BUILD­ING A BET­TER CULTIST

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Far Cry 5 is built around Hope County, Mon­tana – a fic­tional, ro­man­ti­cised mir­ror of the real place. Only, in Ubisoft Mon­treal’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion, the area has been seized by re­li­gious fa­nat­ics pre­par­ing for the end of the world. Led by Joseph Seed, aka The Fa­ther, a cultish con­gre­ga­tion has taken up arms as Eden’s Gate, and is be­gin­ning to pre­pare for the in­evitable col­lapse of so­ci­ety in the only way that small-town Amer­ica knows how.

Far Cry has al­ways been known for its larger than life vil­lains, and this in­stal­ment is set to be no dif­fer­ent. “I was get­ting pretty ner­vous… be­cause I didn’t know a whole lot about cults,” laughs Hay. “I had done a lot of re­search and mined sto­ries that I had heard, and read a lot of books, and be­gan to build this pro­file, but what I re­ally needed was val­i­da­tion. So we brought in these cult ex­perts.”

The team brought in cult ex­perts from across the world – such as Rick Alan Ross (se­ri­ously, make sure you look this guy up) – to bring an au­then­tic­ity to the way the charis­matic cultists look, speak and act. “Rick Ross was great. He was like, ‘Yeah! That makes to­tal sense; that’s su­per cool, for sure that hap­pened; and I’ll tell you where that hap­pened, and I prac­ti­cally know that guy!’”

“What was re­ally cool about it was that the more he spoke was the more we re­alised that there was some­thing that we were miss­ing. Which is… these cults al­most have a lan­guage of their own – a par­lance in the way that they com­mu­ni­cate. They use nouns and verbs that we don’t or­di­nar­ily use, and it be­came au­then­tic only when we started to build our own lan­guage and talk about the rhetoric that these guys talk about. That was a big mo­ment for us to be able to go: we’ve built a mag­netic char­ac­ter; we’ve built a be­liev­able fic­tion; yes, we’ve built our own space; and yes we want peo­ple to un­der­stand that it is en­ter­tain­ment, but it also has to have the feel­ing and the cadence of what a real cult would have. Once we had that, once we started to see that out in our world, it started to feel much more… real.”

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