Dutch van der Linde is a central character and one of the primary antagonists of Red Dead Redemption, and a central character in Red Dead Redemption II.
Dutch van der Linde was the leader of the infamous Van der Linde Gang, which once operated in West Elizabeth. Notable gang members included Arthur Morgan, Micah Bell, John Marston, Abigail Marston, Bill Williamson, and Javier Escuella.
At the time, Dutch was an altruistic and idealistic rogue, believing the gang could make a difference in the world. He fashioned himself into a Robin Hood figure, taking money from those who had more than they could ever need, and giving it to those who had very little, and truly needed it. He saw himself as a symbol of the romanticized Wild West, and a humanitarian champion of the people, opposing government control, supporting individual liberty and punishing general human cruelty and selfishness. His romantic image and charisma inspired his gang to believe in his vision of a "Savage Utopia", and it was in the name of Dutch and his cause that they committed crimes such as murder and robbery.
As the years rolled by, though, Dutch slowly began to realize the futility of his cause. With new technology making it easier for the government to exert control over the people, liberty had given way to bureaucracy. The violence and greed of humanity had not stopped, and no one had been inspired by his example. His work had ultimately changed nothing. Worse still, the truth of his own hypocrisy crept deeper and deeper into Dutch's thoughts. He and his gang had attempted to change the world for the better, yet in doing so, they had become the worst humanity had to offer. His idealism turned into extreme anger, and Dutch gradually descended into madness, masking his pain with meaningless violence and an unfocused hatred of everything and everyone around him. In the end, Dutch himself caused the disillusionment of the other gang members.
Van der Linde had not been seen nor heard from in several years, and despite claims of sightings was thought to have perished in a fire following a botched robbery in 1906. During one of the cutscenes in "The Gates of El Presidio", it is rumored that Dutch is in Colombia and not likely to be seen ever again. This is proven to be false and Dutch goes on to play a central role in the remainder of the game.
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