This is a timeline of fictional events that took place in the Metal Gear series, as well as fictional and non-fictional events that are referred to in the series. This timeline only covers canonical games and does not include side-stories or unofficial sequels.
July: US President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law.
- Granin, who is jealous of Sokolov, gives his prototype designs of Metal Gear to his friend, Hal Emmerich's grandfather, in the USA. Metal Gear requires technology that doesn't exist at this current time.
- Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
- Realizing at last the urgency of the threat that the Soviets May cause with Sokolov in their hands, the CIA forms a plan to recapture Sokolov. They dispatch the covert FOX unit to Sokolov's research facility, located to the south of the great Soviet fortress of Groznyj Grad.
- August 24: Virtuous Mission (takes place in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater). Jack is given the codename "Naked Snake".
- August 24 - August 29: Naked Snake is asleep for several days in hospital due to his injuries caused by The Boss. Para-medic visits him while he is asleep.
- August 29: The White House receives an unexpected call from the Soviet's Chairman Khrushchev. He accuses the US of being responsible for the attack on the OKB-754 Design Bureau and threatens them with a nuclear attack on the US if the US Government can't prove their innocence. President Johnson places the blame on The Boss. The government declares The Boss to be a traitor to the country and plan on sending her former disciple Jack to kill her.
- August 29 - August 30: Naked Snake is asleep for several days in hospital due to his injuries caused by The Boss. Para-medic visits him while he is asleep. After Naked Snake wakes up, members of the top brass' inquiry interrogate him with many questions regarding The Boss' defection. Major Zero visits Naked Snake and gives him a briefing on Operation Snake Eater.
- August 30 - September 2: Operation Snake Eater (takes place in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater).
- President Lyndon B. Johnson awards Naked Snake the title of "Big Boss" in honor of defeating The Boss. The FOX unit is officially organized into a unit.
- First test flight of XB70, a heavy bomber capable of Mach 3.
- Tokyo Olympics held.
- USSR sends 3 cosmonauts into space aboard the Voskhod 1.
- October 15: Khrushchev is ousted from power. Leonid Brezhnev becomes the First Secretary of the Communist Party, with Alexey Kosygin as Premier.
- October 16: China conducts its first successful nuclear test in the Takia Makan desert.
December: Motosada Mori (military advisor of Kojima's team) born in Hiroshima, Japan.
- Sigint joins ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency). He takes part in the development of the ARPAnet, which would go online in 1969.
- Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) is freed from British rule. Many Indians, who were former labourers for the British, remain in Rhodesia.
- The US government conducts a study on emergency medical treatment. The Department of Transportation lays the groundwork for the creation of the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) system.
- Second Congo Crisis ends.
- EVA disappears without a trace in Hanoi, Vietnam.
- ARPAnet goes online.
- Big Boss offers his combat services in Asia, Africa, and the Middle and Far East. In the Vietnam War, he participates in the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) as an "unofficial soldier" attached to a team of Green Berets and US Army Ranger units. His skills earn him the "Legendary Soldier" moniker.
- Big Boss takes part in more than 70 missions attached to groups such as the SOG (Special Operations Group), the Wild Geese, and Delta Force.
- Helena Dolph (Fortune / Helena Dolph Jackson) born as daughter of Commandent Scott Dolph.
- Gustava Heffner (Natasha Marcova) born in Czechoslovakia.
- Nastasha Romanenko born in Ukraine.
- Naomi Hunter born in Rhodesia as a daughter of Indian labourers.
- Holly White born from a French mother and an English father.
- Frank Jeager earns the title of "Fox", the highest honor for a member of FOXHOUND. Campbell is given the codename "Chicken Fox".
- Para-Medic establishes the nation's first paramedic system in Seattle, Washington.
- The downfall of the FOX unit (the events of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops).
- Major Zero disbands FOX.
- The United States accumulates the remainder of the Legacy. The US branch of "Philosophers" changes its name to the "Patriots".
- Carrying on the traditions of Major Zero and his FOX unit, Big Boss establishes FOXHOUND.
- Rhodesian Civil War begins in Rhodesia.
- Big Boss is wounded in combat during the Vietnam War and goes into a coma.
- The "Les Enfants Terribles" project. The Sons of Big Boss are born: Solid Snake (David), Liquid Snake, and Solidus Snake (George Sears).
- Liquid Snake is taken to England.
Vietnam War ends.
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan begins in which Ocelot participates in and earns the name Shalashaska for his sadistic reputation.
- Frank Jaegar, now a young soldier under the name "Frank Hunter", is assigned a mission in Rhodesia during the Civil War. There he kills Naomi's parents, near the Zambezi River in Rhodesia, but can't bring himself to kill her too. He feels so bad that he decides to take her with him. Frank takes care of her, shares his rations with her and helps her survive during the war. He begins raising her like she is his own blood to soothe his guilty conscience. Naomi begins looking up to Frank as an older brother. Rhodesian Civil War ends that same year, when Rhodesia is renamed to "Zimbabwe".
- Big Boss takes Frank and Naomi to the "land of freedom", America.
- Frank joins FOXHOUND.
- Frank and Big Boss return to Africa to continue fighting a war, leaving Naomi behind.
- Big Boss participates in several regional conflicts and race liberation wars. He is heralded as a true hero and makes the front covers of popular magazines in many countries.
- Zanzibar Province formed as a minor self-rule domain included in the USSR. It is a region surrounded by Pakistan, USSR, China and Afghanistan.
- Kio Marv becomes famous as a computer games maniac. He subscribes many games he makes himself to various magazines, and is regarded as a splendid game designer.
