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Top 5 Metal Gear Retcons

by Joe Juba on Jul 24, 2013 at 02:00 PM

Few video game series have stories that are as complicated, twisting, and bizarre as Metal Gear’s. As if all of the nanomachines and genetic mumbo-jumbo weren’t confusing enough, the franchise sometimes has trouble getting its own facts straight. Several games contradict each other on various topics – though some of the incongruities are more significant than others. Here are our five favorite retcon ("retroactive continuity") moments from the series, where it takes previous facts and changes them. Be warned: spoilers ahead for all Metal Gear titles. 

Daddy Issues

Solid Snake's status as a clone of Big Boss is a core element of the series – except it never actually happens. In Metal Gear Solid, Snake and Naomi talk about the fact that Big Boss once said that he was Snake's father, but that revelatory moment doesn't exist. Players never see Snake and Big Boss have this conversation; once Metal Gear Solid starts, their genetic connection is suddenly present.

Living In The Arm

At the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 2, Revolver Ocelot appears with a new arm grafted onto his body to replace the one he lost. The catch? It's Liquid Snake's arm, and it can possess him. His hair looks different, and his voice completely changes. The series seemed to support this supernatural explanation by establishing Ocelot as the son of a psychic medium…but Metal Gear Solid 4 scraps that by basically saying that Ocelot was faking it.

It's Just A Missile To The Head

During Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Snake reconnects with Dr. Madnar. However, things go south and the nerdy scientist attempts to attack Snake by climbing onto his back. To stop the doctor, Snake pulls out his radio-controlled rocket launcher and proceeds to blast the old man on his back with a bunch of missiles. This appears to do the job and kill Madnar, but the doctor apparently survives to help Raiden with his robot body (as revealed in Metal Gear Solid 4).

He's A She

In a codec conversation in Metal Gear Solid, Naomi reveals that her "brother," Gray Fox, was subjected to horrible genetic experiments by a man named Dr. Clark. The same Dr. Clark is revealed to be one of the founding members of The Patriots during the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. The problem is that Dr. Clark is suddenly a woman: Para-Medic from Metal Gear Solid 3.

You're How Old?

"Our raw materials are vintage, brother," says Liquid Snake during Metal Gear Solid. "Big Boss was in his late fifties when they created his copies." The Les Enfants Terribles that created Solid and Liquid Snake took place in the early '70s. However, during the events of Peace Walker (set in 1974), Big Boss is 39. How is that possible? Probably nanomachines.

Those are our top picks, but there are even more continuity flubs. Like how Gray Fox and Big Boss first met, or why Vamp apparently has super powers...but we'll save those for another time.