|This article is about the remote controlled missile system. You may be looking for Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.|
The Nikita was a miniature cruise missile launcher. It used a pulsed rocket engine and sophisticated TV guidance system which allowed the operator to steer the unusually slow projectile in flight. Its functions were based on the micro air vehicles, and was primarily a scouting device. However, it was equipped with a warhead in case it was to be used as a weapon. Detonation occurs on impact or when the user deliberately disconnects the guidance unit from the missile.
Usage by Solid Snake and Raiden
Solid Snake, under the advice of an informant named "Deepthroat," used the Nikita missile launcher during the Shadow Moses Incident, in order to shut off a switchboard controlling an electrified floor, which was preventing access to Hal Emmerich's lab.
During the Big Shell Incident, Raiden had to find a Nikita launcher in the flooded second floor basement of the Shell 2 Core, in an attempt to demolish the switchboard controlling the electrified floor, which was active outside President Johnson's cell. The launcher was only functional indoors during the events of the incident due to the Sons of Liberty having set up electronic interference around the Big Shell, to prevent infiltration of enemy UAVs. After Raiden guided the Nikita missile into Johnson's cell, Johnson, not realizing that the missile was aimed for the power generator behind him, fled and reacted with surprise before bracing for impact.
Solid Snake was critical of the device's performance during the Guns of the Patriots Incident, pointing out that the missiles contained so much electronic equipment for guidance and information exchange that the size of the warhead was compromised; indeed, the control panel for the electrified floor he destroyed during the Shadow Moses Incident turned out to still be mostly functional.
Behind the scenes
The Nikita is a fictional weapon that is used in Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It is essential to the plot in both games since it allows the protagonist to destroy control panels remotely that he wouldn't be able to reach otherwise. It was named after the French movie La Femme Nikita, which is Hideo Kojima's favorite Luc Besson movie.
In Metal Gear Solid, the Nikita does not affect the player's view until the First Person View button is pressed, and otherwise the missile can be guided from the overhead view. In Metal Gear Solid 2 (and when using the First Person View in Metal Gear Solid) the view automatically changes to the missile's point of view. It is launched by pressing the Weapon button. The missile can be turned left or right using the direction buttons. It cannot be directed vertically, but will rise and drop in time with ramps that are found in ventilation shafts. After a few seconds of going in a straight line, the missile will speed up but will slow down again if it is turned. It can be used as an alternate way to defeat Sniper Wolf in the Snowfield (it cannot be used against her in the Underground Passage because the area is affected by electronic jamming). In Metal Gear Solid 2, besides its conventional use as a launcher, the player also use it as an unconventional makeshift club or bat, which can instantly knock out guards and even take off a large amount of stamina on most boss characters, even at the higher difficulty levels.
Press A Button to aim in first person view, release to fire. Missile can be controlled with control stick."
- ―Nikita description in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
The Nikita makes an appearance in the non-canon game Metal Gear: Ghost Babel. Snake uses the Nikita missiles during his mission to blow up control boxes for electric floors around Galuade. In addition, he uses them while fighting against the Mi-28 Havoc piloted by Sophie N'dram, the General's second in command, when fighting it.
The Nikita made a return in Metal Gear Solid 2. Similar to in Metal Gear Solid, its role was to disable an electric floor current between the player and the objective in this case, the holding cell for President Johnson. Humorously, when the Colonel is briefing Raiden and the player on using the Nikita missile to disable the electric floor, the accompanying footage shows Johnson fleeing from the missile just before it impacts the power generator.
The Nikita is Snake's side special move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The weapon is very effective in melee combat, being able to knock out enemy soldiers in one swing. Firing it from a close range is not very wise as the impact radius will affect the player (and possibly kill him) though can be used to target lone guards from a distance without noticing. Snake is defenseless until the shield button is pressed. Doing so will end the control over the guided missile, causing it to cease most of its forward movement and drop downwards. The missile will still explode if it hits anything while falling. The missile seems to have high priority. The missile can change direction randomly if it is hit by rapid attacks like Kirby's and Captain Falcon's Neutral A. When the missile hits its target, Snake will do a quick fist pump. However, when Snake misses he will quickly droop his head in disappointment. The missile will increase in damage the farther away it is. As the player turns the missile, the less distance it will travel due to lack of fuel.
A noteworthy difference between the Nikita in Brawl and the Nikita from the Metal Gear series is that the Nikita in the former can be flown not only in a horizontal path, but also fully vertical, enabling Snake to hit targets above and below him.
The Nikita was singled out as one of the most unrealistic things in the original Metal Gear Solid by British author and ex-SAS soldier Chris Ryan when interviewed about the realism of the game by a British PlayStation magazine; he pointed out that the missile simply traveled too slowly to stay airborne. The launcher-controlled TV guidance system is used in many modern weapons such as anti-tank missiles and surface-to-air missiles, though none are as small or portable as the Nikita.
- Metal Gear Solid
- Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (mentioned only)