- This article is about the Soviet major in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. You may be looking for Raiden, the main protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, whom Raikov was based on.
| Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov |
Иван Райденович Райков
|Born||c. 1935 – c. 1944|
|Career and family information|
Big Boss's resistance
|Metal Gear information|
|Main appearance(s)||Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater|
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
|Created by||Hideo Kojima|
|Voiced by (English)||Charlie Schlatter|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Kenyū Horiuchi|
Early life and career Edit
Raikov was born sometime during the mid 1930s to early 1940s. He later became an elite member of GRU. Although the Soviet military did not approve of Raikov's abuse of his soldiers, Volgin's influence prevented them from doing anything about it. He also gained a bit of a reputation in the West for his abusive actions. Raikov was originally to have been impersonated by a CIA agent, using a state of the art face mask developed by Sigint, in order to steal secret documents from the Soviet Union, but the mission was aborted prior to its commencement. He also earned at least nine ribbon bars on his uniform for service to the Soviet Union.
Having Volgin's favor, Raikov was one of the very few Groznyj Grad members below the rank of Colonel to have access to the West Wing of the Groznyj Grad production facility. This exemption, and his similar build to FOX agent Naked Snake, made him a target for impersonation during the CIA's Operation Snake Eater, in September 1964.
While Raikov performed his rounds within the East Wing of the weapons lab, Snake knocked him unconscious and stole his uniform, after following advice from EVA. Raikov, left in nothing more than his underwear, was then placed in a nearby locker and sealed inside. After Snake's deception was revealed, Raikov was later discovered and relocated from Groznyj Grad.
- Main article: San Hieronymo Takeover
Sometime after Groznyj Grad's destruction, Raikov lost his position due to his abusive behavior towards his soldiers, the Kremlin having evidently taken the opportunity to punish Raikov due to Volgin's demise. He was then promptly exiled to the San Hieronymo Peninsula and imprisoned there by his soldiers in retaliation for his abuse towards them when Gene incited them to rebel. An unspecified time later, a spy unit belonging to Snake's resistance group, located Raikov, and he was later rescued by the team largely because of his previous experience and rank within GRU. After being questioned by subcommander Roy Campbell, Raikov angrily accused Campbell of working for Snake, as well as coming to the peninsula to mock him. However, he was caught by surprise when Campbell asked for his help, since his skills and experience as a GRU major would be useful to them. Although initially hesitant, especially as their leader had killed Colonel Volgin, he later decided to join them, mainly to seek revenge on Gene's army for imprisoning him, and to redeem himself in the eyes of the Soviets. He also viewed working for the man who defeated (or in Raikov's words, murdered) Volgin as a better alternative to remaining in his cell, humiliated.
Raikov's middle name "Raidenovitch" is patronymic, according to Russian cultural tradition, and means, "Son of Raiden."
Ivan is a Slavic Christian name equivalent to the English "John." Major Zero commented on this, in a radio conversation during Operation Snake Eater, noting that Naked Snake's nickname "Jack" is the diminutive form of John. FOXHOUND operative Raiden, with whom Raikov partially shares his patronymic middle name (Raidenovitch), and to a lesser extent a similar physical appearance, was also known as Jack.
Personality and traitsEdit
Raikov outwardly appeared to be polite and mild-mannered, although he was described to be "the kind of person who sits in his room and admires his bug collection." He was also well known in Groznyj Grad as a glutton, frequently eating any food he came across, although he had a weak stomach and would often run to the bathroom after eating. He was gluttonous to the extent that he was perfectly willing to eat even roadkill if it came his way.
Raikov had a handsome appearance and was the favorite soldier of Colonel Volgin, sometimes being referred to as a "precious pet" of his, and was also his lover. His being Volgin's lover was emphasized by Volgin frequently grabbing his crotch. He also wore a thong emblazoned with a lightning bolt, in reference to his relationship with Volgin. Because of Raikov's relationship with Volgin, he was also the only person whom Volgin genuinely cared for his well being, having notably beaten Naked Snake to a pulp in retribution to Snake "hurting" Raikov when he discovered that he disguised himself as Raikov. Raikov also had effeminate characteristics, and was also implied by EVA to be homosexual. Raikov also always carried a Makarov with him even when doing rounds around the base. Until the aftermath of Operation Snake Eater, Raikov frequently used his position as major to physically abuse his subordinates for his own amusement, and has apparently slept on duty frequently enough for even his lower rank officers to get irritated with it and demand that he get up. Nonetheless, despite his poor officer skills and abuse, he nonetheless possessed decent enough combat skills and experience within his rank for him to be considered a priority recruit later on. In addition, Raikov always wore gloves even when he didn't need them, such as indoors.
