Mr. Marston. Gracias, for your service to this land!

Vincente de Santa, before betraying him

Cowards Die Many Times is the thirty-sixth mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


John Marston is told by Colonel Allende that Bill Williamson and Javier Escuella have been captured in Chuparosa. Together with Captain De Santa, he travels to Chuparosa, where he's betrayed by the Captain. Abraham Reyes and his men come to aid Marston, as a huge firefight breaks out between the Mexican Army and the rebels.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:


Mission Details

Ride shotgun with De Santa to Chuparosa. On the way, you can partake in a shooting contest, where you'll get $25 if you can kill five animals in a row with five bullets (4 seems to be enough, but you have to kill 5 to complete the bet). You can start this by shooting a bird, or other animal and De Santa will offer the challenge. You can do it only 3 times with a total of $75.

Upon arriving in Chuparosa, you'll enter the town and head for the church. When you enter, you'll be betrayed as one of the soldiers hit you in the head, knocking you out cold.

Just as De Santa is about to kill Marston, Reyes and his rebels will arrive and stop the execution, much like Marston stopped Reyes's execution. Once the gunfight starts, you'll have to run up a building's stairs to find Reyes, who will cut the ropes to free Marston's hands.

Next, you'll have to find your weapons. They can be found in a crate in the middle of the gunfight,[1] near the circle in the middle of the town.[2] You're heading for the building marked El Alcalde De Chuparosa, where all the soldiers are. After killing the soldiers, enter the building and shoot the guy on the stairs. Head up the same set of stairs and kill the man standing at the top of them. If there are still some enemies standing outside, you can go kill them from the terrace as well. Lastly, enter the door at the top of the stairs to kill Captain Espinoza.

In the end scene, Reyes is rallying his rebels, encouraging them to fight on to overthrow tyranny.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: Cowards Die Many Times/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults, kills or abandons De Santa or any Mexican Army soldier (prior to entering the church).
  • Assaults or kills Reyes or any of the rebels.
  • Shoots a horse
  • Strays too far from the mission location.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 3:04
  • Shot Accuracy: 90%
  • Number of Headshots: 8


Mission Complete Unlockables


  • After the cutscene where De Santa tricks Marston, whether in cowboy, duster or poncho etc. outfit, the black gloves will not be seen again, even after saving and restarting the game.
  • No matter what outfit you wear when starting the mission, John will change back into his cowboy outfit when Reyes rescues him.
  • Upon receiving equipment back, the weapon categories order may be messed up. If this glitch occurs, it is not fixable. This will separate your repeaters/rifles and revolvers/pistols.
  • After the speech, the game may freeze, and you'll have to do the mission again.
  • PS3Logo.pngXboxLogo.pngThe cutscene immediately after you're betrayed may be skipped over.
  • Players who took advantage of a glitch in order to get into West Elizabeth early and who bought the Explosive Rifle may not receive it upon opening the chest containing Marston's weapons. This may also occur for the Tomahawk.
    • While the Tomahawk may not show up, it is still in the inventory. If the player had, say, 12 of them and returned to Manzanita Post later on, only 8 could be bought. When more are purchased, the amount previously owned are there once more.
  • PS3Logo.pngXboxLogo.pngAfter completing the mission and listening to Reyes' speech, the game can occasionally freeze (black screen). The only option is to reset the console and redo the mission.
  • Sometimes when you go into the wagon at the beginning of the mission, it will be stuck with the horses unable to move. The only way to fix this is to skip to your destination.
  • After retrieving your weapons, if you have the Golden Guns DLC installed and Golden Guns switched to Off, you may have a gold gun anyway, you have to switch on and off the setting again in order to fix this.


  • The mission gets its name from the famous Shakespeare line "Cowards die many times before their actual deaths". This is said by Julius Caesar in the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
    • It may also be a reference to Captain De Santa, as he is considered a coward, and is killed twice (maingame and Undead Nightmare).
  • It could also be a reference to the end of Guns of the Magnificent Seven, in which Chris says "Cowards die many times, the brave only once."
  • Captain De Santa seems to understand what the Colonel wants with Marston and seems to be unwilling to betray Marston at first.
  • Strangely, when John is almost executed, he is wearing metal handcuffs. However, when he reaches Reyes, it is now rope.
  • When John is captured he will be wearing the cowboy outfit, this happens no matter what outfit the player was wearing earlier.
  • If you manage to knock Espinoza out via fists, and then refrain from killing him, Espinoza will get up and run away from Chuparosa. Since you didn't kill him, the mission is not complete, but it does not end in failure, either. The mission will remain stuck like this until you fail and restart the mission. If you do manage to track him down and kill him after this the mission may proceed.
  • When you are supposed to find Reyes and let him untie you, John is invincible until his hands are untied.
  • If the player wishes to avoid all the gunfight after re-collecting the weapons, they can simply go around to the left side of the building (closest an entrance to Chuparosa) and climb up some crates and jump onto a roof that leads to an awning just outside where Espinoza is hiding. This will cause a guard to come outside and the player can kill Espinoza quite easily without taking much damage from the gunfire.


  1. During the gunfight, after you get your weapons, make your way to the left side of the building that Captain Espinoza is in. There will be a box you can jump on from which you can jump to the second floor. The door to Captain Espinoza will be right in front of you, saving you a lot of time.
  2. Activating the crate will spawn more soldiers in the house, along with Captain Espinoza (the house is empty before activating this crate), as well as returning your weapons. Before activating the crate, the present soldiers are VERY focused on the rebels. You can easily sneak up behind the left-most soldiers and stealth kill them with your knife. They will drop weapons, which you can use to take out the remaining soldiers on the front porch. Use the boxes on the left side of the building (see note one) to gain entry to the interior: you can loot the empty house, while taking out the remaining soldiers on the second story balcony, at your leisure. (FYI: even when all the current soldiers are dead, the rebels will continue to fire like mad at the building. Don't worry, as long as you got all the "red dots", you are safe, and can loot enemies' bodies without getting shot.) Once you activate the crate and get your weapons back, the remaining 3-4 soldiers plus the Captain spawn inside the building.


Video Walkthroughs


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoregamerscore
Gold goldgold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.
Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
Nuevo Paraiso Chapter
"Civilization, at Any Price""The Demon Drink""Empty Promises""Mexican Caesar""Cowards Die Many Times"
"The Gunslinger's Tragedy""Landon Ricketts Rides Again""Lucky in Love""The Mexican Wagon Train"
"My Sister's Keeper""Must a Saviour Die?""Father Abraham""Captain De Santa's Downfall"
"The Great Mexican Train Robbery""The Gates of El Presidio""An Appointed Time"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family
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