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Grand Theft Auto III

Rockstar Reveals Secrets Behind Grand Theft Auto III

A decade after their open world epic changed everything, it's time to solve some mysteries.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: January 5, 2012
It's hard to believe it's actually been 10 years since Grand Theft Auto III, a game so hard-coded into the TPS staff's brains that we've memorized the number it holds in our database, first rocked the gaming world. There was simply nothing like it; the scale, freedom and longevity of the game gave rise to the kinds of buzzwords that get rampant overuse today -- stuff like "emergent gameplay" and "fully-realized" just seemed to fit the game.

To this day, most of us in the office still know every back alley, every car location. We know how to block off the routes for enemies to make them never appear or box in an escaping target before it ever has the chance to make it to the open road. We know where all the stunt jumps are, where the best places to rain down mayhem are located and, of course, we can fly the Dodo, GTAIII's supposedly flightless prop plane, as if it had never had its wings clipped.

That little bit of trivia, spurred not as a last-second change in response to 9/11, is just one of many interesting little tidbits Rockstar Games has decided to address in their 10 year retrospective you can read all about right here. Or, uh, you can check out this little excerpt here:

[On 9/11: How different would be #GTAIII if 9/11 wouldn't have happened?]

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.

[On The Dodo: How come the Dodo plane in GTA 3 can’t fly?]
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!
There's plenty more where that came from, of course, including peeks into alternate packaging, the infamous "ghost town" (a section of the map that "hid" the opening cinematic), possible extensions of the world that never were, and the like. Be forewarned, though: the direct answers from the studio will likely contradict the kind of rumor and fable that has swirled around the game for years now. We actually found it not unlike learning that all those schoolyard "secrets" that so many kids tried to pawn off as insider information from their uncle's cousin's dad's friend were nothing but hot air.

Thankfully, we'll never, ever get tired of GTAIII's version of Liberty City. Even as we type up this news story, we're listening to RISE FM. Because we're stayin' up foreeeever!