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Video Game / Far Cry 3

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In the end, who are we really watching?
"Did I ever tell you... the definition of insanity?"

The third game in the Far Cry series (a thematic sequel to Far Cry 2, firmly setting up the series' Thematic Series nature), set on a fictional group of South Pacific islands known as the Rook Islands. It was released in 2012. An Updated Re-release was released in 2018 as part of the Far Cry 5 Season Pass.

When Jason Brody (Gianpaolo Venuta), an aimless twenty-something who channels his energy into extreme sports, skydives onto the wrong island with a group of his friends, they are all captured by a group of Ruthless Modern Pirates under the command of the deranged Vaas Montenegro (Michael Mando). Jason escapes with the help of his ex-military brother, but soon finds himself alone and trapped in a hostile and untamed world.

With no other option, Jason must rise to the challenge and take on Vaas' entire army in order to rescue his friends before they are killed or sold into slavery. To do this, he must learn the ways of the hunter with the aid of the native "Rakyat", but as the body count piles up and his killing instincts become sharper, Jason risks losing himself to the tribal mentality of the Rakyat.

There's also an independent four-player co-op campaign set six months prior that follows Leonard the ethically-challenged cop, Callum the petty hoodlum, Tisha the discharged combat medic and Mikhail the former hitman. Running from their individual awful pasts by working on a boat, the group soon finds the captain has emptied the ship safe and sold them to Vaas' pirates, forcing them to pursue him to the Rook Islands to retrieve their money and get revenge. The game also boasts a multiplayer mode containing typical "Death Match" modes, and an editor that allows players to create their own maps.

A stand-alone expansion, titled Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, was also released May 1st, 2013. Related only by game engine and title, Blood Dragon is an Affectionate Parody of 80's sci-fi action flicks such as Robocop, Aliens, and The Terminator (among others); set in the distant, cyberpunk year of 2007, it features retro cutscenes, VHS tracking, a synth-heavy soundtrack, Michael Biehn, and other elements of 80's goodness. Watch the trailer here. See also The Far Cry Experience, a web series created to advertise the game, starring Michael Mando as Vaas and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as himself.

Far Cry 3 provides examples of the following tropes:

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  • 100% Completion: 38 missions, 34 outposts, 20 Letters of the Lost, 12 Trials of the Rakyat, 23 Path of the Hunter missions , 14 story quests, 38 recipes, 12 vehicles to drive, 18 radio towers, 120 relics, 20 memory cards, 24 Wanted Dead missions, 19 Supply Drop missions, 54 skills and 43 weapons to find. The game will work out and display your overall percentage.
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Upon revealing that he knew who Jason really was, Hoyt turns the poker game into this. One finger cut off for every time he loses a hand. A button prompt during the scene even literally says "<insert button>: bet your life".
  • Accidental Murder: Courtesy of Dennis to Citra in the "Save Friends" ending.
    • Also, Jason's first kill during his fevered flight through the jungle: he obviously didn't mean to kill the pirate, and he freaks out about it.
  • Action Bomb: Hurk, who only appears in the "Monkey See, Monkey Go Boom" DLC missions (though he has a part to play in the game proper, it's extremely minor and unseen) had this crazy idea about strapping C4 to primates and sending them off. You even see a few! The only problem is, he maintained a weird bond with the creatures even as he was putting explosives on them, and started to view them like little brave soldiers going off to war.
    • In the last few Letters of the Lost, Hurk mentions that one of his trained monkeys went crazy, and taught other monkeys to prime and throw grenades... minus the throw part. Hurk eventually tracks him down and kills him. In Far Cry 4, Hurk returns, and still feels really guilty about the monkey death, and wants to make it up to "the monkey gods".
  • Action Survivor/Dare to Be Badass: The trope is meditated on as gameplay tropes. Where is the line drawn between being a badass fighting to survive and being a mass murderer? Are your rewards from exploring the jungle upgrades to game stats, or Jason's corruption by power? As indicated by this interview:
    The more Jason follows "the path of the warrior," the more tribal he becomes. The more the island leaves its mark. "At the start of the game, you're really going to feel like you don't know what's going on. You really are lost in the jungle. We want that feeling of 'Oh my God, this is really overpowering.' We want you to be afraid," Keen said. "By the end of it, you've learned the way of the Rakyat, you've learned the path of the warrior, and you're a very dangerous person.'

