|"Hmm, I don't remember that one. It mustn't be that important." |
This article is about a subject from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]
- "We've both heard enough speeches about higher causes by now. History will decide who's right. End of story."
- ―Sam to Raiden
Samuel Rodrigues was a cyborg involved with the Desperado PMC group who fought against Raiden during the events of 2018. He was a master swordsman of the "Rodrigues New Shadow School" technique, which had derived from the "Yagyu Shinkage-ryu (Yagyu New Shadow School)" of Japan. His codename was Minuano, named after the cool Southern Brazilian wind, and was also nicknamed "Jetstream Sam." Sam's serial number was 977-AZQEE.
Early life and career
Samuel Rodrigues was descended from a long line of swordsmen, dating back to 16th century Japan. His father ran a Brazilian Kenjutsu dojo, and specifically taught the Uradachi technique, better known as Satsujin-ken or "the murdering sword," which dealt with violence as the end goal. Sam's father was eventually killed by one of his pupils, with one of the drug cartels being rumored to have been involved for reasons and methods unknown, although not before Sam personally inherited his Murasama blade from his father. He then left Brazil, presumably to train, and eventually returned to kill the pupil in question before leaving Brazil permanently.
Afterwards, he travelled the world as a mercenary, and taking various odd jobs, including a job as a bodyguard and as a cleaner for the Mafia and the like. He also made a name for himself in the criminal underworld, especially within South and Central America, with one story being that he managed to take down a hit squad composed of 10 mob enforcers with automatic weapons using only his sword during the early 2000s, a time before cyborg technology was available. At some point, he had the Murasama blade modified into an HF blade with an ID lock. Already a superlative sword, this led to the creation of an incredibly powerful HF Blade which glowed an eerie red color.
- See also: Raid at World Marshal, Ambush in Africa, Abkhazian Coup, Investigation in Guadalajara, Raid in Denver, and Operation Tecumseh
Early activites with Desperado Enforcement
Recruitment into Desperado/World Marshal
At an unknown point, Sam learned about Senator Steven Armstrong's involvement with World Marshal, and decided to kill him for "sacrificing soldiers from the comfort of an office." Unbeknownst to him, however, Armstrong and Monsoon had arranged for his arrival at Denver to recruit him, in large part because of his taking out several drug cartels. He proceeded to infiltrate the compound via the sewer systems of Denver, although not before killing two DPD cyborg police officers who caught him attempting to enter. He later encountered the LQ-84i prototype unmanned gear who had orders to kill Sam, presumably from Armstrong. Sam proceeded to tell him that he should think for himself. The LQ-84i briefly considered his advice, but was unable to disobey his directives due to Desperado blackmailing him with a memory wipe. The LQ-84i was then defeated by Sam, with him mentioning that he fought of his own choosing as why he prevailed over the mech.
Leaving the ruined mech behind, he then proceeded to enter the premises of World Marshal. Upon gaining entry, he then attempted to use the lifts, although his presence activated a lockdown on the lifts before he could reach his destination. Sam, upon defeating the reinforcements, managed to reach his destination by jumping up on the crates and eventually entered a hangar area. He then encountered Monsoon, who questioned his motives regarding his slaughtering of a drug cartel. Sam told Monsoon that he left Brazil since he had no need to stay anymore due to his exacting revenge (referring to his father's death at the hands of one of his pupils). After a debate regarding the consequences of Sam's actions, Monsoon dropped a RP grenade down to his level and then summoned a Metal Gear RAY UMG unit to attack him.
Upon the defeat of the RAY unit, Armstrong then proceeded to invite Sam to the roof via the PA for a "final test." Sam then fought his way through the building until getting to the outside of a Japanese garden plaza, where Monsoon questioned his resolve, citing that he can't take out an organization as big as World Marshal all by himself, even if he "removed the limbs," although Sam retorted that he only fought for himself. When Sam boarded an elevator to the roof he was contacted again by Armstrong, who noted how they both shared similar views, despite Sam's protests against the claim. Sam then proceeded to locate several doors on the top floor, including the door leading to the rooftop of the HQ building.
