The machine components are different from prosthetics, as they not only substitute the replaced body parts, but also enhance them. The most well known cyborg type are the Cyborg Ninjas, although there are other types. The term Exoskeleton was initially applied to full-body non-removable cybernetics such as the one worn by Gray Fox, but by 2018 the term Cyborg Body was used for such systems with only removable systems referred to as exoskeletons.
In the late 1990s and 2000s, the Patriots created the first cyborgs under the Cyborg Ninja project. The first Cyborg Ninja was Gray Fox. A prototype cybernetic exoskeleton was grafted directly onto his body along with his limbs. Aside from improved agility and strength, the suit also allowed Fox to "cloak" at will, using a new form of stealth camouflage technology.
He would later be succeeded by Olga Gurlukovich. She also utilized a powered cybernetic exoskeleton to assume the role of the Ninja, though her body lacked the permanent cybernetic attachments. Instead, the exoskeleton was an external shell worn as a suit.
During this time, Raiden also became a Cyborg Ninja, but instead of simply having his body grafted to an exoskeleton, his entire organic body from the lower jaw down was replaced by cybernetic parts. The Patriots heavily experimented on his body and the only remaining organic parts of his original body are his head and spinal cord. His cyborg body is composed of artificial muscle, organs, bones, and blood (a "white" artificial blood that substituted for his old, nanomachine primed blood). His cyborg body was optimized for war and enabled him to fight on a superhuman level and withstand what would normally be considered fatal injuries. Besides Raiden, the Patriots also conducted at least 30 different cyborg-related experiments on at least 30 different people. These cyborgs later joined the PMCs Desperado and World Marshal, several even being among the high ranks of the groups, with their distinguishing characteristics being a cybernetic arm containing battle data.
After the Patriots' fall in 2014, cyborg technology development ran rampant across the globe thanks to large amounts of data the Patriots' suppressed being unveiled after their death. This led to various soldiers and personnel adopting mechanical implants, especially within PMCs. Kevin Washington, a member of the Colorado-based PMC Maverick, noted that one cybernetic enhancement developed during this time, a CNT muscle fiber, amplifies the user's limb strength to be comparable to a jackhammer. Several cyborgs also possessed optical implants that allow their support groups to see what's going on as well as act as a makeshift radio. Consequentially, their eyes sometimes glowed red due to the implant. In addition, several cyborgs during this time utilized electrolytes to enhance their strength, which is often gained by "extracting" fluids. Some weapons were also developed with cyborgs in mind, including weapons intended to directly combat cyborgs and UGs, and even some that were intended to be used by cyborgs, such as a current-age fragmentation grenade that, because of its CNT-style design, was heavy enough to require a soldier of cyborg-grade strength to actually utilize. Nonetheless, with the exception of the Delaware-based PMC Desperado, cyborgs in PMCs were a minority, due to the expensive costs for surgeries and maintenance of cybernetic parts, and soldiers not willing to actually sacrifice healthy limbs to become one. The Colorado-based PMC World Marshal Inc., at that time the largest PMC since Outer Heaven, was also the largest supplier of cybernetic parts. Besides the cyborgs directly under the employ of World Marshal and Desperado, the Denver Police Department also possessed several cyborgs, mostly within the SWAT divisions as hostage negotiators or direct combat specialists. The cyborgs presence, alongside World Marshal's ownership of the DPD, was largely because of the limited government plan instituted by Steven Armstrong back when he was still a member of the Colorado senate, and was officially created to combat Cyborg crime, which was started in Detroit. In addition, although several were former US Military, others were foreigners, and in fact the cybernetics acted as their green card, in order to keep the nativists from complaining. N'mani, the Prime Minister of an unidentified African nation had bodyguards that were mostly cybernetic.
