Story of Red Dead Redemption 2 – What Happened in RDR, Quick Recap

Red Dead Redemption 2 is now out in the wild, eight years after RDR. This article will serve as a story recap of what happened in the original game and to some of its characters before you dive into Red Dead Redemption 2. Do note that we may have missed several points of the story in the game but have managed to squeeze in the main story and theme of it.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Story

Red Dead Redemption is an action-shooter game developed by Rockstar and is notoriously famous for its gameplay mechanics and an interesting open-world. The story is utterly compelling and some even dictate Red Dead Redemption as the best game by Rockstar.

Even the grand titles like Grand Theft Auto and Bully do not compare to this game to some. In case you didn’t get a chance to try it out, we have a quick story recap of everything that happened in Red Dead Redemption.

The proper game is set around 1911, in the Wild West. The world in the Wild West is changing and the lawless lands are being taken over by the civilized population and technology.


The game is set a few years before this, though. Dutch van der Linde is a very notorious criminal, and although his ideals are noble, the way he implements them are pretty violent. He is like a westernized version of the classic Robin Hood, stealing away from the rich and giving it to the poor.

Dutch van der Linde takes in John Marston, the main character of this game when he is but a child. Apparently, Marston loses both of his parents to an unfortunate death. Dutch trains Marston and is kind of a father figure to him, making him fall into a life of crime.

Skip a few years later and Marston is a fully grown man and married to his sweetheart Abigail who was also a member of Dutch’s gang for some time. Marston has two kids with Abigail, a boy, and a girl.

The boy grows up perfectly healthy but the girl is lost to some event the game doesn’t actually delve into.

During one of the raids in 1905 or 1906, Dutch’s gang fails their mission miserably. Marston gets shot and is left to die by fellow members of the crew.

Marston then realizes that his violent path of life will only lead to death, so he decides to settle down with his family at a ranch. And that is where the story of the game truly begins.

The Story So Far

In 1911, everything is about to change. The lawless lands are being taken over by the civilized population and technology. Dutch sees this as an attack on his vision.

Dutch’s vision is a savage utopia where people rule everything. Equality should exist but the government shouldn’t.

Bureau of Investigation is formed around 1911 and have elaborate plans for the world. Edgar Ross is an agent of the Bureau and has been tasked with the job of tracking down and killing all bandits of the Wild West.

Although Ross may seem like a good man, he is a crook himself and exhibits all kinds of behavior a corrupted official could exhibit. He is the kind of man Dutch would hate.

Apparently, Ross needs Marston to do some stuff for him. To do his bidding for him, Ross kidnaps Marston’s wife Abigail and son, Jack. Ross states that Marston will only get his wife back if he does favors for the Bureau of Investigation.

His first task is to take down Bill Williamson, an old comrade of Marston.

The game finally starts off at the Town of Armadillo. Upon arriving, Marston heads to the Fort Mercer where Bill and his gang are currently crashing.

Marston asks nicely for Bill to surrender, only to get shot in the gut for that. Marston is left on the entrance to die but a nice rancher named Bonnie McFarlane rescues him and pays for his recovery.

Over the next few days, Marston works for Bonnie on the ranch as a token of gratitude. He makes a few friends here as well such as US Marshall Lee Johnson and a con-artist named Nigel West Dickens. He also gets acquainted with a freaky grave robber called Seth Briars.

Bill finds out eventually that Marston isn’t dead. He tries to smoke Marston out and finish his job. Bill sends his gang into town and the lives of several people including Bonnie are put at risk. With the help of the Marshall and his deputies, Marston defeats these outlaws.

The Marshall devises and recreates the legendary Trojan horse technique to enter the Fort Mercer. Apparently, the plan works but Bill still manages to escape. Bill is now hiding in the aid of a man named Javier Escuella. As it turns out, Escuella was also a member of Dutch’s gang.

Marston hops aboard a raft to Mexico and arrives at a town named “Nuevo Paraiso” which literally translates to “New Paradise”. He meets a Colonel Agustin Allende, the governor of the region.

Apparently, the region is engulfed in a revolutionary movement. The Revolutionary leader named Abraham Reyes is a violent man who wants to bring about a revolution by violent means. And quoting Shakespeare:

These violent delights have violent ends.

Apparently, the Colonel will only help you if you help him end the revolution first.

