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Dr. Mathew Cross, also known as Matt and the Red Man or the Red Cannibal, is the primary (though mostly unseen) antagonist of The Forest. He is first seen at the plane crash, kidnapping the player's son, Timmy. He is only ever seen in Red Paint.

As the player explores the peninsula and furthers the story line, it becomes clear that Dr. Cross is a scientist who worked for Sahara Therapeutics and performed experiments involving children and the obelisks before getting fired by the company for misuse of the equipment. After his daughter Megan was killed by an Armsy that had escaped containment, Cross used the Resurrection Obelisk to revive his dead daughter by using Timmy as a sacrifice. However, Megan murdered her father by stabbing him in the neck, eyes, and mouth with crayons.

Cross' corpse can be found in the research lab, wearing his traditional red paint.


Cross can be spotted at numerous locations, depending if you approach the area from specific direction otherwise he will not spawn. If done correctly, he will spawn and stand there looking at the player. If the player gets too close, he will perform an action then disappear, such as he will run away. The most common place to see him is on the yacht, as he is surround by water he will generally spawn almost always. Here is a map of the Red Man's possible locations. There may be more that aren't listed. Map supplied by The Forest Map and the locations were provided by Zebulon:


This is a short list of items belonging to Dr. Cross that the player can find and interact with.


  • It is implied that he may have been abusive towards his wife and/or Megan. This is evidenced by:
  • It is suggested that he is delusional. This is evidenced by:
  • Two of the Camcorder tapes suggest a different scenario, however: one features Megan in a wheelchair in what appears to be the Sahara cafeteria, and another shows Megan present at the escape of an Armsy. Depending on the order of these tapes, Cross may have been trying to use the obelisk to cure Megan and the other children at Sahara of pre-existing illnesses, with her accidental death triggering a total breakdown and research into resurrection which caused his dismissal from Sahara.
  • It is assumed that he treats Timmy very well, even as he plans to kill the boy. This can be seen in this Timmy Drawing.
  • It is clear that the cannibals deeply fear Dr. Cross, as most of the cannibals don't attack you when you're covered in red paint the way he is. Alternatively, the cannibals might have a peaceful understanding with Dr. Cross, whereas he provides them with passengers by bringing down the air plane. Since the cannibals do not appear to engage in agriculture or hunting, it might be possible that Saharah Therapeutics provided them with food.
  • It is implied he had something to do with the beheaded lawyers in Lawyer's cave, as a result of losing custody of his daughter.
  • He may have impaled himself with the crayons, it may have been out of anger, or guilt, because it was his daughter's hobby. That or it WAS Megan who killed her father or a "red, mad monster" (depicted in her "daddy" drawing).
  • Some polaroid pictures are probably photographed by him presumably to help Eric with finding his son. This can be proved by polaroid of Megan and red marker used on Keycard Polaroid Photos.


  • He was first called "Red Man" at the 0.32 patch notes saying "Fixed Red Man on yacht not appearing from some angles" and first called "Red Cannibal" at the community forums.
  • He can be seen at a distance on the yacht and being at the top of the cliff at the south area of the Peninsula (Third area confirmed but is hardest to find), upon approaching all areas for the first time. The player cannot approach him without him running away.


Update History[]

Version Changes
v0.68 Updated model and texture of the red man
v0.67 Fixed regression with redman on yacht animation breaking
v0.34 Improved lighting on Timmy carried away scene, made red man clearer.
v0.32 Fixed Red Man on yacht not appearing from some angles