13. Mother Base & Metal Gear ZEKE
Branches of Mother Base
All the teams of Mother Base are equally important. Leveling them up leads to better weapons and items, and many bonuses and improvements for your missions and support over time. All teams can hold up to 50 soldiers, but the Combat Unit can hold up to 100. A 50-man team can reach Lv99 if about 35 of the soldiers are S-Rank and the rest are B or higher, or if you have 47 S Rank soldiers. These numbers change for the Combat Unit due to being twice the size of the other teams.
Mother Base Facilities
The facilities of Mother Base, which you can find in the Database in the main menu, can be upgraded as you progress through the game. You need to have reached a certain level in a certain team in order for development of a new platform to start. Development takes time and will rise by the same percentage for every mission you complete. There are great benefits to upgrading these, so try to make it happen whenever you can. In fact, to complete the story, you'll have to have a Rank 2 Mission Support team, so intel soldiers are very important.
As a second platform is developed, the development will increase by 4% per mission you complete. That 4% decreases to 3% and 2% as you build the third and fourth platforms, respectively. The facilities can be leveled up to Lv4, where they'll be at their maximum potential. To reach Lv4, you'll have to make each team at least Lv90.
GMP, the game's currency, is created through only the soldiers in the Combat Unit. The GMP that they provide to the total is seen in their stats. When you want to research an item that requires 2,000GMP, and your Combat Unit gives you a total of 10,000GMP, the 2,000GMP will disappear from your total until the item is developed. Afterward, your GMP will return to 10,000.
Soldiers in the Combat Unit will also slowly increase their Life and Psyche as you complete missions when they're assigned to the unit. You can also use anyone on the Combat Unit in certain missions, and this is required for some Extra Ops. Combat Unit soldiers can also be deployed on Outer Ops; naturally, the higher the rank they are, the better they will do.
S Rank Soldiers: Apparently, S Rank Combat soldiers simply don't exist. You'll just have to get A Rank soldiers and boost their morale. The problem is that not every A Rank Combat soldier is going to become an S Rank with morale boosts, only a select few do. The A-Rank soldiers that can potentially become S Rank can only be found in the Recruit option in the main menu, but only if you've got an absurdly high Heroism stat (above 500,000) will they become frequent.
A Rank Soldiers: The easiest way to find A-Rank soldiers is to get the Fulton Launcher and Bandana to make vehicle battles that much easier. For some missions, the commander will be an A Rank Combat soldier (you can check with a highly-developed analyzer), so just do those missions to get one. You could also try the Recruit option on the main menu to see if you're one of the lucky ones to get a soldier who can become an S Rank.
Research & Development
After the end of the very first mission, you'll be given a few Mother Base members to assign to the two available teams. More teams will be unlocked later, and you should figure out which members to move around when they do. However, most important for item development are the Combat Unit, which increases your available GMP, and the R&D Team itself, who create the items you can use. It's best to research and create any items as soon as you can because progress only advances when you perform missions, and many of the items and weapons you research are going to be useful in completing the game to the fullest.
S Rank Soldiers: There aren't any true S Rank R&D soldiers to be found, so you'll have to follow the strategies for A-Rank soldiers and increase their stats with morale boosts by having a high-leveled Mess Hall team.
A Rank Soldiers: The best and fastest way to get one or two A-Rank soldiers in one mission is Extra Ops 049. There's a prisoner in each area; two of them are going to be A-Rank, and one will most likely be B Rank but has a chance of having the Patriot and Japanese Patriot skills, which you need to develop the Patriot and the Tanegashima. Another way, which is much earlier available to you, is to follow the strategy for S Rank Mess Hall soldiers to unlock Extra Ops 046. Go to Cafetal Aroma Encantado: Entrance and head to the parked truck to find one A-Rank R&D guy here.
