Skull Face

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"I was born in a small village..." ― Skull Face - Moments before people ignore his rants

Such a Lust for Revenge[edit | edit source]

Skull Face was born to two rural factory workers in a small village in northern Transylvania that would be restored to Hungarian rule during World War II. Since birth, he was forced to adopt various languages due to Hungary being dominated by various countries during his life, specifically Nazi Germany during World War II and later the Soviet Union during the Cold War. His childhood was interrupted when the grapeseed oil factory located in Almásfüzitő where he and his parents were working at the time was bombed by Allied forces during World War II, under the correct suspicion that it doubled up as a weapons manufacturing site. Skull Face was trampled in the aftermath by a mob of civilians rushing to escape, and sustained significant injuries during the chaos, including being doused in boiling oil. His medical condition was critical; a nurse treating his wounds in an infirmary remarked that he ought to be euthanized. He was left with dramatic deformities and nerve damage that rendered him unable to feel pain; conditions which were exacerbated when he was tortured by foreign hands later in life.

As a young man, he made his living as a spymaster and assassin in the Soviet Union, although he spent much of his time killing various people via methods that would point against murder; many of his targets being those he harbored vengeance against for taking away his ability to speak his native tongue. One of his targets was the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, whom he murdered via one of his MOs behind locked doors by making it seem as though he had suffered from a stroke. He later defected to the West, eventually joining the SAS; it was here where he met his future superior, Major David Oh. Impressed with Skull Face's skills as an assassin and military tactician, the Major promoted Skull Face to be his XO.

After Major Oh had resigned from the SAS to join the CIA, Skull Face remained as one of their elite field operatives until the early 1960s when he was contacted by his former commanding officer, who offered Skull Face to become the commander of the covert CIA unit XOF. XOF was created as an unconventional support team to its fellow CIA unit FOX to help make it stronger and to provide support to its operatives, with Skull Face giving the orders. His first mission as XOF's commander was the Virtuous Mission, where he and a team of XOF operatives were to covertly follow, assist, and clean up after FOX operative Naked Snake as well as to keep track of his mission status, completely unbeknownst to the latter. After the Virtuous Mission was considered a failure, Major Zero was later given the green light to commence Operation Snake Eater. Needing insurance that the mission would be a success at all cost, Skull Face and a team of XOF operatives were again secretly deployed by Major Zero to Tselinoyarsk to provide covert support for Naked Snake.

After the mission proved successful, Skull Face and his unit continued to act as a support unit for all FOX operations until 1970 when FOX was disbanded, although Major Zero had offered Skull Face and XOF to join his own private organization, Cipher, where the unit was reformed into Zero's personal covert strike force, utilizing their stealth training while making sure that they were never there. Skull Face, now one of Zero's most trusted operatives, was given certain freedoms in becoming the Major's personal enforcer, allowing him to independently run XOF as he saw fit and pursue whatever projects he found interest in as long as he ran it by Zero first. While most of Zero's operatives were given their missions via proxy, Skull Face received his missions directly from Zero over a private, secure phone line that was designed to keep their conversations private. It was also designed to be untraceable as a precaution in case Skull Face intended to betray the Major.

Although he hated both Major Zero and Snake, Skull Face nonetheless enjoyed his position in XOF immensely. At some point, he met with Code Talker, a Diné biologist who had been studying a uranium-metabolizing strain of archaea for nuclear irradiation clean-up and was in deep need of funding. Using some of XOF's resources without the permission of Zero, Skull Face funded Code Talker's research and forced him to focus on the archaea's potential as nuclear weaponry instead, threatening to wipe out the Navajo if he did not submit. Skull Face also discovered Code Talker's research into the mysterious vocal cord parasites, this time relaying it to Zero for further analysis, although in Zero's hands it did not get very far, only being used as a test case for reverse evolution experiments. At some point, Skull Face himself procured some of the parasitic bugs for later use, which would cause various gruesome symptoms including an irreversible decline of the host's cognitive systems.

Ground Zeroes Incident[edit | edit source]

At some point after the Peace Walker Incident in 1974, Skull Face and XOF took command of a U.S. naval base named Camp Omega Cuba using forged CIA credentials, turning it into a "black site." During this time, he claimed XOF was a CIA unit, although the group didn't answer to Langley. On one occasion, Skull Face relayed his personal history to a prisoner that he attempted to recruit to his side, though the prisoner ended up dying from the torture he inflicted on him.

Warning: The following events occur in the pseudo-historical Side Ops in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; its level of canonicity is ambiguous.

He also ended up interrogating an MSF Intel Team agent, even quoting briefly Big Boss's line about pain "getting the better of us," when trying to get him to talk. Although the prisoner never divulged any information, Skull Face nonetheless came very close to breaking him, closer than the other interrogators of various agencies at the base.

Side Ops information ends here.

