- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
In 1974, Big Boss (Naked Snake) and the MSF commissioned doctors Huey Emmerich and Strangelove to create Metal Gear ZEKE. Emmerich supervised the assembly of the frame, and Strangelove oversaw the development of the AI, it was intended to function as an unmanned weapon. Because the MSF was lacking of a defense department level budget, they required that they salvage parts from the various AI weapons. In addition, MSF subcommander Kazuhira Miller and Huey Emmerich were the ones who coined the name. Likewise, the team also had problems adjusting the AI to get it up and running until Strangelove joined ZEKE's development.
Shortly after ZEKE was completed, Miller suggested that the nuclear warhead recovered from Peace Walker be used to arm the weapon, with the intention of making it a deterrent against hostile countries opposed to the MSF's fledgling "mercenary nation". Miller also pointed out that this was a good opportunity to arm ZEKE due to the White House being too busy figuring out how to create a cover story regarding the late CIA Station Chief Hot Coldman's nearly starting an all-out nuclear war. Because of the decision by Big Boss to arm ZEKE with the nuclear warhead, MSF also unofficially became the world's seventh nuclear power. However, Cipher agent Pacifica Ocean secretly made further modifications to ZEKE, allowing it to accommodate a human pilot, while her KGB ally Vladimir Zadornov escaped the MSF's custody multiple times, serving as a diversion. Some of the modifications included installing a pilot's seat inside the AI pod, a dual-control piloting lever for operating the legs, a safety restraint, and a fluid-filled cockpit for shock absorption.
Pacifica eventually hijacked ZEKE, with Zadornov escaping the seventh time as a diversion for her to make off with the weapon unnoticed. Big Boss discovered this shortly after encountering and killing Zadornov in self-defense at MSF's Mother Base. Proclaiming ZEKE to be the creation of Cipher (the group responsible for the development of the Peace Walker Project), Pacifica attempted to force Big Boss into joining their planned new world order. Big Boss refused, so Pacifica decided to use ZEKE to launch a nuclear strike at the East Coast of the United States, which would cause the public to believe that the Militaires Sans Frontières were an extremist cult. Big Boss was then forced to fight and defeat Pacifica by heavily damaging ZEKE.
After the incident, Strangelove and Huey discussed ZEKE's fate, and Strangelove revealed that she had made a backup copy of its AI, so at the very least, ZEKE could walk. However, whether ZEKE could continue on or not was up to Big Boss. Big Boss also used ZEKE in a mock battle, upon Huey's suggestion, in case someone attempted to hijack ZEKE again.
- Main article: Ground Zeroes Incident
Several days before the UN inspection as well as the rescue of both Chico and Paz (the latter of whom was revealed to have survived their earlier battle), ZEKE's waterproofing reinforcement had been finished the day before, alongside plans to install the main depth control tank, the compressed air tank, and the altitude control propeller pod two days later, and plans for testing its effectiveness on a seabed 300 feet underwater within the next week should the tests prove positive, with Huey reporting these to Miller and Big Boss, who were more interested and especially irritated at Huey's sending a letter indicating they changed their minds about having the IAEA inspection at Mother Base. Because of Huey making things happen to the extent that MSF was forced to allow the inspection to happen to not draw suspicion, ZEKE was the only vehicle remaining at the base, albeit hidden from sight at the bottom of the ocean below Mother Base. Mother Base was destroyed when XOF commenced their Trojan Horse operation.
Huey implied that ZEKE had been destroyed by the sinking debris of Mother Base. ZEKE's role as Outer Heaven's nuclear deterrent was eventually replaced by the smaller TX-55 Metal Gear. Its overall role, however, was eventually replaced by Battle Gear for the MSF's successor group Diamond Dogs, with its leader, Venom Snake, privately remarking that he had a sense of déjà vu upon hearing Huey's proposal.
