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Myth: The “Man with the Same Codename as Null” is “a cunning strategist”


Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is the man with the same codename as Null.

Fact: Actually, while he could very well be a cunning strategist, he is not THE cunning strategist.

By Ravi Singh, Posted on October 29, 2008; updated June 28, 2010

Can Portable Ops get any worse? To somewhat quote Bob The Builder and Barack Obama, “YES [it] CAN!” Portable Ops ended up creating unanswered questions and creating retcons to answer questions that were already answered. One of these unanswered questions relates to the identify of “the man with the same codename as Null” as well as the “cunning strategist.” Fans of the game told me to go fuck myself until the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Well I’ve been fucking hard and when I managed to finish the game a few days prior to it’s official release date thanks to forum member SolidSnarf86, I realized that my point is still quite valid.

Portable Ops is barely even mentioned in Guns of the Patriots. Now to be fair, one of these unanswered questions was sort of answered. The man with the same codename as Null is, as FUCKING EVERYONE ALREADY GUESSED, Major Zero. However, the way most understood the plot of Portable Ops causes a huge flaw in the plot of Guns of the Patriots. All due to one piece of artwork.

You have to understand what the fuck happened in Portable Ops that Portable Ops didn’t tell you because you were supposed to spend an assload on a PlayStation 3 and a copy of Guns of the Patriots. Basically, after Operation: Snake Eater, Zero was consumed by overage teen angst syndrome. The fact that The Boss was tossed aside as a toy to convince the Soviets that we meant no harm pissed him off, so he decided that he would make the world a better place by making it the way he thinks she would have wanted it. So along with Ocelot, and perhaps Paramedic and/or Sigint, Zero staged the San Hieranymo Incident to lure the CIA Director out.


The CIA Director moments before Ocelot shoots him and establishes The Patriots.

Why the DCI? During Operation: Snake Eater, only one half of the Philosopher’s Legacy actually made it in the United States to revive the Philosophers. Portable Ops established that there was some sort of high school rivalry between the CIA and Pentagon over the legacy and that the DCI was the one who had it. Whether or not the CIA Director held the same position during Operation: Snake Eater is not clearly established although it is implied by his recognition of Ocelot’s name “ADAM” which was used in the 1964 mission. Real-life says “no,” but Portable Ops retcons real-life by having the DCI shot and killed in 1970 by Ocelot while Richard Helms, the actual active DCI during 1970, was fired by President Nixon in 1973 and died in 2002 from cancer.

Either way, the Director of the CIA had the United States’ half of the Legacy. The other half, according to what Ocelot told the DCI directly after Operation: Snake Eater, was with the Soviet Union. However, this makes no sense considering the events that occurred during Portable Ops and Guns of the Patriots. Thus, I believe we would have to assume that Ocelot actually held on to half of the legacy or at least acquired it from the Soviets without the knowledge of the CIA.

So by taking the DCI out, Ocelot obtains the first half of the legacy and, adding it with the money from the “Russian” half, The Patriots were formed. Awesome. So “the man with the same codename as Null” was Zero, meaning that it was Zero who was behind the San Hieranymo Incident . What about the guy behind the events that occurred during Operation: Snake Eater?

This man, who looks a lot like Zero and Ocelot, is both cunning and a strategist.

Gene: So… You never knew. Six years ago, during Operation Snake Eater, Volgin launched an American nuclear missile at Sokolov’s research lab. This caused a change in plans, and the U.S. government had to assassinate its own operative, The Boss, to prove its innocence. And you were the assassin, Snake. … Do you really think Volgin committed that terrible crime of his own will?

Snake: What?

Gene: It was all a setup from the very beginning. Volgin launching the nuke… The Boss’ death… Even your mission in Groznyj Grad, Snake! It was all the work of your country and a single, deviously cunning strategist.

Snake: You’re saying it was all a setup? By who!?

Gene: The Boss gave up her life, even if someone else willed it. She sacrificed her own life for her calling. It was a noble act.

Snake: Answer me! Who set it up?!

Gene, much like Portable Ops, did not give him the answer. Who is this “cunning strategist?” Could it be this man Gene was asking Ocelot about?

Gene: Tell me something, though… You couldn’t possibly have obtained the data on your own, could you? There must be someone backing you. Who is it? Never mind…I’ve got a fairly good idea who it is. The man with the same codename as Null… But you do realize you’re betraying your employer, don’t you?
Volgin was instructed to fire a nuke that would cause a chain-reaction leading to The Boss’ death. Whether or not the same person ordered Volgin to anally rape Eva is currently unknown.

Nope, because this man is Zero. Zero could not have been the strategist because he was quite angry with what happened to The Boss. The creation of The Patriots would have been a joke if Zero was the same person who had Volgin fire a nuke and The Boss killed. Likewise, this plot twist would have actually made the Zero vs. Big Boss thing from Guns of the Patriots more interesting than a typical girl fight. Actually, Sokolov would have been a superior choice since his codename translates to “Ghost” and his appearance in Portable Ops itself is already out of fucking nowhere and unneeded. However, this is simply not the case.

Portable Ops caused a confusion by having two unnamed characters seem like they are the same. We know who “the man with the same codename as Null” is, but what about this “cunning strategist”? This person would have to be working for the United States and actually have a reason to get rid of The Boss. Who’s Cheerios did The Boss piss in? In Guns of the Patriots, Big Momma practically answers this question to Solid Snake, who never asked:

Big Momma: She had an almost overwhelming charisma about her. The CIA feared this, so they had her eliminated.

The CIA! This also makes sense considering what Gene told Ocelot when discussing his involvement with Zero–”But you do realize you’re betraying your employer, don’t you?” Ocelot was indeed a CIA spy. Then in that case, it seems like this cunning strategist is none other than the active DCI during 1964, who most likely is the same DCI in 1970 who gets shot. Never mind that this creates a Time Paradox since MK-Ultra documents have yet to be destroyed. All this confusion… all because he looks nothing like what Portable Ops depicted him as. Well, besides his oddly shaped ears.

UPDATE (June 28, 2010) – Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker reveals the true identity of the “cunning strategist” who is not the same person who was shot by Ocelot in the end of Portable Ops. Outside of this, the rest of the article remains accurate.

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