Years ago, Mark Johnson was a train and stagecoach robber, who was wanted across the American West. He decided to put his past behind him to live with his family, and disappeared for years while he and his wife raised their son Billy. Despite this, he is still a wanted man, and is labeled "at large" by the law.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
In Rhodes, the player can obtain a wanted poster regarding Mark Johnson, detailing his crimes and whereabouts. The player can subsequently encounter him at Siltwater Strand, where Johnson in seen teaching Billy how to ride a horse. When confronted by the player, Johnson asks to say goodbye to his family, before turning around and quietly speaking to Billy. Johnson seemingly hands himself in; he doesn't attempt to run away or make any kind of escape when confronted.
Johnson is placed on the back of the player's horse, and the two ride back to Rhodes. However, despite Johnson seeming to have turned himself in without any resistance, he manages to wriggle free of his binds and jumps off the player's horse. As he attempts to flee, armed bandits arrive on horseback and threaten the player, demanding that Johnson is let go. These men are then fought off, and Johnson is hogtied and taken to Rhodes Jail. Here, the player is rewarded $25 by Sheriff Thomas.
A few days later, Johnson's execution can be spectated behind the Sheriff Office. During Johnson's hanging, the player can either watch him hang or kill the lawmen and save his life. If he is saved, Johnson says to the player that he doesn't understand his reasons for doing such a thing but forgives him nonetheless. If the player does this, they will lose Honor; allowing him to hang will not do so.
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- If Johnson's wife is killed, he becomes outraged at the player.
- Despite being able to kill his wife, the player can not harm or kill Johnson's son, otherwise the mission will fail.
- Various aspects of his character seem to be a play on John Marston:
- His initials reversed are identical to Marston's (MJ for Mark Johnson and JM for John Marston).
- His retirement from a life of crime but remaining a wanted man mirrors Marston's predicament.
- If he is captured by John, his remarks after being thrown in the cell could be seen as foreshadowing Marston's eventual fate.
- The fact that his wife can be killed freely but not his son in some ways mirrors Abigail and Jack's fate at the end of Red Dead Redemption, in that Jack will also be the only one to survive.
- You can ride safely to Rhodes if you tie Mark to your horse and ride on second horse whistling your horse to follow. You can take his horse as second one, no penalty for that.
- If the player pursues him after saving him from hanging, he will hop on a horse and ride all the way to Saint Denis, where he will be executed by the law. This can be interpreted as another element of foreshadowing John Marston's death at the hands of the law in Red Dead Redemption, as he cannot escape or be saved.
- Allowing Mark to say goodbye to Billy results in an Honor boost.
- If the player does not let him say goodbye to Billy, the armed bandits do not appear.
- Sometimes when saving him, the player will tell Mark to take care of his son and order him to escape with Mark voicing that he will.
- Mark Johnson is hanged despite only having a $25 bounty.
- At his execution, it is revealed that Mark killed several people, which is most likely the reason for his hanging.