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This article may seem complete to the untrained eye, but the gaps in information are still large enough for this elite team of Panauan Ninjas to hide inside of.
Model shown by developers during some pre-release promotional video.
|Character in Just Cause 4|
|First appearance||Operation Whiteout|
|Faction||Black Hand in JC4|
|Job||Leader of the faction|
|Last known status||Alive|
Gabriela Morales is a character and the secondary antagonist in Just Cause 4.
Gabriela explains a bit of her backstory in the "Rico's Rival" trailer. She explains that she used to live in fear of having everything she ever loved taken away from her. However, at some point in her life, she decided to overcome that fear and rule it rather than allow it to rule her.
She believes that Rico Rodriguez is part of a movement that killed her mother, which is said to be her personal motivator for her fight against him. In the "Rico's Rival" trailer, she also says that Rico is dangerous because he is just like her.
The official Just Cause social media pages published a video about her on 2020.10.26. It revealed the following facts (more in the career section below):
- She is 182.88 cm (6') tall. (Previously we assumed her to be 193 cm (6'3") tall, because of the mention by her voice actor.)
- She is said to be 30 years old during the events of the game.
- Her skills include: Wrestling, jiu-jitsu and extensive military training.
As described by Fryda Wolff
The following are quotes from this article:
- "She's calm, collected, and in control. She doesn't get hysterical because she's strategizing damage control at all times, there's no damsel in distress in her. She's the boss of the Black Hand and no one questions her authority as she looms over her personal army."
- "As someone who's played many a token sidepiece lone villainess in a crew of male baddies, I love that Gabriela doesn't have to be part of the bad boys club in order to get a seat at the table. Instead, it's her table and she flips it onto Rico's face."
- "Gabriela's got the supervillain moves that make use of her physicality within a believable frame, rather than giving her every superpower and the kitchen sink in order to make her worthy of being there. She's earned the right to stand toe-to-toe with Rico without having to be petite or demure so as not to emasculate him. Gabriela is athletic and imposing and muscular and still manages to be a human being with her own set of issues and feelings to work out. I like how organic she felt to play, I believed she was a real person and not a fantasy woman designed to prop up the male protagonist or inflate his ego or any other body part."
- "Being asked to live up to Gwendoline Christie's work in 'Game of Thrones' is a lot of pressure. I already admired Gwendoline, she makes no apology for her size or her sex as a person and that translates directly into what she’s done with Brienne. Neither Gwendoline nor Brienne care whether their male counterparts are comfortable, it’s not her problem to fix. She just is, and you can come along for the ride or get out of her way. I tried to carry Gwendoline's 6'3 attitude with my 5'4 performance capture."
Wolff said that delivering that performance in a motion capture suit was both inspiring and daunting, even more so because it was her first performance capture job.
- "Something interesting happens when I'm challenged. If a creator entrusts me with their baby, they really believe I can do it or else they wouldn't have hired me. So I'm then forced to believe what they believe, and it helps to push my initial self-doubt away. I don’t require coddling per se, but I am motivated when I'm threatened with expectations, and I always want to meet and exceed those expectations."
- "I'm the only person who saw my shortness as a hilarious hurdle to playing a tall person in a video game. I had to remind myself that I have power and don’t need permission to get in a man's face when I want something or disagree. Once I got comfortable in Gabriela's skin, being that massive force became automatic."
Wolff declined to say much about the story inside the game ..., adding only that "if Rico and Gabriela went to therapy together, they’d have a lot of the same issues to work out."
The mission Meeting Lanza Morales reveals that Lanza Morales is her father. It also shows a better close-up of a picture of her, Lanza and Mira from at least 2 decades ago. Gabriela was quite a bit taller than Mira when they were teenagers, possibly implying that she's older than Mira.
When first joining the Black Hand, she graduated from the Academia Qacha military school.
At the start of the game (Operation Whiteout) she has already found that Rico is in Solís. She knows that Rico has worked for the Agency to eliminate multiple heads of state, so she briefs her boss, Oscar Espinosa, about this threat. Oscar does not sound impressed and seems to think very little of this minor inconvenience, but orders Gabriela to eliminate both Rico and Mira. Later during the mission she fails to capture Mira when Rico intervenes and fights off the Black Hand.
