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Operation Snake Eater was a CIA operation conducted in Tselinoyarsk, USSR, in August and September 1964. Its official aims were to assassinate the founding member of the Cobra Unit, The Boss, and to eliminate the threat posed by the nuclear-armed Shagohod weapon. In truth, the entire operation was part of an already existing plan to recover the Philosophers' Legacy from Soviet hands, which had been revised in the wake of Virtuous Mission's failure and in particular Volgin's destruction of the Sokolov Design Bureau.

"Mission Briefing"[]

Following the failure of the Virtuous Mission, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev made a telephone call to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, blaming him for the nuclear attack on OKB-754, in Tselinoyarsk, due to an American aircraft having been detected in their airspace. Attempting to avert a potential nuclear war, Johnson assured him that the affair was orchestrated by The Boss and GRU colonel Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin, the former having defected to the Soviet Union, taking two portable Davy Crocketts with her. While Khrushchev was personally willing to accept Johnson's version of events, he still demanded that America proved its innocence, admitting that he'd need proof to keep the Red Army from initiating war, as his power base and control over the army had decreased since the Cuban incident. The specific proof he asked for was for the U.S. to assassinate The Boss themselves, and implied that he wished the same for Volgin. Because of this as well as the earlier failure of the Virtuous Mission, the Federal Government had also placed the situation at DEFCON 2.

Afterwards, Major Zero of FOX visited Naked Snake at an advanced ICU, where the latter had been recovering since the Virtuous Mission. Because of the previous incident, Snake had frequently been interrogated by the top brass about his supposed involvement in The Boss's defection, believing him to be an accomplice and traitor. Zero informed Snake that they had a way to save the FOX unit by undertaking a mission to clear their names. The CIA had chosen Snake to assassinate The Boss, since he was her last apprentice, and that if he failed, both he and Zero were to be executed.

With the United States' reputation on the line and the two nations on the verge of World War III, Snake was sent back to the Soviet Union in order to eliminate The Boss and her Cobra Unit, and to rescue Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov once more. Additionally, he was tasked with eliminating Volgin and the threat posed by the nuclear-armed Shagohod. In exchange for America's cooperation in eliminating The Boss and Volgin, the KGB also supplied the FOX unit with one of their communications satellites as well as giving them contact with ADAM and EVA, the codenames of two NSA agents who had defected to the Soviet Union in September 1960. Specifically, ADAM had infiltrated the ranks of GRU and would also supply Snake with an escape route as soon as the mission was accomplished.

"Operation Snake Eater"[]

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The D-21 drone is deployed into Tselinoyarsk.

At 11:30 PM on August 30, 1964, Naked Snake was deployed into Tselinoyarsk via a Lockheed D-21 drone, launched from a U.S. M-21 aircraft, 30,000 feet above the Arctic Ocean. They made their approach from the North Pole because the airspace of their original route was now heavily guarded due to the events of the Virtuous Mission.[1] After a close call with two Soviet MiGs, the M-21 successfully inserted Snake into the region, with Snake ejecting before it crashed. Major Zero and Para-Medic were to again serve as his radio support, along with Mr. Sigint, an expert on advanced weapons and technology. Unknown to Naked Snake and presumably everyone else involved in the operation, Major Zero wanted insurance that the operation would be successful at any cost and had secretly deployed the ruthless XOF Commander Skull Face to covertly follow, assist, and clean up after Naked Snake over the course of the operation.[2]


Snake is defeated by his former mentor for a second time.

Snake's first objective was to return to the abandoned factory in Rassvet and rendezvous with ADAM. On the way to meet him, Snake was confronted by The Boss who greeted him with a soft smile and unexpected words "Looks like death wasn't ready for you yet. That arm still hurt?" This smile soon turned into an alarming glare with a tussle of CQC, where within mere seconds, The Boss over-powered Snake and threw him to the ground. She warned him to abandon his mission and leave; or she would kill him should they meet again in the future. To further impede Snake's progress, The Boss dismantled his gun, destroyed the D-21 drone, alerting nearby Soviet ground forces, and used her horse to stomp on Snake's hand, injuring him (though not to the point of need for medical attention). Despite her warning, Snake continued on anyway, sneaking his way into Rassvet to await the arrival of ADAM. After a quick search of the area, he was confronted by a woman on a motorcycle identifying herself as EVA, ADAM's fellow operative in the KGB. Despite claiming that she had been sent in ADAM's place to assist Snake, she was unable to provide the pass phrase "La Li Lu Le Lo." Only when EVA saved Snake from a GRU ambush did he accept her assistance.

Retreating into the factory, EVA provided Snake with a scientist disguise to help in his infiltration, and a new custom-made M1911 pistol, as well as returning the Mk22 that he had lost during the Virtuous Mission. As Snake was about to leave, however, he was told to stay and rest, as EVA warned that the jungle would be too dangerous to traverse at night without a guide. During the night, EVA, who was providing lookout while Snake slept, transmitted a message to her superiors using a briefcase-enclosed vacuum radio.

