Before The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes, and before going Nuclear™, Big Boss had proudly led his men to glorious battle against the odds, and preserved world peace in the face of atomic war. Like he always does. Big Boss depended on and trusted these various men and women, not only with his life, but with the responsibility to complete their top secret and high priority missions. He raised them. He loved them. He gave them weapons, taught them techniques, and endowed them with knowledge. He led by example and looked out for them just as he expected them to look out for him.

As some of you guys know, in preparation of the coming arrival of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I set out to play through the entire series, hoping to relive the saga before finally embracing and savoring its end. All that’s really left now for me to do, is enjoy the remaining grindfest Peace Walker presents, as well a few more rounds of Ground Zeroes. But in the meantime, before having to bring the legend back to life, and build that private army up once more, I figured I could take the time to pay respect to the brave and dedicated men and women who served by my side.

Yea, ok, so this is pretty dorky as hell right now, but who cares. Anybody who’s played Portable Ops or Peace Walker knows where I’m coming from. After spending several hours sneaking around, kidnapping recruiting future soldiers, and taking the time to put them to use and send them off on missions and have them carry out your orders, you can’t help but really grow at least a little attached to them, can you? I’m sure you guys can even remember a few names. I know I certainly do.

Name: Cat.
Affiliation/Rank: Soviet Soldier, Corporal.
Career: Rescuer.

Cat was probably my favorite soldier in the long run. Although he had a B in CQC, I think he was the only other recruit who had an A with handguns. Armed with MK22, he could easily slip behind enemy lines and neutralize any potential threats, clearing the way for the rest of his comrades who couldn’t casually waltz around the majority of the enemy establishments without any suspicion. Where he really shined, however, was in recruitment. If you don’t have a reliable rescuer in your sneaking teams, you’re really doing something wrong.

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*SPOILERS* He also was the perfect replacement for Jonathan ;_; *SPOILERS*

Name: Squirrel.
Affiliation/Rank:
Soviet Soldier, Corporal.
Career: Deliveryman.

What Squirrel lacked in combat aptitude, he made up in logistics and on-site item acquisition. Somehow, in this playthrough, deliverymen who could still hold their own in CQC were rather hard to come by. So when Squirrel came along, he really made a big difference in our war effort. However, along with Cat and Cow, he made Snake’s rescue operation possible without a hitch. All while securing a survival knife and a single action army revolver on the go.

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Name: Cow.
Affiliation/Rank: FOX Commando.
Career: Rescuer.

Once our operations took us to higher security enemy emplacements, the need for FOX Commandos who could sneak by unnoticed as well as filling the role of the team’s designated Rescuer simultaneously became quite clear. Enter Cow. Despite being average in almost every imaginable way, he distinguished himself by being the man who made contact with Snake, and led the extraction op. Sustained light wounds under heavy enemy fire, but still gallantly carried out the mission to the end, and was a vital member of the final missile silo infiltration.

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Name: Flying Fox.
Affiliation/Rank: Research Lab Scientist.
Career: Doctor.

Flying Fox quickly became a valuable sneaking asset upon recruitment. As anybody who’s played MGS3 knows, scientists can be a real pain in the ass. In order to expedite sneaking ops in scientist-rich environments, it became necessary to recruit someone who could play the part, but still meet par field agent expectations. And it was just my luck to have snagged someone skilled enough in CQC to take on Big Boss himself. Flying Fox is singlehandedly responsible for numerous raids in enemy research labs, and also the man who led to the discovery of the Null project.

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Name: Giraffe.
Affiliation/Rank: FOX Commando.
Career: Rescuer.

Giraffe is noticeable for being the only soldier in my ranks to have been a mere 2 HP away from death, and survive after having completed the mission. He was deployed on an important sabotage and item acquisition mission, and tasked with the job of “boom operator”. And boom he went after a negligent detonation. I just kinda stood there in disbelief with a blank face, just trying to process what I did wrong, or what happened, and more importantly, if Cow would actually get up again. Fortunately he did, but it certainly taught me something about being cautious around explosives.

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Name: Markhor.
Affiliation/Rank: Soviet Officer.
Career: Spy.

Markhor’s recruitment was entirely unintentional. During a weapons capture op in the local town area, an operative could not locate the target and exfiltrate in time, and let a couple of neutralized sentries wake up and call in for support. Just as the team was about to reach the extraction zone, a soviet officer arrived on scene, and the unit was left with no other option to neutralize her. Seeing how she was conveniently near the truck, and Cat was in the operation, and the new recruit was safely extracted along with the rest of the team. Markhor offered exactly the skills we needed, and proved to be indispensable for the infiltration of the nuclear warhead storage facility.

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Name: Serval Cat.
Affiliation/Rank: Hospital Nurse.
Career: Chemist, Nutrionist.

Similar to Flying Fox, Serval Cat’s addition to the team was strictly out of convenience. Who could better pull off the infiltration of hospitals and laboratories than a nurse? Serval Cat was also the first woman to be recruited, and showed that she could easily make due on the field.

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Name: Ant.
Affiliation/Rank: Soviet Officer.
Career: Politician.

Ant is mainly responsible for clearing the entrance towards the inner missile silo facilities, as well as the safe passage to the power substation. While having been deployed to less ops than his comrade Wagatil, another soviet officer, Ant was the only other recruit with the politician career, and would be one of the men in charge in overseeing the recruitment program, and convincing former enemies to take up arms with us as allies.

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Now, I could esasily go on about the rest of the recruits, as well the many hands on deck in my current Peace Walker game, but I realize the post is already pretty long to be dedicated to a bunch of randomly generated soldiers who just barely have a name and face. But given the way things look out to be in The Phantom Pain, and after the events of Ground Zeroes, I figured it’d be nice to remember that just like it takes one of everything to make the world, so too does Mother Base the people that inhabit it. After all, they’re the ones that made it what it became, and what it will be. That’s something that’s easy to forget when people quickly amount to nothing but numbers, but it’s important to take the time to appreciate your recruits and what they give you. Unless they’re all just filthy E and D rank plebs.