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|“||Like I said, kids are cruel, Jack. And I'm very in touch with my inner child!||„|
|~ Sundowner to Raiden.|
|“||I'm f-cking invincible!||„|
|~ Sundowner during his fight with Raiden.|
Sundowner, also known as the Californian Wildfire, is the leader of the PMC Desperado Enforcement LLC, and a major antagonist in the videogame Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Sundowner came from a poor family in Alabama and did well in school, but could not afford to attend college. Thus he joined the military, taking part in numerous conflicts, like the Gulf War and the Iraq War. Sundowner left the military in 2008 to serve in PMCs and was known for his habit of leaving blood from his enemies everywhere to resemble a sunset, earning him the codename of Sundowner. Sundowner also faced a brief period where he was kept out of the battlefield after he was damaged by an IED, but returned with a cyborg body. He was investigated by the US Army for taking part in war crimes on more than one occasion, but was never convicted. After SOP was shut down in 2014, causing the war economy to hit a slump, Sundowner became annoyed, since he felt keeping war going was his only means of making a living. Some time in 2018, Sundowner had the LQ-84i prototype reactivated, apparently finding a machine being more concerned with human beings than its allies amusing.
Encounter with Raiden
At one point in 2018, Sundowner led the forces of Desperado in an attack on African Prime Minister, N'mani, since Africa's lack of war was bad for business. He attacked the prime minister's limo as Desperado's Metal Gear RAY showed up, cutting down N'mani's two bodyguards. Sundowner grabbed the Prime Minister as Raiden showed up. He recognized Raiden, who demanded to know what he wanted with N'mani and Sundowner replied that he wanted him dead, since Africa was getting a bit too peaceful. He went on to say that business had not been the same since SOP's fall and asked how an honest warmonger was supposed to make a living. Sundowner said he was not going to kill N'mani yet, not while he was still useful as a hostage, before escaping and sending the RAY to attack Raiden. Eventually, Sundowner was surrounded by Maverick soldiers, but leaped onto a passing train, meeting up with Samuel Rodrigues.
Raiden managed to get onboard as well and Sundowner said he was too late and that he did not need N'mani anymore. He started lecturing the prime minister, asking about all the good war did for people, such as jobs, technology, and a common purpose.
Sundowner said that N'mani should "give war a chance", before impaling him on one of his machetes and letting his body fall off of the train. Sundowner was picked up by a tiltrotor, leaving Raiden to Sam and later sent the tiltrotor to pick up Sam as well.
Recreating Jack the Ripper
At some point, Sundowner visited a Desperado lab in Mexico alongside Steven Armstrong where they were extracting children's brains so as to turn them into cyborgs. Sundowner was growing impatient, saying they'd already been starting VR training on some of the brains using the Sears Program, the same regime that George Sears had used to train child soldiers in Liberia. Sundowner told the head scientist they needed to ship out before their cover was blown, since NGO was starting to investigate the lab. The scientist replied that they did not have the full quantity yet, but Armstrong ordered him to terminate any remaining inventory. Later, when Raiden was assaulting World Marshal Headquarters, Sundowner watched him in secret. Once he entered the building, Sundowner contacted him, congratulating him on taking down Monsoon. He said the brains were in the server room and told Raiden to go nuts. When Raiden finally reached the server room, Sundowner came out to confront him, telling him "not to interrupt when class was in session". He told Raiden that it was the same regimen that he went through in Liberia and that the VR version was much more effective, sending it straight to the subject's brains. Sundowner said they even trained them to kill POWs and civilians by giving their pleasure centers a nice big jolt every time they did and when they finished, they got a new cyborg body, saying that was something Raiden had in common with the brains.
Raiden replied that he chose what he became and the brains were just kids. Sundowner said that kids were cruel and while all people were by nature, kids had yet to lose touch with that side. He declared that kids could be molded to perform all kinds of atrocities and those were perfect for keeping a good war going. Raiden said he was shutting them down, but Sundowner retorted he could not see the bigger picture and even if he brought the headquarters down, all the people in charge were gone and they had officers worldwide. Sundowner went on to say that he and Desperado only supplied the demand for war, no one created it and war was just a part of mankind. He added that in three hours, demand for PMCs was going to skyrocket on a level unseen since the days after 9-1-1. Sundowner then had Raiden meet him out at the helipad on the roof of the building.
He demanded to know what would happen in three hours, but Sundowner replied that he was too late and even at Mach 2, he would not make it and besides, he was going to take his time killing Raiden. With that, Sundowner engaged Raiden, but was finally overwhelmed and knocked off the side of the building.
He managed to grab onto a Hammerhead helicopter and had it fire missiles at Raiden to try and take him down. Raiden was sent falling down the side of the building, but grabbed on to a Slider and rode it back up to the roof, before throwing it at Sundowner and his Hammerhead. Sundowner was sent flying at Raiden, who finally finished him off. In the throes of death, he called Raiden, complimenting him and revealed that in three hours, Armstrong would launch Operation Tecumseh, but refused to say more. Sundowner then called Sam, saying Sam had known Raiden would kill him and it was up to him now, before dying.
Sundowner is a bloodthirsty, aggressive, and vicious individual, always out for warfare and bloodshed and even openly calls himself a warmonger. He makes graphic threats and thinks highly of war, constantly mentioning all the positives it brings. Sundowner does not think much of humanity, believing that they are all innately violent and cruel and age fills them with morals and a sense of right and wrong. Sundowner thinks that war is a natural part of humankind and mockingly asked Raiden if he thought every single battle was part of some conspiracy. Sundowner is shown to be highly sadistic when enjoying the idea of molding children into soldiers and showing glee at causing death and destruction, for example, grinning delightfully as he killed people. He sums this up in his statement that he was very in touch with his inner child after declaring that kids were cruel. Sundowner does not care about fighting honorably or at least, has no qualms at fighting with backup, since he frequently had the assistance of Hammerhead helicopters during his fight with Raiden. His love of destruction is such that he does not care if he ends up killed during that destruction, as evidenced by his saying "Atta boy, Jack..." to Raiden shortly after he was brutally cut up and defeated.
Powers and Abilities
Being a cyborg, Sundowner's abilities are at a superhuman level and he is an extremely deadly and dangerous opponent. He wields a dual pair of high-frequency machetes, called Bloodlust, which he can use to unleash powerful strikes and they seem able to heat up, thus providing more cutting power. Sundowner can also convert them into an alternate scissor-like form by attaching one blade to his arm, while holding the other. He uses this form to unleash even more powerful attacks and fight at his highest level. Sundowner also uses a set of six armor plates that he attaches to his back that he can form into a shield and unleash brute force strikes. These plates are explosive reactive armor, so if an opponent strikes it, they are struck back by a powerful explosion. However, the shield form has certain weak points along it that can be struck to break Sundowner's guard. Sundowner's sword style is somewhat similar to Chinese-style sword fighting and their combined form is apparently self-taught.
- The theme that plays during the fight with Sundowner is "Red Sun", which sings in praise of violence, battle, and carnage.
- When Sundowner says "All we're saying is... give war a chance!", he is paraphrasing the late John Lennon's song "Give Peace a Chance".
- Sundowner's appearance and accent bear a striking resemblance to Lawrence Barrett.
- During the fight with Sundowner, the player is encouraged to cut off his shield. When this happens, he will activate his visor and form his blades into their scissor form. However, this is optional, but even if the player does not cut his shield off, the ensuing cutscene will show him with his visor and blades in scissor form.