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The FOXHOUND logo.

High-Tech Special Forces Unit FOXHOUND was an elite black ops unit of the United States Army that was established by the "Legendary Soldier" Big Boss.

Although its function changed over the years, FOXHOUND specialized in covert, solo infiltration, to cope with local revolutions, regional complications, and global terrorist activities in "unauthorized" combat zones too politically-sensitive to intervene through conventional means. Its agents were also trained to complete various missions that were assigned in secret, to the extent that they were considered the modern versions of the ninja. All its members were battlefield hardened veterans, with many coming from a mercenary background.

Because of its status as a hi-tech special forces infiltration unit, any and all members of FOXHOUND were heavily trained and rigorously taught a wide field of survival, martial, and operational skills; from a plethora of insertion and maneuvering methods, to skydiving techniques and underwater infiltration, in order to cover all possible routes of infiltration into an enemy nation; advanced outdoor survival skills, including scenarios regarding long period wilderness survival and a wide range of harsh environments; acute stalking, detonation operations, wireless communication, procuring and reusing enemy resources, gathering information, varying martial arts, emergency medical operations, languages, and hi-tech devices. It was officially disbanded by the U.S. Government after 2005.


Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

FOXHOUND's precursor was a rebel group established by Naked Snake (Big Boss) and Roy Campbell on the San Hieronymo Peninsula in November 1970. After both were taken prisoner during the San Hieronymo Incident, the two formed a resistance group to take down the renegade FOX Unit (led by Gene) as well as clear the names of Naked Snake, Major Zero, Para-Medic and Sigint.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Carrying on the traditions of Major Zero and his FOX Unit, Big Boss officially established FOXHOUND in 1971.[1][2] The group was organized into an official unit within the U.S. Army, the concept having been considered as early as 1964.[3] Big Boss originally commanded the group, though he soon left both FOXHOUND and America to form the Militaires Sans Frontières in 1972, and it would be almost 20 years before he would return to his country to retake command of the unit. Big Boss's leadership style was characterized by the instinctive and wild strategies he employed in planning FOXHOUND's operations.[4]


The FOXHOUND logo during the 1990s.

In 1995, rookie Solid Snake joined the unit and aided in the rescue of veteran agent Gray Fox from the mercenary nation of Outer Heaven, after the latter had been captured. Snake later encountered Outer Heaven's mysterious leader, who revealed himself as FOXHOUND's own commander, Big Boss. He had established Outer Heaven in secret some years before returning to FOXHOUND, and had sent in the rookie Snake with the expectation that he would fail in his mission. However, Snake had proven himself too capable and the two fought, with Snake emerging victorious and securing the mission's success.

Following his betrayal of FOXHOUND, Big Boss fled to Asia, having survived with the help of a body double in Outer Heaven. Solid Snake retired from the unit, while Gray Fox was suspected to have followed his former commander after he disappeared.

After 1995, FOXHOUND's existence became public knowledge and gained worldwide fame, thanks to Solid Snake's actions.[4] With Big Boss presumed dead, Roy Campbell was placed in command and recruited ex-member Snake during the Zanzibar Land Disturbance. Under Campbell's command, the codename regime for FOXHOUND members was discarded, and a greater emphasis was placed on utilizing advanced technology. By the late 1990s, FOXHOUND had entered formal combat alongside regular troops on three occasions.[4]

Circa 2000, Campbell retired and Liquid Snake was placed in charge. Under Liquid's command, the codename protocol was reinstated, with its members choosing particular skills to specialize in, and it was reorganized into a smaller elite counterterrorism unit.[5] Elite members of FOXHOUND underwent genetic manipulation to enhance their combat capability.[6] They also adopted the use of trench coats similar to former unit commander Big Boss.[7] After Campbell's retirement, FOXHOUND's chief geneticist Dr. Clark was involved in gene therapy that would lead to the creation of the Next-Generation Special Forces, as well as the experimentation of the Cyborg Ninja project, until her death in 2003. In the mid-2000s, FOXHOUND was made the subject of an undercover investigation, just prior to the 2005 revolt on Shadow Moses Island. FOXHOUND and the Next-Generation Special Forces decided to rebel against the U.S. government, calling themselves the Sons of Big Boss, and hijacked a newly developed nuclear weapon. Campbell was forced out of retirement and hired former-member Solid Snake to infiltrate the island and disarm the renegade members of FOXHOUND.