"Ocelot Youth"[]

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Snake was awakened the following morning as EVA prepared to depart, but was soon alerted by approaching footsteps outside. Identifying GRU Major Ocelot and his troops, Snake judged that it would be difficult to sneak past them, considering their numbers. Telling EVA to hide, Snake proceeded to take down the soldiers one by one. After successfully defeating the Ocelot Unit, he eventually found Major Ocelot himself restraining a captive EVA. Surprised to learn that his prisoner was a woman, and commenting on her use of perfume, Ocelot attempted to shoot Snake with his new revolver, but had forgotten that the gun only carried six bullets. Utilizing the distraction, EVA overpowered him and kicked him from the platform they were both standing atop. As Ocelot made his escape, EVA considered shooting him to conceal her and Snake's tracks, but Snake stayed her hand. She then told Snake that she needed to return to Volgin before Ocelot did, riding away on her motorcycle. Snake then headed to Graniny Gorki, where EVA had told him that Sokolov was located.

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Snake is in the wild.

On his way to Graniny Gorki, Snake encountered Major Ocelot once more, waiting on the opposite side of a crevice in Bolshaya Past. His retreat blocked by armed soldiers, Snake participated in a gun duel with Ocelot, before a swarm of hornets surrounded and attacked them. With Ocelot escaping, Snake, blinded by the cloud of insects, survived by dropping down the crevice into the maze-like cavern below. Snake ventured deep into the cave and eventually found the exit, though it was blocked by The Pain, a member of The Boss' Cobra Unit who possessed telekinetic control over hornets. Using his hornets to shield himself and to attack Snake, The Pain initially seemed invulnerable until Snake eventually found an opening and defeated the Cobra member. After tending to his wounds, Snake left the cave and headed toward an aqueduct leading to a warehouse.

Approaching the warehouse in Ponizovje, Snake surveilled the dock area and witnessed Cobra members The End, The Fear, and The Boss, along with Colonel Volgin, Sokolov, and the latter's supposed lover Tatyana (a disguised EVA). Volgin threatened the rebellious Sokolov by harming Tatyana with his powers of electricity. The Boss also prevented Ocelot from shooting Sokolov through Russian Roulette, and scolded him for his recklessness at the crevice, before delivering the news on The Pain's demise to Volgin. Shortly after The Fear left to deal with Naked Snake, it began to rain, and all present dispersed, with Volgin taking Tatyana away to "entertain" him until the weather cleared. Unperturbed, Snake ventured forth, infiltrating the warehouse in order to reach Graniny Gorki.[3]

"Fortress Sneaking"[]

Entering the research laboratory in Graniny Gorki, Snake donned the scientist disguise given to him by EVA, and made his way through the facility. Upon entering the building's main office, he found the facility's director, Dr. Aleksandr Leonovitch Granin, who had recently been drinking. Granin was bitter at Volgin's funding being diverted to the Shagohod's development, rather than his own weapon: a bipedal tank that he described as a "Metal Gear" (named for being a missing link between infantry and artillery). Granin intended to send documents concerning Metal Gear to a friend in the United States.

Granin told Snake of the Philosophers' Legacy, the source of Volgin's vast wealth that he had used to pay for advanced weapons research and development, as well as the construction of the Groznyj Grad fortress in the mountains. Hoping for Snake to take Sokolov back to the United States, and for his own weapon to be recognized as superior, Granin provided him with a key card to help him reach the mountains, via a locked door in the Ponizovje warehouse. He also mentioned a secret underground tunnel that ran around the perimeter of Groznyj Grad which Snake could use to secretly infiltrate the base.

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The Cobra Unit.

After leaving the facility and heading back to the warehouse, Snake was attacked by The Fear, who was equipped with experimental stealth suit and possessed superhuman abilities. Despite an intense battle, Snake defeated the Cobra member, and headed onward. Returning to the warehouse and utilizing Granin's card, Snake was contacted by EVA to say that she would rendezvous with him atop the mountain, and that she would provide him with a key to access the underground tunnel. Snake expressed confusion, since Granin had earlier given him a key he claimed would lead him to Groznyj Grad, although EVA told him it was the wrong type of key. She also warned that The End, the centenarian sniper of the Cobra Unit, was waiting for him ahead, in the Sokrovenno forest. Reaching the forest, Snake engaged in an extensive sniper battle with The End, who was eventually defeated.[4] Following The End's death, the way to the Krasnogorje mountains was clear and Snake made his way to the top to meet with EVA.

