Love is the Opiate is a Stranger side-mission featured in Red Dead Redemption.


A Chinese immigrant named Zhou is an indentured servant for the foreman, Juan de la Vara, in El Matadero. Zhou's true love is waiting for him back home in Shanghai, but he can't return to her because he's a slave to the foreman. The foreman tells Marston that Zhou is under contract, and if Zhou breaks that contract he'll owe the foreman $10,000. The foreman then offers that if Marston brings him a White Stallion, he will give Zhou his freedom.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this Stranger will appear on the world map, the player must complete:

Mission Objectives

After speaking with Zhou, the player must:

Mission Details

Speak with Zhou and Juan de la Vara. The latter will task the player with finding a white stallion. Go to the area on the map marked by a picture of several horses running, in Diez Coronas. They are also found in the large inhabited area south of Las Hermanas.

Look for a herd of horses, the Hungarian Half-Bred are white in color; not be confused with the Kentucky Saddler. Once spotted, lasso and tame one of the white Hungarian Half-Bred, then ride it back to the butchers. A couple of days later, after Zhou was set free, he can be found at the train station in Chuparosa. He appears to be semi-conscious. Speak with him. After the cut-scene the mission is complete.

Receive +50 Fame and +100 Honor.

Note 1: If you are riding around on a Hungarian Half-Bred that you don't wish to give away, wild ones will NOT spawn. Either search by foot or use a different horse.
Note 2: If you have already tamed a Hungarian Half-Bred horse and have purchased the deed to the horse, you can simply call a Hungarian Half-Bred to you and deliver that horse to the butcher. You may have to save and reload the game for it to register that you have a Hungarian Half-Bred to give to the butcher if you use the deed, just look for the "?". Your horse must be at the "?" as well as you, however you do not need to mount it. The deed does not disappear from your inventory afterwards, and you can whistle for a new one, If you whistle as Vara mounts up, the stallion will buck him off, and come back to you. Alternatively, these white stallions are found only in Nuevo Paraíso, although, there have been sightings of them in New Austin. See the Hungarian Half-bred article for more information.

Mission Complete Unlockables


  • There's a known glitch where even after the mission is completed, the Reyes' Rebels Outfit still remains unavailable. So it is best to have two saves before completing it, to allow for multiple tries. Sometimes, the mission stays inactive even after a couple of days. Simply save your game (perhaps on the second save) and restart your console. Zhou should appear on your map.
  • To get past the glitch, try hitching the horse to the hitching post across from your house. Save your game, then walk over to Zhou and whistle for the horse. This may take multiple tries.
  • If you want to keep the horse, when you return to give it up, you can make the horse your trusty steed at a hitching post, then after you "returned it", whistle and another one will come, saddled and all. You can also buy the deed to the horse at a general store. It will cost between $750-$1500, depending on your honor. The higher your honor the less the cost except for in Thieves' Landing, where the lower the honor the less the cost.
  • In the second encounter with Zhou, John claims he left El Matadero "weeks ago", even though the second encounter can be activated just days after the first.
  • Occasionally, if you whistle for your horse after the butcher rides off with the white stallion, another white horse will appear instead of a random two star horse.
  • There is an entertaining bug which occasionally occurs when you free Zhou. The foreman of the butchery will be invisible during a cutscene, but the broom in which he is sweeping with still moves. So all the player sees is a broom sweeping on its own.
  • Alternatively, get killed by law enforcement in the area and the second part of the mission becomes active.
  • Occasionally, when you are talking to Zhou in Chuparosa, a train will arrive when you are talking to him in the cutscene. Strangely enough, he does not get on.
  • On occasion, Zhou will die after you bring the white horse to the butcher; this is due to a rattlesnake bite. Do not be alarmed, as this will not fail the mission; you still encounter Zhou in the final part of the mission. This rattlesnake glitch seems to be pretty common, especially in part two of the "Funny Man" Stranger Mission.
  • The stallion required to complete the mission is another reference to opiates, "white horse" being slang for heroin.
  • If the player rides the horse to the cutscene where the player gives up the horse, the player will still be on the horse, and if the player rides away, a bounty may be enacted.
  • If the player has the "Jack Attack" cheat in use, the player can visit a nearby general store, purchase the deed to a Hungarian Half-Bred, and give the foreman that horse.
  • In the cutscenes of the side-mission, Zhou pronounces 'beloved' in two different ways. Sometimes the British way and other times the American way.


Video Walkthrough

Love is the Opiate - Stranger Mission - Red Dead Redemption

Love is the Opiate - Stranger Mission - Red Dead Redemption


Aiding Strangers will contribute toward the following Trophies/Achievements:

10 gamerscoreGamerscore
Bronze bronzeBronze
Complete a task for a Stranger.

Rdr people still strange icon
25 gamerscoreGamerscore
Silver silverSilver
Complete 15 tasks for Strangers.

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

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