Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Moderators: Friday, LaserBeing

How good/evil is Big Boss?

10 - Good guy, no question.
0
No votes
9
0
No votes
8
1
14%
7
0
No votes
6
1
14%
5 - He did enough of both that I think he's right in the middle.
0
No votes
4
0
No votes
3
4
57%
2
1
14%
1
0
No votes
0 - Bad guy, no question.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7
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Friday
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Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Friday » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:32 pm

Hi recently I saw a thing calling Big Boss a fascist and I posted it but it was in a serious thread about how the GOP is destroying not only America but also the world so instead of continuing the discussion there I am moving it here.

I'm actually interested in your opinions on this, so feel free to post your thoughts about his good/evilness and whether or not he could be considered a "fascist." I think Leeham gave a good rundown but I'm interested in more of your takes.

I was under the impression from Last Days of Foxhound and general osmosis that he was -mostly- a good guy and was actually trying to bring down the Fascist power controlling everything, the La-Le -- er, Patriots. But I guess he is actually goes pretty bad guy by the events of Metal Gear? Or does he? Is Snake just being used as a patsy by the Pats at that point to destroy him?

Anyway I have included a poll, ranged 0-10, with 0 being absolutely bad guy and 10 being entirely good. 5 is there for an exact middle-ground, if you think overall he wasn't more good than he was evil.
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JD
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby JD » Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:14 pm

In MGS3, The Boss realizes that borders are a social construct and going to war against former allies for political reasons is some bullshit. Her solution is to unify the world, which doesn't really pan out, but it impresses everyone she worked with to take a crack at the problem.

In Peace Walker, Big Boss' solution is to start a mercenary company in international waters. You can't be beholden to a nation-state if you don't have a nation, right? Except now you're beholden to money, which is largely supplied by other nation-states. Big Boss is now effectively running a banana republic whose entire economy is the export of mercenary work, based largely around a mythic cult of personality so appealing that it survives him and inspires the war economy of the 21st century.

In Metal Gear Rising, Raiden calls Senator Armstrong crazy for his belief that every man should be free to hire his own army, rather than being subservient to the government. He's right, but that's also essentially what Big Boss was doing.

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Upthorn
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Upthorn » Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:26 pm

So, I've never played any Metal Gear stuff, but I'm gonna put big boss at a three based solely on Leeham's description of the way he ran Outer Heaven.

Like, it seems like he started with good intentions, and was corrupted by his inability to trust anyone else with the power he had built up for himself.
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby JD » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:57 am

He owned nuclear weapons and hid them from the IAEA.

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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:01 am

I don't have enough MG play experience to make any confident statements, so I voted 3 based on Leeham/Upthorn just so I can see the poll results without clicking each time. :3
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby LaserBeing » Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:18 am

Friday I double diamond dog dare you to actually play one of these games

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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby beatbandito » Wed Aug 10, 2022 6:38 am

I gave BB a 2 because he is somehow both the greatest generation and a boomer, so he can't be good. Also he had one of the least awkward mom fucking opportunities in the franchise and totally missed it.
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Friday » Wed Aug 10, 2022 3:06 pm

Still don't know if he's a "fascist" exactly. So from what I'm gathering Big Boss basically wanted to take down the Pats, decided that was too hard, and then just fucked off to make his own personal army, stole nukes, then was taken out by Snake?

Why did he steal the nukes? Also MG doesn't take place on an oil rig in international waters right? It's just in some jungle somewhere? Like can someone bridge the gap between MGS5 and MG for me? It seems like that's where Big Boss went wrong.

Also I guess Ocelot, who was a lot worse of a person than Big Boss, actually DID take down the Pats with all his convoluted bullshit double cross backstab *takes hit of inhaler* insanity, but THAT was just a side thing right? Like taking down the Pats was just a requirement in order to achieve his true goal, a one on one fist fight with Snake, which was the closest thing to a one on one fight with Big Boss since Snake is a clone?
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Metal Slime » Wed Aug 10, 2022 4:07 pm

MGSV spoiler time since I can't recall who may or may not still care.

I'm MG1 the Big Boss at Outer Heaven is retconned to be Venom/Punished Snake who was a hypnotized, surgically altered, and conditioned medic from MGSV while Big Boss chilled as the Foxhound CO trying to lead Solid to his death because an entire game needed to be made to explain why Big Boss walked off getting exploded with a rocket launcher in MG1. Then in MG2 is when Solid is dealing with the actual Big Boss.

Now Venom got orders from the real Big Boss around the end of MGSV to establish Outer Heaven but it isn't really disclosed how much freedom Venom has in how the place gets ran and how much direction he got from Big Boss. Meanwhile Venom only got some nudging from Ocelot who knew all along Venom was a fake and Miller who didn't know but still had his vision.

So add all that into the Big Boss villain calculus.

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Friday
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Friday » Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:32 pm

I actually own MGSV and no meme would probably have played it already except everyone says I can't until I play these other ten games first, so I'm not going to read that.

Thanks for spoiler tagging it. I know there's some major plot twist in V, I've gathered that much. I assume it's more than just "Man on Fire turns out to be Volgin" because even I knew that literally .2 seconds after seeing the trailer.
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 10, 2022 6:40 pm

Ultimately I think the issue is even worse than asking similar questions in other fandoms, e.g. "is longtime Marvel X-character so-and-so a fascist?", because Kojima is a one-man re-retcon pretzel machine for stories which already have hilariously overcomplicated and contrived plots.

Don't get me wrong here, the series wouldn't be the glorious mess it was without the five-dimensional spaghetti plots, but trying too hard to follow any one strand is gonna lead to your mind turning into a blooming onion, complete with crispy batter.
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Niku » Wed Aug 10, 2022 8:09 pm

blooming onion was my favorite recruit in MGSV
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby JD » Wed Aug 10, 2022 9:18 pm

To be honest, it's entirely reasonable to play MGSV without having played any of the previous games. The key backstory elements will be recapped through cassette tapes and overheard conversations between soldiers on base. It'll still be fun to go back and play through the history of Big Boss even knowing how it turns out.

The main drawback is that MGSV is so well-polished in terms of graphics and controls that earlier games will feel clunky by comparison, if you play them later. You also miss out on the context for one or two cameos or references from earlier games, although, again, an NPC will show up and explain to you who this guy is and why we're all mad at Huey and his dumb robot.

tl;dr playing the earlier games isn't necessary, although it does enrich the experience.

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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Crick » Wed Aug 10, 2022 9:47 pm

Admittedly, I don't know a ton about Metal Gear-- and maybe this is splitting hairs-- but in the strictest sense, I don't think he sounds fascist. He doesn't seem to be promoting, like, an ethnostate, he's not an ultranationalist, and he doesn't seem to be scapgoating minorities.

An authoritarian perhaps, or... some kind of weird... libertarian?

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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:53 pm

It occurs to me that it's pretty easy to figure this out after all; just do a comparison check to see how much he may or may not match the profile of the eternal Ur-Fascist.
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Friday » Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:56 pm

The original thing I linked specifically called him a fascist, which is what bothered me. I don't -think- he is, based on what you guys have told me, and also his stated goals (fuck politics, fuck people who use soldiers like fodder, and fuck the patriots) but I have not played the games. So yeah.

On the other hand, if he really did steal a bunch of nukes and threaten the world with them... then he's bad? I'm still not clear on why he even did that. I don't know that -anyone- is clear on why he did that. Including Kojima. As you said, his entire story is a retcon that tries to explain why he did that, and doesn't explain why he did that. As far as I know he goes directly from livin' the dream on an oil rig, threatening nobody, to HAHA I HAVE STOLEN A NUKE AND HAVE A ROBOT THAT CAN FIRE IT PAY ME ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Crick » Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:28 am

Yeah, I dunno what the lore reason would be.

It would make sense to me that if you had a burgeoning nation, even one that's mostly just an army in a nation's clothing, the best way to deter the Big Nations (mostly the US) from messing with you would be to have a nuclear arsenal at your disposal. Especially if it had two legs and could, I guess, walk anywhere?

Would that make you bad? I'd think so.

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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Aug 11, 2022 1:06 am

Everything else aside, the morality of seeking a nuclear deterrent isn't inherently evil, rather the morality would depend on the circumstances and intentions.
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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby JD » Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:44 am

The general sense is that Big Boss first got into nukes in the 1970s, when he stole one from the CIA. Since a mercenary group on an oil rig is technically not a nation state and not a signatory to any nuclear treaty, they were within their rights to deny the IAEA inspections. However, they can't afford to get rid of the nukes, because they need it as a nuclear deterrent so the CIA or the UN or whoever doesn't just blow up his cool oil rig base. Which they want to do, because he's now a rogue nuclear power. Owning nukes as a deterrent to invasion becomes kind of his thing going forward.

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Re: Big Boss: Good or Evil?

Postby hngkong » Thu Aug 11, 2022 8:19 am

I was pretty solidly (hah) in the Big Boss was evil, but I'm not so sure after watching this video:

Honestly, I always thought he wanted to do good things, but was pushed to do terrible things by the people he surrounded himself with. But the road to hell is paved in good intentions, so who even knows.

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