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Red Dead Redemption Day#14: Viva Mexico, Adios Mexico

This session is my last in Mexico and thank heavens for that. I kind of quickly resolve two of my character’s main goals. One is quite nice — the resolution scene and the surrounding narrative are interesting and fun to play through. The second is also interesting narratively although I seem to have a lot less choice around it.  Actually, the narrative and gameplay of this session are generally pretty good; maybe the closer I get to the end of this section, the more the game returns to its earlier better self. Spoilers within.

I start in my room. I walk out into the plaza and see a snake for the first time. It’s a rattler and it’s nasty. I do enjoy shooting and skinning it. I ride to pay my bounty at the closest telegraph office, but hmm…there’s no one there.  Oh guess I paid it already. I meet a nun on the road who gives me a gift basically for being a good guy. I play some  more poker and triple my money. I ride to the next Reyes mission. Along the way, a stupid wolf kills my horse. (Boy, horses are weak in this game — two hits from an animal and they’re dead.) I get a new horse by whistling.  I arrive at the mission with the new chapter: The Gates of El Presidio. There’s a CS of John walking into the house while Reyes is screwing a woman. Oh, she’s topless! Rockstar, you’re so EDGY! Anyway, Reyes sends the woman out and of course he doesn’t remember Luisa.  John tells Reyes that Luisa thinks she’s his wife. Reyes says peasants believe anything and there’s no way he would marry a peasant.  Reyes then tells John that he has the guy John’s looking for. I talk to Reyes as we take a wagon and there’s actually interesting branching here — Reyes knows that I didn’t kill De Santa myself. Esquela is the one we’re hunting down. John says Esquela is a cynic who wants to be a romantic, and Reyes says that John is the reverse. Reyes also reveals that he’s racist against the Chinese. We arrive and in CS, Reyes tells me to ride the wagon to the gate. It’s filled with explosives he lights just before I get control, so I have to jump off just before it hits the gate. It blows open the door when I jump off, and this leads to a CS of guards coming out and revolutionaries going in. I get control to fight my way into the prison. But as soon as I get inside, the mission instructions tell me I have to search for Esquela among a set of question marks on my map. I luck out though, as I find him at the first question mark I approach.

The confrontation starts with a CS of John talking to Esquela. John aims at him. Esquela says it took a long time for John to get here. He asks if  John does the government’s work now. John says it’s Esquela or himself. Esquela says he can help John find Bill and Dutch. He then throws a box at John and takes off through a window. I get control and I have to chase him. I fail the first time by going the wrong way. I respawn at the start of the race and stay on his tail. I catch him and hogtie him rather than kill him.  As I carry him back on my horse, Esquela says Bill is with Ayende. He also says Abigail (?) wouldn’t want this. John says Abigail would have killed Esquela already. I carry Esquela back to the fort and am told to place him in a cell. Reyes then CS asks Marston to come and deal with army reinforcements. I get control and am told to man a cannon on the fort walls. However, I don’t make it to the cannon before the army breeches the fort and instead just shoot the enemies from a tower. When they are all dead, I loot the bodies and then go back to the cell. In CS, I get Esquela and carry him out. We cut to a CS scene with guys in suits. They are happy to see John and take Esquela. John asks if his obligations are being fulfilled. They say things are not fulfilled until everyone is captured. They also mention that Dutch may be around and then snidely say that John’s wife sends her regards as they drive off.