Meeting inside some mountaintop ruins, EVA handed Snake the key for the underground tunnel leading to Groznyj Grad, as well as explaining to him that she also secured a WIG for use as an escape craft from Tselinoyarsk, and that it was at Rokovoj Bereg. She warned him that Sokolov was being held in the highly secured west wing of the fortress's weapons lab, and that he could only enter by disguising himself as Major Raikov of GRU. Snake also discovered some scars on EVA that came from Volgin, and wondered if Volgin did this because he discovered she was the spy, only for EVA to remind him that if Volgin ever found out she was the spy, he would have had her executed by now, before explaining Volgin's scarring of her was simply due to his sadistic appetites. Snake then noticed a scar near her gut, deducing that it was not from NSA work, though she was reluctant to divulge the information. EVA attempted to seduce Snake, although he was hesitant to reciprocate her actions before hearing a gunshot outside. The pair then stepped out onto the mountain side after hearing a gunshot (originating from Volgin's torture) to view Groznyj Grad itself in the distance. EVA pointed out the various wings of the fortress, before departing on her bike to continue playing her "other part." Looking through his scope, Snake witnessed Volgin pummeling an oil drum with his fists (the source of the earlier gunshot, due to Volgin's use of bullets as makeshift brass knuckles), until blood began seeping from the bottom. When Volgin hit the drum up into the air, Granin's lifeless body fell out of it, having earlier been suspected of being a spy. Snake also saw Ocelot, The Boss, and the familiar Tatyana inside the base.

Descending into the tunnels, Snake was confronted by the penultimate surviving Cobra, The Fury. After another tense battle, Snake defeated the flamethrower-wielding soldier and was chased deeper into the tunnel by blazing trails of fire, caused by The Fury's exploding corpse. The destruction ultimately caused the caving in of the underground catacombs, rendering them inaccessible.

"Volgin, the Torturer"[]

Snake then ascended a ladder, infiltrating into the heart of Groznyj Grad. Snake proceeded to locate and knock out Raikov, before obtaining the latter's uniform, and used the mask he had been provided with at the start of the mission to disguise himself as he searched for Sokolov (the mask was originally designed as part of a cancelled mission to disguise a CIA member as Raikov to steal Soviet documents). After finding Sokolov, he witnessed Tatyana taking a film from him before leaving. Making his way into the room, Sokolov noticed and recognized him as "the man from the CIA." Sokolov explained Phase II, a method he devised to allow the Shagohod to fire missiles at incredible distances. They simply placed a rocket booster engine onto the tank, which allowed to travel over 300 miles an hour (483 km/h), which extended the Shagohod's firing distance from 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to over 6,000 miles (10,000 km) ...enough to strike anywhere in the United States, from anywhere in the Soviet Union. Volgin was planning on mass-producing the weapon in about 24 hours and distributing them to all the countries of the Eastern Bloc, essentially ending the Cold War and leading the world into a full-blown nuclear war. Snake asked Sokolov what the best way to destroy the Shagohod was, and Sokolov remembered that some C3 would easily help destroy it. Snake also learned that "Tatyana" was not actually Sokolov's lover, but his supervisor on the Shagohod project before Volgin interfered, and that she actually was supposed to pose as Volgin's lover. He also told Snake to assure his family is safe, refusing to leave the base as he realizes that Khrushchev is going to send him to the gulags, and even if he did successfully defect to America, he'd only be used to create their war machines anyway.

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Groznyj Grad.

As Snake was about to escort Sokolov from the base, they were confronted by Volgin, who easily saw through Snake's disguise. As Volgin shot out Sokolov's knees, The Boss appeared and pulled off Snake's disguise before attacking him and throwing him to the ground. Volgin demanded The Boss leave him, as Volgin wanted payback for what Snake had done to Raikov. After getting revenge on Snake for hurting Raikov by brutally beating up Snake, he took him to Groznyj Grad's prison to torture him.

When Snake awoke, he was hanging by his wrists and unable to see because he had a plastic bag placed on him, but could hear Volgin brutally beating Sokolov, the latter eventually apparently killed. Volgin then drenched Snake in water and repeatedly electrocuted him, demanding to know what the CIA knew and whether or not they were after the Philosophers' Legacy. The Boss tells Volgin that Naked Snake was trained by her not to give in to torture, thus making his attempts fruitless, but Volgin continued to torture Snake anyway, as well as reveal the location of the Legacy; in the process, a transmitter fell out of Snake's pocket, and Volgin demanded to know who put it on him. After a pause, The Boss told Volgin she had planted it on him so the Cobras could ambush him, and that trying to break Snake was useless, as he had been trained by her not to. Knowing that the Cobras wouldn't be killed by Snake if they knew where he would be by tracing his movements, Volgin demanded that The Boss prove she wasn't a spy by cutting out Snake's eyes, which would demoralize him. The Boss pulled off the bag covering Snake's head. When she saw his face, she hesitated, but just as she was about to, Tatyana pulled her away, demanding that she stop and insisting that Snake had suffered enough. Ocelot then accused Tatyana of being the spy and decided to "test" her. He juggled his three guns (one of which contained a single bullet) and fired one randomly six times (as he did to Sokolov on the docks). Snake, unwilling to let Ocelot hurt Tatyana, threw his suspended body into Ocelot, making him fling one of his guns into the air; as he caught it, it went off, hitting Snake in the right eye and muzzle-burning it, much to Tatyana's horror, and then screamed in agony.

