Metal Gear Profiles-The Philosophers

Slightly different format here, instead of focusing on one particular Metal gear character or piece of technology, I’ll focus on some of the many organizations that play big parts in the series.

The Philosophers is the granddaddy of them all.

After World War I, a group of wealthy, intelligent people from the United States, Soviet Union, and China pooled their resources together to work together to form the Philosophers-a group dedicated to World peace (This initial line up of Philosophers was known as the Wiseman’s comittee). However, like their successors, the Patriots, things got out of hand by the 1930s, and soon the Philosophers became involved in the very thing they tried to stop in the first place….and it created divisions among them, especially during the second World War.

Their influence and vast wealth funded several projects. While their backing of the Manhattan project was made public, they also experimented on soldiers, forming the Joy/ boss’s cobra unit. In addition, the Joy/The Boss’s father was one of the original “Wisemen”, so she was knowledgeable about their influence. They also ran schools to train spies, like Eva.

 

However, a member of the Philosopher during  World War II-Boris Volgin-made away with a huge chunk of the group’s funds, and scattered it throughout various banks. The location of the banks was concealed on a microfilm, and the money and the microfilm were known as “The philosopher’s Legacy”, giving most of it’s power to the Soviet Union-and it’s vast wealth allowing Volgin’s son to build his massive fortress of Grozny Grad and the Shagohod weapon.

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However, a faction of American philosophers still did exist, and manipulated the life of the Boss, taking her child (the future Ocelot) away from her, and holding him as a form of leverage, as well as blaming her for various missions-a NASA test flight, a mix up including a double agent-and forcing her to kill The Sorrow. (Her apprentice, Jack/Snake remained unaware  of this).

During the Virtuous mission, the Boss’s mission was to get the Legacy back from Volgin, under cover of defecting to the Soviets. She hoped that grabbing it for the US would help to reform their organization and united the world once more.She eventually succeeded, and the microfilm was later passed on to Snake himself, while Ocelot managed to get part of it as well. A third copy, gained by Eva for the Chinese faction of the philosophers, turned out to be a fake.

Eventually, those who were part of Operation Snake Eater obtained the parts of the legacy themselves. They used the vast wealth and networks of the Philosophers to form the Patriots-dedicated to the Boss’s dream of a united world and the original goal of the Philosophers. But like them, things soon got warped. But that’s another article.

The original philosophers still had a small role to play-as a distraction. The Big Shell inciddent orchestrated by Solidus Snake in 2009 was an attempt to learn the actual names of the Patriots. However, the AIs which now ran the organization planted a false lead-the names of the Wiseman’s comitee-confusing Otacon and Solid Snake.

 

Otacon : Snake, you there? It’s me. I’ve finished going over that disc.

Snake : Did you find the Patriots’ list?

Otacon : Of course. It contains the personal data of twelve people. There
was a name on it — Snake, it was one of our biggest
contributors.

Snake : What’s going on around here?

Otacon : I don’t know…

Snake : Anyway, where are they?

Otacon : Well, we were right about them being on Manhattan, but…

Snake : But what?

Otacon : They’re already dead. All twelve of them.

Snake : When did it happen?

Otacon : Well, ah…about a hundred years ago.

Snake : What the hell?

Movies that were inspired by Metal Gear-Kong: Skull Island. 

King Kong, of course, was the 1933 film that featured an expedition to an uncharted island that was pretty much ruled by a giant ape, who is brought back-in captivity-to New York City to be displayed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”-only to break out and climb the Empire State Building, where he meets his final fate. The movie was also a sort of modern take on “Beauty and the Beast”, with the Ape smitten with damsel actress Ann Darrow.

 

The film of course was referenced in Metal Gear Solid II, as part of the reason Jack/Raiden and Rosemary started dating (Well, apart from being manipulated by the Patriots).

 

And the King Kong inspired Donkey Kong is of course an nintendo icon, one which Solid Snake went up against in the “Super Smash Bros” series.

