Metal Gear profiles: Kenneth Baker

Kenneth Baker was the president of ARMSTECH, an arms company that had suffered losses due to getting overlooked for next-generation fighter jets and defense cuts.

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In order to cover for this losses, he figured he’d create something highly advanced, although as a “black project”-a certain Walking Battle tank with a nuclear payload that had previously been involved with the mercenary warlord Big Boss-The ultimate weapon, Metal Gear. To that end, he bribed DARPA Chief (and Cipher/Patriots member) Donald Anderson, into keeping everything hush-hush (Donald Anderson himself was aware of the concept of a Metal Gear since the 60s, where he served as SIGINT during Operation Snake Eater, although back then, he initially balked at the concept of a Walking Tank with legs).

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One of Baker’s employees, Hal “Otacon” Emmerich, was one of the chief designers for the project, perhaps because his father, Huey Emmerich, had developed the Metal gear concept with the Peace Walker, ZEKE, and Sehelanthropus-although Hal seemed unaware of how his work would be used.

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Baker and Anderson then visited the main development site of the REX-Shadow Moses Island. However, they happened to be there when FOXHOUND rebelled, and Baker was taken hostage, although he managed to pass a PAL disc to Meryl Silverburgh (Which would eventually pass to Solid Snake, and unwittingly *also* activate the Metal Gear).

Baker was then tied to several C4 explosives, perhaps as a kind of sadistic torture by Revolver Ocelot. When Ocelot confronted Solid Snake, Snake had to manuever very carefully to avoid setting them off and killing Baker.

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By the end of the fight, Grey Fox-the Cyborg Ninja-arrived before Ocelot triggered the C4, freeing Baker and slicing off Ocelot’s hand (but that’s another story).

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Snake and Baker then had a chit-chat, where he informed Snake about his reasons for building the Metal Gear, as well as his knowledge about the Cyborg ninja product. He also hinted about the nature of Metal Gear’s nuke…and why it needed to be a black project. However, then he violently suffered a heart attack, the result of the FOXDIE virus.


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Metal Gear tech profiles-Triumph Bonneville motorcycle


Although several motorcycles are used in the Metal Gear series, the Triumph Bonneville is perhaps the most iconic in the “Big Boss” era of the games (1963-1984). It’s first seen as Eva’s bike when she’s heading for parts unknown, as her confession to Snake-and her revelation of the true meaning behind the bosses’s mission-are revealed via voiceover.

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A similar model (probably not the same one) makes an appearance in “Peace Walker” as Big Boss’s ride to the Miltaries San Frontieras beach house (His HQ before it got a massive upgrade in the offshore plant “Mother Base”.

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Years later, after he emerged from his coma, yet another motorcycle was presented to Big Boss as he rode to parts unknown (Possibly eventually to America, to restart FOXHOUND and start putting his Outer Heaven plan into action).

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Although an image exists of Venom Snake-the “phantom” Big Boss-with the motorcycle, this image is in fact not in the game, as Venom Snake traveled by horse for most of the game, including his escape from the hospital.


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Decades later, the Triumph appears again in Metal Gear Solid IV,  with Eva-now “Big Mama” once again behind the wheel, with her son Solid Snake, in an effort to escape with the body of “Big Boss” (In fact, what was left of another clone “son”, Solidus). Snake provided covering fire while Eva drove, similar to the conclusion of Operation Snake Eater. (Although that motorcycle was not a Triumph, and Big Boss was in a somewhat more comfortable sidecar).

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The bike ultimately crashed, much like Eva did with that other, non- Triumph Bike (She even sustained similar injuries, although it was ultimately a new strain FOXDIE that did her in).

A real-world version of The Phantom Pain variation of the bike was used by Triumph in a cross-promotion with Konami for the game, and also sold on Ebay for 10, 000.



Metal Gear Survive-A look


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Metal Gear Survive-with the beta due tomorrow, and the full game due in late February-  is the somewhat controversial follow-up to “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”-the first main Metal Gear title released since the game, unless you count the “Pachislot” version of Metal Gear Solid 3, which, although mainly a video gambling machine, does have some nice updated renders of some of the scenes from the game using MGSV’s “Fox” engine.


MGS Survive is also built on the FOX engine, but includes some gameplay features that were included in some other Metal Gear games, but largely absent from others-mainly “Snake Eater’s” cure and food options, although from what I’ve read this system is even more important to gameplay than Snake Eater’s use of it, with the player needing to scavenge food, water, and oxygen to well, survive.


