|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.
Seth Briars is characterised as an unhygienic and psychotic prospector who has resorted to grave-robbing in his pursuit of treasure. He is obsessed with an unspecified Treasure and the map that will lead him to it. This obsession has caused him to lose his family, his business, and most of his mind. It is also implied through conversation that his father left him which might also be a cause of his lack of sanity.
Briars has a history of working with Bill Williamson, but is largely uninvolved with the gang lifestyle due to his pursuit of treasure. It is this history which Marston exploits to gain entrance to Fort Mercer in "The Assault on Fort Mercer". Seth Briars was also formerly associated with Moses Forth, his treasure-seeking partner.
Red Dead Redemption
John Marston first encounters Seth at Coot's Chapel as instructed by an old friend of his, Nigel West Dickens. Marston asks for his help in infiltrating Fort Mercer, but Seth demonstrates an acute lack of interest, until the conversation leads to story of his former treasure-hunting partner, Moses Forth, stealing half of his treasure map. Marston agrees to help Seth recover his map in return for helping him. They set out to Benedict Point where Moses is being held by the law after being arrested for grave robbery. Marston distracts the deputies guarding the jail by stealing one of their Horses, and leads them away before returning to Seth. Seth knocks on the door of the shack before Moses slams the door in his face and tries to run away. Marston catches him and brings Moses back hogtied. Seth threatens Moses with a Knife for the location of his map. Moses tells Seth that it is in Odd Fellow's Rest, panic-stricken, causing himself to urinate ("I think you gone and pissed yourself, Moses."). Marston and Seth leave him tied up on the ground and clear John's bounty with a Pardon Letter.
John finds Seth again at Coot's Chapel with a wagon load of corpses from Odd Fellow's Rest. He says he requires Marston's assistance in bringing the bodies to a desolate location, Tumbleweed, to be searched. On the way, they are ambushed by Treasure Hunters who are also trying to obtain the treasure map. Marston then tries to outrun them in the wagon, killing any that come too close while Seth searches the bodies on the way. They finally arrive safely, with Seth having found the other half of the map in one of the corpses. By chance, the treasure map said that the treasure was in Tumbleweed. Seth tells John that he will help him as soon as he finds his treasure.
John later returns to Tumbleweed to find Seth robbing a grave and talking to the deceased corpse at the old church cemetery. They head over to the mansion where the treasure is supposed to be. Unknown to them the center of town is filled with Treasure Hunters who then launch a surprise attack on the pair. They push towards the mansion, with Marston killing any enemies in their path. When they come to the room with the treasure chest, Seth opens it but all he finds is a glass eye. Seth is devastated and angry, but still agrees to help Marston as promised.
At the assault on Fort Mercer, Seth finds his way in beforehand, though his method is unknown. The Williamson Gang then let in Nigel West Dickens' stage coach. After the massacre of Williamson's gang, Seth meets up with the others. Bill Williamson is nowhere to be found. Seth parts ways with Marston as he leaves, never to be seen again after that point (Undead Nightmare un-cited).
After "The Assault on Fort Mercer" is completed Seth is not seen again. In 1914, a newspaper reveals that Seth hauled a big sack of valuable jewels and gold into Blackwater that he found in a unmentioned location deep in Tall Trees. He returned to his family and reopened his (again unspecified) business in Blackwater.
Seth appears during Undead Nightmare relaxing at the The Old Bacchus Place 'playing cards' with his friend, the newly undead Moses Forth. He suggests that Marston cleanse the three New Austin cemeteries in hopes to end the plague in the mission "Get Back in That Hole, Partner". After the cemeteries have been cleared, Marston returns to The Old Bacchus Place to inform Seth that the job has been completed. Upon his return, Marston finds that Seth has thrown a 'party' with a number of undead guests; "Mary Lou" and "Francine", as well as a fourth undead that plays the fiddle. Marston is initially upset that clearing the graveyards did not end the curse, but Seth directs him towards Mexico, saying that the cause of the infection may have originated there.
Seth makes another appearance after the completion of "A Civilized Man". After Marston has eliminated the undead Abraham Reyes, ventured through the Escalera Catacombs, and returned the mask to its rightful spot, Seth is seen stealing the mask some time later. This revives Marston from the dead, as well as reignites the infection.
Red Dead Redemption
- "Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies" (Boss)
- "A Gentle Drive with Friends" (Boss)
- "Let the Dead Bury Their Dead" (Boss)
- "The Assault on Fort Mercer"
- “I'm going to cut you up, piece by piece...”
- — Seth Briars threatening Moses at Benedict Point
- “Looks like you've gone and pissed yourself, Moses.”
- — Seth Briars
- “I needs the map, partner...I needs it...”
- — Seth Briars to John Marston
- “Have you looked in the cave, Seth? (High pitched voice) No, it's very dark.”
- — Seth Briars conversing with himself
- “Well, look at me! Look! Scramblin' around, lookin' for maps, half insane! I haven't washed in six months. My hair's fallin' out and my mind's goin'!”
- — Seth Briars
- “I hate people.”
- — Seth Briars
- “I hate the living.”
- — Seth Briars
- “I'm here to paint my picture.”
- — Seth Briars (in the movie)
- “I'm gonna make you a nose check.”
- — Seth Briars (in the movie)
- — Seth Briars while riding horse
- Seth doesn't like living people, especially women. He has been driven to lose all faith in others because of his obsession with treasure and Moses' betrayal. You can gain insight into this by what he says during your first mission with him, "Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies", which was, "I don't have the facility to tell you, what I would have done for that man", Of course referring to Moses, and "I don't like women partner, I don't, Not since mammy died." Although Seth mentions that he dislikes women, he appears to be very emotional about the death of his mother. It is possible that his hatred originated at the time of her death. His dialogue suggests that he dislikes women because of their ability to die.
- The Blackwater Ledger repeatedly reports on Briars' actions as a serial grave robber, noting public outrage at the desecration of local graveyards. However, the paper credits Moses Forth as the perpetrator of these crimes.
- Some of Seth's dialogue seems to indicate that he suffers from some sort of split-personality disorder.
- During Seth's last mission is that he walks right by the treasure - in the basement, Treasure Hunter Challenge 4, and the #3 treasure in it.
- In the short film The Man From Blackwater, Seth finds his treasure (a glass eye) in Fort Mercer as opposed to finding it in Tumbleweed while doing the mission "Let the Dead Bury Their Dead".
- It is implied in the Gamestop Undead Nightmare Preview that Seth may have unintentionally caused the Undead Plague by stealing the Glass Eye in his last mission "Let the Dead Bury Their Dead". However, this is later proven to be incorrect.
- At the end of Seth's mission in Undead Nightmare "Get Back in that Hole, Partner", although it is not possible to shoot the undead Seth is dancing with, you can shoot the lantern above them which will set one on fire causing the others to attack.
- The same is true with Undead Bait. It will cause Moses to attack Seth, who will then shoot him. If you try and shoot Moses, Seth will end up shooting you, and is then killable. Also, if you run over the zombies mounted on War, they will start burning and Seth will run away; then, you can shoot him.
- When John Marston searches the corpses of undead he will sometimes say "Seth, I'm sorry about all the insults". He may also say "Seth, finally I've joined you", or "Seth, how do you enjoy this?".
- In the Red Dead Redemption artwork of Seth, he appears to be slightly more healthy - he has longer and thicker hair.
- When greeting John, Seth usually greets him politely but almost always gets angered in the conversations they have.
- While sitting at a camp fire, John can hear a story about an entire family gunned down at Tumbleweed (possibly by police or federal agents). The man at the fire mentions that all of their possessions were destroyed, except for a glass eye. This is likely the same glass eye found by Seth at Tumbleweed.
- Despite his insanity, in Undead Nightmare he is the first one to inform Marston of what really caused the plague while everyone else just comes up with random theories. Also he seems to have figured out a way to tame the Undead, such as having them dance or play the violin.
- In Undead Nightmare, when Seth is playing cards, the player can make his chair fall on the ground by walking into him. Going into his shack and then get out of it, Seth will be sitting in the air.
- Although Seth states he would end his obsession with the dead in his final mission of the regular game, Seth shows much affection and attachment to the zombies in Undead Nightmare.
- Seth and West Dickens are the only un-infected major characters in Undead Nightmare who do not combat the undead in any way.
- If you fail enough times during the ride in Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies, Seth will talk about how the only thing he has eaten in several days is a dead crow, and how it (and everything else) tasted like his Pig that his father killed when he was a kid.