Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a video game that was developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the third 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise; including previously released 2D titles bearing the Grand Theft Auto name, it is the seventh to be released. It was released for the PlayStation 2 on October 26, 2004 in North America and on October 29, 2004 in Europe and Australia. Following a press release issued near the end of 2004, it was released for the PC and Xbox on June 7, 2005 in North America and June 10, 2005 in Europe.

History and speculation

Special Edition game cover

Following the success of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, many gamers eagerly anticipated a new Grand Theft Auto game on the PlayStation 2 in late 2003. Most theories were shot down when Rockstar had given no announcement of a new game by summer of that year. The first hint at there even being a new installment was on October 30, 2003, when Take-Two Interactive announced that an untitled "GTA5" game was set for release in the "latter half of the fiscal fourth quarter 2004" [1]. By this time, pundits online had two theories about the plot of the game; it would either be based in the city of San Andreas, California (based on San Francisco) in the modern day, or in Sin City, Nevada (based on Las Vegas) in the 1970s, as both would be ideal regarding new innovative ways to commit crimes, and new storylines that could grow. On December 17, and December 21, 2003, Take-Two had registered 10 GTA-related trademarks (GTA5, GTA6, GTA: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, GTA: Sin City, Grand Theft Auto: Sin City, GTA: Bogota, Grand Theft Auto: Bogota, GTA: Tokyo, and Grand Theft Auto: Tokyo) [2]. After the information was divulged on January 12, 2004, it seemed likely that most of the titles were either red herrings or possible future incarnations of the franchise.

On March 1, 2004, Take-Two announced in a press conference that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would be released Tuesday, October 19, 2004 in the US, and three days later, October 22, in Europe [3] and October 29 for Australia. However, on September 9, 2004 Take-two announced in its third quarter financial results for 2004 that the release date of the PlayStation 2 version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would be pushed back to October 26, 2004 in North America and October 29, 2004 for Europe and November 15, 2004 in Australia to allow Rockstar to remove questionable content that would have the game banned there. Nonetheless, the Australian version has been on sale on October 29 and proved to be the multilanguage European PAL (UK) version. In the same release, Take-Two announced a PC and Xbox version would be released on June 7, 2005.

The Xbox and PC ports of San Andreas released on June 7, 2005 in the U.S. In Europe, the release date was June 10th, 2005. Similar to past iterations of the GTA games, both versions have higher-resolution textures, the ability to have custom soundtracks from MP3s, and a 30 second instant replay feature. Both the PS2 and Xbox versions also have a 2-player option for certain missions; however, this feature was removed from the PC version.

The Calaveras Enterprise newspaper reported on November 3, 2004 that the Merchants' Association in the real-life town of San Andreas, California has become alarmed about the popularity of the video game, but has conceded that there is little it can do. Also, it turns out there is a retired pastor named Carl Johnson in the real San Andreas (Carl Johnson, the protagonist of GTA: San Andreas, shares the same name).

Wikinews has news related to this article: Stores drop game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" after given 'Adults Only' rating

On July 20, 2005 production of the game was suspended and the game received a revised ESRB Rating of Adults Only, making San Andreas the only mass-released AO console game in the U.S. This was the result of the release of a modification allowing access to the hidden "Hot Coffee" portion of the game. Rockstar has given distributors the option of applying an Adults Only ESRB rating sticker to copies of the game, or returning them to be replaced by versions without the Hot Coffee content. Many retailers pulled the game off their shelves in compliance with their own store regulations that kept them from selling AO games. Rockstar North released a Cold Coffee patch for the PC version and re-released San Andreas with a Mature rating. The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions have also been re-released in a GTA Trilogy Pack for Xbox, and a Special Edition for PlayStation 2.

Details

Running in Los Santos, PC version. The player's character initially starts out with little money, lack of body fitness and no skills. These attributes may be improved as one continues to play the game. The health bar pictured, for example, will increase as the player frequently exercise and perform certain physical activities Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Information about the game began circulating in magazines and on websites on May 11, 2004, including that the game world of San Andreas would be not just one city, but an entire state, encompassing three metropolises (Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas, based on Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, respectively), and the countryside in between. Intercity travel is facilitated not only by a huge freeway system but also by airports and a system of passenger trains, the Brown Streak Railroad, both of which have vehicles that can be operated by the player. In interviews, Rockstar's designers have reported that the map is between four and six times the size of the area in Vice City.

The game is set in 1992. This game has a soundtrack of period artists, as Vice City did, as well as "classic" rap and rock stations and a country station. Many of the missions which take place in the game are fairly obvious imitations of California-based phenomena from the early 90s, such as the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Plot

Mountain biking up Mount Chiliad, PC version.

Set in the early 1990s, the player controls main character Carl "CJ" Johnson, an African American man in his mid to late twenties returning to Los Santos after five years residing in Liberty City. Carl left Los Santos after being blamed for the death of his younger brother, Brian, by his older brother, Sean (nicknamed "Sweet"). The murder of his mother causes him to return for her funeral. CJ returns to find disarray in his family and in his old gang, the Grove Street Families (named for their home territory, Grove Street), which prompts him to stay.

Characters

San Andreas world

San Andreas

The state San Andreas is generally based on California and Nevada comprising three major cities. Where Las Venturas and the surrounding desert correspond to Las Vegas and the Nevada desert; and Los Santos, San Fierro and the badlands correspond Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Californian badlands. Players can climb Mount Chiliad (based on Mount Diablo) , a half mile (800 m) tall mountain casting a vast shadow, parachute from various peaks and skyscrapers, and visit 12 rural towns and villages located in three counties: Red County, Flint County, and Bone County, a massive dam, a large secret military base, a microwave dish, and many other geographical features. San Andreas is almost four times as large as Vice City, and five times as large as Liberty City.

Los Santos

Flying a stunt airplane over the desert region of Las Venturas, PC version. The interface of several modes in San Andreas have been improved, including the addition of flight indicators while on-board an airplane or a helicopter.

Los Santos features landmarks reminiscent of the Watts Towers, the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Capitol Tower, and Grauman's Chinese Theater. The city of Los Santos has several important areas, including the gang-ridden Ganton, Idlewood and East Los Santos – based on the N.W.A-era Compton, Inglewood; and East Los Angeles, busy downtown, wealthy Rodeo and Mulholland, and glitzy Vinewood (complete with giant VINEWOOD sign in the hills).

San Fierro

San Fierro features Rockstar's interpretations of the Haight-Ashbury district ("Hashbury"), the gay Castro district ("Queens"), Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as the city's prominent cable cars and hilly terrain. Several other familiar landmarks have been recreated from the Embarcadero clock tower and the "Big Pointy" Transamerica Pyramid to Lombard Street, and Scottish landmarks such as the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. There is a district known as "Garcia", an ode to Grateful Dead frontman and San Francisco native Jerry Garcia, and San Fierro's City Hall closely resembles San Francisco's ornate city hall.

Las Venturas

In Las Venturas (one of the biggest cities in San Andreas), the player is able to visit and even take over casinos. One is able to play various casino games such as poker, roulette, and slot machines. Off-track betting parlors are also available in the game's other regions. In addition to gambling, strip clubs are also prevalent in Las Venturas. Many real Las Vegas Strip casinos are faithfully interpreted on Las Ventura's Strip, including the Excalibur Hotel and Casino ("Come-a-Lot"), the Sphinx and pyramid of the Luxor Hotel ("The Camel's Toe"), and the Pioneer Club ([4]), with Vegas Vic and Vicki replaced by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City characters Avery Carrington and Candy Suxxx, respectively.

Vehicle modification

Driving a modified sports car in San Fierro while deploying nitrous oxide to boost speed, PC version.

TransFender is a fictitious car modification shop in San Andreas. TransFender ranges in a wide variety of mods for a vehicle from nitro to hydraulics. Most car mods are strictly visual because they only add aesthetic appeal, as opposed to those which improve the performance. Many, but not all, vehicles can be modified in GTA:SA. Common modifications include nitrous tanks, hydraulics, and paintjobs. Vehicles can be divided into four categories: Cars that can be modified but are not low-rider or "street racer" cars can only be modified at a TransFender, low-rider cars can only be modified at Loco Low Co., street racing types are modified at Wheel Arch Angels, and unmodifiable cars (most emergency vehicles and some off-road vehicles) cannot be modified at all. One mission requires the player to visit a low-rider mod-shop and then to use the car in a hydraulics competition.

Crossovers from Vice City

Police trouble in Las Venturas, PC version.

Many characters, locations and fictional elements of Vice City were kept, sometimes with minor modifications to account for changes that would have occurred in the 6 years that separate both games' fictional worlds. Interestingly, some real-world promotional material Rockstar created for Vice City can also be found in this game. Since characters from Vice City appear and the events of the game are hinted at having really happened, this might indicate that Tommy Vercetti's adventures in Vice City gained considerable notoriety in the following years.

Real-world promotional material

  • Action figures of Tommy Vercetti and Lance Vance can be found on the shelves of Zero's shop in San Fierro.
  • Posters featuring the game's box cover art can be seen on some walls, most notably in Denise's room (the Hot Coffee mod is required to get there).

Recurring characters

  • Ken Rosenberg still works for the mafia. He became a big shot after the events in Vice City, then lost it all because of his cocaine addiction and went into rehab. When he got out, he was picked as a neutral party to manage a mob casino shared by three families.
  • Kent Paul is still a music group manager, though no longer for Love Fist. He now handles the Gurning Chimps.
  • Jethro and Dwaine owned the boat yard in Vice City, until Tommy bought it from them. They now hold small-time mechanic jobs in San Fierro.
  • Claude shows up as Catalina's new boyfriend, after she "dumps" CJ. CJ beats him in a cross-country race and receives his San Fierro garage as his winnings. When CJ sees how run-down the garage is, he calls Claude a "mute asshole" and a "fucking snake without a tongue".
  • Catalina is Cesar Vialpando's cousin and CJ's girlfriend (for a brief time). She is generally hostile towards all men, except to CJ (although she really doesn't show it much). She's a profit-driven lady, who hooks up with Claude just to spite CJ. After she tries to kill Claude in GTA III, he kills her as she tries to escape in a helicopter.
  • Salvatore Leone, the big boss of the Liberty City Mafia (until Claude kills him in GTA III) makes an appearance as the Mafia-head of the Caligula's Palace Casino. He provides Carl with a few jobs, until Carl and his crew rob Caligula's vault, which enrages Leone.
  • Maria Latore, Salvatore Leone's mistress in GTA III also makes an appearance as a waitress in Caligula's, who Leone takes a shine to.

Radio personalities

  • Fernando, the host of the Vice City radio station Emotion 98.3, hijacks the Lonely Hearts Show from its host (and former lover, though their relationship seems to have ended very badly) on WCTR.
  • Lazlow, the host of V-Rock in Vice City, started hosting a show called Entertaining America on WCTR after the former host was shot. In between this and V-Rock, it is hinted that Lazlow spent years living on the streets, slept with his best friend's wife, signed up for the army, and did something to his grandmother that is illegal in most states. He no longer enjoys the rock music he played in the 80s. He also says "I wish I could take phone in calls", a hint at the fact that he will eventually become the DJ for the radio phone-in show "Chatterbox" in Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
  • Timmy, one of the characters of the popular sitcom Just the Five of us back in the 80s, can be heard in a radio interview on WCTR News. He's attending a child-actor conference at the Four-Dragons Casino in Las Venturas. In his sitcom ad in Vice City, he played a bad-tempered child who claimed to be a 42 year old investment banker with a rare disease that made him look 12. In the interview on WCTR, we learn that he still looks like a child, although he claims to be 52 years old now, and that he still has the nasty temper his character had on the show. Whether this is real or Timmy can't break character after so many years is unknown. Timmy's show was cancelled and replaced by a new sitcom called My Five Uncles, about five gay men who adopt an orphan girl. This is a parody of the late eighties sitcom My Two Dads, about two brothers raising one brother's teenage daughter.
  • During the WCTR show "Gardening with Maurice", someone calls in and asks why so many radio personalities are named Maurice, a reference to Maurice Chavez, a significantly different radio personality hosting the "Pressing Issues" show on VCPR. The show also references GTA III, where a caller to the "Chatterbox" radio station was told by Lazlow "this isn't Gardening With Maurice, that's on later!", to which the caller replied "No, they took him off the air!". Besides, the caller, with whom Lazlow talked to on Chatterbox 2001, calls in in the "Gardening with Maurice Show".
  • At one point in the WCTR show "Area 53", Wave 103 DJ Adam First calls in reporting a strange incident involving a Domestabot he saw while hang-gliding over the San Andreas desert.
  • Jack Howitzer who appeared only as a movie trailer in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the Rambo/Vietnam war movie parody Exploder as Tim, also appears in WCTR promoting his film Special Needs Cop, a parody of Kindergarten Cop

Other

  • The popular fictional drink Sprunk, a parody of the carbonated lemon-lime drink Sprite found all around Vice City, is still being sold in San Andreas. Sprunk cans resemble grenades, owing to the marketing tagline given for the beverage, which says it has an "explosive, bursting" flavor. Or it could be that it resembles spunk, meaning that it is also an energy drink. Another billboard in the game suggests that Sprunk also refers to spunk, which can be a synonym for ejaculate.
  • The doughnut shop Rusty Brown's Ring Donuts, mentioned in a radio ad on Flash FM, still exists. Some pedestrians mention Rusty Brown in their chatter. Also, an unused restaurant that shares its name has been found in the game's code.
  • The game console Degenatron', mentioned in commercials and interviews on Vice City radio stations, is still remembered. On the show Area 53, Marvin Trill accuses the console of implanting subliminal messages in the brains of people in the 80s. This is almost certainly a reference to the Polybius urban legend of the 1980's.
  • The Domestibots sold in radio ads in Vice City, still exist. It seems they rebelled and escaped human oppression, and now live hidden in a remote camp. One of them calls in on the Area 53 show.
  • A franchise of the Vice City radio station V-Rock is still around, and still uses the old V-Rock triangular logo and the vulture mascot. However, it's not a radio station anymore. It is now the V-Rock Hotel in Las Venturas.
  • Love Fist, the fictional hard-rock band, seems to have split and disappeared from the public eye. They are still remembered though. On the radio station K-DST, the host Tommy wonders "Whatever happend to Love Fist?", and CJ hides the specs of the Caligula Casino behind a Love Fist poster. Jezz Torrent can be heard in a radio ad for the Epsilon Tract sect, crediting the group for aiding him in giving up drugs. Love Fist is a reference to a sexual practice. Similarly, Jezz Torrent is a corruption of Jizz Torrent. This reflects the humour of the popular UK adult comic Viz, which provides the basis for many of the puns and colloquialisms used to humorous effect in the game.
  • Specifically, Viz comic's "Profanisaurus" section describes the full meaning of phrases such as The Camel's Toe, and words such as "Jizz" which are referred to in the game.
  • Similarly, British slang is used as the inspiration for further puns in the GTA series. Notably, certain vans in Vice City which are signed "R S and L Bows" are referring to the crude UK phrase "to know one's arse from one's elbow", or to have a basic level of common sense. "Juank Air" and "Wang Cars" are also a straightforward pun on a common UK insult.
  • Maps of Vice City can be found in the trash cans outside the Clucking Bell of Angel Pine.
  • The Tiki statues that symbolised the hidden packages found all over Vice City is now the sign of a store in Los Santos.
  • Candy Suxxx, the porn-star, is still making movies. Two of her movies can be found in the Las Venturas sex store. A picture of her can be seen on the box of "Return of the Anaconda", and she is mentioned by name on the box of "That Can't Be Legal!: 80's Pornstar's Finest Yo!". Also, pictures of her are found on the walls of some of CJ's safehouses and she is also placed as a neon sign on the Old Venturas Strip located in Las Venturas. There is also a billboard in Los Santos promoting her new movie "Vinewood Callgirls".
  • Vice City characters featured as playing cards in the poker machines of Las Venturas include Lance Vance (Jack of Spades), Candy Suxxx (Queen of Hearts), Ricardo Diaz (King of Hearts) and Sonny Forelli (King of Spades).
  • The tag line of the movie "Exploder", a popular movie that was advertised on radio stations and billboards across Vice City, is still popular. Lazlow says I'll cry when I'm done killing during an interview on WCTR.

Gameplay features

Many new features have been included in the game. New vehicles include bicycles (which feature a new control scheme), trucks with detachable trailers, police motorcycles, operable tow trucks, combine harvesters, quad bikes, airplanes, VTOLs military jet fighters and trains.

New to the player's character is the ability to swim and climb up and over short walls and fences. For greater firepower, players can also wield dual firearms or perform a drive-by shooting with several gang members. The camera, fighting, and targeting controls were reworked with concepts from another Rockstar game, Manhunt, including improved target crosshairs that change colors from green to red to black, depending on the target's health.

Rockstar has emphasized the personalization of the main character. Clothing and accessories (which players can buy at some of the game's many clothing stores), haircuts and tattoos are now available for purchase by CJ, and have more effect on NPCs' reactions than the clothing in Vice City. Players must also ensure CJ eats to stay healthy, obtaining food from fast food restaurants such as Cluckin' Bell, street vendors, diners, bars and nightclubs. The balance of food and exercise has an effect on his muscularity and appearance. If CJ eats too much in a short period, he will get sick and throw up; if he overeats periodically, he'll get fat and move more slowly while on foot; if he fails to eat, he will become less muscular and, eventually, will lose health. San Andreas also features skills, in areas such as driving, firearms handling, stamina, and lung capacity, which improve through use in the game. CJ may also learn three different styles of unarmed combat at the gyms in each of the game's three cities.

A new activity that continues the Grand Theft Auto series' tradition of controversy is home invasion [5]. Under cover of night, CJ is able to sneak into a residence, and cart off valuables or shake down the occupants.

Numerous minigames are also available for play in San Andreas, including basketball, pool, rhythm-based challenges involving dancing and hydraulic vehicles, and video game machines that pay homage to classic arcade games such as Gyruss, Defender and Gradius, in addition to the aforementioned methods of gambling.

Another improvement to the game is the AI. No longer can the player beat a pedestrian to death on a busy street in broad daylight and have bystanders not do anything: while most pedestrians will flee or duck for cover, some armed civilians and enemy gang members will attack CJ, and friendly gang members will shoot at and pursue his opponents. This would make the previously mentioned home invasions more difficult than one would expect because the occupants will resist, and in some cases, draw weapons.

The in-game character creates graffiti. Rockstar's interpretation of the Nuestro Pueblo can be seen in the background.

The player can also voluntarily enable CJ to conduct dialogue with a number of pedestrians in the game, including drug dealers, prospective girlfriends, and fellow gang members. CJ's level of respect among his fellow Grove Street gang members varies according to his actions, as do his relationships with his girlfriends. Rockstar claims that CJ has a total of about 4200 lines of spoken dialogue.

A two-player cooperative mode has also been added for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Two-player icons are found in several key locations in the San Andreas world. Setting foot on one of these icons and pressing any button on a second controller starts up a series of special objectives similar to a "Rampage" in previous Grand Theft Auto games. Two human players will be able to go in a car or on foot. Both the players are required to remain on the same screen and within a reasonable proximity of one another.

Weapons

The weapon selection in San Andreas is approximately the same as in Vice City, with a few additions or replacements. Just like in Vice City, weapons are categorized by type, and the player can carry only one weapon in each "slot" at a time.

  • Slot 1: Hand - bare fist, brass knuckles
  • Slot 2: Melee Weapons - Baseball bat, shovel, cue stick, Katana, Golf club, Nightstick, knife, chainsaw
  • Slot 3: Handguns - GLOCK 17*, Silenced GLOCK 17, Desert Eagle
  • Slot 4: Shotguns - Pump-action shotgun, Sawn-off shotgun*, Combat shotgun (SPAS-12)
  • Slot 5: Sub-Machine Guns - TEC-9*, Micro-SMG (IMI Micro-Uzi)*, SMG (H&K MP5)
  • Slot 6: Assault Rifles - AK-47, M4 Carbine
  • Slot 7: Rifles - Hunting rifle, Sniper rifle
  • Slot 8: Heavy Weapons - Rocket launcher, Flame thrower, Heat-seeking rocket launcher, Minigun
  • Slot 9: Explosives and Incendiaries - Hand grenade, Tear gas grenade, Molotov Cocktail, Remote satchel charge
  • Slot 10: Handheld Items - Fire extinguisher, Spray paint, Camera
  • Slot 11: Gifts - flowers, a cane, dildos, and vibrators which can be given to CJ's girlfriends
  • Slot 12: Special Items - Thermal goggles, Night vision goggles, parachute

* denotes weapon can be dual-wielded

NOTE: Due to a model error, the GLOCK looks like a M1911A1 except during the cinematic for the first Ryder mission .

The Introduction

The Introduction, a machinima video, was provided in a DVD along with San Andreas standalone soundtrack set. The movie chronicles the events leading up the events in San Andreas, and provided insight on the development of the characters of the game, to the point when Carl learns of his mother's death in a phone call from Sweet and returns to Los Santos.

Criticisms

PC Port

Much like earlier Grand Theft Auto games, some PC users have strongly criticized Rockstar for not substantially reworking the console-based controls for the mouse/keyboard computer gaming. Many users have discovered that a mission requires the user to press three or more keys at the same time, something the typical keyboard is simply unable to do. The best way to solve this problem is to use a PlayStation 2-style USB joypad. This way, the console-based controls can easily be mapped to joypad buttons. The resulting gameplay is virtually identical to the PS2 version.

