"Here we are, Panau Islands. South-East Asia's best kept secret." - Maria Kane describing Panau to Rico at the beginning of the game's first cut-scene in the Welcome to Panau Agency mission.
It is a fictional island nation in the Gulf of Thailand, more so in the region of the Malay Peninsula.
The Panauan islands were controlled by the Spanish during the Age of Exploration. Although the Dutch, Portuguese, and British were mentioned by Odd Ahlgren in the Panau Mini-Doc, they only controlled smaller islands around Panau, some of which are part of modern Panau. The location is implied to be somewhere in the region of the Malay Peninsula. Many urban centers in the game take certain cues from the visual style of Singapore.
Stretching out 1035.55 km2 (400 square miles), the island is packed with dense jungle, arctic peaks, arid deserts, and sun-bleached beaches, each populated with a variety of settlements in which to cause chaos. From ski resorts to submarine bases, towns, and villages to a huge capital city, Panau is an island rich in variety. Each climate zone has its own unique weather system with dense snowfalls creating picture postcard peaks and tropical thunderstorms lighting up the night sky.
Just Cause 2 has a dynamic day and night cycle, which covers 24 in-game hours in 1 real life hour and dramatically affects the appearance of the landscape, resulting in some very picturesque sunsets.
Panau uses Panauan dollars as exchange, evidenced by a radio transmission after the mission Three Kings. During the first stage of the mission, "The White Tiger", where Rico must meet Ken Pang. He says this to the informant: "Considering the value of the Panauan Buck, shooting you would have been more expensive." If what Rico paid Pang were US dollars, that would mean a single US dollar could be over 50 Panauan bucks. The prices on the Gas Station signs are probably also in this exchange.
The design of Panau is likely to have been inspired by Thailand or Indonesia (because of its archipelago). The name is most likely based on the nation of Palau, which is located in the same area.
The flag looks very reminiscent of the flag of Cuba.
Panau's official (spoken) languages are Malay, Indonesian, and Tagalog, though the written language appears to be based on a cross between the Thai script and South Indian scripts such as Tamil. "Panau" is Malay for "bright spot". English is used on Panau, but based on the location names and the bad pronunciation and usage of English, it is evident that Malay and Indonesian are the dominant languages. Panauese or Panish or some other native language might also be a possibility in the distant and/or recent past, but negligible evidence of such is shown. Two characters in the game have actually said something in Malay/ Indonesian:
Life on Panau is slight in variety mainly because they have drifted there from other islands. This rarity causes a short variety of life on the island.
There is a dynamic weather system in place that spans the six climate zones ranging from jungles, islands, snowy mountains, deserts, beaches, and oceans. Each climate zone has its own dynamic weather system, which can result in clear sunny skies or dark night-time storms.
The Lautan Lama Desert has a simple ecology. The area is sandy with few plants and animals. There are tropical jungle trees, desert ferns, and some palm trees. There are also some scorpions and falcons. Many small villages dot the landscape of Lautan Lama Desert and are connected by many small roads.
The snow-capped mountains of the island hold few life forms. There are a few trees and Animals. There are some pines and arctic trees and ferns. There are also a few falcons as well. In real life, the greatest heights of Panau would fail to produce any snow.
Panau was first inhabited by the Ular Tribe, which used to be found on other Pacific islands but can now be only found on Panau, due to immigration to the island. Their monuments can be found all over Panau, such as small temples, stepping stone pyramids, and a large grand temple. The Ulars have always grown and consumed opium and heroin. Their slogan is 'Panau is our birthright'.
Due to its proximity to Indonesia and Malaysia, Panau was very likely influenced by Arab merchants. With Islam spreading quickly in Southeast Asia by the end of the 13th Century, the faith became a part of the Islands. This likely brought the Ular Tribe into conflict with the Islamic Sultanates that controlled the region. However, the Ulars were unable to go beyond the jungles. As a result, only the Southwest portion of Panau is predominately Muslim. It likely existed as either a part of Indo and Malay Sultanates or as its own state until European Colonization.
During World War II, Imperialist Japan took over the island. They set up a secret weapons facility at Hantu Island, which is still operational today. During the Japanese occupation, many Japanese citizens immigrated to Panau, increasing Buddhist influence on the island.
