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“Ironic, isn't it?”
“You're never too old to play inside a cardboard box!”
Solid Snake - more often called Snake - is a soldier of fortune occasionally employed by the U.S. government to shut down production of nuclear weapons systems by defeating soldiers with gimmicky names and extremely bizarre abilities.
Solid Snake has two identical twins: Liquid Snake, who is the same as him in every way except evil; and Solidus Snake, who is the same as him in every way except he is also evil, consumes steroids like Smarties and is genetically the most disappointing major villain of all time.
After considerable research, there is still no consensus on why these three men have such catastrophically bad names - especially Solidus, whose impressive creativity and imagination seem limited to adding two-letter suffixes to an already established name. Why wasn't he called Gas Snake? Or Liquidus? Whatever.
If you are trying to kill Snake, you should be aware of his strengths and weaknesses compared to the standard soldier of fortune. These characteristics are set forth in detail below.
edit Can stop time in order to chit-chat
If you engage Snake in combat, don't be surprised if, upon firing your gun, your bullet slows to a crawl mid-flight to give Snake a chance to squat down, press a radio to his ear, and ask for advice on how to kill you.
Fortunately, this advice will probably not be very good. More likely, some motherly medic-type will ask Snake if he's seen The Creature From the Black Lagoon. She may even start rambling on insanely about "pressing the action button," despite the complete absence of buttons in the area. In fact, intercepted radio signals have shown that Snake's associates constantly reference various buttons they believe he should press, "controller ports" he should change, and something they call "saving".
edit Can effect miracles
Snake has been shot tens of thousands of times. It takes him approximately thirty seconds to recover completely from a shotgun blast to the head. The only way to kill Snake is to fill him with dozens or hundreds of bullets within just a few seconds. Alternatively, you could jog around him next to the edge of a cliff, which will often confuse him enough to make him stupidly fall over the edge.
Even if Snake appears to have sustained injuries in battle which would kill or permanently maim a normal man, you should bear in mind that he has the ability to instantly heal himself by simply rummaging around the medical supplies in his backpack for a few seconds. It takes a healthy adult approximately six weeks to recover from a broken bone. Snake, however, can heal a compound fracture in less than five seconds via swift application of a bandage and makeshift splint. He will typically suffer no after-effects of the break following this. The mysterious first-aid supplies Snake carries have also been recorded by various sources as healing gunshot wounds to the head, massive organ trauma due to being run over by a tank, third degree burns after being doused in lit rocket fuel and Cardiac failure caused by a poison-tipped crossbow bolt to the heart, among many other obstensibly fatal injuries. As a result of the notoriety enjoyed by Snake's closely-guarded field triage gear, unscrupulous arms dealers around the globe are known to make a small fortune selling "genuine" Solid Snake medkits to gullible mercenaries.
When shot, Snake may swallow some kind of barbituate in order to feign death. The only way to be certain that he is really dead is to listen to his radio; if he has, in fact, shuffled off his mortal coil, someone will invariably yell "Snake? Snake!? SNAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!"
Even if you confirm that you have killed Snake, be aware that he has the ability to time-travel a few minutes backward to undo his death. If this happens, you will suddenly be standing where you were a while ago, experiencing a heavy sense of deja-vu, but with no actual memory of his death. Snake, however, retains his memory and knows exactly where you'll be, giving him a huge advantage. Thus, next time you experience deja-vu, it is best to desert your post immediately, go someplace you have never been before, and stay there.
edit Can play dead/really really fast asleep
Should you discover Solid Snake lying dead on the ground or sitting down, fast asleep, covered in blood and seemingly anemic (or just not moving), do not be fooled: call for backup at once. While he might not react to you tramping around and making as much noise as possible, be warned that pointing your weapon at Snake will cause him to wake up and promptly gun you down, friend or foe.
edit Can carry many things
One of Snake's most extraordinary qualities is the ability to carry roughly seventeen tons of equipment without any kind of convoy, backpack, or even a bulge in his pocket. Somehow, Snake manages to move unfatigued despite carrying an AK-47, 9MM Pistol, 20 Grenades, 30 Rations, A Giant Knife, 5 Sniper rifles, a Rail Gun, a 50 Caliber rifle, several types of Automatic Rifles, a truckload of ammo, a box big enough to fit a grown man, an oil drum, a camera, a robot, pornography, a microphone the size of a TV Camera, flashbangs, smoke grenades and several changes of clothes.
edit Can Sap Enemy Commander's Will
Nobody is sure how Snake does it, but the evidence is well-documented and overwhelming. When Snake is in the territory of a hostile military force, and is spotted, the rank-and-file duly pursue him, and the commanders order backup to assist. But there are few records of any pursuit of Snake lasting more than 100 seconds, and interviewed soldiers have suggested these seconds often seemed to pass faster than normal time. In almost all cases, troops are called off the pursuit and told to "increase patrols" long before the trail grows cold; after a minute or two of this "heightened" security, the commanders give up entirely and call off the extra patrols. One of the few exceptions was the case of a young Soviet GRU commander who had Snake surrounded under a building, and was able to reason that as long as Snake hadn't crawled out yet, he must still be under there. It has been suggested that Snake's ability was due to a classified, Cold War psi-weapon, and that only high-level intelligence operatives could counter its effects.
