Black Hand unit type name confusion
|Black Hand in JC4|
|Faction in Just Cause, Just Cause 3 and Just Cause 4|
|Goal, or purpose||To protect the Espinosa-regime at Solís and to work for anyone who hires them.|
|Starting base, or HQ||Unknown|
|Source of money||Oscar Espinosa and anyone else who hires them.|
This article is about the Black Hand in Just Cause 4. It's the same organization as in Just Cause and Just Cause 3, but there's just too much information to reasonably sort in a single article. Not to mention spoilers.
They are the main antagonists of the game. In previous games they were side antagonists, serving as foreign mercenaries and assisting dictators.
According to trailers and other promotional materials, they have become more highly advanced and trained in JC4 than in JC3 or JC1. Now they have advanced weapons with secondary fire modes, upgraded armor and helmets, and new types of skill classes. They also have new weaponized vehicles, a weaponized prototype wingsuit and a stealth jet, along with their main new weather controlling technology.
The leader of the Black Hand is Commander Gabriela Morales. One of the loading screens compliments her competence and mentions that by the time the game takes place, she has been the commander for 5 years.
A recruitment advertisement on Solís Hoy radio explains that they protect the sovereignty and freedom of nations and punish those who threaten it. They apparently also stand for family, discipline, strength, order and service.
History and activities
According to one of the game's loading screens, the Black Hand have a decades long contract with the Espinosas and that they have replaced the original normal military of Solís.
The Black Hand are now owned by Oscar Espinosa, the ruler of Solís. He uses them as the military and police of Solís.
According to the Solís Hoy radio, the Black Hand are active in multiple "major theaters", like south-east Asia, Africa and South America, where they have helped countless people after disasters.
As told by Santiago (a former member, who now works at the radio), they did not wear masks back in his time when they were serving domestically. In fact, they had been proud to have their identities locally known, because the people knew them and knew that they were there to protect them. The masks are a recent thing, which he finds disturbing. According to his co-host Diago, one only needs to fear the Black Hand if you have broken the law.
By the end of the storyline, the Army of Chaos had captured the majority of Solís (the exact number of regions is player's choice) and as estimated by Commander Gabriela Morales, they were only able to hold the mountain with the Illapa base.
Commander Morales and the remaining units on the mountain defect to the Army of Chaos when it's obvious that they had lost and after Oscar Espinosa said he would use the Project Illapa super-weapon to kill everyone on the mountain. However, whether Gabriela will ever been seen in Army of Chaos livery will be unknown.
The Solís Hoy radio announces after the mission that some of the Black Hand have defected to the Army of Chaos, but some factions within the Black Hand are refusing to surrender, despite the news. This announcement refers to any of the regions that the player had not taken over before the last mission. The radio host urges them to lay down their arms so the people of Solís could focus on rebuilding.
Depending on the player's choice of the order of missions played, the mission Beachhead could happen either before, or after Operation Illapa. In this mission Rico and Sargento counter a force of Spearhead Transport ships that are bringing reinforcements to the Black Hand. Sargento mentions that the Black Hand has lots of units stationed in the Other countries in the Just Cause universe and that they're all about to invade. They only really defeat the first 5 ships and a number of infantry and helicopters, before Sargento sends a message to the rest of them that the beach has been compromised and that the others should cancel the mission.
The Dare Devils of Destruction DLC is set relatively early in the game's storyline, but doesn't depict the Black Hand.
The Los Demonios DLC is also set relatively early in the game's storyline, but this time it does feature them. The Black Hand can be seen fighting the demons. The flying insect demons can take control of Black Hand soldiers (grab them and fly off with them) and use the weapons carried by the soldier. In addition to that, the larger demonic tentacles can grab vehicles with vehicle mounted weapons and use them against their enemies. Another trailer also shows that the flying insect demons can also cloak if they absorb a Black Hand ghost unit.
