Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - Tanker FAQ/Walkthrough - Page 1


Released to hot anticipation and huge amounts of hype in the year 2001 (the year of the Snake), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was, and still is, one of the most poular games ever released. The game broke the standards for story-telling, graphics, gameplay, and overall performance and enjoyment. The game combines stealth, action, and great cinematics to bring you what is quite possibly the greatest game ever made.

In this walkthrough I will, well...walk you through all the necessary steps to complete all parts of this game. I will cover dog tags, the actual game, neat little gameplay tips and a few other things. I will not actually be able to play the game for you but this is pretty close to that.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the game, want to suggest some strategies for a part in the game, or wish to point out any errors that I have made in the FAQ. If you submit a strategy I will be glad to put in my guide and I will give you credit. I always answer or respond to your e-mails, unless of course you have written something that is completely unintelligible, which is also not a very rare occurance.

You do not always have to go by the guide that I have written. If you prefer to go another route or do a little exploring then by all means, do so. However, be careful, if you are caught, you will have to fight your way out. So, tread softly.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the game, want to suggest some strategies for a part in the game, or wish to point out any errors that I have made in the FAQ. If you submit a strategy I will be glad to put in my guide and I will give you credit.

Playable Characters

Solid Snake

The legendary hero who has thrice saved the world from the menace of Metal Gear in the past, Solid Snake is an infiltration expert who always completes his mission no matter how difficult the odds. Originally a member of FOXHOUND, now a member of the NGO Philanthropy, an anti-Metal Gear group.


A member of the special forces unit FOXHOUND, Raiden has no experience in real-life combat situations, but his skills as a soldier have been honed to the highest levels through VR simulation training. The infiltration of the Big Shell is his first actual mission.


Triangle......................Action Button
R1............................First Person View(FPV)
R2............................Bring up weapons menu
L2............................Bring up Item Menu
Start.........................Pause game(Big Shell-Map)
Select........................Activate Codec

Basic Actions

First Person View Attack

This allows you to attack enemies while in the first person view. This makes shooting at enemies far away a lot easier. You can shoot handguns, assault rifles, use the HF Blade, and use fist attacks with the first person view.


When you are rushing through an area or running through a group of guards and you have run out of ammo you can flip a guard by pressing the weapon button while moving and without a weapon equipped. This will cause your character to grab the guard around the waist and toss him over his shoulder. On the easier difficulties this will knock out a guard.

Corner View

Flatten yourself against the wall near a corner to enter Corner View. This will allow you to see things that are behind the corner without exposing yourself to the enemy.

Climb Up Objects

Press the action button in front of any waist high object to climb on top of it.

Roll Forward

Press X while running to do a forward flip or a diving somersault. This will allow you to clear certain gaps, or move over metal grating quickly without making a lot of noise.

Dragging Enemies

To grab an enemy around the neck walk up to him and stop. Then unequip your weapon if you have one equipped and press the weapon button. This will enable you to maneuver enemies to another area that is more secluded for purposes such as getting his Dog Tag. While he is in this chokehold he will squirm to try and get out of your grip. You can make him stop for a moment if you quickly tap the weapon button again.


Stand facing any waist high railing and press the action button to hop over the railing. When your character is hanging he will not be spotted by enemy sentries unless he is hanging right above them. You can shimmy in either direction while hanging on a ledge. Use the right analog stick, the directional pad, or the L2 and R2 buttons to move.

Cardboard Box

Ah, yes. The famous cardboard box gag from MGS. You can equip any box in your inventory and your character will duck inside it. This will fool enemy sentries unless they see you move or they see you get into it. You can also alert their suspicion by using the box near boxes that are not of the same type for example using the box used for storing oranges in a pile of boxes that house electronic supplies.

You can also move around in a cardboard box. This is useful for dodging enemy fire, is a kind of ducked run. You can press the R1 button to press your face up against the small opening that serves as a handle to see what is going on outside the box. You can press the L2 and R2 buttons to look in either direction.


Without your weapon equipped come up behind a guard and press the weapon button. Your character will now grab him around the neck to temporarily immobilize him. Once he is in the choke hold you can either snap his neck, knock him out, or leave him. To snap his neck rapidly press the weapon button to snap his neck, you will hear a quite distinct, and disturbingly pleasing, "SNAP!" If you prefer not to take his life you can press the weapon button about 9 or ten times to cause him to lose consciousness.

Peek Around Corner

When in corner view use the shoulder buttons L2 and R2 to peek around the corner to get a better view of the area. You can use the right analog stick now to move the camera around to see more detail.

Step Sideways

While in FPV you can use the shoulder buttons L2 and R2 to strafe or step sideways in either direction. This will allow you hide he hind corners and step out quickly to shoot in the First Person.

Knock On Wall

While leaning up against a wall push Circle to knock on the wall with your fist or your gun. This will alert the guard and cause him to come and investigate. This will provide you with an open opportunity to sneak past him if you have utilized this correctly.

Rolling Attack

To knock over a guard quickly or a group of guards run up to him and push X to make your character to a flip or a roll. This will knock him over for a moment and he will remain on the ground for a second, this will allow you to escape or attack him while he is recovering.


This is basically a softcore porn magazine that can be laid on the ground to conveniently distract a guard. Lay the Book on the in or near the guards patrol route so that it will catch his attention. He will stop his patrol and start browsing through it. This will allow you to sneak past unnoticed.

Quick Change

To quickly unequip a weapon or quickly equip it press the R2 button for the weapons and the L2 button for the items. Quickly unequipping and then equipping will automatically reload your gun.

Jump Out Shot

While in corner view press the weapon button to have your character jump out quickly and shoot and then quickly hide back behind the corner. You can use this during several boss battles and this is very useful for shootouts with attack teams. You can use this to get in a quick shot at a guard with the M9, as long as you get a hit you can wait until the drugs take effect. And, there is no risk of him seeing you after you shoot him. You can throw grenade type weapons while peeking around the corner.

Hold Up

This is how you get dog tags and items such as rations and bandages from guards. Sneak up behind a guard with a handgun equipped and press the weapon button. If you did this correctly your character will say "Freeze!". The guard will put up his arms and now he is under your control. Press L1 to keep a bead on him while you move around to the front. Now you can go into FPV and wave your gun at his head or his groin, this will cause him to panic and he will now start to drop items for you, such as ammo, bandages, and dog tags. When you are done you can dispatch him with the SOCOM or USP, or if you're in a friendly mood the M9.

Occasionally you will run into a guard that does not want to give up his dog tag. He will say something like, "If you're going to shoot then shoot." Now you get to torture him. Pump a round into a limb with your SOCOM or USP, or you can fire a bullet past his head (with a lethal weapon). Now, this will frighten him and he will now give up items for you.

On an additional note, do not unequip your weapon in front of a guard that has not been properly "disposed of". he will pull out his AK and attack you, then he will run away and call in reinforcements. Also, do not stand in front of him for too long without your gun pointed at him or he will do the same thing as a mentioned before. One more thing, if you try to hold up and Arsenal Tengu or an attack team guard they will mock surrender and then attack you very suddenly.

Aim and Move

Press down L1 which is the lock on button to shoot while moving. Useful for escaping attack teams while at the same time killing them.

Shake Out Item

When an enemy is knocked out or killed then you can pick up the body by pressing the weapon button and your character will pick him up. You can lift and drop the body several times to obtain items and ammunition. You can also drag the body into a locker to hide it by picking up the body and dragging it somewhere. On the tanker on the Aft Deck there are two gates that you can use to dump bodies out of. Look for an enclosed white lined box on by the edge of the ship. Simply drag the body into the box and Snake will open the gate and dump him into the water.

By shaking an enemy in this manner you can also wake them up faster. This is mainly useful in the Tanker where you have tranquilized a guard, or knocked him out in some way, and you did not get his dog tag. In the Plant you will have the coolant which does the same thing just a lot faster.

Destroy Radio

With any gun you can shoot a guards radio and this will permanently disable it and he will no longer be able to communicate via radio. When a guard has discovered you can shoot his radio while he is making the report or before he does, giving you more time to get away. You can only do this in FPV.

Fire Extinguisher

When you see a fire extinguisher on the wall you can shoot it with any gun to puncture it. This will cause its contents to spill out. This can be used to temporarily blind enemies or expose those damned IR beams. Beware though. Your character will sneeze sometimes after this is done.

