John Marston


Events of Red Dead Redemption

In 1911, Edgar Ross of the Bureau of Investigation kidnaps Abigail and Jack in order to force John into helping him and Archer Fordham get rid of gang activity in the west, primarily the gangs of Bill Williamson and Dutch van der Linde. John is tasked with hunting down his former partners in crime to earn his freedom.

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After first arriving in Blackwater via ferry, John meets with Ross and Fordham before leaving for Armadillo by train. On his arrival, Jake leads him to Fort Mercer where Bill Williamson and his new gang are hiding out. John initially attempts to convince his old ally to give himself up peacefully, however one of Bill's men shoot Marston. Marston survived the wound and was taken in by Bonnie MacFarlane who treats and feeds him while he recovers in exchange for working at the MacFarlane ranch. Williamson learns that John is being sheltered by the MacFarlanes and sends his men to set their barn on fire. In the ensuing chaos, John saves several of the MacFarlanes' horses, earning their gratitude and a promise from Bonnie to give him cattle when he returns home.

Once John has fully recovered, he helps the local marshal - Leigh Johnson - with a number of operations to clean up the region and get rid of outlaw activity. Once only Williamson's gang remains as the last serious source of crime in the region Marston and Johnson being to plan their attack on Fort Mercer alongside Irish, Seth Briars and Nigel West Dickens. During this time, Williamson's men kidnap Bonnie for helping John and plan to hang her. John travels to Tumbleweed where the gang plans to execute Bonnie via hanging and saves her just in time by shooting the rope. Right after she is saved, John and his allies begin their assault on Fort Mercer.

John hides in Dicken's merchant cart which has a rotary gun turret fixed to it, and then Dickens gets the gang to open up the fort and let him inside after spinning a tale of all the riches in it. When inside, John uses the gatling gun to wipe out the gang members. The assault is a success, however Williamson fled to Nuevo Paraiso a day earlier and went into hiding with another of John's targets, Javier Escuella.

John travels to Mexico on the trail of Bill Williamson with Irish and meets with Colonel Agustin Allende who governs the region with the Mexican army at his back. Marston temporarily works for Allende and the military in exchange for information regarding Williamson and Escuella. At this point, John still believes that Mexico has a fair and just leader and that the rebels are clearly in the wrong. It is only after meeting Landon Ricketts, a survivor of the Blackwater massacre, and later Abraham Reyes and his partner Luisa Fortuna that Marston changes sides and aligns himself with the rebels against Allende and his even more corrupt superior, General Sanchez.

After allying with Reyes, the Mexican Army grows hostile against John, sending men to have him killed. John is captured and slated for execution, however, Reyes and his rebels arrive to rescue him. Due to their rescue, John decided to help their rebellion further and joins them more openly. In a subsequent attack on El Presidio that follows the death of Captain de Santa, John Discovers Escuella has been hiding out with Allende all along.

After a confrontation, John either captures or kills Escuella based on player choice - either way, Escuella ends up in a nearby jail. John continues assisting the rebels against the corrupt Colonel Allende and participates in a full-blown assault on his villa which leads to the deaths of Luisa, Allende and Williamson. During the final confrontation, Marston and Reyes come up against Allende and Williamson. John kills either of the two while Reyes finishes off whoever is left.

John returns to Blackwater in order to inform agents Rossa and Fordham. The leader of his old gang, Dutch van der Linde, is still out there somewhere in West Elizabeth. After years of laying low in hiding, Dutch has appeared once more leading a gang of outlaws, however this time they are almost exclusively disgruntled Natives who turned to crime as a means of revenge.

John Marston works together with the Bureau more closely on finding Dutch and is assisted by Nastas and Harold MacDougal. Backed by the US Army, John inconclusively clashes with the Van der Linde Gang several times before their hideout is discovered. John, men from the Bureau and soldiers lead a joint assault, killing most of the gang members. John confronts Dutch one-on-one, with the latter warning him that he was just a tool and the Bureau won't just let him walk free. John still looks up to and respects Dutch to some extent making it hard to bring himself to kill his old mentor, giving Dutch the opportunity to leap to his death off a high cliff, thus "escaping" capture.

His task complete, Edgar Ross seemingly keeps his word. John is cut loose while Abigail and Jack return to Beecher's Hope. John begins to settle into his calm and normal life free of the hardships that come with being an outlaw. Together with his family and Uncle, they tend to their land in peace. However, Dutch was correct and his parting words turn out to be prophetic. Soon after John's task is complete, Ross betrays him and leads an assault on Beecher's Hope. Uncle is killed in the battle leaving only John and his 16-year-old son to defend their home. In the face of superior numbers, John tells Abigail and Jack to run while he buys them time.

With the army gathering on one side of the barn and his family fleeing out the other, John sacrifices himself by confronting Ross and the soldiers, and dying in the gunfight to buy the freedom of Abigail and Jack. After barely beginning to enjoy the calm life he almost always wanted, John's outlaw past catches up to him.

Events of Undead Nightmare

In the Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare DLC, John Marston returns as the main character. His story begins in his house together with his wife Abigail Marston and his son Jack Marston. Living their everyday life, one day Uncle doesn't return to the ranch, likely waiting for a storm to pass. The old man eventually comes back, but not as John and his family expected: turned into a zombie, he attacks both John and Abigail, forcing John to knock him out with a lamp stand. While John hurries outside to pick up his gun, Uncle manages to bite Abigail, turning her into a zombie. After witnessing the horrible scene, John kills Uncle with a headshot but sadly realizes that he has been too late, as his wife and son have also been changed into zombies. To avoid hurting them, John ties them with a lasso, leaving a bit of food with them so that they can survive until he manages to come back to the ranch with a cure for their condition.

John's first stop is in Blackwater, where he finds Professor MacDougal, who just returned from Yale. Sadly, his return is made ill by his death at the hands of an undead Nastas. Seeing Blackwater overrun by the undead, John leaves the town to look for more survivors, meeting a family trying to survive the outbreak by staying on the roof of their house. The family doesn't pay John much attention, but leave him a few hints regarding who might have started everything, mentioning, in particular, a snake oil merchant and a freak with a glass eye.

Pursuing the snake oil merchant leads John to Nigel West Dickens in Fort Mercer. The merchant is trying to sell his elixir as a cure for those who have turned undead, but in actuality, it works as bait for the undead, as the poor folks who receive a free sample after John forces Nigel to stop selling the elixir discover to their sorrow. Thinking about creating a true cure, Nigel tasks John with finding ingredients for the concoction as well as parts for the creation of the Blunderbuss. After John completes the task, Nigel sets out to find a way to Mexico, telling John that all the paths are blocked and the only way to get there is by sneaking on a U.S Army train, disguised as a member of the army. The uniform is in the possession of deserters.

Pursuing the freak with a glass eye leads John to Seth Briars in The Old Bacchus Place. The man is even less helpful than Nigel, as he's spending his time playing cards with an undead Moses Forth. When John asks about the plague, Seth sends him to clear the graveyards and, once the task has been completing, informs him that the plague has to do with the Aztecs or the Incas. The only way to find a cure is to head to Mexico.

While looking for a way to reach Mexico, John meets many of the characters of the main campaign, such as Bonnie MacFarlane, who asks him to find her dad, now turned undead, D.S. MacKenna, and Leigh Johnson. All have tasks for John and completing them awards him with more tools to deal with the undead.

Eventually, John's search for a way to Mexico leads him to the deserters, who are being attacked by zombies. Here, John can choose to save them to receive a U.S. Army uniform as reward, or just steal it. With the uniform, John heads to the train, only to find it under attack by zombies. Another zombie attack happens at the border, only that John has to deal with it by himself, as the army retreats. Once the zombies are dealt with, John proceeds to Mexico by himself.

Mexico is no better than the U.S, as if not even worse, overrun by zombies. In Las Hermanas, John meets with the Mother Superior, who asks him to save the town. After the town has been saved, John learns from the Mother Superior that a real undead is required to find out what's causing the plague. Once John provides her with one, the Mother Superior pours holy water on it, bathing it in blue flame, but not killing. Armed with holy water, John is tasked with clearing the Sepulcro graveyard. After completing the task, John is told by the woman that the plague has been caused by Abraham Reyes. With this solid lead, John heads out to Escalera to confront the man.

On his way to Escalera, John gets to Casa Madrugada, where he meets Landon Ricketts, busy with getting rid of the zombies in the town. Lando reveals a very effective method of getting rid of zombies which involves using bait and dynamite.

Once in Escalera, John finds out that Abraham Reyes has also been turned into a zombie. Killing him to save a woman's life, she tells John that the plague was caused by Reyes who, seeking immortality, stole an ancient Aztec mask. John and the woman take the mask back where it belongs, and all zombies return to normal.

His mission successful, John goes back to his ranch in Beecher's Hope, his wife Abigail and his son Jack now back to normal. This isn't the end of the undead, however, as Seth steals the same mask that caused the plague in the first place a few months later, rising the dead once again. John, who perished before the fact, rises from the dead as well but with a human soul, as he has been buried with holy water.


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).