Films which inspired Metal Gear-Die Hard

“Die Hard” of course is the 1988 action film that propelled actor Bruce Willis-formerly of the drama moonlighting-into superstardom. Willis played John McClane, a NYPD police officer visiting his estranged wife for Christmas in her office complex in LA-when suddenly the building is seized by a group of villains-outwardly anarchists to their hostages, their victims, and the police that soon surround the building-but actually, in fact, they’re after the millions of dollars in the company vaults. It’s up to McClane-with limited resources-including no shoes!-to save everybody including his wife and defeat the bad guys, with little help from outside apart from a trusty officer who has faith in him.

The film spawned four sequels of varying quality (and possibly more on the way). It’s actually based on a series of detective novels, one of which was adapted into a Frank Sinatra film in the 60’s (of course Die Hard changed several of the names and didn’t star Sinatra!)

Like “Die Hard”, the Shadow Moses facility in Metal Gear Solid-and later the Big Shell-are captured, and hostages are taken. However, Shadow Moses is taken over from the inside, as the FOXHOUND group who take it over were conducting exercises there-it’s Snake who comes in from the outside, so there’s a bit of a reverse there. Also, Snake uses stealth, while for the most part, McClane definitely does not.

Apart from, of course-trusty ventilation shafts.

Like in Die Hard, there’s a bit of an ulterior motive to the villains. In Die Hard it’s greed as I mentioned before, whereas in Metal Gear Solid while it’s the use of Metal Gear Rex-something Snake unwilling does when he’s tricked by Liquid Snake, posing as Master Miller. Prior to the mission, Snake is unaware of Rex’s existence. In a sense, the ‘good guys’ mess up in both cases, although in Die Hard it’s not McClane’s doing, but the FBI who cut the building’s power, allowing Hans Gruber and his band access to the vault.

Liquid Snake, Solid Snake’s twin, also bears a bit of a resemblance to Gruber’s right-hand man.


and both are very stubborn at dying. Liquid in particular survives crashing a helicopter, being in Metal Gear Rex when stingers are being lobbed in it, and falling off Metal Gear Rex and crashing a jeep. He finally dies due to the Foxhound virus at the end of the game (although it’s sort of assumed he lives on as Ocelot’s arm, but that’s a whole other mess). Metal Gear Solid V’s deleted ending even revealed he’s not new at this kind of thing! Karl appears to die by being beaten and hung from chains by McClane, as well as the explosion of the roof. But no, he manages to escape and nearly kills McClane, but is saved by Al Powell.

Both have a bit of a brother complex-while with Liquid it’s an obsessive sibling rivalry of sorts:

With Karl it’s revenge for his brother Tony, the first guy who McClane kills.

Al Powell is of course McClane’s friend on the outside, who tells him about the police’s attempts at negotiation. He’s also the first to notify his fellow authorities that things are going wrong when he investigates the building.

Snake of course has his codec team (which unfortunately includes Liquid Snake, posing as Miller).

Although his most valuable contact is no doubt Hal “Otacon” Emmerich one of the hostages and Rex’s chief designer (something of a family legacy as we find out later on) Like with Al, Otacon shows up in some of the sequels and the two become very good friends.

Liquid Snake’s deception is a bit like Gruber’s when he’s discovered by McClane, and quickly takes up the alias “Bob Clay” in order to convince McClane he’s an escaped hostage.

Like with McClane, Snake isn’t able to save anyone-in fact, he really only saves Meryl and Otacon (The rest of the base staff were either loyal to Liquid, killed or detained in some other manner)-in fact, the two hostages he was supposed to save both die-DARPA Chief Donald Anderson (Later revealed in future games to be the real name of Big Boss’s ally and Patriot’s founder SIGINT) and ARMSTECH leader


Donald is actually dead when he gets there (Killed by Ocelot, initially thought of as messed up torture but actually part of Ocelot’s grand plan), but is impersonated by FOXHOUND member Decoy Octopus in order to trick Snake to activate REX. Baker dies from the FOXDIE virus. Both are hardly saints, as they’ve been developing Metal Gear REX and of course Anderson is the creator of the Villainous Patriots AI as we learn later.

DIE HARD’s Mr. Takagi is far more innocent (despite Gruber’s claims when he first meets him), but Gruber simply kills him because he doesn’t have the vault code and goes to plan B.

Ellis, on the other hand-a slick, cocaine-abusing jerk, tries to negotiate with Gruber and gets shot by Hans after revealing McClane’s real name.

In both cases some of the help from outside isn’t quite welcome. In Die Hard this takes the form of the somewhat dim-witted LA police chief:

as well as the unethical reporter Richard “Dick” Thornburg:

and the FBI “Johnson” guys who almost shoot McClane.

Which leads me to another visual of sorts-both Die Hard and Metal Gear Solid also have rooftop helicopter things confrontations-although Johnson’s chopped is nowhere near as powerful as Liquid’s Hind D, and the Johnsons are of course unaware of the real plot, and end up paying with their lives when Han destroys the roof. Snake, on the other hand, uses Stingers to take down Liquid’s HIND but Liquid survives.

Even Snake’s official help isn’t 100% on the level with him. Colonel Campbell and Naomi Hunter withhold information from him, especially about the Metal Gear and FOXDIE (and then of course there’s “Miller”)-and when Campbell is temporarily relieved of command, Secretary of Defense Jim Houseman steps in, and tries to cover up Shadow Moses-and Snake himself-by nuking the island.

Thankfully, the whole thing is sorted out, and-although they’re both heavily wounded, Snake leaves the base with Meryl (or Otacon depending on the ending) on a snowy day. Same thing happens with John McClane and his wife Holly-although in both cases they’re nearly killed by the evil blond guy who just won’t die.

And get some fancy transportation home-Snake via a sleak Snowmobile, McClane via the limo he used to get to Nakotomi in the first place-Curtosy of his driver Argyle, who was also sort of a hostage (but he’s able to stop Gruber’s tech guy from escaping with some of the vault stuff).


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