CQC. Close Quarters Combat. When I played MGS games that feature this technique I couldn’t help but feel that CQC goes deeper than just snapping necks or dropping dudes. CQC in the Metal Gear universe serves as a means of differentiating the weak from the strong, the normal from the badass, and, sometimes, the famous from the legendary. In MGS, CQC is like the ultimate proof that someone is the real fucking deal.
The first instance where I felt that CQC runs deeper than aesthetics was the first fight between Naked Snake and Ocelot.
In this fight, Snake is able to easily defeat Ocelot due to Ocelot’s reliance on guns and his need to look flashy. Viewing this fight, I couldn’t help but feel that CQC embodied what it meant to be a true professional, that is, to be efficient and to accomplish an objective with exact use of force. This is what Snake was able to do. Ocelot, on the other hand, was so focused on putting on a show that he jammed his freakin’ gun and lost. Here, we can see CQC being used by the superior combatant, differentiating Ocelot, who is already a great soldier, from Snake, who is on his way to becoming a legend.
A very interesting use of CQC can be seen in the initial fight between Snake and Boss. Example starts at 4:40
In this fight, both sides know how to use CQC but Boss easily disables Snake. When I saw this happen, I realized that the difference in CQC abilities between the Boss and Snake allowed the game to show the player that while the gap between Snake and the everyday soldier was huge, the chasm between Snake and the Boss was enormous. It’s like saying that Snake is incredible while the Boss is legendary. Here, we can see CQC being used to differentiate characters because on one hand, both Boss and Snake know how to use CQC thus separating them from other characters. On the other hand, the difference in ability between Boss and Snake on the use of CQC creates another separation between the two. For me, it makes me think that both are automatically placed into the “epic character” category due to CQC but the difference between Boss and Snake allows Boss to be placed on a higher tier than Snake.
Last example. In the final battle between Naked Snake and Ocelot, Ocelot is able to fare much better in that encounter due to him having picked up some melee combat moves.
While the techniques he uses are not CQC in the strictest sense (CQC was developed by the Boss so only she and Naked Snake can use the technique at that point in the MGS timeline), Ocelot is still able to tap into the abilities that separates the likes of Snake and the Boss from other soldiers. Not surprisingly, Ocelot goes on to become a major player in the MGS universe. Take note that the first part of his new name “Revolver Ocelot” is created because Snake had influenced him to take up the revolver the first time he had used CQC to lay the smack down on Ocelot. In that encounter, Snake tells him that the way he fires his pistol is more of a revolver technique. Given Ocelot’s arrogance he might not have taken the comment seriously if it was any other person. But because Snake had just defeated him with the use of CQC, Ocelot takes the advice to heart. As can be seen, CQC plays an integral part in what made Ocelot go from being just a great soldier into becoming Revolver Ocelot: key figure in the MGS universe.
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