July 8, 2024 | Posted in: Publishing, Video Games

What does it take to earn Best in the West and 100 percent completion at Red Dead Redemption 2? How long does it take to get 100 percent completion? Some estimates state 180+ hours of gameplay. Earning Best in the West Trophy can be extremely “grindy” and there’s no other quest as “grindy” as Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics. I wrote here about the satchel grind for 100 percent completion and this one requirement for best in the west took nearly five hours of gameplay.

PreCollecting is Allowed

The quest becomes available in Chapter 4 after the mission The Gilded Cage where you attend a party at the Mayor of Saint Denis’ house. One can definitely pre collect the 65 plumes required to complete the quest and it appears one can pre collect the orchids as well. Pre Collecting, in reality, will not cut down on the grind time to complete the quest. And, it appeared to us the spawns on the Egrets, Herons, and Spoonbills occurred Less when we did not actually have the quest in our log.

Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics quest in hand we begin hunting every egret, heron, and spoonbill in sight. Here’s nine minutes spent on the quest.

15 Egret Plumes are the true barrier

The RNG of the spawn on snowy white egrets, little egrets, and reddish egrets is the barrier within the barrier to completing the quest. Completing Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics, is One barrier within the barrier of 100 percent completion and the Best in the West trophy.

Here we spent roughly 43 minutes collecting the initial round of plumes plus any herons or spoonbills we come across.

We had a philosophy of working on Hunting Requests in conjunction with Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics starting our day at Fort Brennand south of Van Horn trading post and north of Saint Denis on what we called “Algernon’s Loop”.

Here we spend another 43 minutes

The Strat seeming to work the best

Hitting the main spawn point for the egrets around noon, getting what we could, then fast traveling to Emerald Ranch, sleeping until noon the next day, then riding to the spawn points for the egrets all the while looking for orchids. We chose only to focus on the orchids required for each stage of the quest line, in this case, Lady of the Night Orchids. Five Snowy Egret plumes, five little egret plumes, and 5 reddish egret plumes were by the far the most difficult to collect.

18 minutes spent working on part 1 of the quest highlighting what we think is the best move to collect egret plumes.
Here we spend 24 minutes

Here we spend another 14 minutes

Here we spend 24 minutes
Here we spend 28 minutes again, just on Part 1 but we are pre collecting every kind of plume to make the next parts easier.
Here we spend another 38 minutes on part 1
After another 10 minutes, we complete the first Part of the Quest.

251 minutes spent on Part 1 of Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics. However, we pre collected the 20 heron plumes and 30 spoonbill plumes for the follow up parts to the quest line.

Collecting Orchids is Easy Mode – Just takes Time

The second part of the quest, which is actually Part III of Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics, requires 20 heron plumes, 7 Lady Slipper Orchids, and 10 Moccasin Orchids. Having pre collected the heron plumes in completing the first part of the quests, we just had to grab the two different kinds of Orchids.

Part 2, 20 Heron Plumes, Lady Slipper Orchids and Moccasin Orchids

One piece of advice we can give for those of you, even six years later, attempting to earn the Best in the West Trophy and 100 percent completion, is finish Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics, in Chapter 4. There are really only seven lady slipper orchid spawns at this point in story mode all located in West Elizabeth.

We spent 20 minutes looking for the first two lady slipper orchids before consulting a map via google.
Lady Slipper Orchids 3-5 took 13 minutes to find
Lady Slipper Orchid 6 took around 9 minutes to find because it’s located in Hanging Dog Ranch and who doesn’t slay the O’Driscoll’s at every chance?
We spent around 4 minutes getting the seventh Lady Slipper Orchid and also picked up a dinosaur bone and marked a location for bats.

Moccasin Orchid

We spent around 30 minutes collecting 10 moccasin orchids

We spent 76 minutes completing the second part of this quest line.

Part 3, Spoonbill Plumes, Three Kinds of Orchids

Having pre collected the 22 gator eggs while hunting egrets and herons in part one of the quest line, all we had to do was gather three Acura’s star orchids, seven cigar orchids, five ghost orchids, and three more gator eggs.

We spent roughly 32 minutes gathering the requirements for the third part of the quest.

Part 4, 30 Spoonbill, 10 Rat Tail Orchids, 5 Spider Orchids, 5 Night Scented Orchids

Pre collecting the 30 spoonbill plumes was clutch.

We spent eight minutes collecting spider orchids.
We spent roughly the same amount of time, nine minutes, collecting rat tail orchids.
We spent five minutes collecting Night Scented Orchids.

Part 5, the Final Part

Though technically part six of the quest line, we viewed this as Part five as you begin collecting the items required for quest completion in what is technically part two of the chain. We needed five clamshell orchids, five queen’s orchids, ten sparrow egg orchids, and five dragon’s mouth orchids.

We spent roughly 7 minutes collecting clamshell orchids.
We spent 9 minutes collecting Queen’s Orchids.
We spent 22 minutes collecting the ten sparrow egg orchids.
We spent 15 minutes collecting dragon’s mouth orchids.

How long does it take to earn Best in the West Trophy?

The number one barrier, in our opinion, is this quest. Duchesses and Other Animals, Exotics, took us 445 minutes, roughly. Or, just shy of eight hours game time.