After the war, the island was politically unstable and the world's superpowers were trying to influence it. The Cold War had swarmed over Panau. The U.S. and the U.K. were trying to start up anti-communist movements, while on the other hand the Soviet Union and China started supporting communist causes, which helped the Reapers grow. In the end, the British/American cause was victorious. A capitalist democracy was set up on Panau, but it soon ended. The US and the United Kingdom were blamed for this by supporting anti-communists in the Cold War and putting all their trust into them, thus resulting in many democrats and accidental fascists.
Poliomyelitis was a problem that hindered the internal economy until ColonelChe Soon controversially started championing the distribution of vaccine for poor people, which as he foresaw, paid off.
When the American/Britishcause ran supreme and a capitalist democracy was set up on Panau. Papa Panay was President and was known to be friendly and trustworthy. It is because of him that Panau developed its modern infrastructure, for example, the Panau Motorway/Highway System, Panau International Airport, the Panau Taxi Company, and Panau City's towering skyscrapers. There's even a Panauan Space Program. But Papa Panay was troubled by his divided family. He, of course, was a proud democrat, while his son is an autocrat. At the end of his presidency, he was killed by a car bomb. His son was the prime suspect for the bombing and took power. His name is Pandak, which means 'short' in Filipino. He took down every statue of his father and replaced then with his own. He also changed the government from a Democracy to an authoritarian dictatorship, tolerating no dissent. Rather than using government funds for ending the hunger problem on the island, Baby Panay diverted taxes towards a massive military build-up. He also stripped the local Ulars of their rights. He constantly abused the people by arresting, torturing, and killing many of them for no reason. He also made Panau City more slum-like by creating cramped condo buildings, which can be found the most in Panau City's Residential District. He made Panau Air, a government-run company, making it one of the cheapest airlines in the world. Finally, he made the island a playground for the rich with casinos, hotels, and extra rights for the wealthy.
The people had finally had enough of Baby Panay's regime. The Maoist clan The Reapers now felt that capitalism and dictatorships have always been their arch enemy, so naturally, they took action. Their main goal is to bring communism to Panau and eliminate all oppressive elements on the island; failing that, they'll settle for the island's wealth and power. The Ulars had always been angered by foreigners coming to their island, but now that their rights have been threatened, they started their own revolutionary gang, the Ular Boys. They sell their drugs all over the world, but their main goal is to take over the island and make it their own again. The traditional mob The Roaches, was once "in bed" with Papa Panay, but as Pandak Panay came to power, he angered them as their businesses suffered from his political decisions. They hope to sell drugs worldwide and exploit the island of its resources. Despite their murderous reputation, The Roaches have a more civilized system than Pandak Panay's quasi-fascist government.
The chaos started hurting the government so much that the Panau Falls Casino was shut down. The world's superpowers started to send their assets to Panau to help fund gangs because they want a revolution in order to take over Panau and its oil. So Russia supported the Roaches, China supported the Reapers, and Japan supported the Ular Boys. Even Pandak "Baby" Panay was forced out of his estate to take refuge in his private Wajah Ramah Fortress. The factions heard about this and enacted Rico Rodriguez (an undercover Agency asset also known as Scorpio) to assassinate him.
The "death" of Pandak Panay is reason for China, Russia, Japan, and the U.S. to invade Panau for its oil. But Baby Panay was still alive on his nuclear submarine, so Rico Rodriguez goes after him. After a large shoot-out, Baby Panay launches four nuclear missiles, one at every invading superpower. Baby Panay's shirt was snagged on a launching missile and Rico Grappled on to another. While flying on nuclear missiles, Rico defuses three missiles, but he strapped Baby Panay to the fourth one and redirected it to hit Panau's oil reserves, killing both Panay and Panau's most precious asset, therefore diminishing international powers' interest and stabilizing the nation.
The death of Pandak Panay then gives way for the United States to install a pro-U.S. president. Although prior to that, small fighting between factions and soldiers still ensues everywhere.
Panau has 1035.55 km2 (400 square miles) area and there are 369 "discoverable" locations and many unmarked locations and points of interest. There are a variety of different environments to explore including desert, city, countryside and mountainous regions with many military bases and settlements in each. Airbases and Communications Outposts are common, along with naval bases along the coast. See also: Game limits.
Panau City, the capital of Panau, is stretched across four islands in the Ramai Rakyat Islands and is recognizable by its distinctive skyline of gleaming skyscrapers and towering bridges.
Division of Activity, Population, and Natural ResourcesEdit
The districts of Panau are very different from each other, not only of visible geographical objects.
A majority of the population and most of the industry are located in north Panau.