Cyborg development also played a large role in Desperado and World Marshal's Sears Program, which involved removing children's brains and placing them into cyborg cranium canisters, and then subject the craniums into VR training to become ruthless child soldiers. The program was named after former president George Sears, also known as Solidus Snake, and was derived from Sears' use and training of child soldiers during the First Liberian Civil War. Although the first shipment, composed of 1860 brain canisters, successfully arrived at Denver, Colorado, the second batch was stopped by Maverick a month later, just a day after Sundowner and Armstrong visited the lab conducting the shipments, while investigating a lab affiliated with Desperado in Guadalajara, Mexico. These children's brains, both the first and second shipments, were eventually rescued by Raiden, himself a former child soldier under Solidus Snake, and later given rudimentary bodies for them to work at a cyborg firm to learn a trade and thus give them a life other than being a street urchin or another Jack the Ripper.
During the early stages of cyborg development, when it was run by Dr. Clark of the Patriots, the cybernetic development had some flaws. Namely, trying to graft cybernetic parts onto organic nerve endings was required to have extreme precision, as otherwise the subject would end up in complete and constant pain due to the nerves interfering with the subject's pain receptors, an aspect that Raiden would later compare as torture.
In the 2010s, cybernetic development improved to some extent, although it still wasn't very good. Because of trouble of trying to develop cybernetic kidney parts that were both the right size and had a sufficient function, various cyborgs, including Raiden, required dialysis frequently, as the white blood, which energized the cybernetic muscles just like a real human, needed to be free of impurities. In addition, loss of blood or otherwise failure to dialyze the blood would result in the subject undergoing autotoxemia and eventually die. In addition, cybernetic skin also was made available to disguise someone from being a cyborg. However, it was still imperfect during 2014, which allowed even babies to understand that a cyborg wearing the skin was not actually a natural human, often leading to huge stares and the like. The closest they could get to passing as a regular person is if the cyborgs were seen from a distance. As such, these cyborgs often were unable to get a civilian job at that time. Their artifcial muscles also originally utilized organic polymers and cultivated muscle cells to simulate muscle movement and improve upon it.
2018 and beyondEdit
Cybernetic technology improved vastly by the time of 2018. During that time, cybernetic skin quality had vastly improved to become closer in appearance to that of a human. In addition, as cyborgs became a bit more common knowledge, staring was also reduced regardless. In addition, several cyborgs also ingested meals orally during this time, as nanomachines implanted into their artificial bodies allowed them to simulate digestion and absorb nutrients to their brains. However, they still generally absorbed nutrients from glucose-based nutrient packs. They also started to possess taste and smell sensors in their mouths and noses to simulate taste and smell, respectively, which they could also turn off at will. In the latter event, they could also detect various toxins and flammable objects via sensors in the event that their smell sensors are turned off. Their cybernetic bodies also possess enough blood sugar for their brains to run for at least a full week. Cybernetic blood also was altered, at least for military-grade cyborgs, to resemble regular human blood, and their artificial muscles were upgraded to utilize CNT musclefibers. Although they had been improved enough to come closer to having a normal life, they still had some drawbacks: They still needed fuel cells and nutrition packs overall to live, as well as constant maintenance that was very expensive.
Cyborgs had various mechanical parts. Several possessed CNT musclefiber, incorporated with MCFC cores, on their bodies during the late 2010s, which powered their limbs to be comparable to a jackhammer. In their lower abdomens, they also possessed a cache of biotic self-repair nanopaste. Although theoretically, cyborgs could possess a variety of fuel sources such as MCFC, solid-oxide, and phosphorous-acid, in practice, they only have MCFC as their primary fuel source, largely because of mass-production within CNT that allowed for a large scale of development.
Cyborgs either possessed optical implants on their organic eyes to improve sight, or in some circumstances, even replace the eye fully if it is damaged. However, the latter instance would not improve the eyesight by much, with the cybernetic eye, if it is equipped to a subject with a completely destroyed optical nerve, only being capable of simply restoring eyesight to that of a natural human. A side effect of the optical implants/artificial eyes is that they occasionally shine crimson, regardless of the actual eye-color of the cyborg, when about to be deployed or undergo a maneuver. Besides optical implants/artificial eyes, several cyborgs also possess compound eye units that act as an enhancement to their vision during the battlefield, as well as a means to record the action going about for their superiors. Variants of the compound eye unit include an eyepatch-like device that activates when about to enter battle, and a version resembling a faceguard. Cyborg eyes could see with blue-toned vision.
