Smoke grenades are canister-type grenades that create a smoke screen, which can be used as a signalling device or to conceal a unit's advancement from an enemy.
By the 1960s, the Soviets had managed to develop smoke grenades. The grenades contained a chemical, caused by the combustion agent (a mixture of zinc oxide, ammonium chloride, aluminum and related gasses) that reacted to the GRU's attack dogs in a similar fashion to tear gas, providing FOX operative Naked Snake with a potential option for eluding them.
During the 1974 Peace Walker Incident, Big Boss, after investigating a supply depot in Puerto del Alba, Costa Rica, procured some design specs for smoke grenades and had them developed for use within his mercenary unit, the Militaires Sans Frontières. The R&D Team within MSF further improved the design to make the smoke last longer. The MSF also procured design specs for certain weapons that included smoke grenade launchers, in addition to their regular arsenal. The CIA Peace Sentinels also utilized these weapons during the incident, particularly during battles against the MSF in regards to their vehicles. The MSF later procured design specs for a variation that emitted colored smoke (red, blue, green, yellow, and black) while attempting to capture Vladimir Zadornov in the El Cenegal swamplands after he escaped from Mother Base. The model in question resembles the M18 smoke grenade.
The Praying Mantis PMC utilized smoke grenades when attempting to flee from an imminent threat that they couldn't take down with their equipment. On one occasion, during their deployment to the Middle East in 2014, several soldiers used the grenade's smoke screen to cover their retreat from an advancing infantry fighting vehicle. Likewise, Solid Snake managed to procure some.
During the events of 2018, a variation of the smoke grenade was developed, which created a screem that prevented infrared sensors from seeing anything, composed of phosphorous pentoxide and other additives. The grenades that utilized Red Phosphorous became increasingly popular especially for soldiers seeking a way to avoid IR camera based cyborg vision and UGs. Monsoon frequently utilized these weapons to ambush his enemies. Raiden himself procured and made use of these weapons throughout his mission.
Behind the scenes
Although not a smoke grenade in a strict sense, the first appearance of a smoke grenade-like item was in the non-canon sequel to the Nintendo Entertainment System version of Metal Gear, Snake's Revenge, referred to as a smoke bomb. Its procurement was necessary for completion of the game, as it was needed to mark a reinforced door so the FOXHOUND helicopter can fire its weapons at the door and destroy it.
Smoke grenades have been present in canonical installments of the Metal Gear series since Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The smoke grenades seen in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (both regular and colored varieties) are based on the M83 smoke grenade, although both games erroneously refer to it as the M18. The actual M18 acted as the model for the chaff and stun grenades for Metal Gear Solid as well as the flashbacks in Metal Gear Solid 4. It weighed 0.5kg during the 1960s.
The smoke grenade is available in Metal Gear Online for no DP cost. If Snake is caught in the smoke screen, he will cough violently for a while. Press the weapon button to ready the grenade and release to throw it. The distance thrown depends on how hard the weapon button is pressed. The grenade detonates about 3 seconds after it is thrown.
After completing a single playthrough of Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake can utilize colored smoke grenades, namely with the colors red, blue, green, and yellow. When an enemy is caught in the blast, the smoke, when enhaled by the soldier, will have the soldier react in varying emotions depending on the smoke's color. If it was red smoke, he will go berserk with intense range, break cover, and rush at the enemy. If it was blue smoke, the soldier will start breaking down into tears in the middle of the battlefield. If it was green smoke, the soldier will start running around and screaming. If it was yellow smoke, the soldier will start developing a sadistic sense of humor, shoot both his allies and his enemies for a good laugh, and will laugh constantly. In either case, the affected soldiers will end up falling unconscious soon thereafter. Also, any soldiers who either killed other soldiers while under the influence, whether it be their allies or their enemies, or are themselves killed by the enemy, it won't count towards the player's kill penalty (unless the player directly intervenes with a lethal weapon of their own). Because of the nature of the smoke, it is implied that it uses the same chemical composition that was in emotive ammo.
In-game weapons description
- "A Soviet-made smoke grenade. Upon detonation, releases a cloud of white smoke, blocking the enemy's field of vision."
- — Smoke grenade weapon description in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- "A non-lethal grenade that creates a thick smoke screen. The smoke can be used as a signal for aircrafts or to mask movement from enemy eyes."
- — Smoke grenade weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
- "A grenade that releases smoke when ignited. It does no physical damage. The smoke clouds the enemy's vision, which can be a godsend when the user needs to get out of sight quickly. Remember that the smoke makes it just as difficult for the user to see."
- — Smoke grenade weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- "A smoke grenade that releases colored smoke. Works exactly the same way as a regular smoke grenade. Available in a variety of colors for your convenience."
- — Colored smoke grenade (red, blue, green, yellow, and black) weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker