Steve Downes, the voice of Halo’s Master Chief, is a DJ for a Chicago radio station.
The legendary Solid Snake? You?
In case you didn't already know, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Metal Gear. We've already celebrated the series in the form of Sean's thoughtful retrospective, but now it's time to pay our respects to one of gaming's finest heroes: Solid Snake.
Although first introduced to us in 1987 as a rookie member of Special Forces unit FOX-HOUND, it was his appearance in the seminal Metal Gear Solid that won Solid Snake a place in the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere. Not only was Snake skilled, he was cool; sexy and mysterious, even, in a way that harked back to the 80's action heroes many of us grew up with. Snake was a bit of a rebel; smuggling cigarettes with him to the Shadow Moses facility despite the advice of Doctor Naomi Hunter. But he was also human; a flawed character, with a troubled past that made us like him even more.
When we learned that we wouldn't be playing as Solid Snake for most of MGS2, it was a painful discovery. But it allowed us to see Snake through the eyes of another - the 'real' Solid Snake, freed from the constraints of merely adequate players, and he became ever more the hero - even if he did adopt the unlikely Escape from New York-inspired nickname of Plisskin.
We didn't see Snake again - at least, not the Solid Snake as we knew him- until Metal Gear Solid, and it quickly became clear that the years hadn't been kind to David. Now referred to as Old Snake, his body failing thanks to the effects of the FOXDIE virus, it was a bitter pill to swallow, but it soon became evident that -despite his failing body - he was still just as capable of his usual sneaking, shooting and CQC-ing tricks, and whilst some might have had their issues with Metal Gear Solid 4's ending it's impossible to deny the appeal of the solid conclusion for his character.
Snake's appearance has changed a little over the years, but one thing that has remained unfaltering is the use of actor David Hayter to provide Snake's gruff voice, and his husky tones are as much a part of Snake's charm as his unabashed smoking habits and the presence of that bandana.
We've been enjoying gaming as Solid Snake for 25 years, and whilst his story is now over, we have every hope that we'll be continuing to enjoy Metal Gear games for the next 25 years as well. And for everything Solid Snake represents - from sneaking around military installations to lengthy codec conversations, from high-tech optic camouflage to hiding in cardboard boxes, and from tranquilizer darts to infinity-shaped barrels, we salute him.