ATB’s Top 25 Male Characters: (15) Solid Snake

solid-snake

“We can tell other people about having faith. What we had faith in. What we found important enough to fight for. It’s not whether you were right or wrong, but how much faith you were willing to have, that decides the future.”

We’re now into the meat and potatoes as the top 25 continues. Tomorrow, our list continues the countdown to the #1 male video game character of all-time on Aug. 31.

15) Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid) – 2 votes/121 points

Chris: Snake’s story is one of clones and twins, loyalty and betrayal. He’s consistently a hero even when his country or his superiors are a convoluted mess. His most devastating weapon is a cardboard box, although his sniper rifle and rocket launcher aren’t far behind. What do you say to a character like that?

To me, nothing epitomizes Solid Snake more than David Hayter’s voice work. Hayter’s gritty, brusk tones became synonymous with the character itself. That’s why it was extremely disappointing to find out that Kiefer Sutherland would be taking the reins in Metal Gear Solid 5. It’s certainly possible that Sutherland will do as good — or better — of a job than Hayter. It’s not hard to imagine Jack Bauer’s voice behind Solid Snake. But we’ve grown accustomed to a certain voice, and it’s jarring when that abruptly changes after a long time (see: Pokemon after all the original actors and actresses vanished).

Despite the Metal Gear series going off the rails in terms of story and cutscene length, the more interesting development to me is how Snake has progressed from an action hero trope to a complete and unique character. I’m actually surprised he didn’t finish a little higher on our list.

Shaun: We talk about characters who display the power of will a lot on this list. I’m not sure anyone embodies that more than our number 15 best male character ever, Snake of the Solid variety.

Observe:

  • On his first mission, destroyed Metal Gear, and in doing so thwarted a terrorist from creating a mercenary nation with no borders….after discovering the terrorist was the leader of Snake’s organization, Big Boss (and also his genetic father).
  • In Metal Gear 2, stopped a plot that would have allowed the synthetic creation of oil, which would have thusly tipped the scale of world power….by destroying another Metal Gear. And also beat Big Boss. Again. With a jury rigged blowtorch.
  • Out-sniped the world’s best sniper.
  • Out-ninja’d a robot ninja.
  • Out-strategy’d a psychic.
  • Fell off the grid completely when presumed dead, only to emerge and guide everyone’s favorite hero, Raiden.
  • Defeated a small battalion of nano-enhanced super soldiers as a crotchety old man.
  • Fought an immortal vampire and made him mortal.
  • Beat like probably 50 more Metal Gears
  • Kept saving the world when it did nothing but crap on and betray him.

Maybe his most demonstrative moment of superior will came in Metal Gear Solid 4. You know how everyone admired Andy Dufresne when he Redemptioned through 5 football fields worth of sewer pipe for freedom? Well, Solid Snake crawled through about 100 feet of highly-radiated vent that was burning his face off for YOUR FREEDOM AND THE FREEDOM OF THE FREE WORLD.

The most impressive part about Snake’s feats of grandeur is that he’s just a regular dude…and really, he’s even less than that, as he possesses all of the inferior traits of his progenitor, Big Boss. However, nothing illustrated his sheer will power and ability to overcome obstacles than when he fought hand to hand with Liquid Snake, his twin and also the brother who received all of the dominant traits.

Snake was destined to lose, and yet he overcame. Sums up his entire legacy, if you ask me.

Joseph: I’m not surprised Solid Snake made this list. It’s hard to have character when you’re just an avatar for the player. It’s easy to do when you are the star of 90 percent of the cut scenes in video gaming. Start the game? Cut scene. Meet some old friends? Cut scene. Take a step? Cut scene. You want to know why Snake gets old so quickly? He lives through about as many cut scenes as there are Zubats in Pokemon. That would gray any man’s hair before his prime. At least Snake has the added benefit of being able to save the world, albeit in a cut scene.

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Honorable Mention

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