While Damion made his own list of video game badasses, I couldn’t help but think his list was missing a certain… something. While his list is perfectly valid, I feel I’ve come up with a list of equally impressive and completely unrelated video game characters that perfectly illustrates my own feelings on what being badass really means.
5. Solidus Snake
No one else on this list can claim they’ve held presidency over the United States but George Sears AKA Solidus Snake. The secret third perfected clone of the legendary Big Boss, he was the first to begin work on defeating the globe-dominating AI known as The Patriots. Orchestrating the events of Metal Gear Solid from behind the shadows in his presidency, he makes his public appearance as Solidus during the Big Shell Incident in Metal Gear Solid 2 wielding rad Doc Ock-esque robot arms to take down both Solid Snake and Raiden. Always fighting for the rights and freedoms of the American people, he was only able to be defeated in the most badass of ways, sword-fighting atop Federal Hall in New York City.
4. Liquid Snake
Liquid is the villain who just won’t quit. Working his way to the top of the elite black ops unit established by Big Boss known as FOXHOUND, Liquid is able to use his team of soldiers to take control of Shadow Moses Island, Metal Gear Rex, and subsequently hold the United States hostage under threat of nuclear attack. Despite almost defeating Solid Snake multiple times during the course of Metal Gear Solid, he’s finally brought down after being attacked by the virus known as FOXDIE, though this is far from the end for Liquid. After his trusted partner Revolver Ocelot transplants Liquid’s arm onto his own body, the genetically superior clone of Big Boss is able to possess Ocelot and continue to plague the world and Solid Snake with his pursuit of world domination. Or maybe it was just hypnosis? Or was it nanomachines? Either way, the spirit of Liquid Snake managed to haunt Solid Snake for all his years, tricking him into falling for his every plan.
3. Naked Snake AKA Big Boss
The legend himself, Naked Snake’s codename was established when infiltrating the lush jungles of the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War without equipment, having to procure his gear onsite. A master of stealth, Naked Snake utilizes both camouflage and clever disguises to reach the heart of the jungle, the heavily guarded fortress of Groznyj Grad. Along with his expert marksmanship and suave charm, he’s able to defeat Colonel Volgin and the precursor to the Metal Gear, the nuclear tank Shagohod. After completing the Snake Eater mission, he finally defeats his master, the legendary World War II soldier, The Boss, and takes her place as Big Boss. As Big Boss he separates from the United States and begins his dream of forming Outer Heaven, a nation for soldiers, ultimately becoming the villain he once sought to defeat. Both savior and threat to the world, Naked Snake, who would ultimately become Big Boss leaves in his wake a hallowed legacy made up of the countless bodies he leaves behind. But even legends have their phantoms…
2. Punished “Venom” Snake
Once a soldier dedicated to Big Boss and his cause to create Outer Heaven, he proved himself as both a capable medic and top of the line soldier. It’s only after his sacrifice to protect Big Boss from explosions after the destruction of their mother base that he becomes a part of legend. Unknowingly having both his appearance and mind altered in order to imitate Big Boss, he assumes his position as Venom Snake while the real Big Boss disappears in order to establish the true Outer Heaven from the shadows. Despite losing even his own identity, Venom takes up this task without question, continuing to pursue both his own Outer Heaven while defeating Skull Face and saving the world once again from a new terrible Metal Gear and the threat of the vocal chord parasites. Despite being a phantom of the true Big Boss, Venom is the one to carve his legend into the world, serving his boss until the bitter end, but eventually defeated by the true greatest soldier and Big Boss’ greatest protégé.
1. Solid Snake
Throughout the history of a world surrounded by deceit, double-crossing, and manipulation, Solid Snake has always remained on the side of good. Defeating both his mentor Big Boss and phantom Venom, his clone Liquid and the possessed Liquid Ocelot, numerous Metal Gears, countless soldiers, and training his own acolyte Raiden to find his own path in life, Solid Snake has proven to be the greatest badass who ever lived. From both his days as a FOXHOUND recruit even up until his cloned DNA rapidly ages him into a grumpy old man, he’s continuously saved the world and its people from the both terror and oppressive control without thanks. Despite being an imperfect clone of Big Boss, he’s able to overcome his own genetic defects and end the lineage of villainy created by his father, showing us the power to take control of our destinies and exactly what it means to be a true badass.