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.

Nastas has set up a meeting. A pow-wow, I think they call it. A meeting of minds! Of souls! Indians and whites, academics and criminals, coming together to find a common understanding!

Harold MacDougal

For Purely Scientific Purposes is the forty-fifth mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


Nastas has set up a meeting with some of Dutch's men, for what MacDougal claims will be "a meeting of the minds: Indians and whites, academics and criminals coming together to find a common understanding!" Marston will accompany the Professor and Nastas to what turns out to be a set-up. Sadly, Nastas is killed in the ambush, and John must fight through the remaining gang members to escort MacDougal safely back to Blackwater.


Mission PrerequisitesEdit

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission ObjectivesEdit

To complete this mission, the player must:

Mission DetailsEdit

Get on a horse and follow Nastas and the Professor to Bearclaw Camp. About halfway there, a grizzly bear attempts to cross the road. The professor begins shooting at the bear and it turns hostile, forcing the player to kill it. After taking care of the bear, move along until you reach the final destination.

Once you reach the cabin, you'll meet with three of Dutch Van Der Linde's men. They pull their guns on Marston and his companions, in spite of the Professor interjecting that they've come in peace. When Nastas tries to remind them of the original terms of the meeting, the bandit Enepay calls Nastas a traitor, tells him to shut up and then shoots him in the face. At which point Marston kills all three men. The remaining gang outside the cabin become hostile, and Marston will have to kill them all to escape.

Once that's finished, the player must follow MacDougal back to Blackwater on horseback. The player will be attacked by two groups of Dutch's gang. Take them out and accompany MacDougal to his office.

Mission DialoguesEdit

Main article: For Purely Scientific Purposes/dialogues

Mission FailureEdit

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults, kills or abandons Nastas or MacDougal.
  • Kills Nastas's or MacDougal's horse.
  • Assault or kill any gangster prematurely.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.



  • Because the bear you encounter during this mission is not initially aggressive, it is easy to approach with a knife to kill for the Master Hunter Challenges Rank 8. Let MacDougal shoot it a few times and then try to approach it from behind.

Trivia Edit

  • Sometimes the bear you encounter in this mission will use the model for Brumas the Bear (confirmed 360/PS3). However, the items from skinning this bear are those for a standard bear, not Brumas' special items.
  • Strangely, if the player shoots and kills Nastas's horse after he is killed, they will still fail the mission.
  • MacDougal and Nastas's horses are extremely fast in this mission, even faster than the American Standardbred and War Horse, making it hard to manually keep up with them.
  • This is one of the only times you see a character holding a gun in each hand, besides Marshal Johnson carrying a revolver in either hand much earlier in the game.
  • This is the only mission in which MacDougal will use his gun.
  • While at MacDougal's office, he mentions Lionel Fortisque, a fellow academic that MacDougal later assaults.

Video WalkthroughsEdit

Achievement Edit

Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
West Elizabeth Chapter
"Bear One Another's Burdens""Great Men are Not Always Wise""And You Will Know The Truth""And The Truth Will Set You Free"
"At Home with Dutch""For Purely Scientific Purposes""The Prodigal Son Returns (To Yale)"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family