Mess Hall Team
The Mess Hall Team should unlock after a few missions and increases your food supply rate. This team is vital in the development of high-rank recovery items, such as Lv5 Rations, and a high-level Mess Hall Team is necessary to keep morale high. Keeping the Food % in the upper right of the staff screen above 100% allows staff members to perform slightly better than usual, due to the morale boost. The morale boosts can be viewed in the stats for a soldier as an extension of their red-colored skills; the orange parts of their skill bars are the results of a boosted morale. Increasing the Mess Hall Team's level will eventually increase the level of the Living Quarters facility of Mother Base. For R&D, you'll only have to take your Mess Hall team to Lv51, but in order to raise morale and get the best of your staff, raise the level as high as you can.
S Rank Soldiers: You can find S Rank Mess Hall soldiers in the very beginning of Extra Ops 046. To unlock it, finish the story, which will unlock Extra Ops 045; beating this one will unlock Extra Ops 046. The S Rank guy you're looking for is going to be the second enemy in the mission. There's also an A Rank Medical soldier in Los Cantos: Canyon, and an A Rank R&D soldier in Cafetal Aroma Encantado: Entrance; getting a high-level Mess Hall team will raise the stats of some of these A Rank members to S Rank if you choose to pick them up.
A Rank Soldiers: Follow the same strategy for S Rank soldiers; you'll find an A Rank soldier on top of the fortress near the end of the mission. When you're getting more of the S Rank soldiers, some of the A-Ranks will increase to S Rank due to the morale boosts.
The medical team is unlocked after Main Ops 04, due to Amanda's injuries. This team mainly helps sick soldiers recover faster, but it's also necessary for you to have a high Medical Team to develop certain weapons and items. Sick soldiers, as well as Amanda, will have a lower skillset than normal until they're recovered; keeping them out of the sickbay will only lower their skills even more and prevent them from getting better.
S Rank Soldiers: There's always an S Rank prisoner in Extra Ops 026, and she's out in the open in the second half of the map. Be careful not to lose all your health when extracting her, or else it'll be a game over (due to the Fulton system being equipped instead of rations).
A Rank Soldiers: Follow the strategy for S Rank Mess Hall soldiers to unlock Extra Ops 046. In Los Cantos: Canyon, an area you have to pass through anyway, an A Rank Medical soldier will be on the lower portion of the bridge. With the S Rank Mess Hall members, you get from the same strategy, you'll raise some of these members to S Rank over time.
You unlock the Intel Team shortly after the Medical Team is open to you, and they are vital to having overall better soldiers and mission ranks. A higher intel team means you will find higher-ranking soldiers and develop many of the more important items, like the Lv5 Analyzer. Increasing the Intel Team's level will eventually increase the level of the Mission Support facility of Mother Base, which improves support drops and support strikes during missions.
S Rank Soldiers: The fastest way to get S-Rank Intel soldiers is to finish the Main Ops. This will unlock Extra Ops 064, and upon completing it, you'll receive the design specs for the Fulton Mine, which can Fulton troops when detonated. You're going to want to set these down right underneath the snipers in Main Ops 08 (you'll have to backtrack to Camino de Lava: Junction), and then shoot them yourself to extract the soldiers. This will be your first opportunity to have a fully S-Ranked team; if you find that you don't like the grind, keep in mind that once you finish grinding out these soldiers, you'll never have to do it again. It's best to do this while developing new items or a new platform for Mother Base or deploying Outer Ops, so you're killing two birds with one stone.
A Rank Soldiers: Snipers are generally the people you want to look out for if you want A-Rank soldiers; however, the S Rank method is easily accessible after you finish the main story, and already supplies you with two S Ranks at once.
Soldiers can occasionally start fights with others and will be sent to the brig for a little while. Being sick has the same effect but decreases their skills until they recover. The higher level the medical team, the sooner the sick soldiers recover. Amanda will never fully recover, and thus never reach her true potential as an MSF soldier, until you complete all of the Main Ops.
