1. The race for Meryl's underwear

meryl metal gear

Your first mission in the first Metal Gear Solid game taks you with infiltrating a guarded military base in order to talk to the captive DARPA chief. Pretty standard, as far as tactial espionage action goes. But as you're crawling through ventilation shafts, because of course you are, you spot a woman in another cell. This woman is Meryl Silverburgh, who happens to play a large part in the story to come, but you Snake doesn't know that yet. All this horndog knows is that this mass of polygons resembles an attractive female doing situps. 

meryl metal gear

Snake knows Meryl isn't the target (the DARPA chief happens to be a black male), but that doesn't stop him from grinding the mission to a halt to stalk her. See, if you backtrack through the vents, you can witness Meryl change up her fitness routine. First sit-ups, then push-ups, and then leg stretches. 

Your reward for persistence beyond that? Meryl is back to doing sit-ups again, only now she's not wearing any pants.

Yes, for your consistent stalking you are rewarded with a woman in nothing but a tank top and underwear -- or whatever murky PlayStation One texture that is supposed to represent. But that's not the only time in the game in which due diligence pays off in partial nudity

A few hours later, you have to get the attention of Meryl, who has stolen the clothes of a diarrhea-prone guard that she knocked out (later in the series they get married; yes, really). Snake is told to meet up with her "in the one place you can be sure she's alone." Meaning that you've got to figure out which one of several patrolling masked guards is female, and follow her into the women's restroom. This mostly consists of paying attention to which guard shakes their ass like Nikki Minaj when they walk. 

Once Meryl sees you scoping her out, she'll bolt for the bathroom. If you manage to get there within 15 seconds without being seen, you're treated to this: 

Yep, that's Meryl in her underwear again. Lesser gamers who take their time carefully maneuvering around enemies were greeted with a sensible pair of trousers; only the most elite creepers can make it into the ladies' room before Meryl puts her pants on

This is the sort of "nudity-as-reward" easter egg that series creator Hideo Kojima has sprinkled/doused throughout the Metal Gear series. Heck, when it came time for the MGS1 GameCube remake The Twin Snakes, the devs made sure to keep the peeping intact. 

The ridiculous sexualization in the series has only gotten more intense as the years have passed, culminating in Metal Gear Solid V.

 

2. Quiet, the nudity warrior

metal gear quiet

When MGSV: The Phantom Pain was first announced, almost all anyone could talk about was the mute female sniper, Quiet. Though the Metal Gear series had seen its fair share of silly and exploitative clothing for its female characters, nothing even came close to the skimpy bra/fishnet leggings combo that Quiet brought to the table. Kojima was quick to leap to Quiet's defense, arguing that there was a very good reason for the outfit, and that when players discovered the truth, we would be "ashamed of our words and deeds."

Kojima maintained that Quiet is intended as a satire of the oversexed female characters so common in gaming, especially in the fighting genre. But if there's some sort subversive commentary going on here, it's buried by how the game's camera ogles Quiet at every opportunity.

metal gear quiet

So why are we supposed to be "ashamed of our words and deeds?" As it turns out, Quiet has a breathing condition which requires her to take in oxygen through her skin. If Quiet wears so much as a tank top, she's basically suffocating herself. The specifics are barely explained in the game, amounting to a "type of photosynthesis." Coincidentally, photosynthesis is the exact same ability given to Metal Gear Solid 3 boss The End, except he's a fully-clothed elderly man.

You could probably come up with a pedantic argument like "Quiet's need to be naked symbolizes the way that female characters need to strip down to survive in today's gaming landscape." But then there's the part where if you stare at Quiet's chest for ten seconds, she walks up to you and does this:

If Quiet were truly some sort of commentary on gaming, there wouldn't be an easter egg that involves staring at some T to get rewarded with a sample of the A. This isn't to mention the completely unnecessary shower scene

There are a lot of cool things about Quiet. Yes, she's the only human sidekick in the game next to a horse, a dog and a vehicle, but she also kicks serious ass. Quiet is an invaluable asset on in-game missions, and will save your grizzled bacon on a constant basis. But man, you just can't take this girl anywhere

Okay, that's so over-the-top stupid that this could be turning a corner into parody. Maybe Kojima really is trying to poke at female stereotypes in gaming. Then again, this is the same guy that straight-up admitted Quiet was designed to inspire cosplayers and sell toys. Those are your words and deeds, buddy, not ours.