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"I was born on a battlefield. Raised on a battlefield. Gunfire, sirens, and screams... They were my lullabies..."
Sniper Wolf to Solid Snake

Sniper Wolf was one of the renegade members of FOXHOUND who participated in the 2005 revolt on Shadow Moses Island, along with the Next-Generation Special Forces.


Early life and career[]

Sniper Wolf was born in Iraqi Kurdistan sometime after the Second Kurdish-Iraqi War. She was constantly being hunted and always had to move from one shelter to another on a regular basis, hiding from the Iraqi regime. She would later admit that the gunfire, sirens, and screams that occurred during the regime's attempts at hunting her and her family down were the closest thing she had to lullabies. When she would wake up from sleep, she would often find one of her friends or family dead beside her and prayed that she would make it through each day. The international community did nothing to help her or stop the fighting, which made her hate the political world.

Wolf was rescued from her harsh upbringing by Big Boss, who raised her as a soldier. She eventually came to look up to Big Boss, whom she called "Saladin." Wolf also trained under the Gurkhas of Nepal, regarded as the world's finest marksmen.[3] Specializing as a lone sniper, she felt that she could watch and wait, and see the war from the outside rather than from the inside. After the presumed death of Big Boss, Wolf was later recruited into FOXHOUND, to get her revenge on the world.

Shadow Moses Incident[]

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident
"I finally understand. I wasn't waiting to kill people... I was waiting for someone to kill me. A man like you... You're a hero. Please... Set me free."
―Sniper Wolf to Solid Snake

FOXHOUND, led by Liquid Snake, carried out an armed revolt on Shadow Moses, assisted by the Genome Army. Sniper Wolf participated in the revolt due to her desire to exact revenge on the world's governments for not caring enough about the Kurds' suffering during their Rebellion. After taking over the island's nuclear weapons disposal facility, the group planned on killing the resident wolf dogs. Wolf refused to let this happen. Hal Emmerich believed that she was a good person due to her love for the dogs and eventually fell in love with her. Although she did not display the same feelings, she did feel a measure of friendship and sympathy for Emmerich while he was held prisoner on the island, allowing him to feed the dogs whenever he asked, and even giving him her handkerchief as a small gift.

Sniper Wolf face

Sniper Wolf

As Solid Snake and Meryl Silverburgh made their way through Shadow Moses, Wolf managed to wound Meryl in order to lure Snake out, which then resulted in his capture. It became apparent that she had a sadistic obsession with Snake when she told him that he was all she would think about until she killed him. While in captivity, Emmerich provided Snake some materials to escape, including the handkerchief Wolf had given him. After Snake escaped his holding cell, and after he battled Liquid in his Hind, he encountered Wolf again. After a silent yet deadly battle across the expansive snowfield, Sniper Wolf was bested by Snake, shot in the lung.

After crossing the snowfield, Snake found Wolf lying down and coughing up blood. As she lay dying, Wolf told Snake of her past, how she was born and raised on the battlefield, how "Saladin" had helped her, who Snake correctly assumed was Big Boss. Wolf then asked Snake if he was Saladin but he ignored her question. She then revealed to Snake that she had shamed herself and her people by joining Liquid's plot "to take (her) revenge on the world." Distraught, she referred to herself as a dog, but Snake assured her that she was wild, untamed, and solitary, hence a wolf. She also revealed that she never intended to kill Meryl. Before asking Snake to kill her, she said she had not been waiting to kill people but rather had been waiting for someone to kill her.

Just before Snake was about to kill her, a distraught Emmerich appeared and openly expressed his feelings for her before handing Wolf her PSG1 at her request. Before Snake finished her off, she said her final words: "OK hero. Set me free." Snake killed her with a single shot of his SOCOM with the suppressor removed. After killing her, Snake wrapped her handkerchief over her face. Otacon inquired why he did this, to which Snake replied that he was returning it to its owner and that he himself had no more tears to shed, a statement that would later be echoed by Emmerich himself after the death of Naomi Hunter during the Guns of the Patriots Incident.

Wolf often took Diazepam so she could keep her hands still while aiming. Liquid Snake speculated if that was the reason why she had not been infected with FOXDIE.

After death[]

Even after the Shadow Moses Incident, Wolf's death continued to haunt Hal. In 2009, when his estranged stepsister Emma Emmerich ended up dying from a wound inflicted by Vamp during the Big Shell Incident, he briefly mentioned Wolf's death while breaking down into intense sorrow over Emma's demise.

Personality and traits[]

Sniper Wolf

Sniper Wolf armed with the PSG1.

Sniper Wolf was a highly skilled sharpshooter, capable of waiting for her targets for days, even weeks, without eating or moving. She typically formed an emotional connection with her targets before killing them. Her favored weapon was the Heckler & Koch PSG1, and she used mercury bullets to poison the victims.[3] She was addicted to diazepam, a drug that relieves anxiety and stops muscle spasms, which she used to enhance her accuracy. Wolf didn't kill for sport, and despite injuring Meryl Silverburgh at Shadow Moses, it was by her whim that her life was spared, as she did not like seeing women or children get hurt.[2]

Because of Big Boss' earlier actions for her, Wolf held a deep amount of respect and loyalty to him in return, affectionately referring to him as "Saladin." Indeed, she once mistook Snake for Big Boss when dying from her injuries.

At Shadow Moses, Wolf spared the wolf dogs on the base from being destroyed, and took care of them, even allowing Otacon to occasionally feed them, despite his being a prisoner. Wolf had seen something of herself in the animals, a crossing of wild wolf and husky dog, likening it to her "selling herself" to the United States.[1]

Wolf demonstrated an affection toward Solid Snake, with her comrade Ocelot explaining that her obssession with her targets sometimes caused her to fall in love with them before she killed them. During conversations with Snake on the battlefield, she was often provocative and taunted him with misandrist remarks. When Snake commented on her gender in their first meeting, and later, her great shooting accuracy during a blizzard, Wolf amusedly responded that "the majority of the world's great assassins are women"[2] and that "women naturally make better soldiers," respectively. When Snake threatened her for harming Meryl Silverburgh, she continued to insult him in this manner, commenting that "men are so weak," and "can never finish what [they] start."

Unconfirmed history[]

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

During the 1988 Al-Anfal Campaign in the Iran-Iraq War, Sniper Wolf witnessed the gassing of her friends and family at the hands of Iraqi soldiers. Afterward, Wolf was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Iraqi Ministry of Internal Affairs, where she was trained rigorously.[5] Later on, Wolf was discovered by Big Boss in a Kurdish refugee camp in 1991, during the internal fighting in Iraq after the Gulf War. Big Boss took her to the U.S., where she received counseling and deprogramming.[5]

However, after the U.S. sanctioned bombings of Iraq in 1996 caused a major refugee crisis, similar to the one experienced during the Gulf War, Wolf became disgusted by the incident and at the Pentagon, and moved to join Big Boss with whatever plans he decided to hatch.[5] During the Shadow Moses Incident, Wolf came to care about Otacon due to the effects of Lima Syndrome.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

Metal Gear Solid[]

Sniper Wolf (スナイパー・ウルフ Sunaipā Urufu?) appears in Metal Gear Solid and is fought by the player during a boss battle. According to an IGN interview with Yoji Shinkawa, Sniper Wolf was originally intended to be a man, but when Shinkawa suggested to director Hideo Kojima that Wolf should be a young lady, Kojima thought it to be a much better idea.[6] Concepts of the male version were included in Words of Metal Gear.[7] A subsequent interview with Shinkawa revealed that Sniper Wolf is still popular amongst the staff at Konami. Another example of her popularity was that during an online critics poll, she was named the "12th greatest video game boss of all time," amongst her FOXHOUND peers.[8]

According to Kojima, the scene where Sniper Wolf shot Meryl with several rounds from a sniper rifle was based on the film Full Metal Jacket.[9] Similarly, one of her lines from the original game not featured in The Twin Snakes (more specifically, "Well I'm going to send you a love letter, my dear. Do you know what that is? It's a bullet straight from my gun to your heart.") was a direct lift from the film Blue Velvet.

When the dying Wolf reveals that she is a Kurd to Solid Snake, he surmises that this is the origin of her animal code name.[10] This is a possible reference to a Turkish pun, due to the similarity of the words Kürt ("Kurd") and kurt ("wolf"). Although this similarity has been used to deny Kurdish identity in Turkey[11], Snake employs the wordplay favorably, and both characters consider wolves to be noble animals.[12]

The Handkerchief item that is obtained after Sniper Wolf's death can be used by the player to pacify aggressive wolf dogs, due to it having her scent. While the use of a handkerchief to wipe one's nose is made obsolete by tissue paper, in some countries, such as Japan, it's seen as "fancy" and respectable. The Metal Gear Solid 4 Database erroneously refers to it as a scarf.

The Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook elaborates on Sniper Wolf's experiences during and after the Al-Anfal Campaign, prior to meeting Big Boss, though the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database does not contain any of this additional information.[3]

In the 2004 remake of Metal Gear Solid, The Twin Snakes, the player can shake Wolf's body to retrieve her dog tag, shortly after she is defeated in the second battle.

References in later games[]

In the original game plan for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the Cyborg Ninja was to be a machine that would use Sniper Wolf's voice to taunt Otacon, and Meryl Silverburgh's voice to taunt Solid Snake. In the actual game itself, aside from Otacon's reference to her death shortly after Emma's passing, the Colonel also briefly mentioned Sniper Wolf while infected with Emma's worm cluster, specifically the Codec conversation that occurred when finding the PSG1.