Dealing with IR beams

The most common way to deal with these is to equip the Thermal Goggles and take a look in FPV at the location where they are. The beams will appear as faint lines stretching in between the two terminals where the beams ocme out of. Another way is to equip the Cigarettes, Snake or Raiden will start to smoke them and the smoke produced by he cigarette will slowly reveal the IR Beams. After they are unequipped the smoke will eventually disperse and the beams will be invisible once again. The last way you can see them is to find a fire extinguisher or a bag of flour that is near the beams and sire a shot into it. The contents of the fire extinguisher or the bag will explode and saturate the air, the beams will then become visible and stay visible for a long time after the air clears. If you are close enough to the fire extinguisher or other source when the air becomes saturated your character will begin to sneeze at random moments, this can cause certain problems when you are trying to sneak past some guards, so use this carefully.

Climbing Ladders

On a rare occasion in the game you will be forced or have the option to climb a ladder. To climb onto it simply push the action button while in front of it and your character will climb onto it. Omnce at the top your character will climb off.

Using Elevators

There are only two elevators in this game that you will be required to operate. To call up an elevator or to open the doors stand in front of the control panel of the elevator and push the action button.

Special Actions

Using the camera

The main objective during the Tanker chapter is to take 4 pictures of Metal Gear RAY. One each from the front-right, front-left, and center. You also need a close-up of the 'Marines' marking on the side of RAY. To take a picture equip the Camera through the Items menu and aim at the target. Zoom in with the CIRCLE button and out with the X button. To snap a photo press SQUARE. The faint green lines represent the border of the picture, get your photo in between those lines.

Sending the data

After you take the four pictures of Metal Gear RAY you will need to transmit the photos to Otacon. The workstation that will be used to transmit the photos is in the south east corner of the hold (3) where Metal Gear is housed. Go up to the workstation and push the TRIANGLE button to access the workstation. From there Otacon's special software will take over to confirm the quality of the photos.

Finding and disarming the bombs

During the Plant chapter one of your objectives will be to find and disarm at least six bombs that Fatman has placed around the Big Shell. Equip Sensor A and go through each strut. When you see yellow stuff on the radar that means that the bomb is within that area. The yellow stuff is the visual representation of the odor molecules given off by "Fatman's signature smell" that is on each C4 bomb. When the bomb is neutralized the yellow stuff will slowly fade away.

To disarm the bomb, after you have found it, equip the coolant spray that Stillman gave you and aim at the bomb. Press SQUARE to spray the coolant on the bomb. The spray will freeze the detonator and the bomb will now be unable to explode.

Guiding Emma

Near the end of the Plant chapter you will have to guide Emma across Shell 2 to the Oil Fence at Strut L. Unequip any weapon (items do not matter) that you have and press the TRIANGLE button to have her hold your hand. You will have to wait for her to get up if she has decided to sit down. When she is holding on you will now be able to move around but only at a slow walk. Make sure that the area is clear of enemies before guiding her anywhere, she is significantly weaker than you and she will die quite soon if attacked.

Holding your breath

At two points in the game Raiden will be choked by another character and you will have to hold his breath for him. To do this press the TRIANGLE button repeatedly to hold it, otherwise it will be forced out of your lungs. The Oxygen gauge represents how much oxygen is in his lungs. When it reaches zero his life bar will begin to decrease. Now you have to press the TRIANGLE button to regain life. When the life bar reaches zero you will die and it will be game over.

Radar Modes

Normal Mode

This is the default state, when the player has not been discovered by enemy soldiers or surveillance cameras. While in normal mode, enemy soldiers will follow set patrol routes. While on patrol enemies will use their eyes and ears to check for anything unusual on their patrol route. Some soldiers might stand guard in a single spot, while others might fall asleep on duty. When a soldier in normal mode hears a noise or spot something suspicious , such as footprints or bloodstains, he will leave his patrol route and search the surrounding area. If he finds nothing out of the ordinary he will return to his patrol route. Creating a noise to distract an enemy is an essential technique to master.

Alert Mode

The radar cannot be displayed. Occurs when the player is discovered by an enemy soldier, camera, or cypher. You will enter Evasion Mode when the gauge has reached zero.

Evasion Mode

The radar cannot be displayed. Occurs during a clearing or when the enemy is searching the area for Snake/Raiden. You will enter Caution mode after the gauge reaches zero.