After the revolt, in which most of its combat squad were killed, FOXHOUND was officially disbanded. Nonetheless, a facsimile of FOXHOUND was created as a virtual unit for the Patriots to select their candidate for the S3 Plan. The former Liberian child soldier/Force XXI soldier and FOXHOUND "member" Jack was ultimately chosen to act as the field agent to be dispatched to the Big Shell during the terrorist takeover (secretly manipulated by the Patriots for the S3 Plan) in 2009.


Big Boss's/Roy Campbell's command

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]
Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Liquid Snake's command


Examples of FOXHOUND affiliations have been seen post-2005, when the unit was no longer thought to exist:

Foxhound patch

Meryl Silverburgh's uniform, featuring the FOXHOUND logo.

  • In 2014, an Army CID team, led by Meryl Silverburgh, wore FOXHOUND insignia to disguise their true identity.
  • Also in 2014, the Beauty and the Beast Unit had codenames that were partially inspired by the FOXHOUND members from 2005, with Drebin once referring to them as the "SNAKEHOUND Unit," in reference to both this as well as their murderous obsession with Solid Snake.

Selection and drills

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

When FOXHOUND was first established in 1970, the process of recruitment was not fully developed, due to the circumstances at the time. Potential recruits were usually abducted or rescued, and then convinced into joining the unit. However, those with skills, such as quick recovery, the ability to adapt to changing situations in combat (quick-thinking), and a certain amount of combat experience were highly desired, as evidenced by Big Boss's compliments to Jonathan during his recruitment as well as the reasons behind the rescue and recruiting of Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

After FOXHOUND was organized into an official unit, very strict selection procedures were adopted.[4] Firstly, potential recruits were only chosen from various special forces. Recruits must also pass exams in three different aspects:


  • Physical fitness test
  • Short-distance running
  • Uninterrupted performance of 80 push-ups
  • Uninterrupted performance of 100 sit-ups
    FOXHOUND excercise

    FOXHOUND recruits doing sit-ups.

  • 50 meter freesstroke swim
  • Combat diving skill
  • Cross-country march (travelling 64 km [40 miles] in under 15 hours, carrying a 30 kg [67 pounds] backpack)


  • Mental recovery, concentration, endurance, self-control and the fortitude to overcome difficult situations
  • ESP expectancy score
  • Marksmanship
  • Recognizing and making decisions in emergency situations


  • Foreign languages
  • Foreign geography
  • Knowledge of world events
  • Advanced technology
  • Medical procedures
  • Detonation operations
  • Stealth communication
  • Foreign weaponry

After passing the selection courses, the recruits then partake in professional training exercises (also known as drills), which include:

  • Battlefield survival (14 weeks)
  • Shooting practice (must score at least 95% for a target at 914 m [3,000 ft], and 100% for a target at 548 m [1,800 ft])
  • Guard patrol
  • Mountaineering
FOXHOUND Mountain Climbing drill

FOXHOUND recruits climbing a mountain.

  • Hand-to-hand combat
  • Border infiltration
  • Guerrilla warfare
  • Land navigation
  • Map-reading
  • Escape and evasion
  • Combat medical skills
  • Rebelling and Ranger practice
  • Weapons familiarization
  • Nautical vehicle control and navigation
  • Diving and underwater infiltration
  • Canoeing
  • Basic military parachute skills (4 weeks)
    • Special operations freefall practice (High-Altitude, Low-Opening [HALO] and High-Altitude, High-Opening [HAHO])
    • 11 jumps carrying little to no combat equipment ("Hollywood")
    • 15 jumps with full combat equipment
    • 2 nighttime jumps
    • 2 mass-tactical strategic jumps
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Language and customs of the destination country (4 weeks)
  • Stealth techniques
  • Improvised explosive devices
  • Utilization of high-tech equipment
  • Communications (16 weeks)
  • Medical exam (10 weeks)
Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

At least one training exercise for the virtual FOXHOUND was having operatives attend Fort Polk to undergo a mockup of a war locale (an Afghan village).

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Equipment and uniforms

Main article: FOXHOUND equipment

Operating as a U.S. Army special forces unit, FOXHOUND utilized a wide range of equipment and advanced technology in order to carry out top-secret missions within enemy territory.

While undertaking sneaking missions, operatives did not wear a formal uniform, nor did they possess anything that could give away their identity or nationality (such as insignias, military clothing labels, or instruction labels). The only equipment that was permitted were a radio and motion-sensing radar. All other items were to be procured on-site. However, there were other uniforms and equipment that were permitted when not on sneaking missions (such as direct warfare or during military drills).