From a psychological standpoint it appears likely that Raikov was not a sadist, but a coward. His tendency to abuse others was not a part of his character, but seemingly just an abuse of the power he had under Volgin's protection as this trait did not carry on after Volgin's death. Further more, if an alert was raised in the East wing of Groznyj Grad, Raikov would run and hide in the bathroom as opposed to face the enemy alongside the guards he so readily injured. Due to this abuse not being a persistent trait of his personality and his evident cowardice in battle, his sadistic behavior seems solely the result of trying to please and take advantage of his relationship with his commanding officer.
By the 1970s, Raikov was hesitant to discuss the reasons for his imprisonment on the San Hieronymo Peninsula, reacting angrily when Roy Campbell deduced that it was due to his past actions towards his soldiers. Having been humiliated by the Soviet soldiers on the peninsula, he also held some hatred towards Naked Snake for his part in Colonel Volgin's death, as well as his being indirectly responsible for Raikov's exile. He initially refused to aid Snake and Campbell, although he relented after considering the possibility of being redeemed in the Soviet eyes, as well as viewing working with Snake to be a far better alternative to his then-current position.
Raikov's uniform, during his time as a GRU major and when in exile, was normally used by Summer daily officers, as well as non-commissioned officers and former members of the service DL-astroa.
Behind the scenes Edit
Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov (イワン・ライデノヴィッチ・ライコフ Iwan Raidenovitchi Raikofu?) is a minor character who debuted in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. He later featured as a playable character in Metal Gear Online and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Edit
Major Raikov's appearance in Metal Gear Solid 3 serves as a parody of Raiden, the main protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and shares the same Japanese voice actor, Kenyu Horiuchi. Raiden's character received mixed-to-negative reviews for his replacement of Solid Snake as the main star in Metal Gear Solid 2, and much humor is derived from Raikov's characterization and physical resemblance in Metal Gear Solid 3. The similarities are subtly referenced by EVA during a cutscene, with Raikov turning directly toward the camera. His implied sexual orientation was also a response to complaints from Western audiences regarding Raiden's androgynous appearance.
Besides the name Ivan, another connection with the name "John" in Raikov's name is that his patronymic Raidenovitch literally means "Son of Raiden." This could also be interpreted as meaning "Son of Thunder", which was another name for the Apostle John (referred to collectively with his brother James as "Sons of Thunder"). Raikov's thong also has a lightning bolt design on it, referring to the meaning of the word Raiden (thunder and lightning). In addition, according to a director's commentary, Raikov's patronymic name was also partially a pun on the term "Thunderbolt's Bitch," referring to Raikov's relationship with Colonel Volgin.
In a leaked voice casting sheet for Metal Gear Solid 3, Raikov was apparently intended to hold the rank of lieutenant, but was changed to major nearing finalization. Other characters (eg, Volgin) also appeared to have had their ranks changed.
According to a commentary by director Hideo Kojima, the photo that EVA shows to Snake depicting Raikov and Volgin, was taken while Volgin had his hand inches from Raikov's groin, but it was cut off from the photo's edges.
The player has the option of either killing or knocking out Raikov. Likewise, the calls after gaining Raikov's disguise will be slightly different depending on how the player took him out. Also, if the former option is taken and a guard discovers the body either before putting him inside a locker, or removing him from the locker, it will result in an automatic mission failure. When the player returns to Groznyj Grad for the second time, there will be a prototype Sneaking Suit inside the locker in which Raikov's body was previously hidden. Although the player can fool the guards, scientists, and officers when wearing the disguise prior to the backfired rescue attempt, it will not fool attack dogs, causing dogs to raise an alert after smelling the player. If the player is killed during alert mode while disguised as Raikov, the soldiers will nonetheless salute Raikov despite knowing that it wasn't him.
Raikov's appearance and actions in-game contain many references to Raiden:
- Inside the locker, in which Naked Snake hides Raikov's body, there is a Metal Gear Solid 2 promo poster, featuring Raiden.
- If the player is attacked in close quarters by Raikov, he will use the same punch-punch-kick combo as used by Raiden and to a lesser extent Solid Snake, and may also perform Raiden's somersault maneuver.