    "Just like Vaas," he said.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: Before delivering Jason to the second island, Agent Willis tells him that he can find an infiltrator of his in a bar called Crazy Cock.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: Deconstructed, as the setting being adventure-friendly requires it to be very unfriendly in essentially every other way. Bandits around every corner for you to kill? Pirates and slave traders essentially run the Rook Islands. Easy access to weapons? It's required since violence is such a basic part of day-to-day life. A warrior culture that accepts you into the fold? You basically get indoctrinated in and having killing people be so central to culture is unhealthy on the psyche. People to rescue? They go through absolute hell before you do and don't emerge unscathed. Plenty of animals to hunt? Sometimes they're the ones hunting you. Plenty of plants for you to craft into usable syringes? The islands are a haven for natural hallucinogens and narcotics that may be part of the reason everyone is at least a little unhinged, and some very big players in the drug trade are involved.
  • Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: Vaas comes off this way at least 80% of the time you see or hear him. In reality, he's full-blown Ax-Crazy, killing innocent civilians, selling drugs, taking over the northern island and selling people as slaves (like Jason's friends). This video sums it up nicely.
    Vaas: (examining a tooth he just yanked out of his co-star's head with pliers) Chris? Chris, you haven't been flossing, huh? That's really bad, you know that? (to the audience) You should always floss. That's fucking embarrassing.
    • Hoyt tries to come off this way to his men, but since your introduction to him starts with him kicking the dog (setting a subordinate on fire over some transgression or another), and every subsequent interaction with him involves him kicking the dog again (most notably blowing up an entire ship full of captives who he couldn't get anyone to pay for the release of), it's impossible to see him that way.
    • Buck also comes across as pretty cheery, laid-back, and sarcastic (if at times rude), but he's a Serial Rapist who's holding Jason's friend Keith captive.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Liza, Type 2, because she's tied up and Jason (AKA you) has put a knife to her throat, and killing her will cement him as a person who kills for the heck of it.
  • A.K.A.-47: A somewhat interesting use in that, outside of unique names for the Signature weapons, very few of the names are actually fake (the only real standout is the M249 being called the "MKG"), but rather shortened versions of their real names; for instance the FAMAS F1 and Galil ACE 53 are simply the "F1" and "ACE". Others go for more contracted ones, like the PP-19 Bizon-2 being the "BZ19" and the M1A SOCOM 16 being the "MS16". A few don't even really bother, like the Patriot Ordnance Factory P416 and Remington M700 simply having the manufacturer's name excised.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: It is hard not to feel bad for Vaas of all people when he dies and his sister mourns him, and it's made clear that the true monster is Hoyt Volker who forced him to inhale the drugs and become his slave.
  • Alice Allusion: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a motif for the game, as shown by the many quotes from the book. Some of the characters in the game are based on the characters; Jason (Alice), Vaas (Cheshire Cat), Dennis (The Dormouse), Citra (The Caterpillar), Willis (The White Rabbit), Buck (The March Hare), Earnhardt (The Mad Hatter), and Hoyt (The Queen of Hearts/The King of Hearts).
  • All Abusers Are Male: If there is a woman being hurt, expect a man being the one abusing her.
    • Although inverted later in the bad ending where Citra kills you after you sleep with her, as well as in Vaas's backstory since he blames her for his Start of Darkness.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Averted with Sam, who isn't even actually German (though he was raised there, he was born in Texas). He mentions as much shortly after meeting him, somewhat complaining about it, but also noting that it means it's so easy to fool the privateers he's been infiltrating into trusting him.
    "I am thought of being a bad guy because I am German. I got promoted just because of an accent."
  • Amoral Afrikaner: Hoyt Volker is from Johannesburg, and he's a right psychopath. That said, he's a slaver instead of a mercenary. He can still hold his own with Jason in a Knife Fight, though.
  • Animals Hate Him: While the animal encounters are not as bad as, say, the animal encounters of Red Dead Redemption, you can still quite often find yourself on the receiving end of animal attacks such as bears, sharks, big cats, etc. Luckily for you, they also hate your enemies and can thus be "weaponized", especially if there's one stuck in a cage in the middle of an outpost.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. The Composite Bow is one of the deadliest weapons in the game, capable of killing nearly anything in one silent shot. If you can get used to adjusting for the arrow drop, anyway (which the marksman sight helps with, but only within certain distances). Not to mention two (stealth) shots can take down a Heavy Unit. And even if there are too many enemies in a tight space you can make explosive and incendiary arrows on the fly.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Letters of the Lost are the final letters written by Japanese soldiers towards the end of WWII, save the last few, which instead chronicle Hurk's dealings with monkeys with C4 strapped to them.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: The "Path of the Hunter" and "Wanted: Dead" side quests require the player to track down specific animal or human enemies and kill them, but the deed must be done with a specific weapon (usually a bow or shotgun with the former, always the machete for the latter). This is in stark contrast to most of the game, which encourages the player to use whatever tactics and equipment they see fit. Stealth-centric players aren't likely to ever touch a shotgun during the campaign, but some of these side missions require it. The "Wanted: Dead" quests at least justify you using the knife as honoring Rakyat tradition (and you can kill your target's guards with whatever weapon you like), but there's no similar justification for the "Path of the Hunter" quests, making you wonder why you have to use an RPG to put down rabid dogs or take down bears with nothing more than a pistol - the upshot here, though, is that the restriction is generally only to weapons within one category rather than a specific weapon, so you can take the most powerful shotgun or pistol you have available.
  • Arbitrary Weapon Range: No weapon, not even the most powerful sniper rifle, can hit targets at distances beyond roughly 150 meters, which is waaay below their effective range in Real Life. You can still see and shoot at the enemy, but the bullet simply disappears before it hits them. If you're using handguns, submachine guns or - of course - shotguns, expect your shots to dissipate a lot sooner than that.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • The Chinese Knife. Every time you see it something weird is going to happen.
    • The tatau. They not only symbolize the extra skills that Jason unlocks, but as the tatau grows, the more Jason becomes like the Rakyat in mindset.
  • Arc Words: "Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?" Said by Vaas multiple times to Jason. According to Vaas, the definition is "doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting shit to change." Beyond Vaas' increasingly numerous failures to kill Jason even when he cuts the theatrics and just blasts him in the chest, it also ties into drug use, the conflict on the island, and the nature of choice, all of which run throughout the story.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Pirates and privateers are extremely intelligent and fight with coordinated tactics. Assault troops provide covering fire for shotgun/machete soldiers, and will quickly move to surround and flank you or hunt you down in the brush (they even say, "Establishing Overwatch!"). Heavies will close in to take you out using their heavy armor if they have numbers, or fall back to provide covering fire. Snipers will always try to find elevated positions to locate and pick you off, and rifle troops will also look for an elevated position to shoot you from. If an outpost is under attack and calls for reinforcements, the troops will bunker down and wait for backup to arrive before moving out to hunt you down.
    • If you're sniping from a distance, the first shot will put the enemy on alert, and if you fire another shot from the same location they'll spot you, whereas if you move they'll have trouble spotting you when the next shot is fired. If they do spot you, they'll pour suppressing fire at you that makes it very hard to shoot back until you withdraw. Close-assault troops being sniped at from long range will take cover rather than run out to attack you, and wait for reinforcements to show up.
    • Placing mines or C4 in the open won't work; pirates and privateers will bypass obvious traps like that. They're much more effective in the brush. They'll also avoid a mine or charge if they see you setting it.
    • Animals use clever hunting tactics, and will often try to sneak up on you without being noticed. They'll even use grass and bushes to conceal themselves from sight until they can get close. Fortunately for you, they do this to the baddies as well.
    • Guards do not react to the discharge of a weapon fitted with Hollywood Silencer, but they still react to a sound of bullet from such a gun hitting something in their vicinity, the bullet passing near them, and to the sound and sight of a buddy's corpse dropping from a silenced bullet. They can even tell the general direction of, if not close to the exact area, where the bullet came from if they take a non-lethal hit or see their friend bite it.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Vaas did not issue his troops with instruction manuals to deal with thrown rocks, sadly.
    • The enemies often have a lot of trouble dealing with wildlife. Sometimes while you are outside an enemy base planning on how to kill the troops inside, a tiger will wander in and kill most or all of them for you.
    • The Molotov cocktail-wielding berserkers tend to throw their fire bottles at just about anything, even if they are right in front of it. This often means that, in the process of attacking anything from an assaulting Jason to a rampaging dingo, they set fire to half the base (and possibly their allies) and at a minimum kill themselves with their own Molotovs.
    • While nearly all outposts can call for reinforcements, guards will only do so if they actually see you. Finding the bullet- and arrow-ridden bodies of half a dozen of their comrades or the door of an animal cage being shot open and resulting in carnage is apparently not enough justification for more troops until they can actually see what caused these - and for good measure, they don't particularly notice obviously-broken alarm boxes until you've been seen.
    • The animals also have their moments, largely in the form of terrain detection. Since anything that doesn't swim 100% of the time has Super Drowning Skills, animals will often kill themselves after running into a shallow stream. They may also accidentally fling themselves from cliffs in an attempt to kill you or flee. Conversely, sharks may beach themselves for no particular reason.
    • Vehicle drivers tend to have a hard time driving if it isn't done on a straight, obstruction-free road. They're not very good at avoiding their own comrades walking down that same road, either - the only upside is they won't blame you for their own accidental roadkills like in most other games of the genre.
    • Friendly Rakyat soldiers are notorious for running straight into battle and dying. If you're unlucky, one might run in front of you while you're driving, which will trigger every other Rakyat in the area to chase you down and kill you for being a filthy traitor.
    • On the second island you will quite often encounter enemy troops standing around their car in the middle or at the side of the road. That it's upside-down and on fire doesn't seem to bother them at all... until the vehicle quite literally blows up in their faces, usually killing at least most of them and more often than not wiping out the whole patrol. The explosion will alert other enemies within earshot who immediately get into their car and set out to investigate the explosion. The combination of the AI's not-so-brilliant pathfinding and driving skills on one hand, and the quite bumpy roads on the other is likely to result in enemy troops standing around their car in the middle or at the side of the road. That it's upside-down and on fire doesn't seem to bother them at all...
      • "Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?"
  • Artistic License – Biology: Tigers, tapirs and bears are great swimmers in real life but in this game, they all have Super Drowning Skills.
