Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Work In Progress
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is a side-story in the main Metal Gear series released in 2010 for the PSP and re-released in 2011 as part of the Metal Gear HD Collection for the PS3 and Xbox 360, with enhanced graphics and a control scheme optimised for twin-joystick controllers.
The story takes place in 1974, four years after the events of Portable Ops, but does not really follow up on that game's story threads, instead being primarily a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3. Disillusioned with the US, the legendary soldier Big Boss has abandoned his former country and taken a group of loyal troops to form a mercenary group called MSF (Militaires Sans Frontières, Soldiers Without Borders). When Big Boss receives a mysterious recording implying that his mentor The Boss is somehow still alive, he agrees to assist the Sandinista forces in Costa Rica, hoping to discover more about her fate.
The game features a couple of rather obtuse unlockables which reference other licensed properties; specifically Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed and Capcom's Monster Hunter series. The Japanese version also features licensed products such as Doritos, Axe Body Spray and Mountain Dew among the items MSF can develop; presumably due to licensing issues, these are replaced with generic versions in Western releases.
The following weapons are used in the game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker:
Being a portable game, Peace Walker is built around a series of short missions rather than a single long campaign; these are designed for single or cooperative play, with many RPG-like elements added which are unique to this game. During the first chapter MSF acquires a converted OTEC research platform dubbed "Mother Base" which is used as justification for the various in-game systems. The player can recruit additional troops by either accepting volunteers or using the rather comical "Fulton Recovery" mechanic to kidnap enemy soldiers by launching them into the sky using magic balloons which somehow even work underground.
An overarching "Heroism" rating determined by the player's behaviour in missions determines the quality of volunteers: this increases if the player gets high mission ranks by being stealthy and using non-lethal weapons, but goes down if they kill enemies or do unheroic things like repeatedly shocking a downed enemy with the Stun Knife. The Stun Knife itself is a result of director Hideo Kojima's desire to make the game accessible to younger audiences; there is no blood or gore, and unlike Metal Gear Solid 4 the "knife" is just a contact electroshock device and has no ability to switch to a lethal blade.
Weapons are not simply found in the game world; instead, the player can find or unlock blueprints which are then developed via the R&D department using points acquired by the Combat Team; all weapons have a minimum level for at least one of the various Mother Base teams, before which they cannot be developed. Certain high-level weapons may also require staff with specific skills be part of the R&D team. Mother Base also manufactures ammunition for weapons with a set amount being made per mission, though in practice the number is so high that running out is never an issue. The weapon selection system is similar to that in MGS4, but more restricted; the "backpack" loadout is fixed during a mission, and only a limited number of firearms can be carried; two, unless the "Battle Dress" suit is used, in which case it is three. The remainder of the player's weaponry slots can only be occupied by thrown and placed items.
Weapons are sorted by a tree structure where similar weapons can be upgraded linearly (ranked from 1 to 5), producing better guns of fundamentally the same type. Distinctly different types are typically offshoots with their own rank. In addition, each individual weapon gains experience as it is used, which gives a further boost to its stats in three increments. An additional bonus is granted by the soldier using the weapon; each MSF recruit is semi-randomly generated, with combat stats ranked from F to S which govern things like their accuracy, reload speed, and speed in setting up placed weapons like C4 and mines. These stats can be increased up to a point by improving Mother Base's morale, which is governed by the quality of the food made by the galley.
There are a large number of missions where the player faces off against an armoured vehicle supported by infantry; dispatching all the escorts and damaging the vehicle severely or stealthily taking down the escorts will reveal the commander, and killing or knocking out out the commander will allow the vehicle to be captured intact. It can then be used in a series of Pokemon-like "Outer Ops" battles where the player can earn additional rewards, including some not available in regular missions. These use a "random drop" mechanic like an RPG, with a common, uncommon and rare reward for each mission; often, the rare reward is a weapon blueprint.
Stealth runs are complicated halfway through the game where soldiers wearing helmets will start to appear; these will protect them from headshots from the sides and rear, and shooting off their helmet will cause them to be alerted unless a very quick follow-on shot is made. To this end, some lethal weapons now have armour-piercing abilities, allowing them to ignore headgear.
Suppressors have been simplified since the menu in general is extremely streamlined; instead of finding suppressors in the world and replacing them as need be, a weapon with a suppressor is automatically fitted with it at the start of the mission; it cannot be detached, and when it is fully degraded there is no way to get another. The rate of degradation can generally be slowed by upgrading the weapon. A handful of weapons bypass this system by having permanent suppressors that do not degrade.
An oddity common to every reloading animation in the game but particularly noticeable with disposable launchers is that if a reloading animation is interrupted (for example by the player character being knocked over) it must be started again from scratch; this can mean the player character does things like discarding a spent LAW tube and then having to discard another before pulling out a new one.
Mk. 22 Mod 0 "Hush Puppy" (Smith & Wesson Model 39)
A Mk. 22 Mod 0 (Navy modified Smith & Wesson Model 39) modified into a tranquilizer gun is one of Big Boss' starting weapons in the first mission. A suppressor has been fitted and further upgrades in the game increases its durability before it wears out. As ever, it fires a "Hollywood" tranquilizer dart round which will instantly knock out an enemy with a shot to the head and safely put soldiers to sleep every time; in real life, administering anaesthetic is a skilled balancing act between fully conscious and dead, which is why such weapons are not popular there.