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It’s also spun off a small movie franchise over the years, with mixed results-one sequel, Son of Kong, shortly followed the original film; then he starred in a series of Japanese films, one in which he faced off against Godzilla, and the other, where he fought a robotic duplicate, mecha kong. Snake can also sympathize, at least from Metal Gear Solid III’s Sustenance tie-in to Ape Escape (Unfortunately, not included in any HD version).

There were also two remakes, one in 1976 which led to a 1986 sequel, and a 2005 one by Lord of the Ring’s Peter Jackson, both of which had mixed reception. Kong of course has also appeared in various animated series, comics, novels etc.

In 2017 a new Kong film was released, part of Legendary Pictures’s new “Monsterverse”, started by 2014’s “Godzilla”, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. However, what surprised many during the press tour for the film was that Roberts stated he was keen on developing a Metal Gear Solid film, and even consulted with Hideo Kojima about the project (With Kojima no longer in charge of the Metal Gear brand though, I’m wondering how this all works out, though).

Of course, the film has some Metal Gear influence. Kong: Skull Island’s opening credits show us the dawn of the cold war via newspapers and archival footage, as it’s a period piece set in the mid 70’s, via

MGS 3’s opening is pretty similar-at least at first-with several newspapers also setting up the setting, although it later becomes far more “Bondesque”.

A great deal of the games also utilize live-action footage of events to help shape the narrative, including some political and military footage.

However, this could just be a coincidence. Far more likely as a reference are the Sky Devils unit led by Samuel L. Jackson’s Packard, all of which have the callsign FOX.

 

Although curiously, it’s emblem resembles that of another video game icon, the Kingdom of Hyrule, in the Legend of Zelda. (This is intentional on behalf of the director).

 

Also intentional: Marlowe’s WWII plane turned boat, the Grey Fox.

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Grey Fox is named after a Metal Gear character, a FOXHOUND agent who is initially captured by Big Boss, but then later becomes sympathetic to his cause. After a battle with Snake leaving him near-death, he’s revived and experimented on by Patriots member Dr. Clark (Formerly Big Boss’s support and friend, Para-Medic), becoming a Cyborg Ninja that became involved in the Shadow Moses incident.

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Both Grey Foxes are of course converted from their original purpose into something else, but both are vital to saving our heroes.

Possible also a possible reference (although maybe not) is Conrad braving poision gas with a gas mask and cleaving through pteranodon like creatures with a samurai sword, something which brings to mind two Metal Gear characters….

 

Psycho Mantis, from Metal Gear Solid I and 5…(and sort of in 4)

 

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and of course Grey Fox and those with similar attributes in later games…

As for the Metal Gear movie, Kong itself proved to be a  fairly good success so perhaps it’ll eventually get made-and hopefully, is much better than a lot of other video game adaptations have been in the past.

Metal Gear Profiles-Raiden Part III

With the Patriots and the Snakes gone, Raiden lead a normal life-or what passes for one when you’re a cyborg ninja mercenary. However, in order to help provide for his family, and to help those who hadn’t quite adapted that well to the end of the Patriots, Raiden joined the Maverick Private Military company. However, on one of his assignments as a bodyguard to protect an African prime minister, things went awry.

 

Attacked by Cyborgs who then took the minister, Raiden also had to focus against an old nemesis-a modified Metal Gear RAY.

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Catching up, he eventually came face to face with the cyborgs Jetstream Sam and Sundowner, but he was too late to save the Minister, and unfortunately his own cyborg body was heavily damaged during the fight.

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His body was eventually repaired and upgraded, although he lost even more of what was left of his organic self. He found out that Sam and Sundowner worked for the Desperado group, who wanted in part to restore the “War Economy” of the Patriots.Image result for Blade wolf

 

During one of his missions to investigate what was going on with the group,  he encountered the IG-69000, but was able to salvage most of it after the battle to convert it into an ally, Blade Wolf.

 

He also stumbled upon a plot to turn children into Cyborgs as well.

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He learned of this plot by one of them-George, who (sort of) likened Raiden to one of the Ninja Turtles: “A real ninja? Cowabunga! Go Ninja, Go Ninja go!” He also discovered that Desperado had links to World Marshall Inc, another PMC, and it’s CEO, senator Armstrong.

