Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid)

What Does Solid Snake Symbolize?

Solid Snake is a symbol for the victim of war. In Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake is shown to be a hardened soldier. Because of his time as a soldier, he seems to show little emotion and acts cold to his allies in the story. Snake is said to be a war hero from previous major accomplishments, but he refuses to take any acceptance for them. He states, “There are no heroes in war. The only heroes I know are dead or in prison. One of the other. … I’m just a man who’s good at what he does: killing.” He even says, “There’s no winning or losing for a mercenary.” This shows that war has completely beaten down Solid Snake to the point that he doesn’t even think he does good for his country any longer. Snake is miserable, and that is a direct result of the wars he has been involved in.

There are various hints that he used to care deeply for his country and defending it, but it seems as if he’s completely abandoned caring for it by the end of Metal Gear Solid. This is mostly because throughout the story, Snake is lied to and manipulated by those who he thought he could trust in the government. Solid Snake never even wanted to get involved with this mission because he retired years prior, trying to recover from his war-filled past. He only agreed to help with the Shadow Moses Incident and take down FOXHOUND because his close friend Ray Campbell agreed to give him full disclosure on the mission. We learn that Campbell refused to give Snake much information on the mission and outright lied to him multiple times, showing that Snake is lied to by even his good friend just to get him to join the mission, making him the victim again.

It is revealed even later that the Pentagon only wanted Solid Snake on the mission so Naomi Hunter, genetic engineer, could be the host for a virus called FOXDIE. It was designed so that when Snake came close to specific people, they would die from a cardiac arrest. This included people who knew about the Metal Gear Rex project, FOXHOUND, and all of the cloned genome soldiers on base. This was done to ensure all of the terrorists’ deaths as well as keeping the secrecy of their underhanded project. This means that Snake was just used as a biological weapon, making him the victim again.

Throughout Metal Gear Solid it is shown that even though Snake is seemingly miserable, he longs for a simple life and to be happy. He is truly a caring person, even though war has made him a hardened mercenary. This is shown through conversations he has with Hal Emmerich and Meryl Silverburgh. He is often short with them, but when they ask serious questions about war and life, Snake has some rather thoughtful and caring responses. This shows that even a victim of war is still a person, even if war has truly harmed them.