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  • Americans Hate Tingle: America and Europe hated Raiden due to his effeminate appearance, whiney attitude, and his replacing Solid Snake. In Japan, he actually was closer to an Ensemble Darkhorse among the Japanese base and was arguably more popular than Solid Snake himself, and while they still lamented not playing as Solid Snake in the game, they didn't blame Raiden at all for it.
  • Complete Monster: The Patriots. For one thing, they manipulated everything in that mission, even going as far as to plant the seeds in several of the members into making it seem as though they were rebelling against them without them ever knowing they were truly being used. Just to give you guys a list of what exactly they did, see their entry in Metal Gear.
    • Fatman. He sees mass murder as a form of artistic expression; he doesn't care how many innocents (including children) have died for his spectacles. His motive during the game is to show up and kill the father figure who taught him everything he knows. He has no Freudian Excuse or sympathetic motive like the rest of Dead Cell: he's just an egomaniacal sociopath. Even a vampiric serial killer like Vamp is appalled.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: In the Tanker mission, Otacon will eventually mess up one too many Chinese proverbs and Mei Ling cuts in to correct him.
    • Otacon and Snake piloting a helicopter with Raiden providing ground firing support versus a Harrier Jet is easily the most awesome fight ever, though Your Mileage May Vary.
    • Raiden taking on six to nineteen Metal Gear Rays three at a time. Unfortunately, it's rather undercut by his subsequent Cutscene Incompetence, but all the same.
    • There is also the slaughtering of two rooms of ninja-like soldiers back to back with Solid Snake inside Metal Gear with a katana.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: The Colonel's "conversation" with you if you snap a pic of Jennifer's underwear.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: After Emma's death, Snake hugs Otacon, showing that he really does care about him.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: See here.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Emma for some (yet her death is usually STILL a Tear Jerker for them anyway.)
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Vamp. A Depraved Bisexual Knife Nut Vampire with a tragic past, a penchant for getting up close and personal with the resident Bishonen and dark hair, a seductive voice and a agile-muscular build. I'm sure the fandom hated him after he crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Even Better Sequel: Most people seemed to think the gameplay was an improvement over the first game's. As for the story...
  • Fridge Horror: Ocelot mentioned that the only thing the Patriots didn't anticipate was Snake's arrival on the Big Shell during The Reveal. However, during Raiden's talk with the Patriots later on, the Patriots' image of Rose and the Colonel at one point ask Raiden when he said that he can come up with his own decisions whether that was something he came up with on his own or something Snake told him, explicitly referencing Snake, and in a very calm manner. This gave the implication that despite what Ocelot claimed, the Patriots actually DID know Snake's arrival well ahead of time and even allowed it to happen to further break Raiden to prove their point about humanity.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: Near the beginning of Raiden's section, the Colonel talks about how oil leaking out of the Big Shell would be the worst ecological disaster in history, killing all the marine life and ruining the coastline for generations. After the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf, a bit of oil leaking out of the Big Shell (as opposed to rushing up from the sea floor) doesn't seem quite so bad in retrospect.
    • Similarly, the reason why Raiden was designed as a bishonen character is because a particular fan-letter from a fangirl stated that she didn't want to play as "an old man". Come Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots...
    • Subsistence has Raiden wearing Gray Fox's Cyborg Ninja outfit for VR missions. It seems fun now, right? Well, it won't be fun or amusing after playing Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots where Raiden does become an actual Cyborg Ninja under painful and extremely tragic circumstances.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The premise of the game being a computer program with implied sentience manipulating all of humanity and causing a lot of atrocious deaths via a terrorist group all for an "experiment," and that program being voiced by Paul Eiding, gets very interesting when Dirge of Cerberus does something VERY similar for its plot.
  • Game Breaker: The M9 tranquilizer handgun, or the silenced SOCOM. Take your pick. Both are capable of instantly incapcitating headshots from distances that only a Sniper Rifle would remain accurate at in Real Life, the ammo is extremely common, and abusing them almost guarantees you never being seen. The M9 is arguably the better of the two since you don't aim it down the iron sights, meaning the gun takes up less of the screen in first-person view, and the laser is much easier to line up shots with than the SOCOM. Plus, your endgame status is better if you don't kill anyone. Extra points since it's a Disc One Nuke. The silencer for the SOCOM comes literally about an hour into the game later though.
  • Ho Yay: It's a Metal Gear Solid game.
  • It Was His Sled: By the time of the release of the PC port of the game (around 2004, three years after the game first came out for the Play Station 2), reviews of the game had already abandoned trying to keep the game's Decoy Protagonist a secret. That, and everyone knows that the game's ending is, err... rather demanding of the player.
  • Magnificent Bastard: This was the game where Ocelot became a true Magnificent Bastard. By the end of Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots, he was one of the most magnificent bastards ever created.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I NEED SCISSORS! 61!", Raiden "MANAGING TO AVOID DROWNING."
    • And to a lesser extent, the way Stillman "KILLED HIS SOUL!" and has to "DEFUSE HIS SINS!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Vamp's murder of Emma Emmerich.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Everything that happens after Emma's death is so fucked up that you cannot tell what is real and what is not anymore. The Fission Mailed screen is particularly disturbing - with the obviously twisted English words and you still fighting alright.
    • Especially consider the meaning behind the words Fission Mailed, along with "Emit" and "Continent" - all those words carry an ominous meaning toward the villains' next move...
  • Older Than They Think: Bioshock was acclaimed for its deconstruction of the concept of linearity in video games, but this game beat it to the punch by six years.
  • Paranoia Fuel
  • Porting Disaster: The PC version. You know you've screwed up when you fail at porting a game that worked perfectly fine onX Box to PC, when the architecture is nearly identical between platforms.
  • Protection From Editors: Might be the reason why the game turned out the way it did. Apparently Kojima's original script was over 800 pages long.
  • Recycled Script: Metal Gear Solid 2's plotline is almost a clone of Metal Gear Solid's plot, which in itself was recycled from the MSX games (Specifically Metal Gear 2). Unlike Metal Gear Solid, however, the game makes it a point to mention the similarities between the events in it and the events of the previous game, which ultimately ended in a deconstruction of the very concept of sequels having suspiciously similar plots to their predecessors.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Raiden, at least outside Japan.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Ye gods, Rose.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Not Raiden, believe it or not, but Solid Snake comes across as this during the Plant Chapter, and to a lesser extent the Tanker Chapter. Although Hideo Kojima indicated that he did the twist specifically so players could see Solid Snake in a more badass light via a second party observance in the form of Raiden, his actual behavior in-game comes across more as Solid Snake being somewhat of a scumbag to Raiden after he... "revealed" his true identity. In particular, he continued to hide details about his actual mission to Raiden as well as pretty key details about the Big Shell, he implied at one point[1] that he did in fact adhere to terrorism via Philanthropy, and made no attempt to correct Raiden when the latter mistook the RAY prototype for the actual new Metal Gear despite his clearly having encountered it before. There's also the fact that he set Raiden up to act as a fall guy as part of a Trojan Prisoner plan that he clearly had kept Raiden out of the loop, and the "apology" he gave to Raiden for it when reuniting with him came across as extremely insincere on his part. It also doesn't help that a few optional codec calls in the Tanker Chapter implied that Solid Snake was in fact already aware of who the Patriots were, and part of the reason they took the failed Tanker mission was specifically to get more information on them, which essentially implied that Snake most likely knew about the S3 Plan and exactly what it entailed, yet did absolutely nothing to even attempt to stop the plan whatsoever, not even attempting to warn Raiden or exploit the Colonel's insistent attempts at telling Raiden that Snake is "not a part of the simulation"), and in the ending, his advice to Raiden comes across as him trying to get him to become a nihilist. What's even worse regarding his manipulation of Raiden during various parts of the mission is that it comes across as extremely hypocritical regarding his anger at Roy Campbell in the first game for similar hiding of information, and unlike Roy Campbell,[2] Snake had no apparent reason for doing so to Raiden. There's also the fact that he was in large part responsible for Vamp killing Emma Emmerich since, despite clearly having a cleaner shot than Raiden did, he made zero attempt to aid Raiden at all in taking him out. And in regards to the Tanker Chapter, aside from Snake trying to expose RAY to the public despite it lacking in nuclear equipment and if anything being developed specifically to take out the Metal Gear derivatives Ocelot was responsible for coming across as Snake being self-serving in his goals, there's also the fact that he made zero attempt to warn the Marines via indirect means that Gurlukovich Mercenaries had raided the ship to steal Metal Gear and were going to scuttle the boat, despite clearly deducing that they were going to do these things (the latter via an optional Codec conversation regarding SEMTEX).
  • The Untwist: Iroquois Pliskin is actually Solid Snake.
  • Values Dissonance: Part of the reason for Raiden's lukewarm reception in the West. In Japan, there isn't nearly as much stigma against men with feminine features, and it's actually very traditional to cast them in heroic roles.
  • Vindicated by History: Though its gameplay was generally praised, its story was seen as convoluted. However, as years go by, many are finding it to be an excellent early example of post-modernism in the video game medium, as well as a decent deconstruction of But Thou Must! games...two traits that would later be championed by the critically acclaimed Bioshock.
  • Waggle: The pressure-sensitive firearm controls are highly awkward, especially for the assault rifles.
  • Woolseyism: Subverted. You might think by a cursory glance that the translators made up the "beLIEve" line in the English version due to it not being present in the Japanese version. However, the Plant Chapter script included in the Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 that had been written by Hideo Kojima not only features that exact line in there, but even explains why the line is written that way, meaning that actually was done under Kojima's direction, and that if anything it's the Japanese version that omitted it.[3]

Notes

  1. Specifically, when relaying to Raiden as to why Philanthropy does its actions, and even more specifically right after Raiden stated his actions were closer to terrorism than grassroots actions.
  2. Who was made clear to have been blackmailed by his higher ups via an I Have Your Wife situation regarding his niece Meryl into hiding said information from Snake.
  3. Presumably due to it being impossible for the wordplay to work in the Japanese version, as the Japanese words for believe ("信じる", "信じて", or "信じ") and lie (either "嘘" or "うそ") are different.
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