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Pupa was an AI weapon developed by the CIA Peace Sentinel in the early 1970s. Its main function was to serve as an amphibious attack craft.



Pupa was one of the four AI weapons developed as part of the Peace Walker Project. Equipped with an AI pod, designated GW-Pupa 5000, it was designed with speed and hover capabilities in mind. It could travel at speeds that would allow it to climb steep inclines by using compressed air to hover its rear section. One of its most significant features were the rocket boosters on its back. The Pupa also possessed two forward treads that could move in a similar fashion to arms and could be used to raise its front section from the ground. Its overall appearance bore a strong resemblance to the Shagohod, since Huey Emmerich had based it on Soviet research notes, with the only major difference besides it lacking a launcher being that the Pupa possesses tank treads on its arms, while the Shagohod possessed augers.


Pupa possessed six machine gun turrets: four on the back, and two on the head. It was also armed with a electricity generator for generating electric shock attacks, located below the head section, along with seven launchers on each side of its posterior section that deploy electrical shock units, which resemble circular "lightning rods." The rods could be deployed across a large area, after which the Pupa would fire its shock attack into the atmosphere; the discharged electricity would then be drawn down to the scattered units, injuring any nearby enemy personnel. The Pupa could also use its freely-moving front treads as "arms" for close-range attacks.


Peace Walker Incident[]

Main article: Peace Walker Incident

In 1973, Pupa was developed by Huey Emmerich as one of three prototype AI weapons for Peace Walker. Its basic design resembled that of a Shagohod, which was later confirmed in a briefing tape that the old Shagohod concept itself lived on as the Pupa AI weapon of the Peace Walker Project during the Peace Walker Incident bore heavy similarities to the Shagohod. During one of the briefing files, Huey Emmerich said that he based Pupa on designs specs for the Shagohod that Granin acquired himself and planned to submit to Huey with some of his commentary before it ended up intercepted by Ocelot for the CIA.

At some point between 1973 and 1974, the Pupa was deployed against the Sandinista unit in hiding at Costa Rica, and killed many of the members.[2] The Sandinistas' nickname for the Pupa was el galapago, which means "Turtle" in Spanish.


The Pupa charges its electric shock attack.

After Big Boss (Naked Snake) failed to prevent Hot Coldman from relocating Peace Walker's frame from the Mt. Irazu facility, Pupa entered the area from the roof and sped around, attacking Snake, having been dispatched by Coldman to take out the intruder. The AI would usually foreshadow its attacks with a burst of song, using its speech synthesis system. However, Snake (with Huey's help) managed to decommission the Shagohod-like AI weapon. Afterwards, Big Boss and the Militaires Sans Frontières salvaged several parts and its boosters from Pupa, which they would later use to create Metal Gear ZEKE.

The MSF also encountered ten inactive Pupa frames housed within an AI weapon hangar, during their infiltration of the Peace Sentinel's Costa Rican mine base. Huey had apparently been unaware that so many had been made.[3]


The word "pupa" refers to the intermediate stage of development insects go through following the larval stage and proceeding the adult stage. It is the most basic term for that particular stage, with more specific terms including chrysalis and cocoon.

Behind the scenes[]

Pupa appears in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and is fought by the player during a boss battle. Stronger versions of the Pupa, known as "Pupa Type II" and "Pupa Custom", can be fought in Extra Ops. The head from Pupa Custom can be salvaged, which grants Metal Gear ZEKE the ability to use shock attacks.

Pupa, alongside the other AI weapons, was also made as an action figure for the Peace Walker line of the Square Enix toy-making subsidiary Play Arts Kai. It came with a code to unlock a soldier when inputted. Using the code will unlock a soldier and, assuming the player doesn't already have it, a FOX T-shirt.

The PUPA also had alternate voice data released as DLC. One, released both areas, changed its voice to a more human sound that was voiced by Vanessa Marshall and/or Yumi Kikuchi (depending on the version). The other, released only in Japan, gives the Pupa a voice speaking with a Niigata dialect.

"PUPA: Human Voice
This is the alternate voice data for the "PUPA" AI weapon.
V.O.: Vanessa Marshall)
When downloaded, this will change the voice for the respective AI weapon from EXTRA OPS.
―PUPA: Human Voice DLC PSN description for the International release of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
"Pupa Human voice version
AI weapon "Pupa" another voice (CV: Yumi Kikuchi)
If download, an appropriate AI weapon's sound of EXTRA OPS is changed.
―PUPA: Human Voice DLC PSN description translation for the Japanese release of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
"Pupa Niigata accent version
AI weapon "Pupa" Niigata accent voice version
If download, an appropriate AI weapon's sound of EXTRA OPS is changed.
―PUPA: Human Voice DLC PSN description for the Japanese release of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

The Pupa later appeared in Versus Battle, where it fought against the Shagohod.

Shockingly Aggressive & Amphibious
Lightning Rods Vulnerable to Sniping
Pupa possesses fearsome offensive capabilities, including an electrical cannon whose shocking power is extended by launcher-deployed rods
―Pupa in Versus Battle

Boss strategy[]

The Pupa is a tank/hovercraft hybrid capable of high speed maneuvers and jumps. Huey offers tips on defeating the Pupa - the most important of which is to target the cylindrical AI pod on the front of the vehicle with the LAW launcher. Striking other parts of the Pupa causes damage, but not as much as hitting the AI pod.


Analyzer scan of the Pupa AI weapon.

The Pupa has several devastating attacks, including a lightning attack. When this attack is initiated, quickly move away from the front of the Pupa, as this attack can reach in an obtuse angle side-to-side. If you are in front of the Pupa during this attack, you can roll out of the way to avoid being struck. When the Pupa charges its boosters, it is prepping for a charge attack. Quickly lie down to avoid being hit, as the Pupa has a small amount of space between itself and the ground. As long as you aren't directly aligned with one of its treads, you won't be hurt.

When the Pupa dispenses a large number of mine-like devices called "lightning rods", target them with a machine gun or assault rifle and destroy them. You don't have to shoot all of them, just the ones close to you. Soon after, the Pupa will use its lightning attack, and the lightning rods will expand the attack, causing electricity to surge across the entire floor. If there are no lightning rods nearby, you'll be safe.

When you run low on ammo, look for a safe spot to deploy a Support Supply Marker. There are three alcoves with ladders along the perimeter walls which make great spots to gain supplies and take a break from the Pupa's attacks. Make sure that when the box drops, you move out of the way, as if it hits you, you'll be dazed for a few seconds.

Once the Pupa's health is depleted, it becomes immobilized. Approach it and use your machine gun or launcher to attack its AI pod, blowing off the hatch. Climb inside and remove the memory boards that have colored icons next to them. The memory boards you retrieve can be used later to create your own AI weapon.


Ordinary/Type II[]

  • "Engaging Shock Units" (when firing low charge electric beams).
  • "Firing Boosters" (when about to charge).
  • "Commencing Jump" (when re-entering arena by jumping).
  • "Shock Output at Maximum" (before detonating the lighting rods deployed on the floor).
  • “Re-engaging Target" (when re-entering arena on ground level)
  • "Target Locked" (when about to fire either a three-pronged electric attack or a rapid fire electric attack).


  • "Die" (when firing low charge electric beams).
  • "Freeze" (when about to charge).
  • "I crush you like an insect" (when re-entering arena by jumping).
  • "Time for you to die" (before detonating the lightning rods deployed on the floor).
  • "Do you think I let you get away?" (when about to fire either a three-pronged electric attack or a rapid fire electric attack).

Other appearances[]

Pupa also appears in Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops as a boss as well as a series of cards. In addition to both its ordinary/Type II forms as well as its Custom Forms, it also has a golden card.

In addition, the player can also develop a Pupa as their Metal Gear in the Mother Base development game in the Ground Zeroes app, accessible after first completing a Hangar strut. It costs 200 materials to create. They can also unlock a Custom version of Pupa by obtaining a score of 75k+ on Hard Mode of Ground Zeroes while connected to the app.


See also[]


Notes and references[]

  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Briefing files > About this [Pupa Battle] Mission > Amanda > Stop the "Pupa" AI Weapon!
    Amanda: We've lost many compas to that thing. Send it to the scrapyard!
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Kojima Productions (2010).
    Huey: (Codec) These are all... I had no idea they made so many AI weapons.