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DejaVuPortableOps Cropped2.png "Hmm, I don't remember that one. It mustn't be that important."
This article is about a subject from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]
This article is about Gene, a.k.a. Viper. You may be looking for Black Arts Viper or the Gene Expansion for Metal Gear Online.

Gene, also known as Viper, was a member of the CIA special forces unit FOX during the San Hieronymo Incident, serving as the unit's commander.


Early life and career

Sometime after Operation Snake Eater, Gene joined the FOX unit where he received the "Viper" codename. In one FOX mission, Viper rescued Dr. Nikolai Sokolov from Russia and reunited him with his family. In 1966, he rescued a psychic girl, with the split personalities of Elisa and Ursula, from an East German research laboratory. Gene later underwent experimentation for the Successor Project, the goal being to create the "ultimate battlefield commander" modeled after The Boss, and was given superhuman abilities as a result. During this time, Gene developed CQC Enhancer, an enhanced and destructive form of CQC. At some point, Gene would learn the truth about The Boss's death.

San Hieronymo Incident

Main article: San Hieronymo Incident

In 1970, Gene subverted Major Zero's authority over the FOX Unit and established his own. Accompanied by Lt. Cunningham, Python, Elisa, Ursula, and the child soldier Null, Gene led the takeover of a secret Soviet missile base on the San Hieronymo Peninsula, Colombia, and planned to use the CIA's new Metal Gear weapon to establish a new nation, known as Army's Heaven. Assisted by his hypnotic speech ability, Gene increased his unit's ranks by gathering disgruntled Red Army personnel to his side, vowing to end the world's political exploitation of soldiers, and had them commence work on fortifying the missile base.


Gene was soon forced to deal with a rebellion on the peninsula, headed by Naked Snake and Roy Campbell, the former having initially been kidnapped and taken to the peninsula for interrogation, regarding the Philosophers' Legacy. Gene later met Snake in person following his recapture by Null and Cunningham, and was impressed by Snake's resistance to Cunningham's torture. Shortly thereafter, Gene contacted his conspirator Ocelot and reported the success of his negotiations with the Kremlin, to ensure they didn't interfere with their plan.[1] However, Gene planned to make good on his threat to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S., in defiance of Ocelot and his employer. Shortly afterwards, he was forced to use his superhuman reflexes and ESP abilities to halt a rampage by Null, and pondered over the effect Snake had had on the unstable youth.

After Snake was freed by his allies, with Elisa accompanying them in their escape, Gene anticipated that they would learn the location of the Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear and attempt to destroy it. He then secretly replaced the ICBMG with Metal Gear RAXA as a decoy at the assembly plant. As Snake infiltrated the facility, Gene arrived by helicopter with a large platoon of soldiers, in order to apprehend him. However, when the base's former commander, Colonel Skowronski, hijacked RAXA and gunned down several of Gene's men, the distraction allowed Snake to hold the FOX commander at gunpoint. Gene then triggered the awakening of Elisa's twin personality, Ursula, and had her commandeer RAXA with her psychokinesis, giving it abilities far beyond its potential. While Snake was engaged in battle, Gene's men finished loading the ICBMG with nuclear weapons and transported it out of the plant to a missile silo. After Snake destroyed RAXA, Gene delivered a fear-inducing hypnotic speech, instigating a riot among both his and Snake's soldiers that resulted in many casualties, before departing for the silo.

Gene fights Naked Snake in the launch control room.

Snake eventually confronted Gene at the silo's launch control room, where the latter revealed that he had actually planned to launch the ICBMG into Virginia, USA (the "twin lairs" of the American Philosophers), instead of Russia as had previously been believed. Since he had deduced that the Red Army would be negotiating with the DoD, and that no war would commence should he launch at Russia, an attack on America would convince the international community that the Soviets had fired on America, causing the Warsaw Pact to crumble and possibly enter into armed conflict with NATO. Gene then revealed his concept of Army's Heaven for soldiers to Snake, but Snake was unswayed by his offer of an alliance. He then taunted Snake with information regarding a "deviously cunning strategist," who had orchestrated the failure of the Virtuous Mission six years earlier, and ensured The Boss's death, but refused to reveal his identity. When he proceeded to launch Metal Gear, Elisa and Ursula, having survived RAXA's destruction, destroyed the control panel and attempted to stop his plans. However, Gene, with his much quicker physical abilities, reluctantly murdered her, and proceeded to launch the nuclear missile via a backup launch control room.

A fight to the death then ensued between Gene and Snake to determine who The Boss's true successor was. During the battle, Gene attempted to use his powers of suggestion to break Snake's will,[2] even quoting some of The Boss's words to Snake from years earlier,[3] but was ultimately unable to subdue him. Snake eventually triumphed, forcing Gene to admit that Snake was indeed the true successor after all, and that "soldier genes" may have played a part. On his deathbed, he relinquished the funds and resources he had amassed for Army's Heaven to Snake. His last words were reminiscent of those given by The Boss, and he pleaded with Snake to go find his calling.

