Gustava Heffner was a member of the STB (the Czech State Security) assigned to protect Dr. Kio Marv during the Zanzibar Land Disturbance. She was fluent in Czech, Slovak, Russian, and English.[2]


Early life and career

Gustava's mother was a Holocaust survivor who spent her days in the sewers under the city of Warsaw, Poland, fleeing from the Nazis during World War II.[3]

Formerly an Olympic gold medalist figure skater, Gustava was known as the "Ice Princess" both in professional ice skating and in the Olympics, where she previously won two championships in a row.[1][2][4] At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she met and fell in love with a Westerner named Frank Hunter. She tried to elope with him, but she was denied U.S. citizenship and could not leave her country. Because of her failed defection, Gustava was stripped of her competition rights and her family was constantly persecuted and humiliated. With very few places left to turn, Gustava joined the STB. While in the service of the STB, she managed to kill a man.[2][5][6]

Zanzibar Land Disturbance

Main article: Zanzibar Land Disturbance

During the energy crisis of the late 1990s, Gustava had been assigned as a bodyguard of Dr. Kio Marv, the inventor of OILIX, when he was kidnapped by agents of Zanzibar Land.[1][2] Gustava was able to escape, disguising herself as a Zanzibar Land soldier, although they took away her radio in the process of evading capture.[7] However, she had been able to plant a microtransmitter on both Dr. Marv and Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar prior to their capture.[8][9][4] While incognito as the enemy, she also got a locker, which she used after using a sauna without being caught by the soldiers.[10]

Gustava Heffner (MGS4DB)

Gustava, circa 1999.

Gustava later established contact with Solid Snake, who had infiltrated Zanzibar Land to rescue Dr. Marv as part of Operation Intrude F014. With Snake's help, Gustava was able to ascertain Dr. Marv's location.[4] Accompanying him for a brief time, she eventually developed feelings for him and he in return.[11] She also helped Snake to free Dr. Madnar from his cell.[12] While the trio attempted to cross the suspension bridge leading to the detention camp, they were ambushed by Metal Gear D in an elaborate trap set up by Dr. Madnar. As a result, Gustava was hit by a missile. Ironically, the man piloting Metal Gear was her former lover, Frank Jaeger.[13][14][15] Before she died, she gave Snake a card key and her brooch shaped in the symbol of Zanzibar Land, which was secretly the key to Dr. Marv's locker, where he had hidden the OILIX formula.[11][16][17][15]

Behind the scenes

Natasha.gif Natasha Markova.gif
Original Natasha (left) and revised Gustava (right) MG2 Transceiver Mode portraits.
Gustava Heffner (グスタヴァ・ヘフナー Gusutava Hefunā?) was originally named Natasha Marcova (ナターシャ・マルコヴァ Natāshiya Marukobaa?) in the MSX2 version of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Her name was changed in the re-released versions of the game, presumably either to avoid confusion with the similarly named Nastasha Romanenko or because her surname was taken directly from a similar character in the novel Crossfire. Her backstory of being a Czechloslovakian Olympic ice skater who became romantically involved with an American soldier was likewise derived from Crossfire.[18] According to Hideo Kojima, identified as "Snake Kojima" in the liner notes for the soundtrack for Metal Gear 2, one of the reasons they made several last-minute changes to the story was due to wanting to salvage as much of her backstory as possible due to unexpected real life events that occurred during the game's development that would have otherwise made her backstory unbelievable, such as The Tiananmen protests, the Romanian Revolution, and the Unification of Germany.[19]

In the Previous Operations section of Metal Gear Solid (and its remake, The Twin Snakes), it is stated that Gustava, then referred to as Natasha, was a former Czech International Secret Police agent.[20] This was presumably done to address the earlier fall of Communism in the Eastern Bloc, than what was portrayed in Metal Gear 2. However, in the re-released versions of Metal Gear 2, Gustava is still referred to as an active member of the STB due to the fact that the script wasn't updated.[4][7][9]

Although Gustava's portrait depicts her as a brunette, her sprite depicts her as a blonde. In addition, she is shown having waist-length hair while dying from the missile explosion via Metal Gear D. Finally, her sprite depicts her wearing a bandana though it doesn't appear in her portrait.




Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - User's Manual, Konami Corporation (1990).
  2. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid 4 Database ("Gustava Heffner"), Kojima Productions (2008). [1]
  3. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gustava Heffner: ...How odd... // Solid Snake: Give [Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar] a break. He's an old man. He can't hold it like he used to. // Gustava: No, I mean us... A world-renowned scientist, a former Olympic athlete, and an ex-special agent, trudging together through a sewer... // Snake: ...Fate can be funny sometimes. // Gustava: Fate? Yes... perhaps you're right... You know, when I was a little girl, my mother used to tell me stories. About Poland during World War II... about the Warsaw uprising. My mother spent days in the sewers under the city fleeing from the Nazis. Her skin and clothes were caked black with mud... You could not even see her face... My mother and I are much alike. We are both haunted by war.
  4. ^ a b c d Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    (Solid Snake follows Gustava Heffner in the ladies' bathroom) // Solid Snake: Gustava? // Gustava Heffner: ...Yes, that's me... I am Gustava Heffner of the STB. And you must be Solid Snake... We're after the same thing. Why don't we work together to save Dr. Marv? // Snake: ...Have we met somewhere before? // Gustava: Hm. Typical western man. Always ready with a pick-up line... // Snake: Now I remember! You're Gustava Heffner, the Ice Princess. You took the gold at the Calgary Olympics. // Gustava: ...You must be mistaken. // Snake: I don't think so. I know I've... // Gustava: Enough of this! What about Dr. Marv? // Snake: I made contact with him over the radio, but he doesn't speak English. // Gustava: Then he's safe... Good. I'm glad he had that surgery to implant the microtransmitter. Snake, lend me your radio... // Snake: The frequency is 140.51. // Gustava: Tady je Gustavá. // Dr. Kio Marv: Marv. // Gustava: Pane doktore! Jak se cítite? // Marv: Děkuji. Cítim se dobůe. Gustavá. Vypadáte velmi dobůe. // Gustava: Kde jste? Pane doktore? // Marv: Na severu věžákř je rozsedlina. Za ní mají koncentrák. Tam jsem. // Gustava: Určitě Vás zachráníme. // Marv: Jsem vděčný. Děkuji. (Gustava: This is Gustava. // Marv: This is Marv. // Gustava: How are you doing, doctor? // Marv: I'm fine, thanks for asking. You seem to be doing fine too. Gustava. // Gustava: Where are you right now? // Marv: I am in the concentration camp north of the crevice. // Gustava: We're coming to rescue you. // Marv: Thanks. I'm grateful.) // Gustava: Snake, Dr. Marv is safe... for now. He says there's a large crevice to the north of the tower building. The prison is on the other side. Dr. Marv also expressed concern for Dr. Madnar. // Snake: Don't worry. Madnar is safe. Right now, we have to get Marv out of there... Got it? // (Gustava walks up to an elevator in the ladies' bathroom) // Gustava: I know a shortcut to the crevice. There's an old sewer running under here. We can take that elevator down. Let's go. // Snake: Whoa! There's an elevator there? What do you know...
  5. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gustava Heffner: Snake, are you married? // Solid Snake: ...No, I don't have a family. You? // Gustava: I'm all alone... And it's not because I like being single, either. Perhaps I simply never had the chance. Snake: What about a boyfriend? // Gustava: ...Once... only once... I thought about getting married. It was back when I was still skating. I was deeply, madly in love... It still hurts to think about it. He was a Western man. His name was Frank Hunter. He was handsome, well-mannered, intelligent... But always afraid. I would have thrown it all away for him. My family, skating, everything... I would have followed him anywhere. // Snake: You would have defected? // Gustava: Yes... But it was not meant to be. The West rejected my bid for asylum at the last minute. Some sort of political reasons... I still don't understand. // Snake: They probably just didn't have room for you. It happens all the time. // Gustava: Ever since, my family and I have lived in a nightmare... We lost our right to compete, were branded as refuseniks... I had no choice but to go into STB. But I have no regrets. When I was on the ice, I knew only the ice. Now I know so much more... I've even killed a man. // Snake: What about him? Did you ever...? // Gustava: I never saw him again... Our Berlin Wall was too high for either of us to climb. // (Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar returns) // Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: Hello again! Sorry to keep you waiting. // Snake: That was some bathroom break. // Gustava: Let's go, Snake.
  6. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    George Kasler: Gray Fox... Real name, Frank Jaeger. Former member of FOXHOUND. He was the last man to hold the title of Fox in the Big Boss era. Decorated fives times... // Solid Snake: Yeah, I know all about how good he is... Better than anyone else. I fought with him. He's a cold-blooded hunter. He never let's his prey escape. Everybody in the unit respected him. Looked up to him. // Kasler: That may be, Snake... but do you know about his past? It might help you out... 10 years ago, we in the mercenary trade knew him as Hunter. That's what Jaeger means in German. Back then, he was involved with some woman from the Eastern bloc. He tried to get her to come over the fence, but it fell through. Apparently the West wasn't interested in taking her. That's when Frank started to hate the politics. // Snake: What was the woman's name? // Kasler: She was an Olympic skater. Name was Gustava Heffner... Real fine woman. Movie-star type. // Snake: G... Gustava...Heffner?! // Kasler: Snake! If you manage to beat Fox.. I'll tell everyone that Solid Snake is the greatest mercenary in the world. ...Over and out.