Eventually raiding World Marshall,  the stress of the mission and Sam’s revelations about the Cyborgs he was encountering-that many were just people trying to get by-caused Raiden’s “Jack the Ripper” persona to re-emerge. Part of his justification-to prevent others from becoming what he is.

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After escaping from Denver and taking out Sundowner and Jetstream Sam, he then learned that Desperado planned to sabotage peace talks in Pakistan. With the help of his old friend Sunny Emmerich-now even more of a super genius and a member of the SOLIS private space flight company, Raiden journeyed to Pakistan, where he learned that Armstrong planned to engineer an attack on peace talks and blame it on Desperado, with World Marshall reaping the rewards and starting a new “war economy”.

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Armstrong first fought Raiden in the Metal Gear Excelus, an MG designed not as a nuclear platform but as an anti-cyborg weapon, and featuring spider-like six legs instead of a Metal Gear’s usual bipedal stance.

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With the unit disabled, Armstrong personally confronted Raiden, but thanks to Nanomachines in his body, giving him super strength and invulnerability, was able to protect himself from Raiden and his HF balde, which broke.

 

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However, Blade Wolf tossed Raiden Jetstream Sam’s sword, which had the power to cut through Armstrong’s nanomachines.

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Finally able to defeat Armstrong and his plans, although some form of the War economy would still go on, regardless-including Raiden’s own group, Maverick. Raiden decided to leave Maverick, and go solo, fighting his own war….perhaps against his own dark inner nature.

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Metal Gear Profiles-Raiden Part II

Unfortunately Snake and Raiden’s mission to rescue Olga’s daughter didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. His relationship with Rose started to experience problems due to his resurfaced memories of his past, and she seemed to have lost the baby. For some reason, she also married Campbell, whose AI she was teamed with during the Big Shell incident.

 

Eventually, Raiden’s knowledge about the AI became very useful to Big Boss’s former comrade Eva-the surrogate mother of Solid and Liquid-who was keen to get back the body of the legendary mercenary….and her former lover. In exchange, she gave his resources to find Sunny. The mission was a success, although Solid Snake largely stayed behind as a strange aging illness-in fact his clone termination genes activating-began. Snake and Otacon largely took care of Sunny aboard their floating jet, the Nomad, although Raiden remained good friends with the girl.

 

Working with Big Mama and her “Paradise lost” army, Raiden-after learning many tracking skills and refining his use of a high-frequency blade-went to find Big Boss’s body, a possible genetic key to getting into the Patriot’s AI network. However, he was captured by the human agents Patriots, and much like Grey Fox before him, became a test subject for cyborg technology. Eventually rescued-and treated by Dr.Madnar (Possibly the same man who had helped Big Boss develop the Metal Gear in Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land), he nevertheless was a changed man. Gone was the naive agent and pawn; in it’s place, a Cyborg ninja.

Raiden re-joined Snake in South America during his attempt to find Liquid Ocelot, helping cover his escape after rescuing Naomi Hunter.

Here, he held his own against a series of GEKKOS (Mass-produced war machines based on Metal Gear technology)-and old enemy Vamp, who was working with Ocelot’s Outer Heaven group after escaping from the Big Shell.

Raiden’s new body was injured in the fight, and took some time to recover. Somewhat discouraged, Snake gave him some encouraging words, yet again.

 

Raiden: “It was never going to work out for me. It even rained the day I was born.”

Snake: “You’ve got it all wrong. You were the lightning in that rain. You can still shine through the darkness.”

After his recovery, Raiden then helped Snake at Shadow Moses, once again fighting Vamp for one last time (Vamp was later finally destroyed by Naomi disabling his nanomachines) and helping Snake clear the way when he commandeered Metal Gear Rex.

However, at the end of the mission, Raiden was badly crushed not only by boulders, but by the battleship Outer Haven.  As he appeared to have finally been crushed, he cried Rose’s name.

 

However, that still wasn’t the end for Raiden. Although he had lost his cyborg arms for the time being, he still had enough left in him to help Snake when he boarded the ship, fighting off a group of HAVEN troopers with his sword in his mouth.

