Metal Gear Wiki
Metal Gear Wiki

The Manhattan Tanker Incident, simply known as the Tanker Incident, was the armed takeover and subsequent sinking of the dummy tanker USS Discovery on August 8, 2007. The event was staged by the Patriots in order to retrieve the United States Marines' prototype Metal Gear RAY, and frame renowned mercenary Solid Snake as the terrorist responsible.

"Opening Infiltration"[]

Around mid 2007, the anti-Metal Gear NGO, Philanthropy, received intelligence that a new type of Metal Gear, codenamed RAY, was to be transported through the New York Harbor aboard a disguised oil tanker, the USS Discovery. The information had been provided by Emma Emmerich, the stepsister of Philanthropy member Hal Emmerich. The Metal Gear had been developed by the Marines and was designed as an amphibious anti-Metal Gear unit. Aside from investigating RAY, another reason they took the mission was so they could get more intel on a group known as the Patriots, which they stumbled upon during investigations into another Metal Gear variant developed by the U.S. Navy.[3]

Metal gear solid 2 sons of liberty--article image

Snake on USS Discovery's deck.

During its scheduled voyage along the Hudson River, a stealth camouflaged Solid Snake boarded the Discovery from the George Washington Bridge, via bungee jump. The stealth camo was damaged from the landing impact, forcing Snake to take cover on the ship's deck, though he admitted he really didn't want it with him anyways. Snake's objective was to take photographs of the new Metal Gear and verify its existence, which Philanthropy would then expose to the public.

"Russian Soldiers from Kasatka"[]


Gurlukovich Mercenaries take over the ship.

After reviewing his equipment, Snake proceeded with his task, although he had a bad feeling about how the mission was going to turn out. Otacon told him that they would rendezvous at the Verrazano Bridge. However, before he could get far, Snake witnessed the hostile takeover of the tanker by Russian mercenaries led by an unknown man. Taking the Marines by complete surprise, the mercenaries silently killed all personnel on board the ship's deck, with Snake deducing that they were most likely present for Metal Gear RAY as well. Snake photographed their leader and relayed the image to Otacon for identification. Undeterred, Snake proceeded towards the bridge to determine where the ship was headed...

"Olga Gurlukovich"[]


Snake encounters Olga outside the bridge.

Avoiding the mercenaries, Snake headed up to the bridge where he found information on the ship's heading: 35o longitude, 58o latitude. Otacon realized that they were heading over 500 miles past the Bermudas, and deduced that this meant that RAY was ready for solo testing, and already combat worthy. As the testing area was also well outside of the United States Second Fleet's operation range as well, Otacon also concluded that this not only meant that it was a standalone Marine Corps project, but also able to operate independently without any Naval assistance. Before Snake could go down to the cargo hold to identify RAY, he heard a crash and went to investigate. There, Snake encountered the leader's daughter, Olga Gurlukovich, who has refused to leave the tanker despite being pregnant. After an intense gun battle on the bridge, he successfully tranquilized her in combat. Shortly afterwards, a U.S. Army Cypher UAV took Snake by surprise and photographed him.

"Metal Gear?"[]


Solid Snake senses the enemies' presence.

Otacon then reported that he had discovered the identity of the mercenary leader: Sergei Gurlukovich. Otacon also told Snake that the reason that he knew of the existence of Metal Gear RAY was from a tip from Emma Emmerich, his stepsister. Snake made it down to the hold and engaged in a gun fight with Gurlukovich soldiers along the way. After Snake arrived to the hold where Marine Commandant Scott Dolph was giving his speech to the Marines, Otacon revealed that someone was monitoring their transmission. Wary of this development, Otacon arranged for an alternative method of sending the required photos of RAY back to him (instead of using the Codec): specifically a small computer terminal in the main hold where RAY was being held.

"Revolver Ocelot"[]


RAY in the holds.

Afterwards, Snake took the photos of RAY and transferred them without issue. As the Marine Commandant finished his speech (the Marines "listening" unaware of the currently ensuing takeover), to Snake's shock, an appearance was made by Revolver Ocelot, who revealed himself to be working with Sergei Gurlukovich, with the latter holding Dolph at gun point. Sergei explained that he planned to sell RAY to Russia in order to revive Russia to its former glory. But Ocelot revealed that he had different plans for RAY, and Sergei assumed that he was still taking orders from Solidus Snake. But Ocelot revealed his true allegiance with "the Patriots." Dolph, upon learning this, was shocked that the Patriots apparently were involved with RAY (while referring to them as "the La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo") With Snake looking on, Ocelot betrayed Sergei and shot him, along with Dolph and four Gurlukovich members who attempted to avenge their fallen leader. Ocelot then blew up the tanker using the planted SEMTEX, but not before hijacking the new Metal Gear unit.

Suddenly, Ocelot's right arm began to spasm. In that moment, he started to talk like Liquid Snake, taunting his brother. It is revealed that Ocelot received a new arm after the Shadow Moses Incident, that of the late Liquid Snake, which caused a change in Revolver Ocelot's demeanor and behavior, with Liquid somehow possessing him. "Liquid" told Snake that he was "drowning in time" (referring to the accelerated aging process), and that Liquid avoided this fate by living on through the transplanted arm.

"RAY Escapes"[]


RAY leaps from the wreck of the Discovery.

