Part 5: Beauty & Beast Unit
PART 6: Liquid Ocelot is Silly
Metal Gear Solid's lineup of villains have always had a flair for the dramatic, with ambitious world-conquest goals and multi-layered schemes meant to rival classic James Bond villains. They've always been unrealistic. But they've never been acted as outright silly as Liquid Ocelot in Guns of the Patriots.
Volgin was a homosexual sadist who shot electricity from his hands. He was killed by a lightning bolt while standing on top of the world's first Metal Gear, which he was controlling by grabbing some random wires that he ripped out of the machine's roof. Upon being struck, his ammunition belt exploded, creating a deadly fireworks display that lasted for almost a full minute. That's called being "over-the-top", and perhaps a little silly too. So I guess the question became how Kojima would follow up such an epic end boss.
Aside from the standard "take over the world/stop the Patriots" routine, there's really not much going on with Liquid Ocelot. He goes around the world trying to hijack the System, allows Snake to live while trying to kill him, and — big surprise! — ultimately reveals that it was being stopped was part of his plan.
Like every other character in Metal Gear Solid 4, it turns out that Liquid Ocelot's intentions were actually noble and that he is simply tragic and misunderstood. He created global conflict and endless suffering just so that he could provoke Solid Snake to do his job and put an end to it. Stupid, yes, but not much different than his efforts in both Shadow Moses and the the Plant Chapter.
Is this what the whole series was leading up to?
And hey, to give Kojima credit where credit is due, he did manage to integrate Liquid's past objectives by saying that the remains of Big Boss and the system inside Arsenal Gear were part of the puzzle. Ignoring these would have made the old games feel slightly more irrelevant. But why make Ocelot so juvenile and annoying? The "obvious" answer would be that he serves to contrast the beleaguered and melancholy disposition of his nemesis, Solid Snake. It also shows that Liquid Snake — not Revolver Ocelot — is in control. His silly hand gestures, somewhat reminiscent of both young Ocelot's, as well as Liquid Snake's, bring back memories of Snake Eater and Shadow Moses.
But... is there anything deeper to it as well?
The Hidden Reasons
Kojima took some pretty big liberties with Ocelot's character in MGS4, turning him into a slapstick caricature rather than a serious villain like Volgin or Solidus. According to Metal Gear Wiki, Edge magazine stated "Kojima has forged a superb villain, far more complete than in MGS2." Superb? I can't find the original quote (needs citation!) but either way I believe Liquid Ocelot would have to reply, "Think again!"
In one of the Integral Podcasts on Shadow Moses, Aki Saito tells us that the Japanese word used in his fake death scene is even more juvenile and silly than it is in the English dub, being more equal with the outdated trick of following up a statement with "NOT!" He scampers backwards, laughing and pointing like an idiot. If you didn't cringe at this inside, you are not a true fan of the series. It was meant to be ridiculous. Yes it's a reference to the last time Liquid died at the same spot after crashing into Snake's jeep; yes it's sort of clever and cheeky; but in the context of what could be called the biggest climax of the whole series, it's just awful. And if you aren't convinced that Kojima was sabotaging this scene on purpose, how do you explain this:
Exactly. This is what the laughing, chilidish Ocelot escapes into after pretending to die for giggles. Is this a parody of how bizarre other games become by the end? What's the point? It's not cool, it's just stupid. This is Liquid Ocelot's creation, so what does that say about him? Does the whole ship represent the legacy of the "Snakes"? It's not even worth trying to think about, because by this point Kojima is just throwing dumb shit out left, right and center, and waiting for his moronic fans to choke it down and ask for more.
Liquid Ocelot is silly, and the game suffers horribly because of it. Explain it however you choose, but it was deliberate and it is tragic.
PART SEVEN: Nanomachine Overkill