Snake Plissken is a former U.S. Army Lieutenant, having served under Special Forces Unit Black Light, with two Purple Hearts, and the youngest soldier to be decorated by the U.S. President for bravery during campaigns in Leningrad and Siberia in World War III against the USSR.
Some time later, he turned to a life of crime, probably due to the perceived betrayal of the United States government during the "Leningrad Ruse." Snake took up with partners Harold Hellman (later known as "Brain") and Fresno Bob. In Kansas City around 1993, Hellman apparently let Plissken and Fresno Bob get cornered by police, at which time Fresno Bob was brutally tortured and killed by sadistic law enforcers within the United States Police Force.
Possibly as a result of the Kansas City incident, it was widely believed in the criminal community that Plissken was dead. This is a running gag in Escape from New York: "I heard you were dead" (an homage to the John Wayne film Big Jake). In Escape From L.A. the recurring joke is changed to "I thought you'd be taller."
Snake has a tattoo of a snake on his stomach, possibly as a reference to the Man with No Name, on whom Snake is partly based, who had metal snakes on the grip of his pistol in Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy.
Escape from New YorkEdit
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Escape from L.A.Edit
Sixteen years since his escape from New York in 1997, Snake was once again enlisted for a similar situation, as the story begins with a similar plotline as was used in Escape From New York. This time, he was forced to retrieve the Sword of Damocles's remote control which controlled a series of EMP style satellites; these devices were positioned around the entire world. The weapon was somewhere in Los Angeles, due to being stolen by Utopia, the President's daughter, before she crash landed there. The city had separated from the mainland due to an earthquake in August of 2000 and had become an island separate from the United States which had become a totalitarian theocratic state which housed the likes of the worst criminals and low-lifes imagineable. The most prominant of the stronghold's citizens was the Shining Path Peruvian Revolutionary known as Cuervo Jones.