Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #34: Boss is Back
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!
That’s it. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is done, and with it every primary entry in the series. It’s been a hell of a ride, and although I’ve got Ground Zeroes still to come, this feels like the end of a journey. I’ll save all the emotional crap for the final entry, for now I’ll say this: what a way to end the game!
You know what, it may well have been just as good, if not somehow better, than the ending of MGS3. Wait. Hmm. No, not quite as good. But close. Very close.
As expected, I had very little actual gameplay to complete after my previous session, so I went into it expecting a rather lengthy final cutscene (I’d been pre-warned - though I was much happier about it than the guy who told me). But before that was a freakin’ awesome final boss battle against none other than Liquid. OK, admittedly most of that fight was a cutscene, but I had to press a few buttons at points! The lack of interactivity didn’t stop it being a beautiful scene that ingeniously implemented all of the main songs from the previous games (including, to my delight, the Snake Eater Bond theme).
It all ended with Snake delivering the final blow on both Liquid and Ocelot (whose body Liquid was still inhabiting). A cool death, that actually felt pleasantly final; something of a rarity in this series. The pure brutality of the fight was also a real shocker in a series that’s usually all about smooth CQC combat and swishy Raiden-ness. Certainly a cool way to see Liquid off, and end his seemingly timeless rivalry with Snake.
Of course, the weird thing about the death of Liquid is that he perished after accomplishing his goal. The Patriot AIs no longer have control over the world, people can now think for themselves and nations can act on their own accord. Liquid sees this as a recipe for destruction and disaster, but the other characters in the game’s finale are a little more hopeful.
There’s a chance they’re just in a good mood from the wedding, though. Yup, I’m never really surprised by this game any more, but Kojima actually managed to squeeze a wedding into the damn thing. No it wasn’t Otacon and the ghost of Naomi (not that weird, thankfully), but Johnny and Meryl. Supposedly their battlefield engagement was the real deal - and I thought it was just the heat of the moment. So the prologue cutscene kicks off with a reunion between Meryl and Campbell, then the wedding itself - seemingly held on an airstrip somewhere. There’s something hilariously awesome about seeing the ripped Meryl in her wedding dress, gun holster strapped to her thigh. The prologue also finally spilled the beans on Drebin, who has remained something of a teleporting mystery up to this point. He, like Raiden, was a child soldier bred for conflict by the Patriots. In fact, all of the ‘Drebins’ around the world (who he previously branded as arms dealers) are all former child soldiers that were under the control of the Patriots. Drebin’s job was to keep an eye on Snake and Meryl’s squad who were, in a cool turn of events, the Patriot’s tools for disposing of Liquid. So all along the ‘good guys’ were unwittingly working for the ‘bad guys’ to stop the ‘bad guy’ - or something like that. Of course, they didn’t anticipate the bug created by Naomi and Sunny that would shut down the whole Patriot AI system. Which, to be honest, seems like a rather major oversight.
Anyway, another fantastic scene came from Raiden and his newly reunited family. Yup, in a cool turn of events Rose reveals that she only ‘married’ Campbell to remain protected from the Patriots. While they did get married, to the degradation of Campbell’s own honour and social life, there was never any romantic sentiment behind it. Rose had to be protected; as well as Raiden’s son John. A really, really great scene in which Raiden finally gets something good for all the crap he’s gone through since MGS2. His body has been fixed thanks to some cool future-tech and he now has a proper family to look after. John even says that he finds his Dad cool, “like a comic book super hero.”
It’s a fantastic way to send off one of the most amazingly transformed characters I’ve ever seen. That annoying, babbling rookie from Sons of Liberty is long gone; in his place is a determined, hopeful and thoroughly bad-ass ninja-man that was arguably the best character in the whole game. Leave it to Kojima to make such a hated character into one universally loved. It’s another one of those, ‘did he plan it from the start?’ moments really.
Of course, in the end, it all comes back to Solid Snake. He ends the game in the same place it began, at the grave of The Boss. He tries to take his own life for fear of becoming the ‘walking bomb’ that Naomi called him before, but can’t pull off this one last mission. Which is lucky, because he gets a final visit from someone very special.
Big Boss is alive. Or was, at least.
I flipped out.
Let off an embarrassingly girlish shriek.
He made his dramatic return to the series looking no older than Snake, decked out with his classic eyepatch and armed with The Boss’ gun. He didn’t come back to cause trouble though, rather to get some closure with the man he considers a brother as opposed to a son.
With Big Boss is Major Zero, the founder of the Patriots. He’s a very old, vegetative, man by now, and after Big Boss explains the struggle between the two once again, he finally gets his revenge and turns off Zero’s life support. It’s clear the anger between the two had all but evaporated though, Big Boss notes that all he feels is “a deep sense of longing, and pity.” He then reveals some new information:
-It was Ocelot’s decision to implant Liquid’s mind within his. He did it through some sort of psychotherapy - which is creepy.
-Drebin implanted Snake with a new type of Foxdie that was specifically designed by Zero’s arm of the Patriots to eliminate every other founding member (BB, Eva, Para-Medic, Sigint and Otacon). So when Snake came into proximity with both Eva and Ocelot/Liquid, it was the Foxdie that led to their death. Whoops.
-Of course, that also means that the conversation in the graveyard truly is Big Boss’ last, as Snake’s Foxdie slowly kills him.
-In his final moments Big Boss tells Snake that the Foxdie in his body will not spread to others that weren’t in the Patriots. So he is free to live out the rest of his life, even if it is only short.
Big Boss then dies next to the grave of his mentor in a really god damn emotional scene. Before he dies, he finally understands the morals behind The Boss’ final moments, “it’s not about changing the world, it’s about doing our best to leave the world the way it is. It’s about respecting the will of others, and believing in your own.”
So ends Metal Gear Solid 4, as Snake goes forth to live the rest of his life in peace.
Total Play Time: 14:46:34
Alert Phases: 63
Recovery Items used: 50
Confer to the title of: Eagle, Scorpion, Pig