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Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov (Russian: Иван Райденович Райков) is an antagonist in the video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. He is a member of GRU, as well as Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin's right-hand and apparent lover.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
A GRU Major between his late teens and early adulthood, Raikov was the second in command to Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin, and was also rumored to be his lover. His and Naked Snake's paths eventually crossed when Snake, in order to infiltrate the West Wing, knocked him out and stole his uniform, locking him up in a locker in only his thong underwear, as Raikov was both one of the few people not of Colonel-class to be granted access to the West Wing, and the soldier closest to Snake's build. At some point, he was discovered inside his locker, and was evacuated from Groznyj Grad and presumably given a new uniform to replace the one Snake stole.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
After Volgin's death, however, he was exiled to the San Hieronymo Peninsula for his treatment of his soldiers under his command (it was also implied that Volgin was literally the only reason he got away with his abuse until that point). Upon arrival at the San Hieronymo Peninsula, he was then humiliated by several former Soviet personnel, and eventually locked up in the Western Wilderness by the time Gene and the FOX unit took over the base. He was eventually rescued and recruited into the resistance group opposing Gene led by Snake, now known as Big Boss, and Roy Campbell. Although he hated Snake for his being indirectly responsible for his exile, he viewed working with him as being a far better alternative to being locked up.
Raikov was best described as a bully, as he frequently utilized his rank as a way to beat up his own men for sheer sport. This trait was notorious enough to be known even in the West, as Campbell explained that he heard of Raikov's abuse of his behavior. It's also implied that he gained this behavior to get into Volgin's good graces, and was not naturally sadistic. He's also mild mannered and polite, although he also is described as the type of person who would observe his bug collection. He's also a glutton, although he possessed a weak stomach. He was also somewhat of a coward, as he has a tendency to flee from combat instead of aiding his soldiers, and only fights when he is backed into a corner. In addition, it is strongly implied by EVA's descriptions of Raikov and some mannerisms of his that he's not interested in girls. By the time of the events of San Hieronymo, it's implied that he was angered at his actions getting himself exiled, and seeks to redeem himself, hinting that he no longer wishes to abuse soldiers.
Powers and Abilities
He doesn't have any supernatural abilities, but he possessed enough battlefield experience to be considered a high priority to recruitment when his imprisonment was discovered by Big Boss's resistance. In addition, because of his disinterest in girls, he also does not fall victim to magazines. He also possesses a strong amount of martial arts abilities (CQC), making him skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and is somewhat proficient with firearms. He is also a very quick runner.
- Raikov was primarily created as a parody of Raiden, owing to Raiden's controversial reception as the main character of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Because of this, Kojima also created a way to allow people to allow whether they like Raiden or not to decide Raikov's fate (ie, those that like Raiden can spare him, and those who hate Raiden can kill him). Rather amusingly, during the battle with The Sorrow, if the player had previously killed Raikov when stealing his clothes, Raikov's ghost will be naked and will walk in the same manner as Raiden did when stripped naked. Because of his appearance in Portable Ops, as well as some hints from cutscenes and dialogue in Snake Eater itself (ie, killing him before stripping him would have most likely ruined the uniform enough that even Groznyj Grad personnel who aren't Colonel Volgin would have deduced that "Raikov" was a fake, either from blood stains or stab/bullet wounds that puncture the uniform), the article takes the view that he survived.
- Ironically, Raikov and Volgin's respective Japanese voice actors, Kenyu Horiuchi and Kenji Utsumi, would later voice the roles of Emperor Mateus and Garland in the Dissidia Final Fantasy series of the Final Fantasy franchise, where they share a similar relationship of second in command and leader, respectively (although they are technically third and second in command, respectively due to Chaos leading the group). Unlike with Raikov and Volgin, however, their relationship is strictly platonic.
- In addition, the shoe was also on the other foot regarding characterizations and voice actors: In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Volgin (voiced by Keiji Utsumi) was the Complete Monster while Raikov (voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi) was comparably more noble, while in Dissidia Final Fantasy, Garland (voiced by the late Kenji Utsumi) is the comparatively more noble character, while the Emperor (voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi) was the Complete Monster.