@drewbert I think the one thing you may be misunderstanding is the relationship between the AI colonel and the real colonel. Raiden had never in his life met the real colonel, but he had researched a ton about Shadow Moses, so when the AI started giving him directions under the guise of the colonel, Raiden subconsciously took things he knew of the real colonel and blended them into the AI. If Raiden had read that the colonel helping Snake on Shadow Moses was a banana, the AI might have appeared to him in the form of a banana.It's the idea of taking things that you learn through osmosis and blending them into other things, to the point where you start believing the two things were always one. The two individual ideas are lost and you suddenly think that you had this idea to begin with and it's wholly original. But it's not; it is a byproduct of two separate existing ideas being merged in your head.This situation becomes extra confusing because the colonel and Rose are actually real people. The Rose you're talking to in the game for most of it is real, up until the end where AI Rose takes over, but the colonel was the AI from the very beginning.