After being reprimanded by The Boss, Ocelot confronted Snake briefly, telling him that seeing Snake endure Volgin's torture has led to him changing his opinions about torture (during the conversation, he also slipped the transmitter back into Snake via one of his wounds). As Volgin and Ocelot left, The Boss took one of Ocelot's revolvers, loaded it with a single bullet and shot Snake in the leg, and gave him the unloaded SAA without anyone noticing. As Snake watched The Boss leave, Tatyana came over to him, revealing herself as EVA. She told Snake to escape as she had his items and weapons and informed him of an escape route, he could use to escape the fortress and meet up with her. After witnessing the horrid event, Skull Face turned his radio back on and lied to Zero about his radio signal had been jammed. While he was obligated to finish his mission, Skull Face still hated Jack to an extreme, and dedicated his life to making sure Jack suffered.[source?]

As Snake awaited in his cell, he was given a fork, which he used to pull out the bullet The Boss had fired into his leg, which he was surprised to discover was actually a fake death pill. He also befriended Johnny, the guard of his cell, as they engage in conversation about Johnny's family, the futility of the Cold War, and how their countries were once great friends. He also gave Snake back his cig gas spray gun not knowing what it actually was (he thought that they were just cigarettes). Despite the friendly conversation that the two had, Johnny refused to let Snake out of his cell as a request, much to Snake's irritation. Eventually, Snake managed to escape.

"The Sorrow"[]

After escaping from Groznyj Grad prison, he got a call from EVA. The latter gave him bad news about the escape path, as Volgin's forces had anticipated the leak and closed it down. With no other options, Snake made his way into the underground sewer system while being chased by Ocelot and his Ocelot Unit. Just as they caught up, Ocelot placed a single bullet into his revolver, and pulled the trigger. After nothing happened, Snake leaped from the drainage waterfall into the river below. Snake, near death, was confronted by The Sorrow, who tormented him with the souls of everyone he had killed during his mission. After using the revival pill planted in his tooth, he awakened, choking on water below the surface of the river. Having drifted much further downstream, he swam to the riverbank, and phoned EVA. She told him to meet her in a cave behind a waterfall upstream.

After EVA met up with him, she gave him an eye patch to wear to cover the severely injured eye from the torture earlier and the two talked things over, discussing what they would do after the mission. A butterfly flew nearby Snake, and he attempted to catch it with his hand, but thanks to only having one eye, he missed. After resting, EVA told Snake to use the tunnel up ahead to re-enter Groznyj Grad and gave him some of the C3 she had stolen earlier. The Shagohod ran on liquid fuel and in its hangar there were four tanks filled with it. In order to efficiently destroy the hangar, Snake would have to lay C3 onto each of the tanks. She then left, although not before snapping a picture of Snake with her button camera as "insurance" in case he betrayed her. After traveling through the tunnel, he climbed up a ladder to the northwestern section of Groznyj Grad. However, shortly after exiting the manhole cover, a BTR-152 APC parked one of its tires directly over the manhole. With the manhole being inaccessible, along with the gate being closed, Snake was essentially trapped in Groznyj Grad.

"Escape from the Fortress"[]

After making his way back into Groznyj Grad, and sneaking into the Shagohod's hangar, Snake planted the C3 onto the four liquid fuel containers scattered around. Just as he was about to set the last C3, he reshaped the explosive into a butterfly, tossed it into the air, and then caught it, and then placed it onto the last fuel container. After setting the timer, he was spotted by Volgin and Ocelot, with EVA lying on the ground behind them. The Boss quickly appeared and disarmed Snake, throwing his weapons across the floor. Volgin declared that he had discovered that Tatyana was a spy after she was discovered sneaking around the fortress' underground vault. When she was discovered, they found the microfilm containing all the data of the Philosophers' Legacy on her. Snake asked Volgin what exactly the Legacy was. Volgin explained that the Legacy was a vast sum of money collected by the most powerful men in Russia, America, and China during the Second World War. These men became known as the Philosophers. The money was collected as a means to secretly fund projects vital to winning the war: the atomic bomb, rocket technology, and the Cobra Unit were all paid for because of the Legacy. During the confusion that ensued after the end of the war, Volgin's father hatched a series of plots to ensure that the Soviet Union would have total control over the Legacy; he laundered all the money into banks in Switzerland, Australia, and Hong Kong. The microfilm contained a record of all of those transactions, listing specifically where all the money was being kept. After his father's death, Volgin learned of the Legacy, and obtained the microfilm.