Sam then encountered Armstrong on the rooftop after defeating a Hammerhead. Armstrong, as his "final interview", powered up to his maximum form, the spectacle of caused Sam to applauded the transformation. After an intense battle, Sam seemingly was victorious over Armstrong. However, Armstrong stood up again virtually unharmed by Sam's assault. Armstrong then requested that he lend them a hand so they could end war as a business. Sam refused and decided to take Armstrong's hand rather than give them one. After making a few swings at Armstrong with his sword, Sam paid close attention to the speed at which Armstrong's nanomachines form his armor. Then, after taking a few punches, he made use of the explosive charge in his sheath to sever Armstrong's right hand. However, given the sharp angle the cut had left, Armstrong propelled the nanomachine hardened stump into Sam's right arm. Forced to concede defeat, Sam accepted the senator's offer and joined World Marshal.
His right arm was then replaced with a prosthetic, owing to the severe damage to it that Armstrong inflicted on him. He then participated in several missions with the restored LQ-84i during this time.
Ambush in Africa
Sam, alongside Desperado, ambushed African Prime Minister N'mani's convoy, blocking the lead vehicle. The gunner of the lead vehicle then requested that he stand aside, also warning that he'd use lethal force if he did not comply. Sam then proceeded to rush at the vehicle, dodging the gunner's machinegun fire before jumping at the air, deflecting the incoming bullets and then slicing him in half with his sword. He was then surrounded by the remaining soldiers of Maverick while the Prime Minister's limousine escaped. Smirking whilst watching them leave, he knew that their escape was fruitless. He then proceeded to slay the Maverick cyborgs as well as several national soldiers.
Eventually, N'mani was captured by the Desperado leader Sundowner and the two men rendezvoused on the train, the latter having boarded it to evade Maverick when surrounded. Afterwards, Maverick member Raiden boarded train himself in pursuit of Sundowner, attempting to stop Sundowner from killing N'mani, but hindered by the presence of Sam. After Sundowner made his escape, Sam challenged Raiden to a duel aboard the train while inside the train tunnel. Sam easily blocked Raiden's attacks because of their different sword techniques and Sam's unique HF Blade. Raiden could not keep up with Sam's blows and Sam managed to first damage Raiden's left and Artificial Compound Eye with an upwards cut. During this encounter Sam managed to see through Raiden's technique, praising it as "not half-bad" despite Raiden being a self-taught swordsman. However, Sam declared that Raiden was "denying [his] weapon its purpose" and that in reality it had a desire to kill. After rupturing a propane tank to ignite his sword he pushed Raiden back and then sheathed his sword. Raiden rushed at Sam but the flames obscured his vision, leaving him vulnerable to Sam's impending counter-attack. In one clean motion, Samuel used the trigger release on his scabbard to unsheath his sword and sever Raiden's left arm. Samuel continued to taunt the crippled Raiden in his vain attempts to continue the fight. He then attempted to finish off Raiden, but realised that Raiden stalled him long enough for them to reach the end of the tunnel and was forced back by Maverick's reinforcements before escaping onto the Tiltrotor. His escape was ensured with the built-in flares of the aircraft when Maverick commander Boris attempted to shoot it down with an anti-air missile.
Earning Raiden's grudge
Following this encounter, Raiden would hold a deep grudge against Sam. Sam would also tell his comrades, particularly Monsoon, of his observation from earlier that Raiden saw his weapon "as a tool." Sam's weapon is passed down to him from his father indicating that there is a lineage of swordsmen in his family, likely stemming from his Japanese ancestors who escaped from Japan to Brazil during the second World War.
Sam later hacked into several billboards during Raiden's mission to storm World Marshal Inc.'s HQ building at Denver, where he proceeded to give a breaking lecture on how Raiden's means of pursuing justice had blinded him to the idea that the cyborgs may have been forced to do things they didn't want. He later observed Monsoon's lecture towards Raiden and wanted to fight Raiden's Jack the Ripper form, but Monsoon declared that Jack was his to fight, and instead was ordered to report to the chief. He eventually was ordered to fight Raiden by the dying Sundowner after he had been finished off by Raiden at the top of World Marshal HQ.
