Part II (MGS2: A Complete Breakdown)

The Story From Hell


Plot hole #5: Liquid’s arm

The fifth plot hole is just as bad.

Revolver Ocelot gets his hand chopped off during Shadow Moses, but in this game he’s got a new one; he transplanted the arm of his recently-deceased partner, Liquid Snake.  The only problem is, Liquid Snake didn’t stay dead.

It made quite a splash when players first witnessed the possession of Ocelot by a haunted arm, and it remains one of the biggest gripes of the series to this day.  No scientific, psychological, or even mystic explanation is given for how a dead man’s arm could possibly haunt a person, but that doesn’t stop it from hijacking Ocelot – and the plot.

Solid Snake’s physical proximity is the only known trigger for releasing Liquid’s ghost, even when Ocelot doesn’t know Snake is around.  This rules out any kind of subconscious autosuggestion, or deep psychological reaction.  The arm truly does respond independently of Ocelot, struggles for control, and eventually succeeds in possessing him completely.

Now I’ll grant that Ocelot did actually know Snake was on the Tanker when he first became “possessed”, but apparently it happens again while Raiden talks with Richard Ames in the hostage room.  Are we supposed to believe that Liquid Snake planned for his own arm to be transplanted after he died?  Did he use some hyper-advanced nanomachine system to transfer his psyche and upload the “hijack personality” program?  Is it just supposed to be spiritual?  How does a disembodied arm contain its previous owner’s mind?

Like every other plot hole, the explanation for this is left completely up to the wild speculation of fans.  What a shame.

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