|Metal Gear character|
Promotional artwork of Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Solid by Yoji Shinkawa
|First game||Metal Gear Solid (1998)|
|Created by||Hideo Kojima|
|Designed by||Yoji Shinkawa|
Mark Musashi (The Twin Snakes)|
Vincent Giry (The Phantom Pain)
Master Miller (MGS)|
White Mamba (MGSV)
Liquid Snake (Japanese: リキッド・スネーク Hepburn: Rikiddo Sunēku) is a fictional character from the Metal Gear franchise. He is the twin brother of series' protagonist Solid Snake and Solidus Snake as well as the second product of the Les Enfants Terribles, a top-secret government project to artificially create soldiers through the DNA of Big Boss. He first appears as the antagonist in the original Metal Gear Solid, where he leads the now rogue FOXHOUND unit in a hostile takeover of a nuclear disposal facility in Alaska. The character returns in the prequel Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as a child mercenary nicknamed the White Mamba (ホワイトマンバ Howaito Manba) with his real name revealed to be Eli (イーライ Īrai).
Metal Gear Solid
Raised in the United Kingdom following his birth, Liquid served as an operative for the British SAS and later became the field commander of FOXHOUND before the events of the game. He leads the hostile takeover of Shadow Moses Island in order to acquire Big Boss's remains and use his genetic information to treat the mutations affecting his subordinates, the Genome Army. Liquid harbors a strong resentment towards his twin brother Solid Snake, as he mistakenly believes that Snake received all of Big Boss's superior genes, while he was given only the flawed genes. In reality, it is Liquid who carries the superior genes.
Snake meets Liquid for the first time after he is taken captive by the enemy and imprisoned in a medical room. The two brothers battle each other multiple times throughout the story. First, Liquid tries to kill Snake by piloting a Hind D and pursuing him across the Communication Towers, but Snake destroys the helicopter with anti-air Stinger missiles. Afterward, Liquid manipulates Snake into activating Metal Gear REX by disguising himself as Snake's mentor Master Miller. Snake destroys REX, but falls unconscious in the aftermath, allowing Liquid to take his unconscious brother to the top of the ruined REX and challenge him to a fistfight. Snake prevails, but Liquid survives again and pursues Snake in a jeep chase that results in a crash outside the island's facility. Just as he approaches a trapped Snake, Liquid suddenly succumbs to the FOXDIE virus that had been injected into his twin brother. Liquid's death leaves Snake in doubt of his own survival, as FOXDIE targets its victims based on specific DNA.
Metal Gear Solid 2
After his death, Liquid Snake's right arm was transplanted to Revolver Ocelot, replacing the one he lost his during the events of the previous game. This results in Liquid's personality manifesting itself within Ocelot whenever Solid Snake is in proximity, causing Ocelot to adopt Liquid's voice and mannerisms. This happens for the first time when Snake confronts Ocelot during the hijacking of Metal Gear RAY from the disguised tanker. The rest of Liquid's body was being kept by an unspecified agency until it was stolen by Snake and his partner Hal Emmerich in order to fake Snake's death following the Tanker incident. Liquid's mind manifests within Ocelot once again during the final confrontation atop Arsenal Gear, as he hijacks Metal Gear RAY again with the intent of rebelling against The Patriots.
It was intended during the finalization of Metal Gear Solid 2 for Liquid to send Arsenal Gear crashing into Manhattan in the game's climax. However, the line of dialogue that was intended to explicitly state this was cut from the final release, due to the September 11 attacks occurring as the game was nearing finalization. The dialogue, however, was retained in the novelization. The Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty graphic novel features an additional scene in which Liquid haunts Ocelot's subconscious by summoning the spirit of The Sorrow, Ocelot's father, who expresses disappointment at Ocelot due to his inability to dispel Liquid's spirit from his body.