Units within FOXHOUND

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

During the initial formation of FOXHOUND, there were four primary units within the group. They were:

  • The Sneaking Unit, which specialized in infiltration missions as well as abducting or rescuing potential recruits. There are four units total within this unit, with four members in each unit:
    • Alpha Unit
    • Bravo Unit
    • Charlie Unit
    • Delta Unit
  • The Spy Unit, which carried out espionage into enemy territory, transmitting intel to FOXHOUND on opportunities or events that could be exploited. There were eighteen units total within this unit (counting the Silo Entrance, Silo Complex, and Launch Control Room as one location), with four members per unit.
  • The Tech Unit, responsible for the development of new technologies and weapons. There were eight members in this unit during the San Hieronymo Takeover.
  • The Medical Unit, responsible for treating injured and wounded soldiers. There were eight members in this unit during the San Hieronymo Takeover.
Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Codename system


A FOXHOUND codename originally comprised an animal name and a preceding personal identifier to distinguish between those operatives named after the same animal. Often this identifier represented either the individual's weapon of choice or particular skill that they specialized in, but sometimes these codenames were more ambiguous in nature. The "Fox" codename was awarded to operatives of great skill.

When David joined FOXHOUND, he was assigned the codename Solid Snake by then-commander Big Boss. Big Boss, who was aware of David's true lineage, gave him the name "Snake" in reference to his old FOX codename, Naked Snake. The designation of "Solid" was used as his personal identifier.

After Campbell became FOXHOUND commander, he abandoned the codename system, though Solid Snake still chose to use his codename. Sometime before 2005, a new codename system was implemented wherein the animal codename was also a personal identifier (Ocelot, for example, used his long time codename and added "Revolver" as his additional identifier).

The name "FOXHOUND" itself could be used to identify any member of the unit.

There were two FOXHOUND logos used during its existence: one used during the 1990s depicts a smiling, cartoon fox holding a MAC 11 submachine gun in its right hand, pointed to the left, from which a cartoon, grinning bullet spins around it, and a Mk II pineapple grenade held in its left hand. This logo was also used as a tattoo by Meryl while she was a fan of the group. The other when it was reorganized by Liquid, depicted a shield containing a realistic fox skulking forward and holding a knife in its muzzle.

Unconfirmed history

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

When FOXHOUND was still commanded by Big Boss during the early 1990s, its initiation ceremonies involved Big Boss personally shaking the hands of the new recruits and giving them a speech about how the battles they would face were in a war unlike any before, and that none would tell of their successes, failures, or even deaths. However, the battles the soldiers faced would be ones that they were chosen for, regardless of who gave the order, and that they would know no life but combat. Big Boss also acknowledged that they were in a way to be pitied, but informed the soldiers that they were not tools of the government, or anyone else, and that they would fight for themselves and to protect the things they held dear.[8] In addition, FOXHOUND personnel are required to attend and listen to a lecture about the lands that they are to go for in an assignment, regardless of whether the lands in question were the person's home location, before setting out on a mission, that is usually attributed to Master Miller.[9]

During the 1990s, Liquid Snake, while he was still a brainwashed POW in Iraq, developed an unofficial, rudimentary Middle Eastern equivalent unit to FOXHOUND, referring to it and its activities as "Jackal Hunting" due to a growing interest in the FOXHOUND unit.[9]

Decoy Octopus did not have any military experience outside of VIP decoy missions for the CIA, thus making him an exception to the qualifiers for joining FOXHOUND during the 2000s.[9]

Behind the scenes


20130715161916 foxhound 02

FOXHOUND group artwork.

FOXHOUND was originally an international special forces unit formed under NATO in 1990, according to the MSX2 user's manual for Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. However, this was retconned in later games in the series, in which FOXHOUND is a U.S. Army unit, officially established in 1971. Big Boss's article in the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database mistakenly refers to the former account.[10] The Database also mistakenly refers to FOXHOUND as a CIA unit in the "Outer Heaven Uprising" entry, which is actually the parent organization of its progenitor, the FOX Unit. In addition, a leaked voice acting sheet for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which states that Big Boss founded FOXHOUND near the end of the 20th century, indicates that the decision to change the date of the group's founding was made late in development.[11]

Similarly, Big Boss's exact role with FOXHOUND also changed throughout the development of the series. The Metal Gear 2 manual originally stated that he was nominated to be the group's commander, while the Metal Gear Solid manual claimed that he founded the unit, stating that he was inspired to do so after witnessing the power and efficiency of high-tech weaponry during the Gulf War. Big Boss's status as founder of FOXHOUND would be retained in Metal Gear Solid 3, although his motives were altered to carrying on the traditions of the FOX Unit instead.


