“Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?”
— Vaas Montenegro
Vaas Montenegro is the secondary antagonist of Far Cry 3, appearing as the main antagonist for the first half of its storyline. He was the archenemy of Jason Brody and Dennis Rogers and is the main key art character for the game, being featured in numerous promotional materials.
Meeting Hoyt Volker
Sometime before 2012, Vaas became addicted to drugs, brought to the islands by deranged slave and drug trafficker Hoyt Volker. Vaas eventually established contact with Volker who found potential in Vaas and promoted him to right-hand man. Vaas went on to become the leader of the Pirates, a faction consisting of pirates that came to the Rook Islands to rape, pillage, steal and murder.
Vaas and his men would help Volker with his business (such as growing marijuana fields and kidnapping and selling native inhabitants of the island into slavery) and strike terror and injustice in the Rakyat and the islands that are rightfully theirs. Vaas would operate from a hidden fortress in the North Island from where he would oversee the deaths and destruction he caused on the natives and the Rakyat who were once considered his family.
Main Article: The Far Cry Experience A few days before the events of Far Cry 3, Vaas captured and tortured to death celebrity Christopher Mintz-Plasse and his camera-man Barry who were hired by Ubisoft to beat the odds and survive in the "real" Rook Islands that inspired Far Cry 3. After Chris dies, Vaas hears from a pirate about Jason and his friends landing on the island and leaves to "welcome" them.
Do you know what the definition of insanity is?
“Way up in the fucking skies, you thought you had your finger on the pussy trigger! But hermano, down here, down here ... you hit the ground.”
— Vaas telling Jason and Grant that he owns them
During Jason and his friends' trip in Bangkok, they hear about an island where you "can do anything" from Doug, the nightclub DJ that works as a spotter for Vaas. They then decided to do a blind skydive over the Rook Islands. After landing, they are soon captured by Vaas and his Pirates. While Jason and his older brother Grant are tied up, Vaas explains how he is going to ransom them for large amounts of money from their parents. It is revealed later that even after receiving the ransom money, Vaas would sell them all as slaves for increased profit.
Make a Break for It
Main Article: Make a Break for It
“Run, Forrest, Run!”
— Vaas screaming at Jason to run for his life
After Jason and Grant escape and brew up an escape plan for everyone, Vaas shoots Grant in the neck, the latter of whom bleeds to death. Vaas decides that instead of killing Jason, he lets him run. This mistake would later be his undoing.
While on his campaign to save his friends, Jason learns that Vaas is keeping Liza Snow hostage personally, as a way to make Jason come to him. When Jason assaults a slave prison that is said to hold Liza, he is knocked out and captured by Vaas. When he wakes, he, Liza and Oliver are tied up in chairs in an old abandoned building, while Vaas is pouring and covering them in gasoline. He then sets fire to the building and leaves Jason and Liza to die, but he takes Oliver with him. They escape just as the building is engulfed in flames and collapses on itself.
Jason continues his campaign of saving his friends. During a meeting with CIA agent Willis Huntley, Huntley puts on a recording of a conversation between Vaas and Hoyt in which Hoyt briefly chastises Vaas for not taking matters seriously with Jason and urges him to take care of him while he searches Beras Town for a transportation manifest that holds the name of Oliver Carswell, who happens to be one of Jason's kidnapped friends.
After being given a mission by Citra to save some of her kidnapped warriors, Jason and some Rakyat members ambush Hoyt's men who are transporting Citra's warriors. Jason is, however, ambushed by Vaas again, when opening a truck that he believed to house the captured warriors. Vaas then ties Jason to a cinder block and introduces him to his insanity monologue before kicking him into a cenote, intending to drown him.
Jason escapes, then proceeds to kill more of Vaas’ men to acquire a helicopter and escape. After the helicopter is shot down by an RPG, Vaas comes up to Jason and shoots him point-blank in the chest. It is later shown that Jason survived the shot by way of a lighter, the same one Vaas tried to light him and Liza on fire within the abandoned hotel.
After becoming intimate with Citra in her temple, Jason is finally given the task to kill Vaas at his compound, who is throwing a party in celebration of Jason’s "death". Jason is led to believe he is infiltrating the compound successfully but is surprised when Vaas sounds the alarm and broadcasts that he knew Jason was coming. After killing all of the pirates, Jason stumbles into a larger warehouse looking to confront and kill Vaas once and for all.
When he confronts Vaas, Vaas stabs Jason in the chest and then seemingly walks away. Jason enters a similar dreamy state in which he confronted Buck and kills several visions of Vaas, before finally confronting the true Vaas. After some struggle, Jason plunges his knife into Vaas' chest again and again until Vaas falls to the ground wounded. In the last scene, when Jason collapses next to Vaas after the long fight, Vaas’ eyes look straight into Jason’s one more time before Jason wakes up.
As Jason approaches Citra in the final dream sequence, Vaas, or at least a voice in Jason's head that sounds like him, says that she's going to make him a warrior.
Following speculation that Vaas may have survived, Jeffrey Yohalem answered cryptically via Twitter. Instead of explicitly confirming that Vaas had died, he merely commented that the Privateers believed Vaas had died, saying "Sam and the privateers confirm Vaas' fate. What reason do you have to question them?" When asked during the Far Cry 4 Gamescom Demo, Ubisoft employees denied rumors that Vaas was to return in the sequel, due to him being "dead".