When Snake is spotted skulking inside the facility you are guarding, you may be tempted to blindly rush around, labelling rooms as 'clear', without bothering to check any of the places a grown man could actually hide. It may be worth taking a moment to look behind a crate, under a table or inside a toilet stall or locker. Sadly, many of these areas will function as psychological blind spots in your perception, and even if you catch Snake entering one of these hiding places, you will have forgotten that it exists as soon as the pursuit exits the room.
edit Extremely poor disguises
When fleeing, Snake will sometimes whip a cardboard box out of nowhere, duck down, and pull it over his head. At this point, if you were pursuing him, you won't see him; all you'll see is a cardboard box inexplicably sitting in the middle of a jungle. Don't be fooled! It may look like an empty cardboard box inexplicably sitting in the middle of a jungle, but it's actually a cardboard box with Solid Snake in it inexplicably sitting in the middle of a jungle. You may be inclined to exclaim "huh?", approach the box cautiously, and kick it. Do not. A better idea is to pump thousands of bullets into the box and hope Snake dies before you run out of ammunition. However, be aware that once you start shooting the box, Snake may give up on his ruse, pop out of his box and shoot you. A better alternative may be to pretend you never saw the box, discreetly call your teammates and tell them to bring RPGs, hand grenades, flamethrowers, grenade launchers, and a tactical nuke. Be sure to do this behind the box where there is no tiny slot where Snake can see through. Due to the ignorance and lack of creativity of most grunts, this has never been attempted therefore never been proven successful.
Snake is also under the impression that donning a lab coat and a pair of glasses will make everyone think that he is a scientist. Unfortunately for him, he is unlikely to consider the fact that Rambo-style bandannas and camouflage face paint are not standard features of scientist attire. He's also unlikely to consider the fact that the lab you are guarding probably employs fewer than six scientists, and you already know who they are. If you do spot him, standard procedure is to leer at his face for thirty seconds and then yell "Hey! Who are you!" This terrible policy has led to the death of an unfortunate number of guards. In the future, if you see an unfamiliar scientist, shoot him.
edit Inability to look directly forward
Snake is notoriously bad at looking where he's going. For example: if Snake runs directly towards you, pulling out his gun to shoot you, he will suddenly turn ninety degrees to the right and aim at the wall. The only way you can possibly lose this "quick draw", is to make the all-too-common error of exclaiming "Huh?", pulling out your radio and yelling "It's the enemy!" Running behind a barrel and periodically sticking your head out will only compound your problem. It's probably just best to squeeze off a few rounds into Snake's skull, which may, possibly, hurt him.
Additionally, while Snake can turn around as fast as anyone else when he isn't trying to look directly at you, it takes him a full six seconds to turn around when he is. In theory, then, a good strategy to employ against Snake would be to jog in circles around him, emptying magazine after magazine into his body.
While Snake can hold his own in hand-to-hand combat, and usually knocks his opponent to the floor, he cannot continue striking without lowering himself to a prone position first. If you remain on the ground until Snake decides to lie down, then get up, you will have the advantage.
If you are fortunate enough to surprise Snake while he is squatting or on one knee, he may attempt to run, but instead end up laying face down on the floor, writhing around as though he were trying to crawl somewhere. Some have attributed this to a neuromuscular disorder, others see it as a cornered man trying to evoke sympathy from his captors. Whatever the reason, this rare opportunity to kill Snake easily should never be wasted.
edit Unusual caloric requirement
In just a few hours, Snake will devour literally dozens of military rations. He has also been known to eat reticulated pythons, live rabbits, mutant crocodiles, and anything else he can sink his teeth into. He will eat them raw, without skinning, cooking, or even killing them first. It is estimated that Snake needs about 6,000 calories every 20 minutes. Without this constant supply of calories, Snake will first shake like a Parkinson's sufferer, and within minutes, will collapse to the ground and die.
Ergo, consider dealing with Snake the same way you would deal with mice: don't leave food lying around. Whatever you do, do not package rations into octagon-shaped boxes, place a magnet underneath them so they hover an inch above the floor, spin them clockwise, and then leave dozens of them under every bed and behind every crate on the property. Such an extremely foolish food storage strategy will provide Snake with all the sustenance, substance, and subsistence he needs to kill you.
edit Possible deafness
Although Snake is responsive to loud noises, he asks lots of obvious questions, suggesting that he might have trouble with his hearing. During conversation, he will almost invariably repeat any Noun he hears in the form of a question. For example, if you were to tell Snake you live in California, Snake would reply, "California?!!". Perhaps the fifteen years he's spent firing loud automatic weapons have caught up to him.
If Snake ever tries to interrogate you at gunpoint, consider telling him your name is "Lord Marcus Thomas Randy Bowman-Schneider McFarland Thompson Randolph Lee Brady III". By the time he's repeating the "McFarland", you should be pretty far away.
edit Weak lungs
Snake is a tobacco smoker; however, he can't tolerate more than one or two drags at a time. Smoking for more than two minutes at a time will cause him to collapse and die. Due to the aforementioned difficulty of killing Snake through conventional means, you might actually do better to toss packs of Marlboro Reds at him. Don't forget the lighter, although with his seventeen-metric-ton carrying capacity, he's bound to have a lighter in there somewhere.