Was anyone else sympathetic to Vaas? (Spoilers)

Avatar image for xxizzypop
#1 Posted by xxizzypop (665 posts) -

Sympathetic may be the wrong word to use, but I found by the end of the game that Vaas seemed to make a lot of sense as a character and a person, and the way in which he was broken, what he does now, just came together in a very real way.

Throughout the game, they like to really amp up the fact that he is a monster (which there is no doubt that that is what he's become), lots of 'fuck you's directed towards him and such, but I found the scene where Oliver, Liza and Jason are all tied into a chair before the building burns to be one of the most humanizing scenes for Vaas, especially in retrospect. The things he says seems like just a pissed off brother who hates outsiders at the time, talking about how Jason has caught jungle fever, but I really felt I understood why he was so angry, having been one of the Rakyat, and having eventually turned his back on them as well.

When he starts to talk about his sister, you can see how he broke. Citra likes to drive home that Hoyt twisted him and broke his mind with drugs and money, but we've seen by the end of the game how the Rakyat operate. Hallucinogenics, both violent and passive coercion, tyranny and primal law. It seems more than anything, that Vaas was a broken man before Hoyt ever came along. He's used very obviously by his sister to accomplish what ends she desired, pushing him beyond his capacity to deal with stress, shock and violence, to a hollow state and a sort of desperate emptiness. When he speaks to you, you can see he once loved his sister, who would appear to be his only family, but that he now despises her, understanding in hindsight the ways that she was twisting him.

You are angry, Jason. You are angry. Ok, I get that... I get it... I mean, without family, who the fuck are we? There was a time where I would do anything for my sister, you know? First time I ever killed was for my sister... But that was not enough for her, nononononono please... You see the thing about our loved ones, right? Our FUCKING loved ones, they come and they BLINDSIDE you every fucking time. So they say to me, they say "Vaas! Vaas! Who the FUCK is it going to be!? Them, or me!? ME, or THEM!?" Hehehehe... Like, you know, like they fucking think that I need to make a fucking choice.

While I came away from this game ultimately a little disappointed as far as an experience goes, I still feel good about having experienced it. Vaas feels like one of the most shockingly well realized characters that I can recall seeing in a video games (ignoring The Walking Dead) to the point where you almost feel sorry for him, what he's become, how suicidal his emptiness has made him and how desperate he seems to fill that void.

You know. Up until the point where you have to find a different description for the above scene than 'the one where he douses you and your friends in gasoline before setting you ablaze'

Avatar image for xalienxgreyx
#2 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2646 posts) -

I've always felt like people take Kuja from FFIX for granted as well. I've always thought of him as a well realized sympathetic villain in games.

Also this is well thought and an interesting point, I agree.

Avatar image for murdouken
#3 Posted by Murdouken (769 posts) -

Totally agree with you, but have kept it to myself up until this point lest people think I am a psychopath.

Avatar image for joey_ravn
#4 Posted by JoeyRavn (5219 posts) -

I really, really liked the character... though I'm utterly disappointed by how it was treated in the game. He was given the spotlight in just a few very precise sections of the game, while I would have wanted to feel his presence all throughout the story. And the scene where you kill him? That's bullshit, come on. Enough with the drug/dream sequences.

Ubisoft squandered one of its best characters, IMO.

Avatar image for the_laughing_man
#5 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13807 posts) -

Was real mad that there was not more of him. The last part he does with his speech is great. He was the best character in the game if you ask me.

Avatar image for ghostiet
#6 Edited by Ghostiet (5832 posts) -

Yeah, I found him to be a well realized character in the end. I'm pretty sure the moment when he snapped was when Citra proposed him sex - she mentions in the "stay" ending that Jason is now in Vaas' place.

Menendez from Black Ops II is also a similar bad guy in this regard. I like how both characters are complete, utter monsters that are given somewhat sympathetic backgrounds, yet these backgrounds don't distract from them being evil, evil dudes.

Avatar image for studnoth1n
#7 Edited by studnoth1n (232 posts) -

he's probably one of the more "realized" characters, but this speaks more to the performance than anything else. the writing was not particularly great. there were no real clever remarks or dialogue, or poignant insights that peaked my interests beyond the superficial. all the characters, despite their respective performances, essentially operate as expected and they're all deeply rooted in their own little impressionistic world, which is not a bad thing, since it does not necessarily detract from the whole hallucinogenic tone of the game. but no, no one has ever uttered anything, or even remotely suggested something where i later went, "huh. never thought about it like that." if anything, video games tend to make me feel better and superior in my adequate intelligence and taste, so i never question my understanding of the material. i'm i'm wrong, it's because the game mislead me;)

Avatar image for karkarov
#8 Posted by Karkarov (3385 posts) -

Vaas was definitely the best character from the game and I definitely felt a little sympathy for the guy by the end. Hell by the end of the game I wanted to take out the Rakkyat myself, they always felt off to me from day one and the game proves my initial impression was correct. Like most I think killing him off, especially in the way it was done, was cheap and silly. I would have much rather the guy survived through most if not to the very end of the game.