After explaining all this, Volgin then explained how, with the help of Brezhnev and his allies, he had built Groznyj Grad and Granin's research facility. However, after Granin failed to produce results, Volgin turned to Sokolov's invention: the Shagohod. His position as a member of GRU meant it was difficult for him to attack the facility directly. Thankfully for him, the spy network set up by the Philosophers still existed, and he utilized this to contact The Boss, suggesting she defect. The Boss agreed, and the Shagohod was theirs. The conflict between the Philosophers had torn the world in two, but with the Legacy and the Shagohod, Volgin intended to heal that rift and make the world whole again. Volgin handed the Legacy to The Boss, telling her to take good care of it, and The Boss left, taking EVA with her, although not before hinting to Volgin that Snake may have planted C3 in the base.

"Clash with Evil Personified"[]

Volgin then challenged Snake, telling him this was a once in a lifetime battle. Snake valiantly fought Volgin with Ocelot's support. Realizing that Snake was most likely going to win the fight halfway through, Volgin demanded that Ocelot shoot him. Ocelot refused, telling Volgin that he couldn't follow that command as he made a promise to The Boss not to do that kind of thing. Volgin, furiously reminding Ocelot that he was his commanding officer, then tried to kill him by firing a large beam of electricity, to which Ocelot countered with his revolvers. Ocelot then told Volgin (while addressing him by his last name instead of "Colonel") that he should fight like a man. A PA announcement then came in mentioning that bombs were located in the weapons hangar, and that all non-EOD personnel were to evacuate the base immediately.

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Ocelot attempting to take Snake and EVA out as the hangar is burning down.

Volgin told Ocelot to find the bombs, and after some hesitance, Ocelot proceeded to do so, although not before encouraging Snake with his hand gesture. Snake then valiantly defeated Volgin, beating him hard enough for him to cough up blood. Snake then escaped from the hangar, as it exploded, and found EVA waiting for him outside. She told him that she had a WIG set up in waiting at a nearby lake. Snake was hesitant at first, saying he still needed to see The Boss, before EVA told him that The Boss was waiting for him there. As they prepared to leave, the Shagohod burst from out of the hangar, being piloted by Volgin, who gloated that there's no escape for them. Being pursued by Volgin and attacked by the remaining soldiers of the fortress, EVA came up with a plan: she had laid C3 on the struts of the bridge leading to the jungle, which they could shoot, detonating the bridge and taking the Shagohod with it. However, they also ended up being chased by Ocelot, culminating in Snake rescuing Ocelot after his recklessness nearly got him killed by falling debris. Upon arrival at the runway, the Shagohod drove behind them along with several personnel on motorcycles. Ocelot was right behind the Shagohod and was about to pass it when Volgin decided to take the Shagohod to its maximum speed to run down EVA and Snake, forcing Ocelot to pull over due to the activation of the boosters nearly blinding him, angrily shouting "son of a bitch" to Volgin. Volgin also did this knowing that Ocelot was behind the rocket boosters as payback to Ocelot for disobeying his prior command during his battle with Snake. Eventually, Snake and EVA made it to the area leading to the bridge, also evading being run over by the Shagohod at the last minute. Volgin, as soon as he noticed that they evaded him, attempted to brake, causing him to slam against the steering controls as it broke violently, eventually continuing the chase. With Volgin and various GRU motorcyclists chasing Snake and EVA out of Groznyj Grad, the two managed to make it to the bridge, blowing it up, hoping it would take the Shagohod with it.

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Snake and EVA take on the Shagohod.

At first it seemed they were successful but before they could celebrate, the Shagohod's front section emerged from the smoke, having maintained its grip to the hanging section of bridge, after its main body had fallen into the water. Snake and EVA, determined to finish it off, drove around the Shagohod, shooting its rear side where a weak spot had been exposed, thanks to the C3. The Shagohod was eventually disabled after multiple hits from Snake's RPG launcher. Volgin then stepped out of the Shagohod, ripping various cables out of it and holding onto them, using his body's electrical current to control the Shagohod. Eventually, Snake shot Volgin and Volgin fell to his knees. Stepping up once again, Volgin was suddenly struck by a bolt of lightning, setting him alight and causing the bullet bandoliers slung over his chest to explode, with it being believed at the time to have killed him in the process.

With the threat of the Shagohod finally destroyed, Snake and EVA continued heading to the WIG they had planned to escape in, still being tailed by enemy soldiers on motorcycles and flying platforms. After evading the frantic pursuit, EVA's motorcycle crashed, sending both Snake and herself flying from the vehicle, and resulting in EVA's impalement by a tree branch just above the hip. EVA survived and was helped to her feet by Snake, after which he tended to both their wounds, including a lacerated right knee and fractured left rib for Snake, and deep cuts on the abdomen and left shoulder for EVA. The two then continued by foot through the forest environment, sneaking past the enemy soldiers who had located the wreck of their motorcycle and were on the lookout for both escapees, while Snake continued to monitor EVA's condition. Eventually, they both arrived at the WIG's location on the lake at Rokovoj Berej, but Snake stopped beside a field of white flowers nearby, where he knew The Boss would be waiting for him. Snake left EVA temporarily, in order to go and face The Boss, while EVA prepared the aircraft for takeoff.

