Malaria is an infectious, mosquito-borne disease. It plays a major role in the story of Far Cry 2.
The player character becomes infected with malaria upon entering the Unnamed African Country (UAC). Towards the end of the driving intro, the character begins to feel sick and starts coughing as the screen takes on a yellowish tint. At the end of the intro, the character will fall forward in the car and have a seizure before passing out, with the driver unaware and simply saying he is tired from the long flight.
The player will get malaria attacks every 30-40 real-life minutes. When one happens, the screen will take on a yellowish tint, and everything becomes blurry. In addition, the player is momentarily unable to sprint or jump until the yellow fades. If he chooses to not take a dose of medicine, he will have 2 or 3 more attacks. If the player still has not taken the medicine, on the final attack, the character will fall to the ground and become immobile until he takes a pill.
If he has run out of pills, then the character will open up his empty bottle, stare at it in disbelief, and then pass out, only to wake up in the church in Pala or the medical clinic in Port Selao. During or after the attack, the player can take a pill to relieve the symptoms temporarily. The player can choose to hold off from taking any medicine right away. If the player has lost health and has syrettes available, they must replenish their health before they can take a pill.
While the player starts the game extremely weakened by the ravages of malarial seizures, as the player controls the disease and continues to take the anti-malarial pills, the player will gradually return to a stronger state of health and stamina. This can be kept track of in the game's pause menu under "journal" and the sub-heading "malaria".
The player's character will have written a short description of their symptoms as they get better or worse, with positive change towards a malaria level of zero meaning less unpleasant wording. This mechanic naturally dictates how long and how fast the player character can sprint across the ground, and how quickly they recover from being winded after sprinting.
It is highly recommended to get more medicine after the tutorial. To do so, the player must talk to the priest in Pala when there is a notation in the pause menu that the player should seek out a source of pills. The priest says that the player looks sick and then hands him passports, directing him to a general store or other building somewhere on the map.
These buildings will always be under attack from militia when the player arrives. Once he has cleared the area, he can trade the passports for more medicine. The same must be done in the Southern territory, the first time at the medical clinic in the main town. The player must, however, complete a few missions first in the south before the doctor will talk to him about medicine.
Every bottle of medicine only has 3 or 4 doses in it. Should the character pass out from a malaria attack and wake in the church or clinic, he will have one dose of medicine.
- If the player does not start the main missions and rather starts the side-missions, there will be an infinite supply of malaria pills until he begins the main missions.
- There is another animation when taking malaria pills. Upon using the last pill, the player character will take note of this by looking at the empty bottle.
- Curiously, at the beginning of the game after the Jackal introduces himself, the player somehow has a malaria pill bottle, but it does not contain any pills.
- Players will note that close to the end of Act II and through Act III, the pills seem to no longer help the player that much, as the symptoms appear to be getting worse.
- Extreme fatigue is one of the effects of malaria, explaining why the player character can only sprint and jump short distances and frequently passes out. It is also likely that the character has falciparum malaria - a much more severe case of the disease that causes seizures.
- Malaria in Far Cry 2 was met with much criticism from players, as the random attacks frequently interrupted gameplay at bad times (such as during combat), and players felt forced to do the Underground side missions, as the medicine prevents the character from passing out. Ubisoft acknowledged the frustration and made a humorous reference to malaria in Far Cry 3, in the description for the "Master" difficulty mode as "Worse than Malaria".