Johnny akiba

Johnny "Akiba" Sasaki holds up Solid Snake in the Middle East in 2014.

A hold up is a type of ambush in which an attacker detains a target at gunpoint. The target is forced to surrender for fear of being shot, after which the attacker may choose to rob them of their possessions or, in some cases, force them to do a task. Since the attacker is initially unseen upon initiating a hold up, commands may be issued such as "freeze", "hands up", or "don't move" to make the target aware of the situation. When holding up a target, the attacker must keep full attention on the person, as otherwise, the person being held up will seize the opportunity to attack them.

Instances of hold ups

Operation Snake Eater

See also: Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater

During the Virtuous Mission in 1964, the KGB held up Naked Snake and Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov in Rassvet, Tselinoyarsk. However, they were killed by Major Ocelot, after initially mistaking Snake for an ally, before calling in his own Ocelot Unit to surround the two. When the Major's Makarov jammed while attempting to shoot Snake, the latter seized the opportunity to knock them all out with his superior skills in close-quarters combat.

A week later, during Operation Snake Eater, Ocelot proceeded to hold Snake up, while also holding a female agent hostage, although the attempt at getting Snake to surrender failed due to Ocelot failing to take into account the bullet count of his new Colt Single Action Army Revolver. A little more than a day later into the operation, Snake, while disguised as Major Raikov, CQC-threw Colonel Volgin to the ground in Groznyj Grad's West Wing, confiscating his Makarov and holding him up with it as a means to escape, until The Boss intervened. Volgin himself also attempted to hold up Snake just beforehand after he caught on to the fact that he was disguised as Raikov, his lover, although Snake proceeded to seize Volgin's distraction in shooting out Sokolov's kneecaps to CQC-throw him as aforementioned.

San Hieronymo Incident

Main article: San Hieronymo Incident
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.[?]

The ex-commanding officer of the San Hieronymo Peninsula Soviet base, Colonel Skowronski, attempted to hold up the renegade FOX member Python after the latter discovered him hiding in the harbor area, although it failed due to both Python not being intimidated at all, and his cryogenic armor allowing him to withstand a full assault from his AK-47.

During Big Boss's battle with the Perfect Soldier, Null, several soldiers proceeded to surround and hold up Big Boss just as the renegade FOX member Cunningham arrived. Cunningham also proceeded to hold up Null when telling him his mission was complete, as Null came very close to trying to finishing off Big Boss, whom they needed alive.

Later on, Big Boss, capitalizing on the distraction caused by Skowronski's failed assassination attempt on the usurping commander of the Soviet base on the San Hieronymo Peninsula, the renegade FOX commander Gene, via Metal Gear RAXA (then believed to be the actual ICBMG), proceeded to hold up Gene, although Big Boss was forced to let him escape after Gene awakened Ursula as his trump card.

The Soviet soldiers at the peninsula's power substation also attempted to hold up Null, but their efforts didn't phase the perfect soldier at all.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Peace Walker Incident

Main article: Peace Walker Incident

The Militaires Sans Frontières, the private military group of Big Boss, frequently did hold up drills at the Bosque del Alba/Puerto del Alba areas, the Bananal Fruta de Oro area, and the Mine Base area on unsuspecting enemy personnel.

Peace Sentinel proceeded to hold up Big Boss at the Mine Base, shortly after a failed attempt at sabotaging the Mammal Pod. Big Boss eventually capitalized on an opportunity to take out some Peace Sentinel soldiers, two of whom also tried to hold Snake up from behind, although the latter was unphased, instead kicking one of them to the side, and the other subduing him by elbowing him to the gut to confiscate his rifle and then grabbing his face and proceeding to CQC slam him before ultimately being held up by several soldiers again, although not before Big Boss managed to steal Strangelove's key card for a future escape attempt.

When arriving at the Communications Tower to attempt to put a halt to the Peace Walker project, Big Boss ended up held up by several Peace Sentinel soldiers at Coldman's command. However, the same soldiers then proceeded to hold Coldman up as well shortly after the KGB Agent Vladimir Zadornov arrived, as the soldiers had actually been of Soviet origin and were under his command for the Soviet's purposes. Amanda and Chico then proceeded to hold up Zadornov just after the Sandinistas and the MSF wiped out the soldiers in the area.

After Big Boss called the war room of the Pentagon late into the Peace Walker Incident to warn them that the missile data was fake, the Representative of the Secretary of Defense proceeded to hold up the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he could give the order to cancel the retaliatory strike, with the rest of the Joint Chiefs proceeding to mutiny against their Chairman as well.

Phantom Pain Incident

See also: Hospital Escape and Phantom Pain Incident

When the Mbele Squad was brought over to Mother Base and Miller objected to them being made members of Diamond Dogs, one of the child soldiers, upon being hit by Miller's crutch, proceeded to try and hold him up, thus seemingly proving Venom Snake's point about how they were capable. Miller, however, was unphased by this action, and proceeded to disarm the kid of his weapon and field-strip the rifle before dismissing the children to their quarters, proving that they in fact weren't capable.

When the commander of the rogue Mbele child soldiers was talking with one of his soldiers, he mentioned that he intends to raid a village despite having enough to eat regarding his troops, and mentioned that he intends to hold up the adults at the village for fun, with the soldier implying that the commander's motive for doing so dealt with hatred of them stemming from his being forced to act as a child soldier.[1]

When Eli proceeded to escape Mother Base with the aid of Tretij Rebenok and a clandestinely repaired Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, members of his child soldier army as well as the Mbele Squad proceeded to hijack a Diamond Dogs chopper, with one of the child soldiers, Etepe, holding up the pilot with a rifle to the head in order to force him to fly them off of Mother Base.

Outer Heaven Uprising

Main article: Outer Heaven Uprising

During his infiltration of Outer Heaven in 1995, Solid Snake was held up by Outer Heaven soldiers and then imprisoned. However, this was intentional on Snake's part as it allowed him to find Gray Fox.

Zanzibar Land Disturbance

Main article: Zanzibar Land Disturbance

Late into the Zanzibar Land Disturbance, CIA agent Holly White, while disguised as a Zanzibar Land soldier, held up Solid Snake just as he was leaving the underground base where he had fought Big Boss. She would reveal her deception to Snake shortly thereafter.

Shadow Moses Incident

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

Meryl Silverburgh held up Solid Snake twice on Shadow Moses Island, the first time when she mistook him for terrorist leader Liquid Snake and the killer of the DARPA Chief, and the second time for fun in the women's bathroom. Later, Snake was held up by several Genome Soldiers led by Sniper Wolf, after attempting to enter Communications Tower A. Snake also attempted to hold up Liquid in REX's hangar upon being tricked into activating REX, as well as demanding to know why Liquid posed as Master Miller, although the latter was for the most part unphased, with Snake also barely missing when firing at him just as Liquid boarded the cockpit of REX.

The Manhattan Incident

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

Solid Snake holds up Olga Gurlukovich on the Discovery.

In 2007, during the Tanker Incident, Solid Snake held up Olga Gurlukovich on the deck of the USS Discovery in Manhattan. He forced her to discard her PSS pistol over the side of the ship, though she was able to escape after surprising Snake with her ballistic knife.

During the Big Shell Incident in 2009, Raiden held up Peter Stillman after he mistook him for a bomber at work on Strut C. Raiden later held up Olga on Strut E, though she somersaulted over the side of a stairway and escaped.

Guns of the Patriots Incident

See also: Liquid Sun, Solid Sun, Third Sun, Twin Suns, Old Sun, and Naked Sin/Naked Son

Johnny Sasaki of Rat Patrol Team 01 held up Solid Snake after the latter arrived in the Middle East to rendezvous with the group in 2014. However, Johnny was soon overpowered and disarmed upon becoming distracted, and the two's positions were reversed. Shortly thereafter, the rest of Johnny's team arrived to back him up by holding Snake up, before their leader Meryl recognized him.

Behind the scenes

In Metal Gear Solid and its remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Snake's specific reaction to being held up by Meryl during their first meeting varied depending on whether he got the SOCOM beforehand or not. If the former, Snake will hold up Meryl with the SOCOM in return, and in the latter, he simply brushes the barrel aside.

A hold up can be used to obtain items from enemy guards. Introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, with the advent of First Person View in the series, a hold up is performed by aiming a firearm at an enemy soldier without being detected. Guns without ammo can also be used for a hold up, although pulling the trigger will alert the guard and the hold up will fail. Some guards will become skeptical that the player character will fire, and unless convinced otherwise by a lethal weapon being fired, he will attempt to escape after a short time. Snake can leave the guard still standing as long as he does not see Snake leave, but will escape if left alone too long, although this behavior is absent in later games.


A Gurlukovich soldier being held up in Metal Gear Solid 2.

There are three methods whereby a soldier can be held up. One of which is for them to hold up both hands in surrender, and, if the player character has their gun pointed at the soldier's head or groin, the soldier will beg for mercy and then shake their body to drop any equipment of theirs. The second method is, if the soldier is on the ground, the soldier places their hands on their head, and if pointing a gun at their head, they'll shake their hips to let go of any equipment belonging to them. The third method is to for the soldier to, if standing, freeze up in shock, and get down onto the ground to put his/her hands on his/her head (Peace Walker). In Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, the player can also tell an enemy to lie down on the ground after holding them up. The first two methods also acted as an easy manner to get dog tags in both Metal Gear Solid 2 and The Twin Snakes.

In the Alternative Missions included in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, Hold Up Mode can be played, in which the goal is is to hold up all enemy soldiers in each stage. Once a soldier has been held up, he disappears from the stage. Accidentally killing a soldier will automatically end the mission in failure. If a soldier is put to sleep or knocked out, it will be necessary to wait until he recovers. When all enemy soldiers have been held up, the stage goal marker appears. Something similar will later occur with three Extra Ops missions in Peace Walker.

Aside from their use in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a hold up was also used for one of the trailers for the game, where Naked Snake proceeded to hold up a GRU soldier parked near a motorcycle, causing the latter to quip "What is this? Another Grand Theft Auto?" and "We're not in a Vice City...this is a jungle! Go eat snakes!" before leaving Snake in the dust. The GRU soldier's statement was an obvious reference to the Grand Theft Auto franchise as well as it's then-current game in the franchise, Vice City.

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, although the player can hold up soldiers, the soldiers will sometimes feign surrendering at the point of a gun, and then either drawing a knife, turn around and slice at the player rapidly, which will cause an alert if the player isn't quick to counter them or otherwise yelling while his hands are up in the air "contact!" or similar words. The odds of this occurring are determined by the current enemy level of Covert Actions response. Easy ways to tell they are not actually surrendering is when they do not give any verbal reaction (or in the case of the latter, their verbal reaction indicates they are sounding an alert) as well as clicking the right shoulder button and not finding anything indicating interrogation responses or telling them to lie down. Note that this is only for enemies who are either walking around when held up or had just gotten up from being knocked out or falling asleep. For soldiers who hadn't even gotten up yet, they always surrender.


There are several Achievements/Trophies related to hold ups that can be earned in the HD games of the Metal Gear series.

Image Title Trophy Gamerscore Details Game
Like He Just Doesn't Care Like He Just Doesn't Care Bronze 10G CQC Hold up an enemy. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD Edition
You Snooze, You Lose You Snooze, You Lose Silver Sneak up on The End and hold him up.
Hands Up! Hands Up! Bronze Held an enemy soldier at gunpoint and performed a body check. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots 25th Anniversary Edition
Hold-Up Artist Hold-Up Artist Bronze 10G Reached 100 hold-ups. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Edition

Notes and references

  1. ^ Child soldier: We still got enough to eat? // Commander: Yeah. But we're gonna have to hit a village again soon. // Child soldier: Oh man, again? // Commander: Huh? I can't wait. We get to point our guns at grown-ups and watch them jump out of their skin. // Child soldier: You really hate them, huh...?


See also