  • Artistic License – Military: As noted by IMFDB, the MKG is an extremely bizarre version of the FN M249/Minimi, with the belt feed opening replaced by a left-handed charging handle and a weird belt box with the STANAG well adaptor.
  • Awesome Aussie: Buck is an evil version.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Some of the more advanced takedowns, like the Grenade Takedown, might look and sound awesome, but are so situational you'll never get the chance to use them. The main exception is the Heavy Beatdown, since the only other way to instakill a Heavy or Flamer is a headshot with a specific weapon.
    • Subverted with most of the Signature Weapons, particularly the silenced ones like the Shredder SMG and the Bushman assault rifle. Not only do they come with more attachments than their stock counterparts, but they also have improved damage, making them excellent choices for both run-and-gun as well as stealth. They all have unique paintjobs to boot.
    • The Line Gunner perk sounds good (being able to shoot from a zipline), and with a good enough pistol and some luck with hip fire you can kill everyone on the other end of the zipline while you're on it, finishing your descent as the last of their corpses actually hits the ground. But the amount of times an enemy appears under a zipline can be counted on one hand with fingers remaining, even if you include situations where you actually want to use and shoot from the zipline instead of just clearing the area from where you're at first. Far Cry 4 only made it slightly more viable by letting the player do it from the start and by making one of the weapon slots a sidearm-only spot, meaning you always have a weapon that can be used while on a zipline.
    • The Zoology 101 perk, which lets you get two skins for every one animal, would be helpful by reducing the amount of time needed to hunt specific animals and skinning them to craft upgrades... if the skill weren't locked away until you unlock the second tier of skills, which isn't too bad purely from the number of missions, but considering the nature of the game means that anyone who isn't rushing through the game as fast as possible, thus gimping themselves on ammo and supplies, will probably already have all the upgrades that don't require hunting unique animals (which the skill is useless for, since you only get and only need one skin per final upgrade), and by that point it's only useful if the player needs to make a quick buck to buy ammo (where it's still less than ideal over regular loot, because you have to manually select and confirm skin sales even if you have every upgrade). Far Cry 4 notable removed the skill entirely in favor of making the ability to get two skins from one animal an innate property of hunting with the kukri or any of the bows, and added checks to the auto-sell feature so that it will include skins if you've crafted everything that requires that type of skin. The similar "Horticulture 101" skill, which gives you two leaves from every plant, subverts this (and made it into the sequel) since it's one of the earliest skills you can get, and even if it wasn't, you'll run out of space to store leaves hundreds of times over before you'll run out of uses for them.
    • The bow is a cool weapon that allows for silent one-hit kills, with ammo that can be reacquired once the area's clear, and enemies can't hear you launching bows from it even at close range the way they can a silenced gun, but the arc of the arrows means it takes a lot of practice to use it reliably. On top of that, since the arrows are a physical projectile, No "Arc" in "Archery" is averted, several rather odd objects completely block arrows, including most forms of underbrush, and the closest you get to a "long-range" sight for it is the Marksman Sight, which doesn't actually zoom your view as much as it gives you some idea of how much you need to correct your aim for specific distances, meaning you need to be good at judging distances and/or wasting time abusing the waypoint system to gauge how much correction is needed without potentially wasting arrows (and that's assuming your target isn't moving, where you'll need to account for travel time as well - which the sight does nothing for, that's all on you). A silenced sniper rifle fulfills the exact same purpose with much less skill required.
    • The Anti-Materiel Rifle has the highest range, accuracy and damage of any firearm. Awesome! However, it cannot mount a silencer, which severely limits its usefulness for players with an interest in stealth. Still, due to its massive firepower (it blows up a car with only one or two hits to the engine - it's anti-materiel, after all), even stealthy players will often find it useful. And let's not forget that if two opponents are standing right next to each other (which happens surprisingly often; those pirates sure are a chatty bunch), shooting one of them will outright kill or at least severely injure the other one due to the AMR's explosive ammunition. So much for one shot, one kill.
    • The BZ19 submachine gun has the highest unmodified capacity of its class and the highest damage, and is available at a point in the game where, between more enemy types starting to use SMGs and ammo boxes in nearly every encampment, ammo is abundant. It also has the slowest reload of its class and, due to a bug, is almost impossible to use effectively while crouching, because looking up and down while actually looking down the sights will make the gun's model drift far off from where it's supposed to.
    • The penultimate mission actually gives you armed backup in the form of Sam manning a .50 machine gun that's mounted to an armored jeep. Yay, someone to watch your back, finally! Until you're forced to realize that Sam's such a horrible shot even with so much More Dakka at his disposal that he's no help whatsoever, and that he's so fragile even behind armor plates that bringing him anywhere near a firefight is almost guaranteed to get him killed in twenty seconds or less, which is an instant game over. The presence of numerous RPG soldiers in the area, coupled with the many, many Teleporting Keycard Squads in this mission, means you have little choice but to park Sam as far away from the action as possible and take on the small army of privateers on your own like you've already been doing anyway.
  • Ax-Crazy: A great many people, which the advertising for the game heavily emphasized.
  • Back from the Dead: Jason, or at least people think he did when Vaas shoots him in the chest after the "definition of insanity" scenes. In actuality, it is because a lighter he has worked as a Pocket Protector. And in a feat of poetic irony Vaas gave you that lighter, put it in your chest pocket even, because it wouldn't light so he couldn't set you on fire with it earlier.
  • Backstab: A hugely important part of the gameplay now. Instant-kill melee takedowns with your machete can be performed on unaware enemies (or enemies you surprise from the front) and you get triple the XP from it. Later in the game you'll unlock the ability to do fancier variations, like dragging the body away so nobody stumbles across it later, a plunging attack from above, a sneak attack from below a ledge (both of which later get variations to kill two people at once), the ability to grab one guy's knife out of its sheath to throw it at a second guy as you're stabbing the first guy, the ability to pull the pin on one of his grenades and kick the body towards his comrades, the ability to yoink his gun out of its holster to rapidly perforate nearby enemies, or to simply rush straight through a group of enemies and punch them through with your machete one after another.
  • Badass Boast: Quite a few, some of which come from Jason when he's in a corner; for example, when Jason is about to confront Hoyt in a knife fight, just after Hoyt cut off one of his fingers:
    Jason: I don't need ten fingers to use a knife.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Jason versus the Ink Monster.
  • Beef Gate: The outposts start simple and become progressively better staffed with more enemies. More dangerous predators will also be encountered the further into the islands you go.
  • Betty and Veronica: Liza and Citra.
  • Big Bad: Hoyt Volker, the leader of the drug and slave trafficking operation the pirates work for.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: At first, we have Vaas and Hoyt before near the very end of the game's campaign we have Citra.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Rakyat" is Indonesian/Malay for "people" or "citizen".
    • There's actually a fair bit of Malay used throughout the game, and for the most part it's correctly used. However, in the subtitles, the words are grammatically incorrect. For example, "berikanher ba" is actually "berikan herba" (give [me] the herb).
  • Bittersweet Ending: Depending on a choice the player makes at the end of the game, it is possible for Jason to leave the Rook Islands with his surviving friends, but he knows that it will be hard for him to fit back in after all the terrible things he has seen and done.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: While they're not straight up evil like Vaas or Hoyt, Citra and her Rakyat live by a native warrior culture whose morals are incompatible with Western urbanite culture up to and including human sacrifice. However, this only extends to Citra's warriors; most of the Rakyat on the islands seem to be generally extremely nice people who just don't want to be murdered by pirates, get addicted to drugs, or be sold into slavery. Citra, and to some extent her personal guard, is creepy as hell, and one will probably spend most of the campaign wondering how much better than Vaas she really is. Part of it is the nigh-godlike status she seems to possess. The temple she runs the Rakyat resistance from isn't called 'Rakyat headquarters' or something similar. No, it's 'Citra's Temple,' which is extremely off-putting, appearing to be a temple to a living person, which goes back to the incompatibility of their culture with Western culture.
  • Bond One-Liner: While he's certainly not suave about it, in the final sequence of the game, Jason has some choice words as he manages to stop his pursuers.
    Jason: There goes your four-by-four! I JUST SUNK YOUR BATTLESHIP!
    Riley: You are fucking insane!
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Vaas tries to kill Jason in various creative/painful ways without waiting around to confirm him as dead. He tries to kill Jason first by burning him alive, and then by drowning him, before finally just shooting him, but doesn't check to see whether the bullet actually killed him. Hoyt also pulls this in the finale, taking his time taunting and torturing Jason when he could have just had him killed. Vaas gets a pass because he is genuinely insane, and he doesn't believe that he can actually kill Jason by just shooting him because of the tatau (he says as much in one of your first encounters that now that you have it, the only way to kill you is to "erase you completely"). Hoyt, on the other hand, should really know better.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Works on most enemies, and nets you extra XP. Heavies and animals avert this, though: The former have thick helmets that can absorb at least two sniper bullets, unless you hit them in the back of the head for the Pirate version or use the strongest rifle, and apparently predators just have really thick skulls.
  • Book Ends: Dennis' first and last appearance in the game (provided that the player chooses to the "Save Lisa" ending) has him pointing a machete at Jason only in the latter case with the intention to kill him.
  • Boring, but Practical: Some outposts can be cleared by shooting open an animal's cage and calling it a day.
    • By that same virtue, equipping one of the game's two modifiable Sniper Rifles with a silencer and keeping your distance as you pick enemies off one by one is an easy way to liberate outposts undetected.
  • Bound and Gagged: Jason and Grant are tied up and gagged at the beginning by Vaas. Other characters get tied up continuously throughout the game.
  • Break the Cutie: Every one of Jason's group. Grant is an exception, but he dies in the tutorial without seeing most of what happens.
    • Jason himself, who is described by the pirates as a "pretty boy", arguably gets the worst of it. On top of being captured like the others, his brother dies in his arms, he accidentally kills a man only a few seconds later, and, to save his friends and ultimately leave the island, he has to answer to the call of the wild and join up with a group of warrior natives in a magic- and/or drug-induced trip that ultimately leaves him a completely different man, one who could kill an entire outpost of soldiers on a whim, and even torture his own brother with little hesitation. Eventually he even asks himself just what the hell he's become after all he's been through.
  • Break Them by Talking: Vaas loves to do this to his enemies when they are held hostage by his forces.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Vaas will pull this subtly every so often, even pointing out the player's invincibility/respawning.
