Meryl Silverburgh was the commanding officer of Rat Patrol Team 01 of the CID. Prior to her inauguration as commander, Meryl was a well-known career soldier due to her involvement in the Shadow Moses Incident, where she worked alongside legendary mercenary Solid Snake. It was initially thought that she was the niece of former FOXHOUND commander Roy Campbell. However, it was later discovered that Meryl was actually his biological daughter.
Early life and career
According to official records, Meryl Silverburgh was the niece of Roy Campbell. Unbeknownst to Meryl, she was actually Campbell's biological daughter as a result of an affair he had with his younger brother's wife. Her adoptive father, Matt Campbell, was killed in action during the Gulf War when she was young.
Raised in a house of military traditions, Meryl trained herself throughout her childhood in the arts of soldiery. She admired the FOXHOUND unit, viewing the days when her "uncle" and Solid Snake were members in the unit’s heyday, and wore a paint tattoo of the unit's 1990s logo on her left shoulder. She joined the Army after graduating high school, receiving extensive psychotherapy and some limited gene therapy to prevent any attraction to the opposite sex.
- Main article: Shadow Moses Incident
After the DARPA Chief's death, Meryl's cell guard, Johnny Sasaki, unlocked her door after she began banging on it. Seeing an opportunity, Meryl quickly subdued him, and stole his uniform and Codec. Shortly thereafter, Meryl, disguised as a Genome Soldier, met up with Solid Snake, whom she initially mistook him for terrorist leader Liquid Snake, and also initially thought that he murdered the DARPA Chief. After both fended off an attack force of Genome Soldiers, Meryl ran to the nearby elevator, where her mind was taken over by Psycho Mantis of FOXHOUND. Firing her rifle, she kept Snake at bay, before escaping to another floor.
Meryl later used the stolen Codec to contact President Baker about her escape. Eventually Meryl and Snake began working together, after the latter learned of her Codec frequency. She managed to stay hidden by using her Genome Soldier disguise, and informed Snake of the facility's role as a WMD development lab, which he had previously believed to be a simple disposal facility. Meryl briefly blew her cover during a later conversation, and broke her Codec in the process of escaping, after Snake had contacted her regarding his rescue of Dr. Hal Emmerich.Later, the pair met up on the first floor basement of the nuclear warhead storage building. She gave the PAL card to Snake and then the two headed to the commander's room where Mantis again took control of Meryl's mind. Meryl held her gun against Snake, but Snake, realizing she was not herself, managed to knock her out. Snake then dispatched Mantis and he and Meryl headed north in order to destroy Metal Gear. Along the way, due to her brief possession by Mantis, she also knew which was the safe path for them to cross in regards to a Claymore-laden minefield. However, Meryl was shot and subsequently captured by FOXHOUND member Sniper Wolf. Snake pleaded with Meryl to hold on to life, and assured Campbell he would rescue her, and not for anyone else, but for himself. Snake engaged in a sniping duel with Wolf and was eventually lured into an ambush by her where he was also captured. Snake was then put through a series of torture sessions by Ocelot, who threatened to kill Meryl if he submitted to the torture. Snake held on throughout the torture for Meryl's life, and eventually escaped confinement.
Meryl was later brought on top of REX by Liquid while Snake was unconscious, although Liquid was unsure if she was still alive. Liquid then wired her to a nuclear bomb and fought Snake on top of REX. She was rescued by Snake after his fight with Liquid and the two embraced, but a Codec call from Otacon forced them to make a quick escape before bombs were dropped on the base. They found a jeep, however, during their escape, they were pursued by a relentless Liquid. Eventually, both jeeps collided on a cliff edge. Liquid would later die because of FOXDIE. Snake thought he would also die from the virus, but Meryl told him not to say it. The two discovered an abandoned snowmobile, and escaped Shadow Moses. After Campbell faked Snake and Meryl's deaths by saying that their jeep crashed into the ocean, Snake and Meryl retreated together, hoping for a normal life.
After Shadow Moses, Snake accepted that he would never be a normal person, and would only ever spend his life fighting. As a result, he left Meryl and joined Otacon to form the anti-Metal Gear NGO Philanthropy. Meryl continued to believe in Snake. She re-entered the military thanks to Campbell's connections, where she was posted to the Army's PMC watchdog, the USACIDC (U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command), as the head of her own team, Rat Patrol. Meryl eventually found out that Campbell was her biological father.
