Metal Gears are massive war machines from the Metal Gear series. While first introduced in the original Metal Gear, their origin begins in Metal Gear Solid 3, which took place during the height of the Cold War. The original Metal Gear design and theory was created by Aleksandr Leonovitch Granin, who believed in combining artillery and infantry into one unit, capitalizing on the mobility of infantry combined with the firepower of artillery. He saw the only solution for this being an armored tank with legs. He was very opposed to the Shagohod for this very reason, as it was limited by its screw propulsion system.
Notable Metal Gears
Metal Gear RAXA
By the chronology of the Metal Gear franchise, this is the first Metal Gear created. It was seen in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. It was built by Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov, based on Granin's original plans. It acted as a mobile nuclear launch platform for nuclear missiles called MIRVs. It was relatively slow and walked using its four legs. To compensate for its speed, it could be attached to a rocket and fired near the intended target. It would then detach from the rocket and parachute to the ground, at which point it would fire its missiles.
Metal Gear ZEKE
Appears in Peace Walker for the PSP. After Snake rescued Huey from Hot Coldman, Huey went to work at Mother Base, helping the MSF destroy his own creations on the Peace Walker project. To achieve this end, he designed and helped to build a new Metal Gear nicknamed ZEKE. Later on in the story, Dr. Strangelove came onboard to help craft its AI. When the ZEKE was finished being built, Kaz told Snake that he loaded up Coldman's unused nuclear missiles onto ZEKE because that way MSF would have its own deterrent against any world power planning to destroy them, as well as keep them out of the hands of terrorists or others who could use them for evil. By doing this, MSF essentially became a nation unto itself.
However, shortly after the Peace Walker incident, the Patriots' own Agent Pacifica managed to hijack the finished Metal Gear ZEKE and tried to use it as leverage to force Snake to rejoin the Patriots. When he refused, Pacifica armed a nuclear missile and prepared to launch it at the East Coast of the US to paint the MSF as pariahs and see the Mother Base nuked into oblivion in a retaliatory strike. Snake and the MSF were then forced to destroy ZEKE, sending it to the bottom of the ocean along with Pacifica. However, it is unknown whether or not Pacifica died with it or escaped from the cockpit with scuba gear.
In this game, the player can build a fully-functioning ZEKE by collecting scrapped parts of other robots that Snake and the MSF fight in the game, including different versions of the Pupa, Chrysalis, Cocoon and even Peace Walker itself. It is armed with standard missiles and chainguns, but some optional parts can be salvaged to make it even stronger, like a railgun to increase its attack power, extra armor, a radar dish or booster jets. Also, by infiltrating the AI Pod of any robots that have been damaged, the player can retrieve AI boards to increase ZEKE's effectiveness in the field. ZEKE can be sent on Outer Ops missions, providing a big advantage against enemy forces.
First appears in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Though never explicitly referred to as a "Metal Gear," the Sahelanthropus was functionally a Metal Gear created by Huey for XOF after the destruction of Mother Base and ZEKE. Originally designed to use an AI pilot, Huey installed a child-sized cockpit so that his son, Hal, could be the test pilot. When Strangelove found out and strongly objected, Huey locked her inside a dormant AI pod until she suffocated to death.
Several years later, Huey began having doubts about his project and quietly asked for the Diamond Dogs to rescue him from a Soviet base in Afghanistan. Venom Snake managed to rescue him, but the Sahelanthropus was finished enough that Skull Face was able to use it on the escaping Snake with a simple AI pilot. Snake was able to hide from it, then shot it down with a large-caliber machine gun on a chopper.
The Sahelanthropus returned fully functional after Skull Face explained his plan to Snake, being moved by the Floating Boy after crushing The Man On Fire underneath its treads. After a prolonged battle with all of the Diamond Dogs supporting him, Snake managed to destroy the Sahelanthropus before it emerged in a more populated area.
After the battle, the scrapped Sahelanthropus was airlifted to Mother Base, where Snake planned to keep it as a symbol, but Huey secretly rebuilt it, using the rescued child soldiers on the base to assist him. The leader of the child soldiers, Eli, then used the rebuilt Sahelanthropus to escape the base with his comrades, leading to Huey's exile from Diamond Dogs.
