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Encyclopedia > Grand Theft Auto (game)
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto UK box art, PC version
Developer(s) DMA Design
Publisher(s) ASC Games
Release date(s) PC and PlayStation 1998/1999
Game Boy Color 1999/2000
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
ESRB: Mature (M)
ESRB: Teen (T) (Game Boy Color version)
Platform(s) PC, PlayStation, GBC

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a computer and video game created by DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and published by ASC Games in 1998. It is part of a series that includes seven standalone games, and one expansion pack for the original. See Grand Theft Auto (series) for more on the series and other games in it. Griffin is really stupid The game allows the player to take on the role of a criminal who can roam around the city freely. Various missions are set for completion, such as bank robberies, assassinations, and other crimes. Image File history File links GTA_-_Box_Front. ... A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates computer or video games. ... Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) is a developer of computer and video games, formerly based in Dundee, Scotland, and now located in the heart of Edinburgh. ... Video game publishers are companies that publish video games that they have either developed internally or have had developed by a video game developer. ... ASC Games ASC is an abreviation of American Softworks Company. ... Personal computer and peripherals. ... The PlayStation is a video game console of the 32/64-bit era, first produced by Sony Computer Entertainment in the mid 1990s. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... The Game Boy Color came in a myriad of different colors, as did earlier incarnations of the Game Boy. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... This is a listing of computer and video game genres with brief descriptions and examples from each genre. ... Action games could be considered the video game equivalent of action movies. ... In computer games and video games, single-player refers to the variant of a particular game where input from only one player is expected throughout the course of the gaming session. ... Online gaming redirects here. ... The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is the organisation responsible for film classification (see Motion picture rating systems and History of British Film Certificates) within the United Kingdom. ... The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a self-regulatory organization that applies and enforces ratings, advertising guidelines, and online privacy principles for computer and video games in the United States. ... The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a self-regulatory organization that applies and enforces ratings, advertising guidelines, and online privacy principles for computer and video games in the United States. ... For the list, see list of computer and video games. ... Personal computer and peripherals. ... The PlayStation is a video game console of the 32/64-bit era, first produced by Sony Computer Entertainment in the mid 1990s. ... The Game Boy Color came in a myriad of different colors, as did earlier incarnations of the Game Boy. ... This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) is a developer of computer and video games, formerly based in Dundee, Scotland, and now located in the Leith area of Edinburgh. ... Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) is a developer of computer and video games, formerly based in Dundee, Scotland, and now located in the heart of Edinburgh. ... ASC Games ASC is an abreviation of American Softworks Company. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... Post-GTA2 design of the Grand Theft Auto logo Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a computer and video game series created and developed by Scottish developer Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design), published by Rockstar Games and debuted in 1998. ...



The original Grand Theft Auto is made up of a series of levels each set in one of the three cities in the game. In each level, the player has a target number of points to achieve, and five lives to attain the score. In computer and video games, a level (sometimes called a stage, course, episode, round, world, map, wave, board, phase, or landscape) is a separate area in a games virtual world, in modern games typically representing a specific location such as a building or a city. ... Sydney, Australia at Night. ... Point can refer to: Look up Point in Wiktionary, the free dictionary // Mathematics In mathematics: Point (geometry), an entity that has a location in space but no extent Fixed point (mathematics), a point that is mapped to itself by a mathematical function Point at infinity Point group Point charge, an... Look up life and living in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

The score counter doubles as a money meter; the player can spend this money on paint jobs and various other things. However, any money spent is of course taken away from the score, making the goal that little bit further away.

On obtaining the target number of points, the player must then drive to a certain location to complete the level, which allows progress to the next one.

Apart from that, the player is free to do whatever he wants. The player can just explore the city, cause death and destruction amid the traffic in the city, or steal and sell cars for profit, although completing a level will almost certainly require the completion of missions. Even in missions there is still some freedom, as usually the player is free to choose the route to take, although the destination is usually fixed. This level of freedom is not found in most action-based computer games.

Earning points

There are various ways in which to earn the points needed to complete each level.

Some points can be earned by committing various crimes, such as ramming cars (10 points each), and killing policemen (1000 each). The more serious the crime, the more points, but also the more the police will pay attention to the player. Another way to make money is to steal cars, and sell them at the many docks around each city, usually earning several thousand points.

These activities can give the player quite a number of points but they are not sufficient to earn the millions of points needed to complete each level (unless the player has a lot of patience), so it is necessary to take on missions to complete a level. On successful completion of a mission, the player gets 'paid', a large amount of points. A typical payment is in the region of 50,000 points.

