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This article is about the legendary soldier, The Boss. You may be looking for her apprentice who would become Big Boss.

"Is there such a thing as an absolute, timeless enemy? There is no such thing, and never has been. And the reason is that our enemies are human beings like us. They can only be our enemies in relative terms. The world must be made whole again."
―The Boss[src]

The Boss, also known as The Joy, The Mother of Special Forces, Mercury Lady and Voyevoda (Russian: Воевода, "Warlord"[2]), was a renowned American soldier, founder and leader of the Cobra Unit, the biological mother of Ocelot, and mentor and mother figure to Naked Snake. In June 1944, during World War II, she led the Cobra Unit to victory at the Battle of Normandy. Together with Naked Snake, she developed the technique of CQC.


Early life and career[]

The Boss was born in 1922[3] as the daughter of one of the original and higher-ranking members of the Wisemen's Committee, and later grew up in the care of the Philosophers. She learned from her father the most forbidden secrets of the Philosophers, and as a consequence, the shadowy organization arranged for his death. The Boss later went on to become an instructor at one of the Philosophers' "charm schools."

World War II[]

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The Boss, as a young adult.

In 1941, during World War II, The Boss was invited to the SAS as a special adviser, which resulted in the creation of Layforce and the original L Detachment. There she met David Oh, with whom she later formed the 22nd SAS Regiment. She also planned the dummy raids on Heliopolis and the bombings of German air bases during the North African Campaign.[4] In addition to this she participated in many "snatch" missions, in which she had to capture important officers without killing them; the incidents later served as the basis for her development of CQC.[5] According to Major Zero, the SAS motto, "Who Dares, Wins," was a tribute to The Boss.

On December 30, 1941, she and Zero lost a close friend who had served under her in Layforce (likely during Operation Crusader in Egypt). Zero delivered his SAS winged dagger pin to her after his death and she continued to keep it with her right up until her death.

In 1942, The Boss (then known as The Joy) founded the Cobra Unit, which consisted of herself, The Pain, The Fear, The End, The Fury, and The Sorrow. They participated in many special operations during World War II, contributing heavily to the Allied forces' victory. Likewise, she was also trained in sniping by The End. The entire Cobra Unit looked up to her as their mother and leader, and she formed a close relationship with The Sorrow. The Boss became a legendary soldier, and was considered by many to be the "Mother" of America's special forces.

In 1943, The Boss was ordered to infiltrate Los Alamos and assassinate one of the Manhattan Project scientists, John von Neumann, under the belief that he was a Nazi spy, and make it seem like his death was accidental. But just before the operation, she found out that she was pregnant by The Sorrow. She proceeded with the mission as planned, though she ended up blowing her cover due to being distracted by her pregnancy. Though she avoided a bullet aimed for her gut, she received a graze to the side of her brain and would enter a coma for three months. After six months, The Boss made a complete recovery, theorizing that her body may have willed her to live for her child. She grew to regret failing the mission, even after it transpired that Neumann being a spy was actually Soviet misinformation to sabotage the Manhattan Project. The Boss felt that his living resulted in the Cold War, which made her partially responsible as well.

Invasion of Normandy[]

During the D-Day landings at Normandy, The Boss and her Cobras were sent on a mission to destroy several V2 rocket installations near Juno Beach. It was there that she gave birth to her and The Sorrow's child on the battlefield, going into labor after she had been shot in the gut. The caesarean section required in the chaos left her with a snake-shaped scar on her torso.[6][7] She gave birth to a baby boy, though he was soon taken away from her by the Philosophers.

In 1947, two years after the end of the war, The Boss disbanded the Cobra Unit due to tensions between the Philosophers.[8]

The Cold War[]

The boss database picture

The Boss, as leader of the Cobras.

Afterwards, The Boss began participating in secret projects run by the U.S. Government. On November 1, 1951, The Boss was involved in the atomic testing at the Nevada desert, where she was exposed to radiation, and rendered infertile. It was around this time that she first met a 15 year old John (a.k.a. Jack), and was drawn to him due to sharing similar experiences.[9] She spent nearly a decade with John, training him as her disciple and developing the tactics of CQC, a basic form of close quarters combat. John claimed that because of his training, part of him belonged to The Boss and that they were more than just friends, soldiers, or lovers. During 1957, she also was invited to the newly instated HALO School at the JFK Special Operations center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was also responsible for the development of the HALO jump.[10]

Secret operations in the Soviet Union[]

The Boss was forced to leave Jack when she was assigned a new top secret mission by the President on June 12, 1959 involving recruiting Russians who were against the new single-party regime in Moscow to steal and sabotage various Soviet space projects and possibly directly become involved when necessary. However, the CIA disagreed with this, and refused to help The Boss, forcing her to utilize the Philosophers' spy channels for the first time to accomplish it. She managed to succeed in placing a sleeper agent to recruit them, and the CIA took over, namely to take all the credit. The Boss didn't mind.

However, late into the year, The Boss discovered some discrepancies relating to the Soviet blueprints that their sleeper agent was sending, namely in regards to the Sputnik 5 where there was an ejection pod. She tried to report her findings to the CIA and get them to investigate, but they ignored her, thinking she wanted to regain her glory. She ended up infiltrating the Soviet Union without any official support and infiltrated the OKB-1 research facility.

She discovered not only had her sleeper agent defected to the Soviet Union entirely, but also that the reason he did so was because the CIA was pocketing a large amount of his paycheck, and that the ejection pod on the Sputnik 5 was actually an ejection seat for human personnel to utilize to survive reentry. She reported her findings to NASA, which resulted in the CIA blaming The Boss for everything that went wrong to cover up their failures to the recently inaugurated President John F. Kennedy.

The Mercury Project[]

Later on, The Boss was chosen for participation in the Mercury Project and met for the first time Strangelove, who was assigned to Mercury as a key staff member. She was sent to space on a mission to acquire data on how well the human body could cope in such conditions, but during which radiation was an inevitability. She unofficially became the first American in space, and seeing the Earth from above sparked her dream of uniting the world as one.

Unfortunately, as she returned to Earth from her flight on April 12, 1961, the addition of a "window" caused her re-entry capsule to veer off course and crash land in the ocean, resulting in The Boss being thrown from the capsule and severely burned by both the cosmic radiation, and the heat of re-entry. Miraculously, The Boss did survive, but she was hospitalized as a result, and she and Strangelove never saw each other again. The injuries sent The Boss into another deep coma for six months. The military covered up the accident by claiming that The Boss took part in the CIA's botched Bay of Pigs Invasion in Cuba.

Alone and resented[]

The Boss recovered, but the current administration resented the fact that the Russians had a widely publicized successful space flight, while The Boss' injuries and crash landing forced the United States to cover up their own experimental spaceflight, despite the fact that she was in space first. The Boss had used Philosopher contacts outside of Russia to place her spy in 1959, but once Soviet Philosophers discovered the spy, no branch of the Philosophers was willing to help her. The Soviets decided to send in The Sorrow, The Boss' former lover, who had returned to the Soviet Union after the disbandment of the Cobra Unit. Unaware that The Boss was involved, The Sorrow successfully turned the spy into a double agent.

In 1962, she was sent on a mission to eliminate The Sorrow (technically the objective was that only one of them was allowed to live). The Philosophers forced them to participate in this task by threatening to kill their child if they both survived. The Boss and The Sorrow met on top of a bridge in Tselinoyarsk and discussed what they should do. Ultimately, they agreed that The Sorrow should be the one to die. Reluctantly, The Boss shot him through the left eye. However, The Sorrow, being a powerful medium and psychic, returned from the dead two years later as a spirit. In late 1962, a former SAS associate of The Boss, Major Zero, reached out to her and invited her to form a new CIA unit with him: FOX.

Operation Snake Eater[]

See also: Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater

In 1964, The Boss, who still remained in contact with the U.S. homeland, was ordered to take part in a major operation to recover the Philosophers' Legacy, known as the Virtuous Mission. In order to acquire the Legacy, The Boss had to trade her way into GRU colonel Volgin's ranks, utilizing the Philosophers' spy network. She was contacted by Volgin with the suggestion of defection, as well as learning the location of Soviet rocket scientist Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov, and the details of a secret nuclear weapon he had been developing.[11]

A month later, The Boss participated in the Virtuous Mission (which she got the CIA Director to greenlight), where she was reunited with Naked Snake. She served as part of the mission control, headed by Major Zero, maintaining contact with the mission control and Snake via radio supposedly from on board a Permit-Class Submarine stationed in the Arctic Ocean.[12]

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The Boss bids farewell to Snake following her defection.

However, she removed herself from radio contact just as Snake successfully retrieved Sokolov from Rassvet. The Boss was provided with two portable nuclear warheads and launcher, with the intention of handing them over to Colonel Volgin and gaining his trust. The Boss also helped Volgin recover Sokolov before he could escape the Soviet Union with Snake's help, throwing Snake from the bridge in Dolinovodno, who took her bandana with him. Shortly thereafter, Volgin, entirely on a whim, did something unexpected. Deciding to test out his new weapon, he used one of the nukes to destroy Sokolov's design bureau, OKB-754.[13] The destruction of the bureau in a nuclear explosion whipped the government of the Soviet Union into a panic, and matters was made worse when the plane that had been used as Mission Control for the Virtuous Mission had been detected by radar, making it look like the explosion was an American nuclear attack. While the Soviet army and government called for a retaliation attack against the Americans, the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, was willing to accept President Lyndon B. Johnson's personal assurances that America was innocent and that the attack had been carried out by Soviet traitors. Despite this, he still needed evidence to convince his cabinet and the army leadership. As such, The Boss's mission to be greatly expanded and revised. The CIA, fearful of the renowned soldier's charisma,[14][15] arranged to have her killed in order to clear America's name, in a mission known as Operation Snake Eater, which Hot Coldman had masterminded.[16] Naked Snake was to be redeployed under the command of Major Zero, with orders to recover the remaining nuclear warhead, extract Sokolov, disable the Shagohod, and eliminate Volgin and The Boss. Unbeknownst to Snake, however, he was also meant to act as a way for The Boss to get the Philosophers' Legacy smuggled out of Volgin's custody and into the hands of the American government. Continuing to act as a traitor to America, The Boss would allow herself to be assassinated by her beloved protégé.

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The Boss overlooks Snake's destroyed drone, during Operation Snake Eater.

Understanding that she had to give her life and even eternally sacrifice her reputation for her country, in order to save the world from nuclear war, The Boss confronted Snake shorty after he made landfall, and got into a CQC fight with him, with the apparent purpose of discouraging him from continuing his mission. In reality, she had used the opportunity to plant a transmitter on his person, so she could track his movements and subtly help him in his mission, while maintaining Volgin's trust. One by one, Snake killed off the remaining members of the Cobra Unit. In his last moments of life, The Fury became worried for the life of his commander. In addition, The Boss almost had her cover blown after Volgin discovered the transmitter she had previously planted on Snake, and when she became hesitant upon being ordered by him to cut out Snake's eyes while he was being tortured.

However, his attention became focused on Tatyana when she prevented The Boss from performing the act, which also drew Major Ocelot's suspicions. Following Snake's torture, she shot him in the leg with a fake death pill and then slipped a Single Action Army she confiscated from Ocelot into Snake to provide him with a potential means of escape as well as a means to defend himself after escaping, respectively.

