Now hear me out on this one. I know that he’s the henchman of the big bad and he kidnaps your friends and kills a shit ton of innocent people but he’s the reason that Jason saves the day.
Lets start with the facts. He was born and raised on the Rook Islands as a part of the Rakyat Warrior tribe. His only relative that we know of his sister, their current leader. At some point he leaves the Rakyat to join Hoyt Volker, a criminal who had been harvesting the islands people in order to sell them as part of his human trafficking ring, enticed by the promise of money and drugs. He assembles his group of pirates from the disparate people of the islands and fashions them into a brutal fighting force that rapes, loots, and plunders across the villages of the islands.
Jason Brody and his friends go for a vacation on these islands, being rich and not having anything else to do. Vaas kidnaps them and ransoms them to their parents –and I quote, “You guys smell like money to me”–. Jason and his older brother Grant break out of their cage and Grant dies helping Jason escape. Jason rises to power by indulging the dark side of humanity– and doing a lot of drugs– and kills Vaas and liberates the Islands. But did Vaas want Jason to kill him? If Vaas wanted to take revenge on Hoyt and liberate the islands he might need Jason because he can’t, because he’s not sane enough to do it, or because he doesn’t think he can get close enough to Hoyt and isn’t strong enough to beat his personal army.
Vaas has ample opportunity to kill Jason in their encounters together and the ways that Jason escapes these scenarios defy logic and stretch suspension of disbelief so hard that I came up with this theory. The only thing that makes sense to me is that Vaas doesn’t want to kill Jason, he wants him riled up.
The first interaction between Vaas and Jason Vaas has considerable advantage. Vaas has looked through every bit of information he could scour from Jason and his friends’ phones. He knows their relations and he might know deep personal things about them. One of the first thing he says is that Jason and Grant are his bitch. As anyone who’s seen too much media about prisons we all know that the all know that the only way to stop being someone’s bitch is to commit acts of violence against the master and his friends. Vaas knows that Grant is ex-military and leaves them alone with one guard. Grant is able to break Jason free with his military skills.
We next meet Vaas while he’s executing prisoners by shooting them in the head, I only mention this because it will come into play later. Before Grant and Jason can escape Vaas shoots Grant. Now, Jason is the middle brother between Grant and Riley. This killing gives Jason the perfect opportunity to rise to violence. The oldest brother is responsible for protecting and keeping his younger siblings safe if they can’t help themselves, we see Grant do this with Jason. And so Jason will want to do it as the oldest brother. His previous status as the middle brother means that he’s not the baby, and doesn’t have everything given to him. As the middle brother he lacks direction. He is an empty vessel waiting to be filled. Vaas talks a lot about his sister so he might know a thing or two about familiar dynamics and even if he didn’t then killing Grant gives Jason more than enough reason to have vendetta against him.
After this Vaas tells Jason he’ll give him a ten second head start and then waits for him to start running before he counts. And I quote, “Run Forrest run. Run you chicken fuck.” Jason runs through the jungle and escapes the countless pirates and a fucking helicopter. I don’t know what sort of world this is but the only reason Jason gets away is because Vaas probably told his men that “The jungle will kill him,” or other such nonsense. Vaas knows this to be untrue. The river that Jason has fallen into is upstream from a Rakyat supporter named Dennis. Dennis, who is on the lookout for something or someone to turn the tide against the pirates. Dennis who is kind to a fault. It might be a little chancy, but he loses nothing by Jason’s death and has everything to gain by Jason’s life.
One small strange thing is that one of Jason’s friend’s Daisy “escapes” to a man who will protect her. A man who’s dead daughter looks suspiciously like Daisy. I doubt that Daisy would be able to escape a convoy of pirates, especially considering that she gets incredibly sick by brushing up against poisonous plants. The sheer fortune of her escape near a doctor’s house who looks very much alike to his dead daughter seems like too many coincidences to me. It seems more like a bread trail, a small success to goad Jason on.
Jason goes off looking for his friends and gets knocked out by the pirates. This would be an opportune moment to kill him, as we know that Vaas executes his enemies, but Vaas doesn’t. Jason wakes up in a room, he, his girlfriend, and one of this other friends are tied to chairs and Vaas is pirouetting around pouring gasoline around. Vaas monologues about the nature of family while he tries to get a lighter to light. It won’t. Vaas talks about his sister, the leader of the resistance. The last person he should want Jason to meet. He puts it into Jason’s chest pocket, takes the friend out, and produces a book of matches. He lights the matches and the building goes up. When Jason and Liza escape there is one guard taking a piss by a jeep. Why would Vaas leave one guy to defend the biggest pain in his ass?
Jason meets Vaas’ sister and they start working together to liberate the islands. She eventually tasks him with hunting down some captured soldiers. They’re not being escorted by pirates, they’re actually being escorted by Hoyt’s personal guard. When Jason reaches the APC Vaas jumps out and punches him in the face, knocking him out. Vaas has impressed on Hoyt how he, “Doesn’t give a fuck about Jason Brody,” but if Hoyt wanted him to lay a trap then it would benefit Vaas that Jason learn about this military organization.
When Jason wakes he’s bound and tied to a concrete block. Vaas monologues about the definition of insanity in one of the most compelling speeches I’ve heard in a game. When he’s done he kicks the block into an underground lake. Jason falls and escapes his bonds because he’s the protagonist– or because Vaas tied them poorly. Jason escapes the lake to a waterfall right next to Vaas’ camp. What are the odds?
Jason tries to escape by holding up a helicopter but it crashes. Who walks out of the jungle but Vaas himself. Vaas walks up to a delirous Jason and draws his pistol. He pushes it into Jason’s chest, breaking with his tradition of execution style killings, and fires. Jason doesn’t die though, the lighter VAAS PUT THERE stops the bullet. I know Vaas is a crazy meth addict but this is absurd. Jason awakes in a mass grave– someplace he’ll be unnoticed– and climbs out. He’s conveniently right next to the camp where his equipment is kept.
The lighter is the last straw. The last thing that stretched the established plots’ sensibility before it snapped. No one is that lucky. No one is that incompetent. Vaas has whipped Jason into a frenzied warrior who will kill anyone who gets in his way. Vaas has led him to the Rakyat and against Hoyt, the man responsible for his madness. If Vaas wanted to be a pirate he failed in Jason Brody. If he wanted to kill Hoyt then Jason is his magnum opus.
Either that or Ubisoft has some of the worst, most cliched writers in history.