Vaas Montenegro
Far Cry character
Michael Mando as Vaas Montenegro in a promotional image for The Far Cry Experience web series
First appearanceThe Far Cry Experience (2012)
First gameFar Cry 3 (2012)
Created byJeffrey Yohalem
Michael Mando
Portrayed byMichael Mando
In-universe information
GenderMale
OccupationPirate, human trafficker
RelativesCitra Talugmai (sister)
OriginRook Islands

Vaas Montenegro is a character from Ubisoft's Far Cry video game franchise. He appears as the secondary antagonist of the 2012 title Far Cry 3, and was extensively featured in promotional material for the game. Vaas is depicted as a capricious and mentally unstable character who antagonizes Far Cry 3's main character Jason Brody, and also serves as his dark psychological mirror. Vaas is later revealed to be a drug-addicted wayward member of the local community of the Rook Islands, the setting of Far Cry 3, who betrayed his people and aligned himself with the crime boss Hoyt Volker. Outside of Far Cry 3, Vaas' appearances include a live-action web series prequel called The Far Cry Experience, the virtual reality title Far Cry VR, and as the player character in Vaas: Insanity, a downloadable content (DLC) expansion for the 2021 title, Far Cry 6.

Conceived and designed by Ubisoft's development team as a villainous character who is comparable in stature to Star Wars's Darth Vader, Vaas is portrayed in all relevant media by Canadian actor Michael Mando. Mando decided to improvise for his audition and did not follow the developers' script, but they were so impressed by his performance that the character they had in mind was redesigned to match Mando's physicality. The game's story was eventually altered from the developers' initial intentions to accommodate a more frenetic, sociopathic villain in response to Mando's performance. The creative team worked in tandem with Mando to flesh out Vaas' characterization.

Vaas has been well received by the video game community and is often ranked on many lists of the best video game villains due to his depiction as an unhinged criminal. Mando's critically acclaimed performance was considered by many critics to be instrumental to the character's predominantly positive reception, and would influence the portrayal of villainous characters in subsequent sequels.

Concept and design

"Why are you doing the same thing over and over and over again? Why are you doing a meaningless thing over and over again in order to get a meaningless reward, and expecting something to come out of that? I feel like that monologue is at the center of what the game is about."

Jeffrey Yohalem, "How Far Cry's Iconic Villains Were Created".[1]

The lead writer of Far Cry 3, Jeffrey Yohalem, is credited as Vaas Montenegro's creator.[2] For Far Cry 3, Yohalem took inspiration from public discourse about whether video games are good for the player's mental health, and about the concept of "gamification" in society as a whole. Yohalem wanted Vaas to represent a cautionary tale about what could potentially happen to player characters who found themselves caught up in their most indulgent, violent impulses; when interviewed by IGN about his thought process behind Vaas, Yohalem explained that video game developers always talk about 30-second loops, a line of thought within the video game industry which states that players should be put into a situation where what they are doing every 30 seconds is so satisfying that they never want to stop.[1] Yohalem wanted to examine "what made games tick", and then examined the player's involvement in them and whether these experiences are enjoyable for the player, or whether they find themselves confronted by an "uncomfortable development", with this archetype represented by Vaas, a pirate who seems to be "on the knife edge between sanity and mental collapse".[1] Yohalem opined that Vaas' monologue about the definition of insanity is in accord with the philosophies behind Far Cry 3's design, as it "perfectly encapsulates" the dark side of the concept of a gameplay loop which the writing team attempted to deconstruct.[1]

Vaas was not part of the developers' original vision for Far Cry 3's major villains. He was meant to be a bald and muscular man named Bull, who looked similar to "a 300-pound, six-foot-tall bullmastiff dog".[3] A second iteration of the character was named Pyro and had a heavily mutilated body. Michael Mando's audition and subsequent hiring prompted Ubisoft staff to alter their original plans for the character to accommodate Mando's likeness and mannerisms. Bull's physical fierceness transformed into Vaas' emotive and volatile personality, though such features were later downplayed as Mando's portrayal of Vaas enabled his personality to be expressed through subtle mannerisms to achieve the effect of a charming but menacing villain.[3] Initially the character was called Lupo, but the name Vaas was picked once the graphic design was altered to incorporate Mando's appearance. This was done primarily because the developers faced difficulties matching Mando's facial musculature to the model.[4]

Producer Dan Hay compared Vaas to Darth Vader, in that his presence is often short and brief, yet when he appears, he catches attention and galvanizes players' memories.[5] Hay described Vaas as a character that was "very much in your face", which helped cement Jason's early status as a "victim".[6] Yohalem added that Vaas' implied death at the game's midpoint was inspired by the novel To the Lighthouse, in which the protagonist dies midway through the story and the rest of the plot explores her absence.[7]

Yohalem recalled that Vaas was a "lightning rod" with an "incredible gravity", and that the character become the subject of obsession in video game fandom before Far Cry 3 was even released.[1] Yohalem concluded the critical and popular acclaim in response to Mando's performance as Vaas was a "lightning in a bottle" moment Ubisoft experienced for the first time with the character, and observed that the series would go on to explore the different possibilities of a dark central performance.[1] Ubisoft staff originally considered creating a direct sequel to Far Cry 3 and entertained the idea of resurrecting Vaas, but abandoned it to commit to a standalone sequel with Far Cry 4.[8]

Portrayal

To achieve their goal of creating nuanced characters, Ubisoft's development team made extensive use of performance and motion capture, so that actors could convey more complicated emotions on-screen.[9] According to Anne Gibeault, associate producer for cinematics in the Montreal studio, a character's face and hands convey the most essential part of the animation process. Yohalem emphasized that the eyes are the most essential facial feature as they get noticed first, and that they make a character more emotionally resonant, and so players connect with the characters through eye contact. To perform his role as Vaas, Mando's gestures and facial expressions were translated into animation through carbon-fiber helmets, with cameras mounted about two feet from his face to record every squint, frown, or smile. Yohalem noted that actors have to “create a style between the exaggerated movements of the theatrical and the minimalism of film” for a motion capture performance.[2]

Mando became involved with the Far Cry series in July 2010 when he auditioned for a role then known as "Mr. X".[1] Although he was provided with a script, he decided to improvise in pursuit of creative freedom. During his audition, Mando thought it would be interesting if he were to have his back face the camera, and pretended that he was eating. When Mando started turning around to face the camera, he began licking his fingers until he reached his middle finger, where he then made a crude gesture and continued licking his middle finger.[1] Mando was aware that he was taking a creative risk, and that his improvisation might not be met with approval from the Ubisoft staff who were responsible for assessing his performance; instead, the animation director of Far Cry 3 was intrigued by Mando's creative decision for his audition and asked the casting director to instruct Mando to do it again and take it even further.[1]

Although Mando was hired following the audition, the creative team had insisted on the villain of Far Cry 3 being presented as a physically imposing figure. The concept did not match Mando's more slender frame.[1] Mando had already undergone rehearsals and some footage of his performances were filmed by the time Ubisoft made the short-lived decision to discard the character he had come up with, as it was incompatible with the visual design that the creative team had in mind.[1] Mando recalled that Ubisoft later retracted their decision largely due to the impression he had made during the audition, and brought him back into the project at the last minute.[1] Ubisoft decided to accommodate Mando by altering the character they had planned for to match his actual appearance instead.[1]

“It's a character that I love very much. And I find him very endearing in a funny way, but only because he exists in the world of symbolism, obviously not in real life. In real life, he needs help.”

Michael Mando, "How Far Cry's Iconic Villains Were Created".[1]

Reflecting on his role as Vaas, a character Mando calls his "spirit animal",[10] he described him as "liberating", with an "innocent heart" who so happened to have "gone so far off the deep end".[1] Mando considers himself to be one of the character's creators as he had a lot of involvement in developing Vaas' personality, mannerisms, and motivations with the creative team.[10] Mando recalled that he performed Vaas' monologue to a tennis ball as a stand-in for the player's perspective during filming. Although Mando did not understand why it would turn out to become a compelling scene for many, he suggested that there may be a "truly profound existentialism" with that moment underneath the simplicity of the actual scene.[1] According to Mando, their goal was not to deliberately create a character who appeals to audiences and is insane for the sake of it, but rather a personality who is looking for truth in that moment and who happens to be crazy.[1]

Appearances

Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3 opens with montage footage of player character Jason Brody holidaying in the Rook Islands region with his brothers and associates. The footage is captured on a video camera seized by Vaas, who has kidnapped the group and intends to sell them into slavery. After intercepting Jason's escape attempt and murdering his brother Grant, he allows Jason the opportunity to flee from his compound. Jason aligns himself with the local resistance forces known as the Rakyat, who oppose Vaas' pirate group in an armed struggle. Vaas' backstory is gradually revealed with the progression of Far Cry 3's narrative: prior to the game's events, he became addicted to drugs introduced to Rook Island by the South African crime boss Hoyt Volker, who made Vaas his right-hand man and leader of the pirate faction terrorizing the Rook Islands. Vaas and his men assist Volker with his criminal activities such as cannabis cultivation and human trafficking, while inflicting death and destruction on the Rakyat, Vaas' former compatriots who are led by his estranged sister Citra Talugmai.

During one incident, Jason attempts to rescue his girlfriend Liza Snow from a pirate compound and is caught in a trap set up by Vaas, but manages to escape with her through a combination of luck and sheer grit. In a later skirmish, Jason is caught in another trap set up by Vaas, who ties him to a rock and delivers a monologue about the definition of insanity before sending him plunging into a pool of water. Jason survives the ordeal, and later arrives at Vaas' island base to exact revenge. Vaas meets his apparent death by Jason's hand while the latter experiences a hallucination following their confrontation.

Far Cry 6

The post-credits scene of Far Cry 6 features one of the main characters, Juan, talking to an unnamed smuggler voiced by Michael Mando. The character is strongly implied to be Vaas, who somehow survived the events of Far Cry 3.

Vaas makes his first appearance as a playable character in a post-launch expansion titled Vaas: Insanity, released on November 16, 2021.[11] Insanity begins at the climax of Jason Brody's final confrontation with Vaas, in which the latter is seemingly stabbed to death. Vaas wakes up in a hallucination, and is guided by the voice of his sister, Citra Talugmai, to reconstruct her Silver Dragon Blade to win her approval as she claims that it is the only way he can escape his mind. Vaas journeys through his mind, revisiting past memories of his life while gathering the pieces of the blade as well as fighting apparitions of Citra, Jason, and the Rakyat warriors. When Vaas succeeds in rebuilding the blade and hands it to Citra, she breaks it again and demands that he keep fighting for her as she sends waves of enemies after him. After a brief struggle and realizing Citra's negative influence throughout his life, Vaas finally rejects her pleas to stay with her and escapes the hallucination. An older Vaas is then shown sitting on a beach on a deserted island as he talks to himself using a tennis ball that resembles Jason. Vaas makes a brief cameo in the crossover expansion pack titled The Vanishing, where he is seen unconscious in the bar where Dani Rojas returns to in the expansion's conclusion.

Other appearances

A four-part live action webseries named The Far Cry Experience, which stars Mando as Vaas, was released to promote Far Cry 3.[12] Set a few days before the events of Far Cry 3, Vaas captures and tortures to death fictionalized versions of Christopher Mintz-Plasse and his cameraman, who were engaged by Ubisoft as a part of a survival challenge in the "real" Rook Islands that inspired Far Cry 3. Upon his realization that Mintz-Plasse has died from the torture, Vaas learns about the arrival of Jason and his friends in the region from one of his men, and leaves to "welcome" them.

Vaas appears in Far Cry VR, a 2020 virtual reality title where up to eight players can play cooperatively. The premise of the game is that the player characters find themselves marooned by Vaas and have to escape the Rook Islands by shooting their way out.[13]

Vaas is featured in a 2021 tie-in comic series called Far Cry: Rite of Passage published by Dark Horse Comics, which sees Far Cry 6 villain Antón Castillo recounting cautionary tales to his son Diego, one of which involves an account of Vaas' childhood years and the retelling of his eventual "downfall".[14] Vaas' childhood is also explored in the 2021 manga one-shot Happy Vaas Day published by Jump.[15][16][17][18]

Cultural impact

Promotion and merchandise

A PAX Prime 2012 attendee having his hair styled to look like Vaas' signature mohawk haircut

Guinness Book of Records described Vaas Montenegro as the poster character of Far Cry 3.[19] The character's initial public introduction was by way of a promotional trailer for E3 2011 in which he makes his monologue about the definition of insanity before tossing the player character over a cliff.[20] To promote Far Cry 3 at 2012's PAX Prime, attendees were given the opportunity to get a haircut to style their hair like Vaas' mohawk.[21] Ubisoft released a limited edition run of lithographic print art of Vaas by artist Ben Oliver for customers who preordered either Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3 from the GAME concessions stand at the Eurogamer Expo.[22] European players could also purchase the Insane Edition of the game, which included all pre-order bonuses and all other forms of launch downloadable content (DLC), along with a Vaas bobblehead and a survival skill manual for usage in real situations of danger.[23] A six-inch PVC figurine of Vaas by Syco Collectibles was released in October 2012.[24] In August 2020, Ubisoft released a line of Chibi figurines called "Ubisoft Heroes", with Vaas available as one of the selections.[25]

Reception

Vaas' voice actor and model Michael Mando

Vaas Montenegro was met with critical acclaim following the game's release. Vaas was awarded Best New Character by Giant Bomb for their 2012 Game of the Year Awards,[26] and by the 4th Canadian Videogame Awards held in April 2013.[27] His "definition of insanity" monologue was named Best Gaming Moment at the 2013 Golden Joystick Awards.[28][29] Vaas was a nominee for Best Character Design at the 4th Inside Gaming Awards in 2012.[30][31] For his portrayal of Vaas, Michael Mando received nominations for Best Overall Acting from the 2013 New York Videogame Critics Circle Awards;[32][33] Lead Performance in a Drama from the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards;[34] and Outstanding Character Performance at the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.[35] Mando's reprisal of his role as Vaas for Far Cry 6: Vaas: Insanity earned him a nomination for the Great White Way Award for Best Acting in a Game at the New York Game Awards 2022.[36]

Vaas became a viral sensation the moment he was first featured in the E3 2011 trailer for Far Cry 3.[1] Vaas' popularity has led to the character becoming the subject of multiple fan works. A noteworthy Grand Theft Auto IV fan mod reskins player character Niko Bellic with a high-quality, bump-mapped texture that recreates Vaas' character model from Far Cry 3.[37][38] Ron Whitaker from The Escapist observed that Vaas, "a loud, vivid character that people enjoyed", had caught on with video game fandom as a popular choice for cosplay activities by the mid-2010s.[39] Mando wrote in a 2020 Reddit post that he still receives recognition by appreciative fans in public.[40]

