Metal Gear (weapon)
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Metal Gear (Japanese: メタルギア Hepburn: Metaru Gia?) is the name for a series of mecha in the Metal Gear series. In the series, a Metal Gear is defined as a bipedal nuclear weapons-equipped tank. Usually each game has a new Metal Gear with a different role. The Metal Gears are typically autonomous nuclear launch platforms which the player must destroy in order to save the world and complete the game. Often confronting the latest Metal Gear model is one of the final challenges of each game.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 In video games
- 3 Models in the canonical series
- 3.1 TX-55 Metal Gear
- 3.2 Metal Gear D
- 3.3 Metal Gear REX
- 3.4 Metal Gear RAY
- 3.5 Arsenal Gear
- 3.6 Shagohod
- 3.7 Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear
- 3.8 Gekko
- 3.9 Metal Gear Mk. II and Metal Gear Mk. III
- 3.10 Peace Walker
- 3.11 Metal Gear ZEKE
- 3.12 Metal Gear EXCELSUS
- 3.13 Sahelanthropus
- 4 Models in other games
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
Concept and creation
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Hideo Kojima said that the idea of the "Metal Gear" weapon, a nuclear-capable walking tank, was conceived in response to the nuclear war hysteria during the 1980s that resulted from the Cold War as the U.S. military had no mobile land-based nuclear weapons delivery system at the time.
In video games
The Metal Gear weapon has been consistently described in the Metal Gear series as an all-terrain, nuclear-equipped, walking battle tank capable of launching a nuclear warhead from anywhere on the planet. In the original Metal Gear, the Outer Heaven fortified military state attempts to achieve military dominance over the West and East through the use of the Metal Gear model built by Eastern scientist Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar after being forced against his will. In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, another hostile nation Zanzibar Land uses improved model Metal Gear D (also built by Dr. Madnar albeit willingly this time) to raid nuclear disposal sites.
Metal Gear Solid shows new model Metal Gear REX designed by Dr. Hal Emmerich after being misled into believing that Metal Gear would be used as an anti-nuclear device that would be capable of safely shooting down nuclear missiles via a railgun system that shoots nuclear warheads. The weapon was produced by the U.S. Army on Shadow Moses Island, Alaska. The proliferation of Metal Gear-like weapons led to the creation of the Marines' Metal Gear RAY before the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater reveals that Metal Gear's design originates with Soviet weapons designer Dr. Aleksandr Leonovitch Granin comparing the concept to the theory of the missing link between apes and men, evidenced by two design drawings (Metal Gear REX and Metal Gear D) on his desk, with him calling it the missing link between infantry and artillery. Infantry can go anywhere but are easily destroyed and carry limited firepower. Artillery can inflict and sustain far more damage, but are at the mercy of terrain. In short, for a tank to be perfect, it needs legs. The first built models (Metal Gear RAXA and the Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear) appear in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops although the two are a quadrupedal design.
Models in the canonical series
TX-55 Metal Gear
TX-55 Metal Gear is the model's designation in the first Metal Gear according to the MSX2 version's manual, although it is simply referred as "Metal Gear" and no particular meaning is given behind this codename.
In the game, Solid Snake learns Metal Gear's weakness after rescuing its creator Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar and his daughter Ellen. The player must place a certain number of plastic explosives on Metal Gear's feet in the order stated by Dr. Pettrovich. This Metal Gear is stored in a room guarded by two laser cams and never actually becomes operational; the final challenge is instead a battle with Big Boss and a race against time to escape the self-destructing base.
In Snake's Revenge (the non-canonical sequel to Metal Gear that was released in the west for the NES), mass-produced versions of the original Metal Gear (dubbed "Metal Gear 1" in the game) are stored inside an enemy cargo ship. The wreckage of the original Metal Gear makes a cameo in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, an alternate sequel to the first game in the Metal Gear Solid series set in a rebuilt Outer Heaven.
In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, TX-55 Metal Gear is seen in a psychic vision along with Big Boss and his three sons.
Metal Gear D
Metal Gear D (メタルギア改Ｄ?) in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is a revision of the original Metal Gear prototype from the first game. Metal Gear D is equipped with a Vulcan cannon and a six-missile pod. The improved model was also built by Dr. Madnar willingly this time after his radical ideas were rejected by the Western scientific community.
In the game, it is piloted by Gray Fox and can only be destroyed by Solid Snake throwing grenades over its feet. The mecha design of Metal Gear D was chosen through an internal contest between Konami's artists, with the primary criterion being realism. The final design is credited to Tomohiro Nishio.
A smaller, non-nuclear-armed mass-produced model dubbed Metal Gear G (or Metal Gear Gustav), was designed for Metal Gear 2 but rejected for the final game. They are mentioned in the game by Dr. Pettrovich as being under development.
Afterwards, Metal Gear D makes cameo appearances: visible as a blueprint on Dr. Granin's desk in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and seen in EVA's flashback in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
Metal Gear REX
Metal Gear REX has near-impenetrable compound armor, a pair of 30 mm gatling guns, anti-tank missiles, and a free-electron laser, to protect itself from conventional forces. Its primary weapon, however, is a magnetic railgun capable of delivering an untraceable nuclear warhead anywhere in the world, without the propellant trail or launch flare that gives away the launch position of a traditional ballistic missile. It also possessed a radome, a satellite-shaped object on REX's left side that provides information about the environment outside of the cockpit while keeping the pilot safe from harm, and increasing the accuracy of all weapons as well. Destroying the radome is crucial to rendering the virtual reality interface useless and forcing the pilot to manually control REX. The pilot is also forced to expose himself to enemy fire, by opening the cockpit in order to see outside (a weakness deliberately built into REX as a "character flaw").
In the story of Metal Gear Solid, weapons company ArmsTech president Kenneth Baker bribes DARPA chief Donald Anderson to get covert U.S. Government funding for Metal Gear REX's development for the U.S. Army, and sends the single prototype to be tested at a nuclear weapons disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island. However, the Shadow Moses facility is taken over by rogue special forces unit FOXHOUND attempting to use REX as leverage to extort the U.S. Government. Solid Snake comes out of retirement and infiltrates the Shadow Moses facility in order to find out about REX. Liquid Snake and Revolver Ocelot intend to use REX to hold the world hostage. Later, Liquid uses REX to fight Snake. Snake, with the help of Dr. Hal Emmerich (REX's engineer) and Gray Fox, eliminates FOXHOUND and destroys the mecha.
It is revealed in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty that Metal Gear REX's battle data were sold on the black market. As a result, Metal Gear variants spread worldwide. Metal Gear RAY is designed in response to combat and render the variants useless.
In the prequels, Metal Gear REX is seen in Dr. Aleksandr Granin's original blueprints that are shown to Naked Snake (which are later stolen by Ocelot) in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and is seen in a psychic vision along with Big Boss's sons in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Old Snake (Solid Snake) is sent back to Shadow Moses Island to re-acquire Metal Gear REX (left abandoned after the events of Metal Gear Solid) which has become Liquid Ocelot's newest target. Liquid plans to remove REX's railgun to launch nuclear weapons since REX predates the SOP system of no ID lockout mechanism (sans the PAL interface). Arriving at the old hangar, Snake finds the damaged Metal Gear but discovers that Liquid has already removed the railgun. Later, Snake uses REX to confront Liquid piloting Metal Gear RAY. Even though RAY was developed as an anti-Metal Gear weapon and REX being handicapped (as the radome was still damaged and its railgun gone), Otacon reveals that REX has a "street fighter" program to execute kicking moves which Liquid was apparently not aware of. Snake and REX manage to fight Liquid to a stalemate (Otacon credits this to his assistance). REX is not seen destroyed and what happened to it after the battle is unknown.
Metal Gear REX, Metal Gear RAY, and a Gekko make cameo appearances in the Shadow Moses Island stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It also made its appearance as the final boss from LittleBigPlanet with the use of Metal Gear Solid Packs. In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, in the Isla Del Monstruo as part of a collaboration with Capcom's Monster Hunter series, defeating both the Rathalos and the Tigrex unlocks a monster known as "Gear REX", which heavily resembles its mecha counterpart.
Metal Gear RAY
Metal Gear RAY is an anti-Metal Gear introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty also designed by Yoji Shinkawa. This Metal Gear model comes in two variants: a manned prototype version developed to combat Metal Gear derivatives and an unmanned, computer-controlled version refitted to defend Arsenal Gear.
