Jack was born on a rainy day in Liberia. During his youth, in the turbulent period that was the Liberian Civil War, Jack was adopted by Solidus Snake, who became his godfather after he killed his parents. Jack was subsequently raised as a child soldier and later fought in the country's Civil War in 1989 and became a very skilled soldier.
After the war ended, Solidus had him placed in a relief center, although the relief center was reluctant to put Jack into a foster family because they feared he would be too much trouble for the family. Eventually, without Solidus' knowledge, he was later removed by a non-governmental organization and taken to the United States. Raiden (and presumably other surviving members of the Small Boy Unit) then underwent extensive amounts of counseling before becoming at least outwardly stable.
Jack would grow up to suppress the memories about his terrible childhood, burying the memories of his bloody past, though he still suffered from nightmares of his past nearly every night. 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, although unlike other members of Force XXI, he was not involved in the Genome trials. From there he participated in three hundred VR simulations, including re-creations of the Shadow Moses Incident and the Tanker Incident. He had eventually left the Force XXI group by January 20, 2007.
On April 30, 2007, Jack met Rosemary after transferring to Fort Hamilton at New York City, and had an argument about King Kong. After they parted ways, they met again afterwards, 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. In large part because of his PTSD-induced nightmares, he also refused to sleep next to Rose out of fear of hurting her. Most times when they did get together, he either stayed awake all night or otherwise left Rose's place, and he wouldn't let her in his bedroom. This eventually culminated in Rose entering his room without his permission, which was devoid of any personal objects save for a bed and a desk. However, all of this drama was a ruse by the Patriots to gain more control over Jack's life, with Rosemary acting as a spy.
Following the end of the war economy, Raiden attempted to return to a normal, civilian life with his wife and son. During this time, he attempted to look as normal as possible, but the technology behind his artificial skin was imperfect and still looked unnatural. He also continued to suffer from paranoia, stemming from being manipulated by the Patriots in 2009. His inhuman appearance caused him to be ostracized from society and made securing employment even more difficult during the post-SOP economic recession, when even non-cyborgs had difficulty finding work.
This is in the time frame for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
In time, Raiden decided to return to the military sector, seeking a non-combat position so that he could provide for his family. Raiden encountered Boris again and, after discussing Maverick Security Consulting, Inc., accepted Boris' request to join the PMC as a full-time employee, forgoing the typical contraction method. At this time, Raiden had his original cyborg body upgraded, outfitting it with a more natural jaw using artificial skin, and replacing its outdated organic polymer muscle fiber with modern carbon nanotube muscle fiber. This allowed him to pass for a normal human, at least while clothed, and gave him the capacity to carry out bodyguard work and other missions that didn't require serious combat.
For three years starting 2015, Raiden was part of Maverick's recovery efforts to help rebuild an African country that had undergone a bloody civil war. Raiden himself did VIP protection, military training, and other related jobs. He eventually met up with the African country's prime minister N'mani, where the latter congratulated him on Maverick's contribution in the rebuilding of the country. Because his real name still painfully reminded him of his past, he still went exclusively by the name of Raiden.
The word "Raiden" (雷電) literally means "thunder and lightning" or "thunder god" in Japanese. He shares this codename with the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden, an Imperial Japanese WWII fighter aircraft, which the Allied forces codenamed "Jack."
One of Raiden's nicknames, Jack the Ripper, is a pseudonym for an unidentified serial killer in 1888 who was active in the largely impoverished districts in and around Whitechapel, London. In this case, it was a reference to his skill and cruelty with a blade, a trait that was ingrained into him by Solidus.
Another nickname of his was the White Devil, which was derived from a slur towards Caucasians originating in China. The nickname's usage in this case was a reference to Caucasians (Raiden's ethnicity) being unusual in Liberia at the time of the Civil War.
And finally "Mr. Lightning Bolt" was given to him by N'Mani when he figured out what Raiden's name was translated to.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Because of his past as a child soldier, as well as his possessing PTSD, he occasionally pushed away even people he cared about. Because of this, he was outwardly cold and distant even to people whom he personally knew. He had a hero worship for Solid Snake and had feelings for Rosemary (who eventually had a son with).
After traumatic emotional events during the Liquid Ocelot Insurrection Raiden was left as a near emotionless and cold individual to the point where he didn't even fear death, though after Rosemary explained things to him he began to show his old self once more.
By the time of Metal Gear Revengeance, his Maverick activities between 2014 and 2018, his original style at Maverick was styled after Issatsu Tasho, killing one so others may live. As a direct result of the disastrous events in Africa, Raiden had become somewhat bloodthirsty, yet harboring a strong desire for justice. Also he became cocky, sarcastic with a dry sense of humor and had a cold outlook for the cybernetic members of Desperado.
He also developed a split personality. His secondary persona is known as Jack the Ripper. In that state he enjoys the blood on his blade, bursts out into maniacal laughter and enjoys murder more than his original persona.
Raiden used to smoke cigarettes at one point in his life, but had quit by the time of the Big Shell Incident. He also possessed barcode tattoos all over his body. He's also was skilled at cleaning up messes, as he mentioned to the Colonel regarding not leaving stuff lying around at Strut C during the Big Shell Incident.
Raiden's main characteristic was his long white-blond hair. Because of the length of the hair, Emma once speculated that the hair was actually a wig and that it was a badly done wig it also led him to being mistaken for a woman, as evidenced by James Johnson mistaking him for a female Patriot assassin before realizing his mistake by grabbing his crotch and then reacting with slight surprise that Raiden was male. As a child, this characteristic, alongside his Caucasian appearance, had him stand apart from other Liberians, whom at that time were largely African in ethnicity.
With new cybernetic implants one of Raiden's eyes occasionally glows red due to optical implants.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
Due to his childhood Raiden became well suited for combat. He was calm and critical under pressure and was trained with a multitude of weapons ranging from small arms, melee weapon and surface-to-air weaponry.
After becoming a cyborg, Raiden possessed incredible superhuman strength, speed, and endurance. His strength enabled him to lift a tremendous amount of weight, evidently ranging to several thousand tons. He also was skilled at being attuned with nature, also known as scouting, which he gave Solid Snake pointers in it when contacting him about in South America.
Raiden's superhuman speed enabled him to run extremely fast for great distances. Raiden was also capable of running fast enough to scale walls without falling.
Raiden's superhuman durability makes him virtually indestructible due to the parts of his body made entirely out of steel and artificial muscle fibers. Because of his durability, Raiden, at times, had to resort to self mutilation in order to get his missions done, such as stabbing himself with his own blade to subdue Vamp and slicing his own arm off to free himself from fallen debris so he could save Snake
- Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (mentioned; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (cameo and picture; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (Secret Theater; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid Mobile (mentioned; non-canon)
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops (trading card)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Jamais Vu mission; non-canon)
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