Personality and traits

Gene's intense charisma gave him the power to win people's hearts and minds. His voice was given a special manipulative mind-altering power where he feigned loyalty and strength to those who followed him but secretly despised the human race in general, exhibiting qualities of deeply pathological, tyrannical behavior. Despite this, however, he reacted with some surprise when Snake pointed out that his viewpoints make him nothing more than a dictator.[4] During Gene's speech-making, he could swell up loyalty and powerful, trusting emotions in his soldiers, but also used it to instill fear in mobs and cause riots to break out, laughing cruelly while his men killed each other as he did so. In large part because of this, he could also claim that he neither killed his men nor did he even need to due to them apparently doing it themselves, as evidenced by his retort towards Naked Snake's accusation that he'd kill his own men at the Plant, as well as his being implied to have been responsible for the Maintenance Crew's "suicide" at the silo. Gene also used his gifted voice to release Elisa's dark and powerful second personality, Ursula. His charisma and-speech making was also powerful enough to subvert even soldiers of the highest morale to his command.[5] Gene was also shown to have some disapproval of torture and not fond of the practice unless it was necessary for an interrogation, as evidenced by his discussion with Cunningham at the Guest House. However, his disdain for the practice was not out of moral concerns so much as viewing it as ultimately ineffective, in particular torture being used to inflict unnecessary pain to a subject being a sign of an incompetent interrogator,[6] as well as his reluctantly allowing Cunningham to use serum-based interrogations due to knowing that FOX soldiers are trained to be highly resistant to the serum, and that any stronger doses ran the risk of leaving them incapable of gleaning any viable intel.[7]

In addition, Gene genuinely believed that the point of people's existence was to sacrifice their free will and even their own lives for a cause and a higher belief or being, and implied that The Boss's sacrifice during Operation Snake Eater, and especially her allegedly being deliberately set up to die during the Virtuous Mission, was instrumental in his belief.[8] He also possessed ESP and precognitive deduction, as evidenced by his alongside Ursula's sensing that the heliport site would collapse and stopped Cunningham just a second before the accident occurred. Snake, when first witnessing Gene's speechmaking skills, also speculated that the speechmaking was partially derived from ESP.

There were hints that Gene had a deep amount of respect for Naked Snake, as he was impressed by the fact that Snake managed to remain conscious after enduring Cunningham's torture, as well as instilling Null with strong emotions. Some statements during the final battle seemed to imply that he also wanted to have a challenging fight against Snake.[9]

Gene, demonstrating the Zero Shift ability in his battle with Naked Snake.

As a product of the Successor Project, Gene was created to be the perfect battlefield leader who would command subjects of the Perfect Soldier Project, such as Null. His ESP abilities granted him quick reflexes, which were said to be even greater than those of Null. They also allowed him to anticipate gunfire trajectory from a high-powered machine cannon, as evidenced by his standing still when Colonel Skowronski tried to kill him with RAXA's gatling gun. In addition, Gene could direct mental blasts at an opponent, which he used to defeat an unstable Null on one occasion.

Furthermore, Gene was also a master of "Zero Shift",[10] an ability allowing near instantaneous travel over short distances, which allowed him to kill Elisa before she had a chance to react. He also used this ability during his battle with Snake, though employing the technique too often left him physically exhausted, giving Snake an opening in which to defeat him.

Gene employed mental defenses to ward off potential mind reading from other ESP users. He did so to render his subordinate Ursula incapable of predicting his actions, lowering them only when he believed that she had died in her battle against Snake.[11]

In combination with his supernatural speed and reflexes, Gene was also extremely skilled with knife throwing and knife fighting in general. Beneath his military coat, the would-be-dicatator hid a large amount of finely sharpened knives which he could throw with deadly accuracy, his aim being so perfect that he could even incapacitate the superhumanly fast Perfect Soldier by impaling his hands and limbs. Gene's reflexes were so finely tuned that he was able to throw his knives with the rapidness of a machine gun, enabling him to tear even a well armored foe apart in seconds.

Behind the scenes

Gene, in a cutscene from Portable Ops, illustrated by Ashley Wood.

Gene serves as the primary antagonist of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. His character shares many similarities to that which Naked Snake would become as Big Boss in the early MSX2 Metal Gear games; a charismatic leader attempting to establish a nation of soldiers in opposition to the current world order. He even wears a similar trenchcoat associated with the older Big Boss. Gene's reference to them both as "like brothers" also mirrors the relationship between Solid Snake and Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, although a noticeable difference is that Gene's interactions with Snake were noticeably friendlier than Liquid's interactions with his brother. While other members of FOX have unique colors on their Sneaking Suits in Portable Ops, Gene's own is not revealed due to his wearing of the trenchcoat.

His name, Gene, both refers to genetics and is a shorthand for the name Eugene. He is technically the second character in the series to have a name derived from "Eugene," as Colonel Volgin's first name, Yevgeny, was the Slavic form for Eugene.

