Gray Fox (Metal Gear)
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2013)|
|Metal Gear character|
Promotional illustration for Metal Gear Solid.
|First game||Metal Gear (1987)|
|Created by||Hideo Kojima|
|Designed by||Yoji Shinkawa|
|Voiced by (English)||Greg Eagles (Metal Gear Solid)
Rob Paulsen (Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes)
Larc Spies (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Digitial Graphic Novel)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Kaneto Shiozawa (Metal Gear Solid)
Jun Fukuyama (Metal Geare Solid: Portable Ops)
|Real name||Frank Jaeger|
|Affiliations||FOXHOUND (Metal Gear)
Zanzibar Land (Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake)
Free agent (Metal Gear Solid)
FOX (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops)
In the original Metal Gear, Gray Fox first appears 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". After being rescued by Solid Snake, Fox reveals Metal Gear's true nature to the player.
In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Gray Fox left FOXHOUND and defected to Zanzibar Land to join Big Boss's side. 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 that tried to seek asylum with him in America, but failed and was stripped of her competition rights as a result. Following this incident, Frank developed a great deal of resentment for 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, Fox's piloting of the Metal Gear became the cause of Gustava's death, unaware of her presence there. After Snake destroys Metal Gear, Fox challenges Snake to a fistfight in the middle of a minefield during which he is apparently killed.
In Metal Gear Solid, Gray Fox appears under the alias Cyborg Ninja (サイボーグ忍者 Saibōgu Ninja ) 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. After he destroys Metal Gear REX's radome with the use of a prototype railgun attached to his arm, Fox is killed by Liquid Snake piloting REX. During the fight, the player is given the option to fire a stinger at REX's open cockpit. But when the fire button is pushed, Snake refuses to shoot. Unfortunately, Fox gets killed by Liquid via REX.
In the prequel Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (set twenty five years before Metal Gear), a teenage version of Gray Fox under the codename Null (ヌル Nuru ) is a masked machete-wielding assassin. During his youth, Null is subjected to a secret CIA project to be the "Perfect Soldier" and recruited into the FOX unit led by Gene. During the game, Null fights with Big Boss (Naked Snake) twice. During their second fight, Big Boss discovers 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 so his enemies called him "Frank Jaeger" (German for "Frank Hunter"). After defeating him, Big Boss sent Null to somewhere outside of FOX for help.
Despite Gray Fox's death in Metal Gear Solid, his Cyborg Ninja persona still appears in subsequent games in some form or another by other characters: Olga Gurlukovich in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The special editions of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance come with the Cyborg Ninja themed downloadable content that features a Gray Fox-based skin for Raiden. There is also a Cyborg Ninja unique character card in Metal Gear Acid.
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. Another one was released by Konami in 2004. In 2007, a block-style figure was also released in the Kubrick line. 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 and was released for the 25th anniversary of the Metal Gear series.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2013)|
According to Hideo Kojima, "cyborg ninja was born from this Shin-chan's graffiti." 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.
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") and the fourth best boss to battle in the series. 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"). 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."
Complex put Cyborg Ninja at number sixth on the list of characters they wished to see in Super Smash Bros. Brawl 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." The return of Gray Fox as a playable character in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was requested by several publications, including EGM, Shacknews and ScrewAttack.
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, Nich Maragos and David Smith of 1UP.com in 2004 (ranked fifth), Devin Coldeway of CrunchGear in 2008 (ranked ninth), Unreality in 2009 (ranked second), Nintendo Power, Chris Jager of GamePro (ranked fourth), and ScrewAttack (ranked second) in 2010, and Becky Cunningham of Cheat Code Central in 2011 (ranked fifth). 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, and in 2012 Complex Rich Knight of ranked him as the third swiftest ninja in gaming.
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." The demise of Gray Fox was featured in GameSpy's 2008 article about the series' eight top moments, ranked as the ninth top cutscene in the series by Jeremy M. Loss of Joystick Division, included on the list of ten most depressing deaths in video games by Shubhankar Parijat of GamingBolt in 2011, and ranked as the seventh most "awesome and awful" character death in video games by Phil Hornshaw of GameFront that same year, and as the fourth top Metal Gear highlight by PSU.com's Mike Harradence in 2012.
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." 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." 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."
- List of characters in the Metal Gear series
- Ninja in popular culture
- Powered exoskeletons in fiction
- Gray Fox's profile at IGN.
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- Twitter / HIDEO_KOJIMA
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