15 Brilliant Details Hidden in Red Dead Redemption 2

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15 Brilliant Details Hidden in Red Dead Redemption 2 –

 

 

Heads up, this article contains MINOR SPOILERS for Red Dead Redemption 2. We’ll be talking about side content and optional missions, no story stuff.

From snow tracks to shrubberies, wildlife to wilder characters, Red Dead Redemption 2 boasts one of the most fully-realized worlds ever assembled for a game. The stories of the absurd hours the development team pulled can’t be ignored, so it’s worth acknowledging unbelievable depth, astounding level of detail, and countless characteristics developers were able to work into the finished product. While the game seems so robust that players may be finding things for weeks or months to come, here are the coolest easter eggs and details we’ve found so far.

1

John Marston will make sure you’re not an asshole

Rockstar

It’s no secret that the main protagonist of the first Red Ded Redemption also makes an appearance in RDR2. While John Marston may take a backseat for Arthur Morgan’s adventures, he’s still around to keep his fellow gang member in line. See, as it so happens, John and Arthur don’t get along too well. That comes into play with the game’s dialogue system.

Players are given the option to converse with NPCs in different ways, with the most common choices being “Greet” or “Antagonize.” In practice, this means you often end up saying either “Howdy-doo, I sure like talkin’ to you!” or “I’m literally one second from murdering you right now.”

Rockstar

This system also applies to the posse hanging out at the gang’s camp. It feels wrong to dunk on comrades and questgivers who generally seem to like Arthur, but hey, that’s your decision. That is, unless you’re too much of a dick. If you cross a line, John will make sure to put you in your place with a well-placed punch to the face.

Rockstar

Just because you can be rude doesn’t mean you always should.

2

A giant skeleton found in the mountains looks a heck of a lot like Bigfoot

Rockstar

Sasquatch. Yeti. The Swamp Cabbage Man. Folklore has many names for Bigfoot, but they all refer to the same breed of mythical creature, that legendary giant ape which has eluded even the geniuses with night vision cameras on Animal Planet. The hairy cryptid has a long and storied history in Rockstar games, and Red Dead 2 continues the tradition.

North of Strawberry, up on Mount Shann is a humongous humanoid skeleton that appears to prove Bigfoot’s canon existence in the RDR universe. In his journal, Arthur speculates whether the massive pile of bones belongs to a man.

Rockstar

The big question here: Is this where the trail ends? Theories about Bigfoot fueled years of GTA conspiracies on YouTube — is this Rockstar’s way of telling us the dream is dead? Or is this corpse, easily accessible towards the beginning of the game, telling fans to keep looking? I don’t know if I believe, but I sure do want to.

3

Bonnie’s tragic backstory from Red Dead 1, revealed

Rockstar

One of RDR1’s standout characters has to be Bonnie MacFarlane, a no-nonsense rancher who saves John Marston’s ass at the outset of the story. In the original game, Bonnie is one of the last of her family and feels it is her duty to keep up the homestead and take care of business.

We know that most of her brothers died, but we didn’t know that she was married before she ran into John. You can meet Bonnie’s ex on the shore, South of Latneck Station. He gasps for air once before expiring, pleading with Arthur: “And tell her… I never stopped.”

In his pocket is a letter to Bonnie, full of regrets and promises that will never be fulfilled.

According to the infamous epilogue of RDR1, Bonnie does remarry at some point following John Marston’s death. Let’s hope she’s a little luckier, this time.

4

A meteor turns a humble home into a tomb

Rockstar

Lots of unassuming little cabins dot the landscape of Red Dead Redemption 2, and an alarming number of them hold tragic and terrible stories. The shack just North of Annesburg is a great example; looks normal enough on the outside, but the inside is a horror show of human viscera.

Looking at the broken roof and the smoldering crater, it’s not hard to put together. A meteorite crashed through the ceiling of the unluckiest people on the planet.

Rockstar

If it’s any consolation to friends and family members of the deceased, Arthur can pick up the interstellar murder weapon and sell it for some quick cash.

