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Ricardo Valenciano Libre,[1] better known as Chico (Spanish: "Boy"), was a child soldier of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), operating in Costa Rica in the early 1970s. He was the younger brother of FSLN comandante Amanda Valenciano Libre. Because the Sandinistas had a hard time finding enough food in the jungle, Chico suffered from malnourishment, which made him shorter than kids of his age. Chico and Amanda called their father "mi viejo" (Spanish: "my old man").


Early life

Under the Somoza regime, Chico and his sister, along with their FSLN unit led by their father, were forced to flee from Somoza's National Guard into Costa Rica by crossing the Rio San Juan. Amanda didn't intend to take him with, but he didn't have anyone else to look after him, and he also wanted to join his father's revolution. His unit attempted to keep him out of the fact that his fellow troops and his sister, in order to amass funds for weapons, food, and their "compas" (Spanish slang for "comrades"), had to resort to drug trafficking using a drug purifying plant owned by the KGB with a banana factory as a front, as well as using a route encompassed of bringing a barge in the marshes from the port to a train station, then offloading the cargo into a train to the banana plant, then taking another train to the coffee plant, and then loading it by truck to the United States to sell the drugs for their revolution.

However, he deduced what they were actually doing. Whenever he got into an argument with his sister, he often wandered around Costa Rica, which made him far more knowledgeable about territory than anyone else in the FSLN unit.[3] In actuality, his "camping out" around the various areas were actually plans for him to burn down various parts of the plant.[4] At one point when fighting Amanda, he left for Mt. Irazu and camped near the Irazu facility. He then bore witness to "El Basilisco."

Peace Walker Incident

Main article: Peace Walker Incident

The CIA mercenary group Peace Sentinel, shortly after invading Costa Rica, took over the FSLN's banana factory/drug purifying plant, forcing the FSLN to hide in their last remaining hideout, the boathouse. After Big Boss located the FSLN group and asked them about what was happening in Costa Rica with the secret force, Chico got into a fight with Amanda, and went over to the rest of the unit. When noticing Chrysalis come over, he tried to warn Amanda, although he had to do it twice as Amanda initially mistook his warning for exemplifying the fact that her unit only referred to her by her first name rather than Commandante. Despite their best efforts in keeping Chrysalis and its Kidnapper drones at bay, it still managed to capture Chico. Amanda was initially going to try and shoot him down (partially because of wanting to save him, and partially because she knew his being dead was better than his being tortured and being forced to sell out his compas), but Big Boss told her not to, as the height from the fall would most likely kill him.


Chico was then imprisoned and tortured by Peace Sentinel, forcing him to reveal his compas. Big Boss managed to get to his cell, and asked Chico about Peace Sentinel's cargo delivery route. Chico explained exactly how the cargo was transported, and that he had witnessed Basilisk while out camping. He also admitted to having sold out his compas, wishing that he was dead. Big Boss then shot a photograph of Chico to "end his misery" and made him a new man, having him join the Militaires Sans Frontières, although under the condition that he wouldn't smoke until he was older. He then extracted Chico from the area via Fulton recovery, something that Chico expressed irritation and initially fear at. He then suggested to Big Boss that he be placed in any unit due to wishing to learn and prove himself.[5]

Following his rescue, Chico requested that Big Boss do him a favor: If he encountered any prisoners of war that were originally from "El Frente," he rescue them while they were alive, both as amends for his talking under torture, and because they were his comrades. He also advised that Big Boss look out for UMAs. Chico also supplied intel to Big Boss about there being a barrier at Aldea de Los Despiertos, near his cell, that was both recent as well as vulnerable to C4 explosives, after Big Boss was forced to take down a T-72 tank that blocked the tunnel.

