Skip to Content

Exploring Differences: Big Boss and Solid Snake

Exploring Differences: Big Boss and Solid Snake

Both Big Boss and Solid Snake are two characters in a video game series in America called Metal Gear. The game was created by Hideo Kojima and published by Konami. The real name of Big Boss is John, and he is the central character of the Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 series of video games.

Metal Gear established the stealth genre and has several elements that distinguish it from other video games. Long cinematic cut scenes present in the Metal Gear game and complicated plots address the nature of politics, the military, science (particularly genetics), social, cultural, and philosophical subjects, including free will and artificial intelligence, among others.

Big Boss vs. Solid Snake

Big Boss is the main lead character. He performed as the protagonist in the Metal Gear game series but later served as the main antagonist in other games. However, he is the first commanding officer introduced in the original Metal Gear.

Solid Snake has also played the role of the protagonist in the game. He was a subordinate to Big Boss, who later became his nemesis. Big Boss is the genetic father of Solid Snake, Liquid Snake, and Solidus Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

Big Boss appeared as the main hero in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the third installment in the Metal Gear Solid series. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker also featured him. He appeared in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain as a supporting character.

Akio Otsuka and Chikao Otsuka did his voice in Japanese, and David Bryan Hayter, Richard Doyle, and Kiefer Sutherland in English. However, after being beaten up by the Patriots, they recovered Big Boss’s body later. Although he was suffering from significant injuries, he was still alive. Notably, Big Boss’ body was in cold storage.

Alternative Names for Big Boss

  • Jack
  • Vic Boss
  • Naked Snake
  • The Man Who Sold The World
  • Ishmael
  • The Legendary Soldier
  • The Legendary Mercenary
  • Saladin
Understand the story in 12 minutes

Solid Snake – Background

His real name is David. Solid Snake is an imaginary character in the popular Metal Gear series. His first appearance in Metal Gear was in 1987.

Solid Snake is the son of Big Boss, while Liquid Snake is his twin brother, and Solidus Snake is also his brother. Solid Snake is fluent in six major languages.

Solid Snake appeared in Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid: Integral, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Substance. Also in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (indirectly mentioned), Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (indirectly mentioned), Metal Gear Rising: Re vengeance, Metal Gear Rising: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

Although Big Boss is more popular and culturally prominent, Solid Snake was the series’ face for four consecutive titles and starred in higher-quality games. Big Boss indoctrinated Solid Snake on the significance of surviving on the battlefield. Big Boss loved to be on the battlefield for most of his life, and he believes the battlefield is the only place where he feels alive.

Metal Gear introduced Solid Snake to the Elite Special Forces unit Foxhound as a rookie recruit. Big Boss, leader of FOXHOUND, sent Solid Snake to extricate missing teammate Gray Fox from the rogue nation of Outer Heaven. Solid Snake often acts rudely because he’s hiding his emotions deep inside himself.

However, Solid Snake flaunted a calm personality, showing no anger or fear. In Metal Gear 2, Solid Snake thought he killed Big Boss, but Big Boss survived despite being near death. Zero effectively kept his body on ice.

Alternative Names for Solid Snake

  • Dave
  • Snake
  • Old Snake
  • Iroquois Pliskin
  • The Man Who Makes The Impossible Possible
  • Legendary Hero
  • Legendary Mercenary
Big Boss is considered to be the world's best soldier
Big Boss is considered to be the world’s best soldier

Differences between Big Boss and Solid Snake

Following are the distinctions between the Big Boss and the Solid Snake:

What Is The Relation Between Big Boss and Solid Snake? 

I believe Big Boss to be the original Snake, while they cloned Solid Snake using the DNA of Big Boss. Big Boss is known to be the genetic father of Solid Snake.

One Destroyed Eye

There is no difference in terms of physical appearance. Notably, Big Boss has an eye patch to cover up his destroyed eye, unlike Solid Snake. The eyeball of his right eye was ruptured, and the cornea was injured from a muzzle burn during Operation Snake Eater. From that time onwards, he wore an eyepatch to cover the eye.

Otherwise, we can’t see any specific distinction in their looks.

No Fear Of Death

Solid Snake has a strong character. He risks his life to rescue his friends without being afraid of his death. Big Boss has a personality, and he makes only the effort, although he loves to be on the battlefield.

Their Love For the Battlefield

Solid Snake stayed loyal to who he was; he was against violence. However, Big Boss always dreams of soldiers holding guns in never-ending wars.

Big Boss is thought to be the greatest soldier of the century.

Solid Snake can make the Impossible Possible.
Solid Snake can make the Impossible Possible

Legend VS Hero In The Metal Gear Series

I consider Big Boss to be the legend of the Metal Gear series, while Solid Snake is the hero of the Metal Gear series. Both have almost similar looks with different personality traits.

The Difference In Their Character

Solid Snake has a more enthralling character concept. He has a self-made personality and loves to fight for the world. Unlike Big Boss’s vision, who has a dominating character and is used to giving orders.

However, during Operation Snake Eater, Big Boss was compelled to murder The Boss, who was like a mother figure to him. This incident had a deep impact on his personality, and he could not accept the title “The Big Boss” for almost ten years.

He is empathetic towards enemies and friends and forgives them if need be. Solid Snake has a calm personality and successfully hides his emotions.

The Father Who Sold The World vs. The Son Who Made The Impossible Possible

Big Boss is the man who sold the world, whereas Solid Snake is the man who made the impossible possible because of his heroic nature. In the world of video games, Big Boss is not considered to be a good father.

Snake respected Big Boss and thought highly of him until he came to know that Big Boss was at the back of the Outer Heaven incident. After that, he could hardly believe in Big Boss. He struggled with his emotions towards his mentor. However, he could not stop giving respect to the world’s greatest soldier.

Affection Or Violence? 

Both the characters, Big Boss and Solid Snake, wanted to save the world. But Solid Snake believed that using affection saves the world and that the world needs to be cared for naturally, while Big Boss wanted every soldier to have a weapon because he prefers violence.

Although their ultimate goal is the same, both have a different approach to achieving that goal.

No Need To Call Us Legends Or Heroes

I consider Solid Snake to be the hero of Metal Gear Solid. He never gives up and fights, no matter what. However, I acknowledge Big Boss to be the top video game villain. Both individuals, however, refused to be referred to as legends, heroes, or any other titles put upon them by others.

More About Physical Appearance

Big Boss has a powerful physical appearance. He has blue eyes and light brown hair along with a fuller beard and wears an eye patch as well.

On the other hand, Solid Snake has blue-gray eyes and dark brown hair, along with a mustache. Solid Snake is an introvert who finds it difficult to socialize with people, whereas Big Boss is an extrovert who can easily show sympathy to others.

Who Has More Accomplishments?

Even though Big Boss taught Solid Snake about weaponry, survival, and destruction, Solid Snake outperforms Big Boss. His accomplishments are far better than Big Boss. As a rookie recruit, he defeated the Outer Heaven with stealthy raids. He also took over Zanzibar’s land and ultimately conquered it.

Big Boss realizes that Solid Snake is a right-minded person who has devoted his whole life to rectifying mistakes made by his father. Anyway, Solid Snake is a more competent fighter than Big Boss.

Competitive Nature

Big Boss only battles for himself, whereas Solid Snake fights for others. He believed in peace and wanted peace to prevail in this world. Even after getting to know his true identity and that throughout his life, he was controlled by others, he still wanted to stop battles.

Even though Big Boss’ CQC skills are superior, Solid Snake is a better soldier. This may be because of his technical knowledge, as he himself accepts in MGS4 that Big Boss is far better at using older tactics. Whereas Solid Snake depends a lot on technology. But he never used nukes as a threatening device.

List Of Other Popular Characters Included In The Metal Gear Game Series

  • Gray Fox
  • Dr. Madnar
  • Holly White
  • Master Miller
  • Kyle Schneider
  • Kio Marv
  • Roy Campbell
Metal Gear Series is one of best games of this century.
Metal Gear Series is one of the best games of this century


  • Big Boss and Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Series:
    • Characters created by Hideo Kojima for the Metal Gear series, a pioneering video game in the stealth genre.
    • Both characters delve into complex plots addressing politics, military, science, social, cultural, and philosophical subjects.
  • Big Boss:
    • Real name: John; central character in Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2.
    • Protagonist turned antagonist; first commanding officer in the original Metal Gear.
    • Featured in various Metal Gear Solid games as a supporting character.
    • Known by alternative names: Jack, Vic Boss, Naked Snake, The Man Who Sold The World, Ishmael, The Legendary Soldier, and Saladin.
  • Solid Snake:
    • Real name: David; introduced in Metal Gear in 1987.
    • Son of Big Boss; featured in multiple Metal Gear Solid games.
    • Fluent in six major languages.
    • Known by alternative names: Dave, Snake, Old Snake, Iroquois Pliskin, The Man Who Makes The Impossible Possible, Legendary Hero.
  • Differences Between Big Boss and Solid Snake:
    • Relationship: Big Boss is the genetic father of Solid Snake.
    • Physical Appearance: Big Boss wears an eyepatch to cover a destroyed eye; Solid Snake lacks this feature.
    • Personality: Solid Snake is portrayed as calm and composed; Big Boss leans towards a dominating character.
    • Achievements: Solid Snake outperforms Big Boss in accomplishments.
    • Competitive Nature: Big Boss battles for himself, while Solid Snake fights for others and values peace.
    • Conclusion: Both characters share similar physical traits and interests, with distinct personalities and approaches to their goals.
  • Metal Gear Series:
    • Iconic and influential game series created by Hideo Kojima.
    • Metal Gear Solid 1 is considered significant and unforgettable.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2 is praised for technical perfection and a convoluted plot.
    • Peace Walker stands out as one of the best PSP games ever.
  • Overall Reflection:
    • Big Boss and Solid Snake, while sharing similarities, represent different ideals and approaches within the Metal Gear series.
    • The series explores intricate themes in politics, the military, and philosophy. It leaves a lasting impact on the gaming community.

Other Articles

A web story that discusses the Big Boss and Solid Snake can be found here.

Skip to content