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West Elizabeth (known as the Commonwealth of West Elizabeth) is the smallest of the three territories featured in Red Dead Redemption.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, it is one of the five American territories, now with an expanded region to the north.
In 1911, West Elizabeth is characterized as being the most modern and industrialized settlement in the West, the thriving port town of Blackwater, which also serves as the state's capital. The state is distinguished from others due to its uniformed police force, cobbled roads, and named streets.
In 1899 and 1907, it is preceded by Saint Denis in Lemoyne as a place of modernity. Regardless, it is still the modernized town in the West. Blackwater during this time is a port town going under the process of industrialization judging from the newly constructed structures sprouting within the town. As such, there is no built railway that passes Blackwater going to New Austin. Pacific Union Railroad Camp didn't exist at that time.
There are two major settlements in West Elizabeth: Blackwater and Strawberry. There are also camps, ranches, and homesteads that dot within the territory. In 1911, it is the home to a large Native American population, many of whom are members of Dutch's Gang.
West Elizabeth is bordered by New Austin to the west, which its established border is the Lower Montana River. The river empties through Thieves' Landing then to San Luis River. In the east, it is bordered by the Upper Montana River in the original game but currently bordered by Grizzlies West. Southeast of Big Valley is bordered by The Heartlands in New Hanover which its natural border is the Dakota River. Southwards, Flat Iron Lake bordered the rest of the territorial limits.
The landscape progresses from rolling grasslands in the Great Plains region through snow-capped, impassable mountains around the edges of Tall Trees. To the east lies Big Valley, which falls under the foot of Mount Shann. The resemblance of Tall Trees persists eastwards until near the vicinity of Strawberry where the elevation gets higher. The area is mountainous and slightly forested with patches of meadows surrounding the base of the mountain.
Much like other American states featured in the series, West Elizabeth is an amalgam of various states in the Western United States.
- The Great Plains region is based on the real-life Great Plains region of the central United States. This physiogeographic region encompasses parts of states including Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Great Plains itself seems to be based off no single real-life location, and was meant to be the general open plains area for the first game.
- Tall Trees is based on the Big Trees State Park and its surrounding areas along the Pacific Coast of California, especially with its sequoia trees, while its placement somewhat corresponds to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico.
- Big Valley is likely the Yosemite Valley of California. Its location next to Tall Trees supports this. The blue wildflowers, which are common in Big Valley, are almost identical to gray lupine, a wildflower most commonly found in Yosemite. The presence of loons in both Big Valley and Tall Trees further suggests California, given that loons are normally only found around the Arctic Circle during the summer, but around the Pacific Coast of the United States in Winter. Big Valley's geographic location relative to the other regions would be similar to that of northern Colorado or Utah
Because there is an overlap area that links the original map with new areas of Red Dead Redemption 2, West Elizabeth is one of the most geographically diverse states in the series. In all, its terrain broadly reflects numerous characteristics that can be found across many real-life states west of the Mississippi River, from the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains to the redwood forests of northern California. In turn, West Elizabeth’s people reflect everything from eastern city and riverboat-based societies to mountain fur trade and forestry cultures.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Due to a failed ferry robbery carried out by the Van der Linde gang in Blackwater, the area is semi-restricted and under constant guard by Pinkertons. Crossing towards Great Plains and Tall Trees will result in a maximum wanted level where Arthur will be shot at on sight when seen by lawmen. To prevent Arthur reaching New Austin, there is an invisible sniper that will kill the player with a single shot.
Towards the end of the game, the rest of West Elizabeth is unlocked and fully accessible. The player will control John Marston by this time, following the completion of "Red Dead Redemption". The focus of the game remains in West Elizabeth until the conclusion of the epilogue.
Red Dead Redemption
The game's opening cinematic begins with John Marston arriving in the region by steamboat, escorted by Federal Bureau agents Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham. The cinematic then transports the story to New Austin before giving control to the player. The player does not gain access to West Elizabeth again until the third chapter in the game's storyline, following completion of the mission "An Appointed Time." The focus of the game remains in West Elizabeth through the conclusion of the main storyline.
