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Metal Gear Jesus: religious parallels in the Metal Gear Solid series

3:58 PM on 06.09.2008 // Anthony Burch

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In between all the awful(ly amazing) Solid Snake impressions on Podtoid's 50th episode, Tiff Chow and I got into a very brief, very nonspecific conversation about the possible presence of the Holy Trinity in the Metal Gear Solid series.

I thought, to kick off our Official Countdown to MGS4 (each day this week, an editor -- probably Chad, since he came up the idea in the first place -- will present a feature discussing a different aspect of the series), I'd go full tilt with the whole Bible analogy thing and find out just how many MGS characters have counterparts in the Bible.

Sure, you can chalk up many of these to simple application of the Joseph Campbell hero myth or perhaps total coincidence, but where's the fun in that?

Hit the jump to find out why Solid Snake is Jesus Christ. 

[All pictures in this article have been Photoshopped by our own Destructoid community, with higher-res versions available below. Credits for each picture can be found at the end of the article.]

[Also, spoilers for both MGS 1-3 and the Bible follow.]

Also, it should probably be pointed out that I'm an atheist. Thus, any glaring Biblical misinterpretation on my part can be blamed on the fact that I am a heathen. 

Big Boss = God

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In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

In the beginning of the Metal Gear series, Big Boss created Outer Heaven.

He also built one of the first functional Metal Gears, creating a new superweapon and thus symbolically creating a new Earth.

Big Boss is where the Metal Gear series started.* It is only from Big Boss that Snake, Liquid, Raiden, or any other major character in the series other than Ocelot came to prominence; without Big Boss's actions during the Cold War, nothing would exist of the Metal Gear series as we know it.

Can't God be defined as a person whom breathes life into a universe, and whose absence would mean the total nonexistence of that universe? As God created the universe, so too did Big Boss, simply through being betrayed by the government, eventually becomes the man who would create all the clones and weapons and political strife that make up both the Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid games. 

The S3 Plan = The Holy Spirit

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The Holy Spirit is simultaneously another manifestation of God, and an immaterial ghost or spirit or idea whom, through prayer, allows the mortal man to connect to the material God, thus achieving moral perfection.

The Solid Snake Simulation Plan** is an immaterial spirit or idea that, through training and execution, allows mortals like Raiden to connect to the ideal of Big Boss and Solid Snake, thus achieving military perfection.

Meryl = Mary Magdalene

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Jesus Christ hung out with a redhead named Mary whom, according to contemporary scholars, he may or may not have had intercourse with.

Solid Snake hung out with a redhead named Meryl, whom, according to MGS fanboys, he may or may not have had intercourse with.

Solid Snake = Jesus

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As Jesus is not only the son of God, but, as per the Holy Trinity, a second manifestation of that same God, Solid Snake is the perfect MGS parallel to Jesus Christ. 

Solid Snake is often referred to as one of the "sons of Big Boss," yet he is also a clone of him; Snake is simultaneously the son and the same being as Big Boss, in the same way that Jesus was the son and manifestation of God. 

Jesus came down to Earth to redeem the sinners, using significantly less violent tactics than those his father had espoused in the Old Testament.

By the start of MGS2, Snake is on a mission to destroy all the Metal Gears in the world, thus saving the world from itself, without resorting to the sort of kidnapping and global terrorism Big Boss did in the first Metal Gear.

Jesus died on the cross and came back to life a few days later.

Solid Snake seemingly drowned in an ocean tanker at the beginning of MGS2, then came back a few days later during the Big Shell incident.

Jesus's most famous pose is that of his crucifixion, with his arms outstreched and his legs together.

At roughly 5:19 in the above video, Solid Snake strikes the exact same pose

Jesus Christ suffered excruciating pain on the cross to save the souls of mankind.

Solid Snake suffered agonizing pain on Revolver Ocelot's torture machine (with his arms outstreched, no less), in order to save Meryl's life. 

Liquid Snake = Satan

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Originally in Heaven, Satan disagreed with God's views and felt jealous of God's love for humanity. Satan was cast down, and tricked Adam and Eve into sinning and thereby condemning the Earth, so to speak.

Originally part of Big Boss (as Heaven is merely an extension of God's physical form, one can then consider Big Boss and Outer Heaven as the same entity), Liquid Snake felt jealousy at Solid Snake's dominant genes from their father, and split off to do evil in Shadow Moses. He tricked Solid Snake into turning the Metal Gear on and making it fully operational, thus potentially condemning the Earth.

In this allegory, Solid Snake can also represent humanity. 

Deal with it.

Naomi and Ocelot = Judas

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Both Jesus and Snake were betrayed by people they trusted; Judas sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, and Naomi programmed FoxDie to kill Snake. Where simple betrayal of the Savior is concerned, Naomi and Judas are equals.

No character in the Metal Gear series, however, is better at betrayal than Revolver Ocelot. Working for the corrupt upper class known as the Patriots in the same way Judas betrayed Jesus to the ruling Romans, Ocelot screws over pretty much every person he works with: from the Russians, to Colonel Gurlukovich, to Solidus, Ocelot makes a habit of betraying people simply for personal gain.

Note, of course, that Ocelot's betrayal of Gurlukovich, and his theft of Metal Gear Ray, causes Snake's "death" in MGS2, much as Judas's betrayal of Jesus resulted in the latter's death.

Additionally, Judas's betrayal can be linked back to original sin, which can be linked back to Satan's presence in the Garden of Eden; in a sense, Satan lives inside Judas. 

When Ocelot lost his arm in Shadow Moses, Liquid's was grafted onto the stump.  Liquid (Satan) literally lives inside Ocelot, occasionally taking complete control of his body, especially during moments of betrayal.

Metal Gear = the Wrath of God 

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In the Old Testament, God punishes even very small crimes with fire and brimstone; adulterers, fornicators, those who disobey their parents, and those who plant different types of crops side-by-side are punished with death and hellfire. It is only through Jesus Christ that God's violent rule subsides in the face of a gentler, forgiveness-based handling of God's children. Jesus, in a sense, destroys God's vengeful Wrath.

In Metal Gear, Big Boss kidnaps and kills numerous soldiers and scientists, and threatens to launch a nuke and destroy the planet because of his bitterness at his betrayal by the government. Years later, Solid Snake, similarly betrayed by the government, fights back in a much less violent way: rather than using Metal Gear to destroy billions of lives out of a hope for revenge and the respect of the soldier as Big Boss did, Snake seeks to literally destroy Metal Gear, and Big Boss's vengeful wrath along with it. 

Both God's Wrath and Metal Gear are seemingly unstoppable, totally deadly forces.

And both come equipped with rocket launchers. 

...And all the rest

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I must insist that the curious reader check out the gallery below, which includes some of my favorite visual renditions of Metal Gear characters inserted into biblical artwork. Just as the King James Bible was written by many people by request of Henry VIII, so too were these pictures all made by our lovely community members after I asked them to do so (and promised a copy of Guyver II: Dark Hero starring David Hayter for the best image). As promised, the image credits:

Jesus as Old Snake: AgentMOO

Solid Snake as Jesus, The Last MGS Supper: MechaMonkey (congratulations, you won -- put your email in the comments and I'll get in touch with you about Guyver II)

Solid Snake in Toast, Solid Snake Betrayed: CypherVR

Big Boss as (Monty Python's) God, Our Mother of CQC, Nobody F*cks with the Solid: Bazel

The Ten MGS Commandments: JohnnyGoTime

Snake/David vs Vamp/Goliath: TheToiletDuck 

MGS Heaven: Genki-JAM 

The Judas picture is from here

Anyway, are there any more parallel events or characters you can think of that I or the other community members missed? Feel free to hit the comments and chime in.

*One could argue that The Boss is technically where it all started, since she trained Big Boss and her betrayal at the hands of the government was the reason for Big Boss becoming the anti-American terrorist he eventually would, but that opens up the door for a logical fallacy. Who trained The Boss? Who trained the person who trained The Boss? Who trained that person? This results in an infinite regress.

**Again, one may claim that "S3" actually stands for Selection for Societal Sanity, but this is a misinterpretation. While MGS2 may appear to contradict itself at times, these "contradictions" are simply the result of different translators or writers telling different versions of the same story, all passed onto them by the almighty Kojima. These contradictions support and diversify, rather than invalidate, the basic truths of MGS2.

Photo Gallery: (13 images)
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