You said it, Miller.
Leaving All That Crap in San Hieronymo Behind
By Ravi Singh
Posted on July 18, 2010
This is the first part of a two-part series of editorial articles covering
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The
second part analyzes how Big Boss drastically
changed since the events of 1974 and the will of The Boss.
SPOILER WARNING: The following editorial discusses plot details from the recently
released Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. If you have not yet played the game and
wish to avoid any spoilers please refrain from reading anything below. Perhaps there
is something else you'd be interested
in looking at for now.
Playing through Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, watching the second ending
and unlocking all of those god damned tapes makes you wonder about the title that
takes place prior to it. Well, yes, you do think about Snake Eater, but I'm talking
about Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Is Portable Ops even part of the series
The two games are very similar. They both are non-numbered Metal Gear Solid games
on the PSP. They both take place in between Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and
Metal Gear. They both star Big Boss. They both take place in Latin America. They
both have Big Boss buddy up with someone who gives support to Solid Snake decades
later in Zanzibar Land. They both have you getting soldiers, managing them and
even sending them to virtual conflicts.
Of course, there are the differences as Peace Walker takes Portable Ops and makes
nearly everything better. It's almost as if Peace Walker really is Hideo Kojima's
replacement for Portable Ops, similar to how Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was developed
as an official sequel to Metal Gear when he found out about Snake's Revenge. Sure,
unlike Snake's Revenge, Mr. Kojima actually produced Portable Ops and was involved with the basic
plot of it. While I would love to believe that it isn't, Portable Ops is still
officially canon. Thing is, Peace Walker takes a great effort to stay the fuck
away from Portable Ops.
The only mention of anything relating to Portable Ops is also the most damning.
Near the beginning of the game, Kazuhira Miller, full of relief, tells Snake,
"Finally, we can leave all that crap in San Hieronymo behind..." Is Miller
talking to Snake... or is he talking to us? It would be a bit odd if it was anything
but a nod to the player. Miller was not involved with the San Hieronymo Takeover
which happened in 1970. Besides, that was fucking four years ago and dealt with
the beginning of FOXHOUND, which Snake leaves. Why bother mentioning it?
A MILITARY WITHOUT MONEY
They're so broke, they had to hire a French guy to make their sign out of
the remains of a cardboard box Snake and Miller had too much fun in.
Let's go back to what happened in between 1970 and 1974 according to Peace Walker.
At the age of twenty-four, Miller left the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF)
and became a mercenary. Snake, on the other hand started FOXHOUND in 1971 according
to the ending of Snake Eater, but left in 1972 becoming a mercenary. Sometime
in 1972, the two finally met.
Miller: We first met as enemies on the battlefield, and now here
we are fighting side by side.
Snake: You mean Colombia?
Miller: Yeah. After I quit the JSDF, I made my way there and got myself
a position as a drill sergeant for a band of revolutionaries, despite the
fact that I'd never seen a day of combat.
Miller: ... Unlucky for me, though, you were in the service of the Colombian
Snake: That's right. And two years later, here we are...
BRIEFING - MILLER - About himself - How Miller met Snake
Between 1972 and 1974 saw the start of Militaires Sans Frontieres (MSF)
with Snake and Miller as founders. They set up headquarters in a shack at
the Barranquilla Coast in Colombia with no more than ten soldiers. Then
we see Big Boss riding a motorcycle and smoking a cigar. Thus begins the
Nothing seems out of place. MSF is a low budget operation because they can't
really tax it's citizens for a military budget. It's only citizens, if you
could even call them that, are a few soldiers. Snake also can't tap into
the money The Patriots have access to. Snake, however, should have access
to funding though according to Portable Ops. Remember, Gene felt that Big
Boss was similar to him and upon his death gave Big Boss a microfilm with
information on his Army's Heaven.
Gene: The equipment, personnel, and funds I amassed in secret to
build Army's Heaven. All the data is stored on that film. No one else
knows about it.
Okay, so maybe all Gene had left was a M16, three guys and a fraction
of the annual salary of a jizz mopper. It's still something that is never
fucking mentioned. In fact, all you hear especially in the beginning of
the damn game is how they need money. You will hear Miller talk about it
MILLER: We need money, too - money to train soldiers to fight.
BRIEFING - MILLER - MSF - MSF's Goals
Pimp my military without borders.
He even hints that he's double-crossed Snake in order to expand.
MILLER: MSF never would have gotten this big if it weren't
MAIN OPS - Metal Gear ZEKE Battle
Unknown [Voice of MILLER]: But I'm only interested in the business
angle. Like I said before, I'm neither an enemy nor an ally. I'm
merely a business partner. Don't forget it.
BRIEFING - Data Files - Secret File - The Phone
The "business angle" might be something completely different of
course and it's plausible that Miller is lying to Snake during the ending,
but there is some truth in the fact that MSF went from what could at
best be a local private militia to a nuclear power. This being the same
MSF that didn't even have a helicopter for transport in the beginning.
Either Gene pretty much gave Snake the equivalent of pocket lint or
the event simply did not happen. Hey, maybe Snake accidentally washed
the microfilm in the laundry.
DESTROY FINAL WEAPON...
Historically speaking, the first time the phrase "Metal Gear"
was used in the Metal Gear canon was in Snake Eater. Granin got drunk
and talked about why his idea of a bipedal tank was better than Sokolov's
Snake: A bipedal tank?
Granin: Yes, a walking tank - a robot! Are you familiar with
the theory of the missing link between apes and humans? Well,
this technology will be the missing link between infantry and
artillery. A kind of metal gear, if you will. And this magnificent
metal gear will make a revolutionary step forward in weapons development.
Snake: Metal Gear...
According to Portable Ops, not only did Volgin "guess" wrong
when he thought he beat Sokolov to death, but had Sokolov develop
a walking nuclear tank.
Snake: They're going to strap the Shagohod to an ICBM
and launch it into an enemy country? That's possible!?
Ghost [Sokolov]: It would be impossible - for the Shagohod.
But what if it were something smaller and more mobile... for
instance, a walking tank? And what if you used a booster far
more powerful than the Shagohod's, like the Saturn rocket
they used to launch the Apollo Lunar Module?
Snake: A walking tank... Of course. At the same time Sokolov
was developing the Shagohod... the Granin lab was developing
a bipedal walking tank at Groznyj Grad... called Metal Gear...
Ghost, are you Granin - the man who designed Metal Gear...?
No... Granin must be dead. He was killed by Volgin.
Ghost: Granin... that name brings back memories. But go
ahead and believe I'm Granin if you like.
Snake: So Metal Gear is actually a walking nuclear tank
equipped with multiple small nuclear warheads?
Left: Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear, Right:
Metal Gear RAXA
There were actually two Metal Gears at San Hieronymo:
RAXA which was a prototype meant to be used for performance
evaluation and the Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear
(ICBMG). Despite being quadruped (they used four legs) everyone
continues to refer to them as "Metal Gears" throughout the
With Peace Walker though, we hit a bump in the road. Portable
Ops establishes that Sokolov was rescued by Gene, defected
to the United States and began working on Metal Gear using
Ghost: Exactly. What was stolen from America
was only the Metal Gear vehicle itself. Gene intends
to arm it with the Soviet-made warheads stored on this
Snake: But can it use Soviet warheads? Oh, wait...
the blueprints for Metal Gear were originally Soviet-made,
In order to see why this causes a problem, let's follow
the paper trail. The ending of Snake Eater has Ocelot
tell the DCI that he managed to get a hold of Granin's
Ocelot: Speaking of which, I've obtained something
from Granin that you might find interesting. It's
a revolutionary new nuclear attack system. Perhaps
it might just come in handy some day.
So this means that Sokolov should have Granin's papers
now because the CIA gave it to him. This makes sense.
Out of fucking nowhere though, Coldman got a hold of Granin's
work, gave it to Huey and then later blackmailed him when
Huey plagiarized it into his own work into developing
the AI weapons.
Huey: I based the bipedal locomotion technology
used in Peace Walker on Soviet research. ...Actually,
I'll be honest with you. I stole most of the basic
ideas behind it.
Snake: Soviet... Bipedal... You mean Granin.
Huey: You know him?
BRIEFING - HUEY - Peace Walker -
Soviet Research on Bipedal Locomotion
Snake: How'd you get your hands on Granin's
Huey: That was also Coldman. He used his Agency
contacts to get a hold of it.
Snake: Giving you stolen information then using
it to blackmail you... Damn.
Huey: I knew it was Granin's work the minute
I saw it. See, I'd been corresponding with him
for a while.
Huey: Letters. Between scientists doing the
same kind of research... He always complained
that nobody understood his ideas on bipedal locomotion.
