This article is about a non-canonical topic in the Metal Gear series.

Black Arts Viper was the leader of Black Chamber and, along with Weasel and Solid Snake, was considered one of the world's best professionals of war. Despite this, his identity was completely unknown to the mercenary world before the dissolution of Black Chamber, due to the intense secrecy surrounding the group.


Two years prior to the events of the Galuade Incident, Viper and the rest of Black Chamber successfully recovered a prototype Metal Gear that had been hijacked by terrorists in South America, but upon returning were ambushed by FOXHOUND under orders from Roy Campbell (who had been acting on false information supplied by Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Steve Gardner [a.k.a. "Anonymous"]). In the struggle, Viper lost his left arm and sustained internal injuries which should have killed him, though his hatred allowed him to survive and he swore to avenge his fallen comrades using Metal Gear GANDER. Although he has an advanced prosthetic arm replacing the arm that he lost as a result of his unit being ambushed by FOXHOUND, he rarely ever wears it, as he often uses his stump as a reminder to himself of Black Chamber's destruction and FOXHOUND's betrayal.

During the Galuade Incident, he first encountered Snake while the latter had attempted to try and stop Metal Gear GANDER from being launched. During this encounter, he was piloting a Mil Mi-28 Havoc, and only served to delay Snake from stopping the launch. He later attempted to have Chris Jenner and chief engineer Jimmy Harks recaptured after this: Although he was successful in recapturing Harks, and also planted his clothing with a transmitter wired to the explosives on his handcuffs due to anticipating that Snake would attempt to rescue Harks, he did not plan for Jenner escaping, due to precautions John Parker took to sidetrack Gardner.[1] Afterwards, when Jimmy escaped captivity with the help of a surviving Delta Force operator, he killed Jimmy by detonating his explosives-rigged handcuffs remotely to silence him before he could reveal any crucial information regarding GANDER, thus demonstrating the "Black Arts" portion of his codename. Meanwhile, Viper managed to ambush and capture Jenner, personally capturing her to ensure she doesn't escape his grasp, with the intention of using her as bait for Snake.[2] True to his suspicions, Snake and Viper eventually met face-to-face after kidnapping Chris, where he explained that despite prior suspicions, Chris was actually not the fifth member of Black Chamber, but in actuality on a secret mission to erase any evidence of Project Babel. He explained to Snake about FOXHOUND's involvement in the destruction of Black Chamber, and the two fought in a room filled with tripwire explosives, the configuration of which Viper constantly altered. Afterwards, he seemingly died and was apparently crushed by the collapsing room. However, he had actually survived and managed to escape from the falling debris.

After Metal Gear GANDER was destroyed, Viper stealthily listened in on Snake and the General's conversation that revealed the purpose of Project Babel, as well as Galuade, Outer Heaven, Project Babel, and the United States' connections to each other. After revealing himself to Snake, he bragged that he had managed to discover the true identity of "Anonymous," and then revealed that its true destructive capacity was its satellite uplink to nuclear-equipped attack satellites. He also planned on using all of the nuclear equipped satellites to attack the entire world (as he believed that the "innocents" were just as guilty of allowing what happened to Black Chamber as FOXHOUND, Campbell, and Anonymous, and in fact, their ignorance and not doing a thing is actually what allowed people like Anonymous to exist) and Snake was again forced to battle with him aboard an elevator, to prevent Viper from activating the uplink upon reaching the surface. In both fights, Viper made use of his prosthetic left arm, which was outfitted with a number of tricks, allowing him to blind his opponents with a flash light and emit shockwaves through his punches, among other abilities.

Viper was ultimately unsuccessful, and died expressing regret for his inability to get revenge for the slain members of Black Chamber. Snake, upon Viper's death, also expressed pity for Viper.[3]

Personality and traits

Statements made by fellow members Marionette Owl and Slasher Hawk indicated that he was originally very compassionate towards people, as he had let Marionette Owl, a well known serial killer at the time, into the unit as he apparently had some sympathy for him, and he also brought Slasher Hawk, an orphan who had been labelled an outcast by his village for his ethnicity, into the fold. Because of this, the Black Chamber members were very loyal to him. After 2000 and FOXHOUND's ambush, however, his personality changed for the worse, with Marionette Owl also noting that his madness "surpassed his own." His desire for avenging his unit was strong enough that he intended to exterminate almost all life on the planet, viewing them as being directly responsible for Anonymous' existence and his crimes being allowed, and even stated that he'll even go so far as to crawl[4] and so low as to fight dirty[5] if it ensured his goals of vengeance against Anonymous were accomplished while fighting Solid Snake for the last time. When defeated by Snake for the last time, he expressed shock and wondered how Snake could live and what he can fight for, before apologizing to his deceased members for failing to avenge them.

Behind the scenes

Concept art of Black Arts Viper (ブラックアーツ・ヴァイパー Burakkuātsu Vaipā?) shows him with two pistol holsters. However, he never uses them in-game. He closely resembles Dingo Egret from Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner.

Elements of Viper's story bear a strong resemblance to the plot of Metal Gear Solid V, with Viper losing his arm and comrades in a setup by a rival organization, resulting in him receiving an advanced prosthetic arm and seeking revenge against those who betrayed him, even going so far as to adopt the codename Viper, which is noted as referring to a venomous snake. To a lesser extent, he also resembles Kazuhira Miller from the same game, as despite technically having access to a prosthetic, he rarely wears it since he wants a reminder of why he is fighting for revenge.


Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
    -Stage 7-2 clear-
    No. 4: Chris Jenner and James Harks are attacked shortly after this point... Viper figured that Solid Snake would come to rescue Harks and he'd had Harks' clothes rigged with a transmitter. But letting Jenner escape was not a part of their plan. Seems Jenner was a much tougher adversary than Viper had anticipated. Parker had made the right call in selecting her to bury the Project Babel evidence for him.
  2. ^ Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
    -Stage 9-2 clear-
    No. 4: All communications with Sergeant Jenner cease after this point... Sergeant Jenner was captured by Viper; he did the job himself to make sure she didn't evade capture. After all, he needed her specifically as a surefire bait for Solid Snake.
  3. ^ Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
    [The gameplay screen appears. The early morning light fills the elevator platform where Snake and Viper have been fighting. Viper is kneeling with his head down.] // Black Arts Viper: How could beaten by you....Snake.... how do you do it? How do you keep....fighting? what?....whom?....In the name of what cause....?........It's over....My comrades....I didn't do right by your all.... // [Viper collapses face-down.] // Solid Snake: Viper....
  4. ^ Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
    Black Arts Viper: I will see retribution! Even if I have to crawl to deliver it! I've lived for nothing else till now!
  5. ^ Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
    Black Arts Viper: Do you think that I fight dirty? I use any means I see fit to carry out our revenge.
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