    It's really too bad that Citra had to ink you up. Because now the only way to kill you is to erase you completely.
    • Buck is much more straightforward. At one point he will even ask why it took Jason so long to get to him - maybe he was playing games? He also brushes off Jason asking why he has to go through all these various missions when Buck seems to always know where he needs to go anyway by saying he's not the one playing, he's just a spectator.
  • Call-Back:
    • The first DLC: some backstory from Hurk explains that one of Hoyt's funds comes from Bowa-Seko diamonds, the same ones found in Far Cry 2; somehow they made it to Rook Island and are now sold for about $80-$100 each. Also, the Package Locator from a sidequest is a damaged version of the Far Cry 2 GPS mapping system; includes that Beeping Sound, but the colors on the LED beep red and lock-on with blue, rather than the green light in FC2.
    • If you're familiar with the series, you don't even have to guess what your starting melee weapon is. The island setting likewise calls back to that of the first Far Cry, and an early mission involves breaking into the comms room of a beached cargo vessel, echoing the second level of the original game where you explored a beached Japanese carrier.
  • The Cameo: Though the lack of his likeness can really throw off any recognition unless you had prior knowledge of the web series, a head that you can find on the beach is supposed to be Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who was captured, tortured, and eventually (accidentally) killed by Vaas a few days ago, during the events of The Far Cry Experience.
  • Canon Welding: There are several hints that this game is set in the Assassin's Creed universe:
    • The dagger Jason retrieves from an ancient temple looks very much like a Piece of Eden, it also causes visions and hallucinations just like them.
    • The DLC missions are even more blatant, as there are direct references to Abstergo and the aforementioned Pieces of Eden.
  • Car Chase Shoot-Out: Has this right after Jason and Liza escape a burning hotel that was moments away from collapsing only for the pirates nearby to start pursuing them. The player is given a grenade launcher with infinite ammo to fend them off for this segment only.
  • Car Fu: An entirely viable hunting tactic. Most of the animals you'll need to hunt to upgrade your gear are either fast and agile enough to leave you in the dust if you're on foot, or entirely capable of ripping you to shreds and tanking multiple magazines of rifle fire. Hitting them with a Jeep at full speed is the safest option.
    • Hunting sharks becomes much easier when you realize you can simply ram them with a boat. Granted, you still have to swim down to fetch the skin without being eaten by the shark's friends (or drowning).
  • Central Theme: Insanity, family, and the extremes you will go to for them. Ultimately, both Vaas and Jason are the examples of how much of a monster you can become when your ties to people can drive you to insane extremes, no matter how good the intent.
  • Clarke's Third Law: According to the Lost Letters, the animals of Rook Island are not normal, having been altered in some way by a Japanese WWII experiment to weaponize them called Project Kyouken. With this in mind, it explains Citra's obsession with creating the perfect warrior. She and the other tribe members have been eating corrupted meat. It also explains the potency of the hallucinogenic drinks that Jason has been drinking.
  • Climax Boss: Vaas and the ink monster just before him is the mental high point of the game. Everything after him is falling action rather than rising action, the hangover that comes after the high.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: What Vaas runs on, and just about every enemy threat will drop f-bombs as well.
    • Most of the co-op characters run on this. Callum, however, takes this up to eleven by using f- and c-bombs as every other verb/adjective/noun/punctuation mark.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Common. Notable examples include Keith being raped, Jason losing a finger, and Riley getting a thumb in a bullet wound.
  • Colossus Climb: Jason runs up the arm of the stunned Ink Monster in order to stab it in the eye, then hangs on for dear life as he finishes it off.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the three factions is instantly distinguishable from each other due to their uniforms. The friendly Rakyat are blue, the pirates are bright red and the privateers are (oddly) yellow. Better yet, these colors can still be distinguished from one another by people with the most common variant of Color Blindness (that being Red Green).
    • The plants are also color coded, with green plants giving you health recipes, red plants give combat-boosting drugs, yellow plants give hunting-related formulas, blue plants give exploration-assisting chemicals, and white plants are used in the Game-Breaker mixes unlocked with relics.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: If a round from a silenced weapon goes by an enemy's head, they'll immediately draw a bead on Jason's location. They won't actually shoot until they see him, but it stretches disbelief a bit. It's even worse with dogs, who will outright stalk you down no matter where you go once they're even vaguely aware that you're nearby, despite game mechanics insisting they don't know where you are.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The first mission with Hurk in the "Monkey see, Monkey BOOM" DLC stories involves stealing a stash of Bowa-Seko conflict diamonds from the pirates. True to form, they're represented by a single massive rock sitting in an empty briefcase, just like Far Cry 2.
    • A woman in Bad Town also claims to have been "sold out" by the Jackal. On the other hand, this is one of several contradictory stories she tells about her past...
    • A quest given by a man who believes he is being tormented by aliens asks you to find "their" packages for him. To track them down, he gives you the very same map-and-diamond-tracker device from Far Cry 2, albeit with the screen smashed so only the tracker works.
    • The use of plants as potent drugs to enhance human ability harkens back to Instincts, where Krieger's special "mutant" serum was made from similar herbs he found on the islands. Most of Carver's abilities in Instincts, including tracking targets by scent and greatly enhanced speed and jumping ability, can be replicated with the drugs you make from the plants on the island.
    • One side quest involves Seto, a secondary character from the game's Co-op story which takes place 6 months before the game proper.
  • Country Matters: Multiplayer character Callum manages to drop a c-bomb a few times during his backstory monologue, despite said monologue being just a few sentences.
    Aye, I was the head man 'til I slashed up the wrong cunt. [...] I'm off the skag and I still got my knife 'case an'er wrong cunt comes 'roon.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Ignoring the murderous pirates, ruthless mercenaries, all the dangerous wildlife and warrior cultists, the Rook Islands actually wouldn't be too bad a place to live in.
  • Crow's Nest Cartography: Radio towers reveal portions of the map, liberate weapons, and reveal objectives.
  • Cunning People Play Poker: Towards the end of the game, Jason Brody and his ally Sam Becker are invited to a poker tournament by Hoyt Volker. Whilst they're playing together, Hoyt waxes philosophical about the aim of playing poker with Jason and Sam, before suddenly stabbing Sam to death in a lull in the gameplay, and revealing that he knew Jason and Sam were undercover among his Privateers from the start, which means all of Jason's efforts to trick him, including torturing his own brother, served only to satisfy Hoyt's sense of humour. Hoyt then forces Jason to continue playing just to rub it in his face, turning the tournament into an Absurdly High-Stakes Game.
  • Cutscene Boss: All the main villains are killed with quick time event knife fights.
    • Press X to Not Die: Failing just one of the QTEs usually features a rather horrid way to die.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Invoked on a few occasions so that Vaas is guaranteed the upper hand.
  • Cutting Back to Reality: Jason Brody ends up lapsing into hallucinations during the final showdown with Hoyt Volker and finds himself in a much larger room than the office he was previously in - allowing him plenty of space to do battle in. However, when his opponent finally goes down with a knife in both his throat and his skull, Jason's vision blacks out... and then he finds himself back in the office: not only has he killed Hoyt, but also both his bodyguards and their reinforcements.
  • Deadly Road Trip: Jason and his friends were about to go home after a vacation throughout Asia when they were convinced by a local DJ to skydive into the uncharted rainforests of the Rook Islands.
  • Death by Irony: Buck. He sends you out to find an ancient Chinese Knife, guess what you kill him with.
  • Death Glare: During Vaas's speech about insanity to Jason in their second encounter, he stopped and started to get ticked off because he "doesn't the way Jason looks at him." Considering, all the things Vaas put Jason through this is the most accurate expression on him.
  • Deconstruction: Of the classical action hero. The game takes a good, hard look at how traumatic the transformation from a meek everyman to a gung-ho action hero can be, as well as examining just what state of mind one has to be in to be able to casually slaughter thousands of mooks.
  • Demanding Their Head: Hoyt Volker delivers an insincerely friendly orientation speech to his Privateers on what they can and can't do in his slave-trafficking ring, and sets fire to some poor wretch who broke those rules. Then, right before he leaves, he tells his men that he has a special offer: Bring him Jason Brody's head, and he'll give them their own island. Needless to say, Jason has to fight even harder to prevent Hoyt's men from collecting.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Despite appearing on all the commercials and being the more quirky villain, not too long into the plot it's revealed Vaas actually works for someone more terrifying.note 
  • Depending on the Writer: A rather bizarre case. Jeffrey Yolaham maintained in interviews that the game was a parody of colonialist tropes and the Mighty Whitey idea, that it wasn't meant to be taken seriously. Other writers, however, talked about the game being a more "Heart of Darkness" experience. This may explain some of the Mood Whiplash.
  • Depraved Homosexual: A large amount. Besides Buck, when Jason infiltrates the pirates several of the soldiers warn him that he's likely to be raped by them. Try not to think about the fact that your younger brother has been held captive by these guys for several weeks...
    "So Hoyt's hiring pretty boys now, huh? Better pucker that asshole."
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Folded into the intro in a unique way. The montage of the young adults hanging out with each other and having fun is a collection of videos on a video phone Jason owns, and Vaas is watching it. Segue into Vaas taunting Jason in a cage with his phone. "This is a really nice phone..." It's not a lot of development, though, and the actual unique traits of each person are only shown after the horror begins... except for Grant, of course. There's also optional, interactive cutscenes that you can experience after each individual rescue of one of your friends, detailing what Jason and friends were doing at the club the day before they were all kidnapped.
  • Devious Daggers
    • Jason and, by extension, the player. Many of the stealth mechanics in the game center around using Back Stab attacks to quickly and silently eliminate enemies. You also see plenty of Jason holding a knife in cutscenes.
    • The Wanted Dead missions all specify kill your target with a knife like a true Rakyat Warrior.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Sam states that Hoyt doesn't know anything about Jason Brody except the tattoo on his arm and his skill with a machete. Why he thinks that may as well be anyone's guess, since it's Hoyt in the beginning of the game that tells Vaas to "stop scaring the hostages" and calls him away. Granted, Hoyt was standing rather far away when this happened. However, keep in mind that Jason, like anyone else Hoyt captures, was going to be sold into slavery; it's a safe assumption that Hoyt would have photographs and profiles for everyone he captures. Really, it seems highly unlikely that Hoyt wouldn't know more about Jason than his tatau - that he wouldn't have a fat binder filled with every detail he can dig up about the hostage who escaped him and became the single largest threat to himself and his operation. Also, given that Jason (under his disguise) and Sam made some rather noisy attacks on some privateer's installations during the later part of the plot (and the game doesn't forbid you to attack outposts while wearing the privateer's disguise during the open-world exploration of the southern island), Hoyt must already know that Sam is a mole and which disguise Jason is wearing. And most importantly, just before you interrogate Riley, you can see they have a video where Riley identifies him as his brother playing. By the time of the poker game, Hoyt probably had time to watch it.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The recurve bow can kill most human enemies and herbivores in a single shot, is completely silent, and gets both explosive and fire arrows past an early point in the game, but it has a slow firing rate, limited ammo, and you need to compensate for drop past fifty meters.