In retrospect, Dale Driver from IGN noted that his "elaborate, violent monologue about the definition of insanity" was an unforgettable debut and became an instant fan favorite.[1] Fascinated by the fact that Vaas was almost cut from Far Cry 3 entirely, Driver argued that Vaas' serendipitous creation changed the course of the Far Cry series, as it provided the series with "an iron-forged identity that influences everything from design to marketing".[1] Tim Edwards from PCGamesN called Vaas one of the video games industry's "most interesting collaborations", and lauded Mando's portrayal of the character as the most believable virtual performance since the debut of Alyx Vance in Half-Life 2, which he highly enjoyed.[41] Shaun Prescott from PC Gamer considered Vaas to be the Far Cry series' best and most fondly remembered villain, in spite of his scary nature.[42] Imogen Donovan from Videogamer.com called Vaas an iconic video game villain, and his “flamboyant, intelligent and completely insane” legacy haunts the Far Cry video game series "like an unfriendly ghost".[43]

On multiple occasions, numerous sources have chosen Vaas as one of the best video game characters, particularly in his role as a villain. In 2016, Glixel staff named Vaas the 49th most iconic video game character of the 21st century, and the character's monologue about the definition of insanity his most emblematic moment.[44] GamesRadar staff described Vaas as the most wonderfully unhinged character of the seventh generation of video game consoles.[45] Vaas is ranked 45th place in IGN's list of Top 100 Villains from film, television, video games, and comics.[46] Vaas placed 7th on a 2018 list of the best villains in video games published by GamesRadar, with staff noting that he has become the "poster boy" for the Far Cry franchise despite only appearing in its third mainline entry at the time of publication.[47] Brendan Lowry from Windows Central identified Vaas' legacy as one of the best game villains in Xbox history as deriving from his "unparalleled unpredictability".[48] Red Bull called Vaas one of the scariest video game villains of all time due to his palpable presence and unpredictability, and noted that he is responsible for making villains the major selling point of the Far Cry franchise going forward.[49] Other sources that rank Vaas in their lists of top video game villains include Game Informer,[50] TechRadar,[51] and the official blog of Middle East Games Con.[52]

Not all reception for the character has been positive. The depiction of Vaas' mental illness was noted by the 2017 publication 100 Greatest Video Game Characters to be a merely "easy-to-use label" for malevolent behavior.[53] Dr. Kelli Dunlap from iThrive Games Foundation concurred that Vaas' characterization evokes a problematic stereotype and compared him to Heath Ledger's version of the Joker as well as Final Fantasy VI's Kefka, all of whom in her view lacked depth in terms of character development because their motivations are entirely defined by their psychotic tendencies.[54] WePlay staff considered Vaas to be a "hackneyed" character and excluded him in their 2019 list of the best antagonists from video game history.[55]

A popular fan theory about Far Cry 6 was that Diego Castillo, the son of Antón Castillo, is in fact a young Vaas.[56][20] The speculation behind the theory was fueled by Mando's tease of his return to the series via a Reddit post, Diego having a similarly placed scar as Vaas in his live-action appearance, and the observation that both characters wear a red top.[57][58][59][10] The fan theory was debunked in 2021 with the announcement of Rite of Passage, which unambiguously differentiates Diego from Vaas as two distinct characters,[60] as well as a direct confirmation from Far Cry 6 narrative director Navid Khavari in a statement published by TheGamer in May 2021.[61]

Analysis

Cultural identity

Although Vaas and Citra are presented as members of the Rakyat (a word that means "the people" in Indonesian and Malay[62]) tribe on the fictional Rook Islands, there has been some confusion over the depiction of his intended cultural identity. Christopher B. Patterson, professor at the University of British Columbia, perceived an inexplicable discrepancy in Mando's portrayal of Vaas. Patterson observed that while Vaas is presumably native to the Asia-Pacific region, most likely Malay[63] in his view, the accent that Mando uses is Hispanic.[a] The usage of slang terms such as "white boy" and "hermano" is something the character is alone in among the Rakyat population.[64] Charlie Stewart of Game Rant also remarked on the character's accent and noted that while the Rook Islands are based largely on Indonesia, Vaas' way of talking implies that he grew up speaking Latin American Spanish, unlike his sister, who sounds the same as the rest of the native population. He states that this has been regarded as a bit of a mystery among players and that it is the reason for the many fan theories speculating that Vaas must have spent time outside of the islands in his youth, including theories assuming that Vaas was actually Diego from Far Cry 6, as these theories are attempts to reconcile his irregular manner of speaking with his background.[65][66] Karina Tapia of Digital Trends named Vaas as an example of a Latino character in video games sporting an exaggerated accent and speaking Spanglish.[67]

