5. Gray Fox/Ninja (Metal Gear Solid)
The confrontation between Snake and the mysterious ninja is one gamers wouldn’t soon forget when first playing Metal Gear Solid. Gray Fox, Snake’s former best friend who was more of a brother to him has returned from the dead, it seems. “I’ve waited a long time for this”, exclaims the robotic ninja. All he wants is one final battle with Snake, just like old times. Gray Fox doesn’t want revenge, or anything as meaningless as that. He wants to feel what it was like on the battlefield, he wants to feel pain. He wants to feel alive again. “Do you remember, Snake? The feel of battle. The clashing of bone and sinew?”. The player soon realizes weapons won’t work here; Gray Fox wants a hand to hand duel. The iconic fight against Gray Fox is one that pitted former friends against each other and it’s not until after the clash that Snake realizes just who that was, and it’s a very emotional moment at that. This is the moment that also brings us one of the most memorable lines in MGS history: “Hurt. Me. More!”
4. The Sorrow (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
Acting as a huge change of pace during Operation: Snake Eater, the Sorrow served to terrify and frustrate players at the same time. The Sorrow acts as a medium, haunting Snake with all those he has killed throughout the course of the game. Snake wades slowly through murky waters while chasing a vision of the Sorrow, helpless as his life depletes. Kojima plays with Metal Gear fans once again as players can remember facing a ‘Game Over’ screen time and time again despite what actions they took. The encounter defies the standard rules of boss encounters and forces quick thinking in order to remember that Snake possesses a revival pill. While no urgent combat takes place, The Sorrow is one of many events that torment Naked Snake’s psyche.
3. The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
With The Phantom Pain and the conclusion of Big Boss’ arc impending, Naked Snake’s fight to the death with The Boss was a necessary inclusion. While the combat mechanics in and of themselves are actually straightforward, the flower-filled arena and its contestants demonstrated a tipping point in Snake’s story arc that began his descent. Armed with a gun and the CQC techniques learned from his mentor, Snake is forced to carry out his mission of eliminating The Boss on behalf of the United States government. The encounter ends with Snake learning the truth of The Boss’ actions, yet still being forced to gun her down. Players are left with no choice but to shoot, causing the pure, white flowers to turn blood red. After all, “There’s only room for one Boss, and one Snake.”
2. The End (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
The Metal Gear series has a reputation for outstanding boss battles, but few are as unforgettable as The End. Equipped with a modified Mosin Nagant, the powers of the forest, and his parrot companion, The End is a fantastic sniper fight. What makes the battle so unique are various ways to beat him. When The End is on a wheelchair at the end of a pier, he can be killed with quick shots before the fight at Sokrovenno. Similary, the player could wait a week to have him die of old age A traditional fight against The End is a long and exhausting sniper fight to the death, but the sense of victory is like no other. The alternative is going the aggressive route by running around to each area, flailing a knife around like madman and scaring the old man into running for his life. Either way, the victory tastes so sweet when he goes down. However the player chooses to fight, The End ends up exploding himself like rest of the Cobra Unit and becomes one with the forest. That’s one way to go out.)