Ketchup (or catsup) is a sweet-and-sour condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, and an assortment of vegetable seasonings and spices such as onions, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, and celery. Ketchup is often served with fried foods such as French fries, fish and chips, and grilled foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers. It is also used to flavor cooked meat and as a base for other sauces.


Shadow Moses Incident

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

During Solid Snake's imprisonment by FOXHOUND on Shadow Moses Island, Hal Emmerich provided him with a bottle of Italian[1] ketchup while the Genome Soldier on guard, Johnny Sasaki, was taking a bathroom break. Having offered it alongside a ration, ostensibly to alleviate Snake's hunger, Emmerich had taken the time to find ketchup of a similar color and consistency to blood, giving Snake the option to feign injury and distract the guard during an escape attempt.[2]

The Manhattan Incident

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

Being a fairly common food condiment, bottles of ketchup were present in the Deck-D, crew's quarters on the tanker USS Discovery, and in the Strut C dining hall of the Big Shell offshore cleanup facility.[3]

Behind the scenes

The Ketchup, as viewed in the item window.

The Ketchup, used to trick the guard into opening the cell.

"Italian-tomato-based food condiment."
―Ketchup description in Metal Gear Solid
"Tomato-based food condiment.
Press A to use.
―Ketchup description in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

The Ketchup item is obtained automatically in Metal Gear Solid after the guard leaves the room temporarily. To use it, Snake must lie on the ground and spread the contents of the bottle beneath him, by pressing the Action Button. In order for the deception to work, Snake must remain perfectly still while lying down, and must get into said position when the guard is not present. After the guard returns and opens the cell door, he must be quickly neutralized before he escapes and locks the cell again. If Snake fails to escape when using the Ketchup or does not use it at all, Snake will not acknowledge Otacon's part in helping him escape in a Codec call with Otacon, due to not figuring out the real purpose of the ketchup bottle. If Snake does succeed in using the ketchup bottle to escape, he'll tell Otacon in a Codec call that he can't believe it actually worked.

"The Calber's Fine English Ketchup bottle in the collection of Hal Emmerich's condiment storage pantry, brought over by supply boat three weeks prior to the insurrection, may prove more useful than one would first think. First and foremost, it adds a tangy, yet discernible "tomato" taste to any foodstuff (with the exception of military Rations). Calber's motto, "If it doesn't taste of tomato, then it's probably mustard" is justified in this instance, as six out of ten personnel aboard the Discovery (the Ohio Class nuclear submarine we're briefing you from) who expressed a preference said they preferred it to military ketchup. It can also be cleverly used as fake blood to fool exceptionally simple soldiers."
―Inventory description in the Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the ketchup containers can be shot at to distract the enemy by the ketchup's sound and explosion.


Notes and references

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  1. ^ It being of Italian origin is only specified in the original release for Metal Gear Solid. In the remake The Twin Snakes, it simply states it was a tomato-based food condiment.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Otacon: Did you use the ketchup? It took me a long time to find that. It's exactly the right color and consistency too.
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    The bottles in the Tanker and Plant are each from different brands, though only the bottles in the Plant are legible. They read '"Homer," which is right beside a bottle of "Dog Sause," presumably a barbeque or steak condiment.
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