Caution Mode

Occurs when enemy soldiers are more vigilant than usual in their patrols. You will enter Normal Mode when the gauge is down to zero.

Radar Jamming

Radar cannot be displayed when the radar signal is being jammed. Also, any equipment containing electronic components such as surveillance camera's and remote operated missiles will not function properly. Furthermore, enemy soldiers will not be able to use their radios to call for backup.


Boss Life Gauge

This is the gauge that appears as a blue/green tinted bar above the bosses name. When the gauge reaches zero the boss battle will end.

Boss Stun Gauge

When a boss is hit with a tranquilizer or punching attack this bar will decrease, when this reaches zero the battle will end. This appears directly below his/her life gauge.

Grip Gauge

While in hanging mode this will appear. Appears below character's life bar. When this gauge reaches zero your character will lose grip and fall. You can increase the duration of hanging by doing 100 pull-ups, or 10 hang-drops. There are 3 levels of grip. Level 1 is a blue bar, Level 2 is an orange bar, and Level 3 is a white/gray bar.

Oxygen Gauge

When underwater this bar shows the amount of air left in the character's lungs. When the gauge reaches zero the life bar will begin to decrease gradually. The rate at which the oxygen gauge decreases can be slowed by pressing the action button.

Partner Life Gauge

When working with a partner in certain circumstances this will appear. When the gauge reaches zero the character will die and that will result in a game over. Just as if you had died.

Enemy States


Sometimes you will come across a guard that has been dozing off on duty. You will see blue Z's circling over his head. They will also appear when you have tranquilized a guard. The more Z's a guard has over his head the longer he will stay asleep.


When you have knocked out an enemy with your fists he will lie on the ground with yellow start circling around his head. The more stars there are the longer it will be until he comes around.


When a guard has heard or seen something that has alerted his suspicion a big "?" will appear over his head. This appears when he has seen something just out of his vision cone or heard a noise such as a magazine being thrown or you knocking on the wall.


When a guard has discovered your character a big "!" will appear over their head. This also appears when a guard has discovered dead body or an unconscious comrade.

Other Things


Radio-like device that uses nanomachines within the character to transmit signals. All action is paused when using the codec. Useful for contacting other characters for helpful information.

To use the codec first adjust the frequency with he directional pad or the right analog stick. You can also chose a recipient of a codec call by pressing the right analog stick down or down on the directional pad. This will display a list of all the known contacts on your codec. Press the circle button to make the call or push up on the analog stick or the directional pad. You can exit the codec by pushing select again or pressing X after the call.

You can advance the conversation with several buttons. Press Triangle, X, or Circle to stop the conversation and then press Triangle again to automatically fast forward to the end. Press Square to fast forward through the conversation or X to go one line at a time.

Codec Frequencies

Tanker Chapter

Otacon : 141.12, will provide you with information about your gear and strategies for different situations.

Otacon-Save : 141.96, will save your data and afterwards you will get to hear a Chinese proverb that could help you in some way.

Plant Chapter

Colonel : 140.85, will provide you with information about your mission objectives and controls.

Rose : 140.96***, will save your data and nag you about certain things.

Mr. X : 140.48**, mysterious figure who calls Raiden to warn him about certain things.

Stillman : 140.25, will give you information about bomb disposal and possible locations for bombs.

Pliskin/Snake : 141.80, will give you information about people, weapons, and items.

Ames : 141.72*, gives you information about Metal Gear and explains certain small details that can be confusing.

Pres. Johnson : 141.32*, tells you about the Patriots and Arsenal Gear, warns you about Solidus's plans. Instructs you to find Emma Emmerich.

Emma : 141.52, talks about computer programming and the virus that she designed.

Olga : 140.48*, reveals her identity and true purpose

Otacon : 141.12, gives you fighting tips and informs you about a certain character's true identity.


You probably heard about Metal Gear Solid 2's famous locker stuffing method.

Lockers are useful for stuffing (mmmm...stuffing) guards into lockers. If you want to keep other guards from finding out about guards that you riddled with bullets you can hide them, conveniently, in a locker. Pick them up by pressing SQUARE without a weapon equipped. Drag them into a nearby open (duh!) locker.

Lockers will almost always contain an item or ammo.

You can kick and punch the doors off of the lockers if you feel in the mood, or find that one is locked. The hinges will break and the door will fall onto your character if you haven't moved out of the way. Don't worry this won't reduce your health. Shooting at the hinges also works.

If you are a pinch for a good hiding spot (i.e. search and destroy teams are on your ass), look for a nearby locker. You will most often be safe in a locker because guards will rarely search them. Pressing L2 and R2 will allow you to look out both sides of the lockers vent. Use R1 to lean up against the vent and look out. However, do not do this quickly when a search team is in the area or a guard is patrolling nearby, your character will bang his head on the vent alerting any nearby guards.

If you need a good laugh you can enter the locker room on Deck-A of the tanker. Open the locker and look at the girly poster on the inside in FPV. Call Otacon and see what happens. If you get a message from Otacon about the correct utilization of lockers then you may be standing too close or too far.

Catching colds

Your character can catch a cold due to prolonged exposure to cold or being drenched in water, staying out in the rain to long. When your character has a cold he will sneeze periodically and unexpectedly. This may alert nearby guards. Which is always bad. To combat this your character must find Medicine. This is located in a locker in Deck-B, Crew's Quarters in the Tanker on European-Extreme, or in the Plant Chapter in Arsenal Gear, Stomach in a locker in the small side room that leads to Arsenal Gear, Jejunum.

Difficulty Levels

Very Easy

Guards are quite stupid and weak in this difficulty and bosses are almost instant takedowns. Do NOT let me catch you playing this, unless you are trying to get dog tags! (makes a mean face, "grrrr")


Guards are marginally intelligenter, wait a minute...crap! Anyway, the name speaks for itself.


Guards are fairly intelligent; bosses take about as much damage as they do to you. Guards can't hear very well or see for that matter. There is a good scattering of guards throughout the levels.


Harder than normal, get it? (starts laughing at himself... aokay that was lame). "Game over if discovered" option is now available for all difficulties higher than this, shows you how hard the going can get. You have a small chance of making it out of a shootout alive if you get caught.


If you can finish this difficulty without making a hole in your wall then good job. Bosses are 2 hit kills, if you are caught. Guards see about twice as far as in normal and can hear very well. "Game over if discovered" option is available.

Sons of Liberty walkthrough

This guide assumes that you are playing on the Normal difficulty level with Radar 1. In this walkthrough I will provide for you all of the neccessary information related to each and every area, I will help you to understand the plot by asking a few essential questions for each cut-scene, and I will include some small fun things here and there.

This guide will essentially guide you through the way you were meant to go through, stealthily. I will try to tell you ways to make your way through without using weapons, noises, or any other means besides plain_old_sneaking. I will also give you ways to go through using your weapons. It is completely up to you which way you go but I must say that the staelthy way is more rewarding. I will call the stealth strategies "Shadow" and the un-stealthy "General Strategy". Some things that can apply to the Shadow walkthrough will be listed in General Strategy, I'm sure you will be able to pick it out and it would just get kind of extraneous putting the same thing for Shadow.

Using the walkthrough =====================

In this walkthrough I will not guide you through a sequential list of steps to pass each area. Instead I will provide for you hints, tips, and sometimes a small descriptive analysis for a hard to reach/accomplish objective.

Mission Analysis ----------------

Analyzes your initial objective of each chapter and what you could possibly do to accomplish it.

Level analysis --------------

Analyzes the chapter's level, either the Tanker, the Big Shell, or Arsenal Gear.

Cut-scene analysis ------------------

I will provide for you a list of essential questions after each key cut-scene in the game. This was added after many people confessed having much difficulty understanding the story of the game. Just think about them for a moment and remember what could possibly be a key piece of information.

Area analysis -------------

This will describe to you the layout of each area and the patrol routes of each guard in the area. This may hold some tips on how to complete the area.

General strategy ----------------

How to accomplish each objective, get past guards and cameras, where to find items and ammunition, and get through the area unscathed. This is the 'walkthrough'.

Shadow ------

How to complete the game in pure stealth, Metal Gear Solid in its true form.

Items -----

Informs you of what items are available in the area.

Ammunition ----------

Informs you of what weapons you can grab ammo for in that area.

-- Walkthrough by El Greco

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