- McDonnel Miller serves as a survival master in SAS, the Green Beret Squad, and US Marine boot camp. He also serves as a drill sergeant in FOXHOUND, and is referred to as a 'Hell Master'. Draftees call him "Master Miller" with respect.
- The scientific community estimate there to be about 100,000 types of proteins in an individual. Based on Crick's original theory on genes, this estimate reveals that there are about 100,000 genes in an individual.
- Jack (Raiden / Jack the Ripper / White Devil / Snake) born.
Hal Emmerich (Otacon) born in the US.
- Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev proposes abandoning of nuclear weapons.
- Voyager 2 approaches Uranus again.
- US President Ronald Reagan proposes whole abandoning of INF (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces).
- USSR launches Mir.
April 26: Nastasha Romaneko and her family are showered by the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in Prypiat (a city 3 kilometres north of Chernobyl).
October: USSR begins limited retreat from Afghanistan.
- Meryl Silverburgh born as the officially recognized daughter of Matt Campbell. She is actually the biological daughter of Roy Campbell (Matt's older brother), conceived from an affair with Matt's wife.
- Mei Ling born in America.
February: Soyuz TM 2 and MIR succeed to dock.
May: USSR residential force in Afghanistan begins retreat.
October: USA and USSR come to a consensus on INF total ban in their diplomatic minister conference.
December 8: In Washington, USA and USSR sign INF (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) total ban treaty over national leader negotiation in Washington.
June: In Moscow, USA and USSR prepare collaborated draft paper on "Scheme about the verification of INF Abandoning". August: Space shuttle launching re-started.
- INF total ban becomes valid.
- START (STrategic Arms Reduction Talks) is approved by both USA and USSR.
- Big Boss frees many Kurds during the Iran-Iraq War, one of which is the 5 year old Sniper Wolf who thinks of him as Saladin.
- Big Boss retires from the front line to concentrate on military education and training.
- Big Boss uses the large amount of money he has collected over the years to secretly create the fortress nation Outer Heaven, deep in South Africa, 200 km north of Galzburg.
- Solidus Snake kills Jack's parents. Solidus begins raising him as a mercenary and names him "Jack", after Big Boss' real name.
- Jack first uses an AK-47 when he is around 6 years old.
February 15: Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ends.
- USSR military forces including 500,000 personnel, 6 tank legions and other troops are cut.
- SINF total abandoning is completed.
- USA-USSR diplomatic ministers conference is held in Wyoming.
- The separation between negotiations over START and SDI is prevailed to the public.
- Peace between Iraq and Iran.
- Democracy movement widespread in various Eastern European areas.
- Malta conference is held.
- Berlin Wall is torn down.
- Democracy fever all over Eastern European nations.
- The amount of asylum-seekers and refugees flowing into capitalism societies increase.
- Voyager 2 re-approaches Neptune, and leaves solar system.
December 24: Liberian Civil War begins in Liberia.
December: Solidus Snake starts training Jack as a mercenary in the Liberian Civil War. Jack begins fighting for Solidus as a child soldier in his "Army of the Devil" as part of the "small boys unit".
- Emma Emmerich-Danziger (Emma Emmerich / E.E) born in the US. She later becomes Hal Emmerich's step-sister.
- Frank Jaeger earns the title of "Fox", the highest honor for a member of FOXHOUND. Frank is given the codename "Gray Fox".
- Zanzibar Province's opposition toward the former regime of the USSR rises in the early 1990s, with the Baltic provinces and similar crises serving as a detonating cause.
- The Patriots spread false information about the Y2K bug, later misleading the world into thinking it's a threat. Backdoor programs hidden in worldwide distributed software plants the seeds for the coming S3 Program.
Normal-arms military balance over East and West, and negotiation over mutual reduction is approved by both.
CFE (Conventional Armed Forces in Europe), the European normal-arms military force cutting negotiation, advances.
USA-USSR chemical weapon prohibition treaty is signed.
August 2: The Gulf War begins when Iraq invades Kuwait.
August - December:
- Liquid Snake works for the British Special Force SAS to destroy the mobile SCUD missile launchers during the Gulf War. During the mission he becomes a POW (Prisoner Of War) of Iraq and is declared a MIA (Missing In Action).
- Solid Snake infiltrates western Iraq during the Gulf War with a platoon of Green Berets.
February 28: The Gulf War ends.
August: Gulf War Veterens begin to suffer from Gulf War syndrome (which, according to Liquid, is the result of genetic experiments).
- Liquid is brainwashed and begins being used for terrorist activities in the Middle East.
- Regulation talk over SDI comes to dissatisfaction.
- LINF total abandoning has finished.
- North and south talks are held.
- Output of high-power laser is improved.
- 50% reduction treaty over strategic nuclear weapons is signed.
- Normal arms and war machines are cut in Europe.
- Average ratio of GNP (Gross National Product) per population in Asian NICS countries to world average exceeds 10%.
- Development of brain bombs.
- Experiment of coil gun succeeds.
- SLCM, Submarine-Launched Cruising Missile regulation treaty, is signed.
- Development of main battle tank Goliath.
- Experiments of rail-velocity guns begin.
- 30% of remaining strategic nuclear weapons are cut.
- Krypton-85 density in the air of USA and USSR stabilizes. Postponement of plutonium production for military purpose is confirmed.
- US army seriously re-starts development of mortar gears.
- Laser beam gun experiments begin outside the Earth's atmosphere.
- Big Boss gives David the codename "Solid Snake".
- Taken from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
- Taken from the timeline that appears at the end of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
- Taken from Metal Gear Solid.
- Taken from the Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake manual
- Taken from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
- Revealed in Confidential Legacy a non-canon Snake Tale from Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance.
- Taken from the script in the The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2.
- Taken from Metal Gear.