“I gave up my body and my child for my country. There is nothing left inside me now. Nothing at all. No hatred, not even regret. And yet sometimes at night I can still feel the pain creeping up inside me. Slithering through my body, like a snake.” – the Boss
I want to start a series of posts about central “Snakes” in the Metal Gear series, but before we can do that, we have to talk about the Boss, where everything started.
Despite her appearing only in one Metal Gear game, she is one of the most important characters of the entire franchise, she is the origin of everything.
The Boss is the leader of special American military unit know as the Cobra Unit. The Cobra Unit members carry code names based on the emotion they carry into battle. The members include: the Pain, the Fear, the Fury, the End, the Sorrow, and the Joy who later becomes the Boss.
Cobra Unit made its mark in history during World War II. The Boss was in a relationship with the Sorrow and gave birth to a boy who later becomes Revolver Ocelot.
She trained a young soldier named John, teaching him everything she knows and the two developed a new way of fighting, CQC. This John becomes her greatest pupil Naked Snake, later day Big Boss.
In Metal Gear Solid 3 during the Virtuous Mission, she defects to the Soviet Union under Colonel Volgin. Snake believes she betrayed her country, but she was actually infiltrating Volgin’s inner circle to retrieve Philosopher’s Legacy, a ridiculously amount of money that anything can be done, something like world controlling Patriot.
She succeeds in her mission, but Volgin uses a nuclear weapon called the Davy Crockett, a gift from the Boss, on Soviet soil and American government want to wash their hands of it. Because of this political reason, Naked Snake is ordered to kill his former mentor and mother figure. She knows what she must do for her country and dies by hands of Naked Snake. Because of her actions, America is clean of anything that happened with Volgin and Naked Snake becomes Big Boss.
Naked Snake later finds out from Eva that the Boss’s defection was part of her mission to retrieve Philosophers’ Legacy, which she succeeded in doing. Her mission was to infiltrate Volgin’s ranks, defile her own reputation, and then be murdered by her prodigy. And she did it.
The Boss is by far one of the best and most powerful women in gaming. She constantly proves that she alone stands in apex of power. There are many powerful men in MGS3: Naked Snake, Volgin, Revolver Ocelot, and all these men get wrecked by the Boss both physically and emotionally. Her actions not only shows the characters who they are dealing with, but also who is really in charge.
She is always cool headed and collected, rarely you see her getting upset. She is strictly loyal to her mission and will not let anything stand in her away. If she did have a weakness, it would be Snake. Snake is pretty much a son to her, her ultimate creation and final legacy, a legacy that knows what actually happened.
The Boss’s Will
This is something that is still debated by the fans today, what is the Boss’s Will. The importance of this will is that every major character in Metal Gear builds their will based on this. Interpretation of the Boss’s Will is what guides the world of Metal Gear. When Boss went to outer space, she saw the world, a world without borders, and this is the foundation where everything goes wrong.
Zero’s interpretation of Boss’s world without border is a world with one border, under control. This led to Zero creating Cipher and later Patriots, a system that controls the world. A peace controlled by false wars and manipulations.
Big Boss’s interpretation is an army without borders, soldiers not attached to politics and whims of others. And this led to Outer Heaven and later Zanzibar Land. Big Boss thought by being soldiers free from politics, he fulfilled her wish.
Liquid Snake more or less took Big Boss’s and Zero’s idea and warped it further. Rather than stopping at being free from politics, he took down and gained control of the Patriots and made himself the sole controller war. He started by being a puppet, then broke free of the strings and now seized the hand, in exchange, the whole is under his nuclear threat and his control over every weapon in the world.
Ironically, Solid Snake and Otacon‘s Philantrophy made its own interpretation of Boss’s will. They are doing their own thing to free the world from corruption and nuclear mega weapons, free from Zero and Big Boss. They are free people helping the world little by little taking down most dangerous weapons the world has known, on their own terms.
To start talking about the main players of the Metal Gear, the Boss has to be explained. From her, Big Boss, Zero, Liquid, and Solid Snake’s ideology started, whether intentionally or not. And this idea of agency also impacts characters like Raiden and to a degree Otacon as well.
I hope you liked it!