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Shadow Moses is an island that is part of the Fox Archipelago lying southwest of mainland Alaska in the Bering Sea. A nuclear weapons disposal facility located on Shadow Moses secretly doubled as a massive weapons development complex.


Shadow Moses was formed by the eruption of the active volcano Old Moses on the island of Unimak, one of the Fox Islands at the eastern end of the Aleutian chain.[1]

The nuclear weapons disposal facility on the island was built in 2002.[2] Officially, it was made to temporarily store nuclear warheads so it wouldn't come into conflict with START-2, but in reality, it was owned and operated by an ArmsTech dummy corporation for the development of Metal Gear REX.[3] Shadow Moses itself was too small to accommodate a runway, and was thus inaccessible by airplane. The island was furnished with its own power plant and foundry to make it self-sufficient.[1] The facility also possessed sonar detection capability, allowing them to spot ships/submarines from a distance, or choppers in the area.

Shadow Moses Incident[]

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

Hind d

Liquid Snake and the Genome Army take control of the island in 2005.

In late February 2005, Shadow Moses was the location of a top secret test launch of a new type of stealth nuclear warhead, conducted by ArmsTech and DARPA and overseen by FOXHOUND and the Next-Generation Special Forces. However, shortly thereafter, FOXHOUND rebelled against the U.S. Government, holding DARPA Chief Donald Anderson and ArmsTech President Kenneth Baker hostage, and hijacking Metal Gear REX and its nuclear armament, with the threat of launching one of its nukes via REX unless Washington gives them Big Boss' body and one billion dollars. In addition, security was heightened after an intruder managed to infiltrate the island and kill three of the Sons of Big Boss personnel while cloaked. Ex-FOXHOUND operative Solid Snake was sent in to deal with the terrorist threat and defuse the situation, although not without gradually discovering some secrets about the true nature of the base. Liquid Snake, during this time, gradually decided to invoke Big Boss's dream of Outer Heaven, while making Shadow Moses the new Outer Heaven's forward operating base due to their having REX and the base's stockpile of nuclear weapons.[4] The island facility was nearly destroyed by an aerial nuclear strike issued by Secretary of Defense Jim Houseman in order to keep the incident out of the public eye, but the orders were rescinded when Houseman was arrested at the last second. This became known as the Shadow Moses Incident.

Post-Shadow Moses[]

Following the incident, the island was completely abandoned and remained untouched for nine years.[5] The island along with the Fox Archipelago, was steadily being swamped by the rising waters due to global warming, which acted as the primary reason for the U.S. Army removing hazardous materials and its control over Shadow Moses Island.[6]

In 2007, A journalist named Gary McGolden supposedly traveled to the island in order to verify Nastasha Romanenko's account of the Shadow Moses Incident, in her book In the Darkness of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth. According to McGolden's article (The Shocking Conspiracy Behind Shadow Moses), the island had been placed under the control of the military, in order to conceal the events that took place there. He was captured by agents of the Patriots, but their attempts at interrogating him, regarding his sources, were foiled when he was rescued by an "invisible" savior.

Guns of the Patriots Incident[]

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

A deserted Shadow Moses, in 2014

A deserted Shadow Moses, in 2014.

In 2014, Solid Snake returned to Shadow Moses after discovering that Liquid Ocelot intended to steal the rail gun from Metal Gear REX. This was because it was not under SOP control and could launch a stealth missile at a satellite in space which housed JD, the Patriots' core AI. Once again infiltrating the base, Snake fought his way through numerous Gekko and Dwarf Gekko, and fought and defeated Crying Wolf (in the same Snowfield where he had fought Sniper Wolf nine years before). Snake made his way to the underground supply tunnel and found REX, but the railgun had already been removed. He then encountered Vamp, and managed to temporarily strip him of his immortality, giving Raiden a chance to kill him. REX's hangar became the final resting place for Vamp and Naomi Hunter, and with hordes of Suicide Gekkos pouring in, Snake and Raiden managed to escape in the re-powered Metal Gear REX. Snake and Liquid then ended up fighting at Shadow Moses' port area, with Snake operating REX and Metal Gear RAY being piloted by Liquid Ocelot.


A small port located within a cavern on the south of the island used for the transfer of cargo. An elevator to the north of the dock leads up to the island's heliport. Dock 1 (Metal Gear Solid)
A small airport suitable only for use by helicopters, the heliport contained a single helipad with limited facilities such as lighting from two searchlights. It contained an armory. It was also connected to a snowfield, although it was primarily sealed away. Hind d
Tank hangar

The tank hangar was built to hold the facility's two M1A1 Abrams tanks in protective storage, and to maintain them. The tank hangar's cargo door was also designed to act as an airlock that seals itself and releases poison gas if an intruder trips one of the infrared sensors. It was at least two stories high and contained two basement floors, although the second floor of the building was an observation balcony. It also contained two computer labs on the second floor, and one storage area on each floor. The second floor storage area was locked behind a large door, and contained various crates and presumably acted as a pantry, as it also contained various wine bottles and watermelons.[7] The tank hangar also contains a diesel generator to produce electricity throughout the base, necessitating ventilation shafts for this as well as recirculating air,[8] as well as a cargo elevator for travel between the hangar floor, the holding cells/medical room and the armory to deliver supplies and to transport personnel. A canyon to the north provided passage between the hangar and the nuclear warhead storage building.

The Tank hangar (Metal Gear Solid 4)

B1 prison — The first floor basement held the prison area, used to detain soldiers who disobey orders or who were reprimanded. It contained two cells, which contained a bunk, a sink, and a toilet each. In addition, it also had a lobby that allowed for the transfer of prisoners, as well as a restroom for any guards who were on duty. There was also a ventilation shaft on the ceiling, which was sometimes sprayed for rats.

B1 medical facility — Besides the prison, the first floor basement also contained a medical facility in the event that one of the personnel was either injured or had an illness. It contained an isolation room with a bunk, and had various medical equipment and shelves. It also possessed a restroom. It was located to the west of the prison area. A ventilation duct also connected the two areas.

B2 armory The second floor basement acted as the primary armory for the facility. It contained six separate rooms in the main area, each identifiable via six pillar-like structures with doors. The first room, located at the top left pillar structure, contained PSG-1 ammunition; the second room, located at the top middle pillar structure, contained C4 plastic explosives; the third room, located at the top right pillar structure, contained Nikita missiles; the fourth room, located at the bottom left pillar structure, contained grenades; the fifth room, located at the bottom middle pillar structure, contained SOCOM ammunition; and the sixth room, located at the bottom right pillar structure, contained FAMAS rifles and ammunition. There were also two rooms that were sealed up. In addition to the main area, there were also old sections of the armory, one of which also had a support pillar. In addition, two more rooms, which included equipment for the ventilation system were to the right, although they were sealed off.

Nuclear warhead storage building
The primary storage location of dismantled warheads. It has two basements and a first floor. It can be accessed by a hangar door, and is primarily dug into the canyon. It also is a stop for supply routes, and has a garage door in the back that leads to the snowfield for trucks to traverse the glaciers separating it from the snowfield.

1F — The first floor of the nuke building was used to house the facility's dismantled warheads. Because of the volatile nature of the warheads and the risk of them rupturing leading to a biohazard, personnel were also advised to avoid using firearms on the main floor.

B1 commander's room — Located on the 1st floor basement, this was the personal office of the base's commander. A bookcase in the room concealed a door leading to the underground passage to the communications towers, via a small cave inhabited by wolf dogs. In addition, the office contained a diorama/hologram of the communication towers. To the south of the command room itself is the main lobby, which contained lavatories as well as a lab with various supplies within.

B2 — The area that most of the engineers for Metal Gear REX worked on developing various technologies or things related to REX. Seven office cubicles were installed in this lab, as well as various desks. It also contained various air cleaners in the walls to dust off tiny particles off of the personnel's bodies before entering the lab.[9] It also contained an electric floor as well as a generator for the electric floor. It was connected to the main lab of Hal Emmerich by a hallway in the back to the left, facing the entrance to the labs.

B2 Lab — Located in the northeast section of the 2nd floor basement, the laboratory of Dr. Hal Emmerich was outfitted with several supercomputers for the purpose of testing newly-developed weaponry in virtual environments. In addition, it contained shelves of magazines, at least one of which was a book detailing the art of Alaska, as well as various computer control panels, a small office, two lockers, and a whiteboard that contained various algebraic equations (presumably relating to the REX project).[10]

By 2014, the warheads in the first floor were removed from the nuclear missiles.[11]

The Nuclear warhead storage building entrance (Metal Gear Solid 4)

Nuclear warhead storage building Pic 2 (Metal Gear Solid 4)

The Nuclear warhead storage building (Metal Gear Solid 4)

Nuclear Warhead Storage Building Pic 4 (Metal Gear Solid 4)

Nuclear Warhead Storage Building Pic 5 (Metal Gear Solid 4)

Nuclear Warhead Storage Building Pic 6 (Metal Gear Solid 4)

Communications towers
An underground passage, situated under glaciers and guarded by gun cameras in 2005, led to the island's communications towers. The towers were tall man-made structures, designed to support a large high-gain reflector dish antenna for data communications. They were both approximately 28 stories tall. In addition, there were two walkways between the two towers: One situated directly at the top of the structure near the dish antenna, and a walkway built about halfway up. The walkway located halfway up, however, is rarely used as the door to Tower A has a tendency to freeze from the outside, requiring the personnel to use C4 to remove the ice if traversing. Tower B has a large elevator, and has a weight limit of 650 pounds (295kg).

A snowfield was located by the communication towers and the Nuclear Storage Building. The snowfield also contained some armories/storage depots, as well as the entrance to the underground maintenance base. In addition, it contains evergreen trees, both inside the compound and outside.

By 2014, the underground passage leading from the nuke building had mostly collapsed, with some remnants being exposed from the snow making out its outline.

Underground maintenance base
The underground base was a facility used for the construction of Metal Gear REX and various other weapons. It contained a blast furnace and a casting/rolling facility to make building materials, as well as two cargo elevators, a warehouse, as well as the main facility itself. It was five floors underground.[12] It was also designed in such a way to prevent even the most advanced intelligence-gathering equipment from finding out what is going on inside.[13]

A series of cargo elevators were developed to transport vehicles and building materials to the underground maintenance base during its construction. It was originally intended that there be only one cargo elevator, but the designers changed plans and added a relay point between two elevators, due to the structural integrity of the bedrock.[14]

Blast furnace and casting facility — Due to the difficulty of bringing supplies to the base, a blast furnace was built for the creation of building.[15][16] The pipes used for the boiler in the blast furnace were also outdated, releasing steam occasionally. To the northwest was a service elevator that led directly to the casting and rolling facilities.

The molten metal from the blast furnace was transported to the casting facility, where it would be poured into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. The solidified part would then be ejected or broken out of the mold to complete the process.

Warehouse — The warehouse was located directly in the middle of the permafrost layer, and lacked a heater. It contained a lot of crates because the room in question was still under construction, since finishing Metal Gear's underground base remained the top priority. To the north of the warehouse is a waterway separating the Underground base from the warehouse, connected via a stairwell, which also contains a second set of stairs containing an alcove. The north warehouse also contained a large amount of gun cameras in order to ensure no one intruded into the underground base where REX was being developed.

Underground base — The location of Metal Gear REX's development and maintenance. A large elevator would carry REX between the underground base and the supply route above for deployment of the nuclear-armed bipedal tank. The drainage ditch around REX's elevator contained spent fuel/nuclear waste, namely due to the negligence of the personnel of disposing it.

Control room — The control room served as the operations center where Metal Gear REX and its nuclear payload could be monitored and controlled. It is located on the third floor walkway of the underground base. There were three laptop computers connected to the control panel that acted as activation/deactivation keys to Metal Gear REX, depending on whether the activation codes were activated or not, as well as a map of the world in the back and various holographic charts near the window. The window itself was made of bulletproof glass as protection from threats outside the control room, and presumably as a means to further trap the intruder. It has nerve gas release valves in case an intruder managed to infiltrate the area. Security cameras were also installed to monitor the room for any intrusions.

Supply route — A large tunnel used to transport weapons, ammunition, equipment, and supplies. It was also split into two different routes. One was the actual supply route, and the other was an alternate, much smaller tunnel to the left of the main supply route, used to escape from the facility in case of an emergency. The latter tunnel also had a surveillance camera, as well as acted as a garage, and contained at least two checkpoints.

Supply port
A large coastal port for transporting cargo to and from the island via boat. It contains radio towers, four-to-five story buildings on both sides from the Supply Route exit that was presumably a garage or warehouse of some sort with some offices, and a bridge adjoining the two buildings.


Shadow Moses Island, because of its location, possessed cold weather. Because of this as well as frequent blizzards, it was largely covered in snow. It contained at least two snowfields, one located to the east of the Heliport, and another located between the Nuclear Storage Facility and the Underground Maintenance Base. It also possessed a canyon area, which allowed for traversing between the Tank Hangar and the Nuclear Storage Facility. The canyon area likewise possessed some devices similar to watercoolers as well as a drainage trench. It also possessed glaciers between the storage facility and the maintenance base, which made traversing between the two treacherous save for vehicles adapted for such purposes. It also possessed a natural cavern that acted as a means for personnel to safely traverse to the communications tower/maintenance base on foot. However, it was also a den for various wolfdogs that were abandoned. Also because of its location, it also possessed several evergreen trees.

Personnel (as of 2005)[]

  • Scientists (at least 8)[17]
    • Dr. Hal Emmerich (chief researcher)
  • Kenneth Baker (original owner)
  • Sons of Big Boss (usurper owners)
      • Liquid Snake
      • Revolver Ocelot
      • Psycho Mantis
      • Sniper Wolf
      • Vulcan Raven
      • Decoy Octopus
    • Next-Generation Special Forces
      • Johnny Sasaki

Vehicles (as of 2005)[]

  • M1A1 Abrams tanks (2)
  • Jeeps (2)
  • M548/M1015 Full Tracked Cargo Vehicles (3)
  • Metal Gear REX
  • Snowmobile (1)
  • Forklifts (1)
  • Tank wagon

Security systems (as of 2005)[]


  • Caribou
A wolf in the snowfield (Metal Gear Solid 4)

A wolfdog on Shadow Moses Island in 2014.

  • Alaskan field mice:[19] Alaskan field mice are rodents native to Alaska. Although they lack the necessary thickness of fat to normally survive the weather in Alaska, they compensate by digging tunnels underneath the snow to keep themselves warm. However, they are also somewhat cannibalistic, as the males sometimes kill and eat any offspring that aren't their own, which is also believed to be a way to ensure that the male field mice's own genes are passed on.[20] They also can survive long periods underwater.[21]
  • Wolfdogs
  • Northern Ravens (population increased in 2005[22])
  • Rats (REX's hangar)

Behind the scenes[]

Shadow Moses Island is a fictional location that serves as the main setting of Metal Gear Solid (MGS1), and one of the settings in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (MGS4). According to the satellite map featured in the Briefing of MGS1, Shadow Moses lies north of Unalaska Island in the Fox Archipelago.[23]

Shadow moses island 2005

Shadow Moses, as seen in the briefing in Metal Gear Solid.

Metal Gear Solid and The Twin Snakes[]

In Metal Gear Solid and its remake The Twin Snakes (TTS), Otacon mentions that there is a mess hall and a computer room in the island's disposal facility, though they are never seen in-game. Also, none of the other scientists that worked on the base are seen in-game either, although Snake mentions them while talking to Jim Houseman.

The novelization reveals another building with smokestacks as being the location where most of the hostages were being detained, which was an underground bunker that had a permanently sealed entrance as well as a secret entrance found inside caverns. In addition, the novelization also establishes an alternate route between the tank hangar and the warhead storage building that was covered in snow, which Meryl used via a transport truck while disguised as a Genome Soldier. Johnny Sasaki also held an office in the prison/medical area of the Tank Hangar, which had a steel cabinet containing plenty of ammunition for the SOCOM and PSG-1, some fragmentation, stun, and chaff grenades, C4 explosives, and a Fairbairn-Sykes, U.S. Marine issue commando knife, as well as a package containing Kevlar-coated M1-11 combat vest. Solid Snake later stole these items shortly after escaping the medical area before being contacted by Master Miller. 

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots[]

Snake returns to Shadow Moses in Metal Gear Solid 4, where many audio flashbacks will playback when the player reaches a certain point; listening to these flashbacks will award the player with extra Drebin Points. According to Hideo Kojima in a tweet back in 2011, the idea of Shadow Moses sinking due to global warming as well as fighting over REX's remains for classified intel was one of his earliest ideas for the game back when he ended up having to take directorial control over it.[24]

An Integral Podcast revealed that during MGS4's development, there was originally to have been a frozen lake at the top of the path that leads to the Canyon, and that it would have contained a frozen lake that two Gekko were searching. The main entrance was also in the same snowfield that Snake was to start Act 1 in, but it was cut off, and thus left it blocked off in the final version, because the developers realized that this would take away fans expectations of wanting to reminisce about the Heliport area. In addition, the podcast also revealed there was also intended to be a secret base below the Warhead Storage Building, but it too was cut from the final version.

Outside the facility, the wreckage of Liquid Snake's Mil Mi-24 can be found. On the way to Otacon's old lab, the blood of the soldiers that Gray Fox killed in MGS1 remains. When the player reaches Otacon's lab, he and Snake will reminisce about what happened, as well as the fact that it was the very same room where they first met. A dark marking on the floor can also be seen next to the locker, which is the spot where Otacon wet himself while being attacked by Gray Fox. In the same area, the Mario and Yoshi figures that were on Otacon's computer in TTS are gone.

The fact that Snake revisits Shadow Moses and sees the wreckage of Metal Gear REX is similar to the part of Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, where Snake goes back to the Outer Heaven base and sees the wreckage of TX-55 in its hangar.

Cut content

Dummied audio in the game indicated that the player, aside from accessing the basement area of Otacon's lab, would have also accessed the ladies' room where he met Meryl, the wolfdog caves (and presumably the commander's room before it due to him referencing the bookcase), and the communication towers. In addition, there was at least one dummied audio that had Otacon teasing Snake about potentially being panicked at seeing a deactivated surveillance camera, with Snake vehemently denying it.

3D environment changes[]

In terms of layout and environmental inclusions, Shadow Moses appears nearly identical to the versions in MGS1 and TTS, but with some notable differences.

Shadow moses elevator

Cargo Dock in Metal Gear Solid.

Certain areas of the island are inaccessible in MGS4. These areas are the cargo dock, holding cells, medical center, armory, commander's room, cave, underground passage (remains of this area can still be seen in the snowfield), communication towers, cargo elevators and warehouse. In addition, two new areas have been added; the casting facility, which serves as an alternate route to REX's hangar, and the port area, which is located through the large door in REX's hangar, and serves as the location for an epic battle leading to the climax of the chapter.

Originally, Act 4 in MGS4 was supposed to include the whole Shadow Moses island, but due to both restricted resources and deadlines during production, it was reduced to the current state. The additional reason why the act was reduced was also due to how little the full island would have brought to the game and its story as whether or not the Island was totally or partially remade, it would still be only a ghost of itself.

MGS4 establishes that neither MGS nor TTS are singularly canonical, since elements from both versions are present in this version, as are some that contradict one or even both. Examples include the audio flashbacks taken from TTS, which used re-recorded voice acting, whereas Snake's image flashbacks are from MGS1, including Snake's dream sequence. The reason for using the voice acting from TTS, is because the dialogue from MGS1 was not recorded in a soundproof booth, unlike TTS. Note that this is not the case in the Japanese release.


  • In both MGS1 and TTS, this area is available only in the beginning of the game.
  • In TTS, there are three lockers that do not exist in MGS1.
  • In MGS4, this area is inaccessible, but the elevator to it is shown.


Shadow Moses intel 2

Heliport in Metal Gear Solid.

  • Snake infiltrates the heliport area via a small passage through the rock wall in MGS4. In MGS1 and TTS this passage doesn't exist, but there is a large piece of the wall missing where it's supposed to be, indicating that it may actually be there.
  • The metal barricade that was previously attached to the western edge has gone entirely. Instead, there is another barricade blocking access to the elevator.
  • The small storage rooms west of the helipad now include ventilation ducts.
  • The ducts used to enter the Tank Hangar have a slightly different layout.
  • There are now step placements leading onto the helipad, whereas MGS1 had two large steps and TTS had four steps.
  • The columns around the upper ventilation duct are different.
  • During the "nightmare" flashback, the SOCOM is not present in the back of the truck parked in front of the Tank Hangar.
  • The SOCOM in the back of the truck parked in front of the Tank Hangar returns (now called Mark 23) is now found under the truck.

Tank Hangar[]

  • The front hangar door has been opened up. In MGS1/TTS, it was locked due to a blizzard.
  • In MGS4, there are no surveillance cameras in the Tank Hangar and Dwarf Gekko are now attached to the walls where the cameras were.
  • The stairs in the tank hangar are now closer to the main doors, and look more realistic than before.
  • The upper ventilation duct exit has been destroyed.
  • The M1 tank's cannon has been turned to the side.
  • Some of the small rooms that previously required a keycard are now permanently open.
  • The remaining M1 tank is now an M1A2 rather than the M1A1 shown in previous games.
  • The floor of the hangar lacks the large turntable directly in front of the door to the Canyon. The markings and panel lines on the floor are either altered or totally absent.


  • Snake enters this area through a large door connecting the nuclear warhead storage building to the snowfield. This door was locked previously. This entrance also allows access to the full Snowfield, as only part of it was accessible originally, during the second battle with Sniper Wolf; the rest of the area was enclosed by a series of solid metal fences topped with barbed wire. Most of these are still present, but there are now multiple gaps.
  • The underground passage where Snake fought Sniper Wolf for the first time (and where Meryl Silverburgh was shot) is now almost totally filled with snow, with the edges of the walls starting to crumble inwards and the catwalk and door to Tower A completely buried.
  • There is no cargo truck in the area North of Comm Tower B.
  • The door to the interior of Comm Tower B is locked.
  • As with other areas which formerly contained dead bodies, there is no trace of Sniper Wolf's body or her rifle in the snowfield.
  • Liquid Snake's parachute, which was previously visible on a tree to the East of the exit to Comm Tower B, is gone.
  • Liquid's Hind-D in MGS1 crashed directly in front of the East face of Comm Tower B, the POV shot as Liquid shouts "Snaaaake!" implying it landed tail-first. The wreck in MGS4 is located Northeast of the tower behind the trees where Liquid's parachute was located, and is shown as having landed nose-down. There is now an electrical substation East of Tower B where the Hind would have landed.
  • The two Comm Towers now feature exterior access steps and ladders that allow them to be scaled for a considerable distance without being entered.
  • There is no sign of the wreckage of the bridge that connected the tops of the two Comm Towers or the large antenna dish mounted on it; the ground between Towers A and B is totally clear of debris.
  • In MGS4, the area is actually 1/3 the size of the original MGS1 scenes including the exterior of Comms Tower A & B (the area where Sniper Wolf ambush Snake) and the Snow Field (the area where Snake fight Sniper Wolf as a boss). The area is filled with snow, rendering the scene slightly different visually. There is an additional approximately 6-8 feet of snow over the area which fill most of the "gaps" or corridors that were present in the exterior of the original scenes.


  • There is a small passage in the rocks to the right of the door into the tank hangar that doesn't appear in the other versions, leading to a dead end with some items.
  • In TTS, there is a duct that runs across the ground which is not in MGS1 or MGS4, though it is likely that this would now be snowed over, explaining its absence in MGS4.
  • Raven's M1 tank is not there. It was presumably removed by the Genome Soldiers after Snake had destroyed it. In MGS1, the tank is not present if Snake goes back through the area after retrieving the Nikita, while in TTS, the wreckage remains there for the duration of the game.
  • Some kind of pump is on the right side of the entrance to the storage building.

Nuclear warhead storage building[]

  • The gun cameras that were on the front door in MGS1/TTS are no longer there.
  • The elevated platform now has supports below it. In MGS1 it is fixed to the wall with no supports at all, in TTS it has a small support where it meets the floor.
  • Around the corner from the elevator, there was a crate that is no longer there.
  • The steps to the upper level are different (the same steps model used in the tank hangar).
  • The western wall contains a window that shows rows of disarmed missile casings. MGS1 lacked a window showing this, although it was present in TTS. According to the Kojima Podcast for Act 4, the reason why they weren't able to add in the window in the original version was due to graphical limitations.
  • There are no surveillance cameras in the missile hangar anymore.
  • Snake can now use all of his weapons on the first floor of the building. In an optional codec conversation with Otacon, he says that the warheads were removed from the missiles.
  • The elevator control panel now only allows selection of floors 1 and B2, leaving B1 completely inaccessible. In addition, the elevator can now be interacted with via gameplay while it is descending, unlike both MGS1 and TTS, where upon inputting the desired floor, it fades to a black screen listing the area you descended to. According to the podcast, the reason for the lack of interaction within the elevator when descending in previous games was because it was a disguised method of loading.

Nuclear warhead storage building B2 and Lab[]

  • The glass separating the elevator and the control panel is smashed.
  • The air cleaners now have rectangular holes; originally they were circular.
  • There are no remains of the soldiers that Gray Fox killed 9 years before, though stains and bullet holes remain. The corpses were presumably recovered by a clean-up crew.
  • The large dent in the wall left from when Gray Fox kicked a soldier into it, is now on another section of the wall.
  • The supercomputers in Hal Emmerich's old office now have transparent covers and a green illumination.
  • The small control panel on the wall just before the electric floor (the one that deactivates after the main panel is hit by a missile) is not there.
  • The gun cameras that were in this area are gone.
  • Desks and equipment in the west office (where the Nikita missile went through) are now damaged and disorganized.
  • In The Playstation game, Otacon displays a poster for Policenauts above one of the desks.  In TTS, this was replaced with a Zone of the Enders 2 Poster.  In MGS4, both posters are present, giving a nod to both games.
  • The PlayStation (or GameCube in TTS) that was originally on one of the desks is gone.
  • A large hole in the ceiling in the hall with the electrified floor is present.


  • In MGS4, this area is inaccessible. A small part of it, however, can still be seen in the snowfield.

Underground Passageway[]

  • In MGS4, this area is inaccessible. However, a small part of it can still be seen in the snowfield.

Blast Furnace[]

  • The wall directly right of the entrance is covered in mysterious bullet holes in MGS4.
  • There are no gun cameras in the entrance room and the crate can no longer be crawled under.
  • There is a large control unit on the deck of the blast furnace, which is not there in either MGS1 or TTS.
  • The railings in the area are a different, more realistic decaying model.
  • The furnace has been shut down and the pools of molten metal drained rather than being allowed to solidify.
  • There is an elevator in the west corner (this doesn't exist in MGS1 or TTS) which leads to a previously unseen area called the casting facility, used as an alternative route to REX's hangar. The mechanics and shafts of the cargo elevator's can be seen in this area.
  • The overall layout is similar but slightly different.

Underground Base[]

  • The small hatch Snake crawls through from the casting facility is entirely absent in the original. In TTS, there is a hatch but it is higher up on the wall.

Metal Gear REX in ruins.

  • The floor traps are open and serve as the spawning point for the Dwarf Gekko.
  • The majority of the gun cameras in the room before REX's hangar are completely missing; only their mounting brackets remain, though there are a large number of these. In TTS, there are only 4, guarding the corridor to REX's hangar.
  • There are numerous bullet holes from automatic weapon fire around the damaged mounting brackets. In MGS1 it would have been impossible to do this.
  • The waterfall of drainage waste no longer runs.
  • The camera in the corridor just before entering REX's hangar (which captures Vamp and Naomi Hunter entering the hangar) was not present in MGS1 or TTS.
  • The elevator REX once stood on has been lowered back to hangar level at some point between the two games.
  • There are several doorways high up on the walls in REX's boss lair that don't seem present in MGS1 or TTS. They are used by Naomi and Vamp and the suicide Gekkos.
  • The door used to escape the supply route when piloting REX is seen in both MGS1 and TTS but is inaccessible (Snake refers to it as "the door in front?" when questioning his escape in MGS1/TTS). In MGS4, it is revealed that it leads to the port area, which was not seen originally, though the ending cutscene in TTS shows structures in the background similar to those seen in the port, it is likely that this is in fact the port as it would only be located a small distance down the same coast as the exit of the supply route.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[]

Ssbb-metal-gear-stage13 071002b-l

Yoshi being spotted by the searchlight on Shadow Moses Island in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Shadow Moses Island, specifically the Helipad area, also appears in the Nintendo fighting game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. When fifteen battles have been fought on this stage, Solid Snake will challenge the winner of the previous battle. Upon his defeat, he will become a playable character.

The Shadow Moses stage consists of a flat floor, a catwalk above, and two platforms on the sides between the two levels (which weren't there originally). Two searchlight towers are much taller than the original towers, sitting on the sides of the area, forming walls. During battle, a searchlight will hover over the walls of the battlefield; if it spots a character, a red "!" will appear over their heads, along with the trademark alert noise, but this has no effect on gameplay. The searchlight towers can be destroyed if attacked long enough, although they will restore themselves after a short period of time. Occasionally, the wall in the background will break, revealing Metal Gear REX, Metal Gear RAY, or two Gekko. A player controlling Snake can also use his down taunt motion to activate his Codec on this stage to contact Colonel Campbell (or, in the case of Luigi, his Patriot doppelganger), Mei Ling, and Otacon (and on one occasion, Slippy Toad from the Star Fox series, if Snake is fighting Falco) and gain intel regarding his opponents. If Snake is defeated during the call, however, the person on the other frequency will treat the situation like a traditional Game Over in the MGS games(Snake? Snake? SNAAAAKE!).

Hideo Kojima worked on the development of Shadow Moses.

Metal Gear Acid 2[]


Shadow Moses Island in Metal Gear Acid 2

A building from Shadow Moses Island with four big rooms and six small rooms appears as one the maps from the Arena and Link Battle modes, the others being the Big Shell and Tselinoyarsk. In the Arena mode, the area contains ricochet walls and two fire extinguishers. Players can also crawl under tables and small openings to hide from NPC enemies.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops[]

Shadow Moses Island, more specifically REX's hangar, also appears as a multiplayer map for Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops's online mode. Aside from this, it also acted as the setting for "Map B" of the Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus official site, being one of only two maps to be featured on the main site (the only other being the Town from the original game). It included the "Boss Rush Mode," "AP Recruiting," "Online Trade," "New Careers," "Character Development," "Communication," and "Special Movie" for each Kerotan collected.

Metal Gear Online[]


Snowfield as it appeared in Metal Gear Online.

Shadow Moses Island, more specifically its Snowfield, made an appearance as the playable map Icebound Inferno, included as a downloadable stage in the SCENE expansion of Metal Gear Online, alongside Old Snake. It was suitable for mid to long range combat. In addition, downloading this stage also unlocked an auto matching reward mode that allowed players to win more points than usual, which, depending on whether the setting was a team deathmatch or solo, the points would either be rewarded to the player on the winning team who ranked first or to the winner of the match, respectively.

Versus Battle[]

Shadow Moses appeared in Versus Battle on the series official site. It first fought against Big Shell, and later against Outer Heaven.

WEAKNESSES: Freezing, Remote, Inaccessible by Plane
FEATURED FACT: This Arctic island is the perfect vacation paradise for solitary stealth operatives seeking silence, snow, and secret underground weapons facilities
-Shadow Moses on Versus Battle; when fighting against Big Shell
Infiltrating This Island Will Change Your Life
One of Those Changes May Be Frostbite
The spell of Shadow Moses is so strong that Solid Snake returned to the Island 9 years after his initial infiltration for an epic battle with Liquid Ocelot
―Shadow Moses on Versus Battle; when fighting against Outer Heaven

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes - Déjà Vu mission[]

Shadow Moses appears in flashbacks in the Déjà Vu mission in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Playing with the Classic Snake or Cyborg Ninja skins will result in the area experiencing snowfall, although Miller will claim if called that it was actually "SNOW-9 Pollen", a reference to Snatcher.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[]

The stage, alongside Solid Snake himself, have returned in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, no new Codec conversations have been created.

Like all other stages in this game, Shadow Moses Island is also available in Omega (a completely flat platform) and Battlefield (also flat, but with three floating platforms) variations. These resemble the Tank Hangar.

Other references[]

A song from British metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon called "Shadow Moses" is a reference to the location Shadow Moses Island. Also, the vocal arrangement at the beginning and at the end of this song is inspired by "The Best is Yet to Come." Moreover, Bring Me the Horizon lead singer Oliver Sykes is a huge fan of Metal Gear Solid, leading to the production of this song.



