Metal Gear, MGS, Metal Gear Solid, or whatever you wanna call it, has one of the most involved stories in all of gaming. Hell, it has some of the craziest yarns, period. From the first Metal Gear to the newest iteration in Ground Zeroes, this series has had words thrown at it such as deep, intricate, and the most notable of all, convoluted. It really depends on the player or fan, but I myself, consider MGS (which is what I like to call it on paper) one of the best pieces of story telling that I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting involved in. I have a whole host of games at my Backlog disposal, yet it’s this franchise that keeps calling me back to it. I own every game at least five times over and have replayed each (of the Solids) at least four times. OK, PW doesn’t count because at 100+hrs I still have yet to complete it. But still it’s just such a rich world that there always seems to be something new to find even after so many revisits. Another fact of the matter is that, a lot of gamers still haven’t experienced MGS in all its glory. Maybe they too, have a long backlog of games to tackle. Maybe they think MGS is just a tough nut of a convoluted story to crack. That’s where Reddit user AudioRejectz comes in. He has written as concise as possible all the ins and outs of the MGS saga to help newcomers ease into Kojima’s labyrinthine story.
In AudioRejectz’ words:
After weeks of writing, i have finally finished it. This is in an effort to help new players to understand the Metal Gear Series.
He’s cleaned up some of the mess to make a very straight to the point introduction for newbies and even for longtime fans, like me, who just wanna have a place where all the pieces fit. Even then, MGS can get a little cumbersome at times. Luckily, this all is in chronological order. You can either read it here, or on AudioRejectz’ Reddit page.
[Note: facts about Ground Zeroes have not been added for the sake of avoiding Spoilers at this time.]
After weeks of writing, i have finally finished it. This is in an effort to help new players to understand the Metal Gear Series( i put it up a few mins ago by mistake and removed it, this was due to it not being formatted and i thought i had put it on my sub reddit to do this)
Please note: This may and probably will contain spoilers to all metal gears EXCEPT for Ground Zero and The Phantom Pain, these Metal Gears have not been added to the story, to prevent Major Spoilers. The metal Gear games were not made in order of the story, so i will place the game name at the start of each section.
All info is collected from the Games/Comics/Wiki’s and my own experience with the franchise (Some sentences are pasted from wiki ) Ill try to explain the Full Metal Gear story, without saturating it with unnecessary information This means some characters will not be mentioned, this is purely for the fact they have no direct impact on the story Also, whilst this is a lengthy read. At the End ill basically explain the full history in a paragraph So feel free to skip to that part if you don’t fancy a read – Also, if you believe their are any mistakes, or vital story lines are missed, please let me know in the comments.
I have intentionally missed some games, as i believed them to not be directly related to the main story
1918 – Russia, China and the USA created The Philosophers – A corrupt organisation who control everything.
1961 – President Kennedy disobeys The Philosophers
1963 – The Philosophers kill President Kennedy
1963 – Game = Metal gear solid 3: Operation Snake Eater
FOX agent Naked Snake(FOX was a covert operations group affiliated with the CIA and lead by Major Zero) is sent into Soviet Russia to recover a Russian weapons designer and destroy a new Soviet super weapon “The shagohod”, (Nuclear-armed tank )Naked Snake is stopped by The Boss (Naked Snake’s mentor)The Boss has defected to Russia and given them a nuclear bombThe bomb is used on a Russian Research facility by Volgin( a power hungry Russian colonel )
Naked snake is told by Major Zero (Leader of FOX)the U.S the Government was willing to revoke the charges in regards to any and all involvement in The Boss’s defection, under the condition that he accepts the follow up mission Operation Snake EaterThe U.S send Naked Snake back in to Kill The Boss and retrieve the stolen weapon “The shagohod”whilst at the same time, aiming to prove they did not set off the Nuclear device.Naked Snake is assisted by Eva (Unbeknown to Naked snake, shes a spy for Chinese People’s Liberation Army, tasked with obtaining the Philosophers Legacy)During this mission Naked Snake has many encounters with Ocelot – Later discovering he’s a sleeper agent)Naked Snake discovers Volgin has obtained “the philosophers legacy” a 100 Billion dollar savings accountNaked Snake Destroys the shagohod, Kills The Boss and Volgin and obtains half of the Legacy
Naked Snake discovers The Boss was actually Loyal to the U.S and working undercover. The Boss was set up and unaware the Philosophers wanted her dead.. She believed she was on a mission ( Virtuous Mission )to acquire the Philosophers Legacy She was given the nuclear bomb, to give to Volgin and earn his trust Unbeknown to the Boss, Volgin had order’s to use the nuclear bomb In doing so, the Americans were blamed for the attack! The CIA revised The Boss’s mission and named it “Operation Snake Eater” She was told, she would continue to appear a traitor to the U.S and allow herself to be assassinated by an American Agent Naked Snake
The U.S rename Naked Snake “Big Boss” But he is Angered at the U.S, for having The Boss labelled as a traitor, even though she was loyal and having him used to kill her!