Although the agreement is simple, it isn’t exactly a comfortable one. Over the next few missions, Marston meets some interesting characters. The headline is the legendary gunslinger named Landon Ricketts who teaches Marston the art of gunslinging.

He also crosses paths with Abraham Reyes and somehow along the missions is working for both sides. Some missions later, Vincente de Santa (a man working under Colonel Agustin) betrays Marston and tries to have him kill him.

Reyes rescues Marston and the two of them form a partnership to bring about a rebellion and end Colonel Agustin’s rule. The first thing Marston does after forming the partnership is to settle the score with Captain Vincente.

He finds, beats the hell out of de Santa, and finally kills him. Quickly, Marston learns that Javier Escuella is currently holed up in a fortress called El Presidio. Marston asks for Reyes’ help and the two of them quickly march into the fortress.

Marston quickly finds Escuella. Escuella quickly reveals that apparently, Bill is under the protection of Colonel Agustin Allende himself.

Marston and Reyes quickly gather forces for an all-out assault on the Colonel’s villa. During the conflict, though, Reyes loses one of his many lovers: Louisa.

The rebels, however, do gain an upper hand. Seeing this, the Colonel and Bill both try to run away. Reyes and Marston catch up, however, and executes both of them.

Marston now returns back to his homeland where he has to report back the death of Bill Williamson to agent Ross. Predictably enough, things don’t just end here. Ross asks him to kill the legendary leader Dutch van Der Linde. Even though Marston has mixed feelings about this task, he eventually agrees, hoping to see his former life as a Rancher back.

Dutch has started a new gang where he rescues and recruits young native Americans against the rich. Hoping to catch Dutch, Marston befriends and asks for help from an older American native called Nastas. Another person that Marston works for, during this time, is the small-minded Harold MacDougal.

Nastas and MacDougal, even though they have vastly different personalities, seem to be pretty close to each other.

This friendship doesn’t last very long, though. Nastas gets shot in the head, in one of the raids. Marston, in a ball of rage, immediately kills his killers. Marston and MacDougal flee from the scene immediately and are pretty shaken up by what just happened.

MacDougal decides to flee back to Yale but Dutch interrupts his attempt to do so. Dutch arrives outside the building Marston and MacDougal are currently holed up in and brings along his young Native American soldiers.

His intentions are to eliminate both Marston and MacDougal. They somehow manage to escape through the rooftop while battling the different snipers in the game. Marston and MacDougal finally reach the nearest train station where MacDougal bids farewell to Marston.

Apparently, the conflict has heated up by this time and Marston and Ross join forces with the U.S. Army. They then head out to Dutch’s hideout for a final battle. Marston fights his way in the battle and finally faces off Dutch on a cliff.

Dutch realizes that he has lost his battle and ultimately throws himself off the cliff. Bill Williamson is dead and so is Dutch van Der Linde.


The bureau tells him that his job is now complete and that he can go back to his ranch with his family. The game could have ended here with a happy ending but as I quoted Shakespeare before: “These violent delights have violent ends”.

The past finally catches up to Marston. Apparently, the Bureau wants his head too because he was once a notorious criminal himself. The uncle, who was taking care of his ranch while he was away, alerts Marston of the impending danger and dies in an unfortunate manner.

Marston tries to send his son and his wife away on a horse, away from this madness while he distracts the Bureau.

While the son and the wife do escape away, Marston gets gunned down by Edgar Ross’ army. Marston passes away on the scene, taking out several of the enemy’s gunmen with him. Ross turns around and silently walks away.

The game immediately skips to three years later where Jack Marston is standing on a hill, paying respects to his late father’s grave and the ranch where his father died. Apparently Abigail, his mother, also passed away due to reasons. She, John, and uncle all rest under the tree on the hill, overlooking the ranch.

Jack’s mission is not of redemption, unlike his father, but of revenge. He chases down the now-retired Edgar Ross and challenges him to a duel to the death. With his lightning fast reflexes, he overpowers the old man and guns him down, eventually taking his revenge. Jack holsters his weapon, turns around and walks away.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Story

Red Dead Redemption 2 will take place in 1899 and will serve as a kind of prequel to the series, featuring Arthur Morgan who is currently working under Dutch van Der Linde. More information on Red Dead Redemption 2 can be found in the game’s launch trailer.