Skull Face eventually learned that the Cipher spy Paz Ortega Andrade had survived her encounter with Big Boss as she had been rescued by a Belizean fisherman. Seeing it as the perfect opportunity to strike against Zero, Skull Face captured Paz as she was the only one of his operatives to meet him face to face ever since Zero had gone into hiding since working on the "grand experiment." Needing to interrogate her without Zero ever knowing, Skull Face had her imprisoned at the U.S. facility, with the intention of breaking her to reveal Zero's location. Claiming to be acting under Cipher's orders, he proceeded to viciously torture her for Zero's location, constantly pushing her physical and mental limits, although she showed a surprising defiance to his methods. Later, the XOF had captured the child soldier Chico, who was trying to rescue Paz from the base. Knowing the young boy's association with Big Boss' mercenary group Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF), Skull Face saw it as the perfect opportunity to kill two birds (Big Boss and Zero) with one stone and began to torture Chico as well. He made Chico watch while Paz's rape was being carried out, even tasking the boy to have sex with her and participate in the abuse himself until Chico eventually broke and exposed key details on MSF's Mother Base and Metal Gear ZEKE. Eventually, Skull Face confronted Paz in private and, after explaining his motives and inferring his willingness to aid Big Boss to fulfill his goal, he got her to reveal Zero's location. Anticipating that Big Boss would come to rescue the two prisoners, Skull face had Paz implanted with two bombs, one in her abdomen to catch Big Boss' attention and throw him off guard, and another "in a place [MSF]'d never look," as his ace in the hole. After being debriefed about the successful rigging of bombs on Mother Base's struts by an "advance team," he also ordered for the XOF personnel to make copies of Chico's recordings, as he wanted to make sure Big Boss listened to them.

On March 15, Skull Face visited Chico at the Omega Base prison camp to inform him that Paz had revealed everything he needed to know, also claiming to have kept a promise by giving her a merciful death. After receiving the Intel he needed to destroy Big Boss, Skull Face proceeded to convert the black site into a staging area for his attack on Mother Base. As he arrived at the camp, the guard dogs stationed at the camp barked viciously at him, as they sensed him as an enemy. He then told Chico that he should give his regards to Big Boss, and asked him how it felt to "play the traitor." Skull Face then headed to a heliport with several other XOF soldiers, removing the XOF logo on his chopper after he arrived, then notified his forces that the "Trojan horse" was in, and that the pirate crackdown was "a go." After lifting off, Skull Face ordered his men to remove the XOF patches from their uniforms and hand them to another soldier, who then threw them outside to the ground below. He proceeded towards Mother Base, where he detonated covertly placed C4 on the facilities struts and commenced the Trojan Horse operation. Coordinating the attack from a chopper, Skull Face proceeded to the control tower where he encountered Huey Emmerich. Offering the scientist a way out, both of them escaped Mother Base by helicopter and headed for Afghanistan. True to his predictions, Big Boss proceeded to rescue Chico and Paz, and he also failed to discover the second bomb, although Paz threw herself out of the chopper at the last minute.

Hostile Takeover[edit | edit source]

Skull Face was quickly exiled to Africa and was stripped of his political power for his part in the events but remained as Zero's XO and as the commander of XOF, being allowed to operate solely in Africa as he saw fit. He eventually decided that it was time to strike against Zero and remove him from power. Skull Face managed to use the information he gained from Paz to find Zero, who was holed up in hiding in a Cipher-controlled apartment building in Hell's Kitchen, New York. The building was entirely occupied by covert Cipher agents who had only one directive, to protect Zero at all costs. To make things more difficult, Zero himself resided in a penthouse that lacked any windows or doors and was only accessible through a hidden elevator somewhere in the building. With little chance of taking out Zero directly, Skull Face decided that the best way to eliminate his old commander was to use the element of surprise.

Having obtained a pin badge which held significant importance to Zero and The Boss during their time in SAS, Skull Face laced a copy of the parasite strain into a fake pin badge that resembled the one he found on The Boss and sent it to Zero as a gesture of good faith. In 1976, Skull Face contacted Zero over a secure phone line and discussed the value of the vocal cord parasites in an attempt to show their value to Cipher. Zero dismissed them as inferior to the visions of FOXDIE he had planned, angering Skull Face. He encouraged Zero to open and examine his "gift" knowing that the latter would prick and infect himself with the parasites, which would gradually render him an invalid, as the former's hatred was such that he wasn't content with merely killing his former commanding officer. Zero began to thrash and writhe wildly in pain, much to Skull Face's amusement who delivered the final blow by revealing to Zero that the pin badge he received was a fake. Skull Face himself was infected with several of the same bugs inside his vocal cord, forcing him to find a cure for his infection to no avail. He was later manipulated by Code Talker into undergoing experimental radiation therapy, the latter hiding from him that there was a far simpler cure in the form of the bacteria.

After Zero was taken care of, Skull Face proceeded to take control of the majority of Cipher's resources and operations and absorbed them into XOF. What remained of Cipher was left under the control of Donald Anderson at the request of Zero, who could no longer lead the organization due to his failing health and mental state. Anderson used what remained of Cipher to develop the AI program that would eventually take over the Patriots.

In The Slow Rumble[edit | edit source]

After being hired for the production of a certain "replica", Skull Face decided to stick around to get his revenge on the English language and show the world his demon.