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The first sequel to Just Cause, Rico is a few years older and has been assigned to track down his mentor and superior from the first game, who has disappeared on the Southeast Asian island of Panau, which has recently been taken over by a ruthless dictator. Various improvements have been made to the gameplay, allowing for even more over-the-top shenanigans. Rico can now use his grapple to attach to any object, pull enemies off their feet, tether them to various objects, and essentially use it for all manner of physics-based stunts and proving that it's a bad day to be a henchman.

The Play Station 3 version was available for free to PlayStation Plus subscribers from August to November 2012, and later the Xbox 360 version became free for Xbox Live Arcade Gold members for the first half of June 2015. On PC, a multiplayer mod was released on Steam in 2013.

The game provides examples of:

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable:
    • Everyone native to Panau that you meet in the game suffers from this, even lightly. Bolo Santosi (or bo-LO san-TOH-ZEEE if you will) is especially prone to this.
      "I am da le-DAIR of da rev-ohl-oo-shun-ary ah-MEE known as da re-PAAHS."
    • There's also the joys of jumping on top of someone's car to hear: "HAY! WHAT YOU DOING!? GET OFFAR MAH CAR!"
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Everything involving the grappling hook. The first game tried to avoid this by making it relatively realistic (it connects to vehicles because it's a rare-earth magnet, and it's mounted on a gun body for better stability), but it was also quite hampered by this (it can only connect to vehicles, cannot be used whenever you want, and equipping it prevents you from using a two-handed weapon). In Just Cause 2, any semblance of realism was dropped, and the versatility of the grapple immediately spiked.
  • Affably Evil: The resistance leaders you work with are all pretty amiable despite the fact that their factions are little more than violent criminals.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Mile High Club, which is essentially a luxury cruise ship with wings and engines suspended from a pair of massive zeppelins, possesses a small helipad, and a rear hangar for a single jet aircraft. That said, it's so comparatively small that there's no room for planes to land on it, and the one in that hangar doesn't so much take off as it does fall off, and pull up before hitting the ground. Fortunately, as the name implies, it is very high up.
  • A.K.A.-47: All the weapons outside of DLC are generically labeled and recognizable as specific real-world weapons, such as the Desert Eagle as the "Pistol" and the M4A1 as the "Assault Rifle", though the models do have some noticeable differences from the real things (e.g. the Pistol's grip is angled further back, the Assault Rifle fits a skeleton-style folding stock a regular M4A1 can't take).
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: All three gangs you need to ally with are horrible for different reasons, but Baby Panay is much worse to the point that any one of them is a massive improvement. You eventually have to pick one of the three to back in replacing him and thus must make this choice between them.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.:
    • Doing anything that causes heat instantly alerts the guards to your current location, regardless of where the thing that alerted them actually happened. This goes even if you just detonated a remote charge from the top of a building on the opposite side of town. That said, if you get out of their sight you can escape heat by simply hiding.
    • Depends, sometimes; hop in a military vehicle outside of town after blowing anything up and the most they'll do is go into suspicion - though if they do see you while you're in that vehicle, all bets are off.
    • They'll even come after you for stuff you didn't do, say if something is accidentally destroyed by someone else crashing into it.
  • Amphibious Automobile: The Agency Hovercraft DLC vehicle can float on water or drive on land.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Despite being visibly well-armed and leading the resistance against the army, the Panauan Army works in the same way as Grand Theft Auto police, in that they won't attack unless you're doing something bad to them, deliberately or not.
  • Apocalyptic Logistics: Hantu Island (located in the northwest corner of the map) is a forsaken military base manned by (supposedly) 100-year old Japanese soldiers who still think WWII is going on and are protecting a storm-generating superweapon capable of knocking planes right out of the sky. They have access to modern vehicles and weapons and seem to have all the fuel, food, and electricity they need despite being isolated for decades on an island with little natural resources, though its implied by the presence of wreckage on the island that their supplies come from hapless cargo aircraft they manage to shoot down.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Karl Blaine describes the Ular Boys' plan for turning Panau into "a natural paradise":
    Karl: Meaning: no foreigners, no foreign goods or foreign pop music, dig?
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Panauan soldiers see nothing wrong with attempting to bring down a strafing helicopter with a sawed-off shotgun. They are known to bounce thrown grenades off of the roof immediately above their heads and accidentally frag themselves and their squad. And if they are at the top of a cliff, and you at the bottom, they have no compunctions about closing the distance between you and them, in their jeep, at 9.8m/s2.
    • Due to liberal use of grenades and high speed chases, the Panauan military will sometimes do your job for you. Particularly impressive when you get a message saying a Propaganda Trailer's been destroyed while you're on the other side of the village. And regardless of that fact, it's still your fault.
    • The AI enjoys beaching their own boats (often with explosive results) and crashing them into each other. Additionally, soldiers wielding rocket launchers are willing to shoot you even if you're close enough to hug them, thus causing them to kill themselves in the process.
    • The AI will sometimes try to beach their boats just as you hijack them, presumably as a last resort.
    • It's not uncommon to see AI airplanes crashing into skyscrapers. The pilots make no attempts to avoid the crash whatsoever. Civilian planes fly at a fixed altitude, which means that they'll merrily fly right into the sides of high mountains without even attempting to avoid them.
    • One example is notable in that it also crosses over with Artificial Brilliance: toss some C4 at a propaganda trailer and every soldier guarding it will immediately be aware of it and start shooting. Plant it on the ground right next to the trailer, however, and they won't give a damn until you detonate it.
    • There are a number of missions that require escorting an engineer through an enemy base so he can hack their systems. The engineer never takes cover, runs straight into groups of enemies, and stands around waiting to be shot. Very frustrating on Hardcore difficulty.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking
    • The colonels. They're tougher than even the elites, and their armor fully protects them from small arms fire. Too bad they weren't wearing helmets.
    • The foreign agents, all of whom can take and dish out more punishment than the colonels. The Japanese one has a Kill Sat!
    • Baby Panay himself, who survives Karl Blaine's suicide attack with a grenade. He returns packing a rapid-fire rocket launcher and is extremely durable.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The fixed-wing military aircraft. Great for getting from one side of Panau to the other in a couple of minutes, but don't expect to do any fighting in them: actually using them to attack anything is so difficult as to render it almost pointless due to the speed such aircraft travel at, and the distance you have to actually start shooting at to hit something without crashing into it is about 1 km out - not to mention they're not missiles, but just unguided rockets, of which it's been said that, were it not for gravity, they couldn't even hit the ground. Your best bet is to just spam rockets in the general direction of the target and hope at least one of them hits what you're trying to destroy. And even that is after all the trouble you go to hijack one, present in only rare and heavily guarded locations, and take them off while still under fire. They also have a serious issue in that they have realistic take-off runs and no yaw control: just lining one up with a runway is fairly difficult, and any adjustment during the take-off run will generally result in them sailing off the end of the runway with the wheels still firmly on the ground and exploding.
    • Yet those jet fighters pale in comparison to sport cars. Those cars are very fast, look extremely pretty... and have steering so ridiculously sensitive they become almost impossible to drive at high speeds in the PC version.
    • The AH-33 Topachula helicopter. It's well-armed with miniguns and rockets, but takes ages to get airborne and its handling is just plain bad. That being said, it's the only helicopter that always comes with rocket pods and is easy to find, which says so much for itself.
    • All the DLC items are very powerful and come fully upgraded. Unfortunately the only way to get more is to buy more from the Black Market, and unless a weapon shares ammo with something else that can be found for free, it can get expensive.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Not quite, but close. The stunt jump ability allows you to stand or hang off any airborne vehicle, including plane surfing. The first Reaper stronghold even specifically mentions that the place you're headed for is well-liked among the Panauan military for testing of jet aircraft because of the thinner air, but neither you nor the squadron of buddies accompanying you suffer for it. Word of God says that the highest attainable altitude is 6.8 km or ~22300 feet, and can be reached using a hot air balloon. A typical jet plane cruising altitude is around 33000 feet.
  • Battleship Raid: Rico raids the president's nuclear submarine in the final mission.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • There are 368 locations in the game; the majority of them have names that mean something in Indonesian/Malay, and most of them are named like real locations would be ("Awan Cendawan Nuclear Plant" which translates to "Mushroom Cloud Nuclear Plant", "Bamboo Forest Village", "Town of the Rising Sun" and "Polluted Sky Factory", to name a few).
    • The citizens of Panau speak a variety of Southeast Asian langauges (i.e. Thai, Filipino, Chinese) that are, for the most part, correct.
    • Pandak "Baby" Panay's given name means "a person of short stature" in Filipino. Meanwhile, Panay is the name of an island in the Philippines.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Literally the first person we see killed is the black guy in the helicopter Rico is in.
  • Blown Across the Room: The Air Propulsion Gun is entirely built around doing this to anything you feel like, all the time.
  • Bodyguardinga Badass: Colonels usually surround themselves with high ranking and well-trained soldiers known as officers who are easily identified by their blue berets. They're armed with either assault rifles, shotguns, or more rarely machine guns. Compared to the colonel they're much easier to dispose of and wear little to no protection allowing you to kill them effectively with any weapon, but they can still be a big threat considering they come in small groups and possess extreme accuracy with their weapons so you shouldn't underestimate them.
  • Bond One-Liner:
  • Boom, Headshot!: The game keeps track of the number of headshots you make in the Statistics menu, and rewards you with an achievement at 50. This with a sniper rifle is also an easy way to take care of the otherwise-Made of Iron Colonels, since most handheld ballistic weapons can't damage them without headshots.
  • Boss Bonanza: The Agency Mission 'Three Kings' has you taking on representatives of the Russian, Chinese, and Japanese armies, each with a small army of flunkies.
    • The Chinese one throws explosives at you.