Metal Gear RAY differs from previous Metal Gears in that it is not a nuclear launch platform, but instead a weapon of conventional warfare, originally designed by the U.S. Marines to hunt down and destroy the many Metal Gear derivatives that became common after Metal Gear REX's plans leak following the events of Shadow Moses. RAY is designed to be even more maneuverable and flexible in deployment than other models and can operate both on land and in water. While RAY has a pair of Gatling guns and missile launchers on its back and knees to defend itself from more conventional battlefield threats, its primary weapon is a powerful water jet cutter, which can cut through heavily armored foes, such as Metal Gear derivatives. RAY is more organic in appearance and in function than previous models. Its streamlined shape helps to deflect enemy fire and allows for greater maneuverability both on land and in water. Its interior workings are also somewhat organic, as it has artificial fibers that contract when electricity is applied, much like natural muscle, instead of typical hydraulics; this pseudo-muscle tissue makes it very maneuverable. It also has a nervous-system-like network of conductive nanotubes, which connect the widely dispersed sensor systems and relay commands from the cockpit to the various parts of RAY's body, automatically bypassing damaged systems and rerouting to auxiliary systems when needed. Another feature is its blood-like armor-repair nanopaste, which is secreted from valves and coagulates wherever the exterior surface is damaged. Particularly unusual is its "face", with two "eyes" and a gaping "mouth", only seen when the head armor is removed. The original version is an operational prototype labeled "MARINES", has a cockpit for a single pilot, and a long tail intended for balance while making leaps or operating underwater. The entire forward interior of the cockpit is a heads-up display, allowing the pilot to look around as if there were no obstruction between him and the battlefield. The mass-production model labelled "U.S. NAVY" lacks the tail of the prototype, but has rounded knees and only one sensory input or "eye" instead of the prototype's two. They are also painted in an olive-drab camouflage pattern.
During the Tanker chapter (the prologue of Metal Gear Solid 2), Revolver Ocelot steals Metal Gear RAY off the disguised oil tanker and delivers the stolen prototype to The Patriots, an organization secretly running the United States. During the Plant chapter (the second part of Metal Gear Solid 2), Arsenal Gear has a force of unmanned mass-produced Metal Gear RAYs ready for immediate deployment against any possible threats under the command of the ship's AI GW. When Solidus Snake takes over Arsenal along with the slave RAYs, he has them confront Raiden but Raiden eventually destroys them all.
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Liquid Ocelot pilots a modified version of Metal Gear RAY that sports the prototype's two "eyes", cockpit and greyish-blue coloring, and the mass-production model's tailless design and rounded knees. It is labeled "OUTER HAVEN". Despite being an anti-REX Metal Gear, RAY was immobilized during a battle with Metal Gear REX piloted by Old Snake.
Metal Gear RAY, Metal Gear REX, and a Gekko make cameo appearances in the Shadow Moses Island stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. A very different version of Metal Gear RAY that sports giant swords in the arms and a different tail appears in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Arsenal Gear is a submersible, mobile fortress that appears in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was developed by the U.S. Navy to monitor, block and tamper with Internet communications in order to further the goals of the Patriots. It is a metaphor for the change of warfare in the last decades of the 20th century, from nuclear war to a war of culture, information, and espionage.
Arsenal Gear is hidden under the Big Shell, and is controlled by AI "GW" designed by Emma Emmerich. According to The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2, the model below the Big Shell is not the only one, and each one is run by its own Patriot AI system. Arsenal is large enough to house - and also require - a significant force for its defense. The exterior is shown when Raiden and Solidus Snake are heading for Federal Hall and see the fortress speeding under many bridges before crashing. Arsenal hidden under the Big Shell has an unspecified number of "Tengu Commandos", soldiers clad in powered armor and armed with P90 submachine guns and high-frequency blades. It also has a squadron of 25 unmanned mass-production Metal Gear RAYs under the direct control of GW.
During Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden is actually being manipulated by GW but, as Emma's virus slowly destroys GW, Raiden is able to enter Arsenal Gear and uncover the many layers of deception concealing the true meaning behind his mission to the Big Shell. Revolver Ocelot (controlled by Liquid Snake) directs Arsenal to crash into Manhattan Island at the end of Raiden's mission. A scene in Metal Gear Solid 2 shows Arsenal crashing through and destroying several buildings in Manhattan Island but was cut from the final version because of the terrorist attacks on September 11th.
Outer Haven is a modified Arsenal Gear submersible ark stolen by Liquid Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The ark features a Mount Rushmore-like sculpture of Solidus Snake, Solid Snake (Old Snake), Liquid Snake and Big Boss. Haven was later revealed to contain the AI GW, rebuilt after its destruction five years prior, in its server room. It made its first appearance in the "Twin Suns" chapter. In the "Old Sun" chapter, Ocelot planned on using the GW ruins (still in the Patriots' system but not recognized by the remaining Patriot AIs, which had labeled GW as destroyed) to take control of the Patriots by using Metal Gear REX's railgun to destroy the satellite containing JD, the primary AI. Using the railgun he could stealth-launch the missile (with pure magnetic energies and no chemical propellants), thus protecting it from Patriot countermeasures. Haven also has an army of mass-production Metal Gear RAYs as protection against the USS Missouri.
The Shagohod (Russian Шагоход, "step-walker", occasionally referred to in English as "The Treading Behemoth") is not a Metal Gear (being a parallel design instead) but has a similar design and role in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Rather than a bipedal mecha, it is an unconventional tank armed with an intermediate-range ballistic missile and can propel to intercontinental ranges. Like the various Metal Gear variants, it can be crewed by a single pilot but has a station for a copilot.
The Shagohod has an articulated body, split into two parts. The front part uses screw propulsion, with a pair of Archimedes' screws on hydraulic legs, that pulls the bulky rear portion, suspended on a hovercraft-style air cushion. While this is an unusual mechanism for propulsion, far more unusual are the Shagohod's rocket boosters. With a sufficiently large flat piece of land (such as a highway or landing strip), the Shagohod can fire its rocket boosters to build up speed (up to more than 480 km/h or 300 mph) before firing its primary weapon, a nuclear-armed intermediate-range ballistic missile. In doing so, it serves as an additional stage for the rocket, allowing it to strike at targets nearly anywhere in the world (a range of over 6,000 miles [9,600 km]). The Shagohod also has parachutes in the back to help in slowing it down after a rocket-boosted missile launch. Besides its single SS-20 "Saber" IRBM (which has to be reloaded after firing), the Shagohod has defensive weaponry, including three 12.7mm DShKM machine guns to defend against aircraft and infantry, six 9K112 Kobra surface-to-air missiles to protect against aircraft, and a 100-barrel volley gun to defend against armor. The Shagohod's most evident weakness is in its propulsive screws; when they are blocked or damaged, the tank becomes nearly useless. Also, its need for a long, flat surface to accelerate seriously impairs its versatility. While Naked Snake talks with its designer, Sokolov in the west wing of the weapons lab in Groznyj Grad, Sokolov mentions that Volgin was planning to mass-produce the Shagohod and ship them to all the countries of the Eastern Bloc. At that same point, Sokolov also mentioned that Volgin also was planning to use the Shagohod as bait to foment armed uprisings among dictators, ethnic insurgents and revolutionary groups throughout the Third World.
The Shagohod is not a precursor to the Metal Gear series of mecha, but instead a parallel development; it is developed by Sokolov at a secret base in Tselinoyarsk. His peer and self-proclaimed rival Director Granin conceives of the Metal Gear concept at approximately the same time, but Colonel Volgin favors Sokolov's design over Granin's, and funds the production of a prototype. This is possibly due to the fact that, though a walker like Metal Gear would ultimately prove to be a far more versatile system, the Shagohod was only an unusual combination of technologies that already existed at the time (tanks, ground effect, IRBMs, and booster rockets), as opposed to an unrealized idea requiring years or even decades of research as well as incredibly large amounts of money to produce.
Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear
The Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear (or ICBMG for short;) is the featured mecha in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. In the Metal Gear chronology, this Metal Gear is the first built prototype. Its design, completed by Dr. Sokolov, is based on Granin's original blueprints (the same ones seen in Metal Gear Solid 3). Unlike the future bipedal models, this Metal Gear's design is quadrupedal and its nuclear function is to act as a mobile launching device for MIRVs. While therefore capable of making nuclear strikes against several targets at once, its range is limited, and (unlike the Shagohod) is unable to compensate for it with speed. Thus, it must be physically transported to a point within range of the target(s) first. This is accomplished by having the ICBMG itself attached to the top of a rocket, launching it, detaching the unit at 3000 ft above the intended landing point, having it parachute back down to the ground, and launching its nuclear payload afterwards.
In the game, Naked Snake (Big Boss) encounters two models: the first is non-nuclear equipped test model Metal Gear RAXA that gets destroyed after a boss battle and the actual model that gets attached to a reproduced Saturn V rocket in the game's ending which Snake destroys in the cut-scene with the help of a defecting group of Red Army soldiers.
Gekko (月光 Gekkō?, meaning "moonlight") is the new mecha featured in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The Gekko is a mass-produced unmanned bipedal unit manufactured by ArmsTech Corp, and designated "Irving" by the U.S. Military; this stems from the American codename for the Nakajima J1N "Gekko" twin engine night fighter aircraft from WWII. Their frequent use by PMCs has caused it to be a replacement for tanks as a means of conducting armored warfare in urban areas. The Gekko have widespread use within the PMC community.
Although not a literal Metal Gear, the top half of this mecha is reminiscent of Metal Gear REX's design with Metal Gear RAY's organic legs. It is unmanned and uses two large cameras as its "eyes", one mounted on its head, the other at the front of its hip assembly. These are backed up by other sensors, mostly passive. New features include a small robotic tentacle used to pick up small objects or grab targets. The Gekko is incredibly agile and maneuverable, thanks to a pair of flexible limbs that can act as either legs or arms. The legs are made from artificial muscle tissue cloned from embryonic stem cells of ungulate embryos. With these legs, the Gekko can pick up a man and throw him hard enough to penetrate a brick wall, deliver a kick that can overturn a 6x6 truck, dodge an RPG and kill its shooter, climb walls, crouch to enter buildings, run at speeds equivalent to a motor vehicle, and leap huge distances through the air. This model comes in multiple variants. Two of these variants are designed for standard combat; both carrying anti-personnel machine guns mounted inside the "nose", while one carries heavier machine guns and missile launchers. A third variant is the special purpose Suicide Gekko, designed to invade enemy facilities in groups before self-destructing en masse. Similar in combat terms when compared with traditional Metal Gear models, relatively little firepower is needed to actually destroy one. A quick blast with an assault rifle may cause one to trip if shot in the legs. Corresponding shots to the "neck" can destroy a Gekko with small arms such as a M4 carbine or FN P90. However, when a Gekko falls, it can quickly regain its footing even if tripped onto its head. Nonetheless, a heavy weapon such as any rocket-launcher, an M82A2, or the Rail Gun, can be used against the Gekko without requiring it to be collapsed. The Gekko makes use of sound in psychological warfare, particularly animal noises (such as cicadas while on the prowl to create an atmosphere of unease, and bull sounds in direct combat as a means of unnerving the enemy). They feature characteristics that are biomechanoid to some degree, as they have been shown to "bleed" when sliced at the legs (understandably as the machine could use a blood-like self-repairing nanopaste like the RAY), though severe wounds on seemingly mechanical components have been known to "bleed" as well. In addition, they expel a green liquid, which may be lactic acid produced by the artificial muscles.
In a pre-release interview, director Hideo Kojima stated that the Gekko are not the game's titular Metal Gears, stating that they are more like a jeep or a tank compared to the conventional Metal Gears such as REX and RAY.
The Gekkos reappeared in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Arms of Dwarf Gekkos are attached to Desperado operative Mistral while the Metal Gear EXCELSUS has Gekko escorts called Gekko UG.
Metal Gear Mk. II and Metal Gear Mk. III
A robotic companion to Old Snake called Metal Gear Mk. II appears in Metal Gear Solid 4. This Metal Gear Mk. II is similar (albeit a bit more angular in appearance, using an OLED screen and has wheels instead of feet) to the Snatcher version (see below) and is controlled by Otacon. This version of Metal Gear is not meant to be a weapon, instead he uses it to provide ammunition and advice to Snake. The Mk. II can also be used as a recon device, turn invisible, and shock enemies knocking them unconscious. However, it also runs on batteries which deplete while in operation. The Mk. II is automated in the game, but can be controlled by the player if needed. After the Eastern Europe mission, the Mk. II is destroyed by Vamp, and replaced by the Metal Gear Mk. III, a similar design which accompanies Snake at Shadow Moses and Outer Haven. The Mk. III has the same body as the Mk. II, but with a red-colored exterior, and serves the same function.
Peace Walker is the name given to an autonomous nuclear weapons platform developed in secret by disavowed CIA agent Hot Coldman and deployed to Costa Rica in 1974. Peace Walker was designed to prove that nuclear deterrence is a myth by objectively and logically assessing the threat of a nuclear exchange and retaliating in kind. Peace Walker is quadrupedal in form, with a spherical radome "head" and a cylindrical AI core functioning as its brain. It is designed to be fully self-supporting, with an array of anti-personnel weapons used to defend itself, and a protocol that calls for it to recognise and eliminate all threats to itself before launching its nuclear missile.
Peace Walker is supported by four autonomous weapons that the player fights throughout the game:
- Pupa (GW-PUPA 5000), a smaller version of the Shagohod that has had its Archimedes screws replaced by caterpillar tracks. It is designed to be fast and agile.
- Chrysalis (TJ-CHRYSALIS 6000), an aerial unit with VTOL capabilities. It is referred to as "El Colibri" ("the hummingbird") by the Sandinistas.
- Cocoon (TR-COCOON 7000), a giant land battleship lined with numerous weapons emplacements.
- Basilisk (AL-AURELIA 8000), a bipedal form of Peace Walker that contracts itself to make it easier to be shipped.
Metal Gear ZEKE
Metal Gear ZEKE is a Metal Gear built in the Militaires Sans Frontieres in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Although it is AI-controlled in its testing stages, in the game's true ending, Paz Ortega Andrade modifies ZEKE to be manned and uses the mecha to attempt a nuclear strike on the US east coast, forcing Big Boss to defeat her and heavily damage the unit. Developer Huey and Kazuhira Miller named the mech in honor of Granin's "Metal Gear" design philosophy and the Zero fighter, which was codenamed ZEKE by the Allies in World War II. The unit is also the series' second Metal Gear that the player can use in any capacity, as it can be fielded in the Outer Ops missions once all the parts have been installed. ZEKE is armed with a railgun mated to a radome, three machine guns, and a number of guided missiles. ZEKE's nuclear weapon was salvaged from the remains of Peace Walker. ZEKE is a combination of AI technology built by Dr. Strangelove and the scrap parts of the game's four main bosses.
ZEKE is still in the MSF inventory during the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. However, when the MSF gets word of an IAEA inspection team coming to visit Mother Base, the unit and its warhead is lowered to the sea floor. The machine's fate after the destruction of MSF's Mother Base is unknown.
Metal Gear EXCELSUS
Appearing in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Metal Gear EXCELSUS is one of the largest Metal Gears to feature in the series. The unit is modelled on an arachnid, with its front legs doubling as extendable blade arms that can alternately be used to crush or cut its way through armor, buildings or the earth itself. It is also armed with two cannons mounted on its "head" that fire directed bursts of superheated plasma and have a division of Gekko units on board. The unit has a spherical cockpit that is mounted on a gyroscope; however, due to the system's limited physical control, the machine's arsenal and full range of movement, only nanomachine-implanted pilots can operate it.
The Sahelanthropus (also known as the ST-84 Metal Gear) is a large Metal Gear unit that appears in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It is classified as an Anthropoid Bipedal Weapon System and was built by the Soviet Union in co-operation with the mysterious X.O.F. organization. Its name is derived from Sahelanthropus tchadensis, an extinct hominine species theorised to be the last common ancestor between humans and chimpanzees as the design makes Sahelanthropus the "missing link" between the early prototypes Shagohod and Peace Walker and the later bipedal TX-55 Metal Gear and Metal Gear REX units. Sahelanthropus initially appears in a crouched position with a heavily armoured control unit that can be used as a battering ram against environmental hazards, but can also convert to an upright "standing" position. Its primary weapon is a tensile rod that can separate into individual whip-like threads or condense into a quarterstaff-like rod that can discharge metallic archaea—microbes that feed on minerals—into the local environment, triggering a series of explosions. Sahelanthropus is also armed with a prototype railgun that can only be fired from its crouched position, and an array of machine guns and missile launchers. It can also release a series of unmanned drones that scan the area for targets.
