Far Cry 3: Vaas: Reason in Sanity

"Did I ever tell you the definition of SPOILERS?"

     Since Far Cry 4 is arriving in a couple days and I realized that I never posted a review of Far Cry 3, I thought I'd do something a little different.  A small reflection on the game.  A bit more specifically, a little reflection on the show stealing star of the game Vaas and his relationship to Jason Brody.

"Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?"

     At the beginning of the game when Jason Brody and his buddies jump out of the plane, they are falling down the oft-quoted rabbit hole into the warped wonderland of Rook Island.  Both the name of the island and the considerable in-game hints referencing Alice's Adventures should be enough of a key into the shifting landscape towards madness.  Hell, the game starts with this quote from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, “In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again."

     Vaas is the first person to really give Brody a lesson in life.  Over and over, Vaas is trying to kill Brody.  Over and over, he's telling him the definition of insanity.  Over and over, I've read that he's the Cheshire Cat of this tale.  Over and over, he's charismatic, crazy, and so likable.

     I think Vaas is so much more than that.  This is Rook Island.  Vaas and Brody are mere pawns.  Very useful pawns given great power.  Vaas knows what is to come.  He knows what Jason is to become.  It is shown right on the title screen with the vision of Jason being overlayed with Vaas.  During Vaas' last scene when he is setting Brody free it happens again.  There is a segment where Brody and Vaas are flickering between each other.  Over.  And.  Over.

     Vaas has seen the future, because he is Brody's future.  "If you keep following Citra, you're going to be me."  Of course he'd be aware of Citra's plan for Brody, and knew he was himself in the same situation.  He has guided and shaped Jason into a man like himself.  With the constant referral to being reborn through Jason's acts (surviving each encounter with Vaas, crawling out of a mass grave, Dennis's earlier speech about returning from the dead, etc) we know this is something to take seriously.  This is something to be looking for, so Jason has been on the path to becoming Vaas from the start.  Destined to inherit his kingdom and crown of madness.

     When Vass tells Brody to kill him and let him be reborn.  Brody goes through the dream-like event and after being stabbed with the ceremonial knife, uses it to kill Vaas.  Brody's body falls next to him and Vaas looks into Brody's eyes, the mirror of the soul.  Brody has become the madness, just as delusional as Vaas was.  He is the reflection, and now holds the scepter that is the ceremonial Rakyat blade.  With Vaas gone, Brody becomes the monster.  He goes on to encapsulate the very same methods of violence and brutality that Vaas did.  He has claimed the spot of Vaas, and goes on to be the unpredictable wild card.

"You are me, and I am you."
     Vaas did set Brody free and Brody is absolutely reckless in taking to the role.  Hunting, killing, and enjoying the havoc he creates in going about doing Citra's will.  But he is still a pawn.  He tortures his brother to get closer to killing Hoyt and he kills his friend Keith's male rapist.  After he saves his friends he doesn't stop.  He's become so driven he keeps on killing.  Over and over.

     It all culminates with the end task of choosing which ending you want.  If you choose to side with Citra, you've chosen the madness and she uses you and then kills you.  Brody wasn't a white savior, how could he be?  He wasn't a warrior, but rather a pawn in a much larger game.  Simply a tool of the island.  He was crazy enough to believe he could be a savior and fooled himself.  Citra never needed to be saved, and had been using Brody the entire time.  As Vaas said, "If you keep following Citra, you're going to be me."

     ...if you choose your friends, you've chosen your own path- the monster is still inside, but is held at bay.  Taking up the true wild card and obeying no master.  As Jason says if you chose to save your friends, "I've killed so many people I've lost count.  I can't come back from this.  I'm a monster. I can feel the anger inside me.  But I am, still, somewhere inside me, more than that.  Better than that..."

     As Alice never considered how she'd get out, Brody can never come back.

     He carries it within himself now.

     He is Vaas reborn.

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