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.". None of the three "non-major" groups listed above could make that claim. 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 Union's chief claim to major status would rest on having had some direct impact on the other majors, due to roster-raiding. 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. Louis) and its membership was a revolving door. 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. Conversely, some historians question whether the Union Association really qualifies as "major", because it really only had one major-league caliber team (St.

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. Specifically, the following can be said of these leagues:. 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". In general, the official stance is that game and statistical records for these particular leagues were not kept in a consistent manner and/or those leagues did not have a significant direct impact on the major leagues. Players have found pedestrians who talk about Kifflom (the Epsilon Program's "deity") in San Andreas, such as a barber and backpackers. Some researchers contend that the following leagues deserve consideration as major leagues due to the caliber of player and the level of play exhibited:. Epsilon appears to be closely modeled on the Church of Scientology. The MLB list included the following:.

Following the Epsilon Program website and related "clues", players have been looking over San Andreas for the Epsilon cult and its meeting locations. The list is sometimes disputed by baseball researchers. The magazine called the creature a Yeti instead of Bigfoot. In 1969, the centennial of professional baseball, a commission chartered by Major League Baseball identified the following leagues as "major leagues". In the next issue of EGM, a subscriber sent in a photograph of such a mythical creature appearing on his game in the countryside. MLB's reluctance to take a hard line on drugs (as many other sports feature far more strict testing and penalties) is widely seen as one of the main reasons why baseball has been dropped from the Olympics with effect from 2012. 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. These new proposed penalties are much harsher, however they must be accepted by MLB players and owners before any changes can be made.

The January 2005 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly included a story on the San Andreas rumors. Finally, the 3rd positive test would result in a lifetime suspension from MLB. 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 2nd positive test would result in a 100 game suspension. There are also other gang's graffiti around the cemerery. The 1st positive test would result in a 50 game suspension. 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 new penalties that Bud Selig has proposed are a “three strikes and you’re out approach” and go as follows:.

For example, the cemetery in Los Santos mysteriously becomes covered in graffiti at night. In recent news, Bud Selig, the Commissioner of MLB, has proposed even tougher penalties for positive tests than the ones in place today. Though no ghosts have been proven to exist in the game, there are "ghostly" occurrences. The new agreement makes sure that first time offenders are rightfully suspended. Another popular but unconfirmed myth is that CJ's mother and other ghosts may appear in photos taken in graveyards. Under the old policy, which was established in 2002, a first time offense would only result in treatment for the player. It is the building with the giant DNA strand model in the centre (this is one of San Fierro's "Photo Ops"). This program would replaces the previous steroid testing program under which, for example, no player was even suspended in 2004.

If you want to find the building, it is in downtown, just up the road from the construction lot. (See: List of Major League Baseball players suspended for steroids). This has started unconfirmed rumors of zombies late at night in San Fierro. Players will be tested at least once per year, with the chance that several players can be tested a numerous amount of times per year. 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. Finally, the 5th positive test will result in a penalty at the commissioner’s discretion. In what some call a hint at DMA's Lemmings, pedestrians will sometimes appear on a ledge and walk off to their deaths. The 4th positive test will result in a suspension of one full year.

For example, photographer NPCs may take pictures and then drown themselves. The 3rd positive test will result in a suspension of 60 days. 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 2nd positive test will result in a suspension of 30 days. Much like Liberty City, many cutscene and unused interiors have unsolid areas also. The 1st positive test will result in a suspension of up to 10 days. The interiors for the girlfriend's houses can be found there also. The new policy, which was accepted by Major League Baseball players and owners, was issued at the start of the 2005 season and goes as follows:.

Only a small portion is solid though. However, after the BALCO steroid scandal, which involved allegations that top baseball players had used illegal performance enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball has finally decided to issue harsher penalties for steroid users. Mark's Bistro," where CJ flies back to Liberty City to do a hit for Salvatore Leone. Over most of the course of Major League Baseball, steroid testing was never a major issue. The partial Liberty City model is used in the mission "St. The team belonging to the league that won the mid-season All-Star game receives home-field advantage in the World Series. 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. In the first and second round of the playoffs, the better seeded team has home-field advantage.

Aside from Blue Hell, there is the interior hell. 4 seed. 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. 3 seed and 2 seed vs. 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. 3 seed, unless this would result in a matchup of two teams from the same division, in which case the matchup is 1 seed vs. Currently, many Easter egg-seeking search parties have websites with further information. 4 seed, and 2 seed vs.

These and other myths in the game have brought a new level of depth to the GTA games. The matchup for the first round of the playoffs is usually 1 seed vs. 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). Three rounds of series of games are played to determine the champion:. 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"). The remaining two "wild-card" spots are filled by each league's team that has the best regular season record and is not a division champion. There are also the commonplace Rockstar Easter eggs, such as hits at competitor games, or the classic signs. The first six teams are each league's three division champions.