The codename "Wolf" is later used by the member of the Beauty and the Beast Unit, Crying Wolf, in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Her ghost can also be photographed with the camera, if the player takes a picture of a door to the right of the Boiler Room entrance, following the defeat of Crying Wolf.

A random quote assigned to a female MSF recruit in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is: "Did you know that 65% of the world's top assassins are women?" This is a reference to Wolf's statement to Solid Snake during their first encounter.

Although Sniper Wolf herself does not actually appear in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, her likeness is used for an unlockable costume for the character Quiet. In addition, when conducting Mission 40: "[Extreme] Cloaked in Silence", Quiet herself will be wearing the Sniper Wolf outfit. The handkerchief key item's description is an indirect reference to Sniper Wolf, owing to it being the reward for beating Mission 40: "[Extreme] Cloaked in Silence." Similarly, she alongside the other FOXHOUND members is indirectly referenced with the gatefold sleeve artwork for the Metal Gear Solid Original Video Game Soundtrack, which featured two wolves, one prone and another snarling.

E3 and Versus Battle[]

Sniper Wolf appeared as a participant in the Konami-sponsored event E3 Battle, where she defeated Mimi and Nyami from Pop'n Music for the first round. She then faced off against and defeated Cybil Bennet from Silent Hill in the second round. Sniper Wolf then faced off against Bomberman in the third round and defeated him. Sniper Wolf proceeded to fight against Metal Gear REX in the fourth round, where she ended up defeated.

Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Iraqi-Kurdish sharpshooter of FOXHOUND unit. An expert shot with the PSG-1.
―Sniper Wolf's bio from E3 Battle

Sniper Wolf later appeared in the Versus Battle feature on the series official website, where the character competed for fan votes against her namesake Crying Wolf, and later, fellow sharpshooter The End. Other than the character herself, her death scene, as well as one of her famous lines of dialogue, were also contenders in the same contest, competing against Psycho Mantis's death scene, and Gray Fox's pre-battle dialogue with Snake, respectively.

Absolutely Deadly with a PSG-1
Addiction to meds
Tough as nails: “I was born on a battlefield. Raised on a battlefield. Gunfire, sirens, and screams… They were my lullabies…” –Sniper Wolf to Snake
―Sniper Wolf's bio in Versus Battle; when fighting Crying Wolf
Skilled, Sexy, Superior in Sand & Snow
Despair, Sorrow, Loneliness…The End?
Trained by the Big Boss himself, Sniper Wolf was an exceptional sniper with superb stalking skills and could wait weeks for the perfect shot
―Sniper Wolf's bio in Versus Battle; when fighting The End
Unforgettable Faceoff
Bittersweet Outcome
Sniper Wolf is one of the most beloved and memorable METAL GEAR SOLID characters ever, as voted by YOU, our treasured fans
―"Love Letter" in Versus Battle

References in other media[]

In the video game Army of Two, there is a barrel for the MSG-90 called "MGS Sniper Wulf Mk. II." The spelling is most likely to avoid legal issues; since a figure of her was released, the name "Sniper Wolf" may have been trademarked by Konami.

In the DLC add-on for the PlayStation 3 version of The Godfather II, one of the 5 new weapons is named "MG-S1 Sniper Wolfe."

In the IDW Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series, the soft-spoken character Whisper the Wolf, and her role in the Diamond Cutters mercenary group, is based on both Sniper Wolf and Quiet.


See also[]


Notes and references[]

  1. ^ a b c d e f METAL GEAR SOLID (Japanese). Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  2. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
  3. ^ a b c d e Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008). "Sniper Wolf." [1]
  4. ^ Dummied data for the PC version of Metal Gear Solid revealed that the Shadow Moses Incident occurred on February 28, 2005.
  5. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook, Millennium Books (1998)
  6. ^ IGN Yoji Shinkwa interview (2000-12-12). Retrieved on 2008-05-26.
  7. ^
  8. ^ The 20 Greatest Bosses in Video Game History. Retrieved on 2008-05-26.
  9. ^ Steven Kent. Hideo Kojima: Game Guru, Movie Maniac. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Sniper Wolf: I am a Kurd. I have always dreamed of a peaceful place like this... // Solid Snake: A Kurd? So that's why you're called Wolf...
  11. ^ Irfan Aktan (2017-11-13). Memet, der Wolf (German). taz.gazete. Retrieved on 2020-03-01.
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Sniper Wolf: I joined this group of revolutionaries... take my revenge on the world. But... I have shamed myself and my people. I am no longer the wolf I was born to be... In the name of vengeance, I sold my body and my soul. Now...I am nothing more than a dog. // Solid Snake: Wolves are noble animals. They're not like dogs. In Yupik, the word for wolf is "Kegluneq", and the Aleuts revere them as honorable cousins. They call mercenaries like us "Dogs of War". It's true, we're all for sale at some price or another. But you're different. ...untamed... ...solitary. You're no dog... You're a wolf.