Otacon's Advice

It's just too funny.

OTACON: Snake, you of course know the saying "One for all, all for one."
SNAKE:What is this, all of a sudden?
OTACON:Oh, I figured you'd need a lot of motivation, so I came prepared. It's from 'The Three Musketeers' -- the book, not the candy bar. Anyway, it means that if you go up against everyone by yourself, they'll gang up on you too. I think. Since you're on your own on that ship, you need to take this to heart and avoid confrontations. How was that? Just like the old days, huh?
SNAKE:Almost reminds me of Mei Ling, but... You sure you got it right?
OTACON: Of course! And I'll teach you a lot more of these, you can count on it.
SNAKE: Great...

OTACON: Okay... There's a saying that goes "Even a bird on high dies a glutton's death, as do the fish of The Deeps." The lesson is -- er, don't be greedy. The fish that belonged to a family called the Deeps died from overfeeding, and so did a bird that got high on something -- probably fermented fruit.
SNAKE: ...okay. If you say so.
OTACON: I do, Snake. Don't take unnecessary risks just because you're greedy for more Items. Remember the Deep family's fish.

OTACON: Another Chinese proverb. "Those who look to the Heavens prosper, those who defy it are no more." Do you know this one? The meaning here is -- hold on a sec -- that you can only survive as long as you're a part of the natural order of things. You remember pre-ripped jeans? Manufacturers thought that just because people loved old, broken-in jeans, they would want to buy new jeans that looked old. So they purposefully --
SNAKE: What do jeans have to do with nature and order?
OTACON: Denim should fray and rip on its own, naturally. Right? Some designers tried to go against that, and -- no one bought them! The earnings report from that fiscal year is enough of a proof!
SNAKE: Earnings...?

OTACON: Hey, Snake, what's "Hardest won, most easily lost"? It's time, get it? Amazing how relevant these Chinese proverbs still are! Once the moment's gone, it's gone. Except for daylight savings time, of course. That extra hour to do anything you like with every autumn... gotta love it. Then again, you lose an hour every spring, so I guess the proverbs are right. Wow, they thought of everything.
SNAKE: Did they even have daylight savings back then?
OTACON: Of course not! They knew how to save time. We're the ones that need to be tricked into it.
SNAKE: But you said --
OTACON: The moment never returns, Snake. Let's not waste it on idle questions.
SNAKE: Okay...?

OTACON: The Chinese have a saying "Those who are lost never question a path, and a drowning man doubts not the shallows." And it means -- means that you need to make use of other people's help. Otherwise, you could be in trouble. If you're lost, you don't even know whether a road you come across is a right one, and, uh, what's the difference between shallow and deep if you've already drowned... right? Anyway, the point is that help is always a good thing to accept. So make good use of the Codec.
SNAKE: Look -- this stuff seems nothing like what Mei Ling used to talk about.
OTACON: Hey, she couldn't do better herself!

OTACON: "Acquaintances agree. Friends argue." That's a straightforward one. The better friends you are, the more openly you can disagree with each other. So feel free to present a counterpoint if you don't agree with what I'm saying. Argue away!
SNAKE: Sure. All right.
OTACON: ...Not a promising start. OK, forget what I said -- just go along With my advice.

OTACON: Do you know the saying "One forgets the hurt once the wound has healed"? And that of course means -- uh -- where'd I put that piece of paper --
SNAKE: Did you say something?
OTACON: No, nothing. So, uh, forgetting the pain when the wound's healed means... Um -- That you have to get better fast! Yeah, that's it. So stock up on those rations and bandages.
SNAKE: Is that really all it means?
OTACON: Hey, I'm the expert here.

OTACON: Snake, have you heard this one? "Evil is human nature, and his entire being, falseness." The concept of so-called Original Sin. The idea that you're born bad, so you can't help doing bad things... SNAKE: Hold on. I thought the idea of Original Sin was that you had to work even harder at being good because you were born evil!
OTACON: Er -- oh yeah, that too. Very good, Snake.

OTACON: You know the story about Achilles and Paris? The moral here is -- er -- something about his heel? Anyway, even the great and virtually immortal hero Achilles was finally done in by Paris. Talk about a dangerous city. So don't get complacent. The mission can turn around and get you.
SNAKE: Wasn't Paris a person? Paris. I thought he was a --
OTACON: Snake, there's a time and place for conspiracy theories. Please, I'm trying to concentrate here.
SNAKE: Huh? Ah, sorry...?

OTACON: Do you know the saying "Those who walk a hundred leagues think not that their journey is half ended until the ninetieth league"? That means... -- what does it mean -- OK. It means that if you're planning to walk that far, you'd better damn well know how to do simple arithmetic. Study! Stay in school!
SNAKE: This seems to be getting more and more random.
OTACON: Correction -- it's becoming more deep. Trust me.

OTACON: OK -- "A frog in a well knows not of the great ocean." Hey, I don't like this one at all. Trapping a little frog in a well? That sucks, that's really cruel. Of course it's not going to see the big blue sea the lack of sunlight alone will kill it pretty quick. Sure, locking someone up is a good way to make sure they don't see what you don't want them to. But this is a terrible saying, and I don't like it at all. Poor little froggy...!
SNAKE: ...I really think you've got this one wrong.

OTACON: The Chinese have a proverb that goes "Scholars hold in esteem knowledge, not acts." See, they just sit around thinking, instead of actually doing something. Which doesn't make them too useful. Action is what matters! I think. SNAKE: Look, what I heard from Mei Ling was that --
OTACON: Snake, have you noticed that you bring her up a lot?
SNAKE: Huh? That isn't the --
OTACON: Here we go again. What am I going to do with you?
SNAKE: Like I was saying --
OTACON: You and your hyperactive libido. It's a good thing one of us can keep all the details straight.

OTACON: This is my favorite Chinese saying. Of course, the meaning's clear If you have to choose between being a chicken or a cow, pick the chicken. Cows are always being messed with by aliens -- cattle mutilations are up, you know. Why go looking for trouble, right? If an enemy spots you, you'll be in more trouble than a cow on a UFO. You stay out of their sight!
SNAKE: Why would aliens be in an old Chinese proverb? OTACON: Everyone knows they've been visiting us for thousands of years.
SNAKE: ...news to me.

OTACON: Snake, do you know the Chinese proverb "Care avoids err"? It is a Kung word meaning "what." There are some linguists who think that this accounts for an almost universal utterance of the syllable "er" when people are at a loss for words. A kind of vestigial -- What a crock!
MEI LING: What did you do with that little cheat sheet I made you!
OTACON: Er -- OTACON: Oh, there it is -- Hey! Er, that's really a...
MEI LING: How could you do that! You know how busy I am and you -- !!
OTACON: It's not what you think...
MEI LING: Oh, so what am I thinking?
SNAKE: What's going on over there?
MEI LING: Oh, hi, Snake. Do you know that Otacon's been --
OTACON: Er, Mei Ling, we're in the middle of a mission and everything! So can we, you know...
MEI LING: Fine. Sure. And Snake, the real meaning of "Care avoids err" is that if you're cautious, you can avoid making serious mistakes. Even if you've gotten used to the mission, watch what you do. Good luck!
OTACON: Yeah, Snake! Good luck!
MEI LING: You, I'm not done with.
OTACON: Ack...
MEI LING: Let's discuss this, shall we? OTACON: Err...
SNAKE: What happened to Mei Ling?
OTACON: Hee. She got mad and went offline.
SNAKE: What did you do?
OTACON: Nothing! Now don't we need to get back to the mission? So much to do, so little time...

..and that, as they say, is that...