 

After the whole inciddent was over Once again recovering-but with a noticeably more human like jaw-Rose visited him in recovery, where he learned the truth-Rose hadn’t married Campbell, it was all another ruse to fool the Patriots.

Not only that, but she had given birth to a son, John, who thought it was cool that his father was a ninja, thinking he was kind of like a comic book superhero.

 

 

But Raiden’s story has at least one more tale, although he exited the saga of the Snakes.

Metal Gear Profiles-Raiden/Jack Part I

The man who would become known as “Raiden” was born during the Liberian civil war in Africa. After the death of his parents-in fact orchestrated by George Sears, AKA the third clone of Big Boss and the future Solidus Snake-and he became a child soldier in the conflict.

Eventually, Jack’s proficiency in the war earned him the nickname “Jack the Ripper”. After the war was over, Jack eventually was taken to the united states, with counseling-and the interests of the Patriots AI (Who wanted to use him as a test subject to expand their influence)-suppressing his bloody past.

Eventually Jack joined the US military, where he trained using VR simulations, including recreations of Shadow Moses.

 

Eventually, the Patriots put their S3 plan (Selection for Societal Sanity) into motion- a partial “real world” recreation of the Shadow Moses inciddent to gain data they could use to mold individuals and broaden their control, a twisted version of the Boss’s-and Zero’s- plan for world unity. They had a spy-Rosemary-fall in love with Jack at fort Hamilton in New York (although she eventually fell in love with him for real). The two bonded over “King Kong”, but Rose was somewhat taken aback by Jack’s aloof nature.

Eventually, Jack was assigned to “FOXHOUND” but this was a ruse as the organization had been dissolved after the Shadow Moses incident (and I can’t imagine the earlier stuff with Big Boss helped either) and given the codename “Snake” to start, but eventually it was switched to Raiden, since the leader of the Dead cell had identified himself as Solid Snake. His mission: To rescue the president from the Dead Cell/Sons of Liberty group, who had kidnapped him while he was inspecting the Big Shell facility. Rose was assigned as mission support.

 

As Raiden made his way through the facility, certain details didn’t seem to add up. He was given intel by a “Cyborg Ninja”, and met and worked with a mysterious man known as Iroqouis Pliskin, who claimed to be part of the SEAL team sent there that had largely been wiped out.

 

Things came to a head when it was revealed that it was not Solid Snake that had planned the kidnapping, but Solidus Snake, who was using the incident in part as a revolt against the Patriots (But was actually being played by them as well, playing the “role” of Liquid Snake) . The real Solid Snake was in fact Iroquis himself, although his appearance was not part of the Patriot’s plan.

 

He also learned part of the truth about the mission from President Johnson, who explained that this was a major set up by the Patriots, and that Solidus’s true aim was the capture of Arsenal Gear, a massive battleship hidden underneath the Big Shell. He then rescued Emma Emmerich, who implanted a virus into the Patriot’s AI running the mission, causing it to malfunction and give Raiden strange messages. Unfortunately, Emma was killed by Solidus’s man, Vamp.

 

Raiden was eventually knocked out by Snake and the cyborg ninja (In fact Olga gurlocovitch in disguise) and then captured by her and taken to the Arsenal Gear. Olga was in fact a double agent, whose baby daughter was being help captive by the Patriots, and she needed Raiden as a distraction so Snake could sneak on board Arsenal. Raiden also re-learned about his dark past from Solidus.

Eventually escaping-although without clothes and gear-Raiden reunited with Snake-now in his sneaking suit-and the two headed through Arsenal Gear.

On the surface, Raiden found himself fighting a considerable amount of Metal Gear RAYs. He defeated them, but still had to deal with Solidus, who killed Olga. Solidus also revealed he planned to use the Arsenal to launch a nuke that would create an EMP, which he would then use to discover the true identity of the Patriots.

 

Learning more about the true nature of the mission from the Patriots and Revolver Ocelot-to gather information on the S3 project-including the fact that Rose was apparently pregnant (and possibly not real, just part of the simulation), Raiden still had no choice but to kill Solidus, to ensure the safety of not only Rose but Olga’s baby.

