Debuted in Grand Theft Auto III
So many that there's its own page here.
Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Vercetti's Criminal Organization
The main protagonist and playable character of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. 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.
- Affably Evil: Very affable if you're on his side, but completely ruthless if you are his enemy. Despite being a ruthless murderer, Tommy shows politeness at several times, and has a strong sense of honor.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: He tends to draw the female attention, as seen in The Party where he catches the eye of a maid and Mercedes.
- Ax-Crazy: A very subtle example. We rarely ever see him lose his cool demeanor, and he comes off as a rational individual. However, he has a Hair-Trigger Temper and kills without hesitation. Not for nothing he's nicknamed "The Harwood Butcher".
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He seems to have very good taste in suits, as evidenced in the yacht party. And if the player wishes, he can wear a classy black suit.
- Benevolent Boss: Despite his violent behavior, he's a very friendly boss. For example: he sends Rosie to rehab, the dialogue towards his underlings, and actually bothering to try and calm down Lance when the latter starts threatening him towards the end of the game.
- 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. He forgets all about it afterwards; after completing a mission for Auntie Poulet and returning to her place, he thinks it's the first time he's ever been there and seems to be in a daze.
- Brooklyn Rage: He's from Liberty City (New York City in the GTA Universe), a member of the LC-based Forelli crime family, and one of the most violent protagonists of the GTA series.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Casually refers to himself as a psychotic murderer.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: His ultimate goal in Vice City is to buy the most important businesses in the city. He succeeded.
- 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.
- Diabolical Mastermind: At the end of the game, he's at the top of the criminal empire of Vice City. He's both The Don and a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
- The Don: After having taken all the operations of Vice City, Tommy becomes the absolute kingpin of Vice City. In fact, he's one of the few mob bosses in the entire GTA franchise whose immensely powerful organization oscillates between the legal and the illegal.
- The Dreaded: Tommy makes it clear throughout the game that controlling the streets with fear and violence is the most effective way of making himself known. This is best emphasized in mission "Shakedown" where Tommy personally destroys every store in the mall just to make himself more famous. By the end of the game, Tommy is widely feared among the criminal underworld of Vice City.
- Et Tu, Brute?: His reaction upon learning that Lance betrayed him and Sonny implied that he set Tommy up back in Harwood. He sure goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after this.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He flips out when he finds out Earnest Kelly has been mauled by Sonny's hitmen.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
- According to his dialogues with Earnest Kelly, he appears to have had a good relationship with his father.
- Earnest Kelly as well, since he works in a print shop, just like his father.
- Tommy also seems to respect Colonel Cortez a lot, even though he doesn't share his... odd culinary tastes.
- He shows many characteristics in common with Tony Montana, the drug lord from the film Scarface. The two both end up in exile, both arrive in the city wearing Hawaiian shirts, both rise to power in the city using great amounts of violence (Tony in Miami; Tommy in Vice City), both build an empire from a large estate and mansion, both have short tempers and are prone to violence, both work as contract killers, and both killed their collaborators and took their ex-bosses' empires. The interior of the Vercetti Estate is even modeled after Montana's mansion, save for the lack of an indoor pool. There are, however, key differences, most notably that Tommy did not become addicted to his own narcotics and that Tommy survived the shootout in his mansion, as opposed to Montana who was killed, and Tony Montana is of Cuban descent, whereas Tommy Vercetti is of Italian descent, making him more akin to Montana's original counterpart Tony Camonte in that regard.
- Tommy Vercetti also bears some resemblance to 'Mr. Blonde' from the film Reservoir Dogs. The film sees 'Mr. Blonde' released from prison after loyally doing time for his crime family, as Tommy did after the "Harwood Incident". Tommy later performs contract killings for a 'Mr. Black', whilst he is referred to as 'Mr. Teal' (a reference to the then deceased Leo Teal).
- Genius Bruiser: He is smart enough to manage a considerable number of businesses and is undoubtedly one of the most physically strong characters in the series.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He has an incredibly short temper and usually explodes when he's truly angry.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: His default oufit - many characters comment on its tackiness during the first few missions.
- Hidden Depths:
- Despite being a career criminal, Tommy seemed to have actually wanted some of his businesses, namely the Cherry Popper Ice Cream Company and the Print Works, to be legitimate.
- He also seems to be a surprisingly clean individual, never once seen (willingly) taking any drugs or drinking alcohol.
- 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.
