EXCERPT FROM PlayStation OFFICIAL MAGAZINE METAL GEAR SOL4D: THE COMPLETE GUIDE
Meryl Silverbugh could teach Snake a few tricks about busting out of the brig. In Metal Gear Solid, she pummels her jailer, steals his uniform and weapons, then leaves him down for the count. Yet she's still green when freed. Snake might need the help of an invisible nerd and a robotic ninja to get out of jail, but he shows Meryl just how far she has to go.
But this isn't about her. It's about the man who got beat up by a girl, who justifies "IBS" as an officer rank. It's about the man whose speedy response in an emergency shows us all what it means to have guts. This is about Johnny Sasaki, the greatest worst soldier who ever lived.
Mery added infection in injury when she left Johnny on the floor with his royals exposed, as he's caught a violent cold by the time he returns to uniform, patrolling Snake's cell. Snake should probably have thanked her for that, since the crippling bowel movements brought by the cold give Snake more than enoughe time to make an escape plan, and Johnny is the key to Snake's escape. Few other guards would have been tricked by hiding under the bed or by ketchup masquerading as a wound. [CAUTION: Johnny's what you'd call a "lax guard."]
The bumbler survives his encounter with Solid Snake as well as the the Genome Army's ruin. He takes up the ronin's life- a soul ever looking for the restroom - and ultimately joins Olga Gurlukovich's band by the time of MGS2. Maybe he specifically requests guard duty, because Raiden overhears Johnny's monologue on the throne in the Big Shell's hostage room. Johnny is a more humble Sasaki in Metal Gear Solid 2, perhaps out of survivor's guilt, since far better soldiers have died in combat with Solid Snake.
Raiden finds Johnny once more on the Big Shell, this tim while laying cover fire as Emma Emmerich crosses the oil fence. Johnny captures Emma out of Raiden's firing range, but he's apparently learned not to press his luck with prisoners. He tells Emma the cause-effect relationship between good-looking women, war and diarrhea, and then warns her that the Big Shell will blow sky high.
Like clockwork, duty calls Johnny away. Emma asks the masked man's name, and he replies, "Don't have one!" But a throb in his gut forces him to admit that he's Johnny Sasaki-a man privy to confidential secrets that he'll inevitably leak.
Johnny might lack Solid Snake's cool with the ladies, but the two do share common ground. They both know the rush and surge of conflict (in a sense), and their genes lead both of them into the soldiering life. Metal Gear Solid 3 revealed that Big Boss's jailer at Groznyj Grad was none other than Johnny's father, also named Johnny.
The Sasaki blood clearly yearns for the open road. Elder Johnny was an American somehow enlisted among the Soviet GRU militia in East Russia. No matter how many miles he'd rambled, though, Elder Johnny always remembered where he'd come from. He shares a softer side of the Sasaki clan with Big Boss when he shows off a photograph from back home showing his wife and young son-the present day Johnny. The code to unlock Snake's cell, of course, is written on the picture's other side. [CAUSTION: MGS3's Johnny writes the code to unlock Naked Snake's cell on the back of a photograph of MGS1's Johnny as a child. Even before he enlisted, our prestend day's Sasaki was helping POWs escape by turning his back.]
Elder Johnny then showed the softest side of the Sasakis as he proved just as expulsive as his son would become. Sadly, MGS3 doesn't end in a Time Paradox if Big Boss kills Elder Johnny during his escape. This suggests that Elder Johnny had carried his share of history's load by fathering the man who helped save the worled by failing at just the right time.
Metal Gear Portable Ops takes the Johnny tradition in a different direction when it introduces Jonathan, the first soldier who Big Boss abducts on San Hieronymo Island. His field skills are as green as they come, but, as his more formal name suggests, Jonathan plays less to the running gag. Most MGPO players become attacthed to him more than any ohter recruit, and MGPO capatilizes on that affection when Jonahtahn dies in the fraticidal riot following GENE's hypnosis. Jonahtan becomes the first MGS "Johnny" who doesn't brown himself and dies a tragic death.
It seems that Metal Gear Solid 4 combines Jonahtan's heroics with the Sasakis' legendary movement. The same Johnny from MGS1 and MGS2 returns as Johnny "Akiba" Sasaki. Trailers show that Akiba still does what Sasakis do best: stealth squatting. But Johnny's fortunes have changed, if only a little. By MGS4, Johnny has joined FOXHOUND under the command of the woman who made him into the man he is today: Meryl Silverburgh.
Through he's still a bumbler, he's apparently the only soldier unaffected b whatever Liquid Ocelot uses against FOXHOUND and the PMCs. Can the Patriots' nanomachine control be beaten with little more than slick diarrhea?
Whatever Sasaki will become, it's clear that MGS4 offers the most likeable of the gag characters. From MGS1 to MGS4, we've seen him grow from a hard knuckled loser, to a sheep in wolf's clothing, to a relatable human being, to a war hero, and finally to the only man free from Liquid Ocelot's grasp on the battlefield. The credits song from MGS1 is right: the best is yet to come.
And there probably won't be any toilet paper handy when it does.
-JAMES CLINTON HOWELL