Red Dead Redemption 2 Easter Egg guide: where to find the best kept secrets

Fool's gold

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Introduction

If you’ve played any Rockstar game prior to Red Dead Redemption 2, you’re most likely acquainted with the developer's affinity for frankly absurd and convoluted Easter Eggs, the likes of which they love to ply their open worlds with. In Rockstar’s latest this is no different and Red Dead 2 is absolutely jam-packed with so many points of interest and clever secrets that you could walk anywhere in the wilderness and easily find something interesting. 

After 90 hours with the game, we’ve collected a few of the best for you to seek out if you dare. Be warned, quite a few of these eggs and the accompanying images could constitute as spoilers depending on your disposition. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Bully 2?

As part of the side mission ‘The Noblest of Men and a Woman,’ you will travel across the land hunting down legendary gunslingers and performing arbitrary tasks for them before the mission devolves into you blowing their brains out in a duel. Every time you take one of these esteemed outlaws to the cleaners you’ll pick up their one-of-a-kind gun. 

The final weapon in the questline is most interesting though. Inspect the revolver and you’ll find “Canis Canem Edit” engraved twice on either side of the barrel. Is this Calloway ruminating on the brutal dog eat dog nature of existence in the Old West, or a clever reference to Bully 2? (For those of you outside of Europe, Canis Canem Edit was Bully’s European title.) With rumors swirling of this game being Rockstar’s next project, it would make sense to allude to it here.

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The truth is out there

There are two UFOs in Red Dead Redemption 2. Unbelievably, both have been found already, and the mystery appears to be ongoing. The first one can be found in a random shack in the middle of the night. On the map, look between the N and the O of ‘New Hanover’ to find it. Head there at around 2 AM (though as long as it’s pitch black you should be ok,) and once you walk inside a green light should consume the room. 

Look up to see a flying saucer, and get your fill of checking it out before leaving, as it speeds off when you exit. You can pick up a note in the room from a mysterious sermon that talks about Kuhkowaba, voyager of time and galaxies, who the disintegrated shack inhabitants appear to worship. Spooky.

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I want to believe

As well as the tomfoolery in the shack, Red Dead Redemption 2 doubles down on its alien encounters with another more potent appearance of the same saucer. Explore near Spider Gorge to find a snow-covered camp with a frosty couple huddled together, crystallized in death. In their hands is a Panoramic Map with no real directions for figuring out its meaning beyond a perspective. 

However, if you head up to Mt Shann at night and look southward at its very peak, you’ll spot the second appearance of this game’s UFO. This time, the saucer floats in the distance, before zipping away. If you shoot at it you can speed up that process. Surely there are more parts to this ongoing mystery which will be revealed in due time, much like GTA V’s expansive and absurd Chiliad Mystery.

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Kraff, Emperor of the 4th Paradigm

If you’re into your Grand Theft Auto V lore, you’ll enjoy this one. During your adventures, you may come across a side mission called ‘Geology for Beginners’, where a mysterious birth-marked man called Francis Sinclair asks you to find 10 rock carvings across the map for “reasons that you wouldn’t understand.” This results in a time-bending mural involving skyscrapers, ancient figures and nuclear war. When you hand in the mission, the quest giver isn’t there, but his wife is, carrying a child that looks exactly like him thanks to the telltale birthmark on the right eye. She says her husband has been dead for a year. Hmm.

This is part of a time-travelling prophecy that was referenced in GTA V. If you remember the Scientology parody 'Epsilon Program' from that game, they worship a figure called Kraff, the time-travelling emperor of the 4th Paradigm who famously bears the aforementioned birthmark. They also think the world is 157 years old, that aliens exist and that sperm does not exist. Kifflom!

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Return of the Donkey Lady

Red Dead Redemption players will no doubt remember the Donkey Lady, a remarkable, hilarious glitch that mixed two species of animal, resulting in a timeless YouTube video where John Marston rides this Dr. Moreau creature around the desert. Rockstar, cheeky as they are, have decided to reference this in the sequel. 

Head just south of Armadillo in the lower left of the map to find a deceased Donkey Lady enslaved to a Wheel of Pain straight out of Conan the Barbarian. The protagonist will, of course, inscribe this sight in their journal and comment on how sick the grim situation is. You can’t really interact with it beyond that, but it’s nice to see Rockstar has a tongue-in-cheek relationship with one of its most famously ridiculous glitches.

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Big Friendly Giant

This is a two-pronged easter egg. First, study 30 animals with the R1 button and head down to the east of the Wapiti Indian Reservation by the river, south from the Calumet Ravine. You’ll see a flock of birds that are very different than the norm. They’ll fly away in a more rigid format than usual. Follow them and they’ll lead you to a giant’s den. Unfortunately, you can’t see it, but you will enjoy a chat about the human condition and loneliness, problems facing this thoughtful titan. 

Come back in a couple days and the tone will be similar. It’s clear it has to choose between being lonely or being hunted. Hopefully, there’s more to this one, as the gentle giant is a compelling character. Elsewhere, at Clemens Point you’ll find the bones of a hairy giant that could be related to the giant or in fact, be the legendary Sasquatch, a cryptid that has featured in both Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption on many occasions.

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A family affair

An easter egg that has its own side mission, as you explore the wilderness you may come across particularly gruesome displays where a corpse has been desecrated, one of the few constants being a map jammed in the victim's mouth. Three torn map pieces will lead you to a lair just outside of Valentine where you’ll find the culprit hiding in a locked basement. The eerie musical cues and grisly viscera will lead you into the hands of Edmund Lowry Jr, a particularly nasty psychopath with an Oedipus complex. 

Most interesting is his name, clearly related to the psychopath from all the way back in GTA IV, Eddie Low, who had the exact same complex and enjoyed beheading joggers in Liberty City, amongst other disgusting acts.