MGSV: Horrible Boss

Continuing a diary series in which an MGS virgin plays the Phantom Pain.

The real trouble with Quiet is that she’s lazy. Or so I incorrectly thought for the longest time.

I really didn’t want to end up picking under-dressed, mostly mute ultro-sniper Quiet as my buddy. Her outfit is both distracting and makes me worried someone’s going to walk in while I’m playing, but equally importantly my one-eyed canine companion D-Dog is adorable and it’s sad to go in to missions without him.

He’s bloody useful too, able to sniff out threats and pick-ups with his super-nose, which saves me a ton of searching and scanning time. Sadly, he’s not much help apart from that, particularly as I haven’t been able to find and extract the soldier with the special skill which will let me develop a stun gun for him.

Quiet, though: Quiet helps. Quiet is quietly efficient, toning down the busywork of finding and tranquilising everyone in an outpost, which I can’t pretend hasn’t become repetitive after a couple of dozen hours. Missions are faster with her there, covering my back, cleaning up my mess, saving me time. Given I’ve been resolutely determined not to kill anyone, I had to grit my teeth through a few missions in which she murdered everyone in order to unlock her tranquiliser rifle, but now she’s joined me on my non-lethal journey of infinite abductions.

But she’s lazy, I decided. Despite having magic teleportation skills, she will very rarely move into range of a base, let alone be open to orders to start firing, until my attempted incursion has gone horribly wrong.

Once I’m in trouble, she’ll finally move over from whatever miles-distant rock she was waiting on and start slowly picking off all those angry men who are chasing me. Then I can take it easy. Does hiding behind a rock while bullets ping past my ears count as easy? Well, it’s easier than ritually tagging then tranquilising or throttling everyone all by myself, I know that much.

Why is Quiet so recalcitrant? Well, she is an enemy agent who’s now working for me because, er, I repeatedly shot her in the face, so I guess she might not always be in a co-operative mood. (Though my bond with her is now at 100%, which as far as I can tell just means I can make her wear gold paint. Trophy wife indeed.)

I’m also perhaps unfairly presuming that she’s happy to join me on my regular two kilometer sprints across the Afghan or Angolian landscape, because I’m too tight to order in a jeep. In that heat, it’s perhaps understandable that she sometimes decides to just stay the hell where she started, but again: magic teleportation skill. I’m the one doing the legwork here.

Another reason is that, well, if she was always there, always on call, always in a spot she can headshot anyone from, I’d have nothing to do. I feel as though Other Forces have intervened to ensure she isn’t my pet janitor. She doesn’t intervene unless it appears I need her to intervene – but it annoys me that I can’t even ask her to intervene when I feel like it. Some buddy you are, buddy.

The good news is that Quiet’s laziness has encouraged me to do things differently, and that means I’m keeping boredom at bay. No more stealthing around doing invisible strangles. I need to raise a little hell instead, attract Quiet’s attention by attracting my enemy’s attention. Sometimes Decoys work, sometimes blowing up communications systems does. Sometimes simply making the enemy suspicious is enough. But other times, they have to see me.

I have to walk right in there, like a Sheriff come to clean up this one-horse town. There are gasps. There are frantic radio messages. There are 10 gunsights pointed right at me. Reflex time gives me the chance to tranq-headshot a couple of guys, and then I need to run and hide. After a few beats, Quiet arrives at a nearby location, and finally, finally will respond to orders.

This far down the line with her, I don’t need to manually request every shot either. I can simply hit ‘Cover Me’ and she’ll keep going until everyone’s down. I might lob a few stun grenades over the rock I’ve hunched behind, or even let off a couple of cheeky headshots, but mostly it’s all Quiet until it’s all quiet. Often the enemy becomes so terrified of her that they stop chasing me and start uselessly lobbing flares and mortars in her direction, which gives me time to saunter around ballooning all their fallen comrades into the sky.

