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Red Dead Redemption 2 Had a Darker Opening

Official cast reveals in a 2019 panel that Red Dead Redemption 2 originally had a much darker opening planned.

Undoubtedly one of the best games in recent years, 2018 Western action-adventure title Red Dead Redemption 2 from developer/publisher Rockstar Games did exceptionally well in open-world gameplay and engaging storytelling.

Both protagonists of Red Dead Redemption and RDR2 are tragic characters that went through a lot. It was revealed in a 2019 panel that Arthur Morgan was supposed to have a notably darker opening, which involved his newborn son.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Had a Darker Opening


Players may come across a few moments of comedic relief every now and then but none of the main characters get their true happy ending. Arthur Morgan may come as a cynical guy at first but he had his share of pain to begin with.

Rockstar dev team originally intended for Arthur's son Isaac to be included during intro of Red Dead Redemption 2. Arthur will try protecting his infant child after a failed heist in Blackwater town forces Van der Linde gang to escape.


At a later point in RDR2 story, Arthur reveals having a son with a woman that he never married but he would often visit them. They both met their demise when Morgan was away but original script would have let you meet his offspring.

Red Dead Redemption 2 initially sends Dutch's gang to snow-capped mountains, so they could avoid being captured by law enforcement. Arthur's baby boy was too weak to survive in an icy temperature in snow and dies in the end.


Rockstar didn't want to include Isaac's tragic death even before players could get into RDR2 and start exploring its world. However, Arthur probably couldn't continue and may have called out Dutch way earlier for his absurd behavior.

In all probability, RDR2 could've picked from a much darker circumstances if they ended up adding Isaac's tragedy. It wouldn't be a believable setting for Arthur or players to have faith on Dutch and his so-called plans for much long.


Arthur's natural skepticism and some affection to supporting character John "Jack" Marston Jr. may be a result of the loss of his own child. Nevertheless, it was a right call for developers not to embrace such a depressing opening act.

Rockstar Games made a right decision by writing off original opening of Red Dead Redemption 2, staying away from an overall tonal shift. Regardless of their reasons for moving away from what they initially wanted, it was for best.

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