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Easter eggs you missed in Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games has built a legacy on violently immersive stories, expansive explorable worlds, and lots and lots of Easter eggs. These hidden elements run the gamut from tongue-in-cheek industry references and pop culture callouts to some of the most satisfying scraps of secret lore in video game history. Amongst the developer's catalogue of chicanery-laden releases, Red Dead Redemption 2 is no exception. This prequel to Rockstar's multi-award-winning 2010 Western readily takes on the playful habit of stashing content where you least expect to find it.

In case you missed it, most of Rockstar's releases exist in shared universes — which is to say, there are more than enough clues to suggest that Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto 5 are part of the same expletive-infused continuity. And as you can imagine, much of the connective tissue between these worlds (or times, more appropriately) center around the stuff of hidden secrets and developer innuendo. From UFOs to freaky outhouses, we're taking a look at some of our favorite Easter eggs you missed in Red Dead Redemption 2.

GTA 5's Epsilon Program

Everyone's favorite Scientology parody makes a triumphant return in Red Dead Redemption 2 during the surreptitious side mission known as "Geology for Beginners." West of Hawks Eye Creek, a fast-talking stranger by the name of Francis Sinclair with futuristic clothes, a peculiar pattern of speech, and a birthmark over his right eye asks you a strange question that sets you off on a bizarre mission: find a set of "funny rock carvings" that are part of "sort of a puzzle thingimmy" because he "sort of, like, really badly [has] to find all of them." Once you find all ten of the rock carvings and return to Sinclair's home, the stranger has managed to travel through time, leaving Arthur Morgan to meet the stranger ... as a baby.

This is indeed part of the time-traveling prophecy referenced in Grand Theft Auto 5 during the Epsilon Program missions, in which a cult led by huckster Chris Formage dutifully protects The 12 Tenets of Kifflom on the way to enlightenment and empty pockets. Tenet 8, in particular, states, "Aliens exist and are present on earth. If you have a birth mark [sic], you may be descended from Kraff, the famous Emperor of the 4th Paradigm." Interestingly enough, Francis Sinclair's birthmark is the very same shape of the one worn by GTA 5's infamous descendants of Kraff. Whether or not Sinclair is Kraff himself remains to be seen.

Unidentified flying objects

The truth is out there; you just have to know where to look. Just north of the "N" in the New Hanover section of the world map, you'll find a ramshackle house on the northern shore of Emerald Lake. The "Mysterious Sermon" on a table inside reads: "At the second hour under the half moon, by the great love and grace of our savior, Kuhkowaba, Voyager of Time and Galaxies, we cast off our corporal shells so his vessel can take our spirits to the promised realm to live in peace and power until the two thousandth year, when we will return for the new chosen and worship once again at the peak of Mount Shann. In his love we rejoice always." If the player is present around 2 a.m. in this small section of the New Hanover Heartlands, a UFO can be seen from inside the shack. Unfortunately, it hurries away to the heavens above as soon as you exit the building.

A second UFO can be found at the aforementioned peak of Mount Shann. After midnight, a small UFO will appear in the night sky which resembles the classic, saucer-shaped UFO depicted on the Mount Chiliad mural in Grand Theft Auto 5. And, if the Mount Chiliad mystery from GTA 5 is any sort of inspiration for the alien antics in Red Dead Redemption 2, we can expect additional UFOs to be revealed in the months to come.

Bully's "Canis Canem Edit"

Rockstar Vancouver's 2006 schoolyard stomper Bully makes a cameo appearance in Red Dead Redemption 2 by way of a unique weapon: Calloway's Revolver. You'll find this legendary six-shooter during the side mission known as "The Noblest of Men, and a Woman," which tasks Arthur Morgan with tracking down a handful of legendary gunslingers and subsequently challenging them to duels after the requisite busywork. Upon dutifully dispatching each of these "noble" desperados, you'll be able to loot their unique gun and add it to your collection.

