Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – January 10th – February 16th, 2010: Everlasting Soul

January 10th, 2010: Part 3: Third Sun
One of Outer Haven’s PMCs, Raven Sword, tried to defeat the terrorist freedom fighters known as Paradise Lost, led by Big Mama.
Snake’s disguise had him wear a trenchcoat to blend in. He had to evade security checkpoints because he was on the PMCs blacklist.

Was the trenchcoat a reference to Kojima’s earlier game Snatcher?

He reunited with Rat Patrol. Meryl said, “You’re looking younger. What’s your secret?”
The camera swiveled to show Snake’s face, younger and smoother than before. “FaceCamo,” he explained. “A little gift from Tentacles.”
Meryl wrote a threat assessment report that forced the President to realize the threat that Outer Haven posed. He sent several Army and Marine soldiers to help Rat Patrol’s cause.
Meryl thought that they could handle the mission, so she begged Snake to not waste his life on “something so pointless”. But he had been doing “pointless” things like that his whole life.
Once again, their talk turned into him playing down his achievements. “This isn’t justice. It’s a hired hit. I’m no hero… Never was. I’m just an old killer… hired to do some wet work.”

This is it. Probably one of the most memorable lines in the whole game.

Meryl lowered her head, then nodded. “…Fine. Then we’ll just have to catch him… Before you do.
I may have loved you once… But now, you’re just too damn senile to face the truth. Wake up and face reality… Old Snake. And stay out of our way.”
Meryl left the subway terminal before Snake did.
Next, he had to hijack PMC communications to find out where Paradise Lost was by following one of its covert members.

February 16th, 2010: After several embarrassing mishaps, Snake finally tracked the resistance member to the hideout. Snake fought his way to her – Big Mama.
This blond, middle-aged woman in a red coat praised his CQC.
“It was you, not I, who was created from Adam’s rib,” said the woman.
She admitted to being his mother. “I gave birth… for the Patriots.
Follow me. I’ll explain everything.”

She said that Liquid wanted her dead. She knew that he was once Revolver Ocelot, but she claimed that Liquid took over his soul. She also said that Zero founded the Patriots and that she first met Big Boss during Operation Snake Eater. He knew her as “EVA”.
She was actually a triple agent for China at that time, trying to hunt down the “Philosophers’ Legacy”, the fortune amassed by the Philosophers, the forerunners of the Patriots. But she failed to acquire it.
“I took the apple from the tree, and was cast out of Eden…”
Boss and EVA next met in Hanoi. He rescued her, and along with several other members of his support unit from Snake Eater, helped found the Patriots.
They were all inspired by a woman known as The Boss, the “Mother of the Special Forces”, also once known as “The Joy” in the Cobra unit. She was also Ocelot’s biological mother. She never got to see her child after he was born.

They met years later when Ocelot was a young man during Operation Snake Eater. I wonder if they had any idea who the other was?

And the CIA had Big Boss kill her.
Major Zero, the commander of Operation Snake Eater, basically handed down the iconic power of The Boss down to Big Boss. But he disliked being used as the godlike figure of a military unit.
So Zero founded “Les Enfants Terribles”, the clone project that create Snake, Liquid, and Solidus. Dr. Clark, codename Para-Medic, headed the project.
It was supposed to be a secret, but Boss found out, and left the Patriots.
“Your father never wanted you,” confessed EVA. But she loved Boss – Jack – and was more than happy to bear his children.
From there, Zero started to take over the world in the guise of protecting it through the power of the Patriots.
Even after Snake defeated Boss twice, and his traitorous comrade Frank Jaeger, Zero retrieved and preserved their bodies. Zero considered Boss a traitor and created the five AI components of the System to further his goal. One of them, GW, was destroyed by Snake, Raiden, and Otacon five years earlier.
EVA and Ocelot worked to save Boss from his state as a biomort. In the process, they had Frank kill Para-Medic. Ocelot accidentally tortured the DARPA chief, codenamed Sigint, to death.
They were doing it for Boss, but Para-Medic and Sigint were comrades in MGS3.
EVA took Snake to see Boss’ body. It was barely preserved, almost unrecognizable.
Suddenly, Otacon called, panicked. Naomi disappeared after they met Dr. Madnar, but Sunny had taken her place in treating Raiden.
But there was no time to worry about Naomi just then, because Scarabs – orbs with three arms – invaded the church. EVA coolly dispatched them with her trademark Vz. 83 submachine gun.
The PMC closed in on them. Paradise Lost set up decoy vans so that the van that bore Boss’ body would not be caught.
EVA led Snake to her Triumph motorcycle. As her forces forces deployed, she expressed the tragedy of their lost innocence. “To them, war is a game.”
She said that they were orphans that sought revenge on the PMCs. Anyone with a computer could get training. Publishers distribute FPS games for free to help the effort.
“Hold on to me,” asked the mother of her son for the first time. He clutched her abdomen as they drove off to protect the van with Boss’ body so that it would reach the escape point in the canal.
I wondered for years who Snake’s mother was. Turns out that I’d known her for years.
Snake was all business about it.

EVA’s explanations in the church are kind of infamous for invoking religious subtext, which is not really featured anywhere else in the game.

I saw Big Mama in the print ad for the game, but I didn’t know who she was. I thought it may have been EVA, but the timeline at the end of MGS3 said that she disappeared without a trace in Hanoi.
Eventually, Raging Raven and her flock joined the pursuit of the van. When EVA and Snake reached the escape route, Raven smashed into the van, which careened into her motorcycle.
Snake was OK, but EVA suffered an injury in her abdomen. He left her with a gun at a place called Echo’s Beacon.
She made him promise to come back… alive.
Snake left in search of Raven, but he suffered another attack. He used the serum just before Raven blew a giant hole in the wall.
“Give me your anger, Snake!”
She has missile launchers on her “wings”. She also deploys unmanned weapons. Destroying them gives you Drebin Points.
All attributes of a weapon are ranked from S to E except for the Playboy and “Emotive” magazines. They only serve to distract the enemy. I wonder what would happen if you used one on a B&B Corps member.
Raven made me a bit mad to fight against because she’s difficult to damage. But I think if you destroy her drones, she overheats (from the raaage!) and seeks shelter atop a nearby building. In that phase, she’s totally vulnerable.
When Snake finally reduced her life gauge to zero, her wings malfunction, and she… molts.
“I don’t want to be angry,” she claimed. “I’M SCARED!”
She lost her armor and her mask. She skin suit looked like molten rock.

Raven Unmasked

“The birds are pecking at my flesh! And my soul! I don’t need more hate!”
Like Laughing Beauty before her, she regained her composure.
“Come. Let your anger flow…”
The music became disturbing, just like in the fight against Laughing Beauty.
Another Beauty slain. She curled up into the fetal position as the texture on her suit hardened.
Snake picked up her grenade launcher and Drebin promptly called. He offered to launder the gun for free – so long as Snake relinquished it to him when he was done with it.
Then, Drebin explained Raven’s tragedy. She was just one amongst a group of kids abused by soldiers. One day, they left the children to be eaten by the birds. She could not bear it anymore. She killed the birds. Rage flowed like blood.
Then, she tracked down the soldiers and annihilated them.
Drebin claimed that Snake cleansed her of her rage. He called Snake the “seed of war” and perhaps even “war itself”.
Snake returned to the wounded EVA. She said that the rendezvous point was at the Votta River, and to reach it, they had to use the path through the underground aqueduct.
A Scarab followed them.
On the other side of the aqueduct, they found Ocelot smoking a cigar, as well as Naomi and Vamp. The PMC had destroyed the van.
“You almost did it,” taunted Ocelot. “But it looks like I win after all.
Cigars. Father’s favorite…”
“You think you’re Big Boss now?” asked Snake.
“Guilty as charged.”
Liquid neutralized Snake with CQC and revealed that they put GW back together. Liquid beat Snake up even harder as he taunted him with his plans for the System.
Once he was finished with Snake, he left with Naomi and Vamp on a boat. Meryl’s squad tried to intercept them with several boats, jeeps, and helicopters.
Snake put EVA aboard Meryl’s boat. They moved in to kill Liquid, but he was able to stop their weapons cold.
“The System is mine!” declared Liquid. “Your guns and your weapons are no longer your own!
Behold… the Guns of the Patriots.”
He took control of the helicopters, making them crash into the ocean. He hijacked Rat Patrol’s nanomachines and had the FROGs open fire on them.
But Akiba was once again immune.
Snake tried to protect EVA when the cannon on Liquid’s boat shot Meryl’s ship. She and Akiba plunged into the ocean.
“Let them have it,” said Liquid of Boss’ body. “We don’t need it anymore.”
Vamp tossed Boss’ body onto Meryl’s boat, which had already caught fire. EVA tried to retrieve the body, but she was paralyzed by the flames.
Liquid tried to shoot her, but Snake pushed her out of the way, burning his face in the process. He screamed for Otacon, and Metal Gear Mk. II tried to help them.
Snake, EVA, and Rat Partrol attempted to regroup. Akiba retrieved Meryl and gave her CPR. He tried to hard, and finally managed to bring her back.
For some reason, she thought that he was kissing her. She kissed him back.
Akiba said, “If it’s all right… call me Johnny.”
Snake was there for EVA, who said, “To return everything to normal, the light must be extinguished. And when that happens… you will be… too…”
He tried to hold her hand, but she was already gone.
Drebin came by in a boat. “Like I said, we pride ourselves on service. “ He pulled out the Stun Knife that Liquid stabbed Snake with.
Snake laughed.
Act 3: End
The least disastrous part of that mission was saving Raiden. Where do we go from here?

In hindsight, I wish that Snake and EVA had spent more meaningful time together. I don’t know how that would have been done without being schmaltzy, but when has MGS ever been afraid of going overboard with something? I also don’t know how what little time shared between them would have been made more meaningful with Snake’s depression and suicidal tendencies in this game…