Dr. Strangelove designed The Boss AI as part of the Peace Walker project, initiated by CIA Station Chief Hot Coldman. The AI was created to fulfill the needs of an unmanned nuclear launch system that could determine suitable targets for retaliation, in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States. Strangelove deduced that the legendary U.S. soldier, The Boss, would be an ideal model on which to base the AI, as she could think of no other person that met the required standards, in her mind. However, she also had other reasons for doing so, which was to revive The Boss's character, and discover the reasons for her defection to the Soviet Union, hoping to clear her name in the process. The Boss AI's "shell" was also tightly reinforced so it could withstand an assault from a nuclear weapon, making it more durable than the other AIs of the project, and thus extremely resilient against conventional weaponry.
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
While Strangelove conducted a simulation in Costa Rica, to test The Boss AI's decision making capabilities, ornithologist Cécile Cosima Caminades accidentally stumbled upon the test, recording Strangelove's and the AI's conversation on a portable cassette player. Attempting to escape, she was subsequently captured by Coldman's CIA mercenary group, Peace Sentinel.
Afterwards, Strangelove, who bore a grudge against Big Boss for his part in The Boss's death, led the mercenary into the lab where The Boss AI was located, and goaded him into trying to deactivate it. Perhaps not actually expecting him to do so, Strangelove panicked after Big Boss's removal of several AI boards, noting a severe reaction in the AI and aborting the current operation; all the while the AI version of The Boss tells him to "go home," repeating similar statements from the real Boss at Dremuchij, Tselinoyarsk.
Shortly afterwards, the AI Mammal Pod was transferred to a mine base for the final assembly and testing of Peace Walker. While Strangelove discussed its dummy data with Coldman, Big Boss managed to infiltrate the Mammal Pod, and asked The Boss AI if she had any regrets about her final mission, and whether she really did defect out of her own free will. The AI, however, seemed unable to answer. Snake prepared to destroy the AI core, shouting that it was not The Boss, but was captured by Coldman's forces before he could do so. The AI's reaction to his presence, similar to that observed earlier by Strangelove, had given him away.
Strangelove proceeded to torture Big Boss, hoping to obtain the missing information required for the AI's completion, in regards to whether The Boss had truly defected and become a traitor to America. Despite Big Boss's refusal to answer, his silence was enough for Strangelove. Peace Walker and the AI were then transported to a U.S. missile base in Nicaragua.
The AI was later supplied with false trajectory data via Strangelove that would trick it into choosing the Militaires Sans Frontières' Mother Base as its target (Big Boss's mercenary HQ). However, the target was forcefully changed to Cuba by KGB spy Vladimir Zadornov, who threatened Strangelove and "her beloved" if she did not comply. The AI also transmitted the false data on to NORAD, after Coldman activated Peace Walker on his deathbed. Although Strangelove was the one who had created the Mammal Pod, she was unaware of the AI's override code, which was known only to Coldman.
Big Boss and his soldiers were forced to damage Peace Walker's launch capability beyond repair, though its drives remained operational, allowing the false data transmission to continue. The Boss AI gave Big Boss access to the interior of the Mammal Pod, allowing him to rip out the AI's memory boards. However, due to cerebral compensation, Peace Walker's second AI, housed within the Reptile Pod, inherited The Boss AI's command, so the false data transmission resumed. The Boss AI's personality somehow managed to revive itself within the Reptile Pod, which then had Peace Walker sacrifice itself by drowning in Lake Nicaragua, in order to sever the data uplink.
The Mammal pod was later recovered by Strangelove alongside several other parts of Peace Walker from Lake Nicaragua, which they had allowed at Amanda's request, as the latter was considered a hero to the Latin Americans. It was then shipped over to the USSR, and was presumably brought back online.