Also after completing a mission, the score multiplier is increased by 1. The score multiplier is multiplied by the normal score for something, to get the points actually awarded. For example a multiplier of 3 will mean that the player gets 3 × 10 = 30 points for ramming a car, rather than the normal 10 points. This applies for anything points are awarded for, including the payment for completing a mission.

In the Game Boy port, score multipliers are handled differently. The player can collect floating "X"es hidden in each city, that automatically add a multiplier to his score counter. The first time one is picked up it says "×2", the second time it says "×3", and so on. This only affects points gained after acquiring the multiplier. The points the player already has are unaffected, so it is in the player's best interests to seek the "X"es as soon as possible.


Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto showing the top down view in Liberty City
Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto showing the top down view in Liberty City

The three cities in which the game is set are modelled after real cities, in terms of landscape and style. They are Liberty City (New York City), San Andreas (San Francisco), and Vice City (Miami). Image File history File links GTA1_PC_in-game_screenshot. ... Image File history File links GTA1_PC_in-game_screenshot. ... A Times Square look-alike in the Liberty City district of Bedford Point, Staunton, as depicted in Grand Theft Auto III. Liberty City is a fictional city in Rockstar Games hit computer and video game series Grand Theft Auto, which is loosely based on New York City. ... Nickname: The Big Apple Motto: Official website: City of New York Location [[Image:|250px|250px|Location of City of New York, New York]] Location in the state of New York Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R... The state of San Andreas San Andreas is a fictional location in the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series of video games. ... Nickname: The City by the Bay Motto: Official website: http://www. ... Vice City is a fictional city in the Grand Theft Auto series that is loosely based on Miami, Florida. ... The Magic City, The American Riviera, The Sixth Borough Location of Miami in Miami-Dade County, Florida. ...

Those three cities later became the settings for the games Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, although in the second-to-last, San Andreas is expanded from a city to an American state, which contains three cities of its own: Los Santos (based on Los Angeles), San Fierro (based on San Francisco), and Las Venturas (based on Las Vegas). Grand Theft Auto III, or GTA III, is a video game developed by DMA Design, published by Rockstar Games in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2 video game console, May 2002 for Windows-based PCs, and in November 2003 for the Xbox video game console. ... Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (released in October 2002) is the fourth video game in the hit Grand Theft Auto series. ... Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the fifth video game in the Grand Theft Auto series. ... This article is about the largest city in California. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... This article is about the city of Las Vegas in Nevada. ...

The missions

In most cases, missions are started by answering telephones, although some missions are allocated on the spot, or are triggered by entering certain vehicles. Once a phone is touched, the player is stuck doing that mission until he passes or fails it, but with the cars it is different. The player is told "I've got a new job for you, if you want it. Otherwise get the hell out of my car." He then has a few seconds to jump out before that mission begins. The telephone or phone (Greek: tele = far away and phone = voice) is a telecommunications device which is used to transmit and receive sound (most commonly voice and speech) across distance. ...

The payphones all stop ringing while a player is on a phone mission, but the mission cars are still available. By accepting a mission car mission the player can override a phone mission (failing it but without a failure notice) and do that mission instead, but a phone mission cannot override a car mission as the phones stop ringing.

At the start of each mission, the player will be given a series of instructions he must follow. The instructions are given in stages, so the objectives can change in a given situation.

Many of the missions involve tasks that can be completed at the player's own pace, so the player can take a leisurely pace, and observe the traffic laws, although there is always a temptation to cut corners. However, sometimes the game imposes time limits on mission completion, or there may be people giving chase, such as enemy gangsters, or the police, forcing the player to cut corners, to get to the destination on time and/or evade the pursuers. This means running red lights, driving on the sidewalk (risking running over pedestrians), and finding shortcuts. This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...

The police

Whilst the cities have other emergency services, as a criminal you are more likely to notice the local cops. Emergency services are services that deal with emergencies and other aspects of Public Safety. ...

The police are constantly on the lookout for criminals. The player has a 'wanted' level, which reflects how much attention the police give him. At the start of the game this is at zero and the player is ignored, but when the player commits a serious crime, the police give the player more attention, and the wanted level increases, up to a maximum of four.

At wanted level one, the police tend only to give chase if they are in the area anyway, whereas at four, the police set up roadblocks on major roads, shoot on sight, and send everyone available to the player's location. The more crimes the player commits, the higher the rating goes. Also, sometimes the player automatically gets noticed, if a mission leads to someone calling the police, or in the case of bank robberies that not surprisingly put the police on full alert.