"The Noblest of Men, and a Woman" takes you from Keane's Saloon to Brandywine Drop on a search for four notorious gunslingers. Once you reach the last stage of the mission and do away with your final target — the gunslinger Slim Grant — you'll be able to be able to loot Calloway's Revolver, a legendary pistol with the latin phrase "Canis Canem Edit" lovingly engraved on both sides of its chrome barrel. Astute gamers will recognize this as the name Bully was released under in PAL regions, a move precipitated by Rockstar's desire to curtail the controversy surrounding the game. The phrase means "Dog Eat Dog" and is a proper motto for such a malefic sidearm. Good times, great oldies, high accuracy.

Bigfoot

In the snowy southeastern wilds of Big Valley near Mount Shann, you can find a large humanoid skeleton among the overhanging rocks of a mountain pass. Here, at Horseshoe Overlook, the remains of this strange, cryptozoic monstrosity have lied for uncounted years. After examining the skeletal corpse, Arthur's hastily-scrawled notes read: "Found a massive skeleton. Wonder how big the man was, or if he was a man at all."

It's curious whether or not this skeleton is related to the incidents of UFOs at Mount Shann, but like other easter eggs of Red Dead Redemption 2, these bigfoot remains may have some roots in GTA 5. The "Strangers and Freaks" mission from Grand Theft Auto 5 details the hunt for a living Sasquatch in a modern timeline. Unfortunately, there isn't more to Arthur Morgan's hasty encounter with the oversized corpse, and only time will tell if a living specimen will be found on the snowy slopes of the Big Valley mountains. We're not holding our breath, but we're keeping our eyes peeled ... although, maybe we should ask our "too big" friend what he thinks.

Hobbit hole

It seems there's a bit of Middle-earth in the Ambarino hinterlands. In the northeastern corner of the map, east of Donner Falls and the Bacchus Bridge, you can find a Mysterious Hill Home that looks remarkably similar to Bilbo Baggins' eponymous Bag End hobbit hole from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings saga. Although this strange little dwelling lacks certain telltale signs from well-known cinematic depictions of the Shire — like a circular front door or a gated garden — it is fully adorned with a grassy, low-hanging rooftop and nestled in one of the quietest hillside settings in the valley.

There is no feast of dwarves to be found inside, nor any wizards passing by to rain fireworks and incantations upon a crowd of homebodies. But if you make an effort to visit this furtive little hobbit hole, Arthur Morgan does take the time to sketch the strange little house onto the pages of his journal above the inquisitive phrase, "Wonder who lived here?" Is this the craftwork of natives from the nearby Wapiti tribe? Or perhaps a time-honored traditional construction method pioneered by the people of the Grizzly Mountains? The road goes ever on, as Tolkien sang, so we'll have to ride it a little further to find out.

Meteor house

This remains one of the more mysterious Easter eggs on our list, but the sheer weight of its narrative implications is insatiably curious, to say the least. In the northeastern corner of the map, west of Brandywine Drop in Roanoke Valley, you'll find a house that's been hit by a meteor. Inside this hilltop abode, you'll notice three or more mangled cadavers gathered around a shattered wooden table. (It's hard to tell exactly how many NPCs fell prey to the death from above, since at least one of the bodies has been segmented into grisly pieces from the heavenly strike.) One thing's for sure: these folks were a lot more alive before a meteor fell through the roof.

You can actually loot the Meteorite from the hole in the floor and add it to your satchel. The item description simply reads: "A piece of meteoroid. Can be sold for cash." If you inspect the rooftop from outside the house, Arthur will sketch the house in his journal along with a redundant yet affirming note: "This house seems to have been struck by something. A meteor, maybe." The Meteor House also contains a smattering of other items, like some consumables and the Hattie Langtry cigarette card (which you'll need to complete the "Gems of Beauty Card Set"). But as for the meteoroid itself, we want to believe that a greater truth is out there ...

The Nite Folk

Considering the multitude of crazy Easter eggs Red Dead Redemption 2 has to offer, it's a bold claim to say that this is the creepiest of them all. But we're claiming it. The group of people known as "The Nite Folk" aren't exactly easy to find; and once you've found them, you're probably stuck with more questions than answers. Yet, there's something almost supernatural about these swamp dwellers that has piqued our interest.

