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"Humans weren't designed to bring each other happiness. From the moment we're thrown into this world, we're fated to bring each other nothing but pain and misery. "
―Psycho Mantis

Psycho Mantis was a psychic member of FOXHOUND, who participated in the armed takeover of Shadow Moses Island in 2005. He wore a special gas mask to help prevent people's thoughts from "forcing their way into his mind."[3]

In 1984, Mantis primarily found himself attracted to those who harbored negative feelings, thus accompanying the "Man on Fire" in his pursuit of vengeance. He would later work as a child soldier for XOF under the code name Tretij Rebenok (Russian for "Third Child"), until finally defecting from the organization after allying himself with a young Liquid Snake.


Early life and career[]

Psycho Mantis was born in a small village in the midst of the Cold War. His mother died giving birth to him, which made his father resent and hate him. He discovered his powers and his father's true emotions one day while accidentally reading his mind. Disgusted with his father's inner thoughts, and fearing that he would be killed, Mantis burned down his own village, killing his father in the process.[4]

Phantom Pain Incident[]

See also: Hospital Escape and Phantom Pain Incident

On February 26, 1984, Mantis was transported to a Moscow research lab from Czechoslovakia via a plane. During this time, he wore a gas mask to help prevent the thoughts and emotions of others from entering his mind. The plane's flight path took it near a hospital containing Big Boss and the comatose Venom Snake, whose hateful subconscious influenced Mantis's uncontrollable power, causing the plane to explode and crash. Being the only survivor, Mantis was recovered and sent to the lab, which focused on researching paranormal abilities in individuals, and given the codename "Tretij Rebenok". It was there that the comatose body of Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin was also being held. Mantis could sense the anger and resentment Volgin held for Big Boss, as the two were gradually awakening. Volgin's hatred influenced Mantis, causing his body to reanimate as the "Man on Fire." The two burned the entire facility down as their rampage began.

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"Tretij Rebenok" confronts Ishmael and Venom Snake.

Mantis and Volgin would find themselves traveling to Cyprus when XOF attempted to kill Venom Snake. Having recently awakened from a coma, Venom Snake was being escorted to safety by Ishmael when they briefly encountered Mantis in front of an elevator, shortly before it exploded. From the flames emerged the "Man on Fire", which advanced towards the duo until the emergency sprinklers activated, forcing Volgin to retreat. As XOF forces arrived in the premises, Mantis would find himself combating and killing most of them, while being interchangeably influenced by both Volgin and Venom Snake. Mantis would later follow alongside Volgin as the latter continued to chase Venom Snake until rainfall would prevent Volgin from continuing his pursuit.

The two are later found and recruited into XOF by Skull Face, with Skull Face usurping Volgin's control over Mantis's abilities. Mantis found himself attracted to Skull Face's lust for revenge against Cipher, and would assist him in his missions so that he could feed off his emotions. This mental link somehow allowed Skull Face to control and manipulate Mantis and Volgin, giving him an edge against his newfound enemies, Diamond Dogs. Skull Face later found out that he could operate Metal Gear Sahelanthropus using the boy as a conduit, no longer needing an AI or a pilot. As part of the XOF forces led by Skull Face, Mantis was paired with the reanimated body of Volgin; in which Mantis primarily moderated Volgin's directives as the "Man on Fire" under Skull Face's orders.

Mantis later encountered Venom Snake again at Da Smasei Laman during the latter's mission to recover the Honey Bee. He had Sahelanthropus briefly capture Snake to allow Skull Face to appear and speak with him, and departed into the mist afterwards. Later on, as Venom Snake attempted to extract Huey from Afghanistan Central Base Camp he was intercepted by Skull Face, Mantis, and Sahelanthropus yet again. Skull Face had Mantis and Sahelanthropus hunt Snake and Huey down to kill them, but they managed to escape.

During a later mission, when Venom Snake came across Skull Face in the Ngumba Industrial Zone, the latter ordered Mantis and the "Man on Fire" to kill Venom Snake. Before Volgin could attack Venom Snake any further, Mantis briefly focused his attention on the dying Shabani's emotions instead and willfully killed him out of pity, one of the few times he managed to usurp Skull Face's influence. He then allowed Volgin to continue his pursuit. Volgin chased Venom Snake which resulted in the two engaging in battle while Mantis assisted Volgin and prevented his body from being extracted. Volgin was later subdued by being doused in large amounts of water, thereby allowing Venom Snake to escape.

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Mantis retrieves the parasite vial.

During the climactic confrontation between Venom Snake and Skull Face's forces in the Metal Gear Sahelanthropus hangar bay, Skull Face revealed the true nature of the "Man on Fire" and had ordered Mantis to pit him against Venom Snake one final time. Unbeknownst to either Venom Snake and Skull Face, Mantis was distracted by Eli's presence in a nearby Diamond Dogs helicopter. Favoring Eli's greater sense of hatred over both Skull Face and Volgin's lust for vengeance, Mantis let himself be used as a conduit by Eli to hijack Sahelanthropus. Controlling the Metal Gear under Eli's influence, Mantis turned on the XOF soldiers. Wreaking havoc on Skull Face's forces, the Metal Gear decidedly attacked Skull Face himself, causing him to become trapped under debris. Eli, with the assistance of Mantis, would then focus his efforts on attempting to kill Venom Snake by using the Metal Gear. After a prolonged battle, Venom Snake was able to incapacitate the Metal Gear thus removing Liquid's control over it. Though Venom Snake attempted to destroy the parasite vials containing the English strain, Mantis was able to retrieve one of the vials in secret.