She is heard giving commands from the "Black Hand HQ" during a few missions.
She is last seen during Operation Illapa where she argued with Oscar Espinosa. She said that with the available units, she can only hold the mountain, but she was still ordered to go on an attack. Later when it becomes obvious that she has lost the battle and Oscar tries to use the Project Illapa super-weapon to kill everyone on the mountain (including her), she defects to the Army of Chaos as "[she] will not sacrifice [her] soldiers for that man's pride".
She is not heard of again after the mission, but the Solís Hoy radio mentions the defected Black Hand units, saying that they are fighting alongside the Army of Chaos.
The official Just Cause social media pages published a video about her on 2020.10.26. The video includes the following career summary: "As a youth, she was a fiercely competitive athlete in the Black Hand Academy. As a result, she came to the attention of Black Hand leader Oscar Espinosa. On his orders, Morales imprisoned her own father, abandoned her family and expelled her own cousin from the Black Hand. Espinosa then entrusted her with the task of eliminating the cartels that had sprung up in the favelas of Solís. Morales was ruthlessly efficient. As a result of her raids, all cartel members in Solís wound up either executed, imprisoned or in hiding. Shortly thereafter, Gabriela became commanding officer of the Black Hand and one of its most zealous idealogues. Morales' leadership style is stern and ruthless. She has no known personal attachments outside of her commitment to the Black Hand. However, intelligence suggests that as the Army of Chaos closed in on the Illapa Project, her loyalty to Espinosa begin to waver." (This is an exact quote, including the grammar.)
- She is the first female antagonist in the Just Cause game series, although the Sky Fortress Downloadable content for Just Cause 3 has a female minor villain: Eden.
- At the end of Mech Land Assault, two Black Hand soldiers are talking to their commander who is heard speaking in a feminine robotic voice. It is possible that this might be the same person.
- Her voice actress is Fryda Wolff, as seen in some pre-release trailers.
- See Category:Heads of State for the antagonists of previous games. While she is not the leader of Solís, she could be something like a commanding general of the Black Hand.
- In the "Rico's Rival" trailer. Gabriela claims that she is just like Rico because she is fearless. It is also because of this that she considers Rico to be dangerous.
- She has Heterochromia iridum. If one looks closely at her eyes, the right eye is brown, and the left eye is green. However, the character model picture (see Gallery) shows both of Gabriela's eyes as brown therefore it's possible that this was changed during development.
- It is possible that Gabriela is like a dark version of Rico for the following reasons:
- She and Rico both appear to have lost their families/loved ones in cruel acts of violence. In both cases, the losses have been so severe that the two have grown up resorting to violence themselves and are unlikely capable of leading normal lives.
- She claims to be fearless, like Rico, which means that she is not likely to back down from a fight even if the odds are against her.
- Since she's the Black Hand's leader, Gabriela probably has went through some sort of elite special forces training which would make her a very skilled combatant like Rico.
- She and Rico both have the gift of leadership because they can inspire others to follow them.
- Gabriela seems to commit violent and destructive acts for selfish reasons: money, power, and (possibly) vengeance. Rico generally fights for more selfless reasons. Namely to stand up for the weak and innocent and defend those closest to him.
- Rico has inspired and supported insurgencies across three countries thus far: San Esperito, Panau, and Medici. Gabriela has likely opposed and even crushed insurgencies due to her affiliation with the Black Hand.
- Gabriela ties together the entire Just Cause game series with only a few sentences in the introduction of Just Cause 4. As she is briefing her employer, Oscar Espinosa, about the threat of Rico Rodriguez, Gabriela mentions both Salvador Mendoza and Sebastiano Di Ravello as former heads of state and employers of the Black Hand. She mentions The Agency, Rico's former employer, and even makes an indirect mentioning of Pandak "Baby" Panay with an image of Panau being displayed on the briefing screen.
- Gabriela has three scars on her face. The cause is unknown, but considering her profession, they could be from combat injuries.
- Gabriela's three old face scars mirror Rico's three new face scars. One is even a similar eyebrow scar.