    • The Russian airlifts an APC into the battlefield and attacks you with a minigun mounted on it.
    • The Japanese one has access to a Kill Sat.
  • Car Fu: The game ups the ante by allowing you to actually use a car as a weapon — A wrecking ball (tied to a helicopter) or a mobile bomb (leap out a car going at high speed and it will explode on contact with just about anything).
  • Colonel Badass: The Colonels, obviously. They pack assault rifles or machine guns, have a ton of health and wear reinforced body armor painted in red, so the only effective ways to kill them are with headshots or explosives. They're also immune to being grappled.
  • Color-Coded Armies:
    • The Panauan military is a big fan of bright red. Their property is adorned with a white star on a red background - conveniently telling you exactly what to destroy.
    • In regards to the three factions; the Roaches are cyan-blue, the Reapers employ a dark red, and the Ular Boys use yellow.
  • Commonplace Rare: The Vanderbildt LeisureLiner and Makoto MZ 260X are very hard to come by despite being an unremarkable intercity coach and dirt bike, respectively, vehicles which are commonly seen in real-life Southeast Asia. The LeisureLiner can rarely spawn in traffic in the Berawan Besar Mountains and Lautan Lama Desert alone, and an early bug, now patched, made it unable to spawn anywhere; the MZ 260X is only found placed in the world next to one unmarked desert outpost, although you can order them anywhere from the Black Market.
  • Compensating for Something: As Rico approaches a giant set of stone heads in Baby Panay's likeness carved into a wall, he notes that he can't help but feel the president is making up for something with it.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The Mile High Club, which is a giant airship decked out with bar lounges, stripper stages and loud blaring music. You'd obviously have to be pretty rich to just spend one night at it, but Rico can drop in and crash the party at any time by parachuting out of an airplane or helicopter.
  • Cool Plane: The Panauan Military Air Force has some obviously Sukhoi-inspired, rather impressive-looking, and clearly "fifth generation" fighter aircraft at its disposal, present in at least one of their major airbases - and there are about seven military airfields total - though one of those is merely the national airport after being locked down by the military. Most airbases, however, tend to field late third/early fourth generation aircraft... namely VTOL-less Harriers.
  • Critical Existence Failure: A lot of settlements can be like this. There's always one last chaos object or collectible resource item eluding you, and as long as they exist, the military will stop at nothing to make sure you're gone. Then when you get the last bit done they withdraw from the area forever, disregarding any heat you've gained.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: Dozens of settlements around the map have identical layouts of buildings and destructibles. This can be easily seen with military bases; most regions tend to have one layout that they use for almost every base there. For example, most Berawan Besar Mountain military bases can be counted on to have radars in three corners out of four, a lone SAM site between two of those radars, three pairs of broadcast towers and generators, a radio mast, and a comms station posted just outside the base to destroy.
  • Developer's Foresight: Those billboards you see of Baby Panay aren't just for show; in between blowing up fuel tanks, hijacking planes, and destroying all enemies that get in his way, Rico can also draw a silly mustache on Panay!
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: The Panau soldiers sometimes blurt "Now you're gonna die, cibai!" That last word is a common slang in Malaysia and Singapore (which Panau is based on), and the equivalent to "cunt" in English. For comparison the harshest English words used in the game are "bitch", "ass" and "whore"; while "shit" and "fuck" are not present until the third game.
  • Dirty Communists: Despite being one of your allies, the Reapers are explicitly said by Karl Blaine to be "all about the land and the people, as long it's their land and their people" and are known to be quite greedy. Their leader Bolo Santosi is also shown to be very power-hungry too, much like how other factions are also motivated by personal ambitions.
  • Double Entendre: Bolo Santosi. Ranging from her plan to either use the nerve gas that paralyzes and makes victims compliant to either rape soldiers or get information out of them, or either talking about explosions or orgasms. Rapist or just a crazy so-called revolution leader? You be the judge.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Notably averted with the 3 factions Rico sides with in the game. The Roaches, Reapers, and Ular Boys all respect and revere Rico as the incredible soldier he is, even before you officially ally with them.
  • Dull Surprise: Baby Panay, particularly in action sequences.
  • Easter Egg:
    • There's a hot air balloon you can ride in near Panau City (coordinates roughly X:7330; Y:16080).
    • If you perform a particularly high BASE jump (easy with the hot air balloon), a hidden message from Avalanche Studios appears at the bottom of the screen.
      OMG! You have just beaten our record base jump here at Avalanche! Respect!
    • There's a Joke Item in the form of the Happy Bubble Blaster, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a fun little purple, yellow and blue toy that shoots bubbles. This weapon is obviously useless, but being coded as a firearm means civilians will cower, and the military will still come after you for using it. It can be found in a tower in southwest Lautan Lama Desert (roughly X:4245; Y:25980).
    • At around X:12750; Y:22560, there's a mechanical shark fin mounted on a tiny submarine, dubbed the Sharkatron 3000.
