Javier Escuella


If we have to fight, we fight. If we have to run, we'll run. If we must die, we'll die, but... we'll stay free.

Javier Escuella first appeared as a secondary antagonist in the 2010 video game Red Dead Redemption and returns as a main supporting character in Red Dead Redemption 2. He is a member of Dutch's Gang and was John Marston's second target after Marston was tasked with hunting down his former partners in Red Dead Redemption. He is also a playable character in Red Dead Redemption multiplayer following the purchase of necessary DLC.

Meta Information

Javier Escuella is voiced by Antonio Jamarillo, a Mexican actor in Red Dead Redemption. Jamarillo was replaced by Gabriel Sloyer, an American actor, in Red Dead Redemption 2. Sloyer previously provided voice work for a character in Grand Theft Auto 5.

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History

Javier's backstory isn't as well developed as that of Bill Williamson or Dutch van der Linde. Little is known of his past other than that he was born in Nuevo Paraiso and was active as a revolutionary before fleeing to the USA and joining Dutch's Gang.

Early Life

Javier Escuella was born in Nuevo Paraiso on an unspecified date. He and his family were known to some degree by Colonel Allende, who later shared some information with John Marston. Javier's father was a drunkard who worked for his uncle. When Javier was still just a boy, he saw his father and four of his coworkers castrated and fed to pigs as punishment for demanding fairer wages. This event was one of the catalysts for his stepping onto the path of an outlaw.

Over the years, Javier made a name for himself in Mexico as a Bounty Hunter and Revolutionary. He fought with conviction, certain that the system he opposed was flawed and corrupt. He ended up fleeing to America after killing a powerful ex-military officer in Punta Orgullo over a woman. Fearing that his relatives and friends would suffer for his crime if he went into hiding in Mexico, he crossed the border. He didn't speak any English at the time, and barely scraped by day to day.

In 1895, Javier was subsisting on poultry theft when he and Dutch caught each other in the same act. Laughing at their situation, the two were immediately on friendly terms, and Dutch fed and clothed the frail Javier. The leader of the Van Der Linde Gang offered Javier a spot on the gang, which he gladly accepted.

Due to his revolutionary past, Dutch's ideals about a truly free frontier, unburdened by a corrupt government meant the views of the two men aligned perfectly, and Javier became loyal to Dutch, to the point of idolization.

Javier came to be a gunman for the gang, alongside Bill Williamson, with whom he'd become good friends with. He took active part in the gang's many capers and was often involved with any task that likely involved fighting, and the defense of the gang's camp whenever it came under attack.

Javier was an active member of the gang in 1899 while Arthur Morgan acted a Dutch's right-hand man. He was known to entertain the gang members in their camps by playing on the guitar. He developed a close friendship with John Marston, and the two would refer to one another as "brother".

Over the years, the gang tended ever eastward until it arrived in West Elizabeth. Here, Dutch decided to go through with a risky robbery suggested by new member Micah Bell. They hit a ferry carrying a massive payload, but it turned out to be an ambush. The gang managed to make off with the money, but some members died and Dutch murdered an innocent bystander in front of the other members, including Javier.

To escape the Pinkertons, the gang fled to the northern state of Ambarino, setting up a temporary camp in the abandoned mining town of Colter.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

When the gang settle into their new camp in Colter, John and Micah have yet to return. The two men were sent out as forward scouts, and John's wife Abigail is concerned. She asks Arthur Morgan to look for her husband, and Hosea Matthews sends Javier to accompany the enforcer. The pair ride out into the snowy wilderness and eventually find John. Marston was badly wounded by a pack of wolves prowling through the woods. They help John back to the camp while dispatching the attacking wolves who came back to finish the job.

After Dutch, Micah, and Arthur clear out a few O'Driscoll thugs who ransacked a homestead and killed Sadie Adler's husband - Sadie joined the gang as a result - they discover a nearby encampment of more O'Driscolls. Javier is one of the gang members who assault said camp, where they recover plans to rob a train owned by Leviticus Cornwall as well as all the dynamite needed to pull off the robbery.

When the dynamite fails to detonate, Javier attempts to jump onto the moving train. Like most other gang members, he fails and falls down, slightly injuring himself. Once Arthur manages to stop the train, Javier is there with the others helping in the robbery.

After the robbery, Dutch decides it is time to move on and find a new camp in a more temperate location. They pack up and get going in multiple caravans, with Javier traveling with Hosea in front of Hosea and Arthur. The carriage ridden by Arthur loses a wheel along the trip and Javier offers to help them fix it up, but they turn down the offer and do it themselves.

Once the new location has been chosen and the caravans file in, Javier is standing on the road nearby and hops on Arthur's carriage, accompanying the enforcer to the new camp. While in the area, the gang often has dealings in the city of Valentine, and at one point several members meet up in the local saloon, including Javier. Here, Bill inadvertently causes a major bar brawl, where Javier ends up fighting Tommy. He lands a few punches and hits Tommy in the face, but the large man eventually overpowers Javier, who is only saved when Arthur steps in and attacks Tommy.

