Far Cry 6, Antón Castillo and the face of tyranny

Far Cry 6, Antón Castillo and the face of tyranny

Far Cry 6

The Far Cry series has always been characterized by its bizarre characters, bordering on madness, which with Far Cry 3 have found a general consensus from the public and critics, so much so as to make them almost the protagonists of subsequent adventures created by Ubisoft. Just look at the advertising campaigns of the last few chapters to notice the push given to the evil opposing figures compared to the positive characters, the ones that the player then actually impersonates. From Vaas, to Pagan Min, passing by the Prophet Joseph and the most recent purchase of the family, Antón Castillo, these iconic faces have marked the success of the series, so much so that the French development house has chosen, for Far Cry 6 , to make the antagonist immediately recognizable through the hiring of an exceptional actor like Giancarlo Esposito. And we would like to focus on this figure, not so much to descend into critical territory (for that you can refer to our review), as in the analytical one.

Let's go, then, to discover Antón Castillo, a character who it is in turn the icon and the summary of a tyrannical "tradition" that spanned the last century and which continues to subjugate entire nations to this day.

Historical influence

Far Cry 6: Antón Castillo is a fearsome tyrant, covered by a structured military apparatus The character played by Giancarlo Esposito is evidently the son of a historical-cultural idea very precise, that of the dictator at the head of a military regime strongly linked to the ideas of control and order, through which to bring the nation governed with an iron fist towards a total well-being that includes it among the ranks of the great world powers. As history has taught us (and continues to teach us), the situation is more complex than that; there are many layers, many veils to move before being able to see the general picture (which usually turned out to be a game of geo-political balances that are difficult to disentangle).

After the various uprisings that led to liberation of several countries under colonial yoke between the 19th and early 20th centuries, these independent neo-states saw the rise of poverty and isolation, as well as internal divisions and civil wars, which benefited several powers that started to plant the seeds for possible profit opportunities.

Far Cry 6: an illustration of the Spanish-American War of 1898 This trend intensified especially after the Second World War, where the "winners" were mainly the US and Soviet factions. Given their advantageous positions with respect to a torn and fragmented European territory, as well as already partially occupied by the military forces of both sides, the United States and the Soviet Union had the possibility to intervene and, often, to deliberate in situations where, in other circumstances, otherwise they would have had little say in the matter. Among these, there was also the whole "exploded" situation in Latin America, a real socio-political headache.

Precisely during the years of bipolarism, Central and South America were experiencing a period of great social ferment . Among the prominent situations, the one that attracted the most international attention was undoubtedly the Cuban question, before and after the 1958 revolution. And Yara, the territory where the Far Cry 6 events take place, precisely in Cuba seems to be inspired. Just the fact of being an archipelago brings to mind some associations. To convince this, however, are the internal situations.

Far Cry 6: a photograph of the guerrillas marching during the Cuban revolution First of all, the embargo and the economic recession that hit the country after the revolution of the '67, conditions very similar to those of post-revolutionary Cuba under the leadership of Castro following the communist turn. The racial and identity issue is also a recurring theme in the game as well as in Castro politics, so much so that, during the adventure, the gap and the relative uncertainty regarding the conditions of minorities following the possible coup d'etat are repeatedly emphasized. Moreover, although the years of the respective revolutions do not coincide, what comes back is the death of the revolutionary "legend" of the game, Lobo, with that of the Cuban revolutionary legend (not only), Ernesto "Che" Guevara, both of whom died in 1967. while fighting for the liberation of an oppressed people (the fictitious Yarani on one side and the more tangible Bolivians on the other).

Castillo the emulator

Far Cry 6: Antón Castillo is the videogame incarnation of the dictatorial figure At the center of this clash between history and adaptation we find the dictator, the elected one, "El Presidente". Antón Castillo, however, is not only the carbon copy of the Cuban tyrant Fulgencio Batista (deposed by the July 26 Movement in '58), but also that of other South American tyrants, such as René Barrientos Ortuño or Augusto Pinochet. With the latter, in particular, he shares the ferocity and the support of huge military forces (not to mention the foreign "incentives" related to the '73 coup, led by the American consensus, identified in the figures of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger), in addition to having committed crimes against humanity.

In short, Antón is a sort of creature of Frankenstein, assembled from the remains of some of the most cruel and oppressive individuals who have ever set foot on ours planet; the emulation of a violent story. And this not only on the character level, but also (and above all) on the iconographic level.

Castillo the icon

Far Cry 6: the historical reference behind the aesthetics of Castillo Come for every other aspect, even the way of appearing of Antón Castillo takes up the historical features of the various military regimes of the twentieth century. Indeed, at times, Far Cry 6 even appears to be a game set in an uncertain period, almost crystallized in a "past future". The economic conditions of the country are fully explained at the beginning of the narrative (the embargo issue), but Yara is nevertheless a highly detemporalized place, almost free from stable references capable of providing exhaustive time coordinates.

Precisely. here, perhaps, hides the ace in the hole in the representation of the dictator Castillo; the (apparent) timelessness of the title allows styles of the past to converge with current trends, giving life on the screen to postwar views and sensations set in a decidedly contemporary world.