Big Boss (Naked snake) Leaves his unit FOX, shortly followed by Major Zero.
1970 – Game = Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Big Boss (Naked Snake) has been captured and tortured by his old unit FOX (FOX was taken over by Gene AKA Viper and became a renegade group)Whilst Imprisoned, Big Boss meets Green Beret Roy CampbellBig Boss escapes and learns the U.S is blaming Big Boss for turning the FOX unit renegade and charges him with treason, they also arrest Major Zero!Big Boss and Roy Campbell decide to create “FOXHOUND” (A unit to take down the remaining FOX unit, whilst clearing their names)Other members of unit Ocelot – Major Zero – EVA and Frank Jaeger (A former FOX agent)
Big Boss defeats Gene, in doing so Gene gives the boss, all of FOX units money,soldiers and plans to build their own military nation
It is then revealed that FOX kidnapping Big Boss was set up by Ocelot and Major Zero and that Major Zero had manipulated Gene into going renegade
This was to lure the CIA’s director out of hiding so they could obtain the Philosophers legacy
Ocelot kills the head of the CIA and obtains the Philosophers legacy and a list, naming all the members of the Philosophers.
Ocelot – Major Zero and Big Boss use the legacy and there new army to reorganize “The Philosophers” and create “The Patriots”
The Patriots gain control of the U.S government and aim to fulfill the ideal of a unified world, that was envisioned by The Boss (Not to be confused the Big Boss AKA Naked Snake)
Ocelot and Major Zero decide to make Big Boss the face of The Patriots
FOXHOUND is turned into an official Military unit
Big Boss is seriously injuredMajor Zero, fearful his legendary soldier will die, he uses somatic cell cloning and EVA as a surrogate mother to create a clone of Big BossMajor Zero names this project “Les Enfants Terribles” a project designed to create the perfect soldier, using the genes of the “Greatest Warrior of the 20th Century” Big Boss.EVA produced Twins Liquid Snake and Solid SnakeBoth regarded as imperfect clones, so a third child was created “Solidus Snake”Solidus was regarded as the perfect clone of Big bossTo Prevent the clones falling into enemy hands and used against the patriots, each were given accelerated ageing.
With it been estimated they would Die early 40’s and if needed, new clones could be made.
Big Boss is outraged at what Major Zero has done
He also believes The patriots have corrupt the vision of The boss and he decides to leave The Patriots
1974 – Game = Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Big Boss and his new group Militaires Sans Frontières are asked to save Costa Rica from an Army who have taken over the countryBig Boss discovers this army is building a Metal Gear codenamed “Peace Walker”The Peace Walker was built as a Nuclear deterrent and capable of selecting suitable targets for nuclear retaliation, without the need of human involvement.The Peace Walk is also fitted with BS-Imago AKA The Boss AICreated by Dr. Strangelove, The Boss AI was an AI based perfectly on The BossA CIA agent named Hot Coldman, attempts to feed the Peace Walker false data, to get it to fire at Militaires Sans FrontièresColdman is killed by the KGB, but before he dies, he manages to reprogram the Peace Walker to fire on CubaAt the same time, sending false data to the U.S, making it seem as though they were the target of a Soviet missile strikeBig Boss tries to convince the U.S that the missile attack is fake, in an attempt to prevent the U.S launching their own strikeBig boss is unable to stop the Americans from attackingThe Boss AI, sacrifices it’s self to kill the false signal and prevents the world from Nuclear war!
