Legends header

Legends of the Wildlands

05/12/2017 09:00 AM

The world of Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Bolivia is a fascinating one. There is as much beauty and mystery in the legends of Bolivia as there is in the landscapes you can explore throughout the game.

While taking on the Santa Blanca Cartel, you may have picked up Kingslayer Files from the many towns and locations you visited. In some of those, you’ll find more information on your enigmatic quarry, El Sueño, and in others, you’ll find the legends that shape the rich culture of Bolivia.

We asked Eric Simon, Senior Game Designer on Ghost Recon Wildlands, why the team decided to use these legends to inform the setting of Wildlands:

“Bolivia is one of those countries that has splendid landscapes, a long story and a strong culture of its own.

Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Bolivia is a fictional version created to provide a unique gameplay experience. However, we also wanted to give to the players the opportunity to learn more about Bolivia’s history and culture.

This opportunity was our reasoning behind choosing these legends, which represent historical figures, customs, traditions and beliefs coming from Ancient Bolivia.”

Here are some of our favorite legends featured in Ghost Recon Wildlands!

The Worship of Santa Muerte, Origins and Criminal Practice

Santa Muerte

The worship of Santa Muerte first appeared in the Mexico area during the pre-Columbian era. Natives honored a Death god and its female counterpart to secure their way into the afterlife. During the Spanish era and under Catholic influence, the cult saw the emergence of a female saint known as Santa Muerte.

Though rejected by mainstream churches, it gradually became a popular worship for people looking for protection against misfortunes. Some outlaws and drug traffickers worship her.

They frequently seek her blessing for their ammunition and weapons, or for protection for their illegal activities. The Santa Blanca Cartel uses this iconic figure to strike fear into the hearts of its enemies.

Regarding the legend of Santa Muerte, Eric added, “These legends also inspired Mexican drug traffickers, particularly in regards to the worship of the Santa Muerte.

The drug traffickers developed a counterculture that justified their criminal actions, as well as an environment where violence and murders are common and condoned. The confrontation of traditional Bolivian culture and violent cartel culture is one of the pillars of Ghost Recon Wildlands.”

Legendary Figures

Túpac Katari (1750 – 81)

Tupac Katari

Born into a poor Aymara family, Túpac Katari led a major indigenous rebellion against the Spanish Empire between 1780 and 1781. Followed by 40 thousand supporters, along with his wife Bartolina Sisa, he twice laid siege to La Paz against the Spanish.

Subsequently betrayed, he was arrested, tortured, and finally quartered on the 15th of November 1781. Just before dying, he said: “I die, but I will return as millions.” Túpac Katari is now considered an early martyr of the indigenous struggle and the namesake of the rebel leader, Pac Katari, who believes he is a direct descendant.

Simón Bolívar (1783 – 1830)

Simon Bolivar

Simón Bolívar is a major figure of the Latin American wars of independence against the Spanish crown. Born into a wealthy family, he was influenced by the Enlightenment philosophers and the French Revolution.

Trained as a soldier, he fought against the Spanish and their allies for more than two decades, gradually liberating what are now Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, giving his name to the latter. Simón died in 1830, without being able to maintain the political unity of Latin America.

Gods of the Andes

Pachamama

Pachamama

Pachamama is the Andean Earth goddess. She ensures protection and fertility for the people. She is one of the most popular gods in Bolivia, even though she is also said to be jealous and desirous, requiring constant tokens of respect.

There are many ways to honor her, and one frequent and simple ritual is to spill some liquor on the ground before drinking. It is called the Challa.

El Tío de la Mina

Tio

As the god of the Underworld, El Tío represents a major figure of the mining culture in Bolivia. His origins date back to a pre-Columbian Uru god walled Wari.

Miners often gather deep inside the mines, especially in Potosi, offering liquor, cigarettes, and coca leaves to a statue of El Tío in exchange for its protection. Those who fail to honor him may suffer death and injuries. He is usually represented as a mix of a devil and a goat with very explicit male attributes.

Mama Cocha

Coca Res

Mama Cocha is a kind of sea goddess, invoked by sailors and fishermen for protection or to ensure good fishing. In Bolivia, she is linked to rivers and the lakes of the Andes, especially in Titicaca. She is sometimes referred to as the wife of Cirachoca, the pre-Columbian god, and creator of all things with whom she had two children: Inti, the Sun, and Mama Killa, the Moon. Some stories add Pachamama to the family.

Mama Coca

Coca

Legends about Mama Coca often tell very different tales. Some think she was Pachamama’s daughter, while others say she was the courted wife of one of the first Incan emperors.

Most stories end with the idea that when she died, her body was dismembered and buried separately. In the tomb’s center appeared a new plant call ‘coca,’ whose leaves, originally reserved for men, could be used to relieve pains and were considered sacred.

Illapa

Iliapa

Illapa was the god of thunder and rain in Inca mythology. He is considered one of the most powerful gods in the Inca pantheon, along with Inti the Sun god.

He is often represented as a man wearing shiny clothing, a sling, and a club. Ancient Incas believed that Illapa brought rain by drawing water from the Milky Way and pouring it over the earth. Thunder was the sound of his sling and lightning was believed to be the gleam of his clothes.

Legendary Locations

The Salt Flats

Salt

The Aymara have a myth that explains the creation of the Salt Flats of Uyuni. They believe that, long ago, the volcanoes surrounding the Salar could walk, talk, and even fall in love. The legend says that Tunupa, one of the tallest volcanoes, became pregnant and gave birth to a baby volcano.

Kushu, a nearby volcano who believed he was the father, abducted the child. Tunupa cried for a long time, her tears blended with her mother’s milk, and the mix poured over the arid land, creating the Salt Flats.

Laguna Colorada

Laguna

Laguna Colorada, or Red Lagoon, is a shallow salt lake of some 60 square kilometers. It is located in southwestern Bolivia, in the Lipez area. It's peculiar color comes from a mix of red sediments and algae with white crystals of borax.

The lagoon is an important mating site for pink flamingos. Local people traditionally come here to hunt them using bolas, a very efficient kind of throwing weapon made of stones on the ends of interconnected cords that entangle the long legs of the flamingos.


To find out more about the many fascinating legends that helped shape Bolivian culture, make sure you find all the Kingslayer files in the game.

We’ve also heard rumors from the locals in Inca Camina about something taking their livestock at an alarming rate. Something that has them terrified…

While you’re gathering intel on the legends of Bolivia, make sure you investigate this as well. Helping the locals will improve our relationship with the rebels and undermine the Santa Blanca.

For more intel on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, please keep an eye on ghostrecon.com and be sure to visit our official forums as well as the subreddit.

To keep track of your stats and find other Ghosts to join your Taskforce, log-in to the Ghost Recon Network and download the Ghost Recon HQ App (iOS - Android).

El Tio Thumbnail

El Tio de la Mina Challenge

The mission to defeat self-proclaimed El Tio is now live until November 1!

10/18/201712:00 PM

Read more

TU8 thumbnail

Title Update 8: Patch Notes

We’ve brought improvements, bug fixes, and Ghost War!

10/10/201712:00 PM

Read more

GRW_OB-to-launch_Thumbnail

Ghost War: What’s New Since the Open Beta?

Learn more about the improvements we’ve made to the game following the Ghost War Open Beta

10/10/201709:00 AM

Read more

+ news