Now this is a bit more on the nose than the Star Wars comparisons. Both Metal Gear and James Bond are action-adventure stories that involve action, romance, and over-the-top villains, and are set in the backdrop of the ‘real world’. Both series start in the cold war backdrop of the 1960s, although this fact wasn’t really revealed until the third Metal Gear Solid game (a prequel to the previous four games, revealing the past of Solid Snake’s father, Big Boss), although the James Bond series largely dropped the cold war setting when it was revamped in the 90’s (The Big Boss prequels-set in the 70-80s-Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain-are still set firmly in it though).
The middle-aged Big Boss’s Metal Gear 2 portrait looks awfully familiar….
Like Bond, the original Snake-“Naked Snake”, later to be known as Big Boss, is an operative of an elite unit. Like Bond’s boss M, his boss has a code name-0 (or “Zero”) although while M usually holds the rank of an admiral (Unknown with the Judi Dench one though), Zero is a major. Although Snake is American, Zero is very British. And he’s a huge fan of Bond-in particular, the first two Bond films released in the early 60’s: Dr. No and From Russia With Love.
This is revealed in a radio codec conversation between Snake, Para-Medic (who provides medical advice, and in the game’s context, also saves the game) and Major Zero.
Para-Medic: Snake, have you seen 007: From Russia with Love?
Snake: I don’t like those movies. Real spies are nothing like James Bond. It’s pure fantasy.
Para-Medic: Snake, I don’t think the Major’s going to like you saying that.
Snake: And even though it’s fiction, I can’t help but comparing myself to Bond.
Major: What exactly don’t you like about James Bond? Is it the fantastic gadgets? The cars? The guns?
Major: Snake, wouldn’t you like to have a gun shaped like a pen?
Snake: What good is a pen going to do me in the jungle? I’d look like a fool.
Major: Then what about a snake-shaped gun? You could make it look like you’re grappling with a giant snake and then get a shot in on the enemy while they’re distracted.
Snake: OK, now you’re being ridiculous.
Major: We’ll make you a snake-shaped gun that folds up and fits into an attaché case.
Snake: Will you give it a rest?
Major: Oh, I get it. You’re worried about how to handle the ladies, aren’t you?
Major: I knew it. Hmm…To tell you the truth, I don’t like the idea of playing hanky-panky with enemy femme fatales, either. But that’s part of Bond’s appeal. You could learn a thing or two from him. What about this EVA? What are you planning to do with her?
Snake: I…I don’t even trust her yet.
Major: That’s not what I mean. You can’t let yourself get involved. This is a game of spy versus spy. She’s using you just as much as you’re using her.
Snake: I realize that.
Major: You’ve got to grab the initiative. And to do that, you have to get the upper hand in the relationship. That’s what a spy is supposed to do.
Snake: Get the upper hand…I don’t think I’m cut out for that mission.
Major: Maybe if you changed your code name to Double-O-Snake?
Major: 007 is the biggest thing to come out of England since the Mayflower. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made 20 more of those movies.
Para-Medic: Didn’t you know? The Major is a huge James Bond fan. Don’t get him worked up like this.
Snake: Worked up?
Para-Medic: Maybe you don’t realize this, but now that you’ve got him started talking about Bond, I’m going to have to listen to him lecture for a whole hour after he gets off the radio.
Snake: You have my sympathy.
Para-Medic: It’s too bad you can’t enjoy such a great movie, though.
Snake: I guess I’m just one of those people who can’t enjoy spy flicks.
Ironically, Major Zero-who in some ways, becomes a sort of Bond-esque villain eventually, leading a secret villanous organization (Although one started with good intentions)-has a scar over his right eye, in turn slightly resembling Bond’s nemesis Blofeld (or at least the Donald Pleasence version from “You Only Live Twice).
Blofeld and Zero’s last appearances in their original continuity both feature them in a wheelchair (Although in Blofeld’s case, in “For Your Eyes Only” apart from his physical impairment he is able to seriously mess with Bond’s helicopter via remote control, whereas Zero is in a vegetative state, kept alive only by machines).
Big Boss would in turn have an eye injury of his own-the iconic eyepatch-but in case it more closely resembles Bond’s enemy in Thunderball (and Blofeld’s No.2 in the SPECTRE organization: Largo).
Speaking of villains, both franchises feature often over-the-top villains and henchmen.
Bond’s got henchvillains such as Oddjob, who uses a hat with a metal rim as a weapon (and ultimately his own downfall).
and Jaws, a giant with bolted teeth:
Although Snake’s got his share of weird fellas too:
Such as the pyrokinetic man on fire (Actually Metal Gear Solid III’s villain Volgin brought back to life and driven by rage):
And Vamp, a guy who is kept alive-and with supernatural skills-granted to him by nanomachines in his system. Like the name implies, his attributes are similar to vampires-albino skin, an ability to die unless a certain weapon is used (in this case, a syringe eliminating the nanomachines), a taste for blood etc. He doesn’t turn into a bat though, although he can certainly move like one at times.
Also both Bond and the snakes often utilize more practical suits when in action:
Bond however has more of a life outside of the mission (Big Boss/Snake really don’t-one of the main themes of the Metal Gear series), as well as certain missions requiring a certain amount of class, Bond often wears suits or tuxedos/dinner jackets.
However, there is an option for Snake to wear a Bond-style tux too. To do so usually requires beating the game on a certain difficulty level at least once.
Perhaps the biggest homage to the Bond series-and the most obvious-is the Snake Eater opening. Like the Bond films, the game opens with a sort of ‘teaser’ chapter-the virtuous mission-which then leads into the opening song and credits-which is pretty much as Bond as it gets (Via Imagine Games Network, via youtube):