A bandana or bandanna is a type of large kerchief, usually worn on the head of a person. They are often used to hold hair back and to absorb sweat, keeping it from reaching the eyes, or for practical purposes. They can either cover just the forehead and anything within the circumference, or cover the entire cranium.


In Tselinoyarsk, 1964, Naked Snake dueled his former master The Boss, before being thrown into the river below the Dolinovodno bridge. Just before he fell, Snake grabbed and pulled The Boss's bandana from her head, and later used it as a sling for his broken arm. When meeting The Boss again, during Operation Snake Eater, she scolded Snake for wearing it and clinging to their former relationship as mentor and student. Subtly attempting to prepare Snake for what she knew would happen, she told him to let go of the past as well as the bandana, and accept her as his enemy. Snake did neither.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

Naked Snake, later known as Big Boss, then wore The Boss's bandana for a time. He continued wearing it during the San Hieronymo Incident. Cunningham also wore a bandana during the takeover.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Big Boss removed it to the winds over Lake Nicaragua after coming to terms with her death in 1974, the bandana eventually settling on the lake. The Peace Sentinel's scout units, during the daytime, also wore bandanas.

Strangelove later salvaged The Boss's bandana when she came to retrieve the Mammal Pod from Lake Nicaragua, and later had it repaired, largely because she still ultimately had romantic feelings for The Boss. The Diamond Dogs would later discover it along with her corpse in the Mammal Pod.

As a member of FOXHOUND in the 1990s, Solid Snake wore a bandana, as part of the unit's field uniform. Gray Fox, Holly White, and Gustava Heffner also wore bandanas during Operation Intrude F014. The Outer Heaven mercenary Machinegun Kid also wore a bandana. The mercenary and FOXHOUND member George Kasler also wore a bandana emblazioned with the Zanzibar Land logo, in reference to his earlier working under Zanzibar Land.

Following the Shadow Moses Incident, Meryl Silverburgh gave the infinity bandana to Solid Snake. Becoming Snake's favorite,[1] the bandana was embroidered with the symbol for infinity (∞) and kanji characters meaning "infinite."

In 2014, Solid Snake still wore his original bandana in action, though it had become faded with age, reflecting Snake's equally aged appearance. Meryl, now commander of Rat Patrol Team 01, also wore a bandana during this time.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

In 2018, Raiden wore a specialized bandana as a makeshift eyepatch after losing his left eye to Samuel Rodrigues, the bandana containing a 200 megapixel compound image sensor to restore vision to that eye. After killing Senator Armstrong, however, he swapped out the bandana for a cybernetic eye.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Behind the scenes

Solid Snake's sprite in the original Metal Gear depicts him wearing a bandana, though his transceiver portrait does not.[2] Similarly, Gustava Heffner's sprite in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake depicts her wearing a bandana, although her portrait does not.

Throughout the series, the Bandana appears as a special item that gives the user infinite ammo for all weapons.

In the Nintendo Entertainment System version of Metal Gear, the footsoldiers were wearing bandanas.

Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

In the re-released versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the Bandana can be unlocked by completing the game.

Solid Snake's Bandana. ∞ (infinity) symbol is sewn in.
―Bandana description in Metal Gear

Metal Gear Solid

The Bandana can be obtained as a secret item in Metal Gear Solid. If the player does not submit to Revolver Ocelot's torture earlier in the game, then Meryl will give Snake the Bandana in the game's closing scene. When the player starts a new game on the same save file, the Bandana will be in the inventory. Wearing the Bandana gives Solid Snake infinite ammo. Dummied data in the game indicated that Snake's bandana during the events of the mission would have had a flowing knot at the end, but ended up cut for unspecified reasons.

Snake pointing at his bandana.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, only Solid Snake can use the Bandana, during the Tanker Chapter. It can be obtained after collecting 46 dog tags. Wearing it, as in other games, gives Snake infinite ammo. Raiden's equivalent of the Bandana is the Brown Wig. Snake directly references the Bandana's infinite ammo properties to Raiden, after meeting up with him on board Arsenal Gear.