    • The flamethrower. It has a short range and if you're not careful you can easily set yourself on fire. But the flames are incredibly deadly, spread over a decent area, and can completely clear out entire outposts and buildings in seconds, and if you craft plenty of fireproof syringes, you don't have to worry about the damage.
    • Killing everyone in an outpost without being seen is tricky to do, especially if you have to deal with dogs and Heavies.note  But doing so nets you a huge XP bonus.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Vaas's confrontation is built up enough that you'd certainly expect it to be the final battle, what with just how crazy and intense things get beforehand... but it's not. You've got a whole second island to explore after that, with much tougher enemies, a fully-unlocked skill tree and the newly-acquired ability to glide like a flying squirrel, thanks to a wingsuit.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Two of the best weapons in the game, the Shredder SMG and Ripper LMG, can be unlocked very early in the game, by finding 10 Memory Cards (commonly found at outposts) and attempting 6 Trial of the Rakyat challenges. Even ignoring Signature weapons, your starting wallet capacity gives you just enough to buy the .44 Magnum from the start of the game, which one-shots any enemy short of a Heavy (and even the pirates' version will go down with one shot to the back of the head, if you sneak in before shooting everybody) and makes quick work of most animals as well. Exploring the northern island and liberating the outposts should give the player enough skill points to unlock most of the second tier of tatau upgrades the moment they become available.
    • Once you master the recurve bow, you can use it to clear all the outposts quietly. As above, it can even kill Heavies in one hit if they are shot at the back of the head.
    • It is possible to unlock all radio towers and outposts in the first island and craft all items (with the exception of those that need to be hunted from Rare Animals in Path of the Hunter) before even rescuing your friends.
    • One of the earliest Sniper Rifles you can get can be silenced. Since you'll be going for headshots with a sniper rifle anyways, it'll be the only one you need, and it'll be one of your go to choices to clear an outpost undetected.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: A woman raping a man after drugging him (he is under the influence of hallucinogenics) was actually used as a "sexy" promotional image for the game at E3. On the other hand, in-game this is presented as a much less sexy thing, as it's a warning as to how unstable Citra is, however it's never brought up again.
  • Downer Ending: Depending on a choice made by the player at the end of the game. See You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, below.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: A Central Theme, so much so there's direct Alice in Wonderland quotes between acts; the difference lies in that the characters find themselves in hell-on-an-island instead of Wonderland, and with "What will you do to survive?" as the lesson.
  • The Dragon: Vaas.
  • The Dreaded: The game sets up Hoyt Volker as this. Everyone speaks of him with fear and awe in their voices.
    • Jason becomes this to the pirates once his reputation begins building among them. He even earns the nickname "Snow White" from them.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In the first mission of the South Island, you steal a Privateer recruit uniform and infiltrate their organization. As long as you wear it, Privateers won't attack you on sight, but they'll start shooting if you enter a restricted area or they start seeing dead bodies or hearing gunshots.
  • Elaborate Underground Base:
    • Lin Cong, the Ancient Chinese captain whose mystical dagger everyone's after, established several very impressive ones during his reign over Rook Island, complete with subterranean pagoda, Indiana Jones-style puzzle locks, still-functional death traps and whatnot.
    • The Japanese dug a lot of bunkers deep into the islands during their occupation in WWII, and they're still used to this day by the pirates and privateers. At least one was also the site of experiments conducted by a group of shifty scientists searching for some "Pieces of Eden"...
  • Eldritch Location: There is something subtly but fundamentally wrong with the Rook Islands. The extremely hostile animal life, the gradual madness that consumes anyone who goes into the jungle, the strange and mystical relics, the drugs giving accurate prophetic visions, the ink demon, and so on. It's not obvious, but the islands are doing things to the people who spend time there. A large number of the plants have evolved to become slightly toxic or able to induce hallucinogenic effects. The most common of these is a plant that secretes a toxin that makes everything it touches highly aggressive - it's why the Rakyat and animals are so bloodthirsty and aggressive. The denser you go into the jungle, the greater the number of low-toxicity plants there are, which is why the Amanaki village people, who rarely venture into the jungle, are peaceful and submissive. This does not explain, however, the more insane stuff that happens on the island.
  • Elite Mooks: Hoyt's privateers are, as the name's origin implies, much more professional than Vaas' pirates. They wear thick flak vests that make shooting them to death tougher, they're more heavily armed and they have a very professional attitude about everything they do. Fortunately they also give you more XP when you take them out.
    • Vaas' pirates have their own elites, identifiable by their caps and heavy torso body armor, which become much more commonplace the further east and south you go. Privateer riflemen also have their own elites, which can be identified by having even heavier armor and helmets, but are still as fast and agile as regular privateer troops.
  • Enemy Civil War: Both the opening cutscene and the latter's introduction a third of the way through the game show that Vaas' pirates are working with or for Hoyt's privateers. Later on, during The Infiltration, you can overhear the privateers talking about pirates attacking privateer strongholds, likely as a result of Vaas's death.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: During the Deepthroat mission, you can hear one Privateer commander chew out a subordinate for being trigger-happy. The subordinate tells him he's not a "pussy relief worker", and he's paid to kill. The commander mocks him for this.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: To an annoying extent.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Averted. Unlike Far Cry 2, there is an openly friendly faction whose soldiers will actually help you instead of shooting you on sight. Their presence in the islands expands as you capture enemy territory and outposts. The pirates and all the wildlife are still out to get you, though.
    • Not all of the animals are out to get you. Animals are separated into two groups, Predators and Prey. Prey are passive and will flee if attacked or startled, whereas the predators will attack you (or anyone else) if approached or attacked.
  • Exact Time to Failure: When Vaas captures Jason and Liza and sets the building around them on fire, you have exactly three minutes to save Liza before she suffocates/burns to death. Similarly, during one of the Lost Expeditions bonus missions, Jason has ten minutes to fight his way to the exit while the bunker he's in is already exploding and dozens of apparently suicidal pirates try to kill him. Neither case offers any explanation as to how Jason knows how much time he has.
  • Exact Words: Buck tells Jason that if he gives him the Chinese knife, he can leave with Keith. He can leave with Keith. That doesn't mean he will...
  • Fall Damage: Jason already loses at least one health bar if he drops as deep as about three meters, which is extremely annoying because the game counts traversing even the slightest bump while running down a slope as such a drop. Even the Soft Landing skill doesn't affect this noticeably. Long story short: you'll be using about the same amount of healing syringes for fixing fall damage as you will for healing bullet wounds or animal bites.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Riley, who has only recently qualified as a fixed-wing pilot has to fly a helicopter with no preparation or previous experience while under gunfire. It is said that any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing, and that if you can use the plane again afterwards it is a bonus. He gets the bonus.
  • Fanservice: Citra dancing on top of Jason topless. Even more in the Bad Ending, where she and Jason have sex in first person... and then she kills him.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Your three skill trees are based off of your tattoos: shark, heron, and spider. They stand for raw power and damage absorption, high-caliber distance fighting and mobility, and stealth and hunting, respectively.
  • Fingore: Since Hoyt is making Jason gamble his life at poker, but they're only a few rounds in, he instead opts to cut off his ring finger as an alternative.
    "That's too bad. Now we can't get married!"
  • First-Name Basis: Everyone communicates this way, including to the Big Bad and Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The game opens with a montage of Jason and his friends on vacation, set to "Paper Planes" by M.I.A.. The song came out a few years before the game takes place, so on the surface it's fitting as an upbeat pop song that the characters may have listened to during their trip. But the song's famous use of gunshots as precussion, as well as lyrical references to pirates, murder, and "take your money" eerily foreshadow what's about to happen to the group. The song is inspired by M.I.A.'s own experience as a member of a persecuted ethnic group during the Sri Lankan Civil War and of being a political refugee, so the real-life context may parallel the game's events to some degree as well.
    • At the beginning of the game, Vaas is taunting Jason in his cage, but then someone outside the tent orders him to stop spooking the hostages. So there's someone who even he takes orders from...
    • Almost every line from the game's opening. From the top:
    • The scenes in the first drug-induced hallucinations after meeting Citra. They each show which villain has which of Jason's friends by the time they are found. They also show Keith cowering on the floor at Buck's feet like an abuse victim, and Hoyt dealing cards.
    • When Vaas tries to kill Jason the first time, he gives a long-winded monologue about Citra, and how your loved ones 'blindside you every fucking time.' In his words: "So they say to me, they say, "Vaas! Vaas! Who the fuck is it going to be? Them or me? Me or them?" Replace 'Vaas' with 'Jason,' and you've basically summed up the final choice of the game.
    • The whole point of The Infiltration is that Hoyt doesn't know what Jason looks like. After your first meeting with him, you see he has the vacation videotape of Jason and his friends, show that he knows exactly what Jason looks like. Of course, the infiltration turns out to be a complete failure, although Hoyt's overconfidence still ends up putting Jason in a position to kill him.
    • "So his name is Buck and he likes to fuck..." Yes he does, Jason, but it's not CONSENSUAL fucking....
    • In the final confrontation with Vaas, he mocks Jason by asking him about how things are going with Citra making a warrior out of him and that he's "fucked". If Jason falls completely for Citra up to and including killing his friends in the final choice of the game, Jason ends up fucked both figuratively and literally by Citra when she plants a knife through his chest post-sex.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The co-op mode has four people trying to elude their awful respective pasts:
    • Cynic: Callum, the chef; a violent Scottish thug who ended up attacking the wrong person.note 
    Aye, I was the head man 'til I slashed up the wrong cunt.
    • Optimist: Tisha, the medic; a surprisingly calm ex-soldier who feels she was wrongfully discharged.note 
    I would still carry my M9 if I could, but crazies don't get to keep their guns. The general pulls a few strings and suddenly I have a disorder.
    You shoot a couple sister fuckin' dirtbags in the back and it's no badge, no gun, no pension, just like that.
    Now I cannot go back. Not until I know I can keep my Katya and our daughter safe.
  • Freudian Threat: One level has Vaas offer a tidy sum to whichever Mook brings him Jason's scrotum.

