Cartwheel Academy

Many videogame characters take full advantage of the fictional world around them, and are paraded around on a high and mighty platform exclusive to individuals with flawless unwavering morals and out of reach amounts of strength, power, endurance, skill and ability.


Some, however, are not.

Shortly after graduating from Cartwheel Academy (so shortly infact, Raiden didn’t have time to follow lessons in putting one foot in front of the other, swimming, changing direction while swimming, avoiding bird faeces, holding hands with other human beings, among a number of other social and life skills), Raiden was sent on a mission.

According to the teachers at Cartwheel Academy, the best way to push an inept imbecile onwards and upwards towards that unachievable awesome entity Solid Snake, is to throw him literally in the thick of a critical life or death mission. It’s the equivalent of giving a dog an agility test on ice. Almost the entire latter half of Metal Gear Solid 2 is annotated and punctuated by Raiden’s inability and unwillingness to participate in anything, particularly freezing bombs, even when it’s conducted in the same fashion as one would spray a plant with Miracle-Gro.

Raiden isn’t helped by being left trapped on the receiving end of an emotionally-sapping nightmare of a woman, who, during his mediocre attempts at following a mission, will ring on a whim and tell you that your room was EMPTY, EMPTY LIKE YOUR SOUL.

The premise of shifting character control from Snake to Raiden, and instead having Snake answer the other end of the codec giving you the low-down on AK47’s, Dead Cell, and women’s toilets was an interesting one, but needless to say I was relieved to be back in control of Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4.

As it transpires in Metal Gear Solid 4, Cartwheel Academy graduate (he achieved a ‘pass’) Raiden gives Snake a call on the codec, as he is looking for Naomi.Raiden

It turns out he’s about as helpful as that old paperclip character in Microsoft Office. Are you trying to follow someone? Yes. Have you thought about looking for their footprints? Oh, no, actually I hadn’t thought of that, I wasn’t introduced to the concept of following someone else’s footprints back in 1997, so I’d appreciate some help with that.


Does it surprise you to hear that I’m not that psyched for Metal Gear Solid: Rising? Well, I’m not. Sorry. Raiden’s shenanigans do not interest me; I can look back and laugh at his amateurish behaviour, but even with lightning powers, a futuristic suit and a sword thrown over the top, to me he’s still the grope-ee of confused males, the butt of wig jokes, the man who was urinated on and slipped in faecal matter, and perhaps most importantly, the man who graduated Cartwheel Academy instead of Snake’s Too-Cool-For-School-School.

I’m interested to see what’s in store for another Metal Gear outing, but significantly less interested if it’s void of Solid Snake.

Yes, Mr President…

Metal Gear Solid Rising






5 responses to “Cartwheel Academy”

  1. Simon avatar

    🙂 I think this is the funniest thing I’ve read this year.

    I wanted to stop reading halfway through because I still haven’t played MGS4, but I was enjoying the venom too much.

  2. Duncan avatar

    Raiden sucks! That is all. 😉

    [P.s. very ‘lol’ worthy!]

  3. Emily avatar

    Oops, sorry Simon- nothing in there is spoiler worthy really, you’ll still love MGS4!

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