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Villain Overview

We have no nation, no philosophy, no ideology. We go where we're needed, fighting not for country, not for government, but for ourselves. We need no reason to fight. We fight because we are needed. We will be the deterrent for those with no other recourse. We are soldiers without borders, our purpose defined by the era we live in.
~ Big Boss in Peace Walker.
This is good...isn't it?
~ Big Boss's final words.

Big Boss is the code name given to John, a FOXHOUND agent and the central character of the Metal Gear series of video games, as well as that series' initial protagonist (chronologically).

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: Ground Zeroes. He also made a guest appearance at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

He was voiced by David Hayter (who also voices Solid Snake) in the prequels, excluding Metal Gear Solid 5, where he was voiced and motion captured by Kiefer Sutherland (who also played David, John Merrill, Freddie Lee Cobb, Bob Wolverton, The Caller, Bosco, and Senator Quintas Corvus). In Metal Gear Solid 4, he was voiced by Richard Doyle, who also voiced The Fury.


As revealed in a collection of prequels, John was originally a young FOX (a subdivision of the CIA) soldier and spy under the codename Naked Snake. He was sent to assassinate his former mentor and spiritual mother, The Boss, in order to prevent nuclear conflict between Russia and the United States.

After executing said task, as well as single-handedly taking down Colonel Volgin and the Cobra Unit, he was left cold, unpatriotic, and bitter, having intense guilt and a burning urge to complete The Boss' original vision. This led to the creation of Outer Heaven and FOXHOUND, which also led to the beginning of the Metal Gear series. In the midquel of these events, his DNA was forcefully cloned by his former CO, Major Zero.

The DNA spawned three imperfect clones, all naturally given birth by EVA (Big Boss' love interest), Solid Snake, Liquid Snake, and Solidus Snake.

Being both the leaders of FOXHOUND and Outer Heaven, Big Boss sent rookie agent Solid Snake to save another FOXHOUND operative from Outer Heaven. Approaching the end of the journey, Snake discovered that Big Boss was secretly the leader of the very group who triggered the mission and was technically Snake's father.

It is revealed that he just wanted to create a world where soldiers are not treated like political tools, and actually valued, being The Boss' aforementioned vision. He aided the faction (with great risk), that first attempted to kill him (The Outer Heaven resistance group) from the NATO Bombing, he was so highly regarded that Revolver Ocelot did everything to remember Big Boss.

Big Boss' motives behind his actions 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.

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 unreplaceable friend.

Big Boss was also shown to be compassionate to his enemies, even after his turn to villainy, as evidenced by his forgiving the Outer Heaven resistance group as well as being implied to have saved several of the soldiers in his group. The closest his sons have gotten to getting this characteristic is Solid Snake. As such, he is an "anti-villain."


Early life

John (nicknamed Jack) was born in 1935, and joined the military in the 1950s, fighting in the Korean War. Jack met The Boss, becoming her protégé and disciple, and she taught him extensive combat, weaponry, survival, espionage, destruction, psychology, and foreign languages. In addition, Jack and The Boss later developed CQC (close quarter combat), which became a famous combat style.

Through the experience, Jack hold The Boss in high regard, viewing her as a mentor and parental figure in his life. In 1954, Jack was involved in the Bikini Atoll test of the first airborne detonation of the hydrogen bomb, and didn't develop the symptoms like his most of his friends, but was rendered sterile. On June 12, 1959, Jack and The Boss parted ways, and would meet again years later in Snake Eater.

In 1961, Jack was sent on covert operations during the early stages of the Vietnam War, and met and befriended Python. He later stated that Python was one of the few soldiers he could rely on during battles, and the two played poker together. The two were later involved in a mission where Python was shot and presumed dead.

Before 1964, Jack served in the Green Berets for several years, and became an experienced sniper in urban and marine environments. Also, Jack would eat snakes during previous survival training exercises, which would became useful during his future missions. Around this time, Jack was awarded various medals and commendations, including the Army Achievement Ribbon, the Good Conduct Ribbon, Defense Distinguished Service Ribbon, Korean Service Ribbon, the Distinguished Service Cross Ribbon, possibly the Vietnam Service Ribbon, and many others.

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.


You're pretty good.
~ Naked Snake to Ocelot, foreshadowing the latter's famous catchphrase.
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.
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.
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 to Solid Snake in Metal Gear 2: Solid 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.


           Metal Gear Logo.png Villains

The Philosophers
Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin (Leader) | Revolver Ocelot | Naked Snake

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

The Patriots
Zero (Leader) | Revolver Ocelot | Big Boss | Pacifica Ocean | Skull Face | Solidus Snake | Fatman | Olga Gurlukovich | The Colonel

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

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)

Cobra Unit
The Fury | The End | The Fear | The Pain

Naked Snake | Gene (Metal Gear) | Null | Cunningham | Elisa & Ursula | Python

Beauty and the Beast Unit
Screaming Mantis | Crying Wolf | Raging Raven | Laughing Octopus | Psycho Mantis

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

Lord of Dust | Hot Coldman | Ramon Galvez Mena | Gear REX | Liquid Ocelot | Vamp | Gekkos | Haven Troopers

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