  • Gaining the Will to Kill: Jason's first kill occurs when a pirate ambushes him with a knife, and in an attempt to defend himself he accidentally forces the knife through the pirate's neck. He then spends a few seconds looking at his hands and the resultant corpse in shock. He brings this up again during the tutorial when Dennis gives him money to buy a gun, saying that he's never shot a person before with the implication that he'd rather not have to, either. Over the rest of the game, he becomes more comfortable with the prospect of killing people, while his friends get less comfortable with his shift in personality.
  • Gang Up on the Human:
    • Animals have a nasty habit of ignoring nearby predators so they can attack you instead. Beware if you find a boar or buffalo being chased, as its friends will probably see you as a bigger priority than saving their buddy even if you're shooting at the predator.
    • While not quite as common, enemies usually also believe killing you is more important than dealing with the *insert predator here* tearing down their teammates or running for them.
  • Gasoline Dousing: At one point Vass kidnaps Jason and his friends and spins around with a jerry can, pouring it all over the place.
  • Genre Deconstruction: The game criticizes many tropes that go into creating a familiar and enjoyable player experience in a Wide-Open Sandbox. For example, the requisite Crapsack World that encourages players to respond with wanton cruelty is seen for the unsettling and absurd place that it really is when the Player Character starts being engrossed in his situation in the same way the player is likely to.
  • Giant Mook: There might not be any mutants, but Hoyt makes use of Heavily Armored Mook types, some of which wield flamethrowers.
  • Going Native: Jason gradually goes through this process, courtesy of Citra, as part of his journey of becoming tough enough to defeat Vaas and Hoyt. In the end, Citra urges Jason to go all the way and kill his girlfriend and friends to sever his ties with his previous life.
  • Goomba Stomp: The Death From Above follows this trope in practice. Even the prompt to press "melee" for a takedown is replaced by one that says "Jump On Enemy To Perform Takedown" when approaching an enemy from above.
  • Gratuitous German: Sam, who occasionally slips in German comments such as "Wunderbar!", and who even gives an assignment titled "Doppelgänger". Exaggerated further when it's revealed he was born in the United States, but moved to Germany with his Navy SEAL father when young; the name "Sam" is even a reference to "Uncle Sam".
    Sam: BLITZKRIEG!!!
    Jason: Seriously!?
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Citra reveals herself to be this, heavily implied that the pressure she gave Vaas caused him to find comfort in Hoyt Volker's drug and become is right-hand man, and Citra becomes the Final Boss of the game.
  • Groin Attack: Performing a double Death From Below takedown will inflict this on the first target. With a machete. Or a tanto. Either way, ouch.
  • The Grunting Orgasm: Jason in the "Kill Liza" ending, while having sex with Citra.
  • Hand Cannon:
    • The .44 Magnum revolver and the D50 are two strongest pistols you can buy in game, which isn't saying much when there's only four. The .44's Signature version, aptly named "Cannon", has increased damage, accuracy, and range at a higher cost, plus it must first be unlocked via U-Play.
    • The multiplayer has the pre-order Type 10. It is a modified Japanese Type-10 Flare Gun that uses 35mm shotgun shells. To put this perspective this is slightly above 33.67mm 2-gauge used by smaller punt guns. And you shoot this one-handed.
  • The Heavy: Vaas leads the pirates who killed Jason's older brother and kidnapped his three friends, younger brother and girlfriend.
  • Heroic Ambidexterity: Jason attempts to stab Vaas with a knife, who blocks it by placing his arm under Jason's right wrist. Jason responds by dropping the knife out of his right hand, catching it with his left, and stabbing Vaas in the torso.
  • The Hero's Journey: Follows the model, but takes some dark twists when the journey itself becomes twisted.
  • Hired Guns: Hoyt's group of privateers.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: You can shoot the Molotov Cocktails out of the enemies' hands, setting them on fire.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Played straight. Although plausible in case of pistols and SMGs (most notably a 6P9 suppressed pistol or subsonic 1911), the small, screw-on suppressor capable of silencing a .50 sniper rifle to a 'fwip' runs deep into fantasy territory.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Although the implications are unpleasant, the game features a mandatory first-person sex scene with a topless, well-built young woman. Said woman appears topless again in several other instances, and one can engage in another sex scene with her later on (consensually this time, but still squicky in its own way). Both the generous nudity and the fairly graphic intercourse have no equal in any previous Far Cry game, and even the sequel downgraded the sexiness to one famously busty, bare-breasted extra.
  • Human Sacrifice: As is referenced various times in the game, the Rakyat require their members to reject their whole lives outside the island, as they are their family now. In the Post-Climax Confrontation, Jason can choose to follow their advice and kill his friends and brother, or reject their philosophy.
  • Hungry Jungle: Even when ignoring all the Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane elements, the Rook Islands are a terrifying place, and it can be seen that no small amount of effort was placed into making the place look as lively and dynamic as possible. It's just that most of the life out there wants to kill you.
  • Hypocrite: Citra mourns her brother being turned into a lunatic killer after Hoyt controlled and corrupted him with drugs and promises of money and power. Citra then proceeds to control and corrupt Jason Brody with drugs(hallucinogens mostly) and promises of power, turning him into a lunatic killer.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Like in the first Far Cry, the game gives a short description of what to expect with each difficulty level:
    • "Adventurer": An easier experience for those who are new to first person shooters.
    • "Survivor": A first person shooter experience for seasoned gamers.
    • "Warrior": A challenge that will require you to master all your abilities.
    • A later update added "Master": Worse than malaria.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Sam says this almost word-for-word after watching Jason torture his own brother.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!:
    • Played straight by Hoyt when he sends Jason, who is disguised as a mercenary recruit, to torture Riley. Also done at the end when Citra tries to make Jason kill his friends as the last step towards becoming a Rakyat.
    • When Jason is in the privateer base, privateer NPCs will sometimes tell him how "hardcore" Sam is. Some players may wonder what Sam had to do to gain this reputation and maintain his cover.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Nearly every major character who dies goes out this way. The exception is Liza if Jason kills her, as he does so by cutting her throat, and the rest of his friends and brother are implied to die the same way.
  • Implacable Man: The aptly-named Heavies are covered in head to toe with body armor and will slowly walk towards you firing their LMG or flamethrower and won't stop until you run away or one of you dies.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Justified in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it throwaway line during one of Jason's mushroom trips. He remembers his brother asking him why he doesn't join the Army, as he is a natural with a gun. This is why he doesn't need too much extra training on weapon handling compared to most other things.
    • Prior to the game's release the developers were talking about Jason's backstory and how he came to be so skilled with weapons and survival in combat. They had two story board ideas: 1) Jason was ex-Army and thus had personal firsthand combat experience with weapons. 2) Jason picked up a few things from his brother, the actual military guy in the family, and is more or less just a genre savvy guy who has seen enough action movies and video games to know how guys like him survive. Naturally they settled on the 2nd option.
    • On the non-gun front, soon as the player learns the Knife Throw Takedown, Jason immediately becomes a master-level knife thrower as well, able to hit anyone square in the head from ridiculous ranges (sometimes even through walls if the target is moving in the right direction).
  • Incorrect Animal Noise: There are cassowaries in this game, and they sound absolutely nothing like the real thing. Real cassowaries make low, sub-bass booming sounds, almost ape-like hoots and elephant-like grunts.
  • Indecisive Parody: Jeffrey Yohalem says that the game is meant to be treated as an over-the-top parody of many video game clichés. Most major video game reviewers and many bloggers not only failed to see the satirical elements but considered it a largely serious and disturbing story. The lead Far Cry 3 game designer, Jaime Keene, thought it was a horror game.
    • This is particularly obvious when you consider the rescues of Liza and Oliver. Liza's rescue ends in a long vehicle section with her driving while Jason kills their pursuers. When it's done, Jason exults in the violence, to which Liza freaks out, pointing out that killing dozens of people isn't something he should be happy about. Oliver's rescue ends in a long vehicle section with him driving while Jason kills their pursuers. When it's done, Jason exults in the violence, to which Oliver... does exactly the same thing, acting as if killing dozens of people was nothing more than an intense thrill ride. Heck, Oliver even picks up a gun and shoots some mooks himself before the vehicle section with no problem. That said, Oliver is The Stoner and usually shown drugged out of his gourd, making it debatable how much of the insanity around him he actually, consciously realizes.
  • The Infiltration: Jason pretends to be one of Hoyt's rookie mercenaries to get close to him to kill him. It works... up until Hoyt kills Sam, realizing who Jason is from at least the interrogation of Riley.
  • Infinity +1 Sword/Infinity -1 Sword: The signature weapons, which are very expensive, unique versions of the standard guns. Each comes with stats unmatched by their basic counterpart, but can set you back about ten times the cost.
    • For example, the Anti-Materiel Rifle is the unique sniper rifle which, while very slow to reload and with a small total ammo count, uses explosive ammo that can even destroy a helicopter in only two shots.
  • Interface Spoiler: Lots of them.
    • Activating all the towers shows that the island's outline only covers half the map and tower locations, which effectively spoils the fact that there's a second island.
    • Also, in the handbook section that tracks your progress, even if you buy/acquire all available guns you will still have at least 10 empty tick-boxes, as well as the skill tree locking you out of the last third even if you have 5 skill points sitting there waiting to be assigned.
    • Every handbook entry for a specific person is unlocked soon after you meet them in-game. The fact that Riley is not added to your handbook when Jason believes him dead indicates that he's still alive.
    • The crafting tutorial in the very beginning spoils the existence of every single type of human enemy in the game thanks to the camera's inbuilt legend.
    • You can avoid a lot of ambushes by hard-to-spot animals, like crocodiles or snakes, by paying some attention to the color of your crosshairs, which turn red when they hover over something hostile.
  • Instant Expert: It takes just one mission for Jason to transform from a traumatized untrained college kid horrified by the first time he kills someone to an unrepentant elite angel of death.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Navigating the islands off the roads is often a pain in the ass because Jason can't climb any remotely steep slope that isn't covered in grass, which often forces the player to take huge detours because of some two-meters section of bare rock that any normal person could easily traverse. It's all the more jarring in contrast to the insane feats of Le Parkour that Jason can pull off elsewhere.
  • Ironic Echo: At one point, Vaas gives a lengthy speech that opens "Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?", before he goes on a lengthy tangent of how it equates to doing the same thing repeatedly, such as how he can't seem to kill Jason Brody permanently. Several scenes later, Vaas tries to kill Jason yet again, and lampshades it by repeating the above line again.
    • Dennis: "You have the right to take my life. But know, I will also take yours." Jason effectively ruins Dennis' life by going beyond their Rakyat boundaries and hogging The Chosen One status. This comes to a head in the good ending, where Citra is all but throwing herself at Jason, so long as he kills his friends to sever his ties to his old life - and then Jason rejects her, saying he's tired of the bloodshed and that he's going home with them. Dennis loses it. Jason survives in this case, though... but Citra doesn't.
  • Item Crafting: Though technically optional, Jason needs to collect animal skins and plant parts to craft equipment holsters and combat-boosting "medicines", respectively. Holsters that hold more ammo and equipment require more skins from rarer animals, and more potent mixes require more leaves. It certainly puts a more justified spin on Hyperspace Arsenals and Healing Potions. Also, see the Trick Arrow entry below.
  • It Gets Easier: One of Jason's prominent character traits, and a recurring theme discussed in-game by Dennis. This is turned on its head in both endings. In the "Kill Liza" ending, Jason becomes desensitized enough to kill his own friends in a ritual sacrifice, only to be similarly killed by Citra. In the "Save Friends" ending, Dennis finally breaks down and cries after his Accidental Murder of Citra.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Jason is forced to do this to Riley to find out his name for Hoyt as part of The Infiltration.
  • Jump Scare: Any predator animals that can jump out at you, but especially the crocodiles. During the final hallucination scene, a demonic embodiment of Liza's overbearing protectiveness jumps out of the floor at you.
  • Justified Tutorial: The game's stealth mechanics are introduced in an attempted escape from Vaas' camp by Grant, a former Army reserve serviceman. Meanwhile, survival techniques, combat, and exploration around the islands are all introduced by Dennis as he indoctrinates the newcomer, Jason, in the ways of the Rakyat.
  • Karma Houdini: It's a bit blink-or-you'll miss it but Doug, who serves as a spotter for Vaas and sends Jason and his friends to slavery and death, starting the whole thing off, has nothing bad happen to him.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Collect enough letters from deceased Japanese soldiers, and you get a sixty-year-old tanto. It's literally better, as unlike your modern machete that requires two hits on unarmored but alerted enemies, the tanto can one-shot them.
  • Kill It with Fire: Molotovs and flamethrowers can set the entire landscape on fire, turning Rook island into the Vietnam War, and they work amazingly well for killing anything in the game. Even tigers, bears, and pirate and privateer Heavies will die in seconds if you can catch them and set them ablaze.
  • Knife Fight: Against Buck, and later against Hoyt.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": All landmines beep when you start to approach, and get louder the closer you get to them.
  • Laser Sight: The rifles used by enemy snipers have these, which you can take advantage of to figure out where they are standing and aiming.
  • Laughably Evil: Vaas, again. See Affably Evil above.
  • Le Parkour: Jason can automatically vault over obstructions and climb up ledges by pressing jump, and even grab ledges and pull himself up if he comes up short on a leap. All this is necessary if you want to activate every radio tower as well as find certain relics and letters, in order to earn the Bushman assault rifle and be well on the way to earning many other rewards.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon:
    • The Flare Gun seems like an awful weapon, as each shot requires significant gravity compensationnote  with a very long reload, and comes with risking an alert and accidentally burning yourself. That said, it's not only great for killing tight clusters of enemies and aggressive wild animals, but a single shot can destroy vehicles and insta-kill a heavy.
    • The Repair Tool. Whilst very impractical, especially since a machete kill is silent and has a few metres range, it can be used for melee purposes; provided you can get close enough, it can set enemies ablaze, killing them swiftly. Doing so even unlocks the "Improper Use" achievement/trophy.
  • Loophole Abuse: Getting the "Toxophilite" achievement requires Jason to kill an enemy at a distance of 70 metres or more with an arrow. Well, there isn't anything that says you can't use explosive arrows to make it easier.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Jason, Liza, and Citra. It's an odd example in that only Citra really registers it, and even then neither of the two women involved even know, specifically, of one another's existence until the very end of the game.
    • Also, Dennis, Citra, and Jason. How Jason feels is up to the player.

  • Made a Slave: The fate of Jason's friends and little brother if he doesn't save them. There are several indications of this including work as a Sex Slave, regardless of gender of the victim or buyer.
  • Made of Incendium: The variety of things that catch fire at the slightest opportunity is staggering, but worst of them is everything even remotely related to plants. Any use of molotovs or flamethrowers in generous vicinity to grass or jungle will inevitably cause a raging bushfire that's instantly lethal to anything that's not a Heavy because all humans and animals in this game seem to have gasoline for blood. That includes Jason as well to some extent, and although being set on fire doesn't kill him on the spot, it still deals heavy damage very quickly.
  • Madness Mantra: Vaas, who gives a speech on how insanity is repeating the same thing over and over, expecting the situation to change. The kicker? He opens and closes the speech with "Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?" and even repeats said line again when he tries to kill Jason again.
  • Magic Feather/Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • Jason's tattoo is a symbol of all the killing skills he gains and somehow grows as he gains more. It might just be a symbol that lets him think he's gained power, as he never really gets the ability to do completely physics-defying things, but then again, he does unlock more skills by undergoing trippy rituals...
    • There is also the Chinese compass Jason ends up in possession of when he goes to find a ceremonial knife for Buck. The compass begins to glow brighter and more intensely the more Jason pieces it together. He even goes so far as to say "this is some magical shit" after the first or second piece. It is never made clear if it is Jason having another trip, or if it really has some magical element to it.
    • During the boss fight with Vaas, Jason is stabbed through the chest and goes into a coma trance, in which he of course kills Vaas. What's weird about this is that despite having a dagger through the heart, Jason wakes up alive and Citra claims Vaas really is dead. The same happens with Buck (why didn't Jason just shoot him?) and Hoyt (two guards, Hoyt is busy chopping Jason's finger off). One explanation is that the Tatau causes a wearer's object of hate and himself to hallucinate in a battle of wills, regardless of who has more backup/got the drop, when the wearer is extremely stressed or hateful, causing whoever has the stronger will to obliterate the enemy in a berserk-filled rage, regardless of said upper-hand.
    • The Rakyat initiation also explicitly shows Jason visions of the future using information that he could not have possibly known at the time, and Dennis reacts to these visions as though they were the explicit truth.
    • Willis all but outright says that something about the jungle is gradually driving everyone insane and making them forget who they are and where they're from, which is why he stays in his nice, comfy bunker with American flags in every room. Further backed up by the fact that the people who generally stay out of the jungle, such as Jason's friends, are much more mentally stable than the pirates, Jason, or the Rakyat in general.
    • One of the side missions has you searching a recent plane crash for a concerned elderly woman... Except when you get there, you find out the plane crashed over a decade ago, and there is no elderly woman in the area. The ghost aspect certainly tips it towards magic.
    • More subtle elements are also present, like the lit torches and firepits in the Chinese ruins that have been abandoned for hundreds to thousands of years, or the way the murals light up on Citra's walls.
  • Malicious Monitor Lizard: There are Komodo dragons living on the Rook Islands. They can appear from nowhere biting at Jason's legs, and they can tank a silly level of gunfire before going down.
  • Mandatory Twist Ending: Most of the side "story quests" end with some sort of twist or punchline that comes out of nowhere.
  • Meaningful Echo: "There's a first time for everything." First said by Dennis to Jason when protesting "I've never shot someone before", later repeated by Jason back to Dennis when promising that once Vaas is dead, his boss, Hoyt, is next on his list.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The local wildlife is just as happy to chow down on enemy pirates/mercs as they are to munch on you.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: The only people you kill (without penalty) in the game are men.
  • Mighty Whitey: Both a positive example (Jason) and a negative one (Hoyt) are shown, though the positive one... isn't that great either. Ultimately, the fight for the southern island is between Western natives, rather than the Rook Islands natives.
    • Delving into Rook Island's background and paying attention to the players involved in the current story indicates that it's less of a case of Mighty Whitey and more of a case of Mighty Outsider-In-General. Rook Island has a history of outside individuals coming to the island and taking control of it, only to go mad and be killed by another outsider. The Chinese general who took over island and left many of the ruins, only to be killed by his superiors, the Japanese who took over only to go mad and be killed by each other, and now Jason and Vaas/Hoyt (as well as Citra). Depending on the ending, either Citra is killed by Dennis or Citra kills Jason after he kills his friends - in either case, it's another example of an outsider effectively dominating the island being killed by another outsider. Even the mythological background of the island involves an outsider (the "prince from the northern kingdom") slaying another malevolent outside power (the giant). It's also fairly clear that Citra only cares about Jason insofar as he helps her accomplish her own ends.
  • Mind Screw:
    • Sometimes, there just is no way to tell what is real and what isn't, or how or why. Various files on memory cards you obtain may mention that there are various hallucinogenic properties of all sorts of plants in the territory and Willis says that just living on the Rook Islands is enough to eventually make you go crazy and forget who you are (and he's so weirdly jingoistic he's hardly an example of sanity himself). The tattoo is Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, sometimes bizarre things happen when Jason hasn't been visibly exposed to any mind-altering chemicals, and there's all sorts of other complicating factors.
    • Weirdest of all, if only for its total subtlety and complete unexpectedness, is one particular random side quest where you talk to a hysterical old woman asking you to investigate a plane crash. You go down there, find a crashed, rusted, plane scattered across the beach. You talk to the guy living in the wreck, and he tells you that the plane crashed ten years ago, and that no old woman lives in the village you came from. There is absolutely no lead up for this, nor any indication it's anything more than one of the forty or so other side quests. Just two sentences from a random Malay dude and suddenly you wonder if any of this is real, not just the parts where Jason's clearly on some truly wacky pharmaceuticals. All of this actually makes a certain amount of sense, given the evident similarities to Alice in Wonderland. One of the quotes from that book before the start of a new act sums it up quite well:
    "We're all mad here," said the Cat. "I'm mad, you're mad."
    "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
    "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The island's location is left vague (it's said to be somewhere in borders of the Indian and Pacific oceans), but the animals on the islands are obviously not supposed to live together (i.e. tigers live in Asia, cassowaries live in Australia and New Guinea).
    • There are also California red-sided garter snakes, which only live in, you guessed it, California.
    • Justified by the pirates, who use the islands as staging areas for their trade in exotic animals. The animals aren't all native to the islands; they were brought there and escaped.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Vaas is nothing short of terrifying, but he's also got some of the kookiest lines in the game and a lot of excellent and hilarious motion-capture acting. He's like The Joker, as a pirate.
    • The Bad Ending. After the final choice, it starts with a first-person sex scene with Citra and ends with her fatally stabbing the naked Jason after deducing that she is pregnant.
    • Jason's rescue of Liza would make a top-notch action movie scene, full of high-octane action and amusing dialogue. Then in the rescue's ending cutscene, Liza calls out Jason (and the player) for celebrating blowing people up and nearly getting killed or sold into slavery.
    • Much of the game veers between action-movie mentality, maudlin introspection, outright bizarre occurrences, and black humor.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on whether or not Jason kills Liza.
    • Bittersweet Ending: If Jason chooses to spare his friends at the end, Citra sacrifices herself to protect him from the angry villagers — well, one very jealous villager. Jason, Liza, and their friends manage to escape the islands, though Jason is acutely aware that he will never live down the fact that he had killed countless people and will have to live with the guilt. However, he remains confident that he's a good enough person at heart to resist his violent urges and move on.
    • Downer Ending: If Jason opts to kill Liza at the end of the game, then he kills the rest of his friends as well. Then, after having sex with Citra, Jason is murdered by her when she believes herself to be pregnant, since she believes he should die a warrior's death. Afterwards, she plans to raise their future child as the next ruler of the islands.
  • Mushroom Samba: Various drug-induced sequences.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The setting of a dangerous island formerly occupied by the Japanese evokes memories of Far Cry.
    • The crazy woman in front of the shop in Badtown makes references to Jack Carver as well as the Jackal, from Far Cry and Far Cry 2.
      • Another to Far Cry 2: the description of the patch-added hardest difficulty of the game is simply "Worse than malaria".
  • Named Weapons: Each of the Signature Weapons is a modified variant of one of the available weapons in its category, with a unique name to distinguish it. They usually have more attachments than their stock counterparts will allow and boast increased damage, often making them the Infinity +1 Sword in their respective categories.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Many rivers contains crocodiles which can provide a nice jump scare.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted. The recurve bow has a realistic range and drop, so shooting anything at beyond fifty meters requires great skill. One upgrade gives you a scope that gives you markers for drop distance, allowing you to adjust your shots more easily.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Jason always uses his standard machete in knife fight cutscenes, even if he's acquired the stronger tanto.
  • No-Gear Level: A very brief one, after being captured and dropped a hundred or so feet into a lake while tied to a cement block, Jason is left to obtain whatever weapons he can along the way while finding an escape vehicle. Then it happens again when things go tits-up from there, after which he has to go and reclaim his original weapons.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Some of the hunting missions have the player kill rabid dogs with flamethrowers and rocket launchers.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The reason Jason manages to survive encounters with Vaas is because Vaas insists on using increasingly elaborate and exotic methods to kill him. Even lampshaded in the insanity speech:
    Vaas: The thing is... Alright, the thing is I killed you once already... and it's not like I am fucking crazy.
    • Also of a mental version. By the time you rescue your friends, it's quite obvious that none of them will ever again be the person they were before being captured. Except Ollie, but as long as he's getting stoned, he doesn't mind much.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The radio towers. They were probably compliant when they were new, but decades of no maintenance and salty sea breezes have turned them into rusting death traps.
  • Non Sequitur Environment: A not-uncommon occurrence whenever Jason Brody gets stoned. In one instance, while exploring a cave in search of medicinal fungi, inhaling some hallucinogenic spores results in a jungle suddenly forming in the middle of the cavern; later, a Vision Quest provided by Citra abruptly shifts from the middle of the jungle to an underwater ruin when Brody opens a perfectly ordinary door to a shack.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: The wing-suit/parachute combination allows you to survive pretty much any large drop, provided you have enough of a fall and plenty of time to deploy without hitting the ground.
  • Not the Intended Use: The Repair Tool is a small torch that use use to repair vehicles or burn shit. The achievement "Improper Use" is gained when you kill someone with it which, while kind of amusing, isn't all that useful nor practical.
  • Obviously Evil: Citra for any smart player, but not so much for Jason. Buck is also heavily hinted as a bad guy before you even meet him.
  • One-Man Army: Jason, to a ridiculous extent. Lampshaded frequently by his enemies, who cannot believe that one guy is giving them so much trouble. However, by the end of the game, Jason's rampage and extreme death toll have driven him completely out of his mind. Even in the good ending, he struggles with what he's done and knows he'll never be okay again.
    • At one point, Citra promises Jason that if he helps the Rakyat free their captive warriors, "I will give you the power you desire." He fails to save the warriors, but still pulls off incredible actions despite horrible odds, and rallies the Rakyat to help him attack Vaas's island compound. But then he goes alone anyway - because he has the power he desires to kill Vaas and Hoyt.
  • Only Sane Man: Out of everyone on the island, only Jason's friends, especially Liza and Daisy, seem conscious of how weird and nightmarish the events of the game are. Jason seems relatively stable too, but not for long.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jason sounds awfully Canadian for somebody allegedly born and raised in southern California.
  • Out with a Bang: The bad ending, which has Jason being the victim of post-coital stabbing by Citra.
  • Outlaw Town: Badtown.
  • Panthera Awesome: Leopards, tigers, pumas... you name them, the Rook Islands have got them. That said, from Jason's perspective, there's nothing "awesome" about being attacked by hungry cats... unless, of course, you're not the one being attacked.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Buck only has a proper holster for his knife - his handgun gets shoved in his waistband right behind that knife. The only time it's not there is in his final mission, where he's not wearing pants at all when he tries to keep Jason from leaving with Keith.
  • Pineapple Surprise: A skill Jason can learn, where he backstabs a foe and pulls the pin on a grenade on his foe's person. He then kicks them away, leaving the corpse to explode. Useful for diverting attention or making his pirate buddies go kablooey.
  • Pink Is Erotic: Bambi "Buck" Hughes is the first main villain the player must face and he's shown to be a perverted psychopath with a lust for violence. Buck also bought Jason's friend, Keith, and has been raping him repeatedly. When Buck tries to kill or capture Jason to be his next sex slave, the arena is decorated with pink lightbulbs. As part of his design, Buck has a tattoo of a deer with 2 pink roses in the center of his chest.
  • Pleasure Island: What Rook Island was sold as to Jason and his friends. They were told that essentially anything they could want could be bought there. They just weren't told that included them.
  • Pocket Protector: A lighter in Jason's pocket stops a bullet when Vaas decides to stop messing around given past incidents. Bonus points because Vaas himself put it there after it proved to not have enough fluid in it to set Jason on fire in one of his earlier attempts to eliminate Jason.
  • Point of No Return: Right before you play the poker game with Hoyt, Sam asks you if you are ready and tells you that there is "no going back" if you decide to go through with the mission.
  • Poor Communication Kills: At the ending, Citra leaps directly to kidnapping all of Jason's friends as a way of preventing him from ever leaving the Rakyat, and his ritual murder of them being his final secession from the outside world. Instead of asking him to stay after his friends leave, which is an option he had already agreed to. However, this procedure was probably so that he would have no reason to change his mind later down the line.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Despite the fact that Jason has no firearms or archery training, he is an Instant Expert with the bow and every gun he gets his hands on in the entire game. One of the game's various drug trips attempts to explain this via voiceover of Grant telling him he's a "natural with a gun". Note also that bow-related skills do improve his ability with it noticeably more than gun-related ones.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Jason confronting Citra and the Rakyat after killing Hoyt and saving Riley. How the confrontation ends is up to the player.
  • Power Tattoo: Possibly. Your skill tree is based off of your three tattoos, but it may be rule of symbolism instead of magic. It fills up as you get more skills and as you complete more optional objectives like finding relics.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Jason to Hoyt before the Final Boss. "I don't need ten fingers to use a knife!"
  • Predators Are Mean: Even some of the "prey" are mean in this game. Boar? Buffalo? We are looking at you.
  • Privateer: The game makes a point of repeatedly calling the mooks working directly for Hoyt Volker in the second half of the game this. But they don't seem to have any kind of agreement from any government, and far from hunting the "pirates" from the first half of the game, they seem to be aligned with them, and engage in exactly identical behavior of kidnapping locals and selling them as slaves, making them a unique inversion of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. It's not clear if the developers didn't understand what a privateer actually is, if the word is meant to be an in-universe euphemism, or if the developers just wanted to differentiate from Vaas' pirates and decided to go with it because they thought it sounded cool.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Citra and her Rakyat take this to an extreme that would be simply impractical in real life ( including ritually sacrificing Jason once he gets Citra pregnant, so he can die as a warrior instead of facing the terrible fate of growing old, fat, and settled.) They are essentially a deconstruction showing how the standard values of the typical Proud Warrior Race are utterly incompatible with today’s more Westernized global society.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: One of the special enemy types is a guy armed with a machete who charges straight at you upon spotting you. There's also Buck, who seems really into knives.
  • Puzzle Boss: Vaas himself toward the end. The player can win by shooting through his clones, but it is a severely frustrating and challenging fight where you shoot the same guy, over and over and over, and likely won't progress. But if the player instead simply runs past the clones instead of trying to win by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, they can reach the end of the path and finish off Vaas.
  • Rape as Drama: Done with Keith being kept as a Sex Slave by Buck and during Hoyt's first appearance, he tells his privateers to go ahead and rape their property, as long as they don't rough them up and ruin their chances of being sold into slavery.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Hoyt and Vaas both have rape as part of their modus apparandi. However, the character of Buck is built around this in order to make the players truly hate him.
    • Citra drugs Jason and proceeds to rape him while he hallucinates, however her portrayal never truly reaches "Evil".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Vaas gives one to Jason in the final encounter after he traps Jason in a burning room with profanities written all over the walls.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Jason lives in the good ending and dies in the bad one.
  • The Remnant: The Letters of the Lost tells the story of a group of Imperial Japanese soldiers who all died after their radioman sabotaged their radios to keep the rest from learning about the atomic bombs droped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It kinda snowballed from therenote .
    • From a more in-story standpoint, pirates and privateers will continue to appear in and patrol parts of their respective islands long after you've finished the game, captured all their outposts, and killed Vaas and Hoyt.
  • Ride of the Valkyries: Played while Riley flies the helicopter out of Hoyt's base, and by Hoyt when he blows up a boat full of hostages he couldn't ransom.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Jason against Vaas and Hoyt, getting progressively more obsessed.
  • RPG Elements: Unlike Far Cry 2, in Far Cry 3 you earn XP for kills and mission completions to upgrade your stats. The game also uses an earned money system instead of a fixed amount of collectible diamonds.
  • Rule of Three: A subtle (and likely unintentional) case, where Jason has to break the news of Grant's death three times. The significance is in regards to showing how more jaded Jason is becoming throughout the story.
    • The first time, to Daisy, he can't even say it, and he breaks down trying to.
    • The second time, he says it outright, though he does hesitate a bit before doing so, and he accepts a sympathy hug from Liza. By that point, his personality has calloused a bit.
    • The third time, when finally finding Riley, it's the most blunt delivery he gives of the news.note  The context of the scene further cements how hardened he's become.
    • Pretty much 90% of the missions will have you either do something three times or gather three things.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: Vaas's group.