Oddly enough, with the disproof of Bigfoot, many of these people took back their claims, saying that they may have been mistaken. When the regular season ends after the first Sunday in October, eight teams enter the post-season playoffs. 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. This rule exists so that fans of every team have a player to watch for in the All Star Game. Some fans soon found objects within the game's textures, such as deer and what they claim to be dinosaur skin. By MLB regulation, every team in the majors must have at least one designated all-star player, regardless of voting. Rockstar has not said anything about the orbs, and its intentions with them are still unclear. In 2004, however, MLB instituted a system where some reserves and pitchers were selected by a vote of MLB players, and some were selected by the manager after consulting with the Commissioner's Office.

This leads to mass-less 'airplanes', with active running lights, flying in the sky. The remaining position players and all of the pitchers on each league's roster were, for a long number of years, solely at the discretion of that team's manager. 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. Since the 1970s, the eight position players for each team who take the field initially have been voted into the game by fans. There are also flying orbs that frequent the San Andreas skies. The Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox took full advantage of the rule, with both teams winning the World Series in a 4-0 sweep in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Though this is often thought to be plausible by fans, no reports or claims have been made. Through the 2005 season, the AL has won all three contests with this rule.

The letters also detailed the idea of UFO landings in the game's desert. The 2005 contest, played in Detroit, followed this format, and it is expected that it will remain that way until the MLB says otherwise, since it has become popular with fans but has upset purists over the previous format of the two leagues alternating home-field advantage every other year. 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. As a result, for a two-year trial in 2003 and 2004, the league which won the game received the benefit of home-field advantage (four of the seven games of that year's World Series taking place at their home park). Many of these claims were unsupported by video or picture evidence, and soon lost credibility with the community. The 2002 contest ended in an 11-inning tie because both teams were out of pitchers, a ridiculous result which proved highly unpopular with the fans. Many rumours of a "piggsy" (from Rockstar's Manhunt) or Leatherface-type character (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) soon sprung up. The All-Star game pits players from the NL, headed up by the manager of the previous NL World Series team, against players from the AL, similarly managed, in an exhibition game.

However, the letter mentioned that there was something in the woods. Early July marks the midway point of the season, during which a three day break is taken when the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is staged. Having been the shining light of the many search teams, many fans were dismayed. For a detailed history of the length of the regular season, see Major League Baseball season. The most important claim of the letter was that Bigfoot was false, and is not present in the game. The MLB Draft is among the least followed of the professional sports drafts in the United States. This pattern continued, and some speculate that it is just a plot of Rockstar to create more publicity among the fan community. Each year in June, Major League Baseball conducts a draft for first year players who have never signed a Major or Minor League contract.

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. Typically many intra-division games are scheduled toward the end of the season, anticipating the possibility of close divisional races and heightened fan interest. The first automated return letters had a minor typo in it which led many fans to believe it was not an official Rockstar employee. The interleague games are confined to the mid-summer months. After the initial letter, it is assumed that the address received many letters from fans, as it soon switched to an automated response system. In 1997 Major League Baseball introduced interleague play, which was criticized by the sport's purists but has since proven very popular with most fans. Many questioned the authenticity of the letter, but upon further inspection, it did indeed seem to be from Rockstar Games. Games are played predominantly against teams within each league through an unbalanced schedule which heavily favors intra-divisional play.

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. A 140 game schedule (7 X 20) was played in 1919, and the schedule before 1904 varied from year to year. This was programmed intentionally by Rockstar to add a feel of realism. Unplanned shortened seasons were played in 1918 due to the outbreak of World War I, and in 1972, 1981, 1994 and 1995 due to player strikes and lockouts. Crashes also take place in other areas, including the lowland. The number of games per opponent now varies depending on various factors, but the total number of games has been kept at 162. Chilliad. Expansion from 8 to 10 teams in each league in the early 1960s resulted in a revised schedule of 162 games (9 opponents X 18 games apiece, initially) in their expansion years, for the American in 1961 and the National in 1962.

Those that occur most often are crashes into Mt. From 1904 into the early 1960s, except for 1919, a 154-game schedule was played in both leagues (7 opponents X 22 games apiece). Several WWII planes crash occasionally throughout San Andreas, and disappear seconds after doing so. Each team's regular season consists of 162 games, a duration established in 1961 in the American League and 1962 in the National League. They are also some in the trailer park opposite the Lil' Probe Inn, and one at the Angel Pine Junkyard in Whetstone. They are (number of teams in each division in parenthesis): NL East (5), NL Central (6), NL West (5), AL East (5), AL Central (5) and AL West (4). 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. Each has its teams split into three divisions grouped generally by geography.

Also they cannot be taken to a mod garage. In all there are 30 teams in the two leagues: 16 in the older National League ("NL") and 14 in the American League ("AL"). 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.
. If you destroy it or take it somewhere else, another one will reappear and repeat the proccess. At the moment, however, the major leagues are each split into three divisions, and structured as listed in the table below. You can get inside one and drive it, it is always set back to the radio station Playback FM. At the time of writing the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig, has often floated the idea of international expansion and realignment of the major leagues.