Cyborgs possessed taste and smell sensors that they could activate and deactivate at will. In addition, when deactivated, they also had other methods to detect things such as toxic or flammable chemicals via auxiliary sensors.
- Main article: Cyborg left hands
Some cyborgs were also equipped with Holographic 3D drives in their left arms, which contain battle data and other aspects such as: Energy consumption; damage level; intracranial and blood pressure; blood sugar; other vitals; GPS history; speed and acceleration data; radio and optical readings; recorded computations from the internal expert battle-support system; time-stamped readings of distortion and accelerations gauges whenever the body was impacted; stresses applied to the CNT muscle fibers in all four limbs, as well as any localized breakdowns; power consumption rates; remaining battery charges type and amount of weaponry used; Codec logs and wavelengths; voice transcripts; encryption methods; and the like. Because of the 3D state of the drive, as well as the more crystalline shape of the drive, they are unlikely to be severely damaged in battle due to it not being a localized source, but an optical diffractor. It being the left arm was chosen because of it being accessible, as the right hand can remove it and it can easily be recovered if the unit is damaged. Nonetheless, a destroyed cyborg would sometimes result in the drive being wiped or damaged. In addition, the left arm's memory storage is also connected directly to the cyborg's cranial nerves, in order to facilitate recording of the cyborg's sight, sound and other senses and events it had direct witness to. As such, connecting and disconnecting the cyborg's holographic data storage voluntarily or otherwise will have the cyborg's hippocampus being stimulated, which results in the cyborg suffering from intense flashbacks, memory flashbacks, and other unpleasant effects, which makes self-removal of the holographic data storage inadvisable unless circumstances make it extremely necessary. Such data can also be uploaded as video logs, which could also be transferred via a DOOMP (Digital-Optical Output Mounted Proxy).
Some cyborgs also had all but their brains replaced with cybernetic parts. The artificial cranium cases, called brain units, were designed to transport cyborg brains in a physiologically secure state. Because of this, it was equipped with a rudimentary environmental control system that can protect brains from temperature changes and other fluctuations in the environment so long as it received an uninterrupted supply of power. They can also maintain the brain's oxygen supply and glucose intake. The chassis also acted as an impact liner, which can absorb blows and protect the organic brains inside from damage at a potency of up to 700G, which would have been enough to supply normal humans permanent brain damage. Although it was primarily designed this way to avoid the risk of the brains being damaged by accident during transport, it consequentially also made them immune to some degree from bullets or explosives. In addition to being fully functional, they were also inexpensive, allowing for mass-production. These sorts of units were utilized for the Sears Program, with the large-scale models being used in large part due to the differing sizes of human brains overall and thus allow for the varying size of brains. Some cyborgs such as Raiden, however, retain their initial human features instead. The cyborgs also tend to have little distinctive features amongst them, due in large part to cutting down on expenses.
Differences between pedestrian and military cyborgsEdit
There are two different types of cyborgs: military-grade cyborgs, and pedestrian cyborgs. They have several differences between the two: Namely, pedestrian cyborgs have cybernetic materials that by military cyborg standards are considered outdated, such as white blood and polymer muscle fibers. Pedestrian cyborgs also were primarily run on rechargeable electric batteries, more specifically their muscle fibers are run on them, although Doktor hinted that pedestrian cyborgs who have ceramic-based bones might be closer to military cyborgs. Besides the nature of the musculature, pedestrian cyborgs also differ in that they are generally partials (ie, they only had cybernetic replacements that simply are artificial versions of a limb or two), and very rarely require full-body conversions, namely if they were severely injured, near death, or if they were eccentric millionaires who wanted to achieve immortality. In addition, the pedestrian cyborg's parial surgeries were not meant for the physical activity required for military usage, and thus even a few artificial limbs cannot match a full cyborg.
