• Red Dead Redemption 2’s Neanderthal NPC is a mysterious figure that has only been discovered through hacking and exploring outside the game’s boundaries.
  • Speculation suggests that the Neanderthal NPC may be part of cut content, but the fully rendered character model and unique animation imply there may be more to discover.
  • Some believe that the discovery of the Neanderthal NPC by hackers could be an intentional secret left by the developers, similar to past Easter eggs in Rockstar games.



Red Dead Redemption 2 has a reputation as one of the most detailed and multilayered video games of its time, but there’s one mystery that has left even the game’s most dedicated sleuths scratching their heads. The mystery could just be one of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s many Easter eggs, or it could be something else entirely, as its true nature remains unanswered.

Rockstar seems to have an affinity for hiding strange and off-kilter content in its games. The Grand Theft Auto franchise famously features a number of references to aliens and abductions, and the first Red Dead Redemption game included an obscure side quest featuring Bigfoot. Since both these franchises are rather grounded and realistic in their premises, these absurd moments stand out and are generally appreciated as unique rewards for digging deep into the game. However, some of these Easter eggs and odd details are harder to parse than others, and the appearance of a Neanderthal-like NPC in Red Dead Redemption 2 falls into this camp.

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Dataminers and Hackers Found Red Dead Redemption 2’s Neanderthal

Red Dead Redemption 2 Neanderthal Close-up

Fans who enjoy learning about the secrets of Red Dead Redemption 2 may have heard online chatter about the discovery of what appears to be a Neanderthal in the game. Given the idiosyncrasies of Rockstar’s games, the concept isn’t too far-fetched, but concrete information about this NPC can be hard to find. As is often the case with video game secrets, misinformation runs rampant. However, there are a few confirmed details regarding the Neanderthal that are worth considering.

The most important thing to understand about the mysterious RDR2 Neanderthal is that it has never been organically encountered in the game. All recorded encounters with the NPC come from hackers and modders digging into the game’s files, or by players going out of the bounds of the game’s map. Employing these methods has revealed quite an unusual NPC, even when compared to RDR2‘s other strange characters. The NPC sports a Neanderthal-like appearance, with a facial structure that is atypical in modern humans. The NPC’s outfit also suggests this prehistoric origin.

It’s only natural for players to question where this NPC came from, and why it was included in the game. A common theory is that the NPC is part of cut content; Red Dead Redemption 2 is a massive game, and there was plenty left on the cutting room floor. Couple that with the fact that no player has evidence of encountering the NPC as part of a quest or fully produced Easter egg, and this theory seems plausible. After all, modders have already uncovered hundreds of lines of cut RDR2 dialog, so it’s not too much of a stretch to assume that this character model is just a leftover from a scrapped bit of content.

However, there is reason to speculate that there is more behind the Neanderthal. For one thing, the character model is fully rendered, with a unique “frozen_caveman” animation being discovered by hackers; with so much apparent effort going into creating this NPC, it seems strange that the developers would just throw it away. Also, some Easter eggs in previous Rockstar games have taken several years to discover, so just because no player has come across the “official” implementation of this character model, that doesn’t mean that no player ever will. The discovery of the NPC by hackers could itself be one of RDR2‘s secrets, as it may have just been a joke left behind by the developers, with the intention of it only ever being uncovered in this roundabout way. Time will tell if there is more to be learned about the enigmatic caveman.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is currently available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

MORE: Red Dead Redemption 2’s Blind Man Cassidy and his Prophecies Explained

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