The police's aim is in general to arrest the player, although they will not hesistate in shooting at him or trying to ram him off the road in the desperate attempt to stop the player, and they get more trigger happy the higher the wanted level. On arrest, the player is dropped off at the nearest police station, losing all his weapons and armour and half of his score multiplier, but the wanted level is reset back to zero.

The police are very determined to catch the player, but they can be evaded. Dotted around each city are a number of respray shops, where your vehicle can be resprayed, or have the license plates changed, to disguise it. This makes the police think you are someone else, even if they see you enter the shop, although this does cost money (i.e. points). The higher a player's wanted level, the more points it costs him to to have his car re-sprayed or plates changed. // Introduction A license plate, number plate or registration plate (often referred to simply as a plate, or colloquially tag) is a small metal or plastic plate attached to a motor vehicle for official identification purposes. ...


In the game, there are a number of objects to pickup, that are contained in crates, and in fact this is where all the player's weapons are obtained.


The Pistol is a rather uninspiring weapon, but it is the most readily available. It fires shots one at a time, and whilst it is good enough against individuals, is not very useful in destroying vehicles. A Browning 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol Ordnance pistol of the French Navy, 19th century A pistol or handgun is a usually small firearm that can be used with one hand. ...

A Machine gun is quite a step up from the pistol, allowing rapid firing, and can destroy most cars in seconds. The availability of machine guns is more limited than pistols. A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ...

The Flamethrower is very destructive, and highly effective, but it only has a short range. If it is used to destroy cars, this short range means that there is more risk of being caught in the explosion. The advantage of the flamethrower is a tripling of the points that would normally be awarded for killing people and destroying cars. With the flamethrower you are able to fire over car wrecks, so you can use a car wreck as a shield against bullets. German troops use a flamethrower on the Eastern Front during the Second World War A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to throw flames or, more correctly, project an ignited stream of liquid. ...

The Rocket launcher is one of the most destructive weapons, that can destroy most vehicles in a single shot, as well as causing a large explosion that could kill more than just the original target. This can be a downside, as if the rocket accidentally hits something close to the player such as a pedestrian who walks into the line of fire at the wrong moment, the player can get caught in the explosion. Rocket launcher is a vague term which could mean various things: a mobile launch platform for an ICBM or cruise missile a launcher for multiple smaller missiles, such as Stalins Organ a shoulder-launched missile weapon This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that...

Body armor is not a weapon, but is very useful in combat. Normally being shot once is enough to kill the player, but body armour will protect from three shots before its protection wears out. On the Game Boy version, the body armor seems to only protect the player from two shots. ...


Some of the powerups are self-explanatory, such as the extra life and (bonus)multiplier increase. However, there are some more interesting bonuses, that deserve more of a mention: A one up, also known to as an extra life or extra man, is a common video game term for an extra chance to play the game. ...

The Police Bribe is useful if the police are looking for the player, as it reduces his wanted level to zero, in a similar manner to going to a respray shop, so they suddenly ignore him. However, once a Police Bribe has been picked up, it's gone forever, so the player has to weigh up the odds of taking it straight away for convenience or going all the way to a respray shop to save it for a later mission when they have greater need of it.

On picking up a Kill Frenzy (called a Rampage in later games), a timer starts counting down; the player must obtain a certain number of points within this time and is usually given a weapon to do this with. This encourages the player to cause carnage by blowing up cars and killing people, attracting the attention of the police. This increases the challenge, as the player has to avoid (or kill) the police while getting the points. Although killing the police earns more points than killing civilians, the police will then be after the player, and he may have a weapon, such as a rocket launcher, that is unsuitable for killing the police as they close in.

If the player is successful, he gets a monetary reward, and in addition his wanted level is reduced to zero, so the police ignore the player despite the incredible destruction he just caused. This provides an incentive to complete the challenge, particularly as failure will leave the player with whatever wanted level he had acquired, often quite a high one due to the killings and destruction usually involved in an attempted killing spree.

These missions sometimes provide the player with a vehicle to complete the frenzy. These include tanks, and remote control cars packed with explosives. A television remote control A remote control is an electronic device used for the remote operation of a machine. ...

The Speed Up and Car speed up powerups are similar, in that the former allows the player to run faster, whilst the latter speeds up any cars the player drives. Both of these are therefore useful if the player is in a hurry, and as a secondary benefit will allow the player to complete the game faster. The Car speed up powerup does display one disadvantage - the cars, being far faster than usual, are harder to control and are more susceptible to damage with high-speed impacts, increasing the risk of the car exploding - with the player inside.

The Get Outta Jail Card, unlike the other powerups, is not used immediately. Instead, it is used when the player is arrested, and means he keep any weapons carried, as well as the score multiplier.


