As usual this feature contains SPOILERS. MASSIVE, GAME-SPOILING SPOILERS.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION
There was once a man named John Marston. John was a murderer, a thief, a poker cheat, a farmer, a husband and a father. He used to be a part-time sales assistant at his local General Store until he was caught pocketing several issues of Wild Women of the Wild West. Don’t worry, though, John has since retired from his gang life and therefore it’s okay for you to sympathise with a murderer, a thief, a poker cheat and a secret reader of early 20th century porn.
One day, John was sent to a place called New Austin by Government officials. John’s wife and child were being held hostage by the Government and would only be released safely if John agreed to track down his former gang members and kill them.
So, off went John to New Austin, assuming that things were going to go his way. Upon arriving he immediately went to a place called Fort Mercer where his former fellow gang member – Bill Willamson – lived.
MARSTON: Oi! Bill!
BILL: Well, if it isn’t old Johnny boy.
MARSTON: Come down from your pathetic looking fort and face me, man-to-man.
BILL: How about…no?
MARSTON: Oh, go on.
Bill Williamson really didn’t want to so he drew his weapon and shot John in the ribs…as you do. John hit the floor and blacked out.
Three days later John awoke to find himself bandaged up and feeling much better thanks to the help of Bonnie MacFarlane – a rancher who found him lying half-dead in the middle of the road.
BONNIE: Well, hello there, stranger.
MARSTON: Who are you? Why did you help me? Where am I? What day is it? How long was I out?
BONNIE: Someone has serious trust issues. I’m Bonnie, I helped because I’m nice like that, you’re at my ranch, it’s Tuesday and you’ve been asleep for 3 days.
MARSTON: Great. Can you help me find Bill Williamson?
BONNIE: Oh, John, that’s not how this works. I save your life so you must now spend weeks helping every single person in this God-forsaken land. You’re going to help me with mind-numbingly boring tasks such as cattle herding and maybe even a spot of taxiing me about town. You’ll also have to go to Armadillo and help the local law-enforcers there, too. Everyone you come across is going to need your help because no one can do anything for themselves.
BONNIE: No arguments. Now, take that horse over there and go and pay Marshal a visit over in Armadillo.
John dropped his head and shuffled off mumbling to himself. He jumped onto his new steed and trotted off down the dusty roads toward Armadillo.
Upon arriving at his destination, John decided to hitch his horse and pay Sherriff Marshal a visit. He approached the hitching post and his equine friend jumped over it before doing a 720 degree turn.
MARSTON: HITCH! HITCH! You stupid animal.
After 15 minutes of the horse doing nothing he was told, John left him in the middle of the road. Maybe that’s the way things are done around here.
MARSHAL: You must be John Marston?
MARSTON: Why? Do you not have any other visitors?
MARSHAL: Well, I only meant…
MARSTON: Whatever. You’re going to help me with finding and capturing Bill Williamson, yes?
MARSHAL: All in good time, my friend. I want you to go with Bebob and Rocksteady to capture a horse thief.
John became the Sherriff’s bitch for a while, performing repetitive missions and putting up with some annoying company. His patience was wearing thin.
Deciding to take a break from the run-of-the-mill jobs he was being assigned, John went out into the Wild West to explore.
Along his travels he found that complete strangers would shout at him as he rode past. They weren’t shouting at anyone else, just John. He must have one of those helpful faces…you know the type…scars, unshaven, angry and weathered…the helpful friendly type.
One such stranger was a little girl crying on the side of the road.
GIRL: Pwease, Mister, can you help me?
MARSTON: What do you want?
GIRL: My pet wabbit has escaped and I can’t find him.
MARSTON: You mean the rabbit that’s sitting 2 feet away from you?
GIRL: Yeah, that’s the one. Can you help?
John walked the torturous 2ft journey to the rabbit’s location. He picked it up, took out his hunting knife and quickly and efficiently skinned the animal alive. He walked back to the girl and, with rabbit’s blood dripping from his face, threw her the now life-less mound of flesh and bone.
MARSTON: No no. You’re welcome.
He mounted his horse and continued his travels.
He came across an old man named West Dickens whose carriage had broken down in a clearing.
MARSTON: What’s the problem? Is it the Fan-belt?
WEST DICKENS: No no, sir, the horse is just resting. Say, do you fancy helping me out?
MARSTON: Oh, for fu…
WEST DICKENS: Great! Much obliged.
Marston now became the bitch to a two-bit charlatan who needed his help in conning locals and racing in competitions. In return for these favours West Dickens agreed to help John with finding and killing Bill Williamson, but, in order to do so, John would have to find a man named Irish in order to acquire a Gatling Gun.
John toyed with the idea of shooting West Dickens but every time he pointed his gun at him a blue fly would appear and get between the two. He just had to grin and bear it.
John found Irish. He was actually Irish although you could be excused for thinking that he sounded like an American telling a particularly stereotypical joke. John couldn’t kill him either so he had to put up with being lied to over and over again before finally getting the Gatlin gun that he required.
Taking a break from the exhausting number of chores and errands he was being forced to do, John decided to put on an elegant-looking suit and visit his local bar.
John steadily became more and more intoxicated until he could hardly stand. The corner of the bar sat a an elderly man playing some ragtime tunes on an upright piano.
MARSTON: Oi! Piano man!
PIANO MAN: Er…yes?
MARSTON: Play me a song.
PAINO MAN: What would you like?
MARSTON: Do you know “Put a ring on it” by Beyonce?
PIANO MAN: Can’t say I do. How about I just stick to some ragtime classics?
