Welcome to Metal Gear Solid 5 - Root Cause, the 27th main story mission of the game, following on from Aim True, Ye Vengeful.

Root Cause Mission checklist:

  • Extracted the Intel Team member
  • Extracted the Intel Team member before he could have an accident
  • Exfiltrated the hot zone with the Intel Team member by land

Before you start your next mission, it's worth taking some time out to address a small matter back at Mother Base. It seems that White Mamba - or Eli as he's also known - is causing a bit of a kerfuffle. Your friends at HQ implore you to return and put him in his place. All being well, mission 113-Eli's Challenge should now be available in your Side Ops list. If so, select it and journey back to Mother Base's R&D Platform to begin the objective.

Side Op: Eli's Challenge

This confrontation with Eli plays out very similarly to your previous encounter on the boat. First, you'll need to sprint around the platform and locate your target. When you have Eli in your sights, run in, wait for him to attack, then counter his moves to slam him to the ground.

The main difference this time around is that the expansive, equipment-strewn nature of the R&D Platform makes it much harder to locate your target. Additionally, Eli will now throw flash grenades when you move in too close. If this happens, he'll disappear once you're engulfed in light - meaning that you'll need to track him down again.

You'll find your mission considerably less protracted if you equip your night vision goggles immediately upon landing. This way, your target will stand out as a bright yellow silhouette on the murky green environments, making him much easier to spot. When you've taught Eli enough of a lesson, a cutscene will play and the mission will end. Summon a chopper and return to the air.

Root Cause: Infiltrate the guard post and locate the Intel Team member

With Eli dealt with, you're now free to begin Episode 27. Call up your mission list and select 27-Root Cause. You've only one Landing Zone option here, so choose it and enter the Sortie Prep screen. Pack a sniper rifle (standard or tranquilliser-based), select D-Dog as your buddy, then set the Drop Time to 0600. Finally, commence the mission.

This time around, you're tasked with locating and rescuing an Intel Team member who's managed to obtain crucial information pertaining to the outbreak back at Mother Base. Your target is being held at a guard post close to the Kungenga Mine.

Once you land, immediately begin heading north-east toward the yellow objective marker. Soon, you'll come to a small ridge at the foot of the enemy encampment. Unfortunately, the enemy base spreads all the way up a steep hill, meaning that patrolling hostiles will have an excellent view of their surroundings - and you. You'll need to approach carefully to avoid being spotted.

Drop off the ledge and start climbing the hill, moving toward the yellow building directly ahead. You'll find a small path leading into the village immediately to your right. Take care of any guards in the area and quickly slip behind the small corrugated metal hut to your left.

When it's safe to continue, approach the yellow building and hide behind its south-west-facing side. D-Dog should immediately sniff out your target - the Intel Team member - somewhere to the north, as marked by the green triangle on your HUD.

Be warned: the Intel Team member will shortly make a break for it, leaping into a jeep and fleeing the scene. Moments later, he'll crash, causing a thick plume of smoke to spiral up above his position. Almost immediately, enemy patrols will move in - and, if you're not there to save your target, he'll be executed, automatically failing the mission. As such, you can't afford to dawdle. Keep moving and attempt to reach the Intel Team member as quickly as possible.

Need help with The Phantom Pain? Our Metal Gear Solid 5 guide and walkthrough explains how to complete every main story mission, and explains their many optional objectives. We also have lists of Blueprint locations, Tape locations, Key Item locations, how to unlock S Ranks and a Metal Gear Solid 5 Achievement and Trophy list.

Reach the Intel Team member

From behind the yellow hut, make your way up the hill to the north-east, ducking alongside the small brown hut to your right. There are guards stationed all around here so you'll need to move cautiously. Lie prone and continue up the hill toward your target's position, using the tall grass as cover from prying eyes.

If you've moved quickly enough (that is, very quickly), your target might still be in the area. If so, subdue him and extract him immediately. More than likely, however, the Intel Team member will leap into a vehicle as you near his position, speeding away from the village along the main road.

When this happens, immediately give chase, travelling north-east along the road. You won't be able to catch up with him on-foot, but you'll be conveniently close when he crashes moments later. After the crash, sprint over to your target, using the yellow objective marker as a guide.

Extract the Intel Team member

When you reach the Intel Team member, hoist him onto your shoulders and begin tearing your way down the mountainside to the south-west. All being well, your speedy rescue should give you a significant head start - with the enemy still not yet at the crash site.

Cross the main road, continue down the hill a brief distance then swing right. The rescue chopper will arrive shortly, so make your way toward the rendezvous point marked on your HUD. You'll need to take a slightly circuitous route to reach it, eventually travelling back up the hill and alongside the main road, but the rocks to your right will keep you protected from enemy gunfire.

To end the mission, sling your target onto the helicopter and leave the area. You'll receive the [Front: Skull, Ring & Wings] emblem part as a reward.

- Keep reading for our guide to completing Code Talker, the next mission in the game.

- Return to the index page for more entries in our Metal Gear Solid 5 walkthrough.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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