When it came to the Old West, it never really took with me. I generally thought all the Western shows my mom and dad watched were quite dull.
The video games on the contrary are a wild ride in their own right. Games such as the original Xbox release Gun and the ever more popular and widely renown Red Dead Redemption. I can think back to the days when it just made the scene and I thought that it was probably one of those wicked ass games I'd never get to enjoy due to having parents who like many fell into the "Anti-GTA" crowd.
Of course as it naturally goes, time passes. I had just returned from a second summer at a much beloved job out-of-state, and I had a week before I went back to the worst possible college in the State of North Carolina-- Pembroke. I was bored and decided I would surf Amazon for anything I would find desirable: Movies... Magic cards...you name it.
At last I saw what I thought to be a real turn of fortunes: Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year edition had been marked down to $21. After my job, that was chump change. Being a student I qualified for the AmazonPrime speed delivery and the game arrived 2 days later.
I couldn't contain myself: The thought of the classic quick-draw...lassoing people and dragging them through the desert... the Undead Nightmare expansion. I disregarded the main storyline disc for the time being and immediately leaped into Undead Nightmare. Can you blame me? I was tired of CoD: Zombies now that they ruined the storyline and Walking Dead doesn't vex me really.
At first the game had started pretty normal. The opening cinematic ran as usual, the opening mission ran as usual, so on and so forth. Things started to get odd around the time I had to kill Nastas and MacDougal: Like normal hordes of Undead come charging at you, and you have to run or line your shots just so to hit more than one (good luck with that by the way). After killing around a dozen or so, I came across an oddity: There looked like there were people, just strolling through town like normal, as if Hell hadn't literally broken loose. Even stranger, fewer--if any--- zombies came around. I tried to interact with them but to my surprise 1) they had no HEADS OR ARMS and 2) they gave no response; not when I ran into them, nor when I shot one point blank where their head should have been. The one died and the other just stood there, shirt and pants, and nothing more.
At this I decided to save the game and then reload the game, assuming this was just a slight glitch. The game loaded back, no issues, and I continued on with the story, which at this point was the search for West-Dickens and Seth. I completed some missions, and cleared some towns. However, no sooner did I clear Tumbleweed, the issue reoccured. I again retried my previous method of interaction, only this time I was able to get a response from the formless figure:
"Howdy, Mr. Marston. Are you okay?"
I thought it strange that the form knew me. It looked like a pointless NPC to me, like a member of the Walton Gang based on the clothes. I drew out the Scholfield Revolver and decided to shoot it. To my curiosity, this to solicited a response, only this one was somewhat more disturbing for whatever reason:
"John! What did you do that for?!"
I noticed something else. Marston: he looked slightly blanched and somewhat ferral--more than usual. It was all strange and I began to notice that this couldn't be a mere glitch. I tried my best to continue on with the game.
After a while I got a notification that Blackwater had fallen under attack by the zombies, and I knew that that was one safeplace I did not want to have to reclaim from scratch. I mounted my apocalypse horse, Famine, and rode off towards Blackwater, hoping to arrive in time.
I arrived to even more abnormalities. There was no conflict going on and the town was so quiet and still. Again there were formless NPCs going about business as usual, only this time they were in droves. Was this a part of the game? Was I just seeing the Blackwater that was before the outbreak?
I tried to interact with locals, just to see if I could solicit any response. Finally I did, out of a local woman:
"The Madman! Someone help!"
"Madman?" was that a boss or something? I couldn't figure it out. Didn't have time to because no sooner did she cry out, lawman and others began opening fire. I was outnumbered and had to leave for the only safe place nearby:
Beecher's Hope, the Marston Residence.
Arriving there was perhaps a mistake I regret.
I opened the door to the house and saw if I could scavenge more ammo and save my progress.
Upon entering the bedroom, a cutscene appeared. What? why?
This was not a happy victorious cutscene. In fact, this was perhaps the most sad if not disturbing one I ever saw. John went over to Abigail and Jack, where he left them. They weren't shrieking and squirming from being tied up and infected. They were dead. Abigail and Jack had died of hunger, and they bore such twisted agonized faces. John began fondling Abigail's hair as he rested her head on his lap. The Audio had cut off here.
He began mumbling "Not my fault.. not my fault..." over and over again. Every time he did, a voice that sounded like a twisted Abigail's and a twisted Jack's responded "YOUR FAULT."
It was then that I realized what just happened: John was crazy this whole time. Just like Dutch went crazy. He had gone on a mass murdering spree, starting with Uncle. After he killed him he tied up Abigail and Jack...and left them to starve, tied up and alone. These ghostly forms that kept appearing were from John slowly receding back into reality! It was all clear now.
The last thing I saw before the game crashed was John producing his revolver and committing suicide.