Military-grade cyborgs possessed advanced strength, speed, and durability, largely because of their mechanical parts being fused with organic parts. They also possessed advanced hearing and sight. They are even able to turn their senses off if they need them to be off. In the event that they are turned off, they also possessed auxillary sensors that detect toxins and other materials to determine whether an area was safe or not. They also possessed a high-threshold of pain, which is primarily caused by pain-inhibitors. Cyborgs, or at least those belonging to Desperado and World Marshal, when killed during a conflict, also self-destruct, which was programmed into them to alleviate the risk of their enemy finding out any information about them. This self-destruct sequence, however, does not activate if they were ambushed. In some instances, they also have a delayed effect. This delayed effect is especially evident in the aftermath of the attempted ambush on Raiden during the Abkhazian coup, where the bodies of Raiden's attempted assassins remained long enough for Raiden, Kevin and Courtney to discuss what had occured and only self-destructed shortly after Raiden ceased contact with them to proceed with the mission. Because they are emotionally suppressed, cyborgs also cannot be distracted by magazines unlike regular soldiers. They can, however, be distracted by 3D images of females. Cyborgs are also highly resilient towards firearms. Even bullets fired from a rapid-fire gatling gun required a significant amount to bring down only one cyborg. Cyborgs also possessed the ability to communicate when significantly injured or even after their bodies have largely been destroyed and are thus "dead," via radios or other built-in communication devices, as evidenced by the aftermath of Raiden's battles against Mistral, Monsoon, and Sundowner. Raiden himself also possessed this capacity as early as 2014, where he relayed a message to Snake to go find Big Mama in Eastern Europe before completely passing out, yet he didn't actually talk. Military cyborgs (especially full-bodies) are also capable of surviving even decapitation so long as their brains aren't directly damaged. Cyborgs also possessed built-in stealth camouflage, which they could use either to ambush an enemy or to escape from battle if an enemy forces them to retreat. Also, cyborgs' bodies were programmed to stay within their mission areas.
Military cyborg typesEdit
There were a variety of military cyborg types by the time of 2016-2018.
- Main article: Cyborg Ninja
The basic design of the soldiers, which had roughly humanoid bodies, although they possessed some armor on the thighs, as well as possessed elbow guards. They also wore combat vests resembling SWAT vests. They generally came in green, but also came in black and red, carrying the colors of Desperado. They carried the MAK-200 as their standard firearms, although they sometimes carried the LAG-2 rocket propelled grenade launcher. Regarding blades, they either carried a machete or dual-wielded a set of two machetes. They also sometimes brought in riot shields.
A variant of the above Cyborg soldiers, they adopted DPD uniforms due to the DPD being subcontracted out to World Marshal, Inc. Although they had a similar overall design to the cyborg soldiers, they also had some variants: Some of them had foregone with the compound eye system out of personal preference, instead choosing to use a ballistic helmet, sometimes with a transparent faceguard, some wore sunglasses, and some even wore an officer cap. In addition, although they had most of the same equipment as the Cyborg soldiers, they preferred to use extendable electric batons to whack their enemy with.
Armored cyborg soldiers, also known as Custom cyborgs or Armored cyborgs, were cyborgs that were heavily armored, particularly in their legs and shoulders. Their ceramic/CNT muscle fiber armor was thick enough to stop HF blades from cutting them apart in one slice, although plasma swords could still cut through them. In large part because of their thicker armor, they also were slightly taller than regular cyborgs. Their vests contained a pouch for a small pocketknife, two large pouches to the left, four small pouches (stacked together in twos) to the right, and four patches at the very edge of the vest. Their primary weapons were longswords, although they also utilized grenades and LAG-2 rocket launchers. They usually wore armor colored white, although they occassionally wore variants colored red and gray matching the color patterns of Desperado.
Heavily armed cyborgs, also known as cyborg berserkers or heavy cyborgs, were cyborgs covered in extremely thick armor, covering their legs and feet, their forearms, their waist, and their shoulders. Unlike the other cyborg variants, they do not utilize blades at all. Instead, they utilized a large hammer comparable to a warhammer, which dealt significant blows to the enemy. A drawback, however, was that it required both limbs, meaning if the soldier had one arm removed, they will be forced to retreat if given the opportunity. In addition, even with their armor, they can't wield their hammers in a fast manner, which gave them an opening for a bladed opponent to strike. They were also equipped with a harness that contained several pouches, and which also effectively acted as armor.
