These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Captain DeSanta. Pure Jerkass or just a coward with some redeeming sides, only not brave enough to against Allende's orders? The latter would be supported by the beginning of the mission "Cowards Die Many Times", where he is shown hesitating at first when Allende orders him to go with Marston (with the intent to have DeSanta betray him). Also, his earlier comments on Abraham Reyes turns out to be completely true and not just some mean spirited insults that Allende's words on the rebels lean more towards. Though considering that said reluctance DeSanta shows when being told to betray Marston would indeed indicate that a part of him did like the guy, but in the end his blind admiration for Allende outdid any hesitation.
Anticlimax Boss: Dutch, and really, The Big Three all qualify. Bill is handed over to you by the resident Evil General in Mexico, and Escuella only manages to flee for a few minutes before you catch or kill him. Even Dutch throws himself off a cliff after a brief chase sequence. If you discount Ross' final duel, the game doesn't have any bosses at all, really.
Colonel Agustin Allende of the corrupt Mexican regime, despite being from peasant stock himself, brutalizes the common people. Allende uses violence as a common tactic, with executions being common. His economic policy is to keep the people poor, starving and without hope. He also routinely has girls abducted to serve as sex slaves for himself or his men.
Randall Forrester is a deranged man who lives in the wilderness by himself and who serves as the culprit behind a string of serial murders and disappearances in the game. Forrester is a cannibal, justifying himself with "a man's gotta eat!" Forrester will kidnap and eat anyone: men, women or children, and shows no remorse for any of his crimes. When hero John Marston catches him with an escaping victim, Forrester enlists the ignorant Marston's help in subduing the man, clearly relishing the victim's terror.
Critical Research Failure: Everything Professor MacDougal does is rife with this, as a representation of "science" during that time.
Borders on Truth in Television. He really isn't very far off from what was considered "anthropology" at the time.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Despite John himself being portrayed as a sympathetic character, one might have this reaction to this game, seeing as to there is no way he could do much to help people without his good deeds going unpunished. The only sympathetic character of all of the cast who didn't get apathetic is Jack, John's son. But by the time the game's ending came around, he just became as bad as John himself after he killed Ross, basically became the very man John didn't want him to become.
Both cougars and bears each have a certain tiny area on the map where multiple copies of the animal spawn until a "legendary" version of it pops up. This means you may be forced into running laps around a cabin with a dozen hungry pumas behind you.
Packs of wolves aren't exactly easy, especially since three or four of them attack at once.
Given the way the spawning mechanism for animals works in this game, you can be swarmed by nearly a dozen of them in some areas. Don't get too cozy wandering the desert outside Chuparosa.
Generally speaking, when it comes to bears and wolves, the game makes sure you're on edge fighting either, or especially both at the same time because killing any of the two always results in more coming straight for you in waves. Before you know it, what was one wolf pack becomes a small army and what was one bear becomes the entire forests worth of grizzlies coming down upon you.
For a human example, those guys with shotguns who always seem to be at such an angle that you can't shoot them from outside the room they're in.
Landon Ricketts is very popular as well, especially considering he's only featured in four missions. Rockstar received a large amount of complaints for not including him as an online playable character.
Averted with French (well, what little we see of him.) His nationality is only known by his nickname and him being said to be French by others; he lacks an accent. John even comments on this when talking to Irish later on.
Evil Is Sexy: Some female gamers find DeSanta this. It might have to do with his voice actor being Hector Bustamante.
Game Breaker: In one of the side missions, you are asked to play Liar's Dice against a man in Thieves' Landing, in order to get the deed to a property. The collateral on the deed is $200, so technically he puts down $200 every time he plays (even after you get the deed). Also, this guy is TERRIBLE and never runs out of money, so a half-hour to an hour and a three year-old's skill at Liar's Dice is all that's required for all the money you could ever want.
You can buy +100 units of fame for the low low price of $10 a pop as many times as you want: get and wear the elegant suit and make sure you have at least two horse deeds for quick saving. Now go to MacFarlane's Ranch and do a full save there. Then go straight to the poker game and buy in for $10, get caught cheating immediately, win the duel by shooting the gun out of the opponent's hand. Repeat until there are no opponents left, swap horse deeds to trigger a quick save, reload that quick save, do it all again. As the MacFarlane's Ranch poker table has four players at all times of day and the cheapest buy in, you can rinse and repeat this process to get your fame to Legendary status with all the benefits that brings very early in the game.
Wolves. They always attack in groups, they're just enough of a threat to be dangerous to ignore, they follow you relentlessly and they have a major talent for showing up while you're hunting for something else.
Cougars are far worse, especially around Beecher's Hope, where they're ridiculously common, and where you'll be spending most of the final one or two hours around.
Wolves also have the ability to latch onto your gun arm with their teeth, usually right before you take you can shoot them. And every time you've finally killed all nearby wolves and stop to skin them, you'll find out 2 more were just behind that rock.
