Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part Two (9/11, The “Ghost Town”, The Dodo and Other Mysteries)

Posted on January 5 2012, 12:00pm | Author: R* Q | Filed Under: Games
Presenting the conclusion of our two-part series answering your questions about Grand Theft Auto III – in honor of the game’s 10-Year Anniversary and the Edition for mobile devices that was released last month. Part one delved into questions about Claude and other characters from the game – today’s part two covers many of the long-standing rumors, mysteries and myths about Grand Theft Auto III – and also features a few behind-the-scenes images being released for the first time. Thanks to all GTA fans for submitting these great inquiries – and enjoy!

A glimpse of some never-before-seen work in progress logos, cover art and other visual concepts explored early on during the making of Grand Theft Auto III.

Did you cut off any missions or stuff after 9/11?

gtaencyclopedia (via Twitter)
How different would be #GTAIII if 9/11 wouldn't have happened?
Rockstar says:
About 1% different. We removed only one mission that referenced terrorists and changed a few other cosmetic details – car details, a couple of ped comments, lines of radio dialogue etc – the game came out a very short time later. The biggest change was the US packaging which remixed the previous packaging into what became our signature style – because the previous packaging [which was released as the cover of the game in Europe] was, we felt, too raw after 9/11. All of the more extreme rumours are amusing but impossible to have been achieved in such a short period of time.

Any chance of releasing GTA3 with all the stuff that was removed due to 9/11?
Rockstar says:
No. As above, it really was not very much stuff – just one mission and other than that some superficial and cosmetic details.

The game was released only 41 days after 9/11. It's known that last-minute changes were made to game content because of the traumatic emotional situation at the time. Some are known, such as police vehicles being changed to not look like NYPD, but rumors of bigger changes won't completely go away. Such as: there were school buses and children in Liberty City that were removed, Liberty City had twin towers that were changed into a construction site, and Donald Love was killed by airplane hitting his building and this was edited out so he just disappears. Big changes seem unlikely to do in 41 days considering Rockstar New York was literally in a war zone and there had to be time to test and physically ship the game. Once and for all, can you list everything that was changed after 9/11 and debunk the most ridiculous rumors about this situation?
Rockstar says:
As far as we can remember, the list of changes is covered above – the other stuff is nonsense.

Is the location in the beginning where the bank robbery takes place supposed to be a part of Liberty City? Or is it supposed the be another town?
Rockstar says:
Yes – it is meant to be part of Liberty City.

Is the name of the Island taken out of the game named "Jakota Island," referred to in the game as "Ghost Town?"
Rockstar says:
We didn’t take an island out of the game. There were only ever the three. We think what people refer to as “ghost town” is just the small area of a city we built for the bank heist scene at the very start of the game. It never had a name, but we wanted it to be somewhere separate from the liberty map and so we built these few streets floating in space and assumed no one would ever find them.  We noticed someone built a bridge mod so you can actually drive there now - amazing…

Was the Dodo ever supposed to stay in flight? don't get me wrong my friends and I spent many fun hours trying to see who could fly the longest, in a plane with clipped wings before crashing into the sea.

Was the Dodo intended to be a actual plane, or was its wingspan reduced because of 9/11? (I know it can be flown with practice)

How come the Dodo plane in GTA3 can’t fly?
Rockstar says:
Because we were making a driving and shooting game - even that, as a combination of core gameplay elements, was very, very radical at the time. The Dodo was never meant to be flown very much at all, and it certainly wasn’t grounded as a result of 9/11 – it was just a fun thing that people then went crazy with when they figured out various bugs that let them fly it!

The tunnels in Shoreside Vale, so much speculation has been made about them. They seem to be closed 24/7 due to construction work. Were they originally supposed to lead somewhere or are the workers just too lazy to finish the work, ha!

Also why was the tunnel to upstate blocked in the Shoreside Vale island?

The tunnel in Shoreside Vale, was it just for looks?
Rockstar says:
There was never meant to be anything on the other end of the tunnel, we were just playing with ways to make the world feel like it continues past the physical boundary. It’s something that we’ve been pushing in all sorts of ways ever since, making the world you experience as a player feel like it’s part of something bigger. This tunnel was one of our first little baby steps in that direction. 

