Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Video Game: Grand Theft Auto II
Don't feel bad, this could happen to anyone... Anywhere.

In 1999, DMA Design released its first sequel to the original Grand Theft Auto. Set Twenty Minutes into the Future in an unknown city known as "Anywhere City", each zone is controlled by numerous gangs and the powerful Zaibatsu Corporation. The player controls the hoodlum "Claude Speed" as he plays all sides to get the money to leave the city.

Grand Theft Auto 2 took the top-down free roaming gameplay of its predecessor and made several improvements: introducing the ability to save, the law enforcement hierarchy present in all future installments, and a "respect" system regarding other gangs and the missions they make available. The city is also huge, with a distinctive look and feel for each neighborhood (unlike the recycled textures of the previous game).

Mostly remembered for its FMV intro featuring Claude performing all sorts of tricks from the game, such as respraying his car and getting shot (presumably to no lasting effect). Most of the various gangs also make an appearance: the Rednecks, Yakuza, a captive Krishna, a group of Russian mobsters, and a Zaibatsu janitor-cum-hitman. The movie is set in New York (the original World Trade Center is visible), foreshadowing GTA3's Liberty City locale.

Rockstar has made the game available for free download here.

Tropes Used Include:

  • Alliance Meter: One for each of the gangs in the district. This is a very important aspect of the game, to the point where it inspires the...
  • Arc Words: "Respect is everything".
  • Awesome but Impractical: The dual pistols. They fire much faster than the regular pistol and allow you to shoot two bullets at the same time, but the bullets don't go in a straight line, requiring you to either keep it for groups of enemies.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill / Trojan Prisoner: The "Alma Mater Return" mission revolves around intentionally going to prison, stealing a guard uniform, and sparking a riot.
  • Bedlam House: The asylum in Sunnyside has literally been taken over by the inmates.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: All the gang leaders. The Zaibatsu seem to come out on top as the promo movie implys and the fact they are the most recurring gang in the city.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: You. In order to complete all missions, you will have to eventually start killing members of a previously friendly gang to get their rival to offer you jobs. Once all missions from all gangs in an area are completed, the gangs catch on and all their leaders will be out to get you.
  • City with No Name: Or rather, the generic name "Anywhere City".
  • Clone Army: The SRS Scientists have developed a large number of clones, who are the foot soldiers you can find and fight around the streets and during missions.
  • Code Name: Each of the gang bosses bestow a codename upon you : Gecko for the Zaibatsu, Jumbo for the Loonies, Kosai for the Yakuza, Rooster (Tough Guy in some translations) for the Rednecks, Grasshopper for the Krishnas, THC-303 for the SRS and Comrade for the Russians.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: With so many rival gangs to tell apart, they now have to wear bright clothes. You will also meet a few NPCs dressed in lime green or red: the former likes to jack cars, much like the roving punks in GTA3. The chap in red will approach you, shout "GIMMIEYOURMONEY" and run off in the opposite direction with your cash.
  • Cool Car: While standard for the series, the Zaibatsu Z-Type gets special mention for being so cool that Rockstar decided to bring it back almost fifteen years later.
  • Cyberpunk
  • Driven to Villainy: The manual jokes that the Krishnas went crazy on account of being run over all the time.
  • Dystopia: One disc jockey complains his car's been stole five times. This month alone.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The game introduced the ability to change the radio station in your car, as well as having different ones for each district. This could be considered in a way foreshadowing to GTA Radio. As another added touch, a gang radio station's reception degrades the further you are from its source in a district.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Even more so than the first game. The use of codenames for the player, the strange neo-retro setting, the sound effects, and so on make GTA 2 difficult to consider it part of the same series that later went hyper realistic in IV and V
  • Elvis Impersonator: The Krishnas from the previous game are now a legitimate gang. They've all been replaced by Elvis impersonators, but result in the same bonus if you run them all over. You can probably guess the message which flashes onscreen if you do: Elvis has left the building!.
    • Billy Bob Bean, the chief of the Rednecks, has a pompadour and sunglasses. What's more, his tavern is named "DisGraceland."
  • Enemy Of My Enemy: The structure of respect from gangs. You could kill several members of their gang and still be respected by them, so long as you killed a significantly higher number of people from a gang they hate.
  • Fission Mailed: Getting arrested is an integral part of the jailbreak mission.
  • Gang of Hats: More prevelent here than in any other GTA. The Zaibatsus are a Megacorp that operate in all three sections of the city, the Yakuza are, well Yakuza, the Loonies are all completely insane, the Rednecks drive pickups and operate out of a trailer park, the SRS Scientists are a gang dedicated to gang violence For Science!, the Russian Mafia are mobsters from Russia and the Hare Krishna are a group of pacifists that have turned to gang violence.
  • Gasshole: The player character, considering how there's a dedicated button that makes either a fart or burp noise.
  • Gonk: The Zaibatsu bosses. Nice unibrow.
  • Guns Akimbo: An equippable variation on the standard pistol.
  • Hard-Coded Hostility: There are seven gangs you can gain respect from, and losing respect from one of them will cause that gang to become hostile. However, there's an extra gang in the third level that only appears on the small Mad Island, and it's always at negative respect, so they will always attack you on sight.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: On the edge of Mooks but No Bosses - there are actually nine bosses to fight throughout the game, but they're not really any different from your average mooks. And the levels? Well, you get to blow up a couple heavily guarded power plants (somehow not powering out the whole city).
  • Hearts Are Health
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Russian mob gathers a busload of people, dumps them into a meat grinder and uses them for hotdogs.
  • Karma Houdini: The player character himself, especially if you're good at the game.
  • Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower kills stuff with fire, obviously. Catching fire is certain death for Mooks and nearly always for the player as well - the only way to survive is to find a health pickup in time.
  • Lightning Gun: The Electro Gun you can find in the second and third districts.
  • Medium Blending: The live-action introduction movie.
  • Mega Corp.: Zaibatsu.
  • Mugging the Monster: You'll see muggers occasionally pickpocketing gang members. Sure enough, this puts them into the Too Dumb to Live territory.
  • Place Worse Than Death: It's hinted at through the radio that the city is on the verge of complete chaos. Poor Dean Frantz has had his car stolen five times in as many weeks.
  • Racing Minigame: A mission for the SRS Scientists involves racing a remote-controlled full-size car on a course on their compound, which is otherwise inaccesible.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The song playing in the FMV movie is "Rhythm" by Engineers Without Fears.
  • Relationship Values: The respect meter. It impacts the missions available to the player as well as the gangs' behavior towards the player. Gangs with high respect towards the player will be friendly and protect the player if necessary - and gangs with low respect will use their biggest guns whenever they spot the player.
  • Retro Universe: For a futuristic setting (the electric gun, anyone ?), the game seems to feature an awful lot of vehicles with retro designs rooted in the 1920s through to the 1960s; a few cars are even based on real-life models from that period.
  • Score Multiplier: You often receive a fixed amount of points (which equal money), but it is then multiplied by a number you can increase by completing missions, and picking up some power-ups.
  • Scoring Points: Extremely important - saving the player's progress costs 50,000 points. Points are also basically cash.
  • Sex for Product: Oragasmo chocolate bars. I'll have what she's having, indeed.
    • Lampshaded in a radio ad disclaimer: "A Land Rover purchase does not guarantee a satisfied sex life."
  • Shock and Awe: The electric gun. All that's left of the poor sap you fried is a blueish skeleton.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: The Zaibatsu executive in the cinematic.
  • Sigil Spam: The distinctive "Z" signs hanging overhead, not unlike the Third Reich's banners.
  • Southern Gothic: The Rednecks' RV park. The roads are even replaced by dirt paths.
  • Spell My Name with an "S"/ Senpai Kohai: The Yakuza boss likes to address you as "kosai", when possibly the correct Japanese spelling is "Kohai".
  • Stepford Suburbia: "The Village", a Zaibatsu-owned gated community.
  • Time Bomb: You in the demo.
  • Too Dumb to Live: This game features fellow carjackers who drive into cars already on the verge of exploding, muggers brazen enough to pickpocket gang members, civilians who run around in circles when a tank is driving through an alley they are in, and gang members who trust the player character after he killed several members of their gang, so long as they killed a larger number of members of a gang they hate. However, given the nature of the GTA series, how much of this is due to deliberate portrayal, and how much is due to the programming, is left unclear.
  • Updated Re-release: The PC port has various differences, including "Dawn" and "Dusk" settings — the latter of which places the game entirely at night, with enhanced lighting effects — elevated trains you can ride around the city (or blow up), and a modified Industrial District map featuring an offshore island.
    • The Sega Dreamcast port has the same bells and whistles, with the notable difference that "Dawn" lighting has been removed completely.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Grand Theft Auto 2 introduced the six-star/level law enforcement hierarchy of three levels of police pursuit, then SWAT teams, then an FBI stand-in, and then the military. The wanted levels are capped, so the player won't encounter FBI in the first level and the military until the final level outside missions where they've been scripted to appear.
  • Villain Protagonist: The player character, though to some extent it depends on how you play the game.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Zaibatsu Corporation is a prominent and powerful crime syndicate with a private army of armed thugs and a fleet of Z-Types that patrol the streets in droves and partake in many criminal activities, including using a radio station at one point to broadcast a signal that puts people listening to it in a murderous frenzy. Despite this, they seem to only be known by the general public as a Mega Corp. that sells (among other things) pharmaceutical products.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The PC version of the game features a location called Mad Island, which is inhabited by an unidentified gang that is constantly hostile and aggressive towards the player's character, regardless of the amount of Respect they have with the other gangs.
  • You All Look Familiar: Gang members all share the same model.

Grand Theft AutoMature RatingGrand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto ClassicUsefulNotes/The Fifth Generation of Console Video GamesGran Turismo
Grand Theft Auto ClassicVideoGame/Grand Theft AutoGrand Theft Auto III
Full ThrottleTeen RatingGrand Theft Auto Classic
Grand Theft Auto ClassicVideo Games of the 1990sGrandia
Grandia IISega DreamcastGuilty Gear
Grand Theft AutoWide Open SandboxGrand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto ClassicUsefulNotes/Play StationGuardian's Crusade
Grand Theft Auto ClassicFreeware GamesAction 52 Owns

alternative title(s): Grand Theft Auto II
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy