I enjoyed the fuck out of Just Cause 2; the densely populated world alone made it a worthy stand-in for Grand Theft Auto V which, at the time, I was prohibited from playing due to its violent nature. I found comfort in Avalanches’s open world sandbox extravaganza featuring a baby politician, a hoodwink case officer, Bolo Santosi and of course, the handsome dictator removal specialist.
These are the video game characters that summed up my childhood. While only being a work of fiction, they became an important part of my life. Well, until I discovered Borderlands. In short, it was time well spent. In fact, it was so fun I still return to check in on the now liberated Panau. I often brush past the deserted government institutions in my Rowlinson or even take pot shots at the few that still stand (weakly).
On my recent trip (which was yesterday, if you must ask) I headed to perhaps the only region dominated by Panau forces; the city districts. As I watched the sun set on the concrete jungle in the dock district, I noticed blue scaffolding on one of the skyscrapers in the adjacent park district. Intrigued, I waited until the next morning to uncover how the hell I’d missed such a perceptible object.
How, why, when where, what, who, why, why, why. But more importantly, why? I had to get closer, I had to do something to verify I wasn’t just dreaming. For some reason, this particular piece of scaffolding was interesting. Sure, other pieces of scaffolding could be found on other buildings but this was different. Perhaps it’s the fact that this is the only skyscraper to resonate with the lower class buildings that surround it (more on that later). Or maybe it was the odd logo that hung above it. Either way, as a journalist and Just Cause 2 fanatic, I had to investigate.§
First, let’s begin with what we already know. The scaffolding is situated on a building in the Park District of Panau City. According to the wiki, the park district is the settlement in Panau with the most destructible objects.
I’m no conspiracy theorist but isn’t scaffolding used to do work on buildings? I recall in GTA V after you complete a certain mission a certain building undergoes repairs. Isn’t it odd how the Park District has the most destructible objects? Strange, very strange. I see what you’re up to Avalanche, I see there’s some kind of lore behind this seemingly innocent addition to an urban structure.
Anyways, before we enter the realm of theories let’s finish laying the basics down first. I took some snaps of the scaffolding; here’s an image of the blue beauty from its front:
And here’s the right side:
And the left:
Now another tidbit about this scaffolding is that select parts can be accessed. Interestingly enough, these parts were solid and could be explored. Uninterestingly enough, they were just places for Rico to catch a breath. Despite this, I discovered that hanging from the scaffolding above results in Rico partially fall through the floor. Not only was it was funny to watch Rico lose his lower torso, but I also discovered at certain positions, Rico would drop through the floor completely.
Interesting. Real interesting. Also the aftermath of some lazy collision checking or maybe it was intentional? Is this object haunted?
Before delving into the paranormal status, I stumbled on the lower level of the building which contains what I’m assuming is shops built into the skyscraper. One half of a side had a garage with a neon-lit sign above it that displayed the fictional language of Panau. The other half contained a wall of these symbols, identically copied onto 6 pieces of paper:
Alright, this is where we get our lead. All four sides have entrances but two of them are hidden by the bright storefronts. The other two have nothing but closed blinds to accompany them. They both have different symbols. Now, usually it could indicate one is an entrance and the other is an exit but let’s be real here, wouldn’t you place them on the same side? No? Well, how about this; the ‘fake’ language of Panau could have a real-life translation.
According to the fandom wiki, Panau’s language draws inspiration from the South Asian dialects of Malay, Tagalog, and Indonesian. I headed for Google to see if they were similar. From what I can gather, Malay is the most influential language as a few of the letters resembles those found in Panau. Going back to the pieces of paper, my theory is that the symbols they display are the Panau alphabet although they seem to repeat themselves.
Going on the basis that the symbols are in alphabetical order (A-Z), I decided to work out what the words on the building meant; starting with the shop:
I concluded the best course of action was to enter all of the letters (which came out as XAPUBIJKLFNOPQREKMBXQBXX) into a word descrambler and hope for the best since my sanity at this point had been tossed off the side of a skyscraper, into scaffolding which killed it on impact. The result yielded a ton of words but one stuck out the most; painful. A word that describes my emotions after chasing a fake language.
This wasn’t going to stop me. No, we’ve only scratched the surface. Literally, we’ve only looked at the ground level of the building. It was time to go up several floors and explore my other question; what’s with the grey color palette? Take a look at the first image again. Notice how the skyscraper takes the 19-century style of the residential housing of Panau instead of the modern glass look of other skyscrapers? Anyhow, let’s get back to the upper levels of this Victorian-esque building.
Disappointingly, the upper levels only contain a logo could mean one of the countless corporate organizations of Panau. Unfortunately, I could find nothing to indicate it was of any meaning.
Although the whole investigation has been a bust, I’ve learned 2 things; 1) I love Just Cause 2 and 2) scaffolding is pretty neat. I’ve wasted a whole day of collecting information and compiling it but at least I can rest easy knowing that the mystery of the blue scaffolding has been solved.
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