Konami’s Metal Gear Solid series is iconic; not only for it’s storytelling, gameplay innovations and world building, but also for it’s villains. Indeed, over the years the series has seen some truly amazing villainy. So as we reach the 20th Anniversary of Metal Gear Solid 2, let’s take a look back at some of the best Metal Gear Solid villains we’ve seen.
Born in Romania, losing his family to a church bombing where he had to survive off of their blood after being buried by the rubble gave Vamp his taste for blood. Then being subjected to experimental nanomachines gave him his apparent immortality. Let’s face it, Vamp certainly had the makings of a villain early on. With his superhuman abilities including being able to parry bullets, run on water and scale walls, Vamp was an interesting and formidable boss. Some say he’s too cheesy, but then again the whole series can be a little cheesy or corny at times, so we’ll allow it.
As one of the longest-running characters, Revolver Ocelot is a true legend of Metal Gear Solid. A crack shot with the revolver after getting the recommendation from Snake to switch to using them…after Snake bested him and his squad, of course. He’s also someone not to be trusted. However, Ocelot has been a mainstay in the franchise for a reason; he’s always someone you can rely on for some entertainment and has been an integral part of many Metal Gear storylines.
The franchise is full of icon after icon, and Gray Fox is another that can’t not be mentioned. He’s gone from hero to villain, to cyborg ninja, to hero again. Originally a child soldier, he was the only operative within FOXHOUND to be given the highest commendation of “Fox” and decorated five times. Originally an ally and comrade-in-arms to Solid Snake, his loyalty to renegade commander Big Boss later changed that and forced him to fight with Solid Snake. Gray Fox has been around the block and Snake has faced off with him numerous times. Also, who doesn’t like a badass cyborg ninja?
Is there a more important character in Metal Gear Solid than Big Boss? From protagonist in Snake Eater to one of the major antagonists, Metal Gear wouldn’t be the same without him. He was once considered the greatest soldier in America with an entire government project created to try and clone him, which gave us Solid Snake, Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake. You have to be pretty special for an entire government to want to clone you for soldiers. He’s been around for as long as the franchise and has taken many names along the way.
Liquid Snake is pretty much everything his twin brother Solid Snake is not. After both were created as part of the super-secret-super-soldier program Les Enfantes Terrible, Liquid became the leader of FOXHOUND during the Shadow Moses Incident. With an IQ of 180 and the ability to speak seven languages, he is an impressive figure. The final showdown with his twin brother is a legendary battle fit enough for any game. Finally confronting each other atop Metal Gear Rex, we eventually get treated to an epic hand-to-hand battle of two almost entirely-identical people. A true test of who is the superior fighter.
He’s probably one of the most memorable bosses in gaming history, not just Metal Gear. Psycho Mantis was a member of FOXHOUND and took part in the takeover of Shadow Moses Island. When you encounter him in that wooden panelled office, he starts to show you his powers by breaking the fourth wall. Reading what games you’ve played from your memory card and having to switch controller ports in order to beat him is a moment people will never forget. Having the fourth wall being broken right in front of your eyes as Psycho Mantis uses his powers in a video game was something unheard of; it was entirely original, and fans have never forgotten it.
Metal Gear Solid might be a confusing story to follow at times, packed with dialogue and cutscenes. But there is no denying that the characters and especially the villains do an excellent job of making all those lengthy speeches worth it.
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