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Exodus in America

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Hold it right there, outlaw!
This article is littered with spoilers, so I reckon you might ought'a mosey on down the road if you don't want to read any plot details.

So, what are you doin' up at the fort?


I'm looking for an old friend.

John Marston

Exodus in America is the very first mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


In the opening cinematic, John Marston exits the Morningstar ferry in Blackwater and meets two federal agents, Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham. They are to ensure that John gets on the Blackwater Train headed to Armadillo. While on the train, he overhears the conversations of two elder women, Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Ditkiss, as well as that of a preacher and his companion, an optimistic young missionary named Jenny.

Upon reaching Armadillo, a man named Jake (who has been hired by the Bureau of Investigation) guides Marston to Fort Mercer on horseback. After reaching the fort, Jake leaves Marston alone to deal with Bill Williamson and his gang.


Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

Mission Details

When the train arrives, John then becomes playable. The player must go to the saloon of Armadillo, which is marked with a yellow X on the map. The player will be informed they can sprint by tapping on X (PS3) or A (Xbox 360). When you enter, a man named Jake calls to the player. He says he is hired by the police of Blackwater to serve as a guide to Fort Mercer where Bill Williamson apparently resides. He lends the player a horse, and together they both ride to Fort Mercer. Hold X (PS3) or A (Xbox 360) to match his horse's speed. When the player passes an animal corpse, pressing O (PS3) or B (Xbox 360) will zoom in on it.

When the player arrives, Jake parts ways with John. John then walks to the ominous gates of Fort Mercer where he shouts for Bill Williamson to show himself. After a while, Bill appears on the walls with two of his followers warning John to go away. John tries to convince Bill to come with him to jail or else the police will kill him. Bill refuses, saying that John never saved him, only himself. John implores Bill to come with him, but Bill laughs at him and says that he is in charge now. John tries to grab his revolver, but one of Bill's goons shoots him in the lower right torso. He falls unconscious and bleeding, and Bill and his goons walk away, leaving John to die.

The next morning, a young lady named Bonnie MacFarlane and a man named Amos appear. They see John wounded and take him in their wagon to the doctor in Armadillo.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: Exodus in America/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Leaves Armadillo before meeting Jake.
  • Assaults or abandons Jake.
  • Kills his own horse or Jake's horse.
  • Strays too far from the mission location.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Attempts to follow Jake after he leaves Fort Mercer.
  • Dies.


New Game Elements Introduced

  • Basic navigation
  • Horseriding

Mission Complete Unlockables


  • The cutscene with John sitting in the train is also an introduction to the theme of the game; at one side, the conversation between Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Ditkiss is about old world facing change from a new world. The Old West in the game is being introduced to technology and civilization. The other conversation between Jenny and the preacher is about redemption and forgiveness which John is seeking; he is trying to leave his criminal life behind and make everything normal, which requires him to repay himself for what he's done.
  • When riding alongside Jake, he gives a brief history of Fort Mercer. During it, he says "maybe they [soldiers] got tired of being soldiers and went out hunting for gold?" This could be a homage to the plot of Battlefield: Bad Company, another video game, in which a squad of soldiers go AWOL in order to steal gold from a legion of mercenaries.
  • Bonnie MacFarlane was also present at the train arriving from Blackwater. It is unknown why, although some players speculate that she was visiting her older brother, a banker in New York.
  • The train leaving Blackwater actually goes backwards as if going to Mason's Bridge, but the game flips it so the train goes the right way.
  • It is unknown why John was on a steamboat to Blackwater, even though he lives in Beecher's Hope. It could be speculated that he was abducted along with his family and taken to the same prison, which may be far enough from the game world to require a boat ride back.
  • Jenny, who was seen on the train, is later found in the wilderness during the Stranger side-mission "Jenny's Faith".
  • Jake, the man that acts as a tour guide, is only present in this mission. It is unknown what happens to him afterwards.
  • The opening cinematic bears a close resemblance to the opening cinematic from GTA IV, also made by Rockstar, which shows the protagonist Niko Bellic getting off a boat, followed by a shot of a car being unloaded from the same boat.
  • Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Ditkiss, the ladies seen talking in the train, never appear again.
  • This is the only mission in the game where John gives himself the mission.
  • Shooting a cow while riding to Fort Mercer will cause the player to fail the mission.
  • This is the only mission that the player can see more than one vehicle parked around Blackwater.
  • This is the only mission an active steamboat is shown.
  • When the player approaches the fort walls, there will be 4 birds on one of the taller walls. The player can scare them off by firing they gun. Shooting all 4 of them will unlock the Sharpshooter Challenges. (The player can get the 5th at the MacFarlane's Ranch before they are shown around by Bonnie).
  • The ferry that John exits from is called the Morningstar. This is interesting because a steamboat from 2005's Gun bears the same name.
  • When John is found by Bonnie, the player can see a trail of blood following from where he was originally wounded. This speculates John either limped or crawled away even after he was shot. Also, the fact that John is clearly further away from the fort than when he was shot when being rescued by Bonnie is indicative of this fact. Although it is unclear why Bonnie was at Fort Mercer in the first place.


Video Walkthrough


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophies/Achievements:

Bronze Ps3 bronze trophy
Complete Exodus in America.

Gold Ps3 gold trophy
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
New Austin Chapter
"Exodus in America""New Friends, Old Problems""Obstacles in Our Path""This is Armadillo, USA""Women and Cattle""Wild Horses, Tamed Passions""A Tempest Looms""The Burning"
"Political Realities in Armadillo""Justice in Pike's Basin""Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit""Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane""The Assault on Fort Mercer"
"Old Swindler Blues""You Shall Not Give False Testimony, Except for Profit""Liars, Cheats and Other Proud Americans""Can a Swindler Change His Spots?""The Sport of Kings, and Liars"
"Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies""A Gentle Drive with Friends""Let the Dead Bury Their Dead"
"A Frenchman, a Welshman and an Irishman""Man is Born Unto Trouble""On Shaky's Ground""We Shall Be Together in Paradise"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family

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