Vamp - Metal Gear Solid’s Resident Vampire
Blurring realism with the fantastical is a fine art to try and master. Hideo Kojima – creator & director of the Metal Gear series – tried to perfect this trope throughout the twenty or so years of development that went into the franchise. Some decisions, like the apparent invincibility of Fortune, were met with applause. However certain fantastical elements were openly mocked or critiqued, none more so than the character Vamp.
In Metal Gear Solid, Vamp plays out like a cartoonish vampire of legend, with a freakish ability to take punishment and a fascination with human blood. This article tracks the early machinations of Vamp, Metal Gear Solid 4 excluded, while detailing his involvement with Dead Cell and the Big Shell facility incident. Players will encounter Vamp repeatedly during the events of MGS2 as he serves as an ancillary antagonist to Raiden.
Metal Gear Solid - Vamp’s Characteristics
Vamp comes from peculiar beginnings, even if they aren’t entirely unexpected, given his later character traits. As a child, in war-torn Romania, Vamp is trapped in a church during a bombing. Being buried alive under a pile of rubble alongside his dead parents, Vamp would drink their blood to survive the ordeal, foreshadowing his vampire similarities. Also, a crucifix pierces him in this fracas, furthering the vampire characteristics. His sexual preference was questioned by Solid Snake, who remarked on the origin of his name, in reference to his apparent bisexuality.
During the events of Metal Gear Solid 2, taking place 2009 in-game time, Vamp appears as a member of Dead Cell. This group rebelled against the US military and joined Solidus Snake in his terrorist action against the Patriots (US government). Navy SEAL Team 10 were sent as a counter-terrorist measure to this threat, entering the Big Shell via air deployment and splitting into two separate teams, named Alpha and Beta. Vamp would take out all the members of Alpha squad, during a choreographed sequence of prowess.
After Vamp seemingly dodged the bullets of these SEAL members, Raiden would enter the conflict, almost being killed by a sneak attack from Vamp. Snake – disguised as SEAL team member Iroquois Pliskin – combats Vamp while Raiden watches on in visible surprise. After smelling the blood of Pliskin, Vamp is contacted by Fortune and prompted to rendezvous with her on the B-C connecting bridge of the facility.
Metal Gear Solid: Vamp’s Atavism
Vamp is next seen during the boss fight with Fortune. With Raiden running out of cover – due to Fortune’s huge weapon destroying all the crates in the area – Vamp arrives to inform her of Fatman’s insanity. Seeing an opportunity, Raiden tries to shoot Fortune in head. Instead of hitting her however the bullets would deflect into the forehead of Vamp. With Fortune clamouring over him, Raiden made a hasty escape to the elevator behind them. Picking himself up after Raiden’s exit, he remarks to Fortune that he will not allow himself to die twice, probably in reference to the church sequence in his childhood.
Piloting the Harrier during an encounter with Raiden, Vamp is next seen running across water then holding Emma Emmerich – Otacon’s sister – hostage. He reveals that Arsenal Gear has a hydrogen bomb held within while battling Raiden in the water purification chamber of the Big Shell. Although defeated again, he returns to hold Emma by knife point, forcing Snake & Raiden to snipe him from afar. Unfortunately, even after shooting him with the PSG1 weapon, Vamp will stab Emma before disappearing until the events of Metal Gear Solid 4 transpire.