So each outpost assault is different now. I have to roll the dice: how loud is too loud? What if Quiet doesn’t turn up and I have to take on everyone in the base at once without breaking my vow of non-lethality? What if a tank turns up? Thank you, Quiet. By being so phenomenally unhelpful, you’re keeping me on my toes.

There is a coda to this, which you might miss if you’re already down in comments screaming ‘MEER YOU’RE A BLOODY IDIOT.’ The coda is that, yes, I am a bloody idiot. As I discovered when I shared this piece with the rest of the team before publication, prompting Alice to point out that, actually, there is a way of sending Quiet wherever you want whenever you want, and optionally scouting it out for you or opening fire on everyone there before you’re even on the scene. Ah. So, from Quiet’s point of view, I was the lazy one: not bothering to give her any orders, then getting myself into a whole heap of trouble, at which point she has to use her own initiative to save her damn-fool commander’s skin. Soz, Quiet.

In my defence – the interface with which this is done is incredibly obtuse, and while I saw it mentioned the first time she joined me on a mission, I wasn’t given any explanation as to how it works, and nor could I find it. Turns out it happens via the main map, and you have to hit up or down on the D-pad to change how you interact with said map. Pick the right one and you can send Quiet to either scout out or attack anywhere in the area. It’s the same system you can use to call in various chopper support, in fact, but Quiet isn’t a helicopter, is she? Grumble moan.

However: this is what MGSV does best, isn’t it? It almost never tells you everything, and instead leaves you to find things out for yourself, often with delightful consequences. Whether it’s creating phallic emblems for your base, redesigning your weapons or playing as a completely different character (including the option to be a woman), there’s a whole bunch of things in here which are either hidden or so poorly explained that they might as well be hidden. This means one can suddenly find a brand new toy in a game we thought we knew inside out: glorious.

So, all change. Now my problem is that Quiet is terrifyingly efficient, and if I so wish she can leave me with almost nothing to do other than wander into a base full of sleeping men and fulton away anyone who looks interesting. It’s half amazing and half tedious. I do feel like a bit of a baddass, but it’s entirely unwarranted because Quiet’s the hero here.

Thing is, this too is changing the way I play – with man-shooting no longer much of a challenge, my attention is turning to all those tank, walker and helicopter missions and side ops I’d been steadily avoiding until now. Even Quiet can’t tranquillise a tank. So I’m in there with my EMP mines and my smoke grenades, having to get into the heart of incredibly dangerous battle while she hangs back and picks off any non-vehicular stragglers. I’m ballooning tanks into the sky while she tranquilises anyone who might try to shoot down its fulton. What a team.


  1. Paradukes says:

    I used to think Quiet was ruddy useless as well, and for a long time I stuck with D-Dog. The trick is, you have to order her to scout a base or take up a new position.

    I wouldn’t have realised it if I hadn’t stumbled across a post on a forum while I was looking something else up, but if you go into Mission – Buddy Support, there’s options for ordering her to scout or attack.

    You can access it from the map as well; if you press W or S to scroll up and down the list, you can find her orders there, as well as calling in a helicopter or a supply drop.

    Makes her infinitely more useful, but it’s never actually explained.

    • LennyLeonardo says:


      • hamilcarp says:

        Come now, that’s asking a bit too much don’t you think?

    • BlurredExistence says:

      What the heck are you talking about?! It’s explained the very first time you take her out (that is if you bother to take note of the various tutorial msgs that pop up to explain the game’s mechanics thruout)!

      I can’t believe that anyone has had this problem, not only is this explained, but if you simply go thru the full range of cmds on the map (you know the list where you can quickly order in a chopper or remove all the markers you’ve been playing) there are both her attack and scout cmds there for you to quicky access (altho they won’t show up right away after deployment, i assume that’s down to her not being instantly placed).

