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- "I won't scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea. I will always be with you. Plant your roots in me. I won't see you end as ashes. You're all diamonds. We'll make diamonds from their ashes, take them into battle with us. We are Diamond Dogs."
- ―Venom Snake to his Diamond Dogs soldiers
Punished "Venom" Snake, also known as Big Boss, Ahab, V, or Big Boss's phantom, was a mercenary commander, formerly a combat medic for Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF), who led Diamond Dogs and Outer Heaven as one of Big Boss' most trusted lieutenants.
During his time as a medic, Venom Snake saved Big Boss's life during the destruction of MSF in 1975 by shielding him from an oncoming explosion, losing his left arm and the use of his right eye in the process. Despite his sacrifice, Big Boss fell into a coma. Venom Snake was then placed into an artificially induced coma, undergoing hypnotherapy and plastic surgery so that he could protect Big Boss by acting as a body double.
After awakening from his coma in 1984, Venom Snake assumed the identity of Big Boss. He was soon given command over the mercenary unit Diamond Dogs, which had been founded by Kazuhira Miller as a successor to MSF. While in charge, he rebuilt Mother Base and expanded Diamond Dogs. Venom Snake succeeded in defeating the XOF unit, who had destroyed MSF nine years earlier, and took vengeance on its leader, Skull Face.
Venom Snake went on to command the military fortress of Outer Heaven while the real Big Boss returned to FOXHOUND. In 1995, Venom Snake was killed by Solid Snake, in an operation commanded by the original Big Boss.
Militaires Sans Frontières
- "He was always the best man we had."
- ―Big Boss on Venom Snake
Venom Snake was born in 1932 in California. During the Peace Walker Incident of 1974, Venom Snake served as a member of Militaires Sans Frontières, acting as a combat medic and doctor. According to Big Boss, Venom Snake was "always the best man we had", implying that he was an incredibly capable soldier, as well as a reliable field medic.
- Main article: Ground Zeroes Incident
On March 16, 1975, the medic was stationed on board the helicopter sent to extract MSF commander Big Boss and rescued POWs Chico and Paz Ortega Andrade from Camp Omega in Cuba. He was one of the few MSF staff members to have knowledge about Paz and Chico's situation as well as the mission itself.
During the flight back to Mother Base, Big Boss ordered the medic to look over the unconscious Paz, after Chico had noticed surgical scars on her abdomen. Suspecting that a bomb had been concealed inside her, the medic was forced to operate on her immediately, as there was no time to administer anesthesia. He successfully removed the bomb from Paz's gut despite her being perfectly conscious throughout the surgery, and handed the bomb over to Big Boss, who threw it into the ocean. Paz had fainted due to the great pain of the surgery. The medic managed to get Paz's breathing stable and, assuming the danger was over, stitched Paz's abdomen back up.
Returning to Mother Base, Big Boss and the medic discovered their home being attacked by, unbeknownst to them at the time, Cipher's strike force XOF; the nuclear inspection having been a ruse. During the time, Paz awoke and revealed that there was a second bomb inside of her on the verge of exploding. Wasting no time, she jumped out of the chopper and the second bomb exploded in mid air. The medic shielded Big Boss from the blast and his body bore the brunt of the explosion, before the helicopter was sent into a collision with an XOF chopper which resulted in the deaths of Morpho, the co-pilot, another MSF soldier, and Chico.
Both the medic and Big Boss survived the incident but entered comas. The medic in particular had suffered extensive injuries, with 108 foreign agents comprising shrapnel, human bone and teeth, embedded in his body, and his left arm amputated several inches above the wrist. The shrapnel was removed for the most part, although certain pieces located close to his heart and inside his cerebral cortex were too risky to extract, as impairment or even death could have resulted.
Once the medic and Big Boss were stable enough for transport, Zero had EVA move them both to Dhekelia SBA Memorial Hospital in Cyprus in order to be hidden, where they could receive medical treatment while they were comatose. Zero was suppressing the information so that the medic's and Big Boss's location will remain a secret.
Ocelot was placed in charge of the security at the hospital, reluctantly agreeing with Zero's plan to turn the medic into another Snake so that he can become a body double of Big Boss, both physically and mentally. Snake's altered state had allowed powerful suggestions to be implanted via induced hypnagogia, resulting in Snake sharing all of Big Boss's missions, knowledge, and experiences, to make him to believe that he was the real Big Boss. Plastic surgery was used to cement his role as a decoy for XOF and the world.
With Snake planned to be the new Big Boss, Zero told the oblivious Miller that the codeword for when Snake woke up would be "V has come to". Zero gave Miller financial support and told him to be there for Snake when he woke up from his coma.
In 1977, a weakened Zero visited both Snake and Big Boss before going back into hiding for good, as an earlier attack by Skull Face having rendered him seriously ill. During this time, the Snakes' EEGs showed stable activity levels, but there had been no change, with the doctors moving their muscles every four hours so that they'd be ready to move should they wake up. The two would be in the hospital for the rest of the duration of their comas due to the risk of moving them, and Zero feeling that their location was safe.
On February 26, 1984, Snake awoke earlier than planned from his induced coma, cutting some of his hypnotherapy short. On March 11, another patient named Ishmael, who in actuality was the real Big Boss in disguise, managed to successfully get Snake out of the hospital he was in, evading an attack by both XOF, Tretij Rebenok and the Man on Fire. As the two escaped in an ambulance, Ishmael was knocked unconscious after taking a shot from a helicopter. Snake attempted to drive the ambulance, but he crashed into a river bank. When he regained consciousness, Ishmael was gone, and he was greeted by Ocelot. After evading further pursuit by the Man on Fire on horseback, Ocelot accompanied the medic on a trip to Afghanistan in order to rescue Miller.
Their ultimate goal was to exact vengeance on XOF, with Ocelot dubbing the new Big Boss "Venom Snake." During the trip, Snake was brought up to speed on world events, what happened during the Peace Walker Incident, the founding of Cipher, the location of Zero and the Les Enfants Terribles. Venom Snake's crude prosthetic arm was replaced with a highly dexterous bionic one. Snake commented on the phantom pain that he felt where his left arm used to be.
Venom Snake succeeded in locating Miller, who had been held by Soviet forces, and evacuated him after evading the mysterious military 'Parasite Unit'. Following the rescue, they returned to the newly constructed Mother Base, where Snake took command of Diamond Dogs.
Snake performed several missions in order to expand their new Mother Base so that they could fight Cipher.
In order to bolster his army, Snake completed several missions in Afghanistan, such as eliminating a Spetsnaz commander, destroying communications equipment to put a hole in the Soviet base-to-base comms network, and rescuing a Soviet bionics engineer.
Snake also recovered a wild puppy while in the field, which Ocelot trained to accompany him on missions as a combat buddy, whom they name DD.
At some point, Snake embarked on a mission to recover the U.S. weapon system "Honey Bee" before the Soviets could obtain it, but was captured by Metal Gear Sahelanthropus and came face-to-face with XOF's commander Skull Face. After taunting Snake, Skull Face departed with Sahelanthropus to let the SKULLS and their puppet soldiers finish him off, although Snake successfully escaped with the Honey Bee.
Snake and Diamond Dogs rose to huge heights as they collected resources, expanded their facilities, and swelled their ranks with volunteers and "recruits" forcibly extracted from the field. After being hired by local rebel guerillas, Snake eliminated various Soviet commanders, prevented mechanized forces from being deployed, and rescued a captured Mujahideen fighter, steadily learning more about Cipher's activities in the region.
Snake later encountered the XOF assassin Quiet in the Aabe Shifap Ruins and defeated her in a sniper duel. He then extracted her to Mother Base at Ocelot's suggestion, hoping to learn more on XOF, though much to Miller's reluctance. During their return by helicopter, Snake and Pequod were attacked by an enemy aircraft, but were saved by Snake's cover fire and Quiet's superhuman sharpshooting skills, who killed the enemy pilot. She surrendered herself to Snake and was taken to Mother Base, where he opted to have her put in a cell, telling Miller that when the time came, he'd be the one to kill her himself.
Eventually, Miller and Venom Snake received a message from Huey Emmerich in the Serak Power Plant as means of getting them to rescue him. Huey's circumstance as a survivor from Mother Base caused both Miller and Snake to suspect his involvement with Cipher as well as MSF's destruction. Venom Snake would then discover that Huey was working with Cipher's elite strike force XOF, and under the command of Skull Face, he had been put to work on a new upright bipedal Metal Gear called Sahelanthropus. Discovering Huey's actions of leading Venom Snake to his location, Skull Face decidedly cut ties with him and had him transported away. Venom Snake made his way to meet and extract Huey, only to be confronted by a fully-functional Sahelanthropus, in which it was operated by Tretij Rebenok under Skull Face's influence. Venom Snake was able to fend off the Metal Gear and leave the area with Huey via helicopter.
He then observed the resulting interrogation of Huey at the hands of both Miller and Ocelot from behind a two-way mirror, with Miller proceeding to report on what they've got so far, with Miller also stating he is certain that Huey's guilty of the attack on Mother Base nine years prior, although Venom Snake stated they still will need evidence before convicting him. However, Ocelot entered and revealed some key information he learned from Huey after Miller left: One, XOF had finished operations in Afghanistan and were headed for Africa, and two, they were developing "a weapon that would surpass Metal Gear." Venom Snake then deduced from this that it meant whatever it was XOF was working on was "not just another nuke."
Later Snake and Huey talked about cloning, in a conversation that Snake recorded without Huey's knowledge, at which point Dr. Clark was brought up by Huey. Snake pretended to have never heard of "him." Throughout the conversation Snake also pretended to be skeptical and showed clear distaste for Huey. By the end, Snake suggested to have Ocelot brought in on the conversation, much to Huey's discomfort.
Ocelot explained to Snake that Zero hadn't been seen in public since Snake left the United States over ten years ago. While Snake initially suspected that Zero was behind Mother Base's destruction in the Caribbean, Zero was already bedridden by that time. Ocelot stated that he never thought Zero gave the order, and after seeing that Huey was working for Skull Face, he had confirmation that Zero never gave the order, stating that Skull Face was Zero's XO. It was Skull Face alone who destroyed Mother Base nine years earlier. The unit Skull Face commanded, XOF, was Cipher's strike force, but Skull Face, along with XOF, had broken away from Cipher and usurped control over Cipher. The Cipher Diamond Dogs was hunting wasn't Zero, it was Skull Face.
Diamond Dogs was hired by an environmental NGO to shut down the Mfinda Oilfield in the Angola-Zaire border region in Central Africa which was owned by a company called SANR that was connected to Cipher. While it could be seen as philanthropy, Diamond Dogs has their own reason to agree to the mission, the oil field, when it was abandoned, rebel group UNITA took the oil field, with their arsenal increasing, and that the supplier is a front company owned by Cipher. It would be a step closer to tracking down Skull Face and Cipher. Snake succeeded in his mission but in the process he found bodies in the water with two lumps on their chests, which looked like some kind of disease. It was discovered in the aftermath that SANR didn't exist and was just a name used by Cipher as a front and were the powers behind the oil field.
Huey informed Snake that he finished creating a Walker Gear built for Snake, which features a silent running system for infiltration missions and can be summoned to Snake's location in the filed. Huey has called it the D-Walker which is armed with a suppressed tranquillizer gun and can be upgraded and customised from the iDroid.
Snake later rescued a man known as the Viscount, who was connected to the oil field, that he tried to deceitfully secure the rights to the oil field and blame it on his fellow British personal. The Viscount was then placed in the brig with Kaz promising to be extra persuasive with the Viscount. Nonetheless, he and Miller learned from the Viscount that the Walker Gears were sold to various Private Forces stationed in Africa, including his former organization, the CFA, causing them to deduce that XOF was involved in the PF's actions.
To combat against the distribution of Walker Gears, which was spreading among the PFs and Central Africa, which Miller suspected was deliberately caused by Cipher for reasons unknown, Snake was given a mission to destroy four Walker Gears. Snake infiltrated an outpost and succeeded in destroying four Walker Gears. It was around this time that Emmerich revealed that he developed a Walker Gear called D Walker that became a buddy for Snake.
Visiting Quiet's cell, Snake spoke to Ocelot about her skills and abilities. Ocelot revealed that Quiet breathed and took in water through her skin, which was the reason why she didn't wear clothes. Ocelot believed it was photosynthesis, which he compared to an old man, who was in the Cobra Unit. Ocelot suggested that Quiet would make a good buddy and that maybe Snake should take her on missions.
Snake was then given a mission to capture a truck that was carrying important cargo which was connected to Cipher, and after defeating the Parasite Unit again, discovered that the cargo is yellow cake, which is used to make a nuclear weapon, however the amount found was not enough to make a nuclear weapon, which Kaz thought may possibly point to the weapon to surpass Metal Gear that Huey was talking about.
Diamond Dogs had two members of the Intel Team act as undercover agents in the PF Contract Forces of Africa. The CFA found out and had captured both of them. Due to their lives at risk, Snake couldn't waste any time in rescuing them. Miller suspected that Cipher might have compromised them. This made him realize that Diamond Dogs needed to be more careful from now on. Snake found them and used the Fulton on one while the second, too injured to survive the effects of the Fulton extraction, was taken to the helicopter. Miller, on behalf of all of Diamond Dogs, thanked Snake for saving the two members of the Intel Team.
Snake was hired by the Mbele general, who was from the Mbele group that was an ethnic group involved in conflict with a rivil group called Buta. The general wanted the Mbele Squad and the Mbele Squad platoon leader who were captured by Buta so that they wouldn't compromise Mbele. On his way to find the Mbele Squad, Snake found the outpost where Snake found the platoon leader. He then moved on the find the Mbele Squad. After reaching the Kungenga Mine, Snake discovered that the members of the Mbele Squad were child soldiers. Snake then shot a bucket and made an audio recording of the shooting to fake their deaths. Snake guided them to the landing zone and carried one of them, due to the injury he had to his leg. Snake managed to take them back to Mother Base.
Venom Snake then went on a mission to rescue the leader of the Melbe Squad Shabani, who was being held at the Ngumba Industrial Zone in Central Africa known as the Devil's House. After sneaking through several outposts and enemy patrols, Snake managed to infiltrate the long abandoned factory. Snake found test subjects with headphones in their throats and disgusting lumps on their chests, similair to those Snake found at the oil field. Snake then found Shabani who begged him to kill him. Skull Face then arrived, after killing a test subject and noticing Snake, he ordered Tretij Rebenok and the Man on Fire to kill Snake, the latter began to over power and strangle Snake. Fortunately, the Man on Fire was temporarily disabled, allowing Snake to escape, as pieces of the boy's true personality leaked out and he used his mental power to mercy kill Shabani. The boy was then influenced by the man's rage yet again and the entire factory went up in flames, causing Miller to demand bluntly that Snake evacuate. As Snake was escaping, Miller pondered who that entity was, with Ocelot immediately recognizing him as the guy they encountered earlier at Cyprus. After Snake's one escape was blocked off, he was forced to fight the Man on Fire. Snake eventually incapacitated him for a few moments where he used this window to escape via a chopper.
In the aftermath, Miller noted that Skull Face's presence must be connected to the weapon to surpass Metal Gear. Skull Face was working in the shadows, with the Man on Fire being used by Skull Face. Miller talked about the earphones embedded in people's throats, and the tapes playing voices, and the lumps on their chest, which Snake first saw at the oil field. While the Man on Fire did destroy "the Devil's House", Diamond Dogs did audio recordings of what was going on there. Miller told Snake that they will conduct a thorough analysis of what was going on there.
Diamond Dogs got wind that a CFA executive arranged a meeting with an arms dealer at Nova Braga Airport, regarding the sale of weapons, Snake's task was to eliminate the CFA executive, who they suspected was under the employment of XOF. His higher ups in the CFA wanted them to continue fighting. Snake completed his mission by either killing or extracting the CFA executive.
While in the field, Snake got a call from Miller, who informed him that the R&D Platform on Mother Base was being held a PF called Mosquito Stinger Force, who had taken several members of Diamond Dogs hostage and are threatening to kill them if any other Diamond Dogs members attempted to interfere or set foot on the platform. Snake, making his way to the top of the R&D Platform, found the leader Mosquito. Once Snake had defeated Mosquito, Miller announced over a speaker to the PF that their leader was defeated and that they should lower their weapons and they would not be harmed. Miller later informed Snake that Mosquito was a former member of the Militaires Sans Frontières, and that he had survived the attack on Mother Base. He was lead to believe that Big Boss himself was responsible for the attack, as a result he created his own PF and modeled it after the original MSF in order to get revenge on Big Boss. Mosquito then became a member of Diamond Dogs.
Snake had a mission to extract a commander who is only known as "The White Mamba". Snake encountered "The White Mamba" whose real name was Eli, who harbored a huge hatred and resentment for Snake, who managed to defeat him using CQC, brought him back to Mother Base where Snake reprimanded him for his ruthlessness and told him once he has learnt how to use his head he would be allowed to leave Mother Base.
Snake's mission was to extract an American technician and his assistant, who were working for an NGO. They were dispatched to the Ngumba Industrial Zone by Skull Face under the pretense of giving aid to people suffering from a disease. In actuality, they were to observe the test subjects of the vocal cord parasites. Snake found the technician and his assistant, the latter having been abandoned by the former due to his fear that she was infected with the parasite, for which she held no ill will. The duo revealed all they knew about what was going on there, including that the tapes Skull Face was recording inside the throats of some of the specimens was in another language, and that no English copy existed.
Snake, seeing Quiet attacking a Diamond Dogs soldier, used CQC to disarm her and held her in a restraining position. With the help of the other soldiers and Ocelot, they managed to sedate her. The wounded soldier was taken by the other soldiers to get treatment. Snake assumed that it was because of how they had treated her with him telling Ocelot to tighten security on her cell, for if it happened a second time, there would not be a third.
Ocelot informed Snake that there was some kind of epidemic on Mother Base which has infected members of Diamond Dogs and that those that have become symptomatic have died shortly after, including the soldier Quiet attacked, now knowing Quiet's reasons for the assault. With no way of telling who is infected in the early stages of the disease, Ocelot told Snake that he has created a Quarantine Zone and that the Zone is on the iDroid, he told Snake to identify those who are infected and place them in the Quarantine Zone, due to the infection they could not fire staff members. Snake eventually figured out that all those infected all have one common denominator: they all speak the language Kikongo. Snake not knowing why, but knowing that it is connected placed all those who speak Kiknogo into the Quarantine Zone, saving those who are not infected and buying the infected members more time.
Snake's new mission was to find and eliminate a trafficker whose victims were sent to places such as brothels, black market organ trades, and diamond mines. The Mbele group, who contracted Diamond Dogs to dispose of the trafficker, wanted him eliminated before the left the country, as otherwise, he would be immune from facing a court-martial for his role in human trafficking due to being a civilian. Miller informed Snake that he delivered Mbele villagers to XOF for their experiments with the vocal cord parasites, and was personally responsible for delivering Shabani, the former leader of the Mbele Squad, to the Devil's House. However, he eventually grew disturbed by the nature of the experiments, and eventually grew terrified of Skull Face and of the possibility of becoming a test subject. Because of this, he decided to flee Angola and return to his home country, hiring contractors from a rival PF, the Contract Forces of Africa, to ensure he returned there, as he was unable to trust his own men due to XOF's connection to the group.
Ocelot explained to Snake that Eli, having not accepted that Snake had beat him, demanded a rematch on the second platform of the R&D Platform. Ocelot encouraged Snake to put the arrogant youngster in his place. Snake managed to defeat Eli yet again, at which point it seemed that he had conceded defeat albeit begrudgingly.
Snake was tasked with rescuing a member of the Intel Team before he is killed, both to save him and to find out the cause of the disease so it will lead to a cure. Searching Ditadi Abandoned Village Snake found the member of the Intel Team and brought him back to Mother Base. The member that Snake rescued referred to the disease as "the pathogen" and mentioned "the old man who knows how to treat it" whose name he gave as "Code Talker" and gave his location.
Snake then went on a mission to find Code Talker, who researched the vocal cord parasite and was forced to work for Skull Face, was being held captive at a mansion in Central Africa, Snake was sent to rescue him. On his way there, a thick blanket of mist soon rolls in and the Parasite Unit appeared. This time, however, it was a different unit consisting of female snipers. Despite this, they still possessed the superhuman abilities of the original unit. After dealing with the barrages of sniper fire, he eventually resurfaced at the heavily guarded mansion. He broke into the basement and found Code Talker, who explained about the vocal cord parasites and how they infect and kill the host, he offered Snake a herb which halts the parasites, he then went on to explain how Skull Face stole his research and Kaz realized that Skull Face plans to wipe out all languages from Earth. After getting out of the mansion with Code Talker, they escaped in a helicopter. Code Talker then revealed that that the Wolbacia can halt the parasites, however the price is that the host will be rendered infertile. Snake then explained that they captured a truck of cargo full of yellowcake, with Code Talker asking what became of it and the metallic archaea. Suddenly, the Parasite Unit's signature mist consumed the area. A cloud of corrosive metallic archaea appeared in front of the chopper just as it flew through, causing the windows to explode, killing Pequod in a barrage of jagged glass. As a result, the chopper crashed.
The ravaged chopper crashed in the Nova Braga Airport, where Snake and the unconscious Code Talker fortunately survived. However, as Snake crawled out of the wreckage, he realized that he was surrounded by the Parasite Unit, and the mist made it so calling another chopper was impossible. This forced him to fight them. After a grueling battle, the mist cleared and Code Talker and Snake were picked up by another chopper. On the way back to Mother Base, Code Talker explained how five years prior Skull Face did a detonation test to see if he can disable a nuke, Code Talker said that Skull Face plans to distribute nukes all around the globe along with the Walker Gears, however Skull Face will retain control of the nukes, with Snake and Ocelot realizing that is why they needed Huey and that the superpowers will be irrelevant. The aftermath of these events had Code Talker recruited into Mother Base as a scientist, where he revealed almost everything about the parasites such as their properties. He provided the wolbacia which saved the infected Diamond Dogs soldiers, at the cost of being infertile. After forty eight hours, the epidemic was over, while those who were already symptomatic couldn't be saved, those in the early stages of the parasites were now cured. Miller vowed that Skull Face will pay for this.
Miller and Ocelot then interrogated Huey who gave up the location as OKB Zero, in a lab built by the Russian Philosophers. Before leaving for OKB Zero, Kaz informed Snake that Skull Face has killed the Soviet soldiers at OKB Zero by using the vocal cord parasites, Kaz then told Snake to wipe Skull Face out, Snake told Kaz he will need back up, Kaz told him that they will meet up at OKB Zero.With the intent to capture and interrogate Skull Face, Snake infiltrated the heavily guarded fortress and confronted him on the helipad. Skull Face explained that Snake has known loss as well and that hatred will never replace the pain which will never go away and that the pain they've endured has cost them their humanity, which will never return, and they are both now demons. Outnumbered and outmatched by a squad of XOF soldiers, Snake was forced to surrender and follow Skull Face.
Along the way, Skull Face explained that he had known Snake since 1964. He also explained that he knew of Zero's plans and what The Boss wanted. During the ride throughout the roads of Afghanistan on a jeep, Skull Face passionately revealed his plans; worldwide ethnic cleansing with the parasites, and the reasons behind them; both his hated for Zero and his broken childhood where he was heartlessly stripped of his culture, quoting the Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran. He would exterminate the English language as a way to permanently destroy Zero's plans and so that everyone on Earth would suffer and share a phantom pain. He also revealed that nukes would serve as the new language to replace the English language. Using Sahelanthropus, Skull Face would control of all the nukes and maintain the balance of the world.
The XOF transport parked at the Serak Power Plant, the lair of the dormant Sahelanthropus, which was almost ready for activation. Skull Face, told Snake that they are not the only demons and that the Man on Fire lives because of Snake, he then ordered Tretij Rebenok to pit the Man on Fire against Venom Snake one final time. Unbeknownst to either Venom Snake or Skull Face, Tretij Rebenok found himself favoring Eli's intense hatred over Skull Face or Volgin's, allowing himself to be used as a conduit in order to hijack Sahelanthropus for Eli. As Sahelanthropus' loading platform rolled forwards Eli had Volgin walk into the wheels, crushing himself and apparently committing suicide. In the ensuing confusion, the XOF forces pulled away Skull Face from the area, as Sahelanthropus gave chase towards Venom Snake. The Eli-controlled Metal Gear chased down Venom Snake, but was stopped by a narrow gap in the canyon it was running in, forcing Eli to switch the Metal Gear into its upright configuration, in which he caused further mayhem on XOF's personnel and military vehicles.
Immediately afterwards, Snake, as well as the forces of XOF and Skull Face, fled the power plant. Sahalanthropus relentlessly chased Snake through a valley, and after realizing it could't fit, evolved from its hunched-over stance into a towering stand before resuming its attack on XOF.
As Venom Snake hid from the Metal Gear, he witnessed Sahelanthropus absorb the barrage of gunfire and tank rounds and attacked Skull Face, resulting in the latter being trapped under a downed communications tower and be mortally wounded. Eli would then focus his efforts on attempting to kill Venom Snake by using the Metal Gear, pursuing him as Snake attempted to escape in a leftover XOF vehicle. Driving off on the XOF jeep, Miller informed Snake that destroying Sahelanthropus was a necessity, as the world's knowledge of it would cause irrevocable chaos, allowing Skull Face to win even in death. The two engaged in battle, with Sahelanthropus continuously attacking Snake through Tretij Rebenok's control and under Eli's influence. After a prolonged battle, Venom Snake was able to incapacitate the Metal Gear, thus removing Eli's control over it. Miller then landed the helicopter to pick up Venom Snake and the two decide to head back to the Serak Power Plant and finally exact their revenge on Skull Face. Landing the helicopter down, Venom Snake and Miller found Skull Face mortally wounded and trapped under scaffolding. Venom Snake then questioned the whereabouts of the third parasite vial, to which Skull Face replied as being close to him. Destroying one of the two parasite vials (the second one being retrieved by Tretij Rebenok, unbeknownst to Snake), Venom Snake picked up Skull Face's rifle and aimed the gun as Skull Face begged to be killed.
After shooting off Skull Face's right arm and leg, mirroring injuries sustained by Miller when he was originally captured by XOF, Venom Snake and Miller left him to die as Huey finished him off.
Needing to tie up loose ends in the aftermath of Skull Face's death, Snake commenced missions such as recovering a dead informants information on Skull Face's plans, rescuing a CIA informant and recovering Code Talker's research, so that Cipher couldn't recreate the vocal cord parasites.
Snake recaptured the child soldiers who escaped from Mother Base. The instigator Eli then used Rebenok to steal Sahelanthropus and escape with the Mbele Squad. Sometime after Eli's test results confirmed that Eli is not Snake's son and assumed that Eli was not a product of the Les Enfants Terribles project.
Snake infiltrated the base camp a second time and found the Mammal Pod and set it to launch away from the base camp. Miller told Snake that he would have it picked up. He also told Snake that he would let him know what they found. Sometime later, Miller informed Snake that they found a corpse inside the Mammal Pod. The corpse was Strangelove.
Venom Snake was witness to Quiet jumping into a toxic infested tank to recover Shabani's necklace. After the injured Quiet climbed out, Snake carried Quiet away to receive medical treatment. Later Quiet was interrogated for her part in the hospital raid and her carrying the vocal cord parasites. Snake and Ocelot, seeing Quiet is not a threat, had her released, much to Miller's displeasure.
Ocelot informed Snake that Soviet personnel retrieved the body and placed it at the Yakho Oboo Supply Outpost. Ocelot suspected the true identity of the Man on Fire was Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin. Snake would later infiltrate the Yakho Oboo Supply Outpost and find Volgin's body. Before being extracted, Volgin's burned body came back to life once again as the "Man on Fire", causing his fiery horse to appear. Snake was knocked down in the process. He pinned down Snake and met him face to face. Mysteriously, Volgin momentarily reverted to his original appearance, in which he then stopped his assault. He fell backwards to the ground, dropping several bullets as well, and finally died along with his horse. Volgin's corpse was taken back to Mother Base and put in one of the Quarantine platform's cages.
A second outbreak of the vocal cord parasites, which had mutated to the point that the wolbacia couldn't stop them from copulating, had broken out on Mother Base. Going through the quarantine zone, Snake after hesitation, reluctantly killed all the Infected Diamond Dogs soldiers. During the funeral of the fallen soldiers, Snake decided to make diamonds from their ashes, stating that they were Diamond Dogs.
After Huey's trial, during which he was found guilty of the attack nine years prior, conspiring with Eli, the murder of Strangelove and for causing the wolbachia mutation for his own greed, Venom Snake had the disgraced scientist exiled for his continued recklessness and betrayals.
Ocelot informed Snake that Quiet was now gone, somewhere in Afghanistan. Ocelot then gave Snake a mission of finding Quiet. Miller was worried that she knew too much about Diamond Dogs, recounting Snake's words of killing Quiet when the time came. After finding some intel on Quiet's location, Snake learned that she had been captured by Soviet forces and was taken to the Lamar Khaate Palace. Code Talker explained that Quiet was carrying the vocal cord parasites, more precisely, the English strain. He also revealed that Skull Face attempted to use her as his ace in the hole, but she refused to speak. Code Talker said that even if she didn't speak, the parasites might have became active thanks to the mutation, which is the reason she left.
Snake found Quiet at the palace, and the two worked together to defeat Soviet reinforcements, with Quiet getting knocked unconscious by an enemy tank round. Snake attempted to carry her out of harm's way through a fearsome sandstorm. Along the way, he was bitten by a cobra, causing him to lose consciousness. Quiet woke up first when she heard Pequod attempting to contact Snake through his radio, explaining that he wouldn't be able stay at the LZ much longer due to near-zero visibility in the sandstorm. Quiet replied in Navajo, which Pequod didn't understand and thought was just a radio problem. Thus, Quiet had no choice but to reply in English, and guide the chopper to their location. Eventually, Snake was given an antivenom and regained consciousness. However, Quiet was no where to be found. He went to search for her by tracking her footprints, in which he only found a cassette tape behind for Snake to find, which he used his Walkman to listen to:
- "I did not choose to be Quiet. I wanted to express my feelings to you. If only we shared a common tongue. Vengeance was what drove me to them...The only language left to me, revenge. But the words we shared...No, that was no language at all. That's why I...I chose the language of gratitude instead, and go back to silence. I am Quiet...I am...the absence of words."
Afterwards, Code Talker contacted Snake and confirmed that Quiet had the third English strain that Skull Face was referring to on his death bed. Code Talker went on to summarize Quiet's actions and inquired as to why she did not release the parasites on Mother Base; she might have had a change of heart. Code Talker stated that "we [wouldn't] hear it from her."
Some time after Quiet left Mother Base, Venom Snake memories were restored, due to the hypnotherapy wearing off, realizing he was the medic that removed the bomb. Venom Snake would receive a cassette tape from the real Big Boss which contained the following:
- "Now do you remember? Who you are? What you were meant to do? I cheated death, thanks to you. And thanks to you I’ve left my mark. You have too – you’ve written your own history. You’re your own man. I’m Big Boss, and you are too… No… He’s the two of us. Together. Where we are today? We built it. This story – this “legend” – it’s ours. We can change the world – and with it, the future. I am you, and you are me. Carry that with you, wherever you go. Thank you… my friend. From here on out, you’re Big Boss."
- ―Big Boss
Venom Snake took up the name and kept up the ruse. Diamond Dogs itself was a smoke screen to place all focus on Venom Snake while the real Big Boss could lay the ground work for Outer Heaven.
Sometime later, the Diamond Dogs pilot who was forced to fly Eli, Treji Rebenok, and the other child soldiers off of Mother Base was finally recovered about fifty miles inland to Africa from the Seychelles waters. He explained that shortly after departing Mother Base, the levitating Metal Gear Sahelanthropus and the helicopter of the children split up and began to head in different directions, the helicopter making a forced landing in East Africa after running out of fuel. The pilot had been left alive on purpose, albeit trapped inside the chopper and near death from dehydration when rescued, to call Snake and Diamond Dogs out to settle their conflict. Due to Cipher hunting Eli as well, and Eli possessing the last sample of the English strain of vocal cord parasites, and if it began to spread the world would fall into chaos. it was important that Snake go to Eli first.
The Intel Team found out where Eli, his boys, and Sahelanthropus had gone - an island in a large salt lake in Central Africa. Eli presented that they had one demand in exchange for Sahelanthropus and its nuke - the body of "Big Boss."
When Venom Snake arrived on the island he found that XOF troops had already begun a strike operation to kill Eli and take Sahelanthropus back. Many of them had been killed by cruel booby traps set by Eli's boys, but a good number of them had survived. Snake made his way to the center of the island, where he found Eli resting in Sahelanthropus' cockpit among the child soldiers. However, a platoon of XOF soldiers had beaten him there, opening fire on Eli. Their weapons were rendered useless by Tretij Rebenok's psychokinesis. Eli activated Sahelanthropus and began killing the soldiers, eventually discovering Snake hiding from the attack. He stopped his onslaught momentarily to speak with Snake and declare that he was going to get his revenge, and the two then began their battle.
Their battle came to a close when Sahelanthropus' torso was blown in half at the waist, causing it to shut down and become inoperable, Eli and Tretij Rebenok having been finally defeated. As Eli emerged from the cockpit he was approached by a squadron of XOF soldiers ready to kill him. Snake sprung a surprise attack and killed the assassins, but back up quickly arrived. After a grenade went off in close proximity to Snake, his "horn" suffered damage and triggered a seizure in his brain, affecting his vision and making him unable to differentiate between red and white. He moved back in to attack, but due to his temporary colorblindness Eli's red pilot suit appeared similar to XOF's white suits and Snake accidentally shot Eli. Snake ran to Eli's motionless body to mourn his mistake.
It was discovered Eli hadn't died, as he had donned a bulletproof vest at some point in time before the attack. Venom Snake ordered that he be returned to Mother Base to be patched up, but Eli suddenly began showing symptoms of the English vocal cord parasite's effects. Eli expressed his hatred for Snake and Cipher, claiming the someday he would destroy Big Boss, believing Venom Snake to be his father. With the island completed contaminated by the vocal cord parasites, Ocelot ordered the entire island to be hit with a napalm strike to burn every last thing on it. As Diamond Dogs and the salvaged remains of Sahelanthropus began to move out, Snake gave Eli a pistol with one shot in it, leaving it up to him what to do. On board the Diamond Dogs helicopter, Venom Snake stared at his reflection in the glass of a window, seeing nothing but a demon once again.
- Main article: Outer Heaven Uprising
After completing the construction of Outer Heaven's fortress in South Africa, Big Boss's reputation as a mercenary had travelled far and wide thanks to the activities of Venom Snake. While he knew that mercenaries around the world would eventually rally to his cause, Big Boss also knew that it would bring the attention of government agencies growing suspicious of his activities. Needing to keep attention away from Outer Heaven, Big Boss himself decided to return to the U.S. to rejoin FOXHOUND as its commander with Venom Snake taking control of the operation in his absence.
In 1995, Venom Snake initiated the Outer Heaven Uprising, forcing scientist Drago Pettrovich Madnar to build TX-55 Metal Gear by holding his daughter, Ellen, hostage. After receiving information on Operation Intrude N313 from Big Boss, Venom Snake's forces captured FOXHOUND agent Gray Fox, and later attempted to eliminate rookie agent Solid Snake, who had been sent to rescue Fox and destroy Metal Gear. It was intended that Solid Snake report misinformation back to the West, in order to protect Outer Heaven, but he proved too successful.
Following the destruction of Metal Gear, Outer Heaven's self-destruct sequence was activated. Venom Snake then blocked Solid Snake's escape from the doomed fortress, revealing the FOXHOUND commander's deception to the rookie, while maintaining his role as Big Boss.
- "Solid Snake! I've been expecting you... ...I am the supreme commander of the FOXHOUND unit... And... The leader of the fortress of Outer Heaven, Big Boss! I gave this mission to you, a rookie, thinking I could use you to fool the rest of the world... But you were too good. You went too far! Solid Snake! I'm not going down alone. I'm taking you with me! Prepare to die!"
- ―Venom Snake's last words.
The two then fought as the self-destruct continued to countdown. Despite his age, Venom Snake proved to be fast and dangerous, but was ultimately killed due to Solid Snake's resourcefulness. With his "phantom" dead and the Outer Heaven fortress destroyed, the real Big Boss fled FOXHOUND and went underground, until the establishment of Zanzibar Land.
Codenames and aliases
The codename "Venom Snake" was a reference to the "demon" inside him due to the anger, hatred, and pain he felt as a result of the destruction of Militaires Sans Frontières and the original Mother Base. Although not a codename, Venom Snake was briefly referred to as "V" as part the codeword "V [had] come to" after he had woke up from his coma.
The title of "Big Boss" was awarded to Venom Snake's former commander, Naked Snake, following Operation Snake Eater, being regarded as being "above even The Boss" after his defeat of the former legendary soldier. Due to Venom Snake being Big Boss's body double, he shared the title of "Big Boss" with his former commander from when he woke up from his coma in 1984 and for the rest of his life. It was not just because Venom Snake was the body double, but also due to the fact Venom Snake and Naked Snake were both Big Boss and had built the legend of Big Boss together. By 1995, Venom Snake would just go by the title Big Boss.
While not his most formal codename, like Venom Snake and Big Boss, he was also known as "Ahab", which comes from the central character in the novel Moby Dick. Big Boss would also use an alias from Moby Dick, "Ishmael", and the codename for at least two Diamond Dogs pilots was "Pequod."
Ocelot and Big Boss himself referred to Venom Snake as "Big Boss's phantom" or simply "the phantom". This was due to Venom Snake being Big Boss as well.
Personality and traits
Prior to his hypnotherapy, he was extremely loyal to Big Boss, having instinctively thrown himself between a blast created by the bomb Paz carried.
Due to receiving hypnotherapy, Venom Snake shared many aspects of Big Boss's personality. Unlike Big Boss, however, Venom Snake was far more reserved in his speech and absent of the wit of Big Boss. He rarely made comments regarding his enemies' tactics, and most of his reactions were comprised of through simple body language rather than words. Despite this, Venom Snake was calm and collected. Like Big Boss, Venom Snake preferred to work alone. During the medic's days in MSF, Big Boss considered him the group's "best man." While impersonating Big Boss as Venom Snake, he adopted much of his commander's personality and possessed a similar physical appearance, having undergone hypnotherapy and plastic surgery. Following his escape from a Cypriot hospital and recovery from muscle atrophy, Venom Snake gained muscle mass similar to that of Big Boss.As a result of the wounds sustained in the helicopter crash, Venom Snake had several pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body. The pieces that remained after surgery were located in his forehead in the shape of a horn, while other pieces were inserted near the heart, and also lost his left arm and the use of his right eye, with the latter being covered by an eyepatch, matching Big Boss's iconic appearance. He was given a crude prosthetic hook, which was later replaced with a bionic arm by Ocelot. Like Big Boss, Venom Snake displayed compassion toward his enemies and preferred righteous acts of justice as he chose not to kill Quiet or Huey and instead had the former imprisoned and the latter exiled with food and water. He would even develop a strong bond of mutual respect with Quiet.
Though he and Big Boss shared similarities in their compassion for enemies, Venom Snake viewed Paz in a more positive light than Big Boss. As Venom Snake was a former MSF soldier himself, he sympathized with Paz and was fond of her gentle personality. At Mother Base, Venom Snake experienced hallucinations of meeting an amnesiac Paz on the medical platform, and used images collected from MSF soldiers to connect the dots of Paz's backstory.
Venom Snake upheld an ethical code that comrades in Diamond Dogs was also family and that they should not draw weapons on each other, as he explained to Eli when the latter tried to attack him. However, Snake was forced to break this code himself when he had no choice but to kill all the Diamond Dogs soldiers infected with the vocal cord parasites because of Huey's actions.
Although not sadistic like Ocelot, and not as angry and vengeful to the same degree as Miller, Snake did display a vengeful and angry side when he mutilated Skull Face by blowing his left leg and right arm off, leaving Skull Face to die slowly and painfully. Snake managed to contain it, but his disgust for Huey, while it wasn't as apparent with Ocelot and Miller, was clear. Despite this, he was also very wise and humanistic, exercising restraint with his authority, as he opted to exile Huey from Motherbase rather than let Diamond Dogs execute him.
Venom Snake was very skilled in using weapons and CQC, which he was skilled in during his previous life as the field medic even before he became Big Boss. He presumably learnt CQC from his template, Big Boss himself. Venom Snake's ranks and abilities were so high that they even surpassed Big Boss's ranks and abilities, further proving that Venom Snake was Big Boss's best soldier and worthy of being Big Boss.
Venom Snake shared Big Boss's flaw of underestimating someone in getting a mission done, as they both thought that the rookie Solid Snake would not be able to destroy TX-55 Metal Gear and defeat them. Near the end of his life, Venom Snake, when Solid Snake destroyed TX-55 Metal Gear, and the self-destruction of Outer Heaven was activated, displayed a disregard for his own life as he intended to die in Outer Heaven, taking Solid Snake with him in death.Believing that he was the original Big Boss, Venom Snake shared many of Big Boss's habits including his habit of frequently smoking cigars, both real and electronic ones.
Venom Snake appeared to suffer from a form of amnesia (or more accurately, the memory transfer was not completed), as both Miller and Ocelot had to remind him of certain events, such as how the real Big Boss led Militaires Sans Frontières with Miller. He also did not possess Big Boss's fluency in Russian, relying instead on the use of translators. Despite these shortcomings, he did recall the events from the Peace Walker Incident, such as the prototype Battle Gear's similarity to Metal Gear ZEKE giving him déjà vu, and he was able to quote Hot Coldman regarding the ineffectiveness of nuclear deterrence. Ocelot stated that his amnesia might have to do with the shrapnel in his forehead, although the Truth tapes state that it was because the memory transfers had to be stopped prematurely due to XOF were set to attack ahead of schedule.
Venom Snake was referred to as MSF's "best man" by Big Boss, especially after taking the brunt of the helicopter explosion in 1975 and saving his life, showing unwavering dedication in his duties. Big Boss initially expressed reluctance in using Venom Snake as a body double, but ultimately manipulates his loyal subordinate into serving as a shield without his knowledge, fully believing that he would have consented to it.
Big Boss later addressed Venom Snake as a friend and expressed gratitude for his contribution to Big Boss's cult of personality. After learning the truth, Venom Snake was convinced to continue the role of his charismatic commander, fully abandoning his own identity right until his death.
Miller at first was friendly with Venom Snake, fully believing that he was his old partner Big Boss upon his rescue from Afghanistan. However, as time went on distance increased between the two, with events such as the sparing of both Quiet and Huey's lives broadening the gap, yet, Miller continued to support Venom Snake. When Ocelot told Miller that Venom Snake was a body-double of Big Boss, Miller was disgusted and enraged due to having been kept in the dark for so long. He instantly began to resent the real Big Boss, abruptly deciding that he would devote his life to assisting David and Eli in destroying the real Big Boss, and helping Venom Snake to surpass him.
Ocelot treated Venom Snake as a friend, and actually believed he was the real Big Boss due to self-induced hypnotherapy. Ocelot first met Venom Snake outside the hospital and saved him by taking him to safety. He often acted as a voice of reason within Diamond Dogs and still harbored a bit of an obsession with his "Big Boss." Venom Snake tended to favor Ocelot's opinion over Miller's such as allowing the construction of Battle Gear and sparing Quiet, much to the Miller's chagrin. Ocelot, when the hypnotherapy wore off, acknowledged that Venom Snake was Big Boss and continued to support him and Diamond Dogs, Ocelot would follow both Big Boss and Venom Snake's respective quests from the shadows.
Venom Snake brought DD back to Mother Base after finding him in the wildness of Afghanistan. Venom Snake and Ocelot agreed that one day DD could be useful once he has grown up. Once DD had done so, Venom Snake then took the dog with him on missions where the two worked well as a team, with DD following Venom Snake's commands and proving himself as a useful asset to Diamond Dogs, which he was named after.
While Ocelot saw DD as a good partner for Venom Snake, the latter thought it was too early for him to say. Ocelot advised him to spend more time with DD to get to know him more. Both of them were not sure of DD's breed, but Ocelot was sure that he had wolf heritage. Ocelot then commented on DD's intelligence and good judgement calls. Venom Snake wasn't sure whether he liked DD or not, as they were both trying to understand each other, with Venom Snake telling Ocelot that he will think about taking DD with him.
DD was very fond of Venom Snake as he licked him affectionately whenever he returned. As a pup he would always wait for his master to return, and proceed to follow him, and excitedly bark. DD would also miss him when he left for extended periods of time, when Snake returned, he pounced on him in order to lick him.
Although they first met as part of a violent assassination attempt, Venom Snake and Quiet were shown to have an intense mutual respect for each other after Snake spared her life. Both being at least somewhat laconic, the two managed to understand each other very deeply and silently respected one another's skill on the battlefield. When Quiet salvaged Shabani's necklace from the chlorine disinfectant-filled vat, Venom Snake quickly rushed to her aid and had to be stopped from jumping in after her by Ocelot. The two also shared a special moment in the rain on Mother Base, and if Venom Snake neglected to shower on his own, Quiet would invite him to shower with her instead. Quiet later regretted not expressing her romantic feelings for him and abandoning him for his own safety.
Venom Snake met Code Talker when he needed his help to defeat the vocal cord parasites. They were effective comrades, as they shared their hatred for Skull Face. Though the two did not know each other that well, they seemed to respect and trust each other, despite the fact that Venom Snake's American people oppressed Code Talker's people, the Navajo. Code Talker treated Venom Snake with some form of reverence, knowing him as the legendary leader Big Boss. This was shown when he quickly complied to being added to Diamond Dogs' roster. Code Talker's knowledge of the vocal cord parasites proved to be invaluable to Venom Snake and saved many of his men (including himself).
Due to his hypnotherapy, Venom Snake harbored similar feelings towards Huey as Big Boss did. Venom Snake didn't trust Huey at all, recognizing that he was the cause of the destruction of Mother Base. He was often disgusted and annoyed by Huey's immature and cowardly attitude towards the world, but decided to put up with it. In a tape of them talking, when Huey expressed shock at Dr. Clark's work, Venom Snake said it was "rich, coming from him." From the surface Huey seemed to respect Venom Snake, believing he was Big Boss after all, but also feared him greatly and tried to stay on his good side. Venom Snake did give him a second chance with his inclusion in Diamond Dogs and the construction of Battle Gear, but in the end found himself betrayed by the scientist once again. Upon being forced to execute many Diamond Dogs soldiers because of Huey's testing on the vocal cord parasites, Venom Snake hated him even more. However, he managed to bridle his anger and act reasonably, banishing Huey from Mother Base on a life raft with food and water instead of simply killing him in revenge. From Venom Snake's point of view, he was just glad to have him gone.
Like Big Boss, Venom Snake knew very little of XOF and Skull Face, merely seeing them as more pawns of Cipher. Although he rarely showed it, he burned for revenge on Skull Face as Miller did, instead acting in a very calm and disturbed coldness around his foe. He never personally engaged in conversation with Skull Face, quietly listening to Skull Face's words as he formulated his next strike instead. Oddly, he also seemed to have some degree of tolerance for the XOF commander, patiently listening to Skull Face's monologue on the trip from OKB Zero to Serak Power Plant in silence. Like everyone else, Skull Face saw Venom Snake as Big Boss and treated him thusly, often taunting him and gloating to help himself feel superior. He remained bitter towards Big Boss for his involvement in Operation Snake Eater and their roles on opposite sides of the same coin, taking these negative emotions out on Venom, unaware of his true identity. While he did despise Big Boss/Venom Snake, Skull Face treated him with some respect, due to his status as valiant war hero and a great man turned into a "demon", just like himself. In the end, Venom and Miller did end up exacting their revenge on Skull Face, but it was a hollow bout of revenge that continued to leave both of them with a lasting phantom pain. Upon returning to Mother Base with Sahelanthropus, Venom Snake saw a vision of Skull Face, a ghostly reminder that though they had lost their object of revenge, Diamond Dogs were still experiencing a phantom pain.
Due to the hypnotherapy, both Venom Snake and Eli believed that the former was the original Big Boss and Eli's father. Because of this, Eli harbored much resentment for Venom Snake. It was so great that it dwarfed both Skull Face and Volgin's wrath, as shown by Tretij Rebenok's preference for Eli. Eli tried to kill Venom Snake on multiple occasions, even just for patting him on the back or treating him like a kid. Venom Snake displayed a calm tolerance for Eli, but did not underestimate his skills and violent tendencies.
Paz Ortega Andrade
Venom Snake met and knew Paz Ortega Andrade during her stay at the original Mother Base during the Peace Walker Incident, following Coldman's death and the destruction of Peace Walker. It was unknown how Venom Snake reacted when it was revealed that Paz was an undercover agent working for Cipher to undermine MSF. Venom Snake was part of the mission to extract Paz along with Chico. As the chopper's field medic, Venom Snake extracted the first bomb from Paz without any time to administer anesthetic, but failed to find the second. The resulting explosion killed both Paz and Chico and sent Big Boss into his nine-year coma. Of the 108 foreign objects embedded in Venom Snake's body from the explosion, many were fragments of human bones and teeth, that mostly belonged to Paz.
As part of his subconscious guilt, brain damage and PTSD, Venom Snake recreated the memory of Paz's death so it was undone. He believed that both bombs had been extracted and disposed of. However, Paz had leapt out of the chopper in an attempt to save everybody on it. In this altered memory, Venom Snake believed that the explosion was caused by an RPG fired by an XOF chopper.
When Venom Snake became the leader of Diamond Dogs and visited the Medical Platform on the new Mother Base, he began to have hallucinations that Paz truly had survived and was there. After rescuing members of MSF from the original Mother Base, Snake recovered photos of the good old times and showed them to Paz, at which point Snake realized that Paz never survived that fateful day. His hallucinations of Paz were the result of his guilt for not finding the second bomb in time, leaving him with a phantom pain. Eventually, Snake accepted what had really happened and could move on.
Due to hypnotherapy, thinking that he was the original Big Boss, Venom Snake had a very one-sided relationship with Zero. Venom Snake hated Zero for a long time, believing he was the one who ordered the destruction of the original Mother Base. Over time, this hatred shifted to focus on the true perpetrator Skull Face. When Zero visited the comatose Big Boss in Cyprus, he acknowledged Venom Snake's existence, but saw him as little more than a tool used to protect the real Big Boss whom he valued so much more.
Venom Snake and Solid Snake were enemies. Venom Snake, along with Big Boss, tried to manipulate Solid Snake into giving the U.S. government false information, a plan that backfired. Venom Snake attempted to kill Solid Snake before he could escape the doomed Outer Heaven. Solid Snake killed Venom Snake.
The Mbele Squad
When Venom Snake first met the Mbele Squad, he was originally meant to kill them for their general. Miller said that since they can't go home the only choice they had was heaven or hell, but Snake said there was another. Snake faked their deaths and brought them back to Mother Base. Snake suggested that they would make good soldiers, with Miller objecting saying they are no naturals. Snake compared the Mbele Squad staying at Mother Base to a daycare. Snake approved the idea of them having a real life without being behind a gun, but Miller said that is their way of life on Mother Base.
Diamond Dogs Soldiers
Venom Snake cared about his soldiers and considered them his family, because of this he had created a code which ensured that Diamond Dogs must not draw weapons on each other. When many of Venom Snake's soldiers were infected with the vocal cord parasites, he hesitated at first and reluctantly killed them. Venom Snake was devastated and agreed with Huey that it was his fault. The soldiers, likewise, were also shown to be extremely loyal to him. At least once (if Diamond Dogs runs low on GMP), during a fight, a soldier was reluctant to go through with stabbing Venom Snake after the latter interfered with their fight before Snake forced him to stab him while lecturing him. Even after it was revealed that Venom Snake was not actually the real Big Boss, the soldiers nonetheless pledged their loyalty to him, citing they will still serve him no matter who he was.
Behind the scenes
Punished "Venom" Snake appears as a supporting character in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, as the main protagonist of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and the secondary antagonist and final boss of Metal Gear. Although he is never called "Punished" in The Phantom Pain, it appears in the opening and end credits of nearly every main mission in the game.
Venom Snake first appears as an unidentified field medic during the closing cutscenes of Ground Zeroes. Because of the cinematic angles, there is never a clear view of the medic's face, although his character model can briefly be glimpsed as possessing white skin and brown hair. The full character model was discovered in the PC version through the use of mods, with the facial model and textures for the medic sharing identical scars to those of Big Boss. Despite this predetermined, albeit obscured, appearance in Ground Zeroes, Venom Snake's name and facial features prior to surgery is chosen by the player in The Phantom Pain. In the cutscene showing a flashback to the events of Ground Zeroes, before the final twist is revealed, the medic is instead shown wearing a balaclava. When the twist is revealed, a flashback of the medic in the helicopter is shown, the medic's balaclava is removed and the player's avatar they created at the start of The Phantom Pain is shown.
It is implied in The Phantom Pain that Venom Snake himself (and his nondescript identity as a medic) serves as a deliberate player avatar, due to his original appearance being reliant on the player's decisions. Due to the ending in "Truth: The Man Who Sold the World", it is implied that Hideo Kojima intended for the player to become Big Boss. This was confirmed in the second interview with Stefanie Joosten on The Codec.
Author Hitori Nojima, citing an email from Kojima, explained that the player brings the story full circle in their own way, with the role of Venom Snake making the story truly theirs, and not necessarily restricted to the fate of Big Boss in the early games. Kojima and the player creating the story together "is something traditional movies and books could not do."
Once the player has beaten The Phantom Pain, they can use the avatar they created at the start of the game, which the player can edit if they want to change their avatar in anyway. The player's avatar can also be used in Metal Gear Online. The avatar also makes an appearance in the story when Ocelot hands the original Big Boss a passport that he has to go by, which has the name, month and day of the birthday and avatar that the player created at the start of the game. Even though Venom Snake and Big Boss are established in the Truth ending and the Truth tapes to be separate entities, the iDroid transcripts for the ending and the tapes involving the latter still list him as "Snake", similar to Venom Snake.
Overall, Venom Snake is the sixth canonical Snake in the Metal Gear series. Venom Snake is also the second playable character whose true role is revealed via a plot twist, similar to Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Venom Snake is the third Big Boss in the Metal Gear series, along with the original Big Boss and the non-canon Big Boss featured in the Nintendo Entertainment System of Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge. Canonically, Venom Snake is the first Snake to die in the Metal Gear series. Finally, Venom Snake is canonically the only one to be directly killed by another Snake (Solid Snake), putting aside the death of Solidus Snake at the hands of Raiden, as Raiden had stopped using the callsign "Snake" by that point.
While it has been done more with Venom Snake in the Metal Gear series, Venom Snake is not the only character in the series that Kojima intended to invest in the player by putting the player in the character's position. Solid Snake was the first character in the series to be used this way in Metal Gear Solid when Psycho Mantis breaks the fourth wall and when the player can decide whether Meryl Silverburgh lives or dies. The second is with Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2 when the player inputs their name and birthday on Raiden's dog tags and the player through Raiden becomes Solid Snake's equal, this is supported by Solid Snake's speech at the end. In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the player is meant to feel how Naked Snake feels about having no choice but to kill The Boss. It goes even further when the player is the one to pull the trigger and kill The Boss.
On the Command Center menu, if the player looks closely at Venom Snake's reflection, it shows the avatar the player created, hinting at the plot twist of Venom Snake not being Big Boss. Also, a pair of white gloves can be seen hanging in the cabin of the ACC. These gloves bear a strong resemblance to those worn by the medic during the scene in Ground Zeroes where he operates on Paz. Also, the group photo of Morpho, Miller, Big Boss and the Medic is folded, covering the medic completely.
In addition, the Piggyback game guide for The Phantom Pain strongly implied Venom Snake's true identity is separate from Big Boss, although they never explicitly confirmed it due to Konami and at that time Kojima Productions specifically forbade them from giving any statements about Ishmael's identity. The GDC 2013 reveal trailer for The Phantom Pain had first hinted at his existence when Miller, after learning about Big Boss falling into a coma, asks "What about him?" before the scene cut away.
The plot twist of Venom Snake not truly being Big Boss is hinted at multiple times throughout the game. Ishmael told him that he was "looking at himself" after Venom Snake had asked Ishmael who he was. When Venom Snake meets The Boss AI and Huey, the AI states, "You're not Snake, are you?", and Huey notices a difference between the two. Another hint is Ocelot explaining that Eli was not Venom Snake's clone, and that the genetic examination of the two did not match.
The ending timeline of The Phantom Pain establishes Venom Snake as the final boss of the original Metal Gear via a retcon, fulfilling his role as a "phantom" of Big Boss. However, his character sprite does not show an apparent prosthetic arm or cranial horn.
The English manual for the NES version of the original Metal Gear claimed that the Outer Heaven leader and FOXHOUND commander were two different individuals, being Colonel Vermon CaTaffy and Commander South, respectively. However, neither of their names appear in the game itself, with Big Boss serving both roles.
Whatever day and month the player puts as their birthday, if they play The Phantom Pain on that date, Miller will ask them to return to Mother Base. If the player does so, Miller, Ocelot, and whoever has been rescued to that point (Huey, Code Talker, DD and Quiet) will celebrate their birthday.
In The Phantom Pain, the player can collect a hidden game mechanic which are Demon Points, which is used for determining the player's "morality." Demon Points are increased for immoral actions and decreased for moral ones. Demon Points are obtained in essentially the opposite way in which Heroism points are obtained, as none are accrued via mission/side-op completions. When enough Demon Points are obtained, Venom Snake's horn will grow and he will be covered in blood. Once enough Demon Points are collected, Venom Snake will become Demon Snake. There are three forms to Demon Snake when Demon Points are obtained or reduced, these are:
- Normal: This is the default appearance for Snake and can be re-obtained by reducing Demon Points below 40,000.
- Horned Snake: This form appears after obtaining 20,000 points, the first time. It is distinguished by the metal shard in Venom Snake's head growing significantly to resemble a horn. If the player returns to "Normal" form after becoming Horned Snake, the player will return to Horned Snake after 40,000 Demon Points from then on.
- Demon Snake: This form appears after obtaining 50,000 points, the first time. It is distinguished by the metal shard in Venom Snake's head growing significantly longer then even Horned Snake and by Snake becoming permanently covered in blood. If the player returns to "normal form" after becoming Horned Snake, he/she will return to Horned Snake-only after obtaining 80,000 Demon Points in total.
Demon Points can be obtained and removed in a variety of ways. Unlike Heroism, no Demon Points are awarded or removed for completion of objectives.
Earning Demon Points
- +20 - Fail the fulton extraction of an animal.
- +20 - Kill an animal.
- +30 - Critically wound an enemy soldier.
- +40 - Kill an animal using fire damage.
- +60 - Fail the fulton extraction of an enemy soldier.
- +60 - Kill an enemy soldier.
- +60 - Lose a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage by aborting mission 22 (+60 each).
- +75 - Destroy D-Walker.
- +90 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage.
- +100 - Kill a prisoner.
- +120 - Kill a critically wounded enemy soldier.
- +120 - Kill an enemy soldier using fire damage.
- +150 - Destroy a support helicopter.
- +150 - Critically wound D-Dog, D-Horse or Quiet.
- +180 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member.
- +180 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage using fire damage.
- +200 - Kill a prisoner using fire damage.
- +50,000 - Develop a nuclear weapon.
Removing Demon Points
- -30 - Fulton extract a common animal, enemy soldier, puppet soldier, or Parasite Unit member.
- -60 - Fulton extract a rare animal, Diamond Dogs staff member, or a prisoner.
- -60 - Extract a puppet soldier, a critically wounded enemy, or Quiet via helicopter.
- -120 - Fulton extract a very rare animal, an extremely rare animal, or a child soldier.
- -120 - Extract a VIP, a prisoner, or a Diamond Dogs staff member via helicopter.
- -240 - Extract a child soldier via helicopter.
- -300 - Visit the Animal Conservation Platform.
- -1,000 - Dispose of a nuclear weapon.
- -1,000 - Earn the "Cry Havoc" or "Speechless" trophy.
- -5,000 - Earn the "Cleared", "Trusty Steed", "Man's Best Friend", "War Buddy", or "Reminiscence" trophy.
- -10,000 - Earn the "Conservation" trophy.
- -30,000 - Dispose of ten nuclear weapons.
If Snake runs low on GMP, he will be forced to return to base due to morale having fallen to such an extent that at least two personnel had gotten into a particularly violent brawl amongst each other, resulting in Snake breaking up the fight and even forcing one of the soldiers to stab him when he attempted to draw a weapon on the other soldier he restrained, also suggesting to Ocelot that they need a job to do to get them focused on something other than their tenuous relationship with other personnel.
There is another optional cutscene, and mission, that Snake can do. Snake can encounter what appeared to be Paz inside one of the buildings of the Medical Platform on Mother Base. Miller and Ocelot would elaborate that Paz seemingly gained amnesia due to trauma. Snake would later embark on various missions to capture and recruit wandering soldiers that hailed from the original MSF Mother Base. This resulted in him finding old memento photos based on Paz's respective joyful experiences on Mother Base, and in turn, he would give these photos to the amnesiac Paz as means of helping her regain her memories, after which Paz will say she is not feeling well.
After collecting all the memento photos, Snake visited her again, only to find that she was suddenly in a panic. Paz explained that there was still a bomb inside of her, then slowly pulled out the bomb from her stomach. The bomb then exploded and Snake was seemingly caught in the blast only to find himself waking up unharmed. The "hospital room" was revealed to have actually been under construction and only consisted of a metal floor.
A butterfly passed by him but it mysteriously vanished when he grabbed it and opened his hand. Having realized that Paz had truly passed away many years ago, Venom Snake finally came to terms with her death. It was heavily implied that what Snake witnessed was a phantom of Paz, and that he had experienced an elaborate and vivid hallucination (Miller and Ocelot did not really appear either) due to his grief over losing Paz (as his direct failure, not noticing the second bomb while reaching inside of her); in which it was akin to the feeling of a phantom pain.
Another cutscene that can only be unlocked if the player reaches certain requirements is the one with Snake and Quiet dancing in the rain. To unlock this the player must have an 80% bond with Quiet and must return to Mother Base with Quiet while it is raining. Quiet will strip and dance in the rain on her own and then Venom Snake will then join Quiet, who will dance with her after she has encouraged him to, they stop dancing when the weather clears up. As they are dancing, "Quiet's Theme" will be heard in the background.
Reception and controversy
Venom Snake has received a mixed reception. Some are satisfied that Venom Snake's appearance as the final boss in Metal Gear makes sense in terms of how the real Big Boss couldn't have escaped Outer Heaven's destruction in time (Solid escaped at the last minute) and appears in Metal Gear 2. Others have expressed disappointment that Venom Snake is not the real Big Boss, as the marketing for The Phantom Pain claimed that it was going to explain the latter's descent to madness and transformation from a protagonist to an antagonist. Another criticism is Venom Snake's lack of speech which many feels it takes away from his character.
Similarities between Venom Snake and Ahab
Venom Snake's alias as Ahab is a reference to the central character from the novel Moby-Dick; the same way that Big Boss's adopted identity as Ishmael is also derived from the main character of the novel. There are many references and similarities between Venom Snake and Ahab from Moby Dick:
- Both Venom Snake and Ahab were involved in an incident that resulted in the loss of their limbs, Venom Snake's left arm and Ahab's left leg respectively.
- They both had their limbs replaced with a substitute, though Venom Snake got a bionic arm later on.
- Both Venom Snake and Ahab wanted revenge on those that took their limbs.
- They both rebuilt what they had lost in order to get the means to have revenge.
- Both of them have means of transportation called Pequod (Venom Snake's helicopter pilot "Pequod", Ahab's ship "Pequod").
- Both Venom Snake and Ahab are physically and psychologically damaged from what happened to make them lose their limbs.
- They are both leaders of their own organizations, Diamond Dogs and Ahab's crew.
- They both recruit people through both charisma and terror.
- Ahab is seen as dictatorial but not unfair and occasionally showing a compassionate side, similarly to how Venom Snake behaves.
- Both Venom Snake and Ahab die due to their hubris, though Snake did get his revenge.
Venom Snake being made to believe he is Big Boss via hypnotherapy is similar to how Ocelot led himself to believe he was the mental copy of the deceased Liquid Snake, Liquid Ocelot, with their hypnotherapy wearing off after some time had passed. As revealed on his passport that Big Boss used, Venom Snake was born in California, and is 52 years old.
According to Kojima's notes in the Piggyback Collector's Edition Guide's art gallery, Venom Snake (or rather, Big Boss as he is identified in the notes) losing his arm was decided early on in the project, and also implied that he was supposed to lose two fingers from his right hand as well. He also mentioned that the powerful prosthetic arm was implemented to allow players to appreciate the full intended experience, as while Snake could technically still wield weapons, it would have made it difficult to appreciate such.
Although the Truth ending reveals that Venom Snake is not Big Boss, his exact reaction to learning of this revelation is left ambiguous, as he briefly demonstrates a smirk as if accepting and embracing the role. After he flips the tape "From Man Who Sold the World", he sees Operation Intrude N313, which is the name of the mission in the original Metal Gear. In the next scene, Venom Snake sees himself in the mirror with a bloody face and larger horn, before punching the mirror. The exact time frame is deliberately vague, and Venom Snake disappears into the fog after smashing the mirror.
Similar to Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, his stats are not accessible on the Mother Base staff menu. They are instead accessible when selecting a playable soldier for a mission or FOB event. As such, he also doesn't have his own iDroid image.
Forward Operating Base
Venom Snake can be chosen as the player character for Forward Operating Base (FOB) Missions. If online players succeed in disarming all nuclear weapons on their game platform's server, a number of cutscenes will be unlocked which show Snake, Miller, Ocelot and Diamond Dogs soldiers at a ceremony, vowing to combat nuclear proliferation and achieve worldwide nuclear disarmament. As the credits roll, Snake expounds on Diamond Dogs' situation, although it is unclear whether it was Venom Snake speaking or Big Boss:
- "We have no tomorrow, but there's still hope for the future. In our struggle to survive the present, we push the future farther away. Will I see it in my lifetime? Probably not. Which means there's no time to waste. Someday the world will no longer need us. No need for the gun, or the hand to pull the trigger. I have to drive out this demon inside me - build a better future. That's what I - what we - will leave as our legacy. Another mission, right Boss? "
Metal Gear Online
Besides his appearance in the main game, he is also playable in the third iteration of Metal Gear Online in two ways: First, as the player avatar the player created for themselves at the beginning of the game (confirmed in the truth mission to be Venom Snake's pre-surgery identity), and second, as Venom Snake himself post-surgery as a bonus character.
The Venom Snake bonus character has the health and stamina of an Enforcer-type character, as well as the mobility ranking of a Scout-type character, thus allowing him to be extremely difficult to take down, as well as move at standard speed with extra protection on the battlefield. He also has the signature ability called "Phantom Legend", which endows him with the following abilities:
- WEAPONS+: Lv.3
- TACTICAL+: Lv.2
- LETHAL AIM+: Lv.3
- NON-LETHAL AIM+: Lv.3
- INTEL+: Lv.2
- ANTI-MARKING+: Lv.2
- DEMOLITION+: Lv.1
- TANK+: Lv.2
- CQC STEALTH+: Lv.3
- INTERROGATION+: Lv.1
- STEALTH CAMO+: Lv.2
- FULTON+: Lv.2
He also has 26 ability slots, making him exceptionally powerful compared to normal player characters. His unique ability is the bionic arm, which depending on the loadout will have the arm type being blast arm, rocket arm, and stun arm.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
- Metal Gear (retcon)
- Metal Gear Solid (indirectly mentioned in "Previous Operations" via retcon)
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Notes and references
- ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
Venom Snake's passport defines his year and place of birth, alongside the player-determined details of his true identity.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
Ocelot: Boss, you don't understand what he said? Ahh... I guess that makes sense... It looks like that "horn" stuck in your head has impacted the language center of your brain. If only we had a recruit with the Russian "Interpreter" skill, we could get by with simultaneous interpretation...
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
Ocelot: Understanding a language, and being able to interpret from that language for somebody else, are two different things. Juggling languages at a rapid-fire pace is more difficult than you might think, so... in other words, while I do speak Russian, don't expect me to do your interpreting.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
Miller: He speaks Russian... What we need is an interpreter. The main principle of intelligence work is intel gathering, but that's a problem if you don't speak the enemy's language. We need a staff member with the Interpreter skill to do simultaneous interpretation.
- ^ David Hayter Sound Files Found In Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, Medic’s Face Finally Uncovered (2014-12-25). Retrieved on 2015-01-17.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 5’s Mystery Continues: The Medic Shares The Same Scars As Big Boss (2015-01-09). Retrieved on 2015-01-17.
- ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3S6bwvG38U
(at 1:18:50) Stefanie Joosten: [Kojima Productions] told us in a way its still Big Boss. The meaning behind it is that the player is Big Boss in this game.
- ^ http://webnewtype.com/special/metalgear/en_01/
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
Venom Snake: We don't draw weapons on comrades. (the soldier struggles) Look around you. This is your family. // Ocelot: Show is over! Get out of here! [...] // Snake: Morale has fallen. // Ocelot: They just need a mission. Orders to follow. If you see someone stuck in the Waiting Room, you give 'em a job to do.
- ^ https://twitter.com/HEITAIs/status/748542802112352256
- ^ In the iDroid log, both Venom Snake and Big Boss are referred to as "Snake" in the transcripts. Therefore, the speaker is merely credited as Snake, largely because of it being left ambiguous as to which of the two was speaking.
|Metal Gear characters|
| Solid Snake|
Big Boss (NES) — Commander South — Schneider — Diane — Jennifer (NES)
Big Boss's phantom — Vermon CaTaffy — Shotmaker — Machinegun Kid — Twin Shot — Fire Trooper — Bloody Brad — Dirty Duck
Gray Fox — Drago Pettrovich Madnar — Ellen Madnar
Solid Snake's companions — Elite Scum Squad — Steve — Drago Pettrovich Madnar decoy — Jennifer's brother
|Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes characters|
| Big Boss - Kazuhira Miller - Chico Valenciano Libre - Paz Ortega Andrade |
Skull Face - Cipher - Huey Emmerich - Amanda Valenciano Libre - Unidentified Militaires Sans Frontières medic
Unidentified prisoner - Undercover agent - Unidentified bald Marine - Morpho
Glaz - Palitz - Hideo - Prisoner 12282