Farcry 5 Analysis of the character: Faith
Farcry 5 is one of the biggest titles of this year, due to its vast open world, and interesting narrative. Faith, a herald of one of the regions, is a character that seems to be a relatively simple antagonist. She poisons the water and brainwashes your allies. However, upon closer inspection, Faith proves to be an incredibly complex character, and is used as a tool to progress narrative depth and religious commentary.
To add context, the game focuses on a lot of biblical parallels and lore. Putting a huge emphasis on the seven deadly sins. In addition to this, Faith is the only antagonist that isn’t directly related to the Seed family.
The game first establishes this complexity with her name: Faith. The definition of faith is a “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof”. This is important to note, because it allows the player to associate Faith with the metaphysical (concept), rather than the physical (body).
In addition to her name becoming associated with the metaphysical, faith, is also one of the seven virtues. The seven virtues are direct opposites of the seven deadly sins. This is interesting since the game puts a heavy emphasis on the seven deadly sins through both The Father, and John Seed. Because of this, Faith becomes even more of an outsider to the Seed family, and is more individualized.
The next point of interest is Faith’s appearance. Unlike the Seed family, she doesn’t have any visible scars or tattoos. She is presented as pure. She wears a pure white dress, and is traditionally attractive. This helps add to the image that faith is a pure metaphysical concept. Further, the player never actually comes into physical contact with Faith. Every time she appears in a day vision or in an actual narrative subject matter, she disappears, or fades away when the player comes close. She appears only in ‘visions’ or ‘dreams’ (A biblical motif). Also, she is seen throughout the game floating, flying, with white wings, something that physically doesn’t make sense in the game. Even in Faith’s death sequence, when the player feels as if they can finally meet Faith, she fades away. This evidence shows Farcry 5 pushes Faith not as a physical antagonist, but rather a metaphysical character that is a representation of faith.
Interactions with Faith are also important because of this metaphysicality. In the first main mission with faith, you take a “leap of Faith” (Mission title). Within this mission you see Faith grow wings, like an angel, and fly away. With her pure image, the wings establish her as an angelic character (and not entirely evil). The next few missions with Faith are trying to persuade the player to join her through the bliss. However, constant rejection lead Faith to take a more violent approach, leading to the last mission.
The last mission with Faith is “Paradise Lost”. This is important because it makes an allusion to John Milton’s Paradise Lost. For those who haven’t read the biblical epic, it is a poem about the fall of humankind, and their expulsion from the garden of Eden. Because of the angelic imagery of Faith, and the allusion to the classic, the final fight with Faith contains much more biblical depth than any other fight sequence. In the fight with Faith, she floats, makes copies of herself, and casts fire at you. Because she is established as an angelic figure, the fact that her clones attempt to cast you out of Eden’s Gate through fire invites a parallel to the angel Michael casting Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden with a fire sword. Additionally, Faith says “live by the sword, you will die by the sword”, furthering the fire analogy to that of Micheal’s flaming sword. This narrative depth in Far Cry 5 allows for deeper thematic ambiguity and meaning behind Faith.
Farcry 5’s metaphysical Faith provides religious commentary that portrays faith as hypocritical. The hypocrisy comes from Faith’s attempt to convert the Marshal into Eden’s Gate. He rejects it, but eventually the Bliss force him to give in. She becomes hypocritical after you rescue the Marshal, when she says “you forced someone to leave that didn’t want to go”. Ironically, she used force to make the marshal adhere, and sees your force as wrong. This can be seen as as a jab at religious persecution, or even just hypocrisy in religion entirely.
Other commentary associates faith with drugs, or bliss. Despite Faith’s pure appearance, her backstory is very dramatic, hinting to rape, suicide, and drug use. By her conversion to Eden’s Gate, she has then escaped this reality of her past life (Rachel Jessop), and leaves it all behind for the Father. She adopts a new name, and becomes a herald in the cult. She then becomes in charge of the production of Bliss, which acts as a comparison to faith in religion to faith in drugs to escape the harshness of reality. This escape from reality can be seen in her introduction: “I’m a liar, a manipulator, poison people’s minds”. With her metaphysical importance, this line can mean that her faith, or her drugs do either or both. The final scene, where Faith ‘dies’ shows a return to reality when she says “I was 17, I was just a child”. This is a return to reality because she is accepting her true identity and her own existence. Whether her return to reality is from the lack of drugs, or the lack of faith in The Father is unclear. It is clear, however, that her character is almost redeemed by this return to reality.