Locations in West Elizabeth
- Beecher's Hope
- Broken Tree
- Quaker's Cove (RDR 2 only)
- Wreck of the Serendipity (RDR only)
- Aurora Basin
- Bearclaw Camp (stylized as Bear Claw in RDR 2)
- Dixon Crossing
- Evelyn Miller Camp (RDR 2 only)
- Lower Montana River
- Manzanita Post
- Mason's Bridge (RDR only)
- Montana Ford
- Nekoti Rock
- Pacific Union Railroad Camp (RDR only)
- Swadbass Point (RDR 2 only)
- Tanner's Reach
- Tanner's Span (RDR only)
- Appleseed Timber Company
- Bard's Crossing
- Beryl's Dream
- Black Bone Forest
- Dakota River
- Diablo Ridge
- Fort Riggs
- Hanging Dog Ranch
- Hawks Eye Creek
- Lenora View
- Little Creek River
- Lone Mule Stead
- Monto's Rest
- Mount Shann
- Old Tom's Blind
- Owanjila Dam
- Painted Sky
- Pronghorn Ranch
- Riggs Station
- Shepherds Rise
- Stilt Shack
- Taxidermist House
- Upper Montana River
- Valley View
- Vetter's Echo
- Wallace Overlook
- Wallace Station
- Watson's Cabin
Red Dead Redemption
- This is the only region not to have any Gang Hideouts that the player can attack. There are still gang members that can be captured via bounty hunting, however. Cochinay is considered a gang hideout but plays only a story-based role and cannot be revisited to eliminate the gang in the area.
- As with the boundary between New Austin and Nuevo Paraíso, the transition of the music when the player moves between New Austin and West Elizabeth can take some time to register.
- The landscape is reflective of various states in the Western United States. The eastern portion of West Elizabeth resembles and is named after, the Great Plains while the western portion (Tall Trees area) resembles the front range states along the Rocky Mountains.
- The name would appear to be a reference to West Virginia since Elizabeth I was the eponymous "Virgin Queen" Virginia was named after.
- This region is host to a wide variety of game for hunting, as the player can hunt for Bear, Wolf, Cougar, Elk, Bighorn and Boar along with many other species in Tall Trees.
- West Elizabeth is the first state seen in the whole game. The game technically begins in Blackwater when John departs the Morningstar at the very beginning of Exodus in America.
- West Elizabeth is the only of the three territories to have Native Americans; the vast majority of whom are members of Dutch's Gang and are, therefore, extremely hostile.
- West Elizabeth is the most developed territory as it has Blackwater, a fully developed city, and heavy government influence. However, there are still many untamed elements to this land such as the natives, the wildlife and there are even small settlements such as Manzanita Post formed by natives or frontiersmen.
Red Dead Redemption 2
- In the mission "Fleeting Joy", Agent Milton refers to West Elizabeth as a "Commonwealth", which is an unusual title for an American state located in the southwest. This is unusual because the only states with the title of "Commonwealth" are located in the northeastern part of America.
- This game confirms that West Elizabeth is a separate state from New Austin, a fact that was left ambiguous in Red Dead Redemption, where a bounty obtained in either New Austin or West Elizabeth was valid in both states, regardless of location of the crime.
- West Elizabeth is one of two states to have a confirmed capital (Blackwater), the other being Lemoyne, whose capital is Saint Denis.
- West Elizabeth has three trapper locations, the highest number among five territories.
- There is no fence or gunsmith in West Elizabeth.
Early Access to West Elizabeth in Red Dead Redemption
- The player should have a fast horse such as the War Horse, Kentucky Saddler or the Hungarian Half Breed, and look for a cliff near the waterfall north of the MacFarlane's Ranch. A display reading "Tall Trees" will pop up when at the edge. From there, players should then walk over to the other side of the railroad tracks nearby, staying as close as possible to the West Elizabeth border. Pitching camp as near to the water as possible will place the player in West Elizabeth; this method works in the GOTY version. This action can be seen here.
- Another simple way over is to just follow this video. Once over the river, players should head to the Pacific Union Rail Road Camp and walk over to the stagecoach so it is marked on the map (an earlier version of Red Dead - not GOTY)
- If the player is arrested at this cliff, they will be transported to Blackwater (Confirmed for GOTY and Early Version.)
- To get back to New Austin, the player should auto-save the game and then die. However, if one buys the Manzanita Post property, the stagecoach is an option to return; this exploit still works as of 2018. Players should go to Thieves' Landing and use the stagecoach to go to any stagecoach marked on the map in West Elizabeth, or follow the videos (depending on which Red Dead version the player has).
- Another option to return is to use a fast horse to jump the unfinished bridge north at Thieves' Landing at a full gallop: with care, the other side of the bridge or land will be reached and safety achieved. Mason's bridge will also allow the player to return by hitting land underneath the bridge on the way down after leaping at a full gallop (but the fall may kill the horse and the player too if one is not careful). The Thieves' Landing bridge and Mason's bridge both work in the GOTY version.
- A very simple solution to get in and out freely without unlocking the storyline is to get arrested like mentioned above. Once the player is out of jail, they can earn enough cash to buy the house in Manzanita Post, and then buy all the maps for the West Elizabeth towns (Great Plains, Tall tress, etc..), then save at the newly bought house. After the player does this, they can come and go as they please without having to go through the storyline.
The discovery of locations in West Elizabeth count towards the following Trophies/Achievements:
Uncover every location on the map in Single Player.
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.