We knew the Red Dead Redemption 2 shenanigans would really kick off when the PC port arrived, and aside from modders discovering you can transform into dozens of animals and characters from the game, players have also found something a bit creepier. If you thought spooky season was over, think again.
Light spoilers for Red Dead Redemption 2 ahead.
Over on the Red Dead Redemption subreddit, user DaniMoz noticed something rather strange. "IKZ is in the game files, Using mods to play as her. This is what she looks like."
IKZ, for those not up to scratch on their Red Dead Redemption 2 lore, stands for Princess Isabeau Katharina Zinsmeister. The strange thing about this particular character is that she's been missing for 15 years by the time we take the reigns as Arthur Morgan, and we never meet her in-game.
According to the Red Dead Wiki, Princess Isabeau was kidnapped during a visit to the US by the Luxembourg royal family, and her missing person posters can be found in Van Horn Trading Post - along with an anniversary article in the New Hanover Gazette No. 29. And, rather more creepily, there are some trunks with her initials on at the fence in Van Horn Trading Post. A man near Elysian Pool also informs the player he's looking for the princess - but nobody ever sees her.
The identity of the princess has become something of a meme amongst Red Dead Redemption fans, while others on the Red Dead Mysteries subreddit have taken the search rather more seriously. But it turns out her in-game model has been there all along - and all it takes to access that is a bit of modding.
Players have been managing to access models in the game using a variety of methods, such through save file edits, but also through a mod called Lenny's Simple Trainer. I had a go at accessing her model, titled "CS_PrincessIsabeau", by inserting the character name into the "models" line in the Ist.ini file of the mod. I noticed she does bear a birthmark on her right hand and right cheek, similar to the poster description (although this details a birthmark on her left). The Wiki also estimates she should be around 20 years old during the main story of Red Dead Redemption 2, which looks about the right age for the in-game model.
So, why did Rockstar go to the trouble of giving the princess an in-game model? It's possible a questline was planned for her and eventually got scrapped - leaving Princess Isabeau's model stuck in the game files. At least with these modding tools she'll be able to see the sun again.
If you're wondering whether this will work on infamous missing character Gavin, however, no luck so far - while a file is named after him, using it in the mod merely summons Gavin's friend. Maybe Gavin's friend was actually... Gavin all along?
Something perhaps equally spooky are the issues Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to be having at launch on PC. Unfortunately I fell victim to these too yesterday, with frequent freezes marring my experience. Just let me mod in peace.