John goes through significant character development throughout his arcs in Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2. A younger John is cynical and cold, nonchalant about his family and keeping a distance due to not being sure of Jack's parentage. This, over the course of the epilogue, transforms completely leaving him as a caring and loving father and husband who, above all else, seeks to secure a safe and peaceful life for Jack and Abigail.
John is very serious, humorless and described as having a dull imagination. He is exceedingly polite towards women, in contrast to how easily he gets angered by other men. He remains wholly faithful to Abigail, and throughout the games is shown to go out of his way to save, or simply assist, women.
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He is highly critical of the government, technological development and moral hypocrisy. While he is revealed to be Christian, he isn't particularly religious. He tends to mock those who hold overtly racist views.
Red Dead Redemption
All, except the Strangers mission "Remember My Family"
Red Dead Redemption 2
- "Enter, Pursued by a Memory"
- "Who the Hell is Leviticus Cornwall?"
- "Paying a Social Call"
- "Pouring Forth Oil I"
- "Pouring Forth Oil IV"
- "The Sheep and the Goats"
- "Horse Flesh for Dinner"
- "Blood Feuds, Ancient and Modern"
- "The Battle of Shady Belle"
- "Angelo Bronte, A Man of Honor"
- "Horsemen, Apocalypses"
- "Revenge is a Dish Best Eaten"
- "Banking, The Old American Art"
- "Icarus and Friends"
- "Visiting Hours"
- "The Bridge to Nowhere"
- "My Last Boy"
- "Our Best Selves"
- "Red Dead Redemption"
- All missions after Chapter 6
- John Marston is made to be visually similar to Red Harlow, the protagonist of Red Dead Revolver.
Grand Theft Auto 5's multiplayer mode, Online, features a parentage-based character creator where John is one of the many options for father.
- John Marston shares the name of many real life persons, including an English poet, an Argentine-born Cricketer and an English Rugby League Footballer who was commonly known as Jack Marston, name of John's son.
- During the events of Red Dead Redemption, John is 38 years old and 178 cm tall.
- Though the player may change John's outfit in-game, almost all options incorporate a red piece of clothing, and John is easily identifiable by his prominent facial scars.
- Both of John's parents passed away early in his life and weren't people of note.
- John hates birds.
- When playing as John Marston in Red Dead Redemption 2, the Dead Eye sound effect will sound more like the one in Red Dead Redemption as opposed to the sound effect heard when playing as Arthur.