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The word is self-explanatory. Definable as trying to provide a better existence for human kind through deeds of selflessness or charity. Philanthropy stems from maintaining a service that brings people together and attempts to create a better world because of it. So, what is the word doing within the pantheon of Metal Gear Solid and how does it relate to solo infiltration missions against shadowy governmental powers? This article tries to colour the context for this word and its usage within the Metal Gear Solid series.
In Metal Gear Solid, Philanthropy is the name of a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, ran by founding members Otacon and Solid Snake. It’s main purpose is to stop the sale, distribution & proliferation of Metal Gear schematics and units on the black market. This occurred following the events of Metal Gear Solid, whereby Revolver Ocelot began to distribute the Metal Gear designs to various countries, saturating the market with various Metal Gear derivatives & modifications.
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History of Philanthropy In Metal Gear Solid
Using the legendary soldier status of Solid Snake, Philanthropy attempts to thwart the completion of these new Metal Gear’s, by sabotage, infiltration or destruction via weaponry etcetera. It’s worth mentioning that other characters were seen to aid Philanthropy throughout the series. These included the nuclear weapons expert Nastasha Romanenko, the Soliton radar inventor Mei Ling, Olga’s child Sunny and MGS2 protagonist Raiden.
Two years after the events of Metal Gear Solid, Philanthropy is first introduced to the player, at the beginning of the Tanker chapter in MGS2. As Otacon and Snake deliberate the implications of their now UN recognized effort, the infiltration of the tanker begins, with a lead on a new Metal Gear prototype being held within the ships hold. After Revolver Ocelot’s terrorist move against the US Marines on the tanker, Snake finds himself in the hold alongside Ocelot, who has seated himself within the new Metal Gear RAY.
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Stealing the weapon and supposedly killing Solid Snake -- the corpse used for his burial was in fact his brother Liquid’s -- Ocelot fled with RAY. Both the government and media blamed Philanthropy for the devastation that followed, in no small part due to The Patriots control. It wasn’t until the Big Shell incident two years later, in 2009 and following the path of Raiden, that Snake or Philanthropy would reappear. Discovering information on The Patriots as well as stopping Solidus Snake’s insurrection, Philanthropy began to focus on the larger threat of this shadowy construct.
Over the next five years the widespread proliferation of Metal Gear derivatives was a key ingredient in creating the proposed “War Economy" seen throughout the fourth Metal Gear Solid. Philanthropy had been quiet throughout these intervening years, save for Raiden’s actions during the upcoming Rising title, with Snake suffering from rapid aging. With several PMC’s fighting proxy wars across the globe, Roy Campbell -- now working as a UN official, requested Snake try to stop Liquid Ocelot from taking over the Guns of The Patriots AI system.
This led to the events of the fourth Metal Gear Solid, Philanthropy sought to prevent Ocelot from controlling the SOP system, while simultaneously preventing the Patriots control themselves. After eventually defeating Ocelot & destroying the five AI constructs of The Patriots, Snake began to live out the rest of his shortened life.