    • At the Gunung Hotel Ski Resort, there's a snowman that you can interact with; Rico will either say "hello" to it or comment on its resemblance to Blaine.
    • A beached whale exists by an inland lake very close to the southeast of the map, with an armor part inside of its stomach. Using explosives on it blows its stomach into chunks, letting you get the prize inside.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: If the names are any indication, the Colonel Badasses include Chinese, Indians, Malays and Koreans. There's also a few Occidentals and Arabs among them.
  • Evil Versus Evil: There are no good guys. The Agency is trying to fulfill America's interests. The Panauan government is a brutal military dictatorship, the three resistance groups are all essentially gangster groups with inflated senses of self importance, and the Americans, along with the Russians, Chinese, and Japanese, all just want Panau's oil.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: Almost every bullet fired has a bright yellow tracer trail.
  • Fragile Speedster: Motorcycles explode if you so much as graze another vehicle at top speed.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Very often, especially in more powerful PC builds, that loading a saved game will have all the radio calls from the first ("time to meet the criminal factions and made some new best friends") played in order, and the markers to the HQ of resistance gangs are stuck there despite removed after doing the first resistance stronghold takeover mission.
    • The faction mission "Black Gold" has you destroying a gas rig. If you die during the mission with the rig partially destroyed, the destruction doesn't count, but the structures remain destroyed, making the both the mission and completion of the rig Unwinnable. Quitting and restarting restores the rig enough that you can complete the mission, but now the rig itself cannot be 100% completed. The only solution around this is to get 100% on the rig before you start the mission.
    • It is actually impossible to get 100% completion without modding the game, because the game's completion list checks for items that were never fully implemented: One Agency Mission is supposed to reward 6 resource items upon completion, but because of a bug does not, and one of the water towers that the game tracks is located in a village that was completely removed from the final game, water tower and all. Because of this, 99.67% is the closest a player can get to completing everything.
    • Due to a remarkably stupid oversight, switching to the alternate joypad controls (switching the shoulder button functions from lower triggers shoot to upper triggers shoot) switches the on-foot functions still accessible in a vehicle but not the functions exclusive to a vehicle, meaning "reverse" and "release tether" end up mapped onto the same button. This tends to run the player into a brick wall on mission 2, where they will be unable to figure out why their attempts to drag Blaine's car out of a ditch instantly break their grapple tether.
    • Many players, particularly on PC have reported that the ending of the "Pirate Broadcast" mission, when Rico dives off the satellite, causes their parachute to be permanently disabled. Since the parachute is a vital mechanic, it makes the rest of the game, if not impossible, than extremely difficult. There are conflicting reports as to whether or not this glitch can be fixed, with some claiming that playing another mission with a similar diving sequence, such as "Stranded," will re-enable the parachute.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • No matter how much "Chaos" (essentially the game's experience system) you cause, Panau's citizens will never show signs of rebellion. You will never find citizens battling or ousting soldiers in towns you have liberated, the populace will never offer you support and the factions you help will have their pathetic goons torn to shreds the very instant they attempt to "fight" government troops, which will almost always be by accident.
    • Destroying certain objects brings up specific messages. For example destroying statues "increases civil unrest" (it doesn't), destroying pipelines "disrupts gas production" (the number of vehicles in traffic stays the same), and destroying radio masts "disrupts enemy communications" (they still radio for reinforcements just as well).
    • The Stronghold missions involve taking over bases or installations for your rebel allies. However even after you've conquered a facility, you still need to blow up all fuel tanks, chimneys, generators etc. The new owners will never object to this, even if the facility includes SAM sites which switch sides if you own the facility but still must be destroyed for 100% completion.
    • The game expects you to ally with any or all of the three factions to progress through the story, but it's possible to get through the whole story without even interacting with the three leaders by just running around and completing settlements. Despite this, the Agency Missions still assume you've allied with them and talk as if you're doing mercenary work with them, to the point where you can ask one of them to help you in the penultimate mission and the cutscene for doing so is unchanged.
  • Gatling Good: Military bases often have minigun emplacements. Rico can rip the gun from its stand, of course, but it has several drawbacks: his movement speed is decreased, he can't sprint or jump, he can't use the grappling hook, and he can't move while firing it. However, it's still good for tearing up enemy bases for two reasons: it has infinite ammo and, unlike other examples of this trope, it actually has a Gatling rate of fire - point it at anything, pull the trigger, and the target will be dead in about a second. These let it quite effectively chew up any vehicles, troops or structures you might come across — including structures that you can't damage with other small arms, such as SAM sites or statues. Certain vehicles (heavy APCs) may take more than a second to kill, though.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Horrible, horrible offender. In the 400 square miles of Panau to explore, there are 368 locations. To 'complete' a location, you have to destroy every structure marked with a red star in that location, and find every upgrade box nearby. You have a radar telling you the distance to the nearest box, but no such thing for the buildings. Including all 4 types, there are 2,700(!) boxes to find. Add on top of this 300 faction items to collect (helpfully pointed out on the map when you join the relevant faction) and 104 different vehicles to catalog (woe betide the completionist who forgets to fly the Bering I-86DP plane before they take over the only two airports they spawn from, because they aren't coming back after that)note , and you're going to be in it for the long haul. There's a reason the strictest completion achievement only requires you to finish 75% of the game's content.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Rico's grappling hook gauntlet. Useful for pulling himself places quickly, scaling sheer cliffs, pulling enemies and objects down, and lashing people, among other things.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Baby Panay has a whole battalion of ninjas in his army. They are all able to teleport in a puff of smoke, can't be caught by the grappling hook and harass you with submachine guns, so you'll have to pay it back.
