In a series with as many compelling secondary characters as Metal Gear Solid, it takes a truly amazing protagonist to avoid getting overshadowed, and that's just what Solid Snake is.
Since his debut in the Metal Gear series, Snake has become one of the most iconic video game characters of all time. One of the ways he won the hearts of the gaming industry was by delivering some of the coolest lines ever heard in a video game.
Putting together this list wasn't easy, as Snake's grizzled tone makes even ordinary things sound legendary, but these ten quotes are the most badass things that the hero has ever said.
10 "Don't Regret Your Past, Learn From It. Regrets Just Make A Person Weaker".
Sometimes Solid Snake is as wise as he is iconic, and this quote is proof of that. He says this when Meryl is feeling bad about letting herself be controlled by Pyscho Mantis in Twin Snakes.
It may seem a little bit cold from Snake, as Meryl didn't intentionally get controlled. However, these words work as they convince her to move on from the incident. Meryl ends up becoming a much stronger person and a better soldier in Metal Gear Solid 4, and while that can't be entirely credited to this quote, it still likely helped in her development.
9 "How The Hell Did You Ever Survive Ten Years?"
[Johnny has gun pointed at Snake]
Snake: You haven't even taken the safety off, rookie!
Johnny: Careful, I'm no rookie. I'm a ten-year vet.
[Johnny checks the safety and Snake flips him over, disarming him in the process]
Snake: How the hell did you ever survive ten years?
Poor Johnny is constantly the butt of the jokes in the series, and it happens the most in the fourth game due to his increased screentime — though he does redeem himself in that game too. This humiliating interaction occurs when Johnny first meets Snake. It's a hilarious reference to Snake and Meryl's first meeting, but it also brings up a good point.
Throughout the games, Johnny has been easily fooled and/or beaten up multiple times, so how has he survived? How has nobody killed him? Or, how has none of his commanding officers discharged him? Along with Johnny's ineptitude, this scene shows how badass Snake is, as he physically and verbally destroys the young man.
8 "I'm Just A Man Who's Good At What He Does. Killing."
Solid Snake has never bought into his own hype, as he always refutes the idea that he's some legendary figure. In the first game, when he's talking to Meryl in the bathroom, she sees him as this huge hero, and this quote is what he really thinks of himself.
It's actually quite sad that he sees himself as just a killer, but his modesty is what makes him so cool. If Snake was an egomaniac who constantly bragged about his accomplishments, he would be more of a jerk than a badass.
7 "I'll die after I kill you."
Sniper Wolf has a lot of fantastic quotes herself, but she's on the receiving end this time. Snake fires out the comment in Twin Snakes after Wolf asks him if he wants to die before or after Meryl.
It is a hell of a rebuttal from Snake, and it even initiates a response from a solider by Wolf's side, although he gets an elbow in the face from the Sniper for his troubles. What makes the quote even greater is the situation Snake is in, unarmed and face-to-face with a deadly assassin while a bunch of soldiers are pointing guns at him, yet he still shows no sign of fear as he calmly delivers the line.
6 "Well, I'm Gonna Be Spewing Out Poison Soon Enough Anyway. What's One More Smoke Gonna Hurt?"
Throughout the games, Snake's allies are on his back about his love of cigarettes, which is understandable, but as this quote points out, he's dying anyway in MGS4 — so they might as well let him smoke as much as he wants.
It's not Snake's commitment to nicotine that makes this quote badass, though, it is how he shows no fear when facing his own mortality. He doesn't whine or cry about the fact that he's going to die soon; he takes it all in his stride and even makes light of the situation like in this instance.
5 "Change Sides? I Don't Recall Saying I Was On Yours."
This brutal line is all the more devastating because the player (while controlling Raiden) is on the receiving end of it. In MGS2, when Raiden is ready to enter Arsenal Gear, Snake calls out the Cyborg Ninja, Mr. X (it's revealed later in the scene that it's Olga), who puts a sword up to Raiden's throat.
Then Raiden angrily questions if Snake is switching sides, which is when Snake delivers the above quote. While in the moment it hurts to think you've been betrayed by Solid Snake, it's still such a cool (and accurate) no-nonsense response.
4 "There's No Happiness To Be Found In Death... No Peace Either. I'm Leaving Here Alive."
This first part of this quote illustrates Snake's appreciation for life, although it's the addition of the last few words that confirms its place on this list. He utters the line just after Gray Fox sacrifices himself to help Snake in the battle against Metal Gear REX in the first game.
At this point in the adventure, Snake has already come up against supernatural beings, dangerous vehicles, and countless guards. Despite everything Snake faces on Shadow Moses Island, his belief never dies, as he still thinks that he is going to survive the whole incident. That's what's great about this quote, as it shows Snake's unbreakable spirit.
3 "A Strong Man Doesn't Need To Read The Future. He Makes His Own."
Solid Snake says this right after he beats Psycho Mantis in battle. It's an inspiring quote about people being in charge of their own destiny.
Also, in this instance, it's an excellent way for Snake to add insult to injury to an opponent who can actually see the future. Mantis can't even refute the point, as Snake just proved in combat that he is the stronger man. The psychic simply replies with, "Perhaps so." Only Solid Snake could be so unfazed by Mantis' incredible abilities that he's willing to belittle them.
2 "You Want Eternal Rest? I Got It Right Here!"
This is another example of Snake not caring about an opponent's mind-blowing abilities. In this case, it is Fortune from the second game who desperately wants to die, but every bullet flies past her. Despite seeing that nobody is capable of landing a shot on her throughout the game, it doesn't stop Snake challenging her with this rebellious line.
This quote is another example of how fearless Snake is. It doesn't matter who he's facing or what his odds of success are, he'll never back down. Though he does lose the fight against Fortune, it's still a badass quote nonetheless.
1 "I'm No Hero. Never Was, Never Will Be."
This is the most well-known quote on the list. It's first said right after Snake works with Meryl and her crew to escape Advent Palace. After Rat Patrol has just wiped out the remaining enemies with help from the SOP system, Meryl asks Snake, "Is your age of heroes finally over?" to which he replies with the quote in question.
It was mentioned in a previous entry about how Snake doesn't like to be known as a hero and doesn't see himself as one. By Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake has helped save the world multiple times, yet he remains humble (or self-critical) about what he's done. Funnily enough, that's what makes his actions more heroic, and this quote more badass.