Although Raiden was very Disturbed by the truths and conspiracies revealed during the mission,  Snake offered some wise counsel.

 

No one knowss who or what they are. The memories you have and the role you were assigned are burdens
you have to carry. It doesn’t matter if they were real or not.
That’s never the point.There’s no such thing in the world as absolute reality. Most of
what they call real is actually fiction. What you think you see
is only as real as your brain tells you it is.We can tell other people about — having faith. What we had faith
in. What we found important enough to fight for. It’s not whether
you were right or wrong, but how much faith you were willing to
have, that decides the future. The Patriots are a kind of ongoing
fiction too, come to think of it….

He then revealed that Rose was real, and she and Jack had a conversation.

 

Rose : Do you remember this place?

Jack : Of course. This is where we first met… I remember now — Today
is the day I met you. That’s it. I think I found something to
pass along to the future. He said all living things want their
genes to live on.

Rose : Are you talking about the baby?

Jack : Yeah. But genes aren’t the only thing you pass on. There are too
many things that aren’t written into our DNA. It’s up to us to
teach that to our children.

Rose : What kind of things?

Jack : About the environment, our ideas, our culture… poetry…
compassion… sorrow… joy… We’ll tell them everything…
together.

Rose : Is that a — proposal?

Jack : This is for your ears — only…

However, Jack’s troubles were not over yet. Liquid Ocelot still remained at large, the Patriots were up to some grand scheme and Olga’s infant daughter was still being help captive. His story was just starting.

 

 

 

Metal Gear-Would an animated series work out?

It’s Metal Gear’s 30th anniversary, and despite the departure of creator/director Hideo Kojima from the company, Konami is still working on various Metal Gear projects. The Pachislot adaptation of Metal Gear Solid III came out last year, and there’s the upcoming Metal Gear Survive, a co-op game featuring MSF soldiers teleported to another dimension to do battle with crystal zombies. Both titles of course have been polarizing to Metal Gear fans, although the Pachislot game did have some of the game’s cutscenes re-rendered in Metal Gear Solid V’s fox engine to nice effect.

Another project however is plans for a Metal Gear film, to be directed by Kong Skull Island director Jordan vogt-roberts, a huge fan of the series. Paradoxically, it also involves Kojima (I’m not sure if this is some kind of film rights issue like the one that surrounds some of the Marvel-based films), at least as a consultant.

However, Metal Gear is a series with a somewhat complex lore, and hence perhaps would be tough to fit into the usual two-hour frame of a movie. With video game movies still not quite a sure thing-with some exceptions-a planned series of films wouldn’t necessarily be a guarantee either. However, there could be an alternative to adapting Metal Gear-one which Konami is already doing with another one of their properties: Castlevania.

 

The Castlevania anime series debuted yesterday as a netflix exclusive, and seems to have been received positively so far. Granted, video games and animation isn’t a new thing, either. But I think we’ve come a long way from this particular Castlevania adaptation (From Captain N: The Game Master).

Plus Metal Gear, despite taking place largely in America (In particular, the first and second games take place in the states, as well as part of the third) it’s characters being mainly based in America or being american, and the English dub cast participating heavily in the motion capture/likeness capture of the fifth “Solid title” (Most notably Kiefer Sutherland)-although many still equate the role(s) of Snake with David Hayter (The original voice is actually Akio Otsuka, but Hayter is still great of course) and of course Kojima’s inspirations from many American films, Metal Gear is mostly a Japanese series, developed by a Japanese company (Konami) and a Japanese creator (Kojima).

 

So perhaps, Metal Gear might be better suited to an animated series, where it would be less compressed.  Some of the games have used a bit of a late 80’s anime/manga style in their instruction books…. (Although that of the somewhat more ‘small-eyed” variety, popular in anime series of the time such as City Hunter and various Gundam series).

 

Gato here BTW? Also Akio Outsuka…

Then there was this oddity, a Konami gamebook…

The first two Metal Gears have a sort of almost biomechanical look to them reminiscent of some anime of the time, such as the Macross series….

