A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object in the atmosphere by creating drag. It is derived from "para," the Latin word for "against," and "chute," the French word for "fall." It is often used by military personnel for air insertions, although parachutes being used as a braking procedure for large vehicles, known as drag chutes, is not unheard of. The idea is believed to have originated from Leonardo da Vinci's sketches, and the first known person to successfully use a parachute after jumping from an aircraft is United States Army Captain Albert Berry in 1912.
After World War II, parachute jumping became a popular sport within France due to their usage during the war. It was largely because of this that France first designed the theory of High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jumps. During the mid-1950s, The Boss instructed paratroopers at Fort Bragg in the theory of HALO jumps.
On August 24, 1964, Naked Snake used a parachute to commence the first HALO jump in history, when being sent in to recover a defecting Soviet scientist named Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov in what was to be known as the Virtuous Mission. However, during the landing, he accidentally snagged his backpack on a tree branch in Dremuchij. The Fulton surface-to-air recovery system was air dropped to an injured Snake after he failed to rescue Sokolov.
Snake again used a parachute upon arriving in Tselinoyarsk during Operation Snake Eater, after ejecting from an M-21 drone. The Shagohod, had it been completed, would also have utilized three parachutes to brake after launching an IRBM at heightened speeds.
|Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]|
After reaching 1,000m in elevation during launch, the Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear would have deployed a parachute during re-entry. However, this was never put to use, due to the machine's destruction by Big Boss and his rebel forces, during the San Hieronymo Incident.
|Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.|
In 1984, the Diamond Dogs used parachutes to airdrop requested supplies to personnel out in the field.
During the 1990s, U.S. Army Special Forces Unit FOXHOUND, as part of its drill courses, practiced various forms of parachute jumping, including special operations freefall practice for both HALO and High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) jumps, 11 jumps carrying little to no combat equipment (called "Hollywood"), 15 jumps carrying full combat equipment, 2 nighttime jumps, and 2 mass-tactical strategic jumps. The parachutes used by FOXHOUND are equipped with "anti-inversion skirt netting" that prevents inverting the canopy during deployment, and could be opened as low as 150 meters above ground, and are specifically used for operations where the only means of infiltrating an enemy nation is via air insertion.
In Outer Heaven, parachutes were stored within Building 1. Solid Snake later procured a parachute so he could safely descend into the courtyard of Building 1 and locate Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar's cell.
Solid Snake later participated in a nighttime HAHO jump into Zanzibar Land while FOXHOUND proceeded to commence a diversionary operation on the Zanzibar Land-Chinese border, as part of the initial outlines of Operation Intrude F014. In addition, the veranda on the 20th floor of Zanzibar Fortress's tower building was used for parachute jump training, and paratroopers were going to be involved in the rescue effort of Dr. Kio Marv.
During the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005, Liquid Snake planted a parachute on a tree near his Hind's crash site in order to taunt Solid Snake about his survival, as well as hint at wanting to exact revenge on him.
Behind the scenes
- "Use this to drop down from the roof."
- ―Parachute description in Metal Gear
The Parachute is an item featured in the MSX2 version of the original Metal Gear, the use of which is mandatory for progressing through the game. It allows the player to gain access to the inner courtyard of Building 1, by descending from the southeastern area of the rooftop. It can also be equipped while crossing the swaying bridges on the rooftop, as a safeguard against accidental falls. Although the Parachute as an item was omitted in the Nintendo Entertainment System version, the opening showed Snake and three other characters using parachutes to descend into Outer Heaven.
Although not a usable item, the parachute does make an appearance in the beginning of the non-canon game Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, where Snake has to enter Galuade via HALO jump.
The parachute Naked Snake uses to enter Tselinoyarsk has the FOX logo on it, despite it being in direct violation of keeping the origin of the operative secret, something that Hideo Kojima commented on in the director's commentary for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater