RDR2’s Scariest Easter Egg Turned Arthur Morgan Into Van Helsing

Red Dead Redemption 2 has a complex Easter Egg that puts Arthur Morgan into the shoes of notable vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing. Rockstar's games don't shy away from dark subject matter, with Red Dead Redemption 2's disturbing serial killer quest line being another example from the same title, but the hunt for the Saint Denis Vampire borders on fantasy horror. Van Helsing is the vampire hunter from Bram Stoker's famed novel Dracula, and the vampire Easter Egg in RDR2 has a stronger connection to the character than just Arthur temporarily adopting the dangerous profession, albeit in a roundabout way.

Players are first given hints that something may be amiss in Saint Denis when strange writings are found on walls throughout the city. There are a total of five passages, and they can be found in any order. The script will be copied by Arthur in Red Dead Redemption 2's journal alongside a drawing of where it was found on the map. Once all five clues have been found, Arthur will combine the locations into a sixth drawing in his journal, connecting them with lines into a crude pentagram. This final map shows the player where to find the Saint Denis Vampire, who can only be encountered around midnight.

Related: RDR2 Easter Eggs: Arthur Can Find A Hermit Living In The Trees

When players confront the vampire, he will be feasting on his sixth victim. When he notices Arthur approaching, there is a short exchange between the two, where the vampire claims to be centuries old and warns Arthur that he should leave. Eventually the vampire draws a knife and attacks, and can kill the player in a single hit, making this one of the more dangerous underutilized RDR2 supernatural Easter Eggs. Killing and looting the vampire will reward players with the Ornate Dagger, a unique melee weapon that can only be acquired through the Easter Egg encounter. Other than the dagger, there isn't any motivation to actually seek out the five writings and where they lead aside from the novelty of seeing a vampire in the game.

The character of Abraham Van Helsing was created by Bram Stoker for the influential gothic horror novel Dracula, published in 1897. Van Helsing is a man of exceptional intelligence and experience, though he's not necessarily known as a vampire hunter. He is consulted in the novel by a former pupil, who has a friend that has fallen victim to an unknown illness. Van Helsing diagnoses the vampire bites, and is then part of the effort to eradicate Dracula and the other vampires he has created. The Van Helsing character's role as a vampire hunter has been inflated mainly through numerous films pitting him against the famous Count, including Peter Cushing's Van Helsing Killing Christopher Lee's Dracula in multiple different adaptions, and the action packed monster movie Van Helsing, in which Hugh Jackman plays the eponymous professor.

Red Dead Redemption 2, however, never mentions Abraham Van Helsing nor Count Dracula. Instead, the game makes an explicit reference to the word "nosferatu," a synonym of "vampire." One of the five writings around Saint Denis that players can find reads, "Five bodies under the perfect star. Nosferatu with duminica will become mortal again." "Duminică" is the Romanian word for Sunday, according to Google Translate, furthering the connection to vampirism, with Transylvania, a region in Romania, being the location of Count Dracula's castle in Stoker's novel. "Nosferatu" may also be of Romanian origin, though this appears to be disputed.

Regardless of the term's etymological history, it was popularized by Stoker's Dracula and its first film adaption, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. The 1922 silent film is a masterpiece from the influential era of German Expressionism, of which The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is another famous example. The vampire classic Nosferatu was almost lost forever because of a law suit orchestrated by the Stoker estate for unauthorized use of the Dracula story. Luckily the film still survives, but Nosferatu probably has wider recognition among modern audiences because of a referential joke made in the episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where the Krusty Krab is open overnight.

Although the word "nosferatu" is itself used, the vampire that Arthur Morgan encounters also bears a striking resemblance to the creature from the 1922 film. Since Nosferatu couldn't secure the rights to Dracula from Bram Stoker's widow, the antagonist was renamed Count Orlok. Orlok has a more monstrous appearance than most Dracula portrayals. In Stoker's original work, the reclusive Count is charismatic and has no trouble blending in with humans. Orlok instead has an extremely pale complexion, an entire row of sharpened teeth, pointed ears, and a bald head. The vampire summoned in Red Dead Redemption 2 has all of these characteristics, even adopting Orlok's long, talon-like fingers despite attacking Arthur with a knife. He even wears a dark, collared coat similar to one Orlok dons in Nosferatu.

Related: Red Dead Redemption 2 Easter Eggs Shows John Marston Can Read Chinese

Vampires are typically susceptible to wooden stakes and garlic in various stories, but neither are the fate of the original Dracula (though garlic is used by Van Helsing to ward away vampires). In Stoker's novel, the Count is described as being killed by bladed weapons - simultaneously decapitate by a kukri and stabbed in the heart by a Bowie knife. Red Dead Redemption 2's nosferatu is similarly susceptible to conventional weaponry, with players able to simply shoot it to death. Just like Dracula, the vampire in RDR2 can only be encountered at night, and is likely hurt by direct exposure to sunlight. In Nosferatu, Count Orlok is not actually killed by any of the characters, but turns to dust in the light of the rising Sun instead.

Despite the Easter Egg quest being rather barebones, Arthur does end up being the short saga's version of Van Helsing. The killings conducted by the vampire were reported in Saint Denis' newspaper, and word even spread so much that Karen and Mary-Beth discuss them at the gang's camp spot in Red Dead Redemption 2's fourth chapter. Despite the crimes being well known, no one has found the culprit. Although Arthur doesn't have the same extensive education as Abraham Van Helsing, he puts the clues together and locates the vampire. Tracking the murderous creature is one of the creepier sections of Red Dead Redemption 2, but like Abraham Van Helsing, Arthur Morgan faces the supernatural threat undeterred.

Next: GTA 5 Jack Marston Easter Egg Could Tease Red Dead Redemption 3 

Source: Google Translate

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