Ubisoft games are known to reference other Ubisoft games, connections I’ve enjoyed spotting and posting about on this site. I recently thought I spotted a great Splinter Cell reference in Far Cry 5. I was excited but unsure. Turns out I was wrong, but I’ve been marveling for the past week about how easy it is to believe something you want to think is true.

For about a decade, the actor Michael Ironside voiced the role of super-spy Sam Fisher in Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell series of stealth games. He played Fisher in all of them except the most recent one in 2013.

Last week, while I was playing a review copy of Far Cry 5, I thought I heard Ironside in the game. I found a man near a dock, an older-looking white guy, who was ostensibly there to teach my character how to fish. He sounded like Ironside. He said the word “fisher.” He talked about guns at one point. (You can hear him for yourself in the clip above this post.)

Those were the arguments for.

The argument against was that Ironside is not listed in the game’s credits. I asked Ubisoft what the deal was. After all, they’ve playfully connected their Watch Dogs games to Assassin’s Creed and tied some Far Crys to other Far Crys. Why not bring back Ironside to talk about fishing?

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Alas, a Ubisoft rep told me in an e-mail, “Michael Ironside is not in the game.”

I also noticed that there were other fishing-related characters at other docks in the game. They all sounded the same. They all had that gruff Ironside-ish tone. They weren’t all older white guys, though. Sometimes they showed up as black men. And sometimes they didn’t use the word “fisher,” but just verbally meandered about the wonders of fishing. I wonder if I’d have even thought of Ironside if my first encounter with the voice of the character was when it was coming out of the mouth of a black man and was speaking some of his many other lines.

It’s funny how your mind will fill in the blanks.

No Ironside, though, so I’m saying there’s no Sam Fisher reference in Far Cry 5. Now about the game’s apparent allusion to Firewatch...

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