The Berawan Besar Mountains are fairly populated and have instead got a lot of military bases, mainly communications bases, and more expensive installations as PAN MILSAT and Kastelo Singa are also found here. No known natural resources are produced here. The only tourist settlement is the Gunung Hotel Ski Resort. However, the district has very good roads.
East Tanah Raya is densely populated with many villages close to each other. The military presence is not so high, although a lot of Communications Outposts can be found there, as well as the Cape Carnival space center. The district is flat and is one of the best for cultivation. Natural resources are not many aside from one of the Panau Timur Gas Fields, one of the many panauan natural gas fields. One Offshore Rig has been erected there. The district has also a very high capacity for electricity production, including the Awan Cendawan Power Plant and 12 Wind Turbines. Fishing is also going well in this district.
Energy production is low, but a new natural gas plant, Kem Pekan Selamat, which is in the state of construction, will massively increase it.
Panau Tengah Bay is densely populated, more than most districts, including two of the total 8 Cities in Panau. The military presence is in general low. Fishing and cultivation works well in this district. Natural resources are few, but in the geographical bay, the Telok Panau Gas Field has a share in the natural gas production.
The Pelaut Archipelago has got some population clusters, mainly in the Nipah valley with the three-city triangle, but is in general not very populated. However, a very large share of the industrial facilities is located here. Most are connected to the oil and natural gas industry and may have popped up around the Emas Hitam Oil Refinery. Also, a large share of the fish, energy and natural gas production exists. Even a previous iron mine has been evidenced by translating the name of a settlement.
The geographical district of Ramai Rakyat Islands is the most populated and has the highest population density. Panau City is the economical and administrative center of Panau. Also, Panau International Airport is found in the area. Pelabuhan Saudagar is the largest harbor in Panau.
Ironically, the islands around Panau City lacks almost of settlements and population. The district lacks almost completely of industry, except for the Pelabuhan Saudagar. The islands are only consumers of energy, not producers.
The Selatan Archipelago is probably the district most rich in natural resources. The Selatan Oil and Gas Fields holds the world's largest oil reservoir, and also large quantities of natural gas are also located there. Lignite seems also to exist at some places, evidenced by translating the name of Bandar Arang Batu Besar. Rich forests grow in the area, and ethanol is produced at BioFuel Shafts in the area of plants. Fishing seems also to go well, as well as the cultivation of the area.
However, the district is fairly populated. The military has very high influence here, by the many bases spread around the area, inclusive Communications Outposts. Most of them were erected for guarding the huge oil field in the district. This district has got very many tourist settlements.
The Senjakala Islands lacks mostly of natural resources, and are, just likely the Selatan Archipelago, fairly populated. However, there's a lot of tourist settlements in the area, such as Pulau Naga and Pekan Belalang. There's also a large factory in Bandar Baru Indah. The military presence is in general not so high.
West Tanah Raya is not so densely populated and lacks industrial areas. The military presence is not so high either.
However, in the waters of the districts, east of Hantu Island, the largest natural gas field in Panau can be found. Two Offshore Rigs are stationed there.
Based on its South-east Asian neighbors, Panau has been influenced by many regions and established religious traditions, including Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism.
The ancient temple ruins found throughout Panau are indicative of an early Hindu kingdom, similar to ancient ruins found in nearby Malaysia and Indonesia. In terms of its later religious history, Panau was decidedly influenced by early Buddhist missionaries and traders from Vietnam and Thailand to the north. Today, the vast majority of Panau's population is at least nominally Buddhist. Buddhist temples and pagodas can be seen in every major habitable location of Panau, as well as smaller shrines and cenotaphs, complete with traditional incense burners located in many rural villages. Buddhist monks can also frequently be seen throughout the country.
However, it should be noted that there is also a sizable Christian minority on Panau as evidenced by a number of churches located sporadically throughout the country. Being in the Malay archipelago, Islam plays a large role in Panau. Islamic art, architecture and dress have had a heavy influence on Panau and its people, primarily through centuries of trade. The former National Mosque is no longer used for religious services and has been converted into a tourist resort, complete with swimming pools and lounge amenities. Many citizens of Panau are Muslims, as is evidenced by the Muslim names of many military colonels and characters such as Razak Razman.
Also the ancient natural religion of the Ular Tribe, who still live in Panau today, did have a great influence in the nation in ancient times. The Ular Tribe have left their footmarks everywhere, with ancient ruins spread out all over the country. There's little known of their religion, but they hail their long dead ancestors as gods and the religion centers much around them.