Unlike other Metal Gears, Sahelanthropus cannot fire a nuclear weapon; rather, its body is made up of depleted uranium which can be enriched to become uranium-235 by the metallic archaea to 90% purity. Given Sahelanthropus' size, this creates a bomb with an extremely high yield. Sahelanthropus' creator, Huey Emmerich, described the choice of depleted uranium as being a direct result of the need to keep the weapon's mass to a minimum despite ceramic armour offering better protecting.
Within the game, Sahelanthropus is unfinished, with Emmerich unable to complete the control unit as he wanted to protect Peace Walker's vulnerable AI pods by encasing the pod used to regulate the systems within the armour. However, the weapon is controlled by the psychic Tretij Rebenok, giving it additional mobility. Upon its destruction, it is transported to Diamond Dogs' Mother Base to act as a symbol of their history.
Models in other games
These models are not part of the mainstream Metal Gear series continuity, either because they appear in a non-canonical game (Snake's Revenge, Metal Gear: Ghost Babel and Metal Gear Acid) or because the game in which they appear is not a Metal Gear game at all (Snatcher).
Metal Gear Mk. II (Snatcher)
The Metal Gear Mk. II in Snatcher is the robotic sidekick of the game's protagonist, Gillian Seed, a JUNKER agent. He is a navigator built by JUNKER engineer Harry Benson to assist Gillian and facilitate his investigation. According to Harry, he was designed after the "Metal Gear menace from the 20th century." He is equipped with a forensic analyzer, as well as a videophone Gillian uses to communicate with his wife and other characters. The Metal Gear is voiced by Mami Koyama in the Japanese versions and by Lucy Childs in the English-language Sega CD version. A hand-size model appears in the spinoff SD Snatcher named Petit Metal, its function in the game is to display statistical data during battle or to automatic battle for the player.
Metal Gear 2
The Metal Gear 2 from Snake's Revenge is a successor to the original Metal Gear described as "seven times more powerful" than the original. It is a bipedal mech similar to the original equipped with a large missile cannon, although its precise specifications are never revealed. Snake is told of its existence by his helicopter pilot after completing his initial objective. In the game's end sequence, Metal Gear 2 becomes active and initiates a countdown sequence, announcing to launch a series of nuclear missiles around the globe, starting with New York, Tokyo and Moscow. The path to Metal Gear 2 is blocked by a fence and the player can only destroy the mech by firing guided missiles into the air duct.
Metal Gear GANDER
The Metal Gear model in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel. Metal Gear GANDER is the result of the U.S. Army's "Project Babel" after the U.S. Government procured the data from the original prototype in Outer Heaven. It is stolen by the Gindra Liberation Front and taken to their fortress of Galuade (the former Outer Heaven). Its armament consists of two nuclear warhead-launching rail guns (similar to Metal Gear REX), two vulcan cannons, six guided missile pods, two automated flying attack pods, a pair of spread fire cannons, and a close range flamethrower. While GANDER had a railgun similar to REX, it required an entire power plant to operate. Secretly, its most powerful weapon was a satellite-based data link system that allows it to launch nuclear missiles anywhere in the world; likewise, it took the same amount of power to function. The design is based on one of Shinkawa's unused Metal Gear REX concepts.
Metal Gear KODOQUE
Metal Gear KODOQUE is the Metal Gear model featured in Metal Gear Acid. Its name is derived from the Japanese word "Kodoku" or "Isolation". One of the larger Metal Gear models, KODOQUE has two armor-like plates on each of its arms that come equipped with a remote control missile launcher. There are four slots for missiles on each arm, coming to a total of 8 missiles at one time. When not being used, these arms can form a protective cocoon around the Metal Gear. It also comes with a beam cannon near the legs, and can fire a plasma shot from its head when both arms are destroyed. This beam can be interrupted if four rods in a control room are destroyed. The inside is also different from Metal Gears: It comes equipped with a control room, and has sentry bots for security. It also has multiple controls when compared to previous Metal Gears having a cockpit. This Metal Gear is also unmanned and is simply controlled by an AI.