- Honorary True Companion: According to Umberto Robina, Tommy is as good as Cuban, after what he did for his gang.
- It Amused Me: His reasons for giving Sonny the counterfeit cash.Sonny: Tommy, what was the big plan? You think I'd just take the fake cash? Save face and run away with my tail between my legs?!Tommy: No. I just wanted to piss you off before I kill you.
- Jerkass: About half the time, whether he's roughing up Kent Paul out of impatience, insulting Ken throughout the game, or when Lance tells Tommy he'll "handle" a bar that won't pay protection money and Tommy screams at him "YOU CALL THIS 'HANDLING IT'?!" because Lance wasn't doing anything about it right that second. To name just a few examples.
- Karma Houdini: Best seen in "Messing With The Man"; he causes widespread destruction across Vice City, 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. He also gets a happy ending.
- Mommy Issues: It's implied that he has bad relationship with his mother.
- Must Have Caffeine: Played for Laughs in the Cuban missions. Every time Tommy tries to order a coffee at Umberto's cafe, he is somehow interrupted and pulled into another one of Umberto's escapades.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Tommy Vercetti's story is extremely similar to famous real-life mobster Joseph Iannuzzi. In the 1980's Joseph was sent to Florida to be a representative for his mob boss Tommy Argo. Like the relationship between Tommy and Sonny in game, the relationship between Joseph Iannuzzi and Tommy Argo became strained over a large sum of money. When Joseph was forced to flee Florida with a large sum of Argo's money. As a result, Argo ambushed Joseph in Florida and nearly killed him.
- Only Sane Man: At least when you compare him to the other characters not named Cortez or Earnest in the game.
- Pet the Dog: Psychotic moments aside, 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.
- He gets disgusted by Maude's hatred of children.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The "Mr Vercetti" outfit is a grey pinstriped suit with a pink shirt underneath, fitting the theme of 1980's Florida.
- 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. It was also done to keep Tommy, aka 'The Harwood Butcher' away from the general populace of Liberty City, whose recognition of Tommy would likely cause a panic that would be bad for Sonny's business.
- 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 Syndicate: His criminal organization (Vercetti crime family) operates as a powerful organization based in and around Vice 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.
- Tranquil Fury: During the last mission, Tommy keeps a completely calm demeanor, even after getting betrayed by Lance.
- Universal Driver's License: Tommy is the first GTA protagonist who can use vehicles on air, land and sea.
- Unknown Rival: To Ricardo Diaz. Tommy spends half the game first figuring out that he was behind the drug deal sabotage, and then plotting to kill him and take over his empire. Meanwhile, Ricardo Diaz never once suspects that Tommy was involved in the deal and doesn't realize his new hired killer is gunning for him until he'a practically looking down the barrel.
- 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. There are no lines he isn't willing to cross, and isn't that much better as a person than his enemies.
- Added to this is the fact that he doesn't use drugs like Trevor Philips. In other words, he is of sound mind and fully aware of the things he's doing.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: It is implied that one of the reasons Tommy can't swim is that he really hates sharks.
- 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.
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.
- Ambiguously Jewish: "Rosenberg" is a surname heavily associated with Ashkenazi Jews, his hair's dark and curly, and he has a stereotypically Jewish neurotic personality, but there's no confirmation one way or the other.
- 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.
- Blatant Lies: If you listen closely to his background voice that is sometimes heard if Tommy got busted by cops, everything Rosenberg said to defend and free Tommy is Blatant Lies. Listen here.
- 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 Carlito's 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...
- Nervous Wreck: Very paranoid; the majority of his appearances have him worried that someone (usually Sonny Forelli's guys) is coming to kill him. Of course, his worries aren't exactly unfounded.
- Nice Guy: Despite helping Tommy in his criminal empire, he's cordial, non-violent, and one of the most loyal characters of the game.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Easily the most laughable character in the entire game.
- Servile Snarker: Despite ostensibly working for Tommy, Ken is quick to point any objections he has.
- Undying Loyalty: You'd expect the Amoral Attorney to be the first person to turn on you, right? Wrong.
The incredibly childish 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.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Vic definitely regards him as this.
- Asshole Victim: He betrays Tommy, and dies for it.
- Deuteragonist: In Vice City Stories.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The seeds for Lance's eventual betrayal happen because...Tommy yelled at him once after he botched an operation up and then spent the aftermath of said failure drinking rather than trying to fix it.
- The Ditz: Again, in Vice City Stories.
- The Dragon: To Sonny Forelli in the climax of the game.
- 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.
- FaceHeel 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.
- Foil: To Tommy Vercetti — All the way. Both men chose to make a living being mob bosses and drug lords, both are natural leaders, both enjoy many luxuries, and both are very ruthless in running their businesses. However, the big difference is that while Tommy is smart, cunning and values loyalty above all else, Lance is Ditz, childish, and a Smug Snake who's willing to betray his own partners to benefit himself.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Vic's responsible sibling.
- Freudian Excuse: Subverted. It is implied that several things that happened in his life, like Parental Abandonment, the murder of his brother, and his own drug addiction, turned him into a greedy jerkass. However, none of this justifies the fact that he is a parasite that only causes problems towards his friends and family. Victor Vance, himself a drug lord, was a far more decent person than his brother.
- Hate Sink: Easily the most hated character in the entire game, and for very good reasons. He has a tendency to make easy money, is lazy, childish, and a complete parasite for almost everyone around him. He constantly causes trouble for Tommy, but he also whines that Tommy isn't treating him fairly even though Tommy not only saved his life, but carried him throughout all of their criminal endeavors. His subsequent betrayal in the final mission angered so many players that most, if not all, enjoyed killing him.
- He's even much worse in the Vice City Stories. The trouble he makes Vic go through throughout the entire game is astounding.
- Hypocrite: For a guy who doesn't like it when Tommy treats him like crap, Lance doesn't seem to be much better to his own underlings. The Copland mission begins with Lance angrily berating and insulting a guy who screwed up the wiring on a bomb set to go off in the mall.
- Jerkass: Becomes one when he betrays Tommy and even teases him.
- The Lancer: Pun aside, he's supposed to be this for Tommy in Vice City.
- Laughably Evil: You really can't take him seriously, even when he's stabbing you in the back.
- Lethally Stupid: In Vice City Stories, where he puts Vic into a lot of peril, such as stealing Martinez' coke. Vic even lampshades this flaw several times throughout the story.
- Limited Wardrobe: Averted in Vice City Stories, where he wears glasses and a red t-shirt during the first part of the game, before switching to a blue soiree suit after he and Vic become big players in Vice City.
- The Load: Nearly every single one of his appearances in both games involve Tommy or Vic having to bail him out of yet another mess. Carries over into gameplay, too, as he's pretty much completely useless in any missions where he accompanies you, usually turning them into escort missions. Exceptions in the main game are the boat mission where he's either driving the boat or shooting at other boats while you drive and thus in no danger at any time, and the attack on Diaz's place where he's likely to be okay as long you kill the enemies fast enough and keep yourself between them and him. But on other missions (such as "Cop Land") he'll die easily due to him being squishier than Tommy and possibly also because his AI does something stupid.
- Man in White: He's always wearing a slick white suit in Vice City. Being as he's a criminal (who goes so far as to betray Tommy for ultimately petty reasons), the sinister connotations of the trope fit.
- The Millstone: He's the source of most of Vic's (and some of Tommy's) problems.
- Mistaken for Cheating: In Vice City Stories, Vic accuses him and Louise having affair. Turns out they're not - Lance was just giving her a taste of his drugs. This makes Vic even angrier.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: He certainly thinks he's been mistreated by Tommy, and he isn't entirely wrong. The "Bar Brawl" mission starts with Tommy screaming at Lance in front of his mooks for not immediately dealing with a bar that won't pay protection, and the Backhanded Apology Tommy gives in the following conversation doesn't help...Lance: Tommy, we gotta talk about stuff.
Tommy: What's the problem, Lance?
Lance: It's you, my friend. I feel you're not giving me a fair slice. And more than that, you been embarrassing me in front of the boys. I can't have that.
Tommy: Lance, it ain't like that. You've been making mistakes.
Lance: Tommy, I'm not your message boy. I'm not your running boy.
Tommy: Lance, don't screw up and we won't have any problems! I screw up, you can lay into me any time.
Lance: Tommy, I've done everything for you, you treat me like a fool. Don't do that.
Tommy: Lance, I won't rip you off or stab you in the back, okay? Just take it easy. This is tough enough without you getting all emotional on me. Trust me, do you hear me? Do you hear me?
Lance: I hear you Tommy, but I can't take this much more.
Tommy: Lance, don't be like this. Now I'm warning you...Just relax, okay? Take a few days off. I'll talk to you.
