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Villain Overview

The nightmares? They never go away, Snake. Once you've been on the battlefield, tasted the exhilaration, the tension... it all becomes part of you. Once you've awakened the warrior within... it never sleeps again. You crave ever bigger tensions, ever bigger thrills. As a mercenary, I'd think you would have realized that by now. You care nothing for power, or money, or even sex. The only thing that satisfies your cravings is war! All I've done is give you a place for it. I've given you a reason to live.
~ Big Boss in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
This is good...isn't it?
~ Big Boss's last words.

Big Boss is the code name given to John, a FOXHOUND and legendary soldier, serving as the central character of the Metal Gear series of video games, as well as the series' initial protagonist, chronologically speaking. He is the main antagonist of the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and later the protagonist of the prequels, from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. He also made a guest appearance at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and is a pivotal character in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

He was voiced by David Hayter in the prequels, excluding Metal Gear Solid V, where he was voiced and motion captured by Kiefer Sutherland (who also played David in The Lost Boys, John Merrill in Stand By Me, Freddie Lee Cobb in A Time to Kill, Bob Wolverton in Freeway, The Caller in Phonebooth, and Senator Quintas Corvus in Pompeii). In Metal Gear Solid 4, he was voiced by Richard Doyle, who also voiced The Fury in Metal Gear Solid 3. In Japanese, he was voiced in the prequels by Akio Ōtsuka, who also voiced his "son" Solidus Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2, as well as Blackbeard in One Piece and Thorkell in Vinland Saga. In Metal Gear Solid 4 he was voiced by the late Chikao Ōtsuka, who voiced Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog.


Big Boss was originally depicted in Metal Gear as the leader of FOXHOUND, and the commander of Solid Snake, before revealing he was actually also the leader of Outer Heaven, and the game's main antagonist. (It would later be revealed the final boss of the game was actually his "phantom", Venom Snake.) While presumed dead at the the end of the game, a post credits sequence revealed his survival, and he returns as the main antagonist of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Here, he lays out his motivations to create a world of perpetual warfare, but is defeated and seemingly killed by Snake.

As revealed in the Metal Gear Solid series, it is revealed that his DNA was forcefully cloned by the Patriots to create the ultimate soldier. These sons include Solid Snake, Liquid Snake, and Solidus Snake. Both Liquid and Solidus attempted to carry out Big Boss' will (Liquid out of being scorned, Solidus out of respect). Zero's response to Big Boss' departure of his organization is still viewing Big Boss as an irreplaceable friend.

In a collection of prequels, starting with Metal Gear 3: Snake Eater, and continuing with Metal Gear: Portable Ops, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid V, Big Boss serves as the protagonist, and his slow slide into villainy is depicted. While depicted heroically in Metal Gear 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear: Portable Ops, while serving under the codename Naked Snake, he begins taking darker methods throughout the events of Metal Gear: Peace Walker, and Metal Gear Solid V has him solidify his turn to darkness. This led to the creation of Outer Heaven and FOXHOUND, which also led to the beginning of the Metal Gear series.

It is revealed that he wanted to create a world where soldiers are not treated like political tools, and actually valued, being The Boss' aforementioned vision. Big Boss' motives behind his actions initially stemmed from a strong guilt after learning that his killing of The Boss was the direct result of a fake defection gone awry, and then learning that her death had in fact been orchestrated from the beginning. However, he refused to understand her selflessness, seeing her as just as a soldier rather than a person, and believing she betrayed herself and him, rejected her.

Big Boss built a cult of personality around himself, beginning with Revolver Ocelot, who spent his entire life in love with him. He continued with the members of MSF, not least Kazuhira Miller, who he forcibly enlisted into his army to be used and later discarded, with everyone around him being blinded by hero worship. This came to its peak when he agreed to use Venom Snake, a "memetic clone" to act as his proxy, making him just as bad as the US government who sacrificed the Boss all those years ago. After the Outer Heaven Resistance were betrayed by NATO, Big Boss "saved" them and the war orphans, and recruited them into Zanzibar Land, where he planned to create a world of eternal war for his soldiers, which included the children.

Other Appearances

Super Smash Bros.

Big Boss appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a sticker that increases the frequency and catch rate of using a Trophy Stand on an enemy. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Big Boss appears as a legendary grab type primary spirit that deals more damage to metal enemies, obtainable by enhancing the Naked Snake spirit.


Big Boss's primary drive in life was his desire for conflict, as it was the only life he understood. He saw the world through these eyes, even understanding countries and their cultures through a military lens. Perhaps due to this, he saw no issue in raising children as soldiers. He also showed no interest in pursuing peace.

In his youth, Naked Snake was patriotic towards his country. He was also quite eccentric, often seeming like an overgrown child, as seen in his obsession with cardboard boxes, fear of vampires, and sincere belief in Santa Claus. This childishness also manifested itself in unhealthy ways, such as his refusal to let go of the Boss, as seen in he sulked about her "abandoning" him in the 1950s to attend her duties. Big Boss would reject her fully, feeling that she betrayed her own principles and thus him, when she lay down her gun.

to be added


  • Military Training: Big Boss is considered to be the greatest soldier to ever fight. He single handedly defeated the entire Cobra Unit, the Shagohod, the Ocelot Unit, and Peace Walker. his is also trained in techniques of survival, tracking, and medicine.
  • Master Martial Artist: He developed the martial art known as CQC along with the Boss, and his fighting style seems to comprise of Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Boxing, Karate, Kali. he defeated Revolver Ocelot, the legendary Boss, Colonel Volgin in a fistfight, and put up a fight against Solid Snake in his own elderly age. also easily disarming him at the elder age of 79.
    • Knife Mastery: Big Boss is skilled at using knives in combat, using them in his CQC fighting style.
    • Master Marksman: Big Boss is highly skilled with various firearms such as Handguns, Shotguns, Sub machine guns, assault rifles, Machine guns, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers.
  • Master Tactician: Big Boss is a highly skilled planner. He is able to infiltrate and escape enemy facilities, disguise himself as another person or object, and exploit an opponent's weakness. He has also created his own mercenary group which lead to the founding of "Outer Heaven" and "Zanzibarland". He also manipulated Solid Snake into infiltrating his own mercenary nation while feeding him false intel.
    • Leadership: Big Boss is a charismatic leader, even able to recruit enemy soldiers to his side.
  • High Pain Tolerance: Big Boss has a high Tolerance for pain as he resisted torture from Volgin's electricity.
  • Stealth: Big Boss is highly trained in stealth tactics. He is able to inflates high security enemy facilities.


  • M1911A1: The preferred sidearm of Big Boss, which he has used over his long career.
  • Knives: Big Boss carried two knives on his person, a CQC knife on his vest strap, and a survival in knife sheathed on his right boot.
  • Assault rifles: Big Boss has used various assault rifles over his career. He even used his mentor's "Patriot" at two points.
  • Sniper Rifle: Big Boss used a sniper rifle to destroy the bridge the Shagohod was crossing.
  • RPG: Big Boss used this rocket launcher to destroy the Shagohod.
  • C3: Big Boss used this explosive to destroy the location where the Shagohod was held.


You're pretty good.
~ Naked Snake to Ocelot, foreshadowing the latter's famous catchphrase.
Kaz: You're breaking my neck...
Big Boss: Now, are you going to join me? Or do you want to do your hara-kiri for real this time? I'll even be your kaishaku. Or should I end it here, with my arm? time to make your choice.
Kaz: All right. All right. Lemme go. Just can't get way from you... You're not just a snake, you're a constrictor.
~ Through physical violence, Big Boss forces Kaz to his side, Snake and Kaz (Encounter): Chapter 5
You won't find it without making sacrifices. No offense, but I don't know what peace is. Never felt what it's like. Never even been interested in it.
~ Snake to Paz.
I was made to fight. I am a gun.
~ Big Boss to Pacifica Ocean.
Now do you remember? Who you are? What you were meant to do? I cheated death, thanks to you. And thanks to you I've left my mark. You have too – you've written your own history. You’re your own man. I'm Big Boss, and you are too… No… He’s the two of us. Together. Where we are today? We built it. This story – this “legend” – it’s ours. We can change the world – and with it, the future. I am you, and you are me. Carry that with you, wherever you go. Thank you... my friend. From here on out, you’re Big Boss.
~ Big Boss on the cassette tape to Venom Snake.
This is Big Boss… Solid Snake! Mission over, return now. THATS AN ORDER!! TURN OFF THE MSX!! …Over.
~ Big Boss to Solid Snake after the truth was revealed in Metal Gear
You saw those children, didn't you? Every one is a victim of a war somewhere in the world. And they'll make fine soldiers in the next war. Start a war, fan its flames, create victims... Then save them, train them... And feed them back onto the battlefield. It's a perfectly logical system. In this world of ours, conflict never ends, and neither does our purpose... our raison d'etre.
~ Big Boss to Solid Snake in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
It doesn't matter who wins here. Our fight will continue. The loser will be liberated from the battlefield, and the winner will remain. And the survivor will live out the rest of his days as a soldier.
~ Big Boss paraphrases his mentor to Snake.
Everything has its beginning. But doesn't start at "one." It starts long before that, in chaos. The world is born... from zero. The moment zero becomes one is the moment the world springs to life. One becomes two, two becomes ten, ten becomes 100. Taking it all back to one solves nothing. So long as Zero remains, one... will eventually grow to 100 again. And so our goal was to erase Zero. Even the mighty Patriots began with a single man. That one man's desires grew huge, bloated; absorbed technology; began to manipulate the economy. We realized too late that we had created a beast. We had helped turn Zero into 100. His sin... was ours. And for that reason, I'm taking it upon myself to send Zero... back to nothing ... It's not about changing the world. It's about doing our best to leave the world the way it is. It's about respecting the will of others and believing in your own ... Zero and I... Liquid and Solidus... We all fought a long, bloody war for our liberty to free ourselves from systems, nations, norms and ages, but no matter how hard we fought, the only liberty we found was on the inside, trapped within those limits... The Boss and I may have taken different paths but in the end, we were both trapped inside the same cage... "Liberty." But you have been given freedom. Freedom to be... Outside.
~ Big Boss.
I never thought of you as a son, but I always respected you as a soldier... and as a man.
~ Big Boss to Solid Snake.


  • He is the first character in the series to appear as the protagonist and the main antagonist in different games.
  • In the prequels, the main villains of Snake Eater and Portable Ops, Colonel Volgin and Gene respectively, both resemble the monster Naked Snake will ultimately become.
  • Metal Gear Solid V was advertised as the moment Big Boss truly became evil. While he is not the protagonist of The Phantom Pain, it does reveal his worst sin in brainwashing a loyal member of his own men into his proxy, Venom Snake. This callous manipulation, which eventually led to Venom's death, is the exact sin that disillusioned him to the government in Snake Eater, proving his ultimate hypocrisy.
  • Big Boss's final words in Metal Gear 2 include the phase "It's not over yet", which would be echoed by various villains of the Metal Gear Solid games, not least his "son", Liquid Snake.
  • Big Boss somewhat resembles Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now, in terms of being a former war hero turned madman.
  • Big Boss's role in The Phantom Pain resembles that of Big Brother from 1984, which is seen in the "Big Boss is watching you!" posters on Mother Base, and how he ultimately completes Venom Snake's brainwashing into a loyal "Party" member until the end. Ocelot explicitly describes him as the "Big Brother of the battlefield".

External Link


           Metal Gear Logo.png Villains

The Philosophers
Colonel Volgin (Leader) | Major Ocelot | Naked Snake | Major Raikov | Cobra Unit (The Fury | The End | The Fear | The Pain)

Naked Snake | Gene | Null | Cunningham | Elisa & Ursula | Python

The Patriots
Major Zero (Leader) | Revolver Ocelot | Big Boss | Pacifica Ocean | Skull Face | Solidus Snake | Fatman | Mr. X | "The Colonel"

Peace Sentinel
Hot Coldman (Leader) | Ramon Galvez Mena | Huey Emmerich

Skull Face (Leader) | "Skulls" Parasite Unit | Man on Fire | Tretij Rebenok

Outer Heaven
Big Boss (NES Ver.)| Frank Jaeger | Shotmaker | Machinegun Kid | Bloody Brad | Fire Trooper | Dirty Duck

Zanzibar Land
Big Boss (Leader) | Gray Fox | Black Ninja | Running Man | Red Blaster | Four Horsemen | Jungle Evil | Night Fright | Dr. Madnar

Sons of Big Boss
Liquid Snake (Leader) | Decoy Octopus | Revolver Ocelot | Psycho Mantis | Vulcan Raven | Sniper Wolf

Sons of Liberty
Solidus Snake (Leader) | Dead Cell (Fortune, Fatman & Vamp) | Revolver Ocelot | Gurlukovich Mercenaries (Olga Gurlukovich)

Liquid Ocelot's Outer Heaven
Liquid Ocelot (Leader) | Vamp | Haven Troopers | Beauty and the Beast Unit (Screaming Mantis/Psycho Mantis, Crying Wolf, Raging Raven & Laughing Octopus)

Desperado Enforcement LLC
Senator Armstrong (De-Facto Leader) | Khamsin | Jetstream Sam | Mistral | Monsoon | Sundowner

Gear REX | Lord of Dust | Mosquito | Silent Mastodon | Huey Emmerich | Sergei Ivanovich | Gurlukovich Mercenaries (Sergei Gurlukovich, Olga Gurlukovich, Shalashaska)