Under Liquid's control, Ocelot escaped in RAY, tearing apart the sinking tanker in the process with its hydro cannon. The tanker's sinking resulted in the deaths of more than half of the soldiers on board, as well as the apparent death of Solid Snake (in actuality, Snake had survived, having faked his death by leaving behind the corpse of Liquid Snake as a decoy). RAY's theft had actually been orchestrated by the Patriots, and Philanthropy was later framed for causing the incident, becoming labeled as eco-terrorists. It was largely thanks to this cover story that Fortune and Vamp of Dead Cell and Olga Gurlukovich would later want revenge against Solid Snake. Although Philanthropy was ultimately discredited as a result of the incident, they nonetheless succeeded in convincing at least one website about the development of RAY.

Manipulated by the Patriots, the media reported that Solid Snake had led the terrorist takeover of the oil tanker. Fearing an environmental disaster, the Navy had dispatched the Marines to defuse the threat, but Snake had ended up sinking the tanker and killing everyone involved, including himself. The major cleanup that would be required gave the Patriots the perfect cover for the construction of Arsenal Gear.

Behind the scenes[]

In Hideo Kojima's Grand Game Plan for Metal Gear Solid 2, the opening chapter was originally to have taken place on board an aircraft carrier in the year 2006.

In the Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty comic, the Tanker Incident erroneously took place on March 22, 2007.

A playable escape sequence at the end of the Tanker chapter was to be included in the game, but test audiences did not like it, so it was removed. Footage of the sequence was kept for flashbacks of the event, however, and can also be seen in early trailers for the game.

After stealing RAY, Revolver Ocelot reports his success to a "Mr. President." The game's script refers to Ocelot's contact as Solidus Snake, though this is conflicted by Solidus having gone underground during that time. Whether he was actually referring to the U.S. President of that time, James Johnson, or a Patriot simulacrum is unknown. That said, it is not uncommon, out of courtesy, to address a former President by the title of the office they once held. A similar example includes Solid Snake's continued insistence on addressing Roy Campbell as Colonel, despite the fact that he no longer held that rank.[4]

According to Kojima, the opening scene, in which Solid Snake throws away his lit cigarette on the street (and claimed to throw it into the river in codec calls and the script),[5] caused some negative responses from fans. Kojima therefore had Naked Snake stamp out his discarded cigar in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, prior to his HALO jump in the Virtuous Mission. Additionally, in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Old Snake puts his cigarettes in a portable ashtray after he finishes smoking them.

The event was later referenced in the Marines card for the non-canon game Metal Gear Ac!d. The card's description stated that the casualties of the Marines in the attack on the tanker amounted to "more than half" of the Marine crew.

There is a brief reference to Policenauts when logging into the server, where it appears in brackets right before "Scott."


Timeline of events in Metal Gear
Date Event Game
1962 Sokolov Defection
Cuban Missile Crisis
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater
1964 Virtuous Mission
Operation Snake Eater
1970 San Hieronymo Incident* Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops*
1972 Les Enfants Terribles Project
1974 Peace Walker Incident Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Eliminate the Renegade Threat*
Intel Operative Rescue*
Classified Intel Acquisition*
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
19XX Déjà Vu**
XXXX Jamais Vu**
1975 Destroy the Anti-Air Emplacements*
Ground Zeroes Incident
Wormhole Incident** Metal Gear Survive**
1976 Attack on Zero Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
1977 Zero visits Snake
1984 Hospital Escape
Phantom Pain Incident
1995 Outer Heaven Uprising
(AKA "Operation Intrude N313")
Metal Gear
19XX Metal Gear (NES)**
19XX+3 Operation 747** Snake's Revenge**
1997 Mercenary War Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
1999 Zanzibar Land Disturbance
(AKA "Operation Intrude F014")
2002 Galuade Incident** Metal Gear: Ghost Babel**
2003 Assassination of Dr. Clark
2005 Shadow Moses Incident Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes*)
2005-2007 Snake's VR Simulation* Metal Gear Solid Mobile*
2007 Tanker Incident Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
2008 Liquidation of Dead Cell
2009 Big Shell Incident
2011 Raid At Area 51
2012-2013 Raiden's Capture
2014 Guns of the Patriots Incident
(Liquid Sun · Solid Sun · Third Sun · Twin Suns · Old Sun · Naked Sin)
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
2016 Lobito Island Incident** Metal Gear Acid**
2018 World Marshal Incident*
(AKA "Raiden's Revengeance")
Raid at World Marshal · Ambush in Africa · Abkhazian Coup · Investigation in Guadalajara · Raid in Denver · Operation Tecumseh
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance*
2019 SaintLogic Incident** Metal Gear Acid 2**
* Dubious Canonicity
** Non-Canon


Notes and references[]

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    The date can be read when Snake activates the photo terminal in the tanker's holds, within the startup screen's text.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Acid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    "In MGS2, more than half of the Marine crew of a secret training tanker was lost at sea when mercenaries led by Gurlukovich and Revolver Ocelot raided the ship."
    ―Marines character card description
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Otacon explains this in an optional Codec conversation during the Tanker Incident in 2007.
  4. ^ Campbell: I'm not a Colonel anymore. Just a retired old warhorse. Snake: I understand, Colonel. - Metal Gear Solid, Briefing
  5. ^

See also[]