Characters: Grand Theft Auto

aka: Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars
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3D Universe

The 3D Universe refers to six Grand Theft Auto games, grouped together because they have interlinking characters, locations and storylines. This is also known as the second generation of GTA games released from 2001 to 2006. For characters appearing on the in-game radio stations, see the GTA Radio page.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto III

So many that there's its own page here.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

    Tommy Vercetti 
Voiced by: Ray Liotta.

Tommy was a member of the Forelli crime family in Liberty City before being sent to whack a rival gang member in Harwood. However, he was ambushed, but managed to take down his would-be assassins, racking up a body count of 11. This incident lead to him gaining not only infamy as "The Harwood Butcher", but also 15 years behind bars. Upon his release, Sonny Forelli knows that Tommy is too hot for Liberty and sends him "down south" to Vice City to expand the empire, starting with a cocaine deal with the Vance Brothers.

Unfortunately, the deal goes south, ending in yet another ambush that leaves Vic Vance dead and Tommy with neither the coke nor Sonny's money. With nothing but the clothes on his back, a hotel room and his new partner, attorney Ken Rosenberg, Tommy then sets out to find out who set him up, get Sonny's cash back, and perhaps get a slice of the action for himself.

Other Appearance: San Andreas (mentioned only)

  • Ax-Crazy: He is aggressive and easily angered, and has no problem with killing his enemies with chainsaws. Not for nothing was he nicknamed "The Harwood Butcher".
  • Badass: The biggest one in the entire franchise. Yes, he is probably the most immoral and evil protagonist of the franchise, but still, he is unstoppable in every point of view, to the point that some characters openly fear him by the end. He faced the most dangerous and powerful criminals of the 80s, and killed them all, including the hundreds of henchmen without problem, something no other character in the GTA III Era could muster.
  • The Butcher: As mentioned above, he's known as "The Harwood Butcher" because of a hit that went down badly.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: After Tommy's worked with the Cubans a bit, Auntie Poulet (a matriarch of the Haitian gang, which is at war with the Cubans) gets her hands on him, drugs him with a strange stew, and has him commit hits on the Cubans against his will.
  • Blood Knight: He is brutal and straightforward in running his business, and he believes the only recourse to any setback is violence.
  • Brooklyn Rage: He's from Liberty City and is a member of the LC-based Forelli crime family. Until he starts building his own empire down south, anyway.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a very sarcastic wit. Quite a few cutscenes even end with his voiceover making some snarky remark after the fade to black.
  • Expy: Of Tony Montana. One of his last unlockable outfits is Tony's suit from the finale of the film.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: according to his dialogues with Earnest Kelly, he appears to have had a good relationship with his father.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Very affable if you're on his side, but completely, violently ruthless if you are his enemy.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: His default oufit - many characters comment on its tackiness during the first few missions.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Believes that loyalty and honor among the family are ideals everyone else within the organisation should hold. He is wrong. And none too happy about the discovery.
  • Karma Houdini: Best seen in "Messing With The Man"; he causes widespread destruction across Vice City and likely kills numerous civilians, with the express purpose of attracting the attention of the law, yet he gets off scot-free if he manages to clear his Wanted Meter after he's finished the mission. And even if he gets Busted after all that, he doesn't go to prison.
  • Mommy Issues: It's implied that he has bad relationship with his mother.
  • Pet the Dog: That's right! He does have his moments.
    • He is good friends with Colonel Cortez.
    • He also has a romantic relationship with Cortez' daughter, Mercedes.
    • He considers Earnest Kelly to be like a father.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The "Mr Vercetti" outfit is a grey pinstriped suit with a pink shirt underneath.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After Tommy was released, Sonny sent him down south to Vice City to start "expanding the business". In reality, it was to keep the notoriously hot-headed Tommy in a place where he couldn't hurt the business and the Forelli family's influence in Liberty.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: after learning that Lance betrayed him and Sonny implied that he set Tommy up back in Harwood, Tommy doesn't waste too much time in killing them both.
  • Sadist: He has no qualms about violence, and is implied to enjoy it.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In a beach town. Fanon accepts the above "Liberty City's water is unsafe" explanation and extrapolates it into "Tommy thus never learned how to swim, having grown up there." He also seems to be extremely fearful of sharks and overreacts to the rumors that Vice City's waters have them (they do; you can sometimes see a huge shark swimming around the city).
  • The Teetotaler: Strongly implied. He prefers coffee over alcohol, and while he will deal drugs he doesn't voluntarily take them (the Auntie Poulet missions and the boomshine mission were involuntary cases). Avery Carrington even calls attention to this at one point ("A clean thinker! I like that."). This may be a major factor as to why he doesn't go the way of Tony Montana in the end.
  • Universal Driver's License: Tommy is the first GTA protagonist who can use vehicles on air, land and sea.
  • Uriah Gambit: He's been at the receiving end of at least one, possibly two. The Harwood mission was deliberately set up by Sonny Forelli to kill Tommy; Tommy ended up killing his potential killers (all 11 of them), and he got only a 15-year prison sentence. The mission at the start of the game may have been another attempt to off Tommy, again set up by Forelli, but again Tommy escaped with his life.
  • Villain Protagonist: It is certainly the most definitive trait of the character. Although he appears to be criminal out of necessity in the beginning, he's not just punching a clock; he's been a lifelong career murderer who never wanted to be anything else, and has no Freudian Excuse behind it (unless you take "Blame my mother...I do" at face value). There are no lines he isn't willing to cross, and isn't that much better as a person than his enemies.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Tommy believes in loyalty being the defining principle of the Family. Sonny Forelli delights in telling him he's mistaken and has been using him the entire time.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Loves to hurl insults at pursuing cops.

