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This article is about the body double of Big Boss. You may be looking for his template, Big Boss.

"I won't scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea. I will always be with you. Plant your roots in me. I won't see you end as ashes. You're all diamonds. We'll make diamonds from their ashes, take them into battle with us. We are Diamond Dogs."
―Venom Snake to his Diamond Dogs soldiers[src]

Punished "Venom" Snake, also known as Big Boss, Ahab, V, or Big Boss' phantom, was a combat medic for Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF), who would later become the mercenary commander of Diamond Dogs and Outer Heaven as one of Big Boss' most trusted lieutenants.


Militaires Sans Frontières[]

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Morpho, Miller, Big Boss and Venom Snake posing for a group photo on the original Mother Base, on December 5, 1974.

Venom Snake was born in California in 1932.[1] Prior to 1975, he served as a member of Militaires Sans Frontières, acting as a combat medic. Much later, Big Boss would go on to say that the medic was "always the best man we had", implying that he was an incredibly capable soldier, as well as a reliable field medic. His loyalty to Big Boss became unquestioned.

Ground Zeroes Incident[]

Main article: Ground Zeroes Incident

On March 16, 1975, the medic was stationed on board the helicopter sent to extract MSF commander Big Boss and the rescued POWs Chico and Paz Ortega Andrade from Camp Omega in Cuba. He was one of the few MSF staff members aware of Paz and Chico's situation, as well as the mission itself.

During the flight back to Mother Base, the medic identified that a bomb had been planted in Paz's abdomen and performed an emergency surgery without anaesthetic to dispose of it before its detonation. The bomb was removed successfully, though Paz had passed out from the immense pain. The medic ensured her breathing was stable, then stitched her back up.

The helicopter arrived back at Mother Base just as it was being attacked by Cipher's strike force, XOF. The medic remained aboard the chopper to provide medical aid to Paz and Chico as Big Boss provided cover fire for the MSF soldiers escaping into the helicopter, including Kazuhira Miller. As they escaped, a startled Paz awoke, panic-stricken, as she attempted to warn them of a second bomb planted inside her. Paz leapt from the chopper just before the second bomb exploded. Killing her, and traumatizing The Medic, as he was unable to find the second bomb. The medic dove in front of Big Boss to shield him from the blast, and the helicopter was thrown into a collision with a nearby XOF chopper. The medic and Big Boss survived the crash, but both were severely injured and rendered comatose. Miller was the only other survivor, escaping mostly intact.

Nine-Year Coma[]

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Venom Snake's perspective as Big Boss falls into a coma.

The medic suffered extensive injuries from the crash, with 108 foreign agents embedded in his body while his left arm had to be amputated several inches above the wrist. The shrapnel was removed, although certain pieces located close to his heart and inside his cerebral cortex were too risky to extract.

Once the medic and Big Boss were stable enough for transport, Zero had EVA moved them both to Dhekelia SBA Memorial Hospital in Cyprus. This information was suppressed so that their location would remain a secret. Zero planned and provided funds to have the medic molded into a mirror image of Big Boss, both mentally and physically. Induced hypnagogia imbued the medic with Big Boss' mind, and plastic surgery was enacted to give him Big Boss' face. When he awoke, the medic would believe he was Big Boss. The code word for when the new Snake woke up would be "V has come to".

In 1977, a weakened Zero visited the twin Big Bosses before going back into hiding for good. During this time, the Snakes' EEGs showed stable activity levels, but there had been no change. Medical staff were moving their muscles every four hours so as to mitigate muscle atrophy.

Phantom Pain Incident[]

See also: Hospital Escape and Phantom Pain Incident

Hospital Escape[]

Venom Snake first awoke on February 26, 1984. Over the course of the next few days, the medical staff on stand-by slowly acclimated him to the facts of his condition: he had been in a coma for some time, and his amputated arm as well as the remaining foreign shrapnel that couldn't be removed from his body. They told Venom Snake of their plans to give him plastic surgery and a new name so he could escape those who wanted him dead. The real Big Boss awoke earlier than Venom Snake, and was stationed in the hospital bed next to him, behind a curtain and his face obscured with bandages.

Several days after Venom Snake's awakening, the hospital staff were murdered by an XOF assassin. She moved to attack Snake, but Big Boss defended him by setting the assassin on fire with sanitary alcohol and a lighter. Big Boss, calling himself Ishmael, gave Snake a shot of digoxin to raise his heartbeat and get him moving faster. Ishmael proceeded to escort Snake out of the hospital, avoiding the XOF strike teams, the mysterious Man on Fire, and Tretij Rebenok.

The pair's escape was cut short when their stolen vehicle crashed into a river bank. Venom Snake awoke to no sign of Ishmael in the vehicle, but Ocelot had appeared on horseback to get him away from the pursuing Man on Fire. Once Snake and Ocelot managed to escape the fiery being's pursuit, Ocelot told him that their next destination would be Afghanistan, where they would recruit Kazuhira Miller to help in the coming battles. The two boarded a whaling ship headed towards Afghanistan, while Snake returned to a normal diet, worked his muscle mass back, and was equipped with a custom-made bionic prosthetic for his missing arm. Ocelot offered him the new codename of Venom Snake, proceeding to catch him up on the events of the previous nine years; notably the ongoing proxy war in Afghanistan, the founding of Cipher, the location of Zero, and the Les Enfants Terribles project, which produced Solid and Liquid Snake.


Ocelot personally escorted Snake to the mission field in northern Kabul, Afghanistan, on horseback. He informed him that the goal was to rescue Miller, who had already been in Soviet captivity for ten days. Snake successfully infiltrated Da Ghwandai Khar and rescued Miller. Snake carried Miller out, but they were ambushed by the Parasite Unit, who were responsible for capturing Miller in the first place. After evading their pursuit, Snake and Miller exfiltrated the area via helicopter. On the helicopter ride, Miller pleaded with Snake to help him get revenge on Cipher, and Venom Snake readily accepted.

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Venom Snake and Miller return to Mother Base after Snake rescues him from Soviet Forces.

Together they landed on a newly-constructed Mother Base, now located in the Seychelles waters. There Venom Snake formally took command of the new army, which was to be called Diamond Dogs.

In order to build up Diamond Dogs' resources and reputation, Snake began undertaking anti-Soviet missions from the CIA in Afghanistan. This would not only help Diamond Dogs expand their forces, but also lead them towards Cipher, who were apparently working closely with the Soviets in the area.

One such mission involved the elimination of a Spetsnaz commander responsible for a scorched earth operation that annihilated a Mujahideen group known as the Hamid at Da Smasei Laman. Before neutralizing him, however, Snake learned that the commander allegedly had nothing to do with the attacks at Da Smasei Laman, leaving the true culprit a mystery.

During this time Snake also found an injured, wandering puppy and took him in. Ocelot would go on to train the dog into a special unit nicknamed DD who could assist Snake while in the field.

Snake accepted one more mission from the CIA related to the disappearance of the Hamid fighters in Da Smasei Laman. The CIA had been supplying the Mujahideen there with a new type of rocket launcher called the Honey Bee, and now there was fear that the Soviets would locate the weapon and use it themselves. The Soviets would accomplish this by forcing the sole survivor of the attack on the Hamid, a mute prisoner, to lead them to it.


Skull Face confronting Venom Snake.

Snake succeeded in locating and procuring the Honey Bee hidden at Da Smasei Laman. Curiously, the area did not seem to have suffered any damage from bombing, making the scorched earth narrative seem flimsy. Upon moving to escape the fort, however, Snake was ambushed by Skull Face, finding himself in the grasp of a massive mechanical arm from within the mist. When the arm released Snake, he found himself again surrounded by the Parasite Unit, who had turned all Soviet soldiers in the base into their zombie-like puppets. Snake defeated the Parasite Unit and escaped.

Some time after the fight at Da Smasei Laman, it was revealed that several MSF soldiers who were away when Mother Base was attacked nine years ago were still out there. They appeared to have gone insane and were wandering the world like zombies, but Snake could restore them to their senses and recruit them into Diamond Dogs if he so chose.

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Venom Snake supposedly reunites with Paz.

After extracting the first wandering soldier, Komodo Dragon, he gave Snake a photo of the good old days at MSF. Snake would then soon find a room on the Medical Platform of Mother Base where he apparently met an amnesiac Paz, who had curiously survived the bomb planted in her abdomen nine years ago. Ocelot and Miller confirmed that they indeed managed to remove it in time. As Snake continued to find old MSF soldiers, he would bring their photos to Paz in an attempt to jog her memory.

Snake and Diamond Dogs continued to grow stronger as they accomplished more anti-Soviet missions in Afghanistan, collecting resources, expanding their facilities, and swelling their ranks with volunteers and "recruits" forcibly extracted from the field. After being hired by local Mujahideen guerrillas, Snake eliminated three Soviet commanders, sabotaged their armored vehicle supplies, and assassinated a newly-assigned colonel en route to Da Smasei Laman.

A Mujahideen commissioned Snake to rescue his son, a man named Malak. His village had been destroyed and he was taken prisoner by the Soviets at Lamar Khaate Palace. Snake infiltrated the Soviet’s defenses and extracted Malak. However, he learned that Malak did not know who this supposed father was, and that his village had been destroyed quite a while ago by a mysterious disease, not by the Soviets.

Diamond Dogs received a distress signal from none other than Huey Emmerich, a former ally from the MSF days suspected of being involved with XOF’s attack on Mother Base nine years prior. Huey was currently employed by the Soviets as a lead engineer on some sort of project, but he was no longer interested in doing business with them and had requested Diamond Dogs come extract him. Conflicted, Diamond Dogs accepted his call for help, though mostly so they could bring him back to Mother Base and interrogate him about XOF. Snake made his way towards the Soviet Central Base Camp to meet with Huey.

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Venom Snake considers killing Quiet.

While traveling through the Aabe Shifap Ruins, however, Snake was ambushed by the XOF assassin Quiet. He defeated her in a sniper duel and had her at his mercy, with Miller urging him to kill her while Ocelot suggested they bring her back to Mother Base for recruitment. Snake chose to follow Ocelot’s advice, extracting her via helicopter.