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The game will also incorporate a co-op system. While other MG games have had multiplayer modes, The co-op recalls Peace Walker, which had a co-op mode where Big Boss could team-up with other MSF soldiers (or “himself”, and given the amount of times the character either gets impersonated or cloned, that’s not as canon-breaking as you’d expect!) played by other players in the campaign/story mode.


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Metal Gear Survive also appears to put a bigger emphasis on melee weapons than before. While the series has often used hand-to-hand combat/chokeholds quite frequently-these are stealth games after all….they certainly haven’t used that many spears….(Although there’s been a share of  swords, mostly used by the Raiden or the fellow Cyborg ninjas, naturally; and rarely of course by Snake himself).

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and it looks like with Peace Walker and Phantom Pain, a great deal of base management is used, although it seems to be a bit more ‘real-time’ like “Fallout 4” than the gradual expansion of Mother Base in Peace Walker and Phantom Pain.

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….especially since the base is under siege….and here we come to the main problem many have with the game.

Even without Kojima, Konami still holds the rights to the Metal Gear licence, and I assume many of it’s characters. There’s still a lot of gaps in the series that they could cover (As I’ve written about in some articles): The Boss and the Cobra Unit during World War II; Big Boss’s falling out with Zero; more of the gap between Phantom Pain and the original game, or even some of Solid Snake, Otacon’s and Raiden’s unseen adventures such as Philanthropy or the search for Sunny….. or even remake some of the older, more dated games (especially the original MSX games, which are closest to “Phantom Pain” in the timeline and are referenced quite frequently in most of the “Solid” games of course.).

Metal Gear Survive however, decides to instead take place between the two parts of V: Ground Zeroes and the Phantom Pain. In Ground Zeroes, MSF’s mother base is destroyed by XOF…Big Boss and a medic go into a coma….and the story picks up 9 years later.

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But according to Survive, some MSF soldiers got left behind-but not only that, they were sucked into a wormhole along with the wreckage of Mother Base! (Wormholes, to be fair, were an extra feature for the Fulton balloons and multiplayer modes of The Phantom Pain, but not really brought up otherwise).

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Recent trailers have shown that a mysterious agency called WardenClyffe section has, for some reason, decided to send somebody into the destination of the wormhole-some other dimension. It’s naturally been speculated by many fans-including myself-that WC might in fact be yet another front, division, or name for CIPHER (Like XOF, The Patriots, and even FOXHOUND at times).

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…and that the man in the suit might be Donald Anderson/SIGINT, as he appeared in the mid 70’s (and who was largely the human control of CIPHER along with Para-Medic with Zero’s declining health)

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This soldier goes into the other dimension, and encounters what looks like Zombies with crystals in their heads and flesh, whom the MSF survivors-including yourself-will have to fend off in this bizzare wasteland. (On a side note, the tactic of poking at zombies through fence holes with spears kind of reminds me of a certain other series….


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Granted, “Zombie modes” in games seem to be a popular thing, even if the base game itself doesn’t feature zombies. The “Red Dead Redemption” expansion Undead Nightmare was pretty popular….

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….and Call of Duty of course has had a few zombie add-ons. And of course Zombies are big in many game series-“Last of Us” “Fallout” (With the Ghouls), “Left 4 Dead” (Which might’ve inspired Survive a bit too) and of course, “Resident Evil”.

It can even be argued that Metal Gear used Zombies in “Phantom Pain” already, with the Skull unit, soldiers exposed to versions of Skull Walker’s parasites, giving them superhuman abilities but messed-up (although quickly regenerating) flesh and an appearence not unlike Star Trek’s Borg, who in their own way, were zombies too.

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….and their “puppet soldiers” look and act even more zombieish.

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I suppose in part a lot of the criticism toward the game might be leveled that-like I stated-that out of the possibilities for a new game in the lore, they decided to take an easy choice (and pretty much just build on top of the same engine)….and it’s also the first really post-Kojima Metal Gear game, although certain games in the series-The ACID! games, Portable Ops, Rising, Ghost Babel and of course the NES sequel Snake’s Revenge….did not have his direct involvement (although Ops, Rising and Babel sort of had his blessing). Time will tell if the game will really be good, and how it will influence the series going forward without it’s creator.


Metal Gear Profiles-The Sorrow

“Sad… So sad… A host of sorrows… And you are one of them… I am The Sorrow. Like you, I, too, am filled with sadness. This world is one of sadness… Battle brings death. Death brings sorrow. The living… may not hear them. Their voices… may fall upon deaf ears. But make no mistake… the dead… are not silent. Now you will know the sorrow of those whose lives you have ended.”


The Sorrow was a member of the Boss’s Cobra Unit in World War II. A psychic, he was able to use these abilities-such as reading minds and summoning the spirits of dead soldiers-as valuable intelligence for the allied effort.


