I have heard about a theory from Drk29 that Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 are VR Missions.

Some of the things that he has stated about it include the footage from the trailers (the sinking Tanker and the FAMAS/Food Storage shootout) that wasn't in the Tanker chapter.

Drk29's theory states that Metal Gear Solid 1 was the player playing as Raiden while he plays as Snake.

Snake later states on the Big Shell about the Tanker/Shadow Moses VR Missions:

I doubt they accurately represent the events of that mission.

Which would seem to support his theory.

Is there any canonical evidence to this or is it just speculation?

  • Given that the character Raiden didn't even exist when Metal Gear Solid came out, there's no reason to assume it's a VR mission. Plus, events in the game regarding Ocelot and Liquid Snake are referenced in future games.
    – Powerlord
    Feb 20, 2016 at 21:24
  • @Powerlord Hideo Kojima apparently finished the script of MGS2 in November of 1998. Feb 21, 2016 at 20:34
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    ...which was after MGS1 was released, let alone in production.
    – Powerlord
    Feb 21, 2016 at 21:22
  • @Powerlord I think the implication is that it is retcon'd to be a VR mission for Raiden and that the events still took place, it's just that Raiden did a version of the real event in VR training. Raiden explicitly states at one point that he's done the Tanker in VR, so you could assume he's done other Snake missions, like Shadow Moses in VR too.
    – Tom Bowen
    Feb 22, 2016 at 15:14
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    @Powerlord I really don't think you're understanding the basics of this. The theory isn't trying to say that the events didn't take place. Just that Raiden re-lived these events in VR. And that when the player is playing the game, they aren't playing the actual events (which still took place), but that they are playing Raiden's VR version.
    – Tom Bowen
    Feb 22, 2016 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


There are a lot of references to Raiden undertaking VR training.

One interesting point is that if you play the Tanker mission you get the following conversation in the opening to the Plant:

Colonel: Just a precaution. You are now designated "Raiden." All right, Raiden. You've already covered infiltration in VR Training.

Raiden: I've completed three hundred missions in VR. I feel like some kind of legendary mercenary...

However if you do not play the Tanker you don't get this line.

There is also a conversation between Snake and Raiden that states:

Raiden: I've gone through VR training of the Tanker mission before.

Snake: Yeah? Well I doubt it accurately simulates the events of that actual mission.

There are other mentions of VR training, but not specifically the Tanker mission in the game. These seem to be referring to the differences between MGS1 and MGS2's controls, but referring to the MGS1 controls as "VR Training":

Colonel: Unlike in VR training, you can use your gun from Intrusion View in the field. Keep that in mind.


Snake: The PSG1's controls have been slightly modified from what you learned in the VR training. Note the differences: [...] The PSG1 can be aimed from upright, crouch, and prone positions.

However nothing is explicitly said to state that MGS1 or the Tanker are VR, just these hints.

An interesting thing is that one game in the MGS universe (although not canon) does have a heavy hint at being a VR mission for Raiden, and that is Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (Metal Gear Solid for Game Boy outside of Japan). During Ghost Babel you play as Snake, however after completeing the Special Mode you get the line:

Commander 'No. 4': Your training is complete. Well done. Your combat capability is now undoubtedly beyond that of Solid Snake at the time of Galuade's fall. Your time is about to come. Get some rest for now .... Jack.

Raiden's real name being Jack and the game not making canonical sense hints heavily that this is Raiden doing VR.

Ghost Babel was also released the year before MGS2, so was probably made this way as a set up to MGS2, and MGS2's development would clearly impact the development team of Ghost Babel.

  • Hmm... until I get canon proof that MGS1 and MGS2 are VR, I'll stick with that both are real. Thanks for the info! Feb 22, 2016 at 22:52
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    I believe that they are both real. Some of the quirks are just Kojima's way of putting in in-game context for gameplay instructions. That combined with the in-world VR and the ending to Metal Gear Solid 2, leads people to think of big theories.
    – Tom Bowen
    Feb 23, 2016 at 10:06

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