The Red Dead Redemption series is rightfully regarded as a masterpiece. Its maps are expansive and intricately detailed, the gameplay is rewarding and immersive, and its writing is top of the line. One could even make the argument that the Red Dead Redemption stories are some of the best that gaming has to offer.
That said, the stories certainly aren't perfect, and there are more than a few plot holes to be found in them. Then again, when stories are this great, we don't actually care all that much. But that doesn't mean we can ignore it.
These are ten plot holes in Red Dead Redemption that were never explained.
10 How Did The Pinkertons Miss Sadie's Letter?
After returning from Guarma, Arthur makes his way to their hideout at Shady Belle. However, he is disappointed to find the camp empty and overrun by Pinkerton agents. He makes his way inside and discovers a letter by Sadie directing him to their new hideout. Now, you're telling us that the Pinkerton agents didn't see this letter!? It's not even like it's hidden particularly well. In fact, it's not hidden at all! It's just sitting right there on the table! Either the Pinkerton agents never go inside the house, or they have REALLY lousy vision and/or reading comprehension.
9 Dutch Could Have Sent A Woman To Blackwater
Throughout the game, the van der Linde gang is prevented from returning to Blackwater because they are wanted criminals and will likely be shot on sight. As such, they cannot return to reclaim the hidden money stashed somewhere in the city. However, Dutch could have easily just sent a woman to retrieve the money.
It's established that the ladies do not partake in the robberies, so no one in Blackwater would know of their relation to the van der Linde gang. Rather than worrying for months on end, Dutch could have just sent someone on a week-long trip to retrieve the stash, and all their problems would be over.
8 Ross And Milton
One of the game's tutorial missions sees you (as Arthur) taking Jack fishing at a nearby river. Seriously, this river is like a five minute horse ride from their camp. While there, Arthur encounters Ross and Milton, law agents who are looking for Dutch. They offer Arthur a pretty sweet deal in exchange for his boss, but Arthur refuses and they ride away. So, why on Earth did they even approach Arthur in the first place? Why not just spy on him and Jack from a distance and follow them back to their camp? Not only would they have scored Dutch, they would have scored the whole gang! Chalk that up as a major missed opportunity.
7 Why Didn't Arthur Give The Gang His Money?
One of the ongoing problems throughout the game is that the van der Linde gang is broke as a joke. They REALLY want to go somewhere to escape the law and attention, but they simply can't afford it. Cue all the robberies and violence. However, Arthur makes a ridiculous amount of money throughout the game, and can even afford to give the camp fancy stuff like medicine, horse parking lots, and chicken coops.
But why didn't Arthur just save that money and spent it on getting his gang out of dodge? In fact, he probably had enough money LEFT OVER after all that to move them! But no, he has to spend it on booze, cigarettes, and hair tonics!
6 How Did Arthur Have The Strength To Fight Micah?
The final mission (well, of Arthur's story, anyway) sees Arthur riding from the Pinkertons, climbing a mountain, and getting into a massive brawl with Micah. All while he's on the verge of death due to his illness. We're not medical experts here or anything, but we're pretty sure Arthur would be WAY too weak to do, you know, any of that. And even if he wasn't, surely he would be too weak and winded from climbing the mountain to fight Micah. We know everyone hates Micah, but let's be serious here - he would have whopped Arthur six ways from Sunday in that brawl.
5 Why Did The Bureau Of Investigation Let The Gang Members Off?
The first Red Dead Redemption sees John hunting down the surviving members of his old gang. However, MANY members from his old group are seemingly let off the hook, as he only needs to nag Dutch, Bill, and Javier. So, what about everyone else, like Sadie, Charles, and Pearson? We know most of them likely got out of dodge, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they would have stopped hunting them.
And it certainly doesn't explain how Pearson can just work in the Rhodes general store without a care in the world! These are violent criminals with a storied past of violence and destruction. They BOI likely wouldn't turn the other way just because they've gone quiet for a few years.
4 1914 Looks An Awful Lot Like 1911
Time jumps are always tricky, and if you're not careful, you risk alienating your audience and ruining the immersion. In the first game, John Marston dies in 1911, and you take over as his son Jack in 1914. And yet EVERYTHING looks EXACTLY the same as it did three years prior.
Three years isn't a particularly long time, but surely there would be some changes! A new road? Some more houses? ONE new building!? This is even more glaring when you consider the game's theme of the dying west and the rise of modernity. Well, we're not seeing a whole lot of modernity here...
3 Why Didn't Ross Shoot Jack With His Rifle?
While we're on the subject of the epilogue, let's discuss the silliness that is Ross dropping his rifle to duel Jack. Jack sneaks up on Ross while he's hunting, and after confronting him about the murder of John, Ross drops his rifle...only to take out a pistol and duel Jack. Why didn't he just shoot Jack with the rifle and end the whole ordeal?
We know there's honor amongst thieves and all that, and that dueling was a respectable way to eliminate an enemy. But it's not like Ross was a particularly honorable man. Surely he doesn't care about things like tradition or honorable duels when he could have just eliminated his potential murderer with the rifle he was already holding.
2 Why Hire John To Exterminate Bill?
In Red Dead Redemption, Ross kidnaps John's family and forces John to hunt down Bill Williamson, his old accomplice. Why go through that convoluted plan when he could have just armed his men and/or hired the Army to storm Fort Mercer? Williamson's gang is small and relatively unassuming, so there's little danger there. They know he's hiding in Fort Mercer. And Ross certainly has the means and the funds to hire his own private army (or the Army themselves) to storm Fort Mercer. It's also established that Ross could care less about unneeded casualties, so that's not a problem, either. It just seems like this whole rigmarole with John is largely unnecessary.
1 What Did Ross Do For Four Years?
Red Dead Redemption 2 ends in 1907 with Micah's death. Red Dead Redemption starts in 1911, when John is already well established on his little ranch. Yet at the end of Red Dead 2, we see Ross observing John on his ranch and presumably plotting the scheme that plays out in Red Dead Redemption. Surely that plan didn't take four years to hatch!? So, what was Ross doing for those intervening years? Of course, it's possible that the final scene takes place in 1911, which would suggest that it took Ross four years to track down John. We know they lacked technology, but that seems like an awful long time to track down a suspect. But what do we know? We're not cops.