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S3 Plan

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The S3 Plan (the Selection for Societal Sanity; initially believed to have stood for the Solid Snake Simulation due to misinformation) was a program run by the Patriots in order to manipulate world events and the decisions of individuals. The S3 Plan was tested during the Big Shell Incident, on Raiden, unknowingly an agent of the Patriots.

The Big Shell Incident was, in fact, a recreation of the Shadow Moses Incident four years prior, in which Solid Snake had become a legend, being the "Big Boss" of his age. The Patriots had designed the Big Shell Incident into a recreation of Shadow Moses as they considered it the ultimate exercise for the S3 Plan. Revolver Ocelot had been misled by the Patriots into believing S3 stood for "Solid Snake Simulation" and was a system capable of equipping every soldier with combat abilities equal to those of Solid Snake (although, given the fact that Ocelot was one of the founding members of the Patriots, he might have also lied about the true nature of the S3 Plan).

There were many similarities between the two events, both planned and coincidental:

  • A "Snake" being in charge of the terrorists, and another Snake being sent in to stop them (though the second Snake was quickly renamed Raiden).
  • A "president" being held hostage.
  • The Sons of Liberty terrorists stood in for the Sons of Big Boss, with Dead Cell representing FOXHOUND, and the Gurlukovich Mercenaries representing the Genome Soldiers.
  • The appearance of a Cyborg Ninja.
  • The deaths of Richard Ames and James Johnson standing in for the deaths of Donald Anderson and Kenneth Baker, respectively. Unlike in the Shadow Moses Incident, however, only Ames died from something comparable to a heart attack.
  • In both incidents, a second force was deployed as a diversion (the U.S. Air Force and SEAL Team 10) so that the operative could infiltrate the enemy facility more easily.
    • Solidus Snake shooting down the two SEAL Sikorsky Sea Stallions in a similar fashion to Liquid shooting down the F-16 Fighting Falcons.
  • In both incidents, the operative made his way into the facility by swimming (Solid Snake / Iroquois Pliskin even did it twice).
  • In both incidents there was a need to use a Nikita to destroy a high voltage circuit panel to reach a new location.
  • In both incidents, there was a third party who had an agent in the enemy base with Ocelot as the agent at Shadow Moses, and Fatman and Ocelot again during the Big Shell Incident.
  • The Harrier battle standing in for the Hind battle.
  • A mysterious Codec call from a character named "Deepthroat", though the character quickly changed their name to Mr. X. And like before, they are warning about Claymore mines.
  • A new type of Metal Gear and a threat of a nuclear strike.
  • The (fake) ransom for $30 billion stands in for the ransom for $1 billion and Big Boss's body at Shadow Moses.
  • Emma's computer virus mimicking the effects of FOXDIE.
  • Richard Ames was involved in both incidents (though not seen at Shadow Moses).
  • Otacon wanting to rescue his stepsister Emma instead of Roy Campbell wanting to rescue his niece/daughter Meryl Silverburgh.
  • Revolver Ocelot was involved in both incidents.
  • Revolver Ocelot calls Snake/Raiden "carrier-boy," if only sarcastically in Raiden's case.
  • The bodies in the corridor before Raiden first sees Vamp are similar to the ones killed by the Cyborg Ninja just before Snake fights him.
  • Both incidents happened on areas in the middle of the ocean.
  • Snake/Raiden needing the help of a scientist that works at the facility, with Emma filling in for Otacon.
  • Gurlukovich Mercenaries were involved in both incidents.
  • Solid Snake was involved in both incidents (although his involvement in the Big Shell Incident was not planned).
  • Johnny Sasaki was involved in both situations (although this may be the one similarity that is purely coincidental).
  • In both incidents, a member of the support team who has been impersonated by the enemy, reveals their true identity near the end of the operations.
  • In both incidents, there was a threat of the bases being destroyed (Shadow Moses was not destroyed while the Big Shell was).
  • In both incidents, Raiden/Snake needed a card key to open higher level doors, in order to progress the story.
  • In both incidents, a member of the support team was blackmailed with the threat of someone close to them being killed and ending up betraying their friends in the process (Roy Campbell and Olga Gurlukovich respectively).
  • In both incidents, there was more to the locations then meets the eye as Shadow Moses was to test Metal Gear REX while the Big Shell was to cover up the construction for Arsenal Gear and for the S3 Plan itself.
  • Near the end of both incidents, the operative needed to fight Metal Gear(s) with a stinger missile launcher.
  • Near the end of both incidents, the terrorist leader knocks out the operative and when they wake up the terrorist leader releases them and fights them equally.
  • In both incidents the Cyborg Ninja saves the operative from being killed by Metal Gears and in turn is killed by the terrorist leader.
  • Liquid Snake was involved in "both" incidents in some way.
  • Solidus Snake was involved in both incidents.
  • Roy Campbell was involved in "both" incidents, although the latter only as a facsimile.
  • The terrorist leaders of both incidents tried to revive Big Boss's dream of Outer Heaven.
  • In both incidents, a virus had two purposes when FOXDIE was to kill the Sons of Big Boss, those in the know about the REX project (i.e., Kenneth Baker), and (albeit unplanned) Solid Snake and at the same time ensure that REX and the Genome bodies can be recovered without risk of damage; while Emma's worm cluster was to stop Arsenal Gear and simulate FOXDIE's effects.

