Metal Gear Solid 4 character countdown: The Patriots

Thumb - Image 1 We have just a few more weeks left before we finally get our hands on Konami Digital Entertainment’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and the home stretch of the waiting period is killing us. To keep you preoccupied, we decided to feature some of the key characters of the game on a weekly basis to freshen our memories on their roles in the series. This week, we’ll shed some light on the mysterious Patriots.

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We’re on the last goings of the wait for Konami Digital Entertainment’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and that means the MGS4 character countdown is also on the home stretch. We’ve already looked back at such returning characters as Liquid Ocelot, Vamp, Otacon, Roy Campbell, the women of Metal Gear, and Raiden. This week, we’ve got some very mysterious fellas who hold the title role.

Taking the spotlight now are The Patriots. While not a whole lot is known about these shady figures, we’ll attempt to piece together what we do know about them and we’ll try to fill in all the gaps that make up this huge enigma. Let’s get started.

Character history

The Patriots (also called The La le lu le lo) is an organization which was introduced by Kojima Productions in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It is a highly secretive group which controls the United States using every means necessary including murder, conspiracies, deceit, and blackmail. Its agents, such as Revolver Ocelot, actively roam the world, wheelin’, killin’, and double-dealin’ to protect the interests of the world’s only superpower.

To better understand what the deal is with The Patriots, we need to go back to the post World War I era when leaders of the Allies, Russia, and China banded together in a secret meeting to form a group called The Philosophers. Together, these leaders commanded a massive amount of wealth and power, influencing the economies and politics of every major power at the time.

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However, a fallout in The Philosophers group started during the 1930s after its original members died. The American wing of The Philosophers broke away and called themselves “The Patriots.” Not much was chronicled afterwards except for Gene’s failed attempt during the events of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops  to destroy the Philosophers.

Konami, however, was a bit more generous in showing us how the seeds of The Patriots were sown. Multiple references to the group have been made in MGS prequels, such as Naked Snake’s code question and the password he was supposed to get in his frustrated meet-up with Adam. Snake was supposed to ask Adam “who are The Patriots” to identify him, and Adam was supposed to reply “La le lu le lo.”

We’re not sure if the other references have any relevance at all to the organization, but The Boss talked a lot about patriotism in the MGS3 endgame. Her weapon of choice, by the way, is a gun called “The Patriot” which players could unlock after finishing the game.

More clues were established in MGS: Portable Ops as Ocelot assassinated his former boss, the DCI, and then engaged a man “with the same code name as Null” in the trademark epilogue phone calls. The two seem to have acquired the Philosopher’s Legacy and are setting up the resurrection of The Patriots. It was also during this call that Ocelot asked his employer to invite Big Boss into the group.

In MGS2, Ocelot revealed for the first time that he’s working for The Patriots and stole the prototype for Metal Gear RAY which was viewed by the group as a potential threat. It was later revealed that The Patriots pulled off a sham with the Big Shell water cleanup facility to develop Arsenal Gear, which was later stolen by Solidus Snake and the Sons of Liberty.

In the Big Shell part of MGS2, Raiden learns more about how The Patriots are run as a group. He was told that an inner circle of 12 people called “The Wisemen’s Committee” call the shots from within, influencing how America’s society, economics, and politics function. Also in MGS2, it was revealed that The Patriots are on the path to controlling how information is disseminated to the public. To counter the threat that the Internet poses to them, The Patriots tested the S3 plan.

Ultimately, The Patriots succeeded with just about everything they wanted to happen in Big Shell except for Liquid Snake’s unexpected takeover of Ocelot’s body. RAY was once again stolen, and Liquid runs free, setting the stage for MGS4.

In one of MGS4‘s trailers, the question “who the hell are these Patriots?” was asked. They may be bad and all, but the fact that they’re almost indispensable was underscored. Watch the video below and see what we mean:

If you didn’t have the patience to sit through that one, it was stated that The Patriots are what holds this world together. They’re a group formed by the passing of time, with ideologies and interests meshed to form what we have today.

Come the launch of MGS4, we’ll finally uncover more about this enigmatic group. Will Solid Snake topple them? Will Liquid succeed in taking them out? Or will they remain in control of a world torn by conflict? We’ll see.

Some quick thoughts

  • It’s been said all too often, but could Major Zero really be “the man with the same codename as Null?” He has to be really old by now. We wonder what he looks like if he’s still alive.
  • If Big Boss was invited into The Patriots after Portable Ops, did he accept? If he did, were the whole Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Lands incidents a sham? Or did he do it to fight The Patriots? If so, he probably was a hero after all, with a clone manipulated into killing him. Ouch.
  • On that note, could Big Boss be headed for that surprise comeback in MGS4 as a hero? Every sign is pointing to it. Besides, death via cigarette lighter and aerosol spray just seems too cruel for a character of his level.

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