Sneaking Suits were special military wear created with electronic weaving technology using optical fibers. By clinging tightly to the wearer's body, the protective suit could boost resilience and strength, acting as armor and extra muscle tissue to perform such effects. It was designed to mirror the anatomy of a motor system and muscle tissue to enhance the users strength and overall performance, even when the user was greatly weakened. Recent models also came with a variety of sensors, shield the body from toxins, and interface with nanomachines, among many other features. Sneaking Suits were worn by Solid Snake and other FOXHOUND members during stealth missions.
The earliest known Sneaking Suits were developed by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. A white prototype was worn by The Boss during Operation Snake Eater, after she had defected to the Soviet Union, resembling an astronaut suit. It also contained a gray knee brace on the right knee. A second prototype, in black, was uncovered by FOX operative Naked Snake in the weapons lab of Groznyj Grad, Tselinoyarsk. The suit was made of a special bulletproof fiber and provided effective heat and moisture insulation, reducing both injury and stamina loss for the wearer. Its camouflage also functioned well within a variety of different environments. The shoulder patch for the black suit also bore the letters "C.C.C.P.", which were the Russian Cyrillics for "U.S.S.R.", the acronym for the official name of the Soviet Union. He later used it during his fight with The Boss.
- Main article: San Hieronymo Incident
|Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]|
The Sneaking Suit was later reverse engineered in America, after it was brought back from Tselinoyarsk by Naked Snake. Created from aromatic polyamide, the suit became the standard issue uniform of Unit FOX, known as the Close Quarters Combat Enhancer Suit. Along with its protective features it was also designed to improve the wearer's performance in hand-to-hand combat. During the San Hieronymo Incident, FOX members Gene, Cunningham, Python and Null wore these suits, with Snake managing to procure one for himself. In addition, the Close Quarters Combat Enhancer Suit came in different colors, emphasized with the right shoulder blade. Snake's sneaking suit color was black.
|Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.|
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
In 1974, members of Big Boss's mercenary dispatch company, the Militaires Sans Frontières, utilized a type of Sneaking Suit called SV that was similar to those used by FOX. It provided enhanced camouflage and sound reducing properties, the suit's fabric also exerted pressure on the wearer's body to help stop bleeding from any injuries.
- Main article: Ground Zeroes Incident
In 1975, Big Boss continued to use the Sneaking Suit he wore during the Peace Walker Incident during his infiltration of Camp Omega. The suit aided him in his mission to rescue Chico and retrieve and interrogate Paz about her knowledge on Cipher. During this time, it was further upgraded to possess sound-dampening soles to reduce the sound of footsteps, and was designed to be heat, water, and shock-resistant while simultaneously maintaining optimum body temperature.
In 1984, the Sneaking Suit was still under development around the time Venom Snake went to Afghanistan, eventually being completed shortly after Snake arrived there. The Sneaking Suit during this time was made of high-strength aramid fibers and has sound absorbing boots. The suit appeared almost identical to Solid Snake's Sneaking Suit during the Shadow Moses Incident twenty-one years in the future, although slightly bulkier in design. A variant of the standard Sneaking Suit, called the Battle Dress, would also be developed that was both inserted and fitted with various ceramic plates to act as heavy combat gear, greatly increasing protection for the wearer.
Aside from the type worn by the human members of Diamond Dogs, a variant was developed for use by the Diamond Dogs' official mascot, DD. DD's Sneaking Suit had two variants, depending on the intended attack function DD was to undergo for the mission. One included a knife, while the other contained a Stun baton. These equipments were for when DD was dispatched to attack an enemy, either lethally (knife), or nonlethally (stun baton), with DD jumping on the enemy and placing the intended weapon at him, either slitting his throat or otherwise shocking him into unconsciousness.
- Main article: Shadow Moses Incident
In 2005, Solid Snake wore a Sneaking Suit during his infiltration of Shadow Moses Island. This suit was specifically designed to withstand harsh winter environments and prevent hypothermia, representing the latest advances in poly-thermal technology. The suit incorporated material similar to that used by NBC troops, providing limited protection from chemical weapons.
Snake's Sneaking Suit from the Shadow Moses Incident would go on to serve as his uniform during his later exploits with the anti-Metal Gear NGO Philanthropy. Foregoing its original thermal vest and elbow/knee pads, the suit saw Solid Snake through on the tanker USS Discovery, the Big Shell, and Arsenal Gear.