I get control back and start riding towards a side mission. Along the way, I capture two criminals on the road. Oh, this mission is that stupid pay for girl one. It seems it respawned — that’s not very consistent. I’m here and I have the money, so I pay. She thanks me and leaves to join a convent. I’m supposed to visit the convent at some point. Whatever. I need to get to the next Reyes mission all the way across the country, so I decide to try the train. Unfortunately,  it’s going wrong way and there’s no way to skip to my destination. In a very surreal moment, I basically walk off the moving train with no injury. I then start riding back to the mission, but I’m killed by robbers along the way. I am so sick of this riding, so it’s fast transit to Escalera. I find Reyes for the chapter:  The Appointed Time. We jump right in with a CS of the army beating up a rebel and then shooting him.  John walks past this. John continues through rebels and army men fighting. Reyes is captured by guards, and John approaches and tells them not to kill him if they want to keep the city under control. There’s threatening that’s followed by a stand-off. As we’re all posturing,  Luisa runs out with a knife and get shot and killed by the army guys. John CS kills two of the guards, leaving just the boss who I now have to duel. The first time I die in the duel. Why? Who can say? The second time, I win.

I free Reyes, and now I have to go to the jail to rescue some of his companions. Luisa’s body remains where she was shot, which I will admit is quite tragic. As I head to the jail, I get killed on the way up trying to save peasants. The second time, I save the peasants, but I die in a gunfight at the jail (I don’t take any cover). The third time, I die at the jail again despite the fact I’m behind cover. The fourth time, I get through the enemies and free the prisoners. I am told to rejoin Reyes, but he ends up meeting me half way and we start fighting army guys. This is another run from cover to cover battle. As I chase the army guys, I die because there’s some Gatling something at the top. The second time, I snipe the machine gunner from afar but then die when someone else mans the gun as I get close. I die once again the next time; it’s a hard fight. The last time I enter the fight, my intelligent sniping saves the day. I stay way back and pick them off one at a time. We get into the palace and kill a bunch of people to clear the courtyard right before the the Colonel’s house.

Another wave of an invading army appears, and I have to go out to the previous Gatling gun to fend them off. I’m too slow to get to the gun and I get flanked and die. The second time, I get there fast enough and kill the oncoming army off with the Gatling gun. I head back to Reyes and a CS of some guys chopping down the door to the Colonel’s manor. There’s a CS on the inside of Ayende and some guy heading to a stagecoach. I get control as the door is broken down, and I run down to chase the stagecoach (already leaving as we get outside) and get to a horse. We kill some guys blocking the gate out and jump on horses to follow. I have my rifle armed, but on the horse, my shot is takes too long to regenerate. I get  shot and killed by somebody. I respawn at the collapsed door and repeat, but die this time right at the side of the  stagecoach. The third time, I finally take down everyone on the stage to stop it. There’s a CS of John approaching the stage with someone yelling inside. Ayende and the other guy (Bill?) get out. Ayende knocks Bill to the ground and offers him to us in exchange for his escape. I hate that bastard, so I just shoot Ayende in the head. I’m getting ready to capture Bill, but Reyes shoots and kills him first. We cut to a CS of John and Reyes talking. Reyes is a true womanizer who still doesn’t remember Luisa even though she died for him. Reyes wants John to join them, but John says he’s supposed to go back to Blackwater to finish his debt.  John wishes Reyes well and hopes that he does not abuse his power. That’s the end of the mission.

There are no missions left in Mexico so I guess it’s time to clean up and go. I take stage to Las Hermanas (the nunnery) to finish that earlier stranger quest. I find a nun at the nunnery who tells me that Eva left with a man. There’s a new mark on my map for this mission, so I head there.  When I arrive, there’s a CS of a guy digging up a girl. It’s Eva and she’s dead. John insults the guy for his crime and as a result, I have to duel him. Oh this is SO DUMB; I could have just saved her at the beginning. Sigh. I easily win the duel, get my $200 back, and call it a mission. I have a new goal way north so I start riding there. Along the way, I see robbers and I die in the fight because I’m still armed with a lasso even though I just shot a duel. I respawn and ride again. I  get to Thieves’ Landing and I almost immediately save a woman from being kidnapped. I get some money and honor for that,  but then my horse runs into the water while I’m away from it and dies for no reason. Oh well, another horse is a whistle away. I play a little poker to end the night and go back to save when I come out ahead.

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