The most salient example of this issue is in the mandatory flying-oriented missions. In one of the most infamous missions in the series, the player must circle an airfield. Because the mission was designed for a console game, some PC users believe that three hands are typically required to complete the mission under a mouse/keyboard setup: one to control the camera, one to control the plane, and one to control commands such as landing gears, weapons, and precise flying controls. However, most people should be able to effectively fly a plane with the default controls after some practice, as they will rarely need to control the camera in mid-flight. Some will require the joypad however and in any case, being able to control the camera effectively, as with a joypad, is likely to make the mission easier for many players.

Another example is in the "Vertical Bird" mission, near the end of the game. The player must fly an extremely fast plane, aim and fire missiles at 4 ships and 3 armed aircraft, launch countermeasures, and then land the plane safely. Some are finding that, without another person to control one or more aspects of the plane, the mission is essentially impossible. While some have completed this mission by remapping the entire control scheme, some players have found that the effects of "key jam" - the inability of a keyboard to understand more than 3 simultaneous keys - preclude this as a viable option. However, the difficulty of this mission is often overstated. It is fairly simple to take on each of these targets individually - the difficulty occurs when one attempts to engage them all at once and in the wrong order. In addition, launching countermeasures is usually an unneeded feature, as missiles are easy to shake off. The aiming of your weapons is also automatic provided you press a certain key, which locks on to the target. For the ships, one can switch to VTOL mode so as to hover while destroying them.

One mission, "Stowaway", is impossible on some PCs unless video quality is dropped to the lowest setting (640x480, 16-bit color), as the plane will otherwise always leave the runway well before you reach it. The mission can be completed without that: If you start your bike and thrust CJ back, so the bike can accelerate on the back wheel - you should have no problems getting on the plane. Even if the plane "jumps" up the runway. A similar problem also exists in missions that require dancing or lowrider car bouncing. Unless the resolution is set to minimum, the visual cues for when to move will be out of synch, so rendering success or failure a matter of luck.

Another performance issue with San Andreas is that the game engine is not efficient at producing smoke effects. As a result, the frame rate can drop dramatically when you are in a situation where fire is present. The most noticeable missions in which this is apparent are the mission where you have to rescue a girl from a burning building, and the final story mission of the game which takes place in a torched factory. This mission is made more frustrating as you are being attacked at the time.

A new criticism of San Andreas lies in its camera. Previous editions of GTA games had the camera 'slaved' to the player. In San Andreas, however, the camera is freeform. As such, a number of players have complained that this new 'feature' makes much of the controls more complex than is required. There is an in-game cheat that allows players to drive-by through using the mouse camera, but doing so will harm your record in the in-game statistics. However, you can still fully complete the game. However, others feel the freeform camera is a very powerful tool once the player is used to using it, and some find it difficult to go back to the fixed camera of Vice City and GTA3 afterwards.

Although some gaming websites like GameSpot have praised the graphics in San Andreas, there is some criticism of the graphical aspect of the PC version of the game. The engine used for the game is essentially the same as the engine used for Grand Theft Auto III. When the game came out for PC in early June 2005, titles such as Half-Life 2 were already available. Compared to what was possible at that time, the game looked slightly dated, but nevertheless better than the console versions.

Character criticism

Another criticized aspect of the game is Carl Johnson (the playable character) himself. In previous GTA games (except Vice City), the playable character was mute with little to no character development, with the development present portraying him as a petty thug and bank robber. As such, a person could kill random people in the game without compromising their own morals, stating that such actions would be done by the character anyway. In Vice City, the main character had dialogue and an established personality. Tommy Vercetti (the character) was portrayed as a brutal killer and made man in the Mafia, being released from prison shortly before the game's events. However, Johnson is portrayed as a nice guy who's caught up with the wrong crowd; who only does what's necessary. Certainly, killing innocent people on the street isn't necessary. In essence, when one is playing the game (and not doing missions), anything one does cannot be credited to CJ, but to the player. CJ, however, is a much more fleshed-out character in general than Tommy Vercetti or the various mutes of the other GTA games.

As well, when Rockstar announced that CJ would be a black character, there was some disagreement amongst forums. Some argued that it racially stereotyped black people as criminals, while some just simply discriminated CJ for not being a white character. However, proponents say it was a smart choice to make CJ a black protagonist, since all of the other main characters in the series so far had been white. The city of Los Santos also goes up in smoke close to the end of the game much like Los Angeles did during the race riots of 1992, though in this game the main police antagonist is also black, and acquitted on drugs charges instead of racial motivation.

Despite this, CJ is arguably the most successful African-American protagonist in video and computer game history.

Leaks, the "Hot Coffee" scandal, and controversy

Wikinews has news related to this article: Video game's secret sex scenes spark outrage

Six days before its release, a leaked edition of the game, along with its manual and its cover, were published illegally, DVD images of which are still available via a number of P2P networks. Similarly, around the time of release of the game in the UK, a leaked PAL version of the game was published.

In mid-June 2005, a file modifying the game dubbed "Hot Coffee" was released. After installing the patch/mod, users can enter the main character's girlfriends' houses and engage in a crudely rendered, partially clothed sexual intercourse mini-game.

The name "Hot Coffee" refers to the way the released game alludes to the unseen sex scenes. In the unmodified game, the player takes his girlfriend to her front door and she asks him if he would like to come in for "some coffee." He agrees, and the camera stays outside, swaying back and forth a bit, while moaning sounds are heard.

In the middle of July 2005, the ESRB, as well as various politicians including Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), launched an investigation into the Hot Coffee mod. Initially, Rockstar released a statement that strongly suggested that the Hot Coffee content was entirely created by "hackers". However, this claim was undermined when codes were released on web forums for the PlayStation 2 Gameshark and AR Max cheating devices that demonstrated that the controversial content was, indeed, built into the console versions.

Confusing the issue is a recent version of the Hot Coffee mod which replaces the semi-nude girlfriends' textures with unclothed bitmaps that cannot be seen without the mod.

On July 20, 2005, San Andreas was rerated as "AO" (Adults Only) by the ESRB. Rockstar has halted production of all versions of San Andreas and plans to release a censored version of the game, which is intended to conform to the initial "M" rating, later this year. Due to the new AO rating, many major retail outlets, including Sears, Hollywood Video, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, Target and GameStop, have pulled the PC and console versions of the game from their shelves.

On July 29, 2005, as a result of the newly-discovered scenes, the OFLC revoked the game's "MA15+" classification (the highest currently available for computer games in Australia), and changed the game's status to "RC" (Refused Classification) meaning that the original version could no longer be sold in Australia. The patched version was given an "MA15+" classification on September 12, 2005.

As of July 23, 2005, however, the PEGI rating for the game has remained unchanged, although it is likely that the PEGI sexual content label will be added to the game cover. The effect on San Andreas sales is as of yet unknown, but Take Two Interactive has revised its projected financial statement for the quarter to reflect a further anticipated loss.

On August 10, 2005, Rockstar Games officially released a patch for San Andreas. Nicknamed the "Cold Coffee Patch" by some, the patch fixed many performance issues and bugs. However, the most major addition was that the patch disabled the controversial "Hot Coffee" scenes, even if the "Hot Coffee" mod was reinstalled.

The game has since been re-released with the "Hot Coffee" scenes removed (Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas 1.01), allowing the game to return to its "M" rating. However, the "Hot Coffee" mod dashed financial expectations for TakeTwo Games, which lost $28.8 million in its fiscal 3rd quarter of 2005 (May to July) partly because of the rerating; the company lost $14.4 million in the same quarter in 2004.

On August 24, 2005, Rockstar announced a mandatory recall for all games still owned by the general public. Consumers who had already purchased the game were allowed to keep it in certain areas, but with the patch installed, although many serious players refused to use it as it did little but block out an unused part of the game's code.

In November 11, 2005, FOX program Killer Instinct's latest episode focuses on a hit online video-game with explicit violence that can cause players to murder people. Other parts of it shows us that teenagers are playing it and the worst thing is unlocking sexually explicit scenes and mini-games (aka Hot Coffee Scandal) caused the detectives to find the creator of the game, get information and stop the murderer who's been playing the game for hours (a la Devin Moore). The fictional game title was Murder One: San Fransisco and the box art looks similar to San Andreas and Vice City but with badly drawn art. Also, the fake game is actually pre-rendered with models from Poser. It is also combined with another upcoming controversial game, 25 to Life, a cops and robbers simulator.

Myths and easter eggs

San Andreas is distinct from the first two PlayStation 2 GTA games in its easter eggs and player-propagated myths. Shortly after the release of the game, several message boards sprouted claims of alleged Bigfoot sightings, and several alleged photographs were released, all of which have been proven to be faked.

Mysterious map

The mysterious map

There is a "restricted area" in the desert at the Area 69 military base, which is a parody of the real world Area 51. This led to more speculation in the fan community about UFOs and aliens. A large map of San Andreas, found in Mike Toreno's home and in a diner called the "Lil Probe Inn" (a cameo to "The Little A'le'Inn" located in the tiny town Rachel, Nevada which is the nearest settlement to the real world Area 51 made famous for displaying a time capsule received from the production crew of Independence Day), has markers scattered randomly across the state. Fans initially thought the map was a key to the UFO appearances; however, Rockstar claims the map means nothing. Area 69 is a reference to the 69 sex position. The number 69 is also found on all airport runways in the game (despite the fact that it is not a valid runway number), on various price tags, and is part of the name of the San Fierro 69ers, a football team in San Fierro, San Andreas, clearly based on the San Francisco 49ers.

The single obvious and confirmable presence of living extraterrestrials in the game comes during the mission "Stowaway", in the form of a group of "Men in Black". Encountered onboard of a cargo plane, these black-suited characters (clearly based on a popular urban legend/UFO conspiracy "theory") proceed to attack the player and shout out numerous utterances signifying their contempt for the inferior human race ("Carbon-based buffoon", "You evolved from shrews!" and more).

Even though there seem to be no UFOs near the Area 69 besides the fake one in the "Lil Probe Inn", you can find an easter egg to the northwest near the El Castillo del Diablo. There is a hole between some rocks that has 6 bodybags inside it with a Bobcat parked near it. However, even this is something that can be easily explained. It has nothing to do with aliens or conspiracies. In The Introduction film (which can be seen when you purchase the soundtrack), there are two Mafia members who have just dumped the bodies in the hole, and even mention that they got rid of those "problems". A typical thing to do for Rockstar Games, since they like referring to the movies that inspired the games. This easter egg is a simple reference to Casino, in which both Sam Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) and Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) mention the fact that the mobsters get rid of their "problems" by burying them in the desert. Since Las Venturas is based on Las Vegas, and there are missions where you work for the Mafia, it is not strange that Rockstar included this. One spot on the map also is pointed in the forest areas of San Fierro, some fans thought the infamous Bigfoot was hiding here.

Ghost cars

The ghost cars were infamous, but brought hope to the fanbase. They are cars without visible drivers moving with damage that isn't repairable. Only one exists in the remote forest region of Back O Beyond in Flint County, it is a beat up Glendale. It is near the horseshoe shaped hills seen on the map. They are on a nearby hill and roll down it without any visible driver, then spawn to the side of the horseshoe hill and it stays there. You can get inside one and drive it, it is always set back to the radio station Playback FM. If you destroy it or take it somewhere else, another one will reappear and repeat the proccess. They do not take damage like other cars, they stay intact until they are blown up, even then the front and back windscreens aren't destroyed. Also they cannot be taken to a mod garage. There are several "Ghostly" Glendales scattered across the badlands, one is not too far from the actual ghost car, but parked in one location and reppears if taken away or destroyed. They are also some in the trailer park opposite the Lil' Probe Inn, and one at the Angel Pine Junkyard in Whetstone.

Plane crashes

Several WWII planes crash occasionally throughout San Andreas, and disappear seconds after doing so. Those that occur most often are crashes into Mt. Chilliad. Crashes also take place in other areas, including the lowland. This was programmed intentionally by Rockstar to add a feel of realism.

Debunking the myths

Weeks after the myths had begun, and search teams formed, an e-mail message (message currently suspended) was received from "Mouthoff@rockstargames.com" and posted on several fan forums. Many questioned the authenticity of the letter, but upon further inspection, it did indeed seem to be from Rockstar Games.

After the initial letter, it is assumed that the address received many letters from fans, as it soon switched to an automated response system. The first automated return letters had a minor typo in it which led many fans to believe it was not an official Rockstar employee. Shortly after these claims were made the address owner soon issued a new return letter that validated new claims, but denied some of the ones in previous letters. This pattern continued, and some speculate that it is just a plot of Rockstar to create more publicity among the fan community.

The most important claim of the letter was that Bigfoot was false, and is not present in the game. Having been the shining light of the many search teams, many fans were dismayed. However, the letter mentioned that there was something in the woods.

Many rumours of a "piggsy" (from Rockstar's Manhunt) or Leatherface-type character (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) soon sprung up. Many of these claims were unsupported by video or picture evidence, and soon lost credibility with the community. The most popular picture of a masked man holding a chainsaw in one hand turned out to be nothing more than a picture of the main character wearing a gimp suit and an ice hockey mask.

The letters also detailed the idea of UFO landings in the game's desert. Though this is often thought to be plausible by fans, no reports or claims have been made. There are also flying orbs that frequent the San Andreas skies. Many fans claim these to be Rockstar's implementation of UFOs, while others point out a much more terrestrial explanation: Rockstar used the same style to animate commercial air traffic in Vice City (bright lights, contrails, etc) but forgot to modify the names of the aircraft. This leads to mass-less 'airplanes', with active running lights, flying in the sky. Rockstar has not said anything about the orbs, and its intentions with them are still unclear.

Some fans soon found objects within the game's textures, such as deer and what they claim to be dinosaur skin. This would support one of the early claims that fans made in the very beginning of the game, of animals in the woods and an appearance of a dinosaur. Oddly enough, with the disproof of Bigfoot, many of these people took back their claims, saying that they may have been mistaken.

Easter eggs

There are also the commonplace Rockstar Easter eggs, such as hits at competitor games, or the classic signs. Billboards in Los Santos are made to look like the cover for the True Crime: Streets of LA game and refer to the game as trash ("Get rid of old rubbish, fast! True Grime: Street Cleaners"). Most easter eggs appear in San Fierro, mostly dealing with the Golden Gate-inspired bridge and the video game and movie series Resident Evil (ZomboTech). These and other myths in the game have brought a new level of depth to the GTA games. Currently, many Easter egg-seeking search parties have websites with further information.

Like all 3D GTA games, San Andreas contains an "underworld", an in-game limbo popularly dubbed "Oblivion", or "Blue Hell", though it is not always blue. The name Hell part is derived from the fact that if you go in unprepared, you will most likely find yourself falling for some time before you reappear above the city. Aside from Blue Hell, there is the interior hell. Many unused and cutscene only interiors can be found here, such an incomplete model of Liberty City from Grand Theft Auto III, and secret interior spaces. The partial Liberty City model is used in the mission "St. Mark's Bistro," where CJ flies back to Liberty City to do a hit for Salvatore Leone. Only a small portion is solid though. The interiors for the girlfriend's houses can be found there also. Much like Liberty City, many cutscene and unused interiors have unsolid areas also.

Many in-game pedestrians die in what seem to be bizarre suicides, although these may be due to oversights in the scripting of the pedestrians' movement rather than intentional Easter eggs. For example, photographer NPCs may take pictures and then drown themselves. In what some call a hint at DMA's Lemmings, pedestrians will sometimes appear on a ledge and walk off to their deaths.

A corporate building called "ZomboTech" (Sinister Zombie Virus Research Corporation) in San Fierro is a joking reference to the Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil franchise. This has started unconfirmed rumors of zombies late at night in San Fierro. If you want to find the building, it is in downtown, just up the road from the construction lot. It is the building with the giant DNA strand model in the centre (this is one of San Fierro's "Photo Ops"). Another popular but unconfirmed myth is that CJ's mother and other ghosts may appear in photos taken in graveyards. Though no ghosts have been proven to exist in the game, there are "ghostly" occurrences. For example, the cemetery in Los Santos mysteriously becomes covered in graffiti at night. The graffiti ("Grove Street 4 Life") disappears once the sun comes up, this is mainly for those with sharp memories though, as at the start of the game, Sweet mentions that a lot of Grove Street gang members are buried there. There are also other gang's graffiti around the cemerery. Also in the cemetary, is a crypt containing a television, recliner & pizza boxes - in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike had a similar set-up.

The January 2005 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly included a story on the San Andreas rumors. The CEO of Rockstar, Terry Donovan, denied the existence of Bigfoot: "There is no Bigfoot, just like in real life." Rockstar also denied the existence of CJ's mother's ghost, as well as miscellaneous rumors. In the next issue of EGM, a subscriber sent in a photograph of such a mythical creature appearing on his game in the countryside. The magazine called the creature a Yeti instead of Bigfoot.

Following the Epsilon Program website and related "clues", players have been looking over San Andreas for the Epsilon cult and its meeting locations. Epsilon appears to be closely modeled on the Church of Scientology. Players have found pedestrians who talk about Kifflom (the Epsilon Program's "deity") in San Andreas, such as a barber and backpackers. It has yet to be proven that these comments are intended for any purpose other than adding flavor to pedestrian dialogue but even one of your girlfriends from San Fierro, Katie, a nurse obsessed with death who practices martial arts, refers to the group on one the many random comments when you take her out for a ride/walk by saying: "Those Epsilon nut-jobs freak me out". Epsilon has scientifically ridiculous beliefs, such as "The World is 157 years old", and hidden information that one can only read if one pays money to the Epsilon Group (despite the fact that the "Epsilon Tract" has not even been written yet), popular celebrity endorsements (Jezz Torrent claiming the Group aided him in giving up drugs), an openly shameless leader. The player can also hear about the Epsilon Group in the WCTR radio show Entertaining America with Lazlow in which the host interviews Epsilon's founder, Chris Fromage, who refers Kifflom as well.

One of the biggest easter eggs in the game is located on top of the Gant Bridge in San Fierro which is based on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On the top beam located on the south side of the bridge is a sign that says "There are no Easter Eggs up here. Go away."


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Go away.". The builder claims that the bridge's lifetime will be at least 120 years. On the top beam located on the south side of the bridge is a sign that says "There are no Easter Eggs up here. The project required about 127,000 m³ of concrete, 19,000 metric tons of steel for the reinforced concrete, and 5,000 metric tons of pre-stressed concrete for the cables and shrouds. One of the biggest easter eggs in the game is located on top of the Gant Bridge in San Fierro which is based on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. However, if the concession is very profitable, the French government can assume control of the bridge in 2044. The player can also hear about the Epsilon Group in the WCTR radio show Entertaining America with Lazlow in which the host interviews Epsilon's founder, Chris Fromage, who refers Kifflom as well. The builders, Eiffage, financed the construction in return for a concession to collect the tolls for 75 years, until 2080.

Epsilon has scientifically ridiculous beliefs, such as "The World is 157 years old", and hidden information that one can only read if one pays money to the Epsilon Group (despite the fact that the "Epsilon Tract" has not even been written yet), popular celebrity endorsements (Jezz Torrent claiming the Group aided him in giving up drugs), an openly shameless leader. The bridge's construction costs amount to €394 million, with a toll plaza 6 km north of the viaduct costing an additional €20 million. It has yet to be proven that these comments are intended for any purpose other than adding flavor to pedestrian dialogue but even one of your girlfriends from San Fierro, Katie, a nurse obsessed with death who practices martial arts, refers to the group on one the many random comments when you take her out for a ride/walk by saying: "Those Epsilon nut-jobs freak me out". The engineering group Setec has authority in the project, with SNCF engineering having partial control. Players have found pedestrians who talk about Kifflom (the Epsilon Program's "deity") in San Andreas, such as a barber and backpackers. The construction consortium is made up of the Eiffage TP company for the concrete part, the Eiffel company for the steel roadway (Gustave Eiffel built the Garabit viaduct in 1884, a train bridge in the neighboring Cantal département), and the Enerpac company for the roadway's hydraulic supports. Epsilon appears to be closely modeled on the Church of Scientology. The work leader is the Compagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau, owner of the government contract.

Following the Epsilon Program website and related "clues", players have been looking over San Andreas for the Epsilon cult and its meeting locations. Four consortia were in competition for the building contract:. The magazine called the creature a Yeti instead of Bigfoot. He worked together with the Dutch engineering firm ARCADIS, responsible for the technical design of the bridge. In the next issue of EGM, a subscriber sent in a photograph of such a mythical creature appearing on his game in the countryside. The architects of the bridge are the British firm Foster and Partners. The CEO of Rockstar, Terry Donovan, denied the existence of Bigfoot: "There is no Bigfoot, just like in real life." Rockstar also denied the existence of CJ's mother's ghost, as well as miscellaneous rumors. The original concept for the bridge was devised by French designer Michel Virlogeux.

The January 2005 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly included a story on the San Andreas rumors. After the choice of the high viaduct's path, five teams of architects and researchers simultaneously worked on a technical solution. Also in the cemetary, is a crypt containing a television, recliner & pizza boxes - in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike had a similar set-up. After long construction studies, the low solution was abandoned because it would have intersected the water table, had negative effects on the town, cost more, and the driving distance would have been longer. There are also other gang's graffiti around the cemerery. It consisted of two possibilities: the high solution, and the low solution, requiring the construction of a 200 m bridge to cross the Tarn, then a viaduct of 2300 m extended by a tunnel on the Larzac side. The graffiti ("Grove Street 4 Life") disappears once the sun comes up, this is mainly for those with sharp memories though, as at the start of the game, Sweet mentions that a lot of Grove Street gang members are buried there. The fourth option was selected by the government on June 28, 1989.

For example, the cemetery in Los Santos mysteriously becomes covered in graffiti at night. In initial studies, four options were examined:. Though no ghosts have been proven to exist in the game, there are "ghostly" occurrences. The viaduct was officially inaugurated by President Chirac on December 14, 2004 to open for traffic on December 16, several weeks ahead of the revised schedule. Another popular but unconfirmed myth is that CJ's mother and other ghosts may appear in photos taken in graveyards. A revised schedule aimed for the bridge to be opened in January 2005. It is the building with the giant DNA strand model in the centre (this is one of San Fierro's "Photo Ops"). Construction began on October 10, 2001 and was intended to take 3 years, but weather conditions put work on the bridge behind schedule.

If you want to find the building, it is in downtown, just up the road from the construction lot. The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado, United States has a deck considerably higher than either, at 321 m (1,053 ft) above the Arkansas River. This has started unconfirmed rumors of zombies late at night in San Fierro. Its deck, at "almost 270 m" (886 ft) above the Tarn, is apparently slightly higher than the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia in the United States, which is 267 m (876 ft) above the New River. A corporate building called "ZomboTech" (Sinister Zombie Virus Research Corporation) in San Fierro is a joking reference to the Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil franchise. The Millau Viaduct is the second highest vehicular bridge measured from the roadway elevation. In what some call a hint at DMA's Lemmings, pedestrians will sometimes appear on a ledge and walk off to their deaths. Current plans call for towers 382.6 m high.

For example, photographer NPCs may take pictures and then drown themselves. The proposed Strait of Messina Bridge in Italy, if constructed would be taller still and would also be the world's largest suspension bridge. Many in-game pedestrians die in what seem to be bizarre suicides, although these may be due to oversights in the scripting of the pedestrians' movement rather than intentional Easter eggs. The viaduct is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, nearly twice as tall as the previous tallest vehicular bridge in Europe, the Europabrücke in Austria. Much like Liberty City, many cutscene and unused interiors have unsolid areas also. The piers were assembled first, together with some temporary supports, before the decks were slid out across the piers by satellite-guided hydraulic rams that moved the deck 600 mm (23.6 inches) every 4 minutes. The interiors for the girlfriend's houses can be found there also. The piers each support 97 m (319 ft) tall pylons.

Only a small portion is solid though. These sections were assembled on site from pieces of 60 metric tons, 4 m (13 ft) wide and 17 m (56 ft) long, made in factories in Lauterbourg and Fos-sur-Mer by Eiffage. Mark's Bistro," where CJ flies back to Liberty City to do a hit for Salvatore Leone. Each pier is composed of 16 framework sections, each section weighing 2,230 metric tons. The partial Liberty City model is used in the mission "St. The piers range in height from 77–246 m (253–807 ft), and taper in their longitudinal section from 24.5 m (81 ft) at the base to 11 m (36 ft) at the deck. Many unused and cutscene only interiors can be found here, such an incomplete model of Liberty City from Grand Theft Auto III, and secret interior spaces. It carries two lanes of traffic in each direction.

Aside from Blue Hell, there is the interior hell. The roadway has a slope of 3% descending from south to north, and curves in plan section on a 20 km (12.4 mile) radius to give drivers better visibility. The name Hell part is derived from the fact that if you go in unprepared, you will most likely find yourself falling for some time before you reappear above the city. The six central spans each measure 342 m (1,122 ft) with the two outer spans measuring 204 m (670 ft). Like all 3D GTA games, San Andreas contains an "underworld", an in-game limbo popularly dubbed "Oblivion", or "Blue Hell", though it is not always blue. The roadway weighs 36,000 metric tons and is 2,460 m (8,071 ft) long, measuring 32 m (105 ft) wide by 4.2 m (13.8 ft) deep. Currently, many Easter egg-seeking search parties have websites with further information. The Millau Viaduct consists of an eight-span steel roadway supported by seven concrete piers.

These and other myths in the game have brought a new level of depth to the GTA games. The bridge was constructed by the Eiffage group, which also built the Eiffel Tower, under a government contract which allows the company to collect tolls for up to 75 years. Most easter eggs appear in San Fierro, mostly dealing with the Golden Gate-inspired bridge and the video game and movie series Resident Evil (ZomboTech). The Eiffage group operates the viaduct as a toll bridge, with the toll currently set at €4.90 for light automobiles (€6.50 during the peak months of July and August). Billboards in Los Santos are made to look like the cover for the True Crime: Streets of LA game and refer to the game as trash ("Get rid of old rubbish, fast! True Grime: Street Cleaners"). Many tourists heading to southern France and Spain follow this route because it is direct and without tolls for the 340 km between Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers, except for the bridge itself. There are also the commonplace Rockstar Easter eggs, such as hits at competitor games, or the classic signs. The purpose of the A75 is to increase the speed and reduce the cost of vehicle traffic travelling along this route.

Oddly enough, with the disproof of Bigfoot, many of these people took back their claims, saying that they may have been mistaken. The bridge forms the last link of the A75 (la Méridienne) autoroute, providing a continuous high-speed route south from Paris through Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers. This would support one of the early claims that fans made in the very beginning of the game, of animals in the woods and an appearance of a dinosaur. The bridge now traverses the Tarn valley above its lowest point, linking the causse du Larzac to the causse rouge, and is inside the perimeter of the Grands Causses regional natural park. Some fans soon found objects within the game's textures, such as deer and what they claim to be dinosaur skin. Before the bridge was constructed, traffic had to descend into the Tarn River valley and pass along the route nationale N9 near the town of Millau, causing heavy congestion at the beginning and end of the July and August vacation season. Rockstar has not said anything about the orbs, and its intentions with them are still unclear. .

This leads to mass-less 'airplanes', with active running lights, flying in the sky.
. Many fans claim these to be Rockstar's implementation of UFOs, while others point out a much more terrestrial explanation: Rockstar used the same style to animate commercial air traffic in Vice City (bright lights, contrails, etc) but forgot to modify the names of the aircraft. It was formally opened on 14 December 2004 and opened to traffic on 16 December 2004. There are also flying orbs that frequent the San Andreas skies. Designed by British architect Lord Foster in collaboration with French bridge engineer Michel Virlogeux, it is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with one pier's summit at 341 metres (1,118 ft)—slightly higher than the Eiffel Tower and only 40 m (132 ft) shorter than the Empire State Building. Though this is often thought to be plausible by fans, no reports or claims have been made. The Millau Viaduct (French: le Viaduc de Millau) is a cable-stayed road bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France.

The letters also detailed the idea of UFO landings in the game's desert. [1]. The most popular picture of a masked man holding a chainsaw in one hand turned out to be nothing more than a picture of the main character wearing a gimp suit and an ice hockey mask. Felix Baumgartner became the first person to BASE jump from the bridge on 27 June 2004, shortly after the road deck was completed but well before the bridge was opened. Many of these claims were unsupported by video or picture evidence, and soon lost credibility with the community. 2080: Eiffage toll concession runs out. Many rumours of a "piggsy" (from Rockstar's Manhunt) or Leatherface-type character (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) soon sprung up. 2044: French government can assume control of the bridge if the toll concession is very profitable.

However, the letter mentioned that there was something in the woods. January 10, 2005: initial planned opening date. Having been the shining light of the many search teams, many fans were dismayed. December 16, 2004: opening of the viaduct, ahead of schedule. The most important claim of the letter was that Bigfoot was false, and is not present in the game. December 14, 2004: official inauguration. This pattern continued, and some speculate that it is just a plot of Rockstar to create more publicity among the fan community. 2nd half of 2004: installation of the pylons and shrouds, removal of the temporary roadway supports.

Shortly after these claims were made the address owner soon issued a new return letter that validated new claims, but denied some of the ones in previous letters. May 28, 2004: the pieces of roadway are several centimeters apart, their juncture to be accomplished within two weeks. The first automated return letters had a minor typo in it which led many fans to believe it was not an official Rockstar employee. November 2003: completion of the last piers (Piers P2 at 221 m and P3 at 245 m are the highest piers in the world.). After the initial letter, it is assumed that the address received many letters from fans, as it soon switched to an automated response system. February 25–February 26, 2003: laying of first pieces of roadway. Many questioned the authenticity of the letter, but upon further inspection, it did indeed seem to be from Rockstar Games. November 2002: first piers complete.

Weeks after the myths had begun, and search teams formed, an e-mail message (message currently suspended) was received from "Mouthoff@rockstargames.com" and posted on several fan forums. September 2002: assembly of roadway begins. This was programmed intentionally by Rockstar to add a feel of realism. August 2002: start of work on pier support C0. Crashes also take place in other areas, including the lowland. July 2002: start of work on the foundations of temporary, height adjustable roadway supports. Chilliad. June 2002: support C8 completed, start of work on piers.

Those that occur most often are crashes into Mt. March 2002: start of work on the pier support C8. Several WWII planes crash occasionally throughout San Andreas, and disappear seconds after doing so. January 2002: laying pier foundations. They are also some in the trailer park opposite the Lil' Probe Inn, and one at the Angel Pine Junkyard in Whetstone. December 14, 2001: laying of the first stone. There are several "Ghostly" Glendales scattered across the badlands, one is not too far from the actual ghost car, but parked in one location and reppears if taken away or destroyed. October 16, 2001: work begins.

Also they cannot be taken to a mod garage. 1998: decision to contract out both construction costs and future tolls to a private enterprise. They do not take damage like other cars, they stay intact until they are blown up, even then the front and back windscreens aren't destroyed. July 9, 1996: choice of the cable-stayed bridge type. If you destroy it or take it somewhere else, another one will reappear and repeat the proccess. term). You can get inside one and drive it, it is always set back to the radio station Playback FM. January 10, 1995: declaration of utilité publique (public usefulness), as needed to apply eminent domain(U.S.

They are on a nearby hill and roll down it without any visible driver, then spawn to the side of the horseshoe hill and it stays there. October 19, 1991: selection of the high solution, with the viaduct at 2500 m. It is near the horseshoe shaped hills seen on the map. June 28, 1989: governmental approval of the middle route. Only one exists in the remote forest region of Back O Beyond in Flint County, it is a beat up Glendale. €4.90–6.50: typical automobile toll, as of 2005. They are cars without visible drivers moving with damage that isn't repairable. 10,000–25,000 vehicles: estimated daily traffic.

