Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned, released on 17 February 2009, is the first of the two Episodes from Liberty City DLC expansion packs made for Grand Theft Auto IV (the second being The Ballad of Gay Tony).The story focuses on Johnny Klebitz, the vice president of the Lost Brotherhood motorcycle gang. He has been the gang's unofficial leader ever since the president, Billy Grey, was put in court-mandated drug rehabilitation, and has forged a truce with their arch-rival, the Angels of Death. The game begins with Billy being released from rehab, resuming his leadership position and creating tension with Johnny by trying to resume the war with the Angels of Death.Since Johnny is an experienced biker, he can actually stay on his bike (and survive crashes) at speeds faster than walking (something Niko in GTA IV is notoriously bad at), although his corresponding dislike of cars means his four-wheel skills aren't as fancy as Niko's. He seems to have no trouble flying helicopters, though.TLAD is also the first GTA game to feature full-frontal nudity. Male nudity. Take that, Jack Thompson.The game is available either online through Xbox Live or PSN (And requires a copy of GTA 4 to play), or at retail packed with Gay Tony in the Episodes from Liberty City two-pack.
The Almighty forgives, the Tropes don't:
Acoustic License: You frequently participate in conversations with your fellow gang members while cruising down major roads and even highways on motorcycles. They're not even yelling at the top of their lungs. In real life, the noise of the motorcycles plus the wind would make this impossible.
Actually Pretty Funny: Ray Boccino and his goon's reaction to Johnny's reply of "a bullshitter", when asked who he thinks he's bullshitting.
All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Downplayed with The Lost MC, while a true "One Percenter" gang, you also see and meet some of their less-hardcore weekend-warrior members. Then there's the Angels of Death, which play this trope straight and are Expies of Hells Angels.
The Lost seem to have been more closely based on the Outlaws, one of the Hells Angels major rivals; their motto, "The Almighty forgives, The Lost don't," is borrowed from the Outlaws.
Ambiguously Brown: Jim◊ looks like he is of Hispanic descent, though the issue of his ethnicity is never really answered. It is possible his appearance was based on that of legendary Hell's Angel Sonny Barger◊, who is ethnically Caucasian but looks very Hispanic.
Brian may have feelings for Billy, as a means of explaining his incredible loyalty.
Arbitrary Gun Power: As players who have had to reload saved games countless times after being slaughtered during gang war battles can attest, most of the bullet-shooting weapons are pretty weak — targets may often require half a clip before they die, making headshots an absolute must to win gang wars. Explosives are more effective, but even then it's not uncommon to hit someone with an RPG round, only to have them get up and attack. On the other hand, it only takes a few shotgun shots to set a vehicle on fire and make it explode.
Artificial Stupidity: Don't even try to keep gang members alive. They'll just charge ahead of you full speed into a firefight and get shot to death within seconds. Your named allies are smarter, though, and nigh-immortal to boot. Use both as cannon fodder and to attract gunfire (as well as police attention) away from you; you won't be penalized even as gang member bodies stack up like cordwood (although there is a memorial wall in the club house HQ that fills up as you do this, just for a little bit of guilt).
Awesome, but Impractical: Malc's Double T Custom and DeSean's Hakuchou Custom are a pair of unique bikes that you can only nab in certain missions. They both come with snazzy paintjobs, extended swing-arms and the fastest top speeds for a bike in the GTA IV era. They also fishtail like drag cars and have turning circles that can be matched by most SUVs. All of this is actually acknowledged on the Uptown Riders' in-game website.
Even if you get the hang of these bikes' poor turning abilities they are so scarce and valuable you won't use them much in anything.
It isn't motorcycle related, but the grenade launcher also qualifies for this trope. While grenades launched can go farther and you can carry more grenades than rockets the accuracy is poor due to the wonky physics of the grenade, the grenades don't explode on contact with anything, they take too long to explode (7 seconds starting from the launch) and they let out smoke which lets your enemies know where the bomb is which AI controlled enemies will actually take notice of and run and finally the loud noise the weapon makes when firing further detriments it in multiplayer. It did however get buffed in Ballad with a shortened fuse and contact explosions if a person or vehicle is hit, making it a better choice there.