In the game, there are a large number of vehicles, each with their own characteristics, from fast sports cars, to slow but resilient trucks. These can be stolen by throwing the occupant onto the street, or breaking into those that are parked. Some vehicles are also provided in missions, or hidden in various parts of each city. Also, each city has a train service, that allows players to quickly reach certain areas there. Vehicles are non-living means of transportation. ... Honda NSX sports car A sports car is a type of automobile designed for sporting performance. ... The driver of this DAF tractor with an auto-transport semi-trailer prepares to offload Skoda Octavia cars in Cardiff, Wales For other meanings, see Truck (disambiguation). ... For other types of train see train (disambiguation) In rail transport, a train consists of a single or several connected rail vehicles that are capable of being moved together along a guideway to transport freight or passengers from one place to another along a planned route. ...

Much of the traffic of each city consists of cars of various sorts. These vary considerably in speed. The more sensible cars are fairly slow, and have appropriate names such as the Bug. The sports cars however are much faster, and have names like Jugular[1] which reflect their more adventurous nature. These are more suitable for high speed chases, whereas the slower cars are more suited to missions with no time-limit. Vans are also similar to cars as well, although they usually are at the slower end of the scale. In many parts of the world traffic is generally organized, flowing in lanes of travel for a particular direction, with interchanges, traffic signals, or signage at intersections to facilitate the orderly and timely flow of traffic. ... A small variety of cars, the most popular kind of automobile. ... Van can mean: Van, a road vehicle. ...

Some of the vehicles are longer and more unwieldy than cars. These include limousines, buses and coaches, but the biggest of these is the tanker truck. Due to their bulk each one takes a long time to speed up, or slow down, and they have similar difficulties in turning, having a wider turning radius. This bulk also gives such vehicles more pushing power, making them ideal for ramming cars out of the way, and also makes them very difficult to ram. They also tend to be more resilient, taking more damage before they are destroyed. 2005 Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine A limousine (or limo) is a long luxury car, traditionally black in color. ... TheBus, established by Mayor Frank Fasi, is Honolulus only public transit system. ... // Original meaning and etymology The original meaning of the term coach was: a horse-drawn vehicle designed for the conveyance of more than one passenger — and of mail — and covered for protection from the elements. ... A tank truck or tanker lorry is a motor vehicle designed to carry liquefied loads or cargo on roadways. ...

In contrast, motorbikes are small and much more maneuverable, with a smaller turning circle, and are able to speed up and slow down very quickly. They also tend to have high top speeds. Their lack of bulk, however, means that they are more vulnerable. They can take less damage, and are easier to ram, whilst having very little ramming power of their own, and a violent enough collision can throw the player off the bike (in the Game Boy version the player was never thrown off the bike). A motorcycle (or motorbike) is a two-wheeled vehicle powered by an engine. ...

Some vehicles, however, such as ones given for missions, may be more sensitive to damage, such as ones loaded with explosives.

The emergency services also have vehicles, that can be stolen. Fire engines are large vehicles, similar in handling to tankers. They are called out whenever there is a fire, usually as a result of an explosion. Ambulances are similar to small vans, and are called out in the case of someone being injured. Both of these are frequently the result of the player's actions. Finally the police in their squad cars are called out to chase criminals, the player in particular. Unlike other drivers, the police cannot be simply thrown out of their vehicles, but their cars can be stolen if their drivers are killed or lured out of their vehicles. None of these vehicles can have their plates changed to reset the wanted level. Fire Engine in South Bend, Indiana. ... An ambulance is a vehicle designated for the transport of sick or injured people. ... Contents // Categories: Emergency vehicles | Law enforcement equipment | Stub ...

One exception to this is the tank. This, as would be expected, can simply drive over other vehicles on the road, and cannot be rammed by other vehicles. It can take a lot of damage before being destroyed, although it isn't quite invincible. Tank are very rare, and are usually hidden, on levels that have them.


The original Grand Theft Auto was first available for DOS, and then later ported to Microsoft Windows, Sony PlayStation, and Game Boy Color. Surprisingly, the Game Boy Color version was unabridged, which was quite a technical achievement due to the sheer size of the cities, converted tile-for-tile from the PC original, making them many times larger than most Game Boy Color game worlds were because of the handheld's limited hardware. To cater for the target younger generation, however, the game was heavily censored, with gore and swearing removed. For other uses, see DOS (disambiguation). ... Microsoft Windows is a series of popular proprietary operating environments and operating systems created by Microsoft for use on personal computers and servers. ... The original PlayStation was produced in a light grey colour; the more recent PSOne redesign sports a smaller more rounded case. ... The Game Boy Color came in a myriad of different colors, as did earlier incarnations of the Game Boy. ...


