Led by the charismatic Dutch van der Linde, the Van der Linde Gang is an assorted band of outlaws and outcasts bonded together by Dutch’s grand dream of living free from the law and government interference. Rockstar says the gang has “chosen to reject a corrupt system of power and live instead by their own code. As the price on their heads continues to grow, so does the struggle to remain free.”
Each of the nearly 24 members are fully-realized characters, thanks to the work of the Rockstar Games writers and developers. Once the gang finds a good location, they establish a camp which quickly becomes a living community and a big part of playing the game. Gunslingers, con artists, former revolutionaries, runaways; they all have their own reasons to join gang and once a member of it, they all need to pitch with their own form of help – be it criminal or communal.
Here’s Rockstar’s breakdown of every member of the roving band from player-controlled Arthur Morgan, to the star of the original “Red Dead Redemption,” to the charismatic leader.
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You play as Arthur Morgan, senior member and lead enforcer of the Van der Linde gang, one of America’s most notorious outlaw gangs. Adopted into the gang by Dutch van der Linde when he was a young boy, Arthur considers the gang as family. In many ways, they are the one positive and constant in his life and he is fiercely loyal to them. Outlaw life with the gang is the only one he’s ever truly known, and Arthur will do whatever it takes to protect and provide for them.
Arthur trusts Dutch to make the right decisions for the gang, and is often the person chosen to help put Dutch’s plans into action. Sharp, cool-headed, and ruthless, but with his own sense of honor, Arthur is a man who gets the job done.
Dutch van der Linde is the leader of a sizeable gang of outlaws and misfits. Idealistic, anarchic, charismatic, well-read, well-lived, but possibly starting to unravel under the pressures of the encroaching modern world.
Hosea Matthews is a master con artist, gentleman and thief,. He has been Dutch’s closest friend and right-hand man for over twenty years. Intelligent and quick-witted, he can talk his way into, or out of, just about anything. Dutch and Hosea met in their early twenties, two talented young con men with similar “gentleman thief” aspirations and subversive ideals. They ran as two-man team for a few years until they started to pick up waifs and strays along the way.
Charles Smith is a relatively recent recruit to the gang. He is quiet and reserved but extremely competent in everything he does and virtually unbeatable in a fight. A decent, honest man who also happens to be deadly.
Micah Bell is a career criminal and hitman. He is wild and unpredictable but he lives for the action.
Sadie Adler is a widow who is hellbent on taking revenge upon those who killed her husband. Relentless and afraid of nothing and no one. The wrong woman to cross, but very loyal to those she loves.
Molly O’Shea is a Dublin girl and the object of Dutch’s affection, for now at least, Molly is too high-strung for a life on the run and it’s all starting to take a toll on her.
Javier Escuella is a notorious bounty hunter and Mexican revolutionary. Javier immediately had a strong connection to Dutch’s ideals. Very committed, passionate and loyal.
John Marston was once an orphaned street kid taken under Dutch’s wing at the age of twelve, John has always had to live by his wits. Shrewd, fearless and strong-willed, he and Arthur are Dutch’s proudest protégés.
Abigail Roberts is an orphan who grew up scraping out a living in dive bars and brothels in the West. She is a strong, straight-talking woman who has seen a lot of life and knows what it takes to survive against the odds. She joined the gang five years ago and met John.
Jack Marston grew up with the gang, although everyone — especially his mother Abigail — have done their best to shield him from the more nefarious elements. He loves everything about nature and the outdoor life and is carefully watched over by his many aunts and uncles.
Pearson is the camp’s butcher and cook. He served a short stint in the navy that he likes to talk about at length. A loud, jolly degenerate who is somewhat in denial about the turn his life has taken.
Bill Williamson is an ex-soldier discharged from the army, possibly dishonorably. Hot-headed, he tends to act first and think later but is tough, dedicated and always ready to fight.
Susan Grimshaw is the undisputed boss and arbiter of justice in the camp, everything would have fallen apart years ago without Susan in charge. Tenacious and iron-willed, she stands for no nonsense.
Lenny Summers has been on the run since he was 15 years old after killing the men who murdered his father. Smart, educated, competent and ambitious, he is always ready to do his part.
Leopold Strauss, who originally hailed from Austria, is responsible for keeping the gang’s books and running their money lending operation. A serious, somewhat shifty and unemotional man, he has all the qualities a loan shark needs.
Karen Jones is a consummate scam artist and trigger woman who can drink pretty much anybody under the table. Bold and full of fun, she loves the outlaw life and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tilly Jackson has been an outlaw from the age of 12. Tilly ran with another gang before joining up with Dutch. Savvy, resilient and dependable, she can more than handle herself and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
Uncle is a hanger-on and good-time guy. He is always around when the whiskey is open and never around when there’s any work to be done. If he wasn’t so entertaining, Dutch would have cut him loose years ago.
Mary-Beth Gaskill is a kind, good-natured young woman, which makes her the perfect criminal. By the time people realize they’ve been duped, Mary-Beth is already on her way home with the money.
Josiah Trelawny is a flamboyant conjurer, conman, and trickster. He is a very hard man to pin down but he’s always able to bring good leads.
Reverend Swanson – An ex-clergyman now lost to debauchery, Swanson has fallen a long way from the standards he once set himself. If he hadn’t saved Dutch’s life in the past, it’s unlikely the gang would have kept him around for this long.
Sean Macguire is a cocky young Irish thief and stick-up man who comes from a long line of criminals and political dissidents. He always wants a piece of the action and believes in himself a little too much.
“Red Dead Redemption 2” hits the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Oct. 26. It arrives more than eight years after the release of “Red Dead Redemption” which some players still visit, both to hunt for its many mysteries amidst the odd ghosts in the machine and to hang out in its increasingly desolate online servers. You may also want to read why other games clear the way when Rockstar releases a major game.
Make sure to check back at 7 a.m. Thursday for our full review of “Red Dead Redemption 2”