Bookends: The first and last cutscenes of the main story each have a scene where the crew rolls Angus out of the club house. However, in the later cutscene there are significantly fewer members following.
Boring, but Practical: The Bati 800 is this compared to the other new sports bikes since it has the lowest top speed and the most generic design compared to the Double T and the Hakuchou. However it has the best handling of all sports bikes in the game, good acceleration and it's easy to get (spawns at safehouses after a small and easy sidequest that shouldn't take more than an hour).
Brooklyn Rage: A lot of characters qualify for this trope, considering the setting, particularly many of the rival gang members The Lost go up against. The Lost themselves, however, do not quite qualify. See Joisey below.
The Caligula: Billy Grey could qualify as this, given his penchant for violence, drug use and mayhem. It's even revealed in The Ballad of Gay Tony that Billy had actually arranged for the Triads to kill Johnny in the failed drug deal.
Celibate Hero: Johnny qualifies in-cutscene and inasmuch as a protagonist of a game that allows you to hire prostitutes can be considered as such. Compared to the other IV-era protagonists, Johnny gets involved in no notable romantic or sexual attachments over the course of the story, and repeatedly rejects Ashley's advances. As if to emphasize this, the episode lacks the Dating Sim-type mechanic seen in the main game.
Chekhov's Gun: Roman's Taxi Company's phone number note 555-2222 is given away in a cutscene, and this can speed up a later mission.
Civil War: The Lost have one after Johnny becomes president.
The DLC also has its own unique set of flying rats (aka pigeons) that need to be exterminated, like in GTA IV.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: All the main characters have uniquely colored bikes; Johnny has a white and blue one, contrasting Billy's black and Brian's red bikes, and Jim has a black and red one to match Johnny's. Clay, Terry, and Jason each have differently colored bikes as well, in colors of purple, blue, and magenta. Additionally, Malc's and DeSean's bikes are green and orange (possibly to signify their removal from the Lost and Angels of Death conflict).
Inverted somewhat by the NRG 900, which is considered the most powerful bike in GTA IV, but is shown to be virtually useless in the DLC, given its tendency to spinout and its poor turning ability, both of which manifest themselves in the DLC's racing side missions.
Continuity Drift: TLAD is supposed to take place concurrent to the main storyline in GTA IV, with several missions intersecting with those in GTA IV. However, whereas the protagonist in GTA IV is unable to travel to parts of Liberty City and Alderney because of bridges being closed due to a terrorist threat (until completing certain missions), Johnny is able to free-roam the entire city at will from the start, even during one mission, "Buyer's Market" that takes place at the same time as the GTA IV mission "Blow Your Cover" which, in GTA IV, serves to reopen some of the bridges for Niko.
Death Seeker: A lot of Johnny's quotes whilst gunfighting (aside from the regular Trash Talk variety) seem to indicate he's one. Ripping off one of Liberty City's most powerful mafiosi with little regard for the possible repercussions may lend credence to this.
Democracy Is Bad: While the ineptness and corruption of the American government have long since been elements of the GTA series' settings, these become an overarching theme in this episode when The Lost realize their Mob War with The Angels Of Death is a much smaller problem compared to the threat they face from the authorities.
Johnny and The Lost are blackmailed by a Corrupt Politician into committing acts of violence to further his campaign goals, as personal favors for his colleagues, or for profit.
Police and government surveillance is a large concern for much of the game, though it makes sense to monitor the activities of a criminal organization like The Lost. However, Johnny later participates in a scheme orchestrated by Stubbs involving a bug planted on the Deputy Mayor's sports car in order to out the man as gay. This the very same car that was given to Niko in GTA IV.
