This article covers a group of items without enough details to merit separate articles.
A booby trap is a trap designed to either injure and/or kill someone, or to give away the location of an enemy by triggering a signalling device. A booby trap is always concealed or disguised in some way so that it either cannot be seen or looks harmless. Typically, a booby trap will be hidden inside, behind or underneath another object.
A pit trap is a man-made pit that has been covered with various leaves and sticks to conceal it within the environment. If stepped on, the artificial floor will give way, causing whatever stepped on it to fall into a pit which is usually filled with wooden spikes, or simply too deep to climb out from. Many pit traps were set up in the forests of Tselinoyarsk, USSR, during the 1960s.
Mechanical pit traps, activated by pressure sensors, are also utilized in urban environments. These were used in the military fortresses of Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land (the Zanzibar Land variant also had an active safety system to prevent Zanzibar Land personnel from activating them), and the nuclear weapons disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island. The Big Shell also had a similar trap in place where the panels on certain connection bridges would collapse down into the bay when someone steps on them.
A tripwire is a passive triggering mechanism, in which a wire, cord or rope is attached to some device for detecting or reacting to physical movement. Tripwires are usually outstretched between two trees, and if viewed through thermal goggles, give off a slight heat signature. They can be avoided by crawling under, rolling over, or activating them from afar with a grenade or other weapon. A similar device was utilized within Zanzibar Land, although the wires in that particular case simply hinder the progress of one of the personnel instead of maiming/alerting the guards. The wires in Zanzibar Land also made noise when touched, resulting in nearby guards going to its position to investigate.
Tripwires can be attached to a variety of devices, which when triggered, result in the following actions:
- Spiked pendulum: A log fitted with sharpened stakes will plummet down into the path of the victim, causing severe lacerations. It will either be aligned horizontally or vertically, depending on the width of the passageway. They are easily visible, even at night, and can usually be dodged by simply walking as near as possible to the trees.
- Clappers: A series of tin cans are rattled, giving away the location of an enemy.
- Grenade: One end of the tripwire is affixed to a partially loosened grenade pin, causing severe injury to a person, and alerting nearby guards.
- Arrows: A series of poisonous arrows are launched.
Snares are anchored cables or wire nooses, usually set to catch wild animals. A snare traps an animal around the neck or the body and tightens around the animal, restraining it. In the case of a person, the noose is only small enough to tighten around the leg, and so can be cut with the person's free hand, using a knife.
- For more information, see M18 Claymore anti-personnel mine.
If a person steps on or near to a land mine, it will explode and cause severe injury. Mines are usually hidden beneath soil, or can utilize stealth technology to make them invisible to the naked eye.
Behind the scenes
Booby traps are featured in most Metal Gear games, though they are more prominently seen in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, especially in Graniny Gorki South, where Naked Snake later battles the Cobra Unit member, The Fear. When Snake reaches the area at night, he can find two dead scientists. Calling Major Zero while looking to one of them will have Zero theorize that the traps are set up more to deal with escapees than to keep intruders out. Sigint believes that the woods are a testing area for researching tactics that are both effective and economical, traps being one of the best ways to do it.
Dummied data for Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake indicated that the player was originally able to use the wire traps against enemies.