Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most emotionally profound game I have ever played. When I finished it a couple months ago, I felt a kind of wonderful sadness that something I loved was over, secure in the knowledge that I’d be able to experience the story, spend time with the characters, and explore the world all over again whenever I did a replay.
So about a week ago, after I had finished replaying the story in Red Dead Redemption 1, I started my replay. I already have a deeper appreciation for the early character interactions, because I’ve spent a hundred hours more with them than I had the first time around, and I know now that I really want to spend as much time in chapter 2 as I possibly can.
But I know that you’re not here for my philosophical ruminations on the deeper story that is happening around Arthur and his gang, and I know you aren’t here to read a thousand words about why it feels so good to leave this awful world behind for a few hours every night.
You’re here for horse names. I see you.
So Hosea wants me to go hunting with him. I know there’s a legendary bear in our future, and I know that we aren’t going to take it down on our first try, because I’ve been here before. But what I don’t remember is that Hosea wants me to take this old draft horse to the stables in Valentine and sell it, so I can get a new horse of my own.
I already have a horse, and he’s fine, but there’s nothing special about him. He’s sort of a starter horse, and he’s a good boah, but he isn’t that fast, even after we’ve reached our maximum bonding level.
So I go to the stables, I sell this big draft horse, and I pick up a Palomino. She’s beautiful, with a gorgeous white mane and some dappling on her haunches. She’s fast, and she’s going to cost me $150 of my $155.
It’s a lot of money to spend on my horse, and it’s going to be challenging to rebuild my savings this early in the game, but the alternative is a $50 horse who I don’t feel anything for. Even in a video game, an emotional connection with my horse is important to me, so I spend nearly all of my money, and buy her.
Now the game lets me give her a name, and I have to make the most important decision I’m going to make in this game for the next 24 hours of gameplay.
I have already used Mane Weidlin and Neighlor Swift. I briefly consider Nagnes Moorehead, but it’s kind of a walk, and it’s too long for the number of characters I get, anyway.
So I start thinking about horse-related terms, and I end up with “Steed” in my head…
Which is why I am delighted to introduce you all to my new horse, Tara Steed. She’s a little bit of a mess, but she means well and is doing the best she can.
She’s no Neighlor Swift, but who is, really?