Night vision goggles (NVGs) are optical devices that amplify light, allowing the user to see within dark areas.

History and usage


Night vision devices were first developed in 1935 by German electrical equipment manufacturer AEG, and formally introduced to the Wehrmacht in 1939. By the end of World War II, they were installed into over fifty Panzer tanks, and a man-portable version, the Vampir, was utilized for the Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle. The United States also had parallel systems development of the same technology, installing it onto their M1 and M3s and introduced to the United States Army during World War II, although it required infrared sensors in order to be effective.

Soviet Union

By 1964, the Soviets had developed a portable night vision goggles that didn't require infrared sensors. Such a fact surprised CIA unit FOX member Sigint, as America had been unable to eliminate the need for an infrared searchlight with their own model. Naked Snake procured a pair of Soviet NVGs, weighing 1 kg (2.2 lbs), in Tselinoyarsk, during Operation Snake Eater.

In 1968, the Soviets developed a countermeasure to night vision by creating a camouflage that was resistant to it, called KLMK (Kamuflirovannyi Letnyi Maskirovochnyi Kombinezon).

Big Boss's forces

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

During the San Hieronymo Incident in 1970, Big Boss and his resistance group managed to procure and develop some NVGs within their Tech unit, based on Soviet technology.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

During the Peace Walker Incident in 1974, Big Boss' Militaires Sans Frontières developed NVG technology after acquiring design specs. This greatly aided the MSF when traversing the tropical cloud forests of Central Heredia, Costa Rica. In addition, they procured specs for an SVD rifle that utilized night vision technology, during their missions outside Costa Rica. The KPz 70s that the MSF both fought and captured also utilized night vision devices.

Big Boss utilized night vision goggles during his infiltration of Camp Omega, in order to see the camp ahead and confirm visual of the camp.

In the late 1990s, the armed forces of Zanzibar Land utilized night vision goggles during combat operations. One model was procured by Solid Snake while carrying out Operation Intrude F014 in 1999, in the basement armory of the Zanzibar Building.

Solid Snake and FOXHOUND

During the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005, Liquid Snake's Hind D made use of night vision technology, but harsh weather often prevented him from using it. Snake later procured night vision goggles for himself when sent to infiltrate Shadow Moses Island.

During the Big Shell Incident, Raiden procured some fourth-generation night vision goggles within Shell 2.

In 2014, Solid Snake's Solid Eye device allowed him to see with combined night vision and infrared detection, during his attempts to stop the Guns of the Patriots Incident.

Unconfirmed history

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

During the 2000s, ArmsTech created a version of night-vision goggles called the ArmsTech Standard Issue Mode B to aid soldiers in nighttime operations.[1]

Behind the scenes

In the Metal Gear series, the Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) amplify light in dark areas making it easier for the player to see.

The NVGs in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater resemble a reversed Metal Gear REX upon closer inspection, complete with radome, though they lack features analogous to its rail gun and legs.

In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, design specs for the Night Vision Googles will be obtained after defeating the Pupa AI weapon and recruiting Huey. Specs for the SVD with night vision technology are obtained in "Outer Ops," after either taking out a tank unit, taking out an armored unit, defending a key base, or by capturing various enemy bases.

Game Item description for Night Vision Goggles Icon
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake Goggles that make night seem like day. Lets you see in even the darkest places Nscope
Metal Gear Solid Image intensifier.
Allows sight in extreme low light.
Metal Gear: Ghost Babel Night Visions
Light-enhancing goggles. Enables night sight.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Electronically amplifies weak dim light for visualization. Allows one to see in the dark. Consumes battery power while used. Mgs3 nvg
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops An optical device that amplifies faint light, enabling the user to see in the dark.
Battery powered.
IMG 1872
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Electronic optical device that detects heat sources, enabling vision in the dark. (Rank 1) Can be used simultaneously with weapons. (Ranks 2-4) Modified to improve performanceBattery life has also been extended. (Rank 5) Modified to consume virtually no battery power.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook, Millennium Books (1998).
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