Though not officially part of the game, extra footage shows the Diamond Dogs fighting Eli as he pilots the rebuilt Sahelanthropus in one final battle before destroying it for good.
The Sahelanthropus has a lot of powerful weaponry, including a flamethrower, gatling guns, guided anti-tank missiles, hunter-seeker drones, a railgun, and even a nano-fiber sword that can cause metallic blades to spike up from the ground in a straight line. On top of that, its armor is composed of Uranium-235, essentially allowing the Sahelanthropus to create nuclear weapons from itself. However, that function was never used.
Metal Gear TX-55
Metal Gear TX-55 appeared in Metal Gear for the NES and MSX. Metal Gear TX-55 was created by Dr. Pettrovich. It functions as a mobile nuclear platform. In the NES version of Metal Gear, the player never confronts the Metal Gear itself, instead fighting the supercomputer that controls it. The TX-55 was armed with a laser cannon along with a 20mm vulcan gun and multiple medium-range warheads. However, none of its arsenal was put to use, as the TX-55 was destroyed by Solid Snake before completion.
Metal Gear D
Metal Gear D appeared in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake on the MSX. Metal Gear D was a redesigned version of the TX-55 Metal Gear model, featuring a more streamlined design. Metal Gear D's arsenal was comprised of a 5.56mm machine gun, 60mm Vulcan Gun, and a missile pod with a capacity of six warheads. It was developed by Drago Pettrovich Madnar for Zanzibar Land, much like TX-55 was for Outer Heaven. However, unlike the TX-55, he designed D out of his own free will. Metal Gear D was piloted by Gray Fox during Zanzibar Land's raid of nuclear disposal sites. Solid Snake learned that Metal Gear D's legs were vulnerable to attack from hand grenades, and he exploited this knowledge while battling Gray Fox, in command of the Metal Gear.
Metal Gear REX
REX was the Metal Gear from Metal Gear Solid. It was designed by Dr. Hal "Otacon" Emmerich, and built in Shadow Moses. Its weapons include vulcan cannons, anti-tank missiles, and a free-electron laser. It is capable of launching a nuclear missile through the use of its high powered railgun. This allows REX to attack its enemies yet remain untraceable, since the missile doesn't need to any propellant for launch. It is far more armored than its predecessors, covered in thick compound armor. This also proves to be one of REX's weaknesses, as the pilot has no way to see out of the cockpit, and must rely on its radome for all external readings. The radome itself is weak, and a direct attack against it will blind the pilot, forcing him to open up the cockpit to see. Otacon explains that he built this weakness in on purpose.
Metal Gear RAY
Metal Gear RAY premiered in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was developed by the U.S. Navy, based on the leaked plans of Metal Gear REX. It differs from the other Metal Gears in that it was not built as a mobile launch platform, but rather as a Metal Gear killer, designed to fight and destroy any and all REXs it encountered. They believed that this new type of Metal Gear would render all other Metal Gears useless and inferior to RAY's maneuverability and newly acquired firepower.
Its weapons include two machine guns and six missile tubes, though its main weapon is a water jet cutter, which fires a concentrated stream of water with such force that it's capable of cutting through REX's thick armor. In MG Rising: Raiden fought a customized RAY model that had its hydraulic cannon swapped for a plasma cannon, and a large, heated knife installed in one of its limbs.
RAY was designed to be far more mobile than previous Metal Gears, and emulates many systems of organic life in its design. It uses synthetic muscle tissue that contracts when an electric current is applied to give it its high maneuverability. Its circulatory system pumps a nano-paste across its body that flows into and repairs breaks in RAY's armor. It even has a nervous system composed of conductive nanotubes that can bypass damaged connections to continue its full operations. All these features join together to make it functional on land and sea. Metal Gear RAY's armor is composed of Ceramic-Titanium Alloy.
Metal Gear Gander
Metal Gear Gander appears in the Gameboy Color game Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (Metal Gear Solid in North America). Gander’s development was overseen by the U.S Government over the seven years following the events in Outer Heaven in Metal Gear (1987).
Metal Gear Gander was in transit on a C-5 Galaxy transport plane to South America, presumably for a field exercise, when the plane was hijacked. The plane was also carrying a number of nukes and Metal Gear’s researchers. Campbell recruits Snake, who has made a home for himself in Alaska, and cites Metal Gear as “The devil's candy of mass destruction to change the meaning of nuclear warfare.”