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He also formed a romantic relationship with his commander, the Boss, and the two had a child together-one ultimately however, that was taken by them from the Philosophers, but still trained as a Russian Soldier.  The man ultimately known as Ocelot.

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Following the war, the Sorrow returned to the Soviet Union, but then another war-a colder one-happened.  As Big Boss said:

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…and soon the lovers became enemies. While working for the Soviet Union, he turned one of the Boss’s spies (Although he was unaware she had sent him) and had him feed false information to the CIA. Ultimately one year prior to the events of Virtous Mission and Operation Snake Eater in Tselinoyarsk, the Boss met the Sorrow again, and was forced to kill him, since the Philosophers would kill Ocelot if they were both alive. The Sorrow’s corpse remained in Tselinoyarsk, where it would be spotted by Naked Snake the following year.

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However, although his body was dead, the spirit of the Sorrow remained anchored to the earthly plane, and remained a sort of witness to the events of the Snake Eater operation, occasionally aiding him in his quest as a ghostly apparition.


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Eventually, after his difficult  escape from Grozny Grad, Snake found himself facing the Sorrow in a shadowy river, where the Sorrow used summoned the spirits of the men he had killed during the mission, and also gave small hints as to his future as Big Boss-including the birth of Solid and Liquid Snake: “Light and Darkness dwell within you”.

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After escaping from that, the Sorrow also appeared a few more times to Snake,  aiding him in his defeat of Volgin with several non-corporeal hints and warnings. It’s also possible he served as sort of the grim reaper to his fellow Cobras-including his lover the Boss-taking them into the spirit realm.


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Fifty years later, a puppet of the Sorrow appeared as part of the arsenal of Screaming Mantis, alongside a puppet of Psycho Mantis.Image result for The Sorrow doll Metal gear

When Screaming was defeated, an apparition of Psycho Mantis appeared and taunted Snake, but soon the spirit of Mantis was brought back to the underworld, with the Sorrow telling Solid Snake: “The spirit of the warrior is always with you”.

Metal Gear Profiles: D-Horse

During Operation Snake Eater, the Boss possessed a Horse-a white Andalusian-but that’s for an later profile, as that horse has quite the story of it’s own.


Twenty years later, her son, Adam “Revolver Ocelot”/Shalashaska, came into possession of a similar horse, and used it to rescue Venom Snake after he escaped from the Cyprus hospital with “Ishmael” (AKA the real Big Boss).


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The two utilized D-horse to escape from the Man on Fire, who had his own horse, one that seemed to share his pyrokinetic abilities-the “Furicorn”.

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After Venom Snake had recovered and rebuilt his muscle mass-and set to become Big Boss “again”, the horse was loaned to him on his mission to rescue Kaz in Afghanistan.


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Later, as Diamond Dogs was assembled further, the Horse was available to Venom Snake on his missions. It proved to be a useful stead, allowing for some stealth options (such as Snake leaning on the side of it) fast travel across the Afghan and African wilderness, and even it’s poop was useful in slipping up or stopping enemy soldiers and vehicles. (Yep, you read that right).



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Phantom Pain is the first Metal Gear to really utilize a horse transport, something that’s fairly common in Open World games, especially those with fairly rural settings-Skyrim, Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus etc. (Not so much something more city-based like Grand Theft Auto/Saint’s Row etc.).

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Like the other buddies in the game-as well as players-D-Horse can also get a lot of armor options, including a battle dress to protect it from enemies, a more regal look, or even something resembling the Man on Fire’s own “Furicorn”.

Metal Gear Profiles: Professor Galvez/ Vladimir Zadarnov


“Let the Age of Deterrence be Undone by the Deterrent Itself – such is the Kremlin’s plan”-Zadarnov

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Posing as a pacifist professor of peace at a “Peace university”, “Galvez”-who wore a cybernetic hand with a built in lighter and rocket function, the man known as Vladimir Zadarnov was in fact a member of the KGB, who wanted to bring Latin America more fully into the cold war, specifically Costa Rica-giving the soviets an advantage right on America’s doorstep. Although Costa Rica had no army, Zadarnov had two proxies-Peace Sentinel, part of the renegade CIA group led by Hot Coldman, who were creating the Peace Walker project; and Militaries San Frontieras, Big Boss’s small group of mercenaries.


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In order to bring Big Boss to his side, he gave him tasty bait-a recording of Big Boss’s mentor, The Boss, recorded nearby, as well as the means to expand his mercenary group using an offshore plant-the future “Mother base”. He was also accompanied by his “student”, Paz.

