Flogging A Dead Horse

After the resounding success of my tropical island survival guide (rumour has it that Bear Grylls even printed a copy off for future reference), I decided to write another. We gamers are prepared for pretty much any form of invasion, disaster or rift through time and space so it’s only right that we share this knowledge with the world. This time we’re stealing a Delorean and travelling back to the Wild West.

Horses. Useful for getting around whilst preserving your shoes and, should you find yourself dieing on Hoth, excellent life preservers

Fuck you and the horse that you rode in on
The first thing you’ll need if you’re planning to survive in the Wild West is a horse. No self respecting cowboy is without one and riding a mule doesn’t quite have the same effect – how do you expect to chase down a train on the back of a donkey? Not only can a horse help you get from point A to B, it’s also a handy defence against cougars, bears and the various other wild animals roaming the land. Sure, dying isn’t the horse’s first option but he’s not riding you and so doesn’t get a choice in the matter. Horse are also edible and, while you might think that killing your only ride and eating it is a bad idea, Red Dead Redemption proves that by whistling loudly you can summon an almost infinite (well, six as I found out) supply of horses to kill and eat; perfect for those long nights on the prairie.

Sure, she's cute... but it's a trap.

Trust no one. Deceive everyone
If you’re going to survive more than two minutes in the old west, you need to learn that this is a lawless land where people shoot first then ask questions after they’ve stolen your horse. Rule number two is don’t trust anyone. Perhaps there’s a young woman in distress because her wagon’s lost a wheel; don’t trust her, there are always bandits hiding behind her. Maybe you’ve been given a treasure map leading to a mine filled with untold riches; I guarantee that quarry is crawling with inbred miners. The only two things you can trust are your instincts and your horse, if someone comes running towards you asking for help assume they’re trying to steal your horse and shoot them down and let God sort them out.

It’s like hitting a bullet with a smaller bullet while blindfolded riding a horse
Out in the west, men settle their disputes with a good old fashioned duel. Running to the lawmen will more than likely get you shot in the back so you might as well face your accusers head to head. Rule three; learn to shoot. It seems that people will challenge you to a duel pretty much just because they don’t like your face, so you’ll have plenty of practice shooting people in the head. Unluckily for you however, one wrong move will lead to your demise. Learn how to headshot fast or you’ll end up a bullet riddled corpse.  If you really want to show off (or you’re not man enough to kill someone) you could always try to shoot your opponent’s gun from their hand. That’ll show them that you’re not to be messed with. Mastering the use of firearms will also help for when you partake in your next great train heist or for hunting grizzlies for sport, so make sure you use the right tools for the job. A rifle works well for shooting birds, but lacks the range for taking out a bear from a safe distance. Pistols are good for robberies and heists, but not so good against a small army of rebels. Use each weapon to its advantage and don’t forget your magical Tardis-like bag (yes, they even have them in the Wild West).

As a side note, this year’s must have cowboy equipment is the trusty lasso. Perfect for hogtieing women and sticking them on the railway track or, if you’re slightly less evil than me, for stopping runaway robbers or catching new horses to break. While the lasso isn’t exactly essential to surviving in the Wild West, it will make it far more fun.

Here’s hoping that your time in the old west is a lot less troublesome although if a crazy, wild haired old man approaches you declaring that your kids are in trouble, don’t listen. He’ll only send you on a wild adventure into the future, fuck off into the Wild West and expect you to get there and say hello. It’s more trouble than it’s worth really.

Last five articles by Iain



  1. Rook says:

    I don’t trust the lasso, looks to much like a noose and may give other cowboys ideas when they want my horse with the go faster mane.

    Look forward to the next survival guide too.

  2. Edward Edward says:

    Gah! I really need to get Red Dead Redemption when I get my birthday money at the end of the month.
    Brilliant guide, Pix3l :) Hilarious, informative, and another nail in the “Ed, you don’t have RDR yet?!” board.

  3. Edward Edward says:

    Also, I literally found this linked on Destructoid as soon as I posted a comment.
    Might shoot a hole in rule one…

  4. Samuel Samuel says:

    “If you really want to show off (or you’re not man enough to kill someone) you could always try to shoot your opponent’s gun from their hand.”

    Hey, it works for Batman. Screw you! Heh.

    As ever, a really entertaining piece, Iain.

  5. Kat says:

    Excellent Pix! So so funny :D

  6. Lorna Lorna says:

    Great stuff :D Also, take some wet wipes for the glasses in any saloon…we’ve all seen those westerns where the barkeep gobs on one to polish it first. Lurgy alert.

  7. Adam Adam says:

    I love the no trusty-ness Pix :D

    I had to resort to that after getting wailed on so much that I just started shooting people cold. It got kinda funny when I’d kill them and realise they actually did need help, but I went with it anyway.


  8. Michael Author says:

    As long as I can shoot Kat and Lee, I’m happy!

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