Let's Talk About Otacon & How He was Ruined (SPOILERS)

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Zabant

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#1  Edited By Zabant

Kojima has over time completely ruined this character.

Now before you reply hear me out, In MGS1 Octacon was a dorky anime fan who made up for his social shortcomings by being a genius & designing metal gear REX.

However, a series of significant plot points in each subsiquent game systematically destroy everything that originally made this character good.

In MGS2 we find out that the entire reason snake gets tricked and almost dies is that Otacon anonymously receives some info about a metal gear & naively believes it's from his sister.

He only tells this to snake AFTER THE MISSION IS UNDER WAY.

We later find out in the same game that he was sleeping with his step-mother as his wheelchair bound father drown in their swimming pool, almost taking his daughter and Hal's sister with him

In MGS3, we find out that Metal Gear REX isn't even Otacon's own design. As it turns out he plagiarised it down to the last detail from Granin's original designs from the 60's. This is made evident by the model of REX on Granin's desk & the photo of him and Otacon's father which is also in his office, and the details of MGS:PW.

In MGS4 we find out that the much praised Octocamo suit that octacon himself brags about was also a stolen design that he lifted straight from the pentagon's network, he tries to save face by stating that 'hey, hacking into the pentagon itself is impressive'.

Later on he gets tricked again, only this time by Naomi, a known untrustworthy character. she seduces him and he takes a nap after sleeping with her, she then steals all their groups shit and puts in on a USB drive.

Within the same game he is also upstaged by a child when it comes to computers, one of his defining skills - as Sunny is the one to figure out Naomi's encrypted message, not Otacon.

Finally to top it all off, in MGS:PW Otacon's own dad Huey designs a Metal gear WITH ALL THE SAME CAPABILITIES OF REX IN THE FUCKING 70'S, not only that he also manages to equip it with it's own AI making it vastly superior to Otacon's own Plagiarised metal gear made 30 years later. This is also true for stealth camoflage which Otacon Claims to have created in MGS1 but is shown to be a product of R&D from MSF in the 70's.

I know Otacon's original design was very one dimensional, but I can't help but think all the character development each game has brought has only made him look worse.

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richied0

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Yeah, but he had a sweet secret handshake. Huey hasn't got a sweet secret handshake.

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Zabant

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#3  Edited By Zabant

@samuraibudgerigar: That we known of, knowing Kojima Huey will have one in TPP as he loves self-referential humour.

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OurSin_360

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#4  Edited By OurSin_360

Man, i don't remember anything about that stuff with his stepmom. WTF lol. But yeah, Otacon got downgraded a lot after mgs1 everything he did was stolen. However that does make his character more believable and less one note. In a way he kinda mirrors snake, even though snake doesn't know it but his entire life and personality were copies of somebody else.

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DonutFever

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#5  Edited By DonutFever

I thought the spoiler tag implied MGSV spoilers, like a leak had happened or something.

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Strife777

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You are right, he was one dimensional. I don't see how him being more fleshed out and perhaps flawed makes him "ruined". I mean, it's also pretty obvious that he's going to be a naive dude just from MGS1. The guy falls in love with a ruthless femme fatale sniper chick, with whom he most likely has no chance.

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Zabant

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Man, i don't remember anything about that stuff with his stepmom. WTF lol.

Yep, it's some pretty grim stuff.

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AdequatelyPrepared

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Otacon...Otacon had a hard life.

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csl316

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Otacon's great. He just cries hilariously.

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artelinarose

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#10  Edited By artelinarose

I don't really see how his character was "ruined" considering in MGS1 all of what he does is start out by peeing his cargo jorts(really, there's nowhere to go but Exactly Right There Forever), talks about nerd shit(pissing himself first thing and then immediately talking about how he likes anime) and falls in love with a girl because she was nice to him a couple of times, as weirdo nerds do. From step one he was always painted as kind of useless and out of his element regarding everything.

