Metal Gear is a franchise that is almost defined by its villains. After all, this is the franchise where Big Boss’ shadow looms over the whole series despite him simply being the fairly basic final boss of the first two games. It should come as no surprise that Liquid, the antagonist of the first Solid title, plays quite the role after his defeat.
This is a man who comes back to life as an arm after blatantly dying in front of Snake’s eyes. His appearance as Eli in The Phantom Pain also gave him an added layer of relevance he didn’t have before. Liquid has only gotten more compelling with time.
10 Liquid Is Liquid Ocelot’s Dominant Personality In Japanese
Liquid Snake plays a very bizarre role after his death. Liquid ends up possessing Revolver Ocelot in the second game only for it to be revealed that Ocelot was faking it all along in the fourth. Considering Liquid Ocelot sounds, well, like Ocelot, it does only make sense. Except this isn’t the case in Japanese.
In the Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid 4, Liquid Ocelot is voiced by Liquid’s voice actor, not Ocelot’s. For the localization, it was decided that Liquid Ocelot would be voiced by Patrick Zimmerman to better match the character's voice to the body. It ends up downplaying Liquid’s presence in MGS4, but that’s probably for the best.
9 Liquid Really Did Possess Ocelot
On that note, there’s absolutely no way Liquid didn’t actually possess Revolver Ocelot during Metal Gear Solid 2. Kojima can say nanomachines all he wants, but it’s obvious in the context of MGS2 that Liquid really is back and he’s here to possess Ocelot. Bizarrely, this is something Kojima goes out of his way to explain in Metal Gear Solid 3.
Ocelot is the son of The Boss and The Sorrow. It’s not totally out of the question that he would have inherited his father’s ability to communicate with the dead. Since Ocelot had Liquid's arm attached to his body after the latter’s death, Liquid’s spirit manifested inside of Ocelot.
8 Liquid Appears In More Solid Games Than Solid Snake
Solid Snake appears in Metal Gear, MG2: Solid Snake, MGS, MGS2, and MGS3, whereas Liquid Snake appears in MGS1, MGS2, MGS4, and The Phantom Pain. Excluding the two Metal Gear games on the MSX, Liquid is the twin who appears most often during the Solid series of games. It does make sense to a degree, though.
Solid Snake was officially retired as a character at the end of Guns of Liberty where Liquid’s role was always up in the air. It’s also easier to further flesh out a main villain than an outright main character. It's worth noting that Liquid appeared in Kojima’s final Metal Gear game and not Solid Snake.
7 Liquid Is The “Stronger” Clone
It’s easy to miss because Liquid’s grasp of 8th grade biology is so confusingly bad, but he’s technically the “stronger” son of Big Boss without even realizing. He has all the recessive genes, whereas Snake has the dominant genes, and this leads Liquid into believing that he is inherently worse than his twin.
All genetic logic aside (a necessity when it comes to discussing Liquid’s grasp on the concept,) there’s something to be said of the arc this gives Liquid. It makes him a more interesting character. He thinks he’s the underdog when he’s really not and never was. Snake is everything he wants to be and for that, he resents him.
6 Liquid Canonically Might Have A Bad Grasp Of Biology
Interestingly, and perhaps for the best, Metal Gear goes out of its way to ensure audiences understand that characters can be wrong. Unreliable narrators are tricky in stories where audiences aren’t inside the heads of their characters, but it can work if set up well. Metal Gear mainly uses it as a way of getting out of trouble.
Why does this make no sense? The Patriots. Why does this make sense? Nanomachines. How does one explain Liquid’s lack of biological know-how in the first game? The Patriots taught him biology incorrectly to control what information he had. When in doubt, just assume the Patriots did it.
5 Liquid’s History With Big Boss Makes No Sense
In the first game, Liquid references Big Boss in a way that suggests they’d had a relationship. Not a close father-son relationship, but a relationship where the two actually interacted with one another at some point in time. Playing through later games in the franchise, it becomes painfully clear why this can’t be the case.
The Phantom Pain tries to get around this by having Liquid have a relationship with Venom Snake, but even this doesn’t work. Venom is too stoic and they have absolutely no bond. This is to say nothing of Liquid basically running away from Venom in record time. There’s just no way Liquid could have had the relationship he says he had with Big Boss.
4 Ocelot Groomed Liquid Into A Playing Piece
At the end of The Phantom Pain, Miller and Ocelot decide to go head to head with each other, using Big Boss’ children against one another in order to prove which son is better. It’s very dumb, even for Metal Gear Solid V. If nothing else, though, it does shine light on Liquid’s relationship with Ocelot.
The fact that Ocelot’s life is taken over by Liquid is far more poetic now. Ocelot ruined Liquid’s life so Liquid returned the favor. Conceptually, it’s not bad at all. But it’s presented in a clumsy way and puts too much emphasis on the rivalry between Solid Snake and Liquid Snake.
3 Kojima Was Always Bringing Liquid Back For MGS2
Considering how much effort Snake puts into killing Liquid at the end of Metal Gear Solid, it might come as a shock that Kojima was planning on bringing Liquid back to life as a man before an arm. The original drafts for Metal Gear Solid 2 had Liquid mysteriously back to life and in the Middle East.
Unfortunately, with rising tension in the Middle East in the early 2000s, Kojima scrapped this plot thread and decided to just lump Liquid inside of Ocelot’s psyche. Regardless, it is for the best that Liquid came back in some capacity. His presence was too meaningful to just be brushed under the rug.
2 Liquid Had to Know Snake Would Wipe Out FoxHound
So much of Liquid and Ocelot’s plan on Shadow Moses involves Solid Snake actively foiling their plans. Considering Liquid outright needed Snake to activate Metal Gear REX, there’s no two ways about it: Liquid had to have known that Snake would end up killing every single member of FoxHound.
Realistically, Snake isn’t making it to the Hangar if the rest of FOXHOUND is alive. Liquid very much acknowledges that he manipulated Snake for so long, but abandoning his men and letting them die? That doesn’t seem right, especially since his motivation is directly tied to his affection for the Genome Soldiers.
1 Liquid Is The Clone Most Unlike Big Boss
Of all the sons of Big Boss, Liquid Snake is the only one to truly forge a path of his own. He manages to live on his own for a while and his ideals, while inherently linked to Big Boss, are more personal than Solidus’. Liquid also looks the least like Big Boss, favoring his own sense of style.
Solid Snake, on the other hand, looks like a better groomed version of Big Boss, whereas Solidus is just straight up Big Boss. Liquid’s long blond hair keeps him visually distinct in a series full of clones. He’s also barely sympathetic unlike Solidus or Big Boss himself.