Owing to the odd ability to hold up soldiers and have them stay in place terrified forever, it is not quite as necessary for stealth / no kill runs as in the other games. This is even joked about within the game, with the "hold up" missions requiring the player character to use a banana instead of a gun to make their unwitting foes surrender. It is actually possible for R&D to develop the banana so it can be used in other missions; it counts as a pistol.
The M1911A1 is the second handgun available, and the custom M1911A1 Big Boss used in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater can also be unlocked seperately as a Rank 3 weapon called the "M1911 (CT)." A suppressor can be fitted from Rank 2 and 4 onwards for the normal and custom version respectively, further upgrades increase its durability before it wears out.
The Makarov PM is a mediocre handgun with the odd distinction of having an S rank for concealability, meaning it actually increases the player character's camouflage rating when equipped. Zadornov carries one during the comic cutscenes.
The Makrov PB is a modified Makarov PM that contains an integral suppressor that never wears out during gameplay.
A Mauser C96 can be unlocked by getting an S rank on Extra Ops mission 20. Further upgrades turn it into an M712.
Mauser M712 Schnellfeuer
Upgrading the C96 turns it into a Mauser M712 Schnellfeuer, though it retains the name of "C96" and is incorrectly still shown with a fixed magazine loaded with a stripper clip. It can be upgraded to a 20-round magazine; this is still not detachable, and since the reloading animation is not changed, the player character will still reload it with a 10-round stripper clip.
Smith & Wesson Model 19
The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is the game's only revolver, and is first unlocked as a Rank 3 blueprint awarded for completing one of the Fulton Recovery missions. It gains a longer barrel at Rank 4 which improves accuracy, while Rank 5 adds a laser sight, though as with all laser-sighted weapons it requires a member of the R&D staff to have the "Optical Technology" skill before it can be developed.
The Kampfpistole Z is more or less a joke weapon, with the worst accuracy score in the entire game. Further upgrades, however, introduce a stock to mitigate recoil. This turns the Kampfpistole Z into a Sturmpistole.
The upgraded Kampfpistol Z becomes a Sturmpistole, and gains enough accuracy to actually be useful. It is basically a light antitank weapon in this configuration, since the grenades are HEAT rounds.
The "EZ Gun" is a modified FP-45 Liberator which fires special rounds that either recover life or Psyche (the game's term for stamina, which is written in allcaps for no obvious reason); these are basically useless outside of co-op play, and rather gimmicky even there since these guns take up a weapon slot. The EZ Gun is shown as bolt-action with an invisible magazine which contains every round the character has; this is something of an improvement over the real weapon, which was rather infamous for taking longer to reload than it did to manufacture. It is also equipped with a built-in suppressor that never wears off. For no obvious reason, Paz has the blueprint to the psyche recovery version, and Big Boss must brave an intensely creepy mission to retrieve it, as well as have a co-ops comm call that requires a Heroism rating of 115,000 (!) to unlock.
Besides the life or Psyche variants, there are also two Support Beacon Gun variants which use the same model; these are similar in function to the beacon and grenade support markers, their ability to be fired anywhere being balanced by a lower number of support calls available before they are exhausted and the fact that they count as guns rather than thrown / placed weapons for inventory purposes.
The MAC-10 is available in two forms; the standard version gains a limited-duration suppressor at Rank 2, while the second "BJ" ("Barrel Jacket") version features an extended barrel with a shroud, improving accuracy. Unusually for a videogame, the MAC-10 is always shown with the stock unfolded.
Higher Ranks of the Thompson M1928A1 turn it into an M1928 Thompson with a vertical foregrip for increased stability and a 50 round drum magazine. The fully upgraded version is a reference to The Pain's M1928 in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, though presumably the one used by MSF is not formed from colonial insects of no fixed species.
The Thompson starts out as an M1928A1 with a 30-round magazine, with additional Ranks reverse-upgrading it into an M1928.
Heckler & Koch MP5A2
An early MP5A2 variant with a "slimline" handguard and a straight box magazine is present in the game; it is one of the more accurate SMGs, and when fully developed can be equipped with a limited-duration suppressor.
Heckler & Koch MP5SD2
The integrally suppressed version of the MP5A2, the MP5SD2, is also available. As with other integrally suppressed weapons, the MP5SD2's main benefit is that its suppressor has unlimited durability.
Česká Zbrojovka SA Vz. 61 "Skorpion"
The ČZ SA Vz.61 "Škorpion" appears as "Uz61." It holds only 20 rounds, but can be used in conjunction with the ballistic shield. It starts out as a Rank 2 blueprint, and at Rank 3 it gains a suppressor. Like the MAC-10, it is always shown with the stock unfolded.
The Ithaca 37 makes an appearance as the "M37," starting out at Rank 2 with a sawed-off stock and barrel. At Rank 3 Mother Base develops radical new unsawing technology to give it a full-length barrel with an extended magazine tube, while the Rank 4 and 5 upgrades add a suppressor. A second research chain creates the Rank 4 "M37 (LB)," which is oddly named since it is the stock that is restored in this variant; it is more accurate, but lacks the extended magazine tube. A further blueprint is needed to create the Rank 5 "M37 (ACM)" ("accurised model") which fires slugs instead of buckshot and has a scope, allowing it to be used as an ersatz sniper rifle. It is also the under-barrel shotgun attachment for the Colt M16A1 and Model 653.
Heckler & Koch CAWS
The Heckler & Koch CAWS is the most powerful shotgun in the game, and the only one which is fully automatic. It is anachronistic, since the CAWS program took place during the 1980s.
Its blueprint randomly drops in some of the harder Outer Ops missions, and it has a very high level requirement to develop.