Campbell claims that intel shows Metal Gear was taken to Gindra, a fairly small country in Central Africa. American peacekeeping troops have been deployed to help solve an ongoing civil war. Metal Gear is in the hands of the armed separatist group Gindra Liberation Front (GLF). GLF operates out of the fortress Galuade, which Campbell reveals to Snake as the former site of Outer Heaven, and GLF has recruited mercenaries from the group Black Chamber.
After infiltrating the fortress, Snake recons with Chris Jenner (the sole survivor of the Delta Force squad sent in before Snake) and rescues James ‘Jimmy the Wizard’ Harks, who is the head of the Metal Gear development team. Jimmy reveals that Metal Gear can launch warheads with its two rail guns, but requires an enormous amount of power, enough to cause blackouts in nearby buildings, but requires 30 minutes to charge.
Snake attempts to reach Metal Gear, but before he can reach it, its left rail gun charges up and fires a projectile. A nuclear warhead is launched toward the US, but lands at a nuclear testing site in Nevada, causing no casualties. After demonstrating Metal Gear’s power, ‘General’ Augustine Eguabon sends a video of demands to the US government, promising a nuclear strike in a major city unless the US withdrawals all peacekeeping troops.
Snake works with Jimmy to disarm Metal Gear Gander by destroying the power plant, however Jimmy reveals there is a second way it can launch another warhead. Before he can explain, his handcuffs explode, killing him. Snake makes his way to the 100th floor basement of the maintenance base and faces off against Black Art Viper, who reveals that Black Chamber was recruited two years ago to recover Metal Gear by the CIA in a similar incident, only to be met with government-sent assassins from Fox-Hound upon completion of their mission.
Snake defeats Viper, and faces off against the General who is piloting Metal Gear Gander. Snake takes out its legs with C4 and mines as they try to stomp on him. After it falls, Snake must shoot its two orbiting drones, and destroy its turrets and missile launchers with grenades and other explosives. After destroying Metal Gear, Snake learns from the General that Outer Heaven was actually a US backed venture, and that the US supported the GLF to ensure it could operate to unofficially check anti-American forces. Project Babel is revealed to be a destabilizing effort by the US. A plan to involve neighboring regions against an ethnic minority, allowing them to send peacekeeping troops and eventually exercise control over the region. The General also provides Snake with a data disk full of proof.
As the General dies, Viper re-appears in front of the ruined Metal Gear, and he and Snake face off again. Viper reveals his involvement with the GLF was all in an effort to find the identity of ‘Anonymous’, who ordered the Fox-Hound assassinations on Black Chamber. Viper reactivates Metal Gear and reveals that the rail gun was only ‘a cherry on top’, as Metal Gear Gander’s true powder comes from an integrated launch system that has control of seven nuclear armed satellites. Viper and Snake fight, and Snake defeats Viper before Metal Gear can be brought back to the surface and transmit its launch signal. In the epilogue, Snake decides to return to the US, to confront ‘the faceless men who play chess with people’s lives’ and to fight conspiracy.
Arsenal Gear first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
Arsenal Gear was a submersible, mobile fortress with the ability to monitor, block, and tamper with internet communications in order to further the goals of The Patriots. After the tanker incident , The Patriots sent out a dummy tanker, sank it, and used it as a means to cover up the construction of Arsenal Gear. Arsenal Gear was the largest Metal Gear ever constructed requiring a huge crew to operate and defend it. The massive vehicle needed to carry 25 mass-produced Metal Gear RAY's to help defend itself. Arsenal Gear was ultimately a flawed creation, as pointed out by Solidus Snake; it was virtually worthless without a nuclear payload, the RAYs to protect it, and full sea, land, and air support. Unless it was capable of sustaining such needs, Arsenal Gear was nothing more than "a gigantic coffin."
Gekko is the new mecha featured in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The Gekko is a mass-produced unmanned bipedal unit manufactured by ArmsTech Corp, and designated "Irving" by the U.S. Military; this stems from the American codename for the Nakajima J1N "Gekko" twin engine night fighter aircraft from WWII. Their frequent use by PMCs has caused it to be a replacement for tanks as a means of conducting armored warfare in Urban areas. The Gekko is used particularly by the Praying Mantis company, although the Gekko have widespread use within the PMC community.
Although not a literal Metal Gear, the top half of this mecha is reminiscent of the Metal Gear REX design while the organic legs are somewhat similar to that of Metal Gear RAY. It is unmanned and uses two large cameras as its "eyes", one mounted on its head, the other at the front of its hip assembly. These are backed up by other sensors, mostly passive. New features include a small robotic tentacle used to pick up small objects or grab targets. The Gekko is incredibly agile and maneuverable, thanks to a pair of flexible limbs that can act as either legs or arms. The legs are made from artificial muscle tissue cloned from embryonic stem cells of ungulate embryos. With these legs, the Gekko can pick up a man and throw him hard enough to penetrate a brick wall, deliver a kick that can overturn a 6x6 truck, dodge an RPG and kill its shooter, climb walls, crouch to enter buildings, run at speeds equivalent to a motor vehicle, and leap huge distances through the air. This model comes in multiple variants. Two of these variants are designed for standard combat; both carrying anti-personnel machine guns mounted inside the "nose", while one carries heavier machine guns and missile launchers. A third variant is the special purpose "Suicide Gekko", designed to invade enemy facilities in groups before self-destructing en masse.
Similar in combat terms when compared with traditional Metal Gear models, relatively little firepower is needed to actually destroy one. A quick blast with an assault rifle may cause one to trip if shot in the legs. Corresponding shots to the "neck" can destroy a Gekko with small arms such as a M4 Carbine or FN P90 . However when a Gekko falls it can quickly regain its footing even if tripped onto its head. The Gekko makes use of sound in psychological warfare, particularly animal noises (such as cicadas while on the prowl to create an atmosphere of unease, and bull sounds in direct combat as a means of unnerving the enemy). They feature characteristics that are biomechanoid to some degree, as they have been shown to "bleed" when sliced at the legs (understandably as the machine could use a blood-like self-repairing nanopaste like the RAY), though severe wounds on seemingly mechanical components have been known to "bleed" as well. In addition, they expel a green liquid while roaring in certain situations.
In a pre-release interview, Metal Gear director Hideo Kojima stated that the Gekkos are not the game's titular Metal Gears, stating that they are more like a jeep or a Tank compared to the conventional Metal Gears such as REX and RAY.
Metal Gear Mk. II/III
A robotic companion to Snake called Metal Gear Mk. II appears in Metal Gear Solid 4. This Metal Gear Mk. II is similar (albeit a bit more angular in appearance) to the Snatcher version and is controlled by Otacon, who uses it to deliver ammunition and advice to Solid Snake. The Metal Gear Mk. II can also be used as a recon device, turn invisible, and shock enemies knocking them unconscious. However, it also runs on batteries which run out of juice due to consumption while in operation. The Metal Gear Mk. II is automated in the game, but can be controlled by the player if needed. After the Eastern Europe mission, the Metal Gear Mk.II is destroyed by Vamp, and replaced by the similar Metal Gear Mk.III, which accompanies Snake at Shadow Moses and Outer Haven. The Mk. III has the same body as the Mk. II, but with a red-colored exterior, and serves the same function.
Metal Gear EXCELSUS
The last known large-scale Metal Gear created by ArmsTech. Its only known appearance was at the Shabhazabad Air Base in Pakistan. Senator Armstrong was seen piloting it when Raiden infiltrated the base in Metal Gear Rising to stop the American President from being assassinated during his visit to the country. "Doktor" Wilhelm Voigt noted that it was a rather obsolete model of Metal Gear in a world where cyborg technology had evolved to the point that cyborgs and Unmanned Gears could be built smaller and smarter for cheaper. Excelsus' true value was not in its combat ability (though very strong), but as a source of "shock and awe" against entire enemy populations, being able to flatten entire villages with its arsenal until the enemy surrendered or was wiped out in one stroke.
EXCELSUS was a six-legged machine that contained several large high-frequency blades, a giant plasma cannon, and was capable of tunneling underground. However, Raiden sliced up its front legs, then ripped off one of its retractable blades and used it to smash the EXCELSUS until it stopped moving. Armstrong then emerged from the cockpit of the Metal Gear to face Raiden in a one-on-one showdown.