Far Cry Primal: walk free

The twelfth and penultimate part in my series on Far Cry Primal, where I play through the game and offer commentary.

Written by Josho Brouwers on

How far we’ve come since Tutorial Land! Before the Easter break, I had wandered through Oros, completing most of the specialist missions, including those of comic relief character Urki. Today, I will finish the main plot of the game by slaying the leaders of the two rival tribes: Ull of the cannibalistic Udam and Batari of the fire-worshipping Izila.

One of the interesting things about Far Cry Primal is that, at least in the case of the Izila and the Wenja, the developers seem to purposefully try to subvert the old stereotype of “man the hunter” and “woman the gatherer”.

As a general rule, in relatively poor environments (with lower temperatures and/or at higher latitudes), men are more likely to contribute relatively more to the diet because they are often – but not not always! – responsible for hunting animals, and animal meat is an important part of the diet.

In environments that possess greater amounts of biomass (such as the fictional valley of Oros), men often work alongside women to forage for food, and a large part of the diet consists of plant matter. For more, see Frank Marlowe’s article, ‘Hunting and gathering: the human sexual division of foraging labor’, published in Cross-Cultural Research 41 (2007), pp. 170–195.

In the game, there is no marked difference in the kinds of jobs that Wenja men and women perform. Tensay the shaman could equally well have been female, and Sayla might just as well have been a man. Likewise, Takkar, the player character, would have lost nothing if he had been a she instead. (Though the Far Cry games have always had a male protagonist so far.)

The Udam seem to be more strict in their division of labour, which fits the harsh environment from which they originate: you’ll never fight an Udam tribeswoman in the game. The Izila seem to divide the duties equally between men and women: you’re as likely to fight an Izila woman as you would a man, and the tribe as a whole is of course led by Batari.

But back to the business at hand. My first task is to take care of Ull. I travel to the north and use the antidote that Sayla prepared for me earlier to pass through a cave filled with rot fumes. Upon entering Udam land, I have to cross a series of canyons before the map opens up for me. With my pets I manage to dispatch any Udam quite easily. Along the way, I also capture another bonfire, the fifteenth in total (out of sixteen).

The game informs me that Udam is hiding in a cave on the far end of the valley that I’m currently in. I approach the cave and continue to slay all those that oppose me. Upon entering it, the cave turns out to be a complex system of tunnels, with Ull hiding somewhere inside. Eventually, I find myself in a large chamber with Ull in the middle. Frozen ice shards are above his head and the game helpfully suggests I shoot those to damage the enemies underneath. Doing so takes immediate care of Ull’s helpers.

But it doesn’t kill Ull, obviously. What follows is a fairly straightforward boss battle: Ull charges at me every once in while and I dodge out of the way. The aim is to whittle down Ull’s health until nothing remains. With one of my pets helping out, the task is trivial.

After a few minutes, Ull has been defeated and a cut scene takes over. He stumbles and falls, then grabs a baby Udam. He threatens to kill it for some inexplicable reason before his son appears and he changes his mind. He hands the baby to me and asks for the Wenja to take care of his people. I return to my village and Ull’s son and the baby are adopted by the Wenja.

The game offers some interesting ways in which cultures might have intermixed in prehistoric times. It might indeed have been possible that people took pity on orphaned children from another band and adopted them. Or, indeed, they might have captured someone like Roshani or Dah and made them a part of their own community. In the game, the latter two are key to gaining access to certain Udam and Izila technologies, after all.

But time waits for no man and I should really turn my attention toward Batari now. I head to the entrance of the Izila homeland and use a mammoth to ram down the gate. I am then tasked to rescue Wenja prisoners, who help me in toppling a large standing stone to breach the outer walls of Batari’s temple.

The level of sophistication displayed here with regards to monumental stone architecture and wooden palisades is more typical of the Neolithic really than anything from 10,000 BC, but since the Izila also have access to anachronistic technologies like pottery and domesticated wheat, it’s too late to complain about that now.

In any event, I gain access to the temple and have to fight Batari. The leader of the Izila is on a platform and I have to shoot her with my bow and arrows. It’s a long and arduous process, interrupted frequently by the appearance of reinforcements. After having whittled down her health considerably, she finally storms at me and I’m able to club her to death. A touch unrefined perhaps, but it gets the job done.

A cut scene again takes over and I watch as Takkar holds Batari in the fires of her altar and finally pushes her in once she’s completely on fire, screaming in agony. The Udam may have been cannibalistic brutes, but at least Ull got a more dignified death!

I again return to the Wenja village. Everyone is pleased with the result and the game informs me that I have managed to conquer Oros successfully. I am taken to the Wenja village totem and told that my spirit made the Wenja strong. Tensay adds that the Wenja will speak about Takkar the Beast Master for many moons to come. And with that, the game’s credits roll, after which I am treated to a brief cut scene featuring Ull’s son taming a bear.

There are a few loose ends to tie up. I head to Dah’s hut and find that the proud warrior is suffering greatly from the effects of skull fire. He says that the only warrior stronger than himself had been Ull, and since I managed to kill the Udam leader, I am also worthy of killing Dah and putting him out of his misery. It’s a bitter-sweet end to his story. Leaving his hut, I head to Roshani, fearing the worst, but he’s actually rather cheerful. I tell him he’s free, but he’s decided to stay with the Wenja. I convince him to abandon his military interests and teach the Wenja how to till the fields instead.

I may have completed the main story, but there’s plenty left to do: I’m still far from achieving 100% completion in the game. Nevertheless, I think this is a good point to end the game diary on Far Cry Primal. There will be one more article in this series, which should go live this Thursday, in which I share with you my closing thoughts about the game as a whole. I will then also include a list of books and a few articles that you might want to give a read if you’re at all interested in prehistory.

This article is part of the series, Let's play Far Cry Primal.