Character Study: Vaas Montenegro (Far Cry 3)

It is what it says it is. I've tried to make this as reader friendly as possible, so give it a read if you feel like having your mind blown.


3. I - APPEARANCE: Physical Appearance

It would be easy for me to just post a picture, but it would defeat the point of the analysis. Vaas creates more of an imposing figure for himself than, in reality, he actually is.


In terms of his physical structure, yes, he is muscular - but not to the extent that he's bulky or burly. He's muscular, but lean. This serves him in the sense that it makes him look taller. Jason, as he is, is a 6ft-something athletic young man. Vaas is not as tall as Jason, but we, as third-party observers, wouldn't be able to tell through any of the encounters. This is because - in every encounter but the final - Jason is lowered or seated so he would have to look up at Vaas - giving the impression that the villain is taller. If Vaas was bulky, he wouldn't be able to create this impression, but the moderate muscular build is enough to make him intimidating.


Additionally, his appearance is complimented with his choice of hair, facial hair, jewellery, and a single scar that cuts through his head on the left side. His hair is styled in a mohawk - clean-shaved on both sides of his head, except for straight down the middle.

He could have his hair in this fashion for two reasons:

a) because he retains some of his tribal customs. The mohawk, after all, is a tribal hairstyle, named after a Native American tribe. However, none of the other Rakyat warriors that we meet throughout the course of the game have this style of hair.

b) Vaas uses the hairstyle to look both unsettling and to make his large scar more visible. If he grew out his hair, one would only be able to see the scar cut through his forehead and eyebrow - the rest of it would be covered. But because his head is shaved, we are able to see just how big a scar he really has.

To add, hair doesn't just stick up the way Vaas's does. It needs to be maintained and cared-for regularly to be able to keep sticking up. The same goes for his goatee. Though he's not flawlessly clean-shaved (both his head and face), it appears intentional to make Vaas look obscure, rugged and intimidating.


The jewellery I can't really explain. Aside from bandages and band-aids - Vaas has arm-bands, wrist-bands, necklaces, and ear-studs. His eyes also appear to be darkened with liner (though, much of the darkening could be attributed to sleep-loss or stress). Now, much of Vaas's personal interests are not disclosed throughout the game.

Unlike Hoyt, who enjoys “cooking, painting, movies, crystal meth” as well as hunting.

Unlike Buck, who has a taste and appreciation for ancient artwork, as well as brutality and rape.

And... you've got me on Citra, I have no idea what that crazy mofo is into.

But back to Vaas, we know that he's into movies. He makes references to Bambi, Forrest Gump and expressly says to Christopher Mintz-Plasse that he is “a big fan” of his work and has watched most of his movies, “even some of the sh*tty ones”. Vaas may or may not have taken a leaf out of movies to fashion himself the way he does.

I mean, take a look at Mr T - mohawk, bling, extremely intimidating - it works.


And also, has anyone noticed that - though he doesn't wear them - there are suspenders hanging from his trousers? (I think they're suspenders anyway)


Lastly, on the point of physical appearance, one must note his lack of tattoos. Now, in FarCry 3, tattoos or “Tatau” play a very significant role. Almost every combatant character except Hoyt Volker have tattoos - though, this again is questionable as he wears formal attire that doesn't show much skin. The tattoos apply to both friend and foe, villain and hero alike. Now, in some of the trailers, Vaas was given tattoos across his right arm (like in the Savages trailer) - but throughout the game, Vaas has none. It's ironic, because Vaas was part of the Rakyat before falling into Hoyt's hands - so he should have tattoos. But the fact that he doesn't shows his separation from his former life and this may also be a way of appeasing Hoyt.

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