A new series of Metal Gear articles that will focus on single characters of the Metal Gear saga. First, we’ll focus on Benedict Kazuhira Miller. This article will unfold in chronological order, although Miller first makes his appearance in the second MSX title, we start with his first chronological appearence in Peace Walker. The perpetually sunglasses wearing (Due to photo-sensitivity) supporting character is important to the Big Boss saga
Kaz is born shortly after World War II, the son of a Japanese woman and an American soldier stationed there. Intrigued by his absentee father, he eventually goes to America and gets an Ivy League education, before returning to Japan and enrolling in the JSDF. He eventually left, and after the death of both of his parents, started to work as a mercenary, training rebels in Columbia. It’s here that he eventually meets Big Boss, a mercenary working on behalf of the government. After eliminating his unit, Big Boss invites Miller to join his Mercenary unit, the Militaries San Frontieras, or MSF. It takes some convincing-and some trials by combat-but eventually Miller joins and becomes Big Boss’s second-in-command.
Unbeknownst to Snake, Miller enters into a business deal with Snake’s rival, Major Zero and his CIPHER/The Patriots organization, hoping that by doing so, he can expand MSF and perhaps have Big Boss rejoin the organization. To that end, Miller aids Big Boss in combating the Peace Walker project, and developing Metal Gear ZEKE, which is eventually almost stolen by CIPHER double agent Paz Ortega (Paz and Kaz’s names both mean Peace, a subtle joke in the game). In the game, he’s largely portrayed as a confident soldier, friend, and adviser, but perhaps a bit naive on some things, including a flirtation with French adviser Cecille Cosmidas which goes nowhere, making her think of him as uncivilized.
He eventually confesses this to Big Boss, revealing he didn’t intend for things to get quite out of control, and that he helped build MSF into a major business, leading the way for Big Boss’s dream of Outer Heaven, a place for mercenary soldiers. However, he and Big Boss also note that they’ve attracted some unwanted attention due to the Peace Walker incident.
He’s right-Major Zero loses control of one branch of Cipher, XOF-a task force once dedicated to cleaning up after Snake’s original unit the FOX unit-to commander Skull Face. Skull Face captures Paz and young MSF soldier Chico, causing Big Boss to go on a rescue mission to locate them. However, while this happens, XOF stages a fake inspection of MSF’s mother base HQ, in fact destroying it. Big Boss only makes it back in time to rescue a few soldiers and Miller. Miller, visibly upset, declaring:
Then comes the helicopter explosion which kills Chico, Paz, and the pilot, but leaves Kaz, Big Boss and a medic injured. While Big Boss and the medic remain in comas for nine years, Kaz recovers very quickly, and sets about rebuilding MSF as “Diamond Dogs” with a new mother base in the Seychelles island chain. He also searches for the man he believe betrayed MSF, scientist Huey Emmerich.
Close on Huey’s trail-as the scientist is now employed by MSF to develop a new Metal Gear, he is attacked and loses an arm and leg to MSF’s super-powered”skull unit”. Eventually, he’s rescued by Venom Snake and returned to Diamond Dogs.
However, by this point, due to the destruction of the original Mother Base and the loss of his limbs, Miller has become severely bitter and somewhat paranoid. Along with Big Boss’s old friend Ocelot, they command Diamond Dogs and serve as advisers to Venom Snake, and helps him take on XOF and Skull Face. However, he remains extremely hostile toward former XOF sniper Quiet, and especially against Huey once he joins Diamond Dogs. When it becomes clear that Huey is not only behind the incident, and also a virus outbreak at the base, Kaz wishes to have the immoral scientist executed, but Venom Snake shows mercy and sends him away on a raft. He also often disagrees with Ocelot. Despite all this, he strikes up a friendship with a scientist forced to work for XOF, Code Talker, and asks Code Talker to test Hamburgers he is developing as a side business (Miller’s Maxibuns)-so a little bit of the original, more optimistic and lighthearted Miller still remains. Miller’s style also changes. Although he continues to wear the sunglasses, he adopts a more messy hairstyle and stubble, a beret, jacket, suit and tie, as opposed to his more casual look before, which had a scarf. He also rejects cybernetic prosthetic limbs, instead using a simple leg prosthetic and a cruch for his arm.
Eventually, Miller learns the truth about Venom Snake-that he is, not, in fact, the real Big Boss, but the Helicopter Medic given plastic surgery and hypnosis to act as a body double. Upset by this, and believing his dreams for a future mercenary business dashed. he starts to switch sides, vowing he’ll aid Big Boss’s son-the man eventually known as Solid Snake-to send Big Boss and Ocelot to hell, although for now he’ll play his role.
Eventually in the 90s Miller leaves Diamond Dogs and joins Big Boss’s special forces unit FOXHOUND as a survival expert, hoping to train David/Solid Snake so he can take out his father’s Outer Heaven. (It’s unclear if he had any further interaction with the real Big Boss). Although he doesn’t do much in the Outer Heaven uprising-which results in the death of Venom Snake at Solid’s hand-he does help out during Snake’s second mission in Zanzibar Land, where he encounters Big Boss for real.
Appearing in Metal Gear II Solid Snake, Miller has a somewhat different appearance.
However for future releases of the game which removed the obvious celebrity likenesses he is given an appearance more closely matching that of his Metal Gear Solid non-appearance (More on that soon).
Miller’s advice proves vital to the defeat of Big Boss, as he tells Snake to improve a flamethrower that will immolate Big Boss (At this point in the game Snake has unfortunately lost all his weapons). This leaves Big Boss in another coma and badly injured for several years.
Miller then “sort of” appears in Metal Gear Solid, advising Snake about Arctic wildlife and certain skills, and also airing suspicions about the motive of Snake’s other advisers-mostly Colonel Campbell and Naomi Hunter. However, as it turns out, “Miller” is in fact Liquid Snake, Snake’s brother, disguising his appearance and voice-the real Miller, in fact, is dead, presumably killed by his former comrade Ocelot . This version of Miller-although not the real Miller-would influence the ‘earlier’ portrayals of the character as blond and with sunglasses, including the re-release of Metal Gear II.