The man began playing.
MARSTON: Yeah! This is the one. Uh, yeah, If you like it then you should put a ring on it. Don’t be mad once you see that he want it…
John groped a prostitute before climbing on a table to perform a small dance. In his inebriated state, John accepted a challenge to a game of poker. He played, he cheated, he got caught. The consequences were a dual to the death. John and his opponent stepped outside and the draw was started. John’s vision went into slow motion and everything went yellow. He made a mental note to find out the name of that whiskey.
John was quicker than his challenger resulting in John’s victory. He walked over to the corpse of his opponent and looked around before stealing $2 from the man’s pocket.
He staggered off down the road to his bedsit where he soundly slept for 6 hours. No more, no less.
WEST DICKENS: John! We now have everything in place to attack Fort Mercer.
MARSTON: Stop shouting. I have a headache.
WEST DICKENS: Let’s go.
John accompanied West Dickens in his carriage, taking the helm of a Gatling gun. Joining him in the assault on the Fort was Marshal from Armadilo and his deputies as well as Irish.
The group launched their attack with John firing relentlessly into the crowd of enemies. There were more enemies than there was space in the Fort, which baffled John slightly. After the smoke cleared, bodies lay strewn across the floor but Williamson was nowhere to be found.
It transpired that he had escaped to Mexico. So John followed.
He made his acquaintance with several people including military leader De Santa and rebels named Luisa and Reyes. One minute he was killing military troops on behalf of the rebels and the next he was supporting the military in controlling the rebels. Talk about making life difficult for yourself. Pretty much everyone dies anyway so it was all for nothing.
He did eventually find Williamson…and then shot him. He wasn’t wasting any time on small talk when he had herbs and flowers to collect so that people respected him more, which is fair, no?
MARSTON: Thank fuck for that. Now I can go home and get my family back.
Government Agent Ross appeared from nowhere.
ROSS: I heard you killed Williamson.
MARSTON: How? I have literally just done it.
ROSS: Sssh. Anyway, things aren’t over yet.
MARSTON: I’d like to say I’m surprised. But I’m not. I’m really really not. When you’re not looking I’m going to pour bait in your pocket and watch you get shredded by cougars.
In fact, John couldn’t wait. He took out a vial of bait and smashed it over Agent Ross’ head. He laughed but was soon regretting his decision when 8 cougars pounced without warning. Even though the bait was on Ross, all 8 cats attacked John.
He woke the next day with cuts and bruises.
ROSS: Try that again and we’ll kill your wife and son.
MARSTON: What do you need me to do?
ROSS: Your old gang leader has been spotted in town.
ROSS: No, I’m sure he’s American.
MARSTON: No, that’s his name.
ROSS: He’s not called American. He’s called…(checks paperwork)…Dutch. Ha! What are the chances of that?
MARSTON: Oh, for crying out loud.
ROSS: Find Dutch and kill him and we’ll call it quits.
John got up and tracked down Dutch to a make-shift village at the very north of the map. It was a scientific mystery why this particular part of the world had invisible boundaries and un-climbable rocks and Dutch had positioned himself right up against one such boundary.
Dutch had managed to recruit a vast number of Indian youngsters to his latest gang but even hundreds of these posed no challenge for John.
Marston forced his way through the settlement. At one point, 5 foes stood in front of him and John shot off all their hats and disarmed them without killing a single one.
MARSTON: Stop! I’m sorry, but that was awesome. I deserve some recognition for that.
One of the enemies stepped forward and reluctantly agreed.
RELUCTANTLY AGREEING ENEMY: Yeah, yeah that was cool. Well done, John.
MARSTON: Thank you.
He then proceeded to kill all 5 of them.
He tracked down Butch, who had escaped through a cave. He was running well for an elderly man and climbing tall ladders posed him no problem, either. John followed until there was nowhere left to go. Dutch was precariously close to the edge of a cliff. As John approached, weapon at the ready, Ducth disarmed himself and tended to a bullet wound in his stomach.
MARSTON: When did you get shot? You were fine just a minute ago.
DUTCH: I was, wasn’t I? I assumed you did it.
MARSTON: Not yet.
DUTCH: Very odd. Anyway, this is goodbye, John.
Dutch threw himself off the cliff.
Agent Ross appeared, shot Dutch just for good measure and reunited John with his wife Abigail and son Jack.
MRS. MARSTON: I missed you, John. Now, that shelf still needs fixing, the sink is leaking and my mother’s coming over for tea.
MARSTON: Shoot me. Shoot me now.
JACK: What was that, Pa?
MARSTON: I said…err…Shooo me. It’s a Mexican thing. Don’t worry, I’m just so happy to have you guys back.
John’s teeth gritted so hard they chipped.
Despite becoming famed and revered across the land, John spent the next few months herding cattle and scaring crows. All until Agent Ross decided he was going to turn against John and send the Army after him. Because he was nice like that.
The Army stormed John’s home and after getting his wife and son to safety John sacrificed himself so that could remain safe. And because he couldn’t stand another day of listening to their demanding requests and all-round annoying nature. Ross killed John.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I liked John.
Three years later and Jack had now buried his father and his mother after she died of natural causes…or food poisoning…the jury was still out on that one.
Jack vowed revenged and tracked down a now-retired Ross to a quiet fishing spot not too far away. He and Ross had a dual to the death. It was less exciting than a dual with giant cotton buds atop high podiums but it was a tad more lethal…in the sense that Jack blew Ross’ brains out with a high-powered revolver.