Snake: Ah... So you're the "American friend"
he was talking about.
Huey: Obviously he didn't write a word about
the technology in his letters. Except for one
time. "If by chance anything should happen to
me, I entrust my research to you. Better that
than handing it over to these ignorant so-called
Snake: Sounds like him, all right.
Huey: Then one day his papers actually came.
It wasn't hard for me to imagine what had happened
to him. I felt it was my duty to carry on his
work after him...
BRIEFING - HUEY - Peace Walker
- Soviet Research on Bipedal Locomotion - Granin
It is possible, of course, that Sokolov "lost"
the blueprints to Metal Gear and the CIA managed
to get it back. Then Coldman used his CIA connections
to get it back and then gave it to Huey who coincidentally
was in contact with Granin for years. Oh, and
did you know these papers included details about
the Shagohod? With Granin's butthurt commentary
If only Granin took an interest in carrier
pigeons as Dr. Kio Marv did...
Snake: Those papers the CIA gave
you... Was there any data on the Shagohod
Snake: A nuclear tank that launches IRBMs.
It competed against Granin's system for
Huey: Oh, the thing with the rockets.
Designed by a guy named... Sokolov, right?
Snake: What's so funny?
Huey: No, I was just remembering some
of the "commentary" Granin added to the
Shagohod papers. You should have seen the
way he bad-mouthed it. It was too conservative,
Snake: I can imagine.
Huey: He was so angry when he wrote that
he smeared up the ink. And you know how
shoddy the paper is over there to begin
BRIEFING - Huey - Peace
Walker - Shagohod
So did you, jackass.
It's entirely possible that the papers
were whored out like that. It's just strange
that not only did Granin's work get passed
around like that but that information
about the Shagohod with the hate filled
opinions smeared all over it remained
intact through all of this. Did the RAXA
and ICBMG plans get taken by the CIA as
well or did Sokolov take that to his grave?
It doesn't seem like these were given
to Coldman. Especially when you find out
why Huey and Miller decided to name MSF's
bipedal weapon "Metal Gear."
Huey: One more thing: our new
bipedal weapon needs a name.
Snake: Good point. We can't keep
calling it "our bipedal weapon."
Hal: I had a talk with Miller,
and we came up with "Metal Gear ZEKE."
Snake: Metal Gear... ZEKE...?
Hal: Yep. As you know, "Metal Gear"
was coined by Granin.
Snake: And "ZEKE"?
It's not that it's strange that
they named it Metal Gear, but rather
why they did so. Granin coined it.
That's fine and all, but whatever
happened to those two walking nuclear
tanks by Sokolov that Snake took out
just four years ago? Those, too, were
based off of Granin's plans, right?
Oh, and don't give me any shit about
Huey and Miller wouldn't have known
about RAXA and ICBMG.
Well okay, Huey doesn't know anything
about RAXA and ICBMG since Coldman
might have just wanted the papers
Ocelot got, but Miller should... otherwise,
what exactly is the "crap" that happened
in San Hieronymo is he talking about?
Snake should be knowledgeable about
RAXA and ICBMG's existence but either
he found them unworthy of any mention
or bumped his head within four years
and forgot about them.
A DEVIOUSLY CUNNING COLDMAN
Portable Ops' biggest revelation
was that "a single, deviously cunning
strategist" set up the events that
unfolded in Snake Eater that led
to The Boss being terminated in
order to prove the United States'
innocence. This includes Volgin
launching the nuke at the OKB-754
design bureau in order to frame
The Boss. This plot twist was revealed
by Gene and Big Boss' response was
Due to the rather flawed presentation
of Portable Ops, a lot of people
believed Zero was the strategist
but that simply is not the case.
Zero is mentioned in another scene
where Gene is talking to Ocelot
on the phone and refers to Zero
not by name, but rather, "the man
with the same codename as Null."
In some ways Portable Ops hints
at the DCI being the cunning strategist,
but it's really Guns of the Patriots
that helps answer the question players
were asking since Portable Ops'
Eva: The Boss was a legendary
hero from the Second World War
known as the Mother of Special
Forces. She had an almost overwhelming
charisma about her. The CIA
feared this, so they had her
Peace Walker doesn't necessarily
change things too much. Instead
of it being the guy who gets shot
in the end of Portable Ops, it reveals
Coldman as the man who planned Operation:
Coldman: I know all about
you. Tselinoyarsk? Ten years
Snake: You were involved...?
