Metal Gear Wiki
Metal Gear Wiki

Nastasha Romanenko (Russian: Ната́ша Романенко) was a Ukrainian-Russian[1][2] weapons analyst. As a member of the Nuclear Emergency Search Team, she assisted Solid Snake via Codec during the Shadow Moses Incident, providing him with information on firearms and nuclear weapons.[2]


Early life[]

Nastasha was born and raised in Prypiat, Ukraine, and was 10 years old when she and her family were exposed to radiation due to the Chernobyl nuclear accident occurring 3 kilometers south of their home, on April 26, 1986.[2] In 1990, Nastasha's parents were killed when they were exposed to lethal amounts of radiation while helping in the clean-up. This made her become very strongly opposed to nuclear weapons and nuclear power, claiming that nuclear bombing represents "an invisible war that transcends borders and generations." She later moved to the United States when her parents died, still plagued by the effects of residual radiation poisoning and the gauntlet of procedures it entails. However, because she had never been diagnosed with cancer, the help she had been able to receive was limited.

Nastasha joined the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)[1][4] as a teenager in 1992, then the National Security Agency (NSA),[1][4] regularly dealing with top-secret information. While in the DIA, she met and later married Richard Ames, but the marriage didn't last long and they quickly divorced. In her own words they "spent much of [their] brief marriage in disagreement over virtually every issue," remaining single from then on. The end of the Cold War saw her join the ranks of displaced military analysts. She then wrote freelance military criticism for a variety of military intelligence journals including the U.S. Naval Journal.[2]

In 1996, Nastasha attended the Canberra Commission, the world's first nationally hosted nuclear weapon abolition proposal committee.[2] She participated in the Commission as an advisor. Afterwards, she joined the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) as a military and nuclear analyst.[2] During this time, she moved to Los Angeles.

Nastasha had a friend who became affected by PTSD, due to the trauma of having to fight against his fellow countrymen in Chechnya, and committed suicide six months after his return.[5]

Shadow Moses Incident[]

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

Nastasha in 2005.

In February 2005, Ames made contact with Nastasha and forced her to help with an anti-terrorist operation, being conducted by Solid Snake on Shadow Moses Island. Her LA home was converted into a makeshift command center for DOD personnel, with Nastasha providing radio support to Snake as he infiltrated a nuclear weapons disposal facility. Since Snake was an amateur when it came to nukes, Nastasha kept him informed of the latest news on nuclear weapons development and military affairs.[2]

Ames kept many secrets from Nastasha during the operation, though she came to learn of various classified government projects and conspiracies, including the Patriots' existence. Some of the information she uncovered was so top secret that she began to wonder if she would even be allowed to live once Snake's mission had been accomplished.

After the terrorists were thwarted by Snake, Ames handed Nastasha a disc containing data on the Pentagon's FOXDIE virus, hoping that she could use it as leverage to keep herself safe. Ames disappeared from her life shortly thereafter.

Post-Shadow Moses[]

Afterwards, Nastasha fled from her home in California and went into hiding. She felt incredibly affected by what she had heard during her time helping Snake. After failing to contact Ames through the DIA, Nastasha was convinced that buying her safety and freedom had been a costly act for him. Having grown tired of being an objective bystander, she decided to go public with what she knew and attempt to expose the conspiracy behind the incident. Putting herself in renewed danger, she wrote a book entitled In the Darkness of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth.

After overcoming many obstructions, Nastasha was ultimately successful in publishing her book. She donated the royalties to help fund Snake and Otacon's anti-Metal Gear organization Philanthropy. Afterwards, she disappeared from the public eye once more, with even Snake being unaware of her location by the time of the Big Shell Incident in 2009, though he assumed she was still a heavy smoker.[6]

Nastasha later provided information to Otacon, regarding rumors of the deployment of Dwarf Gekko. Otacon relayed this information to Snake by Codec, after the latter encountered said unmanned weapons upon his return to Shadow Moses.[7]

Personality and traits[]

Due to growing up during the disaster at Chernobyl, Nastasha developed a strong hatred of nuclear weapons, and sought to rid the world of them. Despite being impressed that Hal Emmerich's grandfather had participated in the Manhattan Project, she did not tolerate people who were weapons development scientists such as Hal himself, who were naive enough to not realize they were developing nuclear weapons.[8][9]

Nastasha was a heavy cigarette smoker.[6] Consequently, and partly also due to first-hand experiences with nuclear-related disasters, she was the only member of Snake's support team during the Shadow Moses Incident who didn't have a problem with his smoking.[10] However, she does somewhat hypocritically warn Snake against smoking excessively after expressing disappointment that his smokeless cigarettes weren't as effective as usual ones in detecting hidden infrared sensors.[11]

Nastasha's favorite weapon was the Stinger missile. Coincidentally, her favorite novel was also a thriller titled "Stinger", and her favorite cocktail is the stinger. To put it in her own words, she seemed to have "a thing for Stingers."[12]

Behind the scenes[]


Nastasha's Codec portrait in Metal Gear Solid.