During the flight back to Mother Base, Quiet uncuffed herself and seemingly escaped. Before arriving at Mother Base, the chopper came under attack by a pursuing Cipher fighter jet. Quiet then revealed herself, having stayed invisible in the chopper after all, and fired a single sniper round through the cockpit of the enemy aircraft, killing the pilot and saving Snake. Despite this heroic act, and the fact that Quiet peacefully surrendered herself into Diamond Dogs custody upon reaching Mother Base, Miller insisted that they kill her due to being too much of a liability. Snake and Ocelot instead decided to lock her up. Snake agreed that she might have to be killed if she proved to be too much of a threat, and promised he would be the one to "pull the trigger" should the need arise.


Venom Snake and Huey are intercepted by Sahelanthropus.

Upon heading back to the Soviet Central Base Camp to find Huey, Venom Snake discovered that Huey was working directly with Cipher, specifically Skull Face, and had been put to work on a new type of manned vehicle known as Walker Gear and a new upright bipedal Metal Gear called Sahelanthropus. As Snake extracted Huey, they were confronted again by Skull Face and the surprisingly operational Sahelanthropus, though they managed to escape it and deal some heavy damage to its frame with a helicopter's minigun.

Although most of Diamond Dogs became convinced of Huey's involvement in the Mother Base attack, Snake decided they needed firmer evidence. After torturing him, Ocelot learned from Huey that Cipher's funding was being redirected from the Soviets in Afghanistan and were headed towards Africa instead, where they were developing "a weapon to surpass Metal Gear." Ocelot explained to Snake that Zero hadn't been seen in public since Snake left the United States over ten years ago, but now that they knew Huey was working for Skull Face, they had confirmation that Zero never gave the order to destroy Mother Base, but Skull Face alone.

Central Africa[]

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Venom Snake arrives in the Angola-Zaire region.

To investigate Skull Face's new project, Snake decided to begin taking jobs located in the Angola-Zaire border region of central Africa, searching for clues of Cipher at the same time. His first mission was from an environmental NGO to shut down the Mfinda Oilfield, which had allegedly been taken over by the rebel group UNITA amidst a proxy war and was contaminating the Munene River. However, upon arriving at Masa Village along the way, Snake found its UNITA troops to be carrying CFA gear - this meant that they were just working for a private military company. The men were training child soldiers in the abandoned village, and had been hired by CFA because of their ability to speak Kikongo, the children's native tongue.

Upon reaching Mfinda Oilfield, Snake discovered that UNITA itself was not present, but rather the CFA. Not only that, but he found that there had been no hostile takeover at all, but rather the CFA had been hired by the oilfield's owners, SANR, to guard it. Snake sabotaged the plant nonetheless. As the oil slowly drained out of the plant, however, Snake noticed piles of corpses with strange growths on their chests underneath. As Snake exited the mission area, Miller informed him that upon further inspection, SANR was a ghost of a company and was merely a front for something else - likely Cipher.

Diamond Dogs were next hired by a high-ranking British member of the CFA known as the Viscount. He had been mutinied against by his own Afrikaner employees, and was commissioning a rescue operation. Snake succeeded in rescuing him, but before being set free at Mother Base, the Viscount informed Diamond Dogs that Walker Gears were soon to be deployed for the CFA in the region, pointing yet another finger at Cipher.

Diamond Dogs looked into the supply chain at Nova Braga Airport and discovered a Zero Risk Security-run UNITA convoy that was distributing supplies throughout the area. Miller noted that certain trucks in the convoy were heavily guarded, and assumed that the convoy was also moving something related to Cipher's new weapon project. Snake was deployed to investigate the convoy and extract one of the heavily guarded trucks.

Snake managed to locate and approach the covered truck. However, he was suddenly ambushed by the Parasite Unit and was forced to fight them off before he could extract the truck. This confirmed that Cipher was involved. Once it was extracted, Diamond Dogs searched the truck and found two types of cargo: several drums of malachite-uranium ore, and a shielding container full of yellowcake and enriched uranium.

Whilst in Africa, Snake continued to hunt for Cipher while conducting primarily anti-UNITA missions. One of these missions involved rescuing two Diamond Dogs spies who had been sent to infiltrate the CFA and were captured. During the mission, Snake learned that there was a recent viral outbreak near Masa Village, and a photo was recovered showing CFA soldiers with lumps on their chests similar to the ones on the oily corpses. Snake also sabotaged many Walker Gears and took out UNITA-affiliated guard posts.

Diamond Dogs were next contracted by a Mbele general to silence and kill six captive Mbele soldiers before they could spill any info. One of these soldiers had turned and was now employed by Rogue Coyote at Bampeve Plantation, while the other five were still imprisoned at Kungenga Mine. Snake hunted down the Rogue Coyote-employed Mbele soldier first, but learned that he had agreed to work with Rogue Coyote in exchange for the lives of the other five Mbele being spared.

Mgsv snake child soldiers

Venom Snake brings the Mbele children to Mother Base.

Snake then infiltrated Kungenga Mine, where he discovered that the other five Mbele were in fact child soldiers. Refusing to kill them, Snake instead recorded himself firing rounds in the cave to falsify evidence of their deaths, before breaking them out and extracting them to Mother Base instead. Miller decided to prepare an educational program for the Mbele children in order to train them for normal lives one day.

Diamond Dogs learned from the Mbele children that there was another child named Shabani who had been separated from them. He was taken to the abandoned Ngumba Industrial Zone instead, known as the "Devil's House" by the locals. Additionally, SANR was said to be involved in the area. Snake infiltrated the Ngumba Industrial Zone, discovering that the area was guarded by Rogue Coyote - however, no soldiers were allowed to approach the tunnel to the Devil's House. Snake entered the Devil's House himself, and discovered that it was being used for human experimentation. There were various corpses with the same chest lumps from before, and earbuds playing different languages lodged in their throats. Snake found Shabani, who was in a similar condition and barely holding onto life.

Mgsv snake shabani

Venom Snake finds Shabani.

Skull Face suddenly appeared around a corner, noticing Snake when Shabani went into a coughing fit. Tretij Rebenok and the Man on Fire appeared as well, revealing that the two were working for him. The Man on Fire attacked Snake, but froze as Tretij Rebenok was distracted by the dying Shabani and killed him out of mercy. Snake escaped the Devil's House, but was confronted with the Man on Fire again outside. He then subdued the Man on Fire before escaping the area. This situation brought many questions about Skull Face's relationship with SANR, Tretij Rebenok, the Man on Fire, and the mysterious outbreaks.

Diamond Dogs got wind that a CFA executive arranged a meeting with an arms dealer at Nova Braga Airport, regarding the sale of weapons, Snake's task was to eliminate the CFA executive, who they suspected was under the employment of XOF. While still in the field, however, Snake got a call from Miller, who informed him that the R&D Platform on Mother Base was being held by a PF called Mosquito Stinger Force, which had taken several members of Diamond Dogs hostage and were threatening to kill them if any other Diamond Dogs members attempted to interfere. Snake returned to Mother Base, making his way to the top of the R&D Platform, and found the leader Mosquito. Once Snake defeated Mosquito, the Mosquito Stinger Force was obligated to surrender.

Miller later informed Snake that Mosquito was a former member of the Militaires Sans Frontières, and that he had survived the attack on Mother Base. Mosquito had been led to believe that Big Boss himself was responsible for the attack, and as a result he created his own PF and modeled it after the original MSF in order to get revenge on Big Boss, but fortunately this misconception was cleared up.

Mgsv snake finds eli

Venom Snake confronts the "White Mamba."

Snake's next mission was to eliminate militants based in Masa Village that had been pillaging nearby settlements, but since they were child soldiers, killing them was not an option. Instead, they decided to kidnap their commander, a boy called the "White Mamba", in order to disable the group. Snake infiltrated the village and confronted the "White Mamba", whose real name was Eli, in a shipwreck. Eli held a great deal of hatred and resentment for Snake, forcing Snake to incapacitate him using CQC before bringing him back to Mother Base. However, even on Mother Base, Eli attacked Snake again, forcing him to violently disarm him.

The Mbele general from before, pleased with Snake's apparent assassination of the five children, hired him once more. The mission was to rescue the general's brother, who had been mutinied against by his own child soldiers and was being held captive. Snake infiltrated the child soldiers' defenses and found the target. However, he learned that the man was not the general's brother, but actually the killer of the general - Diamond Dog's supposed employer was already dead. The child soldiers believed he was the general's brother and were trying to lure the general out, but had evidently failed. Snake extracted the man anyways.

After the mission, Snake was informed that a viral outbreak like the one in Africa had occurred on Mother Base. Snake was forced to make a Quarantine Platform for all the afflicted soldiers while they searched for more info on the nature of this outbreak.

Snake's new mission was to find and eliminate a Buta trafficker whose victims were sent to places such as brothels, organ trades, and diamond mines. Miller informed Snake that he was the one who delivered Mbele villagers to Cipher for their experiments, personally responsible for delivering Shabani to the Devil's House. The Mbele group, who contracted Diamond Dogs to dispose of the trafficker, wanted him eliminated before he left the country, and Snake obliged.

Back at Mother Base, Snake found Quiet attacking a Diamond Dogs soldier, forcing him to disarm and restrain her with CQC. With the help of the other soldiers and Ocelot, they managed to sedate her. Ocelot assumed that it was because of how they had treated her, but Snake was skeptical and ordered to tighten security on her cell, claiming that if she lashed out a second time there would not be a third.

Snake was then tasked with rescuing a member of the Intel Team who had finally gotten some info on the source of the infection. He had been captured by Rogue Coyote in the process and was being interrogated at Ditadi Abandoned Village. Snake infiltrated the guard post, but discovered the holding cell the target was in covered in blood and dead Rogue Coyote soldiers. He found the target outside, who had escaped containment somehow. The Diamond Dog told Snake that the pathogens originated from a man called Code Talker, and that he was being held by Zero Risk Security at a mansion in the jungle.

Snake followed the agent’s lead and headed to Lufwa Valley, in which the mansion resided. Originally protected by rumors that it was abandoned and haunted, ZRS pulled out all the stops to prevent intrusions once word of Code Talker got out. Upon reaching Lufwa Valley, Snake found himself surrounded by Parasite Unit snipers, but managed to make it through.

