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Arsenal Gear was a submersible, mobile fortress developed for the United States Navy, with the ability to monitor, block, and tamper with internet communications in order to further the goals of the Patriots. It also has access to the Military's Tactical Network, giving it absolute control over the nation's armed forces and its nuclear arsenal.

Arsenal Gear is a metaphor for the change of warfare in the last decades of the 20th century, from a nuclear war to a war of culture, information, and espionage. Its concept was inspired by the U.S. Navy's Arsenal Ship Project.



On January 24, 2000, a notorious hacker group led by Emma Emmerich perpetrated a signal data hacking assault on the NSA facility in Fort Meade, causing a total system shut down for a 73-hour period. The result was a full review of NSA's safety measures, which in turn led to the decision to shift the data-gathering operations to an isolated location that would be safe from physical attack as well as cyber-terrorism (in other words, the start of the Arsenal Gear project).[3] Rumors also spread about Arsenal Gear's development, as well as the United States Navy's involvement in its development.[4] In addition, while the anti-Metal Gear NGO Philanthropy was investigating whether or not rumors of its development were true, they also stumbled upon the name "the Patriots" before security protocols forced them to abandon the investigation.[5] Upon completion, Arsenal Gear would have acted as a forward deployment and operation base for all of the branches of the United States Armed Forces via its tactical network, and even had access to the nation's nuclear arsenal.[6]

After the sinking of the USS Discovery in 2007, the Patriots sent out a loaded oil tanker to the exact spot where Discovery was sunk, sank it, and used it as a means to cover up the construction of Arsenal Gear, the largest and most powerful Metal Gear the world had yet realized. Arsenal Gear was used as a means of global censorship, control and support. Within Arsenal was housed GW, the AI designed by Emma, which controlled the entire warship.

Arsenal Gear also contained an entire payload of nuclear warheads, including an experimental purified hydrogen bomb (developed during James Johnson's Presidency), which would only become launch-capable upon the activation of Arsenal Gear.

The Manhattan Incident[]

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

In 2009, the terrorist group Sons of Liberty intended to claim Arsenal Gear after taking over the Big Shell, as a means of challenging the Patriots' rule. SEAL Team 10 boarded the facility in order to rescue President James Johnson, who had been taken hostage, and recover the Black Case. Though SEAL Team 10's Alpha team managed to achieve these objectives, they were later ambushed and killed by terrorist members Fortune and Vamp, with the latter recovering both.

Arsenal Gear crash

Arsenal Gear crashes into Manhattan.

Raiden and Solid Snake infiltrated the Big Shell and eventually made their way to the main computer room to upload a virus, created by Emma Emmerich, into GW. Snake and Olga Gurlukovich then allowed for Raiden to be captured, gaining them access to the interior of Arsenal Gear. After a brief torture session at the hands of Solidus Snake, Raiden was able to escape and enter the "stomach" of the massive warship.

While inside, GW began to malfunction due to the virus, before eventually ceasing communication with Raiden completely. After Raiden did battle with the small army of mass-produced Metal Gear RAY units guarding Arsenal, Solidus killed Olga and revealed his plans of handing over Arsenal to Fortune, as he knew she would use the warship to challenge the Patriots' power. However, after betraying Solidus and shooting Fortune, Revolver Ocelot piloted the prototype Metal Gear RAY and attempted to kill Solid Snake, Raiden, and Solidus, but Fortune used her abilities to save them from Ocelot's assault.

After Ocelot's failed attack, Liquid Snake's "spirit" took over Ocelot's body and escaped in the prototype RAY, though not before sending Arsenal on a direct collision course with Manhattan, in order to later recover the damaged GW AI on board.[7] Crashing into the banks of New York City, Arsenal destroyed a sizable portion of the lower west side of the city, including all 28 batteries at Battery Park, as well as the destruction of Broadway and the Wall Street Stock Exchange before stopping at Federal Hall and flinging Raiden and Solidus onto the rooftop, allowing them one final battle atop the national monument. While on a collision course with New York, Arsenal destroyed several United States monuments, including the Statue of Liberty, which was pushed to the front of the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island.

Post-Big Shell[]

After the events of the Big Shell, the U.S. Government (the Patriots) managed to finish developing the Kerykeion-class submersible Arsenal Gear battleship. But shortly after its completion, the warship ended up stolen prior to 2014 by Liquid Ocelot to house the fragments of the damaged GW AI and to serve as the base of operations for his PMC mother company.[8]


Arsenal Gear was the only Metal Gear to lack legs of any kind; a drastic deviation from Aleksandr Granin's original concept, hence its new name. Though Metal Gear RAY's design was based on the manta ray, Arsenal Gear possessed a more similar shape to said animal.

The internal blocks within Arsenal Gear were named after regions of the human gastrointestinal tract: More specifically, the stomach, the jejunum, ascending colon, ileum, sigmoid colon, and rectum. Because GW was required to be kept cool for it and by extension Arsenal Gear to function at optimal performance, Arsenal Gear's core temperature was comparable to a freezer, which made it very easy for anyone onboard to catch a cold without proper protection.


