Metal Gear Wiki
Metal Gear Wiki

The Mercenary War was the name given to Zanzibar Land's war of independence, which began sometime in the early 1990s, during the fall of the Soviet Union.


After the secession of the Baltic states from the USSR, opposition to the old regime began to mount in the autonomous zone of Zanzibar Province. This period of crisis inspired nationalism in the area's leaders, and despite military intervention by the Commonwealth of Independent States,[1] the small tribal nation eventually won its sovereignty. Independence was declared in 1997, with primary credit for the success generally given to the mercenaries from around the world that participated in the war. Because of this it is referred to as "The Mercenary War," and brought back to global attention the profession of the "gun for hire."

George Kasler fought in the Mercenary War, eventually suffering from a wound to his right thigh that ended his military career.

Zanzibar Land terrorism[]

Zanzibar Land later decided to expand beyond its borders and went on to invade neighboring countries at will. Using the newly developed Metal Gear D, Zanzibar Land stole nuclear warheads from disposal sites across the world, becoming one of the few remaining nuclear powers. In 1999, these events led to the Zanzibar Land Disturbance.

Behind the scenes[]

Although the original MSX2 manual for Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid's Previous Operations summary both state that the Mercenary War began in the early 1990s, it is not entirely clear at what point the war ended. Zanzibar Land's independence was declared in 1997, and the war was described as successful in both sources. However, whether the Mercenary War also comprised the later nuclear terrorism, or whether the two should be considered separate conflicts, is unknown.

The CIS' involvement in the Mercenary War was described in Metal Gear Solid's Previous Operations summary, which was most likely an attempt to reconcile the conflicting history of both the Metal Gear universe and the real world, as the Soviet Union collapsed much earlier in the latter.



  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake User's Manual

Notes and references[]

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Special > Previous Operations > Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
    Zanzibar Land was a democratic military regime that suddenly appeared in Central Asia in 1997. When their uprising took place, the CIS army, formed around Russia, sent a suppressive unit immediately.

See also[]

Timeline of events in Metal Gear
Date Event Game
1962 Sokolov Defection
Cuban Missile Crisis
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater
1964 Virtuous Mission
Operation Snake Eater
1970 San Hieronymo Incident* Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops*
1972 Les Enfants Terribles Project
1974 Peace Walker Incident Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Eliminate the Renegade Threat*
Intel Operative Rescue*
Classified Intel Acquisition*
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
19XX Déjà Vu**
XXXX Jamais Vu**
1975 Destroy the Anti-Air Emplacements*
Ground Zeroes Incident
Wormhole Incident** Metal Gear Survive**
1976 Attack on Zero Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
1977 Zero visits Snake
1984 Hospital Escape
Phantom Pain Incident
1995 Outer Heaven Uprising
(AKA "Operation Intrude N313")
Metal Gear
19XX Metal Gear (NES)**
19XX+3 Operation 747** Snake's Revenge**
1997 Mercenary War Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
1999 Zanzibar Land Disturbance
(AKA "Operation Intrude F014")
2002 Galuade Incident** Metal Gear: Ghost Babel**
2003 Assassination of Dr. Clark
2005 Shadow Moses Incident Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes*)
2005-2007 Snake's VR Simulation* Metal Gear Solid Mobile*
2007 Tanker Incident Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
2008 Liquidation of Dead Cell
2009 Big Shell Incident
2011 Raid At Area 51
2012-2013 Raiden's Capture
2014 Guns of the Patriots Incident
(Liquid Sun · Solid Sun · Third Sun · Twin Suns · Old Sun · Naked Sin)
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
2016 Lobito Island Incident** Metal Gear Acid**
2018 World Marshal Incident*
(AKA "Raiden's Revengeance")
Raid at World Marshal · Ambush in Africa · Abkhazian Coup · Investigation in Guadalajara · Raid in Denver · Operation Tecumseh
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance*
2019 SaintLogic Incident** Metal Gear Acid 2**
* Dubious Canonicity
** Non-Canon