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Video Game: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is a Downloadable Content pack for Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption. It's got a zombie theme, and was released on October 26, 2010 - just in time for Halloween.

The story takes place in an Alternate Continuity, and begins during the "Homestead" portion of the original game. The Marstons are enjoying an evening by the fire together but are worried about Uncle, who hasn't returned home yet. The weather has taken a turn for worse so John decides he can't go looking for him until morning and heads to bed.

Later that night, John Marston and his wife Abigail are rudely awakened by Uncle who has been zombified. In the struggle Uncle bites Abigail, infecting her, and John shoots Uncle dead. Jack runs to the aid of his mother upon hearing the gunshots and is bitten by her. John hogties his family and leaves them raw meat while he leaves to find out what the hell is going on and to hopefully find a cure.


Tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: One of the new weapons for Undead Nightmare, the Civil War-era Blunderbuss, can be "loaded with just about anything". Once this weapon is unlocked, zombies without ammo belts, who previously gave you nothing (except an angry Marston), now provide you with "undead parts" to stuff into your blunderbuss and instantly gib your targets with.
  • Affectionate Parody: The overall plot of the game, music cues, hammier voice acting, and incompetent character actions are all very reminiscent of a B-Movie. Given Rockstar's pedigree, it's blatantly obvious that it was intentional.
  • All Myths Are True: Alongside zombies, there are sasquatches, chubacapras, unicorns, and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.
  • An Axe to Grind: The tomahawk is a remarkably effective melee weapon.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: This happens literally to John Marston himself at the end of the game. Ironically though, the name "John" in the trope title explains it all. He rises from his grave not too long after being killed by Edgar Ross' men, and you play as his zombie in free-roam. Kinda makes the cover a Spoiler Title.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The game features 3 new outfits two of which have to be earned by completing challenges.
  • Angel Unaware: You know that woman you haven't been noticing that appears in a lot of missions briefly? Turns out she's an Aztec goddess that needs your help putting the mask back in it's proper place. However, it seems she can't do this herself despite, well, being a goddess.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Marston briefly has trouble believing the crazy old bear hunter that sasquatches exist.
  • Artifact of Doom: Everything started when your old "friend" Abraham Reyes stole a jade mask from an Aztec tomb beneath his estate, thinking it would make him immortal. The final plot mission has you descend into the tomb to return the mask, ending the curse. At least, until it get stolen again by your other "friend", Seth...
  • Ascended Extra: Some deceased characters from the original story reappear as "boss" zombies when you clear out graveyards..
    • Also Mother Superior, who pretty much only appeared to give you something, is now a gun wielding Bad Ass.
    • Happens with several minor characters. Everett Knox, the doctor at MacFarlane's Ranch? Now drifting around the game world, defending Armadillo, helping rescue missing people at Fort Mercer, and travelling around New Austin conducting experiments on the undead. In addition, all the missing persons appeared in the original.
  • Asshole Victim: After you find him, Herbert Moon goes on a lengthy rant about how much he hates women, Catholics, Jews, homosexuals, etc. etc. He's eaten alive five seconds later.
    Herbert: You can't eat me! I'M HERBERT MOOOOOOOON!
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The zombie horses. Name speaks for itself in why they're awesome, but they will rarely obey you and constantly steer to one side while you ride them.
    • Unless you are heading south. The horses are trying to orient this way, to fulfill the old legend about horses bearing the dead south, where the land of the dead was originally thought to be.
  • Badass: Everett Knox and Porfirio Gutierrez, the doctors who are travelling around New Austin and Nuevo Paraiso respectively.
  • Badass Bandolier: Just like in the main game. However, here you have it from the start - and you'll need all the ammo you can carry.
  • Badass Grandpa: Landon Ricketts continues in this role from the main game. The town he lives in is designated a permanent safe zone, meaning it's one of only three settlements in the entire game that can never be overrun by the undead. The other two are secure, heavily fortified military installations that can only be accessed by ladder. His settlement, on the other hand, has no walls, no defenses, and no other guards - the doors aren't even locked. He literally keeps the town secure and zombie-free single-handedly - he's just that good.
  • Bag of Spilling: Even though the game takes place late in the story line of the original one, John Marston doesn't start with all the guns.
    • Maybe he sold most of them to help get his farm running again. He's left his old life behind, so wouldn't need quite so many exotic weapons.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Meta-example: After completing the vanilla game many fans were upset by the ending, with some even forming petitions for a patch or update that returns John to life. In Undead Nightmare that wish is granted and John rises from the grave... as an unintelligible zombie. Enjoy!
  • Bears Are Bad News: You thought they were terrifying in the main game? Well, they went From Bad to Worse: Keep on the lookout for Zombie Bears! Although despite their more frightful appearance, they're a bit easier to kill than the living variety.
  • BFG: The Blunderbuss qualifies. You make ammo for it out of zombie body parts, and it utterly vaporizes its target.
  • Big Damn Heroes: You can randomly find people being attacked by zombies. Whether they set up a makeshift barricade in a futile attempt to protect themselves against the horde, or are simply being rundown by one zombie they didn't notice until the last minute, you can save them in the nick of time.
    • It can also be subverted, in that occasionally the makeshift barricade will include a gatling gun, and you'll be able to ride in and heroically help them loot the corpses of the undead attack they just effortlessly fought off entirely without your assistance.
    • There is also the occassions when your saving a town from being overrun and a pair of the riders you always see riding the trails throughout the game suddenly come shooting their way into town.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti
  • Big Ham: Herbert MOOOOOOON
  • Black Comedy
  • Call Back: The achievement/trophy for killing Sasquatch is "Six Years in the Making." Now, take a wild guess as to which game made by Rockstar was released in October 2004... Hilarious In Hind Sight, indeed. The French version even calls the achievement/trophy "No need to seek it anymore, CJ."
  • Captain Ersatz: There are three special zombie types; charging Bruisers, fast and crouching Bolters, and acid-spitting Retchers. Don't they sound similar to Chargers, Hunters, and Spitters?
  • Cats Are Mean: The cougars are back in town...as undead cougars! But just like the zombie bears, they're a bit easier to kill than normal cougars.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Jack's story about the Aztecs comes back in the end and turns out to be true.
    • This is also a Call Back to a similar event in Red Dead Redemption's single player. Jack discusses a story that he is reading with his father near the end of the game that centers around the plot of a young man seeking revenge for the death of his family. Sound Familiar?
  • Chupacabra: Present as a hunting challenge in Mexico. Interestingly, it appears to be some kind of monstrous, mutant hyena closer to the original legend rather than the typical alien lizard that it's usually portrayed as. It's also a rather benign creature, and the only difficultly you'll have killing it is waiting for it to show up. Which, once again, is closer to the original legend.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Herbert Moon hates virtually everything and is convinced they're all in an alliance against him. Marston confusedly points out he's never heard of a "Jewish British Catholic Homosexual Conspiracy" before.
  • Cool Horse: The zombie horses, the Unicorn and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.
  • Daylight Horror / Always Night: Played with. The sun does rise, but it's usually never brighter than overcast and everything has an unhealthy pallor to it during the daytime.
  • Death by Racism: Herbert Moon. Many other characters deserve the same, but we don't get to see if they were killed or not.
  • Downloadable Content: Originally released as a downloadable content pack that requires the Red Dead Redemption disc to play. However, as of November 2010 it was available for retail purchase, along with the other DLCs, on disc in a single box.
  • Empathic Environment: Safe zones usually have more sunlight and zombies usually only appear when the weather is terrible or the sun is down, but there are exceptions. Clearing out a graveyard or exterminating all zombies in a town often results in the sun coming out.
  • Enemy Mine: All of the former gang hideouts that haven't been overrun are now friendly settlements, and the surviving gang members (who previously would have shot you on sight) will happily accept your assistance in dealing with the undead hordes, and repay you with weapons, ammunition, supplies, and a warm bed, just like any other town.
  • Epic Fail: Nigel West Dickens, in an attempt to make Zombie Repellant manages to make Zombie Bait. Even for a Snake Oil Salesman that's a pretty big fail right there.
    • Although, on the flip side, least this tonic does something, even if its something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.
    • He also redeems himself with his second attempt at repellent: phosphorus coating.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Um, duh?
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Aside from multiple varieties of undead humans and animals, we also have sasquatches, horses of the Apocalypse, a unicorn, a chupacabra...
  • Foreshadowing: One of the scrawled signs in Blackwater says "Close The Borders," indicating early on that the zombie plague came from across the Mexican borders. It features prominently in an early mission.
  • Genre Blind: "I'm going to wander down that lonely, deserted street and get my bag." Seriously, exactly how many seconds did you expect MacDougal to last after he said that?note 
  • Genre Savvy: John, who picks up very quickly what to do in these situations even in times where he clearly has no idea what's going on. In a very early example, once he sees Abigail bite Jack he immediately figures out that whatever happened to her is about to happen to him. It certainly helps that even in the main game he was loaded up with a lot more common sense than the average man.
    • Nigel West Dickens briefly has some of this when he presents the blunderbuss to Marston. Marston sniffs at a weapon that was out of date half a century ago, but West Dickens rightly points out that the weapon completely blows enemies to pieces in a cone of destruction, making it even better than the shotgun, the zombie-hunter's weapon of choice.
  • Gentle Giant: The Sasquatches don't eat babies, like everyone says... rather, they eat mushrooms and berries, try to avoid human contact, and live a peaceful existence in the forest. Too bad you don't find this out until after you've killed five of them, and are facing the only one left. And even then, he doesn't attack you for killing his family and friends, but instead cries and begs you to "Make it stop!"
  • Halloween Episode: Complete with a spooky narrator in the intro.
  • Here We Go Again: What happens at the end of Undead Nightmare. Turns out not so bad for John though...
  • Hellish Horse: Once again, the undead horse and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.
  • Hero of Another Story: You run into several of these as recurring minor characters, such as a doctor who is performing field studies on the undead with a mobile lab and a machine gun, a professional undead hunter who works alone and regularly challenges you to zombie-shooting contests for fun, and a few of the surviving characters from the first game, such as Marshal Johnson in Armadillo, who is keeping what's left of the town alive and functioning (for a given value of 'functioning', anyway) through what basically boils down to sheer force of will.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Well, horses at least. You can find, break, and ride the Four Horses of the Apocalypse - each of which has infinite stamina and its own special abilities:
    • War: Lights enemies on fire. Leaves glowing hoofprints at full gallop.
    • Famine: Doesn't slow down when going off-road. Also the fastest of the four horses. Looks almost as unhealthy-looking as the undead horse. Seriously, this thing looks like it would fall over in a stiff breeze.
    • Pestilence: Is nigh-invincible. Has a very cool cloud of green flies on idle animation (as in from flies from a lot of corpses).
    • Death: Instant headshots on any enemies it tramples. Pure white, duh.
  • Idiot Ball: Why did John need to run out to the barn to grab his shotgun? Wouldn't a experienced gunman like him be smart enough to keep a gun in his bedroom? Furthermore, what was his shotgun doing out in the barn instead of in a room in his house?
    • And it appears that along with his clothes, he was keeping his revolver in the wardrobe. Right next to where he was standing.
  • Improvised Weapon: Several. It turns out that West Dickens' miracle tonic makes remarkably good zombie bait, Landon Ricketts devises a rather handy anti-zombie bomb by simply taping a stick of dynamite to a bottle of said bait, and although the blunderbuss is actually a purpose-built weapon, its ammunition is improvised out of whatever crap you can find lying around - mostly bits and pieces of your enemies.
  • Incendiary Exponent: The Horse of the Apocalypse called War features a mane, tail and hoofs that are on fire and it burns every zombie it tremples.
    • You can also coat your bullets in white phosphorous, which causes everything you shoot to spectacularly burst into flames. This is particularly impressive when using a gatling gun.
  • Indian Burial Ground: It was probably a bad idea to build Abraham Reyes's mansion on top of one.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Doubles as a Take That to the Zombie Apocalypse Genre.
    The Film Maker: Kindhearted neighbors turned into savage flesh eating monsters. It will make a fantastic movie!
    John: Who would enjoy that?!
    The Film Maker: What?
    John: What kind of a sick person would like that?!!
    The Film Maker: My kind sir, THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR!!! My people.
    John: (Walks off in disgust) You're gone, friend.
  • John Marston The Zombie Is About To Shoot You (see image)
  • Kill It with Fire: The fire bottle, incendiary ammunition, and the torch, the latter two exclusive to this mode and especially effective against the undead.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Most of the assholes are promptly zombie snack food seconds after they rant.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Since the campaign starts at a point that was near the tail end of the original story, expect a lot of spoilery stuff from the original game to be mentioned liberally.
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite it being a freaking Zombie Apocalypse, this DLC is more softer than the main game. Think about it: you're shooting zombies instead of your fellow human beings, there's a lot less Shoot the Shaggy Dog stories, a lot of the unpreventable deaths happen to arseholes who survived the main game, and while John still gets killed by Ross, He gets to come back as a zombie. When zombies actually make the world better, you know the wild west is a Crapsack World!
  • Lost Forever: If all the survivors of a town under attack die, the town is permanently overrun. You can still come back and clear out the zombies for a place to stay, but it wont stay clear for long after you leave.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Zombies + Blunderbuss = huge red explosion.
  • Mercy Kill: When forced to kill Uncle, you are instructed to "put (him) out of his misery", so by extent you would be Mercy Killing every zombie you encounter. And when you face the final Sasquatch, he cries "MAKE IT STOP!" and sits down, ready to be killed by your hand. It's up to you whether he lives or dies.
  • Mood Whiplash: The unicorn which emits butterflies when stationary and leaves a rainbow in it's wake when it runs.
  • Nerves of Steel: John Marston sees a Zombie Apocalypse in action, including his own family zombified, and pretty much just rolls with it.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Mother Superior again. She is one kickass old lady.
  • Nice Hat: The Legend of the Apocalypse outfit comes with a stylish wide-brimmed hat complete with a feather. It's also the only outfit Zombie John can wear that has a hat.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Pestilence. It can be killed, but this is highly unlikely due to its massive endurance. Not even cougars can fell it easily.
    • And then there's Death, which literally can't be killed unless it falls from a great height or falls into a lake or river. And even then, you automatically gain its horse deed once you acquire it, so if it does die, you can just respawn it.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Zombie outlaws, zombie horses, zombie bears...
  • Not Using the Z Word: The timeframe naturally justifies this. The first Zombie film was White Zombie in 1932.
    • Mackenna the Film Maker actually uses it if you stand near him and listen to him. But he's ahead of his time, so it might pass.
    • The word is very briefly used by a couple of incidental characters here and there, too, mostly out of cutscenes, but no more frequently than "ghoul" which is just as applicable.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: These zombies pretty closely follow classic Romero rules: All dead bodies are reanimated at the time of the curse, the zombie plague can be spread through biting, and only headshots kill. An addition not found in Romero films is that fire and holy water kill them as well. The townsfolk often describe them as "drinking blood" and "howling at the moon," which is technically correct if you include their moaning.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Oh, yes. Especially ammo. Ammo is as rare as gold - until you get the Blunderbuss.
  • Playable Epilogue: Like in the main game, John dies (though it isn't shown here)... but instead of taking up his guns as his son Jack, you play as a (sentient) zombie John!
  • Precision F-Strike: Players know John Marston, especially if they've played through the vanilla game, to be cool-headed and have a high tolerance for pressure, and rarely raising his voice in character-building cutscenes, despite all he's been through. However, should he come across a zombie's corpse that has no ammo or spare body parts, Marston will have a surprisingly short fuse, muttering with frustration, or even just plain screaming "GODDAMN IT, THIS GOD FORSAKEN SHITHOLE!".
  • Raising the Steaks: Bears, cougars and other animals have been zombified in addition to humans.