However, after Arsenal Gear crashed into Manhattan, another AI contacted Raiden through his Codec and explained that Ocelot had been incorrect, and that S3 actually stood for Selection for Societal Sanity. By manipulating the information that surrounded the incident, the Patriots had proved that they could manipulate world events. Using the data they collected from this exercise, their AIs would be improved even more.

Though GW was presumed destroyed by Emma's worm cluster, the Patriots succeeded in obtaining the necessary data that it had accumulated.[1] The worm, however, did delete any information about the Wisemen's Committee, the 12 people that supposedly headed the Patriots.


As a direct result of the S3 Plan, the Patriots' AIs began preparations to control people on the civilian level. They also created the Sons of the Patriots System through AT Corp and the war economy, thus perfecting what they saw as absolute control over warfare during their dominion, up until their demise via infection by FOXALIVE.

Raiden would briefly allude to the S3 Plan's connection to his mission to Courtney Collins, when he said, in reply to her commenting that his shooting down a Harrier with missiles must have been a "crazy op," that Courtney "didn't know the half of it."

Behind the scenesEdit

If the player kills Solid Snake after reuniting with him in the Arsenal Gear portion of the Plant Chapter, the Colonel will be heard laughing during the game over sequence, although it is not made clear whether this was meant to imply that another part of the S3 Plan was to kill Snake.

The true events of the Peace Walker Incident in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, as told by Paz Ortega Andrade, bore several similarities to the head AI's exposition to the true nature of the S3 Plan.

A Codec conversation with Courtney Collins in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance had Raiden mentioning that he and other recruits for FOXHOUND had trained in Fort Polk in a mockup of an Afghan village, hinting that there were other candidates besides Raiden to undergo the S3 Plan, although Raiden was ultimately chosen for the Big Shell Incident.


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Colonel: (sneering) Ha, ha, ha ...exactly right. So you see, you’re a perfect representative of the masses we need to protect. This is why we chose you. You accepted the fiction we’ve provided, obeyed our orders and did everything you were told to. The exercise is a resounding success. // Colonel (Emma): Didn’t I tell you that GW was still incomplete? But not anymore, thanks to you. // Colonel: Your persona, experiences, triumphs and defeats are nothing but by-products. The real objective was ensuring that we could generate and manipulate them. It’s taken a lot of time and money, but it was well worth it considering the results. // Raiden: ... // Colonel: I think that’s enough talk. It’s time for the final exercise.
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