The man known as “Skull Face” was born in Transylvania, where he suffered many, many nasty scars as a result of both bombing in World War II (which caused a panic which left him severely trampled) . As his homeland became occupied, he begin to harbor hatred toward those who occupied his homeland, and their language-especially English, which he felt took away his cultural identity.
Working in various black ops in the 50’s, including taking out Stalin and making it look like a stroke, Skull Face attracted the attention of David Oh-founder of the Fox Unit….the man later to be known as Zero.
Oh appointed Skull Face as his executive officer, and put him in charge of XOF-a support and ‘clean up’ crew for the Fox Unit-in particular, a little something known as “Operation: Snake Eater”.
Shortly after Snake Eater, Zero formed the Patriots/CIPHER using the veterans of that operation, with XOF also becoming a part of the organization, although once again operating in a covert sense. Using CIPHER’s resources, he began research into parasites, enlisting the help of Code Talker. He weaponized those parasites, and saw an opportunity to gain his revenge against English, and also to oust Zero and make sure Big Boss didn’t interfere.
Taking control of “Camp Omega” in 1974, he recovered CIPHER’s agent Pacifica Ocean, and also kidnapped Big Boss’s ally Chicho. Torturing them, he learned the location of Zero, and also set a trap for Big Boss.
Posing as a UN inspection team, they infiltrated and destroyed Big Boss’s Militaries San Frontieras Mother Base as well, and brought MSF’s scientist, Huey Emmerich-who had collaborated with them-into XOF.
Although Big Boss was able to rescue Paz and Chicho, Paz was rigged. The resulting explosion brought down the helicopter, killing not only Paz, but also Chico, and injuring Big Boss and his helicopter medic-putting them both in a coma. Kaz recovered early, and assumed Zero was responsible for the attack. However, Skull Face had his own nefarious plans for Zero.
Sending Zero a ‘present’-a pin laced with parasites-he poisoned the leader, which eventually reduced Zero to a vegatitive state. He took control of much of CIPHER (although Dr. Clark and Donald Anderson remained loyal to Zero). However, before succumbing to the virus, Zero worked to keep Big Boss hidden from Skull Face, and develop the decoy, Venom Snake.
Donning a mask and Fedroa, Skull Face continued his research into the parasites, creating the “Skulls” unit of super soldiers. He also, with Huey’s help, developed the Walker gears and their big brother, the Metal Gear Selanthropus. Eventually, he learned that Big Boss was still alive at a hospital in Cyprus, and sent a strike force-including the recently recruited Psycho Mantis and “Man on Fire” Volgin- to take him out.
However, Big Boss and Venom Snake escaped, and began plotting their revenge on XOF along with Kaz and Ocelot. (Skull Face assumed that Venom Snake was still the real Big Boss, though). They uncovered several clues on Skull Face’s grisly research on the parasites-which would later infect Mother Base staff-and also the existence of his new Metal Gear, which he intended to use Psycho Mantis’s psychic powers to pilot using Volgin’s anger as a motivator.
When the two finally had a more formal encounter when Venom Snake raided XOF’s Afghanistan HQ, OKB Zero, Skull Face took Venom Snake on a Jeep ride across his many outposts, and then intended to show off the power of his Metal Gear, as well as his plans to use the parasites to wipe out those who spoke English, as revenge. He saw it as a version of the Boss’s wish to “unite the world”-although it was an extremely twisted version of it.
However, unbeknowest to him, Eli-the future Liquid Snake’s “Lust for revenge” overrode Volgin’s control over Mantis. The Metal Gear turned on him, and he wound up crushed under a tower as a result of the rampage.
As he laid dying, he was approached by Venom Snake and Miller, who blew off his arm and leg, mirroring the injuries they had suffered, and still felt a “Phantom Pain” about.
It was Huey Emmerich though who shot him in the head, delivering the killing blow-perhaps out of revenge, or maybe he didn’t want Skull Face to reveal the nature of their work together if he somehow survived.