Avatar image for justin258
#9 Posted by Justin258 (14374 posts) -

I wish he had been in the game a hell of a lot more.

Avatar image for thedudeofgaming
#10 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6117 posts) -

I doubt the developers will ever shed light on his relationship with his sister. But I'm calling it, it's because of all the incest. It also really sucks that we get to see Vaas for like what? 4-5 cutscenes? He's definitely one of the most memorable villains in video games.

Avatar image for cjduke
#11 Posted by CJduke (902 posts) -

Vaas was awesome, and I totally agree. Citra clearly fucked him up and he choose to join Hoyt instead of being under her control. Its unfortunate there wasn't more of him in the game, he was a great character.

Avatar image for coafi
#12 Posted by Coafi (1520 posts) -

Vaas was an awesome bad guy, so it sucks he dies too early. Two of my favorite characters died in the game, Sam and Vaas.

Avatar image for ospreyscout
#13 Edited by OspreyScout (5 posts) -

Great point.

I believe Vaas character was rushed or left incomplete. It may also be that the writers put little info pieces here and there for us to pick up.

I still don't understand what's Vaas speech is about, when you infiltrate his hide out in that Island. During the "drugged" (Notice that the knife he stabs into you is alight/in flames) scene you only hear his voice, Citra's and yours. He also say "Im your Saviour, nail me to the cross!" Clearly, he was trying to kill two birds with one stone: Stop Jason from falling into Citra's hands and killing him.

It's somewhat weird. If someone read his dialogue without watching the game, one would think he is kinda trying to help Jason.

Or maybe, after all, he is really crazy and illogical.

EDIT: I was extremely annoyed by how they handled Vaas's death. I mean, we only see him "die" in a dream sequence (Even though, you can see his eye twitch) but we never get to see his corpse etc etc. On the other hand, many characters through the game say "You killed Vaas". I mean, how do they know Jason killed Vaas? Maybe Jason was also psycho due to drugs and hallucinated that he killed Vaas. Mayb

Oh, screw it.

Avatar image for nadril
#14 Posted by Nadril (638 posts) -

Avatar image for ospreyscout
#15 Posted by OspreyScout (5 posts) -

@Nadril: Yeah, you're right, but when you get out of the "dream" you can see Buck dead and Hoyt dead, in their respective cases. Not the same with Vaas. 

Avatar image for a1994114a
#16 Posted by a1994114a (2 posts) -

Vaas is a victim of his family. I played this game long time ago and this is the only character I remember. Sometimes I have a feeling like I'm living Vaas's life in real world. Families always want one to do something for them. As a result, it can go bloody, because if you don't do it, you gonna hurt your family but if you do it you gonna hurt yourself. The core is, the loved ones. It's the source of insanity. And it's what drove Vaas into a miserable victim of his family. Vaas used to love his sister but she kept trying to demand him to do things that he wouldn't even do for himself. Remember Vaas shouted at Jason when trying to burn Jason and Liza? He said," They say,'Vaas, is it them, or is it me? 'Like I need to make a fucking choice." ("them" refers to whoever citra want dead;"me" may refer to citra herself, in other words, the line in Vaas's line may mean Citra ask Vaas to kill someone for her, but Vaas doesn't want to do it so Citra says to him if he doesn't do it then the one that's going to die is herself) Apparently Vaas made his choice which is he won't get along with his sister anymore. He developed a belief which is one doesn't worth dying for loved ones because in his mind loved ones are all like Citra which were cluster fucks who don't care about him at all. Actually that might be reasonable for him to think this way as Citra might be his only family.

Vaas shot Grant Brody who's Jason's brother, but he let Jason run away. There were reasons. He saw himself in Jason when Jason trying to help his brother. This part may make him recall something when he was willing to do anything for Citra, but then he recalled the bad part with citra. And now he lost interest in killing Jason immediately as what he most wanted is changed to simply prove his belief is right by making Jason accept it first and then putting him to death. So at the moment he could shoot Jason to death, he let him run away.

Remember Vaas tied a stone on Jason's body to let him fall into the well? He told Jason the definition of insanity which in his interpretation was someone keeps doing something over and over again expecting this time it's going to be different. At that moment what he was trying to say is that Jason keeps coming to save his families without concerning safety of his own life. In other words he wanted to say Jason was insane. By that time Jason already successfully rescued Liza and if he keeps succesfully getting others saved then that's going to violently shake what Vaas believes in all through his life. So Vaas desperately wanted him dead and threw him into the well.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.