    Panay: Prepare to meet your demise at the hands of... my ninja!
    Rico: I hate ninjas...
  • Guns Akimbo: By holding the "one-handed weapon" button instead of pressing it while carrying two weapons of that variety, Rico will equip both of them. Even revolver-mechanism grenade launchers are fair game.
  • Gunship Rescue: What the Panau military keeps hoping for when they call in helicopters to attack you. Too bad you can easily hijack most of them within seconds of their arrival, meaning those soldiers now have to deal with an enemy in a combat chopper.
  • Hit the Ground Harder: No matter how far Rico falls he can prevent any damage by pulling himself to the ground with the grappling hook. That's right, the best way to survive crashing into the ground is to crash into it slightly faster. Must be a homeopathic thing.
  • Hollywood Darkness: It never really gets dark at night in Panau. Probably because it wouldn't be fun if you couldn't see where you were going at night.
  • Informed Attribute: Destroying certain objects and killing Colonels will give you special messages. Killing Colonels supposedly lowers enemy morale, destroying statues of "Baby" Panau increases civilian unrest, destroying communication towers hampers military communications... All of these messages are just for show, and there are no associated gameplay effects.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: As Rico enters Baby Panay's secret hideout in the penultimate mission:
    Rico: Quiet places... they always creep me out.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • Often, getting 100% on a military base involves an extended period of hovering around with a helicopter looking for that last explodable thing (it's usually a single Generator, or fuel tank, or something that's well-hidden) among the wreckage.
    • The cities on the west side of the map are generally the opposite of the less urban areas - each of the four islands constitutes an entire area, and each of them has so much stuff on it that it's possible for the rounding to take your completion to 100% without receiving the checkmark and music - meaning there's still something you missed.
    • There are dozens of breakable Chaos objects and collectible stashes on the map that aren't associated with any settlements. The game doesn't have any ways to narrow it down further than "well, they exist somewhere".
    • Among the list of vehicles (you need to drive 104 for the "Trying Everything Once" trophy), there's the infamous Bering I-86DP airplane. This plane only spawns at two locations - Kem Udara Wau Pantas and Kem Jalan Merpati - and will only spawn before you 100% complete the locations. It also only ever appears while it's already preparing to go down the runway, so it has to be stopped and hijacked before it leaves.
    • As for genuine 100%, it's entirely impossible without modding.
  • Left the Background Music On: The music that plays whilst you're on the Mile-High Club is obviously supposed to be what would actually be playing at the club... except in one mission it takes a sudden turn for the dramatic (complete with Record Needle Scratch), the tempo increasing suddenly when you discover that a bomb has been loaded into the lower cargo area!
  • Lighthouse Point: Lighthouses are a fairly common sight along the many sandy beaches and tropical islands of Just Cause 2's massive map, and will often have an item box near the top. There is even an area in the northern part of the world near an airport where two identical lighthouses can be seen facing each other on separate nearby islands.
  • Lumber Mill Mayhem: The Seabreeze Sawmill, which the Ular Boys task Rico with assaulting in one of their faction missions.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • Baby Panay's rocket launcher in the final mission. You can also do a little bit of this yourself with the Quad Rocket Launcher DLC - each shot launches four rockets, and you have eight shots in total.
    • And the G9 Eclipse with its quad rocket pods with Bottomless Magazines. Spamming rockets towards the general area of your target from a mile away is also your only hope of hitting something without crashing into it, since there's no lock-on mechanism.
    • Several helicopters come with missiles as well. Holding down the "fire missile" button is a great way to blow up everything in a base. Thankfully, the army only rarely fires missiles at you.
  • Made of Iron: Baby Panay. He takes a grenade point blank in the face and doesn't fall no matter how many bullets you put in him, then he dies in a nuclear explosion.
  • Marathon Level: The Raya Race. Dear God. It takes you about a quarter of the way around the largest island in Panau, and can easily take twenty minutes to complete, while most races in the game take only three or four minutes, tops. To make matters worse, even though they give you a sports car at the beginning, you'll be driving the wrong way down a highway. You'll also need that sports car if you hope to make it through, so if you crash or get the car off road (which can easily happen thanks to the loose driving physics at high speeds), you'll have to hope another one spawns nearby if you want to avoid starting over.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe for Rico. If you idle long enough by your allies, you can hear them talking about how you "killed ten soldiers. With his bare hands!" and then it becomes "ten tigers."
  • Mile-High Club: It's not a plane, but it has an airborne "gentleman's club" called the Mile High Club.
  • Mood Whiplash: In one mission, you need to help Bolo Santosi broadcast a message to Panau. Knowing her, it should be pretty funny, right? Actually, it shows an innocent man being tortured by the Panauan Army, before being executed, and literally Fed to Pigs. And what's worse, it implied this was the fate of any person on Panau that has gone missing as well. Suddenly, you see why a Heroic Comedic Sociopath, a bunch of Dirty Communists, ultra-nationalist jungle-dwelling jingos, and even the Mob are considered the 'good guys' here: the enemy is much, much worse. Thankfully, Bolo managed to turn this around by giving a Rousing Speech at the end, crying out for the people to take arms against the oppressors, which is even more awesome in the fact in that her voice didn't seem to comically trip on itself like the rest of the game.
  • Mustache Vandalism: There are various billboards of Baby Panay scattered around the world. If you grapple up to the face on the board, a prompt appears that when activated causes a mustache and glasses to be drawn on the billboard. Notably, the ones being used for target practice outside the Reapers' HQ already have been doodled on.
  • The Napoleon: President Pandak "Baby" Panay. His first name is literally translated to "short" in Tagalog, a language spoken by the Tagalog people in the Philippines.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In the "An Officer and a Hitman" mission, you’re tasked by Razak with taking out a colonel. After you take out the defences around his mansion, the colonel himself runs outside with a rocket launcher, and reveals himself to be slightly off. Once you’ve killed him, Razak comments on the fact that the colonel was a madman and commends you on a job well done, then continues reflectively:
    Razak: Although, I fear we may just have rid the military of a problem...
    They're probably breaking out the champagne as we speak.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Alexander Mirkov is a dead ringer for Nikolai Valuev.
    • Also, Rico seems to be based (both appearance and voice) on Al Pacino.
    • Baby Panay is mainly a combination of real-life dictators Kim Jong-il and Baby Doc, since they inherited their countries from their fathers. He also shares some similarities with Adolf Hitler and Kim-Jong-Un, he threatens to nuke other countries much like the latter and his haircut is similar to that of Hitler.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Panau is a mishmash of various Southeast Asian countries - further taken with the Filipino, Malaysian, Indonesian, Tamil, Thai, and Singaporean accents and words.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Rico's nuking of Panau's central oil field, the source of the country's economic prosperity, along with the destruction of most of its major facilities would presumably result in a massive economic collapse that would horribly affect just about everyone in the country. Everyone seems content to sample Tom's succulent pig while the mushroom cloud glitters in the night sky, and not bring this up at all.
  • Not So Above It All: The leaders of the Reapers and the Ular Boys.
    • Bolo Santosi is a well-educated child of luxury who has given up none of her former lifestyle in her struggle for the people, and is more concerned with gaining power for herself and her cohorts than bettering the people's lot - when she's not more interested in exploding things senselessly.
    • Sri Irawan is also well-educated and very charismatic to boot. He exhorts the superiority of the Ular ethnicity, while pretty clearly just using it as an excuse to be a brutal warlord and win himself glory, while the Ular Boys themselves are described as (and act like) a massive street gang.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Rico makes it clear to the revolutionaries that he aids in the story that all he wants is information about Tom Sheldon's whereabouts. Regardless of this they still test his loyalty and ask Rico about his political stance on their actions. Rico doesn't actually talk to them very much during these conversations.
  • Not Quite Flight: The grappling hook and parachute combo lets Rico glide effortlessly over Panau.
  • Not Worth Killing: A rare economic variant from Rico, after paying off an informant.
    Rico: Considering the value of the Panauan buck, shooting you would have been more expensive.
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country: The Ular Boys' motivation. According to the background, they are the oldest civilization that inhabited Panau and have resisted against foreign occupation for centuries. With Pandak's rule, they have been turned into a persecuted minority and aim to make the island theirs.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: It should take you roughly thirty seconds to figure out that Tom Sheldon is the Sloth Demon, and that's if you spend twenty-nine of those seconds grappling a soldier to his own vehicle and driving off with it.
  • Pass Through the Rings: The checkpoints are depicted as rings. Getting close to them causes the ring to ignite to start the excitement.
  • Patchwork Map: Owing to the Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun. One of the elements that made the game distinct from the other open world games at the time is the more varied geography and climate of Panau Island, with deserts, snowy mountains, and lush jungles... all contained on an island group slightly smaller than Oahu. The southern main island is mostly desert, despite directly bordering open ocean in some places, and the northern main island is mostly snowy and mountainous, with a snowline of about a thousand feet. In the summer. Less than a thousand miles from the equator. A few rivers also seem to have estuaries or deltas at both ends.
  • President Evil: Pandak "Baby" Panay.
