Metal Gear (universe)

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Metal Gear (universe)
Developer(s) Konami
Entertainment Japan
Kojima Productions
Platinum Games
Publisher(s) Konami
Designer(s) Hideo Kojima
Genre(s) Action-Adventure
Console of origin MSX2
First installment Metal Gear (1987)
Latest installment Metal Gear Survive (2018)
Article on Wikipedia Metal Gear (universe)

The Metal Gear universe (メタルギア, Metal Gear) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the popular Metal Gear stealth-based video game franchise developed by third-party developer Konami. The long-running series is famous in the Smash Bros. community for being the first third-party game franchise to contribute characters and properties to the otherwise Nintendo-exclusive Smash Bros. series, mainly the series' main star, Solid Snake. The logo was formerly the logo for FOX, the unit that Naked Snake hailed from in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (also the former logo of Kojima Productions, the developer of the franchise). The current logo is the "!" Alert for when the player gets spotted in the Metal Gear Solid games.

Franchise description[edit]

In 1987, then-unknown video game planner Hideo Kojima, working at Konami, was asked to take over a project that had been intended as a wartime action game for the MSX2 home computer. Technical limitations to the MSX2 prevented Kojima from creating a game that had many bullets and enemies onscreen at any given moment, though, so Kojima made a decision to design and direct a game that drew inspiration from the film The Great Escape, wherein the focus of the game was to avoid visual contact and direct confrontation with patrolling enemies. His bosses' questioning over this decision nearly prompted Kojima to leave Konami, but after one of his bosses encouraged him to continue, he proceeded to complete and release Metal Gear on July 12, 1987. It is credited by many today as the progenitor of the stealth action genre in the video game industry.

Years later, Kojima was asked to develop an MSX2 sequel to Metal Gear, and the result, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, was released on July 20, 1990, introducing many of the evolved stealth gameplay aspects that would be present in the rest of the series. But it was only in 1998 when the September 20th release of the seminal third game in the series, Metal Gear Solid, brought the series into the mainstream. Universally glowing reviews and chart-topping sales propelled the Metal Gear intellectual property into a gigantic franchise, and it is often recognized as one of the key titles involved in popularizing the stealth action genre. In addition to featuring the gameplay style of the previous game in three dimensions, Metal Gear Solid made extensive use of cinematic cutscenes to tell a gritty, mature, twist-filled narrative like a film. It proved to be a huge success, and it and its sequels have been regarded as being among the greatest games of all time.

The Metal Gear franchise, often referred to with the name Metal Gear Solid due to almost every subsequent game featuring the word "Solid" in its title, proceeded to release a large number of sequels, prequels, interquels, expanded re-releases, and non-canonical side-games on a regular basis. In most of the games, the player takes control of an elite, artificially-enhanced special forces operative codenamed Snake - either it is Solid Snake (real name David) in games set in the postmodern present, or it is his father, Big Boss (real name John), back when he operated as Naked Snake in games set after the Cold War era. A younger secondary protagonist codenamed Raiden (real name Jack) is also sometimes featured in a leading role. The games have Snake, operating under the command of the highest orders of government, sneaking into the compounds of militant enemy forces that threaten Earth politically with revolutionary nuclear weapons technology, which in many cases take the form of a bipedal walking tank named "Metal Gear". Snake uses his stealthy cunning to bypass enemy guards that can be avoided, neutralizes guards and elite enemies that stand in his way with weapons procured on site, and interrogates hostages and enemies alike to gain directions and access to where he needs to go to complete his mission to neutralize the war weapons and the villains that threaten to use them.

Each release in the central Metal Gear chronology adds to the series' ambitious lore, which is closely grounded in the politics of real-world Earth from the Cold War onward. Core themes explored include many issues about nuclear deterrence, social engineering, artificial intelligence, information control, conspiracy theories, censorship, the manipulation of free will, and taboos such as incest and homosexuality. This takes place throughout narratives that are rife with betrayal, revelations of identity and family, and other plot twists that span many games. Depictions of Snake and other Metal Gear characters and elements in a more light-hearted air are usually relegated to non-canon side games and cameos, such as when Solid Snake became the first third-party character to be featured as a playable character in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series in 2006, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

What follows is the release history of the canonical Metal Gear continuity:

  • Metal Gear (1987), on the MSX2, depicts the rookie special forces operative Solid Snake, working for the U.S. special forces unit FOXHOUND in 1995, going on a solo infiltration mission into Outer Heaven, a compound in South Africa established by Big Boss and Venom Snake (his body double), to destroy the nuclear walking tank Metal Gear TX-55 being constructed there. Snake discovers that FOXHOUND's leader, Big Boss, however, is secretly the enemy ringleader, plotting to make Outer Heaven the world's greatest superpower, and was sent to the base in hopes that he would fail to give Venom Snake more time to develop its Metal Gear. Snake destroys Metal Gear TX-55 and kills Venom Snake (maintaining his role as Big Boss). After having his body doubled killed and Outer Heaven destroyed, the real Big Boss flees FOXHOUND to Central Asia and establishes Zanzibar Land.
  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990), on the MSX2, has FOXHOUND's new commander, Roy Campbell, sending Solid Snake in 1999 on a mission into the Central Asian country of Zanzibar Land, which plots to hold the world hostage by controlling the newly-discovered OILIX energy source as well as a stockpile of nuclear warheads. Snake discovers that Big Boss is the ringleader of this as well, and Snake almost kills him and destroys another Metal Gear being constructed named Metal Gear D, which was redesigned and improved from Metal Gear TX-55. Snake and Campbell retire from FOXHOUND after the events of the game.
  • Metal Gear Solid (1998), on the PlayStation, has FOXHOUND going renegade in February 2005 and threatening nuclear reprisal against the U.S. Government with another Metal Gear they acquired when they seized a nuclear weapons disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island, a remote island in Alaska. Led by the mercenary Liquid Snake, the terrorists' demands are the remains of Big Boss, whose genes can be used to mass-implant the traits of the legendary soldier into many soldiers. Roy Campbell, now working for the U.S. military, forces Snake out of retirement to infiltrate Shadow Moses, kill all of the elite members of the FOXHOUND unit, and destroy Metal Gear REX.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), on the PlayStation 2, begins with Solid Snake, now operating for the non-governmental organization Philanthropy, infiltrating an oil tanker near New York in 2007 to investigate the development of the aquatic Metal Gear RAY, but one of Snake's enemies from the previous game, Revolver Ocelot now possessed by Liquid Snake to become "Liquid Ocelot", steals it and sinks the ship. Two years later in 2009, a reformed FOXHOUND sends a new operative, Raiden, on a mission into an offshore clean-up facility named Big Shell, wherein a terrorist group named the Sons of Liberty, backed up by the rogue anti-terror training unit Dead Cell, has kidnapped the U.S. president for monetary ransom and threatens to ignite the facility and Manhattan. Raiden's mission quickly reveals world-changing secrets about virtually everything around him.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004), on the PlayStation 2, is the first prequel in the series, set in the Cold War in 1964, and stars Big Boss back when he was an elite operative of the CIA's FOX unit codenamed Naked Snake. An internal power struggle in the Soviet Union, instigated by the ruthless Colonel Volgin, threatens to prompt the Soviet Union and the United States to begin a nuclear World War III, and a spiritual precursor to modern Metal Gears, a rocket-propelled nuclear tank named the Shagohod, is part of his plans. The USSR asks the U.S. to assassinate Volgin before he takes over, so Naked Snake is sent to infiltrate the jungles of Tselinoyarsk in the USSR to battle Volgin, as well as his beloved mentor The Boss, who along with her elite Cobra Unit had previously defected from the U.S. to the Soviets.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (2006), on the PlayStation Portable, has Naked Snake's former team, the FOX unit, breaking their allegiance with the CIA and going rogue six years after Snake Eater in 1970, and they target him as well. Naked Snake is captured and brought to Colombia, where he is interrogated for the location of part of the massive sum of money known as the Philosopher's Legacy. Naked Snake, with the help of a young Roy Campbell that had also been captured, must defeat the top members of the FOX unit and destroy an early Metal Gear model that is the backbone of their rebellion.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008), on the PlayStation 3, depicts Solid Snake in 2014, much older than he was five years before due to genetic issues that resulted in accelerated aging. The world economy now relies on continuous war fought between private military companies, and the soldiers' performance in combat is enhanced by nanomachines. Liquid Ocelot now plans to hijack the control network created through these nanomachines, so Solid Snake, with less than a year to live, is sent by Campbell on one last mission to tail Liquid across the world. Snake does battle with the all-female PTSD-afflicted Beauty and the Beast unit before taking part in a climactic final showdown that culminates the primary series' timeline.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010), on the PlayStation Portable, is another interquel starring Naked Snake in his Big Boss persona, four years after Portable Ops in 1974. Now running his own mercenary group after having broken away from the CIA, Naked Snake is hired by the country of Costa Rica when a mysterious militant group, the Peace Sentinels, deploy themselves within its borders. Though they are merely the size of a land army, they threaten to endanger the balance of power between the East and West because Costa Rica does not have an armed forces of its own to do anything about them. The resolution of this incident solidifies Big Boss' perspective and decision to construct a nation entirely for his own group of mercenaries, which would become known as Outer Heaven.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013), on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, is a spinoff that takes place four years after Guns of the Patriots in 2018. The different title reflects that it is not like the previous stealth-oriented installments in the series, instead featuring Raiden as a cyborg ninja taking part in a more up-front action game with a sword-based combat system. Raiden takes jobs for a variety of private military companies until he is forced to contend with other cyborg enemies from the self-proclaimed private military company Desperado Enterprises.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015) for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and their predecessors is the first title in the series slated to have open-world gameplay structure. It is yet another interquel starring Big Boss, and is set after Peace Walker; in a separately sold prologue segment named Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014), taking place one year later in 1975, Big Boss decides to infiltrate the maximum security prison facility Camp Omega in southern Cuba to, among other things, rescue an agent he previously fought, who carries an important link to the mysterious "Cipher" group. But Big Boss falls into a nine-year-long injury-induced coma at the same time his company is destroyed. In The Phantom Pain itself, after he awakens in 1984, Big Boss forms a new mercenary group, the Diamond Dogs, and assumes the codename "Punished Snake" as he ventures into Afghanistan - in the midst of the Soviet war taking place at the time - seeking revenge against those responsible. But an even more threatening plot by Cipher is soon unearthed.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

