A notorious bounty hunter and Mexican revolutionary. Javier immediately had a strong connection to Dutch’s ideals. Very committed, passionate and loyal.
—Rockstar Games' description of Escuella for Redemption 2.
Javier Escuella was born in Nuevo Paraíso, Mexico. According to Agustin Allende, Javier's father was a drunk that worked on his uncle's land. When he was a boy, Escuella witnessed his uncle and four other men castrated and fed to pigs because they suggested the villagers demand a fair wage. Eventually, Javier became a notorious revolutionary, fighting against what he saw as a corrupt system. He ended up killing a powerful, former military man in Punta Orgullo over a woman he was in love with. Fearing that his loved ones would suffer if he remained in Mexico, Javier fled to America. However, he did not know any English and ultimately became feeble and starved.
In 1895, while attempting to steal some chickens, Javier came across Dutch van der Linde doing the same. They both laughed, and Dutch fed and clothed Javier, offering him a spot in the Van der Linde gang. Javier felt an immediate affinity with the gang and its ideals. He came to see the gang as his family and his true home. He especially idolized Dutch for his revolutionary ideals and became fiercely loyal to him. Javier became a gunman for the gang and would be involved in a number of robberies and various other crimes across the frontier.
By 1899, the gang had fled east and ended up in in the state of West Elizabeth. They had been camping outside of the town of Blackwater when Dutch caught wind of a boat carrying an immense amount of money. The gang attempted to rob the boat, but the heist went wrong when Pinkerton agents showed up. Javier witnessed Dutch murder a young mother named Heidi McCourt, before a huge gunfight ensued. The gang subsequently made a desperate escape to the north, ending up in the snowy mountains of Ambarino.
During a snowstorm, the gang take shelter in the abandoned mining town of Colter, in Grizzlies West. The next day, Abigail asks Arthur to look for John, and so Hosea sends Javier to ride out with Arthur to find him. After a long search, the duo eventually find John badly wounded, and realise that he was ravaged by wolves. Javier carries John and puts him on the back of his horse, before he and Arthur ride back to camp and fight off the remaining wolves. Later, the gang learns that the O'Driscolls are camped nearby. Javier is paired with Lenny during the assault on their camp, slaying several O'Driscolls.
During the assault on the Cornwall train, Javier attempts to jump aboard the moving train, but misses, and falls to the ground injured. He would soon recover, and is seen with the others after the train has been incapacitated.
During the gang's escape from the mountains, Javier is seen with Charles in the caravan ahead of Arthur and Hosea. When the latter's wheel comes off, Javier offers to help mend it, although Arthur and Hosea decline. Upon arrival, Javier is seen at the entrance to the camp, and Arthur lets him jump on as he drives the caravan into the gang's new spot.
Not long after moving to Horseshoe Overlook, Javier is in the saloon in Valentine when a brawl breaks out. He is seen punching Tommy in the face but is overpowered by him and is saved when Tommy is attacked by Arthur.
Later, he takes part in the mission to help rescue Sean along with Arthur, Charles, and Trelawny. Along with Arthur and Trelawny, he assaults the camp front on, while Charles takes a vantage point over the enemy Bounty Hunters. Trelawny distracts two bounty hunters which allows Arthur and Javier to silently take them down. He then leaves, allowing Arthur and Javier to engage the rest of them in combat. The pair eventually join up with Charles, and the three clear out any remaining bounty hunters. Ultimately, the mission results in Sean being rescued. Javier can also rob the homestead of Chez Porter with Arthur at some point during this chapter.
The player can choose to go fishing with Javier during this chapter, where he and Arthur share a friendly conversation. Later, Javier, John and Arthur, make a deal with the Grays, in which they will steal the Braithwaites prized horses and sell them for five thousand dollars. The three of them talk their way into the grounds, before killing the stablehand and stealing the horses. Javier will be the one to lead the horses during the escape, until they sell them for a meager seven hundred dollars. Javier will once again strike another blow to the Braithwaites when he takes part in the assault on Braithwaite Manor.
Javier plays the part of a security guard during the riverboat robbery. After Arthur wins a significant sum from the owner of the riverboat, Javier escorts the owner upstairs to the vault as he goes to collect it. Javier pulls his gun on the man as soon as he opens the vault, which he and Arthur quickly empty. After the man pulls a gun on them, Arthur is forced to shoot him, and all hell breaks loose. Javier, Arthur, Strauss, and Trelawny are then forced to flee the ship. After getting to shore, they divide the significant amount of money between themselves.
Javier takes part in the Saint Denis bank robbery, where he is given the job of guarding the side entrance of the bank. Unfortunately, the robbery results in the deaths of Lenny and Hosea. After escaping from the Pinkertons, he along with some of the surviving gang members board a ship out the city.
After the boat out of Saint Denis sinks, Javier, Dutch, Bill and Micah wash up on shore of Guarma. Not long after, Arthur finds them, but he and the rest of the gang are arrested by Guarman soldiers. After Hercule Fontaine opens fire on the enemy soldiers, Arthur manages to unlock their handcuffs and they make a run for it. Unfortunately, Javier is shot in the leg while trying to flee and is captured by the enemy. He is taken to Aguasdulces, where Dutch and Arthur see him being pulled by a donkey and surrounded by soldiers and Colonel Fussar, where he is being beaten. He is then locked up in a cage, until Dutch and Arthur break him out after creating a distraction. They bring him to the safety of the rebels and his fellow gang members. For the rest of his time on Guarma, he is in a recovery mode and is carried around during most of it.
With the gang on the verge of collapse at Beaver Hollow, Javier takes a fairly minimal role in gang affairs. He remains unendingly loyal to Dutch, and his relationship notably deteriorates with Arthur as a result.
Javier is also present in the final train robbery, although he plays a minimal part in it. Soon afterwards, when Arthur and Micah draw guns on each other during the standoff at camp, Javier reports that the Pinkertons are coming. Arthur then tells Javier that it's time for him to choose a side, and despite some hesitation, he joins the majority of the gang on Micah's side. After Pinkertons show up, he presumably runs away with Bill, as neither of them are seen pursuing Arthur and John, unlike the others.
Javier presumably returns to Mexico after the gang collapses, and is said to be living in the mountains in Mexico by 1907.
Events of Red Dead Redemption
By 1911, Javier is working as a hitman for Colonel Allende. Through his association with the Colonel, he was put under the Mexican Army’s protection. Prior to the assault on Fort Mercer, Javier helps Bill Williamson escape to Nuevo Paraíso, where Williamson is also placed under Allende’s protection. Allende takes advantage of this, using Marston to aid him in fighting the rebels led by Abraham Reyes. Eventually, John is betrayed and nearly killed by the Mexican Army, so he then sides with the rebels. Javier is eventually located by Reyes and John in El Presidio during the rebels' assault of the fort.
In El Presidio, John holds Javier at gunpoint in a room within the fort. Javier is surprised to see John working for the Bureau of Investigation but John points out that they both now "work for different governments". Javier laughs at this and tries to convince John to let him go. John is quick to remind him of how the gang left him to die and makes it clear to Javier that "It's either you or me. The way I see it, it might as well be you". This doesn't phase Javier and he continues to try to coax a deal out of John. Claiming that he'll give him Bill and claiming to know the location of Dutch, who is allegedly in Colombia. As John was left unconvinced, Javier suddenly pushes a crate onto John, who falls over. Javier then leaps out a window. John gets up and runs after him. Depending on how the player decides to deal with Escuella, two outcomes can occur.
Kill Escuella: If the player chooses this, John retrieves Javier's corpse and puts it in a jail cell back in the fort, because he has to show it to Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham as proof. Before walking out of the jail cell though, John looks at his old friend lying dead on the floor and spits on his corpse, with a tear in his eye. Later on, John takes Javier's dead body to the government agents; Fordham will sarcastically remark about Javier, saying, "He's not looking very...healthy," before John dumps Javier's dead body in the back of their car. The last sight of Javier is his corpse being driven away.
Capture Escuella: John can capture Escuella by using a lasso to subdue him and then ride back to El Presidio's jail. John takes a struggling Escuella to the jail cell, where Javier insults John, calling him a “puto” (bitch), and tells him that "One day I promise you, you're gonna regret this", to which John replies "One day's about all you got left." The next morning John takes the restrained Javier to the government agents, and Javier spits on his arm. He is taken to America and put into custody, and is not seen for the rest of the game. Later in the story, it is mentioned by John that Javier is deceased in a conversation with Abigail, heavily implying that Javier was later executed.
In 1899, Javier is a kind and idealistic man, friendly with most gang members. He was exiled from Mexico for revolutionary activity, claiming that he fought so his people would be fed. It is through this idealism that he connects with Dutch and is unwaveringly loyal to him, sometimes to a fault. He seems to be good friends with John Marston, gladly volunteering to search for him when he goes missing during a snowstorm. His closest friendship is likely with Bill, however, with the two having similar views on Dutch, similar experience, as well as the fact that they likely ran off together after the standoff, the fact that Javier will be the one who tries to rescue Bill if he is captured by bounty hunters, that Bill felt he could console Javier in who the “rat” is, and that specifically Bill was asked to care for Javier on Guarma. By 1911, the two still seem to be friends, as Javier helps Bill to escape America and flee to Mexico.
As the gang is slowly falling apart, Javier continues supporting Dutch; he also chastises Arthur for displeasing Dutch. He ultimately sides with him during a confrontation with Arthur and John, albeit reluctantly. However, the slowly revealing insanity of Javier's mentor and role model had a big effect on him; Javier begins losing trust in anyone not faithful to Dutch, and Arthur notes how Javier had changed after Javier had criticised Charles. John says to Abraham Reyes in 1911: “When Dutch lost his mind, Javier took it harder than any of us. It’s like all he ever believed in turned out to be a fraud”, which can be confirmed to some extent with Javier's eventual changes in character.
Javier has a noticeable love for music, frequently playing guitar and singing for the members of the Van der Linde gang during meals and parties. He also seems to write his own original music, which delights the gang's members, since it means he can vary the entertainment he provides for them very frequently.
However, Javier is shown to be quite vain, always being impeccably dressed wherever possible and taking pride in his appearance. He also doesn’t take kindly to any form of mockery or disrespect, holding a knife to Bill’s throat upon being called a “greaser”, threatening to fillet Sean with a knife after being made fun of and responding to Micah’s “fuck off back to Mexico” comment by punching him in the face.
By 1911, he is a shadow of his former self, working as a hitman for the ruthless tyrant Colonel Allende. He apparently still has some fondness for John, despite the circumstances. While he only tried to talk his way out of capture initially, Javier becomes very hostile after John does capture him, cursing his name and his family. He also says that he always thought of John as weak.
In 1899, Javier is a slim-built man of average height, with black hair and a dark complexion, notably having a mustache that's shaved in the middle. He generally wears a white shirt with a red tie, a silver waistcoat, a blue jacket and a bowler hat complete with black trousers and boots, which is modified by a poncho and gloves when in the cold. In Chapter 2, he will sometimes, instead, be seen wearing a long, grey coat, a sombrero and a bandolier over his waistcoat while, in hotter temperatures, Javier wears a dark blue waistcoat over his shirt without his usual blue jacket. For the Saint Denis bank robbery, Javier wears a smart white shirt, a black tie and a silver waistcost, which is mostly covered by a long, smart black jacket. On Guarma, said attire regresses to a shirt and a waistcoat only, along with black trousers.
By 1911, his appearance has changed little since 1899, although his face is more lined. He also changes his attire, instead wearing a beige-colored jacket with a white shirt underneath, a bandolier and a sombrero, which are more suitable for the desert climate.
In "The Gates of El Presidio", if the player captures Escuella, he will yell to John "I hope you and your wife and children rot in hell!". This comment gives a possible time frame to Marston's daughter’s death, implying that she was at least alive when John was in the gang.
This is disproven in Red Dead Redemption 2, when it is shown that John's daughter is not yet born when he left the gang.
Hogtying Escuella, sticking him in front of the gate, and then using the Cannon to blow him up will have the same effect as turning him in alive.
Javier has a knife holster, but he does not have a knife. The player can see the knife holster if he kills Escuella. This may be the reason why Javier is inspecting a Knife in Multiplayer.
His sombrero is the same one on the Bandito Outfit, although the one worn by Javier appears to be wider.
His last name "Escuella" is closely related to "school" in Spanish (Escuela). On the other hand, "escollo", which sounds a little alike, has different meanings, like pitfall, stumbling block, reef, rock, barrier, hidden danger. A mixture of "escuela" and "escollo" could mean that Escuella was really one of the many obstacles Marston has to endure to get his family back.
In the Chuparosa saloon, there is a picture on the wall near the table where Banditos can be seen drinking, the man on the picture is possibly Escuella.
Javier's death is seemingly confirmed in the mission "Old Friends, New Problems" where John tells Abigail "Bill, Javier, Dutch. They're all dead. It doesn't get more over than that." Despite the fact that John can spare Javier, John still says this line, probably meaning that Javier was indeed hanged after being captured. Additionally, Javier is confirmed dead in the 1914 newspaper as one of the members of the Van der Linde gang that Edgar Ross was credited for eliminating, meaning that he must have been executed, most likely soon after his capture given that John refers to him as deceased, as mentioned above.
In "The Demon Drink" Allende mentions being somewhat associated with Javier's father by saying "Escuella is from this province. His father was a borracho, a drunk who worked as a laborer on land cultivated by my uncle".
Escuella will be wearing either copper or rusty iron cuffs if the player hogties him.
According to John, Escuella never attempted to teach John or his fellow gang members any Spanish, something Abraham Reyes sneers at.
Red Dead Redemption 2
In Red Dead Redemption 2, Javier plays the guitar for the gang when sitting around the campfire at night.
In the original Red Dead Redemption, John says to Javier "Abigail would have killed you already. She always thought you were a creep". However, this is never mentioned or implied in Red Dead Redemption 2, where Javier is portrayed as very well mannered and rarely talks to Abigail - she even thanks him and Arthur for rescuing John.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, Javier is portrayed as one of the most humble and dependable gang members: He has less dialogue than most characters, is instrumental in helping rescue John from wolves in the first chapter, and Arthur even later remarks "you're probably the most loyal of us all". This is contrasted in the first game, which depicts him as a back-stabbing antagonist towards John.
In terms of weaponry, Javier uses a unique, silver-plated Double-action Revolver featuring engravings and a black, rounded grip complete with silver, circular carvings. However the barrel is slightly longer than that of a regular Double-action Revolver and it also makes its own distinctive sound. In addition to this, he sometimes uses a Carbine Repeater or a Lancaster Repeater.
During the mission “My Last Boy” Javier is seen using a standard Cattleman Revolver during a cutscene, although this is likely a developer oversight.
He also has a knife with a similar handle, although it is rarely used.
Javier is shown to be a skilled fisherman, with Arthur remarking how much better at it he and Hosea are compared to him.
Occasionally, if Arthur has spent a long time away from camp, Dutch will send Javier to track down Arthur. After he has found Arthur, the player then has the option to fast travel back to camp with him.
Occasionally, Bill may be captured by bounty hunters, and Javier will ask Arthur to help free him.
Javier does not point his gun at either Arthur or John during the gang's standoff at Beaver Hollow, suggesting that he still had some degree of friendship with at least one of them. Additionally, in a random camp event, Bill will suggest to Javier that John is a “traitor”, which Javier is skeptical of, further suggesting that Javier was still close with John, even after it became clear that John had lost faith in Dutch.