Content of the article: "The RDR series is the most hopelessly TRAGIC story ever written, and playing the second game before the first one made it all the more tragic. I have to write about it because it just kills me inside. So be prepared to read and for spoilers."
I finished the first game recently and my god, I knew this would happen, but it had much more of an effect on me than I thought, much more than that of Arthur. The ending of the first game, connected with the second one, if you look at it for what it is, is just TRAGIC beyond belief and here’s why. I’m gonna focus mainly on John otherwise this will be too long 😅
At least RDR2 had somewhat of a happy ending. We lose our boy, but we learn from him and we get to see what appears to be, his wish for John becoming a reality. At least he died knowing that his brother had managed to get out. Well that was pretty short lived. John gets ripped away from us sooner than we think.
Arthur’s story is completely forgotten. Okay we all know this is because his character wasn’t written yet, but think of it from a story perspective. Arthur gave everything for them, the gang was everything to him. He fell apart trying to hold them together, Only to be forgotten a few years later. It’s almost like his story didn’t exist. You live, you die – no one cares. This was the world of the Wild West.
John never escapes the effects of his lifestyle, and it ultimately killed him. During the epilogue of the second game, we are thinking all rainbows and ponies. Yay, John is gonna make something of himself and live a normal life! Well no. As we get through the first game we start to see how tragic this story really is.
- John had a daughter, she’s dead. We don’t even know her name.
- He and Jack continue to have a distant relationship.
- John is used by the government to do their dirty work. He was forced into it, they kidnapped his family ffs. In order to get them back he needs to kill Bill, Javier and Dutch (not to mention all the others he has to kill in between). This is exactly what he and especially Arthur, did NOT want for him.
- John does everything he’s told only to be murdered by a firing squad in cold blood. For no.fucking.reason.
Arthur’s death was bittersweet (I mean the canon ending) We knew it would happen, and he didn’t have anything left to live for, he was done. he basically gave his life to John in a way.
John’s death was on the other hand, completely unnecessary, brutal and cold. Murdered by the people he helped. This scene was one of the hardest things I have ever witnessed, and if there were to be a remake, I don’t think I could handle seeing it again. The literal only good thing that came out of this, was because of his death – it meant his family were able to escape.
Jack still has Abigail right? Well no, she died too. And one of the final scenes, as we transfer to jack, seeing him standing next to John, Uncle and Abigails grave literally ripped me apart.
The most depressing part of ALL is that we see jack turning into, well, a gunslinger. Jack is left with nothing. First there were 4 (including uncle) then 5 (his sister) then… 1. Jack is left with NO ONE. The only thing on his mind is revenge. Killing Ross didn’t seem to have the effect on him he thought. It looks that way anyway. To me, Jack’s story is the most heartbreaking story in entertainment history.
Red Dead is one of the most hopelessly tragic stories ever told. It's defeatism. A sobering look at the reality of life and the idea that, despite our best efforts, sometimes it just doesn't work out.
Someone else wrote this part but they said it perfectly:
The best life is one spent growing, learning, and playing, and passing peacefully in the night with dignity, or painlessly surrounded by loved ones. The vast majority of people are not afforded anything close to that. It's a struggle from beginning to end. The characters relentlessly pursued peace however they knew how. They were bad people because that's all they knew how to be, and Arthur died trying to be good for once, and by the end of the OG RDR, it really was all for nothing.
I could talk about Dutches story for days too.
It was All. For. Nothing.
Thanks for reading 🙂
- I still remember when Red Dead Redemption II was announced and how I and many others reacted to Arthur Morgan.
- Could both games be a story Jack wrote?
- RDR2 in a nutshell *SPOILERS*
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