Although most cyborg soldiers retained a roughly humanoid form when undergoing the process of becoming one, there are a few who become attached to immense battlemechs from the waist down. An especially notable example of this is Khamsin, who had used the funding he received as a mercenary specifically to make himself into a cyborg, with only his upper torso appearing human as a result. His lower half had been replaced by a large cable that presumably acted as a means to power the machine, with his arms being attached to braces within the "cockpit" of the mech.
Behind the scenesEdit
Cyborg characters were prevalent throughout the series since Metal Gear Solid as the Cyborg Ninja. The concept itself, however, dates back to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake with the rumor about how Big Boss survived Outer Heaven as mentioned by George Kasler. Other than the Cyborg Ninjas, the only other true cyborg in the games until Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was Liquid Ocelot, due to removing his arm and replacing it with a cybernetic. In addition, in the non-canon sequel to Metal Gear, Snake's Revenge, Big Boss, due to his injuries in Outer Heaven, had been made into a cyborg that required life-support, and thus desired revenge against Solid Snake. Upon being defeated, he also became a towering cybernetic machine that bragged that he had no weak points and fired napalm shells, although he was killed when Solid Snake blew apart his soles when he lured him out of the command room, having deduced his weakness from Nick Myer shortly before the latter's death. Besides the Metal Gear series, cyborgs, known as "Snatchers," were also a recurring threat in the Hideo Kojima game of the same name.
Cyborg PMC troops are the most common enemy type in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and come in a variety of types. The most basic cyborg trooper is equipped with either an HF Machete or a functionally identical stun rod (for World Marshal police units in Denver), along with hand grenades. Some have only a melee weapon, but many have either a MAK-200 assault rifle or a rocket launcher. Cyborg troops telegraph their gun attacks using a laser sight, which only appears when they are preparing to fire, and take a moment to transition to their melee weapon if Raiden approaches them. Rocket soldiers will not transition to their melee weapon and will fire regardless of how close Raiden is.
Basic troopers have very low health, poor defence and can be cut instantly in Blade Mode without requiring any combo strikes.
Some basic troopers can be found with riot shields which will block all forward attacks until they are broken; they are otherwise functionally the same as troops with HF machetes.
Later in the game Heavy Cyborgs begin to appear. These powerful soldiers carry either twin swords, a single large sword, or a rocket launcher, and are equipped with armour which prevents them from being cut immediately. Cyborgs with large swords are also capable of parrying and even counter-parrying; matching their counters will eventually cause a blow that stuns them and brings up an Execution prompt. These soldiers, like most powerful enemies, will have their extremities become vulnerable before their body does, allowing Raiden to reduce their capabilities by destroying their limbs. A Heavy Cyborg who has lost both arms will attempt to retire from the fight, vanishing as if knocked out by the HF Wooden Sword and not counting as a kill.
The most powerful cyborg foes are bulky soldiers equipped with a massive hammer, boasting heavy armor and a wide range of unblockable attacks.
The real-life definition of a cyborg is an organism with both biological and artificial components; technically this applies even to relatively minor alterations such as artificial joints or pacemakers. The precise definition of the term as used in-universe was not made clear until Metal Gear Rising, which defines a cyborg component as one which enhances rather than simply replaces a biological one; a simple replacement is a prosthesis. A similar explanation was also supplied earlier in Metal Gear Solid by Nastasha Romanenko during the Cyborg Ninja boss fight. This means less functional body parts such as the replacement arm of Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zadornov or the peg-leg of Cunningham would not lead to their owners being regarded as cyborgs.
Commentary on concept artworks for Raiden and the various non-important cyborgs, included in the Collector's Edition of the Piggyback guide, mentioned that the idea behind the cyborgs' combined usage of fuel cells and carbon nanotube synthetic muscle was based on research led by the University of Texas. It was originally planned for AI-driven cyborgs, but Saito decided to just use human cyborgs with mechanized bodies like Raiden to make the story more interesting. They also mentioned that their cybernetics were similar to Raiden, only they were mass-production models made of affordable parts, with Cho making the comparison between Raiden and the Cyborgs as being similar to a supercomputer against standard PCs, respectively. Etsu Tamari also mentioned in the commentary that the facegear that the cyborgs utilized functioned as a large artificial compound eye unit, something that was implied but not directly revealed in the game itself. He also mentioned that becoming a cyborg was one-way, and indicated that the development of artificial skin and reconstruction of body parts is closer to reality than one may think due to the latest research developments.