Metal Gear Solid 4
In the years after the Big Shell incident, Liquid Snake's consciousness seemingly takes Revolver Ocelot's body completely, becoming a new personality known as Liquid Ocelot. He takes control of the mercenary company Outer Heaven, which serves as the mother company to five of the largest private military companies in the world, and leads an insurrection against The Patriots' A.I. control system. However, the Liquid persona is ultimately revealed to be an elaborate facade by Ocelot himself that was possible through a process of self-hypnosis, with Ocelot having already replaced Liquid's arm with a cybernetic prosthetic sometime before the events of the game in order to restore his psyche. The rest of Liquid's remains was used to restore Big Boss's wounded body with spare body parts.
Metal Gear Solid V
The Phantom Pain
Liquid Snake's next appearance in the series was in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, a prequel set in 1984, 21 years before the events of the original Metal Gear Solid. In this game, the young Liquid is revealed to be a 12 year old child soldier named Eli, who fled from his home in England after learning about his nature as a clone. He becomes an active mercenary in the Angola-Zaire border region in Central Africa, where he sets up his own mercenary unit consisting entirely of children, earning him the nickname "Nyoka ya Mpembe" or "White Mamba" due to being the only white child soldier in the region.
The player first encounters Eli in Masa Village after it is taken over by Eli's group in Episode 23. After the player subdues Eli, he is taken into Mother Base where the Diamond Dogs staff try to re-educate him and integrate him into normal society along with the other child soldiers. However, Eli resists this treatment and rebels against the Mother Base staff, focusing his hostility on their leader Venom Snake, whom he mistakenly believes to be his biological father (unaware of his true nature as Big Boss's body double, as revealed in Episode 46).
When Eli sneaks into a chopper during Snake's deployment to OKB Zero in Kabul during the events of Episode 31, he catches the attention of the young psychic known as the Third Child, who uses Eli's will to activate Sahelanthropus and attack Snake. After Sahelanthropus is neutralized and transferred to Mother Base, the Third Child infiltrates the place and befriends Eli, giving him a vial containing the English strain of Skull Face's vocal cord parasite. The two plot out an elaborate escape plan which involves helping other child soldiers escape and fixing Sahelanthropus with the assistance of its creator Dr. Emmerich. Ultimately, Eli succeeds in reactivating Sahelanthropus and hijacks it from Mother Base, escaping alongside the Third Child and the other child mercenaries. This is Eli's last appearance in the game.
Kingdom of the Flies
"Kingdom of the Flies", also known as Episode 51, is a mission that was omitted from the released version of Metal Gear Solid V that would have depicted Eli's actions following his escape from Mother Base. Video of this mission is featured in a Blu-ray disc included with the limited edition release of the game, depicting its events though concept art and partially completed cutscenes.
The mission has Snake pursuing Eli's group in an unnamed island in Africa surrounded by salt water, where the English strain of the vocal cord parasite has been spread in order to prevent access to adults. Snake confronts Eli and a battle ensues between the reactivated Sahelanthropus and an entire battalion of Diamond Dogs soldiers. Eli is defeated, but Snake is forced to abandon him when he displays signs of infections, as Eli's immunity to the parasites is no longer in effect due to puberty. Before Eli can die, the Third Child arrives and uses his psychic powers to remove the parasite within him. The two young friends escape just as Diamond Dogs launches a Napalm air strike to cleanse the island of the parasites. The story ends on an image of the Manhattan skyline, with Eli vowing revenge.
Concept and design
Liquid Snake is described as being almost identical to Solid Snake in terms of facial appearance and physique, with the only difference between them being Liquid's darker skin tone and medium-length blond hair. He has a tattoo of a snake entwined around a sword on his left arm, with concept art also showing a small piercing on his left ear and dog tags around his neck. For most of Metal Gear Solid, Liquid is dressed in a brown trenchcoat, but ultimately fights shirtless when he confronts Snake at the end of the game. When he disguises himself as Master Miller, he ties his hair in a ponytail and wears a pair of sunglasses, changing the tone of his voice as well. In Metal Gear Solid 2, when Liquid possesses Ocelot, his physical appearance changes as well, exposing the surgically-attached right arm and letting his hair loose.
Eli in Metal Gear Solid V wears a wardrobe similar to his adult self, consisting of a green jacket with no shirt and shorts. The back of his jacket has a drawing of a pig with an eye patch meant to resemble Big Boss and the phrase "Never Be Game Over" atop of it. Underneath the pig, the kanji 液体人間 (ekitai ningen), which means "liquid person", can be seen.
In the original Metal Gear Solid, Liquid Snake was voiced by Banjo Ginga in the Japanese version and by Cam Clarke (credited as James Flinders in the PlayStation release) in the English version. Both actors would reprise the role in Metal Gear Solid 2, where Liquid's personality takes over mind of Revolver Ocelot, who switches between his natural voice (provided by Koji Totani in the Japanese version and Pat Zimmerman in English) and Liquid's. Due to the death of Koji Totani in 2005, the role of Ocelot was taken over by Banjo Ginga in the Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid 4 and the idea of Revolver Ocelot switching personalities between his natural self and Liquid's persona was abandoned in favor of having Liquid completely take over Ocelot's mind, forming a new entity named Liquid Ocelot. Despite this, Pat Zimmerman continued to voice Ocelot in the English version of Metal Gear Solid 4, with Cam Clarke's voice only being used through uncredited use of his performances from previous games. Stuntman Mark Musashi provided Liquid Snake's motion capture for Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.
Eli, the young version of Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Solid V, was voiced by Piers Stubbs, who also provided facial capture, while his motion capture was performed by Vincent Giry. Yūtarō Honjō dubbed the character's voice for the Japanese version.
Liquid Snake is the second character introduced in the series bearing the "Snake" codename, following Solid Snake himself. His codename is meant to reflect his nature as Solid Snake's opposite. However, because Solid Snake, already an established character from the previous games, is known simply as "Snake" by most of the cast, Liquid Snake himself is referred primarily as "Liquid" by other characters and even within the game's mission logs. His FOXHOUND comrades simply acknowledge him as "Boss".
His real name is revealed to be Eli in The Phantom Pain, with "Nyoka ya Mpembe" or "White Mamba" being his nickname among other child soldiers. The name "Eli" has been likened to the biblical character Eliab, the eldest of King David's seven brothers, an allusion to Solid Snake's real name (David) and the six other brothers who were aborted during the cloning process that led to his and Liquid's creation.
In 1999, readers of GameSpot voted Liquid Snake into the list of top ten video game villains. IGN included him in their 2011 list of top 100 video game villains, as number 53. He was ranked as the 16th "coolest" video game villain by Complex in 2012. GameDaily ranked him ninth on their "Top 25 Evil Masterminds of All Time". Liquid ranked first on IGN's 2008 list of the Metal Gear series' top ten villains, also placing as seventh on their list of top ten Metal Gear boss battles. Play ranked Liquid Snake the fifth best Metal Gear character, adding he "has become one of the most iconic villains of the franchise and is still one of its most popular characters."
Liquid was included on GamesRadar 2008 list of "outrageously camp bad guys" at fifth place, also giving honourable mention on their list of "mega plot twists you never saw coming" to finding out Master Miller is actually Liquid Snake. In 2011, UGO Networks ranked Liquid as the fourth scariest fictional terrorist in entertainment, also featuring him revealing himself in Metal Gear Solid on the list of the most shocking twists in gaming. In 2012, GamesRadar featured both him and Solidus Snake at the second place on the list of most evil clones in gaming, commenting that "as evil clones go, the ones that threaten the world with thermonuclear war and eradication rank as some of the worst," and also listing him and Solid Snake as having one of the best brotherly rivalries in gaming. IGN also remarked their rivalry, saying "Few rivalries in games have spanned as massive and confusing a timeline as Solid Snake and Liquid Snake".
- Kojima Productions. Metal Gear Solid. Konami.
Liquid Snake: There's a killer inside you... You don't have to deny it. We were created to be that way. / Solid Snake: Created? / Liquid Snake: Les enfants terribles... the terrible children. That's what the project was called. It started in 1970s. Their plan was to artificially create the most powerful soldier possible. The person that they chose as the model was the man known then as the greatest living soldier in the world...