    Ken Rosenberg 
Voiced by: William Fitchner

A neurotic mob lawyer with connections to various big figures in Vice City and a serious coke habit. He's Tommy's first contact in Vice City, and serves as his main business advisor and legal counsel, helping him establish a criminal empire in Vice City all their - er, Tommy's - own.

Unfortunately, by 1991, his coke habit caught up with him, and Tommy had him sent to a rehab center in San Andreas. There, he cleaned up his act, regained his confidence, and planned his triumphant return home... only for Tommy to stop returning his calls. Distraught and lacking in connections, he eventually found work managing a casino for the Sindacco family, eventually encountering Carl "CJ" Johnson - and through him, finding better work.

Other Appearance: San Andreas

  • Ambulance Chaser: Despite being very good at what he does, he isn't above such antics for money.
  • Amoral Attorney: Pretty unavoidable when Tommy Vercetti's your client.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his quirks, he's heavily implied to be the reason you don't get a prison sentence if the police arrest you.
  • Expy: He's clearly based on Sean Penn's character in Carlitos Way.
  • Functional Addict: He's clearly an addict but is still an asset to Tommy regardless. When we meet him in San Andreas it appears this lifestyle eventually caught up to him.
  • Heroic BSOD: As seen in San Andreas, he didn't take Tommy's abandonment of him well.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Tommy killed Lance in the finale, he said he never liked Lance because Lance was neurotic. Coming from a guy like Ken...

    Lance Vance 

The insecure younger brother of Vic Vance, Lance was always looking for ways to prove himself, as he'd spent most of his life either in his brother's shadow or getting picked on by his peers. After his brother's death, he sets out to get revenge on the person that set him up, teaming up with Tommy and eventually becoming his right-hand man. Then he eventually turns against him and sides with Sonny Forelli at the end, which quickly didn't turn out well for both of them, as proven by his former boss.

Other appearance: Vice City Stories

  • Asshole Victim: After he betrayed Tommy.
  • Deuteragonist: In Vice City Stories.
  • Embarrassing First Name: He got picked on all the time in school over his name, and it's quite a touchy subject for him. When he's working with Diaz, he calls himself "Quentin" instead.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite his many antics, he genuinely cares about his brother and seriously wants to avenge his brother's death.
  • Face-Heel Turn: He betrays Tommy at the end of the game and sells him out to Sonny Forelli. His real reason for this is that he can't stand being treated like crap and long wanted a bigger cut of the slice.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Vic's responsible sibling.

    Ricardo Diaz 
Voiced by: Luis Guzman

A self-centered, self-serving mob boss whose only reasons to live are in and around his mansion. He is helped by Victor Vance in his rise to power (and then later sent some of his henchmen to kill him after he felt he had no more use of him), only to be taken down a couple of years later by Tommy Vercetti, who takes his mansion, cars, and helicopter.