In a Codec conversation from the Tanker Chapter that was cut from the game but still remains in the files, Otacon attempts to apologize to Snake for not telling him about his sister Emma. Snake then reveals to Otacon that his bandana was given to him by someone from his past but does not disclose who this person is.[3]

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the Bandana does not make an appearance as an unlockable item, but instead was featured as a small part of the plot. The Infinity face paint takes the traditional function and place of the Infinity Bandana in this game.

According to the director's commentary, it was originally intended that The Boss release her bandana to the winds while on board the Hind, causing Naked Snake to catch it, which explains why she and Snake seemed to reach out for each other in the final version. However, the motion capture team decided to move Naked Snake getting the bandana to being when he takes it off her while she's throwing him off the bridge during their CQC battle at Dolinovodno.[4] By using hacks such as a cheat device (GameShark, Action Replay, etc.) one can unlock and use the bandana as any other item, but it doesn't produce any special results like in previous games. There is also no graphical change when using it.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops/Portable Ops Plus

The Bandana does not make an appearance as an unlockable item. However, the game's code, as well as various hacks, indicates that the Bandana was originally supposed to appear, and is alternatively called "Orator."[5]

Metal Gear Solid Mobile

The player can unlock the Infinity Bandana by completing the game once.

Enables infinite ammo for all weapons.
―Bandana description in Metal Gear Solid Mobile

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

"A bandanna embroidered with the Chinese characters for "infinity."
Gives the wearer infinite ammo when equipped.
―Infinity Bandana description from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

The Bandana is a secret item in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It can be obtained by completing the game without killing a single person. Alternatively, it can be bought from Drebin's shop for 5,000,000 DP, following completion. The price is reduced to 2,500,000 DP only during Act 5. After obtaining the Bandana, the kanji characters for "infinity" can clearly be seen by using the zoom function in the item viewer. If used, however, it counts as a special item, which also means that the player cannot get various codenames (such as Big Boss, FOX, FOXHOUND and the like).

Metal Gear Online

The bandana was an unlockable item in Metal Gear Online. Unlike previous incarnations, however, it didn't grant the player unlimited ammo and instead was simply an equippable item for the character for aesthetic designs, and likewise, was available in multiple colors and patterns via the reward shop. Males wore their bandana with a knot at the back, similar to Solid Snake and Naked Snake, whereas the female characters' bandanas were closer in appearance to a headband. Additionally, there was another bandana called the "Bandanna" that resembled the bandana that Cunningham wore in Portable Ops. It came in multiple colors and patterns.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

The Bandana is a secret item in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It can be obtained by achieving the "S" rank for Extra Ops [119]. Also, unlike Metal Gear Solid 2, any player character can use the Bandana and not just Snake. Also, wearing the Bandana does not affect mission ranks, meaning the player can acquire an "S" rank even if wearing it and not be penalized due to wearing it. Developing the Bandana requires that the Combat Unit and R&D Teams be level 88 or higher. Also, in addition to the usual use of giving infinite ammo, it also protects the suppressors of weapons such as the Mk22 from wear.

"Special bandana that supplies an endless amount of ammo while equipped"
―Infinity Bandana description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Although Big Boss removed The Boss's bandana in the first ending as a sign of putting her behind him, he is shown wearing another bandana afterwards without any explanation. Erroneously or intentionally, the visual novel also reflects this oddity with no reasons given. As such, the canonicity of this event is unclear. Other official statements about the event outside of both the game and the visual novel imply that the bandana thrown out by Big Boss was his only one, and that he no longer wore any bandana thereafter.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Bandana in The Phantom Pain.

While it was absent in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, a Bandana is available in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as an optional piece of head equipment. The Bandana decreases the chance for serious injuries to occur to the player while it is equipped. The description reveals that it was The Boss's bandana, and reveals that Strangelove had repaired it after she salvaged it from Lake Nicaragua. Aside from this, the infinity bandana was also unlockable.

Metal Gear Survive

Bandana in Survive.

A bandana head accessory is available to players who created their own character during the January 18-21, 2018 and February 16-18, 2018 playable betas for Metal Gear Survive. It is available for both genders, and appears to be modeled after the bandana Solid Snake wore.

Other appearances

The Metal Gear Solid 4 rendition of the bandana is an equippable item for the character Gabriel Belmont in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which can be unlocked after beating the game.

Notes and references

See also

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