Character Talk: Otacon

Otacon aka Hal Emmerich is a brilliant scientist and engineer from the Metal Gear series. He first debuted in legendary Metal Gear Solid 1. He is responsible for building Metal Gear Rex during the Shadow Moses Incident. Be warned, there are spoilers for MGS1, MGS2, MGS4, and MGSV: Phantom Pain.

Some time ago, I was watching this video about some of gaming’s biggest cowards, and Otacon was on the list for peeing his pants in presence of the deadly Cyborg Ninja Grey Fox. I realize it is just a video, and it’s just a video game, and just a character, but that made me really mad. Here is why.


Otacon is one of the bravest man in the Metal Gear Series. He is not a soldier, he is not even strong, nor has anything to gain by helping out Solid Snake and his missions. But he decided to stay and help Solid Snake defeat the terrorists on many, MANY occasions. Otacon stays behind to make sure everything is destroyed in Shadow Moses before making his exit, which comes after Snake has left. He helped Snake through the Shadow Moses Incident, Tanker Incident, Big Shell Incident, and the the entirety of Liquid’s Insurrection against the Patriots. He developed countless techs for Snake to use and helped through many other means. 


Enough ranting about this man’s heroic resume, let’s talk about some sad stuff. Otacon’s love life , and his entire life for that matter, is a complete mess. Every girl he has some feelings towards kicks the bucket. In MGS1, Sniper Wolf is killed in combat, and she barely acknowledges him. In MGS2, Emma Emmerich, his half sister, and Hal had some weird shit going on, then Vamp kills her. In MGS4, he and Naomi Hunter, the woman that betrayed Snake in MGS1, seemed to get somewhere but then she kills herself. Not to mention he did a thing with his stepmother that people think is the reason his father, Huey Emmerich, killed himself. Speaking of which, as we find out in MGSV: Phantom Pain, Huey has been experimenting on Otacon for his Metal Gear projects against wiches of his mother, Dr. Strangelove. All in all, this man was raised and survived one tragedy after another. Despite this he had hope that his inventions would save the world.



Let’s switch gears to something more positive. He and Solid Snake are friends, not comrade, not coworkers, FRIENDS. They have a super awesome secret ninja handshake and everything! Solid Snake is a pretty shut off guy, sure he flirts, but deep down he has a lot of trust issues, but this lone wolf has found a true friend in Otacon. Beyond Snake, he and Snake more or less found a little family with Sunny. She is like their kid, proving a family with 2 dads can work. Sunny is like Otacon in that she is a genius with bad social skills, but was raised in positive household. I think Otacon finds peace with Sunny and genuinely wants to raise her to be better.


Sure he is not as damaged as Solid Snake, nor as epic as him. But he is a hero and very relatable character. I am sure there are a lot of nerd who just want to do the world some good, I know I am. He has a good ending at the end of MGS4 in that he is with Sunny and Snake, who decides not to kill himself, as they can watch the world they saved grow.


PS: Hal (Otacon) and Dave (Solid Snake) are 2001: Space Oddyssey reference.

I hope you liked this one. Do you like Otacon? Write it in the comment.



3 thoughts on “Character Talk: Otacon

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