5

This death cult was right — aliens ARE real

Rockstar

This might be the most well-known of RDR2’s easter eggs so far, and for good reason. If you had to make a word cloud out of all the words used in Grand Theft Auto V YouTube thumbnails, “Aliens” would dwarf everything else. Rockstar banked on the extraterrestrial fervor and tossed in a little bit of Heaven’s Gate for another supernatural encounter

North of Emerald Ranch stands a house full of corpses, lined up in a row like Madeline meets the zombie apocalypse. The sight of bodies in beds with shoes on evokes real-world doomsday cults, but there’s a little bit more going on here. On the desk of the leader are notes for a sermon praising the “Savior Kuhkowaba” who will “take our spirits to the promised realm.”

Rockstar

That sounds like a long walk around the phrase “let’s all kill ourselves at the same time,” but because this is Rockstar, it turns out that the cultists may have been onto something. Return to the cabin at 2AM and you’ll see an eerie green light emnating from a UFO overhead.

Rockstar

Rockstar

Other UFOs have been spotted in the game, so it feels like this is only the start of something much bigger. For GTA fans’ sake, let’s just hope it doesn’t involve Mt. Chiliad.

6

People fart in this video game

It probably took multiple team members to animate, voice and design the sound effects for this. Hours, likely days were spent nailing the NPC’s casual lift of one butt cheek and attempt to ward off foul vapors with a futile handwave. It’s beautiful, but at the same time it’s upsetting to imagine an overworked employee missing quality time with their family so players might see a random character busting ass.

7

The serial killer sequence

Rockstar

This one’s more of a full-blown sidequest than a simple easter egg. Scattered throughout the countryside are three mangled corpses. Each is strung up in a display next to a cryptic message that would be a psychopath cliche if it weren’t the 19th Century. With each body comes a severed head, which holds a piece of bloody parchment that eventually comes together as a sick sort of “treasure” map.

Rockstar

Rockstar

Putting the clues together leads you to a basement in the middle of nowhere, unlocked with a special combination. Inside is the killer’s lair and well, more mangled bodies.

Rockstar

I won’t spoil the end here, but I did enjoy the somewhat subversive reveal of the West’s first serial killer. He’s trying a little too hard with his interior decorating, though.

8

A crashed flying machine still holds its failed inventor

Rockstar

The first successful piloted flight wasn’t until 1903. Since Red Dead 2 takes place in 1899, that means any attempts you may encounter along your way are… unsuccessful. You can find the remains of one such dreamer North of Big Valley, their destroyed aircraft decaying alongside their body.

The sight recalls a sidequest in Red Dead 1, in which Marston helps a man named Charles Kinnear build a prototype flying machine. It also doesn’t go well.

Rockstar

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Also doomed? Dipshits who run homemade gliders off of cliffs.

9

A scientist makes a bizarre hybrid, comes dangerously close to a South Park reference

Rockstar

You might be noticing a pattern by now. The majority of the easter eggs in Red Dead Redemption 2 are grisly, depressing and/or disgusting. The house West of Van Horn Trading Post stitches all of those features together for one gross frankenegg.

Climb up through a second floor window and you’ll find a bloody lab with one hell of a centerpiece.

The notes littered throughout the office confirm that yes, you are seeing some kind of hideous Dr. Moreau-like hybrid. There’s boar, and bear, and human… oh god, is this ManBearPig?

Rockstar

It might pass as ManBearPig, but the presence of wings rules out the South Park gag. That’s probably for the best, since referencing a TV episode that calls Al Gore an idiot for believing in climate change isn’t exactly what you’d call timely these days.

10

I can’t believe I have to say this, but do not drink from the mysterious witch cauldron in the woods

Rockstar

The spooky hideaway tucked away deep in the woods is tantalizing, sure, but let’s take a minute and look at all the red flags here. For one, all of the candles are still lit, implying that whatever blood magic user that calls this den home is still nearby. Then there’s the actual cauldron of currently-boiling mystery liquid, brewed for any number of nefarious reasons.

Arthur, rootin’-tootin’ toolbag he is, sees a scene like this and figures it’s a great time to take a sip. Don’t do that.

He’s lucky that drinking the concoction only knocked him out for a bit (Arthur wakes up a few dozen yards away after imbibing). The next smoldering cauldron he comes upon could belong to the Sanderson Sisters.

11

The Old West had really efficient corpse disposal

Rockstar

When you accidentally kill someone — and you will accidentally kill someone in Red Dead Redemption 2 — your best bet is to get the hell out of dodge as soon as possible. The cops in this game must have some sort of Minority Report precog telling them where dire deeds are done, because the fuzz descend on crime scenes in minutes, sometimes seconds.

Usually you’re too far gone to see what happens in your bloody wake, but pop a squat from a safe vantage point and you can see local law enforcement cleaning up your mess. I mean literally — if a posse can’t find you, they’ll start picking up bodies and hauling them away.

Rockstar

In other video games, corpses just disintegrate after a set amount of time. But Red Dead 2 takes place before the advent of flesh-eating nanomachines, so sheriffs have no choice but to get their hands dirty.

12

The Braithwaites’ dirty little secret

Rockstar

On the outer edge of the Braithwaite estate lies an outhouse wrapped in chains. You’ll know it by the confusing, scattered wails coming from inside. You can take a peek inside but, you know, you don’t have to.

Rockstar

Why she’s in there isn’t — some have speculated a demonic possession of some sort, but I don’t buy it. The Braithwaites are well-off, hoity-toity types, so they probably stuck a mentally ill family member in a toilet and called it a day. Poor woman looks like captivity has really taken a toll.

Rockstar

She can be heard rambling a series of numbers often, which may be a clue to future easter eggs. Or it could be that some assholes locked her in an outhouse and she’s losing it like anyone would.

13

You can pet the doggies

Rockstar

Look, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest games ever made, but it has one vital flaw: you cannot pet the doggies. In Red Dead 2, you can pet the doggies. Which game is better? We’ll let history decide, but Zelda really slipped up here.

14

A frozen couple opens up a whole new easter egg hunt

By itself, this pair of corpses nestled together Northeast of Lake Isabella would be enough to check “sad dead couple” off the environmental storytelling list. But their desperate huddle holds a mystery in the form of a map. They were looking for something.

Players are only starting to dig into the game, so as of this writing, this mystery hasn’t been solved yet. Could it have something to do with the sundial-like rock formation up on Mount Shann? Don’t worry, the internet will have completely ruined this captivating mystery soon enough.

15

A hidden dig at Rockstar’s poor working conditions

Rockstar

Leading up to Red Dead Redemption 2’s release, we saw multiple reports of awful labor conditions at Rockstar. The mental and physical price employees pay to develop a AAA game has been a problem for a long time, but it’s been looming extra large in the public eye thanks to the biggest game of the year being released by a notoriously brutal studio.

But hey, don’t take my word for it — open a gun catalog in RDR2. The first paragraph on the Cattleman Revolver says more than I ever could.

Rockstar

If you can’t make it out, the highlighted passage reads:

  • It is made by skilled laborers who work tireless hours each week and on the weekends for little pay in order to bring you the finest revolver in the field today.

As much as we love all these little details and easter eggs, they’re not made by elves. A human being wrote that gun description, and they were probably very tired when they did so. Other human beings designed the elaborate serial killer quest, and yet more programmed the AI behavior for corpse cleanup. Hell, one or more people spent a good chunk of their time animating a cavalcade of shit tumbling out of a horse’s asshole.

Rockstar

That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy the game. As the excerpt mentions, a lot of people toiled away to bring you a beautiful piece of work. Those very tired human beings would also be very sad if no one got to experience what they spent years making. But we should keep in mind that Red Dead Redemption 2 is not a new standard for gaming, it’s an exception, and one that came at a price no one should have to pay. Not even if it means we get to pet the doggie.

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