  7. ^ a b Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: Marv can only speak Czech and Slovakian. He's also the wary type, and especially so in his current predicament. // Solid Snake: What about you, Madnar? // Madnar: I can only speak Russian and English... Wait I've got it! Gustava can speak to him! // Snake: Gustava? ...Is that the STB woman who was protecting you? // Madnar: She'll be able to understand him, and Marv trusts her as well. // Snake: Is this Gustava still alive? // Madnar: Not to worry. Gustava is no ordinary woman. She is a seasoned professional. When we were captured, she alone managed to steal an enemy uniform and escape. No doubt she's hiding somewhere in Zanzibar Land, waiting for her chance. // Snake: Does she have a radio? // Madnar: No, it was taken away right after we were captured... The only thing I know is that she's wearing an enemy uniform. // Snake: There must be some kind of clue I can use... // Madnar: Here's your clue: she's a woman. Don't be fooled by her enemy disguise... The are no woman soldier in this fortress. That's all you need to know. Gustava is a woman. Why not set up an ambush someplace that only a woman would go? Like the ladies' restroom... Over and out.
  8. '^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Solid Snake: Got it. ...Where can I find Dr. Marv? // Roy Campbell: Well... Dr. Marv has a transmitter implanted in one of his molar teeth.
  9. ^ a b Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: Marv and I were carrying microtransmitters inside our bodies. They were given to us by a female agent from STB. You could get in touch with her if you knew her frequency.
  10. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Kid: Gustava's locker is the one in the upper row, all the way to the right. She always uses it when she comes out of the sauna.
  11. ^ a b Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Solid Snake: Gustava... don't give up now... // Gustava Heffner: It too late for me... I've seen enough people die already to know... that I'm beyond saving. Just my luck. Just when I'd met somebody wonderful again... // Snake: I would have liked to see you skate again. // Gustava: Th... thank you... Take this... it's card 6. And this... it's my brooch. To use it, you... // Snake: How? How do I use it? // Gustava: I... can't... hold on... ...Frank...
  12. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: Oh! ...Gustava! Snake! // Gustava Heffner: Doctor, you're all right! // Solid Snake: ...You've lost some weight, Madnar... // Madnar: And you haven't changed a bit, Snake. // Gustava: Snake, we must hurry! Dr. Marv is waiting! // Madnar: You mean Marv is still alive? I thought I could escape through this passageway, but the elevator wouldn't open from the inside. // Snake: Gustava, you and the doctor get behind me. We're moving out! // Madnar: No, wait! Snake, I have something to give you. I swiped it from a guard... It's card 5. // Gustava: Lead the way, Snake. I'll follow you.
  13. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Solid Snake: A bridge!! // Gustava Heffner: We can only cross it one at a time. // Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: Let me go first. I haven't got long to live anyway. No one will miss me if I fall. // (Dr. Madnar safely crosses the bridge) // Madnar: It's all right! You can come across! // Gustava: OK, I'll go next... See you on the other side. // (Gustava goes on the bridge then turns around) // Gustava: It's safe, Snake! Hurry and cross over! // (Snake attempts to cross the bridge when a missile destroys it, sending Gustava to Snake's side of the crevice) // Snake: Gustava!!
  14. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: SNAKE!! // (Dr. Madnar is captured by armed guards; Metal Gear D then appears) // Solid Snake: ...Metal... Gear? // Gray Fox: Snake!! It's me. Gray Fox! // Snake: Gray... Fox... // Fox: This bridge is closed!! I'm taking Madnar with me! Tell you what, Snake. For old times' sake, I'll do you a favor and let you live, IF you get your sorry carcass out of here! ...You hear me? Go home! Now! Think it over, Snake... Ha ha ha ha! // (Gray Fox leaves; Snake runs over to the bridge) // Snake: Fox! You won't get rid of me that easily!
  15. ^ a b Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Solid Snake: Madnar, did you kill Dr. Marv? // Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: ...Yes! He would not share the secret of OILIX with me! And it was I who caused Gustava's death on the bridge by contacting Gray Fox from the sewer! // Snake: The bathroom break...! // Madnar: Snake, I know Marv - no Gustava - gave you the key to the locker! Give it to me!!
  16. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Kid: Wanna know a secret? You know Gustava's brooch? It changes shape when you put it in the sauna or the freezer.
  17. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar: Ah! ...Snake, you're too late. He's already passed away. His heart couldn't take it anymore. // (Solid Snake walks up to Dr. Kio Marv's body) // Solid Snake: Wait... what's that bruise on his neck?! // Madnar: Not to worry, Snake. Marv may be dead, but the plans for OILIX are safe. Marv was a very careful man. He left behind a copy of the plans in case of emergency. He had a reputation as a video game enthusiast. He even used to have them shipped to him from the West every month. A few days ago, he hid some microfilm in the circuit board of one of his game cartridges. It was an MSX cartridge, made by a Japanese company called Konami. // Snake: MSX... That's the world's best-selling brand of computer, isn't it? // Madnar: Then, he hid that cartridge inside that locker. // Snake: Where's the key? // Madnar: I don't know... I couldn't get it out of him. I mean... He never told me!
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Special > Previous Operations > Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
    [Solid] Snake rescued Dr. Pettrovich in cooperation with Natasha [Marcova], Dr. Marv's guard and former Czech International Secret Police agent, and then headed for the confinement facility deep in the fortress to save Dr. Marv.

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