I found out about it through PC Gamer, and maybe you did too. I still think anything as good for Far Cry 3’s future as Ziggys Mod is deserves all the attention it can get. The issue lies in the mods successes. Removing almost all trace of HUD and other standard game identifiers certainly improves immersion, but it can also make finding the most vital parts of the experience difficult. For this reason, I thought it might be an idea to put together a guide on how to succeed with Ziggys Mod, even if you’ve finished the game once before.
Finding you inner hunter
Probably the best part of Ziggys Mod is its removal of the shackles created by constant pop ups, an overblown map, and on-screen interference. You’ll find after the tutorial ends that you have no visual incentive to complete any of the primary, secondary, or tertiary objectives. Instead, you’ll want to wander off in a random direction, picking off pirates and sharks and tigers as you go.
Listen to your wanderlust. Far Cry 3 with Ziggys Mod is the game at its purest, and you should take full advantage of that fact.
The first thing to be aware of, however, is you’ll be without a visual aid telling you where to find animals and plants, outposts, and radio towers. You’ll have to, you know, use your eyes and the world map instead of your HUD. When you need medicine, you’ll have to forage. When you need ammo, you’ll have to hunt men. When you need money, you’ll hunt men. When you need upgrades, you’ll just hunt. While you might use the Far Cry Wiki to identify where you need to go, start out by studying the various patterns and the frequency of an animals appearance. Take notes, even.
Because the mod increases the requisite items for gear upgrades, you’ll need to search everywhere for even the simplest items, but the rewards, both figurative and material, are well worth the time spent.
Real life on Rook Island
Now that I think of it, taking notes and copying the map onto a separate sheet of paper would be a really neat way of bringing the freshness of the game back. Identify where each animal type roams and mark it on the map. Draw the roads as you travel them, and keep track of which outposts and radio towers you’ve uncovered.
The benefits here is it gets you involved with the game more than before; immersion essentially. It makes the experience more of an actual survival experience (minus the plant-toiler paper and eating raw meat). Where you think a population of tapers lives is in fact the home of a large group of tigers makes its den. Now you’ll go into an encounter expecting an easy kill and end up with a face full of tiger tooth. Imagine the enjoyment, or frustration, that might come if you survive, or don’t, such a surprise.
As an added challenge, once you have the basic outline of the world map down, unbind your map from your keyboard and use only your hand-drawn version to navigate. Now the sun and moon and maybe even the stars become navigation tools. Animal migration patterns, such as they are, boil down to your tracking skills. See above for an example of a failure in that department. If you’ll indulge the geek in me for a moment, think of the in-game map as one given to Jason and his friends that he lost but managed to copy down shortly after losing it. Make an RPG out of the deal, tabletop preferably. Maybe even reward yourself for every success, and maybe every death or two earns a reduction in your reward.
When the killing starts…
Invariably, you’ll be clearing a few outposts as you travel Rook Island. Half the time the incident will be accidental; you won’t have any idea one is so close to your path, and suddenly there are about ten pirates shooting at you, and they didn’t drive up a road to do it.
The base game of Far Cry 3 had a marking system, absent in Ziggys Mod. It made taking down outposts a cakewalk, especially if you managed to mark every enemy in it. Now your strategies might need revision. Stealth becomes dependent on your wits and speed. Provided you didn’t do much sniping, even late in your first playthrough, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. If you’re like me and sniped a bunch, I’d ask that you try doing the dirty work with your hands instead of your bullets.
To that end, learn the take-down-and-drag skill, so you can hide bodies before his friends find them. If guns blazing is more your speed, go for the grenade takedown and make it rain red. Loot everything, and increase your wallet and backpack sizes first. All the core weapons are unlocked from the start, and there are some new ones the modder added in. Most are expensive, beyond your reach early in play. Because there’s no need to carry much more than absolutely need, sell everything that isn’ nailed down after almost filling up your loot sack.
As you roam the island, you’ll find pirates roaming pirate gangs giving away free cars. Of course, you’ll need to kill them for their keys, but they shouldn’t mind too much. Most have trinkets and bits and bobs on their person, in addition to a small amount of cash. Take both, and sell the former. It’s a surprisingly effective way of making money. Plus, enemies keep respawning with more new cars than the Price is Right can give away, and more otherwise useless items easily traded in for cold, virtual cash.
In the end, though, all of the above is secondary to the endgame of Ziggys Mod. Explore until you absolutely must move the plot forward. If you’re in it for the experience, I don’t imagine Jason’s friends will be rescued any time soon.