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Mei Ling (美玲, Pinyin: Měi Líng) was a Chinese-American data analyst who served on Solid Snake's radio support team during the Shadow Moses Incident. Afterwards, she joined Philanthropy, an anti-Metal Gear organization, and assisted Snake in secret by providing stolen military equipment. Years later, Mei Ling became Captain of the museum-turned-training vessel USS Missouri, commanding it in battle at the time of the Guns of the Patriots Incident.


Early life[]

Mei Ling became well versed in many forms of literature, familiarizing herself with everything from Shakespeare to Chinese proverbs. She did this to help "keep in touch" with both sides of her heritage, as both her parents were from Guangdong, China, though she herself was born in America[2] and grew up in Chinatown.[1][3] In addition, she ultimately decided to go to MIT instead of Princeton or Vassar with her friends, due to wanting to go for applied physics instead of just sticking with theoreticals.[4]

Mei Ling had always wanted to be a fighter pilot after she fell in love with jets, watching them in the movies, though she did not want to kill people. After learning that the U.S. Air Force needed pilots to perform battle damage assessments (BDAs), she decided to major in aerial photography and air intelligence at MIT, becoming an expert in her field,[2] and joined the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps).[5] However, her dreams of becoming a pilot were crushed after she learned that there weren't any pilots who only did BDAs,[2] along with failing an aptitude test, due to her poor vision.[6] Discovering that she was not suited to be an officer, she withdrew from the ROTC program.[5]

While still an undergraduate, Mei Ling worked alongside scientists from the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) and ENPIC (International Photoanalysis Center) on image processing and satellite-based ELINT (electronic intelligence) and SIGINT (signals intelligence) research.[5] As a specialist in image and data processing, she developed the Codec and Soliton Radar systems, the latter from then-currently existing technology.[7] At some point, Mei Ling heard about the exploits of the legendary soldier Solid Snake.[8]

Shadow Moses Incident[]

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident
Mei Ling image

Mei Ling, circa 2005.

By the time of the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005, Mei Ling was still actively enrolled at MIT.[5] During said incident, she served as a data analyst on Solid Snake's radio support team, and was placed in charge of recording his mission data.[8][9] She provided Snake with information on the Codec system and Soliton Radar, as well as offering advice through Chinese proverbs and quotations from Western figures and literature.[2][8]

During the incident, Mei Ling traced the source of Master Miller's Codec transmissions, revealing that the signal had originated within the base on Shadow Moses. However, her discovery that "Miller" was an enemy imposter came too late, as mission advisor Roy Campbell was unable to warn Snake before the latter unintentionally activated Metal Gear REX.[10] Snake also requested that, as insurance, she create a hard copy of all the Codec transmissions during the mission.[11] Although the incident was ultimately resolved, Mei Ling made a hard copy of all the intelligence she had gathered, concerning the Pentagon conspiracy surrounding the mission, in order to protect Campbell, Snake, and herself from any political fallout.[12]

Post-Shadow Moses[]

After 2005, Mei Ling started working for the U.S. Army SSCEN (Soldier Systems Center), a research and development center for the U.S. military.[13]

The Manhattan Incident[]

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

In 2007, she helped out the anti-Metal Gear NGO Philanthropy, illegally appropriating equipment from the SSCEN. During one of these instances involving Natik flashware, Snake told Otacon to tell Mei Ling to quit, as the military would find out sooner or later. Because she was busy during the Tanker Incident, Mei Ling left Otacon a cheat sheet for deciphering Chinese proverbs every time Snake wanted to save (although Snake admitted that he didn't miss her).[13] However, this plan backfired as Otacon had "mislaid" the cheat sheet and kept misinterpreting the translations, leaving an annoyed Mei Ling to correct one of the proverbs for Snake.[14][15]

Post-Big Shell[]

After 2009, Mei Ling lost her position as a military researcher. She eventually joined the Navy, where she was presented with the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, the second Navy "E" Medal, the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, and one other medal.[note 1]

Captain Mei Ling

Mei Ling, circa 2014.

Guns of the Patriots Incident[]

See also: Liquid Sun, Solid Sun, Third Sun, Twin Suns, Old Sun, and Naked Sin/Naked Son

In 2014, Mei Ling became the commanding officer of the museum-turned-training vessel Battleship USS Missouri, with her promotion to Captain being rumored to have been the result of her catching the eye of a lecherous admiral.

Mei Ling continued to aid Snake and Otacon through the procurement of satellite imagery, providing the location of Liquid Ocelot's facility in South America. After Liquid hijacked the Sons of the Patriots battlefield control system, she provided confirmation that he had returned to Shadow Moses Island, using data from Metal Gear Mk. II prior to its destruction. Mei Ling later had the Missouri journey to the island itself, arriving just in time to save Snake and Raiden from being crushed to death by Liquid's Outer Haven, and driving off the submersible warship with her ship's gunfire. After extracting them, she then proceeded to give a briefing for the mission to stop Liquid Ocelot, although her inexperience had her fumbling through the briefing, including trying to jump with the pointer before realizing it was extendable, as well as accidentally dropping the pointer before giving the distance. She provided Snake and Otacon with backup during the subsequent assault on Haven at the Bering Sea. Shortly after Snake managed to destroy Haven's on-board AI, GW, she ordered the surrender of any resisting Haven forces on the Missouri.[16]

Afterwards, Mei Ling served as a bridesmaid at Johnny Sasaki and Meryl Silverburgh's wedding. Prior to the ceremony, she became tearful after witnessing Meryl's reconciliation with her estranged father, Roy Campbell. She later ended up losing the bouquet toss to Drebin's pet monkey, Little Gray, much to her chagrin.

Equipment developed (as of 2005)[]

Behind the scenes[]



Artwork of Mei Ling from The Art of Metal Gear Solid.

According to Yoji Shinkawa, Mei Ling (Romaji: Mei Rin) was originally designed after the likeness of Japanese actress Shinobu Nakayama.[17] In the original Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid, Mei Ling only quoted Chinese proverbs. Western quotes were added in the English version due to a decision between Hideo Kojima and translator Jeremy Blaustein.

The Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook states that Mei Ling joined the ROTC, and later worked alongside the NRO and ENPIC, while still an undergraduate.[18] While this is not mentioned in Metal Gear Solid or Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, it was later included in the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database.[5]

Mei Ling makes a voice-only cameo in Metal Gear Solid 2; if the player saves the game numerous times during the Tanker chapter, Mei Ling corrects a proverb that Otacon cannot seem to interpret. In the same scene, she also gets angry at Otacon for not using the cheat sheet that she gave him in regards to deciphering Chinese proverbs.[14][19]

Mei Ling also has a minor role in the non-canonical Snake Tales story "External Gazer," where she submitted reported citings of the Gurlugon, and in the ending, the Genola.

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Artwork of Mei Ling from The Art of Metal Gear Solid 4.

In the English versions of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2, Mei Ling speaks with a Chinese accent. In The Twin Snakes, she speaks with an American accent, which is retained in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Metal Gear Solid 4 assistant producer Ryan Payton explained his decision to remove Mei Ling's Chinese accent, saying that it contradicted the "true fiction" that Mei Ling is American born and that the accent in the original Metal Gear Solid was a mistake.[20]

Other appearances[]

Mei Ling Ghost Babel

Mei Ling's Codec portrait in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel.

Mei Ling also appears in the Game Boy Color game, Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (known as Metal Gear Solid internationally). She serves the same role as she did in Metal Gear Solid, being in charge of saving Snake's mission data, and even reads him proverbs after he saves. 

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mei Ling can be contacted while playing as Snake, using his Codec taunt. If the player contacts Mei Ling while fighting Pikachu, she will ask Snake to capture it for her. Keeping true to her character, she will also mention several Chinese proverbs in the case of opponents such as Captain Olimar, the Ice Climbers and so forth, with Snake doubting that they are actually proverbs. She is also usable as a sticker, which grants the player an increase of arm and leg attacks by 3.

When playing Metal Gear Online, Mei Ling had a unique quote (when the player types in <UNI01>). She states a famous Shakespeare quote: "...the tongues of dying men enforce attention like deep harmony. Where words are spent, they are seldom spent in vain." In addition, she was also a playable character of sorts in the MEME expansion. Although she herself had a limited array of weaponry that restricted her to handguns, she was capable of using the Soliton Radar to spot enemies hiding behind areas, and then supply the information via SOP. She couldn't use CQC, but could charm nearby enemies with her "Salute" ability. In addition, because of her status as the captain of the USS Missouri in the main game, she was also capable of launching a missile strike on enemies from the USS Missouri on an area that she designated. Her cap was also a bonus head equipment for a character. If tranquilized, she'd sometimes says "I... just can't stop..."

In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Mei Ling makes a cameo appearance as a poster mounted inside a cargo truck. In addition, the Soliton Radar can be developed in the game despite predating its debut appearance in Metal Gear Solid.

Mei Ling also appears in Versus Battle.

Smart, Hot, Commands USS Missouri
Lacks 20/20 Vision & Killer Instinct
An expert intelligence analyst, Mei Ling supported Snake on multiple key missions, from Shadow Moses to the Big Shell
―Mei Ling's bio on Versus Battle




  1. ^ The ribbons can be seen on Mei Ling's service uniform in Metal Gear Solid 4.