After Snake defeated Volgin and destroyed Sokolov's Shagohod, with the help of EVA, The Boss destroyed Groznyj Grad and Graniny Gorki with the last portable nuclear warhead and met Snake in a field of white flowers, by Rokovoj Bereg. There, she reminded him of his duty as a soldier, prior to engaging him in a final duel. She also described to him the perceived betrayal of the Cuban exiles in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, as an example of the U.S. Government's questionable policies, concealing her true role in the events of the Mercury Project by claiming to have been there. Additionally, because of her previous experience as a teacher at one of the Philosophers' charm schools, The Boss had also seen through EVA's disguise as Tatyana.

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The Boss, armed with the Patriot rifle, at Rokovoj Bereg.

To ensure that Snake would carry out his mission, The Boss radioed Russian fighters to begin bombing Rokovoj Bereg, which was only ten minutes away from their position. The Boss fought Snake with the intent to kill him, but he had gained much experience from his mission. She attacked with her assault rifle, the Patriot, but Snake evaded her attacks, and engaged her in CQC, now equaling her skill. Though her white Sneaking Suit aided in her camouflage among the white lilies called Stars of Bethlehem, she eventually collapsed from Snake's ongoing attacks. Despite engaging with the intent to kill, The Boss continuously complimented Snake's growth throughout the battle as she had expected Snake to prevail and kill her.

After falling at the hands of her former disciple, The Boss passed the microfilm, containing the Philosophers' Legacy, to him, asking him to keep it safe. She then handed him her weapon, asking him to finish her off, to which Snake, though very reluctantly, obliged. The Boss's horse approached her body, mourning her passing, while in the distance, Snake witnessed the spirits of The Boss and The Sorrow fade away.

The Boss' death

The Boss' death.

"Isn't it beautiful? It's almost tragic. When life ends, it gives off a final lingering aroma. Light is but a farewell gift from the darkness to those on their way to die. I've been waiting, Snake, for a long time. Waiting for your birth, your growth, and the finality of today."
―The Boss to Naked Snake.

Prior to her death, The Boss had explained part of the truth of her mission to EVA, who later informed Snake of this. She had also made EVA and Ocelot promise not to kill Snake, nor aid in killing him. In the end, she had left everything in the hands of Snake.

The Boss's grave was later placed in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Snake would arrive later to pay his respects to her, by leaving a bouquet containing solely Stars of Bethlehem and the Patriot at her grave. Despite her officially being labeled as a traitor and war criminal with the intention of her being remembered that way as part of her final mission, her epitaph on her grave marker read "In memory of a patriot who saved the world."


After Operation Snake Eater, Snake was given the Big Boss codename to show that he had surpassed The Boss. But being aware of the full truth behind the mission, he refused to acknowledge that codename for some time, being resentful at how his mentor's life had been cast aside by the government she had served so loyally, as well as feeling ashamed of having allowed himself to in being used as a pawn to kill her, seeing himself as unworthy to bear the title.

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.[?]

She was also used as a template for the Successor Project, which resulted in the creation of FOX operative Gene. Some time later, Gene discovered the true details of The Boss's final mission, which he later passed on to Big Boss in an attempt to break his spirit, and get him to join his side.[17] Gene also implied that it was The Boss's actions that led to his belief that humanity should sacrifice their individual goals to a higher cause/being. Gene would also paraphrase The Boss's speech to Snake questioning where the latter's loyalties ultimately lay (with the only noticeable difference being the second set of choices changed the second subject from the second person singular to "[Snake's] old mentor") before denouncing Snake for retaining any loyalty to America in an indirect reference to their role in her death as part of his ESP-enhanced speeches during their final battle.[18]

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

The Boss, circa 1964.

Despite her death, The Boss's beliefs greatly influenced major events that came later. Major Zero, inspired by The Boss's idea of a united world, formed the Patriots, of which Big Boss was also a founding member. However, Big Boss broke away from the Patriots in 1972, and formed his own private mercenary group, the Militaires Sans Frontières, in response to what he believed to be the Patriots' misinterpretation of The Boss's will.

In 1974, The Boss's personality was used as the model for the AI housed within Peace Walker's Mammal Pod, in a project carried out by the CIA Peace Sentinel. The person directly involved in her "revival" was a former acquaintance of hers, the AI researcher known as Strangelove, who requested that she have all the data on The Boss for the AI in exchange for her participation in the project. Big Boss and the Militaires Sans Frontières were then dispatched to Costa Rica after learning of the Peace Sentinel's activities as well as rumors of The Boss's survival. It was also heavily implied that the latter was the main motivation for Big Boss accepting the mission.

Big Boss later tried to converse with The Boss AI, asking if she had any regrets about her final mission, though the AI reacted with confusion. The Boss AI directly aided Big Boss afterwards by allowing him inside the Mammal Pod, when Peace Walker began transmitting false trajectory data to NORAD. When disabling the AI did not halt the transmission, Peace Walker decided to drown itself in Lake Nicaragua, in order to save the world from threat of a nuclear war. However, Big Boss lost some respect for The Boss, feeling that she had betrayed him, and by extension, herself, having been taught never to put down his gun as a soldier. He would nonetheless continue to bring about his interpretation of The Boss's will through his own means. During this time, he also cast her bandana to the wind at Lake Nicaragua, although Strangelove would retrieve it at least a year later.

In 1984, Big Boss, who at that time was going by the alias of Ishmael due to an impending attack at the Cypriot hospital he was staying at, had a vase of Stars of Bethlehem near his bedside, although this got shattered during a confrontation with a female assassin, one of its petals also going into the charred remains of her lungs before she fled and got parasite therapy.

Meanwhile, Zero continued to implement his own interpretation of The Boss's vision as unity under a single will, and sought to control the United States (and later the world) from behind the scenes. Big Boss later formed the nations of Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land in the 1990s, in order to bring about a soldier's paradise, free from the fickleness of politics, which he believed the Boss had truly envisioned.

In 2014, The Boss's final will was lost when the Patriots' AIs, disregarding Zero's intentions, implemented the war economy to propagate their means of control over the world. Upon meeting with Solid Snake at Arlington National Cemetery, Big Boss remarked sorrowfully that her death had greatly affected him to that point, going as far as to comment that he had been dead since the day he killed her.[19] Saluting her grave one last time, a dying Big Boss finally came to understand the meaning behind The Boss's actions; that it was not about changing the world, but about leaving it as it is, by respecting the will of others and believing in one's own.

"In Memory of a Patriot, Who Saved the World"
The Boss's Epitaph

Personality and traits[]

"One must die and one must live. No victory, no defeat. The survivor will carry on the fight. It is our destiny... The one who survives will inherit the title of Boss. And the one who inherits the title of Boss will face an existence of endless battle."
―The Boss to Naked Snake.[src]

The Boss, as her original codename suggested, found joy in battle. However, when she went to space, her view on war changed. She believed that there was more to life than the Cold War, recognizing the pointlessness of the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. As such, she longed for a world that would be united in which people would respect each other as human beings, as opposed to remaining in constant conflict. This was despite the fact that she herself was a soldier.

Ever since failing her mission in 1943, The Boss had decidedly blamed herself for the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and the rise of the Cold War; having thought in retrospect that if she had succeeded, the Cold War might never have started in the first place. Because of this, she would go on to dedicate her entire life to her country and its faults based on what she felt was a conflict that she had brought upon the world. The Boss would go on to maintain this strong sense of loyalty to her country as a soldier; her loyalty was so great that she allowed the government to use her ruthlessly and knowingly had her killed by her apprentice Naked Snake.


The Boss, circa 1964.

Despite this, she was not blinded by her loyalty to the extent that she didn't know how soldiers were used, as she mentioned to Naked Snake when they re-encountered each other after five years. Her unrelenting loyalty was ultimately what led to her death; having purposely suppressed her own ideals and personal feelings for many years as part of her penance. As her idealistic notions were condemned and feared by her superiors, she allowed herself to die hoping that Naked Snake would learn the truth of her tortured life so that he may learn from her mistakes and live a normal life dedicated only to himself. Though she believed that the Philosophers had grown far too corrupt to be redeemed, she clung to what little hope she had that her sacrifice would somehow help in uniting the rest of the world. She also accurately predicted that America and Russia would no longer remain enemies in the 21st century.

Like her apprentice Big Boss and his son Solid Snake, she was a very strong-willed person and had a very strong charisma as she could take the burden of her country having her killed, turning her back on her Cobra Unit and having her reputation destroyed in order to complete her final mission. Her charisma was so strong that it influenced the very creation of the Patriots and was among the reasons she was killed. EVA herself had believed the 21st century could have been a very different place if she had survived Operation Snake Eater.

Possessing great wisdom in warfare, she was a fierce soldier that sparked fear and admiration among her enemies, colleagues, and allies. Although she held a calm and collected demeanor, she possessed such a strong and overbearing presence that even Volgin was intimidated by her whenever she questioned his mistrust towards her. Despite "The Joy" being her former codename, The Boss rarely smiled during the events of Operation Snake Eater. In contrast, her lover The Sorrow always smiled during his encounters with Naked Snake, with not one occasion where there was a frown on his face.

The Boss’s maternal instincts are a recurring motif, and as such she displays actions such as caring for and protecting EVA, knowing full well of her traitorous nature, and openly chastising her erstwhile son Ocelot for actions perceived as reckless or impulsive (for example after he inadvertently shoots Snake). She has deep care and affection for her finest disciple Naked Snake, and makes this clear many times during their final duel, commenting proudly on his personal growth.

As a subtle indicator of their blossoming relationship, The Boss engages Snake in CQC several times during their encounters, and each time he fares better and better. She initially subdues him effortlessly during the Virtuous Mission, and by the time of their final battle he is able to effectively counter her attacks and even successfully reverse them completely.

The Boss also had a lot of love and care for her apprentice Naked Snake, so much so that even after they went their separate ways and The Boss had found a new apprentice, she would often talk to Strangelove as if she was talking to Snake himself. She also protected Snake during Operation Snake Eater from Ocelot and EVA by making them promise not to kill him, and she instructed EVA to tell Snake the truth behind her final mission and death as she wanted him to know. The Boss knew that Snake would feel guilty for killing her so she told EVA to tell him to forgive himself and to let it go.

The Boss was a proficient user of CQC, having helped found the techniques and principle with her apprentice Naked Snake. She was able to execute field-strips at fast speeds against her opponents, often disarming them in a matter of seconds. On one occasion, The Boss was able to disarm Colonel Volgin, towering at 6'7", and knock him to the floor without needing much effort or leverage over him. The Boss possessed a tremendous amount of physical strength, evidenced by her carrying the containers for the Davy Crockett launcher and the two Davy Crockett shells, which in combined weight would have exceeded 300 kg (nearly 700 pounds) late into the Virtuous Mission, and fire it by hand at Groznyj Grad and Graniny Gorki late into Operation Snake Eater.

The Boss used to smoke cigars, but quit sometime prior to the Virtuous Mission.[20] Although The Boss scolded Naked Snake for wearing her bandana during Operation Snake Eater, demonstrating his inability to let go of the past, she was really somewhat happy in her heart.[21] The Boss had a large snake-shaped scar that ran across her upper torso, as a result of giving birth via caesarean section on the battlefield. The Boss likened her remaining sense of pain to that of a snake slithering across her body.


The Boss's words to Naked Snake in 1964 were often paraphrased by the latter and others in later events:

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 speech that The Boss gave to Naked Snake in their final battle is paraphrased by Gene in one of his speeches in his final battle with Big Boss (Naked Snake) in 1970.
Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.
  • Just before meeting with Galvez and Paz, Big Boss when questioned whether one triumphs or dies in a revolution, tells him they are to do neither, which was similar to The Boss's final speech before fighting Snake.
  • The Boss's final speech to Naked Snake was similar to that given by Big Boss to Solid Snake in 1999.
  • The Boss's last words ("There's only room for one Boss and one Snake") to Naked Snake were similar to the speech given by Revolver Ocelot ("Sooner or later there will be only one Boss. There's only room for one Boss.") to Kazuhira Miller in 1984 after Ocelot revealed Big Boss's true plan and a speech given by Solidus Snake ("The world needs only one Big Boss!") to Solid Snake and Raiden and the speech given by Liquid Ocelot ("There's room for only one Snake and one Big Boss") to Solid Snake and Solidus Snake, both which was said in 2009, and as one of the final phrases uttered by Big Boss ("Boss...You only need one snake. No...The world would be better off without snakes") prior to his demise in 2014.

In the early 1970s, Big Boss fashioned a fake snake-shaped scar across his chest, similar to that of The Boss. This was used to conceal a jigsaw on himself for use in emergency situations.

Behind the scenes[]

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater[]

The Boss (ザ・ボス Za Bosu?) is the secondary antagonist of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. During earlier trailers for Snake Eater, partly to hide the plot twist regarding her fake defection, The Boss was depicted in a significantly more villainous light, including having scenes being framed in a way that implied she did successfully cut Naked Snake's eye out in a torture session as well as supplying him with PTSD afterwards (the latter bit was actually tied to a completely unrelated event). According to Hideo Kojima, she was created specifically to be a motherly character in order to emphasize the maternity theme that he was going for. This is further reflected in The Boss' original design, in which one of her breasts was exposed. The design also featured a snake tattoo around her chest. This was so that when she fired a gun, it would appear that the snake was laughing. It's based on a legend that says that if someone sees a laughing snake, it means that their life is about to be over. Ultimately, this design was scrapped.[22] The character is instead given a snake-shaped scar, which slithers away upon her death, signifying her freedom from the pain and conflict she feels throughout the game.

The Boss defecting to the Soviet Union at the beginning of the game was intended to be a plot twist, to such an extent that the demo for the game, covering the Virtuous Mission, was designed specifically to avoid any hints at The Boss defecting. The Boss being revealed to be a fake defector who ended up nevertheless being required to be killed to prevent Nuclear War was implemented by Kojima to show how absolute justice doesn't actually exist as well as showcase how Big Boss technically became viewed as a bad guy by Solid Snake in later games, and compared the situation to the ending of the Christopher Nolan film The Dark Knight where Batman volunteered to act as a scapegoat for all the murders that the newly-insane and deceased Harvey Dent/Two Face committed in order to spare the latter's reputation and keep Gotham's criminal element locked up.[23]

In-game, she is credited with the creation of "Rayforce" (a mistransliteration of Layforce) and the L Detachment which in real life were created by British colonel Robert Laycock. It is possible, however, that the implication was that they created these groups together with The Boss assisting Laycock in an advisory capacity. Coincidentally, RayForce is also the name of an arcade game first released in 1994 which centers around a massive supercomputer with control over human life, which is also a central theme in the Metal Gear series.

An optional radio conversation has at least three errors, two of which are anachronistic in nature: Zero mentions that The Boss acted as a HALO instructor for the JFK Special Operations Center at Fort Bragg in 1957. However, the facility in question was not actually created until 1982, its name is incorrect as it would actually be the JFK Special Warfare Center, and the name itself is anachronistic because this occurred four years before John F. Kennedy was sworn into the Presidency.

The Boss during her debut radio call has her essentially telling Naked Snake what thinking like a soldier entails, with it being summed up as the only thing soldiers are to believe in with absolute certainty is the mission as well as obeying orders without question, with nothing else, including bonds and the notion of right and wrong, mattering by comparison.[24] This was similar to the concept of filial piety in Japan and to a certain extent various Asian countries, where a soldier is expected to adhere absolutely to the orders of a superior officer and not dare question or turn their back for any reason due to placing absolute trust in authority.

MGS3 The Boss & Charlotte Rampling

Hideo Kojima based The Boss's appearance on the English actress Charlotte Rampling.

Kojima revealed in a Metal Gear Solid 3 commentary that The Boss' appearance was based on the the English actress Charlotte Rampling. Yoji Shinkawa also confirmed this in an interview with Game Informer.[21][25]

The Boss was also one of the few members of Groznyj Grad to be allowed access to Groznyj Grad's weapons lab's west wing in spite of being below Colonel-class.[26]

One of the game's cutscenes, in which Naked Snake's disguise as Major Raikov is discovered, The Boss comments, while removing his mask, "What is this fairy disguise? It's gonna rub off on you. And then you'll lose sight of who you really are." According to Kojima's commentary, this was intended to be a reference to herself, as well as an early hint at the true nature of her defection to the Soviet Union.[27]

A voice casting sheet for Metal Gear Solid 3, which was leaked prior to E3 2004, stated that The Boss was a Green Beret and Navy SEAL, and that she was of British descent (even possessing a slight British accent), though these details are never mentioned in-game.[28]

Although The Boss's and Ocelot's familial relationship can be deduced from the game's story line, it is not made clear whether the two characters themselves were aware of it. In addition, although their familial connection is strongly implied, it was never directly stated. Kojima later confirmed their relationship in an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly.[29] This was further confirmed in the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database.

The Boss's personal data (accessed via the radio during the Virtuous Mission) states that her hair is brownish gray,[1] though her in-game character model actually has blond hair, similar to her son Ocelot. Since The Boss no longer serves as a radio contact following the completion of the Virtuous Mission, she is the only support team member whose radio profile does not allow a sixth or seventh data slide to be unlocked by the player through multiple calls.

In the ending cutscene for the Virtuous Mission, The Boss and Naked Snake are seen reaching out to each other from far away (on the Hind chopper and on the ground, respectively) before pulling back. According to Kojima, this scene was originally going to have The Boss release her bandana to the wind for Snake to catch, which he'd then use as a sling. However, the concept was cut (though not the scene itself) because one of the motion capture actors requested that they move Snake's acquiring the bandana to when The Boss threw him down into the river earlier.

During the filming of The Boss's fighting Naked Snake at Dremuchij North during Operation Snake Eater (specifically, the part where she says to Snake "Go Back!"), Eriko Hirata, The Boss's motion capture actress, started breaking into tears, as she had read the script and thus already knew about The Boss's ultimate fate.[21]

According to a commentary by Kojima, the boss battle with The Boss originally had her wearing shooting goggles to hide her tears, as well as using a machine pistol alongside the Patriot. In addition, she was also originally to have worn a blue sneaking suit, similar to that of Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, so as to make her more visible. However, both of these concepts were cut.[30]

Cut in-game sound files had The Boss pleading Snake to shoot her, suggesting that there was an idle conversation that was permitted to take place, should the player had hesitated to shoot her at the end. The player also had the option to miss, in which The Boss would have reacted to. [31]

In the Secret Theater film The Joy, The Boss dies in a manner similar to the rest of the Cobra Unit, with the detonation of a microbomb and the exclamation of her former codename, "The Joy."

Defeating The Boss in the HD version of Metal Gear Solid 3 will unlock the achievement/trophy "The Patriot."

According to Kojima in his book The Creative Gene, elements of The Boss's character, including her famous "what's it going to be" speech to Snake to him when reencountering him at the beginning of Operation Snake Eater, was taken from the eponymous mother cat character from the 1950 novella Jennie.[32]


Draining The Boss's stamina during the final battle in Metal Gear Solid 3, will yield the Snake Camo. Though not as effective as The Fear's Spider Camo, it nevertheless provides a high Camo Index in the average environment. Also, if the player attempts to use the fake death pill, The Boss will see right through the trick. If the player times the CQC right against The Boss, instead of simply grabbing her arm and throwing it aside, Snake will instead flip over her and leave her stunned, leaving an opening to attack her.

Other appearances[]

During the March 29, 2007 edition of the Metal Gear Solid Podcast, David Hayter, when explaining Big Boss's characterization and why he went down the path he did, erroneously implied that The Boss was Big Boss's biological mother.

The Boss appeared as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which granted the player an increase of flinch resistance by 161 and a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In the latter game, unlocking The Boss's spirit in the story mode World of Light requires that the player fight Zero Suit Samus's puppet fighter. In addition, a puppet fighter of Zero Suit Samus as well as a puppet fighter of Snake are fought simultaneously to unlock Commander Adam Malkovich's spirit, referring to the Samus-Adam Relationship in the Metroid series, and to a lesser extent The Boss and Naked Snake's relationship to each other (which was similar).

The boss appears briefly in Big Boss's dream in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and the Quick Time Event is The only playable moment for The boss, not Big boss. It's also the only Quick time event in Peace Walker that doesn't control Big boss.

"The Boss" was the name of Solid Snake's brand of cigarettes in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Although The Boss herself did not appear in Metal Gear Online, the CQC gloves were described as having been based on those of The Boss. The player could also attain her codename by playing as a female character and holding a 2/1 kill/death ratio or higher. Her symbol was a Grass lily, which were the flowers that were seen in Rokovoj Bereg and was used by Big Boss to pay his respect to her at her grave.

In Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, female hunters can unlock an outfit based on The Boss's appearance. Also while equipping said outfit, the player's hunter's audio files changes to that of The Boss. The game's general sound effects are replaced as well with typical Metal Gear sound effects.

In a press release by Kojima, he admitted that the original concept for Metal Gear Solid 5 was to be about The Boss, though he gave up on the idea after it became apparent to him that the new staff at Kojima Productions were probably not ready to handle such a plot by themselves.[33]

The Boss was a participant in the Konami-sponsored E3 Battle, where she defeated Anne Cunningham from Silent Hill: Downpour in the first round. She will end up facing Metal Gear RAY in the second round where she defeated it (although going by percentage points, she seemingly lost). Afterwards, she faced off against, and defeated, Gabriel Belmont from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in the third round. She then faced off against, and defeated, Vamp in the fourth round. She fought Metal Gear REX in the semifinals and lost.

During a BAFTA conference to give his recollections of the series, Kojima reiterated that The Boss was designed for the purpose of creating a more motherly character, although her becoming a powerful and moving character was unintentional on his part. In addition, Kojima also stated that she is the one of the few characters who could star in a future game for this reason alone.[34]

Although The Boss herself neither makes an appearance nor is referenced directly, her life-changing experience in space and her resulting view of the world are similarly echoed by Raiden in an optional Codec call to Sunny in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, regarding how the world was one and not made up of borders, shortly after using a Solis-issued Mach 23 spacecraft.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater (2004)
Mother of special forces and creator of Close Quarters Combat (CQC). Leader of the Cobra Unit and mentor of Naked Snake
―The Boss' bio in E3 Battle

During a Twitter conversation between a fan and Lori Alan, Alan was asked if The Boss would at least appear in a flashback form in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Alan responded, "Maaaaaaybe so?!?:-)))."[35] Similarly, Yumi Kikuchi confirmed in a Twitter post that she and Kikuko Inoue had roles in the game, although only The Boss AI appears in The Phantom Pain.[36] She is also mentioned frequently in Ground Zeroes, namely via Paz's report as well as the previous story covering the events of Peace Walker. She is also, alongside her comrades in the Cobra Unit, an unlockable character for the Mother Base Developer in the Ground Zeroes app, acting as an officer character. The Boss specifically is unlocked by either obtaining 10+ S ranks overall or completing Ground Zeroes on Hard with an S rank. Dummied content discovered on the disc also revealed that The Boss, or at the very least a female featuring a similar snake-shaped scar, was meant to appear in some capacity.[37] TGS 2015 also revealed that The Boss, or rather, an outfit based on her white sneaking suit, would appear as part of a Snake Eater-themed DLC set.[38] The Boss herself, alongside her steed, also made a cameo in both the prologue and the Truth mission, as a statue seen just outside the Dhekelia SBA Memorial Hospital.[39]

The Boss was later given an indirect mention in the flavor text for the Event Episode "The Encounter: 1964 Event Begins!" for the non-canon game Metal Gear Survive.[40]





See also[]

Notes and references[]