  • Press X to Not Die: The dreaded QTE is present, but they are relatively simple (press 1, 2, 3 or 4 in the correct order, or when they are displayed during hijacking) and do not require ridiculously fast reflexes, nor are you (usually) heavily penalized for failing. There are two types;
    • Press all of the buttons in the right order before the timer bar runs out. Used for causing gratuitous explosions or hacking things. One annoying thing is that being shot is an instafail. Being shot is also nearly unavoidable if it's not the first thing you take care of.
    • Wait for the prompt. Press button. Watch gratuitous violence animation. Wait for next prompt. Press button. Rinse and repeat. Used for hijacking vehicles - assuming you don't opt to just shoot the driver.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Rico can surf cars moving at sixty mph, rappel onto helicopters as they fire rockets at him, tether soldiers to each other with high-tensile wire so they snap together in midair, attach himself to a punctured gas can and use it as a makeshift rocket to gain a massive height advantage over his enemies, pull the head off a statue with a vehicle and use it as a wrecking ball, and a plethora of other insane stunts. This game doesn't really hold back. Ever.
    • Even better, several vehicles have multiple stunt jump positions during hijacking, so you can move around to get the best angle on the occupants, or any enemies chasing you. Want to take out the guys in the passenger seats whilst hijacking a Hummer? Hang onto the back of the vehicle. Want to shoot chasing enemies? Just stand on the roof. Want to take out the driver easily? Jump onto the front bumper/grill and shoot him through the windscreen!
    • There's a neat relatively hidden feature of Stunt Jumping too; if Rico was the last driver of a particular vehicle, it's even possible to adjust the facing/direction of the vehicle (but not the speed) you're standing on top of whilst it's moving! It's very slow though, so don't expect any hand-brake turns.
  • Regenerating Health: Combined with the ol' medkit system; Rico can only regenerate a fixed amount of health at a time, so any damage taken beyond that effectively acts as a temporary Maximum HP Reduction until you use a first aid cabinet to well and proper restore Rico's health.
  • The Remnant: In one mission, you're tasked with traveling to a supposedly cursed island to find a plane that the Ular Boys had recently lost contact with. You fly to the island only to have your plane shot down by a giant Energy Weapon. It turns out the island is filled with really, really old Japanese soldiers who are still fighting WWII, and had built the giant EMP tower to win the war... You make short work of it.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better:
    • One of the many one-handed weapons is a revolver. It possesses immense firepower when fully upgraded, and can shoot down a light helicopter with relative ease. It also makes hijacking said helicopters a lot easier, now that you can just shoot the pilot through the glass!
    • DLC brings back the R4 Pitbull from the first game as "Rico's Signature Gun", though it's not quite as good this time around - in addition to still being weaker than the normal revolver, it now has limited ammo and the only way to get more is buying it from the black market.
  • Riding the Bomb: The final mission, "A Just Cause", ends with Baby Panay launching four nuclear missiles and riding on one of them, while Rico jumps between the remaining three to avoid Panay's attacks and disarm the nukes.
  • Rule of Cool: The village of Kampung Ekor Bengkok is located atop a very high cliff with no road access, yet pickup trucks still spawn there. The developers likely put them there to allow players to partake in the hilarious sport of hurling cars off cliffs more easily.
  • Running Gag: Tom keeps barbecueing pig to share with his friends throughout the Agency Missions. If he hasn't cooked one, he'll mention pigs from the missions he did cook them during.
  • Sigil Spam: The government of Panau's symbol, a white star on a red background, is absolutely everywhere. Items include electrical generators, oil tanks, water towers, propaganda trailers, gas stations and vehicles.
  • Significant Anagram: Tom Sheldon goes by the alias "Sloth Demon" in the beginning.
    Rico: You and your stupid word games.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some of the soldiers will occasionally yell "If he bleeds, we can sure kill him!" in combat.
    • In the introduction to the second Agency Mission, Jade Tan mentions that the embedded asset Karl Blaine makes his living by gambling at a nearby casino. Rico responds that "dying ain't much of a living".
    • Hantu Island is partly based on the American T.V. series Lost and several notable features of the series can be found on the island, including the mysterious smoke monster, the word 'SEARCH' written in the sand, and the hatch.
  • Smug Snake: President Pandak "Baby" Panay. Need proof? Listen to the messages he makes through the Propaganda Trailers for more than 30 seconds.
    Panay: Listen most carefully, people of Panau. President Panay, your glorious and humble leader, must speak. Free photographs of the president and his staff are now available in all government buildings. REJOICE.
    Rico: (after blowing the trailer up) I can't stand that damn voice!
  • Soft Water:
    • Averted; a 10,000 foot fall into water will kill you just as dead as a fall into concrete - unless you dive in head-first. If you remember to do so it's possible to high dive from the altitude ceiling and only sink three feet.
    • Hilariously, however, if you grapple into the ground just before impact, all fall damage is negated. You can't grapple onto water, so falling onto water is fatal while pulling yourself into concrete at twice the velocity won't even cause Mr. Rodriguez to break a sweat.