Soldier types and their weapons
The below unit names were announced in the "Just Cause 4 SPOTLIGHT: The Black Hand" video (see below in the videos section).
According to the in-game radio (Solís Hoy), they recruit people by advertising themselves as protecting the sovereignty and freedom of nations and punishing those who threaten it. They apparently also stand for family, discipline, order and service and Solís.
Similar to their counterparts in Just Cause 3, Ghosts serve as the hit and run/ambush unit for the Black Hand forces. However, unlike their counterparts in Medici, they are equipped with optical camouflage that allows them to turn nearly invisible. It is possible to see the distorted area, similar to the Predator from the Predator movies. They are also very agile and will frequently duck, weave and roll out of the way of incoming attacks while returning fire with their SMG-2. Additionally, while invisible, they will attempt to flank Rico and flush him out of cover using the alternate fire from their weapon. They can be easily identified by their grey coats and body armor and red tinted goggles.
The best way to deal with Ghost units is to try and grapple them as it will temporarily stun them, leaving them open to damage.
Snipers appear very similar to Ghosts except that their cloaks are darker and have larger hoods. As their name suggests they are designed to attack the player from long distance using their LRD-3 Sniper Rifles. Their rifles also emit a red laser which makes them easy to spot and locate. If Rico gets too close the sniper will drop grenades.
They are a major nuisance as they are usually positioned a considerable distance away and are capable of killing Rico in just 3 shots. When fighting them it is also best to stay mobile and to use cover as they can lock on very quickly. They should be considered extremely dangerous in battle as a Dropzone Chopper carrying two of these can kill Rico in one shot if he isn't fast enough.
Colonels are high ranking officers in the Black Hand forces and are very easily identified by their stark white body armor and bright red balaclava. Befitting their role as field commanders, they are equipped with high-tech body armor that renders them immune to bullets and allows them to withstand quite a few explosive impacts. This armor also makes them completely immune to being grappled or tethered, much like the Titans in Just Cause 3.
Curiously though, they do not wear a helmet, which makes them vulnerable to headshots (though it should be noted that it can take several headshots to kill one).
One of the loading screen images identifies this soldier as a "colonel".
Grenadiers can be identified by their Riot Police style armor (like the Russian K6-3 riot police helmet and the PGL-6 Grenade Launcher they carry into battle. When in combat they will fire multiple grenades with delayed fuses around an area, sometimes even bouncing them off walls and around corners to flush Rico out of cover. If Rico manages to get in close, they will instead switch to an SMG-2 for self-defense. Similar to the Demolition Officer in Just Cause 2 they will drop several live grenades when killed. As such, it is best to deal with them from a distance.
Titans are arguably the largest and toughest soldiers fielded by the Black Hand. They are covered in power-armor and at a glance could be mistaken for a robot. This armor even allows them to survive multiple direct hits from a rocket launcher or tank. They are equipped with an RG-PBA 9 Railgun and a drone deployment launcher. Their railgun can easily be identified by its blue laser. The railgun takes a few seconds to charge and can easily knock Rico out of the sky when he's using a parachute. Titans can also charge up an even more powerful shot, indicated by a red glow from the weapon. This shot should be avoided at all costs as it is capable of killing Rico in one hit.
The best way to deal with Titans is to use cover, popping out when the coast is clear to take a few headshots. If possible, lure them near a corner and then jump out with an assault rifle to fire a magazine at their face.
Riot Troopers serve as crowd control and defensive specialists for the Black Hand and are easily identified by their large, bullet proof riot shields. In combat, they will slowly advance on a target, often in groups, while laying down fire with their SMG-2's. Their shields are also very light which allow them to move their shields to block fire from all angles. Additionally, their shields cannot be grappled or tethered.
In pre-release promotional materials they were shown to walk in groups and occasionally seemed to be trying to use the testudo formation, but with out the top shields. They were said to be used in defensive roles.