Later, the gang learns that Sean MacGuire is still alive, and held by bounty hunters. Sean wasn't seen since the escape from Blackwater and was presumed dead. Javier joins Arthur, Charles and Trelawny in the rescue mission. While Charles gets a high vantage point, Trelawny distracts the guards at the bounty hunter camp, giving Javier and Arthur the chance to kill them without causing a ruckus.

Javier and Arthur then fight and kill the remaining bounty hunters while Josiah takes cover. Charles joins them and they clear out the camp, freeing Sean, with whom they return to camp and celebrate. Later on, Javier will ask Arthur to join him in a homestead robbery at Chez Porter, where the workers have been instructed to kill any intruders.

After the gang relocates to Clemens Point, Javier goes on a fishing trip with Arthur, where the two men bond and converse. Later on, the gang learns about a feud between two influential families, the Braithwaites and the Grays. Upon discovering that the feud is over a stash of gold allegedly lost nearby which both families seek, Dutch decides to meddle in order to make some cash on the side while trying to get the gold himself.

One of these schemes includes Javier, John and the temporarily deputized Arthur striking a deal with the Grays to steal the Braithwaite's prized horses and sell them off for $5000. The three go to the Braithwaite manor and sweet talk their way onto the property, after which they sneak to the stables. A stablehand is tending to the horses, whom they kill and make off on their prizes' backs. Unfortunately, they only manage to sell the horses for a meager $700.

After the gang's treachery is discovered, both families turn on them. Jack, the son of John Marston and Abigail Roberts, has been kidnapped by the Braithwaites, and a trap set by the Grays leads to the death of Sean. Due to the kidnapping, the gang is given little time to mourn as they launch an assault against the manor. Javier is among the members who take part in this assault.

Soon after the gang manages to recover Jack from crime boss Angelo Bronte, who seemingly become a tenuous ally, which leads them to other job opportunities, including a party with the mayor of Saint Denis. Angelo eventually betrays the gang which leads Dutch to plan a large scale bank robbery.

During these events, Javier joins Arthur, Strauss and Josiah plan and execute a riverboat robbery. A large sum of money is being stored on the boat by its owner. Arthur starts gambling with said owner while the others look on, and the enforcer manages to win big. When the owner goes to retrieve Arthur's winnings from the vault, the others go along with him, springing their plan.

Once the owner opened the door to the vault, Javier held him at gunpoint while the others cleared out the vault. The boat's owner ended up retaliating, forcing Javier to shoot him dead, which results in a larger gunfight. The four gang members flee the ship. Once ashore and in safety, they divide the winnings among themselves, Javier included.

Later on, Dutch finalizes the bank robbery plan and it is set into motion. Javier's task is to guard the bank building's side entrance while the others clear out the vault. Unfortunately, Hosea and Abigail are captured while creating a distraction, and Pinkerton agent Andrew Milton shoots Hosea, killing him. In the ensuing escape, Lenny is also killed, and the gang is separated with Javier joining the group escaping towards the docks.

Alongside Dutch, Arthur, Bill and Micah, Javier boards a ship while Charles distracts nearby guards. The gang strikes a deal with the captain to take them with him to South America, and the ship sets off. They don't get too far, as a storm wrecks the ship which sinks off the coast of Guarma, an island in the Caribbean. They all survive and are washed ashore where they regroup, but are captured by local soldiers.

As the soldiers march them towards their base in chains, the group is attacked by a group of rebels who oppose the local military governance. In the chaos, Arthur manages to unshackle the gang members and join the rebels in their attack. Javier is injured in the battle, and is unable to escape from the soldiers.

The others team up with Hercule Fontaine, leader of the local rebels. After beating back a military attack on the rebel base, they make their way to the settlement of Aguasdulces with the fort of Cinco Torres nearby. This is where Javier was taken by the soldiers. Dutch and Arthur witness Javier being led by a donkey, then interrogated and locked into a cage by the soldiers under the command of Colonel Fussar.

After the gang creates a distraction, Javier is broken out of incarceration by Arthur. Due to his injuries, he is unable to participate in the ensuing battles which lead to the fall of Cinco Torres, the sinking of a warship and the death of Colonel Fussar. The gang manages to secure transport back to America, where they intend to rejoin the others.

When the gang returns, there isn't much time for greetings as the new camp location selected by Sadie and Charles is promptly attacked by lawmen. By this time Javier has recovered sufficiently to partake in the defense. After they beat back the attackers, they decide to relocate to Beaver Hollow. Here, tensions in the gang begin to run high.

Dutch becomes more and more notably unhinged, leading to a rift in the gang. Arthur and John call out the leader while the others remain loyal to him, to varying degrees. Javier, alongside Bill, remains unendingly loyal to Dutch, whom they still look up to as an inspiration and role model. Due to their stances, Javier's relationship with Arthur and John begins to deteriorate. Aside from this, he tries to take the backseat in gang affairs.

When the gang joins the warriors of the Wapiti tribe to attack the Cornwall Refinery in retaliation to aggression from the army, Javier takes part in the assault. During the Refinery attack, Dutch leaves Arthur for dead, further damaging the morale of the gang.

During the fateful train robbery where Dutch leaves John for dead, Javier only has a minor role to play in the plan. In the aftermath, Arthur learns that Micah Bell was the traitor and rat all along, and when everyone returns to the camp a standoff arises, with Arthur and Micah holding guns at one another. Susan Grimshaw is shot dead by Micah, and John returns "from the dead" and accuses Dutch of leaving him behind. At this point Javier, who wasn't present, returns from scouting to report that the Pinkertons have found them and are on their way.

When Arthur then gives Javier and ultimatum and prompts him to choose a side, he reluctantly joins the majority of the gang who sided with Dutch. The loyalists then begin chasing John and Arthur, but are themselves being chased by the Pinkertons, and the ensuing chaos causes the final collapse of the Van Der Linde Gang.

Inter-Game Period

Neither Javier nor Bill were seen pursuing John and Arthur in the chase, and presumably split off to make their own fortunes. The two were close friends before the collapse of the gang, therefore it makes sense that they only trusted one another following the tension and betrayal that characterized the aftermath of the train robbery.

Eventually, Javier returned to Mexico, to his home in Nuevo Paraiso. By 1907, he is living somewhere in the mountains of the region and later becomes involved with Colonel Allende. By 1911, when John Marston is sent to hunt him down, Javier is working as a hitman for Allende and maintains contact with Bill, who stayed in the USA to head his own gang.

Events of Red Dead Redemption

Javier in Red Dead Redemption

After a robbery gone wrong in 1906 Marston was wounded and left behind, after which he effectively retired from the gang and later recovered. Shortly after this occurs, Dutch's Gang disbands due to their leader's increasing aggression and insanity. Javier is deeply affected by this, and returns to Mexico to work for Colonel Allende.

In 1911, John Marston is forced to hunt down his former comrades, and his first target is Bill Williamson. After their inconclusive initial meeting, Bill is assisted by Javier in his escape to Nuevo Paraiso. After assaulting Fort Mercer and killing Bill, John moves to find Javier who tries to evade capture by moving between various forts in Mexico.

Eventually John, with help from the rebel leader Abraham Reyes, finds Javier's hiding place and they assault the fort. After a brief standoff and conversation with John, Javier tries to escape. John pursues him, and one of two outcomes happen (though ultimately both lead to Javier's death). John either kills Javier while the latter attempts to flee, then delivers his corpse to federal agents Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham after first depositing it in a jail cell overnight (and wiping away a tear before spitting on the corpse), or he can lasso Javier and imprison him alive. After delivering a living Javier to the federal agents, it is later stated in a conversation that he is dead, presumably executed.

Personality

Javier was initially an idealistic and hopeful man in spite of his dire situation when he joined the gang. He is also highly impressionable, as evidenced by the immense effect Dutch, and his eventual descent into violent insanity affects Javier.

He was initially forced to flee Mexico because his rebellious attitude opposed the military government, however after the gang's collapse he'd return to serve that same government by working for Colonel Allende. This drastic change is referenced in Red Dead Redemption - John says that Javier took it hardest when Dutch eventually lost his mind.

Since Javier originally held revolutionary, counter-government views, he idolized Dutch for his goals and world-view. This led to a deep-seated loyalty to develop, which is why Javier stood up for Dutch almost blindly to the very last moment. However, once he realized Dutch had gone mad, the corruption of the man also seemed like a corruption of the ideals. If Dutch was wrong, then surely his ideas were too. This attitude is what led him to join Allende by 1911.

During most of Red Dead Redemption 2, Javier is particularly kind, cheerful and selfless, often offering to help the other gang members in just about anything. This is shown in dialogue, and his readiness to search for John in Colter. His vanity however can spark anger, and he doesn't respond well to disrespect. He pays much attention to his appearance and outfits.

His personality changes significantly by the time John meets him again in 1911. As a hitman for Allende, he has let himself go, and has become a sullen and aggressive man.

Trivia

  • Javier occasionally plays on his guitar in the camp in Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Javier is a skilled angler, his fishing skill is sometimes commented upon by other characters.
  • Though the player has some measure of agency regarding how to deal with Javier in Red Dead Redemption, his death seems guaranteed as his execution is implied if the player spares his life.

Matt Stone

Ever since the original Red Dead Redemption was released back in 2010 and swiftly completed by Matt he has been eagerly anticipating another return to the Wild West. In Matt's totally non-biased opinion the story told in the sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, is one of the best ever (at least as far as games go). And while some story DLC would be great, Matt isn't counting on it! Matt is on Twitter (but not really active).