And on the flip side, a talking dog (complete with a Mexican Accent) that hands you a shotgun upon meeting it, and that's also strong enough to give you an ally-oop up the wall and into the enemy gang's hideout. Oh, and it levitates too.
After the mission in Mexico where you must board and stop a moving train before it goes across a boobytrapped railroad bridge one can still hop on a train and ride, without stopping, across the gap where the destroyed bridge was. It's surreal, to say the least.
Ah, the Handheld Self-Propelled Homing Dynamite Grenade! The weapon of the discerning cowboy!
With the release of the DLC, free roam games would not spawn any NPCs anywhere, which meant that merely approaching a gang hideout would cause it to instantly complete. Replay ad nauseum for infinite XP.
A nice time saving bug is that you can skip the skinning animation by having your horse stand on top of the animal carcass.
Hell Is That Noise: Can happen when you hear certain wild animals for the first time but can't see them, and they don't sound too happy to meet you. Recognizing what animals made the sounds lead to Oh Crap moments. Also, sometimes a woman will scream bloody murder, and you know something is terribly wrong.
The dog in Tumbleweed, made worse by the fact that trying to locate it to shoot it just leads you to the cemetery where there is no dog anywhere to be found, but the angry distorted barking can still be heard.
Hilarious in Hindsight: John Marston Is Gonna Kill Bill. The Bride's infamous quote is even similar to that of John's story (so long as you overlook the fact that John ultimately had one more person to kill). note "Looked dead, didn't I? But I wasn't. And it wasn't for lack of trying, I can tell you that. Actually, Bill's last bullet put me in a coma. A coma I was to lie in for four years. When I woke up, I went on what the movie advertisements referred to as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. I roared. I rampaged. And I got bloody satisfaction. I've killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only one more. The last one. The one I'm driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination... I am gonna KILL BILL."
And over on Gamefaqs they seem to have this nasty habit of interrupting people mid-sent* COUGAR'D*
Moral Event Horizon: For most of his screentime in the game, Edgar Ross merely seems to be a snide asshole of a Knight Templar who is holding John's family hostage to force him into hunting down his former gang members. He's definitely unlikable (if well-intentioned for the most part), but after John has lived up to his end of the bargain, Ross finally allows him to return to his family. However, he's not quite done yet, and after leaving the Marstons alone for some time, he goes back on his word and sends the Army to kill John. And they do. As John takes his last, ragged breaths, Ross just lights a cigar and watches, with a smug grin on his face. Ross was definitely intended to be disliked, but this made many a player despise him so much that they not only killed Ross in the Playable Epilogue, but his innocent brother and wife as well.
Jack Marston is considered this in some internet communities. For one thing because he's an annoying kid, and for another because his missions take place in the mountains, which are crawling with bears and cougars. Oh, and because he takes over as the main character when you finish the story, with no way to play as John Marston again outside of loading an old save or starting a new game.
And while many consider Herbert Moon the Ensemble Dark Horse, many hate him to an extent that they consider him this. He is truly the love him or hate him character of Red Dead Redemption. He makes a return in Undead Nightmare to show us more of what we love about him, his homophobic, antisemetic, xenophobic, sexist and racist attitudes. Then you get to see zombies eat him.
Harold MacDougal, easily the most annoying character in the game, mostly because of the sneaking suspicion that we're actually meant to find him funny. This idea that his racism is a quaint old ineffectual footnote in history that we can all laugh at doesn't quite gel with the broader subtext of the story at that point and your role in it (i.e. helping the army force it's way into a Native American settlement and slaughter everyone inside). There's also they way he treated Nastas.
They seem to have realised this and in Undead Nightmare, he's killed by an Undead Nastas.
While not as scrappy, pulling out your weapon will freak the entire town out, even if it was accidental.
So Cool It's Awesome: Considered by many to be a fantastic game for its fun gameplay, immersive world, and well crafted story.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Red Dead Revolver had a great soundtrack and atmosphere, but the gameplay, while fun, didn't really stand out from the crowd. Red Dead Redemption, however, features a beautiful and wide-open world to explore, much more to do, and an arguably better storyline, while losing none of its predecessor's strengths.
Poor Nastas is treated badly by everyone but John.
The entire Marston family. And the only surviving member, Jack, is a depressed loner whose dialogue expresses that he doesn't have much to live for and rarely says anything optimistic. All his dreams of making something of himself and becoming a writer are gone. His act of revenge towards Edgar Ross puts him on the path towards being an outlaw that his father died trying to ensure wouldn't happen. Downer Ending, no matter which way you look at it.
Unfortunate Implications: The game's Mexican section is filled with all kinds of stereotypes and features John Marston as a Mighty Whitey who changes the odds of a Mexican revolution because he's a One-Man Army with the people (represented by Luisa) shown as too stupid to not realize they are being duped by another hack revolutionary. Rockstar does take a satirical bent generally but the Mexican revolution was a complex arduous process and certainly dealt with greater complexity in other works, for instance the Marlon Brando film Viva Zapata.