Just Cause
Just Cause 1 Boxart
Developer(s) Avalanche Studios
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Engine Avalanche Engine
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Resolutions 640x480
Platforms Windows (XP and later)
Xbox 360
Release Date(s) EU September 22, 2006
NA September 27, 2006
Genre(s) Action
Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Ratings ESRB: M
PEGI: 16+
Media DVD
Steam download
Input Methods PC: Keyboard and mouse
Others: Gamepad
Languages English

Just Cause is the first game in the Just Cause game series.

For the last Agency mission in Just Cause 2, see A Just Cause.

Technical info

Released on September 22, 2006 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 platforms in Europe. It arrived in North America on September 27, 2006. The game was developed by the Swedish company Avalanche Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. It's a third-person "sandbox"-type game. The game map is about 250,000 acres (1024 km²) in size, with 21 story missions and about 35 different side missions to complete. See also: Game limits.


Just Cause is set on a fictional South American tropical country known as "San Esperito", where the player works as an Agency black ops agent Rico Rodriguez, supporting a Guerrilla war to overthrow San Esperito's dictator, who may be in possession of weapons of mass destruction.


The core gameplay consists of elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game, with a large, open environment to move around in. On foot, the player's character is capable of walking, swimming and jumping, as well as utilizing weapons. Players can control a variety of vehicles, including cars, boats, airplanes, helicopters and motorcycles. Players can also perform stunts with their cars in which they can stand on the roof and jump to another car, or choose to open their parachute whilst still in motion on the roof. Other key features of the game include parasailing (grappling onto a car while utilizing a parachute) and skydiving.

The open, non-linear environment allows players to explore and choose how they wish to play the game. Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game, players can complete them at their own leisure. When not taking on a storyline mission, players can free-roam and create havoc. However, doing so can attract unwanted and potentially fatal attention from the authorities - "Heat".

The player can also partake in a variety of optional side missions, for example Races, liberating a village, or taking over a drug cartel plantation/villa. These are generally quite repetitive but are necessary to gain points with certain factions.

Game manual

The game manual is written in the form of an issue of a newspaper - "San Esperito Vanguardia" and, in addition to the usual technical info, contains interesting articles about life and recent events in San Esperito.

This newspaper costs "1.200 pesos". The game manual is the "Thursday April 20 2006" edition and it's the "No. 68834"'th published issue. The game manual doesn't support Mendozas government and it contains info that wouldn't have been known, or published, so the newspaper form is only there to get the reader in the right mood.

For the in-game national newspaper, see: Gaceta Nacional del San Esperito, which describes in-game events, that would have happened after the events in the game manual, but its issues were published in 2005.

The PS2 version game manual has a picture of Rico on page 11. In the picture, Rico wears a grey suit-like outfit while standing by a red Shimizu Tumbleweed. It could be a picture from the beta version.


The game has A LOT of mostly very similar music in it. Link to youtube for it.

One of the different sounding ones is the "high altitude skydiving theme". Link.


  • The game is largely a parody of the United States foreign policies from the late 1940s to the present, where the enemy of the enemy is always the friend.
    • The game draws its premise (and name) from the real-life United States invasion of Panama, code-named "Operation Just Cause", which involved United States military action to overthrow military leader Manuel Noriega.
    • The box art resembles a poster of Che Guevara, a famous guerrilla leader.
    • The Agency finances the Rioja Cartel, who manufactures coca for the continental United States market. This is done only because they're the rivals of the obviously identical Montano Cartel, who happen to be friends with Salvador Mendoza's government.
    • The mission Sink the Buccaneer is about destroying a ship because it is said to have Nuclear missiles, which it does not.
    • The Agency supports the left wing Guerrillas (ideological enemy of the capitalist west) and provides them with money for weapons (mission: Brothers in Arms).
  • According to this site:
    • Originally Rico Rodriguez was a tattooed guy with dreadlocks. As the focus testing showed that players wanted a handsome hero rather than the stereotype games hero character, his looks were changed.
    • The original plot of the game involved a kidnapping of the pope, threat of WMD’s and drug trafficking – all at the same time.
    • The original game world was 64 x 64 km (10486 square miles), which would have been about 4 times as big.
    • Rico was deliberately not given much of a persona, as they wanted the players to create their own Rico.
    • There are over 10 million trees on San Esperito.
    • The game is not based on the US military operation in Panama, labor union contracts, or the 1995 movie.
    • The original idea was to create an over-the-top parody of action movies.
    • The Xbox 360 version was developed over the course of six months and was approved on the first submission.
  • Advantages of Windows XP for this game:
    • This is one of few games that can safely be minimized and unminimized with out crashing the game or glitching any game features. Depending on your PC software combination, you may be able to minimize it with only the windows logo button, but if that doesn't work, Ctrl-Alt-Delete should do it. Minimizing the game on Windows 7 does not seem to be possible.
    • The game can be stretched/set to cover the whole screen, to support aspect ratios other than 4:3. On Windows 7, there are wide black bars on either edge of the screen, if the screen is not 4:3.
  • The PS3 version of the game is not listed on many sites. That's because the PS2 version is unofficially supported by some PS3s.
  • As spoken by game developers during a promotional interview for Just Cause 3, the official abbreviation for the name of this game is "JC1", so as to eliminate confusion over "Just Cause" (the individual game) and "Just Cause" (the Just Cause game series).
  • This is the only game so far in the series to feature a police force.



Trailer 1:

The first official trailer

The first official trailer

Trailer 4:

Just Cause 1 Trailer 4

Just Cause 1 Trailer 4

A little about the early development:

Talking to Just Cause 2's Game Director about Creating the Grappling Hook

Talking to Just Cause 2's Game Director about Creating the Grappling Hook

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