|Metal Gear series|
Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid, as drawn by Yoji Shinkawa
|First appearance||Metal Gear Solid (1998)|
|Created by||Hideo Kojima|
|Designed by||Yoji Shinkawa|
Sniper Wolf (スナイパー・ウルフ Sunaipā Urufu' ) is a fictional character from Konami's Metal Gear series. Created by Hideo Kojima and designed by Yoji Shinkawa, she appears in the 1998 stealth game Metal Gear Solid (as well as its 2004 remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes) as one of the game bosses belonging to the renegade U.S. special operations group FOXHOUND.
"Sniper Wolf" is the character's nom de guerre pseudonym and her real name is undisclosed. She is of Iraqi Kurdish origin and her backstory is connected to the series' chief protagonist/antagonist character Big Boss. Sniper Wolf is widely regarded as one of the most popular characters in this game as well as in the entire Metal Gear series, as well as one of the top best female antagonists in video gaming.
According to designer Yoji Shinkawa, the idea of creating Sniper Wolf came about when series' director Hideo Kojima originally asked him to draw a man. However, Shinkawa suggested that he should design "a young lady with a sniper rifle." Shinkawa designed her with green hair, but she appears as a blonde in the game. He also made a topless picture of her. When asked about his favorite Metal Gear character in a 2003 interview, Solid Snake's voice actor David Hayter said: "Wolf. Very hot. Very dangerous. She’d be Snake’s girl if she wasn’t so focused on killing him."
In 2012, Kojima recalled he had a hard time "trying to explain the concept of MGS' Sniper Wolf battle" to his staff. Shacknews wrote about the game's GameCube remake Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes: "While critically acclaimed thanks to its improved graphics and smarter AI, the addition of an MGS2-inspired first-person mode was blamed for making the game too easy and ruining the Sniper Wolf boss battle entirely."
In Metal Gear Solid, Sniper Wolf is a member of FOXHOUND and an elite sniper capable of going without food and staying still for up to a week. She typically forms an emotional connection with her targets before killing them with her favoured weapon, the Heckler & Koch PSG1, and uses mercury-tipped hollow-point bullets to poison her victims.
Born in the Iraqi Kurdistan in 1983 during the Iran–Iraq War, she witnessed the death of her family and thousands of others from a chemical attack by Saddam Hussein's government troops against the rebellious Kurds when she was five years old. She was captured by Saddam's forces and taken as an orphan by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, who brainwashed her and brought a famed Gurkha sniper to train her to be a child combatant for the government. Three years later, during the 1991 uprisings in Iraq, she fled to a Kurdish refugee camp. There, the legendary U.S. Army Special Forces veteran known as Big Boss noticed her extroardinary abilities and brought her with him to the United States, where she received counselling and deprogramming to remove her Iraqi brainwashing, leaving only her fighting abilities with her. Extremely grateful, she thought of Big Boss as a modern Saladin and followed him in whatever he did, until his mutiny and later death at the hands of FOXHOUND operative Solid Snake, as depicted in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. She was found by Liquid Snake, who convinced her to join a FOXHOUND splinter cell under his command. Years later, during the Shadow Moses Island incident, Sniper Wolf goes rogue along with the rest of Liquid Snake's group when they take hostages and blackmail the U.S. government with a hijacked walking tank armed with nuclear weapons, demanding the corpse of Big Boss to be handed over to them. She cares for the huskies that Liquid intended to kill, as she enjoys their company, and is impressed with the hostage scientist Hal "Otacon" Emmerich giving his scarce food supply to the dogs. When Solid Snake infiltrates the island, Sniper Wolf wounds Snake's companion Meryl Silverburgh to lure him into a trap, capturing him so he could be tortured by another FOXHOUND member, Revolver Ocelot. Eventually, Snake defeats her in sniper duel in a snowy field by shooting her in the lung. After hearing Sniper Wolf's story of her life, and at her request to be at last "set free", Snake kills her over objections by Otacon, who professes his love for her. Solid Snakes also uses her handkerchief to avoid wolf attacks by masking his scent with hers.
Sniper Wolf was originally planned to make a voice-over cameo appearance in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), during a conversation between Otacon and Olga "Ninja" Gurlukovich, and appears in a short flashback sequence. Her spirit shows up as a wolf in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008), in which an unrelated character named Crying Wolf also appears to engage in a sniper duel against Solid Snake. Due to her popularity, a 1/8 scale Sniper Wolf action figure was released by McFarlane Toys in 1998. Two 1/6 scale figures were also released only in Japan by Yamato (an action figure) and Studio Saru Bunshitsu (a garage kit). In 2012, Sniper Wolf was chosen by Konami as one of their 64 iconic characters to participate in the Konami E3 Battle event, where she lost against Metal Gear REX in the semi-final fourth round. Some other developers have also given homage type nods to the character, such as an item "MGS Sniper Wulf Mk. II" in EA Montreal's Army of Two (2008) and a weapon "MG-S1 Sniper Wolfe" the PlayStation 3 version of Visceral Games' The Godfather II (2009).
The character was well received in part because of her sex appeal. For that, ranked Sniper Wolf as 37th "hottest babe in games" by GameDaily in 2008 and included in UGO's list of the 50 "hottest babes in games" in 2011. In 2010, PSU ranked her as tenth sexiest PlayStation character, adding that "this character takes a special place in our hearts."
|“||Sniper Wolf's motives were admirable, her character was brilliant, and her relationship with Otacon added yet another layer to the game's lauded story.||”|
—IGN PlayStation Team
She was also acclaimed as one of the best boss type and antagonist characters in the Metal Gear series or even in all video games. In 2006, Ryan Stewart and Rich Krpata of The Boston Phoenix ranked the fight against Sniper Wolf as the 16th greatest boss battle in video game history, describing her as the best aspect of FOXHOUND and her death as "one of gaming's most poignant scenes." In 2008, readers of IGN voted her at the top position on the list of the Metal Gear series villains, the staff commenting: "Who else could number one be but the incredibly beautiful, and impossibly deadly, Sniper Wolf?" and adding that "it's safe to say Wolf earned more votes than just about every other villain combined, a fact that doesn't surprise us at all." That same year, IGN PlayStation Team ranked the fight against her as the sixth best boss battle in the series, stating that "in the history of videogames, few bosses have brought us to our knees the way Sniper Wolf did. When Snake and Wolf finally tussled on the frozen, tree-filled lot on Shadow Moses, fans were treated to a sniper v. sniper battle that made you fear and respect your adversary." In 2010, the staff of IGN ranked Sniper Wolf as the 92nd top video game villain of all time, stating that she "probably deserves to be higher on our list" and emphasizing the feeling of helplessness caused by her tactics in "an epic boss battle". The scene of Sniper Wolf wounding Meryl to set a trap for Snake was included among the top ten cutscenes in the series by Jeremy M. Loss of Joystick Division and ranked as the seventh most shocking surprise in video games ("subverting the power fantasy") by George Reith of GamingBolt in 2012. In 2012, Ryan King of PLAY included the character of Sniper Wolf among the six "things you didn’t want to kill (but you did anyway)" and PLAY's Ian Dransfield included her among the top "bad guys you wanted to win".
Regarding her personality issues, sometimes perceived as complicated, Sniper Wolf was ranked as the 25th top "chick behaving badly" in all entertainment by Scott Collura of IGN in 2008, featured as one of nine "bad girls of videogame land" by Gelo Gonzales of FHM in 2009, and ranked as the seventh top "bitch in games" by Gavin Mackenzie of PLAY in 2010. Complex ranked her as the ninth "most diabolical video game she-villain" in 2011, describing her as "the exact type of woman that you wouldn’t marry for any rational reason." In 2012, Complex ranked her as ninth on the list of some of the most evil women in video games, with a comment that even as Sniper Wolf "actually ends up being one of the more noble villains in the game," she did exhibit "some next-level psycho behavior." Additionally, 1UP.com's Scott Sharkey ranked Otacon's reaction to the death of Sniper Wolf at second place in his 2009 list of the series' "most awkward" moments, calling it "the world's most embarrassingly stupid case of Stockholm syndrome."
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