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This is my analysis of Liquid, copy/pasted from the Analyse This meme on Fission Memes.

I'm going to start, as I did in one of my apps, by mentioning that Liquid is the id to Solid's superego. He's emotional, hot-headed, occasionally rash - and is actually far better for it. While he can - and does - act thoughtful and strategic quite often, it is often overlooked because his emotions are so very bombastic. Despite that, it is notable that Liquid is actually a far more competant soldier at times. He's dedicated, determined, focused, capable of handling pressure, injury and the deaths of his allies with dignity... He can lead, he doesn't need prompting to dive into battle, he doesn't have Snake's addictive personality. On the other hand, Snake is far more capable as a person.

Both of them are unstable in different ways; Snake clearly dislikes his role of soldier and needs to be pushed into acting. It's only when there's no option that he'll fight unprompted. He denies his battle instincts, he denies just how much combat means to him and he'd clearly be happier as a civilian. Liquid, on the other hand embraces his status as a warrior - and this is an important distinction. There is a difference between "soldier" and "warrior", although it's purely on a conceptual level. Liquid enjoys battle. He relishes times of war because it's when he comes most alive. It's where he fits in. Solid, on the other hand, seems to prefer times of peace.

It's an interesting contrast, because both of them show shades of each other. Both of them are near-perfectly matched, skills-wise. If you go by TTS, Snake even has the same high level of flexibility and remarkable jumping skills that Liquid does. It's in their actions that the difference stands.

Liquid is, in the most basic of terms, a showman. No matter what happens, two things seem most important to him. Firstly, that he exits victorious. Secondly, that he does it in the flashiest method possible. Flashiest may not be the best word. More... the world is a stage. Everything must be played out the right way. The right lighting, the right timing, the right words. Liquid seems to have a strong sense of drama. I don't even think it's a conscious thing. It's actually entirely possible that it's rooted in the deep-seated fear that his inferiority might be real.

While he will not admit even to himself that he has that fear, it's clear that he does. His efforts during MGS are entirely focused on disproving those fears. He would have no reason to do that if he was not afraid that they might be real. A good part of showmanship is casting oneself in the right light. To garner applause. In short, to make you feel good about yourself.

Of all of the three clones, Solidus and Liquid are the most talkative. Snake can rant when he wants to, but on a whole... Solidus was primed for making speeches, something I will get into when I get around to Solidus. Liquid, on the other hand, seems to have this as an inherent trait. While he's thoughtless at times, even rash, he's intelligent - and he likes to show that off. A lot of his thoughtlessness seems to come from being cocky. This is actually another trait that tends to stem from low self-esteem. With that said, I think he actually is rather a rash person. This is actually another trait that serves him well as a soldier. A soldier needs to be able to take risks; while you need to know the risks, you also need to be brave enough to take them even when there's a chance you won't come out alive.

The fact that Liquid was part of the SAS speaks for his skills; the SAS is notoriously hard to get into. If a hundred people apply, maybe five of them will get in. The process is gruelling on the deepest level. It takes months and months, test after test, many of which would be difficult for hardened soldiers. Many people drop out, most of the rest cannot handle it. Liquid was the youngest person ever to join them. That speaks for his skills and determination.

Liquid is cunning; he can and will seize any advantage. He seems to have a lessened set of morals, which is actually typical of someone who was raised to fight. Most people are born sociopathic. They develop their emotions as they grow. Some don't develop them at all, but most people do - and a lot of what people think of as "moral" and "right" is actually taught to them. It isn't a base instinct to flinch away from, say, theft. Murder, yes. Most people will react badly to murder the first time they do it. It shocks the system, horrifies you. Nobody ever forgets their first kill. If you have the capability to feel, it will damage you. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes. It is entirely possible for someone's morals to close off - especially if they've been taught to overcome them. They don't disappear. It's more that you refuse to listen to them until you become so used to ignoring them that they seem to fade into the background. Like a pervasive noise - the longer you tolerate it, the easier it becomes to ignore. You become used to it.

Liquid, unlike Solid, has little known about his past. Supplementary materials offer conflicting data regarding several issues. One part that stands out to me is from the Metal Gear Solid Mission Handbook. It states that Liquid saw active combat at the age of thirteen. As child soldiers go, this is relatively late, but we've already seen how that can affect someone in the Metal Gear universe in Raiden. Liquid seems to have gone to an opposite extreme and embraced his situation entirely. I think this speaks more to his situation than anything else. Raiden was snatched from his family; I suspect Liquid was raised for combat. While he never knew he was the superior clone, the Patriots inevitably did. Therefore it makes sense for his childhood to have been more focused on preparing him for eventually being combative.

A lot of Liquid's cold attitude could draw from that as well; I think it's highly likely that all three of the Snake clones were deprived of affection and respect during their youth. The Patriots saw them as tools, little more. They were not Big Boss, they were only a way of passing on his greatness. At first, perhaps at least EVA would have thought of them as something more than that. Perhaps even Para Medic. But they became more like tools to the obsessed Zero. As we learn in Peace Walker (SPOILERS) Zero was planning to use them as leverage at one point, if Big Boss refused to come back. Zero, at least, thought of them as nothing more than tools. If Zero was the one that raised Liquid - or at least kept him nearby to supervise his progress - then it's unlikely that Liquid would have received any sort of real happiness. As a result, when the thrill of battle was experienced, it's likely that he grabbed onto it. It was something joyful, something he relished in.

On that note, Liquid is simultaneously the most open and the most closed of the Snakes. He is the most openly emotional, but he also hides a lot. A good deal of that open emotion, that energetic and open nature is also a mask. Liquid is fine with displaying his anger, his pleasure, but not his fear or sorrow. He keeps that private.

When it comes down to it, I think Liquid is sort of a thrill-seeker. He doesn't like life to be boring or quiet. He takes those risks mentioned above because he can, and because he feels more alive when the world around him is chaotic. That doesn't mean he can't enjoy peaceful times, it just means that his mind - and probably his hands - need to be occupied with something during them. I don't think Liquid could truly be happy with life as a civilian, unlike Solid. If he did, I imagine him being the type of person who drives a motorbike and goes bungee jumping all the time.

It's interesting that Liquid is both a solitary person and a leader. He doesn't appear to have Big Boss' legendary charisma, judging by the actions of his followers, but he does have something drawing him to others. Liquid does not inspire the same loyalty as his father, but he is capable of following the same path towards the same goals - and being followed into it. I think, in a sense, it's more that he knows what people want. Mantis wanted to kill people, Wolf and Raven wanted to honor Big Boss (and Ocelot too, in his eyes) and... frankly, who knows about Octopus? It was more that he was able to draw people together because of their goals, not because of any particular liking for him. Perhaps that is the similarity in the charisma, because Liquid might deceive his enemies, but he doesn't appear to lie to his allies. He simply offers them what they want.

Something I mentioned earlier was Liquid's similarity to Big Boss. Liquid makes some contradictory statements on the subject of his father and it's hard to discern what he really thinks. Yes, he does hate him, but I suspect more of it is turned inwards than he admits. Because of his emotionally abusive past, he does believe he's inferior to Big Boss and he does everything he can to surpass him to compensate. This sends him on a path that is alarmingly similar to that of Big Boss he knew. Outer Heaven, Big Boss' former allies, Metal Gear. It seems more of an attempt to compensate than it should be. Liquid's stubborn determination is a well-known fact, but you have to wonder just how much of Shadow Moses was his desire for Outer Heaven and how much was his desire to prove his worth.

I think it is true that Liquid liked Outer Heaven - the old one, Big Boss' Outer Heaven - and probably found it a pleasing and familiar thought. But on the other hand, he takes everything and throws it one giant step further. Nation of soldiers? Bitch, please. He'll go for the world. It's not megalomania so much as it is overcompensation. No dick jokes, please.

...aaaand this is getting long enough so I'm just gonna wrap this up. Feel free to ask questions about my POV. I'll be happy to answer them.

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Liquid Snake

March 2012

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