- If the player interrogates Raikov using CQC in Subsistence, he will say several identical or similar to lines said by Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2, such as "No, never heard the name before" (paraphrased from what Raiden said to Snake regarding the identity on his dog tags), "We'll tell them everything together" (said to Rosemary when proposing to her and regarding teaching their child in the ending) and "Today is the day I met you" (said to Rose, during the ending of Metal Gear Solid 2). He also says "April...30th...", referring to the day Rosemary and Raiden met.
- Shortly before the torture sequence, Volgin grabs Snake's crotch (while disguised as Raikov) in the same manner President Johnson does to Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2.
- During the battle with The Sorrow, if the player had previously killed Raikov when stealing his clothes, Raikov's ghost will be naked and will walk in the same manner as Raiden did when stripped naked.
- Snake's Raikov disguise will become useless after being caught by Volgin due to both the Groznyj Grad personnel being aware about Snake's previous attempt to infiltrate by disguising himself, as well as his losing his officer's hat during the beatdown. In Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden's Gurlukovich disguise will become useless after Richard Ames' death because Ocelot took away Raiden's balaclava as well as Raiden's attempt at disguising himself being exposed as a result.
- EVA, when explaining her plan for Snake to infiltrate Groznyj Grad, says that "[Naked Snake and Raikov] look similar from behind, so [the GRU personnel] won't know the difference", causing Raikov to turn and smirk at the camera, subtly referring to Raiden replacing Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2.
- Not from Raikov himself, but two radio conversations with Major Zero regarding the Raikov mask and the Raikov disguise, when equipped will have Zero and Snake stating that Zero, "for some reason, hates it," and Snake felt it was "nostalgic", and later that the disguise was "irritating [Zero] already" with the rebuke that it "should make [Snake] more popular", referring to the controversial circumstances regarding Raiden replacing Solid Snake for the main story in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. During the Virtuous Mission, he tells Snake that, should he ever encounter Raikov during the mission, he "beat the crap out of him."
Raikov also has many other notable behaviors in-game:
- If Raikov sees the player wearing the Mask and the Scientist uniform, he will sometimes get very close and say "How beautiful." However, he will also sometimes remark "hey...!", glance him a bit and or grab his crotch causing him to fall over (although the player can omit the falling over bit if quick enough). The latter aspect also occurs if the player simply wears the Scientist uniform, and the former aspect most often occurs if the player either bumps into Raikov or is positioned extremely close to Raikov so that, if the latter tries to grab Snake's crotch, he ends up being knocked back as if bumped into.
- If the player enters the bathroom that Raikov uses in Groznyj Grad with the Stealth Camo equipped and waits for him to enter, he will not use the bathroom and comment "I feel like someone is watching me." He'll also say a similar line, "I have a strange feeling that someone is watching me. Something just doesn't feel right. Oh, just forget it for now." if he had already used the bathroom, but hadn't actually exited while the player is in stealth camo.
- If the player attempts to directly enter the bathroom while Raikov is using it, he'll shout that it's occupied, and eventually sarcastically asks if the player wants to join him.
- If the player interrogates Raikov, he will admit that Volgin has an abhorrence towards Russian Glowcap mushrooms, which is correct. During the fight against Volgin, throw a few Russian Glowcaps at him and the mushrooms will absorb his lightning attacks, allowing for a few free hits. Further interrogation will also have Raikov reveal that Volgin is weak to water, which can also be exploited when fighting Volgin later on by shooting the pipes in the arena.
- If the player attempts to distract Raikov with a magazine, he will only give a brief glance at it and walk away instead of reading through it.
- If the player knocks out Raikov and leaves him in view of a Soviet officer, the officer will wonder if its Raikov, and upon confirming it, will irritably state that Raikov needs to get up as well as yell "Oh, not again!"
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence Edit
In the original Metal Gear Online, bundled with Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, Raikov was featured as a playable character. He himself carried the XM16E1. In addition, unlike the other characters, he did not utilize the usual grab and throw move for CQC. Instead, he had a special CQC method, where, after grabbing the opponent, then crouched to perform a Crotch Grab, instantly knocking out the opponent, a reference to one of his actions in the main game. His salute was the same as the salute the player could perform while disguised as Raikov. Raikov could only be playable when the highest-ranking player chose GRU. Similar to the main game, he was also immune to the book item. The decision to make Raikov immune to the book item was made by Kojima himself.
