Confusing game endings explained

The short version: Big Boss is alive, Liquid Ocelot is good and they both help to destroy the Patriots.

Once more…

The long version:

ZOMG! Big Boss is alive?! How? Why? What? When!?

First, stop hyperventilating. Good. Now, that elderly chap (no, not Snake, the other one) is indeed Big Boss. The same Big Boss you controlled in Snake Eater and the same legendary old codger that was supposed to have died at the end of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. After surviving his apparent death in Zanzibarland he is put in an artificially induced coma by Major Zero (yep, that nice English chap from Snake Eater), Ocelot and EVA.

But wasn’t he in bits after Snake laid the whammy on him in Zanzibarland?

Indeed, but EVA restored him to health during his enforced nap time, rebuilding him with the limbs of his sons Liquid and Solidus Snake.

Gotcha. So why does he appear at the end of the game? What’s he got to do with all the Patriots guff?

Big Boss, along with Major Zero, founded the Patriots. But, after disagreeing over the best way to continue the Boss’ will (BB’s mentor from Snake Eater) they parted ways. Believing the best way to honour the memory of the Boss was by restoring order to the world through controlling information; Zero eventually became consumed by a megalomaniacal desire for power and control. As his ageing body failed him, he entrusted the control of digital information flow to five A.I. systems.

So everything was hunky-dory with the A.I. systems, I take it?

Not exactly. The A.I. systems further deviated away from Zero’s will, completely glossing over the Boss’ desire for a unified, peaceful world. Instead, they looked to gain absolute control by manipulating the economy (they altered the war economy by inciting conflicts with their PMCs and through gun launderers like Drebin). While they also sought to control the flow of information (as seen with the GW A.I. in MGS 2) and people’s personalities (through their Sons of the Patriots system, which altered soldiers’ behaviour on the battlefield through nanomachines).

How did Big Boss fit in?

He didn’t. And, disagreeing with Zero’s interpretation of the Boss’ will, he went on to form Outer Heaven (a self-reliant and sustainable military compound), thinking his mentor would want all soldiers to have a place of their own within the world. Ocelot and EVA eventually joined him in his quest to bring down the Patriots. This placed Zero and Big Boss in direct conflict with each other, making them mortal enemies – all thanks to a misunderstanding over the Boss’ dying wishes.

Uh huh…. so that’s why Big Boss kills Zero then. But why does he stop Snake from killing himself? Aren’t they enemies?

Ah, it’s not that black and white my son. Like almost everything in the Metal Gear universe, their relationship lies in shades of gray. Snake, being cloned from Big Boss, is identical to his ‘father’ in almost every way. BB therefore understands how much of a toll the constant conflict of fighting has taken on his clone and wants to be there to tell Snake to live his life. He knows Snake doesn’t have much time left - due to his rapidly ageing genes – and wants to give him one last piece of fatherly advice.

He turns up just to have a bit of father/clone bonding?

Partially, but he also confronts Snake to die. The gravely-voiced one is carrying a new strain of the FOXDIE virus, you see. Injected with the virus at the end of Act 1, the new strain was programmed by the Patriots A.I. to kill Big Boss, Ocelot and EVA. Knowing this, and having finished his business with Zero and seen the destruction of the Patriots, BB’s work is done and he is free and willingly to die. He salutes the Boss’s grave one last time, shares a final stogey with his son and then signs off for good.

Wait a minute… I just remembered. You said Ocelot was working with Big Boss and EVA, didn’t you? Does that mean he was a goodie? Wasn’t he supposed to be possessed by Liquid Snake?

Good deducing young Padawan. Ocelot is indeed not the baddie of the piece. His plan to fire Metal Gear REX’s rail gun was done merely to distract the Patriots while the computer virus that destroys the A.I., FOXALIVE, was uploaded. He was never actually possessed by Liquid’s arm either. Instead, he was given hypnosis and gene therapy to make him believe he was Snake’s twin brother. That’s why he and Snake battle on top of Outer Heaven, to fulfil Liquid’s desire for the two clones of Big Boss to fight one final time. But the real Ocelot was working to bring down the Patriots system all along, not to control it. Savvy?

