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Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #29: Eva

Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #29: Eva

Welcome to the Metal Gear Noob Diaries. This is the recounting of my experience through the MGS series from MGS2: Sons of Liberty all the way to MGSV: Ground Zeroes. I’ll be updating every so often with new thoughts on sections of the games and taking a look back at memorable and enjoyable moments. I’ve never played the series before, so for the fans out there it could be an amusing tale of one noob’s journey, while those as green as myself could well learn a little about the mad world of MGS. Enjoy!

Squee! Today I experienced a total nerdgasm as one of my favourite characters from the entire series made her return. Eva’s back! She’s old, and still awesome, and a bunch of other stuff which I’ll get to later because she actually only showed up at the end of today’s session but I can barely stop thinking about it and all the craziness there’s no time for breaks or pauses just complete and utter devotion to the LONG LIVE KOJIMA.

Hm. So yeah, it was (and I keep saying this) probably my favourite single moment in all of Metal Gear Solid. Like I said though, allow me to focus and give a little detail on what led up to Eva’s badass resurgence. Actually, a lot of that was badass as well - it’s just been overshadowed rather considerably by Eva.

MGS4 Eva

The very first cutscene in today’s session, for instance, saw Raiden and Vamp battle in a super-crazy practically immortal duel of doom. It’s certainly one of the most famous images from MGS4 - even as someone who wasn’t remotely interested in the series, I still remember being intrigued by this scene when it was shown at E3 all those years ago. Not a lot to say about it - you’ll have to either remember it adequately or YouTube it to get the full experience, words can’t really do it justice.

Oh, turns out that Naomi’s nanomachine developments led to Vamp’s apparent immortality. He’s not immortal as such, but rather his highly advanced nanomachines allow his body to heal ultra-quickly. Also, Raiden has a similar deal going on only his mecha-body is now made up of synthetic blood that allows him to function well beyond normal capacity. Although that fight with Vamp causes him to lose most of that blood - so it’s off to Eastern Europe to sort him out. Which happens to be where Liquid is hanging out now...

MGS4 Vamp and Raiden

It also turns out that neither Liquid nor Snake’s genetic codes are the same as Big Boss’. Which is especially coincidental to bring up... because he’s still alive! Yeah. That one caught me off guard. Turns out that Liquid wants to get hold of Big Boss’ body so he can move ahead with his anti-nanomachine plan which I don’t really understand well enough to explain. Sorry. Which all links back to Raiden telling Snake earlier in the game that he’d found the body of Big Boss and given it to Big Mama.

So ensues a rather dull remainder of the long cutscene between South America and Eastern Europe. The globetrotting found in MGS4 is definitely cool, but it does seem a tad forced. It’s becoming difficult to warm to the settings simply because I don’t spend long enough in each one. The jungle scenery only saw a couple of hours of actual gameplay and the middle eastern setting wasn’t especially inviting. It’s certainly not stagnant though, and compared to the concrete corridors of MGS2 it’s inspired.

After a bunch of weird stuff between Otacon and Naomi, in which Naomi becomes a real try-hard for the dude (I suspect foul play), the team land in Europe to find Big Mama and help the ailing Raiden recover. Which led to one of the weirdest gameplay sections I’ve yet to play in an MGS game - not so much the usual ‘MGS craziness’, just an unusual mission. It was, essentially, a tail mission that tasked me with staying on the path of one of Big Mama’s rebels. The European setting is pretty cool, very dark and gloomy for the series, but that didn’t prevent it from being a fairly dull level - like just about every tail mission ever created.

MGS4 Paris

Of course, that sense of boredom suddenly disappeared once the final cutscene of today’s session kicked in. Honestly there’s too much that’s too awesome, so I’ll be lazy and bulletpoint the key story elements along with my thoughts:

-First thing’s first: Eva is, as I made rather clear earlier, properly back. She must be pretty old, even if she doesn’t really look it, but she’s on top form. Older, wiser, even more interesting than before. She probably is my favourite character in the series (apart from Big Boss, I dare say), so I’m super excited to see how she fits into the story outside of this cutscene.

