- "Ravens aren't scavengers like most people think. They're simply returning to the natural world that, which is no longer needed. Sometimes they even attack wounded foxes."
- ―Vulcan Raven prior to fighting Solid Snake in the warehouse
Early life and career
Vulcan Raven was born to Native Alaskan American and Inuit parents. He had a tattoo of a raven on his forehead and petroglyph tattoos across his body. His body was able to withstand freezing temperatures. Raven was raised as a shaman by his people, giving him shamanic intuition and spiritual abilities.
Raven was a graduate emeritus from the University of Alaska and spent a few more years living in his homeland. He took part in the Eskimo-Indian Olympics at Fairbanks every year, and won many Muk-tuk eating and Ear Pull contests; an event where two opponents pull each other's ear while enduring the harsh cold, intended to test both spiritual and physical strength. He was also alleged to have excelled in the Four Man Carry event, having been able to accomplish it with six men, as well as having won it as well as the Stick Pull for three years straight. As a hobby, Raven enjoyed trapping deer within Alaska's perilous Brooks Mountains. On one trip across the frozen Bering Strait to Siberia, Raven met then-GRU operative Revolver Ocelot.
After that, he joined the Soviet special forces unit Vympel. After the fall of the Soviet Union, he was demoted along with other Vympel operatives following Boris Yeltsin's coup in 1993. Raven decided to flee Russia and become a mercenary for hire, eventually joining Big Boss's mercenary dispatch company Outer Heaven. The destruction of Outer Heaven was FOXHOUND operative Solid Snake's first mission, but Raven and Snake did not meet on this occasion.
With Outer Heaven in ruins, Raven, on the recommendations of Revolver Ocelot, joined FOXHOUND himself, becoming the unit's heavy weapons/explosive ordnance specialist. During his FOXHOUND years, he excelled at using a portable modification of the M61A1 20mm multi-barreled autocannon (the origin of his codename), which is widely used on American military tactical aircraft, such as the F-16.
- Main article: Shadow Moses Incident
In February 2005, Raven and the other members of FOXHOUND, along with the Next-Generation Special Forces, initiated an armed takeover of Shadow Moses Island. Ex-FOXHOUND Solid Snake was dispatched to the deal with the renegade unit, and encountered Raven while making his way to the island's warhead storage facility. Commanding an M1 Abrams tank, Raven battled Snake. However, the tank was destroyed after Snake threw grenades into the open hatch, while the gunner and loader attempted to deal with him. Raven survived the explosion and reported to Liquid Snake, indicating that the battle had been intended as a test of Snake's capabilities. The battle's aftermath also allowed Snake to recover a card key, as part of a plan to trick him into carrying out FOXHOUND's objectives. Following Snake's later capture by Sniper Wolf, Raven called Liquid's cell phone to inform him of America's lack of response to their demands.
Raven later faced Snake a second time within an underground warehouse. Here, he managed to briefly curse Snake with the raven on his forehead, stating that he now had the mark of death. Raven also commented on Snake's ancestors having originated in Mongolia, similar to himself, and that he possessed "blood from the east" (referring to Snake's Japanese heritage). He then fought Snake with his M61 Vulcan cannon, though was ultimately defeated. Upon losing, having been mortally wounded, he came to believe that his own existence was no longer needed among the living, and handed Snake a card key for the underground maintenance base. In his final moments, Raven offered Snake a "hint," telling him that the DARPA Chief, whom Snake had met and saw die earlier, was actually FOXHOUND member Decoy Octopus. He did not explain why or how he was killed, nor why he was disguised in the first place, but declared that Snake would always follow a life of bloodshed wherever he went. He also vaguely alluded to the fact that Snake was an artificially conceived clone, stating that he and Liquid were "from another world," one which he did not wish to know.
- "The path you walk on has no end. Each step you take is paved with the corpses of your enemies... Their souls will haunt you forever... you shall have no peace... Hear me, Snake! My spirit will be watching you!"
- ― Vulcan Raven's final words to Solid Snake
As he made this declaration, he was eaten alive by his own ravens, becoming "one with them."
|The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]|
Shortly before fighting Solid Snake in the canyon, Vulcan Raven surveyed the area from on top of a nearby glacier, and also wondered why the U.S. Government would build the Shadow Moses facility in a remote and harsh place. However, he decided that it was not his place to question the antics of the politicians and military of America, as he held his allegiance to the Russians in spite of America being his birthplace.
Behind the scenes
Vulcan Raven (バルカン・レイブン Barukan Reibun?) appears in Metal Gear Solid (MGS1), where he is fought by the player during a boss battle. He is voiced in Japanese by Yukitoshi Hori, who would later portray The Sorrow in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, another character who has spiritual abilities.
If the player ends up hit by Raven's tank shell during the battle, Raven will pop out of the hatch and proceed to laugh before going back in. In MGS1, killing any of the ravens prior to Snake's second fight with Raven will make him chastize Snake for "killing his friends." In the remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (TTS), his dog tag appears near his Vulcan Cannon after he is defeated.
In MGS1, during the cutscene where Snake first encounters Raven in the tank, he said "Let's fight!" before the boss fight begins. In TTS, he says the line and forgets to close the hatch. A few seconds go by before he closes the hatch.
In MGS1, Naomi Hunter erroneously says "Bimpel" instead of "Vympel" when describing the special forces group Raven worked for. This was fixed in TTS.
In Millennium Books' strategy guide for MGS1, the Official Mission Handbook, it is claimed that the raven on Vulcan Raven's forehead is a birthmark, contradicting previous official biographies for the game that describe it as a tattoo. The birthmark account is referenced in the description for the MacFarlane Toys Vulcan Raven action figure, and later, the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database. Conversely, the tattoo account is retained in Raven's TTS biography. As a result, this article assumes that the tattoo account associated with the original game and its remake is the correct one.
The McFarlane action figure of Raven appears in the Tanker chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It is positioned in front of a flashlight, giving not only the player, but also Snake and Otacon, the impression that Raven himself is standing around the corner, M61 in hand. Shooting it will cause it to "speak" and fire small BB pellets. These pellets are shot out of the toy M61 Vulcan autocannon at a very low velocity, so they don't pose much of a threat. The action figure also appears in one of the flooded rooms in the Big Shell, where it floats among other pieces of debris.
In Act 3 of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Raven's quote "Blood from the east flows within your veins" from Metal Gear Solid can be heard when Big Mama told how Snake was created. In Act 4, he will appear as a "ghost" in the canyon on Shadow Moses if a specific area is photographed with the Camera. In addition, his quote about "the killing [never ending]" can be heard if Snake walks to the door of the room where they fought.
While Raven doesn't make an appearance himself in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, his raven tattoo can be applied to the player's avatar.
Vulcan Raven also appeared in Versus Battle, where he competed for fan votes against Psycho Mantis.
Fierce, Cold-Blooded, Shamanic Killer
Impervious to the Cold, but to Fire?
Raven’s tremendous strength allows him to brutally wield the M61A1 20mm multi-barreled “Vulcan” auto-cannon from an F-16
METAL GEAR SOLID: THE LEGACY COLLECTION"
- ―Vulcan Raven's bio on Versus Battle.
- Metal Gear Solid
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (mentioned, action figure)
- Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (mentioned, voice, flashbacks and non-canon ghost)
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid official biography, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
- ^ a b c d e METAL GEAR SOLID (Japanese). Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
- ^ Dummied data for the PC version of Metal Gear Solid revealed that the Shadow Moses Incident occurred on February 28, 2005.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Master Miller: A Native Alaskan American, huh? Probably Athapaskan. They're originally from the same tribe as the Apaches and Navajos of New Mexico. Anthropomorphically, they're related to the Japanese. There are even linguistic similarities between Athapaskan languages and ancient Japanese.
- ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Naomi Hunter: Vulcan Raven is half Native Alaskan American and half Inuit. He was raised as a shaman and they say he has supernatural powers. During the Cold War, he trained in Russia with the Bimpel [sic], the Soviet special forces. In 1993, he was demoted by President Yeltsin following his coup d'etat. So he fled the country and became a mercenary. After that, he joined those rent-a-war bastards at "Outer Heaven Inc." He stayed there until he joined us in Fox-Hound, thanks to a strong recommendation from Revolver Ocelot. That cannon he's holding is a 20 millimeter Vulcan gun. You usually see them mounted on fighter planes [...] He's not just strong, Snake. He's a graduate emeritus from Alaska University, so he's a quick thinker, too.
- ^ a b METAL GEAR SOLID: THE TWIN SNAKES. Konami Computer Entertainment Japan. Retrieved on 2015-02-07.
- ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook, Millennium Books (1998).
- ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008)
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Liquid Snake, while disguised as Master Miller, explains this to Solid Snake in an optional Codec call during the latter's fight against Vulcan Raven
- ^ Metal Gear Solid novelization by Raymond Benson, Del Rey Books (2008).