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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

M29 - Metallic Archaea

Jarrod Garripoli
# Mission Task Mandatory/Optional
1 Eliminated the Skulls. Mandatory
2 Extracted Code Talker. Mandatory
3 Completed the mission without being grabbed by a puppet soldier. Optional
4 Extracted the Skulls. Optional

This entire mission consists of nothing but a boss fight against four armored Skulls, who will convert all of the enemies in the airport to puppet soldiers. First and foremost, you don’t have to worry about Code Talker here and should immediately move away from him at the beginning of the battle, lest he get caught with some stray bullets.

You have a few options here, but the first thing you should do is mark all four of the Skulls, as this will help you keep track of them. Before delving into specific strategies, let’s take a look at some of the attacks that the Skulls can use. They have a melee strike they can do if you get too close, but they will sometimes leap into the air from afar to do it. Look for the CQC button prompt to counter this, which will stun them for a few seconds.

You might remember from earlier that they have access to a machine gun, which they will use when not performing another move. While it might not hurt too much if it’s just one, if most of them are doing this, the damage adds up quickly. All of their other attacks involve conjuring up some concrete or rock. The first has them summoning a big piece and throwing it at you, which you can dodge by quick diving out of the way.

A second attack involving the rocks has the Skulls sending black smoke through the ground, which causes a rock to come out of the ground underneath you. Quickly get away from this, as it will explode, dealing heavy damage. The final attack they have with the rocks isn’t an attack, but a defensive maneuver. At some points, they will erect one of these from the ground and hide behind it to recover. You can shoot them to make them explode.

Direct Approach

The direct approach to this fight is to simply go all out on them, using the inside of the airport hangar for cover. The ideal weapon to use is one with high penetration, such as a sniper rifle or machine gun, but the D-Walker with the Gatling Gun is also a viable option. You will likely need supply drops during the battle, so try and run away enough to call some in.

If using this strategy, make sure you have the Battle Dress developed and equipped, as it is vital in surviving their attacks. Always keep an eye on their movements and if you see one rushing your position, you want to look out for the counter prompt, which will remove their armor and allow you to freely attack their life bar.

There are many ways to defeat the skulls. One method is to use the Walker Gear (left). Once defeated, carry Code Talker to the chopper (right).

Safe Approach

Near the hangar is a large building you might remember from previous missions. There are stairs on the sides that lead to the second level, then a ladder that goes up to the top roof. If you go to the top, then the Skulls can’t follow you and the only attack they can hit you with up here is the rock mine. There are a few problems with this, as you might need to rely on Quiet to do the damage, plus some of the Skulls will go underneath the building sections, making it so you can’t damage them.

Quiet on the roof of the hanger (left) offers excellent covering fire. Try to counter the Skulls melee attacks for bonus damage (right).

Lucky Approach

As the name suggests, this strategy will require some luck on your end, but it can result in a very quick kill on the Skulls. There’s an anti-air turret not far from where you start that can make Swiss cheese out of the Skulls, but the only problem is getting them into position. You will likely need to lure the Skulls around and away from the turret, then make a run for it. If the Skulls attack, then you will want to try and make sure the turret isn’t destroyed.

Once you’ve taken down the Skulls, the mist will clear and the puppet soldiers will return to normal. Feel free to scan them to see if any are worthwhile for Mother Base and extract them. When you’re ready to finish the mission, pick up Code Talker and bring him to the extraction point, where you’ll automatically get on the helicopter when it arrives.

Run to the turret after luring the skulls into the open (left). With some luck you will be able to nuke them all quickly with the turret (right).

Mission Task 4

You will not be able to extract any of the Skulls until after you complete this mission. You only need to extract a single Skull to fulfill the mission task.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS3, PS4, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action Adventure, Stealth
  • Guide Release
    1 October 2015
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author

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Big Boss wakes up from a coma after nine years to find himself in a world that has moved on completely. But war never changes. And old enemies from the past are still searching for him, to put an end to his legacy once and for all. You are the legendary soldier, Big Boss, codenamed "Venom Snake". Fight past demons and confront new ones in Hideo Kojima's swansong for the Metal Gear series. Let us guide you on your journey for Hideo Kojima’s final Metal Gear Game: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Version 1.1

  • The ultimate guide to 100% completion: Every mission and side-ops, all secrets and collectibles at your fingertips.
  • Hi-resolution screenshots and videos to S-Rank every single mission.
  • Information on the Mother Base management meta-game.
  • Carefully designed to avoid unnecessary story spoilers.
  • A full trophy/achievement guide.
  • Locations of all of the collectibles, such as Blueprints, Wild Animals and more.
  • A detailed list of every Key Dispatch Mission.
  • An analysis of every single Side Ops.

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