Who is "The Strange Man"

#1 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
Mild spoilers: Its only a side quest a good one I think
Well I just recently beat the side mission known as "I know you" where John encounters the strange man (hence the title)  So John does these small good deeds for him but he never bothers to mention his name. He even states he knows John from somewhere everytime they meet.  The last part all John does is try to get a name but the man just avoids it (EX: when John asks how he knows him, the strange man just mentions the 3 regions in the game).  Now where it gets interesting is when John gets so angry he pulls out his gun and fires 3 shots but the strange man has vanished.  This got me thinking who he really is.  I thought it was an amazing side quests and left off with a great final act.  So who do you think the "Strange Man" was??  
I personally think it is Johns mind showing him that he is actually a good person. I remember the first time you meet he says something about a girl on the train you were on got brutally murdered and you couldnt do anything.  So I just think it is Johns self trying to prove that he can be a good person or maybe trying to make up for the things he did.  So what do you think any ideas??
#2 Posted by xMP44x (2193 posts) -

I haven't yet encountered this quest, but I think I'm going to do it when I put my Xbox on. Sounds like an exciting and interesting quest series. Plus, I only discovered that completing side missions can give you more weapons and stuff, which could make the game even better. More guns are always welcome. Just wondering, where does this quest start? I think I have it in my quest log-thing, but I'm not sure.

#3 Posted by SternCat (15 posts) -

I wasn't concentrating when I did the first part and pressed the wrong button. Ended up giving the dude $15 to pay for the prostitute. Oops. 
Haven't seen the strange man since. Hopefully he will still show up again at some point, and I haven't messed it up.

#4 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
@xMP44x: Just start at the Mcfarlane ranch and ride on your horse to Armadillo. He is in a black suit and top hat by the edge of a cliff. You should see the ? pop up
#5 Posted by GoonerGod (37 posts) -

wait till you see the ending and then this side quest will really mean something to you

#6 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
@SternCat: see that brings me to if its john trying to tell himself that he is a good person but since you gave him cash idk if he will come back
#7 Posted by Ghostiet (5449 posts) -
@Sackmanjones said:
" @SternCat: see that brings me to if its john trying to tell himself that he is a good person but since you gave him cash idk if he will come back "

#8 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
@Ghostiet: Oh you tempt me but I WONT!
#9 Posted by Vitor (2834 posts) -

I thought he was the Devil himself, tempting John away from his path of redemption and back into his old ways. Have yet to beat the game so not sure if the ending will make me change my theory...

#10 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
@GoonerGod said:
" wait till you see the ending and then this side quest will really mean something to you "
@Vitor:  I am really curious about what is gonna happen
#11 Posted by Vitor (2834 posts) -
@Sackmanjones said:
" @GoonerGod said:
" wait till you see the ending and then this side quest will really mean something to you "
@Vitor:  I am really curious about what is gonna happen "
Same - just done the first mission in Blackwater, assume I'm near the end so I'll find out soon (the last chapter of Alan Wake is tempting me too much though so I think I need to finish that first)
#12 Posted by Ghostiet (5449 posts) -
@Sackmanjones said:
" @Ghostiet: Oh you tempt me but I WONT! "
Yeah, now I'm asking myself why I put that in a spoiler. It's safe, don't worry.
#13 Posted by Jeffsekai (7058 posts) -
@Sackmanjones: He's the Grim Reaper.
#14 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
#15 Posted by NickLott (793 posts) -

I think the game is implying that the Strange Man is either God or the Devil considering when he's walking away John says "Damn you" and he replies with "A lot of people have done that". Cool quest line. 

#16 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
@nicklott:  Wow that slipped my mind.  Well most people say god damn it or god damn you so maybe it is god.
#17 Posted by Vitor (2834 posts) -
@Sackmanjones said:
" @Ghostiet:  ok thank you. Can you tell me how close i am to the ending
Damn- we're in the same spot of the game and wondering the same things apparently...
#18 Posted by Jeffsekai (7058 posts) -
#19 Posted by Dustpan (1694 posts) -

Smoke monster.

#20 Posted by GoonerGod (37 posts) -
#21 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

He isn't in Johns mind. And I know this because it would be impossible for John to possibly know about that man cheating on his wife. So I say he is the Devil/Death/God one of those.

#22 Posted by RichardLOlson (1852 posts) -

The man is actually an alien from the future.

#23 Posted by teh_pwnzorer (1482 posts) -
@Sackmanjones said:
" @nicklott:  Wow that slipped my mind.  Well most people say god damn it or god damn you so maybe it is god. "
When you say God damn, you're not damning God but invoking God to damn something.
#24 Posted by Jeffsekai (7058 posts) -
#25 Posted by DoctorTran (1576 posts) -

I really wish that I had finished this side story before... the big ending.

#26 Posted by DaemonicGrim (184 posts) -
@Jeffsekai: I only just understood the significance from the ending when you spelt it out there... god I'm dense. 
Absolutely loved the strange man though. 
It's G-Man!!!!! 
I suppose God is the most likely option but since I'm not that way inclined I'm going to go for it being a subconscious part of John's psyche.
#27 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11491 posts) -

I think he was Satan. 

#28 Posted by Jimbo (10062 posts) -

He's the Grim Reaper.  He isn't trying to tempt you (as Satan would), he's judging you.  I'm not sure if it actually affects anything though, I don't think so.  He probably doesn't take too kindly to you flipping out and trying to shoot him in the back. 

#29 Posted by xMP44x (2193 posts) -

Where is this quest, and can it be completed after the story?

#30 Posted by Kahoona (223 posts) -

It's definitely god.  At one point he says "lots of people have damned me" on top of John always mentioning he knows him from somewhere.  John throughout the story really displays his disbelief in god and this just shows that he once believed in him, but lost faith.

#31 Edited by smasher41 (1 posts) -

rgwatson said:  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.
Bam. I agree.

#32 Posted by Sackmanjones (4767 posts) -
#33 Posted by Vorbis (2752 posts) -
#34 Edited by heavyplay (299 posts) -

After he talks to you in Mexico, he hunches down and gazes into the campfire. I got on my horse and rode off, bumping into him as I went. He fell face first into the fire. LOL. Ain't so dignified now, are ya?!
#35 Posted by Warfare (1645 posts) -

He's  Zach.

#36 Posted by GioVANNI (1297 posts) -
#37 Posted by RichardLOlson (1852 posts) -

Yea the last side mission for this stranger is just odd.  But something tells me that this isn't the last time I see him.  I honestly think he the devil, waiting to give me super powers.

#38 Posted by jakob187 (21787 posts) -

It's Death, folks.

#39 Posted by superpope (129 posts) -

Still havent seen the end of the game, but I say he's the devil. 
Mysterious man in a black suit, knows all about you, concerned with morality. Devilish if ya ask me.

#40 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Jimbo nailed it. Ain't no devil or god.

#41 Posted by Mono_Listo (428 posts) -

I had to reload the first time around, I came wheeling up on the guy and the whore too fast and ran them over with my horse.

#42 Posted by xxdeathxx (1 posts) -

if you have played read dead revolver then you will know who jack swift is if you havnt search him they look exacly alike rockstar  want to add old faces to the new game for an easter egg

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.