- KCE Japan. Metal Gear Solid.
Roy Campbell: But he never once showed his face in Century House. He was taken prisoner in Iraq, and after that there was no trace of him for several years. After you retired, he was rescued and became a member of FOX-HOUND
- KCE Japan. Metal Gear Solid.
Revolver Ocelot: Yes. The inferior one was the winner after all. ...That's right. Until the very end, Liquid thought he was the inferior one.
- KCE Japan. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Level/area: Plant chapter, Shell 1 Core B1 conference room.
Solidus Snake: "It's happening again?"/ Revolver Ocelot: "This damn right arm -- Liquid! It's almost as if it's having its revenge." / Solidus: "How much do you think we spent on that arm in Lyon? The best transplant surgery team in the world." / Ocelot: "I never trust a Frenchman. There's something going on. The incidents are becoming more frequent. Maybe that man's presence...."
- KCE Japan. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Level/area: Tanker chapter, cutscene.
Liquid Snake: The price of physical prodigy... Few more years and you’ll be another dead clone of the old man. Our raw materials are vintage, brother. Big Boss was in his late fifties when they created his copies. But I -- I live on, through this arm. / Solid Snake: Liquid's arm?
- KCE Japan. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Level/area: Codec conversation in Shell 2 Core.
Raiden: "What about -- what about the DNA results from that body?"/ Otacon: "That was Liquid's body. He and Snake are identical on the genetic level." / Raiden: "Liquid." / Otacon: "A deception -- for our own protection. We stole his frozen body from some organization. Kind of a hassle though..."
- KCE Japan. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
Liquid Snake: I'm off to bury the Patriots for good. / Solidus Snake: You know where they are? How? / Liquid Snake: Why do you think I chose Ocelot as my host?
- KCE Japan. The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2.
Liquid Snake: "Time to say goodbye." / Liquid Snake flips a switch inside RAY. / Solid Snake: "What are you doing?" / Liquid Snake: "I’ve started Arsenal's navigation program. The course will take me straight into Manhattan." / Raiden: "You're planning to -- to crash this thing into New York City!?" / Solid Snake: "It'll be a full scale disaster..." / Liquid Snake: "Disaster? That has a nice ring to it."
- Kojima Productions. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots.
Big Boss: And Ocelot... In order to fool the System... Used nanomachines and psychotherapy to transplant Liquid's personality onto his own. He used hypnotic suggestion to turn himself into Liquid's mental doppelganger.
- "Phantom Episode: Kingdom of the Flies". Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Collector's Disc (Youtube) (Blu-ray Disc). Konami Digital Entertainment. September 1, 2015. ASIN B00UFOYR2I. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- The Art of Metal Gear Solid. pp. 104–105.
- "Readers' Choice: Top Ten Video Game Villains". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- "Liquid Snake is number 53". IGN. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- "19. Liquid Snake — The 50 Coolest Video Game Villains of All Time". Complex. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- "Top 25 Evil Masterminds of All Time". GameDaily. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Schedeen, Jesse (June 11, 2008). "Top 10 Metal Gear Villains". IGN.
- "Top 10 Metal Gear Solid Boss Battles". IGN. June 11, 2008.
- Smith, Sam. "Top 10 Best Metal Gear characters". Play. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- Meikleham, Dave (November 15, 2010). "The Top 7... Outrageously Evil Bad Guys". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Houghton, David (November 17, 2008). "The Top 7... Games with mega plot twists you never saw coming". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Jensen, K. Thor (May 3, 2011). "The Scariest Fictional Terrorists Ever". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- Jensen, K. Thor (November 10, 2011). "The Most Shocking Twists In Gaming". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- "The Top 7... Evil clones". GamesRadar. January 9, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- Rubens, Alex (May 18, 2012). "The 8 best brotherly rivalries in gaming". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "The Top 25 Video Game Rivalries". IGN. November 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2014.