While their shields cover the vast majority of their bodies, they do not cover their face, or feet, which can be exploited. Additionally, a shot from the SW9 Assault Rifle or SMG-2's Secondary Fire can cause them to completely drop their shields and stun them, leaving them vulnerable to all incoming fire.
RPG soldiers serve as the anti-vehicle specialists for the Black Hand and are identifiable by their heavy, dark blue clothing and green ski masks. In combat, they will primarily engage from a distance using their AT7 RPGs. Unlike the laser sight of the Snipers, their lasers sights are green. If Rico gets too close, they will pull out and use an SMG-2 instead.
These soldiers should be considered a high priority as their launchers can send Rico flying and are capable of doing very heavy damage to vehicles.
Machine Gunners wear what appear to be heavy armor vest over top of a red T-shirt, a helmet with attached gas mask, and large backpack. They are equipped with the Defender Machine Gun. When engaging in combat, the Machine Gunner will deploy his bulletproof shield in the direction of Rico and begin to relentlessly return fire. If Rico tries to flank or get behind the the Machine Gunner, he will pack up and redeploy his shield. The shield is also immune to being grappled and tethered.
While the shield covers most of their bodies, it does not cover their heads, so they are very vulnerable to headshots. Additionally, they are not immune to blast damage.
Privates are, by far, the most common Black Hand soldiers encountered and can be found all over Solís. They also serve as the bulk of the Black Hand's vehicle drivers and pilots. They can be identified by their blue combat fatigues and black ski masks. In combat they wield either SW9 Assault Rifles, SMG-2's,CC10 Shotguns or 21-J Smart Rifles
They possess no body armor and can be killed with just a few shots, but make up for this with sheer numbers. There are even a number of female soldiers in their ranks.
Elites are an improved version of the Private and as such are better equipped and outfitted. In combat they use the exact same weapons and tactics as Privates, only they are tougher and more accurate with their weapons. They can be identified by their dark blue fatigues and the pale blue helmets they wear. They also appear to be equipped with night-vision goggles. They also use hand signals but this is only aesthetic. However, in trailers they used hand signals to fire grenades from SW9 Assault Rifles.
Other known members and former members include:
- One random encounter features a "Black Hand spy" whose car broke and stopped at the side of a road. Sargento wants him/her to be picked up and then killed in a seemingly motor vehicle crash. This encounter is called "Accidental Casualty".
- Another random encounter which involves Black Hand spies is called "Sniper Assassination". You are tasked to pick up a sniper rifle, on a building roof, and then kill 3 civilians who are actually spies. It's not necessary to use the sniper, any weapon can be used, as long as you stick to the rooftops.
- Santiago, one of the hosts at Solís Hoy radio, is a former member of the Black Hand. He served in Solís.
- Cadiz and Escobedo are members of an unknown rank, who have been featured in multiple live action game trailers. See at the official Just Cause YouTube page.
- They were first featured in a hospital scene along with a number of additional unnamed Black Hand members. Gabriela arrives and demands to know what happened to her base. The men try to explain that it was 1 man who arrived and blew everything up. Gabriela doesn't believe them.
- While wearing Christmas themed items, they're calling a neighbor and asking for new vehicles as gifts, because their cars and trucks were apparently destroyed in a lightning storm, sandstorm and tornado. The neighbor does not agree.
- The men are at a church and praying. One is praying for a dead (or injured) comrade while the other is praying for Rico.
- They're sitting in a house and one of them has dressed up like Rico. He even has a wingsuit on his jacket. He seems to be a fan of Rico. The other guy questions his choices.
- They're at a hospital again and one is reading a newspaper while the other is running around and making wind noises with his mouth. Upon being questioned, he explains that he's trying to "become the enemy" in order to understand him.
- They're at a cafeteria, wearing elf hats and discussing how Rico attacked their base. They mention that they were very scared, but also scared for Rico, because he could have burned to death. In the end they loudly say "Black Hand forever" to the others in the room, but quietly say that the organization "sucks".