Other Appearance: Vice City Stories

  • Ax-Crazy: Mainly due to his cocaine addiction.
  • Disc One Final Boss: He's dealt with pretty early on in a mission that's basically the final shootout in Scarface (1983), only with you as the assassin. Once you rub him out and take over his mansion, then the game really begins, with you building your empire.
  • Expy: Of Frank Lopez.
  • Fat Bastard: Easily one of the most heavyset characters in the series, and definitely a bastard.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It really doesn't take much to set him off. When his VCR "eats" his favorite porno VHS, he gets so angry that he grabs his gun and shoots it twice. Then Tommy comes in and points out that the VCR wasn't plugged in.
  • Laughably Evil: He may be a complete and utter slimeball, but he's also pretty difficult to take seriously and quite fun to watch.
  • The Napoleon: Not very tall at all, but very loud, boorish and prone to temperamental outbursts.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Whenever he's got a gun in his Vice City cutscenes, he all too often casually waves it in Tommy's direction, resulting in Tommy moving out of the way. At one point, he even uses it to scratch his crotch.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: By his own admission. "All I have now is dickheads! Dickheads everywhere, yo!"
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To Victor Vance.

    Sonny Forelli 
Voiced by: Tom Sizemore

The Don of the Forelli family, Sonny is calm and gentle at first but really likes being rich.

  • Ascended Extra: although he doesn't appear in III, the Forelli Crime Family is one of earlier antagonistic groups Claude had to face. In Vice City, he is the Big Bad of the game.
  • Asshole Victim: After his admissions about setting up Tommy, and of course Tommy killing him.
  • Berserk Button: Losing money or valuable things. Towards the end, when Tommy tries to rip him off and kills all of the Mafia "taxmen", he gets enraged.
  • Big Bad: Over the course of the game, Sonny grows increasingly impatient and angry as Tommy builds his own empire instead of getting Sonny's money and drugs back. It gets to a point where he sics Mafia "taxmen" down to Vice City to take a cut of Tommy's business, and when that fails, shows up personally to kill Tommy. And then it turns out he was behind the Harwood ambush that cost Tommy 15 years of his life.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Or at least how that's how he styles himself.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Played with. He can certainly be cordial enough, though he purposely drops the act to hurl out torrents of rage and abuse when he feels the need to intimidate Tommy.
  • The Don: of the Forelli Crime Family.
  • Expy: Alex Sosa. Like Tony Montana did with Sosa, Tommy worked for Sonny until he crossed him, pissing Sonny off something fierce and prompting him to try and have Tommy killed. Though unlike Sosa, Sonny tried to have Tommy killed long ago, while he was presumably still loyal.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Sonny originally sent Tommy away so he wouldn't hurt the business and cause Sonny to lose influence.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Sonny only cares about money.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He never gives Tommy any respect despite how capable he is in business and killing. And pays with his life.
  • Uriah Gambit: He set up Tommy back in Harwood; he might have set Tommy up again in Vice City. You would think that he'd be a little more careful about going after a guy who killed at least 11 guys in order to escape getting killed himself, and who survived at least two big firefights (and probably more) without serious injury.

    Victor Vance 

Technically, Victor Vance first appeared in Vice City albeit unnamed. He becomes the main protagonist in Vice City Stories.

Other Appearance: Vice City Stories

  • Anti-Hero: Victor starts out as probably the most heroic of all III-continuity protagonists. He sure doesn't end that way.
  • Alliterative Name: Victor Vance. Martinez lampshades it early on.
    Martinez: Hey, Victor Vance! Wow, did anyone ever tell you you got a really dumb name?
  • Ascended Extra: He first appeared in the opening of Vice City. In the prequel, Vice City Stories, he is the main protagonist.
  • Doomed by Canon: One of the first plot points in Vice City is that Lance is looking to avenge his death.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In Vice City, he was balding and hunchbacked, with a thick Hispanic accent.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto Advance


The main character in Grand Theft Auto Advance. He starts out working with his friend Vinnie to leave Liberty City, and retire from mob life, however, when Vinnie is apparently killed, Mike is pulled back in. He works for several criminal sources to find out the truth behind Vinnie's death.

