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Red Dead Redemption Day#8: Can’t Help Being Bad

Today was a major plot point with a multi-part scene that tied up some loose ends and pushed me to a new chapter in a new location. That was kind of fun. However, it’s also the worst session so far at not letting me be the character I want to be. Sometimes the plot forced me to be bad, and sometimes it was just an accidental button push or a command I didn’t know that got me a bounty. It’s just so frustrating that I have a vision of my character that I can’t make real in the game. Spoilers (and frequent cursing) within.

I start with some poker as usual, gambling addict that my John Marston is. Boy the repetition of dialogue is getting old – yes I know they’ve got a damn civil war going on down there sure as shoot. I bust out on my first hand on a bad beat as a guy raised on deal with 32. Oh well, I then play liar’s dice to try to win my money back and lose that too. Them’s the breaks, I guess. I ride to Armadillo to resolve that missing kid stranger mission. I save a hijacked wagon along the way. This version of the missing person is that a guy’s wife is missing. I go back up to the Hanging Rock to the indicated spot and see blood and a shoe. It says I completed the mission, but it’s still registered as inactive on my list. I now decide to head towards the final West mission. I get out into the desert. While there, I see this guy running, so I hogtie him.  He turns out to be a victim so I set him free, but I see some animal in the brush.  It rushes me and kills my horse instantaneously. Wait, it’s a cougar?!? I try shooting it, but it kills me in two quick blows.

I respawn back in Armadillo and start riding back to West. I try to catch a better horse among the stallions along the way. I don’t have any luck, and to top it off, a guy steals MY horse while I’m doing my wrangling. I shoot him and continue on my old horse. I ride into a oil well area and reach West for the new chapter, Can a Swindler Change his Spots. There’s a CS of West calling John from behind some trees.  John is mad at him. West needs another favor, and John threatens him to stop using him. West tells John going to do a selfless act by helping him, but he wants to do a selfish act first by selling more tonic.  John agrees and again I have to scam — so annoying that I can’t avoid being a con artist. We arrive at a new area and see a CS of West’s pitch. Some people ride up who know his swindle and call him out. We need to run and get back on the wagon.  Now I have to shoot the appropriately outraged people who are chasing us.  Sigh — why do I have to be so evil in this scene? I die trying to draw my weapon, and then die again because I’m using my revolver and I can’t keep up with the horses. Why can’t I use my rifle? I so hate that I basically have to kill a whole bunch of innocent people. As I continue through the chase, I have to blow up a wagon blocking the way, which is cool but tainted by the scene’s immorality. I die again because I’m trying to shoot the horses and not the people in some silly attempt to be ethical here, but when I finally make it, there are a lot of bodies behind me.

I go right to the next West mission when we arrive for a new chapter: The Sport of Kings and Liars. In CS, West says he needs more money to modify his wagon for the attack.  I have to follow him to a new race. Along the way to the race,  West offers to team up, and John refuses. West says he’ll help with the fort once the race is won. It turns out to be a very hard horse race. I use all my apples (stamina boosters) to keep my horse’s speed up, but I win at the very end on the first try.  West is CS praising me and says they,ve got quite a team to take on Bill, and John CS insults the team as a “bonko, graverobber, and a drunk.” I’m done with that race. As I’m leaving the town the race was in, I talk to a new stranger. There’s a guy who needs my help; I’ve got to help save his love from bandits in Tumbleweed. John is interestingly tired of helping people in this conversation. He keeps going on about how everyone needs something from him, but he agrees to help. I quickly head to the next location for this mission, and there I find a woman with a horse. There’s  a CS discussion with the woman where she tells me her man is dead and it turns out the horse is that guy’s love. In a mildly interesting twist, she follows me back to the guy, making fun of my heroism of returning a horse to a horse lover the whole way. We get back for a CS of guy going on about the horse, and that mission is done.

I decide to try to ride to funny man mission to complete it now. Along the way, I see a wagon robbery. I’m too late to save the guy but kill the robbers. I get to the mission — it turns out it wasn’t in the mine, but I had to enter the encampment a different way. There are lots more people to kill here, and I die because I can’t really see where I’m going due to the weird layout of the camp. But when I die, I restart ALL THE WAY BACK at the town with the race. Fuck. Then I look at my map, and I notice the MISSION IS GONE?!?  FUCK YOU GAME. As I ride out of town, there are more robbers off of the road, and they kill me before I even see them. FUCK!!!!!!! Sorry for all the swearing, but I cannot BELIEVE how cheap this is.

I decide to go to the only mission on the map, and it’s a Marshal mission with a straightforward chapter — Assault on Fort Mercer. There’s a CS of John lighting cigarette as Marshal, West, and Irish show up. Seth is inside and we see him waving in the distance.  John wonders whether Bill’s pride will beat out his instinct for survival and then we get started. In CS, West mans his wagon, modded with the Gatling gun in back. John mans the gun and the deputies close me up inside the wagon. The wagon heads to the fort and West says he’s going to patter and then rap the wagon to get me to start shooting.  CS Seth lets us in, and West patters better than ever to get the bandits in a circle. He then raps the wagon, and I open it up and get control to start minigunning. It’s a little hard to see but I kill them all. The last bandit is almost off camera and a huge pain to get.  Once I’ve dispatched a couple of waves of coming enemies, the Marshal comes in and we all chase some bandits who escaped to the other side of the fort. I follow the Marshal as West leaves in the wagon. We go  running up walls but deputies are getting to the fights before I can. A deputy dies off-screen and I fail? How could I have prevented that? I respawn and this time we kill them all as we navigate the rooftops and staircases. When the fights over, the deputies regroup, and in CS they say that Bill is not here.  West is yelling from outside that reinforcements  are coming, and so I’m back on Gatling again, this time to defend the fort.

This fight is harder since the area I have to cover is much bigger and they have their own Gatling guns. I’m killed once, and then die again and again, either because I don’t notice an enemy in my periphery or because I miss the machine gun wagons they have. After several tries though, I finally kill them all. We cut to a CS of deputies who still can’t find Bill, but they do find another bandit alive. He says that Bill went to Mexico, and John realizes he’s looking for a particular mexican guy whose name I miss. John says he’s going to Mexico and as he walks away, John looks at Fort Mercer one last cryptic time.

I go back to Armadillo for the third part of the missing people mission. This time, it’s a CS of woman who husband’s missing up in hills. As I’m heading up to the hills, I stop to get another stranger mission at the movie house.  This guy’s a visionary of film. I have to win the deed for a ranch he can use for filming from a guy in Thieves’ Landing. The movie guy also tells me about Spatchcock – an actor who’s become a gunslinger for real, and he wants me to bring him back as well. I leave to find the husband first, and on my way up there, I die fighting a horse thief because I’m using mistakenly using my lasso instead of a gun.  I try to ride out again, and this time I run into a gang on the road. I decide to engage and I kill the gang, although I accidentally shoot my horse and lose honor for it. I eventually get back to the Hanging Rock. I see a guy there who has been shot in the leg. In CS, he tells John he was attacked, and John says he’ll find the attacker. The guy give a creepy laugh as I leave; what’s that about? I see the assailant running, so I lasso and with many missteps hogtie him. I bring him back to the wounded guy reluctantly (he seems very innocent, but I again have no choice). Oh, the wounded guy’s a cannibal; he reveals it kind of ridiculously directly in the final conversation. I can leave him be or kill him, but you have to be kidding me. There’s no way I’m letting a cannibal live. I kill him, and free the guy I hogtied.

I start to ride back to Thieves’ Landing to do the deed mission, but along the way, I see someone shooting in my direction. I fire back and it turns out I accidentally shoot law officer, which gives me a bounty. I ride away to lose the lawmen and head back to Armadillo to pay off bounty. Interestingly, I can’t do stranger missions while I have a bounty. Now that I’m bounty-free, I start heading to Thieves’ Landing. On the way, I   try again to stop some more robbers and I’m killed because of the fucking camera. I respawn back in Armadillo, and tired of riding, I try to take the stage coach.  But when I hit triangle on the driver’s side of the stage, I automatically try to carjack the wagon. Sigh. I run away, I lose the lawman, I pay the bounty, and I come back and take the stage to Thieves’ Landing. What a wonderfully productive five minutes that was.

I get there and immediately go play liar’s dice for the movie guy’s mission. It’s a $200 ante, much bigger than ever before. I lose the game overall, but I did eliminate the guy with the deed, so the game tells me the mission is accomplished. Now the stranger quest is telling me to get Spatchcock at Benedict Point. As I’m leaving the bar, I die in a draw because I STILL HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY WORK. I respawn at my apartment in the Landing, but then I  die immediately when I fall into water. I finally make it to the stage and travel to Benedict Point. It’s only when I arrive there that I realize that my game of liar’s dice was erased when I died, so I don’t have the deed. FUCK YOU GAME. I take the stage back to Thieves’ Landing and try to go back to the game, but THERE’S NO ONE TO PLAY DICE. FUCK YOU GAME! I play poker instead and lose pretty bad. When I’m done, liar’s dice is ready. This time I win handily, losing no dice and earning an achievement for that. I then head back to Benedict Point and find Spatchcock. He threaten John and John threatens back until it’s a duel. I have to shoot him in the arm so as to not kill him, and I do tag his arm. I take the stage back to Armadillo and tell the movie guy the good news to claim my reward. And that seems like a good time to call it a night.

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