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Microbombs are small explosives placed on a person's body and set to explode whenever that individual dies, meant only to destroy that specific person's body. They are used to make sure that neither a person's body nor important items can be retrieved by the enemy and were primarily utilized by the Cobra Unit.

Operation Snake EaterEdit

See Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater

Microbombs were activated by The Pain, The Fear, The End and The Fury when they were all killed by Naked Snake, during Operation Snake Eater. It was also suspected that they carried them around even though they weren't in hostile territory because they were ready to die, due to no longer having a unit to belong to or even a country to call home, and could only find it fitting to die on a battlefield.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

Microbombs are activated by The Pain, The Fear, The End, and The Fury, during the course of Metal Gear Solid 3's storyline. Although The Fury's death is depicted in a surreal manner, his microbomb can be seen to detonate after his fiery remains pursue Snake into the passageway leading from Groznyj Grad's underground tunnel. It is not clear if The Sorrow activated his, though, since he was executed by gunshot and his skeleton still remained relatively intact afterwards, it seems unlikely; certainly, if he did, it failed to function.

It can be assumed that The Boss, being a Cobra member, also had a microbomb, though she did not activate it upon her death, if she had the microbomb at the time of Operation Snake Eater. This is supported by a non-canon scene in the Secret Theatre, featured in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. The scene shows The Boss falling from the bridge in Dolinovodno, with her microbomb detonating in mid-air, accompanied by her voice exclaiming the codename of "The Joy."

As some microbombs do not explode, it seems the bomb must be either manually armed or carried on the person; certainly, even if The End is killed on the dockside when he's totally unaware of the player his microbomb will still detonate. This indicates it is a conscious decision by the Cobras to "disappear" after being defeated, but that the bomb itself is automatically triggered. Although it's stated that the microbomb activates when the individual dies, The End's does not activate immediately if the player waits seven days to make him die of old age. Seemingly, his parrot arms the device posthumously and it detonates shortly afterward.

In the non-canon Secret Theatre clip, Diehard, when Volgin died, he exploded, meaning that he may have a microbomb as well. But once again, this is non-canon. Similarly, the clip The Joy has The Boss activating her microbomb after being stung by The Pain's hornets and then falling off the bridge in a manner similar to the rest of her Cobra Unit members, much to Volgin's confusion.

Although microbombs themselves don't reappear in later Metal Gear games, a similar function was seen with various cyborg enemies in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. A Codec call to Doktor explains that the cyborgs exploding were the result of a self-destruct protocol that would end up activated if they fell in battle, in order to prevent their slayer from gaining any important data from them. Unlike the microbombs, however, the self-destruct sequence does not activate if they end up ambushed. In addition, the extended director's cut for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain showed a device being surgically removed from Paz's abdomen, although it is not clear whether it was meant to be a microbomb.


  • The main way for Naked Snake to find out about microbombs is to radio Major Zero after the boss battle with The Fear; Snake, having fought at least two Cobras, will begin the conversation by asking the Major, "Why do they keep exploding!?"
  • While the microbomb is designed to destroy the body and personal effects of the Cobra using it, for gameplay reasons a stamina kill still results in that member dropping their camouflage, except for The End who drops his Mosin-Nagant tranquilizer rifle. To acquire The End's camouflage, the player must hold him up.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Snake theorizes this during a radio call to Major Zero and Sigint after defeating any of the Cobra Unit members.

See alsoEdit

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