Imagine the Joker, from DC’s Batman, ruling an entire island, harnessing more brutal, sadistic and fearsome ways to make people bow to him. And asking nothing in return, but hymns in his name, the infamy. It is actually quite imaginable, if you have picked your copy of Far Cry 3 and given yourself a dose of what survival in a mad island actually feels like. Far Cry 3 is perhaps not the strongest title or the story of the season, but Vaas Montenegro, the pirate king of Rook Island, certainly is the creation of the year. He’s the Joker to people who love playing a game of Far Cry 3’s stature and offerings.
The way he operates is something similar to what the Joker showed in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. He won’t kill you at first sight, he would let you run into the abyss of a far more deadly jungle than you could’ve imagined. He would let you watch your near ones die or be burnt alive, and you Jason Brody, you are his pu**y. That is the aura of the agent of insanity. If only games could be screened at public theatres, would people actually see and then appreciate what a small time television actor, Michael Mando has created in the boots of a barbaric and yet ultra polite villain, Vaas. Far Cry 3 was initially a story about an underworld lord Hoyt ruling over an island with his petty native pirates. But there was something in Mando, his acting skills and character portrayal changed the minds of the makers and they decided to break the story into two halves, firstly survive Vaas, and then kill Hoyt. And Vaas became the driving force of the game, be it on the disc cover, the various YouTube virals or the trailers that reeked nothing but about the villain.
Vaas doesn’t have a manly voice to threaten you, he screams and laughs out in the same breath, but the way he does it is something that makes you question the psychology of this guy. Is he mad? No, he’s just the definition of insanity. Belonging to the local population of Rook island, Vaas chose to part ways with his sister’s clan, also known as the Rakyat. He has forged alliance with the underworld lord Hoyt and is executing his plan of actions, with his own style of vengeance; on this island he calls his show. He is not a classic self made super villain like the Joker, but the way he breathes through you in the game just shows how much he rules your mind. You barely get to meet Hoyt when you are training yourself to become a Rakyat warrior of the Rook island. All you see and fear are glimpses of Vaas, and then you meet him once or twice, and every time he leaves you to die a slow and painful death. He wants you to escape your death, because his next move will only be bigger and better. Remember why the Joker doesn’t want to kill Batman? Because Batman completes him, and the reason why he does what he does best. Without you, Jason Brody, Vaas will miss the fun and go back to scavenging puny Americans or scaring some jungle animal.
Vaas has a liking for rich things and he is addicted to taking wealthy adventure seekers hostage. But Jason Brody has certainly left a mark on Vaas’ mind, especially after Vaas notices the Rakyat tatau on Brody’s arm. So what is so insane and amazing about Vaas? It is the way he says that the world around him is insane and he is trying to fit in. To him insanity is the way to repeat an error over and over again, just like Brody falls for his death penalty every now and then. But to gamers who have actually seen Vaas’ ways and heard him flaunt his famous speech will only agree on this, Vaas is insanity. He asks the same question over and over again, he has a tendency to repeat his lines, and even his hand movements are repetitive. Subtle, and magnificent. When the Joker approaches Harvey Dent in his burnt out condition in Gotham General Hospital, he gives him the option to pull the trigger and end the anarchy. But between pulling the trigger and ending the anarchy lies Joker’s thumb that blocks the hammer from hitting. The Joker has plans, with a bigger plan to cloak his plans, the same with Vaas Montenegro. However insane he might look, he is a champion of disguises. You simply cannot take him for a native threat, he knows the lines ‘Run Forrest Run’. He knows that California boys have rich fathers. He is complex, entertaining, mad and unpredictable. The reason why the major part of Far Cry 3 revolves around him. The character, given the fact was an impromptu choice, is much deeper than most of the protagonists that appeared in games of yesteryear, including the much hyped Connor Kenway of Assassin’s Creed 3. It just shows how experiments can work for the good. Mando can be safely compared to Heath Ledger because of the depth and effort he’s put into incarnating a villainous character whose only job in a video game is to die. Vaas Montenegro is a character you would love to hate. Having said all this, did I tell you, the definition of insanity?