Raikov's similarity to Raiden is further referenced in the Secret Theater film, Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser, when Raiden, after failing to intercept and kill Big Boss in Groznyj Grad's prison in a manner similar to The Terminator, ends up encountering Volgin. Volgin, upon encountering him, mistakes Raiden for Raikov, and is implied to have assaulted him. Coincidentally, Raiden in this segment also shared Raikov's international voice actor, Charlie Schlatter.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Edit
- "A GRU officer, he patrols the east building of the Groznyj Grad arsenal. Real name is Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov. Although a major in rank, he is Colonel Volgin's favorite, and is treated as if he were a colonel. Known as a notorious glutton."
- ―Character description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
The player has the option to recruit Raikov as a unique soldier in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. He is also indirectly mentioned by Para-Medic during an optional radio conversation with one of Naked Snake's soldiers.
This section details how to recruit Raikov. This is one of the few missions that has a limited amount of availability (in this case, once the Spy Unit gives the report for this mission, the player must immediately partake in it, as if not, then it will be marked as a failure before it can even be attempted).
After discovering the location of the Guest House, either by stealing a map from the Rail Bridge, or interrogating a Government Official in the Town, a Spy Unit planted in the Town will report that a detailed map leading to a fortress in the wilderness, at the west side of the peninsula, is located in the area. After heading towards one of the upper level buildings, the map towards the Western Wilderness can be procured.
Place a Spy Unit in the newly located Western Wilderness, and after Snake is rescued from the Guest House, a Spy Report will come in stating that a "handsome Soviet Major" has been sighted in the area and he is being held prisoner. Locate the underground cell in which the Major is imprisoned, avoiding the land mines with a mine detector along the way, to discover that he is none other than Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov. Raikov ultimately decides to join Big Boss, after some persuasion by Campbell.
The PAL password, used as an alternative method to unlock Raikov, is "SKAZKA" (Russian for "fairy tale").
While his recruitment into Naked Snake's resistance group in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops has not been officially confirmed as canon, the official strategy guide for the game covered the mission in the main walkthrough, while disregarding EVA's, Para-Medic's, or Sigint's missions. Kojima originally stated in the Metal Gear Solid 3 commentary that Raikov's fate was up to the player, and implied that the reasoning behind it was tied to whether the player liked Raiden or not. The BradyGames guide for Subsistence likewise also implied that Snake knocking out Raikov was canon. Raikov losing his position in GRU, as revealed in Portable Ops, is a reference to Metal Gear Solid 3, where the player could attack Soviet soldiers without reprise when disguised as Raikov, as he was "just that kind of guy" from EVA's observations. He seemed to have received a new uniform that apparently dated back to immediately prior to his exile, as he was seen wearing the Soviet uniform despite not getting a chance to get his old uniform back before the ending of Metal Gear Solid 3. His stats indicate that he knows CQC at the A-level.
Unlike his appearance in Metal Gear Solid 3, Raikov cannot use his acrobatic kick, as he and all of the playable soldiers' (exempting Cunningham) unarmed attacks were reused with that of Naked Snake's. He also cannot use his crotch grab move in this, instead doing a regular CQC takedown/beatdown. Similarly, Raiden, the character Raikov was partly based on, cannot use the acrobatic kick in Portable Ops Plus for the same reason.
One of his gameplay careers is Artist, referring to how he cannot be distracted with the book item in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, or in its online component in Subsistence. He also possesses the Athlete ability, which allows him to run faster than other soldiers, an ability he also shares with Raiden. Coincidentially, Raikov's International voice actor, Charlie Schlatter, had previously voiced the DC comics character The Flash in Superman: The Animated Series, who was well known for his superhuman speed.
Because of his Athlete career and S-class shotgun ability, using him in the boss battle against Gene, equipped with a M870, is a good choice.
He appeared as a card in both Metal Gear Acid games, as well as a card in Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops. His cards were called "Lt. Raikov," based on his planned rank during development, although his description correctly identified him as a major.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (Secret Theater; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops (trading card)
Notes and references Edit
- ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid 3 voice casting sheet 
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
Roy Campbell: What’d you do, go with the losing side in one of the army’s internal squabbles? Let me guess… with your patron Volgin dead, there’s no one to protect you. You fell from grace and got shuffled off to this God-forsaken outpost.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
Roy Campbell: I heard all kinds of stories about you before I got here. How you used to abuse your rank and beat up your men for sheer sport. You’re a real piece of work.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2005).
The aborted mission is discussed in a radio conversation between Naked Snake and Sigint, in regards to the Raikov Mask. Zero also references this mission in another conversation, again relating to the Raikov Mask.
- ^ The ribbon bars can be seen on his uniform render.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Kojima Productions (2004).
