The Ocelot Unit were an elite special forces group of soldiers who worked in the Spetsnaz squadrons of the GRU and answered directly to Major Ocelot. They had a distinct style and attitude about them, and were extremely loyal to their commander. Whenever Ocelot made a specific cat noise, they would arrive and assume their positions. The members were hand-picked from the Spetsnaz squadrons to join the unit, and as such underwent more rigorous and intense training than even the Spetsnaz, and as such were better shots than the rest of GRU, and were often deemed legendary.
During the Virtuous Mission, the Ocelot Unit was summoned by Ocelot's "meow" at Rassvet, Tselinoyarsk, after the young major used his gun to kill off the KGB soldiers that were guarding Dr. Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov. After Ocelot's gun jammed unexpectedly, Naked Snake used this opening to defeat the entire unit. With his advanced CQC skills, Snake knocked three members unconscious, tranquilized another, and threw Ocelot himself to the ground with a CQC slam. Snake then escaped with Sokolov, but Sokolov was quickly recaptured by The Boss and Colonel Volgin.
A week later, during Operation Snake Eater, the Ocelot Unit returned to Rassvet to capture Snake and the supposed KGB agent EVA. As the group stormed the abandoned building that Snake and EVA had been resting in, Snake created a diversion that allowed EVA to escape, by defeating them all once again in battle. However, Ocelot, with his new gun, managed to capture EVA and held her hostage at knifepoint. When he tried to shoot Snake, Ocelot found that the gun had ran out of bullets, with Snake commenting that the revolver held fewer rounds than the Makarov. Because of that, EVA escaped on her motorcycle and Ocelot had no choice but to retreat into the forest.
The Ocelot Unit again accosted Snake upon his arrival at the Bolshaya Past crevice. However, due to Ocelot's orders, they remained in the forest, blocking off Snake's only path of exit and forcing him into a gun duel with Ocelot. Regular GRU soldiers also arrived and aimed at the outside perimeter in order to ensure that no one interfered with their battle. If Ocelot had become endangered at any time during the battle, the Ocelot Unit were able to fire at Snake with ease from their vantage point. Towards the end of the battle, Ocelot and Snake were discovered by The Pain, who sent swarms of his hornets to attack the two, causing the Ocelot Unit to become caught in the crossfire. At least two members of the Ocelot Unit were stung to death by the hornets, while the rest fled the area. Ocelot himself managed to evade being attacked by twirling his two revolvers and killing any surrounding hornets that dared come close, before escaping while Snake fell into the crevice between Ocelot and himself.
Several members of the Ocelot Unit along with regular GRU troops later combined forces in an effort to hunt down Snake after learning that he had escaped into the sewers beneath Groznyj Grad. The troops brought along attack dogs, with Ocelot himself leading the search party. They managed to cut off Snake's retreat, at the top of a huge waterfall at the end of the sewer, located at least fifty meters above the river below. However, Ocelot ordered the soldiers to lower their weapons, wishing to kill Snake himself in Russian roulette. Ocelot's first chamber was empty, so Snake decided to jump from the waterfall to the river below. Having failed to recapture him, the Ocelot Unit returned to the fortress.
Weapons and equipment (1964)
- AMD65 assault rifle
- Stoner M63 light machine gun
- Ithaca M37 shotgun
- Vz.61 Scorpion submachine gun
- XM82 stun grenade
- RGD-5 fragmentation grenade
Clothing and gear
They wore the red/maroon berets of the MVD (Ministry of Interior) Spetznaz, the black combat uniform of the Naval Infantry, and the black telnyashka, the striped shirt, typical of Russian forces, of the Russian Navy, and the high black leather officer's boots (opposed to the trooper's short boots used by KGB and GRU Spetznaz); they also used the typical Russian two-holes balaclava. They wore the black leather officer's belt with single suspender, and use the black leather version of the Makarov holster, the AK magazine pouch (that normally was made of canvas) and the grenade pouch. They also carried the standard AK47 bayonet in a black plastic sheath.
Behind the scenes
The Ocelot Unit (山猫部隊 Yamaneko Butai?) appears as an enemy force in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, often during boss battles. In the Japanese version, they are literally called the "Mountain Cat Unit." It is unknown what happened to the Ocelot Unit following the events of Operation Snake Eater.
Ocelot Unit members were also featured as playable soldiers in the online modes of both Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. The leading player on the Ocelot Unit squadron would have the ability to play as Ocelot himself in the following round in the former game, and in the latter, they were recruitable via AP Scout. There are also female Ocelot Unit members shown in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus.
- "A member of the Ocelot Unit, an ultra-elite team chosen from among the ranks of Spetsnaz, the GRU's Special Forces. The commander of the Ocelot Unit is Ocelot himself."
- ―Official description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
- "(All) A member of the Ocelot Unit, a super-elite team chosen from among the ranks of Spetsnaz, GRU Special Forces. The commander of the Ocelot Unit is Ocelot himself.
