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SOP System

The Sons of the Patriots System.

Sons of the Patriots (SOP), often referred to as simply the System and later renamed Guns of the Patriots after it was hijacked by Liquid Ocelot, was an advanced battlefield control system operated by the proxy AIs of the Patriots. SOP allowed state militaries and private military companies to monitor and enhance the performance of all soldiers deployed in combat via the nanomachines within their bodies.



The concept of a battlefield control system was envisioned as far back as the 1970s. The Patriots, led by Zero, thought that to unify the world they would need to subjugate humanity under a single will. Foreseeing the potential fall of the age of the Cold War, and the upcoming rise of the electronic age, Zero thought of controlling weapons rather than deterring them. Cipher agent Pacifica Ocean alluded this concept to Big Boss during the Peace Walker Incident, with AI researcher Strangelove also hypothesizing an "expert system" that could allow Big Boss to choose which gun he should have. While failing to convince Big Boss to rejoin the Patriots, Zero used the results obtained from Hot Coldman's Peace Walker project and started researching in electronics and digital technology, along with Sigint, on ways to subtly control humanity.

Similar functions that would be incorporated into SOP were already in use by 2005, where the operation of weapons could be restricted by a person's internal nanomachines. During the Shadow Moses Incident, Naomi Hunter used Solid Snake's nanomachines to prevent him from using lethal weapons inside the nuclear warhead storage building, as shooting would have led to a leakage of plutonium from the dismantled warheads stored there. Other non-nanomachine similarities, were ID locks on firearms, used by both SEAL Team 10 and the Gurlukovich Mercenaries during the Big Shell Incident in 2009, and the expunging of personnel IDs from weapons systems should an anomaly be detected, as with the Arsenal Gear "Black Case."

SOP was developed and implemented by AT Security following the Big Shell Incident, by which time Zero's successors, the Patriots' AIs, crafted their own will. The SOP system was also derived from the FOXDIE nanomachine colony that Naomi had created, or at least inherited it, which acted as the reason why Revolver Ocelot took her and had her create a worm capable of destroying the Patriots AI network three weeks after the Shadow Moses Incident.[1]

By 2014, all state armies and PMCs were known to have SOP implanted in them and even law enforcement agencies and paramilitaries were adopting them. Of course, militias and rebel armies did not have access to the System, which explained why they operated less effectively than state armies.

Guns of the Patriots Incident[]

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

In 2014, Liquid Ocelot, as the CEO of the world's largest PMC mother company Outer Heaven, had built an army with enough firepower to rival that of the United States Army, and was intending to use this military power to challenge the Patriots. Even with the reconstructed GW AI, he was unable to attack them as he knew they would simply lock his entire army down.

What Liquid Ocelot originally intended to do was to take the system offline, but to do this he required the DNA of Big Boss, which acted as a key to the System. He conducted two tests on his own PMC troops, the first test in the Middle East using Liquid Snake's DNA, and the second test in South America, using the DNA of Solid Snake. While both these tests partially succeeded, the withdrawal from the system drove the troops to the brink of insanity, as they were unable to cope with the emotions and memories that had before been suppressed, some even suffering fatal heart attacks from the shock. In the case of South America, the soldiers present also ended up significantly unstable, rendered brain damaged and unable to speak or express emotions due to the nanomachines on the frontal lobe being damaged (as they had already been at the limit due to the low oxygen of the mountainous region[2]), behaving in a similar manner to zombies.[3] During the events in the Middle East test, Solid Snake was also incapacitated to a degree, since his body contained unregistered first-generation nanomachines, despite not being a part of the System.[4] Due to the results of the Middle East test, Liquid decided to procure the System for himself. However, a similar failure regarding the second test had him being forced to locate Big Boss's body in order to access the SOP system due to his being the genetic lock.

After stealing Solidus Snake's corpse from Big Mama (believing it to be that of Big Boss), Liquid Ocelot used it to fully gain control of the System in Eastern Europe. He first locked down the system in the immediate area through hand gestures and simple voice commands, deactivating weaponry and incapacitating the joint U.S. Army-Marine forces sent to arrest him. With SOP under Liquid's control, which he renamed "Guns of the Patriots," private armies around the world were crippled, leaving only Liquid Ocelot's personal PMCs unaffected.

The System was eventually destroyed by the FOXALIVE computer worm created by Naomi Hunter and Sunny, along with the Patriots's AI network. However, with the System destroyed, this would also cripple PMCs as well as state armies worldwide, leaving behind an uncertain fate. It was estimated that, as a result of FOXALIVE shutting down the Patriots' AI network, and taking the SOP offline by consequence, at least 10% of all PMC units and armies were suffering from symptoms of SOP withdrawal syndrome.[5]


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.[?]

In the aftermath, the official reason for the SOP system's discontinuation was because of the dangers of being hacked into, due to Liquid Ocelot's actions in Eastern Europe. The Patriots' ties to it being shut down was likewise covered up, as the majority of the population did not know about the Patriots' existence, even with the increased exposure as a result of their demise. Consequentially, some soldiers, including Desperado commander Sundowner, were not too happy about SOP being shut down, because it consequentially also led to a "break" in the war economy, and felt that the economy was the only thing that actually gave "honest warmongers" such as themselves a livelihood. Another result of SOP shutting down was a recession in the American market, severe enough for normal people to have trouble finding a job. Cybernetic people such as Raiden had even more difficulty finding civilian jobs due to the artificial skin, being imperfect, still gave them away as not being human.

With SOP out of the picture, PMCs needed a new edge on the world market. They found what they were looking for in cyborg technology. With the fall of the Patriots, previously suppressed information like cyborg development became exposed and cyborgs were becoming increasingly common amongst the PMCs. Maverick member Courtney Collins went so far to suggest that cyborgs were just SOP troops by another name, "only more muscled up and less predictable." There were also leftovers from SOP's existence, such as transponders on any and all aircraft and vehicles, as well as ID chips in soldiers' dog tags, as well as using XIFF signals to differentiate friend from foe. Colorado Senator and 2020 Presidential Candidate Steven Armstrong, when mentioning his plans to start a new war with a revived war economy to Raiden, mentioned that every American "man, woman, and child" were all sons of the Patriots.[6]

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.



SOP linkages.

SOP served three main functions. The first was to allow multiple members of a military unit to share each other's senses and work more efficiently as a team. The System basically ran a unit like a network of computers, each man able to see what the others saw, feel what they felt, and rapidly coordinate tactics. This provided a massive tactical advantage to whomever used it.


SOP network.

The second function was to monitor the chemical balance of every soldier engaged in combat. This allowed the nanomachines to induce an artificial "combat high" by controlling the release of adrenaline and endorphins, elevating the senses and accuracy of every soldier. Furthermore, it allowed accurate monitoring of a soldier's oral intake and excrements (water, food, and sweat). This refined information allowed commanders to make more informed decisions on the flow of combat. Soldiers under SOP also had their emotions suppressed so that they felt less fear and remorse than other soldiers might. One's sense of pain was subject to the same treatment, preventing minor injuries from distracting a soldier during combat. Despite these advantages, low oxygen concentrations in areas at high altitude, such as mountainous regions, could cause negative effects on the nanomachines, resulting in unusually aggressive behavior in soldiers.

The third main function of SOP was to monitor and control the use of weapons on the battlefield. As each soldier's weapon (excluding a few "naked guns") were "ID locked", only authorized individual soldiers could use that particular weapon. It could also prevent soldiers from firing on their own, committing human rights abuses, and attacking their own clients.[7] SOP governed all small arms and ammunition, as well as vehicles such as helicopters and tanks. It did not, however, govern anything larger than small arms, leaving weapons such as large missiles (for example, ICBMs) locked for usage by a higher-authority system, more specifically JD.

A soldier's usage of SOP can also be taken away by a head of state, as evidenced by the rebel soldiers in South America. It acted as a double-edged sword: Although it would prevent blocked out soldiers from using ID-tagged guns, it at the same time also prevents any government from controlling their actions. The level of which the user can take away SOP also extends to vehicles and aircraft, as evidenced by Liquid Ocelot's first actions upon gaining the SOP system in Eastern Europe.


SOP locking down.

If a soldier was forcibly disconnected from the SOP System, either by a failed hacking attempt or by the controller's own volition, all of their previously suppressed emotions would suddenly be released, resulting in various negative effects, such as vomiting, increased aggression, screaming, crying, laughing, foaming at the mouth, and fainting. In some cases, the shock may be so great as to cause a heart attack. The effects were most extreme in those that had been dependent on the System for most of their military careers, whereas soldiers hardened through prior experience were less affected. In one instance, soldiers suffered damage to the frontal lobe of their brains, the part that controls emotions and speech, leaving them incapable of anything but destructive behavior. When first witnessing the lockdown process in the Middle East, Otacon had first assumed it was a form of Active Denial System (ADS), although he detected no aberrations in the EM field. The effects of the lockdown can also affect those with outdated/unregistered nanomachines, even if they weren't directly tied to the SOP system, which is especially evident by Solid Snake being affected, due to the nanomachines dating back to Shadow Moses Island affecting his heart and body due to his accelerated aging.

