Welcome to the final instalment of our Metal Gear retrospective, in which we speculate wildly about what will happen in Guns of the Patriots.
Most of the information in this edition will be sourced from official statements, screenshots and trailers from Konami themselves. Acknowledging that this article will comprise of educated guesswork based on these sources, some readers may want to avoid it for fear of spoiling possible plot points of Guns of the Patriots. That said, if I actually manage to guess anything correctly, even I’d be surprised, since Hideo Kojima has a way completely defying even the logic inherent to his own creation, and by all accounts, Guns of the Patriots utterly shatters the fourth wall well before the game is over.
To start off this discussion, I think it’s worth reviewing what we actually know (or at least, think we know – this is Kojima, after all) about the plot.
Snake is retired from active military service, and appears to be living out his days as a civilian. While the game takes place in 2014 – only 5 years after the events of Sons of Liberty – he is appears noticeably older. Presumably, this has happened for one of two reasons: either the FOXDIE virus he was infected with in Metal Gear Solid is becoming fatal, leading to rapid aging and decrepitude; alternately, the accelerated aging is due to the ultimately flawed in-vitro fertilization technique that give birth to him.
In both cases, it appears that Snake is not the same soldier he was in previous games. The introduction of the Psyche and Stress meters further serve to focus on the fact that Snake’s mental condition is not always optimal. Further, it’s a fair assumption to make that Snake is a very disillusioned man by this point. The infamous video of him putting a loaded gun in mouth serves as a powerful image of a man driven to consider suicide by the grim reality of his situation. The question of what exactly drives him to consider such an extreme step is open for debate, but I have a suspicion that Kojima won’t cast the iconic Solid Snake as someone who is merely depressed. Instead (and this is pure conjecture on my part,) I think it may rather be Snake considering himself a danger to others which drives him to this length. It also fits with the notion of this being the end of Snake’s story – it has a fatalistic feel to it, while maintaining the image of Snake as a conscientious soldier, loyal to the very end. Since this provides Kojima the opportunity to echo (albeit abstractly) the sacrifice made by the Boss in Snake Eater, I’m pretty sure we’ll see some variant of this theory as the context for that scene.
The second major plot point we can be reasonably sure of, is the fact that Liquid now controls Ocelot (hence the Liquid Ocelot moniker in the game.) Going on the past portrayal of Liquid, his insurrection â€˜as it is called in trailers) is less likely to be against the US, or any government. His ire would most likely be reserved for the Patriots, who he regards as the true enemy. As most people have most likely seen somewhere online by now, Liquid controls the five biggest Private Military Contractors (PMCs) in the world, giving him access to a fighting force equal to that of the US military (who are really under the command of the Patriots.) The controlling company of these PMCs is called Outer Haven – an obvious reference to the ideal of a nation of soldiers as envisioned by Big Boss. Will we see Liquid trying to restore this idea again? In my opinion, very likely.
Liquid also continues the legacy of Big Boss of resisting the Patriots and their casual disregard for the lives of people who die (often unwittingly) for their cause. As such, the rebellion against the Patriots has now run almost through the entire family: Big Boss, Liquid and Solidus Snake all rebelled (and in Liquid’s case, is still rebelling) against the Patriots – almost as if the sins of the father were continued by his progeny. Seeing as this ties up very well (thematically) I’m willing to bet that Snake’s ultimate fight is with the Patriots as well, and that Liquid may not be the ultimate protagonist of the game.
It has been reported that the game doesn’t exclusively take place in the dusty, Middle Eastern locale portrayed in 90% of videos available. Apparently there’s a section in South America as well, and the latest trailer showed a confrontation between Snake and Liquid in a city environment. Finally, it showed the tantalizing image of Snake – in what appears to be the damaged chassis of Metal Gear REX (from Metal Gear Solid) – facing off against Liquid Ocelot in a RAY, or RAY derivative. Considering that the logical place for the REX to be nine years after the events of MGS is the nuclear disposal facility in the Fox Archipelago in Alaska, it appears very likely that the game will take place there, as well. To back this rumour up, I cite a video Konami released entitled simply â€˜Revived’, which saw Snake infiltrating the (deserted) entrance to the base from Metal Gear Solid. I’m pretty certain of the fact that we will see a return to Shadow Moses island in the 3rd act of the game.
Drebin, an enigmatic neutral party and â€˜weapons-launderer’ will likely serve as your primary means of getting your hands on the highest quality weapons and hardware. While the concept of such a character sounds interesting, he is accompanied in promotional videos by a diaper wearing monkey – something I’m not all that keen about, since it strikes me as needlessly â€˜cute’ for the tone the game seems to be striking.
There are other known plot elements – Naomi Hunter, who infected Snake with FOXDIE, is held captive against her will by Liquid to help him take control of the nanomachines injected into all soldiers serving with the PMCs. The daughter of the late Olga Gurlukovich is held captive by the Patriots, for reasons unknown. We also know that the bosses in the game will likely be the Beauty and the Beast unit, seen in several videos released by Konami. Finally, we all know Raiden and Vamp are back, and are apparently hell-bent on killing each other. However, whereas the context for the first three items I discussed can be reasonably inferred, these last pieces of information exist in something of a vacuum – we know these characters will be in the game, but there is virtually no information to provide the context for them being there. As such, I think they are best left merely mentioned.
And that’s pretty much it, folks. Theories and speculation abound in these final days before MGS4 launches, so you’re sure to find some rather interesting perspectives if you were to look for it online. However, since I have neither the time nor inclination to cover every theory, I chose to mention that which can reasonably be supported by the evidence.
Thanks for those who stuck with the retrospective for the past few weeks. It was a lot of fun researching some of the more obscure parts of the Metal Gear saga, and an interesting challenge to condense it into a readable form without losing essential plot information. I sincerely hope you enjoyed it.
On a final note, I would like to mention that reading all the retrospectives will likely take you less than 90 minutes.
Last Updated: June 5, 2008