Mantis handing Eli the vial.

Diamond Dogs extracted Sahelanthropus and repaired it back on Mother Base, with Mantis offering Eli the remaining parasite vial. Mantis would later aid Eli in escaping Mother Base, allowing the two to take possession of the Metal Gear in the middle of an interrogation session. The two would take a number of child soldiers via helicopter back to Africa, establishing a new stronghold that was likened to the Lord of the Flies. Eli had infected the area with the parasite, bringing the attention from both Diamond Dogs and the remnants of XOF, who were there to retrieve Sahelanthropus by force from Eli. The XOF strike force reached Eli first, and made an attempt to kill him, but was blocked by Mantis, who used his powers to shield Eli from their bullets, while Eli devastated their ranks by attacking them with Sahelanthropus. Eli then discovered Venom Snake, who had also arrived on the island and challenged him to a fight to the death, with him being in control of Sahelanthropus and supported by Mantis.


Mantis convinces Eli to spare himself and leave the island.

After a massive battle with Diamond Dogs, Eli and Mantis were defeated, as Sahelanthropus was damaged to a point beyond functionality. Ocelot then informed Venom Snake that the entire island was contaminated; meaning they had no other option but to sterilize the area with napalm rounds. Venom Snake then pointed his gun at Eli, knowing that his only option was to mercy kill him or allow him to be killed by either his parasite infection or the bombing, but he ultimately decided against it. Snake instead left his gun with one bullet in it, leaving Eli to decide his own fate, with Eli pointing the gun to his own head, implying he was intending to commit suicide, but Mantis appeared in front of him and stopped him, and instead extracted the parasite infection from him with his telekinesis. He then convinced Eli to leave with him, using his powers to levitate them both to safety as the Diamond Dogs started their bombing of the island.[5][6]

Later career[]

Mantis later joined the KGB as part of their psychic intelligence unit. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mantis moved to the United States and began work for the FBI. He would enter the minds of suspected killers and uncover the truth about their crimes. However, during one interrogation in the year 2000, Mantis dove too deeply into the mind of a serial killer and subsequently adopted the subject's personality, becoming psychotic.

Mantis eventually left the FBI and became a freelance psychic spy, offering his services to the highest bidder. During his travels throughout the world, he read thousands of peoples thoughts, and became disgusted with humanity for, as he called it, their "selfish and atavistic lust to pass on one's seed." He was eventually enlisted by his old ally Liquid to join FOXHOUND, becoming the unit's psychic expert and its psychological warfare specialist. At some point, Mantis received barcode tattoos on each of his shoulders and on the right side of his head, along with a large scar across his head.

Shadow Moses Incident[]

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

In February 2005, Psycho Mantis and the other members of FOXHOUND grew tired of their roles as puppets to the government and they took over Shadow Moses Island. Mantis used his psychic powers to brainwash those soldiers that didn't support the insurrection into participating in the revolt.

While on Shadow Moses, Mantis attempted to read Donald Anderson's and Kenneth Baker's minds but failed due to the surgical implants in their brains that provided them with "psychic insulation." When Revolver Ocelot "accidentally" killed Anderson during a torture session, Mantis came up with the idea of tricking Solid Snake into getting the PAL key from Baker and using the keys to activate Metal Gear REX, while making Snake think he was de-activating REX.[7] They made Decoy Octopus disguise himself as Anderson to talk Snake into the act.

Mantis face

Psycho Mantis

Mantis later managed to take over the mind of a rookie soldier, whom Snake had encountered in the holding cells, and had the soldier fire at Snake shortly after Decoy Octopus's death from FOXDIE. Shortly afterwards, Snake experienced a brief hallucination, in which he saw the FOXHOUND psychic himself, resulting from psychometric interference emanating from Mantis's actions.

As Snake and Meryl Silverburgh made their way through the island, Mantis managed to gain control over Meryl's mind. He turned her against Snake and tried to make her shoot him, though Snake was able to knock her unconscious. Mantis then revealed himself and fought Snake himself. On the edge of defeat, Mantis decided to awaken Meryl and try to make her shoot herself in the head, having anticipated that this was Snake's weak point. However, Snake managed to both prevent Meryl from killing herself and defeat Mantis.


Mantis unmasked.

Close to death, Mantis's mask was removed by Snake, revealing a disfigured face that he had formerly concealed out of self-hatred. With his final words, Mantis told of his tragic past, comparing it to that of Snake's, and explained that his past experiences had shown him that all humans were fated to bring each other pain and misery. He stated that he never really agreed with Liquid's revolution, only that he wanted the chance to kill as many people as he could.[8] However, he went on to say he was "not so bad," in comparison to Snake, saying that the legendary soldier was even worse than Liquid himself, stating that Snake was true evil. Mantis also revealed that he had read Meryl's mind and that Snake had a large place in her heart, though he did not know if their futures lay together.