Final duel at the Badlands
He later had a final duel with Raiden in the Badlands of Colorado, with Blade Wolf bearing witness to it. He was killed by Raiden in the Badlands by a swift stab through his torso following an intense battle. Prior to his duel and ultimate death, he confided in Blade Wolf, wondering whether or not his actions were right after seeing that the convictions held by Raiden were once his own. Depending on what the outcome was, they would either continue with the planned international incident Operation Tecumseh, or he would hand down his sword to Blade Wolf and leave him with the decision of what to do with the sword. Blade Wolf would eventually deliver the sword to Raiden when he was at Armstrong's mercy.
Upon Sam's death, Raiden discovered that Sam barely had any cyborg enhancements at all. In fact, besides the exoskeleton that encased his otherwise-human body, only his right arm was actually purely cybernetic.
Personality and traits
- "Now I see. You deny your weapon its purpose! It yearns to bathe in the blood of your enemies... but you hold it back!"
- ―Sam taunting Raiden
Sam had a prominent scar over his left eye and was shown to be a very skilled swordsman. His skill is revealed by Kevin who told Raiden how he killed ten mob enforcers with just his sword long before he became a cyborg. By 2018, he was capable of fighting a cyborg ninja with just his hands as he demonstrated when he fought Raiden in the Badlands.
Sam was once greatly driven by revenge, this was what fueled him to hone his skills and become an expert swordsman. He would go on to develop a free-wheeling personality, taking out street gangs and drug cartels based on his own sense of justice, similar to Raiden's ideals in 2018. Although Sam greatly objected against Armstrong's plan of exploiting child soldiers before his recruitment, Monsoon's words and his defeat at Armstrong's hands led him to settle on the notion that corruption could not easily be defeated by taking it out piece by piece. Demoralized with his loss as he was unable to defeat such a source of corruption, Sam agreed to join Armstrong's cause, inevitably providing him more reason to fight in new conflicts. His newfound manipulative and taunting personality was described by Blade Wolf as being unusual and contradicting of his normal personality, with the implication that Sam had changed since their previous encounters.
While Sam had originally sought out and dealt with criminality as a means of upholding his sense of justice, his loss against Armstrong and eventual recruitment into World Marshall had led him to forget the original reason behind his desire for seeking out conflicts. Abandoning his pursuit of justice, Sam now believed ideals had no place on the battlefield, and that only victors could decide what was right. Raiden's ideals of justice reminded him of his past self, causing friction between the two, with Sam constantly mocking Raiden's pursuit of such a goal. Realizing this could be the reason Sam accepted his loss against Armstrong in the first place, as Armstrong's victory during their battle meant that Sam's pursuit of justice was essentially rendered moot.
Because of his curiosity towards Raiden, Sam had only wanted to fight Raiden in peak condition, most notably favoring Raiden's "Jack the Ripper" mentality. Much like Gray Fox, Sam enjoyed combat, and claimed to feel alive during his final duel. Although he enjoyed conflict, he wasn't without scruples. Despite trying to stop Raiden from going to Solis, he did not go so far as to wipe out Solis, even though he was perfectly capable of doing so if he wished. Sam's final words to Blade Wolf indicated that his encounter with Raiden made him doubt his involvement and participation in Operation Tecumseh despite 2 years worth of preparation on his final day. This conversation implies Raiden's mentality and unrelenting persistence had caused Sam to doubt whether or not Armstrong's goal was truly the right thing to do. In response to this realization, he attempted to redeem himself through Raiden, even deciding to have Blade Wolf pass on his Murasama blade to Raiden should he lose in their final battle.
Sam seemed to be on good terms with the members of Desperado during his involvement in their operations; having commonly worked together with Sundowner as well as conversing with Monsoon in their spare time. In particular, Sam and Sundowner seem to be well-acquainted, as implied by the casual tone of their conversations, most notably after Sundowner's defeat in which the two conversed about Raiden's skills, with Sundowner remarking that Sam would get his "wish" of having a worthy battle with Raiden. Sam also seemed to harbor a dark sense of humor relating to cutting-related puns, which was demonstrated twice: The first time in the final moments of Desperado's ambush at Africa, where Sam, after blocking Raiden from attempting to save N'mani with his Murasama blade, asked if Raiden "mind[ed] if [Sam] cut in?" The second time was when Sundowner was killed by Raiden, in which he jokingly opened their conversation by saying "Cut yourself shaving?", at which point the dying Sundowner, having been cut to pieces earlier, sarcastically laughed it off. This morbid sense of humor was also demonstrated when Sam was recruited by Armstrong, when the two were shown laughing hysterically after Armstrong offered him his right hand in a handshake, despite Armstrong greatly damaging Sam's right arm a few moments before.
Sam held a close friendship with Blade Wolf. During their first encounter, his words influenced Blade Wolf to think for himself and his own freedom. The two would later develop a close bond after Sam's recruitment into World Marshall. Blade Wolf would grow closely attached to Sam, even going so far as to worry and question the necessity of Raiden and Sam's final battle. Sam believed in Blade Wolf enough to entrust him with his final wish under the assumption that he might die during his final battle with Raiden.
Sam did not seem very interested in money as a reward, as evidenced by his remark that war is the "big payoff" behind Desperado's operations, with the implication that he simply enjoyed the very notion of fighting as part of his ideals, regardless of the payment he'd receive in exchange for his services.
Although Sam himself never utilized a codename while aligned with Desperado, he was briefly referenced as "Minuano" in a conversation between Steven Armstrong and Monsoon shortly before his arrival at Denver, which alluded to the wind that blows through places like Brazil, Sam's native country.
Powers and Abilities
Sam did not have a lot of cybernetic enhancements, as Raiden discovered upon killing him. His body was nearly all original. The only enhancement was that of his right arm. Much like Solidus Snake, the rest of his exoskeleton suit enhanced his strength, durability, speed and agility as a means of matching up to other cyborgs. Even before his arm was replaced with a cybernetic one, he displayed great skill in his usage of his Murasama sword. Despite only wearing an exoskeleton pre-2016, he was able to fight against Blade Wolf and one of Desperado's Metal Gear RAYs, as well as confronting Armstrong in his peak condition. In terms of sheer combat ability, he was skilled enough to be able to continually fight Raiden even when disarmed by the latter. Furthermore, beyond his skills in using Brazilian kenjutsu under the "Rodrigues New Shadow School", he demonstrated sufficient knowledge in hand-to-hand martial arts; capable of fighting against Raiden bare-handed, as well as using a defensive throwing technique that is very reminiscent of Judo.
Sam could also read peoples' skills and personalities very easily, demonstrated when he quickly learned that Raiden was self taught and restrained his rage. He tended to taunt his opponents in order to sway their focus.
Other than his exoskeleton and cybernetic arm, Sam's only equipment was his HF Murasama. According to Blade Wolf the sword's high-frequency conversion carried over the already excellent properties of the original sword, making it extremely powerful. Sam carried the Murasama sheathed at his side in the style of samurai (buke-zukuri) which allowed him draw quickly from taito stance.
The Murasama's sheath contained a rifle mechanism with a magazine loaded and a trigger located below the sword's hilt. By triggering this mechanism Sam could launch his sword from the sheath and use iaido techniques with increased momentum which he demonstrated when cutting off Raiden's arm with one strike.
Behind the scenes
Samuel Rodrigues (サムエル・ホドリゲスSamueru Hodorigesu) first appeared in the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards trailer regarding Metal Gear Solid: Rising becoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. His debut is similar to his first appearance in the game, where he takes down a Maverick cyborg APC gunner and also ends up surrounded by Maverick soldiers. However, some differences include him smirking at Raiden (who is in his black armor instead of his white armor) instead of simply smirking at the limo's escape, as well as Boris, upon learning from Raiden and Courtney that Sam was a cyborg and learned that he is unaffiliated to any of their competitors, respectively, ordering Raiden to take him out. His appearance in the trailer was also slightly different, as he possessed a blue and white cyborg body. Fans initially thought that he was Vamp, due to his strong resemblance as well as their rivalry in the trailer.
