, swiped from the corpse
to fill the gap left in Ocelot's life (and left in his elbow.)

Now, I hope you're thinking what I'm thinking so far.  Which is, 'that's
just plain odd.'  Well, its not that bad.  At first.

When Ocelot is stealing Metal Gear RAY from the tanker, the arm throbs,
goes all crazy-like, and guess what?  Liquid Snake's disembodied spirit
takes over Ocelot's body.

ooooh joy.

So, from at least the tanker incident onward into the future, Liquid Snake
can occasionally take over Revolver Ocelot's body.  ...yeah.  It happens
as Ocelot is stealing RAY, but he clearly comes back to his sense as he
escapes.  It happens again on the surface of Arsenal Gear, as Ocelot takes
off yet again.

From what can be gathered, Liquid is... uh... living on through his own 
severed arm.  Beyond this, he is apparently glad to be in Ocelot's body,
where he has access to the knowledge and resources that can lead him to
the Patriots and ultimately their undoing.

Liquid's priorities seem to have changed somewhat from his Shadow Moses
coup.  He no longer is seeking to rebuild Outer Heaven (as that dream was
rather thoroughly crushed), but now is similar to Solidus in seeking the
end of the Patriots.  Altogether, it seems he and Solidus have almost
identical ideals at this point, but Liquid's obsession with ultimately
being the 'fortunate son' cause him to leave his brothers behind as he
takes RAY and Ocelot's unwilling body to find the Patriots.

All of this ultimately occurs in the last twenty minutes of Sons of 
Liberty.  Liquid's new host body and motivations have not yet taken an 
effect on the grand scheme of things.  

These are issues that will be dealt with in any direct sequel to Sons of 
Liberty (MGS4, maybe?), so the entire affair regarding Ocelot's bloody 
stump or Liquid's addams-family reject is not yet pertinent to the plot.

Its reasonable to think that Ocelot, being the son of the Sorrow (a man
who could communicate with the dead on the battlefield,) has some sort
of medium-type abilities that enable this unholy union.  Ocelot is
undoubtedly still unaware of his own parentage, so its probably never
crossed his mind that this is the case.  

The old sci-fi concept of genetic memory also applies here; though I see
Ocelot's medium-inheritance as a more likely answer, this can't be ruled
out yet.  The notion has usually been applied to offspring; in Xenogears,
some of the main characters retain memories of their ancestors stored
within their genetic introns.  The premise has long been that DNA can 
have a deeper housing of personal information, perhaps storing enough
memories and personality to give an inheritor all of the predecessors
memory.  

While that can apply to offspring, the notion here is that Liquid's
entire personality could be bound to his blood, and after time, the
slightest traces of his own DNA could manifest within Ocelot's brain.
Its farfetched, but it is a tried-and-true science fiction concept, and
we know that Hideo is a sucker for conundrums.

Liquid's new ambitions along with this turnaround for Ocelot will likely
be of critical importance as soon as the story picks up where it left off.
If you're curious as to how I feel about the decision to put MGS3 back in
time rather than continue the adventures of Crazy Mister Ocelot and his
Talking Pet Arm, I'm really content with it; I'm very thankful for all 
that Snake Eater has added to the story.

As for this whole sordid affair with Liquid's ghost, I feel that its the
singular bulging blemish on the entire Metal Gear saga.  I mean, come on.

Come ON.

Either ways, we'll eventually find out more.  I can't wait.


===========================================================================
END OF OVERVIEW 
===========================================================================


To reiterate, many of the concepts presented here are just my thoughts, 
and not strict canon.  Most of this is just me rambling, with a few bits
of help from other folks.

Speaking of those folks...!

- the good people at 
  http://philosopherslegacy.fu8.com and their keen forums.  

- Lilac Man, for pretty much debunking Solidus's origins.

- Teflon, for straightening out some of MG2 (MSX) for me.

- Brett Mann, for correcting my notions on FOXDIE and Naomi.

- Tom Addison, who mentioned Dolph's words to Ocelot, which are no less
  than interesting...

- Chris Kenney, for reminding me about the concept of genetic memory.

- Diego, who straightened me out about the MSX.

- James Meldrum, who let me know what issue of EGM had Kojima's remarks.

- the frickin four dozen people who reminded me that Ocelot is the son of
  the sorrow over the course of one week.  Oh god.  Oh god.  I know.  I 
  forgot that, okay?  it reached the point of four emails every morning
  waiting to tell me this point O_O

- the frickin four dozen people who needed me to write out how I know that
  Ocelot is the Boss's son.  Oddly, it all started as soon as I fixed the
  PREVIOUS one.