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Metal Gear Solid: The definitive chronology

Where does Rising fit into the MGS timeline?

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Following a corrupted version of the original Boss' dream of a united world, Zero's 'Patriots' soon took control of every aspect of America's government and made Big Boss a legendary figure and the figurehead of their organisation.


1974: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Returning to his Naked Snake codename, Big Boss and Militaires Sans Frontieres - 'Soldiers Without Borders' - is enlisted by Costa Rican agents to help liberate the country from a growing military presence.

As Snake assembles an army he learns about Peace Walker - yet another prototype Metal Gear, designed as the ultimate nuclear deterrent. In a world where mutually assured destruction guarantees a world without nuclear war, human error threatens the 'mutual' part of the MAD acronym.

Powered by an early AI based on the original Boss's psychology, Peace Walker will return fire without hesitation, launching nuclear missiles at any target which fires upon it.

Shadowy CIA bastard Coldman is revealed to be the brains behind the events of Operation: Snake Eater and the man manipulating events in Costa Rica. He attempts to feed false data to Peace Walker to force it to retaliate against Militaires Sans Frontieres' Mother Base but is killed by the KGB who are in turn attacked by the MSF.

In his dying moments Coldman re-programs Peace Walker to fire on Cuba and send fake data to NORAD. As Snake fights one-on-one with Peace Walker the US prepares to retaliate against a non-existent Soviet launch.

Snake is forced to take on the mantle of Big Boss again to convince the US joint chiefs of staff that the launch is a fake but when they refuse to believe him Peace Walker's Boss AI chooses to drown itself in the ocean, killing the false signal.

With Peace Walker's designers now among the MSF's army, Big Boss' organisation builds its own Metal Gear, which is promptly stolen by Zero's own secret agent Paz Andrade who plans to launch the Metal Gear's nuclear weapon against America and frame the MSF.

Snake does what Snake does and takes down Zeke before addressing his troops and promising them a nation of their own - Outer Heaven.

1995: Metal Gear
Following the failure of FOXHOUND agent Gray Fox's own mission in Outer Heaven, Big Boss dispatches a rookie Solid Snake under orders to recover Gray Fox and investigate the possible existence of an Outer Heaven super-weapon.

Snake secures Gray Fox, follows Big Boss' guidance into a series of traps, and ignores orders to abort the mission. Only towards the end of the mission when Snake plans on destroying Metal Gear TX-55 on his own does Big Boss reveal himself to be the leader of Outer Heaven.

He explains how Snake's presence in Outer Heaven was designed to waste the United States' time and allow Outer Heaven to finish construction of their Metal Gear.

Snake destroys the TX-55 and faces off against Big Boss before leaving the old man for dead. Considered a megalomaniacal madman at the time, Big Boss's motivations become clear in light of Operations Peace Walker and Snake Eater and knowledge of the Patriots. His war was never directed at the US, but at Zero's secret government.

Snake inadvertently assists the Patriots by taking down Outer Heaven, but Big Boss survives and saves Outer Heaven's refugees and soldiers from a series of NATO airstrikes, leading them to safety in the Middle East.

Much of the subtext behind the Outer Heaven Revolt wouldn't become apparent until the 21st Century, and Solid Snake doesn't learn of Big Boss' war with the Patriots or his own origins until Shadow Moses in 2005.

1999: Metal Gear 2
Now under the Command of Colonel Roy Campbell, Big Boss' friend from the San Hieronymo Uprising, FOXHOUND sends Solid Snake to extract synthetic oil inventor Dr. Kio Marv from Zanzibar Land - one of the world's only remaining nuclear powers.

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