The ghost cars were infamous, but brought hope to the fanbase. 290,000 metric tons: total weight of the bridge. One spot on the map also is pointed in the forest areas of San Fierro, some fans thought the infamous Bigfoot was hiding here. 85,000 m³: total volume of concrete used. Since Las Venturas is based on Las Vegas, and there are missions where you work for the Mafia, it is not strange that Rockstar included this. 32.05 m: width of the roadway. This easter egg is a simple reference to Casino, in which both Sam Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) and Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) mention the fact that the mobsters get rid of their "problems" by burying them in the desert. 4.20 m: thickness of the roadway.

A typical thing to do for Rockstar Games, since they like referring to the movies that inspired the games. 270 m: average height of the roadway. In The Introduction film (which can be seen when you purchase the soundtrack), there are two Mafia members who have just dumped the bodies in the hole, and even mention that they got rid of those "problems". 154: number of shrouds. It has nothing to do with aliens or conspiracies. 87 m: height of a pylon. However, even this is something that can be easily explained. 336 m: height of Pier 2, the tallest (245 m at the roadway's level).

There is a hole between some rocks that has 6 bodybags inside it with a Bobcat parked near it. 77 m: height of Pier 7, the shortest. Even though there seem to be no UFOs near the Area 69 besides the fake one in the "Lil Probe Inn", you can find an easter egg to the northwest near the El Castillo del Diablo. 7: number of piers. Encountered onboard of a cargo plane, these black-suited characters (clearly based on a popular urban legend/UFO conspiracy "theory") proceed to attack the player and shout out numerous utterances signifying their contempt for the inferior human race ("Carbon-based buffoon", "You evolved from shrews!" and more). 2,460 metre: total length of the roadway. The single obvious and confirmable presence of living extraterrestrials in the game comes during the mission "Stowaway", in the form of a group of "Men in Black". the successful bidders, lead by the Eiffage group, product of the Fougerolles-SEA fusion, the third largest French group in public works, and the sixth largest in Europe.

The number 69 is also found on all airport runways in the game (despite the fact that it is not a valid runway number), on various price tags, and is part of the name of the San Fierro 69ers, a football team in San Fierro, San Andreas, clearly based on the San Francisco 49ers. one led by Générale Routière, with Via GTI (French), and Cintra, Necso, Acciona, and Ferrovial Agroman (all Spanish). Area 69 is a reference to the 69 sex position. Société du viaduc de Millau, made up of ASF, Egis, GTM, Bouygues Travaux Publics, SGE, CDC Projets, Tofinso (all French) and Autostrade (Italian); and. Fans initially thought the map was a key to the UFO appearances; however, Rockstar claims the map means nothing. one led by Dragados (Spanish), with Skanska (Swedish) and Bec (French);. A large map of San Andreas, found in Mike Toreno's home and in a diner called the "Lil Probe Inn" (a cameo to "The Little A'le'Inn" located in the tiny town Rachel, Nevada which is the nearest settlement to the real world Area 51 made famous for displaying a time capsule received from the production crew of Independence Day), has markers scattered randomly across the state. traverse the middle of the valley.

This led to more speculation in the fan community about UFOs and aliens. follow the path of Route Nationale 9, providing good access to Millau but at the cost of technical difficulties and intrusion on the town; and. There is a "restricted area" in the desert at the Area 69 military base, which is a parody of the real world Area 51. bypass Millau to the west (12 km longer), requiring four bridges;. Shortly after the release of the game, several message boards sprouted claims of alleged Bigfoot sightings, and several alleged photographs were released, all of which have been proven to be faked. bypass Millau to the east, requiring two large bridges over the Tarn and the Dourbie;. San Andreas is distinct from the first two PlayStation 2 GTA games in its easter eggs and player-propagated myths.

It is also combined with another upcoming controversial game, 25 to Life, a cops and robbers simulator. Also, the fake game is actually pre-rendered with models from Poser. The fictional game title was Murder One: San Fransisco and the box art looks similar to San Andreas and Vice City but with badly drawn art. Other parts of it shows us that teenagers are playing it and the worst thing is unlocking sexually explicit scenes and mini-games (aka Hot Coffee Scandal) caused the detectives to find the creator of the game, get information and stop the murderer who's been playing the game for hours (a la Devin Moore).

In November 11, 2005, FOX program Killer Instinct's latest episode focuses on a hit online video-game with explicit violence that can cause players to murder people. Consumers who had already purchased the game were allowed to keep it in certain areas, but with the patch installed, although many serious players refused to use it as it did little but block out an unused part of the game's code. On August 24, 2005, Rockstar announced a mandatory recall for all games still owned by the general public. However, the "Hot Coffee" mod dashed financial expectations for TakeTwo Games, which lost $28.8 million in its fiscal 3rd quarter of 2005 (May to July) partly because of the rerating; the company lost $14.4 million in the same quarter in 2004.

The game has since been re-released with the "Hot Coffee" scenes removed (Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas 1.01), allowing the game to return to its "M" rating. However, the most major addition was that the patch disabled the controversial "Hot Coffee" scenes, even if the "Hot Coffee" mod was reinstalled. Nicknamed the "Cold Coffee Patch" by some, the patch fixed many performance issues and bugs. On August 10, 2005, Rockstar Games officially released a patch for San Andreas.

The effect on San Andreas sales is as of yet unknown, but Take Two Interactive has revised its projected financial statement for the quarter to reflect a further anticipated loss. As of July 23, 2005, however, the PEGI rating for the game has remained unchanged, although it is likely that the PEGI sexual content label will be added to the game cover. The patched version was given an "MA15+" classification on September 12, 2005. On July 29, 2005, as a result of the newly-discovered scenes, the OFLC revoked the game's "MA15+" classification (the highest currently available for computer games in Australia), and changed the game's status to "RC" (Refused Classification) meaning that the original version could no longer be sold in Australia.

Due to the new AO rating, many major retail outlets, including Sears, Hollywood Video, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, Target and GameStop, have pulled the PC and console versions of the game from their shelves. Rockstar has halted production of all versions of San Andreas and plans to release a censored version of the game, which is intended to conform to the initial "M" rating, later this year. On July 20, 2005, San Andreas was rerated as "AO" (Adults Only) by the ESRB. Confusing the issue is a recent version of the Hot Coffee mod which replaces the semi-nude girlfriends' textures with unclothed bitmaps that cannot be seen without the mod.

However, this claim was undermined when codes were released on web forums for the PlayStation 2 Gameshark and AR Max cheating devices that demonstrated that the controversial content was, indeed, built into the console versions. Initially, Rockstar released a statement that strongly suggested that the Hot Coffee content was entirely created by "hackers". In the middle of July 2005, the ESRB, as well as various politicians including Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), launched an investigation into the Hot Coffee mod. In the unmodified game, the player takes his girlfriend to her front door and she asks him if he would like to come in for "some coffee." He agrees, and the camera stays outside, swaying back and forth a bit, while moaning sounds are heard.

The name "Hot Coffee" refers to the way the released game alludes to the unseen sex scenes. After installing the patch/mod, users can enter the main character's girlfriends' houses and engage in a crudely rendered, partially clothed sexual intercourse mini-game. In mid-June 2005, a file modifying the game dubbed "Hot Coffee" was released. Similarly, around the time of release of the game in the UK, a leaked PAL version of the game was published.

Six days before its release, a leaked edition of the game, along with its manual and its cover, were published illegally, DVD images of which are still available via a number of P2P networks. Despite this, CJ is arguably the most successful African-American protagonist in video and computer game history. The city of Los Santos also goes up in smoke close to the end of the game much like Los Angeles did during the race riots of 1992, though in this game the main police antagonist is also black, and acquitted on drugs charges instead of racial motivation. However, proponents say it was a smart choice to make CJ a black protagonist, since all of the other main characters in the series so far had been white.

Some argued that it racially stereotyped black people as criminals, while some just simply discriminated CJ for not being a white character. As well, when Rockstar announced that CJ would be a black character, there was some disagreement amongst forums. CJ, however, is a much more fleshed-out character in general than Tommy Vercetti or the various mutes of the other GTA games. In essence, when one is playing the game (and not doing missions), anything one does cannot be credited to CJ, but to the player.

Certainly, killing innocent people on the street isn't necessary. However, Johnson is portrayed as a nice guy who's caught up with the wrong crowd; who only does what's necessary. Tommy Vercetti (the character) was portrayed as a brutal killer and made man in the Mafia, being released from prison shortly before the game's events. In Vice City, the main character had dialogue and an established personality.

As such, a person could kill random people in the game without compromising their own morals, stating that such actions would be done by the character anyway. In previous GTA games (except Vice City), the playable character was mute with little to no character development, with the development present portraying him as a petty thug and bank robber. Another criticized aspect of the game is Carl Johnson (the playable character) himself. Compared to what was possible at that time, the game looked slightly dated, but nevertheless better than the console versions.

When the game came out for PC in early June 2005, titles such as Half-Life 2 were already available. The engine used for the game is essentially the same as the engine used for Grand Theft Auto III. Although some gaming websites like GameSpot have praised the graphics in San Andreas, there is some criticism of the graphical aspect of the PC version of the game. However, others feel the freeform camera is a very powerful tool once the player is used to using it, and some find it difficult to go back to the fixed camera of Vice City and GTA3 afterwards.

However, you can still fully complete the game. There is an in-game cheat that allows players to drive-by through using the mouse camera, but doing so will harm your record in the in-game statistics. As such, a number of players have complained that this new 'feature' makes much of the controls more complex than is required. In San Andreas, however, the camera is freeform.

Previous editions of GTA games had the camera 'slaved' to the player. A new criticism of San Andreas lies in its camera. This mission is made more frustrating as you are being attacked at the time. The most noticeable missions in which this is apparent are the mission where you have to rescue a girl from a burning building, and the final story mission of the game which takes place in a torched factory.

As a result, the frame rate can drop dramatically when you are in a situation where fire is present. Another performance issue with San Andreas is that the game engine is not efficient at producing smoke effects. Unless the resolution is set to minimum, the visual cues for when to move will be out of synch, so rendering success or failure a matter of luck. A similar problem also exists in missions that require dancing or lowrider car bouncing.

Even if the plane "jumps" up the runway. The mission can be completed without that: If you start your bike and thrust CJ back, so the bike can accelerate on the back wheel - you should have no problems getting on the plane. One mission, "Stowaway", is impossible on some PCs unless video quality is dropped to the lowest setting (640x480, 16-bit color), as the plane will otherwise always leave the runway well before you reach it. For the ships, one can switch to VTOL mode so as to hover while destroying them.

The aiming of your weapons is also automatic provided you press a certain key, which locks on to the target. In addition, launching countermeasures is usually an unneeded feature, as missiles are easy to shake off. It is fairly simple to take on each of these targets individually - the difficulty occurs when one attempts to engage them all at once and in the wrong order. However, the difficulty of this mission is often overstated.

While some have completed this mission by remapping the entire control scheme, some players have found that the effects of "key jam" - the inability of a keyboard to understand more than 3 simultaneous keys - preclude this as a viable option. Some are finding that, without another person to control one or more aspects of the plane, the mission is essentially impossible. The player must fly an extremely fast plane, aim and fire missiles at 4 ships and 3 armed aircraft, launch countermeasures, and then land the plane safely. Another example is in the "Vertical Bird" mission, near the end of the game.

Some will require the joypad however and in any case, being able to control the camera effectively, as with a joypad, is likely to make the mission easier for many players. However, most people should be able to effectively fly a plane with the default controls after some practice, as they will rarely need to control the camera in mid-flight. Because the mission was designed for a console game, some PC users believe that three hands are typically required to complete the mission under a mouse/keyboard setup: one to control the camera, one to control the plane, and one to control commands such as landing gears, weapons, and precise flying controls. In one of the most infamous missions in the series, the player must circle an airfield.

The most salient example of this issue is in the mandatory flying-oriented missions. The resulting gameplay is virtually identical to the PS2 version. This way, the console-based controls can easily be mapped to joypad buttons. The best way to solve this problem is to use a PlayStation 2-style USB joypad.

Many users have discovered that a mission requires the user to press three or more keys at the same time, something the typical keyboard is simply unable to do. Much like earlier Grand Theft Auto games, some PC users have strongly criticized Rockstar for not substantially reworking the console-based controls for the mouse/keyboard computer gaming. The movie chronicles the events leading up the events in San Andreas, and provided insight on the development of the characters of the game, to the point when Carl learns of his mother's death in a phone call from Sweet and returns to Los Santos. The Introduction, a machinima video, was provided in a DVD along with San Andreas standalone soundtrack set.

NOTE: Due to a model error, the GLOCK looks like a M1911A1 except during the cinematic for the first Ryder mission . * denotes weapon can be dual-wielded. Just like in Vice City, weapons are categorized by type, and the player can carry only one weapon in each "slot" at a time. The weapon selection in San Andreas is approximately the same as in Vice City, with a few additions or replacements.

Both the players are required to remain on the same screen and within a reasonable proximity of one another. Two human players will be able to go in a car or on foot. Setting foot on one of these icons and pressing any button on a second controller starts up a series of special objectives similar to a "Rampage" in previous Grand Theft Auto games. Two-player icons are found in several key locations in the San Andreas world.

A two-player cooperative mode has also been added for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Rockstar claims that CJ has a total of about 4200 lines of spoken dialogue. CJ's level of respect among his fellow Grove Street gang members varies according to his actions, as do his relationships with his girlfriends. The player can also voluntarily enable CJ to conduct dialogue with a number of pedestrians in the game, including drug dealers, prospective girlfriends, and fellow gang members.

This would make the previously mentioned home invasions more difficult than one would expect because the occupants will resist, and in some cases, draw weapons. No longer can the player beat a pedestrian to death on a busy street in broad daylight and have bystanders not do anything: while most pedestrians will flee or duck for cover, some armed civilians and enemy gang members will attack CJ, and friendly gang members will shoot at and pursue his opponents. Another improvement to the game is the AI. Numerous minigames are also available for play in San Andreas, including basketball, pool, rhythm-based challenges involving dancing and hydraulic vehicles, and video game machines that pay homage to classic arcade games such as Gyruss, Defender and Gradius, in addition to the aforementioned methods of gambling.

Under cover of night, CJ is able to sneak into a residence, and cart off valuables or shake down the occupants. A new activity that continues the Grand Theft Auto series' tradition of controversy is home invasion [5]. CJ may also learn three different styles of unarmed combat at the gyms in each of the game's three cities. San Andreas also features skills, in areas such as driving, firearms handling, stamina, and lung capacity, which improve through use in the game.

If CJ eats too much in a short period, he will get sick and throw up; if he overeats periodically, he'll get fat and move more slowly while on foot; if he fails to eat, he will become less muscular and, eventually, will lose health. The balance of food and exercise has an effect on his muscularity and appearance. Players must also ensure CJ eats to stay healthy, obtaining food from fast food restaurants such as Cluckin' Bell, street vendors, diners, bars and nightclubs. Clothing and accessories (which players can buy at some of the game's many clothing stores), haircuts and tattoos are now available for purchase by CJ, and have more effect on NPCs' reactions than the clothing in Vice City.

Rockstar has emphasized the personalization of the main character. The camera, fighting, and targeting controls were reworked with concepts from another Rockstar game, Manhunt, including improved target crosshairs that change colors from green to red to black, depending on the target's health. For greater firepower, players can also wield dual firearms or perform a drive-by shooting with several gang members. New to the player's character is the ability to swim and climb up and over short walls and fences.

New vehicles include bicycles (which feature a new control scheme), trucks with detachable trailers, police motorcycles, operable tow trucks, combine harvesters, quad bikes, airplanes, VTOLs military jet fighters and trains. Many new features have been included in the game. Since characters from Vice City appear and the events of the game are hinted at having really happened, this might indicate that Tommy Vercetti's adventures in Vice City gained considerable notoriety in the following years. Interestingly, some real-world promotional material Rockstar created for Vice City can also be found in this game.

Many characters, locations and fictional elements of Vice City were kept, sometimes with minor modifications to account for changes that would have occurred in the 6 years that separate both games' fictional worlds. One mission requires the player to visit a low-rider mod-shop and then to use the car in a hydraulics competition. Vehicles can be divided into four categories: Cars that can be modified but are not low-rider or "street racer" cars can only be modified at a TransFender, low-rider cars can only be modified at Loco Low Co., street racing types are modified at Wheel Arch Angels, and unmodifiable cars (most emergency vehicles and some off-road vehicles) cannot be modified at all. Common modifications include nitrous tanks, hydraulics, and paintjobs.

Many, but not all, vehicles can be modified in GTA:SA. Most car mods are strictly visual because they only add aesthetic appeal, as opposed to those which improve the performance. TransFender ranges in a wide variety of mods for a vehicle from nitro to hydraulics. TransFender is a fictitious car modification shop in San Andreas.

Many real Las Vegas Strip casinos are faithfully interpreted on Las Ventura's Strip, including the Excalibur Hotel and Casino ("Come-a-Lot"), the Sphinx and pyramid of the Luxor Hotel ("The Camel's Toe"), and the Pioneer Club ([4]), with Vegas Vic and Vicki replaced by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City characters Avery Carrington and Candy Suxxx, respectively. In addition to gambling, strip clubs are also prevalent in Las Venturas. Off-track betting parlors are also available in the game's other regions. One is able to play various casino games such as poker, roulette, and slot machines.

In Las Venturas (one of the biggest cities in San Andreas), the player is able to visit and even take over casinos. There is a district known as "Garcia", an ode to Grateful Dead frontman and San Francisco native Jerry Garcia, and San Fierro's City Hall closely resembles San Francisco's ornate city hall. Several other familiar landmarks have been recreated from the Embarcadero clock tower and the "Big Pointy" Transamerica Pyramid to Lombard Street, and Scottish landmarks such as the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. San Fierro features Rockstar's interpretations of the Haight-Ashbury district ("Hashbury"), the gay Castro district ("Queens"), Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as the city's prominent cable cars and hilly terrain.

The city of Los Santos has several important areas, including the gang-ridden Ganton, Idlewood and East Los Santos – based on the N.W.A-era Compton, Inglewood; and East Los Angeles, busy downtown, wealthy Rodeo and Mulholland, and glitzy Vinewood (complete with giant VINEWOOD sign in the hills). Los Santos features landmarks reminiscent of the Watts Towers, the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Capitol Tower, and Grauman's Chinese Theater. San Andreas is almost four times as large as Vice City, and five times as large as Liberty City. Players can climb Mount Chiliad (based on Mount Diablo) , a half mile (800 m) tall mountain casting a vast shadow, parachute from various peaks and skyscrapers, and visit 12 rural towns and villages located in three counties: Red County, Flint County, and Bone County, a massive dam, a large secret military base, a microwave dish, and many other geographical features.

Where Las Venturas and the surrounding desert correspond to Las Vegas and the Nevada desert; and Los Santos, San Fierro and the badlands correspond Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Californian badlands. The state San Andreas is generally based on California and Nevada comprising three major cities. CJ returns to find disarray in his family and in his old gang, the Grove Street Families (named for their home territory, Grove Street), which prompts him to stay. The murder of his mother causes him to return for her funeral.

Carl left Los Santos after being blamed for the death of his younger brother, Brian, by his older brother, Sean (nicknamed "Sweet"). Set in the early 1990s, the player controls main character Carl "CJ" Johnson, an African American man in his mid to late twenties returning to Los Santos after five years residing in Liberty City. Many of the missions which take place in the game are fairly obvious imitations of California-based phenomena from the early 90s, such as the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the 1992 Los Angeles riots. This game has a soundtrack of period artists, as Vice City did, as well as "classic" rap and rock stations and a country station.

The game is set in 1992. In interviews, Rockstar's designers have reported that the map is between four and six times the size of the area in Vice City. Intercity travel is facilitated not only by a huge freeway system but also by airports and a system of passenger trains, the Brown Streak Railroad, both of which have vehicles that can be operated by the player. Information about the game began circulating in magazines and on websites on May 11, 2004, including that the game world of San Andreas would be not just one city, but an entire state, encompassing three metropolises (Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas, based on Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, respectively), and the countryside in between.

The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions have also been re-released in a GTA Trilogy Pack for Xbox, and a Special Edition for PlayStation 2. Rockstar North released a Cold Coffee patch for the PC version and re-released San Andreas with a Mature rating. Many retailers pulled the game off their shelves in compliance with their own store regulations that kept them from selling AO games. Rockstar has given distributors the option of applying an Adults Only ESRB rating sticker to copies of the game, or returning them to be replaced by versions without the Hot Coffee content.

This was the result of the release of a modification allowing access to the hidden "Hot Coffee" portion of the game. On July 20, 2005 production of the game was suspended and the game received a revised ESRB Rating of Adults Only, making San Andreas the only mass-released AO console game in the U.S. Also, it turns out there is a retired pastor named Carl Johnson in the real San Andreas (Carl Johnson, the protagonist of GTA: San Andreas, shares the same name). The Calaveras Enterprise newspaper reported on November 3, 2004 that the Merchants' Association in the real-life town of San Andreas, California has become alarmed about the popularity of the video game, but has conceded that there is little it can do.

Both the PS2 and Xbox versions also have a 2-player option for certain missions; however, this feature was removed from the PC version. Similar to past iterations of the GTA games, both versions have higher-resolution textures, the ability to have custom soundtracks from MP3s, and a 30 second instant replay feature. In Europe, the release date was June 10th, 2005. The Xbox and PC ports of San Andreas released on June 7, 2005 in the U.S.

In the same release, Take-Two announced a PC and Xbox version would be released on June 7, 2005. Nonetheless, the Australian version has been on sale on October 29 and proved to be the multilanguage European PAL (UK) version. However, on September 9, 2004 Take-two announced in its third quarter financial results for 2004 that the release date of the PlayStation 2 version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would be pushed back to October 26, 2004 in North America and October 29, 2004 for Europe and November 15, 2004 in Australia to allow Rockstar to remove questionable content that would have the game banned there. On March 1, 2004, Take-Two announced in a press conference that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would be released Tuesday, October 19, 2004 in the US, and three days later, October 22, in Europe [3] and October 29 for Australia.

After the information was divulged on January 12, 2004, it seemed likely that most of the titles were either red herrings or possible future incarnations of the franchise. On December 17, and December 21, 2003, Take-Two had registered 10 GTA-related trademarks (GTA5, GTA6, GTA: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, GTA: Sin City, Grand Theft Auto: Sin City, GTA: Bogota, Grand Theft Auto: Bogota, GTA: Tokyo, and Grand Theft Auto: Tokyo) [2]. By this time, pundits online had two theories about the plot of the game; it would either be based in the city of San Andreas, California (based on San Francisco) in the modern day, or in Sin City, Nevada (based on Las Vegas) in the 1970s, as both would be ideal regarding new innovative ways to commit crimes, and new storylines that could grow. The first hint at there even being a new installment was on October 30, 2003, when Take-Two Interactive announced that an untitled "GTA5" game was set for release in the "latter half of the fiscal fourth quarter 2004" [1].

Most theories were shot down when Rockstar had given no announcement of a new game by summer of that year. Following the success of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, many gamers eagerly anticipated a new Grand Theft Auto game on the PlayStation 2 in late 2003. . Following a press release issued near the end of 2004, it was released for the PC and Xbox on June 7, 2005 in North America and June 10, 2005 in Europe.

It was released for the PlayStation 2 on October 26, 2004 in North America and on October 29, 2004 in Europe and Australia. It is the third 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise; including previously released 2D titles bearing the Grand Theft Auto name, it is the seventh to be released. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a video game that was developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. Slot 12: Special Items - Thermal goggles, Night vision goggles, parachute.

Slot 11: Gifts - flowers, a cane, dildos, and vibrators which can be given to CJ's girlfriends. Slot 10: Handheld Items - Fire extinguisher, Spray paint, Camera. Slot 9: Explosives and Incendiaries - Hand grenade, Tear gas grenade, Molotov Cocktail, Remote satchel charge. Slot 8: Heavy Weapons - Rocket launcher, Flame thrower, Heat-seeking rocket launcher, Minigun.

Slot 7: Rifles - Hunting rifle, Sniper rifle. Slot 6: Assault Rifles - AK-47, M4 Carbine. Slot 5: Sub-Machine Guns - TEC-9*, Micro-SMG (IMI Micro-Uzi)*, SMG (H&K MP5). Slot 4: Shotguns - Pump-action shotgun, Sawn-off shotgun*, Combat shotgun (SPAS-12).

Slot 3: Handguns - GLOCK 17*, Silenced GLOCK 17, Desert Eagle. Slot 2: Melee Weapons - Baseball bat, shovel, cue stick, Katana, Golf club, Nightstick, knife, chainsaw. Slot 1: Hand - bare fist, brass knuckles. Lazlow says I'll cry when I'm done killing during an interview on WCTR.

The tag line of the movie "Exploder", a popular movie that was advertised on radio stations and billboards across Vice City, is still popular. Vice City characters featured as playing cards in the poker machines of Las Venturas include Lance Vance (Jack of Spades), Candy Suxxx (Queen of Hearts), Ricardo Diaz (King of Hearts) and Sonny Forelli (King of Spades). There is also a billboard in Los Santos promoting her new movie "Vinewood Callgirls". Also, pictures of her are found on the walls of some of CJ's safehouses and she is also placed as a neon sign on the Old Venturas Strip located in Las Venturas.

A picture of her can be seen on the box of "Return of the Anaconda", and she is mentioned by name on the box of "That Can't Be Legal!: 80's Pornstar's Finest Yo!". Two of her movies can be found in the Las Venturas sex store. Candy Suxxx, the porn-star, is still making movies. The Tiki statues that symbolised the hidden packages found all over Vice City is now the sign of a store in Los Santos.

Maps of Vice City can be found in the trash cans outside the Clucking Bell of Angel Pine. "Juank Air" and "Wang Cars" are also a straightforward pun on a common UK insult. Notably, certain vans in Vice City which are signed "R S and L Bows" are referring to the crude UK phrase "to know one's arse from one's elbow", or to have a basic level of common sense. Similarly, British slang is used as the inspiration for further puns in the GTA series.

Specifically, Viz comic's "Profanisaurus" section describes the full meaning of phrases such as The Camel's Toe, and words such as "Jizz" which are referred to in the game. This reflects the humour of the popular UK adult comic Viz, which provides the basis for many of the puns and colloquialisms used to humorous effect in the game. Similarly, Jezz Torrent is a corruption of Jizz Torrent. Love Fist is a reference to a sexual practice.

Jezz Torrent can be heard in a radio ad for the Epsilon Tract sect, crediting the group for aiding him in giving up drugs. On the radio station K-DST, the host Tommy wonders "Whatever happend to Love Fist?", and CJ hides the specs of the Caligula Casino behind a Love Fist poster. They are still remembered though. Love Fist, the fictional hard-rock band, seems to have split and disappeared from the public eye.

It is now the V-Rock Hotel in Las Venturas. However, it's not a radio station anymore. A franchise of the Vice City radio station V-Rock is still around, and still uses the old V-Rock triangular logo and the vulture mascot. One of them calls in on the Area 53 show.

It seems they rebelled and escaped human oppression, and now live hidden in a remote camp. The Domestibots sold in radio ads in Vice City, still exist. This is almost certainly a reference to the Polybius urban legend of the 1980's. On the show Area 53, Marvin Trill accuses the console of implanting subliminal messages in the brains of people in the 80s.

The game console Degenatron', mentioned in commercials and interviews on Vice City radio stations, is still remembered. Also, an unused restaurant that shares its name has been found in the game's code. Some pedestrians mention Rusty Brown in their chatter. The doughnut shop Rusty Brown's Ring Donuts, mentioned in a radio ad on Flash FM, still exists.

Another billboard in the game suggests that Sprunk also refers to spunk, which can be a synonym for ejaculate. Or it could be that it resembles spunk, meaning that it is also an energy drink. Sprunk cans resemble grenades, owing to the marketing tagline given for the beverage, which says it has an "explosive, bursting" flavor. The popular fictional drink Sprunk, a parody of the carbonated lemon-lime drink Sprite found all around Vice City, is still being sold in San Andreas.

Jack Howitzer who appeared only as a movie trailer in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the Rambo/Vietnam war movie parody Exploder as Tim, also appears in WCTR promoting his film Special Needs Cop, a parody of Kindergarten Cop. At one point in the WCTR show "Area 53", Wave 103 DJ Adam First calls in reporting a strange incident involving a Domestabot he saw while hang-gliding over the San Andreas desert. Besides, the caller, with whom Lazlow talked to on Chatterbox 2001, calls in in the "Gardening with Maurice Show". The show also references GTA III, where a caller to the "Chatterbox" radio station was told by Lazlow "this isn't Gardening With Maurice, that's on later!", to which the caller replied "No, they took him off the air!".

During the WCTR show "Gardening with Maurice", someone calls in and asks why so many radio personalities are named Maurice, a reference to Maurice Chavez, a significantly different radio personality hosting the "Pressing Issues" show on VCPR. This is a parody of the late eighties sitcom My Two Dads, about two brothers raising one brother's teenage daughter. Timmy's show was cancelled and replaced by a new sitcom called My Five Uncles, about five gay men who adopt an orphan girl. Whether this is real or Timmy can't break character after so many years is unknown.

In the interview on WCTR, we learn that he still looks like a child, although he claims to be 52 years old now, and that he still has the nasty temper his character had on the show. In his sitcom ad in Vice City, he played a bad-tempered child who claimed to be a 42 year old investment banker with a rare disease that made him look 12. He's attending a child-actor conference at the Four-Dragons Casino in Las Venturas. Timmy, one of the characters of the popular sitcom Just the Five of us back in the 80s, can be heard in a radio interview on WCTR News.

He also says "I wish I could take phone in calls", a hint at the fact that he will eventually become the DJ for the radio phone-in show "Chatterbox" in Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. He no longer enjoys the rock music he played in the 80s. In between this and V-Rock, it is hinted that Lazlow spent years living on the streets, slept with his best friend's wife, signed up for the army, and did something to his grandmother that is illegal in most states. Lazlow, the host of V-Rock in Vice City, started hosting a show called Entertaining America on WCTR after the former host was shot.

Fernando, the host of the Vice City radio station Emotion 98.3, hijacks the Lonely Hearts Show from its host (and former lover, though their relationship seems to have ended very badly) on WCTR. Maria Latore, Salvatore Leone's mistress in GTA III also makes an appearance as a waitress in Caligula's, who Leone takes a shine to. He provides Carl with a few jobs, until Carl and his crew rob Caligula's vault, which enrages Leone. Salvatore Leone, the big boss of the Liberty City Mafia (until Claude kills him in GTA III) makes an appearance as the Mafia-head of the Caligula's Palace Casino.

After she tries to kill Claude in GTA III, he kills her as she tries to escape in a helicopter. She's a profit-driven lady, who hooks up with Claude just to spite CJ. She is generally hostile towards all men, except to CJ (although she really doesn't show it much). Catalina is Cesar Vialpando's cousin and CJ's girlfriend (for a brief time).

When CJ sees how run-down the garage is, he calls Claude a "mute asshole" and a "fucking snake without a tongue". CJ beats him in a cross-country race and receives his San Fierro garage as his winnings. Claude shows up as Catalina's new boyfriend, after she "dumps" CJ. They now hold small-time mechanic jobs in San Fierro.

Jethro and Dwaine owned the boat yard in Vice City, until Tommy bought it from them. He now handles the Gurning Chimps. Kent Paul is still a music group manager, though no longer for Love Fist. When he got out, he was picked as a neutral party to manage a mob casino shared by three families.

He became a big shot after the events in Vice City, then lost it all because of his cocaine addiction and went into rehab. Ken Rosenberg still works for the mafia. Posters featuring the game's box cover art can be seen on some walls, most notably in Denise's room (the Hot Coffee mod is required to get there). Action figures of Tommy Vercetti and Lance Vance can be found on the shelves of Zero's shop in San Fierro.

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