When you’re stuck in a video game, sometimes the only way through is to get creative.

Most people who’ve been following Metal Gear Solid V probably know about Quiet. Even if you have no interest in playing the game, it’s been hard to miss the boobed-out bikini warrior with the sniper rifle who’s been featured so prominantly in the game’s promotion.

Minor spoilers from the first part of MGSV follow!

Quiet is a sniper you can recruit to join you as a “buddy” in the field. She’s very useful in some situations, particularly if you’re taking on tough enemies that you can’t fight directly. There’s a snag, though, because of course there is: To recruit Quiet, first you’ll have to defeat her in battle. It’s the coolest encounter I’ve come across in the game so far.

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After you finish a few early side ops, you’ll start to hear Kaz or Ocelot talking about an elusive lady sniper who’s been spotted around Afghanistan killing Russian officers. Once you take a side op that leads you toward the power plant in the northern part of the map (for me it was the stun arm blueprint), you’ll run into Quiet at the ruins en route to the plant. One minute you were heading for a routine side op, the next minute a cutscene is playing and you’re squaring off against Quiet. Neat.

The fight is cool, but it can be tricky. I knew I wanted to take Quiet alive, but didn’t have a nonlethal sniper rifle. Every time I managed to get a bead on her, I then had to close the distance with my tranquilizer pistol and try to get near enough to get off a shot or two before she ran away. It was fun! But hard.

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I could pretty easily have taken her out with my sniper rifle, but I was worried that if I did that, I’d kill her and wouldn’t be able to recruit her. (I’ve since learned that’s not the case—you can “kill” her with a regular gun and you’ll still get a choice as to whether to spare her life and recruit her.)

For about 40 minutes, Quiet and I squared off. I got very good at tracking her, watching the dust she kicked up as she ran and listening for her telltale hum. It was a good tutorial for dealing with snipers more generally—I learned how to manage her field of vision and how to predict her shots so that even if she spotted me, she’d miss. But I just couldn’t close with her, no matter how careful I was.

I was running low on ammo, so I called in a supply drop. I set the drop to fall on my position and went into my iDroid to check in on Mother Base. Suddenly… BOOM! My supply drop landed directly on my head, knocking me over.

Like Newton sitting under the apple tree, I had an idea. An idea... that could change the course of human history.

Okay, or maybe it was just an idea on how to beat a boss in a video game. Anyway. I waited until Quiet set up on a new vantage point. I tagged her with my binoculars so that she’d turn up on my map. And then I called in a supply drop directly on top of her.

AND IT TOTALLY WORKED. I couldn’t fucking believe it. The box dropped right on her head. Half of her grey stamina bar was gone in an instant. I waited until she got set again and called in another airdrop. It worked again! Her stamina dropped to zero. Game over. I couldn’t stop laughing.

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After the fight, I looked around online and found that the supply-drop tactic is already a semi-known way to defeat Quiet. I also learned that you can just shoot her with regular bullets and still recruit her—if I’d known that, it would’ve saved me some time!

I’m not sure I’d recommend that people use the supply drop trick to defeat Quiet straight away. The protracted standoff against her is extremely cool. But I love it when a game’s simulation is strong enough to let me pull off a trick like this.

I was faced with a problem. I had a weird idea. I tried it, and it worked perfectly. There may be no more satisfying feeling in video games.


To contact the author of this post, write to kirk@kotaku.com.