A bandana or bandanna is a type of large kerchief, usually worn on the head of a person. They are often used to hold hair back and to absorb sweat, keeping it from reaching the eyes, or for practical purposes.
In Tselinoyarsk, 1964, Naked Snake dueled his former master The Boss, before being thrown into the river below the Dolinovodno bridge. Just before he fell, Snake grabbed and pulled The Boss's bandana from her head, and later used it as a sling for his broken arm. When meeting The Boss again, during Operation Snake Eater, she scolded Snake for wearing it and clinging to their former relationship as mentor and student. Subtly attempting to prepare Snake for what she knew would happen, she told him to let go of the past as well as the bandana, and accept her as his enemy. Snake did neither.
Naked Snake, later known as Big Boss, then wore The Boss's bandana for a time. He continued wearing it during the San Hieronymo Takeover. Cunningham also wore a bandana during the takeover. He briefly removed it to the winds over Lake Nicaragua after coming to terms with her death in 1974, though he continued to wear one for a time afterwards. The Peace Sentinels' scout units, during the daytime, also wore bandanas. He eventually took it off for good sometime in his later years.
As a member of FOXHOUND in the 1990s, Solid Snake wore a bandana, as part of the unit's field uniform. Gray Fox and Holly White also wore bandanas during Operation Intrude F014. The Outer Heaven mercenary Machinegun Kid also wore a bandana. The mercenary and FOXHOUND member George Kasler also wore a bandana emblazioned with the Zanzibar Land logo, in reference to his earlier working under Zanzibar Land.
Following the Shadow Moses Incident, Meryl Silverburgh gave the infinity bandana to Solid Snake. Becoming Snake's favorite, the bandana was embroidered with the symbol for infinity (∞) and kanji characters meaning "infinite."
In 2014, Solid Snake still wore his original bandana in action, though it had become faded with age, reflecting Snake's equally aged appearance. Meryl, now commander of Rat Patrol Team 01, also wore a bandana during this time.
Behind the scenes
Throughout the series, the Bandana appears as a special item that gives the user infinite ammo for all weapons.
In the NES version of Metal Gear, the footsoldiers were wearing bandanas.
Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Solid Snake's Bandana. ∞ (infinity) symbol is sewn in."
- ―Bandana description in Metal Gear
Metal Gear Solid
The Bandana can be obtained as a secret item in Metal Gear Solid. If the player does not submit to Revolver Ocelot's torture earlier in the game, then Meryl will give Snake the Bandana in the game's closing scene. When the player starts a new game on the same save file, the Bandana will be in the inventory. Wearing the Bandana gives Solid Snake infinite ammo.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, only Solid Snake can use the Bandana, during the Tanker chapter. It can be obtained after collecting 46 Dog Tags. Wearing it, as in other games, gives Snake infinite ammo. Raiden's equivalent of the Bandana is the Brown Wig. Snake directly references the Bandana's infinite ammo properties to Raiden, after meeting up with him on board Arsenal Gear.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the Bandana does not make an appearence as an unlockable item, but instead was featured as a small part of the plot. The Infinity face paint takes the traditional function and place of the Infinity Bandana in this game.
According to the director's commentary, it was originally intended that The Boss release her bandana to the winds while onboard the Hind, causing Naked Snake to catch it, which explains why she and Snake seemed to reach out for each other in the final version. However, the motion capture team decided to move Naked Snake getting the bandana to being when Naked Snake takes it off The Boss while she was throwing him off the bridge during their CQC battle at Dolinovodno. By using hacks such as a cheat device (Gameshark, Action Replay, etc) one can unlock and use the bandana as any other item, but it doesn't produce any special results like in previous games, there is also no graphical change when using it.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops/Portable Ops Plus
The Bandana does not make an appearance as an unlockable item. However, the game's coding as well as various hacks indicated that the Bandana was originally supposed to appear, and is alternatively called "Orator."
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- "A bandanna embroidered with the Chinese characters for "infinity."
Gives the wearer infinite ammo when equipped."
- ―Infinity Bandana description from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
The Bandana is a secret item in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It can be obtained by completing the game without killing a single person. Alternatively, it can be bought from Drebin's shop for 5,000,000 DP, following completion. The price is reduced to 2,500,000 DP only during Act 5. After obtaining the Bandana, the kanji characters for "infinity" can clearly be seen by using the zoom function in the item viewer. If used, however, it counts as a special item, which also means that the player cannot get various codenames (such as Big Boss, FOX, FOXHOUND and the like)
Metal Gear Online
The bandana is also an unlockable item in Metal Gear Online. Unlike previous incarnations, however, it doesn't grant the player unlimited ammo and instead is simply an equippable item for the character for aesthetic designs, and likewise, is available in multiple colors and patterns via the reward shop. Males wear their bandana with a knot at the back, similar to Solid Snake and Naked Snake, whereas the female characters' bandanas are closer in appearance to a headband. Likewise, there is another bandana called the "Bandanna" that resembles the bandana that Cunningham wore in Portable Ops that likewise also comes in multiple colors and patterns.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The Bandana is a secret item in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It can be obtained by achieving the "S" rank for Extra Ops . Also, unlike Metal Gear Solid 2, any player character can use the Bandana and not just Big Boss. Also, wearing the Bandana does not affect the score/mission ranking system, meaning the player can acquire an "S" rank even if wearing it and not be penalized due to wearing it. Developing the Bandana requires that the Combat Unit and R&D Teams be level 88 or higher. Also, in addition to the usual use of giving infinite ammo, it also makes the suppressors of weapons such as the Mk22 non-degradable.
- "Special bandana that supplies an endless amount of ammo while equipped"
- ―Infinity Bandana description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker