Landon Ricketts was a famous gunslinger during the height of the Old American West, and stories of his adventures and fights were commonplace during John Marston's childhood. He appeared in many gunfights including one where he killed the Butcher Brothers in 1896 and was rumored to have been involved in the infamous Blackwater Massacre of 1899.
The massacre was apparently part of the reason Ricketts chose to move to Chuparosa, sometime after a gunfight in eastern California in 1902, for a more "quiet" lifestyle. As an experienced gunman, he serves the people of the town as an unofficial lawman or vigilante. Ricketts was also married, though his wife died at some point prior to 1911 from unknown causes.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
Although not seen physically, he is seen on a cigarette card and is mentioned by Arthur in a conversation with Sadie, by John during a poker game in the camp and by a Deputy in Valentine.
Events of Red Dead Redemption
John first meets Ricketts in Chuparosa after Ricketts witnesses Marston killing three bandits who try to rob him. He gives him a Schofield Revolver to replace his less powerful Cattleman Revolver and then teaches him the third level of Dead-Eye by targeting glass bottles followed by shooting numerous birds in mid-flight. Marston then displays his newly taught skills by accompanying Ricketts in retrieving a wagon stolen from the bank by bandits and by rescuing a hostage.
John Marston meets Landon Ricketts later discussing with Emilio Fortuna and his companion about the whereabouts of Javier Escuella, although they are not certain if the Escuella they are talking about is Javier or not. Marston and Ricketts then go on a mission to retrieve Emilio's sister, Luisa Fortuna, from the government jail. They are able to get past the guards with the help of Carlos, a butcher in El Matadero, who distracts them so Marston and Ricketts can enter. The pair of gunslingers shoot their way towards Luisa's cell. Ricketts rigs the locked door with Dynamite while Marston keeps watch. The two find Luisa barely alive in her cell. Ricketts carries Luisa as he and Marston shoot their way out. They escape on horseback only to be pursued by more Mexican soldiers which are quickly taken care of. They then regroup with Carlos who takes Luisa for medical attention.
Marston meets Ricketts again at the bar in Chuparosa where he is playing Poker with Andreas Müller, a German silver prospector and two other Mexican men, Manolo Santander and The Stranger. Ricketts invites Marston to join them. After a couple of hands, Müller accuses Marston of cheating, which Marston denies. Müller gets angry and stands up to pull out his gun which all the other four do the same. Müller challenges Marston to a Duel, which he accepts. While walking to the Duelling point, Ricketts gives Marston a few tips on Duels. Marston successfully kills Müller and then he and Ricketts share a drink using Müller's money. A few moments later, they are interrupted by The Stranger who is threatening to slit a girl’s throat with a Knife. He challenges John to a duel, and Marston manages to shoot The Stranger in the head, without harming the girl. Four accomplices arrive who start shooting at Ricketts and Marston; the two of them prevail and part ways.
The two meet once again in the bar in Chuparosa, Marston asks him if he has any further information on Javier Escuella but Ricketts has none. Marston tells him his history of the gang he used to run in, they share a few drinks as they discuss their lives. Luisa enters the bar pleading for their help as innocent people are being sentenced to death on Colonel Allende's orders without trial - merely for having an opinion. Ricketts and Marston ambush the convoy of wagons holding the prisoners. They each take control of a wagon, killing the Mexican soldiers who try stopping them. They reach the borderline to America where they are safe from the army and the prisoners are released. Marston and Ricketts say their farewells as John needs to get back on track with finding Javier Escuella. In the main game, they never meet again.
In the final 1914 issue of the Blackwater Ledger, it is revealed that Landon Ricketts passed away quietly in his sleep, a week before the events of "Remember My Family". The paper says that he had returned to the United States in 1911 (presumably after rescuing the hostages in "The Mexican Wagon Train") after living for many years in Mexico. The paper also stated that with his passing, another piece of the Old West was lost.
Events of Undead Nightmare
Note:The events of Undead Nightmare are not considered part of the same canon as Red Dead Redemption. The following description is therefore not contiguous with the preceding section on Red Dead Redemption.
Ricketts is now living in Casa Madrugada, apparently single-handedly defending the town from the Undead hordes, making it a permanent safe zone. He will ask Marston to get some Undead Bait and some Dynamite for him, which he combines to make Boom Bait, which lures zombies over, then explodes.