The "Twin Barrel" is a 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun. It initially starts off with a full stock and barrel at Rank 1. Rank 2 saws the barrel and stock off. The other ranks reduce the reload time of the gun, weight and kickback. It is shown with a single trigger, and fires one barrel at a time.
Two different versions can be developed, one using buckshot and the other rubber slugs which knock enemies out instead of killing them; the latter is essential for no-kill runs of some levels, and requires its own Rank 3 blueprint. As with every Metal Gear Solid game since 2, the game differentiates between knocking an enemy out and putting them to sleep, which renders the rubber slug shotgun ineffective against the Monster Hunter bosses since they cannot be knocked out.
The Franchi SPAS-12 is a high-level shotgun unlocked by finishing one of the Extra Ops missions, and is sometimes seen in the hands of heavily armoured escort soldiers during the more difficult vehicle battles. It is shown as semi-automatic, with an unusual green paint scheme. Another anachronistic weapon in the game, as it was not developed until 1979.
Assault & Battle Rifles
The M16A1 is Big Boss and other MSF soldiers' default weapon during cutscenes. At Rank 3, it is equipped with a suppressor. The main upgrade line then only continues once a blueprint for the Rank 4 "M16A1 (STG)" is found, whereupon it is equipped with an underbarrel shotgun, while two other unlock chains will create versions with M203 grenade launchers firing HE ("M16A1 (GL)") and smoke ("M16A1 (SGL)") rounds; the final Rank in each unlock chain adds a laser sight, and requires a separate blueprint to develop and a member of R&D staff with the Optical Technology skill. The default version with no accessories is Big Boss' starting weapon in the first mission, and one of the only weapons that does not require any research. The suppressed version is used by enemy scouts.
Colt Model 653
The Model 653 is a mid-game unlock; it has most of the same options as the M16, only lacking the ability to mount a laser, and has decreased damage but improved handling. It is the standard weapon of Peace Sentinel soldiers in most of the mid-level vehicle battles, though they will tend to use RPG-7s or LAWs at high levels.
A highly modified AR-15 platform used by The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, seemingly based on an M231 Firing Port Weapon. Carries a C-Mag with infinite ammo, supposedly because The Boss "left a piece of herself" inside the gun, though it is not particularly clear how this could be the case given Big Boss left the original Patriot on The Boss' grave at the end of Metal Gear Solid 3.
Acquiring it requires knocking out Kazuhira Miller during a get-together at a beach and patting him down to get the blueprints to develop it, though given what else happens in that mission, it is quite likely Miller was hoping that's what Big Boss would do. It also requires at least once R&D staff member to have the "Patriot" skill, which oddly tends to only spawn on soldiers whose highest skill is Intel, and for the R&D team to be at the maximum level of 99.
The AK-47 is called the "RK-47," the intention presumably being to swap out the Russian "avtomat" for the English "rifle," though even in this case it would be "ARK-47" since the Russian term implies an automatic device. The Rank 2 version gets a GP-25 grenade launcher which fires fragmentation grenades, and an additional Rank 2 version can be developed which fires smoke grenades. For some reason, the reloading animation uses the charging handle animation of an AR-15-pattern rifle, despite other AK rifles using a correct animation.
The Hungarian AMD-63 appears as "ADM63" in the game, although it is implied to actually be the Romanian version, the Pistolia Militarea Model 1963. It is essentially treated as the Rank 3 upgrade to the AK-47, though the AK's tech tree is diagonal rather than a straight line as a result.
The Hungarian AMD-65 is called "ADM65," and is effectively the Rank 4 and 5 entry in the AK tech tree. It is another reference to MGS3, where it was used by some members of the Ocelot Unit, particularly those encountered if the player skipped the boss battle with The End by killing him when he is first encountered.
Steyr AUG A1
The AUG A1 is called the "SUG." This weapon is anachronistic, because it was not developed until 1977 and the game takes place in '74. It is hard to unlock, requiring an S rank in a Perfect Stealth mission that takes place over the entire jungle map segment. The AUG's presence is presumably a reference to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake where it is said to be the standard issue weapon for Big Boss' forces in Zanzibar Land.
Heckler & Koch G11
The G11 is noted in game for its high accuracy and rate of fire, at a cost of low damage. The prototype variant depicted in game is the second prototype of the G11 developed around 1975, about a year after the game is set.
It is quite hard to unlock since its blueprint requires an S-rank in a Perfect Stealth mission which only unlocks after almost the entire game has been completed, and it has a very high level requirement to develop.
An FN FAL with an oversized flash hider and LAR-style stock is available, found as a Rank 2 blueprint. It is a mid-level rifle, mostly differentiated by its higher damage than the assault rifles. Upgrading it to Rank 3 turns it into a FAL Paratrooper. It is sometimes used by the Peace Sentinel troops seen during vehicle battles.
FN FAL Paratrooper
The FAL Paratrooper is the Rank 3 upgrade to the standard FAL. At its maximum level (Rank 4) it is equipped with a laser sight, though this requires a member of R&D to have the Optical Technology skill before it can be developed.
The SVD Dragunov is one of the earlier sniper rifles, but a big improvement over the starting M1C, with far less scope sway, armour-piercing rounds, and a larger 10-round magazine. At Rank 4 it becomes the "SVD (HC)" ("High Capacity") and gains an extended 20-round magazine; such magazines actually did exist, but were not commonly issued as they made the SVD difficult to use while prone.
