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Why does the gang side with the rebels on Guarma?


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Replaying the game, hopefully to get the platinum or at least 100%, just finished up the Guarma chapter. On the very first mission, where the chain gang is ambushed by the rebels, I found it kind of strange how Arthur just picks up a revolver and starts shooting the guards in the back of the head. Would the gang not have fared better by going with their captors? I can't remember the exact dialogue now, but it seemed that the guards were quite prepared to let the gang go fairly soon, as soon as they made sure they weren't pirates or anything, so it seems strange that they decide to take the side of these guys coming out of the trees shooting at them. I can think of two possible reasons why they might side with the rebels:


1. In the heat of the moment, they weigh up the odds of the battle and decide that the rebels are more likely to come out on top, and so they fight alongside them. Things follow on from there.

I'm not overly convinced of this. Their attackers are hidden in the trees and the gang has no idea who they are, how many of them there are, nor how well they're armed. They are taking a huge risk by going against the police/military forces of the island, who have large numbers and are well armed (I don't know if they're explicitly aware of this at this point, but if not then they can probably guess). Maybe the gang sides with the attackers because the rebels have got the drop on the guards, and it's easier to shoot the guys in front of you in the back than the guys in the trees who you can't see. I still don't think this is enough reason to warrant the risk-taking though.

Even if there are decent reasons to not take the guards' side and fight the attackers, which I'm not convinced there is, I still don't think that's enough justification to actively fight the guards. Couldn't they have waited the battle out and gone with whoever won, or tried to make an escape during the chaos? Maybe making an escape wouldn't be the best move, since in addition to being lost (as they were before the guards picked them up) they'd also be being hunted by the guards. But the guards seem to have enough of a problem with the rebels anyway. And waiting things out before definitively picking a side still seems like the prudent move.

Finally, when the reinforcements arrive, it's very obvious then that the rebels are outnumbered and outgunned, and the quick response shows that the guards are at least decently organised (unless a big group of men just happened to be around the corner, which I'm not sure is that likely, considering the size of the island and how far the ambush location is from the major settlement). The gang could then have switched allegiances and fought with the guards, even if they'd taken out the few just before them. They could have played innocent and pretended that the rebels did the murdering, while they just got out of their chains to try and find cover. I don't think the guards have seen them murdering their comrades so they could get away with it, especially considering how Dutch is such a bullsh*t artist charismatic leader. Mentioning that they had bumped into the island's leader's second-in-command earlier could also help gain the guards' trust, perhaps.

So I don't think siding with the rebels for tactical or strategic reasons is that wise. The gang should be able to tell that the guards have the upper hand over the rebels pretty easily, and that siding with the rebels almost certainly means being hunted and facing far worse odds than going with the guards.


2. The rebels have a better chance of getting the gang off of the island than the guards.

This one does not seem very good either. First, as I mentioned above, the guards have suggested that they will release the gang later, once they've made sure that they're not pirates or whatever. Now, I'm sure the guards aren't the most trustworthy bunch, but I don't see why the gang shouldn't believe that they will fare out alright if they cooperate. They have nothing to gain by keeping the gang around (I highly doubt they'd have them working in the fields), and no reason to suspect them; it's unlikely that anyone on the island even knows about what happened in Saint Denis, and even if they did, nobody knows that the gang escaped by boat and got shipwrecked. There is no reason to suspect the gang as anything else than whatever cover story Dutch cooks up. The gang has little to fear, so long as they play the poor-lost-souls part well enough.

Perhaps they would let the gang go freely on the next boat back to America, or perhaps they'd make them earn their passage home first. But whatever they make them do, surely it'd be easier and less dangerous than running around with rebels in the jungle.

Secondly, we again come to a similar point as above: even if the prospects for finding a way home with the guards aren't great, surely things would be far worse with the rebels. Remember again that at the pivotal moment, the gang have basically no idea who the guys in the trees shooting at them are, or what their capabilities are, whereas they at can at least be fairly confident that the guards have boats and the means of getting off the island. How on Earth could some hunted rebels, holed up in the jungle, get them off the island? (I still don't know how the hell they got that boat captain to come rescue them.) And again, if there are doubts about whether the guards would let the gang get off the island freely, surely the rebels have just as little interest in giving the gang a free ticket, and will require the same persuading, probably by getting into dangerous situations.

So siding with the rebels in hopes of a better chance at escape also doesn't seem like a great idea. The guards could very plausibly let the gang go with minimal trouble, and even if they didn't, the rebels are no more attractive an option.


The above two are the most plausible reasons I could think of for the gang siding with the rebels rather than the guards, and neither seems ultimately convincing. There are probably tons of other suggestions, like Dutch wanting to help them in their struggle or something, but considering how Dutch has at this point seemingly lost his former ideals and is just concerned with getting them home, I don't think that's likely.

It's late now so I won't speculate Rockstar's reasons for choosing the gang to side with the rebels, but from an in-universe perspective, going with the guards seems like the better choice.

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Its not that deep. The Rebels didn't throw them in chains and think they were talking BS, it was side with them or potentially get put in a jail cell in the middle of nowhere.

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They were going to be kept in chains until Fussar's men find out who they are. Plus they couldn't risk their true identity being found out too. So naturally they went with a guy who rescued them.

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Cutter De Blanc

It's Dutch man, you really think he's gonna work with any sort of government?

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poland stronk

Fussar would hand them over to US authorities if he would connect the dots or he would just abuse them as slaves on sugar plantation. That's what the gang was thinking at first but after Arthur realized he was connected to Angelo Bronte and would most probably hand them over to Pinkertons there was only one way to get off the island.

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3 hours ago, Dan_1983 said:

They were going to be kept in chains until Fussar's men find out who they are. Plus they couldn't risk their true identity being found out too. So naturally they went with a guy who rescued them.

This. Dutch is aware of the risk and hence gives the false name and GTA IV Easter egg of Aiden O’Malley.

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Lemoyne outlaw
Posted (edited)

it does makes sense that they sided with the rebels. why would they side with the people that held them at gunpoint and put them in chains. of course you would fight back against them. and we find out later from hercule that fussar knows who they are and he tried to send word to the us. so obviously the guards were not to be trusted.

Edited by Lemoyne outlaw
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Nobody in the gang besides Javier spoke Spanish. They’d have no clue what they’re saying during the march back to the compound. 
When you’re a captured fugitive thousands of miles from home in a land whose language you do not speak, and your captors suddenly start catching lead and a gun falls in your lap and you have fractions of a second to make a decision, you’re going to side with the people in the trees who indirectly set you free.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just sort of took it as either "They're the only people who aren't shooting us, that makes them our (uneasy) allies" or "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

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they didn't really have a lot of choices and they helped them out the most

Edited by gucciflipflops
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Thomas Cavendish

it's a simple answer. Not that deep.

if you were in chains, would you join your captor or a person who shot your captor?
it makes no sense to join the guards.

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