"Life's End"[]

After a fierce wind blew across the field, The Boss appeared holding one of the Davy Crockett launchers. She told Snake that all she wanted was to make the world whole again and reunite the Philosophers using the Legacy. After the Second World War, her allies, Cobra Unit, were torn apart by the Cold War. She continued, telling Snake about her past at a nuclear test site in Nevada on November 1, 1951. In 1960, the United States secretly sent her into space. America didn't have the technology to block out cosmic radiation, but that was why she was chosen, as she had already been irradiated once. In space, she realized that the Space Race was just another arena for meaningless competition, much like the Arms Race. She hopes that in the 21st Century, people will finally realize that Earth has no East, no Cold War...a world without communism and capitalism.


The Philosophers.

In 1961, she was sent to Cuba to "Bahia de Cochinos." It was part of a CIA-sponsored invasion under the guise of taking Cuban exiles back to their country. But the U.S. government betrayed them. The U.S. President held back their air support. Defenseless, the exiles were annihilated by the Cuban army. All she could do was watch in silence. Set up by the very country she had sacrificed so much for, by the very government she'd dedicated her life to defending, she went underground. A year later, at Tselinoyarsk she faced The Sorrow in battle and he gave his life so she could complete her mission, demanding that she kill him. The Boss pulled open the front part of her suit, exposing a snake shaped scar running down her chest and abdomen. She explained how in June 1944 during the Landing at Normandy, when she was pregnant at the time, with The Sorrow as the father. She gave birth right there, to a boy, who was almost immediately snatched away by the Philosophers.

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"Kill Me...Kill Me Now."

The Boss told Snake about the Philosophers and how the original members died in the 1930s, and how the Philosophers of today have no sense of good or evil. They have become war itself. Her father was one of them and he explained how every war causes a shift in the times, which in itself sparks countless other conflicts and wars. The Philosophers intended to keep this cycle going forever, in an endless spiral. She also revealed that she was the last child of the Philosophers, and her father, one of the higher-ranking members of the Philosophers, had revealed to her even the most forbidden secrets of the Philosophers, and ended up being killed by them as a result. With tears rolling down her eyes, The Boss thanked Snake saying that she had never spoken about herself this much before and then gave a order via radio so that some MiG-21s would come to bomb the place in ten minutes. Loading her gun she demanded that Snake pour all he has into this final battle, in order to make it the greatest battle of their entire lives. The two then had an immense and epic battle, with Snake eventually managing to defeat his old mentor.

The two shared a final moment together before she handed him the microfilm that contained the locations of the Philosophers' Legacy, along with her gun, the Patriot. She requested that Snake shoot her, and end her life, to complete his mission, stating to Snake, as her last words, "There's only room for one Boss, and one Snake." Hesitant, Snake raised the gun. There was a prolonged delay before he finally shot her, ending the life of his beloved mentor. The petals around him turned from white to a deep red as The Boss's horse sees her body and weeps.

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The WIG taking off from Rokovoj Bereg.

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Snake and Ocelot duel in the WIG.

Snake then boarded the WIG to leave with EVA, but as they were leaving, Ocelot flew in alongside them and managed to jump into the WiG, challenging Snake to a final duel. The two then engage in a physical struggle, with Ocelot seeming to gain the upper hand, proudly proclaiming that he's picked up new moves (after closely observing Snake's CQC technique). After Snake remembered how The Boss encouraged him to remember the basics of CQC at the start of the Virtuous Mission, Snake eventually fought Ocelot with better skill. Ocelot then pulls out two revolvers and loads a single (blank) bullet, proceeding to ask Snake his name. When Snake replied with his codename, Ocelot stopped him, demanding to know his real name. Snake told him that his real name was John.

After the two drew their weapons, the duel was resolved, with neither the worse for wear.[5] A satisfied Ocelot then bid Snake farewell and jumped from the plane into the water below. Following a near collision with the mountains, the WIG was intercepted by two MiG-21s ready to shoot them down. EVA, admitting defeat, was surprised when the MiGs suddenly disengaged, after receiving direct orders from Khrushchev.


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Naked Snake listening to EVA's debriefing/confession reel.

When Snake and EVA got to their Alaska safe house, they joked and shared a night of passion together. The next morning, Snake awoke only to find an audio message waiting for him. It was left by EVA. When Snake played it, EVA explained that from the beginning she was a Chinese-American spy sent by the Chinese People's Liberation Army to get the Legacy back for China. The two NSA code breakers who defected, ADAM and EVA, were actually both men (see "Martin and Mitchell defection" for details). She originally planned on eliminating ADAM before meeting up with Snake, but the real ADAM never showed up. Since the renunciation of the Soviet Union in aiding China on nuclear weapons development in 1959, China's hydrogen bomb and space rocket projects had fallen behind. But now, with the Legacy and the data of the Shagohod, they would be able to catch up and surpass those of the U.S. and USSR. Snake clenched his fist, infuriated by the deception. However, this fury soon turned to mere confusion as he found that the microfilm EVA claimed to have stolen was still in his pocket. Briefly distracted, he tossed the microfilm aside, and kept listening to the message. EVA herself was an agent of the Philosophers, trained in one of their charm schools so she could fool everyone. The only person she couldn't fool, was The Boss. The Boss used to be an instructor for the Philosophers, so she could easily see through EVA's disguise. EVA was supposed to kill Snake, but she couldn't. Because she made a promise to The Boss. EVA went on to explain about the true meaning of The Boss' last mission. She didn't betray her country. She died for her country. The whole mission was staged by the U.S. government so they could get their hands on the Legacy and destroy the Shagohod. Everything was going according to plan.