Far Cry 6: the colors that distinguish the Castillos are identifying signs of their person Castillo and its regime are distinguished by white shades crossed by red and gold hues, classic colors that outline not only the purity and genuineness of the intentions, but also the regal and precious character of those who they are in command, as well as of the people and of the nation as a whole, as well as underlining the courage, valor and fearlessness that surrounds every single citizen (in favor of the current government). If in the real world someone would choose these colors on the basis of these criteria and the values ​​that he is willing to bestow, within a work of fiction such as a video game, these small aspects begin to mark some peculiarities characterizing the character or faction in question.

The pure and uncontaminated white that dominates in the garments of Castillo and his son makes the intense red of the harnesses of their uniform stand out even more, as if to mark the loss of the much vaunted innocence, now stained from the blood of innocent lives. White becomes, therefore, more a background than a dominated color, mottled by the opulence and elitism of the gold details and, above all, by the cruel, decisive and oppressive purple signature, which has a bloody touch. After all, this aggressive and pompous vision of the greatness of the dictator's ideas is perfectly exemplified by the symbol of the regime, namely the head of a lion, an icon par excellence of pride and ferocity.

Far Cry 6: the importance of chromatisms is recurrent throughout the game Unlike the antagonist's external appearance, linked to a very Westernized vision of the Latin American (but not only) dictatorial figure, the iconography of the regime seems to be heading towards Soviet shores, starting with the enormous sculptures of El Presidente that can be found near Esperanza, the capital of Yara, and from the propaganda images scattered around the archipelago. The architecture, on the other hand, as pointed out by Castillo himself, takes up the traits of art deco, strongly appreciated by the latter's father (but also by many pro-fascist personalities of the first half of the twentieth century).

Ultimately, we find, also in this case, a fairly functional mixture of different iconographies that collide and collaborate in the creation of a single dictatorial ideal; as if to say that, although with different political perspectives, a dictatorship is still a dictatorship.

Castillo the speaker

Far Cry 6: the persuasive power of Castillo has a strong influence about the people around him A "good" tyrant cannot be a bad speaker. The fascination and effectiveness of many dictators in the past stemmed from the persuasive qualities of the latter, capable of enchanting entire populations (mostly illiterate, it must be said) with their words full of promises and hopes for a better future. When these didn't work, then it was the turn of violence and military coups. Such words, however, could not exhaust their effectiveness immediately after taking office: they had to last over time, as long as possible.

If Castillo has a quality on his side, this is the oratory. Although his plan to build paradise begins to leak from all sides as the rebels free Yara from the military yoke, his speeches continue to have a sort of hold on the population, which will only decide to rise up at the moment of rupture. deeper and more radical (probably viewed poorly even by a large section of the yarani).

The propaganda of his regime is strongly rooted in the social fabric and in international public opinion. The cure for cancer that grows in local (genetically modified) tobacco is an incentive not to be underestimated for world powers, as well as an opportunity for profit and economic rebirth for all the inhabitants of the island who have lived in poverty for almost sixty. years precisely because of foreign straits.

With the promise of the reconstruction of the "lost paradise" of Yarano (evidently the pre-revolutionary world remembered by little Antón, who was thirteen at the time of the fall of his father's government) , El Presidente was able to secure the consent of farmers, the largest slice of the island's population. His persuasive force relied on the desperate situation that arose after the first revolution, as a result of which the guerrillas were easily identified as terrorists. Precisely because of the new uprisings, people distrust the intentions of the Libertad movement and of all those who want to subvert the power relations and "cut off the lion's head". Eventually, of course, all the knots (or almost all) come to a head, but the fact that a good degree of oratory can lead an entire nation to follow the promises of glory and greatness made by a single individual is a historical occurrence that has also found very recent confirmations.

Far Cry 6: oratorical shrewdness is a constant of the villains of the saga This ability is common to the majority of the antagonists of the Far Cry saga (but also of other productions). The charisma of these individuals, for whom no degree of compassion should be felt, is mainly given by the words they choose and how they use them. It is no coincidence, often, that what remains most impressed in our memory is an iconic phrase or a particularly effective speech, capable of making us reflect on our beliefs and on the motivations of those who should be only and exclusively evil.

While these characteristics do not stand out particularly in the character of Antón (perhaps due to the way in which he was handled), the seeds of this duality are still present, which prompts the player to wonder if what he is doing is actually the right thing to do. the Yaran people.

Castillo the inept

Far Cry 6: Antón Castillo is nothing more than a disillusioned child, forced to become "big" too soon What is striking about Castillo is the coldness in actions and interactions, followed by the measure in the choice of terms and expressions that he uses in public, despite the difficulty in retaining his angry character. This very aspect of him is what will bring him to ruin.

Ultimately, Antón is inept; a sad discard of society, obsessed with the past and descent, blinded by the "greatness" of his father and convinced that he must bring his people (but, especially, himself) to the gates of heaven, as a sort of messiah of numbered days. Convinced of the purity of his actions, he is willing to go beyond the well-being of the individual in order to fulfill the interests of the nation; a nation that, seen from his perspective, seems empty, with only him inside, lost in his glass palace, at the center of restoration projects that only scale to his narrow views of a future where the sunset can be admired from all the streets of the capital. The loss of control, so stubbornly coveted by the antagonist, is what leads to his decline both as a leader and as a person. A trajectory that has marked the downfall of many self-styled kings.

Far Cry 6: a true dictator must be able to speak to the people We hope you enjoy this in-depth study on the character of Antón Castillo in Far Cry 6. We are waiting for you in the comments to find out what you think of the new "bad guy" of the Ubisoft saga.

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