    • If you open up your parachute at any time before hitting the ground, all fall damage will ALSO be negated. Even if you do a 3 Kilometer freefall and open the parachute the instant before you hit the ground, the worst that will happen is that you go flailing across the ground before you can get up.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The grass and trees in console versions are flat sprites when viewed from afar; it's usually not too obvious unless you're flying in a helicopter over a forest, in which case the trees will visibly rotate as you pass them.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The easiest way to cause Chaos is to just let loose on anything red with a star. This frequently includes propane tanks, gas pumps, and fuel storages. Story missions are also unlocked via causing Chaos, so blowing things up legitimately progresses the story.
    • If you jump out of a vehicle as it's about to hit something, that vehicle will almost always explode upon impact. This is ridiculous because 1) the vehicle can explode upon impact even if it was going at a reasonably slow speed, and 2) these same vehicles can survive the same punishment and more as long as you're actually driving them.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Okay, not Nazi Germany, but... if you try to take a plane or boat out to the northwest island, it will suddenly be destroyed by what turns out to be an Imperial Japanese EM tower weapon, something way too advanced to be constructed in WWII. It's also occupied by Imperial Japanese soldiers who are all in their 80s at youngest and never learned the war ended, though since they only show up for one mission they have the exact same weapons and vehicles everybody else has - including helicopters.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The little grunts will happily fire at your armored attack helicopter with just a revolver or even a pistol.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After certain missions, the government-run radio news station will broadcast increasingly ridiculous cover-ups for Rico's antics. After taking over an oil refinery ("where most of Panau's gasoline is refined from Bruneian sludge") for an organized crime syndicate, the station will dismiss claims of gunfire as "hearsay" and assure listeners that "no organized crime takeover has taken place".
  • The Syndicate: The Roaches are described as an "urban mob" by Karl Blaine, and "of the same ilk as the Mafia or the Yakuza" by the Operation Intel; it goes on to mention they deal in drugs, smuggling, and prostitution.
  • Talks Like a Simile: Razak has a somewhat worrying tendency to compare every mission he gives you to taking care of some disgusting medical condition.
  • Tank Goodness: Surprisingly, there are no tanks, but it makes up for this by having armored cars mounted with tank turrets. They're both relatively speedy and can take loads of punishment.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Mapped to R1/RB. Rico can use this to dive and then roll to evade bullets.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Thanks to the improved grappling hook, Just Cause 2 has almost limitless options for being completely sadistic towards your enemies.
    • It's possible to tether people to gas canisters, then shoot the canisters so they spiral into the air as the pressure is released, dragging the poor bastard around behind it until it explodes, sending them flying.
    • One of the simplest is to tether someone to the back of a vehicle, then get in and drag them along the road at high speeds. They'll die, eventually.
    • You can tether enemies together so they smack into each other, tether them to planes which you crash into a cliffside, tether them to the tops of palm trees so they swing about in the breeze, tether them to the ground whilst they're in a fast moving vehicle (or tether the vehicle to the ground!), etc. There are more options than it would be decent to list.
    • You can also tether enemies to buildings. There's two different statistics and associated achievements if you kill the person with a melee attack while they are dangling (piñata kill) or just shoot them (hang kill).
    • For added hilarity, don't forget to tether enemies or passing vehicles to the spinning blades of a wind turbine.
    • As a reminder... Everything you can do above? You can also do those things to civilians.
  • Weaponized Car:
    • The Black Market sells several.
      • The Garret Traver-Z is a sports car that, when upgraded to level 6, receives two machine guns.
      • The Poloma Renegade is a pickup truck that comes with two machine guns from the start, and when upgraded to level 6 adds in a rocket launcher for good measure.
      • The Hedge Wildchild is an offroader car which also has two machine guns and adds a rocket launcher at level 6.
      • DLC adds the Tuk Tuk Boom Boom, a Tuk Tuk with a BFG on its back.
    • The Panauan military and the factions regularly make use of trucks with mounted turrets that a passenger can shoot from.
  • What a Drag: With Rico's grappling hook, you can pull this off with any type of vehicle, including helicopters and fighter jets. Whee!
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Rico's speech that the oil isn't worth dying over is a bit weird, considering the handy in-game counter will likely show that by this point he's killed well over 1000 enemy soldiers (plus a few hundred civilians, probably) while all along he had no real idea why he was even fighting.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: The grappling hook can be used to solve almost any situation, from quickly traversing the world to killing soldiers to climbing buildings to flipping cars on to their wheels.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The percentages of completion work in odd ways. For instance, in a settlement where five boxes must be collected you would expect each box to be worth 20%. But the first box will be only worth 19%, the three subsequent boxes are 20% each, and the last box will make up for the discrepancy with 21%. The code to display the completion percentage probably just used floating-point numbers and rounded them carelessly.
  • You Bastard!: Killing thousands of police and perhaps civilians all in the name of winding up the local militia? Soldiers will even use this against you word for word in combat.
  • You No Take Candle: Inverted. The Panauan characters speak way better English than the average South-East Asian.