It's been nearly two months since Red Dead Redemption 2 hit shelves, going above and beyond all expectations and smashing a series of records. Building upon the foundations of gameplay which made the first title such a success, this prequel would offer up one of the greatest narrative experiences that gamers have ever been offered. If you didn't get emotional at least once during your playthrough, you must have a heart of stone!
Taking control of an all-new protagonist - Arthur Morgan - players had to resist the lure of Blackwater following a heist-gone-wrong, and instead explore the rest of the available map. Thankfully it was an expansive and living open world, allowing you to sit down for a game of Dominoes with your fellow campmates when you needed a break from the chaos, or slip on a bandana before robbing a train if you're feeling up for the challenge.
With so much to do, you'd be forgiven for not uncovering each and every hidden gem contained within the game (especially so now that attention is being diverted to the brilliant Red Dead Online beta that's currently underway). This is where we step in!
We've taken a look back at all of the countless hours we've plowed into Red Dead Redemption 2 so far, and put together 25 hidden plotlines that you're sure to have missed in your first run through! Some of them take just a few minutes to discover, whilst others involve hours of memorable questing, resulting in some fantastic rewards.
25 The Serial Attacker
Completionists can kickstart their Red Dead Redemption 2 side missions with the brilliant serial attacker quest line.
Limbs scatter the road between Strawberry and Wallace, and those brave enough to follow the trail will find a note stuffed in the victim's mouth. From this point, the hunt is on, as the attacker goads those following their clues.
Those smart enough will be able to track down their man, hogtie him, and take him to the Sheriff, picking up a $20 reward for their effort. Not monumental, but certainly an experience worth undertaking.
24 Return Of The Strange Man
Perhaps the creepiest of all RDR2 Easter Eggs comes in the form of the Strange Man. We met him in the first Red Dead Redemption game, and he's back to strike fear into players' hearts.
In the Bayou, there's a mysterious hut with writings describing a curse on the town of Armadillo.
What's most likely to catch your eye, however, is the painting.
At first, it won't look like much, but if you keep revisiting, it will continue to evolve until eventually displaying the Strange Man. He's behind you...
23 The Hermit King
The forest is usually a quiet place in RDR2, unless you're taking over somebody's camp or running away from authorities. At the very Northern end of the map, however, there's a hermit sitting in a tree who declares himself as King of the Forest.
This encounter isn't the meatiest occurrence you'll come across in the game, but it's certainly one to tick off your list.
There is also a pair of hermits you'll be able to track down once you've completed the game, each of which holds one half of a treasure map. Find both pieces and you'll get your hands on some loot!
22 Tracking Down Wolfman
Every so often in Red Dead's living open world, there'll be a full moon and the chance to discover the snarling Wolfman.
Upon being approached, however, he will flee. If you do decide to stick to his tail, you'll be forced to do battle with a huge white wolf and a group of grey wolves that protect him.
Hunting them means you can approach the 'Feral Man' (as he's described in-game), and it'll be up to you what to do with him. Just make sure you read the diary inside the cave he calls his home to discover exactly why he is the way he is.
21 Freeing The Imprisoned Of St. Denis
RDR2 takes us back to the year 1899, 34 years after slavery was repealed in the United States of America. The discriminating attitudes still remain of course, and there are those who would have preferred to keep humans as property, but now the law prohibits them from doing so.
When players reach St. Denis, they'll be able to converse with a monk who is convinced that some poor folk are being kept prisoner in a store, set to be used as human chattel. His information turns out to be correct, so go there and do the right thing!
20 Helping Jack Find His Missing Book
Pretty much everybody in camp will ask Arthur for an item at one point or another, but the best of this mini-quests comes from little Jack. He misses his Penny comic books, but gamers are fortunately able to put a smile back on his face.
There are four possible Penny Comics to pick up for this quest.
Picking up any of them and returning them to Jack reaps the same reward, so do some digging to save time and you can quickly tick this one off your list!
19 The Mysterious Witch's Bubbling Cauldron
There are plenty of little huts and shacks to explore if you're brave enough to travel off the beaten track, but one, in particular, has clearly been home to a witch! Inside, there's a bubbling cauldron full of mysterious liquid that the player is able to consume.
Once you take a sip, you cannot drink from the cauldron again.
Exactly what the potion does is STILL unclear; it may be the case that it does absolutely nothing at all, but with so many Easter Eggs scattered throughout the game, we can't imagine developers would let this one slide without ANY effect...
18 Eugene's Locked Away Daughter
Throughout RDR2, you'll meet a number of NPCs who tell you interesting stories about residents all over the expansive open world map. One of them comes from a woman whose horse passed on the side of the road, she explains that there's a girl in Emerald Ranch who never leaves her house.
Take some binoculars and you can see her for yourself!
What some players have discovered by looting the mail carriage southwest of Fort Wallace, is that the lady in the house is called Miriam, and may, in fact, be kept under unofficial house arrest by her father, Eugene.
17 Nosferatu's St. Denis Reign Of Terror
St. Denis has plenty of exciting things to discover, but one of the best has to be the vampire who has a taste for the locals. Searching the area allows players to come across graffiti hinting at the existence of the bloodsucker, but gamers are only able to actually trigger the encounter with the vamp at night.
This is definitely a side quest worth doing, as dealing with Nosferatu will reap you a unique weapon which you're unable to pick up anywhere else in the game.
16 The Ghosts Of Roanoke
Roanoke Valley is an eerie location in the day, but for those who want to reveal its secrets, they'll have to head to the location at night.
Once there, you'll be called to by spirits all looking to make their way home.
What's super exciting about this small plotline is that it's clearly based on the real-life English colony who went missing in Roanoke two years after the colony was founded. Only a skeleton and single word —"Croatoan"— carved into a tree was left behind. The skeleton and tree haven't been found in-game just yet, but it's very possible they're out there somewhere.
15 Francis Sinclair's Time Travelling Adventure
Another of the game's small cabins (close to Strawberry) hosts Francis Sinclair. He's a man on a mission to prove the possibility of time travel and will give you a quest to aid him on his quest.
Once completed, you return to the cabin but don't find the same Francis that you left behind. Instead, there's a mother and a baby boy; the latter of whom shares the same birthmark and hair color as Mr. Sinclair. It looks like the scientist was successful in his experimentation...
14 The Incredible Donkey Lady's Comeback
Fans of the first Red Dead game will recognize the donkey-headed skeleton tied to a horse mill in Two Crows.
Initially discovered by a gamer in the original game (as part of a glitch which combined a female NPC and a donkey), and christened 'The Incredible Donkey Lady' by the same player, it would seem one of her ancestors were deemed too different to be allowed to live in 1899.
Or, Rockstar could simply be poking fun at themselves for allowing the glitch to get into the original game!
13 Hershel's Farm
Fans of The Walking Dead will be familiar with the farm that's explorable in-game, with 'STAY OUT PLAGUE' written across barn doors in white paint.
Yep, it's a nod to Hershel's farm!
So, is this confirmation that zombies exist within the world of RDR2, hidden under the guise of simply being infected by a "plague"? We imagine so; just take a look back at the Nite Folk content within the original game, and our entry talking about exactly that a little further down our list.
12 Fishing With Hamish Sinclair
There are a string of veterans scattered throughout RDR2; you can donate to some, and even just offer one a hug, but one, in particular, gives you an incredibly relaxing mission.
Found in O'Creagh's Run after finishing up Chapter 5, Hamish Sinclair is a man who was thrown from his horse and left on the ground without his prosthetic leg. When you eventually locate and return his horse and leg, he'll offer you the chance to go fishing with him, which then leads to an invitation to go hunting!
A heartwarming series of quests that everybody should experience.
11 Helping Miss Margaret
Lions, tigers, and zebras, oh my! Those are the three animals the cross-dressing entertainer Miss Margaret will be asking you to track down in this hilarious series of quests, but not all is at it seems...
Though Miss Margaret isn't the most believable of people by the time you reach your final mission, there is one animal, in particular, that will cause you - and the residents of Emerald Ranch — some grief. Just don't let the beast get too close, as it can wipe you out with a single bite!
10 The Man Convinced He's Lucifer
Another supernatural being comes to RDR2 in the form of the Devil himself... or does it? You're never really told whether or not the man you find in the cave west of the Little Creek River is indeed Lucifer, but as we've discovered with prior entries to this list, anything is possible.
Still, the very fact players are able to end the man would suggest he's actually nothing special, and probably just someone with some serious issues.
9 Scientist Marko Dragic's Robotic Son
Electricity may be a pretty new concept to those who lived in 1899, but that doesn't stop scientist Marko Dragic (who looks very much like the real-life Nikola Tesla) from playing with it whenever possible.
Only available during a thunderstorm, this mission has a tragic ending.
Marko has a son, but not quite like the boy would you would expect. He's a robot, and after his father's passing, he can be found chatting to himself on a perch in the mountains.
8 Searching For Dinosaur Bones
There are a whopping 30 collectible dinosaur bones to be found, scattered throughout RDR2's open world. In order to start your search, however, you'll have to first find a woman sat in a pile of mud, obsessing over a bone she herself has unearthed.
She can be found Southeast of Horseshoe Overlook, and after chatting with her, she'll implore you to help out in her search of fossils. When you've returned all of them, however, the results are... a little odd.
7 Finding Bigfoot
One of the most tragic aspects of the original Red Dead game was the discovery of Bigfoot; a creature who actually wasn't the only one of his kind. In fact, the Sasquatch species was unleashed in the Undead Nightmare expansion, and it appears they make a comeback in RDR2.
Unfortunately, the one we can come across has been dead for some time. Their skeleton lies peacefully in the mountains, but makes for the perfect photo opportunity!
Then there's the Bigfoot you can talk to in a cave, after studying 30 different animals. More time consuming, but worth the effort!
6 Return Of The Nite Folk
First appearing in the original Red Dead game's expansion Undead Nightmare, the Nite Folk are the zombies of the Rockstar world and are referenced on at least two occasions in RDR2.
The first is the mask of the undead, which is on the wall of the general store in St. Denis.
The second is a little more difficult to unearth. You'll have to time a visit to Bluewater Marsh late at night, but doing so will allow you to discover Nite Folk victims hanging from trees as well as a crying woman. Interacting with them leads to a battle, but one that reaps a lore reward.
5 Writing A Book That'll Go Down In History
The Gunslinger mission is one that you can trigger pretty early on in the game, taking you far and wide across the open world and introducing you to a bunch of men (and one woman) who have made names for themselves as gunslingers.
Tasked with tracking them down, you'll aid in the writing of a book that is sure to go down in history. Nothing's that simple, however, and with the majority of the four outlaws, you'll be forced to take them out if you want your name to stand alongside them...
4 The Aberdeen Pig Farm
The Aberdeen Pig Farm is one of the creepiest places you can come across in RDR2. Inside, you'll find a pair of siblings who get way too close to one another, and who poison you if you accept their invitation to dinner and drinks.
After waking up in a grave, robbed of your things, you'll be able to return and wipe out the pair.
What's most disturbing, however, is that the two are based on a real-life family, the Benders! In the 1870s, a mass grave was found in their backyard. The authorities never caught up to them...
3 The Chain Gang's Escape From Custody
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Such is the name of a fan-favorite Coen Brothers' movie which is referenced in RDR2, with players able to cross paths with a chain gang of three close to train tracks.
Just like in the movie!
They're still with their guards when we meet them, but in being able to overpower the authority figures, they make a bid for freedom. A redemption story that's gone down in history - just like this one is sure to do!
2 The Braithwaite's Secret Daughter
If you find the lure of the Braithwaite property as attractive as other players, you'll come across an outhouse covered in chains. Approaching it, the wails of a woman inside become clearer, and gamers will eventually discover that the Braithwaites were rumored to have a secret daughter with mental health issues.
Yes, the family is even terrible when it comes to their own children.
Their treatment of their daughter just makes taking everything they hold dear all the more satisfying.
1 The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The absolute best movie reference in RDR2 comes for fans of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
One of the trains available for robbing is one that will trigger an almost scene-for-scene recreation for the train robbery that takes place in the movie.
Rockstar has painstakingly taken each of the shots within the film and put them into the game, showing that their love for Westerns (and especially the classics) runs deep. They are without a doubt the perfect publishers for a video game of this genre.