  • Scenery Porn: If you're not too busy popping heads at 500 yards with that Anti Material Rifle, take a moment to observe the gorgeous tropical climate.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Very rarely, if you kill enough pirates, you can see one of them yelling "Fuck this!" and running away from combat.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jason and his friends and little brother by the end in the "Save Friends" ending.
  • Shop Fodder: An absolute flippin' ton of it. Crumpled cigarettes, lost poker chips, random cards from a deck of 52, broken trinkets like compasses and used syringes, and other knick-knacks that do nothing but take up space in your loot bag and wait to be sold.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: All three of the shotguns shown in game trade range for damage. The pre-order multiplayer weapon the Type-10 has a little more range due to being a "handgun" like the Flare Gun but trades in damage for it, doing less than other shotguns despite using an absurdly large round, as shown in "Hand Cannon" above.
  • Shout-Out: Enough to fill its own page.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The humble flare gun. Most don't use it because its projectile is slow moving and it only has one shot before reloading, but the flare gun can, and does, one shot Heavies. However, the flaming arrow does the same thing while moving at a much faster speed, much more consistent accuracy, and a fraction of the reload time. About the only time most people actually use the flare gun is during a mission where that, mines, C4 and your machete are all the game gives you until you can get the rest of your stuff back, where the only enemy you can't easily sneak past or take care of with just your machete is exactly one Heavy guarding the building your stuff is in.
  • Soft Water: Played With. Subverted as jumping into water from a height makes Jason black out briefly and will kill/injure you if the water isn't deep enough, but played straight in that it's totally harmless if the water is deep enough.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The game's techno ambiance and occasional dubstep are a stark contrast to the serene nature and the more serious aspects of the game's story. Ends up being flipped all the way back around when you're dispatched to burn down a farm of marijuana plants to trippy dub-step music.
  • Sprint Meter: Handled somewhat uniquely in that there are two speeds of sprinting, a faster but limited one that then gives way to a slightly slower but unlimited one. One of the unlockable skills removes the limit on the faster sprint.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Meet Buck. He likes knives.
    • Your character's name is Jason and your first melee weapon is a machete.
  • Stealth Run: Mostly possible save for a few sequences. Clearing guard posts even grants a massive experience bonus provided nobody is alerted by gunfire/alarms/shouting.
  • Sticky Bomb: In the vein of Far Cry 2's IEDs, you can plant C4 charges and even mines on walls and vehicles by getting right next to them. Also in the vein of Far Cry 2, the game never tells you this - especially in light of Far Cry 4 making this a toggle-able upgrade, where C4 will just stick to whatever you toss it on without having to get close, thus making it seem like this game doesn't have that.
  • Story Overwrite: Whichever of the two endings you choose, the game concludes on a jarring note of Gameplay and Story Segregation. After the last mission, Jason either leaves the islands with his friends, or kills them for Citra; the former choice results in him and his friends finally leaving the island behind, while the latter results in Sex Signals Death. However, after the credits roll, Jason is inexplicably returned to the island, alive and (mostly) unharmed, and you are able to complete any remaining Side Quests as you please.
  • Straw Nihilist: Almost all of the locals follow this kind of philosophy.
  • Stumbled Into the Plot: Jason is suddenly thrust into the position of having to save the Rook Islands and his friends from Vaas when they get kidnapped during their vacation.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Citra, Liza, Daisy and a handful of civilians are the only females in the game.
    • The Rook Islands are the central base of operations for a massive human trafficking ring. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Most pirate camps and guard posts contain a caged animal that can be freed to cause havoc. Justified as shipping exotic animals isn't a surprising activity for thugs into human trafficking.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Other than Jason himself, there is no middle ground between things that swim all the time (fish, sharks, turtles) and things that drown quickly if they attempt it (humans and all other animals). Pirates and mercs will flail in the water for a moment before dying, while animals will just immediately keel over.
    • Even applicable for animals; providing you can scare it into the water by shooting from a distance, it's even possible to kill tigers and leopards this way.
  • Symbolic Weapon Discarding: In the good ending, if the player makes Jason decide to rescue his friends instead of cutting their throats to join the Rakyat, after cutting two of his friends free, Jason throws the dragon knife to the floor at Citra's feet, making it clear that "This violence is over. I'm done. No more blood." The pre-credits scene takes this even further by showing Jason and his friends riding their ship away from the Rook Islands, whilst the dragon knife is left embedded in the sand.
  • The Syndicate: Hoyt's criminal organization is an immensely powerful organization dedicated in drug trade and human trafficking. And as if that was not enough, he has an army of bloodthirsty mercenaries at his disposal.
    Hoyt: I'm a hunter myself. The noblest of professions. But you know, I like to hunt real game. I can offer you travel to slave markets in Rio, Hong Kong, New York. This is a global enterprise. Globalisation is the future, bringing things from far away to me.
  • Talkative Loon: Vaas.
  • Take Cover!: Done quite subtly; the game doesn't feature a dedicated cover button, but if you crouch behind a waist-high obstruction or stand near the edge of a wall, Jason will peer up over/around the obstruction to fire if you aim down the sights or blind-fire the gun from cover if you shoot without aiming.
  • Take That!: The Survival Guide entry to Yellow Sage has this at the end. "I'd recommend we bring in the animal-rights activists, but they'd all get murdered. And then we'd have to bring in PETPETA, which would be a whole other headache."
  • Take Your Time: A pretty blatant example. You're free to roam the gorgeous island open-world despite the plot insisting that story-based missions are of the utmost urgency. Even the ones that enhance this sense of urgency by giving you an actual timer... don't actually start said timer until you go to a specific area to activate it. This was specifically addressed for Far Cry 4, where NPCs are more apt to say things like "come see me when you have the time" and the occasional spontaneous, urgent mission (defending one of your bases) really is urgent and can't be passed up.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: The game mostly avoids this, but it still has its moments. Easily the worst example is the penultimate story mission "Black Gold" where about a dozen privateers spawn out of thin air the moment you enter any target area (you can actually see them pop up out of nowhere on occasion), and then again every time you blow up one of the fuel depots, for a total of at least eight occurrences. It makes beating this mission stealthily next to impossible because those buggers often spawn already alerted all around Jason, and the first thing they inevitably do is trigger any alarm you didn't manage to shoot in time, calling in even more reinforcements. Hope you brought armor, some big guns and lots of ammo.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: One of the side-missions involves hunting rabid dogs... with an RPG. Another one has Jason get rid off some leopards... with a flamethrower in the middle of the jungle.
  • Threatening Shark: All over in the water surrounding the island.
  • Throwing the Distraction: There's a dedicated rock-throwing button for getting guards to look the other way. It is extremely handy, though eventually guards will just get pissed off.
  • Timed Mission: There are several.
    • After the fight with Hoyt, you have twelve minutes to reach the airbase to rescue a hostage. Weirdly, you really only need to reach the base in time (not that hard to do even on foot) since the timer stops the moment you arrive although the guards are not initially aware of your presence and thus the hostage's situation shouldn't have changed at all.
    • The "Supply Drop" side quests all have a 1:30 limit.
    • In "Rocket Silo," (DLC) you have 10 minutes to make your way out of an underground lair while pirates pour lead into you.
    • In "Dude! Sub Base!" (also DLC) you have 5 minutes to escape an underground base before the bomb you set explodes, while privateers pour lead into you.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Reaching the higher relic milestones unlocks the "special" syringes; the player is required to collect 40 relics for both, and then spend 12 leaves for one syringe which grants 30 seconds of being invincible or one-hit kills.
    • Explosive arrows. While a One-Hit Kill for most enemies, it requires a grenade and an arrow to make, meaning it's $34 for a single shot that requires careful aiming above and ahead of any target not at point-blank or totally stationary.
    • Any of the fire weapons, which all come with the very probable result of setting yourself and everything nearby on fire.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jason, from Action Survivor to badass. However, his behavior scares his friends in the process.
  • Trick Arrow: The bow is the only weapon in the game for which you can craft different ammo types. You can combine a grenade with a regular arrow to create explosive arrows, and a Molotov Cocktail with a regular arrow to make fire arrows.
  • Trope Codifier: Far Cry 3 is the foundation on which the rest of the series has been built. Not only has every Far Cry game after it followed it closely in terms of story themes and gameplay, but all of them have re-used a large amount of the game's code down to very obvious stuff like weapon statistics and enemy animations.
  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: The game never breaks from Jason's perspective, including in dream sequences and driving sections. Zero Punctuation's description of this trope in the game provides the page quote.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: While you're spending time most of the game exploring the Rook Islands, shooting mooks and being nibbled on by the local wildlife, you will also have:
    • Two unskippable stealth missions.
    • Two different driving mini games, one against the clock and one against NPCs.
    • A generous selection of Quick Time Events, including one to beat the final boss.
    • Hallucinations.
  • Universal Driver's License: Jason thought that Riley's newly acquired pilot license means that he knows how to fly a helicopter; turns out, it was only for planes. Riley still managed to fly themselves out of a base without crashing along the way, but it's pretty slow going to start with.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Jason, according to Word of God.
  • Unskippable Cutscene: The final boss battle goes in the sequence cutscene, Quick Time Events representing a knife fight, another cutscene, more QTEs. The cutscenes are not very long, but they're longer than the fights, and if your reactions are on the slow side, you will see them more than once.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Jason and Keith get into a vicious brawl with some locals in a club during one of Jason's optional flashbacks, the other dancers around them don't give the tiniest of shits about it. Some seconds later, someone shouts that a dead hooker has been found in a room upstairs. The patrons don't react to that one, either. Stuff like this seems to be the rule in Bangkok.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Jason and his pack. At times it makes it hard to sympathize with them, especially when you play the optional pieces set in Bangkok.
  • The 'Verse: Acording to the Fridge page, the Lost Expeditions DLC implies this is set in the same universe as Assassin's Creed.
  • Vicious Cycle: Knowingly or not Citra seemed to be causing this. It's implied Hoyt was ruling the Rook Islands long before Citra came along, but when she did, she was training her brother Vaas to become The Chosen One, most likely to kill Hoyt, but instead he fell under Hoyts sway, she tried again with Dennis, who loved her, but it is implied he never undertook the final trial or trying to kill Hoyt, knowing that Citra would kill him afterwards, then, along comes Jason, and he succeeds in doing everything she wanted, afterwards, he can either keep the cycle going by killing his friends, then, dying and having his possible child with Citra be raised into ruling her mad, violent tribe, or he can possibly break the cycle by not undertaking the final trial sparing his friends and going home, at the cost of Citras death by Dennis, with her madness no longer ruling the tribe, they may stand a chance of becoming something better, actual protectors of the islands, as their greatest warrior (Jason) has shown, that violence and death is ultimately not the answer.
  • Victory Sex: At the end, the player is given the option of either staying with their friends, or killing them to stay with Citra. If you chose the latter, you're rewarded with a first person sex scene with her.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: When Jason boards the Nostalgia, he accesses a laptop for information. When downloading the files, the screen helpfully displays a large "Downloading..." box that obscures most of the screen; then, despite the fact Jason is only copying documents to an external drive, it is then replaced by a flashing "Hacking Detected!" warning message complete with a siren sound effect.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: This is a game that gives you Molotov cocktails, a flamethrower, and land mines. It's practically expected. In fact, you get a trophy for killing fifty enemies with the flamethrower.
    • You could attack an outpost by shooting every pirate in the vicinity, or stealthily backstab them all. Or, you could shoot a cage holding some vicious animal and watch with sadistic glee as it rips them to shreds.
    • Rook Islands' indigineous fauna includes scores of completely harmless, defenseless animal species like birds of paradise, turtoises, turtles or monkeys. No, they don't drop any crafting components. Yes, you can kill them any way you want. Nobody, not even the game, will call you out on it. Just don't tell PETA.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Kill three civilians or rebels in quick succession and Jason will drop dead before the game loads the last checkpoint.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Nope. The flamethrower is one of your most powerful weapons, ideal for clearing out outposts, killing wildlife, and generally making life hell for the enemy. Of course, it's not a precision weapon, and the flames can spread to you if you're not careful, though that's easily remedied as long as you carry several fireproof syringes.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: The first time Jason has to kill someone, he's horrified by the act. But from that point on, he never has any more problems with it. In fact, it isn't too long before he's laughing about his killings.
  • Welcome to Corneria: When idle, Pirates have about four lines that they repeat almost constantly: complaining about the heat, complaining about the rebels, complaining about catching the clap, and exclaiming "OH MY GOD!" when they discover the body of someone you killed in stealth.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Pretty much the main theme of the game. Every named character with any semblance of power is mentally unhinged to some degree.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Said almost verbatim by Liza during their escape from the burning building, as Jason is laughing about how cool their escape was.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Shouted by Jason in the fight against Vaas. However, given the mechanics of the scene, it's possible that he wasn't even shooting at his target most of the time.
  • World Gone Mad: It's part and parcel of the Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane nature of the setting. Almost everyone exposed to the violence of Rook Islands long enough turns some form of crazy. Willis goes so far as to suggest that a person can go mad simply by being on the islands. Dennis and Jason imply that the Rook Islands are a completely normal, albeit crime-infested, place. It is just so different from the milieu of a typical rich Westerner that to adapt one needs to completely change one's beliefs and values. Which, from outside, can be considered an insanity. A third theory is the violence and insanity are a result of being exposed to the sheer number of dangerous animals and poisonous/hallucinogenic plants on the islands. This is so prominent that the advertising calls the limited edition the "Insane Edition".
  • Worst Aid: As in Far Cry 2, you can pull out bullets with your knife and so on if you're at low health. You usually do "First Aid" when trying to heal whenever you don't have any syringes, and most of the animations are pretty... disturbing. From stabbing a stick or a scalpel into your arm to get the bullet out, or remove a shark-tooth from your hand - what makes this trope even more blatant is that you can now upgrade how effective your healing without medicine is. At the very least, Jason now properly bandages himself for most of the animations.
  • Yandere: Citra.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Jason says this of Keith to help him cope with what is happening.
    • This is also the ending where Jason refuses to kill Liza, saying saying he's done with all the blood and fighting.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Christopher Mintz-Plasse's head can be found buried on a beach, in the exact same place he was tortured back in The Far Cry Experience. However, the game doesn't use his likeness for whatever reason.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Jason's reaction to finding out that downloading the information on the knife from the computer on the boat was connected to a Time Bomb.
    Jason: ...are you kidding me?
    • Also when escaping with Oliver and a helicopter comes to attack them.
    Jason: You gotta be fucking kidding me!
    Sam: (whispered) You ready? (stands up, arms lifted as he starts running into combat) Blitzkrieg!
    Jason: ...Seriously?
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The bad ending. After Jason impregnates Citra, she has no reason to keep a potential rival alive.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Jason needs to spend skill points to learn such trivial actions as cooking a grenade, or dragging a body away after stabbing him.
    • There's also an upgrade to increase the effectiveness of bulletproof vests, which is explained as Jason learning how to wear the vest properly. Apparently he wore them as pants before investing a skill point into it.

In another moment
down went
Alice after it,
never once considering
how in the world
she was to
get out again.


Video Example(s):


Hoyt Volker's Intiation Speech

Hoyt Volker is an Afrikaner human trafficker and drug kingpin. In this clip, he tells his newly recruited mercenaries the three company rules they must follow and demonstrates the price for failure, showing his evil nature.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AmoralAfrikaner

Media sources: