Gray Fox (Metal Gear)

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Gray Fox
Metal Gear character
Ninja (Metal Gear).png
Gray Fox's promotional illustration for Metal Gear Solid.
First game Metal Gear (1987)[1]
Created by Hideo Kojima
Designed by Yoji Shinkawa
Voiced by (English) Greg Eagles (Metal Gear Solid)
Rob Paulsen (Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
Larc Spies (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Metal Gear Solid: Digitial Graphic Novel)
Voiced by (Japanese) Kaneto Shiozawa (Metal Gear Solid)
Jun Fukuyama (Metal Geare Solid: Portable Ops)
Fictional profile
Real name Frank Jaeger
Aliases Frank Hunter
Cyborg Ninja
Deepthroat
Null
Perfect Soldier
Affiliations FOXHOUND (Metal Gear)
Zanzibar Land (Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake)
Free agent (Metal Gear Solid)
FOX (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops)

Gray Fox is a fictional character in Konami's Metal Gear series.

Appearances[edit]

The original Metal Gear game introduces Gray Fox (グレイ・フォックス Gurei Fokkusu?, spelled "Grey Fox" in the MSX2 games) as a high-ranking agent of FOXHOUND as the "Fox" codename being the highest commemoration within the unit. Prior to the game's events, he goes missing during a mission with his last transmission being a cryptic message simply saying "Metal Gear".[2] After being rescued by Solid Snake, Fox reveals Metal Gear's true nature to the player.

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake revealed that Gray Fox left FOXHOUND and defected to Zanzibar Land. Fox pilots the new model Metal Gear D and confronts Solid Snake a few times, while secretly assisting him as an anonymous informant. Fox's past is fleshed out in this game with his civilian identity Frank Jaeger (フランク・イェーガー Furanku Yēgā?, "Frank Yeager" in the MSX2 version) revealed and a relationship with former Czech figure skater Gustava Heffner (Natasha Marcova in the MSX2 version) who he met in Calgary and fell in love with, and who tried to seek asylum with him in America, but failed and was stripped of her competition rights as a result.[3] Following this incident, Frank developed a great deal of resentment toward his superiors, but was unaware that Gustava later joined the StB and is present in Zanzibar as Dr. Kio Marv's bodyguard. During his and Snake's first direct encounter as enemies, Fox's piloting of the Metal Gear accidentally causes Gustava's death. After Snake destroys Metal Gear, Fox challenges Snake to a fistfight in the middle of a minefield and is apparently killed.

Gray Fox returns under the alias Cyborg Ninja (サイボーグ忍者 Saibōgu Ninja?) in Metal Gear Solid after he has been grafted into a powered armor exoskeleton and armed with a high-frequency blade. He once again challenges Solid Snake to a fist fight, even though his ultimate goal is to help him. After the fight, he becomes erratic and disappears in a violent rage. He also provides Snake cryptic advice via CODEC as a faceless contact calling himself "Deepthroat". Naomi Hunter eventually divulges her backstory as Fox's foster sister as well as his Cyborg Ninja identity to Snake. Later, during Snake's battle with Metal Gear REX, Gray Fox destroys Metal Gear REX's radome with the use of a prototype railgun attached to his arm. However, Fox is killed by Liquid Snake, who is piloting REX. Before doing so, when Liquid is holding Fox in REX's jaws, the player is given the option to fire a stinger at REX's open cockpit, but Snake refuses to shoot.

The second prequel Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (set twenty five years before Metal Gear) featured a teenage version of the character under the codename Null (ヌル Nuru?) as a masked machete-wielding assassin. Null is subjected to a secret CIA project to be the "Perfect Soldier" and recruited into the corrupt FOX unit led by Gene. During the game, Null fights with Big Boss (Naked Snake) twice. During the second fight, Big Boss realized that Null was a boy that he met four years prior in Mozambique, where the boy used his innocence as a cover to kill dozens of government soldiers with only one knife while speaking a little German, leading to him being called "Frank Jaeger" (German for "Frank Hunter") by his enemies. After defeating him, Big Boss sent Null to somewhere outside of FOX for help.

The special editions of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance features Gray Fox's Cyborg Ninja armor as a downloadable content skin for Raiden.[4] The game itself implied that the armor was a copy of his exoskeleton.[5]

Other appearances[edit]

There is a Cyborg Ninja unique character card in Metal Gear Acid.[6] Outside of the Metal Gear games, the Cyborg Ninja is featured as a player character driver in Konami Krazy Racers and as an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

A Cyborg Ninja figure was released by McFarlane Toys in 1998.[7] Another figure was released by Konami in 2004.[8] In 2007, a block-style figure was also released in the Kubrick line.[9] In 2011, another Cyborg Ninja figure, as designed by Kojima himself, was announced to come from Square Enix's Play Arts Kai line of Metal Gear figures,[10] and was released for the 25th anniversary of the Metal Gear series.