Meryl began to hate her father after he apparently wedded a young brunette, even going as far as to call him a "womanizing piece of shit." In 2014, she became involved in a secret operation devised by the Patriots to capture Liquid Ocelot, although she never knew about the Patriots using her during this time.
Reuniting with Snake
When she met Snake again for the first time during Liquid Ocelot's Insurrection, in the Middle East, she expressed shock upon looking at Snake's more aged appearance, and was clearly upset. She then became infuriated when she learned that it was Campbell who had sent him there. She was later upset when she discovered Snake's true mission in the Middle East was to assassinate Liquid Ocelot (he had earlier told her that he came to the Middle East as part of threat assessment), but she begrudgingly allowed him to continue on in the mission, because she was in no position to stop him. However, before Snake could get the chance to kill Liquid, Liquid managed to activate the SOP system with "Liquid's" own DNA, causing a large amount of convulsions and uncontrolled releases of suppressed emotion from most of the Rat Patrol 01 team (barring Johnny), various members of the Middle Eastern militia and PMCs, and even Solid Snake (although to a far lesser degree). Her specific emotion was breaking down onto the ground and sobbing.
In Eastern Europe
After recovering from the effects, she attempted to track down Liquid Ocelot after he left the Middle East. This, along with the fact that ARSOC was beginning to catch on in regards to Campbell's involvement in the events, resulted in her involvement with Snake's mission ending for the time being. During this time, she also filed a report to her superiors in regards to what happened in the Middle East, as well as writing up a threat assessment of Liquid Ocelot, which caused the President of the United States to finally realize just how much of a threat Liquid Ocelot actually was, and ordered a joint Army-Marine team led by Meryl to take Ocelot into custody. Eventually, Snake and Meryl, along with her Rat Patrol 01 team, crossed paths again in Eastern Europe, redirecting Solid Snake from an ID checkpoint (essentially saving Snake, as he nearly blew his cover by attempting to do so), although they later got into an argument about their respective goals, especially with Solid Snake's doubts about it working, and also noticed that Meryl was behaving strangely. In an attempt to take Liquid by force, in Eastern Europe, she became involved in the massacre that wounded her and her unit, as well as killing most of the nearby U.S. military soldiers and damaging some of the vessels due to Liquid Ocelot taking away their control over SOP and gaining control over it himself.
Assault on Outer Haven
Meryl helped Snake during his infiltration of Outer Haven. However, the catapult she was on when boarding Haven launched her at the wrong section of the ship, and during the process of landing, she sprained her ankle. Shortly thereafter, she was possessed by Screaming Mantis, echoing her similar predicament nine years before. Snake saved her from the mind control, and apologized, feeling he was at fault for dragging her into everything. She tearfully assured him they would "meet again on the other side," Snake then left to destroy Haven's AI.
After the mission, Meryl finally made peace with her father, and agreed to marry Johnny, who had loved her ever since he met her in Shadow Moses.
Personality and traits
During the Shadow Moses Incident, Meryl had a feisty attitude, such as stating to Solid Snake she was "where I can see you" when he asked for her location. She was initially irked at being called a rookie but teased Snake in-turn on many occasions, such as commenting on his being supposedly "good with dogs" after he had difficulty bypassing wolfdogs in the Shadow Moses caverns, unlike herself. As she had heard about Snake from her uncle before meeting him, Meryl also had a sort of hero worship for Snake. However, when she learned that he only considered himself a killer and not a hero (with the personal admission that the only heroes he knew were either dead or imprisoned), Meryl was slightly saddened to hear that Snake apparently loved war and didn't want it to end, and even questioned whether all heroes in history were like that. Mantis detected that Snake had a large, growing place in Meryl's heart and Liquid suggested that Meryl had indeed fallen in love with Snake before the final battle. In return, Snake showed uncharacteristic concern for her, much to Naomi Hunter's intrigue.
While she proved adaquate in handling a bullpup rifle, also pointing out that she didn't have any trouble shooting targets in training (albiet with a standard issue American assault rifle), Meryl's preferred sidearm was the Desert Eagle handgun. She managed to procure one during the Shadow Moses Incident. She admitted to Snake that she felt more comfortable using it than wearing a bra. She was later forced to attack Snake with it by Psycho Mantis. During the Guns of the Patriots Incident, she sported two Desert Eagles: a "standard" model and a modified version with a scope and an extended barrel, the latter of which she used aboard Outer Haven to hold off several waves of Haven Troopers.
In 2014, when Meryl's SOP system connection locked down in the Middle East, she showed herself to be whimpering. This suggested that, not unlike in her confession to Snake about her hesitation to kill during Shadow Moses, she felt sorrow during the duration of her combat experiences, and quite possibly even in her times of anguish when she thought about her illegitimate father, Roy Campbell, when it was brought up by Snake mid-conversation. She also held a great deal of concern for Snake when she learned of his accelerated aging, once even insisting that he stop constantly going to the battlefield due to his critical condition in Eastern Europe. In addition, largely because of her resentment towards her birthfather regarding both her being born from an affair and his marrying Rosemary, a woman her age, she also became somewhat cold and harsh in her personality, evidenced by her frequent mistreatment of Johnny Sasaki at times, and even venomously referring to Snake as "Old Snake."
Meryl demonstrated her physical strength by defeating her Rat Patrol comrade, the powerfully-built Jonathan, in an arm wrestling match. She was also able to withstand the Desert Eagle's recoil one-handed as if it were a regular handgun during her stand on board Outer Haven, even going as far as duel-wielding two of them at once.
|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.[?]|
While disguised as a Genome Soldier on Shadow Moses Island, Meryl boarded a transport truck with ten other soldiers, in order to reach the warhead storage building. Later, as Snake was being tortured by Revolver Ocelot, Sniper Wolf forced Meryl to watch via a video monitor.
Behind the scenes
Meryl Silverburgh (メリル・シルバーバーグ Meriru Shirubābāgu?) first appears in the original Metal Gear Solid, voiced by Debi Mae West in English (credited as Mae Zadler in the original version), and by Kyoko Terase in Japanese. Meryl's character is based on a character of the same name from Hideo Kojima's earlier game Policenauts, also voiced by Terase (credited as Megumi Terease). Her inspiration was herself based on Kitche, a character from the manga Crying Freeman, although their roles are the opposite (namely, Meryl aids the protagonist, while Kitche is trying to kill the protagonist). Meryl was originally going to be much younger. Her appearance was going to be based on Natalie Portman's Mathilda character from Léon: The Professional. This design was scrapped because Yoji Shinkawa had a hard time imagining a young girl using a Desert Eagle. As a result, he decided to make Meryl older.
Both the Policenauts and Metal Gear Solid versions of Meryl share similar character designs and backstories (being involved in FOXHOUND). Further likening the two characters is the fact that Meryl's partner in Policenauts is named Dave Forrest (who secretly loves her), which is also Solid Snake's real first name. In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the likeness is taken even further with the inclusion of Meryl's earrings, which are handgun bullets (probably .45 ACP), just like the original Meryl wore. Her partners in both Policenauts and Metal Gear Solid 4 are also named Ed and Jonathan. Despite all these similarities, they are not intended to be the same character.
Metal Gear Solid features an alternate ending in which Meryl dies if the player submits to Ocelot's torture. This ending is non-canonical due to her mention in In the Darkness of Shadow Moses, one of the extra features in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and her later appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4.
In Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, the 2004 remake of Metal Gear Solid, Meryl's eye color is a hazel brown, but in Metal Gear Solid 4 they are blue.
Although the Briefing Files section of both Metal Gear Solid and The Twin Snakes list her specific age, various supplementary materials only cited the decade in which she was born.
Metal Gear Solid and The Twin Snakes
When the player first infiltrates the air ducts of the holding cells in Metal Gear Solid, Meryl can be observed performing sit ups, when using First Person View mode to look down one of the vents. If the player exits the duct before accessing the DARPA Chief's cell, then returns to the vent above Meryl's cell, she will be performing a different exercise. The order of exercises performed is: sit ups; single-arm push ups; stretching; sit ups while in her underwear; single-arm push ups while in her underwear; and stretching while in her underwear, before eventually returning to sit ups and staying that way in future revisits prior to accessing Donald Anderson's cell. In The Twin Snakes, the player need only return to the previous bend in the duct, rather than exit it entirely, to initiate a different exercise.
Snake's reaction to Meryl's gun when she holds him up in their first meeting will be different depending on whether the player acquired the SOCOM pistol beforehand: If the player picked up the SOCOM, Snake will use it to aim back at her. If the player did not pick it up, Snake will simply push the barrel aside. This also affects their first Codec conversation. If Snake hasn't picked up the SOCOM, Meryl will lecture Snake that he's not even armed when asking if he's trying to be a one-hand hero and Snake will reply that he appreciated her help from before. Afterwards, the conversation will continue like normal.
In the original Metal Gear Solid, if the player managed to follow Meryl into the bathroom and go to the top stall within five seconds, Meryl will appear in her underwear in the next cutscene (as she didn't have enough time to put her pants on). The Twin Snakes mitigated this by incorporating Snake's entrance into a full length cutscene.
While waiting for Snake, she'll tap her leg with her gun. If the player looks at Meryl in First Person View mode long enough, during their brief time together, Meryl will start blushing. Continued staring will have her turn more red and whispering embarrassed questions.
The dog tag collecting gameplay in The Twin Snakes has Meryl carry two dog tags: one is her own, whereas the other belongs to Johnny Sasaki. The way to acquire Johnny's dog tag is to tranquilize Meryl while she is still disguised as a Genome Soldier. The way to acquire Meryl's own dog tag is to tranquilize her after meeting her in the women's lavatory. The latter, however, will result in the player losing a bit of health due to Meryl slapping Snake in retaliation.
If the player detonates a Claymore mine in the underground passage, Meryl will sigh disappointingly, and will sometimes turn her back and strike her butt.
In the "Meryl" ending of Metal Gear Solid, Debi Mae West uses the Japanese pronunciation of Otacon's name, "Oh-ta-con." When the game's dialogue was re-recorded for The Twin Snakes, the line's delivery was changed to maintain consistency with the pronunciation used by the other members of the English cast. Also in the "Meryl" ending, Meryl has eight bandages on her legs, arms, and right hand even though Sniper Wolf shot her three times in her legs and left arm. This was corrected in The Twin Snakes. Finally, in the "Meryl" ending, Revolver Ocelot is ordered to keep "the woman" under surveillance. It is unknown if Ocelot's dialogue was in reference of Meryl herself or another female character. The Twin Snakes uses this dialogue in both endings.
In Metal Gear Solid: Integral and The Twin Snakes, if the player unlocks the Tuxedo for Snake, Meryl will be wearing a female version of the Sneaking Suit, similar to her appearance in artwork for the Metal Gear Solid audio drama.
Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
Meryl neither made an appearance nor was mentioned in the main game itself, but she was mentioned by No. 4 upon completing Special Stage 8-2, where he revealed that she was part of the reason why Roy Campbell took part in the events of the story, as Steve Gardner apparently held her hostage to further ensure his cooperation.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Substance
According to Yoji Shinkawa, Meryl's absence in Metal Gear Solid 2 was done in order to keep the true ending of Metal Gear Solid ambiguous. Despite this, Meryl was nonetheless mentioned to have survived in In the Darkness of Shadow Moses in the extra features of Metal Gear Solid 2. This was confirmed with her reappearance in Metal Gear Solid 4. Although she is absent in Metal Gear Solid 2, she is indirectly referenced several times during the game: after Snake defeats Olga, he states to Otacon that he's had enough with tomboys; in a Codec conversation, Otacon pointed out that Olga looked a little like Meryl, to which Snake replied that he didn't notice; in another Codec conversation, regarding the B.D.U., Snake tells Raiden that he won't have to worry about his walk giving him away, referring to how he located Meryl in the first game (although Raiden was confused by Snake's remark about his "walk," causing Snake to disregard his comment to Raiden). She is also mentioned on two occasions by Johnny Sasaki, when he is reminded of her by Olga, and later, by Emma Emmerich, while suffering from his renowned stomach problems.
Meryl makes an appearance in Snake Tales C included with Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, reusing Olga's voice clips (performed by Vanessa Marshall in the English version). In it, she is working with Sergei Gurlukovich after the latter led her to believe that her father Matt Campbell had defected to his side during a secret operation in Eldera and got killed by the Marines. In actuality, Matt was in fact killed by Sergei Gurlukovich after being manipulated by him, and she was conscious enough after being defeated by Snake to learn this, as well as Gurlukovich's true motive in gaining her assistance as revenge towards her uncle, Roy Campbell, and thus killed Gurlukovich just as he was preparing to kill Snake. If the player defeats Meryl in a non-lethal manner, the story's ending reveals that Meryl was incarcerated for her involvement in the prototype Metal Gear's hijacking and features Roy Campbell revealing to Snake that Meryl is his biological daughter, and that Roy being her biological father was the reason why Matt accepted the mission in the first place; another non-canon event in which he reveals that Meryl is Roy's daughter, the other being the Otacon ending to Metal Gear Solid. Because of both her Japanese voice actress also provided Olga's voice and the low-budget quality of the Snake Tales series, Meryl's "voice" in the English version were actually reused voice clips of Olga's.
Another appearance in Substance is during one of Solid Snake's VR Missions, Variety Level 04, where she is shown lying prone on the floor. Snake must take out 26 enemy "soldiers" that are converging on her location within a 3 minute time limit. The level is seen during one of the Colonel's calls in Arsenal Gear.
