So who do you think the Strange Man was? *spoilers*

#1Red_JesterPosted 5/22/2010 7:19:12 AM
I'm thinking either Satan or John's own sub-conscious manifesting, but the latter is kind of cliche.
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I do benefits for all religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality. - Bob Hope
I'm right about everything, every time. 60% of the time.
#2NeomaximPosted 5/22/2010 7:22:42 AM
They seem to heavily imply that it was God, especially if you find him later as John's son.

I mean, the game is about redemption, and all of his tasks are little morality plays.

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#3IminyourclosetPosted 5/22/2010 7:24:59 AM
Oh, is that why the quest doesn't dissapear from your journal after you talk the guy out of cheating on his wife?

Thought that was a glitch
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"I think all you gotta do is find that little black kid, and doesn't that start the whole backdoor option?" -WHiTE_LickR
#4Red_Jester(Topic Creator)Posted 5/22/2010 7:25:23 AM
I guess that actually makes more sense, but he certainly had a darker look about him.
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I do benefits for all religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality. - Bob Hope
I'm right about everything, every time. 60% of the time.
#5KingofDeceit666Posted 5/22/2010 7:34:17 AM
It was very clear that he was God. The things he talked about, the things he had you do, and the comment he made about people constantly damning him was pretty conclusive.
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"Such a lot the gods gave to me--to me, the dazed, the disappointed; the barren, the broken."~H.P. Lovecraft
#6Cornelius23601Posted 5/23/2010 12:13:31 PM

I believe he represents death...Think about it, he claims he knows John from his past - the failed bank robbery that nearly killed John....And, in your final encounter with him, he says "Aint this a fine spot?" that spot is exactly where John is buried at the end of the game!

#7Rollinryan13Posted 5/23/2010 12:22:38 PM

Cornelius23601 posted...

I believe he represents death...Think about it, he claims he knows John from his past - the failed bank robbery that nearly killed John....And, in your final encounter with him, he says "Aint this a fine spot?" that spot is exactly where John is buried at the end of the game!



Thanks for ruining the game, assuming he does die in the end. I know its spoilers, but I've done the quest. You could have warned us that you said he dies!

Damn you.

#8PlaystFreakPosted 5/25/2010 12:34:02 PM

I think he is the Satan and ill say why. He keeps on telling John to go back to his ways of doing bad things, this is temptation. Satan did the same thing to Adam and Eve. He tells John that many people have damned him. The angels of heaven damned Satan when he refused to live in the presence of God. John then says that he wont be responsible for his actions. The strange man says, "Oh, yes you will." this implied that John will pay for his actions when he dies and goes to hell.

#9rgwatsonPosted 5/26/2010 4:18:31 PM
Wow, so the Almighty dresses as an undertaker, is a 30-60 year old white man with a Snidely Whiplash-mustache, and struts around the West tempting reformed criminals to pay for hookers and rob nuns? I guess God has gotten a good bit edgier since the last time I was in church. The assertion that "lots of people have damned me" refers to the phrase "God damn it", or variations thereof, is ignorant of the meaning of the phrase. It seems that there is a great deal of confusion about this, but "God damn it" or "Goddamn", "Goddamned" etc. are not directed at God. They are appeals TO God, that He should condemn whatever the swear is directed at. I'd buy this assertion if "God damn yourself, God" or "God be damned" were the phrases in question, but I don't think of these as particularly common idioms, certainly no more common than similar curses leveled at other supernatural figures. Personally, I felt almost right away that the Strange Man is the Devil. It's something about his haughty demeanor, in the cold and unsympathetic way in which he regards John, and of course the fact that both of the moral dilemmas he presents the player can rightly be called tempting. The meetings feel like an homage to Old Scratch in The Devil and Tom Walker. Besides, as an omnipotent being God would not need to interact with John, or give him little tests, in order to pass judgment; wouldn't he know already the decisions he was going to make? Placing moral obstacles in his path seems much too vulgar a display. All that being said, though, reading other posts has made me consider the possibility that the Strange Man is in fact Death. I have basically adopted this as my own stance, and this is why I agree with it: it brings moral balance to the game. Essentially, if the Strange Man represents God (which I have tried to categorically dismiss), then where is the Devil in this game? Marston is a soul on shaky ground, a reformed murderer seeking redemption, and if he's not a target ripe for temptation and corruption, then who is? The Devil of Christian tradition would have to stake his claim for Marston's soul, particularly if God was getting his feet dirty mingling with the mortals. Similarly, if the Strange Man is Satan, then where is God? Attending to his other business, losing the battle for Marston, and killing John's new reformer life in its infancy just by idle apathy? The fact of the matter is, John Marston's story arc can follow two different paths, and the whole honor mechanic is essentially meaningless if we infer that God/Satan passes the same judgement, says the same things, and interacts with Marston in exactly the same way whether he is an unrepentant outlaw or a truly changed man. This is why I prefer that the Strange Man is an impartial third party. He is "accounting" - passing judgment - yes, but he has no vested interest in the outcome. He will not save Marston; nor will he condemn him. He is merely tallying the score, passing the time to Marston's inevitable end, at which point he will act as the reaper for whomever lays claim to the eternal soul. This all fits in better, I think, with the dark and nihilistic frontier landscape presented to us in RDR. This all, of course, is predicated on an Abrahamic religious viewpoint, though there are any number of corollary perspectives that could support other identities for the Strange Man (i.e. a folk traditional "Trickster", a vengeful spirit of someone Marston wronged, Marston's conscience, etc.). I'm only positing what I think the story is trying to say. It also provides a kind of supernatural element to the game, mostly a foreign element to the western genre except for "High Plains Drifter", which now that I think of it might be a major inspiration for this part of the game. Anyway, whatever. Keep discussing.
#10yeeeeeeeeehawPosted 5/26/2010 4:23:04 PM
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