The one and only — Resistance mod is so fun to play with
Look how angry my boi is
John you look so innocent, not knowing what’ll happen in seconds there
Guess our boys both have cursed lucks
I admit these shots are inspired by @sharky-broshaw ’s header
He couldn’t catch me, so he jumped on a tractor
Short answer: No, I don’t think Far Cry Absolution should be considered canon. It is not a bad book at all, just a flawed prequel.
Long answer: Below are the notable differences between the book and the game. It’s a quick read, I promise 😉
(Some SPOILERS for the book and for the game, obviously… But don’t worry, I won’t spoil the book’s major plot twists so you can still enjoy Absolution even if you read this post)
Mary May Fairgrave (and her family):
- The book says she has brown hair and that she’ll turn 30 soon. In the game, her hair is clearly blond and I don’t know how old she is supposed to be since her age is never mentioned. 30 years old seems right to me, though.
- In the book, she has a little brother named Drew, who is 3 years younger than she is and who joined Eden’s Gate. The problem is I’ve never heard anyone in the game mention him, not even Mary May. The only time she’s ever talked about her brother was in this trailer, but it’s likely that they changed her backstory (see next point). In the game, I’ve only seen her brother mentioned once, in this note (you can find it at Boyd Residence, in the bunker), but since it’s supposed to have been written by Will Boyd, the novel’s protagonist, it’s more an Easter egg than a canon proof… By the way, the Boyd Residence we can find in the game doesn’t entirely match the house described in the book.
- According to the novel, her mother (whose name is Irene) died two weeks before her father (whose name is Gary). Her father officially died in a car accident but the truth is a little more complicated. In the game, it’s her father who died first (Mary May and a voicemail confirm this). He was presumably killed by the cult for messing with them too much or maybe even trying to kill John Seed. We don’t know what her parents’ names are.
- At one point, she is captured and tattooed with her sin, which John believes is Envy (later, he says he was mistaken and that her sin is actually Wrath). We know from John’s note to Joseph and from another note found at the Hope County Clinic that she did receive a tattoo but was allergic to the ink and had to have it surgically removed. The only problem I have with John tattooing Mary May in the novel is that John’s note to Joseph implies that she, along with Nick and Jerome, was tattooed the day the cult captured Fall’s End. In the book, Fall’s End is still free when she receives her tattoo.
We (unfortunately) don’t see her a lot in the game but she seems in character in the book. Since Drew only appears in this novel, I’m not sure Mary May is still supposed to have a brother in the final version of the game… It’s the main reason why I don’t consider the book to be canon.
- He is said to be 10 years older than Mary May, so 39 or 40, and near 6 foot-tall. The height is believable but 40 seems a little old to me…
- In the book, he often carries a revolver. In the game, nothing indicates he has one. It’s likely the John from the book is based on the “early” John we see here and in Inside Eden’s Gate.
- He seems to enjoy hunting. This is not confirmed in the game but he does have several stuffed animals in his ranch so maybe it’s true.
John’s characterization is not perfect, but it’s clearly not as bad as I feared it would be. It slowly changes throughout the book and gets better in the third chapter, especially during Mary May’s tattoo session (a very cool scene). Nothing about planes, though.
Pastor Jerome Jeffries:
- The book says he was a gunnery sergeant during the first Gulf War. Several people in the game (including Jerome himself) confirm he fought in Iraq but I don’t think we know what his rank was. Jerome simply says he was “a pawn in an oil war”.
- He swears too much for my taste in the novel. That’s not how he talks in the game…
- In the book, Eden’s Gate is the name of the cult, of course, but it’s also a place. It’s the cult’s compound and it’s located somewhere in the mountains. There are gates with armed guards and cement blocks at the entrance, and a lake nearby. In the game, Joseph’s compound is on an island in the middle of the map and I don’t believe it’s what Joseph calls “Eden’s Gate”, is it?
- Will Boyd came to them 12 years before the events of the book so it’s implied they’ve been in Hope County for at least 12 years. In the game, we don’t know exactly when they arrived but we learn from a written note (Devoted’s letter) that “a youth group called Eden’s Gate” was already in Hope County in August 2009.
- It is stated in the novel that they forbid alcohol. This information is confirmed in the game. However, nowhere in the book does it say the cult forbids fornication (several people in the game confirm they do). It’s a problem because a character from the book says fornication happens “from time to time”. Eden’s Gate members are not ones to break the rules…
- At one point, Will witnesses a baptism. Oddly, Joseph is in the water. He is the Baptist and people are wearing white robes. Bliss is not mentioned. This whole scene looks more like what we see in the Baptism trailer (which is truly awesome but most likely not canon for various reasons) than in the game. Later in the book, when Mary May is cleansed, Joseph is not here. John is the Baptist and they use Bliss, just like in game canon.
- The bunkers are never mentioned in the book. John hears people’s confessions and tattoos them in a building somewhere in the Eden’s Gate compound.
- In the novel, is it stated that the Seed brothers come from Georgia. To my knowledge, this information is not in the game, but it is in The Book of Joseph (which may or may not be 100% canon). When they arrived, the novel says the cult only had “ten or so followers” but in The Book of Joseph, Joseph says there were “hundreds” of them when they arrived in Hope County.
It looks like the cult, its methods and its rules were not all decided on when the book was written… Some things have changed.
- The first time someone mentions Bliss, it is described as an addictive drug that helps people “do the things they have to do”. It is so addictive “most of them would kill their mothers if it meant they could get another hit”. It is different from the Bliss we know…
- The second time we encounter Bliss, it is poured in the water during Mary May’s cleansing. It is described as a dark liquid that stays on the surface “like an oil” and smells like flowers.
- The third time, John uses it in powder form when he tattoos Mary May. It has incapacitating and hallucinogenic properties, just like the Bliss from the game.
He’s “fifty-some years old” in the book. That seems… old.
Aside from this detail, I think Joseph’s characterization was spot-on and close to perfection. Good job, Mr. Waite!
Jacob doesn’t appear in the book but he is mentioned several times. John says Jacob “has been tracking wolves in the mountains”. He does so using GPS trackers on their collars. I don’t know if he uses them in the game but it would make sense. The book also says he “has begun to train women and men in the mountains”. This is true, but in the game he’s probably been doing this for years already.
She is not mentioned at all. Never. No one even says the Seed brothers have a sister. It’s like she doesn’t exist.
We meet him once in the book and he seems in character. There is a woman with him named Janet, who is a waitress at the Spread Eagle. I don’t think she exists in the game.
At one point, Mary May says, “I don’t think it was the sheriff but someone told John I was coming. I just couldn’t say who”. This person could be Nancy. It is also implied that the county coroner (who only appears in the novel) is a cultist.