Gaming’s Greatest Antihero

There are few occasions where we spend the entirety of playing through ones’ story condemning them to damnation only to have our outlook of this individual turned upside down in the final act. The anti-hero is a literary character who, throughout the course of the story, takes on characteristics of both villain and hero. While this type of character is quite abundant in the gaming industry, there is one that stands out to me as being the most notable for his ability to not only hide is true motives, but also cause an unending string of ironic destruction and death all for the name of good.

As his actions escalated over the fifty year span of Metal Gear Solid’s canon story, it was almost impossible to get a bead on what Revolver Ocelot had ultimately planned. Gamers are first introduced to the character in 1998’s Metal Gear Solid, where he acted as the right hand man (no pun intended) to the game’s antagonist, Liquid Snake. As Metal Gear’s plot expanded and flushed out over the next two games, it was clear that Ocelot had more in mind than just a hostage negotiation for the remains of the legendary Big Boss – from whom Liquid and Solid Snake were cloned.

Though the events of the well received sequel, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, don’t seem to match up with Ocelot’s master plan revealed in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it sets the stage for Liquid Ocelot – a seemingly supernatural combination of Revolver Ocelot and Liquid Snake whose creation is due in part to Liquid’s arm replacing the one Ocelot lost in the first game. As convoluted as Ocelot’s motives seem in Sons of Liberty, things only get more confusing with his part as a triple agent in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. At the start of Snake Eater, he’s an enemy. By the end of the lengthy tale, the rambunctious and somewhat overly arrogant young man forms a bond with Naked Snake that sets the stage for Guns of the Patriots’ climactic and surprising ending.

In the end, all of the chaos, murder, and destruction at Ocelot’s hands were all in the name of society’s future. With the Patriots AI looking to control every facet of society through a military economy, Ocelot took a dramatic stance to bring back to light the philosophies of his mother, The Boss, which, in a nutshell, gave soldiers a certain freedom of their own. His only goal was to eradicate the Patriot’s AI control, and his only means was to continuously manipulate everybody around him, including the AI itself, thus creating the continuous confusion that was pretty much a staple to the Metal Gear Solid series.

With the recently announced Ground Zeroes on the horizon, I can’t help but wonder if Ocelot’s story will receive yet another set of unexpected twists and turns. Though not confirmed to even be in the story – which still remains quite a mystery in itself – one can assume that such an influential character would have even a bit part.

Some of gaming’s other notable anti-heroes include Kratos from the God of War series, Jackie Estacado from The Darkness, Prototype’s Alex Mercer, the Spartan warrior Kratos from the God of War series, and just about any character from the Grand Theft Auto series. In the history of gaming, who takes your top spot?