Metal Gear (1987)
Console of origin
Gray Fox, also known as Frank Jaeger, and formerly known as Null, was a mercenary and former agent of U.S. Special Forces Unit FOXHOUND. Originally a child soldier who fought in Mozambique, Jaeger was the only operative in FOXHOUND to achieve the codename "Fox," the unit's highest commendation, and was decorated five times.
Fox was Solid Snake's comrade-in-arms and friend during the Outer Heaven Uprising, but his loyalty to renegade commander Big Boss forced him into combat with Snake during the Zanzibar Land Disturbance. Fox survived his injuries following an intense battle, after which he was forcibly outfitted with a powered exoskeleton and subjected to intensive gene therapy. He later confronted Snake as a neutral force during the Shadow Moses Incident, in the guise of the Cyborg Ninja, before dying at the hands of Liquid Snake and Metal Gear REX.
Early life and careerEdit
Frank Jaeger spent his early years fighting as a child soldier for FRELIMO guerrilla fighters in the Mozambican War of Independence. Known for his cruel war tactics, he would trick enemies into letting their guard down by acting with "the frankness of a young boy," before killing them with "the ruthlessness of a hunter." This earned him the title "Frank Hunter" from his enemies, which evolved into "Frank Jaeger," as a nod to the little German that he spoke. Throughout the war, Jaeger killed dozens of government soldiers from the Portuguese regime. In 1966, renowned mercenary Big Boss became acquainted with Jaeger in Mozambique after stopping him in battle, and placed the young boy into a rehabilitation facility, believing that he would be safe.
While at the rehab center, Jaeger was taken by the CIA and used as a test subject in the "Perfect Soldier Project." The project turned the boy into a more efficient soldier, capable of killing his targets without remorse, however, it was at a cost. When he was not fighting, he was kept in a fluid-filled sensory deprivation tank which would reset his memories, and suppress his emotions. This intense treatment also enhanced his senses and reflexes allowing him to deflect bullets and become incredibly agile. Because Jaeger was the only surviving test subject of the project, he was deemed a lost number and was given the codename of "Null."
San Hieronymo TakeoverEdit
As a young adult, Null, a.k.a. the Perfect Soldier, operated as a member of the FOX unit during the San Hieronymo Takeover, under the leadership of Gene. His unique Sneaking Suit color during this time was red. He helped the unit to capture Big Boss, and confronted him in battle during the operation, but was unable to defeat him, their fight ending in a stalemate. However, his fight with Big Boss nonetheless lasted long enough for Cunningham and a squad of FOX soldiers to arrive and capture Big Boss. Null was forced to let Big Boss live due to Cunningham's insistence that he stand down, though he did so with extreme reluctance.
Despite being laid back into his culture tank, Null's memories of the battle with Big Boss couldn't be erased. He first escaped from the tank shortly after Gene's telephone conversation with Ocelot, killing several soldiers before finally being subdued by Gene, via throwing knives to the hands and knees, and telekinesis. Driven by a need to kill Big Boss, Null broke free of his chamber a second time and after slaughtering many of his own comrades, he confronted Big Boss again at the subpower station. Revealing that his mind was "littered with corpses," and having an almost fatalistic and nihilistic view on life, he asked Big Boss, "Why won't you die? What do you hope to accomplish by living?," before attacking. It was only after this second battle that Big Boss realized who Null really was. Big Boss defeated Null again and convinced him to seek help somewhere outside of the FOX unit.
Afterwards, Jaeger was sent to a hospital, and while he did ultimately survive the events of the San Hieronymo Takeover, he was severely wounded both physically and mentally. The doctors and Roy Campbell were also unsure if, after his eventual release from the hospital, he would ever live a normal life after that. Jaeger's battle data as Null was later recovered by Zero, who then revealed this to Ocelot and requested his assistance in a project.
Post-San Hieronymo and FOXHOUNDEdit
In 1979, during the Rhodesian Civil War, Jaeger was responsible for killing the parents of a young girl, who would later take the name Naomi Hunter. Feeling immense guilt upon discovering the near-starved child by the Zambezi River, he gave Naomi his rations and chose to adopt her, caring for her as a younger sister. Military analyst Nastasha Romanenko would later speculate that these actions were the result of post-traumatic stress resulting from Fox's childhood experiences in war. His killing of her parents, and his guilt for the action, would continue to haunt Jaeger for the rest of his life, although he kept the true reason for the loss of her parents a secret from Naomi.
At some point, Jaeger returned to Mozambique to participate in the civil war, this time as a soldier for the RENAMO, but would later endure severe torture, during which his nose and ears were cut off. However, he would ultimately be rescued once more by Big Boss.
It was while in Mozambique during the 1980s that Jaeger's "sister" Naomi met Big Boss, who would later take them both to the United States. Jaeger and Big Boss eventually returned to Africa to continue the war, leaving Naomi behind in America.
While living under the alias of "Frank Hunter," during the the time of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Jaeger became romantically involved with Czech figure skating champion Gustava Heffner. The two tried to elope together, but American authorities rejected her bid for asylum and she was sent back to her country, where she was stripped of her competition rights. Following this incident, Jaeger developed a great deal of resentment for his superiors.
Circa the early 1990s, Jaeger served in the U.S. Special Forces Unit FOXHOUND, with Big Boss himself being reinstated as its commander. Jaeger was the only member to receive the unit's highest commendation, being awarded with the codename "Fox." Having been decorated five times, Fox was considered an unofficial leader in FOXHOUND due to his extraordinary soldiering skills and his keen intellect, and was held in high regard among the members of FOXHOUND. During this time, Fox's real name was classified under National Security.
Outer Heaven UprisingEdit
In 1995, Gray Fox was the FOXHOUND agent assigned to Operation Intrude N312. Fox's objective was to gather data on a top-secret nuclear weapon that the fortified state of Outer Heaven was secretly developing. After successfully infiltrating Outer Heaven, Gray Fox scouted the first building of the fortress, noting the locations of the inner courtyard, cameras and elevators, along with various weapons and equipment, such as card keys and Beretta handguns. Sometime afterwards, he stumbled upon information relating to the new weapon being developed. However, the mission ended in failure when Fox was captured, though not before relaying the details of his reconnaissance back to FOXHOUND. His final words before his transmission was cut were simply: "Metal Gear..." In the follow-up mission, known as Operation Intrude N313, Fox was rescued by rookie FOXHOUND member Solid Snake. Fox provided Snake with all the known facts about Metal Gear; a nuclear-equipped walking battle tank. With Fox's information, Snake located Metal Gear's creator, and ultimately destroyed the TX-55 prototype that was under development in Outer Heaven. Following Outer Heaven's fall, and the revelation of its leader's identity as Big Boss, all trace of Fox was lost, and it appeared he followed after his commander.
After deserting FOXHOUND, Fox accompanied Big Boss to Zanzibar Province in Central Asia. He assisted in the formation of Zanzibar Land through his participation in the Mercenary War. After their success in the war, Fox was given his own command among Zanzibar Land's military.
Zanzibar Land DisturbanceEdit
In 1999, Fox used the newly-developed Metal Gear D to cross Zanzibar Land's borders and conduct raids against several nuclear disposal sites. This act, along with Zanzibar Land's kidnapping of Czech biologist Dr. Kio Marv, led to retaliation from FOXHOUND, then under the command of Colonel Roy Campbell. Solid Snake was pulled from retirement and sent to rescue Dr. Marv, with assistance from the CIA. Fox, conflicted over Big Boss's plans to bring about a new age of global conflict, became a secret informant to his old comrade Snake, justifying it as payback for his selfish desire for battle. During the course of Snake's mission, Fox began transmitting anonymous messages to him, claiming to be his "number one fan," in order to help him overcome certain obstacles and traps.
After Snake obtained critical data left behind by a deceased Dr. Marv, Fox activated a pit trap beneath him before he could escape the detention facility. Forcing Snake into an underground facility, Fox, again piloting Metal Gear D, challenged him to a fight, dismissing Dr. Madnar's claims as to its weaknesses. Following Madnar's advice, Snake attacked the bipedal tank's feet with frag grenades where its armor was thinnest, and successfully crippled the machine. Fox survived the resulting explosion and was able to steal the cartridge containing Dr. Marv's OILIX data from Snake. With his opponent having discarded his equipment after having caught on fire, Fox beckoned Snake to fight him unarmed in a room laid with land mines. A fist-to-fist duel then ensued, involving no hatred or murderous intent between the two professionals, with Fox ultimately falling to Snake's repeated blows. Exhausted, and bleeding from wounds to his head, he told Snake that he had supported Big Boss, not because he felt indebted to the man for saving his life in the past, but because he could only find his purpose in battle, despite professing a hatred for war itself. Fox admitted to providing anonymous tips by radio, with Snake assuring the fallen soldier that Gustava would be waiting for him, for which Fox expressed thanks. Snake then left to confront Big Boss, leaving a presumed dead Fox behind.
After the defeat of Big Boss and the downfall of Zanzibar Land, Gray Fox's body, blown apart by a land mine, was secretly recovered by the Patriots. Restored through cybernetic surgery, which included a prosthetic right hand, Fox became a guinea pig for FOXHOUND's chief medic Dr. Clark and her gene therapy experiments. A powered exoskeleton was grafted directly onto his body by inserting a cybernetic module at the skeletal level, granting Fox enhanced strength and agility. Gene therapy was used to help overcome stress concentration and rejection responses, but the process resulted in imperfect nerve connectionswhich would later cause Fox to experience sudden outbursts of extreme pain. Subjected to drugs for four years as Dr. Clark and her team continued their research, Fox's responses to gene therapy would ultimately provide research data for the creation of the Genome Soldiers, while nanomachine technology used to suppress his emotions would later be incorporated into the Sons of the Patriots System. Although the experiments Fox were subjected to were classified, rumors nonetheless circulated about cyborg development occurring.
In 2000, Fox's adopted sister Naomi Hunter joined FOXHOUND as Dr. Clark's assistant. She helped Fox to escape his containment in 2003, and summarily covered up his actions when he later killed Dr. Clark, reporting it as a laboratory accident. Fox had actually been used to kill Clark by Big Mama, who had previously recruited Naomi into her organization, as part of a power struggle between opposing factions of the Patriots. Naomi then falsely reported Fox's death during the supposed accident, and helped him go into hiding. However, the entire ordeal had left Fox's mind unstable, causing a rapid deterioration of identity.
Shadow Moses IncidentEdit
With the desire to face Solid Snake once more in combat persisting within his tattered consciousness, Fox set out to confront him during the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005. Equipped with full-body optic camouflage, the Ninja infiltrated Shadow Moses Island in search of Snake, who was on a mission to neutralize a then-renegade FOXHOUND Unit, led by Liquid Snake. The self-titled Sons of Big Boss became aware of the Ninja's presence on the island after he killed three of their number, resulting in heightened security on the occupied base.
The Ninja first encountered Snake in the base's armory, after releasing ArmsTech President Kenneth Baker from captivity and attacking FOXHOUND member Revolver Ocelot, severing the latter's right hand with his high frequency blade. However, he was forced to retreat after the onset of extremely painful spasms, accompanied by electrical discharges from his body; a side effect of imperfect nerve connections resulting from Dr. Clark's experiments.
The Ninja would later help Snake in his mission by transmitting anonymous messages regarding dangers to Snake (much like he did during Operation Intrude F014), under the alias Deepthroat. This included warning him of hidden claymore mines north of the tank hangar, and electrified flooring in the nuclear warhead storage building. After taking out a squad of NBC warfare troops ahead of Snake (one of who believed Fox to be a ghost), the Ninja accessed the laboratory of Dr. Hal Emmerich and proceeded to menace the terrified engineer, demanding to know where Snake was. He was confronted by his target shortly thereafter, and told Snake that he was "neither enemy nor friend." The Ninja's bizarre appearance and conduct caused Emmerich to comment that the entire scene was akin to an anime, before hiding in a locker. The Ninja challenged Snake to a battle, feeling that his soul could only find respite in a fight to the death, indifferent as to the outcome. His superhuman reflexes and swordsmanship rendered Snake's gunfire ineffective, only sheathing his sword after Snake engaged him in hand-to-hand combat. At first, Snake did not recognize his opponent, but as the duel progressed Snake began to realize that the Ninja was Gray Fox, and was shocked that he could still be alive. After a time, Snake began to prevail in the battle but before its ultimate conclusion was reached, Fox suffered another painful outburst, and fled the lab. Fox's overall presence, as well as his killing twelve soldiers by the time Snake was captured, caused Liquid and Ocelot to speculate that Fox's presence was due to a spy in their midst.
Gray Fox later joined forces with Snake against Metal Gear REX, and managed to damage the mech by attacking it's radome with his laser gun arm, interfering with the sealed cockpit's sensory input. While its pilot, Liquid Snake, attempted to locate the two, Fox took the momentary break in fighting to reveal to Snake his role in the deaths of Naomi Hunter's parents, and begged him to tell her the truth. Following this exchange, Fox leapt from their hiding spot and again attacked REX. During this second assault, Fox was injured when his left arm was sliced off by the tank's own laser cannon. He was then pinned against a wall by REX's cockpit beak, but was able to destroy the radome while immobilized, declaring that "a cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal!" in response to Liquid's taunts. Fox was released as REX moved back a short distance, the now-blinded Liquid being forced to open the cockpit, exposing its interior to Snake's stinger missiles. Fox ordered Snake to fire on the cockpit, but its close proximity to him made Snake reluctant to do so, unwilling to kill his friend in the process. As Snake hesitated, Fox told him that after being taken from Zanzibar Land, he had neither been truly alive nor truly dead, and that he could finally meet his end with Snake to witness it. As Fox fell to the floor, Liquid tried to kill the Ninja once and for all by crushing him under one of Metal Gear's massive feet, but Fox's exoskeleton meant that this first attempt failed. With REX's second stomp, however, the only man considered worthy of the codename "Fox" was no more. His last words were directed towards Snake:"We're not tools of the government or anyone else. Fighting was the only thing... the only thing I was good at, but... at least I always fought for what I believed in. Snake... farewell..."
After escaping the Shadow Moses facility, Snake contacted Naomi, informing her that Fox's last message was to forget about him and move on with her own life, and that he would always love her. Snake decided not to tell her that Fox had killed her parents because he was the only family Naomi had ever known.
During the Big Shell Incident in 2009, Solid Snake referenced Gray Fox's last words to Raiden when explaining why he was motivated to carry out anti-Metal Gear activities. In addition, the Patriots' recreation of Shadow Moses for the S3 Plan had Olga Gurlukovich assume the role of the Cyborg Ninja, causing Raiden to think that Fox may have survived, although Snake and several others knew otherwise.
By 2014, the gene therapy and nanomachine research conducted on Frank Jaeger was utilized in the creation of the Sons of the Patriots battlefield control system. During this time, Naomi carried a picture of her brother within her locket.
During his time as the Perfect Soldier Null, his frequent readjustments following each mission deprived him of both his memories and emotions, his only dreams being of waking up to the corpses of his victims lying in front of him, and waiting in vain for his comrades to rescue him. He harbored fatalistic, borderline nihilistic views on life, feeling that it wouldn't truly matter if he spared someone or not as they would die eventually anyway. This belief, as well as his conditioning as the Perfect Soldier, resulted in him developing an intense animosity towards Big Boss after being unable to kill him in battle, and questioning his reasons for living. This aspect eventually resulted in Jaegar renouncing his Null identity altogether when defeated by Big Boss.
Gustava Heffner described Jaeger as handsome, well-mannered and intelligent, but always possessed by a level of fear. His cold-blooded nature and extreme tenacity earned him the respect of Solid Snake and others in FOXHOUND, with Snake once considering him better than any other soldier he'd fought with.
Jaeger was fearful around his adopted sister Naomi, due to the immense guilt that he felt after killing her birth parents. He was reminded of their deaths every time he looked into Naomi's eyes.
Gray Fox would become devoted to Big Boss's cause, serving him at the expense of becoming militarily opposed to friends such as Solid Snake. Because of his past as a child soldier, as well as being experimented upon by the CIA, his need for the battlefield resonated with Big Boss's vision, despite his own hatred for war itself. Unable to live a peaceful life, it was this helplessness that ultimately led him to side with Big Boss, both feeling that soldiers such as themselves could only find purpose outside of normal society, due to their innate fighting instincts.
After his defeat in Zanzibar Land, Fox developed a yearning for death following his transformation into the Cyborg Ninja, wanting to have one last fight with Solid Snake and die by his hand. He believed he had been fated to die in Zanzibar Land and so his spirit was broken after his resuscitation by Dr. Clark. After re-encountering Gray Fox the second time, Snake also speculated that Gray Fox cannot remember anything about his past besides their fight in Zanzibar Land. Ultimately, he died aiding Snake in his mission to stop Liquid, achieving the peace he had long sought.