  1. ^ a b c METAL GEAR SOLID (Japanese). Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved on 2013-04-19.
  2. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Mei Ling: [Solid] Snake, remember what De Gaulle said "The graveyards are full of indispensable men." Snake, you're all alone and surrounded by bad guys. Try to be careful and avoid getting into a fight whenever you can. // Solid Snake: You're right. Wow. You know all sorts of great quotes, don't you? // Mei Ling: Well, both my parents are from Guangdong, China, but I was born and raised in America. I've always liked reading literature from both sides... kinda keeps me in touch. I'll share some more quotes with you if you like. // Snake: I'm looking forward to it. But to tell you the truth, I'd like to know more about you. // Mei Ling: Well... I'll think about it.
  3. ^ METAL GEAR SOLID: THE TWIN SNAKES. Konami Computer Entertainment Japan. Retrieved on 2013-04-19.
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Mei Ling: [Solid] Snake, there's an old Chinese saying "A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar." Einstein said it another way. He said that only a life lived for others is worth living. That's why I entered MIT instead of Princeton or Vassar like my friends. I wanted to do applied physics, not just theoretical stuff. I wanted to make things for people. The Soliton Radar System or the Codec System...I just wanted to make something that would be useful for people. I think that it was the same for Dr. Emmerich too. But he was used like a tool...used to make a horrible killing machine. Maybe it would be better if engineers like us just stopped making things... I don't know.
  5. ^ a b c d e Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008).
  6. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Solid Snake: Mei Ling, you said that you wanted to become a pilot. Did you take an aptitude test? // Mei Ling: Well, I've got bad eyes. You probably didn't know it, but I'm wearing contact lenses. // Snake:: So you failed your aptitude test, huh? // Mei Ling: Yeah, it's ridiculous. We're not flying around in biplanes anymore, y'know.
  7. '^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Mei Ling: Snake, your radar isn't affected by the weather, but if you're discovered by an enemy you won't be able to use it. // Roy Campbell: Yes. It gets jammed easily I'm afraid. // Mei Ling: Yes. It's all made from currently existing technology. You won't be able to use it in an area with strong harmonic resonance. So be careful.
  8. ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Roy Campbell: There are only 18 hours left until their deadline. You've got to hurry! // Mei Ling: Wow..., [Liquid Snake] must be crazy to fly a Hind in this kind of weather. // Solid Snake: Who's that? // Campbell: Oh sorry, I haven't introduced you two yet. This is Mei Ling. She was assigned as our visual data processing specialist. She designed your Codec as well as your Soliton radar system. Contact her if you have any questions about either of them. // (Mei Ling chuckles) // Mei Ling: Nice to meet you, Snake. It's an honor to speak to a living legend like yourself. // Snake: .......... // Mei Ling: What's wrong. // Snake: Nothing... I just didn't expect a world-class designer of military technology to be so... ...cute. // (Mei Ling chuckles) // Mei Ling: You're just flattering me... // Snake: No, I'm serious. Well I know I won't be bored for the next 18 hours. // Mei Ling: C'mon... I can't believe I'm being hit on by the famous Solid Snake... But I'm surprised... You're very frank for a trained killer. // Snake: Looks like we both have a lot to learn about each other.
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Mei Ling: I'm also in charge of your mission data. Contact me if you want me to record your current status. My frequency is 140.96. It's a dedicated frequency for saving data. Don't forget it.
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Roy Campbell [Solid] Snake, that's not Master Miller! // Miller: Campbell, you're too late. // Campbell: Master Miller's body was just discovered at his home. He's been dead for at least three days. I didn't know because my Codec link with Master was cut off. But Mei Ling said his transmission signal was coming from inside the base! // Solid Snake: So who is it? // Campbell: Snake, you've been talking to... // Miller: ...Me... ...dear brother. // (Liquid Snake removes his disguise) // Snake: Liquid!? How the...!? // Liquid Snake: You served your purpose. You may die now!
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Mei Ling: [Solid] Snake, they've placed the Colonel under arrest. I don't know what I should do. This will probably be your last save. // Solid Snake: I'm going to miss those proverbs of yours. // Mei Ling: Snake... // Snake: Mei Ling, I have a favor to ask you. Make a hard copy of all the Codec conversation data up to this point. I want some insurance. // Mei Ling: Okay, Snake. Leave it to me. // (Mei Ling saves the data) // Mei Ling: Snake, please. Be safe... for me.
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Solid Snake: Are you going to be okay? // Roy Campbell: Don't worry. I've got an insurance policy. ...a hard copy of all Mei Ling's data. As long as I've got that, you, me and Mei Ling will be fine.
  13. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Otacon: The private sector's not so bad, is it? Privacy guaranteed... // Solid Snake: I'm happy as long as no one gives me any more unwanted gifts. // Otacon: You mean that thing with Naomi? // Snake: And I can't say I miss the chattering nanny. // Otacon: Mei Ling's not so bad. That reminds me, I have to get in touch with her again about that new Natik flashware. // Snake: Diverting toys from the SSCEN (U.S. Army Soldier System Center) again? Give her a message from me: someone will find out sooner or later. She's better off assuming it's sooner and quit while she's safe. // Otacon: Too true. Okay, Snake, let's get to work.
  14. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Otacon: [Solid] Snake, do you know the Chinese proverb "Care avoids err"? "Err" is thought to be a ! Kung word meaning "what." There are some linguists who think this accounts for an almost universal utterance—— of the syllable "er" when people are at a loss of words. A kind of vestigial -- // Mei Ling: Hey! // Otacon: Ack! // Mei Ling: What a crock! What did you do with that little cheat sheet I made you! // Otacon: Er -- // Mei Ling: Oh, there it is -- Hey! // Otacon: Er, that's really a... // Mei Ling: How could you do that! You know how busy I am and you -- !! // Otacon: It's not what you think... // Mei Ling: Oh, so what am I thinking? // Solid Snake: What's going on over there? // Mei Ling: Oh, hi, Snake. Do you know that Otacon's been -- // Otacon: Er, Mei Ling, we're in the middle of a mission and everything! So can we, you know... // Mei Ling: ... // Otacon: ... // Mei Ling: Fine. Sure. And Snake, the real meaning for "Care avoids err" is that if you're cautious, you can avoid making serious mistakes. Even if you've gotten used to the mission, watch what you do. Good luck! // Otacon: Yeah, Snake! Good luck! // Mei Ling: You, I'm not done with. // Otacon: Ack... // Mei Ling: Let's discuss this, shall we? // Otacon: Err...
  15. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Solid Snake: What happened to Mei Ling? // Otacon: Hee. She got mad and went offline. // Snake: What did you do? // Otacon: Nothing! Now don't we need to get back to the mission? So much to do, so little time... // Snake: ...
  16. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Mei Ling: (over PA) Enough! Stop this pointless fighting! This is no war!
  17. ^ MGS1 Production Information & Factoids
  18. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Official Missions Handbook. Millennium Books, 1998
  20. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Afterthoughts with Ryan Payton