Call of the Wild West
Call of the Wild West
Grin and Bear it…
The Patient Hunter
Lonesome days have passed. The bugs are gone. All the Master Hunting challenges are complete. Sod the natural. Nature gave humans brains. Brains gave humans weapons. Ergo, weapons are a product of nature. A gun is as much a tool as a knife. I stuck Lobo the wolf with a knife. I peppered Gordo the boar with buckshot. Khan the jaguar got a rifle bullet in the torso. I fed Brumas the bear dynamite.
There is a new quarry on the map. They call him the Mad Man on the Mountain. No they don’t. But I like to think they do. A player with the title ‘Lord of the Flies.’ Who dropped everything he was doing. Went outlaw. Killed dozens of lawmen and civvies in Blackwater town. Got himself a bounty of over $2000. Climbed up to snowy Nekoti Rock, one of the highest points on the map, just to wait in a bear’s cavern with a sniper rifle, some TNT and bones for company. Whoever kills him first collects the experience points. He waits.
First, WHITE_POWER016 tries to collect. His ascent. Dodging a TNT blast he eventually nears the top, only to receive a belly full of lead from one of those new-fangled high powered automatic pistols. I can tell you this because I was there. I saw it. His six-shooter isn’t a match. He respawns. Calls for his horse. His horse is shot in the head from under him from what looks like a mile away. WHITE_POWER016 flees and doesn’t try his luck again. I can’t say I’m sorry he failed. The Mad Man has a black character avatar. Fuck off, white power.
Then noblestrangerman tries to collect the bounty. He arrives in a wagon pulled neatly by a couple of horses. The Mad Man takes some pot shots and noblestrangerman has to abandon the wagon to take cover. Oddly he doesn’t fire back. This gives him a sheepish, puzzled air, like a Japanese businessman who has gone trail-blazing by mistake. I can tell you this because I was there. I saw it. Before he can ascend to the sadist’s nest, before he can pass the corpse of WHITE_POWER016 and the half-dozen identical bodies of the Mad Man’s horse repeatedly respawned and remurdered, before noblestrangerman even has a chance the Mad Man takes out his last stick of explosives and throws it at the wagon. Aiming to kill the horses and the bounty hunter in one terrible blast. Without waiting to watch for success he leaps from the mountain top, turning ragdoll half-way down. Finally, he cracks his neck against the ground by the wheel of the wagon. The bounty is gone – it only lasts one life. Nobody can claim it now. The noblestangerman, who has miraculously survived the blast, can only whistle for the respawn of his horse and mournfully saunter into the dark, glacial woods. There is no romance in RDR. It’s a harsh world in single player and multiplayer. Nobody rides off into the sunset.
I can tell you that this was what the Mad Man had learned. He was not really mad. He merely realised that it was dog eat dog, that nature was nasty and brutish. In his own way he too believed that all animals were equal. That is, that none were exempt from nature, from predation. Not human players, not their horses. Not Lobo or Gordo or Khan or Brumas, and not himself. I can tell you this is not the Mild West. This is the Wild West. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. I can tell you this because I was there. I saw it. Because it is what I thought when I went completely Colonel Kurtz. When I became the Mad Man on the Mountain.