(Ocelot Unit Female Soldier A) Wears a hat to avoid having to brush her hair.
(Ocelot Unit Female Soldier B) Won't go anywhere without her hat.
(Ocelot Unit Female Soldier C) Her glasses feature custom frames."
- ―Official description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
It was originally intended that Ocelot simply roll his head around to signal the Ocelot Unit to get into position when Ocelot arrives at the Bolshaya Past Crevice.
Diamond Dog Soldiers who were part of Ocelots personal unit wore similar attire to the Ocelot Unit can also be seen in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain during certain cutscenes on Mother Base, such as Quiet's arrival and when Diamond Dogs are assembled at the end of Chapter 1. They wore full black combat gear and had red berets. Their uniform can be purchased as DLC and can be worn by Snake and any member of the Combat Unit. Ocelot soldiers are also an unlockable soldier type for the Mother Base Developer in the Ground Zeroes app, by rescuing a certain number of prisoners while connected to the app.
The player encounters the Ocelot Unit on several occasions in Metal Gear Solid 3.
Whilst encountering the Ocelot Unit in Rassvet, the player must take caution as they are much better shots than any other soldiers, have better field of view, and they also seem to have more common sense than other enemies encountered in the game (for example, while a regular KGB/GRU soldier might charge Snake as he is around a corner—allowing the player a chance at CQC, Ocelot Unit soldiers will usually throw grenades around a corner with great accuracy). When you encounter 8 soldiers you must defeat at Rassvet, a good strategy would be to hide under the bed in the building and wait for the soldiers to storm the room. As the soldiers arrive, throw one or two stun grenades (be careful not to crawl out from under the bed, as one Ocelot Unit soldier will throw one as well). If done properly, this should take out about 4 soldiers. 2 more can be easily subdued by attacking them from the crawlspace under the building. After that, take out the one that is on the roof of the building. The best thing to do would be to throw grenades onto the roof, however, if handled with care, you may be able to climb up and defeat him without discovery. If you are going for no kills, either shoot him in the head when he is turned around, or sneak up on him and use CQC. The last soldier will be standing to the far west of the area, on the left side of the wall with the stairs. Two ways to defeat him would be to (if you are trying not to kill them) either throw a stun grenade into the hole at the base of the wall that separates you, or throw a smoke grenade in the hole, run to the soldier, and use CQC. If the player decides to interrogate them, they'll sometimes give out hints about Ocelot to exploit (e.g., he takes good care of his hat, he likes quick draws, the amount of hornets nests near Bolshaya Past Crevice, reloading, etc.).
Bolshaya Past Crevice
Whilst facing Ocelot at the Bolshaya Past Crevice, the soldiers will be observing the battle (along with some regular GRU troops) from behind the trees. If they notice Ocelot if in significant danger (such as when he is shot many times or is damaged by a grenade), they will open fire on Snake, to Ocelot's annoyance, and he will give them orders to stop. This disruption can actually be helpful if you are in the right position. Strangely, the soldiers will usually not hit Snake if he is standing still as they fire, but will if he is moving. As you stand still during their fire, Ocelot will be distracted by the soldiers firing upon you. If you can aim at Ocelot from where you are standing, it will be a good opening to fire upon Ocleot. The soldiers will also cheer on Ocelot if he is doing well, or uses the environment to his advantage, while they would usually mock Snake if he tries similar techniques (for example, if the player shoots down a beehive, the soldiers will mock him, by yelling insults such as "You coward!", while they would cheer something such as "All right, commander!" when Ocelot does the same thing). The soldiers may also laugh at Snake if he slips on the edge of the crevice. It is possible to shoot the soldiers if you turn around and aim at them, but it is hard to hit them as they almost immediately take cover as you take aim.
Depending on the player's actions in Metal Gear Solid 3, Snake may face the Ocelot Unit on two further occasions:
- Upon encountering The End on the Ponizovje docks, the player can elect to kill him prematurely, which will result in another Ocelot Unit taking his place in the Sokrovenno forest, later in the game. During this time, they also utilize sniper rifles. In addition, there are 20 members encountered in total within the area, with eight in Sokrovenno South, seven in Sokrovenno North, and five in Sokrovenno West, each corresponding to one of The End's sniping locations. If the player interrogates the Ocelot Unit soldiers during this time, they'll sometimes say "That time... if only those hornets hadn't come" implying that they believed that Snake was actually going to lose to Ocelot in their gun fight at Bolshaya Past's crevace had The Pain not sent his hornets.
- If the player does not remove the transmitter that Ocelot implants in his back, during the torture scene, he will face yet another Ocelot Unit squadron in the forest immediately following his encounter with The Sorrow. However, leaving the transmitter inside him will also trigger a humorous cutscene, when Snake encounters EVA behind the waterfall.