Johnny Galvatron interpreted the character as a foreign invader and not as a member of the Rakyat tribe,[68] while Edward Ross took Vaas to be Indonesian in his book Gamish: A Graphic History of Gaming.[69] Angga Prawadika Aji, a lecturer at the Airlangga University in Indonesia, opined that the skin color of the pirate group led by Vaas implied their identity to be native Rooks Islanders.[70] Leo Stevenson of Power Up! described Vaas as "decidedly not white" and cited Far Cry 3 as an example of a piece of media where the hero is white and people of color are relegated to supporting roles or villains.[71]

When defending the game against allegations of promoting a white savior narrative, Yohalem stated that the foreign player character Jason Brody was not originally intended by Citra to be the one to be part of the tribe's ritual. Instead, Vaas was, but he simply refused to participate.[72] Kevin Fox, Jr. of Paste characterized Far Cry 3 as a game with a thrill-seeking white savior protagonist and sociopathic "vaguely ethnic" villain. Fox points out that Vaas became a "villain icon" that is - in his opinion - "weirdly beloved" by the gaming community, despite how problematic the depiction of his and the other natives is.[73] Kotaku's Kirk Hamilton argued that the game would have been better and its white savior narrative from its first half would have become ironic if Vaas had turned out to be the one who underwent the ritual.[74] Ryan Parreno of Gameranx expressed that it was "uncomfortable" that Ubisoft wished to in part recreate Vaas's "unintentionally seductive qualities" for the villain Pagan Min in the sequel game while still trying to avoid a white savior narrative by having the new main character be Asian.[75]

Far Cry 3 cut scene

"My sister gave you that ink? Huh? You think that makes you one of us? You think that makes you like me? Huh?"

Vaas Montenegro, referring to Jason having received a traditional Rakyat Tatau[76]

Maurice Pogue of Geeks Under Grace felt similarly, wishing "Vaas or a character of a similar background emerged the hero", noting that Vaas is the only indigenous male given a name, and stated that the "majority of the people populating the island are Austronesian".[76] Pogue also observed that Vaas criticises Jason Brody's attempt to integrate into Rakyat culture (citing this as an example of the "mighty whitey" trope).[76] Regarding Vaas' role on the islands, Pogue felt that he is treated as "yet another expendable native" by his superior Hoyt, who doesn't seem worried for his operations once Vaas is killed. He added that the game would have been superior if Vaas had returned to his birthright as a Rakyat warrior or Citra had succeeded in her revolt without Jason's help, but as it is the game falls into a poor white savior narrative.[76]

In the DLC Vaas: Insanity, Vaas asserts his native identity when one of Hoyt's men informs him and three of his pirates that Hoyt wants them to expand the operation by "clearing" the land of the indigenous population. Vaas reacts negatively to this information and asks his men where they're from. All three of them assert that they were born on the island. Vaas then asks for one of their guns and shoots the informant, saying, "Hermano. We are the natives." He then declares that the next day, they will go to war with Hoyt.[77]

Mental state

Ross remarked that Vaas is depicted as both physically and mentally scarred.[69] Georgia Hinterleitner states that while Far Cry 3 has several mad antagonists, Vaas is the most prominent of them, and that while he himself claims to be mainly interested in his kidnapping victims for money, "it becomes almost immediately clear that his criminal activities double as a convenient outlet for his deeply warped personality". She adds that his madness manifests in his propensity for lengthy (which she calls "at times barely coherent") monologues, his tendency to lapse into intractable fits of anger at minor provocations, and the pleasure he finds in the sadistic games he plays with Jason, such as letting him flee in order to hunt him for sport. She interprets Vaas as sparing Jason several times solely to have "conversations" with him that are both unprompted and thoroughly one-sided, these being "partly mocking, partly sincere". Hinterleitner compares Vaas to Kefka Palazzo in Final Fantasy VI, as their unstable natures are both based on very old and common ideas of mental illness which establish a direct link between madness, evil, and violence. She does however note that they differ in that while Kefka's madness is tied directly to the plot of the game, Vaas' primarily serves to provoke visceral emotions and reactions in the audience, something which she believes is enhanced by each game's gameplay. Interactions with Vaas emphasize the players' feelings of vulnerability due to the lack of distance from Vaas through the use of the first-person perspective, whose limited field of vision causes a sense of intimacy to the threat in front of the player. She elaborates that Vaas' quick mood swings let neither Jason nor players have time to anticipate or brace themselves against whatever whim Vaas indulges in next.[78]

In his article "First Person Mental Illness", Bernhard Runzheimer cites Vaas as an example of a villain exhibiting sociopathy and sadism.[79] Cecilia Rodéhn has argued that Vaas' racial depiction is tied to the depiction of his madness, characterising him as loud, erratic, sadistic, and violent, similar to how black men have been depicted in games.[80] Charlie Stewart of Game Rant expressed when comparing Vaas to Joseph Seed that Vaas' rejection of his sister's attempts to convince him that he is a "chosen one sent to lead his people" as well as his acceptance of his own sadism and megalomania makes him a far more honest character than Seed. Stewart notes that Vaas never attempts to justify his actions.[81]

Masculinity

In his review of Far Cry 3 for Entertainment Weekly, John Young characterized Vaas as a gonzo alpha male.[82] This sentiment is mirrored by the game's cinematics director, Robert Darryl Purdy, who described Vaas as an "alpha male", a dominant individual who exploits a bad situation to his benefit, with no bounds and no one to stop him. Purdy states "he's into human trafficking, he's into drugs, prostitution, everything" and summarises that Vaas stands for the aggressive side of the island in the game. Nonetheless, he does note that Vaas still has moments where he is "soft" due to his mood swings.[83] In her book Gaming Masculinity: Trolls, Fake Geeks, and the Gendered Battle for Online Culture, Megan Condis comments on Vaas questioning Jason and his friends' manhoods and making rape threats, with Vaas saying things like "I am the one with the [fucking] dick" and "You're my bitch". She interprets this as the game making literal the rhetoric of rape as shorthand for in-game dominance that exists in online culture by making the power dynamic explicit in the narrative, with rape being a real threat Jason faces.[84] Super Players Online Gamebase's Svend Joscelyne also noted Vaas' emasculation of Jason and observed that these moments serve to make Jason relatable due to the immersive nature of the first person point of view in the game, stating that Jason was an "unrelatable jock before".[85] Contemporary historian Andreas Enderlin-Mahr of the Institut für Neuere Geschichte und Zeitgeschichte[b] cites Vaas as a character who exhibits a plethora of "traits that unequivocally and thoroughly constitute toxic masculinity", with violence, torture, and abuse being the result of his own personal beliefs that lay in the core of his personality.[86]

Notes

  1. ^ Intentional as confirmed by Mando on Twitter.
  2. ^ Approximately "Institute for Modern History and Contemporary History", a part of the Johannes Kepler University of Linz. Enderlin's profile