Aside from Dirty Cops and The Angels of Death, police informants and criminals who become state witnesses are presented as the lowest of the low from The Lost's perspective, and the gang is almost ended when Billy Grey decides to testify against it.
Dirty Cop: One of Jim's missions has you chasing down and killing some.
Disabled Snarker: Angus' paralysis, which he got in a biking accident, has led him to become even more bitter and cynical than his fellow brothers in The Lost already are, particularly at the man he considers responsible for it. Incidentally, that man is Billy Grey.
Niko kills Jim on-screen in the main plot, during the mission when he chases two Lost bikers down the subway tracks. When Rockstar made TLaD, they updated Jim's character model to match his voice, but failed to do so in the main plot mission.
Downer Ending: Most of the Lost are killed in the civil war with Brian Jeremy's faction following Billy's arrest, Jim is killed either by Niko or a train in a GTA IV mission, offscreen in the episode, Johnny breaks into prison and kills Billy for attempting to turn states' evidence, the Lost breaks up for good and the final cutscene is the remaining members (Johnny, Clay, Terry & Angus) burning the clubhouse to the ground. There is no alternate ending. The follow-up phone calls aren't exactly upbeat, either. And on top of it all, the only safehouse left for Johnny to live in is run-down house that doesn't even have a TV (never mind sexy biker chick dancers performing).
End of an Age: Johnny is constantly reminded (in a friendly way by Malc, and a not-so-friendly way by others) that his entire lifestyle is at least 40 years out of date. By the story's end, all-American biker gangs, at least in Liberty City, seem to be gone for good, with the Angels Of Death MC advertising itself as more of a social club for hobbyists, and the Lost being lost forever.
It gets even worse when in Grand Theft Auto V we are shown what has happened to them 5 years later. Their leader is a shell of his former self thanks to his Meth addiction, and the Gang, while still showing growth from where it was at the end of the game is in an even more sorry state.
Face-Heel Turn: Brian and half of The Lost MC turn on Johnny after Billy's arrested (again) and Johnny steps up as chapter president. Meanwhile, while he's behind bars (again), Billy has his own turn when he connives with the FIB to testify against The Lost.
Final Speech: Lampshaded by Billy Grey, who taunts "What, are you waiting for a speech or something?" before you kill him.
Foregone Conclusion: I wonder whatever happened to that fat Slavic guy Johnny and Malc kidnapped?
It shouldn't come as a surprise when Jason turns up dead. You know, the biker banging some Russian chick, who Niko was told to kill in the main game?
Also discussed in-game. When Johnny talks about his problems concerning Ray Boccino to Congressman Stubbs, Stubbs tells him not to worry, predicting that Ray would either be dead or in jail within a month.
Grenade Launcher: The HK69 makes its GTA-series debut when Billy gives Johnny one to lay siege to the AOD clubhouse. Admittedly, it is of limited use considering that its grenades aren't contact explosives.
Henpecked Husband: Jim considers himself one, and though, underneath it all, he genuinely loves his wife, his friends in The Lost MC (none of whom have settled down with someone) never stop giving him shit about it.
Honor Among Thieves: The Lost pride themselves on their sense of brotherhood, and thus, they pretty much consider there to be a special place in hell for brothers who turn snitch. Billy Grey found this out the hard way.
Honor Before Reason: The shortsightedness of this virtue is a large theme in the game, best seen in Johnny's willingness to help out Ashley because of their past and her membership in The Lost inadvertently triggering the chain of events that would lead to Jim's death. This is painfully emphasized when Angus emails Johnny after the clubhouse is burned down at the end of the game, to "End the charade that this gang means anything."
Bumbling Sidekick: In contrast, Brian serves as this to Billy for the while Billy's club president anyway. Given that over the course of the story, he's been noted to run away from fights, this may overlap with Cowardly Sidekick.
I Gave My Word: For all his cheerful amorality, Stubbs does indeed remember those who've helped him when he tells Johnny about Billy's betrayal and where to find him.