- Psychopathic Man Child: Despite being a grown man, he's incredibly immature, is as insecure as a teenager, and is prone to take vengeance on any slight he suffers.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Vice City, he tries to pull one off against Diaz. He fails the first time, but succeeds after teaming up with Tommy, who was on his own Roaring Rampage.
- Rhymes on a Dime: He frequently does this.
- "I'm Lance Vance and I'm here to dance!"
- "Let's find the next lane of pain!"
- Sibling Team: With Vic in Vice City Stories.
- The Starscream: To Tommy at the end of the game, becoming Sonny's Dragon in the process.
- Too Dumb to Live: Just about every time he tries to do things his way inevitably ends up creating even worse problems than what is wanted for both him and his allies. But when you decide to side with the wrong person and betray your former boss out of spite, you're officially just asking to get iced.
- One of the most egregious examples is when he decided to dump Vic's drugs all over Ocean Beach, forcing Vic to collect packages of drugs.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He deludes himself into thinking Tommy owes him some great debt (even saying "I did everything for you"), when in reality he does very little and always expects Tommy to do 95 percent of the work. Under Tommy's wing he rises from a small time crook who is only the shadow of his brother at the beginning of Vice City into a wealthy and powerful lieutenant in Tommmy's organisation. Yet he betrays Tommy because he wanted even more, and because he was shouted at a couple of times (when he wasn't doing his job properly...again).
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 being long since dead, the Forelli Crime Family is one of the 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.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He constantly asserts that he is Tommy's friend, respects him and will treat him fairly. Yet at the same time he manipulates, undermines and betrays him at every possible opportunity.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Can't seem to stop betraying his "friend" Tommy, even when it's completely against common sense. It gets him killed.
- 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.
- Greed: His obsession with getting his money back from Tommy ends up getting him killed.
- 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.
- No Sympathy: Keeps blaming Tommy for their losses in the intro, no matter how much progress he makes at - you know - killing the real culprit and reclaiming everything. Tommy eventually calls Sonny out for this, then decides to just keep everything for himself and invoke Start My Own. And Sonny ultimately being implied to be The Man Behind the Man of this whole mess doesn't help, either.
- Smug Snake: He believes he can really crush Tommy Vercetti's criminal empire. Unfortunately for him, it didn't work.
- Too Dumb to Live: Although Tommy loses the drugs and money at the start of the game, he does still do exactly what Sonny asked and sets up a nice new criminal empire that is worth far more than the assets lost. Tommy actually seems totally open to sharing this business too...except Sonny threatens and belittles him constantly, turning every phone conversation into a screaming rant. This ends up getting him killed when he tries to take it all from Tommy rather than just sharing the business as he originally promised. But hey, he ''did'' technically expand his Family to Vice City...
- Underestimating Badassery: He never gives Tommy any respect despite how capable he is in business and killing. And pays with his life.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Tommy gives Sonny a lifelong friendship, shares a very reliable professional relationship with him in their criminal business and even spends 15 years in jail after getting ambushed on a hit Sonny ordered him on. He still didn't sell out the family. Sonny rewards Tommy for his loyalty and competence by intentionally betraying him after he does what he was told to do, and even reveals that he set him up the first time as well.
- 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.
A self-centered, self-serving drug lord 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.
- Asshole Victim: After ambushing the drug deal in the beginning, he pays with his life big time.
- Ax-Crazy: Mainly due to his cocaine addiction.
- Cool Boat: He prides himself on owning the fastest boat on the east coast, and if he finds out someone has an even faster one, he steals it. Justified in that a lot of his suppliers sell their cargo on a first come, first serve basis from offshore, meaning a faster boat gives him a competitive edge in the drug trade.
- 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. Ironically, he's also like Tony Montana personality-wise in which he falls victim to his addiction of his own cocaine supply and even gets killed during the shootout.
- Fat Bastard: Easily one of the most heavyset characters in the series, and definitely a bastard.
- Faux Affably Evil: He tries to act courteous, but it goes away quickly when he doesn't get his way.
- 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. Ironically, he's huge in terms of width.
- 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!"
- Tantrum Throwing: Every mission he gives in Vice City begins with him smashing something, shooting something, or both, because something hasn't gone his way.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To Victor Vance.
A Retired Colonel who helped arrange the botched drug deal between Tommy and Lance. He becomes one of Tommy's closest contacts in Vice City.
- Affably Evil: Very polite and friendly towards Tommy, who also happens to steal military equipment from the Americans and French, as well as participating in smuggling and drug rings.