Any new members to Mother Base will be in the waiting room until you assign them to a team or fire them. There's really no point in keeping anyone here, so move them around or remove weaker soldiers when you can.
Trade Waiting Room
Around the end of Chapter 1 (Main Ops 10), Kaz will tell you that he thinks it might be neat to switch soldiers around with other groups. These other groups are going to be fellow Peace Walker players that you know, so you can trade soldiers with certain rankings or skills to your friends. You can't trade soldiers with other players unless they're the same rank, so you, unfortunately, can't help out a buddy and give him a full team of S Ranks if you wanted to help them out.
There are a few other special staff members to be found for a trophy. You'll need all four at once to make the trophy pop, so make sure you don't accidentally fire all of your special staff of a certain type. To check whether a staff member is one of the types below, press to check their skills and their job title will be right below their codename.
Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind the Metal Gear series, is found through Main Ops 09 in one of the trucks at the end of the mission, and it's recommended you get him as soon as Main Ops 09 is available to you due to his high stats in Intel and Medicine. Taking him to Mother Base as soon as possible yields a great benefit in the early game. Technically, his title is Game Designer.
Actresses are found in Main Ops 16: Travel to the Mine Base. First, climb up the ladder at the very start of the mission. Then slowly walk south off the edge of the roof to grab onto it. Shimmy across to the left, where you'll find a small flat part of the roof with a prisoner. Press to get back up onto the roof, and then Fulton her to Mother Base and complete the mission.
New Voice Actors can be found in Main Ops 27: Zadornov Search Mission. Two prisoners are randomly placed in the various areas of this mission, so search far and wide to Fulton both of them. To make things easier, use an MSF soldier with the Channeler ability, which locates all items and prisoners on the map (also useful for finding design specs).
Veteran Voice Actors can be found in Main Ops 31: Zadornov Search Mission 5. Only one prisoner is held within this entire mission, and he's going to be at a random position. It's best to use the Channeler ability to find him as well.
Metal Gear ZEKE
Metal Gear ZEKE is MSF's very own bipedal nuclear tank, and pieces of the various AI weapons are required to build it. Certain missions will only provide certain parts, and you can only keep five of each main part. Damaging these parts on the AI Weapons during the fights with them will decrease your chances of getting the parts, or scrap for those parts. For example, the fight against the Pupa in Main Ops 10 will provide you with ZEKE Head parts only if you don't damage the head of the Pupa too much, and you can have up to five ZEKE Heads in your Metal Gear hangar. The Extra Ops missions against AI Weapons will provide you with different parts, parts that are actually from the AI Weapons. Optional parts, like the railgun and jetpack, are obtained in the same way, but you can only hold three of each. Basically, if you want parts, try to damage only the AI Pod during battles.
The AI Pod for ZEKE can be improved upon by taking the memory boards in the pods after the AI Weapons are defeated. There are 400 total different memory boards to find to increase ZEKE's potential. After you successfully launch ZEKE, the AI Storage menu should appear. These grids of lit-up rectangles show you which memory boards you have and which ones you're missing. Improving on the AI Storage will make Extra Ops 120 against ZEKE much, much harder than it normally would be, so it's best to S-Rank that before diving into AI Pods. However, after you finish the Extra Op against ZEKE, you'll want as many as you can to improve your odds with it in Outer Ops.
To have ZEKE become available in Outer Ops and for you to finish the Main Ops, you'll need to apply all parts and optional parts to ZEKE except for the armor, which isn't required.
To complete ZEKE, you need to replace the Head and Leg parts with the parts of AI Weapons, found only in Extra Ops fights. To get a headpiece, you can fight any of the Custom weapons to have a chance at receiving one, just try not to damage the head (Sensor) of each weapon to raise your chances. You can only receive leg pieces from fighting Peace Walker (naturally), but you can get the legs from either the Type II or the Custom variant.
Customized ZEKE's head parts and foot parts with special AI weapon parts.
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