EVA: Steal his clothes. You look similar from behind so they won't know the difference.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Kojima Productions (2004).
There are actually two scenarios in which Snake impersonates Raikov, one where he kills him and one where he merely knocks him out. It is not known which scenario is canon, and even the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database does not address exactly how Snake deals with him. The fact that a Time Paradox is not triggered if Snake kills him also makes his fate ambiguous. Snake needing to obtain his uniform intact, which would otherwise have been ruined by gunshot wounds or blood from lethal attacks, and his neck showing no visible sign of injury from being broken in the aftermath, points towards Raikov being knocked unconscious as a likely option. Due to this, along with his later appearance in a standard mission within the sequel Portable Ops, this article takes the view that he survived the events of Metal Gear Solid 3.
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006)
Roy Campbell: We’ve received a report that a Soviet officer (Raikov) is being held prisoner in the wilderness on the west side of the peninsula. Our spies say he’s wearing the rank insignia of a major. The enemy of our enemy is our friend. This could be a good chance to snag a new recruit. Let’s go and rescue him. [...] The Soviet officer (Raikov) is being held prisoner in that area. According to our reports, he’s high up in the ranks. He may have some special skills we can use. Rescue him, then get him on our side.
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006)
Roy Campbell: Nope. We’re here to rescue you. // Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov: ...Come again? // Campbell: Gene is planning to attack Russia using the nukes stored in this base and a new type of weapon [ICBMG] he stole from the Americans. // Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov: ... // Campbell: ...And we’re here to stop him. We’d like you to help us--if you can. As an officer, your knowledge and skills could be invaluable to our mission.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006)
Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov: …You want me… to join the villain who killed the Colonel? Not a chance… // Roy Campbell: I’m simply proposing that we call a truce--form a unified front. Think about what’s in it for you. Defeating the mastermind behind the rebellion and preventing a nuclear attack on the motherland… You’ll be a hero. The [Red Army] will welcome you back into the fold, and a promotion won’t be far behind.
- "A GRU major, who is Volgin's second-in-command at the Fortress of Groznygrad. He is well-known for his gluttonous excesses within the Fortress. He will even eat road kill. "What, you want to join me? Fine, then. Come on it!""
- ―Lt. Raikov card description
- ^ This was implied in a director's commentary.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2005).
When Snake strips Raikov and puts him in the locker, the lightning bolt can be seen on his underwear. The bolt is also a play on his middle name, since "Raiden" is Japanese for "thunder and lightning."
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3 radio conversations#Raikov's special treatment
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3 radio conversations#Raikov's Uniform
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3 radio conversations#Snake can't figure out Raikov
- ^ This is implied if the player manages knock out or tranquilize Raikov and leave him in the view of a patrolling officer. The officer will see Raikov, say "Major Raikov?" and upon finding him, will say in an irritated tone "Not again! Major, time to get up."
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
Roy Campbell: Major Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov, I presume? // Raikov: You are… American? What are you doing here? // Roy Campbell: Heh heh. You first. Why’s a Soviet officer like you being held prisoner in a place like this? // Raikov: I… Well… [...] (after Campbell deduced the reason behind his presence on San Hieronymo) …Bastard! How could you know!? Wait, I get it… you’re an agent of the man they call Snake. The Yankee who killed the colonel at Groznyj Grad! And you came all this way to gloat over me…!
- ^ 
Uniform 9: летняя повседневная офицеров, прапорщиков и военнослужащих сверхсрочной службы-дл ястроя.
- ^ a b http://muni_shinobu.webs.com/mgs3/commentary4.html
- ^ Saving Private Raiden, Page 3
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence BradyGames official strategy guide; p. 88
"Raikov was made a fool of by Naked Snake during operation "Snake Eater" and ultimately knocked out and left to die in one of the lockers in Graznyj [sic] Grad clad only in his underwear."
|Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater characters|
| Naked Snake — Major Zero — Para-Medic — Sigint|
The Boss — Colonel Volgin — Ocelot — EVA
The Pain — The Fear — The Fury — The End — The Sorrow
Sokolov — Granin — Raikov — Johnny — DCI
Nikita Khrushchev — Lyndon B. Johnson — DOD Official — KGB Chief Director
|Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops characters|
| Naked Snake — Roy Campbell — Jonathan — Para-Medic — Sigint|
Null — Gene — Python — Cunningham — Elisa and Ursula
Colonel Skowronski — Sokolov — Ocelot — EVA — Major Zero — Raikov — DCI — DOD Official
Teliko — Venus