Mgsv snake codetalker

Venom Snake visits with Code Talker.

Snake infiltrated the mansion, descending into the wine cellar in the basement to find Code Talker himself. Code Talker revealed to Snake that the many outbreaks in Afghanistan, central Africa, and Mother Base had been thanks to the vocal cord parasites, small yet dangerous organisms which he had been researching for years. He claimed that Skull Face had forced him to study them in order to perform ethnic cleansing via language, and agreed to help treat Diamond Dogs’ vocal cord parasite pandemic.

As Snake exfiltrated the mansion with Code Talker, they found that the ZRS troops had been turned into puppets by the Parasite Unit. They evaded the puppet soldiers and successfully left the mission area via helicopter. However, while flying over Nova Braga Airport, the helicopter was surrounded by a mysterious cloud that instantly corroded the vehicle and sent it crashing into the ground. Snake and Code Talker survived the crash with insignificant injuries, emerging to find themselves faced with the Parasite Unit again. Snake personally fought them off.

After the Parasite Unit’s defeat, Ocelot arrived in a backup helicopter to pick up Snake and Code Talker. On the chopper, Code Talker explained to Snake and Ocelot that he had also been researching a type of organism called metallic archaea that was able to quickly metabolize metals. These archaea were not only capable of corroding metal, like they had with the previous helicopter, but also enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons much more easily available. Both the vocal cord parasites and the metallic archaea were part of Skull Face’s master plan to create a global nuclear monopoly.

Upon arriving at Mother Base, Code Talker got to work treating the vocal cord parasite outbreak, using wolbachia to turn male parasites female in order to prevent them from reproducing. However, it would also leave the sperm of all the men treated sterile. Despite the loss, the Diamond Dogs were saved after only forty-eight hours.

Skull Face[]

Ocelot used some of Code Talker’s metallic archaea to brutally interrogate Huey, revealing that Skull Face had continued development of Sahelanthropus in Afghanistan at a secret lab called OKB Zero. Ready to put a stop to Skull Face’s plan before it began, Snake and Diamond Dogs headed out in full force to finish the job.


Venom Snake on his way to OKB Zero.

Snake infiltrated OKB Zero, being covered by several helicopters containing staff such as Miller and Huey, but also a stowaway Eli. Snake climbed up to a helipad to find Skull Face and several XOF agents waiting for him, expecting a fight. However, Skull Face instead insisted on Snake joining him to see Sahelanthropus’ official reveal to the world. The two then boarded a Jeep together.

During the ride through Afghanistan, Skull Face explained that he had known of Snake since 1964. He also explained that he knew of Zero's plans and the Boss' wishes, and passionately revealed his plans; worldwide ethnic cleansing with the parasites, both his hatred for Zero and his broken childhood where he was heartlessly stripped of his culture, quoting the Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran. He planned to exterminate the English language as a way to permanently destroy Zero's plans and so that everyone on Earth would suffer and share a phantom pain. He also revealed that nukes would serve as the new language to replace the English language. Using Sahelanthropus as a marketing tool, metallic archaea as nuclear production, Walker Gears as nuclear platforms, and vocal cord parasites as blackmail, Skull Face would control of all the nukes and maintain the balance of the world.

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Venom Snake confronting the Man on Fire.

Once at Serak Power Plant, Skull Face revealed the finished Sahelanthropus. He then summoned the Man on Fire, intending to have Snake fight him one on one. However, Tretij Rebenok suddenly appeared, being influenced by the nearby Eli instead of Skull Face, and activated Sahelanthropus. The Eli-controlled Sahelanthropus crushed the Man on Fire and wreaked havoc on XOF, destroying much of the plant and pinning Skull Face under rubble while Snake escaped.

Outside the plant, Snake and Diamond Dogs fought to stop Sahelanthropus’ rampage. They successfully damaged its frame enough to render it inoperable, forcing Eli and Tretij Rebenok to give up. Upon defeating the Metal Gear, Snake and Miller went to find Skull Face and finally take revenge. Using his own shotgun, Snake and Miller joined hands to brutally sever Skull Face’s arm and leg, mirroring the injuries sustained by Miller, before leaving him to die a slow and painful death. However, his suffering was cut short by Huey, who came to get revenge of his own by shooting him in the head. Snake also took what appears to be the final sample of the English vocal cord parasite and threw it into a fire - however, Tretij Rebenok retrieved it before it could be destroyed.


Venom Snake and Miller preparing to exact revenge on Skull Face for his role in Mother Base's destruction.

The damaged Sahelanthropus was retrieved and brought back to Mother Base as a trophy for their victory and a reminder of the effect Diamond Dogs wants to have on the world. This marked the beginning of a new, stronger Diamond Dogs and a more intense Snake.


Needing to tie up loose ends in the aftermath of Skull Face's death, Snake commenced missions such as recovering a dead informant's information on Skull Face's plans, rescuing a CIA informant with knowledge of the vocal cord parasites, and recovering Code Talker's old research, so that Cipher or anyone else would never be able to recreate the vocal cord parasites.

Still curious about Huey's dealings in MSF's destruction, Snake infiltrated the Soviet Central Base Camp in Afghanistan a second time and found the Mammal Pod. After a short conversation, he launched it into the sky, where Miller told Snake that he would have it picked up. Sometime later, Miller informed Snake that they found a corpse inside the Mammal Pod - that of Strangelove, Huey's ex-wife.

Immediately after this, Ocelot informed Snake that Soviet personnel had retrieved the dormant body of the Man on Fire and placed it at the Yakho Oboo Supply Outpost. Ocelot suspected the true identity of the Man on Fire from one of Skull Face's statements about men becoming demons and reanimating the dead, due to timing of their first encounter with the Man on Fire; it was the body of an old enemy, Colonel Volgin. Snake would then infiltrate the outpost and neutralize the Soviet soldiers to find Volgin's burned body. Before being extracted, Volgin's corpse came back to life once again as the Man on Fire. Snake was pinned down by the Man on Fire; mysteriously, Volgin momentarily reverted to his original appearance upon seeing Snake up-close, falling backwards and dying for good along with his flaming horse. Volgin's corpse was taken back to Mother Base and put on the Quarantine platform.

Upon returning to Mother Base, Snake noticed a commotion in the Mbele child soldiers. The late Shabani's necklace had fallen to the bottom of a chlorine disinfectant tank, which was implied to be thanks to Eli. Surprisingly, Quiet leapt into the tank herself, retrieving the necklace but suffering major chemical burns in the process. Snake personally took Quiet to get medical attention, while Miller continued to doubt her intentions.

Mgsv snake burned quiet

Venom Snake carrying the burned Quiet.

After Quiet received medical attention, two discoveries were made: one, she was carrying a vocal cord parasite, and two, not only were her lungs extremely charred to a crisp, indicating she had been caught in a fire recently in her past, but there was also a petal from a Star-of-Bethlehem flower in them. This identified her as the same assassin who had tried to kill Snake at Cyprus.

Miller had Quiet tortured, both as punishment for trying to kill Snake and as interrogation to see if they could get her to crack and talk about the vocal cord parasites. Snake watched as Miller and Ocelot bickered over what to do with her, with Ocelot expressing sympathy for her since she had fallen in love with the legend of Big Boss. Snake agreed with Ocelot, frustrating Miller, and Snake freed Quiet from her restraints.

It was around this time that Snake began to realize that the Paz he had been meeting on the Medical Platform was merely an illusion, a phantom created by the pain and guilt he felt over her death. He came to terms with her demise, but knew that he would forever possess a phantom pain where she used to be. This was the beginning of Snake's realization that all that he knew was a lie.

After one of the Mbele children, Ralph, died in what appeared to be an accident on Mother Base, the remaining Mbele were provoked by Eli into escaping Mother Base. They made it all the way around Afghanistan and central Africa, forcing Snake to go retrieve them before they were captured by the Soviets or UNITA-affiliated PFs in their respective areas. Upon retrieving all the children, Ocelot and Snake interrogated Eli about his intentions. Eli revealed that he and the boys were revolting against Diamond Dogs, and as if on cue, Sahelanthropus burst through the wall of the cell, with Tretij Rebenok retrieving Eli and flying away with Sahelanthropus. The Mbele children also followed in tow, having forced a Diamond Dogs pilot to follow Eli in a helicopter. It was later discovered that Huey was responsible for secretly repairing Sahelanthropus.

Miller later called Snake, explaining that the vocal cord parasite outbreak had returned a second time, and worse than ever. Some sort of radiation leak caused a mutation in the wolbachia used to suppress the parasites, in turn mutating the parasites and making them able to clone without the need for sexual reproduction. Snake was sent into the quarantine platform to identify symptoms of the new infection and find anyone worth rescuing. As Snake travelled through the halls, he discovered that the quarantined soldiers began in-fighting. He also found a researcher who had managed to make an SOS transmission, who told him to use night-vision goggles to identify the infected.


Venom Snake, envisioned as a bloody faced, horned "demon."

Snake moved towards the roof, where he found crazed infected Diamond Dogs trying to escape. Miller told him that if they died and the birds outside ate their flesh, they could spread the infection across the world. A napalm strike was deployed, killing many of the infected, but the light attracted more to attempt an escape. Snake was left with no choice but to begin massacring the infected - some crazed and delusional soldiers were put down like dogs, while those with only early signs were able to accept their deaths with dignity. Snake found one survivor with no symptoms and decided to extract him before he got infected, but by the time he reached the exit, Snake found the survivor was symptomatic after all, and was forced to kill him too. Horrified by his own actions, Snake fell to his knees in the bloodied halls and revelled in his own demonic nature.

After discovering that Huey was directly responsible for the second mutation of the vocal cord parasites, the Diamond Dogs put Huey on trial. In the court-martial, Huey was found guilty of inviting XOF to attack MSF nine years prior, conspiring with Eli to repair Sahelanthropus, murdering Strangelove in the Mammal Pod, and causing the parasites' mutation. While Miller and the rest of Diamond Dogs demanded he be executed, Venom Snake used his authority to instead show mercy and exile Huey to the mainland on a raft. Huey was given food and water for his journey, but was unable to keep his mechanical legs.

Later, Ocelot informed Snake that Quiet had disappeared, and was now somewhere in Afghanistan. Miller was worried that she knew too much about Diamond Dogs, recounting Snake's words of killing Quiet when the time came. After finding some intel on Quiet's location, Snake learned that she had been captured by Soviet forces and was taken to the Lamar Khaate Palace. Code Talker explained that Quiet was carrying the vocal cord parasites, more precisely, the English strain. He also revealed that Skull Face attempted to use her as a mole to infect Mother Base, but she had refused to speak. Code Talker said that even if she didn't speak, the parasites might have became active thanks to the mutation, which is the reason she left without warning.

Mgsv snake quiet sandstorm

Venom Snake and Quiet pass out in a sandstorm.

Snake found Quiet at the palace, and the two worked together to defeat Soviet reinforcements. Quiet was knocked unconscious by an enemy tank round, forcing Snake to carry her out of harm's way through a fearsome sandstorm. Along the way, he was bitten by a cobra, and its venom caused him to lose consciousness. Quiet woke up when she heard Pequod attempting to contact Snake through his radio, explaining that he wouldn't be able stay at the LZ much longer due to near-zero visibility in the sandstorm. Quiet replied in Navajo, but Pequod was unable to understand him, forcing Quiet to guide the chopper to their location in English. Upon being located, Snake was given an antivenom and regained consciousness. However, Quiet was no where to be found. He went to search for her by tracking her footprints, through which he only found a cassette tape behind for Snake to find with a parting message.

Afterwards, Code Talker contacted Snake and confirmed that Quiet indeed possessed the third English strain that Skull Face had referred to on his death bed. Code Talker went on to summarize Quiet's actions and inquired as to why she did not release the parasites on Mother Base; she might have had a change of heart. Code Talker stated that "we [wouldn't] hear it from her."

Some time after Quiet left Mother Base, Venom Snake's memories were gradually restored due to the hypnotherapy wearing off. He put the pieces together himself, realizing that he was not in fact the same man as Big Boss, but rather the medic who nearly died with him in the chopper nine years prior. Eventually, Venom Snake would receive a cassette tape from the real Big Boss which contained the following:

"Now do you remember? Who you are? What you were meant to do? I cheated death, thanks to you. And thanks to you I’ve left my mark. You have too – you’ve written your own history. You’re your own man. I’m Big Boss, and you are too… No… He’s the two of us. Together. Where we are today? We built it. This story – this “legend” – it’s ours. We can change the world – and with it, the future. I am you, and you are me. Carry that with you, wherever you go. Thank you… my friend. From here on out, you’re Big Boss."
―Big Boss

Venom Snake took up the name and kept up the ruse, ultimately keeping to his undying loyalty to his best friend and commanding officer to the very end. Diamond Dogs itself was a smoke screen to place all focus on Venom Snake, while the real Big Boss could lay the ground work for Outer Heaven.

Kingdom of the Flies[]

Sometime later, the Diamond Dogs pilot who was forced to fly the child soldiers off of Mother Base with Eli was finally recovered about fifty miles inland to Africa from the Seychelles waters. He explained that he had been abandoned alive, albeit trapped inside the chopper and near death from dehydration when rescued, to call Snake out to settle their conflict. Eli had possession of Sahelanthropus, as well as the last remaining sample of the English strain of vocal cord parasites, and because of this he was being hunted by XOF as well.

The Intel Team found out where Eli, his boys, and Sahelanthropus had gone - an island in a large salt lake in Central Africa. Eli presented one demand in exchange for Sahelanthropus and its nuke - the body of "Big Boss." Fortunately, Eli's choice of hideout kept the parasites contained, as they were unable to cross saltwater barriers on their own, and the boys were in no immediate danger from the parasites, as the parasites did not activate from voices that had not broken in puberty yet. The Intel Team did, however, also discover through audio recordings of Eli that his voice was starting to break, meaning that the time until the parasite would become an active danger was limited.

When Venom Snake arrived on the island, he found that XOF troops had already begun a strike operation to kill Eli and take Sahelanthropus back. Many of them had been killed by cruel booby traps set by Eli's boys, but a good number had survived. Snake made his way to the center of the island, where he found Eli resting in Sahelanthropus' cockpit among the child soldiers. However, a platoon of XOF soldiers had beaten him there, opening fire on Eli. Their weapons were rendered useless by Tretij Rebenok's psychokinesis. Eli activated Sahelanthropus and began killing the soldiers, eventually discovering Snake hiding from the attack. He stopped his onslaught momentarily to speak with Snake and declare that he was going to get his revenge, and the two then began their battle.

Their battle came to a close when Sahelanthropus' torso was blown in half at the waist, causing it to shut down and become inoperable, Eli and Tretij Rebenok having been finally defeated. As Eli emerged from the cockpit he was approached by a squadron of XOF soldiers ready to kill him. Snake sprung a surprise attack and killed the assailants, but backup quickly arrived. After a grenade went off in close proximity to Snake, his "horn" suffered damage and triggered a seizure in his brain, affecting his vision and making him unable to differentiate between red and white. He moved back in to attack, but due to his temporary colorblindness Eli's red pilot suit appeared similar to XOF's white suits and Snake accidentally shot Eli. Snake ran to Eli's motionless body to mourn his mistake.

Mgsv snake kingdomofflies

Venom Snake speaks to Eli, after the latter's defeat.

In the aftermath, the Diamond Dogs arrived in force. A medic examined Eli, revealing that he hadn't died, as he had donned a bulletproof vest at some point in time before the attack. Venom Snake ordered that he be returned to Mother Base to be patched up, but as Eli began to come to, he began showing symptoms of the English vocal cord parasite's effects. Eli expressed his hatred for Snake and Cipher, claiming that someday he would destroy Big Boss, believing Venom Snake to be his father. With the island completely contaminated by the vocal cord parasites, Ocelot reminded Snake that they had to leave soon and then ordered the entire island to be hit with a napalm strike to burn every last thing. As Diamond Dogs and the salvaged remains of Sahelanthropus began to move out, Snake raised his pistol to Eli's head to kill him in an act of mercy, rather than let him die from his parasite infection or the bombing, but found himself unable to pull the trigger on the kid, whom he had come to respect as "one hell of a soldier." Snake instead left his gun with one shot in it on the ground in front of Eli, telling him "Don't blame yourself. Blame me," before he turned his back on him and walked to the nearest helicopter, leaving Eli with the decision of what to do. On board the Diamond Dogs helicopter, Venom Snake and Ocelot overlooked the bombing of the island. Snake saw his own reflection in the glass of the window, seeing nothing but a demon once again.

Outer Heaven Uprising[]

Main article: Outer Heaven Uprising

After completing the construction of Outer Heaven's fortress in South Africa, Big Boss's reputation as a mercenary had travelled far and wide thanks to the activities of Venom Snake. While he knew that mercenaries around the world would eventually rally to his cause, Big Boss also knew that it would bring the attention of government agencies growing suspicious of his activities. Needing to keep attention away from Outer Heaven, Big Boss himself decided to return to the U.S. to rejoin FOXHOUND as its commander with Venom Snake taking control of the operation in his absence.

In 1995, Venom Snake initiated the Outer Heaven Uprising, forcing scientist Drago Pettrovich Madnar to build TX-55 Metal Gear by holding his daughter, Ellen, hostage. After receiving information on Operation Intrude N313 from Big Boss, Venom Snake's forces captured FOXHOUND agent Gray Fox, and later attempted to eliminate rookie agent Solid Snake, who had been sent to rescue Fox and destroy Metal Gear. It was intended that Solid Snake report misinformation back to the West, in order to protect Outer Heaven, but he proved too successful.

MG1 Big Boss

Venom Snake fighting against Solid Snake.

Following the destruction of Metal Gear, Outer Heaven's self-destruct sequence was activated. Venom Snake then blocked Solid Snake's escape from the doomed fortress, revealing the FOXHOUND commander's deception to the rookie, while maintaining his role as Big Boss.

"Solid Snake! I've been expecting you... ...I am the supreme commander of the FOXHOUND unit... And... The leader of the fortress of Outer Heaven, Big Boss! I gave this mission to you, a rookie, thinking I could use you to fool the rest of the world... But you were too good. You went too far! Solid Snake! I'm not going down alone. I'm taking you with me! Prepare to die!"
―Venom Snake's last words.

The two then fought as the self-destruct continued to countdown. Despite his age, Venom Snake proved to be fast and dangerous, but was ultimately killed due to Solid Snake's resourcefulness.[2] With his "phantom" dead and the Outer Heaven fortress destroyed, the real Big Boss used the opportunity to fake his death as he fled FOXHOUND and went into hiding, until the establishment of Zanzibar Land.

Codenames and aliases[]

The codename "Venom Snake" comes from a cassette tape where Ocelot describes him as being brought back from hell "full of venom."[3] It was a reference to the "venom" inside him due to the anger, hatred, and pain he felt after the destruction of Militaires Sans Frontières. He is also designated "Punished Snake" in each mission's credits, referencing the traumatic fall from grace he experienced.

The title "Big Boss" was awarded to Venom Snake's former commander, Naked Snake, following Operation Snake Eater, for being "above even The Boss" after killing his own mentor in combat. Due to Venom Snake being Big Boss' body double, he shared the title of "Big Boss" with his former commander for the rest of his life after his awakening. The two shared the title as they built the legend of Big Boss together. By 1995, Venom Snake would just go by the title Big Boss.

Venom Snake was known as "Ahab" while in the Dhekelia SBA Memorial Hospital, derived from the central character in the novel Moby Dick. Big Boss would also use an alias from Moby Dick, "Ishmael", and the codename for at least two Diamond Dogs pilots was "Pequod." Although not a codename, Venom Snake was briefly referred to as "V" in the code word "V [had] come to" after he had woke up from his coma. Ocelot and Big Boss also referred to him as "Big Boss' phantom" or simply "the phantom", due to him being a ghastly doppelganger who should not be alive.

Personality and traits[]

Prior to his hypnotherapy, the medic was extremely loyal to Big Boss, having unquestioningly thrown himself in front of the blast from the second bomb Paz carried. He moved urgently while performing surgery on Paz to retrieve the first bomb, but never lost his composure. During his days in MSF, Big Boss considered him the group's "best man" and held great respect for him.


Despite being an imperfect body-double, Venom Snake was nearly indistinguishable from the real Big Boss by his men and those who encountered him.

After receiving hypnotherapy and plastic surgery, Venom Snake came to share many mental and physical aspects with Big Boss. He was a strong-willed figure with a somewhat grim, realistic outlook on the world. He preferred to work alone, but still cared for those around him. Often he would display compassion toward his opponents and preferred righteous acts of justice, as he chose not to kill Quiet or Huey despite being in an advantageous position. Believing that he was the original Big Boss, Venom Snake also shared many of Big Boss' habits, including his habit of smoking.

Although not sadistic like Ocelot, and not as vengeful to the same degree as Miller, Snake did display a wrathful side. He shot Skull Face thrice in the chest and mutilated him by blowing his left leg and right arm off, leaving him to die slowly and painfully. Snake managed to contain it, but his disgust for Huey, while it wasn't as apparent with Ocelot and Miller, was still clear. He was able to rein in his emotions and act humanely, exercising restraint with his authority, as he opted to exile Huey from Mother Base rather than let Diamond Dogs execute him. He had also made clear before then to not pass judgment on Huey until after they'd found irrefutable evidence of Huey's role in XOF's attack.

Venom Snake was very adept in using weapons and CQC, even during his previous life as the field medic. He presumably learned CQC from Big Boss himself, reaching a level of proficiency close to the actual Big Boss. His personal style of CQC was extremely fast and brutal, utilizing quick beatdowns and throws alongside the usual aspects of CQC.

12079462 1013824098678561 4072526796314361376 n

Venom Snake's missing limb.

Unlike Big Boss, however, Venom Snake was far more reserved in his speech and absent of the wit of Big Boss. He rarely cracked jokes or made comments regarding his enemies' tactics. He also lacked Big Boss' outspoken enthusiasm for firearms or food. Most of his reactions were comprised of simple body language rather than words, as he was more of a listener or doer than a speaker. He also had an array of aesthetic differences from Big Boss, such as the shrapnel from the crash embedded in his body, the bionic left arm, and several different fashion choices such as keeping his hair in a ponytail and wearing an eyepatch with two straps rather than one. Venom Snake also preferred to smoke electronic cigars, unlike Big Boss.

Venom Snake seemed to have closer connection to his fellow soldiers than Big Boss did, loving them more than simple employees. He upheld an ethical code that comrades in Diamond Dogs were also family and that they should not draw weapons on each other, as he explained to Eli when the latter tried to attack him. However, Snake was forced to break this code himself when he had no choice but to kill all the Diamond Dogs soldiers infected with the mutated vocal cord parasites. He also viewed Paz in a more positive light than Big Boss. As Venom Snake was a former MSF soldier himself, he sympathized with Paz and was fond of her gentle personality, mostly unaware of her true intentions. He felt enormous guilt for being unable to save Paz from the second bomb, Leading to him experiencing hallucinations of an amnesiac Paz on the medical platform, ultimately ending in him having to come to terms with her death after the hallucination fell apart. Venom had also hung up cutesy anime posters of Paz all over Base, seeing her as an "idol of peace" and reflecting such on the posters.


Snake referencing the role Metal Gear ZEKE had during the Peace Walker Incident.

Due to the memory transfer being incomplete, Venom Snake appeared to suffer from a form of amnesia, as both Miller and Ocelot had to remind him of certain events, such as leading Militaires Sans Frontières with Miller. He also did not possess Big Boss' fluency in Russian, relying instead on the use of translators.[4][5][6] Despite these shortcomings, he did recall the events from the Peace Walker Incident, such as the prototype Battle Gear's similarity to Metal Gear ZEKE giving him déjà vu, and he was able to quote Hot Coldman regarding the ineffectiveness of nuclear deterrence. Ocelot stated that his amnesia might have to do with the shrapnel in his forehead, although the Truth tapes revealed that it was because the memory transfers had to be stopped prematurely due to XOF being set to attack ahead of schedule, as well as the impending arrival of an old foe of Big Boss'.

After fully recovering his memory and listening to Big Boss' cassette tape, Venom Snake took the news with grim acceptance. He seemed pleased to hear Big Boss call him "friend", and smirked when he was officially handed the mantle of Big Boss for them to share. In the end, he fully accepted his fate and loyally persevered until his death on the battlefield.

Venom Snake also shared some of Big Boss' flaws and unsavory traits. He was fully willing to recruit the Mbele squad into Diamond Dogs despite being child soldiers, and only stopped when Kaz explained he planned to educate them instead. He also tended to underestimate others, as he frequently left himself open to Eli's attacks. Both he and Big Boss thought that the rookie Solid Snake would not be able to destroy TX-55 Metal Gear and defeat them. When Solid Snake destroyed TX-55 Metal Gear and the self-destruction of Outer Heaven was activated, Venom Snake displayed a disregard for his own life, intending to die in Outer Heaven and take Solid Snake with him.


Big Boss[]

Venom Snake was referred to as MSF's "best man" by Big Boss, especially after taking the brunt of the helicopter explosion in 1975 and saving his life, showing unwavering dedication. Big Boss initially expressed reluctance in using Venom Snake as a body double, but ultimately manipulated his loyal subordinate into serving as a shield without his knowledge, fully believing that he would have consented to it.

Big Boss later addressed Venom Snake as a friend and expressed gratitude for his contribution to Big Boss' cult of personality, as well as apologizing for his deception. After learning the truth, Venom Snake was convinced to continue the role of his charismatic commander, fully abandoning his own identity.

Kazuhira Miller[]

Miller at first was friendly with Venom Snake, fully believing that he was Big Boss upon his rescue from Afghanistan. However, as time went on distance increased between the two, with events such as the sparing of both Quiet and Huey's lives broadening the gap, yet, Miller continued to support Venom Snake. When Ocelot told Miller that Venom Snake was a body-double of Big Boss, Miller was disgusted and enraged due to having been kept in the dark for so long. He instantly began to resent the real Big Boss, abruptly deciding that he would devote his life to assisting David and Eli in destroying the real Big Boss, and helping Venom Snake to surpass him.


Ocelot treated Venom Snake as a friend, and actually believed he was the real Big Boss due to self-induced hypnotherapy. Ocelot first met Venom Snake outside the hospital and saved him. He often acted as a voice of reason within Diamond Dogs and still harbored a bit of an obsession with his "Big Boss." Venom Snake tended to favor Ocelot's opinion over Miller's such as sparing Quiet and using a Walker Gear to extract Huey, much to Miller's chagrin. Ocelot, when the hypnotherapy wore off, acknowledged that Venom Snake was Big Boss and continued to support him and Diamond Dogs, Ocelot would follow both Big Boss and Venom Snake's respective quests from the shadows. While respecting Venom Snake as much as Big Boss, he was willing to be blunt to Snake if needs be, such as if he went without bathing for a long time, causing him to bluntly tell Snake that the latter stunk and give him an impromptu "bath" by dousing him with a bucket of water.[7]


Venom Snake brought DD back to Mother Base after finding him in the wilderness of Afghanistan. Venom Snake and Ocelot agreed that one day DD could be useful. Once DD had grown up, Venom Snake took the dog with him on missions where the two worked well as a team, with DD following Venom Snake's commands and proving himself a useful asset to Diamond Dogs.

While Ocelot saw DD as a good partner for Venom Snake, the latter thought it was too early for him to say. Ocelot advised him to spend more time with DD. Both of them were not sure of DD's breed, but Ocelot was sure that he had wolf heritage. Ocelot then commented on DD's intelligence and good judgement calls. Venom Snake wasn't sure whether he liked DD or not, as they were both trying to figure each other out. Venom Snake told Ocelot that he would think about taking DD with him.

DD was very fond of Venom Snake, licking him affectionately whenever he returned. As a pup he would always wait for his master to return, then proceed to follow him and bark. DD would also miss him if he left for extended periods of time, when Snake returned, he pounced on him.


Although they first met as part of a violent assassination attempt, Venom Snake and Quiet had an intense mutual respect for each other after Snake spared her life. Both being at least somewhat laconic, the two understood each other very deeply and silently respected one another's skill on the battlefield. When Quiet salvaged Shabani's necklace from the chlorine disinfectant-filled vat, Venom Snake quickly rushed to her aid and had to be stopped from jumping in after her by Ocelot. The two also shared a special moment in the rain on Mother Base, and if Venom Snake neglected to shower on his own, Quiet would invite him to shower with her instead. Quiet later regretted not expressing her feelings for him and abandoning him for his own safety.

Code Talker[]

Venom Snake met Code Talker when he needed help defeating the vocal cord parasites. They were effective comrades, as they shared a hatred for Skull Face. Though the two did not know each other well, they seemed to respect and trust each other, despite the fact that Venom Snake's American people oppressed Code Talker's people, the Navajo. Code Talker treated Venom Snake with some form of reverence, knowing him as the legendary leader Big Boss. This was shown when he quickly complied to being added to Diamond Dogs' roster. Code Talker's knowledge of the vocal cord parasites proved to be invaluable to Venom Snake and saved many of his men (including himself).

Huey Emmerich[]

Due to his hypnotherapy, Venom Snake harbored similar feelings towards Huey as Big Boss had. Venom Snake didn't trust Huey at all, recognizing that he was the cause of the destruction of Mother Base. He was often disgusted and annoyed by Huey's immature and cowardly attitude towards the world, but decided to put up with it. In a tape of them talking, when Huey expressed shock at Dr. Clark's work, Venom Snake said it was "rich, coming from [him]." From the surface, Huey seemed to respect Venom Snake, believing he was Big Boss, but also feared him greatly and tried to stay on his good side. Venom Snake did give him a second chance with his inclusion in Diamond Dogs and the construction of Battle Gear, but in the end found himself betrayed once again. Upon being forced to execute many Diamond Dogs soldiers because of Huey's testing of the vocal cord parasites, Venom Snake hated him even more. However, he managed to bridle his anger and act reasonably, banishing Huey from Mother Base on a life raft with food and water instead of simply killing him. From Venom Snake's point of view, he was just glad to have him gone.

Skull Face[]

Like Big Boss, Venom Snake knew very little of XOF and Skull Face, merely seeing them as pawns of Cipher. Although he rarely showed it, he burned for revenge on Skull Face as Miller did, instead acting calm and cold around his foe. He never personally engaged in conversation with Skull Face, quietly listening to Skull Face's words as he formulated his next strike instead. Oddly, he also seemed to have some degree of tolerance for the XOF commander, patiently listening to Skull Face's monologue on the trip from OKB Zero to Serak Power Plant. Like everyone else, Skull Face saw Venom Snake as Big Boss, at least publicly, and treated him accordingly, often taunting him and gloating to feel superior. He remained bitter towards Big Boss for his involvement in Operation Snake Eater and their roles on opposite sides, taking these negative emotions out on Venom. While he did despise Big Boss/Venom Snake, Skull Face treated him with some respect, due to his status as valiant war hero and a great man turned into a "demon", just like himself. In the end, Venom and Miller did end up exacting their revenge on Skull Face, but it was hollow and left them with a lasting phantom pain.


Due to the hypnotherapy, both Venom Snake and Eli believed that the former was the original Big Boss and Eli's father. Because of this, Eli harbored much resentment for Venom. It was so great that it dwarfed both Skull Face and Volgin's wrath, as shown by Tretij Rebenok's preference for Eli. Eli tried to kill Venom on multiple occasions, even just for patting him on the back or treating him like a kid. Venom displayed a calm tolerance for Eli, but did not underestimate his skills and violent tendencies.

Paz Ortega Andrade[]

Venom Snake knew Paz Ortega Andrade during her stay at the original Mother Base during the Peace Walker Incident, following Coldman's death and the destruction of Peace Walker. It was unknown how Venom reacted when it was revealed that Paz was an undercover agent working for Cipher to undermine MSF. Venom Snake was part of the mission to extract Paz along with Chico. As the chopper's field medic, Venom extracted the first bomb from Paz without anesthetic, but failed to find the second. The resulting explosion killed both Paz and Chico and sent Big Boss into his nine-year coma, as well as severely traumatizing Venom due to his inablility to find the second bomb. Of the 108 foreign objects embedded in Venom Snake's body from the explosion, many were fragments of human bones and teeth, most belonged to Paz.

As part of his subconscious guilt, brain damage and PTSD, Venom Snake recreated the memory of Paz' death so it was undone. He believed that both bombs had been extracted and disposed of. However, Paz had leapt out of the chopper in an attempt to save everybody on it. In this altered memory, Venom Snake believed that the explosion was caused by an RPG fired by an XOF chopper.

When Venom Snake became the leader of Diamond Dogs and visited the Medical Platform on the new Mother Base, he began to have hallucinations that Paz had survived and was there. After rescuing members of MSF from the original Mother Base, Snake recovered photos of the good old times and showed them to Paz, at which point Snake realized that Paz never survived.


Thinking that he was the original Big Boss, Venom Snake had a very one-sided relationship with Zero. Venom hated Zero for a long time, believing he was the one who ordered the destruction of the original Mother Base. Over time, this hatred shifted to focus on the true perpetrator Skull Face. When Zero visited the comatose Big Boss in Cyprus, he acknowledged Venom Snake's existence, but saw him as little more than a tool to protect the real Big Boss whom he valued so much more.

Solid Snake[]

Venom Snake and Solid Snake were enemies. Venom Snake, along with Big Boss, tried to manipulate Solid Snake into giving the U.S. government false information, a plan that backfired. Venom Snake attempted to kill Solid Snake before he could escape the doomed Outer Heaven but failed.

The Mbele Squad[]

When Venom Snake first met the Mbele Squad, he was meant to kill them for their general. Miller said that since they can't go home the only choice they had was heaven or hell, but Snake said there was another. Snake faked their deaths and brought them back to Mother Base. Snake suggested that they would make good soldiers, with Miller objecting. Snake compared the Mbele Squad staying at Mother Base to a daycare. Snake approved the idea of them having a real life without being behind a gun, but Miller said that was their way of life on Mother Base.

Diamond Dogs Soldiers[]

Venom Snake cared about his soldiers and considered them family, because of this he had created a code that Diamond Dogs must not draw weapons on each other. When many of Venom Snake's soldiers were infected with the vocal cord parasites, he reluctantly killed them. Venom Snake was devastated and agreed with Huey that it was his fault. The soldiers, likewise, were also extremely loyal to him. They also were hesitant to state any bad elements about Venom Snake when in his presence, such as if he hadn't showered where they welcome him home while trying to avoid outright stating he needed to groom himself.[7] At least once (if Diamond Dogs ran low on GMP), during a fight, a soldier was reluctant to go through with stabbing Venom Snake after the latter interfered with their fight. Even after it was revealed that Venom Snake was not actually Big Boss, the soldiers pledged their loyalty to him, citing they would serve him no matter who he was.

Although the soldiers, regardless of gender, have immense respect for Venom Snake, it is implied that he was not particularly popular among the female staff (with the exception of Quiet) due to them realizing he had traits that didn't make him desirable, at least compared to Ocelot and Miller.[8]

Behind the scenes[]

Venom Snake (ヴェノム・スネーク Venomu Sunēku?) appears as a minor character in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, the player character in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and, retroactively, the final boss character of Metal Gear.

In Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol.1, aside from his role in Metal Gear, the plot twist involving him and Big Boss being separate figures was given an indirect reference in the trophy lists for both Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, where the trophy for defeating Big Boss in Metal Gear is called "Outer Heaven Big Boss", while the trophy for defeating Big Boss in Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake is called "Zanzibar Land Big Boss."[9]


The character was initially introduced as Punished Snake (パニッシュド・スネーク Panishudo Sunēku?) in the E3 2013 trailer for Metal Gear Solid V, but this moniker would fall into disuse in favor of "Venom Snake," which is the name that was used in most of the promotional imagery and merchandising since E3 2014. Although the final game bills him as "Punished 'Venom' Snake" in the opening sequence of every mission, the codename "Punished Snake" is never spoken by anyone, while the name "Venom Snake" is only mentioned once in the actual script[10] - otherwise the character is simply referred to as "Snake" or "Big Boss."

During the prologue sequence of The Phantom Pain, the player character is briefly given the code name Ahab (エイハブ Eihabu?) by the medical staff protecting him in Cyprus, while the original Big Boss (whose face is covered with bandages) assumes the identity of Ishmael when helping the player thwart off the enemy forces pursuing them in the hospital. These are the names of the protagonist and the narrator respectively in Moby-Dick. According to Kenji Yano, who wrote the novelization for the game under the pen name Hitori Nojima, these names were chosen to symbolize Big Boss handing down the role of protagonist to Venom Snake while he takes a supporting role in the story.[11]

The real name of Venom Snake is determined by the player at the beginning of the game.

Conception and design[]


Venom Snake's in-game face model extracted from the PC version of Ground Zeroes.

Prior to the release of the game, Hideo Kojima hinted at his existence during the GDC 2013 conference when he joked during the announcement trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that Miller's question of "what about him?" was in reference to himself. In addition, the Spike VGA teaser that first unveiled The Phantom Pain, in between gameplay clips showcasing the events at the Hospital, had narrations about whether someone's awake or even alive, speculating they're in hell, before demanding they open their eyes, which was heavily implied to be the inner thoughts of Venom Snake. The teaser also subtly alludes to his true identity by a woman being heard saying "V has come to."

Venom Snake first appears as an unidentified field medic during the closing cutscenes of Ground Zeroes. Because of the cinematic angles, there is never a clear view of the medic's face, although his character model can briefly be glimpsed as possessing white skin and brown hair. The full character model was discovered in the PC version through the use of mods,[12] with the facial model and textures for the medic sharing identical scars to those of Big Boss.[13] On a similar note, the medic shares the same voice actors as Big Boss, although they were left uncredited, and, in the English version at least, he was voiced in a different style from Big Boss. Despite this predetermined (albeit obscured) appearance in Ground Zeroes, Venom Snake's name and facial features prior to surgery are chosen by the player in The Phantom Pain though he is shown to have white skin before the surgery when he looks at his right hand and his left residual limb. In the cutscene showing a flashback to the events of Ground Zeroes, before the final twist is revealed, the medic is instead shown wearing a balaclava. When the twist is revealed, a flashback of the medic in the helicopter is shown, the medic's balaclava is removed and the player's avatar they created at the start of The Phantom Pain is shown.

It is implied in The Phantom Pain that Venom Snake himself (and his nondescript identity as a medic) serves as a deliberate player avatar, due to his original appearance being reliant on the player's decisions. Due to the ending in "Truth: The Man Who Sold the World", it is implied that Hideo Kojima intended for the player to become Big Boss. This was confirmed in the second interview with Stefanie Joosten on The Codec.[14]

Author Hitori Nojima, citing an email from Kojima, explained that the player brings the story full circle in their own way, with the role of Venom Snake making the story truly theirs, and not necessarily restricted to the fate of Big Boss in the early games. Kojima and the player creating the story together "is something traditional movies and books could not do."[15]

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A promotional image depicting Venom Snake.

Once the player has beaten The Phantom Pain, they can use the avatar they created at the start of the game, which the player can edit if they want to change their avatar in anyway. The player's avatar can also be used in Metal Gear Online. The avatar also makes an appearance in the story when Ocelot hands the original Big Boss a passport that he has to go by, which has the name, month and day of the birthday and avatar that the player created at the start of the game. Even though Venom Snake and Big Boss are established in the Truth ending and the Truth tapes to be separate entities, the iDroid transcripts for the ending and the tapes involving the latter still list him as "Snake", similar to Venom Snake.

Overall, Venom Snake is the sixth canonical Snake in the Metal Gear series. Venom Snake is also the second playable character whose true role is revealed via a plot twist, similar to Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Venom Snake is the third Big Boss in the Metal Gear series, along with the original Big Boss and the non-canon Big Boss featured in the Nintendo Entertainment System of Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge. Canonically, Venom Snake is the first Snake to die in the Metal Gear series. Finally, Venom Snake is canonically the only one to be directly killed by another Snake (Solid Snake).

While it has been done more with Venom Snake in the Metal Gear series, Venom Snake is not the only character in the series that Kojima intended to invest in the player by putting the player in the character's position. Solid Snake was the first character in the series to be used this way in Metal Gear Solid when Psycho Mantis breaks the fourth wall and when the player can decide whether Meryl Silverburgh lives or dies. The second is with Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2 when the player inputs their name and birthday on Raiden's dog tags and the player through Raiden becomes Solid Snake's equal, this is supported by Solid Snake's speech at the end. In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the player is meant to feel how Naked Snake feels about having no choice but to kill The Boss. It goes even further when the player is the one to pull the trigger and kill The Boss.

On the Command Center menu, if the player looks closely at Venom Snake's reflection, it shows the avatar the player created, hinting at the plot twist of Venom Snake not being Big Boss. Also, a pair of white gloves can be seen hanging in the cabin of the ACC. These gloves bear a strong resemblance to those worn by the medic during the scene in Ground Zeroes where he operates on Paz. Also, the group photo of Morpho, Miller, Big Boss and the medic is folded, covering the medic.

In addition, the Piggyback game guide for The Phantom Pain strongly implied Venom Snake's true identity is separate from Big Boss, although they never explicitly confirmed it due to Konami and at that time Kojima Productions specifically forbade them from giving any statements about Ishmael's identity. The GDC 2013 reveal trailer for The Phantom Pain had first hinted at his existence when Miller, after learning about Big Boss falling into a coma, asks "What about him?" before the scene cut away.

The plot twist of Venom Snake not truly being Big Boss is hinted at multiple times throughout the game. Ishmael told him "You're talking to yourself." after Venom Snake had asked Ishmael who he was. When Venom Snake meets The Boss AI and Huey, the AI states, "You're not Snake, are you?", and Huey notices a difference between the two. Another hint is Ocelot explaining that Eli was not Venom Snake's clone, and that the genetic examination of the two did not match. In addition, when Ocelot tells Eli that the latter's father "wasn't here" while Venom was overseeing the interrogation, it was ironically enough true thanks to Venom not actually being Big Boss. Another hint at the plot twist was a graph seen in Venom Snake's ward in the hospital, where despite only a few days being depicted in-game in the prologue, the chart indicated more days passing than that.

MG1 Big Boss

Big Boss character sprites in Metal Gear.

The ending timeline of The Phantom Pain establishes Venom Snake as the final boss of the original Metal Gear via a retcon, fulfilling his role as the "phantom" of Big Boss. Naturally, the character sprite does not display any obvious prosthetic arm or cranial horn. Artwork depicting the Outer Heaven mercenaries in the user's manual, shows their silhouetted leader standing with a walking cane, although it is unclear which "Big Boss" this is intended to be following the retcon.

The English manual for the NES version of the original Metal Gear claimed that the Outer Heaven leader and FOXHOUND commander were two different individuals, being Colonel Vermon CaTaffy and Commander South, respectively. However, neither of their names appear in the game itself, with Big Boss serving both roles.

Whatever day and month the player puts as their birthday, if they play The Phantom Pain on that date, Miller will ask them to return to Mother Base. If the player does so, Miller, Ocelot, and whoever has been rescued or captured to that point (Huey, Code Talker, DD and Quiet) will celebrate their birthday.

Concept art for the game implied that Venom Snake was originally going to lose all four of his limbs. Other concepts show him using a blue colored version of his prosthetic hook arm throughout the game. In addition concept storyboards indicated that Venom Snake, instead of just having his left arm removed, was going to have a flayed appearance to his left arm, where it was reduced to bone and had a glistening red to it.

Demon Points[]


A bloodied "Demon Snake" in a promotional image.

In The Phantom Pain, the player can collect a hidden game mechanic which are Demon Points, which is used for determining the player's "morality." Demon Points are increased for immoral actions and decreased for moral ones. Demon Points are obtained in essentially the opposite way in which Heroism points are obtained, as none are accrued via mission/side-op completions. When enough Demon Points are obtained, Venom Snake's horn will grow and he will be covered in blood. Once enough Demon Points are collected, Venom Snake will become Demon Snake. There are three forms to Demon Snake when Demon Points are obtained or reduced, these are:

  • Normal: This is the default appearance for Snake and can be re-obtained by reducing Demon Points below 40,000.
  • Horned Snake: This form appears after obtaining 20,000 points, the first time. It is distinguished by the metal shard in Venom Snake's head growing significantly to resemble a horn. If the player returns to "Normal" form after becoming Horned Snake, the player will return to Horned Snake after 40,000 Demon Points from then on.
  • Demon Snake: This form appears after obtaining 50,000 points, the first time. It is distinguished by the metal shard in Venom Snake's head growing significantly longer then even Horned Snake and by Snake becoming permanently covered in blood. If the player returns to "normal form" after becoming Horned Snake, he/she will return to Horned Snake-only after obtaining 80,000 Demon Points in total.

Demon Points can be obtained and removed in a variety of ways. Unlike Heroism, no Demon Points are awarded or removed for completion of objectives.

Earning Demon Points
  • +20 - Fail the fulton extraction of an animal.
  • +20 - Kill an animal.
  • +30 - Critically wound an enemy soldier.
  • +40 - Kill an animal using fire damage.
  • +60 - Fail the fulton extraction of an enemy soldier.
  • +60 - Kill an enemy soldier.
  • +60 - Lose a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage by aborting mission 22 (+60 each).
  • +75 - Destroy D-Walker.
  • +90 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage.
  • +100 - Kill a prisoner.
  • +120 - Kill a critically wounded enemy soldier.
  • +120 - Kill an enemy soldier using fire damage.
  • +150 - Destroy a support helicopter.
  • +150 - Critically wound D-Dog, D-Horse or Quiet.
  • +180 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member.
  • +180 - Kill a Diamond Dogs staff member held hostage using fire damage.
  • +200 - Kill a prisoner using fire damage.
  • +50,000 - Develop a nuclear weapon.
Removing Demon Points
  • -30 - Fulton extract a common animal, enemy soldier, puppet soldier, or Parasite Unit member.
  • -60 - Fulton extract a rare animal, Diamond Dogs staff member, or a prisoner.
  • -60 - Extract a puppet soldier, a critically wounded enemy, or Quiet via helicopter.
  • -120 - Fulton extract a very rare animal, an extremely rare animal, or a child soldier.
  • -120 - Extract a VIP, a prisoner, or a Diamond Dogs staff member via helicopter.
  • -240 - Extract a child soldier via helicopter.
  • -300 - Visit the Animal Conservation Platform.
  • -1,000 - Dispose of a nuclear weapon.
  • -1,000 - Earn the "Cry Havoc" or "Speechless" trophy.
  • -5,000 - Earn the "Cleared", "Trusty Steed", "Man's Best Friend", "War Buddy", or "Reminiscence" trophy.
  • -10,000 - Earn the "Conservation" trophy.
  • -30,000 - Dispose of ten nuclear weapons.

Interaction with Mother Base[]

If Snake runs low on GMP, he will be forced to return to base due to morale having fallen to such an extent that at least two personnel had gotten into a particularly violent brawl amongst each other, resulting in Snake breaking up the fight and even forcing one of the soldiers to stab him when he attempted to draw a weapon on the other soldier he restrained, with Ocelot suggesting to Venom Snake that the soldiers needed a job to do to get them focused on something other than their tenuous relationship with other personnel to deal with the recent morale problems.[16]

There is another optional cutscene, and mission, that Snake can do. Snake can encounter what appears to be Paz inside one of the buildings of the Medical Platform on Mother Base. Miller and Ocelot would elaborate that Paz seemingly gained amnesia due to trauma. Snake would later embark on various missions to capture and recruit wandering soldiers that hailed from the original MSF Mother Base. This resulted in him finding old memento photos based on Paz's respective joyful experiences on Mother Base, and in turn, he would give these photos to the amnesiac Paz as means of helping her regain her memories, after which Paz will say she is not feeling well.

After collecting all the memento photos, Snake visited her again, only to find that she was suddenly in a panic. Paz explained that there was still a bomb inside of her, then slowly pulled out the bomb from her stomach. The bomb then exploded and Snake was seemingly caught in the blast only to find himself waking up unharmed. The "hospital room" was revealed to have actually been under construction and only consisted of a metal floor.

A butterfly passed by him but it vanished when he grabbed it and opened his hand, revealing that it was just a hallucination. Having realized that Paz had truly passed away nine years ago, Venom Snake finally came to terms with her death. It was heavily implied that what Snake witnessed was a phantom of Paz, and that he had experienced an elaborate and vivid hallucination (Miller and Ocelot did not really appear either) due to his grief over losing Paz (as his direct failure, not noticing the second bomb while reaching inside of her); in which it was akin to the feeling of a phantom pain.

Another cutscene that can only be unlocked if the player reaches certain requirements is the one with Snake and Quiet dancing in the rain. To unlock this the player must have an 80% bond with Quiet and must return to Mother Base with Quiet while it is raining. Quiet will strip and dance in the rain on her own and then Venom Snake will then join Quiet, who will dance with her after she has encouraged him to, they stop dancing when the weather clears up. As they are dancing, "Quiet's Theme" will be heard in the background.

Reception and controversy[]

Venom Snake has received a mixed reception. Some are satisfied that Venom Snake's appearance as the final boss in Metal Gear makes sense in terms of how the real Big Boss couldn't have escaped Outer Heaven's destruction in time (Solid Snake escaped at the last minute) and appears in Metal Gear 2. Others have expressed disappointment that Venom Snake is not the real Big Boss, as the marketing for The Phantom Pain claimed that it was going to explain the latter's descent to madness and transformation from a protagonist to an antagonist. Another criticism is Venom Snake's lack of speech outside the cassette tapes which many feels it takes away from his character.