  • The stomach block of Arsenal Gear was shaped exactly like Shadow Moses Island and featured a variety of torture equipment. It also featured several crates.


Arsenal Gear was an extremely large warship, which housed – yet also required – a significant force for its defense. As Arsenal headed towards lower Manhattan, it was just small enough to fit under the width of the Verrazano Bridge. Its on-board security defenses included:

Arsenal Gear polygon model

Arsenal Gear.

In addition to the above payload, it also possessed advanced cyber-warfare capabilities, including taking over all computers across the globe via GW,[9] taking complete control of all four branches of the United States Armed Forces, and even taking control of the United States' nuclear arsenal.[6] GW acted as the ship's entire nervous system.

One of its flaws (as pointed out by Solidus Snake) was that it was virtually worthless without a nuclear payload, the unmanned Metal Gear RAYs for protection, and full sea, land, and air support. Unless it was capable of sustaining such needs, Arsenal Gear was nothing more than "a gigantic coffin." Solidus' criticisms are essentially true of any large warship.

Black case[]

Arsenal Gear contained a highly advanced fail-safe system for activation. It utilized the current U.S. President's DNA base order and physiological data as its key, making the lock completely inaccessible to anyone besides the President. It would also automatically invalidate the password if the President's brainwaves and heartbeat were not within their normal limits, meaning that the President had to input the code willingly, ruling out coercion through force or drugs. In addition, it required a vitalization re-check on the President before it could truly authorize the order. Despite this, it was not the only way to activate Arsenal.

Behind the scenes[]

Following 9/11, the sequence of Arsenal Gear crashing into Manhattan Island was edited to remove the actual crash sequence entirely. Instead, the sequence jump cuts from Arsenal Gear heading towards Manhattan to it already at rest against the side of Federal Hall. The unedited sequence has not surfaced since the release of Metal Gear Solid 2. However, some footage was discovered on the disc. This footage included a shot of the Statue of Liberty, made to look like a news broadcast.[10] The music playing over the footage, and the female news reporter who was going to be talking over the footage, were both references to Policenauts. It was also intended to humorously reference that it took Liberty more than a century after its arrival to go through registration, and the final question (about whether Liberty shall finally get her own green card) to the players about whether they are even fit about making decisions on their own. In addition, the crash sequence was supposed to have all the taxicabs destroyed by Arsenal Gear be colored white, which was added in by the development team, specifically by Mizutani Takashi (demo team), Negishi Yutaka (stage team), and Fukushima Tomokazu (script team), as revenge for an incident that occurred during the development of Metal Gear Solid 2 while visiting New York City, where they were conned by the driver of a white taxi cab into paying extra.[11] The actual crash was kept in the novelization, however. Similarly, in the script, there were references to ambulances and the NYPD rushing over to Liberty Hall and the wreck, as well as bystanders intently observing the wreck.[12] In the final version, the masses of people were largely walking around as if it were a regular day though police officers were seen examining Solidus' body.

3d 06

3D model of the RAY hangar on board Arsenal Gear.

The original script from Metal Gear Solid 2 states that it was in fact Liquid Snake who caused Arsenal to crash into Manhattan, though the dialogue was likely removed from the final version for the same reasons that the scene itself was cut,[13] Although Liquid being the cause of it is still implied by his comment on "surfing" as well as Solid Snake telling him to "stop" Arsenal just before Liquid escaped with RAY. The official novelization for the game kept the dialogue intact. However, the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database erroneously claims in two articles that Solidus Snake was responsible for crashing Arsenal Gear[14][15] despite claiming in another article that he lost control over it. The original script from Metal Gear Solid 2 implied that there was also supposed to be more Arsenal Gears than the one Solidus hijacked, when covering the AI speech (done by "JFK").

In director Hideo Kojima's Grand Game Plan, Arsenal Gear was originally to have had a shrine on board, in which Raiden would fight Vamp, but this ended up being cut from the game. The Arsenal Gear featured in the game, was also intended to have been one of several constructed beneath the Big Shell, with each Arsenal operated by its own AI system. In addition, the plot layout in the same source also indicated that shortly after Arsenal Gear ended up going berserk, Raiden would have destroyed Arsenal with C4 explosives.

It is unclear how Arsenal Gear could physically contain the cavernous internal space named "Rectum" in-game, or what purpose this vast, seemingly all but empty location served. The central platform is similar to the one Solid Snake stands on in the camera missions from Metal Gear Solid: Integral.