Metal Gear 3 Image B

Concept art of FOXHOUND from the Policenauts Pilot Disc for the 3DO.

FOXHOUND's name has been rendered in different forms throughout the Metal Gear series: in the original MSX2 games, it was the two words "Fox Hound" (similar to the logos), and was later hyphenated as "FOX-HOUND" or "Fox-Hound," in Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, respectively. From Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty onwards, it has been rendered in capital letters as the single word "FOXHOUND," and has remained so ever since. This was included in the re-released versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2.

In the MSX2 games, a FOXHOUND agent is referred to as a "Fox Hounder." The name remains in the title of the BGM track played during the end credits of Metal Gear, called "Return of Fox Hounder."

In the Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, FOXHOUND is referenced by pun, when Major Zero tells Naked Snake, "There isn't yet a fox hound." (狐はまだ狩られない?), with the word "hound" used in its verb form.[12] The word play was lost when translated in the English version ("This fox is still one step ahead of the hounds.").

Alternative depictions

In the Nintendo Entertainment System packaging and manual, largely because of localizations, FOXHOUND was instead depicted as being led by Commander South. Likewise, Solid Snake himself was recruited into FOXHOUND because of his heroic efforts during the Grenada Invasion.

In the Worlds of Power novelization for the original Metal Gear, Snake is a captain in the U.S. Marine antiterrorism unit known as the "Snake Men", operating under FOXHOUND command. According to the NES manual, Snake had served as a Marine in the Grenada Invasion).

The non-canonical sequel to Metal Gear, Snake's Revenge, has Solid Snake remain a member of FOXHOUND instead of retiring, where he now holds the rank of Lieutenant. Three additional FOXHOUND members (Nick Myer, John Turner, and an unidentified helicopter pilot), along with a nitroglycerin division to which Myer belongs, also feature in the game, and Resistance member Jennifer also joined the unit as a double agent. The manual also briefly alludes to a FOXHOUND Sneak Attack School and that the helicopter that Snake and his comrades were in upon arrival was a stealth copter, when covering the story. The story has FOXHOUND deployed to enemy territory three years after Operation Intrude N313, when the government receives intelligence that a hostile base (referred to as "Fortress Fanatic" in the game manual) is possibly developing a new Metal Gear.

In the non-canonical game Ghost Babel, FOXHOUND's fame around the world became too great after the destruction of Outer Heaven. With its every move being watched by intelligence organizations, truly covert operations became impossible, and so the Black Chamber unit was created in response to this. Their fame is revealed to have been staged by the U.S. Government in an attempt to deny any involvement in the formation of Outer Heaven. In addition, FOXHOUND was tricked by Steve Gardner (operating under the identity of "Anonymous") into wiping out Black Chamber in 2000, by convincing them that they were a terrorist group, resulting in their commander, Roy Campbell, retiring after he learned of this. When Snake considers returning to the United States to exact revenge on Steve Gardner and John Parker for "playing chess with peoples lives and hearts," Chris Jenner warns him that FOXHOUND may be waiting for him in order to eliminate him.

FOXHOUND was also implied to have taken control of the United States Naval Prison Facility in Cuba in the extra op mission, Déjà Vu for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, although other than Psycho Mantis by causing a base power blackout, none of the FOXHOUND members were actually encountered. In addition, and Miller quoted/paraphrased a few of the FOXHOUND members during the mission and the post-mission quiz.


Although FOXHOUND itself was not in Metal Gear Solid 3, outside of a brief mention in the ending timeline, as well as an indirect mention by the DOD Official in the ending, it does appear as one of the higher codename ranks when completing the game in Extreme and European Extreme modes. The depiction used for the FOXHOUND rank resembles the unit's 1990s logo, used for the original MSX2 games.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, in which FOXHOUND's origins are further detailed, gives the player the option to recruit FOX operative Python and Soviet officer Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov into the fledgling unit. The player must defeat Python non-lethally during a boss battle, and Raikov must be rescued from imprisonment during an optional mission, in order for their respective recruitments to take place. Whether these two events are considered canon is unknown, although the strategy guide suggests recruiting Python over killing him, and also covers the Raikov recruitment mission.

Similarly, the player is also given the option of recruiting at least one government official in Portable Ops, during the chain of missions involving the recruitment of Ocelot and EVA. However, they are non-canon due to events mentioned later on in the series.