Mantis then asked Snake to put his mask back on, as he wished to be by himself in his final moments. Using his powers, he opened a secret passageway that led to the communications towers and Metal Gear's underground maintenance base. Right before he died, Mantis said that this action was the first time in his life that he had used his power to help someone, and that it had "...such a nostalgic feeling..."[9]

After Mantis's death, Meryl utilized lingering remnants of his memory from the earlier mind possession, to help Snake and herself safely cross a minefield in an underground passageway. In addition, the effects of his brainwashing on the Genome Soldiers began to wear off, and they began to lose morale. Ocelot later theorized that Mantis had been included in the programming of the FOXDIE assassination virus, but that his mask may have shielded him from infection.

Guns of the Patriots Incident[]

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

When Liquid Ocelot was building up his PMC forces, Psycho Mantis's psychic remnants were somehow harnessed with nanomachines. Liquid wasted no time putting Mantis's harnessed psyche to use, with it playing a vital role in the creation of the Beauty and the Beast Unit. Mantis's psyche was integrated into the mind of BB Corps member Screaming Mantis via nanomachines and hypnosis, which made it possible for her to channel her constant state of fear so that she could use it in battle, although in time, her psyche was ripped out almost entirely. Using Screaming Mantis and the nanomachines as a medium, Psycho Mantis's psychic powers were also used to control the minds of the other BB Corps members so that they could be effective in combat as well. Like Psycho Mantis, Screaming Mantis had what seemed like a form of psychokinesis, but in reality she was only able to manipulate the nanomachines inside the bodies of soldiers—both living and dead—by using dolls fashioned after Psycho Mantis and The Sorrow. Effectively, the spirit of Psycho Mantis was the leader of the BB Corps. Consequentially, as a result of Screaming Mantis' fusion with Psycho Mantis' psyche via nanomachines, the former also reacted to Snake's presence as if she had encountered him before.[10]

In 2014, after Snake infiltrated Liquid Ocelot's Outer Haven, he was confronted by the final member of the Beauty and the Beast Unit, Screaming Mantis. After defeating the Screaming Beauty, Screaming Mantis's suit reformed and floated in the air, with Psycho Mantis's spirit appearing behind it. Psycho Mantis once again demonstrated his telepathy and psychokinesis in front of Snake. Afterwards, The Sorrow as well as God intervened and sent his ghost back to the grave for good.

Personality and traits[]


Psycho Mantis's artwork.

Psycho Mantis was a powerful practitioner of psychokinesis and telepathy, with Nastasha Romanenko considering him to be one of the most powerful psychics in the world. He was capable of moving objects with the power of thought, spinning them around himself to create a makeshift barrier, or throwing them towards an opponent. He was also capable of generating a ball of psychic energy, as evidenced during his battle with Solid Snake. Through telepathy, Mantis could read people's minds and learn about their pasts. This power could even be extended to mind control, which he used to sway members of the Next-Generation Special Forces into joining FOXHOUND's revolt, and to force Meryl to attack Snake. However, his telepathic abilities could be rendered ineffective if his subject was either strong willed or possessed surgical implants in their brain, as evidenced by his failure to defeat Solid Snake in battle, and to read Donald Anderson and Kenneth Baker's minds, respectively. Because of his constantly wearing a gas mask to ensure he focused on his psychic powers, he frequently had a rasping breath accompanying him.

As "Tretij Rebenok", he possessed tousled red hair, and wore a gas mask and a black straitjacket. By the time of the Shadow Moses Incident, Mantis possessed an emaciated body and a hairless skull while sporting a black bodysuit and a trenchcoat. He had a misshapen nose, with surgical scars and stitching adorning his cranium and lower face, causing Mantis to despise his own appearance to such an extent that seeing any depictions of his disfigured face would force him to break his concentration.[11][12]

MGSV Eli, Tretij Rebenok, child soldiers art

Mantis and Liquid leading the Mbele Squad

In his younger days as "Tretij Rebenok", Mantis rarely spoke and his powers seemed much more amplified. He was aimless in his goals and often sought the company of those who possessed "evil" thoughts such as hatred or a lust for revenge. This would result in him appearing to possess characteristics based on his attachment towards a respective host, e.g. the flames derived from Volgin, Venom's shrapnel "horn", Skull Face's domino mask, Eli's red beret on his shoulder during his days as a boy, and very briefly Shabani's necklace. His psychokinesis and telekinesis were such that he was able to move large objects such as debris and military vehicles, as well as control a Metal Gear with no visible signs of straining himself. He was shown to be capable of manifesting himself as a phantom that could teleport or vanish in an instant and could conjure ethereal visions derived from a person's psyche.