If the player reenters and exits the torture room in Arsenal's "Stomach" section, the name of the location will change to either New York 52nd Street, Aoyama Ni-Chome, Funabashi City or Azabu-Juban; which are the names of a 1.9 mile long one-way street in New York City, the name of a pedestrian crossing area in Aoyama, Japan, a city in the Chiba prefecture of Japan, and a residential town in Minato, a suburb of Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

The total system shutdown at the NSA facility in Fort Meade in January 2000 was based on a real-life incident.[16]

There is an item in Metal Gear Solid 4 called Arsenal Compress, a type of back pain reliever. On the front and back of its box shows an image of Arsenal Gear.

According to Kojima, the concept of traversing Arsenal Gear was intended to reference Pinocchio's traversing of Monstro the Whale in Pinocchio, which explains why several of the locations in Arsenal Gear were named after internal organs.

In its + card for Metal Gear ACiD 2, its design was stated to be based on Shadow Moses Island.[17] However it is to be noted that the Japanese version specified that the stomach area of Arsenal Gear was derived in design from Shadow Moses Island.[18]

Arsenal Gear later appeared in Versus Battle.

Massive Nuclear Warship with GW AI
Reliant on a Huge Support Network
Fully submersible, this goliath GEAR carried 25 unmanned METAL GEAR RAY protectors, countless nukes, and a hydrogen bomb
―Arsenal Gear's bio on Versus Battle


  1. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    James Johnson: That's right... Arsenal. We're talking about an impregnable fortress carrying a load of over a couple of thousand missiles including nuclear warheads -- all protected by a horde of mass-produced Metal Gear RAY units.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001)
    The artwork for Arsenal Gear, included in-game, shows a torpedo next to Arsenal Gear.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Otacon, during the Tanker Incident, explains this in an optional Codec conversation.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Digital Entertainment (2001)
    This is explained in an optional Codec conversation with Otacon, during the Tanker Incident in 2007.
  6. ^ a b
    "Built by the U.S. Navy, it is equipped with several thousand missiles, including those with nuclear warheads. It is escorted by a legion of mass-produced Metal Gear RAYs. Via its tactical network, Arsenal Gear can gain complete control of the full military might of the four branches of the United States military, including its nuclear arsenal. Its internal blocks are given the designations stomach, jejunum, ascending colon, ileum, sigmoid colon, and rectum."
    ―Arsenal Gear card description
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    "Liquid Snake": "Time to say goodbye." // "Liquid Snake" pilots and moves Metal Gear RAY. // Solid Snake: "Damn." // "Liquid Snake": "Like surfing? It's a good way to go." // Solid Snake breaks his handcuffs. // Solid Snake: "Liquid! Stop this thing!" // "Liquid Snake": "Hey Snake! You coming?" // Solid Snake runs and dives into the water after "Liquid Snake" and Metal Gear RAY. // Raiden: "Snake!"
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Otacon: "Yeah, GW was one of the Patriots' cell AIs. It was installed on Arsenal Gear. Emma's worm should have put it permanently out of commission. But [Liquid Ocelot] somehow recovered and repaired it. I'm guessing JD must be unable to recognize GW even though it's inside the Patriots' System. It's a blind spot. GW was written off as lost while it was still tied in. Using it let [Liquid Ocelot] interfere with the AI from the inside. He made contact under the guise of Big Boss's genetic code. Even the AI threat detection system was fooled." // Old Snake: "A haven on the network... Free from oversight by the Patriots' AIs." // Otacon: "It all makes sense now. That's why they made Arsenal go berserk five years ago. GW was on board."
  9. ^
    "Part of the Patriots' S3 Project. Its nerve center is the artificial intelligence "G.W.," which can take over all the computers in the world, achieving digital information dominance. In order to disguise its presence, it was being constructed underneath the ocean-based plant. The layout of its "stomach" block, where a variety of torture implements are kept, is for some reason shaped exactly like Shadow Moses island."
    ―Arsenal Gear + card description
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (script), Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001)
    P082_02_P02 Ending 2 polygon demo 2 (KF)
    In front of Federal Hall

    Wall Street, in front of the Federal Hall. After the battle with Solidus atop the blazing wreck of Arsenal Gear. The vehicle and its debris are still smoking from its encounter with the building. Helicopters clatter overhead, and fleets of emergency vehicles and rubbernecks attend to the scene. The arrival of the media adds to the cacophony. At the center of all this is the body of a former President (Solidus), draped in the Stars and Stripes. Beside him is the bronze statue of Washington, standing askew. Raiden looks on, spent. He believes that by killing Solidus, he has severed the link with his past. However, he feels no sense of resolution.
  13. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (script), Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    "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."
  14. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008). "Solidus Snake", p04. [2]
  15. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008). "Raiden", p04. [3]
  16. ^
  17. ^ Metal Gear Acid 2, Kojima Productions (2006)
    480: Arsenal Gear+
    "some reason shaped exactly like Shadow Moses Island."
  18. ^ Metal Gear Acid 2 (Japanese), Kojima Productions (2006)
    480: Arsenal Gear+
    (Translation: Had been built. The layout of the gastric block where the field apparatus is installed is similar to the shape of Shadow Mosse Island for some reason.


See also[]