A popular story tells that during development of the Nintendo fighting game, Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima "practically begged" Sakurai to include the third-party character Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a playable fighter, but the addition was not viable because development of the game was too far in. As a result, no mention of Metal Gear appears in the game whatsoever. What would eventually happen is that Snake would become a playable third-party character in Melee's follow-up, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Metal Gear debuts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first third-party game series to feature in the Smash Bros. series, generating an outburst of excitement across the game industry.

When the first Brawl trailer was shown and Snake debuted, Hideo Kojima stated that Solid Snake wouldn't be able to fight Shigeru Miyamoto's Mario in the game, because it would be dishonorable for Hideo's character to beat up on his mentor's creation. Clearly that was a joke, as the Nintendo World 2006 trailer shows Mario smashing Snake out of the ring in one scene and was said to have fought against Mario in a match against Sakurai.


  • SnakeIcon(SSBB).png
    Snake: Solid Snake appears as a playable character, relying not on guns like in his games but on CQC (close quarters combat, martial art co-created by Naked Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater) and a variety of explosives, including his Remote Missile and Hand Grenade. Snake battles acrobatically and is seen using a punch-punch-spin kick fighting technique from the games, as well as his classic choke hold. He also seems to have a fantastic aerial recovery, thanks to the use of his flying camera, the Cypher. His Final Smash is the Grenade Launcher, which has him jump onto a passing helicopter and shooting players with 12 grenade missiles before the time runs out.

On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Snake occupies the ninth column (miscellaneous characters) along with Mr. Game & Watch, Sonic, and the random option.

Assist Trophy[edit]

  • Gray Fox: Gray Fox appears in his Cyborg Ninja form and attacks with a sword like Lyn and Samurai Goroh. His slices, however, can reflect projectiles.


  • Icon-shadowmosesisland.gif
    Shadow Moses Island: A stage set in the location where the first Metal Gear Solid takes place. It features searchlights, crumbling walls, and the appearance of three Metal Gear models. The stage also includes a feature that allows Snake to talk to his allies using his Codec, and have conversations with them about his opponents. To activate this, one can tap down on the d-pad very lightly. This easter egg is much like Fox and Falco's special taunts on the Corneria and Venom stages. It has been said that Hideo Kojima designed the Shadow Moses stage himself.


  • MGS4 ~Theme of Love~ Smash Bros. Brawl Version - A fast-paced version of the Love Theme from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots made for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The arrangement was handled by staff from Konami's Metal Gear sound team. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
  • Encounter - A remix of the song from Metal Gear Solid when Snake is spotted by an enemy. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
  • Theme of Tara - A completely redone version of the Theme of Tara from the very first Metal Gear game for the MSX2. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. For people familiar with Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, this is the theme played when Snake is on a VR Mission in the game. It reappears in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, as another VR Mission theme for secret character MGS1 Snake.
  • Battle in The Base - Taken directly from the PS2 game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, this was the music track that played when Naked Snake was spotted by an enemy while indoors. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
  • Yell "Dead Cell" - Taken directly from the PS2 game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, this was the song that was used during the boss battles with Vamp, Fortune, and Fatman, who are part of the Dead Cell unit. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
  • Cavern - Also taken directly from a title, this was the cavern background music in Metal Gear Solid. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
  • Snake Eater (Instrumental) - An instrumental version of the main theme to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, this track is also taken directly from said game. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
  • Theme of Solid Snake - Taken directly from the MSX2 game Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the second game in the series, this was the title screen theme to said game. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
  • Calling to the Night - The vocal theme song of the PSP game and direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. It is taken directly from said game, and it is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. This song also plays during Snake's Classic Mode credits.
  • Metal Gear Victory - Snake's victory theme is a short sample from the main theme of Metal Gear Solid. It was used when the player would complete a VR Mission in said game, but is better remembered for its use as the Game Over theme.