  • Broken Pedestal: Vinnie is eventualy revealed to have faked his death in order to not only escape the criminal life alone but also leave with Mike's half of the money.
  • Expy: Due to lack of character development, he is alot like Claude.
  • I Owe You My Life: Mike was saved by Vinnie from a life living homeless on the streets.
  • Revenge: His primary motivation is to find the people behind Vinnie's death.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Flee's by plane to Columbia and finally leaves his life of crime behind him.
  • The Stoic: Justified given the top down view of the game. Only time we see his face is in an illustration. The juxtaposition of his unchanging serious face paired with dialogue like "OH MY GOD! VINNIE! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" ends up being unintentionally funny.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Vinnie, which drives him to find his killer against the odds. Which makes Vinnie's betrayal all the more unexpected and devastating.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Pretty much everyone uses him for their own gains. Though Mike is turn is using them to find out the truth. It eventually turns out even Vinnie was using him the whole time.


Mike's friend and partner. They worked together in the mafia, and decide to retire from the Mob life. Before they do, Vinnie is aparently killed by a car bomb. Mike decides to find out the truth and continues to work for the Liberty City Underworld. It's later revealed that he faked his death, but when he found out Mike was looking for him, he decided to personally kill Mike himself.

  • Faking the Dead: He faked his death to avoid having to share his money with Mike.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

So many that there's its own page here.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

    Massimo Torini 

Capo of the Sicilian Mafia. When he first arrives, it was believed to be bringing peace between the three main mafia families in Liberty City ; The Leones, Forellis and Sindaccos - it's pretty much the exact opposite. To make matters worse, he even starts wars among the street gangs of Liberty. Turns out to be a big scheme to start the Sicilian's invasion.

    Paulie Sindacco 

  • Elvis Impersonator: He dresses in gaudy rhinestone suits, wears sunglasses all the time, and keeps his hair in a hilariously out-of-style pompadour. His headstone even reads "Viva Las Venturas."

    Ned Burner 

A news reporter willing to do anything for good stories to cover... including posing as a priest and having Toni Cipriani commit all sorts of atrocities.

  • Confessional/Bad Habits: He poses as a priest who Toni seeks forgiveness through. It doesn't quite work out for Toni.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

    Jerry Martinez 

    Louise Cassidy-Willams 

Phil Cassidy's younger sister.

    The Mendez Brothers 

  • Ax-Crazy: Armando Mendez before his death. He brutally killed Louise, and willing at all costs to kill Vic with a flamethrower, and in one of his comments he said: "I want his head!"

    Phil Collins 

Voiced by: Phil Collins

Yes, that Phil Collins. An international music sensation, Phil's been in a spot of trouble lately, as his incompetent manager has borrowed an enormous sum of money from a powerful criminal. Victor is contacted to be a bodyguard to the star, and does so for several missions.

  • Ascended Fanboy: As noted on his creator page, Phil is a huge fan of gaming, Grand Theft Auto in particular.
  • Celebrity Cameo: Obviously. He appears as the subject of several escort missions.

HD Universe

The HD Universe is the third canonical universe of Grand Theft Auto series, after the 2D Universe and the 3D universe.

The HD universe was introduced in 2008 with the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, and is named for the high definition graphics the game featured. The game was followed by two DLC packs called The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, both of which occur in the same time frame as GTA IV, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, which is set one year later with a stand-alone story; all games were released in 2009.

The universe was known as the GTA IV Era until the announcement of Grand Theft Auto V, which revealed that games within the series are set in different universe based on their graphics (2D, 3D and HD), contrary to the previous belief that each "numbered" title started a new era.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, and Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

So many that there's its own page here.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

    Huang Lee 

The main character of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and one of the more intelligent GTA protagonists. He starts out relatively naive and expects to be treated well, but instead ends up working for his uncle for awhile, and it all goes uphill from there.
  • Another Side, Another Story: For the Grand Theft Auto IV era as a whole. His story arc is around a year removed from Niko's, Johnny's, and Luis' and doesn't intersect with them in the way they do with each other.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He is the snarkiest GTA protagonist hands down. Half of his dialogue is an insult of some kind.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: As the game progresses, he wears these more and more often.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Stated multiple times to be a spoiled rich kid, if only before his appearance in Chinatown Wars. He also has a short criminal record (trademark counterfeiting in 2002, grand theft auto in 2005).
  • Only Sane Man: Due in no small part to his bosses throughout the game.

Debuted in Grand Theft Auto V

So many that there's its own page here.

Alternative Title(s):

Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Grand Theft Auto Advance, Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories, Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars