Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, as illustrated by Yoji Shinkawa
Series Metal Gear
First game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001)
Created by Hideo Kojima
Designed by Yoji Shinkawa
Voiced by (English) Quinton Flynn
Voiced by (Japanese) Kenyu Horiuchi
Motion capture Eiji Morisaki (MGS2), Takeshi Yoshioka (MGS4)
Fictional profile
Real name Jack
Nationality Liberian[1]
Affiliations Pseudo-FOXHOUND operative unknowingly employed by The Patriots (2009) – MGS2
Free Agent – MGS4
Raiden (Japanese: 雷電?), whose real name is Jack (ジャック Jakku?), is a fictional video game character from Konami's Metal Gear series. Created by Hideo Kojima and designed by Yoji Shinkawa, Raiden was introduced in the series as the main playable character of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, appearing as a trained member of the FOXHOUND special forces, and participating in his first mission. Raiden reappears as a supporting character in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and is scheduled to be the main character of the next game in the series, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

The idea of creating Raiden originated from Hideo Kojima's desire to view the series' protagonist Solid Snake from a different point of view, inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories. Raiden's inclusion in the game remained a secret to gamers before the release of Metal Gear Solid 2; despite some players' reactions, the staff liked his character. He was voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi in the Japanese versions of the games and by Quinton Flynn in the English adaptations.

Raiden's role as the protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2 was controversial for two reasons: the unexpected substitution of the established hero, Solid Snake, and Raiden's androgynous appearance. Some critics have defended the character, stating that fans were merely angered by Snake's removal and that Raiden was appealing. Despite this mixed reception, Raiden has been highly praised for his role and his redesign in Metal Gear Solid 4.

Concept and creationEdit

According to the series creator, Hideo Kojima, the decision to make a new character the main protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2 instead of Snake stemmed from the developer's desire to develop Snake from a third-person perspective, as well as to avoid treating Snake like a rookie again. Kojima has also stated that Raiden's character and its perception by the audience were important for the overall feel of the story (i.e. they contribute to a sense of lack of control, being subjected to major manipulation by unknown, deceptive and/or mysterious persons, and a general lack of knowledge about the conditions and motives of several characters as well as the twists and turns of the plot).[2]

Designer Yoji Shinkawa noted in the Making of Metal Gear Solid 2 featurette that he and the other character designers took a great deal of inspiration for Raiden's appearance from the bishonen (or "handsome man") archetype.[3] Kojima had received many pieces of fan mail and one letter stuck out at him from a female which stated she did not want to play a story with an old man. He later took this into consideration, along with his team to design a character that would be more appealing to women. The end result was Raiden (ironically, the concept of an old man being used as the lead character is revisited in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots).

Raiden's real name, Jack, was taken from the American codename for the Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden" fighter plane of WWII. His role and status were also likened by the designers to those of the jack in a deck of playing cards, with Fortune representing the Queen, Solidus Snake the King, SEAL Team 10 the expendable "spot" cards and Solid Snake as the Ace.

Konami kept Raiden's starring role in Metal Gear Solid 2 a secret right up until the game's release in North America, even going so far as to replace Raiden with Snake in teaser trailers and other preview materials (although Raiden did appear in a few preview trailers in his scuba gear, his presence was not as emphasized as the other characters).[4] The presence of Raiden in the game was announced to the Japanese press on the same day as the game's release in North America.[5]


Early YearsEdit

File:Raiden Child Soldier.JPG

Raiden was adopted by Solidus Snake after Solidus killed his parents. He was a child soldier without a past, absent from the databases of the NSA, CIA and FBI. In the 1990's, Raiden fought in the Liberian Civil War under Solidus Snake as a killing machine known alternately as the "White Devil" and "Jack the Ripper." Armed with a gun at the age of six, he proved a superior soldier, rising to become captain of the Small Boy Unit at ten.

Several years later, Jack would grow up to forget about his terrible childhood, burying the memories of his bloody past. Now living a life in the United States, Jack joined the military where his admirable skills were at first recognized by the U.S. Army's Task Force XXI. From there he participated in numerous VR simulations, such as a re-creation of the Shadow Moses incident, that took place a few years earlier.

On April 30th, 2007, Jack met Rosemary during an argument about King Kong. After they parted ways, they met again afterward, shocked that they worked in the same place. Eventually, Jack grew to love Rose deeply, but his harsh experiences had left him melancholic and emotionally distant, and he constantly shut her out of his problems. However, all of this drama was a ruse by the Patriots to gain control of Raiden's life, with Rosemary as a Patriot spy.

Sometime before the Big Shell Incident, Raiden was recruited to act as a pawn of the Patriots - via "FOXHOUND" - an organization which no longer existed. It was at a "FOXHOUND" facility that Raiden first earned the codename of "Snake."

Template:SonsofLiberty At the beginning of the Big Shell mission, he was shortly referred to as Snake before his codename was quickly changed to Raiden by the Colonel, as the leader of the terrorists was also referring to himself as Solid Snake. The terrorist leader was later revealed to be none other than Raiden's adoptive father, Solidus Snake. Raiden took to the mission with much hesitance, as he had only been trained in VR missions and had no actual field experience and often proved somewhat indecisive at times.

Raiden later met up with Iroquois Pliskin a Lieutenant Junior Grade with the United States Navy SEALs, who was revealed to be the true Solid Snake, who had faked his death two years prior during The Tanker Incident. Raiden and Snake were able to join forces to take down Dead Cell and implant a virus into GW, the Patriots AI that was running Arsenal Gear, an enormous Patriots warship built under the Big Shell. He was then captured by Olga and Snake, but Olga freed him shortly afterward, telling him they needed to use him so Snake could sneak on board. Raiden then met up with Snake, who gave him Olga's High Frequency Blade. The pair battled through Arsenal Gear's Arsenal Tengu commando soldiers before encountering Fortune. Snake told Raiden to go ahead, with Fortune claiming that Snake was the root of all her misery. Raiden, hesitant at first, left Snake to face Fortune. Raiden went on to battle against the horde of mass-produced versions of Metal Gear RAYs managing to defeat several of the before collapsing from exhaustion. Just as Raiden was about to be killed, Olga came to his aid. By doing this, she revealed herself as an enemy of Solidus, who appeared and killed Olga. Olga's final words were for Raiden to live. As Solidus ordered the remaining RAYs to kill Raiden, the virus planted into GW went into effect, disabling the RAYs which were disposed by Solidus out of anger.

Later into the mission, it was revealed that Raiden was merely a puppet of The Patriots, and that his entire mission on the Big Shell was a lie, a scripted event cunningly devised by the Patriots. Additionally, the "Colonel" he was speaking to was actually GW, an AI created by the Patriots, posing as Colonel Roy Campbell

, created by Raiden's hopes and expectations of Campbell. They told him that he was just a weapon, a creation of the Patriots with no purpose but for what they made him. The AI instructed Raiden to defeat Solidus, which he had no choice but to do, as Solidus planned on launching a nuclear strike which would wipe out Manhattan.
File:Model Raiden.jpg

After the fierce battle on top of Federal Hall, it was then revealed that even Rose, Raiden's longtime girlfriend, was a Patriots spy sent to keep tabs on him, who even went as far as to alter her appearance to Raiden's liking so that he would keep her in his life. Raiden solemnly forgave Rose, who had actually fallen in love with him over time. She told him that she was pregnant with his baby, and they agreed to start a new life together. Before that, however, Raiden met up with Snake again, who assures him that he is not the puppet of anyone, and that he can shape his own destiny. Raiden offers his services to Philanthropy, but Snake tells him to take care of his personal life first.

Post-Big ShellEdit

Raiden began living together with Rosemary, but the tragic memories of his days as a child soldier started to resurface, causing tension in their relationship. He began drinking heavily, and getting into fights and eventually decided to leave her.

Raiden learned from Big Mama, in exchange for the location of Big Boss that he obtained from GW, that Olga's daughter, Sunny Gurlukovich, was being held in Area 51, and successfully rescued her with the help of Big Mama and the Paradise Lost. After hearing of Rosemary's miscarriage and subsequent remarriage to Roy Campbell, Raiden became despondent. He left Sunny in the care of Otacon and Snake, then began work on retrieving Big Boss's remains from the Patriots for the Paradise Lost Army, leading to his capture. As a prisoner, the Patriots used Raiden as a test subject for experiments in exoskeletal enhancement surgery, during which he had his head and spine excised from his body from his lower jaw down and subsequently grafted into an enhanced synthetic body.

With the help of the Paradise Lost Army, Raiden managed to escape his captivity. After undergoing surgery to clear his body of nanomachines, he was successful in reclaiming Big Boss's remains from the Patriots. The enhancements implanted throughout Raiden's body, however, were too severe to allow him to live a normal life again. He elected to disappear from the life of his fiancee, Rosemary. Left to the wander the Earth, Raiden studied scouting techniques under a Native American shaman living in Alaska, also learning to hunt.

Upon receiving orders from Big Mama to assist Snake and lead him to the Paradise Lost Army, Raiden set out into battle once more.


File:Ninja Raiden.jpg

Raiden returned in 2014, and while Solid Snake was in South America, he contacted him through Codec, helping him track Naomi, also commenting that he had been helping Big Mama find the corpse of Big Boss. Raiden appeared in person in the South American Marketplace where he helped Snake and Otacon escape by fighting off the Gekko and later Vamp. He defeated Vamp once again and escaped with Snake, Otacon, and Naomi, but not before being badly injured from the previous fights.

After a dialysis and a "white blood" transfusion with the help of Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar, he returned again and saved Snake's life at Shadow Moses after disabling the suicide gekko that were attacking. He has a final face off with Vamp, after Snake returned him to a near mortal state via the nanomachine supressors Naomi gave him, on top of Metal Gear REX, with Raiden emerging the victor, finally killing Vamp once and for all. With Snake controlling REX, Raiden assisted in his escape by warding off the Gekko chasing them, eventually being caught under debris caused by the Suicide Gekko. He sets himself free from under the debris by removing his right arm. After doing so he put himself in the way of Outer Haven, stopping it in its path and holding it back from crushing Snake allowing him to get out of the way. Raiden eventually was crushed under it, screaming Rose's name and remembering a conversation of how they met as well as images reuniting with her at Federal Hall during the the end of the Manhattan Incident before he loses consciousness. He was confirmed later to be alive by Otacon but was in no state to help Snake in his final mission aboard Outer Haven.

However, as Snake made his way deeper into Haven, he was saved once again by Raiden, missing both arms and wielding his sword in between his teeth, from a group of FROGS. He was able to defeat several of them but was eventually overwhelmed and taken down. Once Snake and Otacon destroyed GW along with the other four AIs, the FROGS were incapacitated and unable to kill him.

Afterward, Raiden was sent to a hospital where he is fitted with with a new cybernetic body that appears far more human. Upon Raiden waking up from his surgery, Rose and a small child entered the room, with Raiden ignoring them both, thinking that the child was Roy Campbell's, who Rose had married during Raiden's disappearance into the Alaskan wilderness. Rose told Raiden that the child was his, and her miscarriage was a lie. She explained that her marriage to Campbell was a plan that they both had orchestrated to protect herself and their son from The Patriots so as to not give the Patriots any reason to capture Rose and John, as they would provide no leverage against Raiden. In other words, Raiden's lack of awareness of his son and his disdain for Rose meant that both would serve no purpose to the Patriots, as their suffering would not move him in any way. Stunned, Raiden forgave Rose once again, as she felt desperately guilty from being unable to tell him from the danger it presented. She proceeded to introduce their son as John and the three huddled together in reunion. To him, at that moment, it felt like a scene from Beauty and the Beast. But Rose reassured him that he was no beast, but her husband. Raiden then vowed that he was done running, while Rose vowed that she was no longer afraid.

Metal Gear Solid: RisingEdit

According to the teaser trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Raiden in his Cyborg Ninja form will be appearing as the protagonist. The tagline "Raiden Returns" is used in the trailer. In the Kojima Productions Report E3 edition, they talk about how Raiden was "disliked in Metal Gear Solid 2", but how fans found him more of a "bad ass in Metal Gear Solid 4."


When he first appeared, Raiden was a young and inexperienced "rookie", and occasionally prone to emotional outbursts. When his memories of his time as a child soldier began to resurface, he apparently gained somewhat of a low opinion of himself, especially in comparison to Snake's accomplishments.

