The Rook Islands are the setting of Far Cry 3. It is where Vaas, Citra, Hoyt Volker and Dr. Earnhardt are based, and is full of relics such as ancient ruins and World War II bunkers and tunnels. The Rook Islands consist of two major islands — the North Island and the Southern Island — along with three smaller islands.
The Rook Islands were once considered a tropical paradise. They are filled with lush tropical jungles, rolling grasslands, thick swamps and steep mountains but years of violence and neglect have caused them to fall into a state of permanent turmoil. The once peaceful archipelago once belonged to the thriving native tribes, most notably the Rakyat, who once controlled the islands in their entirety. However, lawless pirates and militiamen have since violently taken over the archipelago.
In the 15th Century Zheng He, Chinese warlord, passed the islands during a voyage to map the oceans. They proved an ideal location for one of his most loyal warriors - Lin Cong. After Zheng He left the islands Lin Cong stole one of his colossal treasure ships (the Chaoyang which contained massive amounts of gold and treasure collected by Zheng on his many ocean voyages) and promised his crew wealth and power which he promptly delivered.
Once Lin Cong and his men secured and hid the ship, they set out to enslave the natives, the Chinese intruders forced the native slaves to build shrines as well as some towns and temples in his name. At this point, Lin Cong and his men were considered lords of the islands (with Lin still in complete control), the island's newfound empire was short-lived, however, as a vengeful Zheng He returned for Chaoyang and his traitorous old ally. After a relatively minor battle, Zheng He wiped Lin Cong's empire from the island for good (with the help from the Rakyat who took the opportunity to rebel), but not before Lin Cong could seal away his most prized possession: the Chaoyang. And the Rook Islands rumours and myths state that the ship was never found.
As time passed, the British and Irish colonials landed on the isles after finding considerable amounts of phosphate beneath the surface. The British then began enslaving the natives, along with the Irish and English convicts they had brought, and forced them to work in their mines. Sometime during the early 1890s the phosphate ore ran out so the British packed up and left. The natives who were finally free, picked up the pieces of their homeland and rebuilt the Rook Islands, but with the island dry of resources, it saw another period of tranquillity from the outside world.
Decades later, a Japanese Brigade General named Takeo Masaki had his men land on the isles to start up a small air force/army base during World War II. The natives were then forced to the centers of the isles, with some being imprisoned and most being killed. The soldiers were then able to build bunkers and fortifications across the island's perimeter with the natives effectively driven back. However, just under a year after landing on the Rook Islands, the terrible news of Japan's bombings finally reached the island's radio station, Private Kashiwara, and Superior Private Shimizu. With tarnished pride, loved ones dead and faith in their country crippled, they spared their comrades from the devastating news by sabotaging the radios and radio towers. This caused great tension between Kashiwara, Shimizu, and their superiors, eventually leading the decorated Major Tanida to kill several of his own men just to get to the paid, whom he believed were traitors working for the Americans. There were also two top secret projects, named Project Tenk and Project Kyouken, that were in the works led by a Doctor Fujita, under orders from the General. After being deserted on the island with the rest of the Japanese soldiers Fujita grew increasingly paranoid until he finally descended into madness, before he met his untimely demise.
During the 80's the Rook Islands had an economic boom from large amounts of money coming into the island from mining. Occasionally, Privateers will be heard discussing the topic. This was most likely the time when the Rook islands had some form of organized government like the one seen on billboards throughout the islands. Sometime shortly after the British left and the Rook islanders attempted to govern themselves, Hoyt Volker landed on the island and brought on one of the darkest times in the Rook islands already dark history.
In 2012, Rook Island has not really progressed from its past issues. The population has grown tired and only wish to live their lives in solitude, no longer caring who inhabits the islands any more. The only resistance to the outside world is the people of the Rakyat, who believe the island was and still is rightfully their homeland. With the pirates still swarming the islands, the Rakyat are the only ones willing to fight back, and they prepare and wait for a sign from their deities.
After the Events of Far Cry 3, the Rakyat reclaimed control of the islands. If the "Join Citra" ending was chosen by the player then the unnamed child of Jason Brody most likely ruled the islands, but if the player chose the "Save Your Friends" ending then it is unclear who would rule the islands since Citra would be dead. All that is known for certain is that the Rakyat will clean up their islands and return them to the way they once were.
Location of the Rook Islands
Based on the wildlife, people, environment and culture seen in Far Cry 3, the Rook Islands are most likely located somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, between Thailand and Papua New Guinea. In real life, an Island called Rook Island is located near Papua New Guinea. However, according to the local language used, Malay and/or Indonesian language, the location should be around Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and other countries where Bahasa Melayu is spoken, but it most likely located in Indonesia since Indonesia is the only habitat for Komodo Dragon and Sumatran Tiger.
- In several places in the Rook Islands, such as in the town of Thurston on the Southern Island, billboards depicting the image of a man in a suit with words such as President and Vote can be seen. This is a suggestion that the Rook Islands have, or had, or were going to have some form of organized government. Neither the name of the politician featured on the billboard or indeed any form of government is encountered in-game. The voting, which is referenced to by the billboard, may have been interrupted when the Pirates took over the Rook Islands.
- Sometimes the locals will speak New Zealand Maori. Kia ora meaning hello and ka kite meaning goodbye. The pattern of speech is also similar, especially when a warrior yells "I will show you how a true warrior fights!"
- There is a nod to the Rook Islands in Far Cry 4. If you happen to find a Knockoff GPS in random treasure chests or on the bodies of dead mercenaries the description in the guide book will read "Come's pre-loaded with a map of the Rook Islands. Wherever the hell that is."