Hidden away on the PC version of Grand Theft Auto III are menus and listings for Multiplayer, what was supposed to be planned for Grand Theft Auto III and at what point was it removed?
Rockstar says:
We played around with the idea of multiplayer back then but never got very far with it. At the time, we decided to make Vice City instead of dedicating a big team to multiplayer, as we did not feel it would ever really be good enough. When we finally made a multiplayer game, we wanted it to rival the fun and experience of single player, and this was something not possible until much later.

Who wrote the "My mother's my sister" pedestrian dialogue line?

How does "My Mother is my Sister" work?
Rockstar says:
Ha – to be honest, we are not sure – we all work together on this stuff – and we supposed too many of us just find rural inbreeding amusing.

Where did the 'squish' noise that played when you ran over a pedestrian come from? That always made me laugh.
Rockstar says:
The pedestrian squishing sound was made up from a combination of squelchy sounds that Rockstar North Audio Designer, Allan Walker recorded live (Rockstar North Lead Music Producer, Craig Conner seems to recall crushing fruit and raw chicken in a vocal booth...) and then they added a few more layers from our SFX library.

Left: An early screenshot shows the bus that was removed and a more cartoony style for the Claude character. Right: A screenshot from the final PlayStation 2 release in 2001.

Why were the graphics in very early screenshots cartoonish?
Rockstar says:
Before we properly got started on building the game we tried out a few different looks. Some of these were released during development. We toyed with a very cartoony style but pulled it back quite a lot.

Is it true that the Ammu-Nation clerk's appearance and voice was Dan Houser?
Rockstar says:
No, not true. However it does look (but not sound) like a relative of his.

Luc de Mooij (via Facebook)
How is the cannoli at Marco's Bistro?
Rockstar says:
Horrible! Stale as hell.

Jamie Press (via Facebook)
What's the script like for all GTA games?? How long do they roughly last and how are they formatted? also would you ever consider releasing a script from a GTA game?? Thks :) Can't wait for GTAV!
Rockstar says:
They are long. Very long. And they only seem to get bigger with each subsequent Grand Theft Auto production. Check out the image set below which shows a picture of the GTA3 script alongside the GTAIV script for some sense of what we mean.

Left: The original story and mission scripts from Grand Theft Auto III. Right: Seven years later - a glimpse of the voluminous Grand Theft Auto IV script.

Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part One (Claude, Darkel & Ray)

  • SAhmedHBokharion July 1 2016, 12:25pmReplyFlag
    Rockstar,I love all your games ,just amazing and wonderful true story for real I love you rockstar and your games
    • SAhmedHBokharion July 1 2016, 12:23pmReplyFlag
      Rockstar,in GTA 3,when I shoot anywhere in the road,air,some people scream and run and some people don't. IS that also programmed in GTA 3?This also happens in GTA Vice City
      • SAhmedHBokharion July 1 2016, 12:19pmReplyFlag
        Rockstar,one question,in GTA 3,without cheat codes,I hear some gunshots and people are running and screaming,is that programmed in GTA 3??
        • Caroline-Spenceron October 10 2015, 11:01pmReplyFlag
          why was the airport in staunton island switch to shoreside vale
          why did you remove liberty pennetencary
          why not put and actor for claude
        • lionskateron July 20 2015, 6:27amReplyFlag
          I think that they deleted this song for unknown reasons or they thought that novy is the first pro before claude but there changed or removed this is the answer i think
          • OTTOOTIon July 4 2015, 3:31amReplyFlag
            Way was removed Tom Novy and his song Back To The Streets from the Head Radio Station ?
            • ZoMbii3_KiiiLL3Ron September 18 2014, 1:46amReplyFlag
              1. How would Claude would sound like in GTA 3 2. Are Claude Speed and Claude the same character?
              • ThomasXGodzillaon November 8 2013, 7:56pmReplyFlag
                The radio dialogue ''Resistance is futile.'' is cut from the end of the Head Radio intro. And it's the only radio dialogue that was cut from the game. If you want it back in the radio. Here's the link.

                • jefefinal1on October 21 2013, 9:49pmReplyFlag
                  podiamos matar a darkel en gta 3
                  • OGLocDoggon March 30 2013, 12:24amReplyFlag
                    Hi everyone, (Rockstar/socialClub) don't know if I'm in the right place or if I'll be answered, but gta 3 we seen a return of da shootaz - joyride, will we see this in gta 5? Also msx radio with skibadee(i think), was amazing I hope you bring a similar radio station on gta 5...if I don't get answered can someone point me in the right direction so my question can be seen and answered

                    Thanks OGLocDogg :D
                    • marcosbistroon December 28 2012, 12:11amReplyFlag
                      Hey, What the bloody hell you sayin' abouta ma cannoli?
                      • Toni_Cdzon September 28 2012, 5:50amReplyFlag

                        Rockstar who is this guy??? GTA2 main character?

                        Why is he dead in GTA2 Movie and stills alive in GTA2 game??????
                        • Toni_Cdzon September 28 2012, 5:46amReplyFlag
                          • Toni_Cdzon September 22 2012, 11:12pmReplyFlag
                            Hi Rockstar. According with Liberty Tree official website. In April 2001, Zaibatsu Corporation release a drug called EQUANOX in Liberty City. EQUANOX would be on sale in few months.

                            In GTA2: The Movie, we can see how Claude Speeds steals EQUANOX from Zaibatsu and makes deals with Russian and Yakuza gangs. So, a Zaibatsu murderer shoot him.

                            The Police Journal of GTA2 Website is dated in "XX / XX / 2013".

                            "GTA2 is set in a massive city, under siege by seven rival gangs who each control different zones within the metropolis. That's when your character, Claude Speed, is freed from prison and awakened from cryonic sleep with a bad case of amnesia. Your mission is clear, do whatever it takes to become "King of the City" by any means necessary. You can work with any one of the seven rival gangs or play all the gangs off of each other and clean up what's left. Either way each gang's reaction to you will be based on your past dealings with them and your dealings with their enemies. Thanks to your Respect 'O' Meter you can easily tell what your standing is."

                            This adventures of Claude Between GTA3 (2001) and GTA2 (2013) are corrects??

                            Excuse my english xDDDD
                            • NL-Th0m4s-NLon September 21 2012, 4:56pmReplyFlag
                              And you guys said that there was 1 mission removed. Who gave you that mission, what's the name of that mission and what you needed to do in that mission?
                              • NL-Th0m4s-NLon September 21 2012, 4:52pmReplyFlag
                                Hello Rockstar, this is very seriously and I think that people have the right to know now what people really wanted to know in like 10 years because GTA III exist almost 11 years now.

                                1. Who was Curtly and why he's removed?
                                2. What was Tom Novy's roll in the game and why is he and his song ''Back To The Streets'' removed?
                                • marcosbistroon December 28 2012, 12:14amReplyFlag
                                  @NL-Th0m4s-NL Basically, I saw somewhere online that Tom Novy was the DJ for Head Radio before Michael Hunt, and had been badmouthing Darkel, so Darkel sent Curtly and his gang to the Head Radio base in Hepburn Heights to kill Novy, and you had to protect him. Another role that I myself have speculated that Curtly played was in the GTA 3 trailer, there is a mission with about 7 or 8 blokes with shotguns in Salvatore's living room, and Claude walks in and shoots them, I have a feeling that was the doings of Curtly as I have only just beat GTA3 in August and never encountered such a mission
                                • NL-Th0m4s-NLon October 13 2013, 5:17pmReplyFlag
                                  @marcosbistro No, that's fake, I made that up xD
                              • NL-Th0m4s-NLon September 11 2012, 10:04amReplyFlag
                                Today is the day that ruined GTA III!
                                • Daniel_0393on June 30 2012, 6:36amReplyFlag
                                  is same claude from gta 3 to claude speed from gta 2 is a big question which I have always wanted to clarify knew a facebook quiz but I really want to confirm thanks
                                  • NL-Th0m4s-NLon June 28 2012, 12:32pmReplyFlag
                                    Resistance is futile.
                                    • stefan007209on June 8 2012, 9:05amReplyFlag
                                      P.S. I meant to say will in one question
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