See also[]

External links[]

Notes and references[]

  1. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008).
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    In the Darkness of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth: "The nuclear weapons disposal plant on Shadow Moses dates back to 2002. It was built solely for the purpose of temporarily storing nuclear warheads slated for disposal..."
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004)
    Liquid Snake: He's (Sergei Gurlukovich) got over a thousand soldiers under his command. If we joined forces we could put up quite a resistance here. Since Mantis died, the genome soldiers' brainwashing has started to wear off. I'm worried about the men's morale. An alliance with the Russians would boost that as well... // Revolver Ocelot: What are you saying? // Liquid Snake: We're not going anywhere. We're going to dig in here. // Revolver Ocelot: We could still escape... // Liquid Snake: We've got the most powerful weapon ever made and we're about to ally with Gurlukovich's forces. // Revolver Ocelot: Are you going to fight the whole world? // Liquid Snake: And what's wrong with that? We can launch a nuclear warhead at any target on this planet... A nuclear warhead invisible to radar. And on top of that, this base is full of spare nuclear warheads. Once we get the DNA and the money, the world will be ours! // Revolver Ocelot: What about your promise to Colonel Gurlukovich? // Liquid Snake: I have no interest in the revival of Mother Russia. // Revolver Ocelot: ...You're not thinking of reviving Big Boss's dream? // Liquid Snake: From today, this place "Outer Heaven".
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Mei Ling: By the time the Shadow Moses Incident was over... There wasn't a single person left there who knew what took place. It was as if nothing had ever happened.
  6. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008). [1]
  7. ^ These are only seen in The Twin Snakes due to graphical limitation reasons in the original version.
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment (1998)
    Colonel Campbell explains the purpose of the ventilation shafts in an optional Codec conversation
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Meryl Silveburgh explains the purpose of the air cleaners in an optional Codec conversation.
  10. ^ These are also only seen in The Twin Snakes due to graphical limitation reasons in the original version.
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Otacon: I believe the warheads have been removed from those nuclear missiles. The amount of ionizing radiation the Mk.III's Geiger counter is detecting is significantly lower than what we'd see if there were actual warheads present. Which means, obviously, that you can use heavy weapons without having to worry about igniting leaking radioactive material and causing a nuclear holocaust. // Solid Snake: Nice.
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    This is shown when Snake took the service elevator from the blast furnace to the casting facility.
  13. ^ Metal Gear Solid (Briefing), Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998)
    Solid Snake: Tell me about the nuclear weapons disposal facility. // Colonel Campbell: The disposal facility includes a hardened underground base. Even with our most advanced intelligence gathering equipment, we can't tell what's happening inside.
  14. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Otacon explains the cargo elevators' setup in an optional Codec conversation.
  15. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Colonel Campbell explains the purpose of the blast furnace in an optional Codec conversation.
  16. ^ The area called "blast furnace" does not actually contain the furnace itself, instead consisting mainly of a pair of pools for molten material.
  17. ^ Seven cubicles were spotted in the Western labs.
  18. ^ This was actually on loan from the Gurlukovich Mercenaries to the Sons of Big Boss and thus was not part of Shadow Moses' regular arsenal.
  19. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Although Master Miller refers to them as Alaskan field mice in his introductory Codec call if Snake uses the bottom ventilation shaft, the other characters, and even Miller under certain circumstances, will refer to them as rats.
  20. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Master Miller: [...] Those are Alaskan field mice. Don't worry. They can't hurt you. Wild field mice don't have a thick layer of fat, but they can still survive the bitter winters here without hibernating. They dig tunnels under the snow, and that's where they stay warm. // Solid Snake: Survival specialists, huh. I should learn from them. // Miller: But there is a dark side too. Sometimes will kill and eat the offspring that are not their own. // Snake: To ensure the survival of their own genes, right? // Miller: Yeah. Pretty brilliant program, huh. If there are mice, that means there must be an exit somewhere. Follow the mice.
  21. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    This is implied when Snake first encounters them in the lower ventilation shaft, where Snake has to traverse through a pool of water in order to follow the field mice to the exit, with the mice already having beaten him to the other side of the pool.
  22. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    An optional Codec conversation with Otacon describes the ravens' recent population increase, hinting that Vulcan Raven's presence was responsible.
  23. ^ Unalaska Island, Alaska on Google Maps.
  24. ^ 小島秀夫 on Twitter: "僕が最初に考えたMGS4の導入はこうだ。温暖化の影響で実際、アラスカや極に近い孤島は水没していっている。そういう現状を踏まえて、モセス島が水没するという導入を考えた。モセスが沈む=REXの残骸も沈む。そのREX機密技術情報を巡って、スネーク達との三つ巴の闘いから始まるはずだった。" / Twitter

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