Character design[edit]

Character study illustration by Yoji Shinkawa depicting Gray Fox before and after becoming the Cyborg Ninja.

According to Hideo Kojima, "cyborg ninja was born from this Shin-chan's graffiti."[11] His face portrait in the MSX2 version was modeled after actor Tom Berenger. In 2013, Kojima stated to be interested in developing a game with Gray Fox as the main playable character, although he does not assure it to happen.[12]

Reception[edit]

He provides the most difficult battle in Metal Gear 2, one of the coolest in Metal Gear Solid, and he dies an honorable death at the end of that game. Go ninja, go.

—Joe Dodson, GameSpot, 2007[13]

The character was very well received by critics. In 2008, IGN ranked Gray Fox as both the third top Metal Gear villain ("whether players are rescuing Gray Fox, battling against him, or watching gleefully as he rips entire rooms of soldiers to shreds, Gray Fox never fails to impress")[14] and the fourth best boss to battle in the series.[15] That same year, Destructoid's Chad Concelmo also placed him twice on the list of ten best Metal Gear bosses, as ninth (in Metal Gear 2) and seventh (in Metal Gear Solid, making "one of the greatest returns in videogame history").[16] In 2013, Sam Smith of PLAY ranked Gray Fox as the ninth best character in the series, noting that he "remains one of Metal Gear’s most popular and iconic characters."[17]

Complex put Cyborg Ninja at number sixth on the list of characters they wished to see in Super Smash Bros. 4, adding, "the Metal Gear Solid series has plenty of other characters to choose from, but we think the Cyborg Ninja would be the perfect selection."[18] The return of Gray Fox as a playable character in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was requested by several publications, including EGM, Shacknews and ScrewAttack.[19][20][21]

There were cyborg ninjas before Metal Gear Solid came to the PlayStation in 1998, but this robotic ninjutsu practitioner was arguably the first to make the trend famous. At the start of MGS, it seemed hard to believe anyone could be more intimidating than Solid Snake--but Cyborg Ninja surpassed the Foxhound agent immediately with the trail of bloody corpses he left in his wake. Snake was barely able to hold his own against the assassin, and all computer expert Otakon could do was wet his pants in fear.

—Henry Gilbert, GamesRadar, 2013[22]

He was also frequently featured in the lists of top ten fictional ninja characters in video gaming (and sometimes in all fiction), including by Virgin Media,[23] Nich Maragos and David Smith of 1UP.com in 2004 (ranked fifth),[24] Devin Coldeway of CrunchGear in 2008 (ranked ninth),[25] Unreality in 2009 (ranked second),[26] Nintendo Power,[27] Chris Jager of GamePro (ranked fourth),[28] and ScrewAttack (ranked second) in 2010,[29] Becky Cunningham of Cheat Code Central in 2011 (ranked fifth),[30] and the staff of PLAY in 2013 (ranked third).[31] Ian Dransfield of PLAY also featured him in the 2011 list top ten ninjas for PlayStation consoles, adding that although Raiden "may have completely redeemed his character", he "can never outdo" Gray Fox,[32] and in 2012 Complex Rich Knight of ranked him as the third swiftest ninja in gaming.[33]

In 2008, IGN's Jesse Schedeen compared Gray Fox to Vergil from the Devil May Cry series as "two formidable warriors from the videogaming realm" who both "met their unfortunate ends in the games," stating Gray Fox has "left a big mark on the Metal Gear series."[34] The demise of Gray Fox was featured in GameSpy's 2008 article about the series' eight top moments,[35] ranked as the ninth top cutscene in the series by Jeremy M. Loss of Joystick Division,[36] included on the list of ten most depressing deaths in video games by Shubhankar Parijat of GamingBolt in 2011,[37] and ranked as the seventh most "awesome and awful" character death in video games by Phil Hornshaw of GameFront that same year,[38] and as the fourth top Metal Gear highlight by PSU.com's Mike Harradence in 2012.[39]

FHM's Gelo Gonzales placed Cyborg Ninja first on their 2009 list of most memorable hitmen in gaming, adding that he "holds the title for the deadliest ninja ever."[40] In 2012, Matt Elliott of PlayStation Official Magazine included Gray Fox among the PlayStation’s top ten scariest characters, calling him "one of the most brutally unnerving bosses ever, largely because of his jarring, staccato introduction, often at odds with linear military narrative of Snake’s mission."[41] That same year, Shelby Reiches of Cheat Code Central ranked him as the number one swordsman in gaming, commenting that "though this is more a role than an individual character, the Cyborg Ninja is a recurring reminder that, with proper preparation, sometimes a sword can beat a gun."[42]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gray Fox's profile at IGN.
  2. ^ "Snakes and Gears: A Metal Gear Overview", Game Informer 182 (June 2008): 108.
  3. ^ "Setting Manual". Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Konami. 1990. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid Revengeance Gets Two Premium Editions in Japan, Gameranx, 25th October 2012.
  5. ^ "A chassis patterned after Gray Fox's body circa the Shadow Moses incident, but functionally equivalent to recent cyborg bodies. Though it was termed an "exoskeleton" in those days before the advent of modern cyborg technology, it could not be taken on and off at will." Gray Fox skin description (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)
  6. ^ Retro Gamer 11, page 23.
  7. ^ "Cyborg Ninja Figure". Metal Gear Collection.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  8. ^ "Otaku.com Metal Gear Solid Konami Figure 13 Ninja Color". Otaku.be. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  9. ^ "Cyborg Ninja Kubrick". Metal Gear Collection.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  10. ^ Badass: Cyborg Ninja from Metal Gear Solid in toy form, Destructoid, 05.12.2011.
  11. ^ Twitter / HIDEO_KOJIMA
  12. ^ Wasabe, Doc (January 19, 2013). "Interview with Hideo Kojima! (Snatcher sequel, ZOE x MGS crossover, Gray Fox game, MGRR)". Game Overviews. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Joe Dodson, Metal Gear: 20 Years of Big, Bad Boss Battles, GameSpot, July 28, 2007.
  14. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Top 10 Metal Gear Villains, IGN, June 11, 2008.
  15. ^ IGN PlayStation Team, Top 10 Metal Gear Solid Boss Battles, IGN, June 11, 2008.
  16. ^ "The ten best Metal Gear bosses EVER!". Destructoid. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  17. ^ "Top 10 Metal Gear characters | PLAY Magazine". Play-mag.co.uk. 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  18. ^ Cyborg Ninja — 25 Characters We Want To See In "Super Smash Bros. Brawl 4", Complex.com, July 2, 2012.
  19. ^ Matthew Bennett, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance DLC Detailed, EGMNOW, June 19, 2012
  20. ^ Andrew Yoon, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance DLC could offer new playable character, Shacknews, June 18, 2012.
  21. ^ Sean Hinz, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance getting DLC, ScrewAttack, 6/19/12.
  22. ^ Henry Gilbert (2013-02-21). "The deadliest cyborg ninjas in gaming history". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  23. ^ Gray Fox (Metal Gear) - Top ten ninjas, Virgin Media.
  24. ^ Nich Maragos and David Smith, Top Ten Ninjas, 1UP.com, July 23, 2004.
  25. ^ Devin Coldeway, Top Ten Video Game Ninjas, CrunchGear, March 31, 2008.
  26. ^ Unreal Power Rankings: The Top 5 Video Game Ninjas, Unreality , April 7, 2009.
  27. ^ Nintendo Power 250th issue!. Future US. 2010. p. 47. 
  28. ^ Chris Jager, Top Ten video game ninjas, GamePro, 06 August, 2010
  29. ^ Top Ten Ninjas, GameTrailers, January 8, 2010.
  30. ^ Becky Cunningham, Top 10 Ninjas In Video Games, Cheat Code Central, 2011.
  31. ^ PLAY 232, page 34.
  32. ^ Ian Dransfield, Top ten ninjas on PlayStation, PLAY Magazine.
  33. ^ Rich Knight, The 10 Swiftest Ninjas in Games, Complex.com, January 25, 2012.
  34. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Baddie Brawl: Gray Fox vs. Vergil | Two modern-day bad guys cross swords in the ultimate showdown., IGN, July 10, 2008.
  35. ^ GameSpy's Top MGS Moments: Metal Gear Solid (Day Two), GameSpy, May 9, 2008.
  36. ^ Jeremy M. Loss, 10 Incredible Metal Gear Solid Cutscenes, Joystick Division, July 26, 2010.
  37. ^ Shubhankar Parijat, 10 Most Depressing Deaths In Video Games, GamingBolt.com, 30th August 2011.
  38. ^ Phil Hornshaw, 9 Awesome (and Horrific) Game Character Deaths (LIST), GameFront, February 4, 2011.
  39. ^ Mike Harradence, Top 5 Metal Gear highlights, PlayStation Universe, July 7th, 2012.
  40. ^ Gelo Gonzales, The 5 most memorable hitmen in gaming, FHM, November 26, 2009.
  41. ^ "10 of PlayStation's scariest characters - Page 7 of 10 | Features". Official PlayStation Magazine. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  42. ^ "Top 10 Swordsmen - Cheat Code Central". Cheatcc.com. 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 

External links[edit]