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|~ Armstrong's most famous quote as he demonstrates his powers to Raiden.|
|“||Don't fuck with this senator!||„|
|~ Steven Armstrong to Raiden, and one of his most famous lines.|
|“||Deep inside we're... kindred spirits... you... and I...||„|
|~ Armstrong's last words before his death, whilst expressing how he and Raiden are very much alike.|
Senator Steven Armstrong is the main antagonist of the 2013 videogame Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. He is a corrupt Colorado senator who plans to get elected as the next U.S. President so he can convert the country into a social Darwinist regime that he believes would allow every citizen to fight their own wars and for what they truly believe in.
He was voiced by the late Unshō Ishizuka in Japanese (who also voices Incineroar and Heihachi Mishima) and Alastair Duncan in English, the latter also voicing Vulture in the 2017 TV series Marvel's Spider-Man, Curtis Blackburn in Killer7 and Celebrimbor in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
When Armstrong was young, he used to play college football for the University of Texas, in which he excelled at the game. Years later, he later joined the United States Navy, which sacrificed his chances of going pro. He had maintained his impressive physical power for a long time, which in 2016 was exponentially increased by a nanomachine infusion. Around that time he had also become the de facto CEO of World Marshal Inc., which was the world's largest PMC (Private Military Company) and cybernetic body part supplier. By the time of 2018, Armstrong became a senator for the state of Colorado.
Sometime in 2016, Senator Armstrong delivered a speech to get his approval ratings up. His speech was his way of expressing his beliefs. Armstrong also had some involvement with the Desperado PMSC and its activities, to which his speechwriter warned him that he would appear before a grand jury had his connection to the group been revealed, although he himself believed that they will not do a thing in either case, as he believed that the people would not care due to believing that money is the only thing that truly matters.
Recruiting Jetstream Sam
During all this, Armstrong was planning on recruiting a mercenary to help further his plans. After Jetstream Sam head to the top of the roof of World Marshal where Armstrong was waiting, Armstrong challenges Sam to a fight. While the two were fighting, Armstrong was offering Sam a job. Nearing the end, Sam managed to slice off one of Armstrong's arms, but Armstrong quickly retaliates by using his Nanomachines to turn his injury into a blade. He then processes by stabbing Sam in his right shoulder, severely injuring Sam's entire right arm. After defeating Sam, Armstrong quickly attaching his severed hand back onto his arm, and accepted Jetstream Sam to the team, and eventually giving Sam a new robotic arm.
Direct involvement in Desperado activities
Two years later, Armstrong inspected a Desperado research lab in Mexico alongside with Desperado's leader; Sundowner, regarding that the transportation of children's brains in cyborg head casings before delivering them to World Marshal for the Sears Program was processing as planned. However, Armstrong also instructed them to shut down the facility, and move the child's brains to another facility as he had suspicion that someone else was snooping around. One of the scientists asked Armstrong what to do with the other children that were attending the Sears Program. To which, Armstrong to him to kill them, as they had elsewhere to go, no one will miss them, and he claims that he is doing a public favor. He also plotted for Operation Tecumseh, which was a plan that would start a war with Pakistan under false pretenses while President Hamilton is visiting the country with Pakistani President Farooq Salam for a peace talk.
While Raiden was in the Pakistan base to stop Armstrong's plans, he spotted Blade Wolf injured, presumably defeated by Armstrong. Shortly after, Armstrong, along with his own Metal Gear, known as the "Metal Gear EXCELSUS", climbed out of a crater. He revealed to Raiden that, since the fall of SOPs (Sons of the Patriots) and the Patriots, America was hit with a recession, which is the reason why he needed to orchestrate a false flag operation to ensure the war economy to put America back to work again. Although Armstrong was originally planning to assassinate the president, he instead, decided to have the American base framed for being killed by Pakistani extremists, feeling that would have accomplished the same plan in general. However, Raiden was planning to expose the truth of what happened, so to prevent that Armstrong confronted him with his Metal Gear.
After EXCELSUS was destroyed, Armstrong proceeded to fight Raiden. His nanomachine-infused body, which enabled Armstrong with superhuman-like strength and durability, completely overwhelmed Raiden, not even flinching once from the many hits the latter had landed on him. He even broke Raiden's sword, leaving Raiden to his mercy. During the battle, he explained that his motives of wanting to remake America. He believed that America was rotten to the core, and that he wanted to reestablish America as a world where people fight for their own reasons, instead of fighting for the government. Raiden then deduced that he was not merely a "greedy politician" as he initially thought, but stated that he was completely insane due to his reference to culling the weak and having the strong be free.
However, just when Armstrong was about to kill Raiden, an injured Blade Wolf saved him by bringing to him Samuel Rodrigues' sword. Angered, Armstrong kicked Blade Wolf away, although not before Blade Wolf threw the sword to Raiden.
Both Raiden and Armstrong continued to fight, until Raiden managed to stab Armstrong through the chest. Upon his defeat, Armstrong acknowledges Raiden as a true American, and expresses his respect for Raiden by informing him that he's "Number 1". Raiden then finishes the former senator off by ripping out his nanomachine-laced pale heart and crushing it with his hand. Before he died, Armstrong commended Raiden as they were kindred spirits.
Armstrong's death caused World Marshal's funding to be crippled. But despite this, World Marshal itself still continued to exist, and his plan of re-orchestrating a new War on Terror managed to succeed. Raiden also started to slightly agree with Armstrong's claims about people fighting wars they don't believe in, and then decided to defect and go fight his own battles in his own ways, regardless if anybody agrees with his methods or not.
Armstrong is shown to be an extremely nationalistic, patriotic and libertarian individual. He shows this by expressing the desire to "reclaim the American dream" by instigating another American Revolution after Liquid Ocelot's insurrection and the Patriots' actions that weakened America. His intense patriotism was fully demonstrated while he was fighting Raiden, by declaring that if Raiden was not for the United States and his goals, he was effectively against it. He also told Raiden to feel the wrath of the USA, and saying that Uncle Sam desired Raiden's death.
Despite his patriotism, Armstrong held great resentment towards the "current" America; criticizing the war economy, the mass media, as well as the notion of "American pride", and it became his motivation to enact the revival of the "War on Terror" in hopes of using war as a business to get elected as the next U.S. President, thereby granting him enough power so that he would be able to end war as a business in its entirety. He was also shown to be extremely cynical in regards to his views of people and especially his electorate, stating that people wouldn't care if a bad act happened or if there was information control as long as there's money involved or if it's at least given a good spin, such as effective scapegoating. He believed this could be achieved if he could turn everyone into a cyborg, even innocent children (much to Raiden's chagrin).
Because of his power both in politics and combat thanks to his nanomachines and his influence as senator, Armstrong is highly arrogant and he held a sarcastic attitude along with belief to the notion "might makes right" to the boot. In this regard, he viewed those who were "strong" as the ones deserving of dictating the laws of society, and that the "weak" should be purged so as to create a perfect world. His arrogance also occasionally leads him to do brash and reckless things, such as deliberately provoking Raiden by sending Blade Wolf away as soon as the wolf-like robot sends the Cyborg Ninja Sam's Muramasa.
Powers and Abilities
- Self-Nano-Tech Manipulation: With his blood being primed with specialized nanotechnology, he has superhuman abilities, far surpassing any enhanced being, metal gear or any mystical being ever shown in the Metal Gear series. All of these abilities are regulated by his artificial heart. By destroying the artificial heart disabled his nano-tech, which rendered him unable to access his nano-tech's regenerative protocols to heal his existing injuries, thus killing him.
- Nanite Relocation: Through the use of nanite relocation, Armstrong can harden the skin on certain areas of his body to further enhance his resilience to physical trauma and boost his already impressive superhuman strength. This method even prevents him from bleeding out by hardening up the injured area. When Sam severed Armstrong's arm, he used this to prevent the bleeding and create a makeshift blade which was strong enough to pierce through Sam's cybernetic armor.
- Regenerative Healing: Senator Armstrong can use his nanite relocation ability to heal all damage done to his physiology and even fully reattach severed body parts. Senator Armstrong can even use his nanite relocation to cover up wounded areas to prevent himself from loosing too much blood. He did this when Sam Rodriguez severed off his arm.
- Superhuman Conditioning: While in his empowered form, Armstrong displays impressive physiological skin, bone and muscle mass. With his great strength, Armstrong was able to easily overpower and rag doll Raiden. Going so far as to lift up massive concrete structures and toss them with exceeding force. Despite his impressive bulk he was also incredible agile and reactive, able to charge at tremendous with incredible force and momentum, with a rapid enough pace that it caught even Jetsream Sam unawares at points in their fight. Armstrong was so quick in his reflexes he could even catch vibroweapon blades with nothing but his hands and fingers at times.
- Energy Manipulation: Steven Armstrong's main ability is allowing him to absorb and store energy within his nano-tech primed body. He is also shown that he can levitate and throw vehicles as he is absorbing their energy. The energy in him can be redirected and be used to generate balls of fiery energy, fiery shockwaves and even trigger ground explosions. He can even use this energy to perform impressive dashes of superhuman speed from varied distances. Using it as a propelling force to increase the strength behind his charging strikes.
- Master Politician: Senator Steven Armstrong is a highly skilled political who earned himself a seat on the senate and became the Senator of Colorado. He used his knowledge of politics and economics as well as the Patriots and their war economy to guarantee his election into the Presidency of the United States.
- Hand-to-hand Combat: While combating Raiden, Senator Armstrong has bragged about his combat prowess from his navy. During his battle with Raiden, Armstrong combines his nanite—manipulation abilities with a variety of quick brawler combat techniques.
- Immense Resources: Given his status as a Senator as well as his knowledge of the Patriot's activities, Senator Armstrong has gained a vast variety of financial assets and commodities which he can use at his disposal. He has been using his fortune to fund Desperado Enforcement LLC, Private Military Company with specialized enhanced soldiers and the latest military technology.
- The moment Armstrong is about to absorb his nanomachines, he does a Sumo pose. Steven also performs a variety of wrestling moves during his fight with Raiden.
- Armstrong's line "Nanomachines, son", has become one of the most popular internet memes in recent history, in a game full of ridiculous moments and other memes.
- Armstrong briefly yells "Make America great again!". This phrase had already been used in connection to Donald Trump by his campaign adviser as early as 2011, and is a modification of a slogan used by Ronald Reagan in the 80's.
- Armstrong himself also directly references Star Wars in the Metal Gear EXCELSUS boss fight, with some of his dialogue. Firstly, is his line: "Impressive, Jack. Most impressive", which references this line by Darth Vader. Secondly, his line "Don't get too cocky, kid", references one of Han Solo's lines.