Ironically, the Mammal Pod would later act as Strangelove's place of death, as she was locked up in the Mammal Pod by her husband Huey after an argument, the latter letting her suffocate inside, something that was later discovered by Diamond Dogs when retrieving the AI. When Venom Snake arrived to find Huey Emmerich and retrieve him, the Mammal pod detected his presence and inquired if he was Snake, only to discover he most likely wasn't Snake, alerting Huey to Venom Snake's presence. This would be the first of numerous hints that Venom Snake wasn't the real Big Boss. At some point, the Soviets relocated the Mammal Pod to the central hangar. The Mammal Pod was later arranged by Venom Snake via Miller's request to be sent over to Mother Base via its rocket boosters, as Miller intended to use it to find any evidence implicating Huey to the attack on Mother Base nine years earlier. What the Diamond Dogs found was Strangelove's corpse inside, alongside the fact that the AI pod had recorded her last moments, and presumably any other data relating to Huey's activities at MSF during the time of the attack and, later, the outbreak at the Mother Base. In this capacity, The Boss AI later acted as a witness to Huey's role in Strangelove's murder as well as his attempted use of his son Hal as a test subject for Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, thus giving the motive for Huey's murder of Strangelove, with Kazuhira Miller implying that the Mammal Pod also witnessed his admission to selling out MSF to Skull Face and XOF, and presumably his role in the parasite leak and wolbachia mutation.
The Boss AI was capable of undergoing decision protocols for deciding how to retaliate against a nuclear strike without the urge to break away. It also had some recollection of The Boss's nature and abilities, although it was implied to be imperfect.
Although it was briefly short-circuited when it was doused in water late into the Peace Walker Incident, the damage was not irrepairable, as evidenced by it being fully operational after Strangelove fished it out of Lake Nicaragua and moved it to the USSR and by the time it was rediscovered in Afghanistan in 1984.
Much like the Reptile Pod as well as the other three AI pods, the Mammal Pod was also equipped with rocket boosters that allow it to be launched to a pre-set destination. It never utilized this ability during the Peace Walker Incident, due to it opting to sacrifice itself to stop the false data transfer to NORAD, but it was utilized by Venom Snake in 1984 to send the Mammal Pod over to the Diamond Dogs' Mother Base in the Seychelles at Kazuhira Miller's request, as he needed to scour the Mammal Pod for any evidence to whether Huey had indeed betrayed MSF nine years beforehand.
Aside from its capabilities to discern nuclear strikes, it was also able to record and later play back audio. This trait was especially evident during the trial of Huey Emmerich in 1984 by Diamond Dogs, where it played back a recording that supplied incriminating evidence to Huey Emmerich's role in the death of Strangelove, as well as his plans to use his son Hal Emmerich as a test pilot for Sahelanthropus, and presumably all of his actions at Diamond Dogs and his admission that he sold out the MSF for his life and better research grants.
Owing to it's role in the event of a nuclear war, its shell was also reinforced to such an extent that it was impregnable to anything short of a nuclear bomb. However, while it cannot be damaged directly via gunfire, it is capable of undergoing slight readjustments from bullet contact, as evidenced by Coldman's gunship briefly firing its machine gun on it to repair a glitch that occurred in it due to being damaged by Big Boss.
Its initials were an obvious reference to The Boss. In addition, Imago refers to the state for various metamorphic insects that acts as the final shedding point before they reach adulthood. Strangelove named it such to indicate the final result of the AI development process for the Peace Walker Project.
Behind the scenes
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The Boss AI plays a piano version of the main "Snake Eater" theme when Big Boss removes its memory boards. It is also the only AI pod where a rendition of "Sing" does not play in the background when accessing it.
When fighting the Type II and Custom versions of Peace Walker, The Boss AI is absent. The player can, however, implement The Boss AI's voice via DLC.
