Metal Gear's narrative is an intricately woven tapestry spanning 50 years of in-universe lore (70, if the events before MGS3 are included). Even the most ardent fans of Hideo Kojima's creation will bemoan the difficulty in keeping track of every nuanced detail. While some decry the whole thing as nonsensical, all the games do logically fit together, with characters showing up in multiple entries and events that ripple through future titles.
One of Kojima's trademarks is throwing the unexpected at the player. Subverting one's expectations is a tricky business. Putting in complete nonsense also goes against what people were expecting, but it doesn't add anything to the story or feel rewarding. No, Kojima's twists are done with tact and expand the game's universe. The man is considered to have revolutionized video game storytelling, and not without good reason. To celebrate Kojima and his beloved franchise, the next 10 entries will rank the best plot twists that came from the series. While they are ordered from worst to best, none of the following could really be considered weak or underwhelming.
10 Punished Snake's Identity
Metal Gear Solid 5 sadly was unable to live up to its potential due to a fallout between Kojima and Konami. The game is still phenomenal, but there is a very clear cutoff point in the story where one can see the developers ran out of time. The whole game hinges on the final twist where the player character is discovered not to be Big Boss, but a wounded medic who was transformed into the legend.
This twist is not higher up on the list because of the strong foreshadowing. Anyone who can put two and two together could figure it out from the opening cinematic. It's not a bad thing for the game's plot, but it makes the revelation less shocking.
9 The Patriots Died Over 100 Years Ago
One of Metal Gear Solid 2's MacGuffin's is a disc containing the names and locations of the 12 Patriots, a secret organization that controls the world from the shadows. All the villains and heroes want the disc, but Snake and Otacon ultimately get their hands on it and dig through the information. In the game's stinger, Otacon reveals to his friend that all 12 members have been deceased for nearly 100 years. It's that information that closes out the game, leaving players in the dark for nearly seven years. Unfortunately, future games brush this twist to the side, making it ultimately irrelevant.
8 Paz's Betrayal In Peace Walker
Paz's name literally means "peace," a name befitting of the pacifistic student. However, Peace Walker's ending reveals her dark secret. Turns out, Paz was working undercover for Cipher, a secret group led by Major Zero that formed the foundation of the Patriots. She then tried to launch a nuclear weapon at the United States but was thwarted by Big Boss.
7 Master Miller Is Liquid Snake In Metal Gear Solid
With each game that increased Miller's significance in the lore, the sadder his untimely demise became in Metal Gear Solid. For most of the game, Solid Snake was under the impression that McDonnell Miller was giving him assistance through Shadow Moses Island.
Only near the end does Miller undo his hair and take off his shades to reveal that he was Liquid Snake the whole time. The twist is so shocking it makes one forget to ask how Snake sees Liquid rip off his disguise threw the codec's audio communication.
6 Eva's Betrayal At The End Of Snake Eater
What's a good spy story without a love interest? Snake forms a close bond with Eva, a defected former NSA agent, in MGS3: Snake Eater. The two become lovers, only for Eva to betray the protagonist, revealing that she is an agent for the Chinese government. Eva was the one good thing to happen to Snake in Operation Snake Eater, and even that was taken away from him.
5 Ocelot Being A CIA Agent In Snake Eater
Ocelot is a fan favorite, and one of the only characters to show up in every numbered Metal Gear Solid entry. In Snake Eater, he is a young, but accomplished, Russian soldier working with Colonel Volgin, or so the player is led to believe.
In the post-credits scene, Ocelot reveals himself to be an American agent. Playing through the game again with this knowledge reveals whole new truths about his part in the story.
4 Huey Being A Psychopath In The Phantom Pain
Huey is Otacon's father, and a brilliant scientist as well. The series has several intelligent characters whose research is taken from them and used for destruction. These characters ultimately regret ever creating these weapons. Huey appears to fit this mold at first, but later turns out to be evil. He locks his wife, Dr. Strangelove, in an AI pod, causing her to slowly suffocate, and experiments on a young Otacon.
3 Big Boss In Metal Gear Solid 4
Guns of the Patriots was the culmination of twenty years of storytelling. Everything was wrapped up neatly, and the past and present were united. When the credits started rolling, the game still had one more secret up its sleeve — the revelation that Big Boss was still alive. Snake's father has extended dialogue with his son about the events that transpired over the past fifty years before Big Boss finally bites the dust for good.
2 Raiden Switcheroo
Metal Gear Solid 2 is all about manipulating digital information to fool the masses. To prove how easy this is, Hideo Kojima led players to believe that Snake was the lead character throughout the game.
After the prologue, however, Raiden was introduced and became the protagonist. Some fans who felt betrayed by this move, but it didn't stop the title from garnering universal praise.
1 Colonel Campbell Is An AI
After Raiden gets knocked out and dragged aboard Arsenal Gear, MGS2 goes completely off the rails. The colonel goes haywire and starts spouting gibberish.
After some digging by Otacon, Raiden learns that Colonel Campbell has been an AI the whole time. Not only is it shocking, but it plays into the game's overarching themes on control, identity, and the dangers of emerging Internet technologies.