In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

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The Metal Gear franchise returns in Ultimate after being dropped from Smash 4. The series logo has been entirely changed from the FOX Unit logo to the iconic "!" that appears when the player is spotted.


  • Snake: He is finally set to return after a decade-long absence and being cut from Smash 4 as an unlockable fighter.

Assist Trophy[edit]


  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl Shadow Moses Island: The island is returning as a retro stage in Ultimate after being cut from Smash 4; however, it is currently unknown if the Codec Conversations will return.


  • A new instrumental remix of "Snake Eater", the main theme of Metal Gear Solid 3, is present on the official site.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl "Encounter": played during Snake's showcase trailer.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl "Theme of Tara"


  • Hal Emmerich
  • Liquid Snake
  • Gekkos
  • Solidus Snake
  • Snake (Metal Gear Solid 3)
  • Revolver Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid 3)
  • Kazuhira Miller (Metal Gear Solid V)
  • Big Boss (Metal Gear Solid V)

Games with elements from and in Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Metal Gear[edit]

Solid Snake, the main character of the Metal Gear series, made his debut in this game. Theme of Tara also originates from Metal Gear.

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake[edit]

Theme of Solid Snake, one of the game's two intro themes, is an unlockable music track usable on the Shadow Moses Island stage.

Metal Gear Solid[edit]

The Shadow Moses Island area from the game is a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Solid Snake's support team, Colonel Roy Campbell, Otacon, and Mei Ling, appear in Codec transmissions in Snake's Smash Taunts. Gray Fox, a major character from the game, appears as an Assist Trophy. Metal Gear REX makes an appearance as a part of the background in the Shadow Moses Island stage. Other characters from Metal Gear Solid appear as stickers, such as Meryl Silverburgh and Liquid Snake. Two musical themes in Brawl are taken from this game: the original version of Cavern, and a remix of Encounter.

In turn, a reference to Super Smash Bros. Melee appears in the GameCube remake of MGS if the player has saved data for it on the memory card in use. Before the boss battle against Psycho Mantis, he will read Snake's mind (in actuality, the player's memory card) and note that Snake's played Melee if data from the game is found.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty[edit]

Snake's intro animation resembles his appearance aboard the Discovery's aft deck, wherein his stealth camo system disengages and malfunctions due to landing impact. Metal Gear RAY first appeared in this game, as did Snake's up special, Cypher. Snake's Navy SEAL disguise, "Iroquois Pliskin", is an unlockable trophy. Raiden and Solidus appear as stickers. Yell "Dead Cell", the "Plant" chapter boss theme, is an available music track as well.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater[edit]

Facially, Snake has a full beard similar to Naked Snake/Big Boss's appearance in this game, and his alternate colours consist of camouflage patterns used by Naked Snake. Snake's C4 may occasionally spawn a butterfly-shaped C3, in reference to a scene from this game. Naked Snake and the Shagohod (a predecessor to the Metal Gear) appear as trophies, while EVA and The Boss appear as stickers. Two musical themes are directly taken from this game: the original version of Battle in The Base, and an instrumental version of the game's main theme, Snake Eater. In Ultimate, the latter song receives a more intense remix.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops[edit]

Calling to the Night, the game's ending theme, is an unlockable theme in Brawl.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots[edit]

MGS4 ~Theme of Love~ Smash Bros. Brawl Version is a remix of this game's main theme. In turn, the remix is present in Metal Gear Solid 4 proper, as a song on Snake's in-game MP3 player. Gekko first appeared in this game; two of these mechs, along with Metal Gear REX and Metal Gear RAY, appear on the Shadow Moses Island stage as a reference to the game's climax.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain & Ground Zeroes[edit]

Big Boss's design from from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Kazuhira Miller's design from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain appear as Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Additionally, Snake's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes cues from this game's air strikes.


  • Metal Gear and Electroplankton are the only major universes to be entirely dropped from a Smash game, with no content whatsoever in SSB4. Ice Climber, while having its sole playable character(s) not returning and not having any stages in the same game, is still represented by trophies, two music tracks and the Polar Bear's appearance in Smash Run.
  • Metal Gear is the first universe with a playable character to be represented in one installment, have no representation whatsoever in the next installment, and then get some representation again in the very next installment after that.
  • Metal Gear is the only universe introduced after Melee to have its series symbol changed, as well as the only one to have it changed entirely between games. While several universes (Mario, Pokémon, and Metroid, among others) only had slight changes from Melee to Brawl, Metal Gear's symbol changed from the FOX Unit symbol to an exclamation point. This is possibly due to the fact that the FOX Unit logo was also the former logo of Kojima Productions, which has lost the rights to the Metal Gear franchise since Brawl's release.
  • Metal Gear is the only pre-Ultimate universe to have unlockable characters but not unlockable stages in the game it debuted.

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