His psychokinesis was also strong enough to envelop a barrier powerful enough to deter attacks from various weaponry, including small-grade portable rocket/missile launchers, against himself and objects as large as a parked chopper.[13] It is heavily implied that his being drawn to people who possessed "evil" thoughts, or at least those from Venom Snake/Big Boss, was due to having a degree of empathy for their desires for revenge due to his being experimented on for his powers to such an extent that he otherwise lacked any will or even emotions beyond a desire for revenge of his own.[14]

When influenced by the negative feelings of others, he was capable of channeling himself as a conduit, enacting the lusts of his respective host through his abilities - this is what allowed Skull Face and later Eli to control Metal Gear Sahelanthropus. Though Volgin and Skull Face would interchange between influencing his mind, Mantis would go on to develop a bond with the young Liquid Snake, thus supplanting Volgin and Skull Face's control over him. Though Liquid's resentment over his heritage acted as the catalyst for Mantis' attraction towards him, it was their shared young age that allowed Mantis to favor him over many others that influenced him before. It is heavily implied that this bond served as the basis of his joining FOXHOUND with Liquid as the leader.

As he matured, he began to speak more and gained more control over his catastrophic powers. Mantis's work with the minds of serial killers for the FBI caused him to develop insanity. He also held nihilistic views, feeling disgust towards humanity's ultimate lust to simply reproduce, and the "selfish" passing on of one's genes. He even implied that this desire was ultimately the reason why war existed. His contempt was such that, during his death, he freely admitted that he didn't actually care for Liquid Snake's goals, and had only collaborated with the Sons of Big Boss in order to kill as many people as he could.[8] It is heavily implied that his nihilism and misanthropy stemmed from his terrible childhood, including his discovery of his father's infanticidal hatred of him by accident[4] and his later being used as a living weapon and experiment by the Soviets.[14] Despite his insanity, Mantis also displayed some skill in strategizing, having originated the idea of using Decoy Octopus to impersonate the (then-recently) deceased DARPA Chief, which succeeded in tricking Solid Snake into activating Metal Gear REX.[7]

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.[?]

At an early age, Mantis discovered the different facets of his conscience, specifically the inner demons he could not shake, from which he unwittingly created an alternate persona known as the "parasite."[15] This shock changed his personality, the despair awakening his subconscious and making him kill his father in a crushing release of psychic energy.[15][16] This mental shockwave killed the 1,000 residents of his home village, with Mantis himself suffering facial burns.[15][16]

Recruited by the KGB due to his impressive ESP abilities, Mantis honed his psychokinetic powers, suppressing the "parasite" persona within himself to prevent his self-destruction.[15] Successfully holding "the parasite" in check, he managed to avoid descending into insanity, a problem that had plagued other psychic agents.[15] It was from this alternate personality that he earned the nickname "Mantis."[15] His choice of restrictive attire helped him to contain his persona within, while his KGB trenchcoat hid his emaciated body, caused by psychic channeling.[15][16] Mantis became a full-fledged KGB member shortly after controlling his abilities, although his employment was short-lived due to the fall of the Soviet Union.[15]

At some point, Mantis and Ocelot worked together, although the event left Ocelot deeply distrusting of Mantis due to his "inhuman" nature. This led Ocelot to later try to dissuade Liquid from trusting him at Shadow Moses, though he dismissed these warning as simply being the typical rivalry between ex-Soviet operatives.[17]

Mantis's primary job in regards to the FBI was learning the locations of victims' bodies from the minds of serial killers. However, his mind became linked with all those of the killers he had read, resulting in his loss of control over the parasite, which subsequently urged him to commit horrific acts of psychic manslaughter.[15] His ability to correctly point out the actions of an individual by looking at their paths in life also ended up even shocking Liquid Snake.[15] He also sought his own death as he believed that only with that would the parasite fade away, allowing him a brief period of peace, and thus be mentally cleansed.[15]

Mantis' career history prior to joining FOXHOUND was falsified to hide his true past.[18]

Behind the scenes[]

Psycho Mantis

Psycho Mantis's Metal Gear Solid artwork.

Psycho Mantis (サイコ・マンティス Saiko Mantisu?) appears in Metal Gear Solid as an antagonist to Solid Snake, and is fought by the player during a boss battle. His spirit later makes a cameo appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where he is revealed to be the controlling influence behind the Beauty and the Beast Unit. He would later feature as one of the central antagonists in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Psycho Mantis was chosen as the #3 best boss fight ever by GameSpot.[19] He also ranked eighth in IGN's recent "Top 100 Videogame Villains" poll, beating out fellow FOXHOUND members Sniper Wolf, Liquid Snake, and Revolver Ocelot; even beating Big Boss.[20]

In Greek mythology the Praying mantis is said to have supernatural powers. In fact the word Mantis itself is a Greek word meaning "diviner" or "soothsayer" something which is very apt considering the psychic abilities of Psycho Mantis and his successor Screaming Mantis.

Metal Gear Solid[]

The boss battle with Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid is widely remembered for him "displaying" his mental powers through breaking the fourth wall. This includes making the controller move by activating the rumble feature, and making players think the TV channel has changed by turning the screen to black, with the green caption "HIDEO" displayed in the top-right corner. He also "reads" the player's memory card, commenting on the number of saves that have been made in the game so far, and the presence of other saved games, first noting their genre, then mentioning specific examples (e.g. "You like Castlevania, don't you?"). In the original game, Mantis mentions Azure Dreams, Suikoden, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Vandal Hearts (plus Policenauts and Tokimeki Memorial in the Japanese version), while in the 2004 remake, he references Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He was originally planned to reference games made by other developers as well, but they weren't included because Kojima couldn't make any deals with them.[21]

Twin Snakes Psycho Mantis

Psycho Mantis, as depicted in The Twin Snakes.

Mantis' powers were inspired by another fictional psychic character from the 1978 film The Fury, with Hideo Kojima telling his motion designer to go see it.[22] During the battle, the player is forced to plug the game controller into another port in order to avoid Mantis reading Snake's mind. In the PC version, however, the player simply has to use the keyboard throughout the battle. Kojima took inspiration from various Japanese animations, in which masters would advise their students to clear their minds to prevent their enemies from reading their thoughts. The only way he could think of to show this idea was the controller switch, though the younger members of his development team did not like this idea.[22] There is also an alternate means of beating Mantis, which involves shooting the leather straps around various busts made in Mantis's likeness, which will stun him long enough for the player to land several hits on him. Dummied voice data in the game also indicated that he was originally going to be affected by Stun Grenades.

After the battle with Mantis, he states that he is unsure whether Snake's and Meryl's futures lie together, alluding to the game's two endings; one in which Meryl survives, and the other in which she dies. Additionally, the script for the original Japanese version had Mantis mention that his helping Snake on his deathbed felt "nostalgic," though this was changed to "it feels pretty nice" in the English version (nevertheless, the original dialogue is maintained in the remake The Twin Snakes). According to Kojima, Mantis's nostalgia was due to him sensing his own mother's emotions during childbirth, where she had used the last of her dying strength to help her son survive; similar to Mantis's own actions towards Snake upon his death.[23]

According to Kojima's "Grand Game Plan" for Metal Gear Solid 2, there was originally supposed to be a mask based on Mantis's likeness (called the Mantis Mask), that allowed Raiden to read the thoughts of other characters. One example would be using the mask to discern a SEAL's identity as Solid Snake. This item ultimately never made it into the final version.

In the 2004 Nintendo GameCube remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Mantis creates fiery hallucinations using his psychic powers, though he is unable to affect Snake. He also demonstrates the ability to invoke illusions in the same game, such as when he caused the paintings of Japanese men to laugh as a demonstration of his power, as well as causing one painting to appear to have his face burned off to reveal a grotesque skull via his fiery hallucinations. In addition, he uses a technique that appears to cause the room to "tilt"; this is a reference of one of the sanity effects in Eternal Darkness, a game made by The Twin Snakes' developer Silicon Knights. He had a Russian accent when unmasked, although this was removed in the remake. Following the battle, the player can shake Mantis's body to procure his dog tag. Because the GameCube has four controller ports instead of two, the player has to unconnect and reconnect the controller two more times before finally defeating him during the boss fight.

Although Mantis never appears in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater itself, he does appear in an article covering elements of Metal Gear Solid 3 in PSM during the leadup to its release, where he won the "Who Rules over FOXHOUND?" poll by a margin of 55%.

In the 2008 novelization of Metal Gear Solid, written by Raymond Benson, Mantis tells Snake before his death that, as an old man, he would place a gun in his mouth.[24] This addition to Mantis's speech alluded to events in the then-upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4.

In his brief appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4, Mantis attempts to recreate his iconic moment from the original games, but the technical upgrades of the PlayStation 3 prevent him from doing so. Its lack of a memory card make him unable to read save data or other games played, and his psychokinetic powers are unable to affect the original Sixaxis controller as it lacks a rumble feature. He has an alternate reaction if the game is played with a rumble-compatible DualShock 3 controller.

During his trip to Dubai in January 2013, Kojima revealed that Mantis is his favorite villain in the series.[25] In addition, on September 3 of the same year, in a ranking of the 15 most memorable moments in the franchise, the battle with Mantis ranked #1 among the staff on the official Metal Gear Solid Facebook page.[26]

Metal Gear Solid V[]

Ground Zeroes[]

MGSV-GZ Psycho Mantis Deja Vu

Psycho Mantis appears in the Extra Op "Déjà Vu."

Psycho Mantis appears in the Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Extra Op "Déjà Vu" mission, based on the events of the Shadow Moses Incident. He is featured as one of the seven "scenes" that the player has to recreate in order to complete the mission, although the only clue that is provided is the "HIDEO" blackout screen image featured in the game's manual as well as the box. In-game, Miller forgot to upload the image depicting Psycho Mantis, and suggested that the player look at "the back of the case," alluding to something Kenneth Baker said regarding finding Meryl Silverburgh's frequency. To make him appear, the player has to turn off the power generator of the base. This also makes him the only FOXHOUND member to be encountered in the mission, and if the player isn't using either the Classic Snake/Cyborg Ninja skin, the only other Metal Gear Solid-era character (the other being Johnny Sasaki) to be encountered. Besides his appearance, Miller also quotes him occasionally.

The Phantom Pain[]


Psycho Mantis as "Tretij Rebenok" in the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain trailer.

Psycho Mantis returns as one of the central antagonists in The Phantom Pain under the codename Tretij Rebenok (Russian: третий ребенок, lit. "Third Child"). Though unnamed at the time, he was initially revealed in the GDC 2013 trailer for The Phantom Pain. The March 2014 edition of Game Informer had speculated that the child was Mantis.[27] In the trailer, Mantis was shown to appear before Venom Snake and Ishmael in front of a hospital elevator, before rising through the ceiling and disappearing; Mantis performed an identical action in The Twin Snakes, via psychometric interference experienced by Solid Snake (in the original Metal Gear Solid, he simply disappears in a flash). He reappears in a later scene, where he apparently summons a fiery apparition resembling a white blue whale. In The Twin Snakes, Mantis created illusions of fire prior to his battle with Solid Snake, further causing speculations that the two were the same character. His in-game name was revealed to be "Tretij Rebenok", in which it was first shown in images showcasing the upcoming Play Arts KAI figures for The Phantom Pain.

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Tretij Rebenok concept art (right)

Though it was never explicitly stated in The Phantom Pain that Psycho Mantis and "Tretij Rebenok" are the same character, it is heavily implied in the official strategy guide and in scenes which show the child's bond with Eli. Further clues that confirmed his identity included the name of a song in the game's soundtrack, with the title "Angering Mantis" used as one of the character's theme music. Kojima himself heavily implied this when revealing the Play Arts Kai figure of the character on Twitter; in which he specifically called him "Man-chan." The Japanese honorific "chan" is often used towards someone small or cute, and Kojima most likely meant the referral as an abbreviation, i.e. "Mantis-chan." Not only that, in a cassette recording in The Phantom Pain, Ocelot makes a clear reference to the older Mantis's habit of wearing his gas mask to shield his mind. The book Metal Gear Solid Substance I: Shadow Moses (a novelization of the original Metal Gear Solid written by Hitori Nojima) reveals that Tretij Rebenok indeed grew up to become Psycho Mantis. Because of the new backstory introduced in The Phantom Pain, the novel claims that Mantis' career history prior to joining FOXHOUND was falsified to hide his true past.

As "Tretij Rebenok", his powers are seemingly amplified, while the extent and portrayal of his abilities had been expanded; in which they seem to be inspired from his depiction in The Twin Snakes. The Russian text on his straitjacket translated as "Leningrad University of Parapsychology", implying that Mantis had been a student or patient at the school. Unlike in Metal Gear Solid or Metal Gear Solid 4, he does not speak at all throughout the game. In addition, despite Tretij Rebenok being strongly implied to be a young Psycho Mantis, the Mantis' Hymn theme does not play at all whenever he is present.

The script for The Phantom Pain indicated that Mantis inadvertently killed his parents (including his mother) due to passing over the hospital that Big Boss was in when regaining consciousness, implying that his backstory in Metal Gear Solid was retconned.[28]


Mantis serves as a boss on numerous occasions within the game, albeit indirectly. The first boss encounter with Sahelanthropus has Mantis controlling the Metal Gear via Skull Face's influence. The player must escape from being attacked by Sahelanthropus and board the helicopter with Huey Emmerich. This will result in the player fending off the Metal Gear using the helicopter's mounted Vulcan cannon.

In the boss battle with the "Man on Fire", it is actually possible to defeat Mantis, thus instantly defeating Volgin in turn. As the boy hovers over Volgin, any time he manifests, the player can shoot him multiple times. While the boy make attempts to teleport away before the bullets hit him, shooting him enough will force him to retreat.[29] Alternatively, Mantis can also be instantly defeated with a well-placed supply drop near Volgin's incapacitated state. Using either method, this leaves Volgin in a vulnerable state where Fulton extraction can be done by the player to remove Volgin from the area; though this will only result in Ocelot and Miller commenting on the extraction's failure off-screen.[30]

Mantis's final boss encounter has him mutually control a fully-functioning Sahelanthropus with the young Liquid Snake. For this boss battle, Sahelanthropus employs the use of its full arsenal of archaea-based weaponry. Unlike other bosses within the game, Sahelanthropus has a visible life gauge instead of one that is simulated by the IDroid's marking system. Once the player reaches a point where the majority of Sahelanthropus's life gauge is depleted, the Metal Gear will begin employing a new offensive maneuver alongside its other attacks. Specifically, Sahelanthropus will begin firing its rail cannon and will also lunge at the player in a giant leap and attempt to stomp on them, in which Mantis will briefly appear in front of the Metal Gear. This will initiate a Reflex Mode segment (regardless of the player's optional settings having it turned "on" or "off") where the player is given time to shoot at Mantis himself, in which the resulting action of hitting him serves as one of the mission objectives.

Mantis can also been seen in-gameplay around the end of Mission 30, "Skull Face", seconds before Snake confronts Skull Face on the helipad. While approaching the helipad, the player can see the landed chopper and Mantis hovering around it. Mantis's presence is likely to stop players from breaking away from the story and destroying the chopper, as Mantis summons an indestructible aura of energy around both himself and the chopper, making it so the player can't damage them in any way. Mantis also cannot be marked with the binoculars and does not display on the map.

Other appearances[]

Although Psycho Mantis himself doesn't appear in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, one of the strategies to defeating him was given a subtle reference during the Ursula/Metal Gear RAXA boss fight. If the player calls Roy Campbell, he'll suggest changing the control input of the PSP to throw Ursula off, similar to the switching of port controllers for Metal Gear Solid with Psycho Mantis.[31][32]

Psycho Mantis is also mentioned in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Roy Campbell can feed Snake data on Ness if he uses his Codec taunt. During the talk, Snake will recall his encounters with Psycho Mantis, to the point of even asking if Ness can also read minds. Campbell assures him that Ness is "a good kid" and would not use telepathic powers to scan Snake's mind against his will, whether he had such powers or not.

The manner in which Solid Snake defeats Psycho Mantis in the Metal Gear Solid novelization is portrayed differently to the game, with Snake tricking Mantis into levitating all the contents of the commander's room and making himself vulnerable to attack (Mantis used his psychic abilities to prevent Snake from even touching his holstered gun). Mantis is also successful in placing Snake under his mental control for a brief period of time, causing him to hallucinate the appearance of Master Miller. The illusion involved both Miller and Snake visiting a theme park from Snake's childhood, where he attempted to save Meryl from the funhouse, later encountering her reflection in the funhouse's mirrors, along with that of Otacon and Big Boss himself.

Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel depicts Psycho Mantis's fight with Snake in a similar fashion to the above, where Miller apparently takes out Psycho Mantis and leads Snake to the hangar, only for Liquid and Ocelot to ambush him. Snake deduced that it was all an illusion projected by Mantis after he noticed that Ocelot retained both arms (Gray Fox had amputated Ocelot's right arm earlier).

The fight against Screaming Mantis in Metal Gear Solid 4 is designed to play off the player's memory of fighting Psycho Mantis in the original Metal Gear Solid, right down to the music being a recreation of "Mantis' Hymn." After Screaming Mantis screams "Blackout!" the screen turns to black and displays a green caption saying "HIDEO2." If the player switches the PS3 controller over to Controller Port 2, Snake will call Otacon saying that he can't move, with Otacon telling him that the trick won't work this time, much to Snake's chagrin. Roy Campbell also suggests that Snake try either swapping controller ports or destroying the mask on the bust of Mantis's face, but Rosemary and Snake rebuke him, stating that neither of those strategies is applicable in the situation (specifically, the aforementioned change in how controllers are implemented, and the fact that there is no bust in the room, respectively). After the battle, when Mantis himself appears, he attempts to read the memory card once more, but fails due to the PS3's hard drive-based memory system. He also tries to repeat his controller-moving trick, but is unsuccessful due to the lack of rumble feature in the SIXAXIS controller. Enraged, he disappears after The Sorrow sends his ghost back to the grave. However, if the scene is played with a DualShock 3, Mantis will perform the trick successfully and gleefully declare that vibration is back before disappearing.

Mantis is also referenced in two trophies upon downloading the trophy patch for the game. The first is "That Tune Is His Mind Control Music", unlocked after playing "Oishii Two-han Seikatsu" on the iPod with at least one of the Beauty and the Beast Unit members and thus made her dance, which referred to Naomi's in-universe acknowledgement of his theme song, "Mantis' Hymn." The second is "Can You Feel My Power Now!!??", unlocked after the player defeats soldiers with either the Mantis Doll or the Sorrow Doll, referring to his line to Snake upon using his psychic powers to read the player's memory card and move the player's controller.

Although Mantis himself didn't reappear in Metal Gear Online, his gas mask could be obtained as an accessory for the player. Unlike most items stated to have formerly belonged to a main character, Psycho Mantis's Gas Mask had colored variations rather than it being a fixed color.

Psycho Mantis later appeared as a participant in the Konami sponsored event E3 Battle, where he defeated Sheena E. from the 1994 game Contra: Hard Corps in the first round. He proceeded to face off against, and defeated Django from the Solar Boy Django series in the second round. He then faced off against Naked Snake in the third round, to which he lost.

Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Psychic member of the FOXHOUND unit. Previously employed for both the KGB and the FBI. Capable of psychokinesis and telepathy.
―Psycho Mantis' bio from E3 Battle

Mantis has also appeared in Versus Battle on the official Metal Gear Solid website, first when fighting against Vulcan Raven, and then when fighting against Sniper Wolf. His weakness in the second aspect refers to his "return" in Metal Gear Solid 4.

The Mind is Stronger than the Body
One's Biggest Enemy Lies Within
Psycho Mantis’s telepathic & psychokinetic powers allow him to control minds, move objects, and wreak terrible destruction
―Psycho Mantis's bio in Versus Battle; while fighting Vulcan Raven
Scary Powerful Psychic & Mind Manipulator
Strong Wills, Masked Minds, Peripheral Vision
Not only incredibly powerful, Psycho Mantis was also extremely smart, conceiving the plan to use Decoy Octopus to deceive Solid Snake into activating METAL GEAR REX
―Psycho Mantis's bio in Versus Battle; while fighting The Sorrow

Psycho Mantis later appeared in an online advertisement for Ford alongside Solid Snake, via a reenactment of the infamous mind-reading scene from Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation. In it, Mantis, while reading Snake's mind, deduced that Snake wanted a Ford 2017 Fusion Titanium.



