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The Cobra Unit (sometimes referred to as the Sons of the Boss and The Cobras) is a unit and the main antagonist group of the 2004 videogame Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The unit was was a legendary team of soldiers that were assembled by The Boss in 1942 to combat the Axis Powers during World War II. Twenty years later in 1962, after World War II, under the orders of the CIA, The Boss went to Tselinoyarsk, to kill The Sorrow, in which she unwillingly did. The Unit reunited during the Virtuous Mission after The Boss defected to the Soviet Union in 1964. During the events of Operation Snake Eater, all of the remaining five members faced Naked Snake in battle and all killed were defeated by him, including his former mentor.
The Cobra Unit was one of the many superhuman soldiers that the Philosophers had formed through their resources.
In 1942, the Cobra Unit was officially formed and led by The Boss (then known as The Joy) during the Battle of Stalingrad. The Cobra Unit consisted of soldiers trained to win the war and with superhuman abilities: The Pain, The Fear, The End, The Fury, and The Sorrow. Because of each of the members of the unit being extremely loyal to The Boss, to the extent that they only obey her orders even when she is under the command of someone else, they are sometimes referred to as the Sons of The Boss.
During the D-Day landings at Normandy (June 6, 1944), the Cobras were sent on a mission to destroy several V2 rocket installations. During the war, the Cobra Unit was used for the nastiest kinds of wet works, the kind that could never be let out into the open. Their missions were so top secret that not only were they forbidden to be taken prisoner, they couldn't even leave their corpses behind. Because of this, they carried a microbomb with them on their missions, which would automatically detonate upon their deaths. During D-Day, The Boss gave birth on the battlefield to her and The Sorrow's child, who was taken away by agents of the Philosophers.
The Cobras were later officially disbanded in 1947. However, they still kept their microbombs on them due to wanting death on the battlefield, as they don't have a country to call home or even a unit to belong to.
In 1962, The Boss was forced to execute The Sorrow, otherwise both the American faction and the Russian faction of the Philosophers would have executed their son if both of them have lived.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Twenty-two years later on August 24, 1964, the Cobra Unit returned to action, following The Boss' defection to the Soviet Union, and the capture of Dr. Nikolai Sokolov at the end of the Virtuous Mission. One week later during Operation Snake Eater, the Cobras followed Snake using a transmitter that The Boss had planted on Naked Snake during the end of the Virtuous Mission. Each fought Naked Snake (the final apprentice of The Boss) and were all ultimately defeated by him. In the case of the surviving four members (The Pain, The Fear, The End, and The Fury), their microbombs automatically detonated when exclaiming their individual codenames after being killed; while The Sorrow (being dead) "fought" Snake during an out-of-body experience. The Cobra Unit members were ordered to fight Naked Snake by The Boss, presumably with Colonel Volgin not knowing the full details behind the orders due to their only being obedient to The Boss.
During the Peace Walker Incident, the Cobra Unit were indirectly mentioned by The Boss AI while Strangelove was performing a simulation of Operation Snake Eater on the AI.
- The Boss (The Joy) - Founder and Leader/The Mother of Special Forces/Voyevoda (Russian for "Warlord")/Mercury Lady/Lover of The Sorrow/Final Child of the Philosophers/The Legendary Soldier/Mentor of Naked Snake - (Deceased) - Died September 2, 1964 (Killed by Naked Snake)
- The Sorrow - Medium/Spirit Medium Soldier/Lover of The Boss - (Deceased) - Died 1962 (Killed by The Boss)
- The Fury - Fire Trooper/Flame Soldier - (Deceased) - Died September 1, 1964 - (Killed by Naked Snake)
- The End - Sniper/Legendary "Ancient Sniper" - (Deceased) - Died September 1, 1964 - (Killed by Naked Snake)
- The Fear - Stealth Expert/Spider Soldier - (Deceased) - Died September 1, 1964 - (Killed by Naked Snake)
- The Pain - Infiltrator/Hornet Soldier - (Deceased) - Died August 31, 1964 - (Killed by Naked Snake)
- Each member represents a certain aspect of war.
- All the members of the Cobra Unit (except for the Boss and possibly the Sorrow) has a micro-bomb planted in their body, so when the die, their body explodes. This was due to the fact their missions were top secret, so not only were they forbidden to be taken prisoner, they could not even leave their corpses behind.