Red Dead Redemption 2 is full of tiny details, some of which even point to Rockstar Games’ other properties. One such noteworthy reference points to the gone-but-not-forgotten action/adventure game, Bully.
The eagle-eyed folks over at Push Square caught sight of what appears to be a blatant reference to Rockstar’s PlayStation 2 classic, Bully, in the middle of the Wild West in Red Dead Redemption 2. To put it as vaguely as possible, the words “Canis Canem Edit” are on full display at some point during the main story.
This is actually a nod many Americans may not catch. Canis Canem Edit was the name Bully went by for its European release. It’s Latin for “Dog eats dog,” which is certainly a fitting title and mantra for Bully. You can read on to find out how it happened. SPOILERS AHEAD for those who haven’t yet made it to this point of the game.
Red Dead Redemption 2 features a side quest titled “The Noblest of Men, and a Woman,” requiring Arthur to seek several old gunslingers out in the wild. After they’re all tracked down, Arthur is forced to duel with one of that quest’s main characters.
Upon winning the duel, players get to nab the character’s revolver, which is engraved with “Canis Canem Edit” on both sides of the barrel. The words can be seen during that point in the game, and they can also be more clearly witnessed when viewed in the revolver’s section of the compendium guide. We shouldn’t expect to see Bully 2 come out of this, but it’s pretty awesome nonetheless.
Given how massive Rockstar’s massive epic Red Dead Redemption 2 is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional Easter eggs pointing to other Rockstar games from time to time. While something from Grand Theft Auto would make the most sense, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a reference to the developer’s overlooked and brilliant adaptation of The Warriors.
A controversial title at the time, Bully was originally launched back in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, eventually making its way to the Xbox 360, Wii, PC and even mobile devices. You can actually pick up the game right now as a backwards compatible download on the PlayStation 4, which I’d recommend for those who haven’t played it before, and are in need a break from Red Dead.
Like all Rockstar games, Bully did an impressive job of creating a believable world. But while the GTA games are set in sprawling cities, and Red Dead Redemption includes an entire frontier to explore, Bully was more focused and dropped players into the single town of Bullworth. All kinds of mini-games and tasks awaited players, who were actually expected to attend class to make sure grades didn’t slip. The big hook, though, was that players learned Bullworth Academy was overrun with bullies, making it their job to return peace to the campus halls.
That certainly runs parallel with some of the themes present in Red Dead Redemption 2. Playing as Arthur Morgan, you’re not exactly a “good guy,” something he isn’t afraid to remind folks of from time to time. Still, while the options are almost always extremely binary, Arthur is given the opportunity to be a bandit with a heart of gold and stand up for folks who are being mistreated. While there are no go kart races and you never have to attend chemistry class, it’s kind of cool to see Rockstar continue to dig into concepts they’ve been wrestling with — and allowing players to wrestle with — for over a decade.