Sam was first briefly mentioned in a leaked casting call, causing some suspicion from the description that Sam was the cyborg Raiden encountered in the trailer. The pre-E3 show on Konami's website, when covering Metal Gear Rising, confirmed Sam's name and identity during the staff interviews. In addition, in an interview released on GameTrailers on June 7, 2012, Yuji Korekado revealed that Sam is not supposed to be Vamp.
In the Japanese version, Sam was voiced by Hiroaki Hirata, who previously voiced Balthier in Final Fantasy XII and was best known as the voice of Sanji in One Piece. In the English and international versions, Sam was voiced by Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, who portrays the character with a strong Puerto Rican accent referencing its Latin roots.
In a leaked casting call, there was a request for at least four actors for characters that would appear in an in-development (at the time) live action trailer for Metal Gear Rising. One of these characters, Sam, had the casting call request that the actor be between 25-26.5 years of age, possessing a tan complexion comparable to those of Italian, Sicilian, or Greek heritage, dark hair (misspelled as "Dark Hear"), a ponytail, some facial stubble, as well as, if possible, hand to hand/sword experience.
He was primarily designed by Kenichirou Yoshimura, and acted as one of the first Metal Gear Rising characters designed by him. He had initially planned on leaving Platinum Games early in the development process of the game after it was handed over to them. However, three days before he was scheduled to leave, Yoshimura by chance stumbled on what some of the concept artists were working on regarding Metal Gear Rising when asking if they needed any suggestions. He ended up enraged that they weren't taking the Metal Gear concept seriously in the development process and demanded to the art director that Platinum Games "cannot place this in a Metal Gear game!", so he decided to stay for half a year beyond schedule until he was certain that it was up to the standards of Metal Gear. He was tasked by the art director to make a character who was "Samurai-like." After initial designs, Yoshimura concluded that the character needed a lot of asymmetrical angles in his design, as well as having his samurai hilt have something of a guntrigger. He also wanted a Black Body/White Arm design for Sam's cyborg body, although a contest concluded that a White Body/Black Arm was more suitable to give a direct contrast between him and Raiden's Black cyborg body. As he wanted the design to be as close to Metal Gear as possible, he also utilized some of Yoji Shinkawa's artbooks as inspiration. Shinkawa, while not the main designer for Sam, did briefly draw a sketch during a meeting. Shinkawa also told Yoshimura when asked about the design that it "freed his mind," leaving Yoshimura very relieved.
He shares the same serial number as Mistral.
Sam's boss theme is "The Only Thing I Know for Real." The lyrics are from Sam's perspective, referencing that he knows only how to kill, rather than why he kills. Sam is also the only talking boss besides Steven Armstrong who does not interact with Raiden via Codec upon defeat, because of his limited cybernetic enhancements. He does, however, have a brief line of dialogue via Codec shortly after Sundowner was defeated, due to Sundowner contacting him just before his death.
After Metal Gear RAY, Sam is the second boss not to be finished off using Blade Mode. Sam is also one of only three bosses who may not be cut or dismembered using Blade Mode at the end of their battle.
Sam was given a DLC pack on April 9 that expands on his background. In the screenshots, he is shown with both of his arms being green, hinting that he'll lose his right arm in this. It also implied that he'd fight Desperado when he was shown fighting a Desperado pattern Metal Gear RAY. On March 25, some more information was unveiled about the DLC: it would take place in Denver, Colorado.
The fictional Murasama blade wielded by Sam is a portmanteau of Muramasa and Murasame. Muramasa is an actual sword made by Muramasa (person and/or school), while Murasame is a fictional sword in Nanso Satomi Hakkenden.
The Murasama blade originally appeared in the RPG Wizardry as the strongest weapon in the game. The developers were confused between Muramasa and Murasame and thus the mistake. In the Japanese version of Wizardry, the name was fixed to Muramasa. From the 5th installation onwards, it has been fixed to Muramasa in the Western releases as well. According to developer notes for Sam's concept artwork in the Collector's Edition of the Piggyback Guide, the name for the Murasama was actually the fault of the Rodrigues family, as they got the name wrong. The creators also deliberately misnamed the blade in order to pay homage to Western misunderstandings of Japanese culture. They also likened him to a free-radical samurai in his views, although they admitted that Raiden and Sam were closer to swordsmen than actual samurai, and that their final duel was a combination of Western gunmen duels and the duels fought by Miyamoto Musashi.
Sam wears the sword tachi-style; the edge facing the ground. The reason for this is explained in the Codec as Sam practiced Brazilian kenjutsu and therefore he had a unique philosophy. This does not make any sense in regards to kenjutsu and kendo, but these are not usually practised with a sheath which incorporates a rifle action. The "Rodrigues New Shadow School" and its history is entirely fictional but the school which it derived from, Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, is real and has survived for over 400 years.
Sam also appeared as a minion in the game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Sam also appeared in Versus Battle, where he fought against Raiden.
Cyborg Master of Brazilian Swordplay
Samuel and Raiden are worthy opponents whose epic face-offs in RISING are awesome
METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE"
- ―Samuel's bio in Versus Battle
In the Japanese version, although the color of cybernetic blood was kept white instead of red as a form of censorship, the blood sprayed when Raiden fatally wounds Samuel Rodrigues was kept red, in order to give emphasis to the revelation that he was cyberneticized to a far lesser extent than the cyborgs Raiden had previously faced.
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Jetstream DLC, Kojima Productions/PlatinumGames Inc. (2013).
Monsoon: In any case, Minuano should be close. // Steven Armstrong: Minuano... the cool Brazilian wind. // Monsoon: A.k.a. Jetstream Sam...
- ^ http://youtu.be/Gj7YJbyAgo4?t=2m8s
- ^ http://sgcafe.com/2012/09/tgs-2012-konami-booth-coverage/
- ^ Explained in a Codec conversation with Kevin.
- ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance VGA 2011 trailer
Soldier: Who is he? // Raiden: A cyborg. // Soldier: One of our competitors? // Female analyst: XIFF comes up "unaffiliated." // Mission controller: Take him out, Raiden! // Raiden: Roger that. Let's have some fun!
- ^ http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2012-metal-gear/731916
- ^ http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2012/08/28/metal-gear-rising-revengeance-character-to-be-revealed-at-tgs
- ^ http://sgcafe.com/2012/09/tgs-2012-konami-booth-coverage/
- ^ http://raiden-fc.deviantart.com/journal/Up-Coming-Trailer-292256885
So, A new trailer is in the works. A friend of mine, [Dragonblade-Dreams] sent me a text the other day, which held a photo for a casting call. In this casting call, It is looking for live actors for the trailer. The content I saw were as follow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RAIDEN: Male Caucasian, 23-25, Longish blond hair, athletic build. No scars, tattoos [cut off from image] Hand to Hand combat/swordplay experience a plus, if possible Greek or Italian slight accent. Jack: Caucasian, 8-12, blond, wavy hair, blue eyes, No scars on the arms, athletic , Dramatic acting, Possible slight Greek or Italian accent. Sam: 25-26.5, muscular, tan complexion (Italian, Sicilian, Greek) Dark Hear, Ponytail, facial stubble. Hand to Hand / sword experience a plus. Doctor: Caucasian, 50's. Strong eyes, scars, wrinkles OK. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That is all i received in the image. In any case, one can assume that 'Jack', here, is none other than young Raiden, and apparently the Latino Cyborg from the last trailer is the one they call "Sam" Thoughts, People?
- ^ http://platinumgames.com/2012/12/27/staying-true-to-metal-gear/
- ^ http://www.4gamer.net/games/093/G009308/20130213084/