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. Javier's father was a drunkard who worked as a laborer on land owned by Allende's uncle. 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 bounty hunter and 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 could not speak 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. Escuella felt an immediate affinity with the gang and its ideals; he came to see the gang as his family and his true home, while especially idolising Dutch as a revolutionary paragon and becoming fiercely loyal to him. Javier functioned as a gunman for the gang and was involved in a number of robberies and various other crimes across the frontier. One notable example is a bank robbery in Tucson, Arizona, which Javier robbed with Arthur and Karen. At some point, Escuella heard that his mother had died and that his sister had married. Despite deeply missing them both, he couldn't go back to Mexico because he would be killed if discovered.
Sometime prior to 1899, Javier and Arthur attempted to rob a stagecoach after receiving tips from a crooked lawman in Reno, Nevada. However, they decided to let the stagecoach go when they found out that it was full of women and children. To their disappointment, that stagecoach was robbed by the O'Driscoll Boys the very next day, who had all its passengers murdered.
By 1899, the gang had fled east and ended up 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 and participated in the huge gunfight that 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, 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 attacked 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 soon recovers, and is seen among 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 gets 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.
At some stage within this chapter, Javier can also rob the homestead of Chez Porter with Arthur.
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 leads the horses during the escape, until the trio sell them for a meager seven hundred dollars. Later on, Javier takes part in the assault on the Braithwaite Manor.
Javier plays the part of a security guard during the riverboat robbery. After Arthur wins a Reutlinger pocket watch from Desmond Blythe in a poker game, Javier escorts Arthur and the overseer upstairs to the vault as Arthur goes to collect his prize. Javier holds the man at gunpoint as soon as he opens the vault, which he and Arthur quickly empty. After the man pulls a concealed gun on them, Arthur is forced to shoot him, which alerts the ship's guards. After a brief shootout, Javier, Arthur, Strauss and Trelawny are forced to flee the ship by jumping overboard and swimming to shore. After getting to safety, they divide the significant amount of money between themselves.
Later, Javier participates in the Saint Denis bank robbery, where he is given the job of guarding the side entrance of the bank. However, the robbery quickly goes wrong due to the arrival of Pinkertons and the resulting deaths of Lenny and Hosea. Javier and the gang make their escape across the city's rooftops and temporarily find refuge in an abandoned apartment. Afterwards, the gang make their way to the docks and board a ship destined for the South Pacific.
After the boat out of Saint Denis sinks, Javier, Dutch, Bill and Micah wash up on the shore of Guarma. Not long after, Arthur finds them, but he and the rest of the gang are soon arrested by Guarman soldiers. After Hercule Fontaine opens fire on the enemy soldiers, Arthur manages to unlock their handcuffs and they make their escape. However, Javier is shot in the leg while trying to flee and is captured by the enemy.
Escuella is taken to Aguasdulces, where Dutch and Arthur see him being dragged on the road by a donkey, surrounded by Colonel Fussar and his men. They interrogate Javier for information on who his fellow gang members are and beat him, but he refuses to divulge any information to them. Javier is then locked up in a cage until Dutch and Arthur break him out after creating a distraction. They bring Escuella to the safety of the rebels and his fellow gang members, where he is left to heal. For the rest of his time on Guarma, Javier's time is spent recovering.
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, where he is seen accompanying Dutch, Micah and Joe in going back for John after he was shot. However, the four men later return without John, with Dutch and Micah falsely claiming that he had died. Later, a standoff at Beaver Hollow ensues when Arthur and Micah draw guns on each other at camp; Javier appears when it is ongoing and announces that Pinkertons are coming, but unwittingly causes the death of Susan Grimshaw in the process as Micah shoots her while she is distracted by this. Dutch then pulls out his revolvers and demands who is "with" him and who is "betraying" him, causing Javier to hesitantly join the majority of the gang on Dutch and Micah's side. After Pinkertons begin their assault, Javier presumably runs away with Bill, as neither of them are seen pursuing Arthur and John, unlike the others.
At some stage after the disbandment of the gang, Javier returns to Mexico. He is reported to be living in the mountains in Mexico by 1907.