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Driver, Dale (October 3, 2021). "How Far Cry's Iconic Villains Were Created". IGN.
  2. ^ a b Kelly, Caitlin (April 27, 2013). "Where the Artists Are the Superheroes". New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Dyer, Mitch (January 10, 2013). "Far Cry 3: The Vaas that Never Was". IGN. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  4. ^ Barnsdale, Chad (May 8, 2016). "Interview with Michael Mando – The Voice of Vaas". Unfinished Man.
  5. ^ Petitte, Omri (February 1, 2012). "Far Cry 3 producer: Vaas compares to Darth Vader". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  6. ^ Takahashi, Dean (October 10, 2012). "Far Cry 3 balances an unforgettable narrative with an open world (hands-on preview)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on July 5, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  7. ^ Dyer, Mitch (January 30, 2013). "The Development Secrets of Far Cry 3". IGN. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  8. ^ Makuch, Eddie (October 15, 2014). "Ubisoft: We Thought About Making Far Cry 3.5". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  9. ^ Boxer, Steve (December 13, 2012). "Far Cry 3 lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem: 'The story is the game'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Cian Maher (July 13, 2020). "It's becoming increasingly likely that Far Cry 6 could be a Vaas prequel". VG 247. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  11. ^ Bonthuys, Darryn (June 12, 2021). "Far Cry 6's Season Pass Will Let You Play As Vaas Montenegro, Pagan Min, And Joseph Seed". GameSpot. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Benson, Julian (November 26, 2012). "Far Cry 3 Machinima series stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse. It's actually funny, too". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on July 5, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  13. ^ Bonifacic, Igor (September 10, 2020). "How much do you really want to play Far Cry in VR?". Engadget. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Newsarama staff (February 20, 2021). "Far Cry comes to comic books in new Dark Horse series". GamesRadar. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  15. ^ Zalace, Jacqueline (April 14, 2021). "Jump Is Collaborating With Ubisoft For Manga One-Shots Based On Its Games". The Gamer. Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  16. ^ Campbell, Christopher (April 12, 2021). "Shueisha and Ubisoft's newest collaboration is now online with the first One-Shot story "HAPPY VAAS DAY"". Big Red Nerd. Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  17. ^ Joanna (April 13, 2021). "Ubisoft and Shonen Jump Magazine to Release Five Video Game-Inspired Manga". The News Fetcher. Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  18. ^ Kishikawa, Molly (May 12, 2021). "Ubisoft's Jump+ Collaboration Turns Fan-Favorite Games Into Manga". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  19. ^ Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2015 Ebook. Guinness World Records, 2014. November 6, 2014. ISBN 978-1-90884-371-5.
  20. ^ a b Ian Walker (June 12, 2021). "Far Cry 6 Leak Shows Playable Villains From Past Games (Update: Confirmed)". Kotaku. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  21. ^ Gilbert, Brian (September 1, 2012). "UbiSoft wants to shave your hair into a mohawk at PAX". Engadget. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  22. ^ "Ubisoft Announces Eurogamer Expo Preorder Bonus in conjunction with GAME for Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3 for show attendees". Games Press. September 26, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  23. ^ Gilbert, Ben (May 23, 2012). "Far Cry 3's 'Insane Edition' contains the best bobblehead, exclusive to Europe". Engadget. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  24. ^ Andrew Reiner (July 18, 2012). "Far Cry 3's Vaas Montenegro Immortalized In Statue Form". Game Informer. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  25. ^ "The Ubisoft Heroes are now available, and we have a surprise for you!". Ubisoft. August 27, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  26. ^ "Giant Bomb's 2012 Game of the Year Awards: Day One". Giant Bomb staff. December 24, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  27. ^ Harman, Stace (April 22, 2013). "Far Cry 3 grabs six at The Canadian Videogame Awards". VG 247. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  28. ^ Robinson, Andy (August 29, 2013). "Golden Joysticks 2013 voting begins". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on August 31, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  29. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (October 26, 2013). "Golden Joysticks 2013: Full list of winners". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on October 28, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  30. ^ Sonntag, Lawrence (December 10, 2012). "Winners of the 4th Annual Inside Gaming Awards Announced". Machinima.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  31. ^ Sonntag, Lawrence (November 20, 2012). "Inside Gaming Awards 2012 Nominees Announced". Machinima.com. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  32. ^ "Nominees! New York Videogame Critics Circle Awards". New York Videogame Critics Circle. January 4, 2013. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  33. ^ "Winners: New York Videogame Critics Circle Awards". New York Videogame Critics Circle. February 6, 2013. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  34. ^ "2012 Awards: Journey wins Game of the Year". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 24, 2013. Archived from the original on March 4, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  35. ^ Haley, Sebastian (February 7, 2013). "Journey dominates the 2013 D.I.C.E. Awards (full winner list)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  36. ^ Ankers, Adele (February 2, 2022). "New York Game Awards 2022 Winners Announced". IGN. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  37. ^ Peel, Jeremy (September 17, 2014). "See Far Cry 3's Vaas ride through Liberty City on a snowcross". PCGamesN. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  38. ^ Petitte, Omri (January 30, 2013). "Grand Theft Auto IV mod brings Far Cry 3's Vaas into the concrete jungle". PC Gamer. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  39. ^ Ron Whitaker (March 4, 2015). "8 Cosplay Costumes that Definitely Catch Your Eye". The Escapist. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  40. ^ Sherif Saed (April 22, 2020). "Far Cry 3's Vaas actor teases a return to the character". VG 247. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  41. ^ Edwards, Tim (September 17, 2014). "Why I love Far Cry 3's Vaas Montenegro: the best baddie of 2012". PCGamesN. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  42. ^ Prescott, Shaun (April 23, 2020). "Far Cry 3 villain Vaas could return in some form, actor suggests". PC Gamer. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  43. ^ Donovan, Imogen (April 22, 2020). "Far Cry 3's Vaas may return in a future Far Cry game". Videogamer.com. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  44. ^ "50 Most Iconic Video Game Characters of the 21st Century". Glixel. November 18, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  45. ^ "Best game characters of the generation". GamesRadar. 11 October 2013. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  46. ^ "#45: Vaas". IGN. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  47. ^ "The best villains in video games". GamesRadar staff. February 10, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  48. ^ Brendan Lowry (October 11, 2017). "Top 10 Xbox video game villains". Windows Central. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  49. ^ Red Bull MEA (October 28, 2020). "Scariest Games' Villains of All Time". Red Bull. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  50. ^ Sam Stewart (October 31, 2014). "Top 10 Deranged Video Game Villains". Game Informer. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  51. ^ Darren Allan (September 10, 2020). "I expect you to die! The 10 best ever villains in PC gaming". TechRadar. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  52. ^ "Top 20 Villains in Games". Middle East Games Con. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  53. ^ Jaime Banks; Robert Mejia; Aubrie Adams, eds. (June 23, 2017). 100 Greatest Video Game Characters. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. ISBN 978-1-59582-768-5.
  54. ^ Brendan Sinclair (October 10, 2019). "Changing mental health depictions in games". Gamesindustry. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  55. ^ Albina Krugliak (August 12, 2019). "The list of the best antagonists from all gaming history. WePlay! Edition". WePlay. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  56. ^ Chale, Andy (September 7, 2021). "Far Cry 3 goes free on the Ubisoft Store". PC Gamer. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  57. ^ Mathias Dietrich (July 20, 2020). "Vaas in Far Cry 6? Was für die Prequel-Theorie spricht & was dagegen". Gamestar (in German). Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  58. ^ Olson, Matthew (July 13, 2020). "Far Cry 6 Star Giancarlo Esposito Talked With Vaas Actor Michael Mando About His Role". US Gamer. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  59. ^ Frushtick, Russ (July 10, 2020). "Is Far Cry 6 a prequel to Far Cry 3?". Polygon. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  60. ^ Vali Aschenbrenner (February 22, 2021). "Far Cry 6: Offizielles Prequel zerschlägt beliebte Fan-Theorie um Vaas". Gamestar (in German). Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  61. ^ King, Jade (May 28, 2021). "Far Cry 6's Diego Castillo Isn't Vaas In Disguise, UbiSoft Has Confirmed". TheGamer. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  62. ^ Maina, Daniel. "Narrative Patterns in Far Cry3" (PDF). WiredSpace. p. 38. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  63. ^ Patterson, Christopher B. (September 2016). "Heroes of the Open (Third) World: Killing as Pleasure in Ubisoft's "Far Cry" Series". American Quarterly. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 68 (3, Special Issue: Tours of Duty and Tours of Leisure): 781 (13 of 24). doi:10.1353/aq.2016.0062. JSTOR 26360924. S2CID 152048982. Retrieved 2022-08-12 – via JSTOR.
  64. ^ Patterson, Christopher B. (2020). Open World Empire: Race, Erotics, and the Global Rise of Video Games. NYU Press. p. 303. ISBN 9781479895908.
  65. ^ Stewart, Charlie (May 11, 2021). "Vaas Probably Won't Be in Far Cry 6". Gamerant.com. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  66. ^ Stewart, Charlie (January 20, 2021). "Far Cry 6 Has a Perfect Set-up for a Fantastic FC3 Easter Egg". Gamerant.com. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  67. ^ Tapia, Karina (September 16, 2021). "Latinos en los videojuegos, ¿se han roto los estereotipos?" [Latinos in video games, have stereotypes been broken?]. Digital Trends Spanish (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-10-24. English translation
  68. ^ Galvatron, Johnny (January 5, 2022). "You can't make Apocalypse Now with an MTV cast". Calitreview.com. Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  69. ^ a b Ross, Edward (2020). Gamish: A Graphic History of Gaming. Penguin UK. p. 176. ISBN 9781846149498.
  70. ^ Angga Prawadika Aji (2021). "From Scorching Desert to Tropical Paradise: New Form of Video Game Orientalism in Far Cry 3". Jurnal Media Dan Komunikasi Indonesia. 2 (1): 81.
  71. ^ Stevenson, Leo (May 25, 2017). "Far Cry 5's villains are white extremists, could the hero be a Native American?". Powerup-gaming.com. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  72. ^ Walker, John (December 19, 2012). "Far Cry 3's Jeffrey Yohalem On Racism, Torture And Satire". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  73. ^ Fox, Kevin (December 7, 2022). "Far Cry 3's Influence Is Still Felt 10 Years Later, Despite Its Deep and Harmful Flaws". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2023-01-13.
  74. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (December 12, 2012). "A Simple Way To Fix Far Cry 3's Dumb Story". Kotaku. Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  75. ^ Parreno, Ryan (June 18, 2014). "How Far Cry 4 Avoids Repeating Far Cry 3's 'White Savior' Narrative". Gameranx. Retrieved 2023-01-13.
  76. ^ a b c d Pogue, Maurice (March 28, 2018). "Backloggery Beatdown: Far Cry 3". Geeks Under Grace. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  77. ^ Vaas: Insanity. Vision 11: Room 2012 of the Rabbit Hole Hotel
  78. ^ Hinterleitner, Georgia (May 9, 2018). ""Impossible to Understand and Madness to Investigate": Videogame Narratives and the Theme of Insanity in American Popular Culture" (PDF). Universität Innsbruck Digital Library. Hochschulschriften Innsbruck. pp. 272–273. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  79. ^ Görgen, Arno; Simond, Stefan Heinrich (Hg.): Krankheit in Digitalen Spielen. Interdisziplinäre Betrachtungen. Bielefeld: transcript 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/14861.
  80. ^ Rodéhn, Cecilia (March 2022). "Introducing Mad Studies and Mad Reading to Game Studies". Game Studies. 22 (1).
  81. ^ Stewart, Charlie (April 11, 2021). "Far Cry 6's Anton Castillo Might Be More Like Joseph Seed Than Vaas". Game Rant. Archived from the original on 17 December 2022. Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  82. ^ Young, John (June 5, 2012). "E3: 'Far Cry 3'". EW.com. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  83. ^ Remendes, Dane (October 6, 2012). "A chat with Far Cry 3's cinematics director". NGA. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  84. ^ Condis, Megan (2018). Gaming Masculinity: Trolls, Fake Geeks, and the Gendered Battle for Online Culture. Austin State University Press. p. 40. ISBN 9781609385651.
  85. ^ Joscelyne, Svend (October 10, 2012). "Far Cry 3". SPOnG. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  86. ^ Enderlin-Mahr, Andreas (November 11, 2019). "Toxische Männlichkeit und digitale Spiele". Andreasenderlin.com. Retrieved 2022-08-14.

Further reading