The Insanity Monologue
“Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact... same fucking thing... over and over again, expecting... shit to change. That... is crazy; but the first time somebody told me that... I dunno, I thought they were bullshitting me, so boom — I shot him. The thing is, okay... he was right. And then I started seeing: everywhere I looked, everywhere I looked, all these fucking pricks, everywhere I looked, doing the exact same fucking thing... over and over and over and over again thinking: "This time, it's gonna be different; no, no, no, no, no, please... this time it's gonna be different." I am sorry, I don't like the way you are looking at me... okay, do you have a fucking problem in your head? Do you think I am bullshitting you? Do you think I am lying? Fuck you! Okay? FUCK YOU! It's okay, man. I'm gonna chill, hermano. I'm gonna chill... the thing is... alright, the thing is: I killed you once already... and it's not like I am fucking crazy. It's okay... it's like water under the bridge.
Did I ever tell you the definition... of insanity?”
What is known about Vaas' personality comes from his close (and dangerous) encounters with the main protagonist. Close observation shows that he is reckless, violent, sadistic, brutal, unpredictable, cynical, Machiavellian, psychopathic, insane, extremely prideful, and a remorseless pirate lord with a dark sense of humor and a frighteningly violent personality - who is feared even by his own men - some of whom are as chaotic and psychotic as Vaas.
Despite being crazier and more mentally unstable than the other antagonists, such as Hoyt Volker, he was a charismatic and masculine leader and provided most of the jokes in the Far Cry Experience which saw the torture of Christopher Mintz-Plasse and his camera-man at the hands of Vaas.
However one can notice that once Christopher is not moving for the last time, he begins to attempt a resuscitate Chris. After failing, he seems to begin to genuinely mourn him, just before a fellow pirate announces Jason's arrival. Showcasing how quickly Vaas' moves from one obsession to the next, he then humorously begins to bury Chris' head in sand. This marks one of the few (if any) times in which he shows remorse towards one of his victims.
Vaas' has killed, mentioned to have killed, or been the root cause of death for many, many people, including:
- Vincent Salas (implied)
- Grant Brody
- Kim Jong-il (The Survival Guide for the .44 Magnum tells that Vaas sent a package to Kim Jong il, who died upon receiving said delivery)
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse
- Several men in Make a Break for It
- Make a Break for It
- Mushrooms in the Deep (Voice)
- Prison Break-in (Voice)
- Island Port Hotel
- Meet Citra
- A Man Named Hoyt (Voice)
- Warrior Rescue Service
- Citra's Favor (Voice)
Far Cry 3
The Far Cry Experience
- He is voiced and motion captured by Canadian actor Michael Mando.
- An interview with Michael Mando from G4TV revealed that when Michael went to audition for Ubisoft, Vaas did not actually exist. He originally auditioned for the character "Lupo" with features very similar to Vaas, but decided to do a different take of insanity on the written persona, and didn't get the part. However, Ubisoft was so impressed by his performance that they decided to scrap "Lupo" altogether and give Mando the role of Vaas, the main antagonist.
- Originally the character of Vaas' was to be a huge, heavily scarred man called Bull who looked nothing like Vaas, but Mando's audition was so good the writers changed the character design to the Pyro enemy, who looked just like Vaas, but with the left side of his face and upper body badly burned. Mando's casting and performance led to more changes that eventually led to Vaas.
- Vaas is featured in The Far Cry Experience, a web-series short film promoting the game, where he terrorizes a celebrity who is filming a reality show/documentary. He is played in live-action by his voice actor, Michael Mando.
- All the antagonists of Far Cry 3 are killed with a knife, including Vaas. This is due to Rakyat honour, which requires killing with a knife.
- Despite being the secondary antagonist, Vaas has more appearances than Hoyt Volker and his role has the most impact on the story. This could lead to rumors of Vaas being the true main antagonist (since he is Jason's and Dennis's arch-enemy.)
- Vaas' definition of insanity monologue is based on a quote often misattributed to Albert Einstein.
- Vaas seems to be an avid fan of movies as he has made references to Bambi, Forrest Gump and mentioned that he is a fan of Christopher Mintz-Plasse having seen most of his movies, "even the shitty ones". He immediately refers to Christopher as "McLovin", a reference to the film, Superbad.
- Vaas makes a reference to the movie Forrest Gump at the beginning of the game when he tells Jason: "Run Forrest, run!"
- You can spawn Vaas as an hostile AI in the Map editor, but his voice will not be used. Instead, it uses a pirate's voice.
- In the mission Payback, the same music in the club is used in Vaas' compound. The song name is I Fink U Freeky.
- Montenegro is Spanish for "Black Mount".
- Montenegro is also a former Yugoslavian country.
- Much of his fight scene foreshadows the climax of the game, with Jason essentially descending into Vaas' remorselessness and insanity, thus rebirthing Vaas through Jason.
- He seems to have respect for and loyalty to his men and allies. This is notably shown in the video with Liza Snow, as he only told one of the pirates to leave for interrupting the video, rather attacking or killing him. This is also shown in the Far Cry Experience videos where he respectfully talks to his men.
- The only time Vaas and Hoyt interact is in the mission A Man Named Hoyt, where you can hear them talking through an intercepted radio.
- They also appear physically together in the mission Make a Break for It, when Hoyt orders Vaas to stop harassing Jason and Grant.
- Vaas is one of the few characters to use a pistol, the other is Jason and Sam (who never fires, however).
- A prestige outfit, bobblehead doll and shirt of Vaas is available as a vehicle and clothing customization in Far Cry 5. The outfit does not include his beard for some reasons.
- In promotional material for Far Cry 3, Vaas has been compared to The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. The lead writer of Far Cry 3, Jeffrey Yohalem, says in an interview with OutsideXbox; "He's a creature of this rabbit hole of the game incursion. So there's this other layer to the game, there was the real layer of the game, which is the island layer. But there's this kind of Neverland, Alice in Wonderland layered of the game, and he's sort of The Cheshire Cat. So he's leading the protagonist Jason through this experience but at the same time he's trying to kill him."