Metal Gear ZEKE was created using parts salvaged from the AI weapons of the Peace Walker Project: the rocket boosters from Pupa, the radome and rail gun from Chrysalis, the armor from Cocoon, and the legs from Peace Walker, along with head parts from all four. Other than the above listed salvaged parts, various body parts could also be created by utilizing various scrap portions of the AI weapons, of which about five are needed to make each part. ZEKE was also compatible with the heads of the various AI weapons and their associated weapons, because of the AI weapons' heads being the core for their weapons systems, should they be procured. In addition to the actual parts, the AI was also made up of memory boards salvaged from the AI pods of the AI weapons. The AI also came with a backup in case ZEKE's AI was critically damaged from a fight. Its legs are also extremely susceptible to damage, and require it to be working at 100% efficiency for it to operate. This also means that even if it is 95% operable, its operability is handicapped.
Its AI, unlike Peace Walker, was not a replica of human thought, and thus not able to make decisions relating to nuclear retaliation. Consequentally, it is also incapable of self-generated speech in its speech synthesis system. However, it was advanced enough to be capable of highly independent action in combat when given orders from a pilot, including protecting infantry, destroying the enemy, and launching a nuke. ZEKE's AI could also be programmed with pre-set messages depending on the situation to make up for lacking self-generated speech, and was also capable of singing, although it could only process and perform lyrics and cannot perform original compositions.
After it was modified by Pacifica Ocean, it was able to be piloted manually. Besides the manual piloting modifications, Pacifica also made further modifications that would lock the Mother Base control computer from ZEKE, in order to ensure that MSF cannot stop her via that method as soon as it was discovered.
The codename "ZEKE" derives from the official Allied codename for the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter. Its alternate codename was the A6M Zero.
Behind the scenes
Metal Gear ZEKE's appearance bears a strong resemblance to Metal Gear REX, due to the rail gun situated on its right shoulder, and a radome on the left. According to Hideo Kojima, he wanted something resembling an older version, combined with a newer version of Metal Gear, which would give fans a good laugh, but also give them a good challenge. When Peace Walker's legs are equipped onto ZEKE, it has an even more striking resemblance to REX. In addition, it also shares the same Allied codename origin as Metal Gear RAY. In similar story developments, both ZEKE and RAY are both hijacked by spies who claim they are "taking it back" to their employers, the Patriots (Cipher).
ZEKE, along with the Pupa, Chrysalis, Cocoon, and Peace Walker, utilize the VOCALOID software for their dialogue using a version called "Vocaloid-Flex". Like the other AI weapons, a "Play Arts Kai" figure of ZEKE was released by Square Enix.
The exact method by which ZEKE would launch its nuclear warhead in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is not made entirely clear. The cutscene immediately prior to the battle with ZEKE seems to imply that the rail gun was to be used for the nuclear strike (similar to REX), with the camera zooming in on the gun while Miller is warning Snake to stop the launch. However, the battle itself has ZEKE use the gun in a normal manner using standard ammunition. Concept art for ZEKE in the Official Art Works confirms that its nuclear launch capability was actually present via a missile launcher on its backpack.
When designer Yoji Shinkawa suggested that ZEKE's passenger be in a swimsuit and H-type harness, director Kojima requested justification, resulting in the concept of a flooded cockpit to provide shock absorption.
There is a rare glitch in "ZEKE Battle" where Paz jumps onto the upper platform of the main platform and starts running. She gets stuck and stays running on the platform until the player defeats her (this is confirmed in Peace Walker HD Edition).
Dummied code found by debugging the game revealed that there was to be an alternate Extra Op called "Metal Gear ZEKE: Cross Battle," where the player character takes control of ZEKE via remote control and has it attack at least one intruder (other players).
ZEKE also appeared in the Versus Battle feature on Metalgearsolid.com.
- "STRENGTHS: Size, Attack & Defend, has a Nuke
WEAKNESSES: AI Can't Self-Launch
FEATURED FACT: Built from components of CHRYSALIS, PUPA, COCOON, and PEACE WALKER
FEATURED GAME: METAL GEAR SOLID: Peace Walker"
- -ZEKE bio from Versus Battle.
The February 14, 2014 Game Informer article covering the leadup to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes mentions that ZEKE was still functional during the game's events. Despite this, however, ZEKE doesn't appear in Ground Zeroes. Instead, Huey mentions that it had been destroyed by the sinking debris of Mother Base.