Afterwards, when Peace Walker arrived in Nicaragua, he expressed sorrow to Big Boss over the fate of The Boss's horse. He also, along with his sister, left MSF's Mother Base to regroup with the FSLN group. They then aided Big Boss at taking down Hot Coldman's U.S. missile base in Nicaragua, ironically also turning against their former ally, Vladimir Zadornov of the KGB, in the process. He also developed a particular hate for Zadornov afterwards, as whenever he escaped, he growled and shouted that Big Boss had to get "that ugly Russian" back to Mother Base. His hatred was due to his belief that Zadornov tricked Paz Ortega Andrade. At some point, Chico, in order to get funding for MSF, requested to Big Boss to issue a photograph of Chrysalis and pass it off as a UFO photo to journalists, with Big Boss letting him largely because he thought that he wouldn't get far, anyways.

When MSF's Metal Gear ZEKE was completed, and Paz attempted to sabotage it in an attempt to delay having to fight Big Boss, Chico stumbled on her act, and was unable to stop her due to her being armed. During Paz and Big Boss's inevitable fight amongst each other, Chico repeatedly requested that Big Boss should not kill her.[6][7][8] After Paz's defeat, he also felt overwhelming guilt over not being able to stop her.

Some time later, he was revealed to have succeeded in leaking the photo to tabloid journalists, which resulted in the Grenadan Prime Minister Eric Gairy attempting to get the UN to fund an extraterrestrial investigation and research facility, which later concerned Kazuhira Miller and Big Boss when they discovered it, as they feared that Gairy would end up targeted by the CIA for the leak, and thus their inadvertently causing the situation to nearly go red.

Ground Zeroes Incident

Main article: Ground Zeroes Incident

In 1975, a few months after the Peace Walker Incident, MSF discovered Paz's survival and incarceration at Camp Omega, a facility located at the southernmost tip of Cuba. They planned to wait until after the then-upcoming UN inspection, and intended to have Chico sent to Amanda to distract him.[9]  Unfortunately, Chico somehow managed to learn about Paz's survival and still having feelings for her, attempted his own rescue mission, having snuck off a ship that was supposed to bring him to Havana while it refueled near Santiago de Cuba. Miller discovered this only after conversing with Big Boss while talking to Amanda when he was questioned about Chico's disappearance, which Miller had initially thought was because Chico got himself lost at Havana. Chico trekked through the 60 mile mountainous terrain between Santiago and the prison facility,[10] with the Walkman being the only thing he brought with him to record the trek.

Upon making it to the facility three days later, Chico commented that the facility's security was suspiciously light, before continuing on, wondering where Paz was located. He then ducked to the ground, noting that although it was dark, the facility was swarming with soldiers, and that choppers were coming in and out of the facility repeatedly before getting caught in the glare of one of the chopper's lights. He then continued to get moving. He eventually tried to peek beyond a fence to see if he can visually spot Paz, but a guard posted at the fence forced him to retreat, causing him to realize that security may not have actually been light after all before stating that he'll find Paz regardless. He then briefly comforted himself, and eventually rushed towards a prison area because he thought he saw Paz in there. Unfortunately, he was spotted, forcing him to flee from dogs and presumably setting off the base alarm. He stopped to catch his breath, but he ended up ambushed by one of the guards and violently restrained, resulting in the tape accidentally playing "Love Deterrence" during the struggle. He was then placed inside of a cage, and reported in an emotional breakdown that he got caught and was imprisoned, yet they gave him back the recorder for some reason. He decided to use it to record what was going on inside the camp, revealing other prisoners in the area, and stated he hadn't found Paz yet.

Chico, imprisoned by XOF at Camp Omega.

Afterwards, some guards arrived at his animal cage and threw a female prisoner inside, not recognizing her (presumably due to her cropped hair) as Paz until she recognized him as Chico. Several days repeat, and Paz was then returned to Chico's cell, earlier than expected due to the sun still being up, as she was exhausted. Skull Face, the leader of a mysterious group named XOF, reminded the guards that he needed Paz alive. When he attempted to converse with her, Paz told him to not talk to her, threatening to scream if he does. Paz was later taken to the torture chamber, with Chico also taken along. While there, he overheard Paz's torture, horrifying him.