Gene's "Zero Shift" ability is a reference to that of the same name used by the mecha Jehuty in Zone of the Enders, another game produced by Hideo Kojima. Similarly, it involves a brief period of charging before it can be used to close in on a distant enemy and execute an attack. On a similar note, his teleport and Bowie Knife combo bears a slight resemblance to the Hellfire technique used by Dracula, the main antagonist of the Castlevania series, which is also made by Konami. Coincidentally, Gene's Japanese voice actor, Norio Wakamoto, acted as the voice actor for Dracula in most Castlevania games.

Portable Ops recruitment

Gene can be unlocked as a playable character by not only defeating him non-lethally, but by also recruiting over 200 soldiers within the same save file. However, the 200 recruits can be accumulated through multiple playthroughs. A soldier is officially recruited in this context after they make it past the prisoner stage, and then can be discharged at any point. In the European version of Portable Ops, Gene can only be unlocked by completing the Boss Rush mode. A radio call to Sigint will allude to the method of unlocking Gene.

Gene comes equipped with a Bowie Knife; it is more powerful than a regular knife, swipes more times in succession, is not CQC compatible and 3 are thrown when the lockon button is held. If the player holds the fire button with it equipped, he'll also throw multiple knives in a similar manner to the ability 1,000 Blades from the Castlevania franchise.

"Member of the CIA Special Forces unit FOX, he combines superior combat and tactical capabilities with an intense aura of charismatic leadership. The mastermind behind the San Hieronymo rebellion, he assumed the role of the heart of FOX after Snake quit the unit."
―Official description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Gene (top-right, middle ground), in an illustrated montage of the San Hieronymo Incident.

Gene's image is featured in a painting hung within the church headquarters of the Paradise Lost Army in Act 3 of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The painting is actually artwork from the Portable Ops Premium Package by Noriyoshi Ohrai, and accompanies other Ohrai paintings that depict events from previous games. The painting can be viewed optionally during a cutscene, when Old Snake first infiltrates the hideout with his hostage, and is glimpsed briefly during a later cutscene, when Big Mama refers to varying interpretations of historical events.

Gene also briefly appears in a flashback cutscene in Act 5, during Liquid Ocelot's monologue atop Outer Haven regarding the history of the Patriots and Big Boss. The image is that of Gene's defeat by Big Boss, as depicted in Ashley Wood's artwork from Portable Ops.




  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene (on the phone): It's me. Somehow I knew it would be you... Yes, negotiations with the Kremlin were a success. They won't interfere with what's about to happen.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: Who of you can say that tomorrow you won't be aiming your rifles at your neighbors? Your comrades? Your families? Is there no one out there who has a grudge against you? No one who mocks you? No one who really needs you? Is there truly no one out there who would kill you?
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: What's it going to be? Loyalty to your country? Or loyalty to yourself? Your country or your old mentor [The Boss]? The mission or your beliefs? Your duty to your unit or your personal feelings? Look at how much you've lost already! What kind of country deserves this much loyalty, Snake?!
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: I will not allow the world to be a playground for abstract national interest and petty political gambits. I will use superior force of arms to achieve superior force of will. Thus I will make the world whole again. For I am the Successor, and this is my calling. // Naked Snake: You're nothing but a dictator! // Gene: What?! // Snake: You use fear to keep your soldiers in line. You use words to deceive your allies. You exploit those who look up to you as a mentor and then you throw them away! The country you're building is no heaven for soldiers. The place they're looking for is outside your "heaven."
  5. ^ This is stated in a radio conversation with Ghost when the latter is expressing confusion as to why Gene would take over the San Hieronymo Peninsula.
  6. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006)
    Gene: Looks like you've [Cunningham has] done quite a number on this one [Big Boss]. Intel extracted via physical torture is unreliable. It has always been my understanding that a skilled interrogator doesn't have to resort to inflicting pain on his... subject. // Cunningham: You're right, Commander. But it all depends on the time and the place. This man used to be a member of FOX. For him, this doesn't even qualify as torture. I was simply saying hello. // Gene: I see. As a fellow FOX, you know his limits.
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006)
    Cunningham: It's not part of my normal regimen, but there is a way. // Gene: Drugs? Truth serum won't work on a member of FOX. // Cunningham: While he was away from the battlefield, they developed a new formula. Gene: Confessions extracted via truth serum can't be trusted, more so if you're using a stronger formula. He could fall apart before you even have the chance to question him. You know that as well as I.
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006)
    Gene: It is my calling. And I will bestow it upon others. The countless masses with no wills of their own must devote their lives to a higher cause. They must give up their trivial lives, their petty contentment! They must sacrifice all their energies to the cause - pour their feeble lives into it. As The Boss once did.
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: You're really giving me a run for my money! I like that!"
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008).
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: You read my thoughts, Ursula. I let down my mental defenses thinking you were dead. But it's no use. You can read my mind, but you can't keep up with my body!