  1. ^ a b c Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    Radio Mode, Personal Data. [1]
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    Major Zero, in an optional radio conversation, also refers to the translation as "something like 'lady knight'," when used to refer to a woman.
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database ("Timeline"), Kojima Productions (2008).
    1922: The Boss is born as daughter of the Philosophers.
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    A radio conversation with Major Zero during the Virtuous Mission reveals this.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    A radio conversation with The Boss during the Virtuous Mission reveals this.
  6. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    EVA: "All I heard was that [The Boss] was supposedly shot in the gut during battle and that her son [Ocelot] was born right there, bullets whizzing past them." // Naked Snake: "A pregnant woman in the middle of a battle?" // EVA: "That's what I heard. They say that when they stitched her up, the scar was shaped like a snake." // Naked Snake: "Well, that's battlefield medicine for you."
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    The Boss: "Look at this scar. This is proof that I was once a mother."
  8. ^
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    The Boss: Snake, you were an atomic test subject, weren't you? On Bikini Atoll. That's part of the reason I was drawn to you. You and I are alike. We're both slowly being eaten away by the karma of others.
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan(2004).
    A radio conversation with Major Zero and Para-Medic reveals this.
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    Major Zero mentioned this in a radio conversation, and Volgin mentions a similar account before the final battle.
  12. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    The Boss: Not to worry. I'll be here to help you remember. After all, this is your first actual survival mission. I'll be supporting you over the radio. // Naked Snake: Where are you, Boss? Next to the Major? // Major Tom: The Boss is communicating with us by radio from aboard a Permit-class submarine in the Artic Ocean.
  13. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene would later claim that a CIA strategist had manipulated Volgin into nuking Tselinoyarsk, as part of a greater plan to assassinate The Boss from the beginning.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Old Snake: The Boss? // Big Mama: The Boss was a legendary hero from the Second World War known as the Mother of Special Forces. She had an almost overwhelming charisma about her. The CIA feared this, so they had her eliminated.
  16. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Hot Coldman: I know all about you. Tselinoyarsk? 10 years ago? // Big Boss: You were involved...? // Hot Coldman: The operation to eliminate the traitor? I planned the whole thing. // Big Boss: Shouldn't a suit like you be back at Langley? What the hell are you doing here? // Hot Coldman: ...It's what the CIA does best. Ensure people in the know keep their mouths shut, or else pack them off someplace where there's no one to listen.
  17. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: It was all a setup from the very beginning. Volgin launching the nuke... The Boss's death... Even your mission in Groznyj Grad, [Naked] Snake. It was all the work of your country and a single, deviously cunning strategist.
  18. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: What's it going to be? Loyalty to your country? Or loyalty to yourself? Your country or your old mentor [The Boss]? The mission or your beliefs? Your duty to your unit or your personal feelings? Look at how much you've lost already! What kind of country deserves this much loyalty, Snake?!
  19. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
    Big Boss: "Ever since the day I killed The Boss, I...was already dead."
  20. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    The Boss: "Are you smoking a cigar?" // Naked Snake: "Uh huh." // The Boss: "I don't approve of you smoking during a mission." // Naked Snake: "Hey, you used to smoke them." // The Boss: "Never mind what I did." // Naked Snake: "..."
  21. ^ a b c
  22. ^ Metal Gear Saga Vol. 1 - YouTube
  23. ^ (archived version here)
    “Through my interaction with users following the releases of Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid and MGS2, I learned something interesting. Why is our world this way? If war and nuclear weapons are atrocities, why do they continue to exist? Younger generations didn’t know the answer.”
    “I decided to portray the era that was the cause of this dilemma in MGS3 (2004). The game is set in 1964 amidst the U.S. and Soviet Cold War. Some young people aren’t even aware that a political state known as the Soviet Union once existed. I felt it was my duty to teach them about this past.”
    “What caused the U.S. and the Soviet Union, allies in WWII, to become enemies and build nuclear arsenals against one another? Enemies formed from man-made ideologies. Good and evil. There is no such thing as absolute justice or corruption. I wanted to show and have players experience the fates and thoughts of characters who are controlled by the changing status of good and evil across eras. That is why I made Big Boss, the “evil” enemy of the “right and just” Solid Snake in Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, the hero of the story. I wanted players to experience what it is like to be called evil, just as Christopher Nolan did shortly after in Dark Knight (2008), in which Batman, the symbol of justice, takes upon the mantle of villain for the sake of Gotham City.”
    “MGS: Peace Walker (2010) is set in Costa Rica 1974. Here I wanted players to think about what armed forces and nuclear armament mean in a country that has no military. If nuclear weapons have the power to destroy the world, then why is having them a deterrent? In the end of the story, the hero Snake, chooses to keep nuclear weapons at his Mother Base for this very reason.”
    “In MGSV: Ground Zeroes (2014), the Mother Base built in Peace Walker is destroyed by an enemy force, imbuing the player with a sense of loss and a desire for revenge. A relentless enemy leaves the player with nowhere to run, and they are drawn into inescapable conflict.”
    “The continuation, MGSV: The Phantom Pain, is the execution of that revenge. Players gather a fighting force and resources to build up an army and secure nuclear weapons as protection. As the player progresses through the game they feel their desire for revenge, and their sense of “justice,” that has been a common thread through the series, begin to waver. Additionally, the online game mode offers players the choice to disarm their nuclear arsenal, with the goal of completely ridding the game world of nuclear weapons. As far as I know, this goal hasn’t been achieved yet, but if we can’t disarm ourselves in the real world, at least the fictional game world offers mankind, the creators of nuclear weapons, the unparalleled “experience” of making the conscious choice to create a nuclear free world. Through this experience, players will come to understand what it really means to take a stand against war and nuclear weapons. Players feel the need to acquire nuclear weapons, but then players across the globe choose to disarm themselves. This experience and its process is the chief aim of Metal Gear.”
  24. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004)
    Naked Snake (Big Boss): Techniques, sure. But what about how to think like a soldier? // The Boss: How to think like a soldier? I can't teach you that. A soldier needs to be strong in spirit, body, and technique - and the only thing you can learn from someone else is technique. In fact, technique doesn't even matter. What's most important is spirit. Spirit and body are like two sides of a single coin. They're the same thing. I can't teach you how to think. You'll just have to figure it out for yourself. Listen to me, Jack. Just because soldiers are on the same side right now doesn't mean they always will be. Having personal feelings about your comrades is one the worst sins you can commit. Politics determine who you face on the battlefield. And politics are a living thing. They change along with the times. Yesterday's good might be tomorrow's evil. // Snake: Is that why you abandoned me? // The Boss: No. It had nothing to do with you. I already told you, Jack. I was on a top-secret mission. A soldier has to follow whatever orders he's given. It's not his place to question why. But you're looking for a reason to fight. You're a natural born fighter, but you're not quite a soldier. A solider is a political tool, nothing more. That's doubly true if he's a career soldier. Right and wrong have no place in his mission. He has no enemies and no friends. Only the mission. You follow the orders you're given. That's what being a soldier is all about. // Snake: I do whatever I have to do to get the job done. I don't think about politics. // The Boss: That's not the same thing. Sooner or later, your conscience is going to bother you. In the end, you have to choose whether you're going to live as a soldier, or just another man with a gun. There's a saying in the Orient; "Loyalty to the end." Do you know what it means? // Snake: Being... Patriotic? // The Boss: It means devoting yourself to your country. // Snake: I follow the President and the top brass. I'm ready to die for them if necessary. // The Boss: The President and the top brass won't be there forever. Once their terms are up, others will take their place. // Snake: I follow the will of the leader, no matter who's in charge. // The Boss: People aren't the ones who dictate the missions. // Snake: Then who does? // The Boss: The times. People's values change over time. And so do the leaders of a country. So there's no such thing as an enemy in absolute terms. The enemies we fight are only in relative terms, constantly changing with the times. // Snake: ... // Boss: As long as we have "loyalty to the end," there's no point in believing in anything... even in those we love. // Snake: And that's the way a soldier is supposed to think? // The Boss: The only thing we can believe in with absolute certainty is the mission, Jack.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    The Boss arrived to unmask "Raikov" as Naked Snake, and subdued him, and Volgin's reaction to The Boss being present implied that she was allowed in the west wing. The exact reasons for her exemption are not made clear, although it is likely that it had to do with her legendary status as the founder of the Cobra Unit.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ (35:04)
  32. ^
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ 2018.04.10
    The Encounter: 1964 Event Begins!
    I've managed to open another communication wormhole.
    I'm gonna be as quick as I can, before you-know-who finds out about it. Here's your new mission.

    I've detected a massive gravitational anomaly.
    It appears the wormholes have an increased attraction to a particular point in time -- the middle of the Cold War, where one legendary soldier, who'd fought on the battlefields during World War II, met her end, and another was born. That's right -- I'm talking about the events that created Big Boss.
    I've identified supplies and "heavy ordnance" you haven't come across before. Head for where they've washed up, and see for yourself what's there.
    It's not every day you get the chance to experience what your boss went through. Surely you're not going to pass up this opportunity?

    Well, better get to work.
    Good luck, Captain.


    Complete event missions during the event period and earn Battle Points (BP)

    Event missions (CO-OP)
    Daily missions (CO-OP)

    Event Period
    2018/03/13 09:00 - 2018/04/03 05:59 (GMT)

    *The item list published was incorrect and has been updated.
    The following items are not available as a reward during the event.
    Avatar Face Paint: Zombie
    Avatar Face Paint: Oyama
    We apologize for the inconvenience.

    *Event Period and other aspects are subject to change without notice.
    *Players must complete the mission during the event period.
    *There may be other ways to get these items in the future.