Shortly afterwards, Skull Face, after taunting Chico about the minimal chances he had of escaping the facility and the American-owned soil, with neither the Cubans nor the Americans aiding him, promised to let him and Paz go only if he submitted to interrogation. Skull Face proceeded to torture him for information, specifically for information relating to Mother Base and MSF, as Skull Face and Big Boss go way back. Chico refused to answer, even telling him to repeatedly hit him when he started beating Paz. Skull Face eventually saw through his tactic and instead had her stripped to reveal how "repulsive" Paz actually was with her scars. He then ordered one of his soldiers to rape Paz in front of Chico in an attempt to force him to talk. Later on, he forced Chico into Paz's cell and asked him whether he "found her sweet or sour." Chico was then tasked to have sex with Paz or else he'd be "strung up next." Paz herself encouraged him to do the former, knowing there was no way around it, and reassuring him by saying that she knew he wouldn't hurt her. Some time later, Chico revealed the stats of Mother Base, the numbers within MSF, as well as ZEKE's existence, though Skull Face admitted that he was only "halfway there." After being thrown back into his animal cage, Paz admitted that she missed him, surprising Chico as he thought she didn't want to talk to him. Paz then kissed Chico and attempted to embrace him, but he ultimately refused. Paz then asked Chico if "[he wanted] to do it here?" At a later point in time, Chico was forced into torturing Paz. She didn't talk, however, causing him to break down, with Paz yelling "coward" and "traitor." Skull Face then ordered Chico to be returned to his cage, and confiscating his recorder. Afterwards, he learned from Skull Face that Paz allegedly stated that only she return to Big Boss and not Chico, as well as being reminded of his being tortured into betraying MSF.

Afterwards, Skull Face told him he wanted him to record a SOS signal to Big Boss and MSF to distract him into trying to rescue Chico, although he also revealed if Big Boss did so, Paz would have to be killed. Chico eventually ended up making the SOS signal on the condition that Paz's death be painless, and was dragged back to his holding cage. This necessitated Big Boss infiltrate the facility himself to rescue him, as well as Paz. During his capture, he was outfitted with a tiny hole on his chest, resembling a headphone outlet and had bolts driven into his Achilles tendons which rendered him immobile. XOF would seek to use him for a Trojan horse operation, with some form of leverage over him, with the inference that Paz had died, and of her death being painless. Skull Face then gave Chico his recorder back and told him he had "earned it."

Chico was eventually rescued by Big Boss, although the boy initially backed away in terror and yelled at him, apparently thinking that Big Boss came to kill him, forcing Big Boss to render him unconscious via chokehold to avoid alerting the guards and other prisoners. Because Chico's Achilles tendon had been bolted to immobilize him, Big Boss had to carry him to the chopper and place him on board. After regaining consciousness, Chico remorsefully told Big Boss about Paz's presumed fate, giving him the cassette that supposedly revealed this. However, he was proved wrong when Big Boss brought back an unconscious Paz, having deduced her location in the facility from the tape. However, Chico discovered that a bomb had been implanted in her stomach, and they were forced to perform emergency abdominal surgery to remove and dispose of it.

Chico later witnessed XOF's attack and destruction of Mother Base, as well as Paz's sacrifice when she jumped out the helicopter before a second bomb in her body exploded.

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain may follow.

He was ultimately killed in the chopper crash, with Venom Snake reflecting that he knew the risks, and that they needed to make sure that his role in the Nicaragua revolution was remembered, as otherwise there was nothing to show he even existed at all. Miller, when relaying what happened with his sister Amanda, reflected that the chopper was no place for Chico to die. Chico's death also influenced Miller to try and rehabilitate child soldiers.

Spoilers end here.

Personality and traits

Chico enjoyed smoking, though he was often denied the opportunity to do so due to his age. After asking Big Boss for a cigarette on one occasion, he was amazed when he was offered a cigar, shortly before Big Boss snatched it away, claiming it's "not for kids." He later promised Big Boss to not smoke until he was older, in exchange for Big Boss sparing his life.

Chico with Amanda and their father.

Chico was extremely fascinated with Cryptozoology and Unidentified Mysterious Animals (UMAs), especially the reptile parts of the study, as he believed dinosaurs still existed. He once expressed interest in visiting the Congo, partially due to wanting to see the Mokèlé-mbèmbé, but also expressed regret for not being able to help the failed Congo revolutionary movement succeed.[11] When discussing the notion of cattle mutilation with Snake, Chico notes that "Even in our own town we had goats that died in strange ways. Some said they saw a monster - a lizard on two legs, covered in spines from its head all the way down its back." This references the Chupacabras, a UMA that wasn't officially reported until 1995 following a series of attacks in Puerto Rico, giving credibility to Chico's belief that reptilian UMAs could be found in the vicinity.

Chico also had an interest in extraterrestrial life and UFOs. On one occasion, Big Boss allowed Chico to sell photos of the Chrysalis AI weapon as a UFO, under the belief that he wouldn't get far. However, Chico later convinced a magazine seller to publish an article about UFO sightings using the photo. This indirectly resulted in the Prime Minister of Grenada Eric Gairy to request for the UN to establish an agency to study the UFO problem, especially after reports of cattle mutilations and abductions throughout the Americas. Chico also claimed to have once met an alien cat named Altargozo Elbakki Munyudar, who had come to Earth from the Andromeda Galaxy to check out Earth's nuclear weapons.

Chico was in love with Paz, once mentioning to Big Boss that he had a hard time speaking with her and that he froze up every time he tried. Paz was aware of this and spoke about it twice in her audio diary. She would later admit that she had missed Chico when they became prisoners at Camp Omega.

Chico had an x-shaped scar on his right cheek.

Behind the scenes

Chico's Japanese voice actor is Kikuko Inoue, who previously voiced the Japanese versions of Rosemary, The Boss and Sunny in previous games.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Concept artwork of Chico by Yoji Shinkawa.

"If you see any UMAs, you tell me, OK?
Like ancient dinosaurs and rare monsters and stuff.
When I grow up, I wanna be a hunter.
―Chico's character quote on Mother Base's staff menu.

In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Chico cites his desire to become a hunter after being rescued from Aldea de los Despiertos, which is reflected in his character quote in Mother Base's staff menu. Listening to Chico's briefing tapes regarding UMAs will eventually allow the player to access the Monster Hunter Extra Ops on Isla del Monstruo.

Occasionally, during the Game Over sequence, Chico can be heard mimicking the accompanying theme with the word BAM!

Chico is a unique staff member at Mother Base, available after Snake rescues him at Aldea de los Despiertos. Unlike other unique staff members who can be placed among Mother Base staff (not counting Zadornov, who was placed in the Brig from the beginning of Chapter 5 to his demise at the end of Chapter 5, or Naked Snake/Big Boss, who is only accessible via missions and thus can't be placed on Mother Base), he doesn't have any skills but his Intel rank is A. His job is "Child Soldier" ("Little Soldier" in the Japanese version). Despite this, however, he cannot be made playable in missions if placed onto the Combat Unit.

If the player calls Chico while wearing the Amanda uniform, he'll briefly mistake the player for Amanda.[12]

Coincidentally, and somewhat ironically, his surname when paired with his nickname forms "Chico Libre", which resembles the FSLN's name for the Kidnapper drones that abducted him, Chicolibri ("Son of the Hummingbird [Chrysalis]")

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Chico was confirmed to reappear in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, as he appeared in the demo in a tiger cage-type prison on Camp Omega in Cuba. However, the trailer did not make it immediately clear that the boy in the demo was Chico. The boy's identity was confirmed to be Chico by the person hosting the demo, Sean Eyestone, in the extended 14 minute gameplay demo released by IGN.[13] In addition, he was shown with a headset cord being plugged into a makeshift jack in his chest for unrevealed reasons. Although he does not appear in the night gameplay demo for the game, he was mentioned as one of the mission objectives, and Big Boss ended up rescuing another prisoner due to mistaking him for Chico. His real name, Ricardo Valenciano Libre, is revealed in the opening sequence of Ground Zeroes (as shown by Kojima on Twitter in a demonstration of the game's "remote play" feature).[1] Besides his overall role in the main game, there were also seven tapes that could be collected throughout the game, explaining Chico's initial infiltration and the events of his capture and imprisonment. The seventh tape, however, doesn't actually have Chico involved at all, due to his being at his cell at the time of the tape being recorded. Chico Tape 3 can only be obtained by retrieving Chico before Paz.

In a draft of the script, Chico was instead forced to watch Paz's last moments. Although this version ended up cut, Chico's statements about witnessing Paz's death when being carried by the player implied that it had been cut late into development.[14]

Chico's inmate number in Ground Zeroes was 471982.

During the development of The Phantom Pain, a theory circulated online that Chico, due to the trauma of his incarceration at Camp Omega in Ground Zeroes, underwent a sex change to become the female Quiet. Konami employees expressed their surprise and humor at the theory in the sixth episode of the English version of Kojima Productions' webseries, Kojima Station, but chose to not confirm or deny it in order to avoid spoilers.[15] In the ninth episode of the Japanese version of Kojima Station, Stefanie Joosten addressed the theory, saying that "Quiet is definitely a female, while Chico is a male."[16] Hideo Kojima then explicitly debunked the theory himself during a Kojima Station episode prior to the 2014 Tokyo Game Show. Finally, a Walkman briefing file in the game revealed that Chico was one of the casualties in the chopper crash during Ground Zeroes.

Chico is one of only four main characters from Peace Walker to not be included as an officer in the Mother Base development game on the Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes companion app (the others being Paz, Zadornov, and Coldman).

Dummied data for the game found on the Companion App suggested that a mission in Central Africa would have involved Chico, implying that he was originally going to survive the helicopter crash.[17] Unused concept art found in The Art of Metal Gear Solid V confirmed this and indicated that he would have had a badly scarred mouth, and would have primarily worn a red cloak mirroring Paz's raincoat with the Peace Sign emblazoned on the back (implying he was still grieving for her death), and came equipped with a dagger, a machete, a grappling hook, and a hatchet, and that when he's eventually recruited, he would wear a similar uniform to the Diamond Dogs, but with a half-neck that was presumably meant to cover his facial scars.[18] In addition, an online version of the game script confirmed his survival and that he was active in Zaire.[19]

In the TGS 2014 P.T. demo for the cancelled Silent Hills, a boy with a deformed head is shown that has a huge resemblance to Chico.

Other appearances

Chico appears in the non-canon game Metal Gear Survive in the opening flashback of the Ground Zeroes Incident.




Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c Kojima's Twitter
  2. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Chico: ... Everyone treats me like a child. I couldn't stand it anymore. I'm not a kid, I'm twelve!
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Amanda Valenciano Libre: Whenever Chico and I argue, he goes off to be by himself... That's why he knows more than anybody about their bases. He... Oh, Chico...
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Naked Snake (Big Boss): I heard that place was a narcotics plant before those guys took it over. But you already knew that didn't you. Look, I get it. Even revolutionaries need to pay the bills. Still must be tough for a kid like you to swallow. // Chico: You're damn right it is! The route they use to transport stuff is the same one Mi Viejo used to smuggle drugs. They sold the drugs to North Americanos and used the profits to fund the army. They tried to keep it hidden from me. // Snake: Is that why you went camping? // Chico: Yeah... I managed to sneak into the plant a few times and... Tried to set it on fire.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010)
    Chico: Hey Snake, are there any jobs for me here at Mother Base? I can do anything! // Naked Snake (Big Boss): You don't have to work, you know. // Chico: Don't treat me like a kid. I'm a man now. // Snake: OK, then, what are you good at? // Chico: // Let me think... uhh... Everything! Put me on any team. I can pull my own weight. // Snake: Ha... Well, you are young. You'll probably be a fast learner. I'll think of something. // Chico: Anything you need, Boss! You'll see - I can fight as good as anybody.
  6. ^ Chico (Codec): Please, make sure Paz is OK!
  7. ^ Chico (Codec): Snake! Try not to hurt her!
  8. ^ Chico (Codec): Don't let Paz die!
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Info > Pre-mission Brief: Mission Background & Intel > Brief 4: Word of Paz's Survival
    Kazuhira Miller: Ten days ago, we got reports that Paz was still alive. // Big Boss: She survived… // Miller: She was rescued by Belizean fishermen who found her drifting in the Caribbean. Big Boss: So what’s the plan? Silence her before we’re compromised? // Miller: No, I’ve got something else in mind. Our “friends” at Cipher suspect Paz could be a double agent. She’s being held for interrogation at a camp on the southern tip of Cuba. // Big Boss: Black site. Nice. A slice of American pie on Communist soil. And out of U.S. legal jurisdiction. // Miller: The upcoming inspection of Mother Base has to be connected somehow. The timing’s too perfect. // Big Boss: The UN’s nuclear inspection… // Miller: My guess is they’re trying to corroborate Paz’s leak. // Big Boss: We’re an army without a nation. // Miller: Word of our capabilities gets out, and we’ll have the whole world out to shut us down. Having an American private intelligence agency involved is bad news. Cipher’s the ones who sent Paz to us in the first place. // Big Boss: She knows their true nature. // Miller: Right. Paz is our only link to Cipher. If she’s still alive, we need her on our side. If not us, who else is going to rescue that bitch?! // Big Boss: When do we do it? // Miller: The inspection comes first. We’ll deal with this afterwards. // Big Boss: Do the men know? // Miller: Word has started to spread. The information came from Cuba through Amanda. One of the base personnel used to belong to el Frente. I’ll tell everyone we don’t concern ourselves with the survival of enemy spies. We need them focused on the inspection. And if we get her back here and she isn’t… cooperative, there’s still plenty of room for her in the ocean. // Big Boss: Works for me. What about Chico. He had a chance to stop Paz from hijacking ZEKE and he blew it. He’s carried that guilt ever since. Kid really did care about her. // Miller: Chico… It’s hard to say how he’ll react. // Big Boss: Have Amanda call him out to Cuba. He shouldn’t be here right now. // Miller: Good idea. They haven’t seen each other in a while. A little time with big sis, and he’ll forget all about you-know-who.
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Info > Pre-mission Brief: Mission Background & Intel > Brief 5: Chico Vanishes
    Kazuhira Miller: What?! Still no sign of Chico? // Big Boss: What’s going on? // Miller: (to Big Boss in a whisper) It’s Amanda in Cuba. A resupply package arrived, but Chico wasn’t with it. (To Amanda in normal tone) Relax, Amanda. I’m sure he’s just… exploring Havana or something. First time in a big city. Could have gotten carried away. // Big Boss: Kaz, wait! The boat Chico was on, did it stop anywhere before it got to Havana? // Miller: Yeah, it had to refuel at Santiago de Cuba… You don’t think… oh shit… You’ve got to be kidding me! He does this NOW?! // Big Boss: It’s sixty miles from Santiago to the prison camp. Chico used to cross the mountains with the older Sandinistas like it was nothing. He’ll make that in three days. // Miller: Still, even if he does find his way there… // Big Boss: You know how reckless he can be. Chico thinks we’ve abandoned Paz, that’s why he’s doing this. // Miller: (picks up the phone and starts dialing) We’ll start by having the Intel detachment in Cuba look for him. We can’t let him be captured. (phone outbound ringtone is heard)
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Briefing Files, File Library > Chico > Geographical info > Crater Area > Mokèlé-mbèmbé
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Chico: (Codec) Amanda? No, it can't be.
  13. ^ 11:25
  14. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Chico: Paz is dead... They killed her. Right in front of me... Snake, Paz... Paz is... Let's... Let's go home. Snake... ... No... No... ... I wish I was dead. I'm sorry... I'm sorry, I'm so sorry... ... I want to start over. ... Hombre nuevo.
  15. ^ KOJIMA STATION (KojiSta) - Episode 06 : Death Metal Gear - Ground Up Zeroes !! - YouTube
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