-Turns out, and this is a big one, she’s Snake and Liquid’s surrogate mother! “Humans can’t be grown from test tubes” she remarks, “even clones.” So when the opportunity arose Eva was happy to take on Big Boss’ clones as her own. Awesome.

-Liquid wants to knock off Big Mama for some reason and she reveals that he is in a “bitter struggle with Zero, the founder of the Patriots.” So yeah, Major Zero is the guy who started it all. There were suggestions of that in Peace Walker but it’s cool to look back now on Snake Eater and see how that event led to the formation of the Patriots that would go on to dominate the later iterations of MGS.

MGS4 Apple

-Eva then goes into real detail on the foundation of the Patriots. Originally intended as an organisation to manage the US during the Cold War, the control continued long after the time period ended. Zero, Big Boss, Sigint, Para-Medic, Ocelot and Eva were all the founding core members, but it was Zero who led the group. Big Boss, who by the end of the Cold War had attained cult icon status, eventually left the Patriots to form MSF. The Patriot organisation continued to grow, spreading through the shadows to take control of the entire planet by stealth. Although by this point much of the organisation was controlled by AIs as opposed to humans. The same AIs that Raiden encounters in Sons of Liberty. Zero ended up on top of the pile and directly opposed to Big Boss. It’s all so very cool and fills in so many previously blank spaces. In the MGS plot there’s always a sense that everything’s being held together by duct tape, but it seems to hold up surprisingly well.

-Eva talks to Snake about the Snake Eater mission, detailing her role in the operation. There’s even a beautiful little section in reference to The Boss, incorporating the familiar music from the final scene of MGS3. She tells of how Zero used the Philosopher’s Legacy to start up the Patriots. I’m all about the Snake Eater references.

MGS4 Boss2

-Shortly before Big Boss left the Patriots, Zero wanted a way to maintain his iconic image even after death. Hence the creation of the Les Enfants Terribles project, an effort to create a new Big Boss specifically for the Patriots. The degree to which all of these stories end up intertwining is quite astounding, and does make me wonder if Kojima had this all planned from the beginning. My original thought was completely against that idea, but it’s increasingly looking like a well laid-out plan. Hmmm.

-”Les Enfants Terrible was the final straw for Big Boss.” So he broke away from the Patriots, angered by Zero’s arrogance and dominating nature. “Your father never wanted you,” Eva tells Snake, in a rather crushing blow.

-Zero and Big Boss end up colliding on a grand scale; according to Eva, “everything you see today stems from their cold war.” Their opposing views of The Boss’ final will cause a huge rift and they become mortal enemies. This is where is gets really cool: Big Boss ends up moving back to the US and rejoining the Foxhound unit as its leader, with an aim to bring down Zero’s Patriot-led world from within. So that’s how we end up with the Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land incidents in the original Metal Gear games. It was all a coup d’etat to remove Zero from power. Of course, Snake thwarted those plans, leading to Zero’s capture of Big Boss.

MGS4 Zero and Boss

-Eva then shows Snake the remnants of Big Boss, who had been kept alive by Zero all those years. It’s a horrible scene - Boss’ body is stripped of skin and looks more like a skeleton than a living man. His consciousness is locked away by nanomachines, so he’s not actually brain-dead as was previously suggested. He still has the potential to live, but I’m not convinced that his body is willing to take that burden. A seriously sad state of affairs - to see such an awesome character who I’ve enjoyed playing and watching degraded to such a horrific state.

-The whole cutscene ends with Eva revealing her motorbike in dramatic fashion. Another brilliant callback and one that made me (and I’m not joking here) cheer out loud. I’m getting way too into this...

So. That was that. I’m going to go rest for a little bit now. My head hurts.

Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries
Ryan Davies

Ryan Davies

Junior Editor

Budding, growing and morphing games journalist from the South. Known nowhere around the world as infamous wrestler Ryan "The Lion" Davies.

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