Johnny Klebitz: Hey, one more thing, Stubbs. Why're you doin' this?
Congressman Thomas Stubbs III: I told you I was good for a favor.
Informed Judaism: Johnny mentions that he is of Jewish descent, but isn't shown adhering to their practices.
Intergenerational Friendship: Johnny and Terry are both in their early thirties, while Jim and Clay are both over a decade older than either of them (Clay is actually twenty years older than Terry).
Joisey: The game focuses on the Alderney chapter of The Lost MC, and much of the action is centered there. There is, however a Broker chapter to The Lost, and Johnny calls on their aid to steal some diamonds from Gay Tony.
Karma Houdini: A rather unique example: one of Thomas Stubbs' optional jobs for Johnny is to help a greedy CEObecome one of these. Johnny isn't happy about it.
Kavorka Man: Clay is an aging Army veteran and all-around Scary Black Man. He also unfailingly mentions his latest sexual conquest to the group every time they hang out. On one occasion, he actually laments not being able to get back together with a girl he likes because she's in the Angels of Death.
Kick the Dog: When Johnny kidnaps and threatens Roman. A lot of players lost any sympathy they had for him.
It bears mentioning that Johnny was forced into doing the above when he found Ashley being accosted by members of The Mafiya for not paying her gambling debts. Johnny otherwise remains civil throughout the kidnapping, only overtly threatening Roman when the latter tries to escape, and even asking The Mafiya to go easy on the man.
Let The Past Burn: At the end, Johnny and his fellow gang members burn down the gang's clubhouse. Considering that they've just killed the gang leader Billy for attempting to turn states' evidence, it can be seen as a symbol of the gang dissolving for good.
The Millstone: Ashley Butler, Johnny's meth-addicted ex-girlfriend, who is constantly trying to force herself back into Johnny's life even though he wants nothing to do with her anymore. Her large debt to Russian mobsters is what forces Johnny to kidnap Roman, and her relationship with Ray Boccino leads to Johnny's involvement in the ill-fated diamond deal, making her indirectly responsible for the death of Johnny's best friend, Jim.
More Dakka: "Shifting Weight". Johnny rides on the back of a motorcycle, firing an unlimited-ammo, rapid-fire street sweeper shotgun that absolutely demolishes the pursuing police cars.
Ms. Fanservice: Aside from the stock strippers and hookers (common to all three GTA IV games), the Lost MC clubhouse also on occasion has scantly clad biker chicks pole-dancing.
Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: In contrast to the Angels of Death and even The Lost, The Uptown Riders do not quite fit the "One-Percenter" vibe the other gangs do. They don't deal drugs or otherwise make majority of their profit through illicit means; the extent of their criminal activity is limited to acting as muscle for other gangs, basically as favors.
Not So Different: The Lost MC and the rest of society, even though the Lost claim to be more about independence and freedom. For a one-percent biker gang, the Lost seem to have an awful lot of protocol: bikers have to ride in a strict formation, they can only call for certain degrees of firefight support if they're the President, and so on. This is even discussed in the opening cutscene of "Off Route," when Johnny is asked if fighting "The Man" has made him any happier. Johnny's response?
Johnny: "There's always a man. He just wears a different uniform."
Politically Incorrect Villain: The Angels of Death only consists of white members and their symbols contains many subtle and not-so-subtle references to Nazism. Their website claims they aren't racist, it's just that no "members of the inferior races" have ever passed the tests required to join their gang.
Brian throws quite a few anti-Semitic slurs Johnny's way, and Billy refers to the Triad gangsters as "slopes".
V reveals that Johnny moved the chapter's operations to Blaine County. This move allowed the club to go national, expand across the Midwest, and gain a significant presence that rivalled even their Glory Days before the events of the game; so significant, in fact, that it attracted the ire of TrevorPhilips...