      I’ve been using Quiet effectively from day one and if i was to say there was a problem with her as a buddy it’s that she’s a little too OP. I’ve wiped out entire outposts without lifting a finger and when the shit hits the fan in any encounter (particlarly now i’ve unlocked her most powerful rifle) you can just hit the deck and let her mop up all the trouble, including Tanks and enemy helicopters!

      • laiwm says:

        I didn’t find that menu until I was well over a dozen hours into the game, and it sounds like a lot of other players didn’t either. The game is constantly throwing new information at you and some info isn’t ever repeated, so it’s easy to miss crucial stuff.

      • Lord Byte says:

        I saw it at the end of the first few missions with her, through the quick map menu when I wanted to call a chopper and accidentally pressed too far :)

        • BlurredExistence says:

          Pretty much the same way i had come across it.

          @laiwm: None-the-less it does tell you about her entry in the support menu and what’s more i don’t find the excuse that the game throws so much info at you to that you can miss it or that it’s never repeated to be all that valid since you can cycle thru all the tutorial msgs you’ve unlocked at any time via the esc menu (i really don’t understand why you wouldn’t check thru that if you were unsure about something).

  2. Faxmachinen says:

    What the hell is a D-pad? Does it have to do with incontinence?

    • Ringwraith says:

      W/S or Up/Down also work.
      There’s no mouse support in the menus you see (except for confirm/back on left/right button).

    • hamilcarp says:

      This made me laugh, but seriously, some games are better with a gamepad, this is not a difficult concept to grasp. KB/M is not always the most ergonomic way to play games.

      • Relnor says:

        Absolutely, though I don’t think MGS is one of them – what with all the aiming you have to do, aiming with the gamepad is never great.

        When I finally got one and used it for Dark Souls though, it was almost a new experience.

        • fidelfc says:

          My headshot percentage say otherwise. It’s all a question of how “well trained” you are with a controller. [And being fair, headshots in Phantom Pain are really easy]

        • noodlecake says:

          Headshots with the gamepad are marginally harder on MGS, but it’s worth it to avoid the cramp and the way you have to sit using a keyboard.

      • klownk says:

        Platform games and car games. That’s all.

    • Jackablade says:

      I assume it’s one of the lesser known buddies.

  3. turth says:

    “Angolian landscape…”

    Thank you.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      The hills of Angolia are beautiful this time of year…

      • Llewyn says:

        I agree that it’s an unfortunate typo, but find it interesting that Alec has unlocked the hidden East Anglia missions so early.

  4. turth says:

    Also, D-Dog >>>>>>>>>>>> Quiet imo

    • laiwm says:

      I like D-Dog because he does a lot more than a dog could reasonably be expected to do (apart from waiting when asked to), whereas Game Quiet is a bumbling oaf compared to Cutscene Quiet.

      • ThomasHL says:

        Are you serious? Quiet is the most ridiculously lethal in-game thing ever. She can literally take out entire bases by herself. You can win missions by saying “Quiet go there” and then having an IRL cup of tea.

        I guess she can’t take out planes? But she’s also can’t die or be knocked out. I mean she’s a quicker and more effective base destroyed than _Boss_. Than makes her pretty super human.

        Maybe you just never unlocked the Cover Me command?

        • FeFiFoShizzle says:

          she can be knocked out. happened to me fighting the skulls. (certain, crack shot skulls you meet near the end of the skullface story)

        • BlackMageSK says:

          Helicopters (if you gave her the anti-material rifle so she shoots at them) and the sniper skulls can knock her out of the battle. That’s about it. Though the bonus of also being able to use her to use regular grenades to kill a helicopter is phenomenal and infinitely more fun than making her shoot them directly.

  5. Yargh says:

    Alec, you have no idea just how hard it was to read the whole article without rushing down here to post ‘Meer! You’re a bloody idiot’ (rather like the examples above…

  6. MarcoSnow says:

    I was just about to point out that you could have her scout ahead until you mentioned that you’d already figured it out. If used effectively, she has all the strengths of D-Dog (marking enemies on the map) with the added benefit of ranged support.