Lyndon Johnson 3

Snake is awarded the title Big Boss.

However, when Volgin fired the Davy Crockett, everything changed. Rather than give up on the mission to obtain the Legacy, the mission itself was greatly expanded and revised. The Boss wouldn't be allowed to come back home alive. And she wouldn't be allowed to kill herself. Her life would be ended by Snake. That was the mission she was given and she had no choice but to carry it out. In America, she would be seen as a despicable traitor. And in the Soviet Union, she would be seen as a monster who unleashed a nuclear catastrophe. She would go down in official history as a war criminal. And no one would ever understand her, except for her last pupil. EVA rode away on a Triumph motorcycle, and the message Snake listened to self-destructed by the time he heard all of this.

Snake was arranged to see President Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson awarded Snake the title of Big Boss as well as the Distinguished Service Cross. Big Boss reluctantly shook his hand and turned away. The CIA Director offered his hand, but Big Boss left, devastated. He even refused to speak or shake hands with Major Zero and the crew. A DOD Official, the Army Chief of Staff, approached the CIA Director and proposed that they make "an infiltration unit like FOX in the Army."

3569058353 0426dd4aee

Big Boss salutes The Boss's grave.

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery, Big Boss laid flowers on The Boss' grave, alongside her gun, the Patriot. The grave reads: "In Memory of a Patriot, Who Saved the World." Big Boss stood, and saluted, with tears rolling down his face... The Boss' debriefing would endure only in his heart, and in his memory of her.

Later, Ocelot contacted the KGB Chief Director to inform him of both Groznyj Grad's and the Granin research facility's destruction. He also revealed that Khrushchev was finished and that the KGB's time had finally arrived. He also hinted that the KGB could use the knowledge of both the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater to blackmail America during further negotiations, as America was expecting the Soviets to keep a lid on the events from leaking out. Ocelot concluded the conversation by assuring the Chief Director that he would keep the KGB informed on any further developments.

However, shortly thereafter, he made a telephone call to the DCI. He stated that the copy of the Philosophers' Legacy handed to EVA was a fake and that the real Legacy had made its way back to America. However, Ocelot also explained that only half of the Legacy made it to America, and he might try to risk detection by stealing it from the KGB (whom he suspected had the other half). He also confirmed that the Shagohod had been destroyed, and that The Boss had used the remaining Davy Crockett to obliterate Groznyj Grad. He then revealed that he had obtained blueprints relating to Metal Gear from Granin, shortly before his death, which might work in America's favor when the time came. Ocelot had been acting as a triple spy, and was in fact the real ADAM, working for the CIA as well as for Volgin. He was also an agent of the Philosophers, and he planned on using the Legacy to revive their American faction. He then ended the call to the DCI by confirming that he was still at the CIA's disposal.


As a result of the mission, Big Boss became well-renowned for not only being considered a hero in the United States, but even among the Soviet Union, the latter due to Big Boss' role in Volgin's presumed death. In addition, Raikov, who was among the few Groznyj Grad personnel to survive Operation Snake Eater, would end up losing his position for his abuse of various Soviet soldiers by the high-ranking command of the Red Army, which happened largely because of Volgin's presumed death in the operation. Big Boss's role in killing The Boss and his learning the truth from EVA, however, resulted in him resigning from FOX shortly after the operation out of guilt for the true reason behind The Boss's death. Some time later, a CIA official, Hot Coldman, ended up exiled to Central America with the excuse of making him the CIA Station Chief for reasons he implied were due to his role in planning Operation Snake Eater.

Although the world knew about Big Boss being awarded the title for Operation Snake Eater, the events of the ceremony itself were kept extremely classified, which Big Boss used when trying to convince the Army Chief of Staff, by that point the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to abort an imminent nuclear strike to the USSR due to a leak of fake missile trajectory data to NORAD to verify his identity. Before then, Snake also speculated that The Boss' final message to Snake via EVA may have in fact been part of the CIA's cover-up of the operation after a sour encounter with Strangelove (a former lover of The Boss and herself seeking answers to The Boss' death).

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain may follow.