All red, grey and black-marked weaponized vehicles in the game belong to them. See Supply drop.
Because there is no explicit heat system in Just Cause 4, relative terms have to be used.
- Warrior Offroader - Standard patrol vehicle.
- Vagabundo Buggy - Another patrol vehicle.
- Próspero Hauler - Off-road capable heavy truck seen at bases and on roads carrying a generator.
- Cavalry Armored Truck - Armored truck that appears during a medium to high level of heat.
- Reptile AAV - Amphibious infantry fighting vehicle.
- Longbow Cannon Truck - Artillery truck. Appears during a medium level of heat.
- Prospero Hunter Bike - Seen during a low level of heat.
- Prizefighter Tank - Infantry fighting vehicle / "tank". Seen during a medium to high level of heat.
- Pointman Scout Tank - Light tank that is rarely seen in both bases and heat.
- Warchief Assault Tank - Main battle tank that appears during a high level of heat.
- Falconer AA Tank - Anti-aircraft tank that is rarely seen in heat, but can be found in some military bases.
- Firebrand Scout Chopper - Light attack helicopter that appears during a medium level of heat.
- Spectre Attack Helicopter - Medium attack helicopter that appears during a medium to high level of heat.
- Bloodhound Siege Heli - Heavily attack helicopter that appears during a high level of heat.
- Próspero Sky Crane - Transport helicopter with a usable magnet-crane. Can also uncommonly be found roaming throughout Solís, usually carrying a Sphere Tank.
- Dropzone Chopper - Transport helicopter that can be found all over Solís.
- PA Microfighter - Tiny armed airplane that is very rarely seen in bases and heat.
- Stealth Microfighter (DLC) - Never seen in use.
- Fellhawk Jet Fighter - Jet fighter that appears at a high level of heat.
- Thunderhead Bomber Jet - Bomber jet that could also double as a jet fighter that appears at a high level of heat.
- Daggershark Jetboat - Lightly armed patrol boat at a low level of heat.
- Stormwater Patrol Boat - Medium patrol boat at a medium to high level of heat.
- Conquistador Warship - Small ship that appears at a high level of heat.
- Prospero Shade - Weaponized sports car. It's a part of the "adversary assault vehicle pack DLC.
- It is known Gabriela Morales leads the Black Hand in Solís, though it is currently unknown who was in charge of the Black Hand while they had units deployed in San Esperito and Medici.
- There is a possibility that Gabriela was overseeing, or at least taking interest in, the work of the Black Hand units at Insula Lacrima, as at the end of Storming the Hive, two Black Hand soldiers are speaking to their commander who is heard speaking in a robotic, but feminine voice. However, it is unknown if this is Gabriela or not.
- In a loading screen, it states that by the events of Just Cause 4, Gabriela had been commanding the Black Hand for 5 years. (So Gabriela had been commanding the Black Hand during the events of Just Cause 3, but not the events of Just Cause.)
- In the mission The Heist Begins (Downloadable content for Just Cause 3), as soon as Black Hand ships come into sight, Annika blames Sheldon for providing the team with "bad" intel on the Black Hand forces. Sheldon is also surprised because he believed the ships were supposed to be on their way to South America. Solís is a South American country, so this was possibly foreshadowing for Just Cause 4.
- With the Black Hand now in possession of some eDEN Corporation technology, they are now perhaps the most advanced faction in the Just Cause Universe.
- At the end of the game, its very hard to find any soldiers other than the standard "grunts"(Privates), although you can still find Snipers without heat albeit rarely, but with heat you have a low chance of encountering a roadblock with a RPG Operator and a Machine Gunner.
- So, once you fully finish everything, these are the only 4 soldier types able to be found amidst the Black Hand.
- Apparently "elite" units might go under the name "Vanguard." This requires confirmation.