Users of SOP nanomachines[]

Behind the scenes[]

The acronym for Sons of the Patriots, SOP, is also the same acronym for "standard operating procedure": a military term used to describe a procedure or a set of procedures to perform a given operation in reaction to a given event.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots[]

Although the Middle Eastern militia, South American rebels, and Paradise Lost Army, are not under the control of SOP, their nanomachines can still be affected by Emotion Ammo, and the player can also use the Scanning Plug on them.

During the scene where Liquid Ocelot's unit raids the Paradise Lost Army's unit, Big Mama before leaving on her motorcycle with Snake and a van containing Big Boss's biomort mentions that FPS games were distributed as a means to recruit people into the War Economy and the Sons of the Patriots system.[8] This was a subtle reference to America's Army, a FPS game that was directly made by the United States Army in an attempt to gain more recruits in the future.

Metal Gear Online[]


Metal Gear Online players linked with SOP.

In Metal Gear Online, the SOP System allowed players to see where their teammates were at any given time and allowed them to know if an ally had fallen into a trap, needed backup, had been killed/stunned, and the exact location. However, SOP needed to be activated by standing next to a comrade and pressing/holding the Triangle button. In addition, if one accidentally shot their own teammate, SOP would lock the gun, preventing them from firing for a few moments.

As well as being a gameplay tool, SOP could also be used by the opposing team. A player could capture an enemy and hack into their SOP System using a Scanning Plug to allow them to see all enemies linked to the one being scanned. Additionally, during the Base Mission mode, players could buy an "SOP Destabilizer", which, when placed on the enemy base, would render all opposing players unable to move or attack for 30 seconds, similar to how Guns of the Patriots worked.



Notes and references[]

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Naomi Hunter: Snake... I'll make this quick. I'm in South America. I've been captured and forced to do research. It's Liquid. Liquid's goal is to seize control of SOP... The Sons of the Patriots system that controls the soldiers. To do that, he needs to analyze the the nanomachines' structure and... Find out how they communicate with one another. The nanomachines currently in use by militaries and PMCs are third generation. But their design is derived from that of the first generation. And the basic technology is still the same. // Solid Snake: First generation? // Naomi Hunter: I was the one who created the first generation... A nanomachine colony, part of which was FOXDIE. Nine years ago, at Shadow Moses... I injected it into your body, Snake. // [Flashbacks of FOXDIE victims from Shadow Moses appear.] // Naomi Hunter: The technology used in FOXDIE was incorporated... Inherited, really - by SOP. That's why Liquid has me helping him hijack the system... Because I know how FOXDIE works. // [A crashing sound can be heard in the background of Naomi's video. She begins backing up toward a wall.] // Naomi: Please, you must rescue me. Liquid's found a loophole he can use to get in to the System. Preparations for his insurrection are nearly complete. There's no time to waste. Snake, hurry!
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    This is explained in an optional Codec conversation during Act 2.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Solid Snake: But what about me? I've never been under the System's control. // Naomi Hunter: That's why I want to examine your body. You need to know, too. All right, Snake... Undress. [...] Snake, do you remember what I told you in my video mail? About the first generation of nanomachines? // Snake: The ones you stuck me with at Moses? // Naomi: Yes... The nanomachines are recharged by your body heat. They won't stop functioning until they're all extracted... Or until you do. Most of them were lost through bleeding and excretion... But around 30% still remain inside your body, attached to your cells. The first generation were never ID-registered, so they don't react the same way as the SOP nanomachines. But they may be interfering with your body, and with your heart.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Drebin: Yeah, well, it ain't all sunshine and rainbows. Lotta folks lost their entire sense of being the moment SOP went offline. // Otacon: You mean SOPS? I heard some people are going through withdrawals... SOP Syndrome. // Drebin: Yup. SOP kept more than just alcohol under control. Those poor slobs are virtually naked now. // Otacon: From what I hear, over 10 percent are showing symptoms. I guess getting rid of the Patriots won't solve all our problems overnight.
  6. ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Kojima Productions/Platinum Games (2013).
    Steven Armstrong: The Patriots planted the seed -- we don't need them around to filter and foster their memes any longer. We're spreading them just fine ourselves. Every American man, woman and child... We're all sons of the Patriots now!
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Roy Campbell: Truth is, the rise of system-controlled PMCs has led to a dramatic decline in civilian casualties and human rights violations on the battlefield. // Solid Snake: A cleaner, safer battlefield. Makes for nice propaganda.
  8. ^ Big Mama: Nowadays, anyone with a computer can get combat training. The FPS games these children love are distributed for free by these companies. Of course, it's all just virtual training. It's so easy for them to get absorbed by these war games. And before they know it, they're in the PMCs holding real guns. These kids end up fighting in proxy wars that have nothing to do with their own lives. They think it's cool to fight like this. They think that combat is life. They don't need a reason to fight. After all, for them it's only a game.

See also[]