The Mystery Behind The Title ‘Red Dead Redemption’

The Mystery Behind The Title ‘Red Dead Redemption’

The new open-world wild west title has received nothing but praise from the critics and the gaming community. Red Dead Redemption 2 is nothing short of spectacular in terms of gameplay, character development, and story elements.

But it does make one wonder, where did the name come from? It did make me puzzled. Sure, games like Doom, Fallout, or Prince of Persia have their names based on their protagonists, or some games keep their names based on the storyline like Civilisation and Grand Theft Auto.

Red Dead Redemption though, doesn’t feature a character named Red Dead, nor does it take place in a large red-colored terrain.

It made me find out the story behind the title, and I am not going to lie. I was half expecting the answer to be “because we thought it was cool,” but surprisingly, it wasn’t the case, and there are actual reasons behind the name.

1. The Hero You Thought Didn’t Exist.

Many players might not know this but Read Redemption 2 is not the second game in the series but is the third title. Red Dead Revolver was the first game in the Red Dead series released way back in 2004 for the Playstation 2 and Xbox by Rockstar San Diego.

The Mystery Behind The Title ‘Red Dead Redemption’
Red Dead Revolver Cover | Source: Wikipedia

Red Dead Revolver features the protagonist, Red Harlow, an experienced gunslinger and a feared bounty hunter of the Wild West.

Red Dead Redemption being the spiritual successor to the Red Dead Revolver title, it was only apt to incorporate the name of the OG hero in the title. Harlow doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like Red, so that’s why it was probably omitted.

The Mystery Behind The Title ‘Red Dead Redemption’
Red Harlow | Source: Fandom

There’s substantial proof for the conspiracy theorists out there, and it is what many people believe is that Red Harlow is the mysterious Uncle in RDR2.

The Mystery Behind The Title ‘Red Dead Redemption’
The Unidentified Uncle | Source: Fandom

2. Dead Eye Makes the Headlines Once Again

Arguably one of the most useful abilities that save your life when you are out in the open and facing multiple enemies.

Even though this ability comes in handy only once you upgrade some aspects of it and have some experience using it, that didn’t stop it from appearing in the series title!

There’s also another aspect behind “Red Dead,” arguably the untamed West. A violent, almost unpredictable, inhospitable land where one wrong step can get you killed.

All of the series games are based in the same place where your every move counts; you can live to fight another day or become a corpse, among many others.

3. The Tale of Redemption

The last part of the title is a little too obvious, as it is the undertone of the entire series. Even though they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, the protagonists are trying to be a better version of themselves.

From the 2010 title, John Marston was trying to correct his faults and followed a path of redemption. This is credited to the writers for a large part as they neither created a protagonist that was a straight-up villain nor did they create an upstanding civilian.

The trend continued with RDR2 and Arthur Morgan. Players even had control over the ultimate outcome with the honor rating system.

The Mystery Behind The Title ‘Red Dead Redemption’
Red Dead Redemption 2 | Source: Steam

Do enough good deeds to redeem yourself, and you will earn a peaceful death. Go the other way, and you might find yourself dead in a ditch (Just a hypothetical situation, no spoilers intended).

Each word in the title of ‘Red Dead Redemption’ signifies something deep and is tied with the series’ undertone. If you’re a true fan, you will be able to connect the dots; for new players, the truth will become clear as they progress through.

About Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2, prequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, is an action-adventure game produced and released by Rockstar Games in 2018. The story, set in 1899, follows outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the Van der Linde gang.

Red Dead Redemption 2 portrays the Wild West, while being set in the fictional Western and Southern United States.