Solid Snake (also known as Snake or David) is a protagonist and recurring character in the Metal Gear franchise. He was created by game designer Hideo Kojima and was first introduced in 1987 on the MSX2 game Metal Gear. The character and appearance of Solid Snake is based on a couple of film characters and personalities, among them are the character of Snake Plissken from the movie Escape from New York (1981), actor Micheal Biehn during the set of the movie The Terminator (1984) and actor and director Jean-Claud Van Damme. Snake is voiced by actor and screenwriter David Hayter in the English versions of games and in the Japanese version by Akio Ötsuka.
Solid Snake is a clone of Big Boss ”the greatest warrior of the 20th century” . He and his brother were born as twins from a surrogate mother in 1972 in the Metal Gear time-line. He was named David and later codenamed Solid Snake. His early life was spent at different foster homes and as a teen he joined the Green Berets (United States Army Special Forces). He later joined Big Boss’s High-tech Special Forces unit FOXHOUND where he debuted in his first mission in the first game of the Metal Gear franchise. Snake has an IQ of 180 and is fluent in six languages.
Since the original released game, Solid Snake has also been featured in numerous other games such as the original game sequels (in chronological order); Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990), Metal Gear Solid (1998), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001) and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2007). He has also appeared in other Metal Gear games that where not designed by Mr. Kojima or were not direct sequels, they were; Metal Gear (1987, NES version not to be confused with original MSX2 version), Snake’s Revenge (1990), Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (2000), Metal Gear Acid (2004) and Metal Gear Acid 2 (2005). Apart from the Metal Gear franchise Snake has appeared in other games such as; Evolution Skateboarding (2002), DreamMix TV World Fighters (2003), Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django (2004), Boktai 3: Sabata’s Counterattack (2005), Ape Escape 3 (2005), Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008), New International Track & Field (2008) and the Japanese version of Scribblenauts (2009).
The character of Solid Snake has in later years grown to being very popular among gamers and press. Many websites and publications give credit to the character and list him as one of the most influential or top-rated video game characters of all time. To list a few of these articles; Top 25 video game archetypes by GameDaily, Top ten video game characters of all time by Electronic Gaming Monthly, Best heroes in entertainment by UGO Entertainment and All-time greatest game hero by Gamespot."And even though Snake has gained legendary status among soldiers and saved the world countless times, he does not view himself as a hero"
As a soldier Solid Snake has gone through a lot of wars and battlefields, and because of that has suffered in many ways. The direct effect of his early battlefield life is suffering from nightmares and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). As a veteran soldier he rarely shows signs of fear or distress, and many times he is accused of enjoying the situation of battle (killing included)1. He is also accused of committing criminal acts of war that would give lifetime prison.
Snake’s weapon, acrobatic and combat skills are all sharp as a knife. He is a creative soldier who often uses signature tools for stealth missions such as cardboard boxes for hiding and cigarettes for detecting lasers. And he has countless times demonstrated his survival skills in life-threatening situations, among these are; evading cannon fire from a battle tank, surviving gunshots and knife cuts, passing through hallways of microwave emitters and facing multiple highly skilled opponents.
Snake is viewed as a loner because of his habit of isolating himself. Behind his hidden emotions there is a charming and comedic personality that often is expressed towards female characters. Snake has demonstrated a lot of courage during countless situations and often does not hesitate to sacrifice himself. He more than often stands for justice and does try to avoid the harming of others. Because of past experience with deceiving governments and organizations, Snake has stopped taking orders from anyone. Therefore he also shows no sign of longing for country or camaraderie.
Even though Snake has killed and even faced death countless times himself, he usually is respectful and sympathetic towards his enemies. He has high beliefs in his morals and expresses faith in the idea that love and friendship can exist on the battlefield. And even though Snake has gained legendary status among soldiers and saved the world countless times, he does not view himself as a hero.___
Metal Gear Solid (1998), Konami Co.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the patriots (2007), Konami Co.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes information webpage 2011-06-15, Konami Co.
Chris Buffa 2009-01-23, Top 25 game archetypes, GameDaily.
EGM staff 2005-11-28, Top ten video game characters of all time, Electronic Gaming Monthly.
UGO team 2010-01-21, Best heroes in entertainment, UGO Entertainment.
Member vote 2009-10-15, Gamespot’s all-time greatest game hero, Gamespot.