Solid’s Codec screens sort of also have that smaller-eyed “serious anime” look (Note the noses in particular). It’s worth noting the codec also uses the fairly static talking dialogue style that some animes used as a cost-cutting measure. (Although here it works pretty well given that this is mainly just conversation anyway.)

 

And “Peace Walker” is as Anime as it gets, with Paz having big eyes, the “kawaii” factor (Such as a peace sign), and to top it off, a Japanese pop song for her boss battle.

It even had a talking cat (A tie-in with Capcom’s “Monster Hunter” series).

There’s Metal Gear rising of course, but I’d rather not get into that…

Technically, Metal Gear has been animated before. IDW’s comic adaptations were adapted into limited animated adaptations, complete with voice cast, and released for the PSP.

 

 

Ashley wood also provided some artwork for Portable ops and Peace Walker’s cut scenes, which were likewise animated in a similar comic book style.

So perhaps Metal Gear-despite it’s obvious movie influence, might be better suited for a format where it’s complex story could have some more room to breathe, instead of being crunched down into a two hour form…and perhaps one that’s closer to the series roots than it might appear to some western audiences.

Metal Gear Profiles-Dr. Sokolov

Jack: You mean the Soviets pulled out of Cuba just to get their hands on Sokolov?

Zero: That’s right.

Jack: What the hell was he working on?

 

 

A Russian rocket scientist,  Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov worked on the USSR’s space program before he was assigned to work on Volgin’s nuclear tank, The Shagohod (which went forward after his rival Granin’s project-the Walking tank Metal Gear-was rejected)

 

Fearing the power of his weapon, and what Volgin might use it for, he decided to defect to the United States. His family was saved first, but he collapsed due to exhaustion after his escape attempt, and couldn’t be transported to the USA fully for extraction, having to stay in Berlin.

The Cuban Missile Crisis then came about, but in the world of Metal Gear, it wasn’t our withdrawal of missiles from Turkey that made the Soviets remove theirs from Cuba, but our return of Sokolov to them. Once returned, Sokolv became a pawn in internal strife between the faction of Volgin, and that of the Soviet premier Nikitta Khruschev. Sokolov was put under guard to keep him from falling into the hands of Volgn, who wanted to overthrow Khruschev.

Intelligence from the USA seemed to confirm that Sokolov’s weapon was nearing completion, so the newly formed FOX unit was sent on it’s first mission-“Virtous mission” to rescue the scientist.  This was also in part redemption for FOX commander, Major Zero, who had tried to orchestrate the defection in the first place.

 

 

The rescue and extraction initially went fairly smoothly, with Jack-AKA Naked Snake-rescuing the scientist despite opposition from the GRU’s Ocelot unit. However, upon passing a suspension bridge near the extraction point, Snake was confronted by his defecting mentor, the Boss, and her cobra unit which quickly captured Sokolov.

Over the next few weeks Sokolov continued working on the Shagohod, and was reguarly intimidated by Volgin and Ocelot. However, he also worked with EVA, who was a spy in their midst, giving her the Shagohod data, although she was more interested in the true goal of her-and the Boss’s-misson, the Philosopher’s legacy.

Eventually, Snake-during operation Snake Eater-was able to catch up with Sokolov, and attempted to rescue him once again, but Sokolov was now convinced that he’d be used by either side to develop weapons. Resigned to his fate, he did let Snake know that the Shagohod’s weak spots were it’s fuel tanks, before he was shot and then beaten to death by Volgin.

 

Sokolov later appears in the “Portable Ops” game, where it was revealed he faked his death and had started creating the first Metal Gear. However, the game’s place in the canon of the series is debated, especially how it conforms to the development timeline of the Metal Gear itself.

 

 

Although it was ultimately the Metal Gear whose legacy would continue, the Shagohod still played an interesting role in things. It’s design is certainly slightly Metal Gearesque, although it uses screws for propulsion instead of legs.

 

A similar weapon-the Pupa-would be designed by Huey Emmerich for Peace Sentinel as part of the Peace Walker project. However, it possessed no nuclear weapons.

Some of Pupa’s parts-mainly it’s jetpack-would be recycled into the first canonical Metal Gear, the ZEKE, so in a way the Shagohod did have a lasting legacy on the MG designs….