Fortune, real name Helena Dolph Jackson, was a leading member of the Navy SEALs anti-terrorist unit Dead Cell. Her codename referred to her seemingly supernatural ability to cause incoming bullets to pass around her and to render nearby explosives inert. She was also known as "Lady Luck" and earned the title of "Queen" among her Dead Cell comrades. She was often armed with a man-portable rail gun during combat. Fortune herself claimed that her luck on the battlefield was at the cost of tragedy in her personal life.
Early life and career
Helena was the daughter of Scott Dolph, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, and the wife of Colonel Jackson, former leader of Dead Cell. She was born with a rare condition known as dextrocardia: her heart was located on the right side of her chest cavity, rather than the left. Helena led a largely uneventful life until the sudden death of her father during the Tanker Incident in 2007. A few months later, her husband was charged and convicted of misappropriating federal funds; furthermore, Helena's mother committed suicide and Jackson himself died while serving out his sentence. Helena was unable to cope with the systematic loss of each of her close relatives and miscarried her unborn child of three months, essentially losing her entire family.
Helena believed that the man responsible for her father's death was Solid Snake, the alleged terrorist who had sank the tanker in 2007. In her search for vengeance, Helena joined the U.S. Armed Forces, where she eventually discovered her unusual tendency for experiencing good fortune on the battlefield. It was because of this propensity for good luck that she was reassigned to the SEALs' anti-terrorist group Dead Cell, her husband's former unit, despite not having any combat experience. Any operations that she took part in always met with success and she never suffered any injuries. She was thus deemed "Lady Luck" by her comrades, and rumors abounded that she had gained her powers of fortuity by selling her soul. She herself believed that she had gained them from her father's ghost as punishment.
Helena was welcomed with open arms by Dead Cell, especially Vamp, who was rumored to be her father's former lover. She and Vamp would later form a close relationship, not as lovers but it was extremely intimate. She was assigned the codename of Fortune and quickly gained leadership status.
In late 2008, Fortune was one of the Dead Cell members who survived its liquidation. Six months later, on April 29, 2009, Dead Cell joined the Sons of Liberty terrorist group, led by Solidus Snake, and assisted in the takeover of the offshore decontamination facility Big Shell. During the incident, she ambushed members of SEAL Team 10's Alpha Team, and had Vamp pursue them to "clean up." Vamp later reported that he located Solid Snake after he was done. She later encountered Bravo Team, having retrieved the President from them, and attempts to get them to kill her. However, their weapons had no effect on Fortune due to her "luck," resulting in even their grenades being duds. Disappointed, she destroyed the bridge with the SEAL members on it, letting a single survivor fall to his death.
After the C4 was disarmed, Fortune confronted special forces operative Raiden, mistaking his presence for that of Solid Snake. Despite realizing he was someone else, she decided to fight Raiden anyway, hoping that he would be able to kill her. The two battled intensely, but the conflict ultimately reached a stalemate when Vamp arrived at the Deep Sea Dock to alert Fortune that Fatman had started acting like "a stereotypical mad bomber." Fortune initially was going to take care of Fatman while Vamp was about to face Raiden, but she ended up watching over Vamp after Raiden attempted to capitalize on her distraction by firing a few rounds that resulted in Vamp apparently being killed. Fortune, witnessing this, broke down out of horror that her supernatural luck had apparently killed Vamp, though he was soon revived and told her that he had died once already, and could not die twice.
Towards the end of the incident, Fortune encountered Snake onboard Arsenal Gear, and intended to fight him. He attempted to tell her that he was not the one who killed her father, but she thought he was lying. Snake then attempted to hold off Fortune while Raiden left to find Solidus. Fortune managed to restrain Solid Snake, and deliver him to Solidus, to which shortly thereafter she learned that Solidus actually did intend to give her Arsenal anyways, and in fact planted the seeds for her and her unit to steal it from him. Revolver Ocelot also revealed that Fortune's ability to deflect bullets and render grenades inert stemmed from an electromagnetic device created by the Patriots, for whom he had been secretly working. She learned that it was actually Ocelot who had killed her father, but was shot in the chest before she could attack, after Ocelot disabled her electromagnetic protection. Her dextrocardia, however, allowed her to survive the wound long enough to deal two retaliatory blows, although they missed due to Ocelot's possession of the device in question.
Before dying, Fortune miraculously deflected Metal Gear RAY's missiles, protecting Raiden, Snake and Solidus, and indicating that she did have an underlying psychic ability, to which Snake remarked that "she [was] Lady Luck."
The technology for Fortune's rail gun was later provided to Crying Wolf, through Vamp. Despite the inherent dangers of using the man-portable model (which Fortune was able to overcome with her "luck"), Wolf was capable of operating the weapon safely and effectively in battle.
Personality and traits
As a result of the traumatic events of her life since the Tanker Incident, she had nothing left to live for but revenge against both Solid Snake and the Patriots, for the perceived murder of her father Scott Dolph, and for the ruining of Dead Cell, respectively. She also desired death, believing it could put away her misery. By the end of the Big Shell Incident, Fortune, feeling no one can kill her anyway, developed the nihilistic view that she might as well kill everyone she found.