During evenings in the midsts of Bluewater Marsh, you'll be able to find mysterious bodies hanging from nooses among the tall trees. If you look directly at a body, Nite Folk will rush out of the shadows to attack you. Once these enemies are dispatched, you can shoot the bodies down from the trees to loot them, whereupon you'll discover the "Nite Folk Victim's Note." It reads: "If you find this I am dead. The Nite Folk haunted my dreams and now they haunt my waking hours too. I have tried to evade them but it is only a matter of time I feel before I am bested. The silence is overwhelming. Pray for me." There's something wonderfully Lovecraftian about the unknown elements of these horrific Nite Folk. Just like the Stranger who pays you to rid his land of Nite Folk says: "What kinda evil don't make no sound? It's bad alright. Bad."

Big snake (Kaa of The Jungle Book)

Red Dead Redemption 2 will award you a trophy for surviving 18 bear attacks, so what do you get for recognizing "The Bare Necessities"? Well, Baloo might not be around, but Disney's The Jungle Book does make an appearance as an Easter egg featuring a questionable cameo by Kaa the snake. In case you missed it, The Jungle Book began life as a collection of stories in 1894 by Rudyard Kipling before being adapted by Disney as an animated feature in 1967. And while both iterations serve as latter-day fables, the Disney feature focuses on the story of Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungle by wolves. The Jungle Book weaves tales of abandonment and foster care — themes that are conveniently at home amidst life with the rough-and-tumble Van der Linde Gang.

In the southeast corner of the map along a bend in the Kamassa River, you can find a giant orange-colored snake hanging in the trees. The dangling reptile is much easier to see by the light of day, and is a relative mystery — if you shoot the head it sways, but most efforts to interact with it are unfruitful. Although you can't do much with this immobile serpent, it might very well be a reference to Kaa of Jungle Book fame, whose mantra seems downright synchronous with the themes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and its assortment of anti-heroes: "It's like you said ... you can't trust anyone!"

Creepy outhouse lady (Evil Dead / Cabin Fever)

In the southern section of the map west of Braithwaite Manor, you'll find a strange outhouse with a woman locked inside, marked by a black dot known as Braithwaite's Secret. The door to the small wooden shack has been nailed shut with timbers and wrapped in chains, and the woman raves like a lunatic from within. She croaks out a steady string of non-sequitur phrases like "Comb my hair... mother!", "Where are you?", "I'll find a way home!", and "You silly old bastard!".

The whole gruesome scene, while utterly mysterious, does seem to take some heavy inspiration from Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead (and perhaps a little bit of Eli Roth's Cabin Fever). The Evil Dead tells the story of a group of friends who unwittingly summon a horde of possessive demonic entities via an evil book they find in a cabin in the woods. The hero, Ash Williams, has to lock his own sister in the basement after she's possessed by a "deadite" demon (and hilarity ensues)! Similarly, in Cabin Fever, a group of friends is slowly ravaged by an infectious disease they "find" in a cabin in the woods; one of them is quarantined against her will in a nearby shed. The rest is the stuff of nightmares — much like the contorted, animalistic face of the strange woman lurking in that chained-up outhouse west of Braithwaite Manor ...

Rockstar labor conditions in Cattleman Revolver ad

Many of the charms of Read Dead Redemption 2 are borne from the sense of verisimilitude it evokes through both gameplay and peripheral elements like promotional materials and the official website. For instance, the informational Weaponry section on the Rockstar Games website is designed to look like a vintage catalogue. Brandishing the name "Wheeler, Rawson, and Co. Sporting Goods and Gun Department", it's a wonderful nod to historic documents of the American Old West and really reinforces the game's philosophy of immersion. But it also houses one of the more controversial Easter eggs of the RDR2 mythos.

Reddit user u/ObZenDF recognized an unusual element in the Wheeler, Rawson, and Co. catalogue: advertisement copy referencing the game developers themselves, with a tongue-in-cheek nod to the infamously troubled labor conditions endured by employees of Rockstar Games. The ad for the Cattleman Revolver reads: "We believe you will agree there is no more iconic well known revolver on the market today. A sidearm for many years of the US Army, it is manufactured at a factory we own and control in Worcester, Mass. It is made by skilled laborers who work tireless hours each week and on the weekends for little pay in order to bring you the finest revolver in the field today." Yikes. No clue as to whether or not a disgruntled employee snuck this in, but we're eager to see how this little controversy shakes out.