In the world craeted by Hideo Kojima, there are these giant mech titans called Metal Gears, and many of the story lines revolve around them as they usually have apocalyptic qualities.
What distinguishes (most) Metal Gears from conventional weapons is in their description: Bipedal Nuclear Platform. They are not tanks, but nuclear missile launching unit. By being mobile, the Metal Gear can launch nuclear weapons without being targeted by other long range weapons. And the bipedla part is because they are badass, as well as lets these metal giants roam more diverse terrains. To start talking about the Metal Gears, we should start with what came before them.
The first step to the next generation nuclear platform was the Russian made Shagohod. First appearing in Metal Gear Solid 3. Rather than being on wheels, it is rocket propelled, with the added velocity, it can launch the nuke faster (?) and from wider range of locations.
Peace Walker (1974)
Then came the Peace Walker. Peace Walker was proceeded by its 3 prototypes: Pupa, Cocoon, and Chrysalis. The Peace Waller and its prototypes were made by Dr. Strangelove and Huey Emmerich under the supervision of the CIA in Costa Rica. Peace Walker was fisr seen in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker (duh).
And the result of data from these is the Peace Walker. Apart from having 2 modes, quad-pedal and bipedal, Peace Walker was different from the previous platforms in that it was entirely run by an AI, the modeled after the Boss at that.
The original purpose of Peace Walker was to be the ultimate nuclear deterrent by being controlled by an AI, but AI has its own problems, being fed wrong data.
Metal Gear Zeke (1974)
Again from MGS Peace Walker, Zeke is the first true Metal Gear in that it is entirely bipedal manned functioning nuclear weapon. Unlike the Peace Walker, a pilot must board the Zeke in order to use. Like the Chrysalis, Zeke dons a railgun to fire its nukes.
Metal Gear Sahelanthropus (1984)
Sahelanthropus is the newest member as its first appearance was in the Phantom Pain. It was again developed by Huey Emmerich, but this time under Skull Face and Cipher in Africa. While it looks like Gundam version of Metal Gear Rex, it needs the added height to launch nuclear missiles. To further emphasize why it is earlier version to Rex, its movements are actually not as agile as Rex’s and it cannot do much indoors. Also significant portion of the cockpit is dedicated to the computing hardware, only a child can pilot it. Like its predecessor Peace Walker, Sahelanthropus can switch modes from Gundam to Rex.
TX-55 Metal Gear (1995)
TX-55 Metal Gear made its debut in the original Metal Gear game. It was built by Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar against his will in Outer Heaven under the order of the Big Boss. Unlike the previous iteration, TX-55 could launch 2 nuclear warheads and was more compact and cute looking.
Metal Gear D (1999)
Metal Gear D made its debut in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. It was revealed that TX-55 was prototype for Metal Gear D, Metal Gear D is larger than TX-55. Metal Gear D was made in Zanzibar Land again under the orders of the Big Boss. Metal Gear D was designed to be mass produced, however, this did not happen.
Metal Gear G (Gustav) (1999)
Metal Gear G was the smaller companion piece to the larger D (see what I did there). It does not have a nuclear capability, but is more agile. It is designed to be more of mobile control tower than a mobile nuclear platform. Like Metal Gear D, G was also designed with mass production in mind, but this did not happen.
Metal Gear Rex (2005)
For most, this was the first Metal Gear to experience, and boy, was it an experience. Metal Gear Rex first appeared in Metal Gear Solid. It is created by Hal Emmerich aka Otacon. The radome on its side is can detect movements, giving the pilot much needed data to maneuver Rex. As mentioned before, Rex is far more agile than Sahelanthropus despite its looks.
Metal Gear Ray
Metal Gear Ray was first seen in Metal Gear Solid 2. Its plans were leaked so many organization got access to its blueprints, and the main one is Russian made. Ray, unlike its predecessors, does not have a nuclear capabilities. However, it is designed to combat other Metal Gears. It has more traditional missiles it can fire as well as swimming capabilities, but its coolest feature is the water jet cutter from its mouth to destroy any hard objects. There are several models of Ray’s including Liquid’s as well as unmanned versions.
Arsernal Gear (2000)
Arsenal Gear is also introduce in MGS2. It is probably the largest “Metal Gear” to date. It is essentially a giant ship. It is designed to be a mobile fortress for the Patriots. By being able to control the information on the internet as well as storing nuclear warheads. It also houses Metal Gear Rays for protecting itself. While massive, it needs constant protection.
Metal Gear Gekko (2014)
Metal Gear Gekkos were introduce in Metal Gear Solid 4. I believe they were developed by Liquid and his group. Like Ray, these do not have nuclear capabilities, but they are mass produced. These are smaller but more anti-personnel Metal Gear. They have these powerful, flexible, and very articulated legs to attack their targets as well as head mounted guns. They usually move in groups and are very threatening, especially when they moo.
Outer Haven (2014)
Outer Haven is also introduced in MGS4. It is practially the second coming of Arsenal Gear. It was in the hands of the Patriots, but it was stolen by Liquid. Like before, it is harboring a lot of nukes, and is not equipped with Rex’s railgun to launch stealth nukes.
Metal Gear Mk II and Mk III (2014)
The Mk II and II are created by Otacon to aid Solid Snake in the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. While it can stun people, use stealth, and reconnaissance, it has so fatal offensive capabilities.
Metal Gear Excelsus
Excelsus comes last in the time line as it appears in Metal Gaer Rising: Revengence. Excelsus is hexapedal, and its cockpit uses combination of VR and holograms for full immersion for the pilot. Excelsus is equipped with retractable blades as well as plasma cannons. As I only started playing MGSR, I can’t tell you too much about it.
I hope you liked this one!