I just have one question, I've played Metal Gear Solid 3, that's the only MGS game I've played to completion (and it was awesome) but I have a question about the story in Metal Gear Solid 4.

It's obvious that the "Snake" character in MGS4 is not the same Snake character in MGS3 that turned into "Big Boss", after defeating "The boss". So I am very confused on this. Are there two Snakes? Or three? because in the recent addition to the series "MGS5" there's an entirely different Snake that is called "Big Boss" but I thought (According to MGS4) that "Big Boss" died? Now I'm all confused.

I would really appreciate it if any of you out there who are familiar with this game could help me understand this. Thanks!

  • If my answer helped you out, could you mark it as accepted please? :)
    – Tom Bowen
    Sep 13, 2016 at 9:11

3 Answers 3


So I am very confused on this, there are two snakes?

Five, actually. Unmarked spoilers ahead.

Big Boss (Naked Snake) is the original Snake. He is the main protagonist of MGS3. The other Snakes are cloned from or based off him.

Solid, Liquid, and Solidus are imperfect clones made by the "Les Enfants Terribles" Project.

Solid Snake is the protagonist of MGS1, part of MGS2, and MGS4. Usually, "Snake" refers to him. Unlike his brothers, he is almost identical in appearance to Big Boss.

Liquid Snake was killed in MGS1. Revolver Ocelot stole his arm and had it transplanted to replace his, which he lost. Liquid later took control of Ocelot through this arm to become Liquid Ocelot.

Solidus Snake appears in MGS2.

The Snake in MGSV is Venom Snake, a body double of Big Boss. He is not a clone- the resemblance was created by plastic surgery so he could impersonate Big Boss.

  • 2
    On a side note, Solid Snake is also the protagonist of Metal Gear 1 and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Big Boss (or rather, Venom Snake thanks to retcons) is the antagonist of those two games.
    – Powerlord
    Apr 9, 2016 at 15:08
  • I know Solidus appears in MGS2, but I didn't know he appeared in MG2 as well.
    – Nolonar
    Apr 9, 2016 at 16:55
  • 1
    I thought Liquid Ocelot was a ruse by Ocelot or something.
    – Jason_c_o
    Apr 9, 2016 at 18:41
  • should be pointed out that Liquid also had the potential to look almost like Big Boss. at the start of MGS1 Snake remarks about how the leader of Fox Hound (Liquid) looked like him and they could be twins, he then requests some scissors so he can cut his hair. also Solidus appears in MGS4 at the end as Big Boss (something about Big Boss's mind or personality being downloaded into him). you can tell its Solidus because of the view of his back which looks the exact same as the back of Solidus's Doc Oct armour
    – Memor-X
    Apr 10, 2016 at 4:03
  • @Memor-X, they use Solidus's and Liquid's body to rebuild and repair Big Boss.
    – Tom Bowen
    Sep 28, 2016 at 9:04

It might help if you look at the series timeline to get to grips with the Snakes:

1964 – MGS3: Snake Eater
1970 – Portable Ops
1974 – Peace Walker
1975 – MGSV: Ground Zeroes
1984 – MGSV: The Phantom Pain
1995 – Metal Gear
1999 – Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
2005 – Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes)
2007/09 – MGS2: Sons of Liberty
2014 – MGS4: Guns of the Patriots
2018 – Revengeance

There are a few Snakes that fall into this timeline:

Naked Snake

MGS3 (1964) to MGSV (1984)

aka Big Boss aka Venom Snake

MGSV Spoiler:

Venom Snake turns out to be a body double of Big Boss, and actually not related.

Solid Snake

Metal Gear (1995) to MGS4 (2014)

Genetic clone of Naked Snake.

Liquid Snake

Antagonist of MGS1 (2005)

Genetic clone of Naked Snake.

MGSV Spoiler:

Appears in MGSV as a child called Eli

Solidius Snake

Antagonist of MGS2 (2009)

Genetic clone of Naked Snake


Metal Gear timeline site has a good time line of the MG saga. So does the metal gear wikia.

"Snake" is a code name used to refer to as whoever is the main protagonist of the game -- with some of MGS2 and Revengence being notable exceptions. Some of them refer to the same person, clones, or ...

MGSV Spoiler:

Medic who is acting as a decoy for Big Boss.

  • 1
    Also worth noting Raiden has the codename Snake at the start of the MGS2 Plant chapter also.
    – Tom Bowen
    May 19, 2016 at 15:31

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