Landon Ricketts can be killed in the Undead NightmareDLC. After completion of his mission in Casa Madrugada, Ricketts is sitting on a chair. If the player shoots a bottle near him or shoots off his hat, he will attack. Then the player can kill him, and the story won't be affected at all, and Casa Madrugada will remain safe. Like Amos in the main game, he can survive a shot to the face with a Cattleman Revolver.
In addition, Ricketts returns as an Undead. Ricketts uses the same model in Multiplayer minus his hat and behaves as a Bolter Undead would. He has a 1/4th chance appearing alongside zombies in regular hordes and can spawn anywhere in the game world at any given time. This can happen even before he appears alive in "Biographies and Lies".
I am not gonna give you a second chance to put that down, partner.
—Landon Ricketts if the player aims their weapon at him.
"Don't worry, this'll be all over soon."
"You have no idea who you're up against, do you?"
"This ends right now!"
"Just let me know when you've had enough."
"You've gone all kinds of wrongs, partner."
"I've been through the mill, but you're somethin' else."
"Why don't you just shoot yourself and save us all some time."
"You're as crazy as a sheep herder."
"Do I have to show you where the trigger is?"
"This can only end badly for you."
"I've killed all that can be killed."
"Truth is long dead."
"If you see me when I was so fast, you couldn't see me."
"We got sunshine, sand and a plague that makes people eat each other."
Ricketts appears to be modeled after one of real-life America's well-known gunmen, Wyatt Earp. Both Ricketts and Earp gained fame from a major shootout: Ricketts from the Blackwater Massacre and Earp from the O.K. Corral Shootout Both shootouts were blurred as both shootouts were unknown who started the attacks. This is also further implied as Ricketts was writing an autobiography before his death while Earp was also releasing a biography by Stuart Lake but did not complete as Earp passed away before finishing the book.
Landon also bears some resemblance to famed gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok. His clothing is also remarkably similar, along with his mustache and shoulder-length hair.
At one point, he was married. This is clear when he states "Thank God my wife died." in the mission Lucky in Love.
Soon after the quote, if the player looks under the table when the shot widens as Marston sits down, on Ricketts' right thigh is what seems to be a few playing cards. It is a secret card since moments before, Ricketts is seen to be winning a lot of chips and later states he has already beaten Müller.
In the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and the PSN Store, Landon is shown as a promo for the Legends and KillersDLC pack, although he is not in it.
In Undead Nightmare, he mentions a man in Chicago was writing a biography on him, and a man in Pittsburgh painted his portrait.
In the official trailer for Undead Nightmare, Landon Ricketts' quote from the beginning of the mission "Biographies and Lies" is heard. It is, however, shortened. He can be heard saying "I have never seen anything quite like this".
In Undead Nightmare, if one waits around long enough, one can see Landon fighting off more undead while staying in place, he is never shown reloading and the undead can't ever get close enough to Landon to kill him.
In Undead Nightmare if the player rescues Merche Coronado for the Missing Persons side quest before starting "Biographies and Lies", and then returns the game will spawn two Landons; one that cycles his idle animations, and one that uses his cutscene animations. After the cutscene ends, the two Landons will both cycle idle animations at different intervals.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Ricketts' voiceRoss Hagen passed away shortly before the first anniversary of Red Dead Redemption's release.
He is in the book, “Wild West Heroes No. 132”, where he has an encounter with the gunslinger Jim “Boy” Calloway, who is trying to infiltrate a Mexican Army fort. He notably says to Calloway “Keep jumping from one side of the fence to the other, you might just get impaled on it”, which is the same line he says to John Marston in the mission “The Mexican Wagon Train”.
He is mentioned by John during a poker game in the camp.
While not seen or mentioned in Red Dead Online, a reference to Ricketts is present in the form of "Landon's Patience", one of the passive abilitiy cards available to the player.
Red Dead Redemption
Artwork for Red Dead Redemption.
Promotional screenshot depicting Ricketts and Marston.
Ricketts on a promotional art for Myths and Mavericks.
Close-up of Ricketts.
Artwork for Undead Nightmare, depicting an undead Ricketts.
Undead Ricketts found in the single-player mode.
Ricketts as a playable character in Red Dead Redemption's multiplayer mode.
Undead Ricketts, dubbed "Zombie Ricketts", as a playable character in Redemption's multiplayer mode.
Promotional screenshot of Ricketts killing Javier Escuela.
Promotional screenshot depicting Ricketts, Uncle and Nastas.
Promotional screenshot depicting Ricketts, Uncle, Eli and Jonah.