By the time of Liquid Ocelot's insurrection, Raiden has changed considerably; the trauma of his break-up with Rose and the "miscarriage" of their unborn son, combined with rigorous training and his torture at the hands of the Patriots, have changed Raiden from an inexperienced rookie to a cold and virtually emotionless soldier, who seemingly doesn't care about his own life; in his fight with Vamp in South America, he freely admits to Vamp that he doesn't fear death. Raiden's only real display of emotion occurred after the death of Big Mama; Snake tells Raiden that he (Snake) has no future, while Raiden has a family; at this, Raiden nearly attacked Snake physically, shouting that he too has nothing. Nonetheless, due to his past experiences with Snake, he is completely loyal to the legendary mercenary. Upon discovering the truth about Rose's "marriage" to Colonel Campbell, it seems likely that Raiden has regained some of his old self.


  • The word "Raiden" literally means "thunder and lightning" in Japanese. In the later half of Metal Gear Solid 4, there are various references to this, notably his dialogue referencing lightning when he makes his appearance right before Snake enters the microwave corridor. He also mentions that he was born on a rainy day, with Snake replying that Raiden had it all wrong and that he was "the lightning in that rain".
  • Raiden is named after the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden, an Imperial Japanese WWII fighter aircraft. The Allied codename for the plane was "Jack".
  • Raiden is the only Cyborg Ninja out of the entire series to have survived, and also the only one to not fight Solid Snake.
  • Raiden's white hair represents "purity", representing his stance as the new main character and his apparent stance as a rookie at Metal Gear Solid 2's start.
  • Raiden's never-used sidearm in MGS4 is the classic SOCOM. It is visible on the Medicom Action Figure based on the designs by Yoji Shinkawa, and usable when playing as Raiden Metal Gear Online. Raiden was given a SOCOM by Snake during the Big Shell Incident, but whether or not this is that same SOCOM is unknown.
  • In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus Raiden (as he was in MGS2) appears as a playable character, equipped with the SOCOM (dubbed Mk.23). He is also playable in Metal Gear Online, in his Cyborg Ninja look.
  • Konami kept Raiden's starring role in Metal Gear Solid 2 a secret right up until the game's release in North America, even going so far as to replace Raiden with Snake in teaser trailers and other preview materials (although Raiden did appear in a few preview trailers in his scuba gear, his presence was not as emphasized as the other characters). The presence of Raiden in the game was announced to the Japanese press on the same day as the game's release in North America.
  • At the time of Metal Gear Solid 2's release, Raiden was disliked by many fans of the series due largely to his apparently "whiny" personality and largely androgynous appearance, as well as acting as the protagonist over Snake. However, Hideo Kojima has stated in interviews that he was mainly put in for new fans of the series so that he could ask questions that a veteran like Solid Snake wouldn't ask, and to make Snake seem more impressive as a character. Kojima has also explicitly stated that Raiden is his favorite character in Metal Gear Solid 2.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 makes use of Raiden's character as well as his appearance. Selecting the option "I like MGS2!" before starting a new game, triggers a change in the opening, in which Naked Snake is wearing a mask that looks identical to Raiden's face. Later in the game, Major Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov (who also bears an identical appearance to Raiden) must be neutralized and stripped of his clothing to be impersonated to infiltrate a section of Groznyj Grad.
  • In the Metal Gear Solid 4 Directors trailer, Raiden makes a parody appearance along with Snake, who is dressed to look like Sam Fisher, the main character in Splinter Cell. The trailer depicts them fighting over who will be the main character of MGS4. Snake wins the fight easily, sitting in the "main character" chair, signalling a chime. But just as Snake leaves and before the credits roll, Raiden is seen eying up the chair, and as the screen fades to black, the same chime is heard.
  • Raiden also appears in one of the Secret Theater shorts made by Kojima Productions for their website. Entitled "Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser" where Raiden attempts to "erase" Solid Snake by traveling back in time in a Terminator-like fashion and attempting to assassinate Naked Snake, all ending in a humorous failure. Even once, after realizing he wasn't going to kill Naked Snake, he went back to the events of the Zanzibar Land Uprising (complete with MSX2 graphics) to kill Solid Snake himself, ending in similar failure.
  • A costume available to download for LittleBigPlanet allows the Sackboys to dress up as Cyborg Raiden.
  • Raiden is a secret character in Evolution Skateboarding. To play as Raiden, the player must beat the game 100%, collecting all coins with character Mark Appleyard.
  • Raiden, in the Skull Suit, is featured as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Game Informer ranked Raiden #2 in their list of the top 10 heroes of 2008.