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Big Boss and Kaz found his story suspicious, but decided to investigate the recording and the group behind it, Peace Sentinel. In fact, Zadarnov was also conspiring with Hot Coldman, and helping to develop the Peace Walker-but only so he could take over the project and Peace Sentinel for Russia’s own ends. He finally staged this coup when Big Boss infiltrated Peace Sentinel’s Nicaragua base, and planned to nuke cuba and blame it on America using Peace Walker. He also planned to make Big Boss a martyr for the communist sandanistas, but Amanda realized his duplicity, and stormed in with her sandanistas and the MSF, and declared:

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Zadarnov then was brought into MSF custody, but somebody kept letting him out, where he tried to escape to the mainland. Eventually, after several attempts, he was cornered by Big Boss in the target practice area of Mother Base. He was fatally shot by Big Boss, but still declared that his work was done, and then tried to kill Big Boss with the cybernetic hand, using it’s rocket function.


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As it turns out, Zadarnov was continually freed by Paz, who was not only working with him in the KGB, but was actually a triple agent for Cipher, who briefly took control of Big Boss’s Metal Gear ZEKE.

Big Boss later used Zadarnov’s hand to light his cigar. The consequences of Zadarnov helping to build MSF-something Kaz Miller was partially aware of-helped form it-and later Diamond Dogs, into Big Boss’s idea of an army without borders-“Outer Heaven”.

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Years later, Venom Snake would gain a similar cybenetic attachment.


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Metal Gear Profiles- Tretij Rebenok/Psycho Mantis

Treti Rebonok, born during the 70s (His name pretty much meaning “Third child” in Russian) for some reason, had strange psychic powers. When these powers awakened, he became a sort of empath, and these negative emotions caused him to destroy his village. He was then taken into soviet custody, and fitted with a straitjacket and gas mask to keep him under control.


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However, upon transportation, he escaped, sensing the awakening of Venom Snake and Big Boss, and also destroyed that transport. Eventually making it to the lab, he found an even more powerful conduit-Volgin, who also awoke and had deep hatred for Big Boss.

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If Snake hadn’t had enough of a bad day, the site of the duo made things even more complicated, and they attacked both Venom Snake and the XOF forces sent to kill him.

Eventually, after Big Boss and Venom’s escape from the hospital, Skull Face somehow managed to get a degree of control over Psycho Mantis and Volgin, and discovered that the boy’s psychic powers-channeled by Volgin’s anger-were capable of piloting the Metal Gear Sehelanthropus without an actual pilot in the cockpit.

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The two encountered Venom Snake several times during his missions, but eventually, when Eli sneaked aboard a Diamond Dogs helicopter, he was able to establish a psychic connection, with a drive for revenge against his “father” that was even greater than Volgin’s.

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The combined Eli/Mantis team then tried to take out Venom Snake with the Metal gear.

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After Venom Snake defeated the hulking mech, disabling it, Mantis-stealing a vial of the vocal cord parasites that was another weapon of Skull Face’s-traveled to Diamond Dog’s mother base with Eli, handing him one of the vials.

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Eventually, he also helped him escape Mother Base in the repaired Metal gear. Eventually fleeing to an island, Eli got infected with the vocal cord parasite, and after another battle with the Metal Gear, were forced to sterilize the site-but Eli and Mantis managed to escape, with Mantis removing the parasite from Eli’s body, and then floating him away to safety.


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Over the next twenty years, Mantis worked in the KGB, FBI, freelance, and then eventually joined his friend in FOXHOUND. When FOXHOUND took over Shadow Moses Island in a coup, Mantis also participated, coming up in part with the plan to deceive Solid Snake into activating REX. He eventually encountered Solid Snake by taking over Meryl’s mind, and even managed to escaped the confines of his Playstation (or Gamecube) disc to read the mind of your memory cards, often remarking on your choice of game(!)

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After knocking out Meryl, Snake took on Mantis himself, and managed to overpower him and take him out. His mask was then removed, revealing a scarred, messed-up face. He used his final moments, in part, to tell Solid Snake that he was a worst person than him, but then also hinted that Meryl had a big place in her heart for Snake.

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However, he wasn’t quite dead yet. Like with the other psychic character, the Sorrow, a part of him managed to survive, and eventually latched onto the leader of the “Beauty and the Beast” core, Screaming Mantis. She even kept a doll of him on her right side, and confronted Snake in Outer Haven, even managing to once again use Meryl as a puppet.

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When she was defeated, the ghost of Mantis appeared before Solid Snake.

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However, the spirit of the Sorrow intervened, and dragged Mantis permenantly into his spirit world. Before leaving, he told Snake “The spirit of the Warrior will always be with you.”