A diverse cast of criminals…
After our look at the game as well as the most recent trailer, we know that the story of Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to focus on how the Van der Linde gang goes from one of the most successful gangs of the old west to a scattered handful of fugitives. We didn’t meet each and every member of this band of outlaws during our first look at the game, but we got to know a few key players.
Dutch Van der Linde
The leader of the eponymous Van der Linde Gang, Dutch has a dream to live a life that’s free of the restrictions of government and law. He’s has a knack for inspiring the people who follow him to great ambitions, which makes him especially dangerous to the authorities pursuing him – especially since he views government and law enforcement as the ultimate criminals, ones who will sow destruction to further their own ends.
Dutch eventually meets his end in 1911, in the mountains above Cochinay in West Elizabeth. He takes his own life, torn between his inability to stop fighting against the changing world and knowing he cannot prevent said change – it’s likely we’ll see the effect that nature has on the rest of the gang throughout Red Dead 2.
Arthur is Dutch van der Linde’s right-hand man and chief enforcer of the gang. Recruited at a young age, he’s lived the outlaw life ever since and adopted Dutch’s dream of a free outside the rule of law. You can read much more about him here.
The troubled hero of the original Red Dead Redemption, the younger version of John we’ll see in this will likely be less the beleaguered altruistic than his 1911 family-man counterpart. Thanks to the most recent trailer, we can assume he obtained his injuries at some point during the events of Red Dead Redemption 2, and it’s likely that this is also when he meets his wife-to-be, Abigail.
Bill manages to be one of the few members of Dutch’s gang that doesn’t either get killed or go crazy – though he was always a bit mad to begin with. Impulsive, brash, violent and stupid, Williamson may make for a valuable gun on a robbery, but will likely prove himself a liability to the rest of the gang.
We know that Williamson survives the fall of the Van der Linde gang and eventually takes up residency in New Austin, establishing a headquarters for his own gang inside Fort Mercer outside the town of Armadillo. He dies in Mexico in 1911, killed after a rebel army deposes the corrupt General DeSanta, who Williamson was providing aid to.
Another member of the gang we know from the original Red Dead Redemption, in 1911 Javier has returned to his home country of Mexico and can be found (and captured or killed) working as a hired gun for the authoritarian rule of President Sanchez, Colonel Allende and Captain DeSanta.
In 1899, Javier seems to be less the sly (and slightly manic) gunman we saw in RDR1, and more of a brooding, stoic young man – though that’s not his only trait. We saw him plucking aimlessly at a guitar in our demo, and it’s likely he provides the camp with more lively entertainment when the group is in high spirits.
While it wasn’t unheard of for women to turn to the outlaw life, few have such a knack for getting into and out of trouble as Sadie Adler.
“Sometimes brothers make mistakes.” Micah is one of Dutch’s favored gunmen – though how loyal Bell remains to the Van der Linde gang remains unseen…
Hosea Matthews might not be the oldest member of the Van der Linde crew (that honor likely goes to Unlce), but he might well have been the first. He claims he met his best friend dutch some time in the 1870s, when the two men simultaneously tried to rob one another. Each seeing a kindred spirit in the other, the two became fast friends.
Charles is one of the younger members of the gang and, considering that we see him free offering his help to Arthur in the second trailer and partaking in what looks like an organized street fight in the third, he’s always up for a fight.
Sean is another young firebrand in the group – in our demo we heard him tell a story about how he once got into a brawl after trying to gun someone down but realizing he had no bullets. He may not be the sharpest knife in the shed, but he’ll definitely be a good wild card to have on your side in a fight.
While we don’t know much about Lenny besides his name, but in our demo he helped guilt Arthur into robbing a bank – so we know he’s a member of the gang who believes in honor among thieves.
Pearson serves as the camp’s cook, and came to the gang less as an outlaw or a thief and more as a man who, for whatever reason, left traditional societal life behind. He takes his position seriously, and is always grateful when Arthur offers to go out hunting.
Uncle is… well… Uncle. We see him as a rambling drunk in 1911, and in 1899 we’ve seen him as, well… a rambling drunk. He seems to easily get on Arthur’s bad side, since he spends more time treating hangovers than he does doing work around the camp.