Tag Archives: Big Boss

A Thinker’s Guide to Metal Gear Part 8: Ground Zeroes


Have you ever heard of the Geneva Conventions? According to the Peace Pledge Union Project website, the conventions are rules and guidelines governing medical and humane treatment of soldiers during battle. Looking specifically at the third convention, relating to how prisoners of war should be treated, one would think that war could be painted with a decent color. But think about it: if you’re in a war, and you capture someone ripe with information and value, would you really treat them decently to get what you need? Do those laws, made by men a long time ago and far away, really matter in the face of what you feel needs to be done? A player can answer that question for themselves after playing Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Hideo Kojima takes a dark turn down the road of the non-fighting side of war in his prologue to the next great tale of Big Boss. (Don’t read any further if you want to avoid spoilers, please.)

In Ground Zeroes, the player picks up where we last left Big Boss, dealing with the repercussions of starting his own militarized state and having a spy within his midst. After receiving intel that this spy, Paz, has turned up alive in an American-owned top secret site in Cuba, Big Boss goes in to retrieve her, with the hope of gaining knowledge on the doings of the mysterious Cipher, who MGS fans know to be a familiar character. What Big Boss finds in this camp is the harsh mistreatment, torture and emotional damage of prisoners both known and unknown, and the game serves as a fitting prologue to what could be Kojima’s best work yet.

prisonersTaking a walk through the camp, the player finds all sorts of disturbing things. First, the whole base is not officially owned by Cuba nor America, so the soldiers only follow orders from whoever is talking in the camp, so it seems. The view of the prisoners are much worse. Men in cages like dogs, sitting in the pouring rain with black bags over their heads. A boy lies in the mud, steel bolts driven through his Achilles heels to prevent him from walking. Prisoners crying, begging to be taken away or killed. That’s just what we see. Audio tapes picked up during the campaign tell even worse stories of rape and torture, rare territory that few games step foot in. In such a small map, so many dishonorable things happen that can disturb a tenured soul.

When it comes to prisoner camps in the real world, one of the well-known locations is the now ceased Guantanamo Bay. President Obama shut down the camp within his first term, and the news storm was strong and thorough. Many people wanted answers for how prisoners of the Iraq War were treated in the camp. One of the main concerns people had was that if prisoners were treated bad on American soil, how were they treated across the ocean, away from committees and prying eyes. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to know exactly what goes on during a gitmowar, and we may never want to truly know. I think that the public can only take so much truth before it becomes too foggy to bear.

Kojima uses this game to set us up for what is proving to be a disturbing new chapter for Big Boss. His upcoming game, The Phantom Pain, is slated to show players about the losses war causes and the reconciliations and revenge soldiers face after battle. With Ground Zeroes, players see the action itself. It’s pretty gruesome, and makes one wonder what goes on behind the fences of camps around the world. It’s up to each person to decide on their own whether or not they need, or want, to know what’s really going on. Some people feel the public needs to know. Others feel like it’s not necessary for us to know everything. Think about what you want to know. Decide what’s best.


A Thinker’s Guide to Metal Gear: Part 7-Peace by Force

by Marcus Brown

Title screen
Title screen

Theodore Roosevelt coined the phrase “Walk softly, carry a big stick.” A small phrase with large implications. In a way, this is a statement about deterrence. In a more modern sense, deterrence against warfare is paired with nuclear weapons. Mutually assured destruction was one of the main forms of keeping the world from destroying each other. Hideo Kojima uses this theme of peace by force in his most recent iteration of the Metal Gear series, Peace Walker.

Peace Walker was released in 2010 on the Playstation Portable and later on the PS3 for the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. While matching some aspects of the previous PSP title Portable Ops, this game added a whole new element to the mix. The game was no longer about straight espionage and accomplishing missions single-handedly, but rather about


creating the Outer Heaven that Big Boss is destined to run. Players can recruit enemy soldiers and volunteers to grow their teams and base. The bigger the base, the more weapons and items the players is capable of making, as well as a strong base for sending soldiers out. This game has a strong RPG element to it which makes for an interesting play. Read up on the story of the game here.

This game focuses heavily on two major plot points: what some people believe it takes to create true peace in the world, and Naked Snake’s continued journey to understand the motives of his mentor, the Boss.

First, the climate and setting of Peace Walker set the perfect stage for the discussion of peace. The Cold War is trailing to an end, but enemy forces in the game are still trying to drag it on longer. In order to create a worldwide peace, the antagonists in this game are trying to create the biggest stick to fight with. What’s worse is that the deterrent, a prototype form of Metal Gear, is supposed to be a defense that’s completely run by an artificial intelligence, thereby taking out the human decision in deciding whether or not to retaliate. The idea of MAD, or mutually assured destruction, relies on the idea that fear of being destroyed by a retaliatory strike is what keeps the world from creating a nuclear winter. However, an unmanned nuclear tank that will automatically strike back at any oppressor does two things: it removes the possibility of someone going back on their word of striking back, and it completely solidifies MAD even more. Peace through incredible fear and strength is a certain type of peace; one that may not necessarily be the best.

Besides having to deal with potential nuclear destruction, Big Boss has to try and sort out why someone he knew almost all his life would betray him and everything she used to believe in. Big Boss struggles deep down with trying to figure out the Boss would defect to the Soviet Union and do a mission that requires her death. It isn’t until the very end that he begins to learn a whole new side to the Boss. In this, the player finally sees the transformation from Snake to Big Boss, though the perspective of the player concerning Big Boss’ choices may have changed since first fighting him in Metal Gear.

Peace Walker is a whole different type of game compared to the other titles in the saga. Though the game is on a portable device, a fact that sometimes make other portable titles unimportant to console gamers, it is still a very important game to play, especially with the next numbered title, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is coming within a year. Make sure you check out this game on the Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection and the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

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A Thinker’s Guide to Metal Gear: Part 5-Snake Eater

by Marcus Brown


Have you ever noticed how your beliefs and views possibly change as you grow older or go into a new environment? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s how the world can be. People’s views change with the times. Just look at our modern issues: advocation of gay and lesbian marriages, attempted legalization of marijuana use and our new proposed healthcare system are just a few of those issues. The problem of time is the proposed theme of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. In Snake Eater, Kojima uses the theme of the scene of times to show how an era such as the Cold War creates a whole new type of perception on what exactly is right or wrong. Continue reading A Thinker’s Guide to Metal Gear: Part 5-Snake Eater