Similar to the Colonel in Metal Gear Solid 2 during the Arsenal Gear sequence, The Boss AI, when Big Boss is removing the AI chips from the AI core in both Chapter 2 and Chapter 4, will say several things to Big Boss. Most of these lines are direct references to things The Boss said during their encounter in Dremuchij in the Operation Snake Eater chapter of Metal Gear Solid 3 and around the time of their duel nearing the end of the chapter, respectively, although there were other statements that referenced both real life and past entries.
- At one point during the removal of the chips in Chapter 4, the Boss AI will say, "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," which is a reference to an English pangram used to test keyboarding and typewriting skills.
- The Boss AI will quote the real The Boss's explanation of her motives for her actions and allying herself with Colonel Volgin nearing the end of Operation Snake Eater, and to some extent her backstory.
- The Boss AI cites the numerical equation for Pi.
- The Boss AI says "Shall we walk through the rainy plain of Spain?" If enough chips are removed by this point, it will say it in a slightly glitched voice.
- The Boss AI cites the names of the NOSE Railway system, something that had previously been done by Gray Fox, the Colonel, and Sunny in Metal Gear Solid/The Twin Snakes, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Metal Gear Solid 4, respectively.
- The Boss AI, upon having some of its AI chips removed, will wrongly state the numerical equation of Pi as "3.2546373698888...", and when a large percentage of its AI chips are removed, will struggle to give the precise numerical equation of Pi, giving its estimate as "about 3."
- The Boss AI, upon having a large percentage of her AI chips removed, will say "the lonely fox chases the one-eyed hound," alluding to Zero and Big Boss's feud.
- The Boss AI will state for Big Boss to "Kill me... Kill me now..." referring to her final words to Naked Snake upon being defeated.
- The Boss AI will call Jack's name upon completely shutting down. The style in which it calls out Jack's name also mirrors the Game Over sequence.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
If the player shoots The Boss AI with rubber bullets after recovering the AI during a side mission, its sensor light will flash rainbow colors and either scream in agony, recite the names of the NOSE Railway system, recite the numbers in pi, or even give a countdown to "activate" a fail-deadly system. Similar to the late stages of Chapter 4 of Peace Walker, in both encounters with it, the AI pod will recite The Boss's final speech to Naked Snake.
The Boss AI also appears as the image representing the Key Item "Strangelove's Memento", unlocked after completing the side mission necessitating the recovery of the AI. Completing the side mission simply requires that the player either interact with the AI pod itself, or otherwise interacting with the computer consoles near it.
Metal Gear Survive
Although The Boss AI itself does not appear in Metal Gear Survive, its design is reused for the character Virgil AT-9. However, the model is updated with the rust and decay removed from the shell. In addition, in the good ending, Virgil AT-9 attributes its survival from its earlier sacrifice to allow the Captain to destroy the Lord of the Dust to it possessing reinforced armor, indirectly alluding to The Boss AI's reinforced shell from the climax for Peace Walker.
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (mentioned)
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Kazuhira Miller: Snake destroy the AI inside the mammal pod! // (Snake fires a few rounds at the mammal pod) // Huey Emmerich: The inner barrier protecting the mammal pod is designed to be as strong as a bomb shelter. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): What's it gonna take to get through? // Huey: I... I guess an atomic bomb would do it... // Snake: (irritated) You trying to be funny? // Huey: No! I'm telling you, that armor was designed to withstand a nuclear war!
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Naked Snake (Big Boss): Cut the data transmission! We can't say for sure Washington isn't going to retaliate! // Hot Coldman: The only one who knows... The abort code... Is me... I die... And no one can turn it off... Even if they do strike back... I'll already... be dead... I can only pray... That my theory... My peace... Is proven right... Pea... ...Ce. [...] Strangelove: We've got to stop the mammal pod...! I don't have the abort code either, Coldman was the only one...
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015)
Kazuhira Miller: AI pod [The Boss AI] launch confirmed. We'll [Diamond Dogs will] pick it up. I wonder what kind of secrets are buried in it... I'll let you [Venom Snake] know if we learn something.