The great thing about breaking a game’s camera is that you get to see into a game’s heart and soul. And in Red Dead Redemption 2, those secrets include a UFO. Gumby. And pubes? Possibly?
It’s just one of the great treasures uncovered by Boundary Break, hands down one of the best gaming channels on YouTube. They’ve tackled Red Dead Redemption 2 for their latest project, and naturally, one of the first ports of call was Arthur’s bathtub scene.
You know what the internet is like. People, naturally, want to know how fully rendered Arthur really is. Rockstar’s done a surprising amount of work here. While Boundary Break couldn’t find any actual genitalia, Arthur’s butt is fully rendered while he’s in the tub. That’s a surprise, because you never actually see Arthur’s butt when he’s in the bath — it’s covered by the water. A lot of games would simply not render that part, as it’d be wasted resources, but Red Dead Redemption 2 goes the extra mile here.
But while there’s no junk, there is a rather suspect shadow you can see when Arthur’s in the tub:
It almost looks like Arthur’s crotch got attacked by an unfinished Bob Ross painting.
But that’s just one of the many cool things that are going on in the background of Red Dead Redemption 2. NPCs, for instance, render into the game at different levels depending on their distance from the character.
This makes total sense. Every pore and finer detail of a character doesn’t need to be visible if they’re too far away from the player’s practical viewpoint. But it means that the game has tons of Gumby-like low-poly characters just hanging around. Which you can enjoy in all their glory as soon as the camera’s unlocked.
As these levels start to load in, there’s a tier of detail where character eyes just … look like googly eyes. Take a look:
Also, there’s a UFO. It’s only visible if you go to a particular shack and read a letter, which spawns a big glowing UFO above. It’s hard to make out the details of the ship because the lights are so bright. But it’s there!
Fans of Cyberpunk 2077 will appreciate the hidden T-poses characters do in cut-scenes sometimes. Red Dead Redemption 2 will also often have characters in scenes hidden from the character’s view, ready to walk into the shot when triggered. There’s also a ton of data cubes underneath the game world, although it’s not immediately clear how they all work with each other. (Presumably, they exist to help with the loading of certain assets, but maybe more info on this is contained in a GDC talk or white paper somewhere.)
There’s a ton more cool details about how Red Dead Redemption 2 works. The island of Guarma, for instance, is still connected to Red Dead‘s main world (even though you can’t travel back there once you leave the island). And remember Gaptooth Ridge from the original Red Dead? It’s in Red Dead Redemption 2 as well, but the mine shaft isn’t as fully rendered out as it was in the original game.
But when you clip through the wall, the game actually includes a ton of assets that go much deeper. The suspicion is that assets were ported over from the original Red Dead, or that there may have been plans to make the mineshaft sequence much bigger or more accessible. There’s parts of the shaft that don’t have any textures mapped at all, which is interesting.
The whole video is absolutely worth watching — the creator spent almost 200 hours gathering footage and finding bits and pieces. It’s a fascinating look at just how much is in the workings of an enormous game like Red Dead 2. There’s a fort by a shoreline in Mexico, and you can’t explore it in the game, but it makes you wonder what Rockstar’s original, or scrapped, plans were.
If you love this sort of stuff, there’s more sweet hidden details on the official channel. The Super Mario Sunshine video is pretty great, and it’s cool seeing how many details and tidbits were hidden even in a game like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2.