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. Three rounds of playoffs follow the regular season, culminating in the World Series in late October or early November. It is near the horseshoe shaped hills seen on the map. Players and teams prepare for the season in spring training, primarily in Florida and Arizona, during February and March. Only one exists in the remote forest region of Back O Beyond in Flint County, it is a beat up Glendale. The Major League regular season runs from late March or early April to late September or early October. They are cars without visible drivers moving with damage that isn't repairable. .

The ghost cars were infamous, but brought hope to the fanbase. MLB Productions is a similarly-structured wing of the league, focusing on video and traditional broadcast media. One spot on the map also is pointed in the forest areas of San Fierro, some fans thought the infamous Bigfoot was hiding here. Its charter states that MLB Advanced Media holds editorial independence from the League itself, but it is indeed under the same ownership group and revenue-sharing plan. 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. The production/multimedia wing of MLB is New York-based MLB Advanced Media, which oversees MLB.com and all 30 of the individual teams' websites. 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. National League which declared baseball is not considered interstate commerce (and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law), despite baseball's own references to itself as an "industry" rather than a "sport.".

A typical thing to do for Rockstar Games, since they like referring to the movies that inspired the games. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. 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". This is due in large part to a 1922 U.S. It has nothing to do with aliens or conspiracies. MLB also maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball. However, even this is something that can be easily explained. As is the case for most North American sports leagues, the 'closed shop' aspect of MLB effectively prevents the yearly promotion and demotion of teams into the Major League by virtue of their performance.

There is a hole between some rocks that has 6 bodybags inside it with a Bobcat parked near it. Major League Baseball, under the direction of its Commissioner, Bud Selig, hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. 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. Major League Baseball is governed by the Major League Baseball Constitution, an agreement that has undergone several incarnations since 1876 then called the NL Constitution, with the most recent revisions being made in 2005. 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). On an organizational level, MLB effectively operates as a single "league", and as such it constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. 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". More specifically, Major League Baseball ("MLB") refers to the entity that operates North America's two major leagues, the National League and the American League, by means of a joint organizational structure which has existed between them since 1903.

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. Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in professional baseball in the world. Area 69 is a reference to the 69 sex position. It is a debate that has no clear resolution, which is why most historians are content to simply regard them as a category unto themselves. Fans initially thought the map was a key to the UFO appearances; however, Rockstar claims the map means nothing. It could also be argued that the Negro Leagues were more properly equated to the highest levels of minor league ball, such as the Pacific Coast League. 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. The fact that many young players were able to come into the majors in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and have immediate impact, possibly argues for major status.

This led to more speculation in the fan community about UFOs and aliens. Some historians have labeled their time the era of "shadow ball", a segregated parallel to the (all-white) major leagues. There is a "restricted area" in the desert at the Area 69 military base, which is a parody of the real world Area 51. The Negro Leagues are the toughest call. 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. That changed in 1901. San Andreas is distinct from the first two PlayStation 2 GTA games in its easter eggs and player-propagated myths. However, in 1900 it operated independently and did not conduct raids on major league rosters.

It is also combined with another upcoming controversial game, 25 to Life, a cops and robbers simulator. The AL itself asserted that it was a minor league in 1900, although it was already located in most of the cities it would be operating in the following year. Also, the fake game is actually pre-rendered with models from Poser. The NL was a wholly new entity that took the best remnants of the NA and imposed a discipline that was lacking in the failed NA. 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. The standard position is that the NA was a "transitional" league that was not quite up to major league standards. 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 NA is unquestionably recognized as the first professional league, and is the direct precursor to the NL, most of whose original eight teams came from the NA.

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. The Negro Leagues (primarily during the years from 1921-1946). 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. The first year of the American League (1900). On August 24, 2005, Rockstar announced a mandatory recall for all games still owned by the general public. The National Association (1871-1875). 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. 1914-1915: Federal League.

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. 1901-present: American League. However, the most major addition was that the patch disabled the controversial "Hot Coffee" scenes, even if the "Hot Coffee" mod was reinstalled. 1890: Players League. Nicknamed the "Cold Coffee Patch" by some, the patch fixed many performance issues and bugs. 1884: Union Association. On August 10, 2005, Rockstar Games officially released a patch for San Andreas. 1882-1891: American Association.

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. 1876-present: National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. 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. http://www.wnbc.com/mikedup/4077510/detail.html. The patched version was given an "MA15+" classification on September 12, 2005. World Series, a best-of-seven game series played between the champions of each league. 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. American League Championship Series and National League Championship Series, each a best-of-seven game series played between the surviving teams from the ALDS and NLDS; and.

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. American League Division Series and National League Division Series, each a best-of-five game series;. 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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