ZEKE appears as a Metal Gear type for the Mother Base Developer on the Ground Zeroes App in two forms. The standard form is unlocked by completing a Level 9 Hangar for Mother Base, and a custom build is unlocked by scoring 55k+ points on Hard Mode of Destroy the Anti-Air Emplacements while connected to the app.
Although ZEKE doesn't appear in The Phantom Pain other than as a photograph plastered on The Boss AI, it was mentioned by Huey when he told Miller and Ocelot he "lost ZEKE" as a result of XOF's attack on Mother Base. ZEKE was also given an indirect mention by Venom Snake. When Huey proposes his idea of creating Battle Gear, Venom Snake turns to Miller and says "Kaz, I'm having déjà vu, here", alluding to how the speech Huey gave was similar to his proposal that he create ZEKE.
Metal Gear ZEKE consists of 4 main parts, namely Head, Power Unit, Walk, and Leg Units, as well as the Rail Gun. Without these 5 components, ZEKE cannot be used in Outer Ops and will remain stationed within Mother Base.
To obtain scrap for both the main and optional parts, players must avoid destroying the AI weapons' components during the boss battles, dealing only moderate damage to them. The damage ratio of different components (in %) can be seen in the last tab of the pause menu or by using the Analyzer. The amount of scrap required to develop the main parts is five, while the maximum number of parts that can be assembled is three.
The head parts of all AI weapons, and the pair of legs from Peace Walker, are only acquired in one piece rather than scrap. A maximum of five Head parts can be stored in Mother Base, and can be viewable on the Hangar section of the Mother Base menu. They can only be obtained during the Custom battle Extra Ops with the exception of the Peace Walker legs, which can be obtained not from both the Custom and Type II battles. Procuring the AI weapons heads for use on Metal Gear ZEKE is briefly alluded to in a post-mission conversation between Big Boss and Huey Emmerich, after assigning the latter to the R&D Team. In it, Huey also suggests that Big Boss shouldn't get preoccupied with it and thus recklessly risk his life for the head parts.
From time, customization can be done with optional parts taken from the AI weapons for better performance, new weapons or new abilities:
Head - Very similar to the head of ZEKE. The two head mounted machine guns will be replaced with a single electric shock unit. ZEKE can use the electric shock unit to perform rapid fire attacks with lower damage, attack from a distance with moderate damage or maximize the voltage to perform immense damage with increased required charge time respectively with each method. Also, unlike the Pupa, it does not require the usage of lightning rods to perform the maximized high voltage attack, though it does not have as much range as the former. Up to 5 head parts can be collected.
Jet Pack - Grants ZEKE the ability to charge around, dealing moderate damage to anyone caught and one of the hardest attacks to evade. Up to 3 jet pack parts can be collected.
Head - The Chrysalis head is capable of firing guided missiles which deals significantly more damage and is more likely to hit the player than its standard missiles. Up to 5 head parts can be collected.
Radome - The Radome actually grants ZEKE immunity to Chaff Grenades although it is claimed to increase accuracy. Up to 3 radomes can be collected.
Railgun - An electromagnetic weapon which requires time to charge and fire a large ballistic projectile. ZEKE is vulnerable to long-range direct hits as it must remain stationary to fire this weapon. Can deal heavy to devastating damage. Damage increases and evasion becomes more difficult with increased AI capability. Deals a fixed 6000 damage on up to 2 mechanical targets in Outer Ops. Up to 3 rail guns can be collected. This is also the only "optional" part that is required for ZEKE's completion.
Head - The Cocoon head has a large-caliber cannon as its primary feature. Although it is a direct fire weapon as opposed to Chrysalis's guided missiles, its splash damage makes up for it. The Cocoon head gives ZEKE the ability to deal 4000 damage on up to 4 targets in Outer Ops using missiles. Up to 5 head parts can be collected.
Armor - Reduces damage inflicted towards ZEKE. Up to 3 armor parts can be collected.
Head - Grants ZEKE the ability to use the Poison Beam which renders player(s) immobile on contact, known as the poison of the basilisk. The head unit is capable of emitting an electromagnetic pulse which deflects all missiles fired towards it as well as grenades from rifle-mounted grenade launchers. Performs the Petrifying Attack (Petrif. Attack) which deals 4500 damage to an individual target in Outer Ops. Up to 5 head parts can be collected. Unlike the other Metal Gear head units or Peace Walker's Legs, the Peace Walker head unit retains the color of the original Peace Walker (metallic black). Instead, the differences primarily lie in the MSF logo replacing the butterfly logo that was originally on the head as well as the stripe color matching whatever's currently selected in terms of the paint job of ZEKE's overall body.
Legs - Gives ZEKE an S-mine launcher and enhanced mobility. S-mines launched by ZEKE move in a horizontal direction as opposed to Peace Walker which makes evasion from this weapon much more difficult. The best known way to counter the S-mines is by shooting them with a machine gun before they can get to the player. Note that 3 Peace Walker leg parts can be stored however it can be obtained from both Peace Walker Type II and Peace Walker Custom.
ZEKE is controlled by an AI pod installed on its head. Players can gather memory boards from different AI weapons to increase ZEKE's overall performance. To obtain the boards, the associated components must be damaged during the battle. The player will have one minute to remove the boards from inside the AI pod.
There are four types of memory board, denoted by color:
- Mobility - affects movement
- Sense - affects search capability
- Attack - affects offensive capability
- Control - affects response time
Players can customize ZEKE to various colors, though they are purely cosmetic and does not significantly affect its performance.
- Players will have to defeat the 4 AI bosses (Pupa, Chrysalis, Cocoon, and Peace Walker) multiple times in order to collect the necessary parts for building ZEKE. However, if you fight the Extra Ops versions of Pupa, Cocoon, Chrysalis, or Peace Walker, you only have to battle them once (since they retain their AI boards).
- The railgun, radome, jetpack, and armor can be obtained by any version of the respective AI weapons. However, the unique head parts (and Peace Walker legs) can only be obtained during the "Custom" Extra Ops, and only if they were not significantly damaged (only scraps can be obtained from the other versions). - the legs are the only exception to this; they can also be obtained in the "Peace Walker Type II" mission.
- There is an Extra Ops mission where you face the AI-controlled ZEKE. Its difficulty is represented by a question mark instead of skull(s), since this varies depending on what memory boards that have been collected. This Extra Ops mission cannot be chosen if ZEKE is unavailable (such as deployed in Outer Ops). Any damage ZEKE takes during this mission is not afflicted to it in general, due to it being a simulation battle.
- If ZEKE is destroyed during Outer Ops, it will have to be reassembled from scratch. It is best to keep spare parts on hand in case this occurs. Fortunately, ZEKE's AI capabilities can be easily restored from the AI memory boards acquired so far without having to re-collect them.
- The completed AI (after collecting 400 memory boards) for Metal Gear ZEKE is far superior to Paz's performance while manning Metal Gear ZEKE.
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (mentioned)
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (photograph and mentioned)
Notes and references
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Snake: Paz, what are you doing...?! // Paz Ortega Andrade: I'm taking it back. // Kazuhira Miller (radio): Taking it back? Where?! // Paz: To our leaders... to Cipher. // Snake: Cipher...?! // Paz Ortega Andrade: This weapon is Cipher's creation...
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Huey Emmerich: Thanks for putting me on the R&D team, Snake. I’ll cut to the chase. We’ve commenced development on our own bipedal weapon. The only thing is that we don’t exactly have easy access to resources here. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Yeah, unfortunately we don’t have the budget of a defense department behind us. // Huey Emmerich: I understand. That’s why I want to ask you something. If you fight any more AI weapons, could you try to gather as many of their parts as you can? That would really make things go a lot smoother. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Again, easier said than done. Huey Emmerich: If anyone can do it, you can, Boss. You single-handedly took out the Pupa. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: True. // Huey Emmerich: Look, if you’re not interested, I can just work with what we have here. I’m not trying to force you to take unnecessary risks. You’re the boss around here. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: All right. No promises, but I’ll think about it. // Huey Emmerich: Great. Also, each AI weapon has a “head part” that serves as the core of its armament. Recovering a head part will allow you to use the weapon associated with that part. …But those guys won’t go down without a fight. So don’t get preoccupied with this stuff. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Don’t worry. I’m not about to risk my life for a bunch of scrap. // Huey Emmerich: I would hope not. One more thing: our new bipedal weapon needs a name. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Good point. We can’t keep calling it “our bipedal weapon.” // Huey Emmerich: I had a talk with Miller, and we came up with “Metal Gear ZEKE.” // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Metal Gear… ZEKE…? // Huey Emmerich: Yep. As you know, “Metal Gear” was coined by Granin. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: And “ZEKE”? // Huey Emmerich: It’s a name the U.S. military gave to a Japanese aircraft that flew during World War II. ZEKE was the Japanese navy’s best fighter plane. So are you okay with that, Snake? // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Sure, fine by me. // Huey Emmerich: Miller was saying that an army without borders will need a deterrent against other countries. He’s right. With Metal Gear, MSF can achieve true independence. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Here’s hoping.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010)
Huey Emmerich: Snake, we fitted ZEKE with its own AI Pod. We were having trouble adjusting the AI, but Dr. Strangelove was able to get it up and running.
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker Official Art Works, Japan: Square Enix, 2011, p. 107
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
Info > Pre-mission Brief: Mission Background & Intel > Brief 2: Allowing the Nuclear Inspection
Huey Emmerich: We’ve finished ZEKE’s waterproofing reinforcement yesterday. The day after tomorrow, we’ll be done installing the main depth control tank, the compressed air tank, and the attitude control propeller pod. // Kazuhira Miller: Huey… // Huey: If the underwater test goes well, next week we’ll try the 300 ft. seabed depth. // Miller: Drop the act, Huey. How did we end up agreeing to the nuclear inspection? // Huey: …Because after you sent that letter, I told them “after careful reconsideration, we’ve agreed to your request.” And frankly, we should be inspected. This is our chance. If they come and go without discovering the nuke, we can tell the world we’re clean. Of course, it’s risky, and we’ll have to make sure everything’s perfect, but it’ll be worth it. // Big Boss: Huey, can they do an inspection without going through the Board of Governors? // Miller: We contacted the IAEA’s admin branch, and they said there’s no record of us being brought up at any of the board’s meetings. Huey: I’d say they’d… probably do a preliminary inspection to determine whether we should be referred to the board. So it’s bound to be a small inspection team, and they won’t be here that long. Don’t worry, leave everything to me. // Big Boss: Has the media gotten wind of this? // Huey: Yeah. Two major western networks want to do stories on us. I planned on saying yes. // Miller: What?! You want to broadcast this place to the world?! // Huey: That’s why I agreed to the inspection. This is a golden opportunity. We can use the media to “prove” to the world we don’t have a nuke. Besides, even if we said “no,” it would just be delaying the inevitable. // Big Boss: (groans in irritation) Kaz, our hands are tied now. Start getting the place ready. // Huey: Thanks, boss. // Big Boss: Don’t get the wrong idea. You set it up so that any more changes of heart would arouse suspicion, that’s all. Heh. // Miller: ZEKE stays, but we’ll have to move all other AFVs to shore. Any potential troublemakers can go with them for some mandatory R-and-R. Sound good, boss? // Big Boss: Just do it.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Huey Emmerich: Great. Also, each AI weapon has a “head part” that serves as the core of its armament. Recovering a head part will allow you to use the weapon associated with that part. …But those guys won’t go down without a fight. So don’t get preoccupied with this stuff. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Don’t worry. I’m not about to risk my life for a bunch of scrap.
- ^ https://twitter.com/HEITAIs/status/635345183626801152
- ^ http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2014/02/14/a-look-at-metal-gears-mechanical-baddies.aspx
|Walking vehicles (nuclear strategy)|
|Metal Gear RAXA — Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear |
Peace Walker (Basilisk) — Metal Gear ZEKE
Metal Gear Sahelanthropus
|Shagohod — AI weapons (Pupa, Chrysalis, Cocoon) |
Walker Gear — Battle Gear — Metal Gear G (Gustav)
Arsenal Gear — Outer Haven — Gekko — Metal Gear Mk. II / III
Metal Gear EXCELSUS
|Non-canon Metal Gears|
|Metal Gear 1 / VRC-4 (Supercomputer) — Metal Gear 2 — Metal Gear GANDER |
Metal Gear (Eldera) — Metal Gear KODOQUE — Metal Gear Chaioth Ha Qadesh