Nastasha Romanenko (ナスターシャ・ロマネンコ Nasutāsha Roma'nenko?) appears in Metal Gear Solid as the player's contact on matters related to weaponry. Her Codec portrait always shows her with a cigarette in her mouth. It is possible that the player may never interact with Nastasha during their playthrough, since contacting her is not necessary for completing the game, nor is she featured in any of the game's cutscenes. In addition, her fate is not revealed in the game. In a Codec conversation regarding the Manhattan Project, she erroneously refers to Hal's father, as being involved in the project, rather than his grandfather.[8]

Although Nastasha's official biography for Metal Gear Solid,[1] The Twin Snakes,[4] and the Official Mission Handbook states that she had been a member of the NSA, this is not mentioned in the game itself, nor in her novel, In the Darkness of Shadow Moses. However, the account is maintained in the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database.[13] In addition, Nastasha claims in her novel to have resigned from the DIA five years before the Shadow Moses Incident, although the mission briefing in Metal Gear Solid stated that she resigned in 1995.[14]

The English PlayStation manual for Metal Gear Solid erroneously gives Nastasha's name as "Natasha." Nastasha itself is not a proper Ukrainian name, and is likely derived from Nastasya, the short form of Anastasiya.

Nastasha's role during the events of the Shadow Moses Incident was later expanded upon in the in-game novel, In the Darkness of Shadow Moses, included with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Her character is credited as the author of the novel in the end credits.

In the Raymond Benson novelization of Metal Gear Solid, Nastasha assists Snake in defusing the nuclear module that was wired to Meryl Silverburgh, expanding on the bomb subplot from the game.

According to Hideo Kojima, Nastasha was originally supposed to have a larger role in the story, but the story got more complicated with her, so they reduced her role, and also implied they weren't satisfied with her character role overall by the latter half of development. In particular, Kojima cited how some of her backstory was meant to hint at stuff like her lacking health insurance, but felt they didn't fit into an action game.[15]


Notes and references[]

  1. ^ a b c d e METAL GEAR SOLID (Japanese). Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved on 2023-10-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Nastasha's height is given as 166 cm in the profile that is featured in the game's Briefing, but is quoted as 171 cm in her official character biography. [1]
  4. ^ a b c METAL GEAR SOLID: THE TWIN SNAKES. Konami Computer Entertainment Japan. Retrieved on 2014-05-08.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Solid Snake: Meryl [Silverburgh] is acting kind of strange... // Nastasha Romanenko: It could be the stress of battle. ...I have [sic] a friend who had Chechan Syndrome. He became depressed six months after returning from Chechnya and took his own life. He was forced to fight people who spoke his own language...people with his own culture. He couldn't live with the guilt of it...
    Nastasha explains this to Snake during an optional Codec conversation, while Meryl Silverburgh is being mind controlled by Psycho Mantis. In The Twin Snakes remake, the mention of her friend's suicide is omitted.
  6. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Raiden: Nastasha? Nastasha Romanenko? Isn't she the one who wrote "In the Darkness of Shadow Moses"? // Solid Snake: Yeah. She helped me out during the Shadow Moses incident. She was also actively involved in the Philanthropy organization following the incident. // Raiden: Where is she now? // Snake: Your guess is as good as mine. But she's probably still a heavy smoker...
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Solid Snake: We've got another weird one here, Otacon. // Otacon: Ah, the little three-legged - well, three-armed machine. Actually, I was in touch with Nastasha just recently. She told me about a rumor making its way around the military analyst community.
  8. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Nastasha Romanenko: That is amazing. Dr. Emmerich's father [sic] participated in the Manhattan Project? That was the secret World War II project responsible for the creation of the first atomic bomb. It had a huge budget, something like two billion dollars. They brought in 120,000 of the best and brightest scientists and engineers to work on it. And we all know how that story ended. In July of 1945, they exploded the first nuclear device at Trinity, followed shortly thereafter by Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Trinity... The world was changed forever that day. Scientists and researchers could no longer pretend that their hands were clean of blood. Afterwards, the leader of the Manhattan Project, J. Robert Oppenheimer, said: "The physicists have known sin, and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose."
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Nastasha Romanenko: When Dr. Emmerich designed the new Metal Gear prototype, he thought he was creating a mobile TMD system. He is a very naive man.
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Nastasha Romanenko: Nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, hazardous waste... We're constantly being exposed to plutonium and other radioactive materials. Compared to that, smoking seems not so bad, huh?
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Nastasha Romanenko: But don't smoke too much. Cigarettes make you weak, in mind and body. They are bad for you.
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Nastasha Romanenko: You found Stinger missiles. Stingers are portable SAMs (surface-to-air missiles). They are equipped with a thermal homing device, so once they've locked on they will automatically pursue the targer. To lock on, all you have to do is line up the crosshairs. In Afghanistan, the Mujahideen terrorized Soviet pilots with their U.S.-supplied Stingers. They were used to such effect that the Soviet Alliance was forced to overhaul its tactics. One of my favorite horror books is called Stinger, and my favorite cocktail is a Stinger. I guess you could say I've got a thing for Stingers.
  13. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008). [2]
  14. ^
  15. ^