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Drinking plays an important social function in the American West at the time of Red Dead Redemption. Alcoholic drinks, such as whiskey and bourbon, are more popular in the United States territories, while tequila is more popular in Mexico.
Players can buy a drink for only two dollars. However, depending on the player's decision during the Stranger side-mission "The Prohibitionist", this price will change in to either $4 or $1. Furthermore, if Marston has obtained the fame rank of "Gunslinger", drinks will be free of charge at any bar, no matter the player's decision in "The Prohibitionist".
After the player drinks five or six times in a row, Marston will begin to stumble while walking and fall very easily during a period of time. Sporadically, Marston gets blackouts, falling to the ground and lying still for some time. If Marston returns to the bar immediately after sobering up, it may take fewer drinks to get drunk once more.
While drunk the player must take caution as it is very easy to upset a patron and get invited to a duel.
It should be noted that the sobering-up period can vary drastically from instance to instance. Marston may fall over once and then get back up sober, or it may take him more than a few minutes. It can take as little as 10 seconds or as long as five minutes. Whether or not this depends on any certain factors is still unclear.
- If the player is wearing the Bandana, whoever the bartender is, he will refuse to serve the player.
- To keep from falling, you can tap A (Xbox)/X (PS3) repeatedly. However, this will not stop Marston from eventually blacking out.
- When using the "Hic" cheat, Marston will remain drunk until the cheat is deactivated.
- If Marston has his weapon drawn before ordering a drink, he will draw it immediately after the player finishes drinking, even if he is drunk. This may cause other patrons to draw their weapons as a precaution.
- Drinks are requested randomly and vary depending on whether Marston is in America or Mexico. Rum and brandy will be requested in both countries, whereas whiskey, bourbon and gin are only ever requested in New Austin and West Elizabeth and tequila and pulque only appear available in Nuevo Paraiso. Bartenders always serve a nondescript bottle of brown colored liquor.