- But Now I Must Go: His final mission has him forced out of Vice City by French Intelligence units. He has Tommy cover his yacht all the way up to the open ocean.
- Retired Badass: A retired Latin American Colonel.
- Villainous Friendship: Is one of the few people Tommy genuinely respects and Juan in turns sees him as a valued friend. So much so that Tommy more then willingly comes to his aid when he needs it and, in the final mission, part on amicable terms.
- Wealthy Yacht Owner: He even throws a party on it during one of the first missions of the game.
A wealthy businessman from Texas, and owner of Shady Acres. He becomes one of Tommy's associates via Ken Rosenberg. He's also the mentor of Donald Love.
- Affably Evil: Very professional and friendly towards Tommy, while also practicing ruthless business methods.
- Asshole Victim: Gets killed by Toni (under Donald Love's orders) in Liberty City Stores. However, based on his "business methods" and his rude interactions with Donald in GTA: Vice City, it's safe to say that Avery wasn't a nice guy to begin with.
- Bastard Understudy: A victim of this by former protege Donald Love.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Very much so. He has Tommy do all the dirty work for him, ranging from demolition to collect insurance money to instigating gang wars to lower real estate prices.
- Mob War: Instigates these in order to take advantage of real estate prices going down from one.
- Nice Hat: Wears a ten gallon in all of his appearances.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Killed by Toni on the orders of Donald Love upon setting foot in Liberty City.
Paul is a cocky youth from Kent, England. He works in the music business, but claims to be a criminal mastermind. He is also Vice City's informant.
He returns in San Andreas.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In Vice City. He comes off as a loser who's constantly drinking and fails to attract girls while doing so, but he does manage to give some valuable information and job opportunities to Tommy.
- Butt-Monkey: Is this in Vice City. His interactions with Tommy Vercetti usually end up with Vercetti beating up Paul to extract information.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has become this in his appearance in San Andreas. Paul appears more quiet in San Andreas and shows concern towards Ken 'Rosie' Rosenberg.
- London Gangster: Claims to be one, but has a lack of criminal record to prove this.
- Loveable Rogue
- Motor Mouth: This guy sure likes to talk.
- Noodle Incident: His falling out with Big Mitch Baker.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: To Maccer and also to Rosenberg.
Technically, Victor Vance first appeared in Vice City albeit unnamed. He becomes the main protagonist in Vice City Stories.
- Abusive Parents: Vic's mother, Janet, is a crackhead who neglected him and his siblings, which eventually led to them living with their aunt.
- Accent Relapse: After only two years of working in Central America, Vic speaks with a thick spanish accent in Vice City.
- 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.
- Bald of Awesome: A bald man who can kick a lot of ass.
- In Vice City, he has a bald spot.
- Bald, Black Leader Guy: He's bald, Dominican and the leader of a gang that controls the entire city by the end.
- The Comically Serious: He's so serious it's hilarious.
- In his brief appearance in Vice City, he seems much more jovial, however.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's especially this towards Lance.
- 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.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: To Louise and his younger brother Pete, who he turns to crime to help pay for his medical bills. It's also clear he cares about Lance despite his annoyance at him constantly getting them into more trouble.
- The Fettered
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The level-headed responsible sibling to Lance's coked-up foolish sibling.
- From Camouflage to Criminal: Vic was drummed out of the Army due to trumped up charges by his CO, he has since turned to crime to support himself and his family.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: He's half Dominican, and was targeted by the White Stallionz, a white supremacist biker gang due to this.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: During the deal with Tommy in Vice City, Vic wears a red Hawaiian shirt.
- Hypocrite: He constantly says he wants nothing to do with drugs despite the fact that he builds drug empires.
- It's Personal: After Louise's death, he goes all-out in his pursuit of revenge.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's probably the least villainous protagonist of GTA series.
- Justified Criminal: A first for the series - whereas other protagonists commit crimes because they're good at it, Vic does so because he was forced to by his Commanding Officer, and later because he was kicked out of the Army and needs money for his sick brother.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: His motivation throuhgout the game is earning money for his sick younger brother, Pete. Oh, and also keeping Lance alive. When he feels like it.
- Like Father, Like Son: Vic, like his father, joined the army to support the family.
- Military Brat: According to Vic, their father had few oppurtunities after leaving the Dominican Republic, and had to join the army to support his family.
- Mommy Issues: He and Lance really don't get along with their crackhead mother, Janet. It helps that she didn't even raise them, instead leaving it to their aunt, Enid.