Coldman: The operation to
eliminate the traitor? I planned
the whole thing.
Snake: Shouldn't a suit like
you be back at Langley? What
the hell are you doing here?
Coldman: ...It's what the
CIA does best. Ensure people
in the know keep their mouths
shut, or else pack them off
someplace where there's no one
MAIN OPS -
Infiltrate the Underground Base
In Coldman's first appearance
in Peace Walker, he is overheard
in an argument with Huey. He
reveals that he was once an
active DCI, a job title he wishes
Coldman: We used
each other. I'll get my
old Director's job back
at headquarters, and you'll
finally be able to "walk
tall" among your colleagues.
- Infiltrate the Crater
Now at first glance, this
little problem is nonexistent.
Coldman was the DCI in 1964
and then was transferred to
Central America, mainly to keep
his ass quiet. The man who got
shot by Ocelot in Portable Ops
was the active DCI in 1970.
Coldman should be the DCI in
1964, right? It checks out.
The thing is, the DCI in Portable
Ops is the same DCI in Snake
Ocelot: I've been
sent to meet you, Mr. Director.
DCI: And who are you?
Ocelot: My name is ADAM.
Remember me now? At last,
we meet in person.
The DCI in Portable
Ops with two suits.
The DCI talked to
"ADAM" in a phone call
at the end of Snake Eater.
This is the same conversation
where he talks about getting
Granin's documents. This
means that the active
DCI during that phone
call should be the same
guy who Ocelot kills in
Portable Ops. This is
the same man who's hand
Snake refused to shake.
This minor discrepancy
can be written off by
a few ways, including
having him transferred
sometime before the end
of Operation: Snake Eater
to make sure he shuts
the fuck up. Then again,
how does he know about
the Granin papers to begin
with? So he has the be
the DCI right up until
Ocelot's final call which
could have taken place
prior to the handshake.
That's fine but what about
the new DCI identifying
ADAM? It's not an outright
contradiction in the fictional
universe but it's all
Not as strange as Big
Boss' reaction to Coldman's
revelation though. Whereas
he really wanted to know
who set up The Boss' death
when Gene stated that
it was all staged, Snake
seems to be only curious
in Coldman's job. Either
Big Boss is an idiot who
would fail at a "connect
the dots" assignment in
a children's coloring
book or maybe there was
nothing to react to in
the first place. Maybe
Coldman just planned the
1964 mission and Volgin
fired that nuke on his
CALLING TO THE DIVIDE
One of the biggest
similarities in Portable
Ops and Peace Walker is
the character development
of Big Boss. While the
two take the character
to a slightly different
direction, the two start
with a Big Boss still
traumatized by The Boss'
death and eventually getting
the fuck over it in some
I thought it was
already proven four
can't let you use
Metal Gear. I'm
doing this out of
loyalty to myself.
I'm not going
to live my life
the way The Boss
Have it your way.
Now you're a real
the end, she
put down her
gun. And when
she did... she
up to that point...
do you mean?
giving up her
life, she abandoned
was as a soldier...
I won't make
the same choice
as her. My future's
going to be
From now on,
call me Big
MAIN OPS - Peace
Big Boss. A
title he periodically
rejects in Peace
Walker and only
A title he finally
that The Boss'
calling is not
his... a calling
that The Boss
died for according
Ops and a calling
that she gave
up on according
to Peace Walker.
You - her
- have never
to do that.
to let go.
SPOILER: Snake is a gun.
Gene or Paz
what the fuck
they are talking
Gene are repeated
to the identity
of the "cunning
an issue he
in by 1974)
and his response
to Paz is
of Snake being
a gun which
The Boss "threw
be made out
of all of
for most inconsistencies
to Dr. Clark
as a "he."
was not a
error as the
away the obvious
Solid 4: Database
and thus Naomi
legs and assumed
that it was
of Snake Eater
and Guns of
It works much
like how any
you or even
a Kojima Productions
pull out of
in the same
which as it
is, only supports
as part of
which is canon,
in the 1960's,
Big Boss was
in 1971 to
death in 1995,
and that among
in the way
of Peace Walker
and in some
be in the
of it and
did it on
Love it or
hate it, Portable
Ops, the Database
back to zero"
ends up contradicting
the shit out
of it despite
by the same
even in some
is to be trusted
Maybe we really
can, and should,
It just makes
of other crap
I'd like to
crap in Peace
could be explained
to be setting
for a sequel...