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Red Dead Redemption Day#12: More from the Dark Side

Another slog today with some confusing missions and some distasteful ones. I am really getting sick of the game forcing me to do evil things. I’m getting more and more disconnected with the main story as a result. The gameplay itself is ok, but the game is replaying mechanics from earlier scenes that are getting a little old. And there is one hugely inconsistent mission where a thing I’ve done in every similar situation causes me to fail and lose honor. Spoilers within.

I start my day with a healthy dose of poker, and I bust out on the very first hand despite my pocket aces (my opponent gets triple jacks on the river). Keeping with my get-out-of-Mexico-at-any-cost theme, I head to the next de Santa mission, starting the chapter Empty Promises. There’s a CS of army guys riding out of the palace. De Santa says there’s no time and that John must follow him to a convoy. I ride shotgun with him on a wagon to a place where the rebels have taken a stronghold. No one’s talking, so I skip to the destination and we arrive nearby the stronghold. A wagon suddenly explodes in front of us, and we respond by killing some guys that attack us. In CS, I see the other captain who tells me to take a sniper rifle. I have to snipe enemies on a mountaintop in front of us (no problem there), and then run through a cover-strewn canyon flushing out enemies. I hate being on this evil bastard’s side, so I do a lot of body looting to avoid participating fully in the fight. I run up to the top of the hill when there are no more bodies to loot and die as soon as I’m up there even though I’m behind cover. I make it safely up there the second time and then fight my way up into the ruins, eliminating the remaining rebels. I finally arrive at a CS of De Santa thanking John while rebels are being shot in the background. I want to kill this guy so badly. He tells John to get some women, and John responds that he wants answers next time or else.

I get control back for what turns out to be a totally crap quest. I see a stranger mission on my map as I’m riding and I approach it.  There’s a CS where a guy is with this girl and is beating her.  John says he should stop, but the guy wants $200 to free her. The game gives me an message that I could pay $200 to free her. Why would I do that? Haven’t I killed several people who were attacking women? How is this different? So I just shoot him. Well, guess this girl is different. Once the guy is dead,  I LOSE HONOR and she wants nothing to do with me. I’m told I failed at the mission. No, I’m sorry. I did not. I did EXACTLY what I have done every single other time I saw a woman being abused in this game. This is totally inconsistent crap. I play poker to blow off steam and I double my money on a flush.  I go outside and  stumble into a duel during which I die for no reason I understand.

I respawn and decide it’s time to go back to De Santa. The new chapter is Mexican Caeser. There’s a CS of De Santa dragging women into the fort.  John stops them, but the Colonel appears and seizes the women. This is disgusting. The Colonel tells me I have to escort a train to protect it from rebels. I want to shoot all of these people but I can’t — I just HATE this part of the game. It’s another wagon ride to the train and I again cut to the destination to speed this up. When we arrive, the wagons are attacked and we have to shoot the rebels off. I get to the train and have to man another Gatling gun to keep the rebels from destroying the engine of the train (represented by a blue health bar) before the train arrives at its destination. I fight rebels off for a long time but then die at the end when the engine explodes — I just didn’t see the attackers who approached it. The second time I die from being shot by attackers. The third time, I fight through.  John and the Captain with me CS agree de Santa wanted them dead and sent them out here on a suicide mission. They contemplate revenge,  but John says De Santa’s more useful alive for the time being. There’s a CS of me meeting the squad leader and then I get control. I’m way across the country now, so I ride to fast transport to get back to new de Santa mission. The beat don’t stop. I have to kill time because the mission doesn’t start until 7am, but then I start the mission Cowards Die Many Times.

There’s a CS of De Santa taking me to the Colonel. The Colonel is again fucking with women. The Colonel says that Esquela is in Cuparosa, and De Santa will take me to him. The Colonel says De Santa will take care of me, which obviously means he’s going to betray me. I ride a wagon with De Santa and we shoot birds as part of a competition along the way. I win once of two times. We get to Cuparosa, and De Santa says the people I’m looking for are in the church. I go into said church, and once I get far enough inside, a CS starts in which they knock John out. Funny, I remember killing literally a half dozen enemies surrounding me, but I guess two random guys are so powerful I don’t even get to TRY to stop them. This is total bullshit. Anyway, there’s a CS of John waking up, and De Santa and a guy with a gun to my head are saying they are going to kill John for betraying them. Reyes appears and shoots the guy aiming at John. I get control and run over to Reyes with my hands tied behind my back. Reyes cuts me free and then I have to retrieve my weapons from a crate and then kill De Santa. I get shot once being stupid, but when I respawn, I take it a little more carefully, storm the building and kill De Santa in a rather anticlimatic random gunfight. There’s a CS of Reyes giving a congratulatory speech to finish the mission.

I get control and go to a Luisa mission called Father Abraham. There’s a CS of guys pulling guns on John as he walks up to a camp.  They hold John at gunpoint and lead him to Luisa.  She tells him that her father was killed by the army. John says that war kills innocent people, but she responds that she is an idealist and John is a cynic. He says he’s doomed regardless of what he does, but that he’ll help her for her loss.  I get control and join her in a wagon. They talk politics as we ride and then tangent into Marston’s history. Huh – Marston says he has a dead daughter, and that his son’s name is Jack. That’s kind of interesting.  In this mission, I’m asked to set up dynamite and man a detonator to stop a wagon convoy. I place explosives with the triangle button — this causes some NPCs to bury a mine at the spot — but I’m not sure what the strategy is so I’m just laying the mines down randomly. I then run to detonator and wait. The wagon train comes around and I activate the detonator, but the explosives seem to do nothing. I kill all of the convoy anyway with my gun.  I get control back and ride back to a little poker where I double my money and end my night.

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