I've caught you at last. We are the sons of The Boss. ...I am The Pain... I will guide you to a world of anguish beyond your imagination... Let's get started!
~ The Pain before confronting Snake
The pain... The pain... The Pain!!!
~ Last words before The Pain's death

The Pain is a member of the Cobra Unit that controls swarms of hornets and a villain from the videogame Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.



Born sometime in the mid 1900’s to early 1910’s, the Pain joined Cobra Unit, a secret special forces unit comprised of the Allies’ elite soldiers, during World War II. The unit succeeded in leading the Allies to eventual victory and was disbanded after the war. Standing at over 2 meters tall, the Pain became well known during the war for his ability to control large hornet swarms.

Metal Gear Solid 3

The Pain and the Fear greeting The Boss

The Pain reuniting with The Boss.

In 1964, the Pain rejoined forces with the Boss and other Cobra Unit members. Under the command of Colonel Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin, they captured a Soviet rocket scientist, Nikolai Solokov, who Volgin needed to complete a weapon called Shagohod. The Pain and the rest of Cobra Unit captured Solokov in Tselinoyarsk in the Soviet Union as Naked Snake was trying to extract him. They came upon the two as they were crossing a bridge in Dolinovodno and while the Pain used his hornets to get Snake’s attention, the Fear used a zipline to grab Solokov and bring him into their gunship. After the Boss threw Snake, her former student, off a bridge, the Pain noted that the “new blood” had been rejected before the Cobras left. After Operation Snake Eater began and Snake returned to Tselinoyarsk, the Pain found him out at Bolshaya Past as Snake dueled with Ocelot. He sent in his hornet swarm, which ended up attacking Ocelot’s unit, as well as Snake and Ocelot. Ocelot escaped unscathed with his fancy gunplay, while Snake fell into a large crevice, narrowly escaping being stung to death. After crossing the pitch-black cavern known as Chyornaya Peschera, Snake found his way into a flooded chamber, where the Pain appeared in his swarm.

The Pain fighting Snake

The Hornet Soldier introduced himself, saying he’d guide Snake to a world of anguish beyond imagination and the two engaged each other. The Pain eventually unmasked himself to use his specialized “bullet bee” hornets, but this was not enough to beat Snake. As he died, the Hornet Soldier kept saying “The pain… the pain…” until his microbomb went off, destroying him and his swarm.


The Pain unmasked

The Pain's welt covered face.

The Pain’s most notable ability is his control of a huge hornet swarm, but as a result, his face is ridden with welts from the stings. He controls the swarm via the queen bee in the pack on the back of his hips and the sound of her wings guides the hornets. The Pain also keeps vials full of pheromones in his vest, which he throws at his enemies to direct the hornets at specific targets. These hornets can form into a layer of armor to protect the Pain from some gunfire and melee attacks, though it is ineffective against heavy gunfire or explosives. He can even have his hornets form into an exact copy of himself, which can confuse his enemies. The Pain has a group of specially bred hornets called “bullet bees” which he keeps in his body, then releases through his mouth. These hornets move at high speeds and burrow into the bodies of the Pain’s enemies, eating away their insides until they die. He also uses a Tommy Gun and grenades in combination with his hornets.


  • The Pain’s codename, like those of the other Cobra Unit members, signifies the emotion he feels on the battlefield, unbearable torment.
  • If Snake drains the Pain’s stamina, then it unlocks the Hornet Stripe camouflage, which keeps him from being stung if he shoots down a hornet's nest so they will follow him instead. It also keeps Snake from being attacked by insects in swamp zones like leeches or scorpions.
    • The camo also allows Snake to inherit the Pain's powers, so insects will attack guards.


           Metal Gear Villains

The Patriots
Zero | Revolver Ocelot | Big Boss | Pacifica Oceana | Skull Face | Solidus Snake | Fatman | Olga Gurlukovich | The Colonel

Outer Heaven
Big Boss | Frank Jaeger | Shotmaker | Machinegun Kid | Bloody Brad | Fire Trooper | Dirty Duck

Zanzibar Land
Big Boss | Gray Fox | Black Ninja | Running Man | Red Blaster | Four Horsemen | Jungle Evil | Night Fright

Sons of Big Boss
Liquid Snake | Decoy Octopus | Revolver Ocelot | Psycho Mantis | Vulcan Raven | Sniper Wolf

Sons of Liberty
Solidus Snake | Dead Cell (Fortune | Fatman | Vamp)

Cobra Unit
The Boss | The Fury | The End | The Fear | The Pain

Naked Snake | Gene | Null | Cunningham | Elisa & Ursula | Python

Beauty and the Beast Unit
Screaming Mantis | Crying Wolf | Raging Raven | Laughing Octopus | Psycho Mantis

Outer Haven
Liquid Ocelot | Vamp | Gekkos | Haven Troopers

Desperado Enforcement LLC
Khamsin | Samuel Rodrigues | Mistral | Monsoon | Sundowner | Senator Armstrong

Skull Face | "Skulls" Parasite Unit

Hot Coldman | Ramon Galvez Mena | Pupa | Chrysalis | Cocoon | Gear REX