In Metal Gear Acid 2, KODOQUE's wreck was salvaged and brought to the SaintLogic facility. The Metal Gear is activated by one of Koppelthorn's Test subjects, Golab. It is kept in the four-story Metal Gear Prototype building, which is destroyed by Snake and Venus. Before destroying the building, Snake and Venus have to defeat KODOQUE before the time limit runs out.
Chaioth Ha Qadesh
Chaioth Ha Qadesh is the Metal Gear model which appears in Metal Gear Acid 2. The name Chaioth Ha Qadesh is derived from the Keter, a high level in the Kabbalah, a mystical offshoot of Judaism. The name refers to a group of angels, called The Holy Living Creatures (Chayot Ha Qodesh - "חיות הקדש" in Hebrew). Originally designed as a way to control Model 3 test subjects, Chaioth Ha Qadesh uses the EGO (Enhanced Governing Organization) Operating System to control various modified soldiers and guard robots. SaintLogic developed the Metal Gear for that purpose, but Dr. Thomas Koppelthorn stole Chaioth Ha Qadesh as a means to get revenge for his wife Lucinda and kill all involved in the Praulia Massacre.
Like other Metal Gears, Chaioth Ha Qadesh can fire a nuclear missile from any area of the world to its target. However, one difference is that it mainly uses neutron bombs as its main weapon, and also contains the data on all test subjects in the SaintLogic institute. It has a missile launcher on its back, and can fire bullets from the Vulcan cannons on each of its arms. It also has a slot on the top for launching energy that can cause any equipped cards to be destroyed. Metal Gear Chaioth Ha Qadesh uses nano chip expansions so the player can see what cards the Metal Gear has and will use. The cockpit, located in the upper zone of Metal Gear's head, can be ejected, which Lucy uses to kill Koppelthorn by launching him out of Chaioth Ha Qadesh and then destroying the cockpit (and what was inside it) with a missile. At the end of the game, Snake empties its equipped nuclear warhead, hides inside the casing, and launches himself into the ocean to escape U.S. soldiers.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2012)|
In 2011, UGO.com ranked Metal Gear Mk. II and III as eighth on the list of the best robots in gaming, while Joystick Division ranked Metal Gears in general as first on their list, adding "For one of the biggest franchises of all time to feature you as the catalyst for action in many of its games, you've got to be pretty damn iconic." That same year, PlayStation Universe ranked RAY (MGS2) and REX vs. RAY (MGS4) at the second and first place respectively on the list of the greatest Metal Gear Solid boss battles, also discussing the latter in the feature series Badass Bosses. In 2012, IGN ranked Metal Gear REX as 14th on the list of top video game weapons, while Cheat Code Central included the fight against it among the six most epic boss battles in gaming, and Complex ranked it the fifth "coolest" robot in video games' history.
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- Metal Gear Saga Vol. 1.
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- Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake instruction manual, pg. 54
- Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake instruction manual, pg. 53
- The gatling guns' caliber can be read in the machine cannon weapon description while piloting REX in Metal Gear Solid 4.
- Otacon: RAY might have been designed as a REX-killer, but you've got me on your side. Crush RAY, and Liquid with it.
- Hideo Kojima (2002). The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 (PlayStation 2). Konami.
- Jeremy Parish, “Shagohod”, Electronic Gaming Monthly 225 (January 2008): 92.
- Kojima Productions. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
Campbell: From what this guy "Ghost" has been saying, the weapon we're chasing is a Metal Gear with intercontinental ballistic-launch capabilities. An ICBMG, if you will.
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- Meli, Marissa (2011-06-10). "We Love These Video Game Robots Even Though They Can't Love Back". UGO.com. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "The Top Ten Robots In Video Game History". Joystick Division. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "The 5 greatest Metal Gear Solid boss battles ever - PlayStation Universe". Psu.com. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "Badass Bosses: Metal Gear Ray - PlayStation Universe". Psu.com. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "#14: Metal Gear Rex (Metal Gear Solid) - IGN's Top 100 Video Game Weapons". Uk.ign.com. 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Josh Wirtanen, The Six Most Epic Boss Fights In Gaming, Cheat Code Central, 2012
- Knight, Rich (July 17, 2012). "The 25 Coolest Robots in Video Games". Complex. Retrieved May 20, 2014.