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Mercenaries, sometimes referred to as soldiers of fortune[1] or dogs of war,[2] are soldiers who participate in conflicts for a profit, often selling their services to the highest bidder. Because they are only loyal to those who pay them for a job instead of to a state, they are usually considered untrustworthy. Some missions that mercenaries can also be hired for are wetwork purposes such as assassinations. Some mercenaries also participate in conflict for reasons other than financial matters: Namely, if they have an innate desire for battle and possibly murder, as evidenced by Solid Snake, Gray Fox, Samuel Rodrigues, and Big Boss's motivation for participating in mercenary work. A group of mercenaries are usually referred to as private military companies or private military security companies, although because of the negative stigma associated with the term "mercenary," the PMCs are usually considered "different" from mercenaries.

Mercenary usageEdit

After Naked Snake, rechristened Big Boss, left the FOX unit for reasons relating to his guilt over killing The Boss, he participated in various conflicts, including the Mozambician War of Independence, as a mercenary after a failed attempt at weaning himself from the battlefield. He resumed mercenary work after leaving the Patriots, and participated in various conflicts during the Vietnam War for various parts of the U.S. military before forming his own private military company, the Militaires Sans Frontières. Around the same time, Kazuhira Miller also participated in various mercenary work, including aiding some Colombian guerillas as an instructor, before the guerillas ended up defeated by the MSF and offered a spot on MSF. In addition, at some point after going separate ways with Big Boss, Kazuhira Miller, going under the name McDonnell Benedict Miller, acted as an instructor for a mercenary school twice a year.

In 1974, various Vietnam veterans ended up undergoing mercenary work and being contracted to aid the Peace Sentinel in the completion of the Peace Walker project for reasons relating to their poor treatment by the time they got back from the Vietnam War. Some of the mercenaries also ended up joining the MSF.

By the time of the 1990s, several Russian soldiers, after they ended up losing their jobs from the Red Army's reorganization as a result of the Soviet Union's collapse, ended up undergoing mercenary work, with one in particular, former GRU colonel Sergei Gurlukovich, also forming a mercenary team, the Gurlukovich Mercenaries, with the intended goal of reestablishing Russia as a world superpower. Revolver Ocelot also underwent several mercenary jobs in various global hotspots before joining FOXHOUND in 2000. Mercenary backgrounds are also part of the qualifiers for joining FOXHOUND, as it necessitates that new recruits have military experience before joining FOXHOUND.

Mercenaries across the world, including Big Boss and the surviving members of the mercenary nation of Outer Heaven, also participated in granting Zanzibar Land its independence, which also acted as the reason why its independence movement was also referred to as the "Mercenary War." Solid Snake also underwent several conflicts as a mercenary after Operation Intrude N313, after leaving the CIA for reasons relating to distaste towards their methods.

After the events of the Big Shell Incident, Raiden, because of both the failed marriage with Rosemary as well as his one child believed to have been stillborn, as well as suffering from PTSD, began some work as a mercenary, following Snake's footsteps. One client of his was the Paradise Lost Army, whom he helped out in exchange for aiding in locating Sunny, Olga Gurlukovich's daughter who was held hostage by the Patriots.

By the 2010s, the term mercenary was considered outdated, largely because of their controversial nature, with it instead being informally replaced with the term private military company.

"If I die in a combat zone // Tell all the people in homeland // That I did my best. // If I die in a combat zone // Tell that pretty girl of mine // That I bring the best memories with me. // If I die in a combat zone // Tell all my best friends // That I died facing a gun. // If I die in a combat zone // I don't need my name on my grave. // Etch instead that there was; // A man who lived, fought and died."
— "If I Die In a Combat Zone," an anonymous song of mercenaries[3]

Known mercenariesEdit

Unconfirmed historyEdit

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

Liquid Snake acted as a mercenary and a for-hire assassin as late as age 13.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

One of the euphemisms for mercenaries, "Dogs of War," was derived from a line from William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, where Mark Antony, shortly after discovering Caesar's assassination, shouted "Cry 'havoc', and let slip the Dogs of War!"

In the Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake manual, a song was present that talked about dying on a combat field that was attributed to mercenaries. Although no such song exists in real life, a similar song was previously used in the film Full Metal Jacket.

The general bios for the Japanese local soldiers in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus imply that the 47 prefecture soldiers joined FOXHOUND specifically to gain enough combat experience to eventually undergo mercenary work.[5]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Kojima Productions/Platinum Games (2013).
    Kevin Washington: What soldier of fortune could resist?
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Naked Snake/Big Boss: Hold it! You [Gálvez] seem to think we're [MSF] just a pack of "Dogs of War." Is that right?
  3. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - User's Manual, Konami Corporation (1990).
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid Official Missions Handbook.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (Japanese version), Kojima Productions (2007).
    English translation: "A member of a specially enhanced unit who has been deployed to his hometown. A certain "device" seems to be required in order to contact him. Moreover, he [Japanese local soldier] apparently wants to become a freelance soldier by joining a unit with as much real combat experience as possible."

See alsoEdit

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