- Previous Player-Character Cameo: Inverted in Vice City, since Vice City Stories was released afterwards.
- Porn Stache: He has a very thin one in Vice City Stories.
- He has a full one in Vice City.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: A lot of comments are made about Vic's height, and he is admittedly a bit shorter than several characters.
- Rags to Riches: After getting kicked out of the army, Vic is virtually broke, and only has a place to stay because he helped Phil Cassidy clear out Phil's old place of gang members.
- At the end of the game, Vic is the leader of a massive criminal empire with countless operations all over Vice City, not to mention some pretty sweet living spaces.
- Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Vic was kicked out of the army after Martinez' drugs were found stashed under Vic's bed, and because he was caught with a hooker Martinez ordered him to hire.
- Sibling Team: With Lance, despite the latter's antics.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Vic obtains a lot of classy suits over the course of the game, all of them are brightly colored pastel suits, naturally.
- Spiteful Spit: To Martinez's corpse in the final mission.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Louise, Phil's younger sister.
- Together in Death: With Louise after she dies towards the end of Vice City Stories and he dies in the beginning of Vice City.
- Universal Driver's License: Averted, since Vic was in the military, and as such got training in aviation, marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat, which explains why he is so good at said things.
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.
- HeelFace Revolving Door
- 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.
Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
So many that there's its own page here.
Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
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.
- Affably Evil: He's very polite and cordial when he's finally confronted by Toni and Salvatore at the end of the game and even tries to evoke Nothing Personal. Salvatore isn't very impressed.
- Big Bad: Of Liberty City Stories.
- The Chessmaster:
- Dragon-in-Chief: To the Sicilian Mafia.
- The Dreaded: It's rumored that he would often kill men with his bare hands when he was younger.
- Gratuitous Italian
- Evil Counterpart: To Toni Cipriani, with his role as an enforcer for Salvatore's uncle being very similar to Toni's own relationship with Salvatore.
- Flat Character: Gets the least amount of appearances and characterization out of every main antagonist in the entire series. He never even interacts with Toni face to face.
- Karmic Death
- Non-Action Big Bad
- The Quiet One: He only has a few lines of dialogue.
Salvatore's right hand man. Clean-cut and educated, everything Toni is not. Unsurprisingly, he and Toni despise each other on sight.
- Foil: Vincenzo is educated and clean-cut, two things Toni definitely is not.
- Why Won't You Die?: Said to Toni after he survives Vincenzo's onslaught of chainsaw-wielding madmen.
- Jerkass: Oh boy. He has sex with a prostitute while on the phone with his own mother, he sends Toni to do grunt work and then tries to have him killed when he catches Salvatore's eye.
The perverted owner of the Sindacco-backed Paulie's Revue Bar, and later ally of Toni and the Leone family.
- Creepy Uncle: He implies that his uncle is a paedophile.
- Dirty Old Man: The first time we see him he is in a greasy gimp suit, and he apparently spends a lot of time with prostitutes.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: He's part-Irish, which prevents him being anything more than an associate to the Sindacco family, which in turn leads him to defect to the Leones.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: JD defects to the Leones, and after helping Toni weaken the Sindaccos, he was murdered on Salvatore's orders, since his defection from the Sindaccos indicated that he could do something similar to the Leones.
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.
Debuted in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- Berserk Button: Don`t call him an asshole.
- Big Bad: Of Vice City Stories.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With the Mendez Brothers.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He competes with Dimitri Rascalov for being one of the most untrustworthy characters in the series.
- Conflict Killer: His turning state's evidence briefly serves as one for the Mendez Brothers and Vic and Lance.
- The Corrupter: Vic starts out as an honest soldier only trying to provide for his family before Martinez drags him into his web of corruption and gets him discharged from the military. Thus, he can be considered responsible for Vic's turn to crime.
- FaceHeel Turn: Of course he was never a Face to begin with.
- Hate Sink: He's easily one of the most despicable antagonists in the entire series being nothing more than a sociopathic, manipulative, backstabbing Jerkass and Smug Snake with no likable qualities whatsoever.
- Hookers and Blow: Despite being a Sergeant in the Army, Martinez does not take his position seriously preferring to spend his time getting involved in drug dealing, soliciting prostitutes and watching Candy Suxx animal porn.
- I Shall Taunt You: After his betrayal he frequently sends mocking and threatening messages to Vic through his pager over the course of the game including one where he brags about beating and raping Vic's girlfriend Louise.
- Jerkass: From his first appearance he's a complete and total douchebag and he only gets worse after he he betrays Vic.
- Manipulative Bastard: Uses Vic's need for money to provide for his family to manipulate him into doing dubious jobs for him and then discards of him once he has no further use for him.
- Revenge by Proxy: Does this when he kidnaps Louise to get to Vic.
- Surrounded by Idiots: During The Mugshot Longshot mission.
- The Sociopath: Despite coming across as a buffoonish clown most of the time, he proves himself to be a remorseless psychopath when he violently beats and rapes Louise and gleefully taunts Vic about it afterwards.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To both Vic and Phil.
Phil Cassidy's younger sister.
- Action Mom: She has a baby daughter.
- Domestic Abuse: suffers psychological abuse from her husband. Poor woman.
- Love Interest: For Vic, after her husband's betrayal and death.
- Mistaken for Cheating: at one point, Vic accused her cheating with Lance. She's not, but she's consuming Lance's drugs at the time.
- Pink Means Feminine: Her exercise outfit is part pink, and her fur jacket is all pink.
- Pretty in Mink: Wears a fur jacket in the later half of the game.
- Rape as Drama: Martinez rapes and nearly kills her as his first revenge for Vic and Lance crossing him.
- Star-Crossed Lovers
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Her fate before the end of Vice City Stories.
- Widow Woman: After her husband's death.
- Ax-Crazy: Armando Mendez before his death. He brutally killed Louise, and tried to burn Vic to death with a flamethrower while shouting comments like: "I want his head!"
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Jerry Martinez.
- Bullying a Dragon: They really should not have kidnapped and murdered Louise. It ends with Vic killing both of them and wiping out their entire empire.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Diego's entire dialogue is made up of this.
- Jerkass: Both of them but especially Armando.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Sibling Team
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: They pull this on Vic and Lance by trying to force them to hand over all their businesses and leave town, and trying to have them killed when they refuse. Lance even lampshades this.
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.
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
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 after 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.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Averted. Huang had to Mercy Kill any Tragic Villain he had befriended with, before Kenny is revealed to be the mastermind of the whole events. He doesn't feel that good with his Triad lifestyles.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: As the game progresses, he wears these more and more often.
- Limited Wardrobe: Due to the game's point of view, different clothing options would be pointless.
- 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.
- Perpetual Frowner
- The Triads and the Tongs: Most missions revolve around this, and Huang is stated multiple times to be a Triad.
- You Killed My Father: His initial reason for flying to Liberty City.
Huang's uncle, and the leader of Lee Family.
- Affably Evil: He appears to be a caring uncle, trying to teach Huang about the Triads' values. However at the end...
- Big Bad: Reveals to be this in Chinatown Wars.
- Cain and Abel: To his brother who's Huang's father.
- Evil All Along: Even though no one is purely good, Kenny is this as he lied to Huang all along.
- Evil Uncle
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: At first, his attitude towards Huang appears to be stern but caring. Then it's revealed that he orchestrated the death of Huang's father so he could replace Hsin Jaoming as head of the Liberty City Triads.
- Meaningful Name: Wu Lee is a Chinese homophone of "the fox". This illustrates his true nature.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: Insults his own dead brother for reasons.
- Treacherous Advisor: Kenny is revealed to be this at the end, as he commanded Huang to kill Hsin's two sons Chan and Zhou who showed up in FIB databases.
- Villainous Breakdown: In the final mission "Salt in the Wound", he suffers from this when Huang and Wade Heston found out he's behind the events of the game. He attempted to escape from them and attack Hsin, only to be killed by Huang.
The eldery head of Jaoming Family and the leader of Liberty City Triads.
- Affably Evil: Similar to Kenny, though more a Drill Sergeant Nasty method if applicable.
- Big Bad: Subverted. Despite being the leader of the Triads he's nothing more than Unwitting Pawn for Kenny.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Downplayed. Hsin doesn't want to speak in super-harsh manners, unless Huang gets things messed up. His dialogue even shows the traits of this trope.
- Evil Old Folks: He's over 70s and he's still working as the Triad leader.
- Offing the Offspring: Ordered Huang to kill his own son after being shown an FIB report of him and Zhao. Turns out it's Kenny's doing.
- Taking the Bullet: Stabbed by Kenny using his Yu Jian before Huang kills him. Hsin didn't die however.
Hsin Jaomin's hedonistic, scatterbrained son.
- Addled Addict: He's almost always strung out on some illegal substance.
- Co-Dragons: With Zhou Ming.
- Creepy Crossdresser: More than once, the player catches him in women's clothing.
- Fall Guy: Kenny presents evidence than Chan is a snitch for the FIB and has Huang kill him, but it later turns out that Kenny was the real snitch.
- Fat Bastard
- Fat and Skinny: Fat to Zhou Ming's Skinny.
- Also, Fat to Huang Lee's skinny.
- Inadequate Inheritor: The reason why Hsin is looking for a successor is because Chan is too stupid for the job.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He's in his 40s, but acts like an irresponsible teenager. His jerkassery would even make Lance Vance more sympathetic.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Huang's snarking always ends up going over his head.
- Tragic Villain: He is by no means a sympathetic person, but he's falsely accused of being a snitch, which leads to his ignominious death, at his own father's orders no less.
Hsin's egoistically dismissive, Ax-Crazy lieutenant.
- Affably Evil: He's as much as loyal to his Triad allies, despite his arrogant and psychotic behavior.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Zhou is an arrogant and selfish guy, even if he's loyal to his gang.
- Ax-Crazy: Oh shit. He took out Uri's heart with his dagger, but given Uri being an Asshole Victim...
- Co-Dragons: With Chan.
- Expy: Of Ray Boccino from previous game. Except Zhou has Pet the Dog moments with Huang, whereas Boccino does not.
- Fat and Skinny: He is skinny to Chan's fat.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: His debut mission is named "Stealing the Show" where he asks Huang to work for him, considering Chan being Too Dumb to Live.
- Tragic Villain: Like Chan, he's a jerkass to begin with, but is falsely accused of betraying the gang, leading to him being Mercy Killed by Huang. However, Kenny being the true mastermind behind these events revealed Zhou to be more of this trope.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Huang prior to his FIB accusations.
An undercover LCPD Detective, becomes a friend and an ally of Huang Lee.
- Dirty Cop: Being monitored by IAD for the corruption allegations, but he's quite not this trope.
- Deuteragonist: Of Chinatown Wars.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He might be a Bad Liar and a Dirty Cop who's nasty about everything, but he's a man of his word when it comes to assisting Huang.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Wade Heston is quite this for Huang despite being a Bad Liar. Overlaps with Big Damn Heroes at the end where he finds out Kenny has killed Huang's father.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Huang, who he considers the Token Good Teammate of the Liberty City Triads.Wade Heston: Hell, you might as well take in everyone in this place... except Huang. He's a good kid, for a rich snot.
A private investigator that Hsin Jaoming hired to discover if an FIB informant is connected to the Angels of Death.
- All for Nothing: There is no FIB informant within the AOD.
- Badass Biker: Nope. He's terrible with a motorcycle.
- Elvis Impersonator: The LCPD's record on him claims that he's "known to frequent Burger Shot restaurants and dress in a 'King of Rock' costume". He also sports a purple version of said costume in his promotional artwork.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: In relation to the Badass Biker subversion, he had Huang impersonate him to be inducted into the Angels of Death, despite the weight and appearance differences.
- Fat Bastard: Downplayed with the "bastard" aspect, as he's infiltrating the AOD in search for an FIB informant on behalf of the Triads and is fairly amiable, but he's not lacking in the "fat" department.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lester's fairly snappy, but he thanks Huang for his help and tells him that he can call him should he need assistance in the near future. He's easily the most amiable person Huang meets throughout the game.
- Kavorka Man: He somehow manages to hook-up with Meredith, the girlfriend of the AOD's leader.
A mobster who contacts Huang Lee claiming to know who's the rat that's giving the Triads trouble.
- Creepy Crossdresser: He's often seen outside a women's clothing store and is seen wearing women's clothing in his last appearance.
- Freudian Excuse: The LCPD record on him notes that he "hates the Triads after his father was killed in a fish factory explosion", which was suspected to have been the Triads' doing.
- The Mafia: As to what crime family he belongs to, however, is unknown.
- Manipulative Bastard: He took advantage of Huang's desperation in finding the snitch for his own gain. Hsin had him killed for his deceit.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He uses some rather racist dialogue when speaking to Huang and outright calls him a gook behind his back.
- Red Herring: He was feeding Huang bad intel. Rudy lied about Jimmy Capra being the snitch.
Debuted in Grand Theft Auto V
So many that there's its own page here.