A searchlight (or spotlight) is an apparatus that combines an extremely luminous source (such as a carbon arc lamp) with a mirrored parabolic reflector that projects a powerful beam of light of approximately parallel rays in a particular direction, usually constructed so it could be swiveled around.

Searchlights are generally used within the military as a security device to detect enemy aircraft and/or any potential intruders during times when visibility is low, such as during the night. Special operatives Big Boss and Solid Snake evaded discovery by such devices during their respective sneaking missions into enemy facilities. Aside from security measures, they are also installed onto naval vessels in the event that they are caught in an environment with zero visibility to ensure they don't move around blind, such as at night during a severe thunderstorm.

Facilities with searchlights

Vehicles with searchlights

Behind the scenes

Searchlights are a recurring hazard in the Metal Gear series. Detection by searchlights often results in an immediate Alert mode.

Searchlights first appear in the non-canonical Snake's Revenge. They are utilized in the jungles surrounding the enemy base.

In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, searchlights were originally to have been located near the Zanzibar Building, but were cut during the game's development. Dummied data from the game features a radio transmission from Roy Campbell regarding their presence.

Searchlights appear during the opening of Metal Gear Solid. The original game requires the player to evade the moving search beams, while The Twin Snakes remake allows them to disable the lights by shooting them out. According to Hideo Kojima, homage was paid to this opening in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, where searchlights are seen in operation during the first cutscene featuring Groznyj Grad.

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, during the tanker chapter, a spotlight can be found during the boss fight against Olga Gurlukovich. The player can exploit the spotlight by destroying it with gunfire to easily defeat Olga. Doing so in the HD Edition was referenced with the achievement trophy "Lights Out".

In Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, searchlight-equipped guard towers are a frequent hazard for the player character, although they can be destroyed, shut off, or used to dazzle enemy soldiers for a short time. In the Extra Ops Déjà Vu and Jamais Vu, special searchlights can be utilized to project the logos for Kojima Productions and the then-in development Kojima Productions Los Angeles. The Déjà Vu mission allows the recreation of the opening scene from MGS1, by having the player character procure an item box from a searchlight-illuminated helipad, while the conclusion to the Jamais Vu mission features a searchlight-equipped helicopter assisting the player in spotting the attacking enemy soldiers.


See also


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