The maximum number of recruits that can be obtained during the original Portable Ops is set to 100. This limit was increased to 200 in the expansion, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus, likely because the Japanese version of the game included the 47 Japanese local soldiers in its soldier list (making the list composed of 115 soldiers total). In addition, four new subunits of the Sneaking Unit were introduced: The Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, and Hotel units. The Spy Unit has been reduced to eight personnel as well. The bios for the Japanese local soldiers implied that they joined FOXHOUND specifically to gain enough combat experience to eventually enter the mercenary trade.

While not appearing in the game itself, completing three main missions in a row in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with a "Perfect Stealth, No Kills" Bonus will award the player with a "FOXHOUND" rank and allow the player to use the FOXHOUND logo as their personal emblem. Additionally, when a maximum bond with D-Dog has been reached, the player can customize D-Dog's coat to be colored similar to the canine displayed on the FOXHOUND logo. The similarity is enhanced with D-Dog's ability to use a knife with his mouth.


206559 10150157304525986 285152375985 7132998 6713357 n

FOXHOUND memorabilia and Metal Gear Solid 4 trading cards.

On April 18, 2011, Hottopic began selling FOXHOUND memorabilia, such as a messenger satchel with the 2000s FOXHOUND logo adorned on the cover, as well as a FOXHOUND logo keychain.[13][14]

Other appearances


Japanese Metal Gear Solid 4 Database.

  • Snatcher claimed that Junker commander Benson Cunningham was a former member of FOXHOUND.
  • Policenauts claimed that Meryl Silverburgh was a former member of FOXHOUND.
  • FOXHOUND's transformation into a terrorist organization under Liquid Snake's command was briefly alluded to in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where Snake mentions that he's getting sick of foxes in a Codec call with Roy Campbell while fighting Fox McCloud.
  • FOXHOUND also appeared in Versus Battle, where it fought against the Cobra Unit and later Big Boss.
Elite Black Ops Ninjas
Formed by Naked Snake and Roy Campbell to topple FOX unit rebels and clear the names of Snake, Major Zero, Para-Medic, and Sigint
―FOXHOUND in Versus Battle; against Cobra Unit
The Most Elite Black Ops Unit Ever?
Led Astray By Liquid Snake?
Founded by Naked Snake, FOXHOUND membership included some of the world’s best warriors like Solid Snake, Gray Fox, Raiden, Revolver Ocelot, and Sniper Wolf
―FOXHOUND bio in Versus Battle; against Big Boss
  • A bonus staff member of Mother Base in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was called Hound. As the name implies, the member has a tattoo modeled after the FOXHOUND logo near their right eye. They had green hair, with their being at least two versions of the same recruit depending on the gender: Viridian Hound being male, and Emerald Hound being female.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Japan (2004).
  2. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008)
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Japan (2004).
    DOD Official: You know, we could use an infiltration unit like FOX in the army. Someone like him [Naked Snake] to handle our top-secret missions for us. A man who combines the qualities of a soldier and an agent.
  4. ^ a b c d Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake – User's Manual, Konami Corporation (1990).
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Naomi: Hunter I'm sorry, but there's no one in FOX-HOUND like that. There are currently only six members of FOX-HOUND. Psycho Mantis, Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven, Decoy Octopus, Revolver Ocelot... And finally Liquid Snake. The Genome soldiers under his command are Next Generation Special Forces. FOX-HOUND is intended to be a small number of highly elite, hand-picked soldiers. // Solid Snake: You're talking about the current FOX-HOUND, right? // Naomi: Yes...
  6. ^
  7. ^ Big Boss's trademark style trench coat is seen in Yoji Shinkawa's artwork for Metal Gear Solid, and his appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. All FOXHOUND members are shown wearing it in other artwork and a picture in the game's briefing.
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid Guns of the Patriots novelization by Project Itoh (English, 2012).
  9. ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid Official Mission Handbook, Millennium Books (1998).
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008). [1]
  11. ^ [2]
    Male, 30s, Standard English. His real name is Jack. Naked Snake is the code name he uses in the VR Missions and during Snake Eater operations. He will later be given the name, Big Boss, and is the Big Boss of the future. 6'5" high, and his physical constitution are thick like 'Schwarzenegger'. He has more of an "all mighty", tough fighting style. He is a persistent, highly independant hero. FOX (Force Operations X), the special forces team that Snake serves with in MGS3, will eventually become the unique special forces team, "FOX-HOUND", formed at the end of the 20th century for solo infiltration and destruction.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^

See also


FOXHOUND Terrorists

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