Feb 17, 2009

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  • key0blade - July 31, 2009 2:23 p.m.

    Ocelot was a good guy in MGS3 but I always thought something made him go bizzaro-shit like
  • Yuleen75 - April 13, 2009 6:04 a.m.

    Now I need someone to explain me the end of Xenosaga!!! Three cofusing games and didn't undertand anything!
  • cdukes13 - March 2, 2009 10:50 p.m.

    What about the dog ending from silent hill 2
  • Orionthefirst - February 27, 2009 10:25 p.m.

    Can't wait for Assassin's Creed 2 now!
  • Willsky - February 26, 2009 9:32 a.m.

    Hey what does the Grat wall of China have to do with the next Assassins Creed? I know I P.S. Employ me!!!
  • soulbrothaftw - February 26, 2009 5:27 a.m.

    I'd love to see Dead Space on this list. I wanna know wth happened!
  • Thequestion 121 - February 22, 2009 11:16 p.m.

    Wow. That was awesome. The ending of MGS4 was amazing and your explanation just blew me away!
  • Mike1095 - February 20, 2009 1:02 a.m.

    isnt the great wall of china in china not japan xD
  • Games_Radar_DaveMeikleham - February 19, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    @thochaos I'll give it a shot. Snake isn't an exact clone of Big Boss on the genetic level. Most of their genes are the same, but not all. It was Solidus Snake who was the exact clone of Big Boss and thus considered to be the strongest of the three from the Les Enfants Terribles Project. That's why, if you look closely, Big Boss in MGS 4 closely resembles an older Solidus. This is why, even though both Snake and BB are a similar age, they look different. Why Old Snake looks closer to Snake Eater's Big Boss than BB himself? Put it down to Kojima wanting to create continuity between every Snake design, while also wanting to make Big Boss/Solidus distinct. Still, it does feel like a slight fail on Kojima Productions' part.
  • punkmetalmage - February 19, 2009 6:28 a.m.

    so long as you pay attention (at least the attention span of a goldfish), You could understand what was happening in the Metal Gear series. But don't worry you only need simple adding skills where most of you will end up at. Captcha: Runabouts Gemini
  • foarthelulz - February 19, 2009 1:53 a.m.

    even after reading the explanation on ur sister sight assasin's creed still confuses me so does braid
  • FierceDeity - February 19, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    sorry for triple post but anyone care to explain world of goo's story, that confused the hell outta me
  • Bassist94 - February 18, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    great wall of china = japan!?
  • noofer7 - February 18, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    wtf never played any of these games
  • barrage7667 - February 18, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    wait so in MGS you were the somewhat bad guy yet the good guy yet the guy who was trying to kill the good guy who everyone thought was the bad guy and the bad guy who everyone thought was dead was actually alive and a good guy...but wat about the fact that they say snake was a ticking time bomb cause of foxdye and how the hell does this story make any sense.
  • Darthkeyblader13 - February 18, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    hey I actually thought the ending for FFX-2 was pretty easily explained
  • cricket0 - February 18, 2009 9:20 p.m.

  • Clownsarescary - February 18, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    Braid's alternate reality is a clever way of dealing with big themes with the limited space XBLA dictates. Makes me wonder why we need hugely contrived, convoluted adventures found in Assasin's Creed and MGS4 when smart use of limited hardware can unlocks a system's potential much more effectivly. And costs less.
  • Orange - February 18, 2009 7:59 p.m.

    ooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhh... Liquid is good? Awesome! Ive always liked him! Braid's twist is so awesome... It reminds me of the sixth sense...
  • rollaire - February 18, 2009 1:06 p.m.

    Wow, that Metal Gear Solid gets me every time. That pesky liquid snake! RT

Showing 1-20 of 86 comments

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