The Let's Play Archive

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

by Jerusalem

Part 91: Behind The Scenes - Characters, Races, and Faking It

Now that CJ has wrapped up his adventures in Venturas and is heading towards the beginning of the end of the game, I thought it might be nice to take a moment to look at some of the characters we were introduced to throughout the course of the game, and learn a little bit more about their past and future. Keep in mind that there are spoilers below for other Grand Theft Auto games.

Salvatore Leone

Left to right: 1992, 1998 and 2001.

Salvatore came to Liberty City in the 1980s from Palermo, Sicily, and took control of the Leone family through a bloody power struggle. In 1992 he agrees to invest money into a Mafia Casino in Venturas as the Mob struggles to hold off the Corporations taking over the city. After the Sindacco Family is wiped out by Carl, Salvatore travels to Venturas to take control of the Casino, seeing the opportunity to have full control and full profits. He uses Carl to hit the Forelli's in Liberty City, but after his casino is busted by Carl he returns to Liberty City where he becomes increasingly paranoid. In 1998, the only person that Salvatore feels he can trust is Toni Cipriani (the main character in Liberty City Stories) and together they attempt to  wipe out the rebuilt Sindacco and Forelli families, get the Mayor in their pocket and take control of the Mob  in the city.

By 2001, however, the increasingly paranoid Salvatore is convinced everyone is either out to get him or will eventually betray him (much like Carl did in 92). Claude - the main character of GTA III, better know to us in this Let's Play as "that mute asshole" who hooked up with Catalina - works for Salvatore until  Salvatore sends him into a trap in order to work out a deal with the Colombians. Claude moves over to the Yakuza and, as a sign of faith, assassinates Salvatore as he is leaving a fine establishment  known as Sex Club 7.

Maria Latore

Left to right: 1992, 1998 and 2001.

Maria Latore (also known as Maria La Torra) first appears chronologically in Las Venturas in 1992, working as a waitress where her body and attitude catch the attention of Salvatore Leone. It's presumed that he takes her with him back to Liberty City since in 1998 she is introduced to Toni Cipriani as his wife (oddly, in GTAIII in 2001, she is Salvatore's "girlfriend"). Apparently life with Salvatore is no bed of roses, as the harsh, no-nonsense Maria from Las Venturas has become a  drug addict by 1998, constantly sleeping around and coming onto Toni Cipriani, almost dying of an overdose at one point . In 2001, with Toni Cipriani having gained quite a few pounds, Maria focuses her attention on Claude and develops an interest in him, which leads to  her warning him about the trap Salvatore has set up. She is then kidnapped by the Colombian Cartel headed by Catalina, and saved by Claude. However, as the game ends, Maria's constant chatter to Claude is interrupted by a sudden gunshot, with the implication that Claude has shot her, perhaps having only used her as a way to get revenge on Catalina, or maybe just because  she talks too damn much.

Ken "Rosie" Rosenberg

Left to right: 1986, 1992.

Rosie the neurotic, drug-addicted lawyer first appeared in Vice city, the follow-up to GTAIII set in 1986. A Mob Lawyer and ambulance chaser, he has a terrible court record but a gift for paying heavies to intimidate juries and witnesses to prevent his cases ever going to trial. At first his relationship with main character Tommy Vercetti is as part of his services to Georgio Forelli, but eventually he starts spending more and more time with Tommy, even if he is the butt of their jokes. He befriends local scumbag/information broker/band manager Kent Paul, and by the end of the game is acting as the personal lawyer/accountant to Tommy Vercetti, who has  taken complete control of organized crime in Vice City 

By 1992, however, Rosie's drug problem is so bad that he'd kicked out of Vice City and dumped into rehab, where after a long struggle he gets clean and tries to get back to work, only to be told he's no longer welcome in Vice City and that Tommy Vercetti no longer wants to talk to him. Luckily for him, the Forelli, Sindacco and Leone Families are looking for a patsy to run their Casino for them in Venturas, and he gets what should be a relatively cushy job until he finds out every Family expects him to favor them... and if he doesn't, they'll kill him. Reunited with Kent Paul, Rosie falls back into his old drug habit and is saved from the Mob by Carl Johnson, who sends Rosie out of Venturas, then brings him onto the payroll as an accountant for Madd Dogg, another former addict looking to make a musical comeback under Carl's management.

Kent Paul

Left to right: 1986, 1992.

Kent Paul (Paul, from Kent!) is first seen in Vice City, where he hangs out at Tommy's "Malibu" Nightclub, manages a popular glam metal band from Scotland, and deals in information to anyone who will pay (or threaten) him. After some failed attempts at promotion for Love Fist (including pissing off a biker gang who were supposed to provide security) and the band's presumed quick decline from the top of the charts, he returns to England and works as a producer, buying out the contract of "The Gurning Chimps", a "northern" band that is probably a parody of/inspired by Happy Mondays, whose lead singer provides the voice for Maccer. He takes the Chimps to America for a tour, but after drinking spiked peyote with The Truth in the desert, loses the rest of the band and is stuck with lead singer Maccer. After Carl saves them from Salvatore, they're left at a loose end with no band to perform with, until Carl calls up and gives Paul work as a Producer on Madd Dogg's comeback.

In 2002, according to, Paul is currently living in an aftercare facility with large gaps in his memory and an obsession with the 1980s.


Left to right: 1992, 2001.

You all know Catalina, of course, she's unforgettable. She's also the "main" nemesis in GTAIII, set in 2001. The game begins with Claude and Catalina at what is presumably the latest in a long string of crimes the two have committed together since she dumped Carl out in the wilderness back in 1992. Think about that, Claude managed to stick with Catalina for TEN FUCKING YEARS!

It probably helps that he never talks.

She betrays Claude at the start of GTAIII, telling him he's small time, shooting him and escaping with the money from the heist. He lives, but is arrested, taken to court and sentenced to prison. As they are being transported however, the convoy is attacked by a group looking to rescue another prisoner, and Claude manages to escape.

Catalina meanwhile achieves her ambitions, becoming rich and powerful thanks to  a drug called Spank, which she controls the distribution of through the city. Working with a Colombian called Miguel, they soon cross paths with Claude again and Catalina shoots Miguel as he is trying to reason with Claude, escapes and then kidnaps Maria and assassinates Yakuza member Asuka (who it is insinuated is Maria's other lover). She organizes a trade of money for Maria with Claude, then attempts to take the money and kill them both, but her attitude is finally the end of her as Claude fights through the Cartel, chases her to the Cochrane Dam and shoots down her helicopter, killing her. 

Thank God.


Some people asked how I put together Chapter 80, which was a "mission" that doesn't actually exist, constructed entirely by me. As I already posted:

I didn't actually change CJ's model, the only Sweet model I could find looked a little dodgy to me so I did it the old fashioned way, I photoshopped it.

As an example:

Through copying and pasting and use of the cloning and airbrush tools, I was able to "remove" the HUD, change CJ's clothes and put on Sweet's face. As with almost anything that I do, there are probably far easier ways to accomplish it, but I actually quite enjoy going through processes like this. Of course, some were slightly more complicated like this, for example:

In addition to this, I also made use of some cheat codes (this was fucking around with an older save, my actual ongoing game remains 100% cheat free) to position characters as I needed them. You can type in "sjmahpe" (without quotation marks) and gain the ability to recruit anyone in the game, then tell them to follow you or stay in a position. This allowed me to position police officers, the "European" and other gang members as necessary to get the screenshots I needed.

There was still a high level of image editing required, but in all the "Recruit Anyone" code really saved me a ton of time.


Finally, we're not QUITE done with Venturas yet, there was one last sub-mission to do in Venturas before Carl had completed everything that needed to be done there. The reason it wasn't done as part of the story was because the prize for finishing this is one million dollars (ten times the amount you get for Breaking The Bank at Caligula's), and that's too much money to suddenly throw into the mix so close to the heist.

We'd already seen the underground racing circuits in Santos, Fierro, Venturas, what you might not have known is that Venturas actually has TWO racing circuits, and completing it gives Carl the "All Races Completed" bonus - a million dollars. However, they're not actually races in the traditional sense, as you're not competing against anyone else, all you have to do is SURVIVE the race. Couldn't be simpler, right?

Well, except you're flying. Through targets, between narrow canyons, skyscrapers, on the edge of water and under bridge struts.

And then sometimes, the fog pops up!

What the fuck is this? Seriously!

Eventually though, with all the races completed, Carl finishes up the last of the sub-missions in Las Venturas.

Next update, Carl finds out whether or not you can go home again.... again.