A human shield is a type of maneuver in which an attacker forcibly pins a hostage from behind while facing another enemy, with the implied threat that if the enemy tries to shoot them, the hostage might end up getting hit as well. In some cases, the attacker may seize the opportunity to attack the enemy while their guard is lowered, or otherwise throw them at the enemy. They also may point a weapon at their hostage on their most vulnerable points as further insurance.

Instances of human shield usage

Operation Snake Eater

See also: Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater

Shortly after Major Ocelot's failed attempt at shooting the CIA agent Naked Snake with a Makarov technique from the Middle East during the Virtuous Mission, Snake, while overpowering the various members of the Ocelot Unit, proceeded to pin one of the Ocelot soldiers and then threw him at the enemy via his CQC skills.

A week later, during Operation Snake Eater, Ocelot himself attempted this when trying to lure Snake over so he could best him in a duel by holding a female biker, EVA, hostage. However, the attempt was spoiled by his wasting all of his rounds due to forgetting that the Single Action Army revolver had two rounds less than the Makarov. This incident, which caused him to smell EVA and discover her gender and a perfume-like waif to her, was what later led to him deducing her role as a spy within Colonel Volgin's inner circle.

San Hieronymo Incident

Main article: San Hieronymo Incident

Private First Class Jonathan when regaining consciousness in Snake and Roy Campbell's stolen truck upon being "recruited", proceeded to grab Roy Campbell from behind after an attempt at directly attacking Snake failed, both to dissuade Snake from attacking and to steal Campbell's M1911A1 and try to shoot Snake with it. However, Snake managed to knock Jonathan down onto the truckbed via his CQC skills before he could get the chance to fire, with Snake complimenting Jonathan on his quick thinking and acknowledging that he had been trained well and thus was a good soldier afterward.

Peace Walker Incident

Main article: Peace Walker Incident

Big Boss, when surrounded by Peace Sentinel and was about to be detained, proceeded to fight several soldiers and take out several of them with his CQC skills before ultimately being subdued. One of the soldiers he proceeded to put in a human shield position and later forced him to gun down his comrades.

Phantom Pain Incident

See also: Hospital Escape and Phantom Pain Incident

Although not a literal instance of a human shield was used during the event, the Intel Team member that escaped from the mansion at Lufwa Valley who was captured by Rogue Coyote and then rescued by Venom Snake, when telling the latter of his escape, the man responsible for the outbreak and thus knowing how to stop it, and its location, compared the other Intel Team members' sacrificing themselves to ensure his escape as acting as such.[1]

Outer Heaven Uprising

Main article: Outer Heaven Uprising

The Outer Heaven mercenary Dirty Duck utilized three prisoners of war, including Jennifer's brother, as human shields in an attempt to ward off the FOXHOUND member Solid Snake,[2] although Snake managed to spot an opening and take him out without harming the hostages, with Jennifer's brother returning the favor by giving Snake a hint on how to escape the base.[3][4][5]

Shadow Moses Incident

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

Late into the mission, Metal Gear REX, piloted by Liquid Snake, proceeded to pin the Cyborg Ninja, Gray Fox, to a wall. Because of this, and Gray Fox later using his arm cannon to destroy REX's radome and thus force Liquid to open the cockpit, Liquid then warned his brother, Solid Snake that if he tries to launch the Stinger at REX's cockpit, he'll end up destroying Gray Fox as well, despite Gray Fox's insistence that Snake fire the stinger anyway. Ultimately, Solid Snake was unable to heed Gray Fox's request to fire the stinger, with Fox dying at the feet of REX shortly afterward.

The Manhattan Incident

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

Late into the Tanker Incident, the Marine Commandant Scott Dolph was grabbed from behind by Sergei Gurlukovich, the leader of the Gurlukovich Mercenaries, and put his handgun near the Commandant's temple, with Revolver Ocelot warning the present Marines not to make a move or else the Commandant dies. As this occurred shortly after Scott Dolph's speech about RAY that was televised, the resulting holdup and hostage situation was also shown to the rest of the Marines in the U.S.S. Discovery tanker via the CTV cameras, leaving the marines horrified. Ultimately, Gurlukovich threw Scott Dolph so he could shoot Ocelot when the latter revealed himself to be a traitor to the Gurlukovich Mercenaries in favor of the Patriots, ultimately resulting in both Dolph's death as well as Gurlukovich being mortally wounded when Ocelot shot them.

Late into the Big Shell Incident, Vamp grabbed Emma Emmerich and placed her right between himself and Raiden and with knives placed against her when threatening Raiden. Although Raiden ultimately shot and forced Vamp to release Emma, he nonetheless dealt a fatal blow to Emma by stabbing her in the gut.

Guns of the Patriots Incident

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

Solid Snake, after tailing a Paradise Lost Army member in Eastern Europe to their hideout, proceeded to place him right between himself and the other soldiers upon forcing his way inside, before revealing that he was there to see the leader of the resistance group, Big Mama, before proceeding to throw him and fight them shortly after the man confirmed that he was the man they were expecting.

World Marshal Incidents

See also: Raid at World Marshal, Ambush in Africa, Abkhazian Coup, Investigation in Guadalajara, Raid in Denver, and Operation Tecumseh
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.[?]

As Raiden found the remaining unharvested children during his mission in Mexico, the head scientist marched into the room as the children were being gassed and proceeded to point a gun at an escaped unharvested kid, George, in front of Raiden in an attempt to force him to surrender. This ended up backfiring on the doctor when Raiden, at George's request, proceeded to cut them down.

Although not a literal instance of a human shield, the various cyborg contractors to Desperado and World Marshal were compared to being put in a human shield by Raiden when telling Monsoon, in response to the Cambodian member's accusation of Raiden killing them, that they were exploiting their weaknesses for their own personal gain.[6]

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Behind the scenes

A human shield can be used on several enemies, especially to cause them to hesitate in regards to firing on the player and give the player an opportunity to attack. Starting in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the player can even fire on the enemy while the latter is hesitant to shoot at the player. In Metal Gear Solid 3, however, there's an instance of this technique failing completely, if the player tries to hold one of the Soviet scientists hostage in front of a GRU member. One of the interrogation responses imply that the reason for this technique failing is because the two groups don't get along.[7]

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, during the Snake Tales scenario "Confidential Legacy", Sergei Gurlukovich's first appearance had him placing Meryl Silverburgh in a human shield as Snake entered the Metal Gear's hangar in an attempt to force him to surrender. It was only after Snake surrendered that he realized that Meryl and Sergei were actually allied with each other.


See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Main Mission 27: Root Cause
    Intel Team member: I know... Where they got their pathogen... Code... Talker... They have the "mansion" surrounded... The "old man..." will die... If you find him, you gotta - Our other men got me out of that "mansion..." Acted as human shields... Told me, "Get this intel to the boss..." They have them now... Somewhere...
  2. ^ Metal Gear, Konami Corporation (1987).
    Jennifer: This is Jennifer... Dirty Duck has card 8. My brother is among the captives! Please don't kill them. If anything happens to my brother, I won't help you anymore!
  3. ^ Metal Gear, Konami Corporation (1987).
    Jennifer's brother: Thanks for saving me! I'm Jennifer's brother. When you make your escape, climb the ladder on the left.
  4. ^ Metal Gear, Konami Corporation (1987).
    POW: Thanks, man.
  5. ^ Metal Gear, Konami Corporation (1987).
    POW: I'm saved!
  6. ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Kojima Productions/Platinum Games (2013).
    Monsoon: Feasting on the insides of your enemies. How easily you ignore the loss of life when it suits your [Raiden's] convenience. So tell me: Who saves the weak from the man who saves the weak? // Raiden: You're the ones exploiting them. You take advantage of their weakness... Of course they get hurt when you set them up as your human shield.
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004)
    GRU soldier: The scientists... We don't get along.