A Guide To Meryl Silverburgh
Some peculiar choices by creator Hideo Kojima led to Meryl being an ancillary protagonist by the end of the game's run. After being at the forefront of events in the first Metal Gear Solid, she was absent from MGS2. This article looks at the character and where she fits in the world of Metal Gear.
Meryl As A Rookie
Born from an affair between her supposed uncle Roy Campbell and mother, Meryl Silverburgh would be an important piece of the Metal Gear Solid puzzle, with major appearances in both the first Playstation title and the fourth installment. Based on the Policenauts characters of the same name, Meryl would grow from a green recruit during the Shadow Moses uprising into one of the leading soldiers during the PMC filled proxy wars of the near future. This article looks into how, in Metal Gear Solid, Meryl Silverburgh is remembered as a hard talking and effective soldier with emotional attachment to the legendary Solid Snake.
Drafted into the Shadow Moses facility a few days before Liquid Snake’s revolt, Meryl ws taken prisoner with other members of the original staff, including DARPA chief Donald Anderson, ArmsTech President Kenneth Baker and unknowing Metal Gear REX creator Otacon. Snake and players would first encounter her after the DARPA chiefs FOXDIE related death. After successfully stealing a guards uniform, she and Solid Snake hold off a wave of enemies before exiting the area after an the mystical appearance of Psycho Mantis.
Meryl's Brush With Death
Snake learns that in order to deactivate (used to activate it later in the game) the REX launch sequence he needs a PAL card given to Meryl by Baker. This leads to some meta-game mechanic that infuriated many a gamer until Meryl is next seen in the Nuclear disposal facilities basement. After a verbose monologue about Meryl’s idolisation of Snake and FOXHOUND, she and Snake find themselves in battle with Psycho Mantis.
After his defeat, Meryl would be shot & kidnapped by Sniper Wolf, witnessing Solid Snake’s torture thereafter. She would reappear only during the final moments of the game, where Liquid would reveal her beside him on the top of a now wrecked Metal Gear REX. Being rescued by Solid after his fist fight with Liquid, Meryl and he would escape the compound on and witness the death of Liquid due to the FOXDIE virus. Meryl and Solid find a snowmobile soon after and drive off as the credits roll in Metal Gear Solid.
A Return for Meryl In Metal Gear Solid 4
Meryl wouldn’t return for the events of MGS2 instead making a final appearance in Guns of The Patriots some nine years after the first Metal Gear Solid. Things had changed, as Solid would find out, with Meryl leading a PMC-investigatory team named Rat Patrol 01. She, along with her unit, became embroiled in Liquid’s capture in the middle east. During these events she would find love in Akiba (the erstwhile Johnny Sasaki), a fellow teammate and used as comic relief to an extent.
Helping Snake to infiltrate Outer Haven, she and Akiba would hold off multiple waves of Ghost troopers, allowing Snake to reach the AI core of the behemoth ship. After Snake’s success, Meryl would marry Johnny while reconciling with her estranged father, Colonel Campbell. The wedding sequence was the backdrop for the entire ending cutscene, with Meryl, Johnny, Snake and Otacon all parting ways from both each other and the Metal Gear series itself.