See also[]


  1. ^ a b c d METAL GEAR SOLID (Japanese). Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  2. ^ Dummied data for the PC version of Metal Gear Solid revealed that the Shadow Moses Incident occurred on February 28, 2005.
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
  4. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Psycho Mantis: The first person who's mind I dove into was my father's. I saw nothing but disgust and hatred for me in his heart. My mother died in childbirth... and he despised me for it... I thought my father was going to kill me. That's when my future disappeared. I lost my past as well. When I came to, the village was engulfed in flames... // Solid Snake: Are you saying that you burned your village down to bury your past? // Mantis:I see that you have suffered the same trauma. We are truly the same, you and I...
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998)
    (The scene changes. We see three men standing in a small group around an unidentified body [Donald Anderson].) // First man [Liquid Snake]: You fool! You've killed him!! // Second man [Revolver Ocelot]: I'm sorry, Sir. // (A third man speaks, his voice is distorted, as if speaking through a gas mask.) // Third man [Mantis]: ...His mental shielding was very strong. I could not dive into his mind. // First man [Liquid]: Now we'll never get that detonation code... // Third man [Mantis]: Boss, I have a good idea. // (We are back in the cell area. The woman runs into an elevator and turns around quickly. She fires her gun at Snake, he dodges it easily.)
  8. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Psycho Mantis: I never agreed with the Boss's [Liquid Snake's] revolution. His dreams of world conquest do not interest me. I just wanted an excuse to kill as many people as I could.
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    ??? [Screaming Mantis]: It has been a long time, Snake. // [The figure reveals itself to be Screaming Mantis - the puppeteer of the Beauty and the Beast unit. It can be seen to be holding a doll of psychic masters, Psycho Mantis and The Sorrow.] // Solid Snake: You... Psycho Mantis...? // [Snake looks up at Screaming Mantis and sees a ghostly image of Psycho Mantis behind it. Flashbacks of Psycho Mantis from Shadow Moses appear.] // Screaming Mantis: No, that was another me. Can you hear the screams? They cry for battle! Let me hear you scream! Howl! Roar! From the very depths of your soul!
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Naomi Hunter: Those statues were modeled after Mantis' real face. Mantis despises the sight of his own face. If he suddenly sees his own disfigured face staring at him, it might break his concentration.
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Solid Snake: Weak spot? You mean the bust modeled on Mantis's true face? The one with the leather bands wrapped around it? // Roy Campbell: That's the one. Mantis always hated seeing his birth face. Attack that bust and break off the leather seal!
  13. ^ This is implied during gameplay in Mission 30: Skull Face, where Tretij Rebenok was briefly seen at the Heliport and the player if they try to fire missiles at the chopper would cause them to hit an unseen barrier.
  14. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015)
    Cassette tapes > Info > Informants Report > Part 3
    Ocelot: [...] Both the Third Boy and the Man on Fire were originally test subjects of paranormal research for "military applications". Like telekinetically controlling the leader of an enemy nation and making him launch a nuke. Or stopping the heart of someone on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. Experimenting with latent human abilities. They were used as tools of the Cold War. The boy's only crime was being born with unique gifts, but he was sacrificed on the altar of war, his life reduced to slavery under other people's wills. Turned into a living weapon with no will of his own. Eventually the only emotion he could feel must have been the desire to get revenge for the hand he'd been dealt. Boss, it's you that awakened the boy's powers. But there's more to it than that. I guess the anger emanating from you was something he could truly relate to.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook, Millennium Books (1998).
  16. ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid: Official Comic Book #11, IDW Publishing (2005).
  17. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel, Kojima Productions (2006).
  18. ^ Metal Gear Solid Substance I: Shadow Moses by Hitori Nojima (2015).
  19. ^ Top Ten Boss Fights. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-05-26.
  20. ^ Top 100 Videogame Villains. IGN. Retrieved on 2010-05-28.
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b "Hideo Kojima: Game Guru, Movie Maniac," by Steven Kent, Gamers Today (1999).
  23. ^
  24. ^ Metal Gear Solid by Raymond Benson, Del Rey Books (2008).
    Psycho Mantis: I've seen . . . true evil.. You, Snake. You're just like . . . the Boss. No, you're worse. Compared to you, I'm not so bad. Wait . . . I see you . . . Must be decades from now . . . You are old . . . with a gun in your mouth . . ." Mantis glanced at Meryl. "I read . . . her future, too. You occupy a large place . . . in her heart.
  25. ^ I interviewed Hideo Kojima in Dubai ~ The Arab Gamer - Gaming from the Arab World
  26. ^
  27. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, The Phantom Pain, And The Architect Behind It All. Metal Gear Informer. Retrieved on February 7, 2014.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Miller: So the kid disappears... and the Man on Fire stops? I guess that worked. Good job as always, Boss. Now hurry up and take the chopper outta there.
  30. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Miller: Wait, you want to extract him?! // Ocelot: Good idea. I want to know what he really is. Get on with it, Boss. Nnngha, he broke the cords. // Miller: I'd call that good news.
  31. ^
  32. ^