The cyborgs also had writing on their various parts, which isn't directly legible in the game but can be easily read on the concept art. They read as the following on the following parts:
- Faceguard = Desperado Enforcement, LLC. AL-13E-FD-0211 BLADE - PROOF TACTICAL PROTECTOR
- Shoulders and elbows = ENSURE LOCK IS TIGHT
- Forearm = TACTICAL PROTECTOR DP-05S-M-0110 HAND COVER
- Legs/hips = ETR-03F-D-0211 HEAVY BLADE-PROOF TACTICAL PROTECTOR
Some of the depictions of cyborgs in Metal Gear Rising and related works (ie, the "Make it Right" viral marketing) incorporated traits from other films and mediums that focused on cyborgs as an important plot element. During the "Make it Right" trailers, the FPV for Raiden during the surgery depicted various texts, graphs, and machine code, mirroring the Head-up display scenes of the various eponymous characters and similar weapons in the Action-thriller Terminator franchise. A similar reference to the Terminator series was made earlier in the Metal Gear Solid 3 parody video on Secret Theatre, Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser. In addition, the ability to play back video logs of various cyborgs in both the game and the "Make it Right" website, as well as Kevin's claim about the cyborg cop concept originating in Detroit, Michigan in an optional Codec conversation, is a reference of the RoboCop franchise.
In Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, although cyborgs themselves don't appear in the main game, they do appear in the form of Raiden in the Xbox 360/Xbox ONE exclusive DLC mission "Jamais Vu". The mission reveals that Cyborgs, due to not having a wholly organic body, were immune to being taken over by Body-Snatchers.
On the official website's Versus Battle, several cyborgs, not counting Raiden or the Winds of Destruction, were the subject of some of the matches:
The Desperado/World Marshal regular cyborg soldiers made an appearance in the Versus Battle section of the official Metal Gear Solid website as the second round, where they fought against Dwarf Gekko. According to their stats, their strengths were their strength, durability, and skills with blades, but they only possessed two arms.
The Heavy Cyborgs and the Aerial Cyborgs also made an appearance as the fifth round of the Versus Battle, where they fought each other. The Heavy Cyborg's strengths were its herculean hammer and thick skin, but its weaknesses were cited as it being mostly grounded and that it could be quicker. Likewise, the Aerial Cyborg's strengths were its rockets and always possessing the high ground, but had the weakness of its wings being vulnerable.
- "STRENGTHS: Strong, Durable, Skilled with a Blade
WEAKNESSES: Only Two Arms
FEATURED FACT: More powerful than a human yet equally as cunning, a cyborg is a formidable adversary.
FEATURED GAME: METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE"
- — Cyborg soldier stats in Versus Battle on metalgearsolid.com
- "STRENGTHS: Herculean Hammer, Thick Skin
WEAKNESSES: Grounded, Could be Quicker
FEATURED FACT: If that massive mallet connects, prepare for a world of pain
FEATURED GAME: METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE"
- — Heavy Cyborg stats in Versus battle on metalgearsolid.com
- "STRENGTHS: Rockets, Always has High Ground
WEAKNESSES: Wings Vulnerable
FEATURED FACT: Air superiority can turn the tide of battle in an instant
FEATURED GAME: METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE "
- — Aerial Cyborg stats in Versus Battle on metalgearsolid.com
Cyborgs during the Africa missionEdit
Notes and referencesEdit
- ^ This number can be calculated in the server room and its cutscene: There were 62 columns in the server room, and each column had 30 slots, each of which contained one brain. 62 times 30 equals 1860.
- ^ This is especially evident with the scenes where Raiden is in first person view during Monsoon's speech to him as well as his fight with Armstrong, as well as the videolog exposing Armstrong's involvement in the Sears Program
- ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Kojima Productions/Platinum Games (2013).
Boris Vyacheslavovich Popov: Raiden, your body has been programmed to stay within the designated mission area. Relax, tovarich. It's just to keep you from getting lost. Don't take it personally, eh?