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Blackout62

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You are right, he was one dimensional. I don't see how him being more fleshed out and perhaps flawed makes him "ruined". I mean, it's also pretty obvious that he's going to be a naive dude just from MGS1. The guy falls in love with a ruthless femme fatale sniper chick, with whom he most likely has no chance.

Oh don't be cynical, Sniper Wolf was anything but vain, Otacon totally stood a chance.

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excast

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#12  Edited By excast

Otacon has always sort of been a pathetic guy. Remember him pissing himself and then falling for Sniper Wolf, who showed absolutely no interest in reciprocating?

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Zabant

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#13  Edited By Zabant
@blackout62 said:
@strife777 said:

You are right, he was one dimensional. I don't see how him being more fleshed out and perhaps flawed makes him "ruined". I mean, it's also pretty obvious that he's going to be a naive dude just from MGS1. The guy falls in love with a ruthless femme fatale sniper chick, with whom he most likely has no chance.

Oh don't be cynical, Sniper Wolf was anything but vain, Otacon totally stood a chance.

To be fair, his only interaction with her was that she let him feed her dogs and she gave him a handkerchief. He read way too much into it.

When I talk about 'ruined' i'm more referring to his redeeming traits such as being a computer genius and master engineer.

Those are taken away from him completely as he's revealed to just be a thief, leaving him as... well, just this awkward nerd who has no place as the co-leader of an anti-metal gear terrorist cell. I guess he can fly a chopper? that's something

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Bocam

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In the Japanese version of MGS2 it was implied that Otacon's step-mom raped him as a kid rather than just seduced him.

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atomicoldman

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@excast said:

Otacon has always sort of been a pathetic guy. Remember him pissing himself and then falling for Sniper Wolf, who showed absolutely no interest in reciprocating?

I'm trying to remember if there's actually any scene where she directly speaks to Otacon. I want to say there's some small bit where she tells him to fuck off cause she and Snake have to fight, and that's about it.

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Mirado

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@zabant: He and Sunny built the Metal Gear Mk 2 together, that counts for...something, right?

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nightriff

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Naomi....Naomi....

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chaser324

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#19 chaser324  Moderator

On the subject of Huey, I don't think you can let his tech reflect on your opinion of Otacon. It's certainly somewhat sloppy retconning by Kojima, but I wouldn't let that impact your opinion of any games prior to Peace Walker.

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Hunter5024

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Otacon was always the worst. In the first game he intentionally gave Metal Gear a weakness because he's an idiot.

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AdequatelyPrepared

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ArbitraryWater

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Yeah, Otacon is totally supposed to be a loser and that isn't any different in the first game, where one of the first things he talks to you about is "I wanted to make giant robots like my Japanese Animes!"

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ch3burashka

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Well, when you put it that way...

Tell us how you really feel, though.

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benpack

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The dude pees himself in the first game. Now if you wanna talk about how they ruined Ocelot then I'm all ears.

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ThunderSlash

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I wouldn't trust the R&D stuff from Peace Walker to be too canon. After all, you can also invent the Soliton Radar, Doritos, Axe Body Spray, and Mountain Dew in that game.

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Yummylee

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#26  Edited By Yummylee

The thing I've always disliked is how they turned Otacon into an absolute hunk in MGS4. He was your prototypical scientist nerd guy, with what looked to be grey hair even, then in MGS4 he basically looks like a slightly less rugged young Solid Snake. Though really besides Snake everybody was prettied up for MGS4. Naomi should be in her 40s or something yet they turned her into a doll.

I also really disliked how they characterised his dad as basically being Otacon - but in a wheelchair. That he's even voiced by Christopher Randolph makes it seem as if Otacon is also a clone of Huey or something.

Basically fuck MGS4 & Peace Walker. Though for many reasons beyond the Otacon/Huey thing.

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Berserker976

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MGS4 ruined a lot of characters in a bunch of different ways, in my opinion. No one in that game comes out good.

Naomi - Too much to list, so I'll pick one. She starts a relationship (sorta) with Otacon knowing full well both that he has a pretty rough history with women he loves dying, and that she plans to kill herself very soon.

Mei Ling - Is no longer creating cutting edge tech, instead she's commanding a fossil of a battleship because some lecherous old military dude liked her ass.

Vamp - Goes from mysterious and creepy supernatural vampire, to nanomachine-zombie. A great example of Kojima stripping the supernatural out of MGS in service of a realism no one asked for.

Raiden - Personally, this one stings the most. Raiden's arc in MGS2 was fascinating and unique. It can be interpreted so many different ways because it's about a video game character exploring ideas of existence and self. But I guess actually it was all for nothing because it's all thrown out the window to make him a super cool and brooding ninja guy. UGH.

Ocelot - This one is still confusing to me to this day. In MGS3 there is a perfect explanation for how Liquid-Ocelot could be a thing. The Sorrow was his father, the ability to interact with the dead was in his DNA. Instead of using this amazing, subtly implied explanation though, Kojima went with some bullshit about nanomachines, drugs and hypnosis.

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Yummylee

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@berserker976: All great points. I've always disliked what they did to Raiden in particular by turning him into a mopey anime Cyborg Ninja.

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Shindig

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Peace Walker kills The Boss' mystique by crowbarring her into it and then giving her some flimsy lesbian relationship. Even though she winds up being a mother and her lover winds up with Huey because Kojima.

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deactivated-5e83e1ada625d

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Can we talk about how Revengeance has, thematically, the best characters and story in a Metal Gear game?

hard to ruin a character that gets chopped to pieces after 15 minutes of screentime

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artelinarose

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#32  Edited By artelinarose

@shindig said:

Peace Walker kills The Boss' mystique by crowbarring her into it and then giving her some flimsy lesbian relationship. Even though she winds up being a mother and her lover winds up with Huey because Kojima.

She leaves him less than a year later, to be fair. By the time Ground Zeroes rolls around, Strangelove is no longer in the picture. S'what happens when a lesbian pity dates a straight boy.

And you're presuming that just because two girls are together they're automatically lesbians, especially in a series like MGS where just about everybody is canon bisexual. Bisexuals being in a same gender relationship does not immediately make them not bisexual, or their relationship not between two bisexuals.

@berserker976 said:

MGS4 ruined a lot of characters in a bunch of different ways, in my opinion. No one in that game comes out good.

Naomi - Too much to list, so I'll pick one. She starts a relationship (sorta) with Otacon knowing full well both that he has a pretty rough history with women he loves dying, and that she plans to kill herself very soon.

Mei Ling - Is no longer creating cutting edge tech, instead she's commanding a fossil of a battleship because some lecherous old military dude liked her ass.

Vamp - Goes from mysterious and creepy supernatural vampire, to nanomachine-zombie. A great example of Kojima stripping the supernatural out of MGS in service of a realism no one asked for.

Raiden - Personally, this one stings the most. Raiden's arc in MGS2 was fascinating and unique. It can be interpreted so many different ways because it's about a video game character exploring ideas of existence and self. But I guess actually it was all for nothing because it's all thrown out the window to make him a super cool and brooding ninja guy. UGH.

Ocelot - This one is still confusing to me to this day. In MGS3 there is a perfect explanation for how Liquid-Ocelot could be a thing. The Sorrow was his father, the ability to interact with the dead was in his DNA. Instead of using this amazing, subtly implied explanation though, Kojima went with some bullshit about nanomachines, drugs and hypnosis.

These are all super good points! I especially like the commentary on Vamp, Raiden and Ocelot. I have more to say on this but I'm sleepy so I'll do it when I'm awake and can properly think.

@itsthat01guy said:

Can we talk about how Revengeance has, thematically, the best characters and story in a Metal Gear game?

hard to ruin a character that gets chopped to pieces after 15 minutes of screentime

MGS3 did the same thing but with way more plot! The Cobra Unit basically just show up to shout their names and then explode so Snake can look confused for a few moments before getting back to throwing venomous animals and rotten pears at Russians for giggles. But Rising is one of the best Metal Gear games for many other reasons.

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Shindig

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@artelinarose: Still, if the overall arch of the story is to have two factions deify a legendary soldier, don't bring any aspect of her private life into the equation in the interests of 'fleshing out' the character.

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deactivated-5e83e1ada625d

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Rising is literally Kojima cramming in all the philosophy and cutting out all the melodrama.

hell, mistral is a walking camus reference.

characters show up, give their absurdist/libertarian/nihilistic monologue, then get zandatsu'd

it's great.

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artelinarose

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#35  Edited By artelinarose

@shindig said:

@artelinarose: Still, if the overall arch of the story is to have two factions deify a legendary soldier, don't bring any aspect of her private life into the equation in the interests of 'fleshing out' the character.

I thought it was a really interesting contrast to that point about The Boss; in MGS3 she is, as you said, built up to being past the point of being considered human by all involved because of her legendary combat abilities which are constantly brought up in the story, but nobody ever really discusses who she was or even who she IS, ignoring or completely missing that her only real wish was for human beings to treat each other as the humans they are, with respect and dignity, not hatred and violence. I don't think it's much of a leap to say the the concept of the Cobra Unit is something that hints at that point at well: each individual in the unit is known by one singular emotion that they are said to bring into battle with them, stripping away their humanity and complexity and leaving them as something that is one dimensional and easily disregarded. Perhaps this is why MGS3 eschewed the Metal Gear staple of having bosses monologue about their backstory and motivations before or after a fight and just entered and exited them with very little fanfare, to push that point...?

But in Peace Walker the role of The Boss is reversed as she is a machine in that game. Like, actually literally a machine. But the game goes to so many lengths to bring her humanity back into the picture, fleshing out her backstory and giving her more human elements and delving into the truth that, while a soldier without peer, she was still a human being. She had emotions, desires, hopes, dreams, wishes, people she loved. It's a very interesting contrast of the way her character is presented between the games and I fully believe it is intentional.

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Yummylee

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@artelinarose: The part where she 'kills' herself and Huey comments on it by saying ''she didn't use her brain... she used her heart'' was still real stupid, though.

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artelinarose

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#37  Edited By artelinarose
@yummylee said:

@artelinarose: The part where she 'kills' herself and Huey comments on it by saying ''she didn't use her brain... she used her heart'' was still real stupid, though.

ANIMEEEEEEEE

They bring it back by letting you build the ULTIMATE CO OP WEAPON: A human slingshot

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Shindig

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#38  Edited By Shindig

I know @jeff doesn't like the Big Boss stuff for how it gets away from Kojima's mad future but Peace Walker's arguably the dumbest chapter of the whole thing with the stupid mech madness and just... awful character names.

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AdequatelyPrepared

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@shindig said:

I know @jeff doesn't like the Big Boss stuff for how it gets away from Kojima's mad future but Peace Walker's arguably the dumbest chapter of the whole thing with the stupid mech madness and just... awful character names.

You didn't enjoy Heat Freezeman? Or was it Fast Slowman? Or Fat Thinman? I forget.

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musubi

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@yummylee: He was already that in MGS2. every conversation in MGS 2 with rose where she tried to talk about their relationship or his past turned into figurative teenager slamming their bedroom door moment.

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Dragon_Puncher

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Otacon's initial reveal is him pissing himself. He was always a huge idiot and I don't think that ruins him as a character, but makes him a good foil to Snake's perpetual coolness.

And just because he stole some designs, doesn't mean that he's not still a genius. He shows great hacking skills throughout the series and creates the MK II from scratch as far as we know. He's maybe not as big of a genius as he wants people to believe he is, but that probably comes from an inferiority complex originating in the fact that both his father and his LITTLE sister are some of the greatest minds of their time.

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DocHaus

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@adequatelyprepared: But Old Kidman had so much depth!

How dare you make these insuations about Slim Fatman? Angry Calmman was a respected member of the intelligence community, and I will not stand by while this forum slanders the good name of Sleepy Awakeman!

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#44  Edited By hassun

The only thing I really hate is how they kept trying to tie it all together in a neat little package. AKA the existence Huey and the role of Huey and Granin in the creation of Metal Gear. That's a problem with the entire series and not just Otacon though. (Then again It's hard not to be creeped out with the whole stepmom relationship thing.)

Other than that he's pretty much a geeky loser computer nerd who just wants to make cool robots like in his Japanese animes and I'm fine with that.

@berserker976 said:

MGS4 ruined a lot of characters in a bunch of different ways, in my opinion. No one in that game comes out good.

Vamp - Goes from mysterious and creepy supernatural vampire, to nanomachine-zombie. A great example of Kojima stripping the supernatural out of MGS in service of a realism no one asked for.

Ocelot - This one is still confusing to me to this day. In MGS3 there is a perfect explanation for how Liquid-Ocelot could be a thing. The Sorrow was his father, the ability to interact with the dead was in his DNA. Instead of using this amazing, subtly implied explanation though, Kojima went with some bullshit about nanomachines, drugs and hypnosis.

I would like to provide some counterpoints to these two:

Vamp - Vamp has been an utterly terrible character from the start. Making his powers come from nanomachines instead of making him an actual vampire does not make him any worse. In fact I actually prefer the nanomachines version because it makes more sense in the MGS universe. Leave the vampires to the MGS3 jokes.

Ocelot - I actually like the idea that the entire "Liquid taking over Ocelot" aspect is a ruse constructed by Ocelot and Solidus. It allows Liquid to actually die in MGS1 and also does away with the stupidity of someone's arm taking over another person's mind. The Sorrow's abilities were never like this to begin with. Being able to communicate with the dead does not relate well to grafting someone's arm onto your own and having the dead previous owner of that arm take over your mind, voice and mannerisms from time to time.

If you want to argue that Ocelot was ruined I would blame MGS2 for that and not MGS4. Because Ocelot without Liquid is a far better character than Oceliquid. When you go with the version that Ocelot pretended to be Liquid at least it puts him in control over his actions instead of being a slave to some other dude.

@shindig: The Boss never had a lesbian relationship with anyone. Strangelove was just in love with her.

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@dragon_puncher: the Metal Gear MK.2 is from Policenauts, no? But I don't think that stuff is actually canon.

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cbarnes86

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Otacon can still walk

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Dragon_Puncher

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@dan_citi:

Metal Gear MK II is in Snatcher. That game takes place in the 2040's though so I guess you could argue that Otacon's design somehow got out and became mass market.

Seeing those games as canon would probably lead to a thousand new plot holes if you started digging though..

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Dan_CiTi

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@dragon_puncher: I hope Apple makes a Metal Gear MK.2 soon, but I guess that's just a drone. Oh and on that note, since MGS has had drones as foes for a while, what are the chances of Phantom Pain having a drone? (Essentially a flying MK.2)

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ArtisanBreads

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#49  Edited By ArtisanBreads

Otacon was always very lame so not much was lost. He pees his pants right off the bat so I'm not sure how much further he had to fall. Then he weeps over a woman (Sniper Wolf) who hardly even seemed to know who he was. Classic highschool nerd move.

He is truly TERRIBLE in 4 but he's always been a lame.

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ArtisanBreads

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#50  Edited By ArtisanBreads
@hassun said:

The only thing I really hate is how they kept trying to tie it all together in a neat little package. AKA the existence Huey and the role of Huey and Granin in the creation of Metal Gear. That's a problem with the entire series and not just Otacon though. (Then again It's hard not to be creeped out with the whole stepmom relationship thing.)

I agree for sure. I hate when large, multi part fictions do this but to be fair, it seems like most of them fall prey to this issue. It's very corny.
I also agree with your breakdowns of the other characters Hassun. As always, blame MGS2 for fucking up a number of things, especially the characters. Even if they were cool in other games in 2 they probably got tainted in some way. I kind of feel like 4 was trying to reasonably handle a lot of unreasonable and dumb plot elements that 2 set in motion.

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