The Sneaking Suit worn by Raiden during the Big Shell Incident was known as the Skull Suit, as mentioned above, due to its appearance. The suit was made of a rubber-like material, but could protect against a wide range of toxic substances. The design consisted of water-repelling scales that allowed the wearer to swim easily, and had a pebbled texture to reduce drag (much like a golf ball). Electrofiber technology provided the suit with a wide range of built-in sensors. Referred to as "Smart Skin" in military R&D, data regarding damage to different regions of the body, including blood loss, could be exchanged between the suit and the user's intravenous nanomachines to create a feedback system. While it wasn't bullet-proof, it did provide some ballistic protection to the wearer's body. The suit could also apply varying pressure to major internal organs to maximize performance and safeguard their functions. Similar technology was also used in the Arsenal Tengus' combat suits, Metal Gear RAY's engine system, and Solidus Snake's power suit.
The Sneaking Suit worn by Old Snake in 2014 was equipped with a state-of-the-art camouflage system called OctoCamo. It also doubled as a "muscle suit," enhancing the user's strength (Old Snake's reduced body strength due to his accelerated aging made this especially useful). Otacon jokingly referred to the suit as a "crutch", much to Snake's chagrin. This suit was equipped with similar insulating properties to his previous suit, allowing him to survive the harsh climate of Shadow Moses Island during his return there. The suit was eventually destroyed by the microwave emitters installed aboard Liquid Ocelot's personal flagship, Outer Haven. In addition, Snake seems to have opted to wear a plate carrier over the Sneaking Suit, apparently deciding that the stealth lost was worth the protection gained by the extra body armour.
Behind the scenes
The Sneaking Suit first appears in Metal Gear Solid, with variations of the uniform appearing in almost every successive game in the Metal Gear series. In both the Integral version of the game and The Twin Snakes, Meryl Silverburgh can end up wearing a Sneaking Suit as a bonus outfit.
Solid Snake's original suit from Metal Gear Solid returns in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, during Snake Tales C, and as an unlockable for the VR and Alternative Missions. The suit's likeness is also featured in the spin-off games Metal Gear: Ghost Babel and Metal Gear Acid. In Acid, the suit is fitted with a data storage terminal known as "CHAIN," which includes the advanced capability of providing remote medicine.
- "The latest battle uniform developed by the Soviet Union. Cuts all damage in half and reduces stamina consumption."
- ―Sneaking Suit description in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Raiden's Skull Suit was initially designed with matching night vision goggles that, when paired with the suit's breathing apparatus, were meant to evoke the classic depiction of a ninja wearing a hitai-ate and clenching a scroll in his mouth. In addition, the Skull Suit itself was decided upon due to initial difficulty on how to design Raiden's sneaking suit, before eventually settling with a "bonelike" design. The Skull Suit was also featured in Boktai 2, which had the properties to help sneak by enemies better. The Sneaking Suit also appears as a DLC costume for Raiden in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, although slightly modified to appear cybernetic at times, due to it being applied to Raiden as he appeared in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, who was a cyborg ninja at that time.
Colonel Volgin's orange rubber suit in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater bore some resemblance to a Sneaking Suit, particularly in the leg design, although it is suggested to be used to ground him while he uses electricity.
The Sneaking Suit is unlocked in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, after neutralizing the Hind A at Catarata de la Muerte, Costa Rica. This incarnation of the suit was later made into an action figure by the Square Enix toy-making subsidiary Play Arts Kai. Big Boss wore the uniform in the figurine. It also came with a code to unlock a soldier if inputted.
The same Sneaking Suit that Big Boss wore during Peace Walker returns in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes as the only available camouflage. This version is also available in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain if the player downloads their completed Ground Zeroes save file after uploading it to Konami's servers.
The Sneaking Suit featured in The Phantom Pain bears a strong resemblance to the one that Solid Snake wore during the Shadow Moses Incident. The various sneaking suits have an additional bonus in FOB mode where they prevent the invading player's body heat from being detected by NVG-equipped enemies. Prior to release, the Sneaking Suit was supposed to have an embroidered MSF patch on the right shoulder. The final version had since replaced the patch with the player-created emblem for their Mother Base.
Notes and references
- ^ While it is optional to wear the Sneaking Suit during the final battle with The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3, the flashbacks in Peace Walker depict Naked Snake wearing it.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
The shoulder pad labeling on the suits of Rat Patrol Team 01 indicate the technology's origin.