The game, with its violent subject matter, generated a great deal of controversy. However, this was deemed to be intentional, and was the first game known to have been publicised in such a way. Take 2 Games, the publishers of Grand Theft Auto, hired publicist Max Clifford to generate an aura of controversy about the game in the local media. As a result, politicians stepped into the foray. Whatever the impact on game censorship and the perception of video gaming, the publicity worked - the title was hugely successful simply because those attempting to ban the game were inadvertently generating publicity for it. This has been a known and recognised phenomenon of violent video games ever since. Max Clifford (born April 1943) is a British publicist. ...


  • One of the hidden Easter eggs in the game is the now famous "Gouranga" bonus, given for swiftly killing an entire group of Hare Krishna monks.
  • The parts of the cities are based on their real-life counterparts, such as Liberty City's neighborhoods. There are neighborhoods like the Brix, which is based on The Bronx, Brocklyn (obviously based on Brooklyn). Vice City has the same thing, featuring districts such as Vice Beach and Banana Grove, which are based on Miami Beach and Coconut Grove.
  • El Burro, the man players would take missions from in the second part of the San Andreas missions, also appears in Grand Theft Auto III, he is the man that provide jobs in Portland island, Liberty City, and is the leader of the Puerto Rican Diablos gang.
  • Head Radio is one (if not the only) original station left. It was in this game, and it was also a station in Grand Theft Auto III as well as in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.

Easter eggs are specially decorated eggs given out to celebrate the Easter holiday. ... A Gouranga installation on a railway bridge in Leicester. ... Hare Krishna Mantra in Devanagari. ... Main article: New York City The Bronx is one of the five boroughs of New York City in the United States. ... The process by which Larkin is owned, typically followed by gloating For other uses, see Brooklyn (disambiguation). ... Grand Theft Auto III, or GTA III, is a video game developed by DMA Design, published by Rockstar Games in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2 video game console, May 2002 for Windows-based PCs, and in November 2003 for the Xbox video game console. ...

See also

Grand Theft Auto Mission Pack #1: London, 1969 is a mission pack, or expansion pack, to Grand Theft Auto. ...


  • ^  The name Jugular is the game's take on the Jaguar. Quite a few of the cars have such names, such as the Bug, a name based on the VW Beetle, and the Mundaneo, a take on the Ford Mondeo but giving a sense of it being "mundane". Also the "Cossie", which was a performance car inspired by the Escort Cosworth with its whaletail spoiler.

Jaguar Cars is a British car manufacturer famous for luxury saloon and sports cars. ... The Volkswagen Beetle or Bug is a small family car, the best known car of Volkswagen, of Germany, and almost certainly the world. ... The Ford Mondeo, launched in 1993, was billed as Fords world car, and was also sold in North America as the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique. ...

External links

  • Free download of GTA and GTA2 as Rockstar Classics
  • GameFAQs entry on the game, with FAQs and walkthroughs
  • Grand Theft Auto at MobyGames
  • Original GTA prototypes

MobyGames is a website devoted to cataloging video and computer games, both past and present. ...

Fan sites

  • GTA Classics
  • GTAGaming
  • Grand Theft Auto in PlanetGrandTheftAuto

  Results from FactBites:
Grand Theft Auto Fever - GTAFever.com - Grand Theft Auto Forums - The ultimate resource for all things GTA, GTA IV, ... (2155 words)
Games has announce in a recent press release that they will be hosting the new trailer coming this Thursday, June 28 on a special dedicated site.
Rockstar Games have announced that GTA IV will be available as a special edition on October 16 in North America and October 19 in Europe, the same day as the regular edition.
Games Radar has posted an interesting article that shows how big Liberty City/NYC really is. Even though San Andreas was a whole state, GTA 4 may not come far behind in terms of gameplay area.
Planet Grand Theft Auto - Maps, News, Cheats, Downloads (3864 words)
All of the game material, and especially these specific edits, was submitted to and reviewed by the ESRB in accordance with requirements regarding disclosure that were enacted two years ago and any contrary suggestion is inaccurate and irresponsible.
Manhunt 2 is not Grand Theft Auto (even though the series does take place in the same fictional world), but every now and then I find it interesting to see what other content is being put on shelves by Rockstar Games.
With a game of such magnitude comes a certain level of expectation and hype, but when hype dies down, yet interest remains, you will be in store for one hell of an adventure, especially when it comes to Grand Theft Auto IV.
  More results at FactBites »



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