Semper Fi: Jim proudly recounts serving in the USMC, and by all accounts it turned him into a pretty tough-as-nails guy, considering the Cold-Blooded Torture he endured on Johnny's behalf. Subverted, however in The Lost MC's founding membership, which was composed of Marines who had come home from The Vietnam War and hadn't had their fill of drugs and violence.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: It's technically an Expansion Pack, but anyone who breezed through GTA IV will be stunned at how difficult even the basic set-the-scene missions are in TLAD. Even from the very first mission, Johnny finds himself facing large numbers of enemies, all gunning for him it seems. A classic example occurs in the mission "Bad Cop Drop" where the mission starts with Johnny and a friend picking a fight with two bent cops, but when the actual gun battle begins suddenly he's faced with more than a dozen enemies.
This is further illustrated in the mission "Buyer's Market" which is the first major occasion in which a mission crosses over with one from GTA IV. In the GTA IV version Niko has a partner to help with the shootout, and gets a rather easy route to the rooftops in order to escape. Johnny, meanwhile, has to fight his way through a room of heavily armed cops, go downstairs, exit in front of a number of cop cars with everyone firing at him, and is expected to somehow mount his bike and escape the scene before he's shot to death.
The trick here is to remember that the building has a back door. It also helps to find the body armor in a side room near where the shootout starts.
The bike races vary between averting the trope and being pretty easy, to being virtually impossible (due to the bikes in the GTA IV version of Grand Theft Auto being generally awful to steer and control compared to the more dynamic bikes of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The Gang Wars are much harder compared to the main game's comparable Vigilante and Ballad's Drug Wars, because the enemies grow increasingly durable and better armed as you complete wars. In contrast, your backup doesn't get that much better, and is easily overwhelmed. Enemies reach peak durability and loadout at 30 Wars, and you need to complete 50 to earn all the possible rewards.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: If one goes on to play Grand Theft Auto V in which Johnny is brutally murdered by one of the game's protagonists, Trevor, and Ashley has become a meth head who is later reported to have also died (or she can be optionally killed once the player takes control of Trevor), which sort of makes all the effort of this game for naught.
Show Within a Show: Just as with GTA IV, players can watch an in-game TV network including complete episodes of shows like Republican Space Rangers. TLAD and its companion DLC, The Ballad of Gay Tony feature different TV episodes than those featured in GTA IV.
Also like GTA IV, players can visit two live entertainment venues: a cabaret and a comedy club. New standup comedy material has been added for the DLC.
Several hours worth of new radio station content has also been added for the DLC.
Smug Snake: Brian Jeremy and, as in the main game, Ray Boccino. Although he's slightly more competent here.
Spies In A Sport Sedan: Johnny and Jim quickly catch on that The Lost are under police surveillance when they spot some undercover cops in a high-performance pursuit car staking out a drop-off point for their stolen bikes. They later take advantage of the cops' conspicuousness when they easily spot the car parked across the clubhouse soon after and use the opportunity to lure the cops into an ambush.
Stealth Pun: Terry is The Lost MC's Sergeant-At-Arms. Outside of club affairs, he's an Arms Dealer, who you can purchase weapons from at discounted prices.
True Companions: The Lost MC are supposed to be this in theory. Johnny, Jim, Terry, Clay and Angus are a good example, though.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: There is some between Johnny and drug mule Marta. Unfortunately a language barrier and Elizabeta totally cockblock him. It's the closest thing to romance Johnny gets in this game (unless the player sends him out to pick up hookers).
White Collar Crime: One mission that Stubbs blackmails Johnny into doing involves him hijacking a prison transport containing some colleagues of Stubbs' who have been caught for their involvement in some manner of corporate fraud and setting them free.
With This Herring: Averted — Johnny can buy some of Terry's gun stock at a significant discount from the start of the game onwards. He can also order bikes for free delivery from Clay.
Further averted in the final mission, when Terry's "discount" increases to free. Time to stock up (after swearing to yourself for having spent money to stock up before triggering the mission).
Yes-Man: Brian is such an ass kisser that even Billy's sick of it.