Today (speculated) estimates suggest that 61% of the population is Buddhist, 22% Muslim, 12% Christian, 4% Hindu and around 1% other, which includes the Religion of the Ulars, a small Jewish population, a small population following Confucianism, and at least one Sikh, a minor Roaches member called Captain Singh.
A total of 25 Communications Masts can be found in the country, mostly at communications bases. They are very tall and mainly used for military radio communication. The very common Broadcast Tower can be found at many locations, including civilian settlements, though it's most likely used for mobile networks like GSM, GPRS and 3G communications.
The Communication Stations, which are spread out at Communications Outposts, have a similar purpose to the Communications Mast, but is much more common and is also a data intelligence hub and are used store different information about everyone in Panau.
For public communications, including TV and Radio, the government owns the Panau Broadcasting Company. The television is satellite-based and sends its broadcasts from the company's HQ at the PBC Tower. For the Panauan Radio, the company uses two transmitters, stationed at the PBC Tower and Burj Panau. The last one is located in Panau City. It is no longer the company's HQ, but the transmitter is still in use since the mountains in the country would cause more or less disturbance if there was only one transmitter.
It should be noted that both the TV channel and the Radio are controlled with an iron fist and are heavily censored. Most of the news is based on lies and propaganda. President Panay was going to send up four satellites into orbit to control all media in the country but failed miserably when the Ular Boys arranged an attack on the Launch Center, where all of the satellites were destroyed.
For a such small nation, Panau has a large industrial sector. Panau's main industries are based on Fossil Fuel production, Energy production, and Tourism. ColonelJejomar Isko is using computers to "skim millions off the national businesses".
Fossil Fuel Production is the largest industry in Panau before, most of it consisting of Natural Gas. Also a small production of oil exists in the country, but it's too small and the country imports less to medium amounts of Bruneian oil. The gas is most likely exported to other countries, not including the consumption inside the country. Most of the oil industry is based in Pelaut Archipelago, while the only oil rig is located in the Lautan Lama Desert. Significant facilities:
Like all other nations, Panau needs a lot of Electric power. The production is mainly based around a Nuclear Reactor and a lot of Wind Turbines, but a Fossil Fuel Power Plant can also be found. See also the section "Energy" below.
Much of the trading consists of military cargo, but also civilian cargo can be traded on several places. Cargo trading is based at most of the ports and at some airports in Panau. Most of the cargo is stacked in containers, and at most harbors, (Pulau Berapi is one of the few exceptions, which only consists of a oil harbor) containers can be seen stacked at several places. The container trading have their primary bases at these harbors:
There's a lot of plantages in the country, so a food and crop production industry would exist. This would include products like rice, bananas and more, but a lot of narcotics are also illegally produced in the country. All the Factions produce and sell drugs, but also a significant group of Military personnel, including Colonels and Officers do so, against the military morale. Fishing also seems to be an important civilian industry.
The military itself could also be counted as an industry, since it is so important in the country.
There are also a lot of factory buildings, mostly in southern Panau, with an unknown purpose. Some examples:
Panau has an arsenal of nuclear missiles, which are known to be carried aboard the U1 submarine. There might be more nuclear weapons hidden throughout Panau.
Panau also possesses chemical weapons and researches them at the Gunung Tasik research facility, due to the cold air which aids in preserving the weapons. Nothing is known about the exact details of the weapons, other than that if the temperature rises too much, the weapons become harmless.
Panau has one Atomic power plant, the Awan Cendawan Power Plant. According to the Panau Broadcasting Company, the plant is being operated by the Panauan Nuclear Fission Research Group. The plant has become a military stronghold mainly because of its importance to the power grid. Its name means "Mushroom Cloud Power Plant" in Malay.
Panau has a lot of offshore gas rigs despite the reportedly negligible deposits. The gas is probably used by the civilians in the cities and partly sold to other nations, to help pay for the Panau Military.
The flag of Panau closely resembles the flag of Cuba and US territory Puerto Rico.
Medici, the nation at which Just Cause 3 takes place, has been reported to have a playable map exactly the same size of Panau.
Mike Oldman stated that there was suppose to be flags in Panau, but they were cut. See more at Cut game content.
Coincidentally, the word "Panau" in Malaysian (equivalent to word "Panu" in Indonesian), despite of its meaning, in its context, the word usually has a bad connotation. It usually refers to Tinea versicolor, a fungal skin diseases that causes infected skin areas to become brighter, hence its literal meaning ("bright spot")
Panau is one letter off from the real-world country of "Palau".