    I had Quiet tag along as my buddy for most of the game and I have to agree with you, she made the game extremely easy. Once you acquire the silenced version of the Guilty Butterfly (tranq rifle) she can essentially clear out small outposts single-handedly. Larger camps against heavily armed/armored enemies require a bit more finesse and manual relocating, however.

    If you’re going for a non-lethal playthrough, her only blindspot is helmeted enemies (she always goes for the headshot). In those cases, you need to get a bit creative, having her pick off helmetless enemies or using her grenade ricochet ability to stun/put to sleep helmeted/armored enemies.

    As far as vehicles are concerned, you’ll eventually be able to develop Quiet’s Sinful Butterfly anti-materiel rifle (the Brennan LRS-46), which is able to take down helicopters and tanks with only 2-3 shots (the blueprint for it can be found in mission 28). At that point, Quiet becomes practically indestructible. Be sure to use Buddy Support to swap out her weapons in the field if you don’t want to be knee deep in corpses after she takes down a helicopter/tank (this happened to me a few times). There’s a GMP charge for swapping out Quiet’s gear in the field, but it can be extremely useful if you happen to stumble across an enemy gunship that you weren’t expecting.

  7. RaveTurned says:

    Covering girls in gold paint is 100% Bond.

  8. LennyLeonardo says:

    Does blowing up tanks and helicopters break your non-lethal vow, Mr. Meer? Just curious.

    • Luciferous says:

      I’ve mastered the art of staying in Tanks/APCs blindspot and fultoning them right out there!

      I’ve also grown to love my Riot SMG, rubber bullets are the best bullets for a serial kidnapper…

    • Ringwraith says:

      Actually blowing them up doesn’t count as kills by the game.
      Somehow I got a Perfect Stealth, No Kills on the timed vehicle destruction mission even though some of that was riding behind things and blasting them with rockets.

  9. thetruegentleman says:

    You never switched out buddies with her? That’s how I found out that you can order Quiet to snipe or scout.

    Really though, I switch out from D-horse, D-dog and Quiet all the time, so I don’t have to call the helicopter every time I want to do a side mission. The money and resources you save by doing that seriously adds up.

    Besides that, D-Dog has two big advantages over Quiet: if an enemy comes to investigate your area after becoming suspicious, D-Dog will often go hump his leg without prompt, convincing him that nothing weird is going on after he shoos D-dog way. At higher bond levels, D-dog will distract lots of enemies at once without an alert. By contrast, Quiet can only shoot guys in the face, which is a BIG problem if you’re trying to sneak through a heavily patrolled area.

    The second thing that’s great about D-Dog is that he can be equipped to kill AND still be able to non-lethally distract, even during alerts. Quiet is stuck with lethal or non-lethal: her non-lethal option won’t stop your enemies for long if they’re searching for you, and some enemies won’t be stopped at all. Her lethal option can be an equal problem, as it has a tendency of getting great possible recruits killed.

  10. FeFiFoShizzle says:

    ummm. you do realize you can make her scout any area you want and take position anywhere on the map from the iDroid map… right?

  11. Erithtotl says:

    I understand why people want to play these games non-lethally, and in fact a lot of games encourage this. Problem is that %90 of the toys this, and similar games (Dishonored, Deus EX: HR) are about killing things, so it feels like you are missing most of the game.

    I think I’m going to try and avoid ordering quiet to clear outposts. I’m not terribly good at the game, but that sounds like its basically playing itself at that point.

    And I am another one who didn’t discover the dpad map menu until I read about it online.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Quiet’s my backup, I will clear a base all by myself, unless I mess up, then I give the order “cover me” (when the alarm sounds she covers you automatically most of the times).

