Red Dead Online's Halloween update finally emerged earlier this week, and despite the addition of some nice new cosmetics, it's fair to say the community was hoping for a slightly spookier experience than what it got. Yet it's always possible to make your own fun - particularly in a game that's already quite creepy at times - and that certainly seems to be the case on the Red Dead Mysteries subreddit, where the community has decided to go on a monster hunt.
The target of this search appears to be some sort of Loch Ness monster - or at least, that's what players are guessing from listening to the sound files. Back in July, YouTube channel Obsidian Sky Studio uploaded some mysterious recordings they'd found in the game files using modding tool Open IV. I had a look myself, and sure enough, the batch of creepy sounds is there. Titled "rivermonster", the files can be found in an audio SFX folder, and feature about a minute's worth of harrowing noises that sound like a dinosaur got frisky with a steam boat.
Speculating that the sounds could actually belong to the legendary bull gator, Obsidian Sky Studio included them at the end of the video for comparison, and I think it's clear this is something else.
The discovery was significant, but further investigation efforts didn't kick off until earlier this week when Reddit user jackruppert17 decided to take things a step further. "Someone needs to investigate this - I think that there is a river monster somewhere in the game," they said in an extensive Reddit post. "There most likely isn't a monster in the game, but if we can at least find a way to trigger the noises, then I will count that as a success."
The idea behind the search is to find a point in the game that will trigger the audio sounds, and possibly some splashing around in a body of water. Red Dead Redemption 2 is known to contain extremely specific audio triggers, and members of the subreddit have previously been successful in tracking down audio files to their in-game locations. If you head to Bolger Glade during a thunderstorm, for instance, you might just hear some ghostly bells and civil war sounds.
It seems jackruppert17 is hoping something similar can be achieved with the mysterious monster, and has so far suggested three locations of interest. Flat Iron Lake is the biggest body of water and players have often reported suspicious activity there, the San Luis River is one of the largest rivers in the game, while the Lanaheche River is one of the "most unexplored" - and is next to the extremely creepy Roanoke Ridge location. Players have started dividing up locations to search, and many have chimed in with their own theories, although it seems they are yet to find anything substantial.
jackruppert17 and other users also pointed out that cigarette cards depicting horrible sea monsters can be found throughout the game (including a kraken, giant whale and Nessie), but whether these connect with the audio files or are merely coincidence is another matter.
Obviously, there's a chance the river monster could be cut content, and everyone on the subreddit is searching for something that doesn't exist. But then, it wouldn't be a monster hunt without that risk, would it?