Stealth camouflage, also known as stealth camo or the stealth suit, is an electronic device capable of rendering the user virtually invisible, by bending light around the user.
Cobra Unit member The Fear used a form of stealth camouflage in 1964, during his fight with FOX operative Naked Snake in Tselinoyarsk. The device was powered by bio-electricity, and drained the wearer's stamina while in use.
By the time of the Shadow Moses Incident, Dr. Hal Emmerich had developed at least five stealth camouflage prototype devices for ArmsTech, at the Shadow Moses's nuclear weapons disposal facility. He managed to use one during the events of the incident to aid Snake and avoid being caught. However, four Genome Soldiers managed to steal the remaining prototypes before Otacon could get the chance to retrieve them from his lab. The same soldiers later used them ambush Solid Snake in the elevator of Commnications Tower B, though Snake was able to defeat them. Psycho Mantis and Gray Fox also made use of stealth camouflage, the latter of whom had it built into his exoskeleton.
Following the Shadow Moses Incident, Otacon gave his stealth camouflage to Solid Snake, who expressed dislike of the concept. This particular unit was, however, destroyed during the Tanker Incident due to landing impact.
In 2014, during Liquid Ocelot's Insurrection, Otacon built stealth camouflage capability into the Metal Gear Mk. II. Solid Snake (now known as Old Snake) did not use it due to its ineffectiveness against the Gekko's heat sensors, instead making use of OctoCamo.
Stealth camouflage technology was still utilized by the time of 2018, after the Patriots' fall. When about to infiltrate the country of Abkhazia after it was occupied by Desperado Enforcement LLC., the MQ-133C flying wing deployed Raiden into the country via a rocket-propelled catapult, as the state-of-the-art aircraft itself did not possess stealth camouflage and thus could not land in the Desperado-controlled capital, Sukhumi, directly. During Raiden's infiltration of Abkhazia, enemy cyborgs utilized stealth camouflage in order to ambush him. However, they fell to Raiden's blade, largely because Raiden received modifications to his cyborg body earlier. Presumably, their stealth camo was built-in, and can activate it at will if they need to retreat. When going freelance, Raiden's case for his sword when attacked by cyborgs was also implied to have been equipped with stealth camouflage. Several of Desperado and World Marshal's unmanned gears also possessed built-in stealth camouflage. The LQ-84i also possessed built-in stealth camo, as evidenced by its ambush on Samuel Rodrigues in the Denver sewer system.
Besides the standard usage of the technology, stealth technology was also utilized in 3D Photo Frames to create a holographic image.
Behind the scenesEdit
Stealth camouflage is not a recent concept, nor is it unique to only to the Metal Gear series. It can be seen in various movies such as Predator and Ghost in the Shell. Although stealth camouflage was referred to as early as Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, it wasn't actually usable by the player until Metal Gear Solid. Although stealth camo isn't as widespread in real life, the concept itself existed with metamaterials, which were discovered back in November 2008 at the University of Berkeley in California.
According to the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, the stealth camo apparently leaks electromagnetic radiation, making it lethal after a long period of time. Unlike cigarettes, the alleged effects of the radiation leaks are not shown, however, in the Ninja VR missions, using stealth will decrease health. In addition, the Philanthropy article for the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database implies that the stealth camouflage that Solid Snake used during the Tanker Incident was actually illegally appropriated from U.S. Army's SSCEN by Mei Ling and that it was only one of the stealth camouflage units utilized by Philanthropy.
Stealth camouflage is available in some games as an unlockable item. In all incarnations, when equipped, the space the user takes up looks to be distorted, allowing the outline, but not the user, to be visible. Any other equipped items are also visible (i.e. weapons). Although no one can see the person when activated, people nearby will see the user if they are using thermal goggles. Stealth camouflage also has no effect on the sound of the user's footsteps.
Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes)Edit
The stealth camouflage can be unlocked in Metal Gear Solid if the player submits to Revolver Ocelot's torture. Otacon will give Snake the stealth camouflage during the game's ending. This will allow the player to use it the next time they play the game. Stealth camouflage is useless during boss battles and during certain events where the Alert Mode is mandatory. It is also ineffective against the wolfdogs in the cavern as they can smell the player.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of LibertyEdit
In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, stealth camouflage is available to both Solid Snake and Raiden as unlockable items by collecting a certain amount of dog tags during the Tanker and Plant chapters, respectively. 78 must be collected during the Tanker Chapter, while 120 is required for the Plant Chapter, procured from across the various difficulty levels in the game.
While it is effective and prevents enemy soldiers from spotting the player, it can be inactivated by bumping into an enemy, and being too close to the soldiers in Alert Mode will cause them to kick the player, deactivating the camo. Like the previous game, it is also ineffective in boss battles.
Given Gary McGolden's description of his savior being invisible, in Metal Gear Solid 2's "Previous Story" feature, it is implied that this was Solid Snake using the stealth camouflage while rescuing him from Patriot agents.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake EaterEdit
In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, stealth camouflage can be unlocked for Naked Snake through two different ways:
- Beat the game without triggering Alert Mode.
- Shooting all the Kerotans in one save file.
Furthermore, while wearing the stealth camouflage, guards can still hear Snake's footsteps, and if an alert is triggered, Snake's camo index will drop to 95% and guards will attack him if they are in close range to Snake, though at 95%, the camo is still somewhat effective at a far enough range. A helpful way to get around this is to use The Sorrow's Spirit camo to muffle Snake's footsteps. Unlike the previous games, stealth camo in this game can help out with avoiding attacks during boss battles.
Though The Fear uses stealth camouflage in the game, he will only give up the Spider camo if the player decides to defeat him non-lethally. While it gives Snake a Camo Index of 80% in any environment, it will drain his Stamina at a very high rate, making the EZ Gun a more suitable alternative if it is available. The Spider camo weighs 2.5 kg.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (Plus)Edit
Stealth camouflage can be unlocked in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops by attaining a Tech level of 99. One account can only create one stealth camouflage, but more can be acquired via Wi-Fi.
The stealth camouflage in Portable Ops is battery powered and works for approximately 60 seconds each time it is deployed in an area and is useless in Alert Mode and against bosses. Stealth camouflage will automatically deactivate when the battery level is depleted or when the player is bumped into by an enemy or vice versa.
- "A special device that uses optic technology to render the wearer invisible.
- — Stealth camouflage description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
In the expansion pack Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus, the stealth camouflage can be obtained as a random item located within a Kerotan spot upon unearthing a Kerotan. Unlike in the original game, the player can collect as many stealth camouflages as can be procured by repeating various Infinity Missions and locating them. In addition, one of the special missions for Infinity Mission mode involves neutralizing enemy soldiers that are equipped with stealth camouflage.
Super Smash Bros. BrawlEdit
Snake's entrance animation onto a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl mimicks the first cutscene in Metal Gear Solid 2, in which his camouflage becomes non-functional from the landing impact on the tanker deck. The closest Snake can come to "wearing" stealth camouflage is in the Special Brawl mode, by accessing a modifier named "Clear." Turning this option on makes all characters invisible, similar to the effect caused through use of the Cloaking Device in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the PatriotsEdit
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the stealth camouflage can be unlocked through two different ways:
- Beat the game without triggering Alert Mode.
- Purchasing it from Drebin for 5,000,000 Drebin Points from Acts 1 to 4 or for 2,500,000 Drebin Points during Act 5 (after completing the game once). The player can also buy it from Drebin on Wednesdays or Sundays to save 20% (4,000,000) on the price (after completing the game once).
Furthermore, while wearing the stealth camouflage, guards can still hear Snake's footsteps, and if an alert is triggered, they will attack regardless of whether he is wearing the stealth camouflage (indicated by a camouflage index of 95%). Stealth camouflage is also ineffective against Gekkos because of their thermal sight. With respect to camo index, the Haven camo, which can be downloaded, provides a 99% camo index whilst Snake remains still.
- "A stealth device that enables the wearer to escape visual detection by rendering them optically transparent. Very effective against the naked eye, but unlike OctoCamo, does not suppress thermal radiation and provides no protection against Gekko and other unmanned weapons equipped with high-performance infrared sensors."
- — Stealth camouflage description in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metal Gear Solid: Peace WalkerEdit
The stealth camo can be obtained Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker by completing Extra Ops 50 with an S rank. It runs on battery albeit it does last considerably longer (at 3 minutes and 19 seconds) before draining completely and recharges at a fast rate. Will automatically deactivate when the player bumps into an enemy or vice versa or is caught in a blast of smoke or gas. Useless in AI weapon battles, sweep-and-destroy missions, armored vehicle, tank and helicopter battles if the user is already detected beforehand. However, using the stealth camouflage even once prevents an S rank from being obtained. To develop it, the R&D and Intel Teams needs to be around level 88, and there needs to be some metamaterial specialists on the R&D teams.
- "Special camouflage that makes its user invisible when equipped."
- — Stealth Camouflage description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Stealth camouflage, or rather, its potential development, was referenced a few times by some of the Mother Base staff, with some hinting at doing something creepy or lewd when using the stealth camouflage.
Metal Gear Rising: RevengeanceEdit
Stealth camo as a gameplay item does not appear in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, but it is used by the enemy during gameplay. Although it was stated by Boris Vyacheslavovich Popov that they used it to ambush enemies, out-of-universe, it was an excuse to have enemies spawn and despawn on the battlefield.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Otacon: There were five Stealth camouflage prototypes in my lab...
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Copmuter Entertainment Japan (2001).
Solid Snake: I wasn't planning on relying on this little gadget anyway.
- ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Kojima Productions/Platinum Games (2013).
Boris: The bastards are using stealth camo to ambush you. Nice try, but it won't do any good against a state-of-the-art cyborg like you, eh?
- ^ http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1855948_1863947_1863931,00.html
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database ("Philanthropy"), Kojima Productions (2008). 
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Random MSF Soldier: One day, we'll have the science to turn a man invisible. And when that day comes… heh heh.