Moderate spoilers about Metal Gear Solid 4’s ending. Nothing major, but nothing minor.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is a game replete with homoeroticism, but most of it is male-oriented. While I don’t mind this fact, I always found it a bit disappointing (from an equality standpoint) that the women never got the opportunity to get in on the action. But I was wrong to say they never got the opportunity, as I recently discovered in this brief scene from the ending.
A bit of background, which will help you appreciate this picture if you haven’t played the game: at this point in the story, the war that was driving the plot is over. All of the soldiers that have fought this war, regardless of which side they were on, were assisted by a system called SOP, which enhanced their combat abilities and allowed extensive battlefield monitoring. However, SOP has just been eliminated, and one of its benefits has now been lost: psychological control. SOP suppressed the emotions and fatigue of the soldiers under its control so they could keep fighting no matter what, and with that gone, their repressed emotions and fatigue are hitting them like sacks of bricks. That’s why they all seem so haggard in this scene. The Haven Troopers (those in the middle) were hit especially hard because they have only recently lost the benefit of SOP, while the other soldiers have been without it for quite some time now and have gotten used to it.
Now, the Haven Troopers (i.e. FROGs) are the antagonist’s private army. They are enhanced fighters who are the toughest non-boss human opponents in the game. However, now that the war is over, they have no reason to fight for their commander (the antagonist), which is why the FROGs in the middle of the raft and the soldier on the right (who is part of the “good guys”) are sharing the raft amicably.
But here’s the most important bit: the FROGs? They’re women. In this short part of the final scene, the FROG on the left is slowly caressing the other FROG’s head as she lies in her arms, probably trying to comfort her after the psychological shock of losing SOP’s protection. It really is a very tender, heart-felt moment, certainly the most tender and heart-felt of all of the homoerotic scenes in the game. It’s a moment of caring, of intimacy, and it is just plain sweet (in the romantic sense, not the “awesome” sense).
Good to see that Hideo Kojima wasn’t going to let the men have all the fun.
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