      Some smaller outposts that I need cleared I leave up to her at times, when I can’t be arsed :)

  12. studson says:

    I have to think Kojima was just trolling when he named her Quiet. She moves with the grace of a carpet bomb when changing location, and the humming; god damn, it’s the sole reason I can’t stand deploying with her. I get it, she has a target, there were other ways of doing this.

    • engion3 says:

      I can’t stand her constant moving in the helicopter drives me crazy.

    • Geebs says:

      I like the way that when you get Kiefer Snake to growl “Quiet!” at her, she shuts up…. for about 5 seconds.

  13. OmNomNom says:

    I still don’t get good how having a companion who trivialises already relatively trivial content is a good thing.

  14. thebigJ_A says:

    D-Walker is best buddy.

    Once you’ve researched and unlocked everything, which admittedly takes a while. But it gets a golfball head and becomes the Terminator, fighting all on his own! You can use a flamethrower and dual tranqs at once!

    She (mine’s a silver-painted she) replaces all the other buddies. Better transport than D-horse, better spotter and fighter than D-Dog, without being so OP to ruin the game like Quiet.

  15. Mr Bump says:

    I know what you mean about the game not explaining things – I spent 30 hours calling ammo drops from the iDroid (painful), before I realised I could just use a Supply Flare!! As for Quite, I personally think she is useless. Well, she’s sorta useful for a small window – which is; once she has a silenced ZZZ rifle and BEFORE most enemies start wearing helmets. After this time, she is only useful for that awful Airport boss battle (with a DMG rifle ofc), because she won’t aim anywhere but the head! And enemies, unlike with your rifle, nearly always recognise a *ping* on their helmet from Quite as an enemy sniper and go into alert mode. So not only is she incapable of taking anyone down, a single shot from her causes an alert. i.i completely f**king useless!!

    • aleander says:

      In my game, all the helmet trucks have mysteriously fallen into ravines, unfortunately. Same thing with shields and body armour. Must be something about a shifted centre of mass, or maybe they’re not secured properly for transport. *shrug*

  16. J says:

    I do think you should have put the coda in a disclaimer in the beginning of the article. Apparently a good percentage of internet users don’t go past the first half of written text. Recursively.

  17. Xantonze says:

    There’s also a very simple “buddy menu” on the “mission” panel, where you can position her somewhere to “scout” or “attack”.

  18. GallonOfAlan says:

    I feel slightly less stupid now for playing over half of Fallout 3 without realising that you can queue up multiple shots in VATS.

    I know, right.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I played through about eight hours of Monkey Island as a kid without realising that I could save the game (“no mum, don’t turn the computer off, I’m in the middle of a game!”).
      I’m sure I’ve done even more stupid things in games, but that’s the first that comes to mind.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    One of the first times I took Quiet out for some work, I was cleaning an Outpost when I suddendly heard some music playing, a new cassette to collect! I kept looking around in all the houses but could not find a radio, I also seemed to hear it more when I was at the outskirts of the Outpost, where no houses were situated. It was probably 15 minutes later that I realized that Quiet made that sound when she see enemies.

  20. 708145 says:

    Oh boy, don’t worry, you won’t have to put up with Quiet being overpowered for long!

  21. NephilimNexus says:

    Irrelevant to me: I took the dog.

    Who’s man’s best friend?
    Yes, you is! Who doesn’t screw her boss daddy’s at work, give daddy crabs, spend the rent money on cocaine and then lie about who’s baby it is?
    That’s right, little buddy!

    This message brought to you by A Man Over 40.

  22. dahools says:

    I have played many, many hours and did not know you can order her around. I thought more sensible positioning would come as her bond level raised or something. This will clearly open new possibilities for me now.


  23. Steed says:

    Ha! Thank you for the article, I was in exactly the same boat and throught she was essentially useless.

    I read/heard the message about her being able to scout a location but never saw how to do it…

  24. JROLL says:

    Wow you must be a noob then if you rely on your buddies that much and didnt know to use the map to order quiet… seems you’re the lazy one.