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Video Game / Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

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The first of the two "Stories" games in the Grand Theft Auto series, which were both made for the PlayStation Portable and later ported to PlayStation 2. The story takes place in 1998, a few years before the events of III, and follows a younger, slimmer Toni Cipriani's rise to power in the Leone crime family. And it's not easy. Things get messy, with uncooperative mayors and families from the Old Country wanting in on the action.

Tropes of this game:

  • Accidental Misnaming: As Salvatore warms to Toni, he starts calling him "Anthony" out of endearment. He never does get it right.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Sindaccos and the Forellis are this to the Leone Crime Family.
  • Actionized Sequel: it's actually an Actionized prequel to GTA 3 but you get the idea, and there's also more highlights as well.
  • Affably Evil: Massimo Torini and Salvatore's uncle. "It was nothing personal."
  • All Elections Are Serious Business: The Mafia-rigged mayoral race.
  • Attack of the Political Ad: O'Donovan supports compulsory buggery, hates America, and will sell your childrens' organs.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Much like the Columbian Cartel in III, the rival mobs are always hostile and will shoot at you.
  • Ax-Crazy: Salvatore Leone grows steadily more paranoid as the events of the game progress.
    • Toni himself is this in "Dead Meat". Literally, with a meat axe.
  • Back for the Dead: Avery Carrington is killed in a late-game mission.
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  • Bad Habits: The end of the Church missions, where you find out that the "priest" you spoke to is actually a reporter for the local newspaper that desperately wanted stories to cover.
  • Battle in the Rain: A thunderstorm rolls in during the final lighthouse shootout.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Donald Love has one after losing both the election and his empire.
  • Big Bad: Massimo Torini, the enforcer for the Sicilian Mafia who are manipulating the three families to destroy each other so they can take over Liberty City for themselves.
  • Black Comedy: Almost every scene with Donald Love has this, veering into Crosses the Line Twice territory.
    Donald Love: (while eating human flesh) “My god this is good. It tastes just like chicken but somehow more... sentient.”
  • Blatant Lies: Mayor Donovan promises the ferries will continue running in the future.
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  • Bloodier and Gorier: it's bloodier, gorier, and a lot more brutally violent than GTA 3.
  • Broken Bridge: At the start of the game, the bridge to Staunton Island is still under construction (and remains so for the entire game — eventually, enough of the bridge is completed for you to drive across it), the drawbridge to Shoreside Vale is stuck in the "up" position (as it was in III), and the ferry between the three islands is closed due to a strike.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Much like its chronological successor, this game runs on it.
  • The Cartel: The Colombian Cartel makes an appearance here, doing business with both the Leones and later Avery Carrington.
  • Call-Forward: Salvatore's safehouse is the future site of the Triad Fish market. The Triads clear the land by detonating the existing building.
    • Toni helps the Yakuza gain control of the casino, which is still mob-owned in this game.
    • Ray Machowski is still an honest cop at this point, for which his partner Leon gives him no small amount of grief.
    • Mayor Donovan assures us on the radio that his tunnel project won't put the ferry out of work.
    • Donald Love 'acquires' Fort Staunton by blowing the existing neighborhood to bits.
    • In Phil Cassidy's cameo, he says that he does so much business by the ferry terminal that he should set up there permanently.
    • The mobile version uses textures from Grand Theft Auto IV and as a result adds more, such as the new Liberty City Police Department logo.
  • Cement Shoes
  • Chainsaw Good: Taken even Up to Eleven when Toni gets ambushed by an army of chainsaw-wielding psychos sent in by Vincenzo, hence the Shout-Out mission name of "The Portland Chainsaw Masquerade".
  • Clark Kenting: "Lionel", the lawyer who visits Salvatore in prison. (AKA Toni wearing glasses).
  • Confessional: Toni visits one of these during The Church missions. The priest is actually a corrupt reporter who manipulates Toni into committing several atrocities that he can create news headlines for.
  • The Comically Serious: Much of the humor in this game comes from Toni's understated reactions to the absurdity that goes on around him.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Salvatore Leone. It seems that the only person he doesn't distrust is Toni, and even then, he holds him at gunpoint once. Given that the last guy he trusted betrayed him, robbed his casino and killed a dozen of his security guards on the way out...
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Both Toni Cipriani and the Leone Crime Family. Their main role in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a huge contrast to the Grove Street Families from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Unlike them, they have no problem with things such as drug trafficking, torture and supporting sociopaths like Donald Love.
  • Crapsack World: Liberty City is once again set with this in mind. See below Evil vs. Evil.
  • Darker and Edgier: Storyline wise compared to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas anyway. Almost every character in the game, including Toni himself, is a completely unsympathetic Jerkass and sociopath and the city is an even bigger Crapsack World than it was in III. Though the game does balance this by having tons of Black Comedy and generally being far more Denser and Wackier.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Toni has his moments.
  • Denser and Wackier: And how. Rockstar, what have you done with Donald Love? And who is this David Cross soundalike who eats human torsos on a silver platter?
    "Humphries! Bring out the offal!"
  • Distressed Dude: Salvatore lands in more than his fair share of trouble, resulting in Toni constantly having to bail him out.
  • The Don: Salvatore Leone, once again, assumes this role. Besides him, there is also Paulie Sindacco and the unseen Franco Forelli.
  • Driven to Suicide: Toshiko at the end of her final mission, after killing her husband for her.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: For someone who was such a major character in Vice City Avery’s death is extremely abrupt. He doesn’t even have any dialogue when you confront and kill him.
  • Dummied Out: Helicopters are normally inaccessible to the player in this game, though NPCs use them in certain missions. In a couple of these missions, through certain exploits, you can steal one of these helicopters, which reveals that their controls have been fully implemented (as opposed to the helicopters from III, which couldn't be controlled by the player through any means without modding). The lack of rooftops on several buildings and extremely low height ceiling,note  however, make it highly unlikely that player-controlled helicopters were intended to be in the game.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Toni himself, when wearing the "King" outfit that you win by completing the final mission. Although he doesn't imitate Elvis Presley as much as just dress like him.
    • Paulie Sindacco, one of Toni's more prominent enemies, is definitely this trope. You can even visit his tombstone after his death, which have the words “Viva Las Venturas, Baby” engraved on it.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In case you have doubts, everybody (protagonists, antagonists or minors) is either a villain, jerk or sociopath. Toni is a ruthless and somewhat insane mobster who does not hesitate to commit atrocities for their own benefit or to satisfy their bosses or even earn his Ma's respect, Salvatore is extremely vindictive and shows traits of paranoia and narcissism, and Donald is a corrupt cannibal.
  • Fat Bastard: J.D O'Toole, the perverted and creepy owner of the Sindacco-backed Paulie's Revue Bar, who is implied to have previously spent time in jail for statutory rape charges.
  • Flanderization: Maria is really shrill and ditzy here.
    • Salvatore is a lot more paranoid here, to the point of waving a gun in Toni's face which can probably ascribed to Carl Johnson's betrayal years prior and the intense gang war in the city.
    • Donald Love is a lot more depraved here. His taste for human flesh was hinted at before, but here we actually see what he's eating.
  • Futureshadowing: This game runs on it. Perhaps most significantly, Salvatore's uncle mutters under his breath, "Every dog has day...", suggesting that the Leones' days are numbered. This indeed happens when Salvatore is later killed by Claude.
  • Gayngster: Kazuki Kasen, to hear his wife tell it.
  • Glitch Entity: Helicopters can be flown in LCS, they just aren't lying around. Through exhaustive effort, you can hijack one in midair during the "False Idols" mission. It can even be crammed into a garage.
  • Greaser Delinquents: The Sindacco Family, and also Dan Sucho from the mission "Greased Sucho"
  • Guide Dang It!: Like most other GTA games, many of the side quests, hidden package pickups, etc. are not immediately apparent.
  • He Knows Too Much: Ned Burner's ultimate fate.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Donald Love wastes his massive fortune on the mayoral campaign, which ends up backfiring on him. When we meet him again he is sleeping in a bug-infested flophouse.
    • The Forellis have gone from the most powerful mafia family in Liberty City to minor crooks, especially after the destruction of Fort Staunton, the only neighborhood still owned by the family.
    • The Sindacco Family is about as big as the Leone family at the start of the game, despite the death of Johnny Sindacco in San Andreas, and they, together with the Forellis almost took over Liberty City. By the end of the game, Paulie Sindacco is dead, the gang has lost all their influence, and Sindacco gang members don't even spawn anymore.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Clarification is given of what goes on at Donald Love's 'morgue parties'. See what we mean by weird?
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Toni can't climb, and often needs a car to give him a boost. Considering that the last GTA game averted this, it's rather annoying. Especially since many of the hidden packages are in high places, requiring you to get creative with vehicles to get them. One of them requires blowing up an entire section of the city.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Ned Burner the star reporter of Liberty Tree who impersonates a priest to trick Toni into causing chaos around the city that he can report on. He is later killed by Toni after witnessing the murder of Avery Carrington by him and Donald Love
  • Jerkass: Nearly everybody, including Toni himself sometimes, but especially his own mother, who constantly berates Toni for not being man enough or living up to his late father's reputation no matter what Toni does. This reaches its zenith when she calls a hit out on Toni, though eventually she calls it off once Toni gets made. And for other examples, J.D. O' Toole, Vincenzo Cilli and Paulie Sindacco.
  • Karma Houdini: Toni Cipriani, oh boy. Near end of game Toni blows up Fort Staunton to help with Love's land-grab, leading to the deaths of countless innocents. Most of the blame was put on the Forrelis for storing illegal weapons underground.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Don't look at Toni, he's just "in the restaurant business."
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: Ned Burner manipulates Toni into committing several high-profile heists and murders all in the name of 'exclusive' reports.
  • Lighthouse Point: The final battle takes place here. There's also a hidden package set on the island where the lighthouse is.
  • Mafia Princess: Maria, smack right in the middle of it.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Massimo Torini.
  • Mayor Pain: R.C. Hole.
  • Mid-Life Crisis Car: At one point, Salvatore Leone shows off a "fully loaded, top of the line" sports car to Toni. Maria, riding shotgun, humorously responds by claiming to "smell" Salvatore's mid-life crisis. The car is later found wrecked not far from where Salvatore showed it off.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: While the controls are different from those of GTA III (similar to San Andreas), Liberty City is largely unchanged.
  • Mob War: A three way version between the Leones, the Sindaccos and the Forellis that is being manipulated by their Sicilian precursors. Several other gangs such as the Diablos, the Triads and the Yakuza eventually manage to get involved as well. Your goal is to help the Leones crush their enemies and reign triumph over the city, which they eventually do by the end of the game.
  • Momma's Boy: Toni, and he's constantly trying to get her approval.
  • No Fair Cheating: With this and Vice City Stories, using any cheats will dock you 1,000 points on your criminal record.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently the FBI searched J.D's hard drive for something...
  • The '90s: The game is set in 1998, and while the late 90's atmosphere isn't as blatant as Vice City's take on the 80's, there are a lot of shout outs to the late 90's such as CD's, Y2K, and the early days of the Internet.
  • Nothing Personal: Massimo Torini's last line. Salvatore disagrees.
  • The Old Country: The Sicilian mafia.
  • Outrun the Fireball: After detonating the bombs underneath Fort Staunton, Toni's van speeds out of an exploding subway entrance.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Toni and Toshiko uses the Forelli family's views regarding mixed-race interactions to stage an ambush.
    • The primary reason J.D defected to the Leones was the Sindacco family's refusal to have him made due to his mixed Irish-Italian heritage.
  • Playing Both Sides: It's made clear early on that Massimo Torini is uniting the city's small-time gangs against the Leones.
  • Prequel: This takes place three years before Grand Theft Auto III.
  • Rags to Riches: Donald's (albeit temporary) fate after going bankrupt.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The mission "Hot Wheels" has Toni, having just evaded a police trap that Vincenzo conveniently forgot to tell him about, hit Vincenzo with a small but effective one of these while the latter rants about how, since he set Toni up with a safehouse and all that, he oughta be "grateful" to the stuck-up prick. Said speech also has a dash of Badass Boast about it.
    Toni: Oh yeah, I understand, Vinnie! I understand that as long as I work for you, I'm gonna get treated like a bitch! Well, I was taking scores while you were still looking up girls' skirts! Have your bitch job back, boss! I quit!
  • Recycled In Space: The mission "Karmageddon" (the one given by Ned Burner, not the side-mission you can do after that) is similar with Vice City's "Messing with the Man", except WITH A FIRETRUCK! Yeah, your main objective is to cause mayhem around the city and fulfill the "rating" meter by committing as many crimes as possible while behind the wheel of a firetruck, driving crazy enough to complete the mission. Both are also done for petty reasons: while "Messing with the Man" is done For the Evulz, "Karmageddon" is done for Going for the Big Scoop.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: J.D. is killed by Mickey under orders of Salvatore after being tricked into thinking he was to be made, as he was considered untrustworthy for turning on the Sindacco family for the Leone’s.
  • She Who Must Not Be Seen: Ma Capriani.
  • Sleazy Politician: They don't call him R.C. Hole because he's a great communicator.
    • Miles O'Donovan, the new mayor is a puppet of the Forellis and is apparently no stranger to scandals.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Avery Carrington, poor old guy.
  • Suicide Is Painless: Toshiko Kasen.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Back in Liberty and the water is still about as good for you as a heart attack.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Early on Vincenzo asks why he's surrounded by idiots. Toni says "I don't know. Birds of a feather?" Naturally, Cilli is not amused.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Toni being tricked into creating news stories for Ned Burner to 'scoop'.
  • Vigilante Man: Aside from the normal Police Vigilante missions there are also several “Avenging Angels” missions that you can start by wearing the Avenging Angels outfit and interacting with any member of the gang that wanders around the city.
  • Villain Protagonist: Toni and Salvatore serves as this role.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The game provides you with a katana during the final duel with Kazuki, but you can use the quicker and more effective method of just shooting him and the mooks.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Luigi Goterelli, the Leone pimp is nowhere to be seen this time around.
    • Salvatore's son Joey is barely mentioned, although it appears that he already owns the auto shop.


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