  • Savage Wolves: Not just wolves, but also zombie wolves. They're easier to kill, though.
  • Scavenger World: There's absolutely no money in the game at all, so you'd better scavenge the hell out of everything you can. You have to make undead bait, phosphorous and blunderbuss ammunition out of scratch. Bullets are usually pretty dear, too.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: After all John goes through to save the world from a zombie apocalypse, Seth goes and steals the mask again, restarting the Zombie Apocalypse. This, however, allows John to come back from the dead.
  • Shout-Out: Killing the chupacabra (yes, there's a chupacabra) earns you the "Chupathingy" achievement. And there are several nods to horror movies, such as multiplayer characters named for Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, Michael Jackson (or possibly mean-spirited joke about NBA player Magic Johnson and his disease), and yes, even Uwe Boll. Beyond that, the Undead Hunter outfit effectively dresses John as Ashley "Ash" Williams and the Legend of the Apocalypse outfit has John dressed as Stone from Deadlands. And during the post-game free roam, when John is a zombie himself, the outfit's name changes to "Army of the Undead".
  • So Proud of You: A non-spoken, internal version occurs in the first mission. Jack starts to explain the story he's reading to John, and as the view changes to John, the audio begins to fade and is replaced by light piano notes, implying John lost his concentration in favor of admiring his son.
  • Survival Horror: Definitely fits into the genre, and not just because of the zombies. Money does not exist and ammo is hard to come by.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Did the Film Maker really think it was a good idea to set two zombies loose and try filming them only a few steps away from them?
    • To be fair, John was with him, and he did cry for John to help him, so he may have thought that John would actually save him
    • "I'm just gonna wander down that lonely, deserted street, and get my bag." Even MacDougal sounds like he can't believe what he is saying.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mother Superior is the most prominent example, going from an unarmed elderly nun collecting handouts to a gun-wielding zombie slayer. But nearly every survivor, whether it be the bookish doctors from Mac Farlane's Ranch and Escalera to the whores from Armadillo's saloon now armed and defending their town, fits this trope. The only ones who don't tend to be badasses in the first place.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: The achievement for killing a sasquatch is titled "Six Years in the Making," a reference to 2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where players insisted a sasquatch could be found in the forest.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Many of the "safe" rooms where John can bed down for the night are wooden buildings that are currently on fire. Even many of the relatively intact ones are unsecure, unguarded, and on ground level - one in particular is a tent, and they aren't exactly known for their sturdy defenses.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: When we first see Jack and Abigale, they are playfully trading insults. She does end the conversation saying she's proud of him.
  • What the Hell, Player?: The Sasquatch. You spend a stranger quest hunting six of them in the hills, but when you finally find the last one, he's sitting under a tree, crying because his docile species is functionally extinct. And he proceeds to explain this to you in perfect English.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain / Player Punch: Undead Nightmare presents a What If? story of what if a zombie outbreak occured before John had his last fatal standoff with the FBI. Even though John is alive, his family is zombified. John simply can't catch a break.
    • This lampshaded by D. S. MacKenna
    John: I'm trying to save my family.
    D. S. MacKenna: Yes, quite the hobby of yours, that.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Subverted, many of female npcs are revealed to be the same person, an Aztec Goddess trapped on Earth because of the Zombie outbreak.
  • Your Head Asplode: One of the only ways to put down the undead for good is to shoot them in the head - and nine times out of then, their head will violently (and messily) explode.
  • Unicorn: It has a rainbow trailing behind it as it runs and butterflies come out under it when it stands still. It has unlimited stamina and is very tough, but can be killed by a blow to the head, but its death is very glitched.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The premise of the game is John Marston against a zombie plague. Fuck yes.
    • Which includes both zombie bears and zombie cougars. OH SHI- * ZOMBIE-COUGAR'D*
    • In a rare variation of this trope, you can actually cure the mass zombification.


Project ZomboidZombie StoriesResident Evil
Red Dead RedemptionWide Open SandboxRed Faction
Red Dead RedemptionThird-Person ShooterRed Faction

alternative title(s): Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare
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