Here is a little article that made me have a good feline on this questionable Friday: in Far cry 6, there is an island with a wrecked boat full of cat dolls. It’s cute. It’s also, as I just learned today, apparently a long-standing gag in a particular flavor of Ubisoft card games.
Far cry 6, an open-world shooter released earlier this month for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, is Ubisoft’s latest game of its kind. Even stacked next to the rest of the studio wallet, Far cry 6 is in a full size class; talk to TechRadar, Far cry 6 Global Director Ben Hall said the development team has gone to great lengths to create a map that is so large it feels like it is crossing an entire country.
The result – well, aside from a map that makes you dizzy when you zoom in as far as possible – is a big game full of little secrets, including naked references to Ubisoft games. As Assassin’s Creed and Primordial Far Cry.
You’ll find the Cat Boat on an otherwise nondescript island off the east coast of Yara in the Barrial region. Just warning: it’s a bit of a pain to get there. The nearest landmark, the Fragose Escarpment, does not have docks where you can lift a boat or jet ski. Sharks also obstruct the channel between the mainland, so you can’t swim without first getting eaten alive. And if you haven’t cleared the nearby anti-aircraft site, you can’t fly a helicopter to get there either.
When you finally find a way, you will see …
Alongside a castaway message written in the rocks: MIA U.
As far as I know, they are of no use in gameplay. You don’t get any equipment or items. They aren’t used to advance the plot, or as a pivot point in side quests (which I’ve discovered). They’re just … cat dolls on a wrecked boat. At first glance, there is nothing more.
But as commentators on Reddit underline, there are similar references in many recent Ubisoft games. In Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014), you can find a boat full of cats (alive, no doll) in La Bièvre. Watch dogs 2 (2016) has a boat full of cats (dolls, certainly not alive) under a bridge. There are another (dolls, also not alive) under the docks of Guard Dog Legion (2020). This one is a bit more obvious, but in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2020), you might have a cat (not a doll, alive and well) in your crew on your Viking longship.
Half-way Ubisoft’s presser for July 2020, Amanda Mundt, a level artist at Ubisoft Toronto who worked on Guard Dog Legion, spoke about what it’s like to create a sprawling digital landscape and the freedoms with which an artist can approach the smallest details.
“I have the ability to hide things, like, you know, little little Easter eggs,” she said, before mentioning both the Unity and Watch dogs 2 cat boat references. “There may or may not be something in London that is a boat full of cats to some extent.”
It is not known if the cats of Far cry 6 are the work of Mundt or a tribute from a like-minded colleague. (Ubisoft Toronto led the production of the two Guard Dog Legion and Far cry 6.) Ubisoft did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.