A second variant called the "SVD (NV)" can be made if a separate Rank 5 blueprint is found; this is equipped with an anachronistic 1980s NSPUM (1PN58) night vision scope. It does not appear to be the earlier NSPU (1PN34) since there is a circle (representing a switch) at the top of the scope mounting; on an NSPU it would be at the bottom. The main benefit of this is that unlike the standard night vision goggles, the SVD's scope does not drain the battery meter which powers electronic devices.
A Mosin Nagant sniper rifle converted into a tranquilizer dart gun is unlocked fairly early on in the game; the gun deals more stamina damage than the Mk 22, but is extremely loud. At Rank 3 it becomes the same gun as used by "The End" in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. When fully upgraded to Rank 5, it becomes equipped with a limited-use suppressor, though this cannot be achieved until Mother Base's R&D, Medical and Intelligence divisions are at almost maximum level; even then the development time is dozens of missions.
Walther WA 2000
One of the most demanding sniper rifles in the game in terms of level requirement is the WA 2000 The in-game description says that it's hard to handle but very accurate, though it is not particularly clear what it means by this. It is one of the weapons with the "armour piercing" ability, allowing it to instantly kill soldiers wearing helmets. Anachronistic, as it was not developed until 1982.
The M21 sniper rifle is another with the "armour piercing" ability, and is a late-game weapon, requiring a Rank 3 confidential document to begin work. At Rank 4 it is given a shorter barrel, which improves handling while somehow not affecting accuracy. When fully upgraded, it gains a limited-durability suppressor; it is the only armour-piercing sniper rifle which can mount one.
The M1-C is the earliest sniper rifle to unlock, and one of the worst, with low power and extremely heavy scope sway. A special co-op version can be unlocked by finding a Rank 3 confidential document which fires Psyche recovery rounds instead of normal bullets.
The Remington 700 is another mid-level sniper rifle with armour-piercing rounds, and a common sight in the hands of enemy snipers; it is more accurate and powerful than the SVD, at a cost of a slower bolt-action rate of fire and lower capacity. Upgrades grant it a heavyweight "bull barrel," which increases accuracy and decreases recoil still further.
As with the M1C, a second variant can be developed which is only useful in co-op play by finding a Rank 3 blueprint; this version fires rounds which heal the target rather than recover their stamina, and features a limited-durability suppressor. It is possible this is a scrapped model for a final upgrade to the lethal version, since that cannot mount one.
The PTRD-41 is a powerful single-shot rifle which can instantly kill any soldier and deal significant damage to vehicles; its real benefit, however, is its ability to deal damage to the canopies of enemy helicopters; if the canopy is destroyed it will instantly reveal the Commander. This is the only practical way to S-rank some of the harder helicopter battles since they will have more escorting troops than the player is able to Fulton.
The player character will carry the PTRD on their shoulder, and it takes some time to actually bring it into firing position or shoulder it to move; it also requires the player character stand still to reload it. It is fitted with a scope, which is uncommon for the weapon; this is most likely a reference to legendary Soviet sniper Vasily Zaitsev, who is said to have used a scoped PTRS-41 for long-ranged kills.
It is a high-level weapon, and requires not only a blueprint found in the final Perfect Stealth mission, but also at least one member of R&D staff to have the "Anti-Tank Rifle Design" skill; soldiers with this skill are extremely rare and usually only found in a couple of late missions, though there is an extremely small chance a random volunteer may spawn with it if the player's Heroism rating is high.
The PTRS-41 rifle appears as "PTRS1941" and is essentially a direct replacement for the PTRD, having all the same capabilities with regard to damaging helicopter canopies, and the same drawback of taking time to level and pick up, with the added advantage of semi-automatic fire and a 5-round magazine. Like the PTRD, it is fitted with a scope.
Unlocking it requires an R&D staff member with the Anti-Tank Rifle Design skill just like the PTRD, and a blueprint only awarded for S-ranking the second to last Perfect Stealth mission.
PK Machine Gun
The PK Machine Gun is available, and is a powerful, accurate and reliable weapon. It appears to actually be a PK rather than a PKM, since it has the older fluted barrel and curved gas block. Upgrades shorten the barrel, increase damage and fit it with larger belt box, with the maximum 250 rounds. Somehow, dangling 12 pounds of ammunition off the PK has no adverse effect on its handling.
The RPK is used by Soviet troops during the fourth act of the game. It can be unlocked for use by the player characters by finding a document in one of the hold-up missions; the Rank 4 version has a standard 40-round curved box magazine, while at Rank 5 it gains a 75-round drum. It is a relatively mediocre machine gun considering how late it unlocks; it has a fast reload, but low capacity and lacks the armour-piercing capability of the high-end machine guns. Oddly, it is classed as an assault rifle.
The M60 is the first machine gun available, unlocking after the mission "Pursue the Jungle Train." At the time it is unlocked its firepower is devastating and its 100-round belt gives it some staying power, but it significantly reduces the player character's mobility, and has high recoil along with a low rate of fire compared to the other fully automatic weapons. Upgrading it past Rank 1 requires a blueprint for the Rank 2 "M60 (AP)," which fires armour piercing rounds. Rank 3 and 4 require another new blueprint, this time for the "M60 (SB)," a version with a shortened barrel and no stock or sights which also has the armour piercing ability, along with double the ammunition capacity.
The MG3 is first unlocked as a Rank 2 blueprint found in one of the Classified Document Retrieval missions; it has the highest rate of fire of any machine gun and respectable stats. Developing it any further requires a second blueprint awarded for one of the "Defend Key Supplies" missions, which is for the "MG3 (AP)" which gains the armour piercing ability; it can then be further researched up to a Rank 5 version which is even effective against light vehicles.
The MG3 starts out with a 50-round circular drum with a rather strange capacity of 74 rounds; at Rank 4 this turns into a larger rectangular belt box with 100 rounds, increasing to 150 at Rank 5.
A Stoner 63 in light machine gun configuration appears in-game called "M63A1," and is the lightest machine gun in the game at just 12 pounds. It starts out at Rank 3 and always has the armour piercing ability, with further upgrades shortening the barrel to knock the weight down to 11.4 pounds and increasing the capacity from 100 to 150 rounds at the same time (therefore somehow eliminating almost a 2 pounds of barrel to offset the extra rounds).
GE M134 Minigun
A man-portable M134 Minigun is available, which appears to be based on the "Sasha" configuration from Team Fortress 2. The requirements for developing it are just as ridiculous as the concept itself, requiring an R&D level of 98, S-ranking a very difficult clown-car battle against a customised AVGP Cougar IFV with several dozen support troops inside, and recovering a specific enemy soldier after unlocking a mission which requires completing almost the entire game. And the almost half a million GMP required to pay for it will then require the player complete over thirty more missions to actually develop it.
The gun comes with a giant ammunition drum holding 250 rounds; it deals extremely high damage despite having a rate of fire more in line with a movie minigun than a real one. It has no ammunition in reserve and no reloading animation; this means using it with the Infinity Bandana will allow the gun to be fired forever. It slows movement severely, especially when aiming, and similar to the anti-tank rifles there is a short animation of hefting the gun and spinning up the barrels before it can actually be fired, and likewise a short pause after releasing the aim button before the player character can move normally or use the inventory again. Unlike the anti-tank rifles, it does not require the player character to stand still in order to aim or fire it.
The ammunition apparently weighs nothing at all since the weapon's given weight of 15.9 kilograms (35 pounds) is the weight of only the gun unit itself; this weight also excludes the motor, feeder / delinker and gun control unit. A complete M134 weighs about 61 pounds without ammunition, a battery or a mounting.
Special variants of the M16A1 and Model 653 equipped with M203 grenade launchers can be developed if the right blueprints are found; rather unrealistically, a completely different blueprint must be found for each variant; the same goes for the ammunition, with the normal HE grenades a different blueprint to the smoke launching version.
It is not really correct for the M203 to be mounted on the Model 653 in the game's timeframe, since in 1974 only the original variant for the M16 rifle actually existed. At the time, the only underbarrel launcher that might fit on the Model 653 would be the XM148 grenade launcher.
The GP-25 can only be mounted on the AK-47. Anachronistic, as it was not introduced until 1978. It is not actually clear if it is a GP-25 or a GP-30, since it totally lacks a sight. As with the M203, a totally different blueprint is required for the smoke-launching version.
The RPG-2 is the second rocket launcher available; it is a step up from the LAW in terms of damage, but takes longer to reload. In an example of only equipped weapons weighing anything, Big Boss can carry one more RPG-2 round than he can carry LAWs, despite that he is pulling out an entire LAW launcher but only replacing the rockets in the RPG-2.
The RPG-7 is actually one of the more advanced launchers, and is a massive step up from the RPG-2 in terms of capabilities, though it is later eclipsed by the Carl Gustav and Dragon. Late in the game it starts to be used extensively by enemies, and in the harder vehicle battles it is not uncommon for every single enemy soldier to have one.
The M72 LAW is the first rocket launcher available; it is given for free following the second mission, after Big Boss pulls one out in a cutscene to try to shoot down either a "Kidnapper" drone or the Chrysalis AI weapon. In cutscenes it is depicted in the same way as in Metal Gear Solid 4, with Big Boss aiming using only the LAW's front sight. With each upgrade, the LAW will get a firepower boost, along with a different colour scheme, save for Ranks 3 and 4 which are both black.
The FIM-43 Redeye is depicted in much the same way as the Stingers of previous Metal Gear games; being an early weapon, it has a substantial lock-on time and is relatively weak. As usual, it can unrealistically lock on to both air and ground targets; in Peace Walker it can even be fired with no lock-on at all, though this is something of a waste.
The Redeye model also appears to be the basis for the "EM Wave Gun" co-op weapon, a laser-like device; this weapon is completely useless in singleplayer, but if two co-op players cross the streams and then fire, it creates a large explosion at the point of intersection (as they should have known), accompanied by an anime-style cry of "ULTIMATE CO-OP WEAPON: ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE GUN!"
The M202 FLASH is another late-game unlock; the Rank 3 version requires an S rank in the final Dead Man's Treasure mission, while the Rank 4 requires an S rank in a very hard vehicle battle against a custom Hind-D; getting this blueprint also allows the Rank 5 version to be developed. It is a slightly strange weapon since it is not really particularly good for anything but killing large numbers of enemy soldiers, which is not something the player should really be trying to do; it is less effective than even the Rank 5 LAW against vehicles, and player characters can only carry a maximum of eight rockets for it. Rather than reloading the M202A1, the player character simply drops the spent one and pulls out a fresh one, flipping open the covers and extending the clip; since this can be done after every shot fired, the player character can, rather ridiculously, visibly discard launchers containing 24 additional unfired rockets. It is anachronistic, since the M202 did not enter production until 1978.
Carl Gustav M2
The Carl Gustav M2 is one of the more powerful launchers, and like the RPG-7 has an optic for more precise targeting than the earlier M72 and RPG-2. It has a longer reload time than the other single-shot rocket launchers since there is a spent casing that needs to be removed before a new shell can be loaded. The Carl Gustav is available in in 3 variants. The default variant fires HEAT rounds which are highly effective against vehicles. The second, "MP" (Multi-Purpose), denoted by a yellow launcher body, fires HE rounds rather than AT rounds, and sacrifices some damage for extra area-of-effect. The third, "FR" ("Fulton Recovery") is a blue-painted version which is stated to fire a round "filled with sleep gas and Fulton Recovery Balloons" (Peace Walker is not the most sensible of games) which allows soldiers to be kidnapped from places the player character cannot physically reach.
The FIM-92A Stinger is a late-game unlock; the blueprint is available quite early on, but the R&D requirements are substantial. Though it is supposed to be the prototype XFIM-92A, the model appears to simply be a final-production Stinger. It is an overall upgrade to the FIM-43, with a faster lock-on and a more powerful round. The Stinger is rather anachronistic; while the project had begun in 1967 as the Redeye II and it had been dubbed Stinger in 1972, due to technical issues a Stinger was not actually shoulder-launched until 1975 and production began three years after that.
As in previous MGS games, the Stinger is shown as an odd multi-purpose missile which can lock on to ground vehicles as well as aircraft and like the Redeye it is now even capable of being dumb-fired without a lock. Also as in other MGS games, it is incorrectly shown as seeking straight out of the tube; in real life, the missile travels in a straight line for the first 660 feet after launch.
The most powerful launcher in the game which does not require at least one co-op partner is the M47 Dragon (the fully charged Railgun and Human Slingshot are stronger, but respectively require two and four players). It is somewhat anachronistic, since it did not enter service until the year after the game takes place.
The Dragon is shown with lock-on fire-and-forget missiles as opposed to the SACLOS guidance of the real system (the reverse of the MGS4 Javelin, oddly enough), lacks the real weapon's short delay between pulling the trigger and the missile launching, has no minimum range (the real Dragon's is 213 feet) and no backblast (as opposed to a backblast danger zone of almost 100 feet in a 90-degree cone behind it, with a "caution zone" that extends a further 66 feet). The player character fires it from the shoulder with no other form of support, which is incorrect; the Dragon is supposed to be fired using the bipod only. They also discard the entire launcher to reload rather than swapping the sight unit to a new tube, the same mistake made with the Javelin in MGS4.
Like other powerful weapons, it combines a very high level requirement with a need to S-rank a vehicle boss battle (in this case, a fearsomely powerful AH-56 Raider Custom with more support troops than a single player has Fulton balloons and a canopy that takes about 25 PTRS rounds to break), and then takes about fifty missions to actually develop.
A fictional weapon using "Fulton Technology" (ie magic), this mine floats to a specific height and then hovers there; helicopters and the Chrysalis AI Weapon will take serious damage if they strike it. The idea, though, is based on the "Low Zone" (LZ) barrage balloons used to protect Britain from German bombers during the Second World War, which actually did operate according to something similar to the non-magic Fulton system. A balloon was raised with a trailing cable designed to separate from both it and the ground if an aircraft collided with it; to this were fixed two drag parachutes. Early plans to mount explosive charges on the parachute lines were ultimately scrapped when it was discovered the parachutes exerted some six times more drag than the bomber's engines generated thrust, and so they were not needed. Some 30 German bombers were downed by LZ balloon cables during the war.
Airsoft gas charger grenade
A grenade with a thin, smooth cylindrical body is used as the model for flashbangs and chaff grenades, almost the same model used in Metal Gear Solid 4. This appears to be based on a grenade-shaped gas bottle for Airsoft guns, such as the one shown below.
Stun grenades deal damage to an enemy's Psyche and will eventually knock them out entirely, but are very loud. The in-game description claims the grenades knock enemies out with their blast; in reality, this would mean they were concussion grenades rather than stun grenades. Real flashbangs are designed to minimise their blast effect since a large blast will start out by tearing the grenade's casing open and generating fragments.
Chaff grenades are as ever an impossible broad-spectrum jamming device which magically distribute small strips of metal which prevent soldiers calling for support, disable security cameras, and can stun unmanned vehicles and AI weapons; Peace Walker will actually fall over if one is used while fighting it. They will also disable the lock-on feature of weapons like the Stinger and M47 Dragon. In previous games they did not disable the Stinger, presumably because it is IR guided; only the Nikita missile was disabled by chaff. Most likely this was changed for game balance reasons, since otherwise multiple players could keep an AI weapon completely disabled and still fire lock-on missiles at it.
The same model is also used for the sleep gas grenade, a powerful weapon which can be used to knock out a group of soldiers in a radius determined by its level. As in Metal Gear Solid 4, this shows that any gas masks the soldiers are equipped with are apparently fake, since they offer no protection from these grenades at all.
M112 C4 Demolition Charge
The M112 Demolition Charge is a remote detonated explosive with devastating power. Like in many video games, it can be detonated by shooting it, whereas in real life it is virtually impossible to set off C4 without using a detonator; oddly, an optional conversation with Kaz actually includes this information.
C4 is the standard item used for demolitions in the game, including in the early "Barricade" mission where Big Boss must use C4 to destroy a concrete wall blocking his passage; it is also used in sabotage missions. Outside of this it can be used to set traps for enemies or attack the treads of vehicles; these cannot be destroyed, but a vehicle takes extra damage from hits to its tracks or wheels.
The M18A1 Claymore can be developed; as ever in Metal Gear Solid it is incorrectly shown as proximity detonated. It is also a major factor in some extra ops, including two dedicated to disarming claymores and two rescue missions where the prisoner is positioned near claymore mines. Since in Peace Walker it is impossible to move while prone, enemy Claymores are no longer disarmed and retrieved by crawling over them; instead, they must be approached from the rear, whereupon an action prompt will appear to pick them up.
M15 Anti-tank Mine
The M15 anti-tank mine can be used to temporarily disable vehicles and kill anyone close to the explosion.
M67 Hand Grenade
The standard frag grenades seen in game are M67 hand grenades; as in MGS4, they appear to be based on an Airsoft gas charger bottle rather than a real M67. Apparently, even Soviet soldiers use the weapon instead of the Soviet standard-issue grenade RGD-5. Helicopter commanders are also prone to throwing them after revealing themselves if the player character is nearby.
M83 Smoke Grenade
Unlike other special grenades, the smoke grenade has its own model, which is an M83 Smoke Grenade. They are the second grenade type available after the basic fragmentation grenades, and the five Ranks improve both duration and radius of effect. They are sometimes also used by enemy soldiers to conceal deployments, though the NV goggles can see through them.
In Peace Walker soldiers hit with a smoke grenade will become disoriented and stand perfectly still waving their hands in front of their faces until the smoke clears; this can be used to hold up a large number of soldiers in one go if used correctly, and this appears to be intended since many of the harder vehicle battles could not possibly be S-ranked without doing so.
A special blueprint for coloured smoke grenades can be found in one of the post-game missions after Peace Walker is defeated; these also use the M83 model. This is incorrect; coloured smoke would require the grenade be an M18. Each of the five Ranks produces a different colour of smoke; respectively red, blue, green, yellow and black for Ranks 1-5.
The "Fulton Sleep Gas Mine" is closely based on the XM7 Spider, a "landmine" which began development in the early 2000s which is actually a remote-operated 6-round grenade launcher. The one in the game is proximity triggered or set off by shooting it, and is filled with sleep gas and Fulton balloons (yes, really); it will automatically extract any soldiers caught in the blast. The gas cloud is spherical and passes through walls, allowing for the capture of high-level enemy soldiers placed in positions out of normal reach.
Both Hind-A variants mount an Afanasev A-12.7 machine gun on their nose.
The "Raider" variant of the AH-56 Cheyenne compound helicopter carries eight BGM-71 TOW missiles in two quad launchers on its outboard wing hardpoints.
The AH-56 program still being around in Peace Walker is a little strange since it was cancelled in 1972 due to a combination of inter-service politics, handling problems, serious cost overruns and use of outdated technologies, with a production run of just ten prototypes, at least two of which had already been destroyed in testing; if Outer Ops are included, the game contains at least twice the number of AH-56s that were actually built.
The LAV Type G appears to be a Canadian AVGP Grizzly APC, a MOWAG Piranha variant fitted with the same Cadillac Gage turret as the AAVP7A1 but mounting a Browning M2 and a Canadian C6 FN MAG rather than an M2 and a Mk 19 grenade launcher. For reasons best known to itself, the game counts this as a "25mm MG."
DShK heavy machine guns can be found in fixed locations during various missions. They can be used by player characters; they have infinite ammunition and no heat gauge, only being limited by being a little difficult to use due to bouncing around a lot when fired. Enemies can also use them if they are alerted near to them.
The C6 derivative of the FN MAG is mounted on the AVGP Grizzly APC in a Cadillac Gage turret alongside a Browning M2, and on the AVGP Cougar IFV ("LAV Type C") alongside an L23A1 76mm cannon in a turret developed for the British Scorpion reconnaissance vehicle.
The AI weapons Pupa and Coccoon are equipped with numerous remote weapon stations which appear to mount a stockless FN MAG derivative similar to the M240C.
Hedgehog Anti-Submarine Projector
The Cocoon AI weapon mounts not only a ridiculous collection of guns, but also what is apparently a scaled-down Hedgehog anti-submarine rocket system, repurposed as a land-based mortar. Precisely why Huey did this rather than just using a more normal system is not particularly clear, but then again, this is the same battle where the player character can throw the hull of a tank which would weigh about a thousand tons into the air, so making sense was probably not a high priority.
KPVT Machine Gun
The BTR-60PB is armed with a KPVT heavy machine gun instead of the PKB of the PA version; this is incorrectly listed as a 25mm cannon.
The Kampfpanzer 70, the German variant of the MBT-70 prototype tank which has apparently been adopted by Peace Sentinel, is armed with a retractable 20mm cannon as its secondary weapon. Oddly, the MBT-70 itself is not, even though both variants were supposed to have this as their anti-aircraft armament; it is instead a fictional configuration equipped with eight missile launch tubes mounted on the rear of its turret.
The AI weapon Chrysalis mounts two weapons under its chin referred to as "chain guns;" these appear to be M242 Bushmaster chainguns, which would have been state-of-the-art in 1974, having been introduced just two years earlier.
M269 Launcher Loader Module
The support section of Mother Base, which can be seen in low-detail on the Mother Base menu and in gameplay during a couple of boss fights and a special mission, has several M269 Launcher Loader Modules mounted on its platforms. These are more than a little anachronistic since the M270 MLRS system was designed in 1977 and did not enter service until 1983.
The Cocoon AI weapon is equipped with what appear to be M61 Vulcan cannons in six installations on its hull and turret.
M73 machine gun
The MBT-70 variants use their coaxial M73 machine guns in lieu of having a 20mm autocannon like the Kampfpanzer 70 variants; while presumably the latter have them too, they do not use them. Unfortunately for the player, the appalling real-life performance of the M73 is not replicated when fighting the MBT-70.
PKB Machine Gun
The PKB, the spade-grip version of the PKM, is seen fitted to both variants of the BTR-60PA. The commander can apparently control the PKB with the power of his mind if he has not revealed himself, since the weapon is operational throughout the BTR-60 battles. If he is on it he is presumably driving the vehicle with his feet, since there is never anyone but the commander on board a ground vehicle once he is revealed. This is not even the most unlikely thing commanders can do; helicopter commanders can safely land their charge while unconscious or even dead.
The T-72U variants also mount a PKB instead of the correct NSV heavy machine gun on their commander's hatch. Oddly, the T-72A variant does mount anything at all, instead having only an empty mounting. The A variant itself would anachronistic, since it was first produced in 1979; this is compounded by the Peace Sentinel version actually being an even later variant with explosive reactive armour.
PKT Machine Gun
The T-72A variants in the game both make enthusiastic use of their coaxial PKT machine guns when not enjoying the benefits of main gun autoloaders that work as fast as semi-automatic pistols.
Mother Base's support section also has several Mk 141 quad RGM-84 Harpoon canister launchers. These are rather anachronistic, given the Harpoon did not enter service until 1977. During boss battles on Mother Base, the Harpoon battery displays the somewhat unlikely ability to engage targets a hundred yards away from it by having the missiles turn right around after being launched almost vertically.
Peace Walker is armed with what are supposedly S-Mine launchers in its legs; what these actually do is fire projectiles which look like entire S-Mines rather than bounding bodies, with the detonator prongs changed into propeller blades. These can somehow fly, and hover towards the player character before detonating and sending a shotgun-like spread of submunitions directly downwards; shooting them in mid-air will set them off prematurely, and can even damage Peace Walker itself if they are detonated close enough to it. Precisely why the game calls these devices S-Mines at all is not clear; the idea appears to be based on the bracket-mounted S-Mine launchers used on early-production Tiger tanks for close-range defence, but these were basically tiny mortars for firing the mine's bounding body, which did not have a pronged fuze fitted to it in this application.
The two Hind-D variants each mount four Shipunov GShG-7.62 four-barrel rotary guns, two in each of the GUV-8700 gunpods mounted under their wings.
The "Raider" variant of the AH-56 Cheyenne also mounts the XM52 Armament Subsystem, a belly-mounted turret containing the cancelled XM140 30mm autocannon. This gun was also suggested for the bizarre Convair Model 49 VTOL aircraft, another entrant in the US Army's Advanced Aerial Fire Support System program. Ultimately the requirement for a 30mm cannon in the replacement Advanced Attack Helicopter program led to the deployment of the M230 Chain Gun on the AH-64 Apache.
The "Bomber" variant of the AH-56 uses the nose-mounted XM53 Armament Subsystem, a mounting for a M134 minigun variant called the XM196 which was modified with an additional ejection sprocket. What appears to be a flattened version of the XM196 barrel texture is also used for the several dozen tiny gunports on Cocoon's sides.
The Hind-D variants are also equipped with a Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B gatling gun under their chin, with another in each of the GUV-8700 gunpods under their wings.
A man-portable magnetic accelerator designed to look like a primitive forerunner to the railgun seen in MGS2 and MGS4, this is normally an extremely unremarkable semi-automatic rifle; oddly, though it mounts a large computerised scope, it cannot actually be used. However, if a co-op partner is equipped with the "Rail Gun Dynamo" item they can charge up another player's railgun, in much the same way as the gun in MGS4 but with a lot more button-mashing. At full power it is second only to the Human Slingshot in terms of damage, exceeding every other weapon in the game and able to destroy some of the earlier armoured vehicles in a single hit. A level three shot is accompanied by an anime-style cry of "SUPER CO-OP WEAPON: RAILGUN!"
A variant of the railgun model is used for the "Stealth Gun," another co-op weapon. This device is totally useless on its own, but can be used to render a co-op partner almost invisible by keeping the beam it emits trained on them; unlike the Stealth Camo item, it will not incur a hefty penalty on the end-of-level ranking screen. However, while the Stealth Camo grants a camo index of 100%, the Stealth Gun only gives a targeted partner 95%.
Both weapons have high level requirements, and require an R&D staff member with the rare "EM Weapons Design" skill.
The Tanegashima, a 16th-century Japanese muzzle-loading black powder matchlock arquebus, makes a return from Metal Gear Solid 4 and repeats that title's mistake of classifying it as an assault rifle. It adds an additional error in referring to it as a "musket" in menus; the Tanegashima is an arquebus, which is the forerunner of the musket. Its low damage and single-shot nature coupled with a lengthy reload time makes it fairly useless in combat, but similar to its previous incarnation, each hit scored against an enemy soldier (as opposed to each round fired) has a 1 in 3 chance of summoning a tornado; as well as scattering items as it did before, any soldier caught in the tornado will be thrown into the sky and land in MSF's recovery helicopter, much to Kaz's bemusement. Rather than the tornado being fired out of the gun in a straight line, it is stationary and occurs at the point of impact.
Producing it requires at least one staff member with the "Japanese Patriot" skill ("Yamato Spirit" in the Japanese version); rather more puzzlingly, it also requires an item which is a rare drop from one of the Monster Hunter bosses, Rathalos.