Take a look below for our list of 10 of the best Metal Gear Solid characters.
1. Solid Snake
Solid Snake, real name David, also known as Old Snake, and briefly known as Iroquois Pliskin, or simply Snake, was a former spy, special operations soldier, and mercenary. Possessing an IQ of 180 and fluent in six languages, he was known as “the Man Who Makes the Impossible Possible” and his exploits made him into a living legend among the military black ops.
A product of the Les Enfants Terribles project, Snake was a clone of world-renowned soldier Big Boss, along with his brothers Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake. Initially a Green Beret, Snake was later inducted into the High-Tech Special Forces Unit FOXHOUND in the mid-1990s while it was commanded by Big Boss. Repeatedly tasked with disarming and destroying the latest incarnation of Metal Gear, a bipedal nuclear weapon-armed tank, Snake would thrice avert potential nuclear catastrophe, becoming a famed war hero.
Following the Shadow Moses Incident and subsequent smear campaign by the Patriots, the secret organization behind American politics, Snake was labeled a terrorist. He faked his own death in the Manhattan Tanker Incident, though he re-emerged years later to assist Raiden in the Big Shell Incident. During this time, his body entered a state of accelerated aging, due to intentional genetic changes made during the cloning process, causing his health to decline.
In 2014, Snake performed his final mission, during which he defeated Liquid Ocelot and destroyed the Patriots. After one last encounter with Big Boss, Snake chose to live his remaining days in peace.
2. Big Boss
Big Boss, real name John, also known as Jack, and formerly known as Naked Snake, Vic Boss, Ishmael, Saladin, or simply Snake, was a renowned special forces operative and mercenary commander. He founded U.S. Army Special Forces Unit FOXHOUND, along with the mercenary company Militaires Sans Frontières, and was one of the founding members of the Patriots.
Big Boss later established the military states of Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land as bases for his companies, in order to realize his ambitions of creating a nation for soldiers. Considered by some as “The Greatest Warrior of the 20th Century,” he earned such monikers as “the Legendary Soldier” and “the Legendary Mercenary,” feared in combat by both friend and foe as a hero and a madman.
During the Cold War, Big Boss was an apprentice to The Boss, the so-called “Mother of Special Forces,” and later served as a black ops field agent for the CIA’s FOX Unit, under Major Zero. Having his genetic code used as part of the government project Les Enfants Terribles, Big Boss was the genetic father of Solid Snake (his subordinate and later nemesis), Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake. He was also the mental and physical template for his body double and former subordinate, Venom Snake, with whom he shared the title of “Big Boss”.
3. Revolver Ocelot
Revolver Ocelot, real name Adamska (Russian: Адамска) or simply Adam (Russian: Адам), and also known as ADAM, Shalashaska (Russian: Шалашаска), or most commonly Ocelot (Russian: Оцелот), was a Russian-American operative of FOXHOUND and an agent of the Patriots.
A master of interrogation and a formidable gunfighter, he was often referred to as a “ricochet genius” in regards to his gun fighting skills. A fanatic, he was known for his affinity towards Spaghetti Westerns, as evidenced by his choice of weapon and his clothing, duster and spurs, the traditional garb of cowboys. His weapon of choice was the Colt Single Action Army Revolver, which he regarded as “the greatest handgun ever made.”
Throughout his career, Ocelot became personally acquainted with all five men codenamed Snake: a friendly rival to Big Boss (aka Naked Snake), the right hand man for Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake, one of Venom Snake’s top advisers, and a nemesis to Solid Snake. He was the son of The Sorrow, and the legendary soldier The Boss, given birth to on the battlefield. Specializing in infiltration of a different nature than Solid Snake and Big Boss, Ocelot often acted as a triple agent, to serve multiple interests in the same situation.
4. The Boss
The Boss, also known as The Joy, The Mother of Special Forces, Mercury Lady and Voyevoda (Russian: Воевода, “Warlord”), was a renowned American soldier, founder and leader of the Cobra Unit, the biological mother of Ocelot, and mentor and mother figure to Naked Snake. In June 1944, during World War II, she led the Cobra Unit to victory at the Battle of Normandy. Together with Naked Snake, she developed the technique of CQC.
Raiden, real name Jack, also known as Jack the Ripper, White Devil, and Snake, was a Liberian-American mercenary and former special forces soldier. Previously a child soldier under Solidus Snake, Raiden was later selected by the Patriots to test the S3 Plan at the Big Shell, as a new recruit to the reformed FOXHOUND unit.
He later worked alongside the Paradise Lost Army in their anti-Patriot activities, but was captured and forced to undergo heavy cybernetic experimentation. After successfully escaping, Raiden went on to assist Solid Snake during the Guns of the Patriots Incident.
In 2018, Raiden became a member of Maverick Security Consulting, Inc., doing multiple tasks while raising money for his family. However, during an escort mission in Africa they were attacked by Desperado Enforcement LLC., who killed Raiden’s protectee, N’mani, and left Raiden for dead. Fortunately he was saved by the scientist Wilhelm Voigt and worked with Maverick to fight Desperado.
Raiden’s vengeful obsession with Desperado became personal when he discovered during a mission in Mexico that Desperado and World Marshal Inc. had kidnapped several children, surgically removed their brains to place into cybernetic bodies, and were planning to subject them to VR training modeled after his own. Raiden then resigned from Maverick to pursue and retrieve the children’s brain cases from World Marshal in Colorado.
6. Liquid Snake
Liquid Snake, real name Eli, also known as White Mamba (Kikongo: “Nyoka ya Mpembe”), McDonell/Master Miller, or simply Liquid, was the leader of FOXHOUND during the Shadow Moses Incident. He was cloned from Big Boss’s DNA as part of the Les Enfants Terribles project, along with his brothers Solid Snake and Solidus Snake. Liquid was led to believe that he had been created in order to express Big Boss’s recessive genetic traits, and as such, was “inferior” to Solid Snake who supposedly had received Big Boss’s dominant genes. Liquid therefore held a strong resentment towards Solid and wished to defeat him in combat, reclaiming what he felt was his birthright, and thus proving his superiority.
Possessing an IQ of 180, Liquid spoke seven languages fluently, including English, Spanish, French, Malay, Arabic and Kikongo. His main language, English, was also spoken with an English accent of the Received Pronunciation dialect during adulthood, and a Central London dialect during his childhood.
He was almost an exact double of Solid Snake in terms of appearance, with the only distinguishable feature being his darker skin tone and fair hair color. He also had a tattoo on his left arm, which resembled the Rod of Asclepius, but with a sword in its place and with the words “Temptation Revelation”.
EVA, also known as Tatyana (Russian: Татьяна), and later known as Matka Pluku, and Big Mama, was a spy who fought alongside Naked Snake during Operation Snake Eater. While posing as a KGB agent, she actually worked as a spy for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, tasked with obtaining the Philosophers’ Legacy. She later became the surrogate mother of Solid Snake and Liquid Snake.
8. Venom Snake
Punished “Venom” Snake, also known as Big Boss, Ahab, V, or Big Boss’ phantom, was a combat medic for Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF), who would later become the mercenary commander of Diamond Dogs and Outer Heaven as one of Big Boss’ most trusted lieutenants.
9. Steven Armstrong
Steven Armstrong was a United States Senator representing the U.S. state of Colorado, as well as a candidate for the 2020 United States presidential election. He was also the benefactor for World Marshal Inc., its de facto CEO, and its most powerful warrior. He was also allied with the Winds of Destruction of Desperado Enforcement LLC.
An extremely nationalistic, patriotic and libertarian individual, Armstrong often expressed the desire to “reclaim the American dream” by instigating another American Revolution after Liquid Ocelot’s insurrection and the Patriots’ actions that weakened America.
Dr. Hal “Otacon” Emmerich was the chief engineer of Metal Gear REX. He became a close friend of Solid Snake after Snake rescued him during the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005. Later that year, he and Snake founded the anti-Metal Gear NGO Philanthropy. Following the Guns of the Patriots Incident, he became the adoptive father of Sunny. A devoted fan of anime, Hal’s chosen nickname was derived from the Japanese animation convention Otakon.