Big Boss uses his group and the Peace Walkers developers, to build his own Metal GearThis Metal Gear is stolen by a secret agent, sent by Major ZeroMajor Zero intends on using the Metal Gear, to launch Nukes at the U.S and frame Big Boss and his group for the attackBig Boss decides to create his own Military Nation. Free of the exploitation and corruption of the worlds governments.He names this “Outer Heaven” *He plans to use Outer Heaven and take on Major Zero and his group The Patriots
Between 1975 and around 1984 is where Ground Zero’s and The Phantom Pain take place To prevent any spoilers, i will not include any more info about these here
1984 to 1989
Big Boss’s army fights in numerous wars
Solid Snake fights in the gulf war for the U.SLiquid Snake is Captured in Iraq whilst fighting for the SAS
Big Boss takes control of FOXHOUND, so he can keep an eye on the U.S from the insideThe U.S do not know Big Boss also controls Outer HeavenOuter Heaven develop the TX-55 Metal Gear, a powerful to help them stand a chance at opposing Major Zero and the Patriots
Liquid Snake is released
1995 – Game = Metal Gear
The U.S learn that Outer Heaven are building their own Metal GearThey send FOXHOUND to destroy itBig Boss sends Frank Jaeger AKA “Grey Fox” on the mission to Outer Heaven, but he fails and is captured.Big Boss sends in Rookie Solid Snake (Solid Snake does not know Big Boss is his dad) to save Grey FoxSolid Snake saves Grey Fox and continues to complete Grey Fox’s missionBig Boss attempts to stop Solid Snake from completing his mission, he reveals he is the leader of Outer HeavenThat he took the role as leader of FOXHOUND so he could delay the mission, so Outer Heaven could finish building the Metal GearSolid Snake defeats Big Boss and the Metal Gear and sets the facility to self destructBig Boss survives and saves everyone from Outer before the facility is destroyedBig Boss and his soldiers retreat to the middle east
With Big Boss presumed dead, Roy Campbell was placed in command of FOXHOUND
Big Boss helps Zanzibar claim independence from Russia by force
1999 – Game = Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
The worlds oil is running low, it is considered a major crisisTo counter the problem Dr. Kio Marv creates a synthetic oilHe is kidnapped by soldiers from Zanzibarland, with the intentions of holding the world hostage by controlling the worlds oil supplyZanzibar uses Metal Gears to watch over Dr. Kio Marv to prevent him escaping or being rescudedRoy Campbell sends Solid Snake to Zanzibar to rescue Dr. Kio MarvDuring the mission discovers Big Boss Survived their first encounterSolid Snake fails to save Dr. Kio Marv, finding him dead, but manages to obtain the formula for the synthetic oil from his corpse.Solid Snake is attacked by Metal Gear D, a Metal Gear piloted by Grey FoxSolid Snake defeats the Metal Gear, Grey Fox survives and he and Solid Snake engage in a fight. Solid Snake kills Grey Fox!Solid Snake comes across Big Boss, they engage in battle resulting in Big Boss being KilledJust before Big Boss dies, he reveals he is Solid Snakes father
Big Boss’s body is recovered by The Patriots, despite suffering major injuries, he was still alive,just.Major Zero placed him in cold storage, whilst using nanomachines to artificially induce a cryogenic comaMajor Zero’s goal was to use Big Boss’s genes to enhance soldiers (Genome Soldiers) giving them augmented senses, reflexes, and combat skillsMajor Zero grew sentimental and kept Big Boss’s body around (Some suggest he regretted his and Big Boss’s loss in friendship)This angers Ocelot and he starts to plot against Major Zero and The Patriots
Roy Campbell leaves FOXHOUNDLiquid Snake Joins the FOXHOUND and soon afterwards becomes it’s leader
Major Zero is growing old and losing faith in humanity, he dosnt trust anyone to take over The Patriots.Major Zero commissions the construction of an AI network (The System) to pursue his visionThe Sytem consists of 4 AI’s controlled by a fifth “master” AIHe uses Big Boss’s bio metric data as a key, to access the central Master AIThe System takes over all functions of The PatriotsThe Patriots place Solidus Snake as president of the united statesSolidus Snake orchestrates the forthcoming “Shadow Moses indecent”
Dr. Naomi Hunter perfects the virus FOXDIE, a virus that is programmed to kill specific people, by identifying the person’s DNA and their nanomachinesOriginal created to kill Solid Snake as revenge for Snake killing Grey Fox
2005 – Game = Metal Gear Solid
FOXHOUND leads an armed uprising on a remote island in Alaska’s Fox Archipelago. This island, codenamed “Shadow Moses”Led by Liquid snake, his unit have been genetically advanced (Genome Soldiers)They have acquired the nuclear-capable Metal Gear REX and are threatening the U.S government with a nuclear strike, if they do not receive the remains of the Big Boss within 24 hoursRoy Campbell sends in Solid Snake, with the mission to locate hostages “DARPA Chief” and “ArmsTech president”These will confirm if Liquid has the ability to launch the nukesSnake finds the ArmsTech president and during there conversation, the ArmsTech president suffers a sudden cardiac arrestSnake is confronted by Ocelot, he challenges snake to a gun fight.As Ocelot is about to shoot Solid Snake, his hand is chopped off by a Cyborg NinjaThe genome modified Ninja is Grey Fox, who was believed to be dead following his fight with Solid Snake in Metal Gear 2During the mission, Snake rescues Meryl (Roy Campbell’s Daughter) and Otacon (Creator or Metal Gear REX)Upon saving Otacon, Solid Snake learns Liquid has a Metal Gear “Metal Gear REX”Solid Snake delves deeper into the shadow moses complex, where he encounters the Metal Gear Rex, being piloted by Liquid SnakeDuring the battle, Grey Fox comes to the aid of Solid Snake. By heavily damaging Metal Gear RexBut in doing so, Grey Fox is killed when Metal Gear Rex crushes himAfter a fist battle on top of Metal Gear REX, Liquid tries to escapewhen Solid Snake catches up to Liquid, Liquid suddenly dies of Cardiac arrest and it is at this point Solid Snake discovers he is infected with the FOXDIE virus.Unknown Grey Fox at the time was still alive, Dr. Naomi Hunter had earlier injected Solid Snake with the virusSolid Snake is told, he may have years to live
Following the Shadow Moses a book is published, revealing everything, including Solidus’s involvementHe is forced to step down as president and goes into hiding with OcelotOcelot also graphs Liquid Snake’s hand to himself, in replace of his decapitated oneThis results in Liquid Snakes conscience trying to take over Ocelot’s body
2007 – Game = Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Part 1)
Solid Snake discovers a tanker is transporting a Metal Gear RaySolid Snake finds and boards the ship in an attempt to destroy itThe tanker is hijacked by Ocelot (who is currently possesed by Liquid Snake) and he Steals the Metal Gear RaySolid Snake is accused of stealing Metal Gear Ray and goes into hiding
2009 – Game = Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Part 2)
FOXHOUND agent Raiden (Also the adopted son of Solidus Snake, but has lost his memories of this) is ordered to rescue hostages being held the Big Shell facilityThey are being held captive by a terrorist group named Sons of Liberty (whose leader claims to be Solid Snake)During the mission Raiden meets a man named Pliskin, who helps him try transport the hostages from the facilityRaiden and Pliskin are attacked by the Leader of The Sons of Liberty, who calls himself Solid SnakeRaiden and Pliskin defeat Solid but he escapes. It is then revealed that the Solid Snake impersonator and the leader of The sons of Liberty is Solidus SnakeSolidus took on the name of Solid to frame Solid for the terrorist activities *At the same time Pliskin reveals he is Solid SnakeWhilst on the facility, Raiden learns the facility is one massive Metal GearAlso that it also houses one of the Patriot AI systemsRaiden and Solid Snake successfully plant the virus into the AI system, but Solid Snake is captured
Raiden then fights an army of Metal gear Rays
Ocelot reveals that that the entire Big Shell mission was a carefully coordinated attempt to re-enact the events of the Shadow Moses incident
Orchestrated by The Patriot AI for the purpose of creating a soldier (Raiden) on par with Solid Snake
Raiden is then Contacted by The patriot AI via his coms unit.
It reveals that the true purpose of the simulation was to see how well they could simulate and control human behaviour *The AI Orders Raiden to Kill Solidus, otherwise they will kill his loved ones
When Raiden confronts Solidus, Solidus reveals Radiens past to him and that he is Raidens foster father
The two engage in battle, in which Raiden Kills Solidus Snake
When Ocelot sees Solidus Killed, he flee’s with last Metal Gear
Angered at being manipulated by The Patriots, Raiden vows to destroy them
2014 – Game = Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Ocelot is now controlled by Liquid Snakes conscience so will be refereed to currently as “Liquid Ocelot”
The world is now run by private nanomachine enhanced militarises, with the biggest ones been lead by Liquid Ocelot
The UN want Liquid Ocelot assassinated, so they send in Solid Snake to kill Liquid Ocelot
Due to the accelerated ageing, Solid Snake is now old and has around 1 year to live
Snake fails is first attempt to assassinate Liquid Ocelot, but discovers Dr. Naomi Hunter is being held captive by Liquid Ocelot
Snake rescues Dr. Naomi Hunter, then is told the FOXDIE virus in his body is mutating
She then explains, Liquid Ocelot wants Big Boss’s frozen body, retrieve his bio metric data and use it to access the Master Patriot AI
Giving him control over ever nanomachine in the world
That it will soon become uncontrollable and start to kill everyone aground Solid Snake
During a battle with multiple Mech’s (Non nuclear Metal Gears)a Cyborg Ninja assists Solid Snake and helps him escape
The Ninja is revealed to be Raiden
Ocelot succeeds in acquiring Big Boss, gaining control of all the nanomachines in the world, he shuts down every army, in the world, apart from his own
He plans on using Metal Gear Rex (from MGS1) to destroy The Patriots, so he heads back to Shadow Moses to acquire it.
Ocelot obtains Metal Gear Rex and prepares to Launch his Nuclear strike on the Patriots central core.
Solid Snake and Raiden managed to prevent Liquid Ocelot from Launching the strike.
They plant a virus created by Dr. Naomi Hunter into the core of the AI system
The virus destroys The Patriot System, which in turn destroys all AI’s and nanomachines in the world
The world is left with only the bare necessity’s for the modern civilization to survive
Solid Snake and Liquid Ocelot engage in one final fight, in which Solid Snake kills Liquid Ocelot
With The Patriots and all nanomachines gone, every Army / Person / Government in the world is free from manipulation and can do their own thing
Solid Snake visits The Big Boss’s grave, with only a year to live and the FOXDIE virus in him mutating, threatening to kill everyone around him
he decides to commit suicide
Before he pulls the trigger, a man approaches Solid Snake pushing another man in a wheelchair.
The man walking, is Big Boss!!!!!!
He explains the frozen corpse was not him, but Solidus Snake.
As Solidus Snake was the perfect clone of Big Boss and shared his DNA, people presumed the frozen body was Big Boss
Big Boss explains the patriots were created to fullfil The Boss’s vision, or a unified world
But along the way Big Boss and Major Zero both lost their way and pursued different paths to achieve this
Big Boss explains Major Zero allowed the AI’s to take control, which lead to a world dependent on the war economy
And that his was far from the Vision of The Boss when she envisioned a unified world
Big Boss then walks behind the old man in the wheel chair and turns off his life support, the old man dies in Big Boss’s arms
This man, was Major Zero and the war between the two, comes to an end!
Big Boss informs Solid Snake, the AI implanted a new strain of FOXDIE in Solid Snake
That Solid Snake was no longer becoming a biological weapon, but being in the presence of Solid Snake, was killing him (Big Boss)
Big Boss reveals that himself, Major Zero and Ocelot, all just wanted to be free of the way the world was
That each were following their own adaptations of The Boss’s original dream
But that ultimately, what The Boss wanted, was to just leave the world alone
Big Boss also reveals that Liquids arm had not possessed Ocelot and that Ocelot had used Drugs, nanotech and hypnosis to implant Liquids personality into himself, to fool the AI. But when he had Liquids arm removed, Ocelot lost his mind and was actually convinced he was Liquid Snake
Big Boss and Solid Snake reconcile then Big Boss dies in Solid Snakes Arms
Solid Snake then goes on, to live the remainder of his life and to see what becomes of the world
So, we come to the conclusion of the story and understandably, a lot of people will still be confused about the Metal Gear saga So here are the fundamentals of the whole story……
Metal Gear solid is about one soldiers legacy “The Boss”The Boss had a vision of a unified and united worldForever branded a traitor, by the country she loyally served and protectedBig Boss and his friend Major Zero, both attempted to follow The Boss’s Legacy in their own mannersOver time they both lost their ways, losing sight on what The Boss had envisionedMajor Zero left the vision and goal in the hands of an AI system, the AI misinterpreted how to achieve this goal and tried to take over the worldWhen the AI is finally stopped, we learn the true vision of The BossWhich was “To just leave the world alone”
EDIT: Please note – Some of the information provided, has been taken from the comics. So in some instances where you did not see specific parts in the games, the comics fill that in!