Akio Otsuka, his voice actor, adopted similar scarring to that as Venom Snake for his character, the Phantom, in the Japanese film BORN Reborn as a tribute to the character.[17]

Similarities between Venom Snake and Ahab[]

Venom Snake's Ahab alias is a reference to the central character from the novel Moby-Dick; the same way that Big Boss's adopted Ishmael identity is also derived from the novel's main character. There are many references and similarities between Venom Snake and Ahab from Moby Dick:

  • Both Venom Snake and Ahab were involved in an incident that resulted in the loss of their limbs, Venom Snake's left arm and Ahab's left leg respectively.
  • They both had their limbs replaced with a substitute, though Venom Snake got a bionic arm later on.
  • Both Venom Snake and Ahab wanted revenge on those that took their limbs.
  • They both rebuilt what they had lost in order to get the means to have revenge.
  • Both of them have means of transportation called Pequod (Venom Snake's helicopter pilot "Pequod", Ahab's ship "Pequod").
  • Both Venom Snake and Ahab are physically and psychologically damaged from what happened to make them lose their limbs.
  • They are both leaders of their own organizations, Diamond Dogs and Ahab's crew.
  • They both recruit people through both charisma and terror.
  • Ahab is seen as dictatorial but not unfair and occasionally showing a compassionate side, similarly to how Venom Snake behaves.
  • Both Venom Snake and Ahab die due to their hubris, though Snake did get his revenge.

Venom Snake being made to believe he is Big Boss via hypnotherapy is similar to Liquid Ocelot with their hypnotherapy wearing off after some time had passed. As revealed on his passport that Big Boss used, Venom Snake was born in California, and is 52 years old.

According to Kojima's notes in the Piggyback Collector's Edition Guide's art gallery, Venom Snake (or rather Big Boss as he is identified in the notes) losing his arm was decided early on in the project, and also implied that he was supposed to lose two fingers from his right hand as well. He also mentioned that the powerful prosthetic arm was implemented to allow players to appreciate the full intended experience, as while Snake could technically still wield weapons, it would have made it difficult to appreciate such.

Although the Truth ending reveals that Venom Snake is not Big Boss, his exact reaction to learning of this revelation is left ambiguous, as he briefly demonstrates a smirk as if accepting and embracing the role. After he flips the tape "From Man Who Sold the World", he sees Operation Intrude N313, which is the name of the mission in the original Metal Gear. In the next scene, Venom Snake sees himself in the mirror with a bloody face and larger horn, before punching the mirror. The exact time frame is deliberately vague, and Venom Snake disappears into the fog after smashing the mirror.

Similar to Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, his stats are not accessible on the Mother Base staff menu. They are instead accessible when selecting a playable soldier for a mission or FOB event. As such, he also doesn't have his own iDroid image.

Forward Operating Base[]


Venom Snake, Quiet, and Ocelot at the worldwide nuclear disposal ceremony on Mother Base.

Venom Snake can be chosen as the player character for Forward Operating Base (FOB) Missions. If online players succeed in disarming all nuclear weapons on their game platform's server, a number of cutscenes will be unlocked which show Snake, Miller, Ocelot and Diamond Dogs soldiers at a ceremony, vowing to combat nuclear proliferation and achieve worldwide nuclear disarmament. As the credits roll, Snake expounds on Diamond Dogs' situation, although it is unclear whether it was Venom Snake speaking or Big Boss:

"We have no tomorrow, but there's still hope for the future. In our struggle to survive the present, we push the future farther away. Will I see it in my lifetime? Probably not. Which means there's no time to waste. Someday the world will no longer need us. No need for the gun, or the hand to pull the trigger. I have to drive out this demon inside me - build a better future. That's what I - what we - will leave as our legacy. Another mission, right Boss? "
―Snake[Note 3]

Winning a round of FOB infiltrations with Venom Snake as the player character will have him make a fist pump and emit a smile (although the latter can't be seen if he's wearing any outfits that obscure his face such as the Raiden, Cyborg Ninja, Solid Snake, and Parasite Suits). It is to be noted that this pose is reused with various generic soldiers.

Metal Gear Online[]

Besides his appearance in the main game, he is also playable in the third iteration of Metal Gear Online in two ways: First, as the player avatar the player created for themselves at the beginning of the game (confirmed in the truth mission to be Venom Snake's pre-surgery identity), and second, as Venom Snake himself post-surgery as a bonus character.

The Venom Snake bonus character has the health and stamina of an Enforcer-type character, as well as the mobility ranking of a Scout-type character, thus allowing him to be extremely difficult to take down, as well as move at standard speed with extra protection on the battlefield. He also has the signature ability called "Phantom Legend", which endows him with the following abilities:

  • WEAPONS+: Lv.3
  • TACTICAL+: Lv.2
  • LETHAL AIM+: Lv.3
  • INTEL+: Lv.2
  • TANK+: Lv.2
  • CQC STEALTH+: Lv.3
  • FULTON+: Lv.2

He also has 26 ability slots, making him exceptionally powerful compared to normal player characters. His unique ability is the bionic arm, which depending on the loadout will have the arm type being blast arm, rocket arm, and stun arm.

Other appearances[]

Venom appears briefly in the non-canon game Metal Gear Survive as a decoy. Aside from this, while he doesn't appear in the game proper, elements of his character design were later reused with the character Dan.




Elements of Venom Snake's story and character bare a strong resemblance to Black Arts Viper, an antagonist from the non-canon Metal Gear game Metal Gear: Ghost Babel. Both lost an arm and comrades in a setup by a rival organization, resulting in both receiving an advanced prosthetic arm and seeking revenge against those who betrayed them, even going so far as to adopt a codename which refers to a venomous snake. Both characters also meet their demise in Outer Heaven following a fight with Solid Snake.

Venom Snake also has some similarities to Kagemusha, the protagonist in Akira Kurosawa's 1980 film Kagemusha (Shadow Warrior) . They all acted as stand-ins for military leaders, Venom Snake as stand-ins for Big Boss(Hidden Underground) and Kagemusha as stand-ins for Takeda Shingen(Deceased). They all died in the Battle with the enemy, Venom Snake tried to kill Solid Snake but was killed by him, and Kagemusha was seriously wounded after the Battle of Nagashino. All of their military forces were wiped out when they died. After Venom Snake's death, both Outer Heaven and forts in Zanzibar was destroyed, while Big boss was also “Killed” by Solid Snake. When Kagemusha died at the Battle of Nagashino, he watched as the Oda and Tokugawa armies defeated Takeda's army and brought down the Takeda family.


Metal Gear Solid V[]

Metal Gear[]


Non-canon appearances[]


  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - User's Manual (indirectly mentioned via retcon)


  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Venom Snake's passport defines his year and place of birth, alongside the player-determined details of his true identity.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Mission 46 - Truth: The Man Who Sold The World (post-credits timeline)
    1995: [...] The Outer Heaven Uprising occurs, but is quashed by Solid Snake, who kills Big Boss's phantom.
  3. ^ The Strike Force: After the Attack cassette. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. 2015.
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Ocelot: Boss, you don't understand what he said? Ahh... I guess that makes sense... It looks like that "horn" stuck in your head has impacted the language center of your brain. If only we had a recruit with the Russian "Interpreter" skill, we could get by with simultaneous interpretation...
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Ocelot: Understanding a language, and being able to interpret from that language for somebody else, are two different things. Juggling languages at a rapid-fire pace is more difficult than you might think, so... in other words, while I do speak Russian, don't expect me to do your interpreting.
  6. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Miller: He speaks Russian... What we need is an interpreter. The main principle of intelligence work is intel gathering, but that's a problem if you don't speak the enemy's language. We need a staff member with the Interpreter skill to do simultaneous interpretation.
  7. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015)
    Pequod: (while subtly holding his nose) Nice work today, Boss. // (Venom Snake steps out of the chopper while surrounded in flies to several congregated soldiers) // Soldier 1: (trying to hold back the smell) Welcome home, Boss! // Soldier 2: (Approaching Snake while holding back disgust) Another successful mission! // (Passes by black soldier, who simply could not say anything and just put his hand in front of his face) // Soldier 3: (while barely able to look at Venom Snake) Great to see you safe, Boss! (turns away to wave the smell from the front of his face) // (Ocelot approaches Snake with a bucket) // Ocelot: (groans in disgust) Snake! You stink!
    This scene plays if the player fails to keep clean for a long period of time)
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    *Mother Base soldier 1: So, uhh... who do you like? // Mother Base soldier 2: Huh? What do you mean? // Mother Base soldier 1: Are you Team Miller, or Team Ocelot? // Mother Base soldier 2: Oh, that. No preference. // Mother Base soldier 1: Oh yeah? Most of the girls here go for one or the other. Mother base soldier 2: Wouldn't that be the boss? Mother Base soldier 1: The boss is... well, the boss. Mother Base soldier 2: I... don't really follow... But anyway, h-honestly the commander kind of scares me. And Ocelot? You can never tell what he's really thinking. Mother Base soldier 1: Mm-hmmm, picky type, huh? Mother Base soldier 2: I'm not interested in a relationship right now. And if you are, I don't suggest working in a place like this. Mother Base soldier 1: I guess you're right...
  9. ^
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Ocelot's Briefing [1] > The Strike Force: After the Attack
    Ocelot: The days of Naked Snake are long gone. Welcome back, Venom Snake.
  11. ^ How should we interpret the story of MGSV? The expert speaks!. Kadokawa Dwango Corporation.
  12. ^ David Hayter Sound Files Found In Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, Medic’s Face Finally Uncovered (2014-12-25). Retrieved on 2015-01-17.
  13. ^ Metal Gear Solid 5’s Mystery Continues: The Medic Shares The Same Scars As Big Boss (2015-01-09). Retrieved on 2015-01-17.
  14. ^
    (at 1:18:50) Stefanie Joosten: [Kojima Productions] told us in a way its still Big Boss. The meaning behind it is that the player is Big Boss in this game.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
    Venom Snake: We don't draw weapons on comrades. (the soldier struggles) Look around you. This is your family. // Ocelot: Show is over! Get out of here! [...] // Snake: Morale has fallen. // Ocelot: They just need a mission. Orders to follow. If you see someone stuck in the Waiting Room, you give 'em a job to do.
  17. ^
  18. ^


  1. ^ Age at the time of death depends on what date of birth is chosen by the player.
  2. ^ Although the player can select any race at the beginning of The Phantom Pain for their avatar, Mission 46 depicts Venom Snake as Caucasian, during the scene that reveals his missing left hand prior to surgery.
  3. ^ In the iDroid log, both Venom Snake and Big Boss are referred to as "Snake" in the transcripts. Therefore, the speaker is merely credited as Snake.