Meryl is also featured in one of Solid Snake's Alternative Missions, Photograph Level 04, where she wanders the Engine Room of the USS Discovery. Snake must take a photograph of her when she strikes a particular pose, within a 5 minute time limit.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Meryl made a full reappearance in Metal Gear Solid 4, where it fully confirmed both her survival in Metal Gear Solid as well as her being the illegitimate daughter of Roy Campbell. She also possessed a render that resembled her younger self. In addition, concept art for the game had her wearing a regular military cap instead of her bandana.
Meryl also made a reappearance in Metal Gear Online as a playable character in the GENE Expansion. Her abilities included having all personnel on her team share each other's experiences in the combat situation via the SOP system, having teammates recover Psyche faster when in close proximity, had teammates regain consciousness quickly, and excelled the handgun skills. If tranquilized, she'd sometimes say "That man... is not my father...!", alluding to her anger to her birthfather, Roy Campbell, in the main game.
Meryl makes a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an obtainable sticker, whose use is exclusive only to Solid Snake during the Subspace Emissary Adventure Mode. It increases Snake's weapon attack by 7.
A costume available to download for LittleBigPlanet allows the Sackboys to dress up as Meryl.
Meryl also appeared in Versus Battle, first alongside Rat Patrol, and later solo. In the latter instance, she competed against Mei Ling, and later against Naomi.
Sexy & Strong with Desert Eagle Skills
Meryl’s soft spot for Snake was first detected by Psycho Mantis on Shadow Moses island
METAL GEAR SOLID: THE LEGACY COLLECTION"
- ―Meryl's bio on Versus Battle; Meryl vs. Mei Ling and Meryl vs. Naomi
- Metal Gear Solid/Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
- Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (mentioned; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (mentioned)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (Snake Tales; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops (trading card)
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Déjà Vu Mission; non-canon)
- ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Briefing File > operation member > Roy Campbell > Meryl
- ^ METAL GEAR SOLID (Japanese), Konami Digital Entertainment (2008).
- ^ METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS. Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.
Characters > Roy Campbell
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
- "Roy Campbell's niece. She was raised as a soldier from an early age, but she has no tactical experience. She has received a small amount of gene therapy so that she is not attracted to the opposite sex. "Just what I'd expect from the legendary Solid Snake. You trying to sweep me off my feet?""
- ―Meryl Silverburgh+ card description
- "Roy Campbell's niece. Campbell too care of her after her father died in combat in the Gulf War. On the day of the Shadow Moses incident, she was deployed to FOXHOUND as an emergency replacement and ended up getting caught in the fray."
- ―Meryl Silverburgh card description
- ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Baker: I was in contact with her by Codec. Until I was tied up here that is. // Snake: Codec? // Baker: Yes. She stole it from the guard. If she still has it, you should be able to contact her.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid novelization by Raymond Benson, Del Rey Books (2008).
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Official Comic Book, IDW Publishing, (2005).
- ^ http://endofbeyond.tumblr.com/post/81730163899/imitation-the-greatest-form-of-flattery-kojimas
- ^ http://www.tentenpro.com/muni_shinobu/mgs/info.html
- ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Revolver Ocelot: What should I do about the woman? [...] Yes sir. I'll keep her under surveillance.
- ^ 
- ^ Art of Metal Gear Solid, page 68-71
- ^ Art of Metal Gear Solid, page 72-75
|Metal Gear Solid characters|
| Solid Snake|
Roy Campbell — Naomi Hunter — Mei Ling — Master Miller — Meryl Silverburgh — Gray Fox — Nastasha Romanenko — Otacon
Liquid Snake — Revolver Ocelot — Psycho Mantis — Sniper Wolf — Vulcan Raven — Decoy Octopus
Donald Anderson — Kenneth Baker — Jim Houseman — Johnny Sasaki
Liquid Snake's Pentagon spy — Miller's assassin — Sergei Gurlukovich — U.S. President George Sears
|Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots characters|
| Old Snake — Otacon — Raiden — Naomi Hunter — Big Mama|
Liquid Ocelot — Vamp — Drebin — Little Gray — Solidus Snake
Roy Campbell — Sunny — Rosemary — Mei Ling — Little John
Meryl Silverburgh — Ed — Jonathan — Johnny
Laughing Octopus — Raging Raven — Crying Wolf — Screaming Mantis
Psycho Mantis — Zero — Big Boss