Weapons and abilities
Fortune's rail gun, known as the Lockheed RG-590 Experimental Aircraft Rail Cannon, was a device that employed electromagnetic induction rather than expanding gas or mechanical action to accelerate supercharged projectiles to extreme velocities. The man-portable model she wielded was a prototype in the experimental phase of development, miniaturized from then-current existing technology, and contained various bugs relating to the rail plasma and the inner rail electromagnetic release. Due to its high risk of accidental charge, it had been considered too dangerous for use in combat, but despite this, Fortune was able to use it effectively. In addition to her rail gun, she also armed herself with a Beretta 92F handgun, which she kept in a holster at her hip.
Fortune was most renowned for her ability to cause bullets and missiles to veer away from her, as well as short out grenades in close proximity to her. Believed by both herself and others to be a result of supernatural intervention, it was later revealed to her that the cause was actually an electromagnetic device concealed on her person by the Patriots. However, Fortune also possessed limited psychic powers, which compensated for the device when it was rendered inactive during her final moments, indicating that her fortuity may have indeed been influenced through her own ability.
Fortune also possessed some skill at reading other people's mannerisms by visual observation, sensing Raiden's dark past upon their first encounter, and commenting that he had "seen the fires of Hell."
Behind the scenes
Fortune (フォーチュン Fōchun?) is featured in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, where she confronts Raiden once in the game; the player is unable to actually defeat her in battle and must avoid her attacks while waiting for an elevator to arrive. Fortune's theme song is a saxophone solo titled "Fortune" on the soundtrack. She was initially conceived by Hideo Kojima due to a fortune cookie, although most of her characterization, design and backstory was thought up by series designer Yoji Shinkawa.
In Metal Gear Solid 2, Fortune was originally intended to be a saxophone player herself, and would play the sax during cutscenes throughout the game. She was also to have suffered from a blood disease, for which Vamp would regularly suck out her blood as a form of treatment, in an erotic fashion. Additionally, Fortune was to carry Chinese fortune cookies around with her, and would read them during combat, with each one saying, "You will have great fortune." Later, she would open one as she died, where it would also say, "You will have great fortune." Her development was also largely the reason why Vamp had his gender changed (as he was originally designed to be female). She also originally wore sunglasses, alongside the rest of the Dead Cell unit, although it was cut in the final version. In an interview with Shinkawa by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan regarding an artbook, when asked about a concept artwork depicting her with sunglasses, Shinkawa explained that the reason for the change was because they had seen the 1999 cyberpunk film The Matrix during the game's development, and they didn't want to use the sunglasses due to the characters in that film frequently wearing them. Despite her wearing sunglasses being cut from the game, they were included in her McFarlane Toys action figure.
In the novelization for the game, Fortune's reference to Raiden's childhood was further emphasized, where Raiden thought to himself "Fires of hell. Could she mean Liberia? The civil war? How could she know about that?"
Though she does not play a large role, Fortune is featured in the Snake Tales story External Gazer as an alternate reality version of herself. She is an extremely cheerful stereotypical dumb blonde, saying things like "I've got, like, really good luck!" and "You betcha!"
Fortune later appeared in Versus Battle, where she fought against Laughing Octopus.
Bending Bullets , Rocking Rail Gun
Rocky Love Life
Also known as ‘Lady Luck’ for her seemingly supernatural electromagnetic ability to avoid incoming fire and to diffuse explosives
METAL GEAR SOLID: THE LEGACY COLLECTION"
- ―Fortune in Versus Battle
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (Snake Tales, non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (mentioned and painting; painting's non-canon)
- Metal Gear Acid 2 (Card and Arena opponent; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops (trading card)
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database ("Rail Gun"), Kojima Productions (2008). 
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
Colonel: Raiden, Rose did a bit of research on Fortune's weapon. // Rosemary: The big rifle that she carries appears to be a personal rail gun. // Raiden: Rail gun? // Rose: Yes -- an electromagnetic gun that fires bullets with magnetic force. As a movable conductor it uses plasma electrons to boost acceleration capabilities. The kinetic energy of the ammunition is approximately ten megajoules. Incidentally, that of a 140mm smooth bore gun ammunition is twenty megajoules. // Raiden: I can't believe something like that even exists! // Rose: It's not available, though. What she has is only a prototype. // Raiden: That thing sure doesn't sound like a prototype! // Rose: Problems with the rail plasma and inner-rail electromagnetic release have yet to be solved. Evaluations exist that criticize it as unacceptable as a field weapon... because of the high risk of accidental discharge. // Raiden: But hers doesn't...? // Rose: ...Most likely...probably because she's lucky. // Raiden: Unbelievable... // Rose: Either way, it's a weapon that she alone can wield, that's for sure. // Raiden: Yeah, and a weapon that's uncontrollable, too. // Rose: Be very careful, Jack.
- ^ The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2
Fortune: This could be –-interesting. You’ve seen the fires of hell, haven’t you? [Fortune with her uncanny ability to sense terror in others, realizes that Raiden carries with him a dark past. His childhood, in fact, was spent as a boy soldier in the ruthless fronts of the Liberian civil conflicts. Subplot.]
- ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid 2 Grand Game Plan, Konami Japan (1999).
- ^ http://www.metalgearsolid.net/features/yoji-shinkawa-interview
KCEJ: She [Fortune] is wearing shades here, unlike in the game. // Yoji Shinkawa: In the beginning, all of them [Dead Cell] wore sunglasses. They were supposed to remove them right before battle. Then we saw "The Matrix" and everyone in that movie were wearing sunglasses. We didn't want to do something someone else has already done.