- "Since ancient times, every civilization's ruler has had the same idea. When people unite under one will, they become stronger than the sum of their parts. And what do rulers use to bring people together? Language."
- ―Code Talker
Code Talker was an elderly Diné (Navajo) biologist who specialized in parasitology that Venom Snake encountered during the 1980s. He was contracted by Skull Face to modify the vocal cord parasite to be used as biological weapons by targeting the languages spoken by ethnic groups. Skull Face then intended to use the parasites to kill Cipher and take revenge on the world by eliminating the English language.
Code Talker was born in the 1880s as a member of the Navajo, who refer to themselves as Diné. In his younger years, Code Talker was taken from his mother and forced to attend an American Indian boarding school where he was given the name "George." The school taught him how to speak English and propagated the idea that Navajo was a dirty language. Pupils speaking Navajo were punished by being forced by their teachers to eat an entire bar of soap. Resulting from experiences like these, Code Talker developed a deep-seated hatred of the English language as it, to his mind, represented a tool to subjugate the Navajo people.
At some point in the early 1930s, Code Talker began his research into parasites. His nickname would suggest that he was also a code talker for the United States Marine Corps during World War II, as many Native Americans did. However he didn't as he was already over the conscription age. Instead, he aided by turning Navajo into a more cryptic language to be used by the code talkers sent to the Pacific Theater. However, he held no pride for his role in the language being turned into a cipher, since, combined with his hatred for the English language for trying to extinguish the Navajo language, he didn't like the idea of the language being turned into "a lifeless cipher" for the purposes of war.
His skills as a biologist led to him being assigned to the autopsy of The End. He also read the records of The Pain and discovered the sources of both men's supernatural abilities which included photosynthesis, controlling and harnessing of insects, and an enhanced adrenaline supply to suppress pain. Code Talker was successful in his research, discovering the two had been hosts to primeval parasites that had infected their vocal cords. In order to obtain greater knowledge, Code Talker injected The End's photosynthetic parasite into himself and observed the effects on his body.
Code Talker found that these parasites (more specifically their ancestors) originally gave humanity the ability to speak, but his research was soon discovered and wildly twisted by Skull Face who forced him to modify the parasites so they would kill those infected by them, with their reproductive cycle triggered if the host spoke a particular language. Code Talker was forced to conduct these modifications, as he was led to believe Skull Face's soldiers were going to infect his tribe with the Navajo version of the parasite. However, after Skull Face himself was infected by the parasite in his attempt to infect Cipher with it, Code Talker instructed him to undergo radiation therapy to treat it, hiding that there was a much simpler cure in the form of Wolbachia bacteria. Code Talker also developed the metallic archaea bacteria in an attempt to decontaminate the Navajo Nation of uranium deposits that the United States government began to exploit, as the mining activity caused radiation sickness among the Navajo population. This was what first attracted Skull Face to Code Talker, with the discovery of the vocal cord parasites a secondary aspect.
Code Talker himself possessed photosynthetic abilities due to most of his body being covered with parasites with which he formed a symbiotic relationship - he supplied them with water and in return they provided him with nourishment through the sugars they produced when exposed to sunlight, negating the need for him to eat. However, he still enjoyed the taste of hamburgers, seeing the dish as a perfect balance of nature's blessings of meat, grain, and vegetable, and by partaking in hamburgers he gives thanks to the Mother Earth, although Kazuhira Miller asserts that he just likes a good burger, which Code Talker acknowledges as being part of the reason for eating them. The parasites also acted as his eyes and had replaced many of his internal organs, allowing him to live on after the age of one-hundred.
In 1984, Diamond Dogs suffered from the outbreak of the Kikongo strain of the vocal cord parasites. Three Diamond Dogs Intel Team members tracked down the origin of the pathogen to a secluded mansion in Lufwa Valley where Code Talker was being held. Afterwards, the Diamond Dogs operatives disappeared but one of them managed to escape. Venom Snake infiltrated the mansion and extracted Code Talker. At this time, he revealed to Venom Snake that there was a cure for the parasites in the form of a Wolbachia bacteria that infected the parasite, making them sterile by turning the male parasites female. During the escape of the mansion, Code Talker explained that the disease was one of Skull Face's planned ethnic cleansers from what the latter told him, with Kazuhira Miller also deducing from both this statement and their earlier investigation at Ngumba Industrial Zone that Skull Face's plan was to wipe every language with the exception of English from the face of the earth, with Code Talker noting the irony on how the parasites were what gave humanity the ability to speak, yet now thanks to the hands of man, they were about to take it away. He then pointed Snake towards a mass grave outside the mansion where the failed subjects of parasite therapy had been buried, with his stating that they had been injected with the parasites with neither his knowledge nor consent, and that he was unable to help them even if he had known to which Kazuhira Miller deduced the two missing Diamond Dogs operatives must also be buried at the location. Their bodies were later recovered.
On the way back to Mother Base, the Diamond Dogs chopper was encased in a cloud of corrosive metallic archaea, which caused the aircraft to have a crash landing at Nova Braga Airport. Everybody got out unscathed, but due to Code Talker's age and frailty he was immobile. Snake defended Code Talker and himself against the attacking four members of the Parasite Unit and their puppet soldiers, and ultimately managed to return to Mother Base.
Upon returning from a mission, Snake finds Code Talker absorbing Parasites from around Mother Base, and vocally stating what they were telling him, such as "The Ocelot's aim being off today.", "A meeting in broad daylight.", and "Eyes on Kazuhira."
Code Talker identified the strain infecting Mother Base as being a strain that targets speakers of Kikongo, and 48 hours after this discovery, all new infections of the parasite had stopped. Code Talker remained on Mother Base to continue his parasite research for Diamond Dogs and later discovered that Quiet was infected with the third English strain of the active vocal cord parasite; she had deliberately been infected by Skull Face in order to act as a "vector" and guaranteed to kill Venom Snake even if conventional assassination methods failed. Conversing in Navajo, Quiet informed Code Talker that she had decided to remain silent to avoid killing Venom Snake and the others on Mother Base despite wanting revenge on Snake for her condition.
Behind the scenes
Code Talker made his debut appearance in the E3 2013 trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. He is described as "A Wise Man denied his Homeland." Code Talker's character model was scanned from a hand-sculpted bust made by the production team, more specifically by Academy Award winner Kazuhiro Tsuji. During this time, not much was known about him, though he was described in the GDC 2013 Fox Engine tech demo as being an "important character."
On July 12, 2013, Jay Tavare made a post on his Facebook page, revealing that he was playing the part of Code Talker. The next day, he posted a photo of himself in the motion capture studio.
On August 8, 2014, it was revealed that Osamu Saka would provide Code Talker's Japanese voice.
Code Talker appeared in both E3 2015 trailers.
Code Talker's Japanese voice actor, Osamu Saka, had previously voiced the characters Sergei Gurlukovich and The End, the latter of whom coincidentally was also autopsied by Code Talker post-Operation Snake Eater and had very similar traits to Code Talker (namely being over a century old due to unnatural elements).
It was revealed during The Phantom Pain that when Code Talker was taken from his mother he was given the English name of George. George is a reoccurring name in the Metal Gear series, with notable examples such as President George Sears, also known as Solidus Snake.
Code Talker can be found on Mother Base, next to the flag below the upper landing zone on the central command platform. However, he only appears when Venom Snake is leaving Mother Base on a helicopter. He can also be seen briefly in the background during the "Quiet in the rain" cutscene.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 5 Fox Engine Tech Demo - YouTube
- ^ a b c Jay Tavare's Facebook.
- ^ a b http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=15303
- ^ Intel Team member (Root Cause Mission): I know... Where they got their pathogen... Code... Talker... They have the "mansion" surrounded... The "old man..." will die... If you find him, you gotta - Our other men got me out of that "mansion..." Acted as human shields... Told me, "Get this intel to the boss..." They have them now... Somewhere...
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
Ocelot: We're having Code Talker continue his parasite research. He's clearly very grateful to you. I'm sure he'll return the favor somehow.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 5: GAMEPLAY TRAILER! The Phantom Pain Xbox One Footage! - YouTube
- ^ Hideradio Episode 314 (2013/06/12)
- ^ https://twitter.com/Arc_Hound/status/973025441652109313