Events of Red Dead Redemption
By 1911, Javier works as a hitman for Colonel Allende - the Governor of Nuevo Paraíso and an aide to General Sanchez. Through his association with the Colonel, Javier was put under the Mexican Army’s protection. Prior to the assault on Fort Mercer, Javier helped Bill Williamson escape to Nuevo Paraíso, which resulted in Williamson also being placed under Allende’s protection.
When John Marston arrives in Mexico in pursuit of Williamson and Escuella per the Bureau's request, Allende takes advantage of the situation, using Marston to aid him in fighting the rebels led by Abraham Reyes in return for finding Javier for him, but with no intention of fulfilling his side of the bargain. Eventually, John is betrayed and nearly killed by the Mexican Army, so he then sides with the rebels. Reyes promises to find the two men for John, and eventually finds out that Javier is in El Presidio. Javier is located by John during the rebels' assault on 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 US government, but John points out that both of them simply "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 says to Javier: "It's either you or me. The way I see it, it might as well be you". This doesn't faze 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 is left unconvinced, Javier suddenly pushes a crate onto John, who falls over. Javier then leaps out a window, and John 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 lifeless 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.
Javier would die fighting for what he believed in. He had a lot of passion, but no love.
A revolutionary, Escuella was a firm idealist who held loyalty above any other virtue and could passionately devote his life to a cause. This allowed him to connect with Dutch, who Javier remained unwaveringly loyal to throughout the time they knew each other. As of 1899, Javier is seen to be friendly with most gang members and possesses a strong sense of camaraderie. He seems to be good friends with John Marston, gladly volunteering to search for him when he goes missing during a snowstorm, although the two drift apart later on when John begins to lose faith in Dutch. His closest friendship seems to be with Bill, however, with the two having similar views on Dutch. Additionally, Javier will be the one who tries to rescue Bill if he is captured by bounty hunters, Bill was asked specifically to care for Javier on Guarma, Bill felt he could console Javier in who the “rat” is, and the duo also appear to run off together after the standoff. By 1911, the two still seem to be friends, as Javier helps Bill to escape America and flee to Mexico.
As the gang slowly falls apart, Javier continues supporting Dutch; he also chastises Arthur for disapproving of Dutch's decisions and leadership. He ultimately sides with Van der Linde 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 the latter had an argument with 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". John also assesses that Escuella was a complex and paradoxical figure who was more misanthropic underneath than he appeared, stating him to be "a cynic who desperately wanted to be a romantic" and a "torn man" despite being a revolutionary and idealist who was committed to making the world a better place.
In his spare time, Javier can frequently be seen playing guitar and singing for members of the Van der Linde gang, especially during meals and parties. His passion for music is exemplified further in his tendency to compose his own songs, which delights his comrades 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 punching Micah in the face after being told to “fuck off back to Mexico”.
Over a decade later in 1911, Javier is working as a hitman for the ruthless tyrant Colonel Allende. A stark contrast to his younger self who was critical of tyrannical governments. It is also implied several times that Javier has built up a bad reputation in Nuevo Paraíso within the intervening years. A whore in Casa Madrugada comments "I wouldn't spit on him if he was on fire." when John Marston merely mentions his name to her. In another instance Landon Ricketts mentions Javier's name to Luisa Fortuna. She responds "I remember that name from prison. Bad people spoke of him."
When Javier is confronted at gunpoint by John in El Presidio, he initially acts very placid and cooperative. Attempting to calm John down by claiming that the gang didn't leave John to die all those years ago and supposedly offering him Dutch's whereabouts. Though Javier's initial cooperativeness seems to be mostly based in deception rather than genuine sympathy, as he quickly takes the opportunity to knock John off balance by pushing a crate onto him then escaping out a window. When John pursues him, Javier has no hesitation in drawing his revolver and shooting at his former brother in arms while insulting him repeatedly. If Javier is captured instead of killed, he angrily threatens John and curses his family while being locked in a cell.
In 1899, Javier is a slim-built man, with black hair and a dark complexion, notably having a mustache that's shaved in the middle, with a prominent scar on his eyebrow, often hidden by his hair. Javier also has a scar along the front of his neck, possibly from a lynching attempt. According to John, Javier is approximately 5'8. 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 waistcoat, 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 somewhat since 1899, his face is lined and wrinkled, with some additional scarring, in addition to appearing somewhat thinner. In stark contrast to his sharp, clean looks in 1899, by the 1911 Javier appears to have poor hygiene and his now medium-length hair appears unstyled, exposing his prominent eyebrow scar. He also changed 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.
"Te voy a partir la Madre, Hahaha! (direct translation: "I will break your Mother!" rough/adapted translation: I'm going to (physically) mess you up!)"
Campaign (Redemption 2)
"Why don't you fuck off back to hell?" – Javier to Micah Bell, after punching him; in retaliation to Micah telling him to "fuck off back to Mexico"
"Next time, it will be a bullet." – Javier, in response to Arthur Morgan complimenting him on delivering his "nice hit" to Micah for the aforementioned insult
"A rainbow without any rain? Our luck has changed. We're blessed." – Javier, complimenting Arthur about a rainbow as a sign of good luck
"My father, he always say to me, "If someone disrespects you... fillet them with a knife." If you know what I mean." – Javier to Sean MacGuire, in response about vanity being a sin and "the bigger the box, the smaller the gift"
"Oh, well, in that case, I'm sure there's priests who will happily take your confession." – Javier to Reverend Swanson, in response to Swanson telling him "it's not too late to repent, my Mexican friend"
If the player captures Escuella, he exclaims 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.
However, in Red Dead Redemption 2, John's daughter is not seen at all, nor is she mentioned by anyone in the gang.
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 a slightly wider version of the one seen on the Bandito Outfit.
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.
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 don'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.
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, in Redemption 2, Abigail never conveys a dislike of any kind for Javier and even thanks him and Arthur for rescuing John. Given the context, however, there’s a possibility that it was merely an insult from 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, although this change in his character can be witnessed in Chapter 6 where he will be hostile to Arthur, Abigail, Uncle and Charles, even conspiring with Micah at one random event in camp.
At a campfire, Javier may often tell stories about his plight in his hometown up to the time that he immigrated to America before Dutch found him; according to Gabriel Sloyer, these stories echo the life and ordeal that Sloyer's immigrant father (also named Javier) experienced at the time he came to the United States.
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.
This gun is held by Arthur for the "New Game" icon under "Story", although it is unobtainable for gameplay.
He also has a knife with a similar handle, although it is rarely used.
Apparently Javier was going to fight alongside Arthur in a shootout at the Annesburg Mine in "Just a Social Call", as shown in one trailer or concept art, before the mission was changed to reflect that only Arthur, Dutch, and Micah are involved in the final version.
Javier is shown to be a skilled fisherman, with Arthur remarking how much better at it he and Hosea are compared to him.
The fact that Javier carries with himself a copy of his wanted poster from Mexico (as can be attested in the walls of Shady Belle in Chapter 4) and has no qualms in openly hanging it on a wall in the gang camp for everyone to see at one point may indicate that he cultivates a certain pride over his crimes, again another aspect of his personal vanity.
Occasionally, if Arthur has spent a long time away from camp, Dutch may 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.
If Arthur shows too much hostility towards the other members, Javier may punch him and throw him out of the camp. He shares this trait with Bill, Sean, Charles, Lenny and John.
Javier is shown to be a practicing Roman Catholic (since his home country, Mexico, is a predominantly Roman Catholic country in the real world). In one of the camp interactions, he is shown genuflecting on one knee and praying behind a barrel before Reverend Swanson approaches and tells him it's "not too late to repent". Javier replies that there are "priests who will happily take your confession," before making the Sign of the Cross and praying; in response, Swanson tells him that he (Javier) is "doomed", possibly foreshadowing his demise twelve years later. Also, when John injures him during the chase, Javier may say, "Tell your wife it's the Lord I praise" - another implication of his Catholic beliefs while he is dying.
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. Gabriel Sloyer, the voice actor for Javier in Red Dead Redemption 2, has stated that Javier not aiming his gun at John or Arthur during the standoff was a creative choice on his behalf because he didn't believe that Javier would aim his weapon at his "brothers". Rockstar was initially against this decision but were persuaded after Gabriel "fought" to keep Javier's reluctance in the scene.
The Zapatero outfit in Red Dead Online is based on an outfit worn by Javier.