Unbeknownst to many, however, Volgin actually survived Operation Snake Eater, albeit with severe enough injuries to leave him comatose, his desire for vengeance against Snake being the only reason he was still alive. His body had been recovered by Soviet scientists, and kept alive through scientific preservation and experimented upon, eventually granting him pyrokinetic powers and giving him the name "Man on Fire." A child codenamed Tretij Rebenok was later given the task of controlling him. His survival was eventually unveiled in 1984, where he participated alongside Rebenok in a hospital raid to assassinate Big Boss, who at that time had just awoken from a coma caused by MSF's downfall in March 16, 1975, nine years earlier. This raid was also concurrent with XOF's raid against the hospital, ironically for the same reason. Because of Big Boss and Ocelot's plan, Volgin unwittingly went after a decoy. Skull Face, when bringing a captured Venom Snake to Metal Gear Sahelanthropus' hangar in Afghanistan and preparing to sic Volgin on him, proceeded to heavily imply his true identity as well as his ties to Operation Snake Eater regarding why he exists. However, due to Eli hijacking Tretij Rebenok because of the intense hatred the boy had for Big Boss, Volgin ended up crushed by Sahelanthropus' loading platform. He ultimately survived this and somehow made his way to Yakho Oboo Supply Outpost before ultimately dying for good in a final confrontation with Snake in Afghanistan afterwards where he suddenly reeled back and died when preparing to strangle him (it is heavily implied the reason behind his shock is because he realized that the man he was pursuing wasn't actually Big Boss). His corpse was then recovered by Diamond Dogs and kept locked up in the quarantine section of Mother Base.

Spoilers end here.

Behind the scenes[]

According to the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database's article on Operation Snake Eater, the CIA Director had lied to the government about the mission being a failure and kept the Philosophers' Legacy for himself.[6]

The final duel between Ocelot and Snake has four possible outcomes, with some sources giving conflicting accounts as to its conclusion. On the Existence disc of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, the default cutscene shows Ocelot winning, although director Hideo Kojima has stated that Existence was simply another way for players to experience "the game's worldview, its story, and its message."[7] The Metal Gear Solid novelization, published shortly before the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, instead has Ocelot claim that Big Boss had beat him in the duel fair and square.

The Boss Battle as well as the Ladder sequence appeared in Versus Battle, where they fought against Big Boss' Return and the Microwave Tunnel from Metal Gear Solid 4's Epilogue and Act 5, respectively.

Grueling, Hypnotic, Vertigo-Inducing Hell Climb
Don’t Look Down
Naked Snake’s ladder climb in MGS3 is so epic and representative of his grit and determination that many fans consider it worthy of a boss fight
―The Ladder Climb description in Versus Battle
A Battle Between Legends
Someone Had to Die
A battle has epic as its combatants, where Naked Snake fought his mentor The Boss and earned the codename Big Boss
―The Boss Battle description in Versus Battle

The events of this mission as well as the Virtuous Mission later formed the basis of the Event Episode "The Encounter: 1964 Event Begins!" for the non-canon game Metal Gear Survive, with the flavor text explaining that the wormholes were congregating to those events.[8]


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

See also[]

Notes and references[]

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    This is explained in a commentary by director Hideo Kojima.
  2. ^
  3. ^ The player can optionally snipe The End and defeat him prematurely at this point.
  4. ^ Depending on the player's actions, there are several outcomes for this boss fight. If The End was assassinated earlier, an Ocelot Unit will attempt to ambush Snake in Sokrovenno. If the player resumes the fight after a couple of days, The End will automatically tranquilize Snake. If the player waits a week, The End will die of old age. Peace Walker implies that Big Boss fought against The End.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    There are four possible outcomes depending on the player's actions, with one opponent either missing the shot, or apparently hitting the other only to realize the bullet is a blank.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (manual), Kojima Productions (2005).
  8. ^ 2018.04.10
    The Encounter: 1964 Event Begins!
    I've managed to open another communication wormhole.
    I'm gonna be as quick as I can, before you-know-who finds out about it. Here's your new mission.

    I've detected a massive gravitational anomaly.
    It appears the wormholes have an increased attraction to a particular point in time -- the middle of the Cold War, where one legendary soldier, who'd fought on the battlefields during World War II, met her end, and another was born. That's right -- I'm talking about the events that created Big Boss.
    I've identified supplies and "heavy ordnance" you haven't come across before. Head for where they've washed up, and see for yourself what's there.
    It's not every day you get the chance to experience what your boss went through. Surely you're not going to pass up this opportunity?

    Well, better get to work.
    Good luck, Captain.


    Complete event missions during the event period and earn Battle Points (BP)

    Event missions (CO-OP)
    Daily missions (CO-OP)

    Event Period
    2018/03/13 09:00 - 2018/04/03 05:59 (GMT)

    *The item list published was incorrect and has been updated.
    The following items are not available as a reward during the event.
    Avatar Face Paint: Zombie
    Avatar Face Paint: Oyama
    We apologize for the inconvenience.

    *Event Period and other aspects are subject to change without notice.
    *Players must complete the mission during the event period.
    *There may be other ways to get these items in the future.