Gaming’s Most Memorable Hispanic Characters: Rico Rodriguez

Sections: Features, Nostalgia, Opinions

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Rico Rodriguez

America observes National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15. It’s a time to reflect on the cultural contributions from millions of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. GamerTell thought it would be a perfect time to look at some of the notable Hispanic characters in some of our favorite games. Our hobby tells thousands of stories over the course of a single calendar year. As it grows more diverse, so do the tales it tells. Obviously we can’t discuss these characters without spilling some story details, so these features will be spoiler heavy.

First up is Rico Rodriguez, the dashing secret agent that stars in Ubisoft’s Just Cause games. It’s important to note that Rico is the main character in these titles. He’s not the main character’s best friend, sidekick or love interest. He’s the man you control the entire time, and he is a guy who knows how to get things done. Ubisoft developers describe him as “James Bond, Mad Max, Jason Bourne, El Mariachi, Wolverine, Punisher, Rambo, Tony Montana and Han Solo rolled into one, with a touch of Enrique Iglesias.”

Rodriguez joined the CIA after the 1986 invasion of Panama. He specializes in regime change, overthrowing governments that are no longer friendly to United States interest.  Anyone who ever said one man can’t make a difference wasn’t talking about a man armed with a grappling hook, CIA combat training and no fear of death.

Rico’s job is among the world’s dirtiest, but he believes his bosses genuinely have the world’s best interests at heart. In Just Cause 2 his mission is to track down his former mentor Tom Sheldon, who the agency believes has gone rogue. Rico takes the job to prove his friend isn’t a traitor. His instincts prove right, as Sheldon was monitoring a dictator named Pandak “Baby” Panay. The megalomaniac has full control of an oil-filled nation the world’s superpowers are interested in.

rico rodriguez just cause
When Rico finds out this war was all about the oil, he manages to disarm three nuclear missiles while in midair. I told you the man had skills. He destroys the oil field, leaving the nation useless to the world’s superpowers and keeping its people safe from the war that would have ensued over it. They are also free of Baby Panay’s dictatorship.

By the way, Just Cause 2 happens to be an awesome sandbox game. Playing as this character is fun, empowering and allows you to change the course of the world around you. Since Hollywood is busy turning just about every video game it can into some sort of movie, where’s the love for Rico?


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  • Kaosper

    Ubisoft didn’t develop Just Cause, you silly goose.