You better quit lying to me, Gray Fox! I will fucking punch the shit out of you! Oh wait, I just did!
Null adds to Gray Fox's backstory and does not retcon it.
Fact: Gray Fox's appearance in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops itself contradicts his already
established backstory in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
By Ravi Singh
Posted on February 4, 2010
Null's backstory retcons the established backstory given to Gray Fox in Metal
Gear 2: Solid Snake. I don't care if you think Portable Ops is the best thing
ever made since Snake's Revenge--This isn't about an opinion, I already wrote
up an editorial on that. This is all about facts.
A retcon is a change of previously established facts in a work of fiction. Gray
Fox's backstory has been established in 1990 with Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Sixteen
years later a different backstory is set with Portable Ops and it contradicts
the one that was already established.
Recall part of Gray Fox's death speech in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Gray Fox: I'm not like you, Snake... My situation is more... complicated.
Big Boss might have been just another CO to you, but he saved my life -
twice. This was way before I joined the unit. The first time, I was
half-white living in Vietnam... It was after the war, and half-whites were
being sent into forced labor camps. He saved me from that living hell.
Just like he saved all the children here...
History lesson for those who do not know--the Vietnam War officially ended
in 1975. That means that according to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, he was first
saved by Big Boss sometime after 1975... at least five years after the events
of Portable Ops. Now this myth exists because people will point out that Gray
Fox, as Null, was brainwashed possibly to the point in which he wouldn't even
remember what the fuck happened in the San Hieronymo Peninsula. Sure, I can
give you that much and assume it's true, but it won't help.
Gray Fox continues:
Gray Fox: The second time was in Mozambique. I was being tortured
as a RENAMO soldier, and he saved me again. They'd cut off my ears
and my nose...
Mozambique? Well that's interesting. In Portable Ops, Big Boss does mention
seeing Gray Fox in Mozambique...
Snake: It was four years ago, in Mozambique. There was a child
soldier fighting with a guerrilla group in the struggle for independence.
He killed dozens of government soldiers with just a single knife. He'd throw
the enemy off guard with the innocent frankness of a young boy. Then he'd
prey on them with the cold cruelty of a hunter. He spoke a little German
so his enemies called him, "Frank Jaeger," the frank hunter.
Gray Fox as a child in Mozambique fighting on behalf of the FRELIMO in 1966.
This makes no sense given what we learned in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
This isn't the same incident as the one Fox mentioned before his death in Zanzibar
Land. RENAMO, for starters, didn't really exist until 1975, so it makes no sense
if this incident took place in 1966. The "guerrilla group" fighting for "independence"
was likely to be the anti-colonial Marxist group FRELIMO. The FRELIMO ended up taking
over Mozambique and fighting a civil war with the anti-communist RENAMO in 1975.
This civil war did not end until 1992; Gray Fox was probably talking about this
FRELIMO vs RENAMO war where he fought on behalf of the RENAMO whereas Big Boss
was talking about the FRELIMO was with the Portuguese.
The possibility of Gray Fox fighting for the FRELIMO and later the RENAMO isn't
really impossible--The head of RENAMO was a military commander for FRELIMO during
the war with Portugal. Likewise I've already flirted with the idea that Gray
Fox could have lost all of his memory after the San Hieronymo Peninsula incident
in 1970, so the fact that nothing's ever been mentioned of his involvement with
FRELIMO (and Gene's FOX Unit, for that matter) can be explained, too.
So Gray Fox fought as a child soldier for the FRELIMO in 1966, got rescued by
Big Boss, taken by The Philosophers to be turned into "The Perfect Soldier"
Null and then rescued again by Big Boss in 1970. From here-on, Gray Fox should
be able to remember everything. So when did he go back to Mozambique only to
be rescued again by Big Boss?
In Metal Gear Solid, Naomi reveals to Solid Snake that she was rescued by Gray
Fox in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and then taken to Mozambique afterwards:
Naomi : I was found in Rhodesia sometime in the 80's... a dirty
Naomi : He was a young soldier, when he picked me up near the Zambezi River.
I was half-dead from starvation and he shared his rations with me. Yes.
Frank Jaeger, the man who you destroyed, was my brother and my only
Snake : Gray Fox?
Naomi : We survived that hell together, Frank and I. He protected me. He's
my one connection... the only connection that I have to my past.
Snake : And he brought you back to America?
Naomi : No. I was in Mozambique when "he" came.
Snake : Who is "he" ? ...You mean Big Boss?
Naomi : He brought us to this land of freedom , this America. But then
he and my brother went back to Africa to continue the war. And that's
when it happened... You killed my benefactor and sent my brother home a
cripple. I vowed revenge and joined FOX-HOUND. I knew it was my best chance
to meet you and I prayed for the day that I would...
Gray Fox was in Mozambique again sometime after rescuing Naomi. The incident
where he was tortured by the FRELIMO either happened while he was in Mozambique
with Naomi or afterwards when Big Boss and him went back. Either way, it
happens in between 1980 and 1995. From there he works for FOX-HOUND and
later for Zanzibar Land. As long as we assume that Gray Fox suffered from
amnesia due to "The Perfect Soldier" project, all of this checks it out.
Thing is, there is one little thing Gray Fox mentioned in Metal Gear 2:
Solid Snake that damns any explanation that can be given--and that is his
experience as an Amerasian in communist Vietnam. If we are to assume that
Gray Fox had his memory erased, it makes no sense that he would remember
being forced into a Vietnamese re-education camp which could have only have
happened sometime around 1975, most likely after the fall of Saigon. Also,
Gray Fox didn't say anything about actually taking part in the war--he said
he lived there. While it's not explicitly explained, it's highly
likely that Fox is half-Vietnamese and was probably born there to German-American
and Vietnamese parents.
"WHY? WHY DID THEY RETCON ME? WHY?"
...so why, in 1966, was Gray Fox fighting in Mozambique? As a last resort to make sure that this incident wasn't retconned
and that there is an explanation of sorts, I decided to look up Gray Fox
on the Metal Gear Solid 4: Database. Guess what? Vietnam is not mentioned
anywhere upon looking up Gray Fox's past.
You have to wonder why they decided to erase this part of Gray Fox's life
as canon. What was wrong with it? Too controversial as it not only explores
the usual "children in war" theme that Gray Fox shares with Raiden, but
racism? Is it because it's possible that Gray Fox's father was a soldier
and his mother possibly a rape victim or someone who loved-long-time?
No, it's because they put him in Portable Ops.
They might have been able to get away with it, but there are several obstacles.
Gray Fox specifically mentioned that the first time he was rescued it
happened after the war and then compared it to the supposedly rescued
children that are scattered throughout Zanzibar Land. Portable Ops takes
place in 1970, before the war in Vietnam was over. Null is also seemingly
a teenager, possibly a young adult.
Throw in the fact that one would have to already assume that Fox lost
his memories prior to the end of the Vietnam War, and ultimately the retcon
seems necessary in order to throw Gray Fox into the game. To make up for
it, they reestablish Gray Fox's backstory from a product of war to some
random German kid with a knife. Why it was so important to put Gray Fox
in Portable Ops and fuck with an already established backstory, on the
other hand, is a completely different issue.