Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Go To
It's all down south, now.
"Sonny, you have my personal assurance that I'm gonna get you your money back, and the drugs, and I'm gonna mail you the dicks of those responsible."
Tommy Vercetti

A year after Grand Theft Auto III tore up the gaming world, Rockstar Games topped it with the next title in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Unlike its predecessor, Vice City features a full-fledged protagonist in "The Harwood Butcher" Tommy Vercetti, who has just finished spending fifteen years in jail for killing eleven people during a job to assassinate one man in the neighborhood of Harwood. The Forelli mob family knows Tommy will cause more trouble if they allow him to roam Liberty City unchecked, so they send him down to Florida's Vice City to keep him out of the way — and to help the family get into the new "businesses" growing there.

Things don't go well on Tommy's first job, though: one of Vice City's mob bosses betrays him, he loses all of his money (and the cocaine he intended to purchase with it), and Sonny Forelli starts breathing down his neck for the failure. Tommy decides to get even with everyone who set him up — and sets out to carve a criminal empire for himself in the process.

Since Vice City takes place in 1986, Rockstar did its best to capture the look and feel of that time — or, at least, how it looked in Miami Vice. It helps that the game had a killer '80s soundtrack to go with it.

The game was originally released on October 27th, 2002 for the PlayStation 2, and on PC and Xbox the following year. It then got released on mobile devices on December 12th, 2012 as part of its 10th anniversary. On October 8th, 2021, It was announced that Vice City would see a Compilation Rerelease alongside Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch as part of the 20th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III, with a version for mobile devices planned for the first half of 2022.

See also Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories a prequel set before this game.

VERCETTI! Remember the trope!

  • 100% Completion: It gets you +100 on your armor and health, a new shirt, cash, and unlimited ammo.
  • Abandon Ship: The ability to bail out of a moving vehicle is introduced here. Especially useful when heading into a crowd of enemies, nearing a body of water, or escaping from a burning car.
  • Aborted Arc: The mission "The Party" establishes Colonel Cortez' daughter Mercedes as a love interest for protagonist Tommy Vercetti. It never progresses beyond this point.
  • Abusive Parents: In one of the VCPR shows:
    Jan: I mean, what I heard my son Patrick the 3rd... I heard him using slang words in the house the other day. "Rad" and "cool" and "stick it"... I mean, I beat him to within an inch of his life, and he will never make that mistake again!
  • All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: Big Mitch Baker and his gang, whose trust you have to earn in order to employ him and his gang as security at a Love Fist concert.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Counterfeiting Syndicate, surprisingly enough. There's also a cheat code which gives the player his own bikini clad, M4 packing amazon brigade in place of his regular goons.
  • Ambulance Chaser: Rosenberg qualifies, and is described as such by Kent Paul. He's shown not to be a particularly good lawyer or mobster. Yet he remains loyal to you and is still alive at the end of the game. Getting busted at any point during the game nets you a randomised soundbite of Rosenberg defending Tommy against the police. The instructions booklet even tells you that befriending a lawyer when in Vice City is a most wise course of action.
  • Anachronism Stew: Several cases of this happen in Vice City.
    • The M16 from III was replaced by the M4 in this game. The problem? The M4 wasn't first issued until 1994, eight years after this game takes place.
      • Subsequent releases of the game have the M4 replaced with a carbine resembling the period-accurate Colt Model 733, which was released one year before the events of the game take place. The M4 model still appears in certain cutscenes, however.
    • The song "A Gozar con Mi Combo" on Espantoso was released in 1994, again eight years after this game's events.
    • The game parodies Steve Irwin with K-Chat guest Pat "Dr. Zoo" Flannerdy, which plays with this trope since Irwin wasn't famous in 1986. It also dates the game to the early 2000s.
    • In his K-Chat interview, B. J. Smith quotes the line "Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years!" from LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out", which didn't come out until 1990.
    • The Definitive Edition adds more:
      • An OG Loc record in Vinyl Countdown, even though his music career wouldn't start until the events of San Andreas.
      • It changes Fort Baxter to be controlled by NOOSE, which is based on the Department of Homeland Security that was founded in 2002 and is part of Grand Theft Auto IV's satire on post-9/11 terrorism paranoia.
      • A poster for "The Cry Babies", a parody of the Insane Clown Posse, can be found. The Insane Clown Posse was formed in 1989.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: You get outfits as a reward for numerous missions. That and money, but the money usually isn't very good. Beating the game also gets you an outfit, in addition to several other benefits.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Beginning with this game, saving at a safe house will fully restore your health.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the "Pressing Issues" episode on morality:
    Pastor Richards: Every time a culture has taken on the doctrine of helping your fellow man, we get thrown into the dark ages. Look at Russia! They keep trying to help each other out; extend a hand to a neighbor. And guess what? Every ten years, someone's invading, burning down their homes, and taken their toilet paper.
    • Richards also complains about, "liberals, degenerates, The Welsh."
  • Attentive Shade Lowering: Sonny Forelli lowers his glasses on the cover.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The machete may look like a great weapon to carry, but once you have access to the katana, machetes are harder to justify due the katana still allowing the use of sprinting and still being quite deadly.
    • The Chainsaw is a downplayed example. If you're in a heavy fire fight, normally you may want something with range and power like the M60 or (if aiming it with keyboard and mouse) the Minigun because they can match the chainsaw's power at longer range and the Minigun has an absurd rate of fire. However, if you find a suitable vantage point where you can force enemies into melee, chances are, they'll wander right into your blade thanks to Artificial Stupidity, letting you have some fun with your chainsaw.
    • The Sawed-Off Shotgun seems like it could be quite potent and it may be in certain situations, but its range is shorternote  than the SPAS-12 and the spread is so wide that it is tricky to find the perfect situation to use it. It deals the most damage per shell, but the SPAS-12 tends to be better all-around due to its 7-shot-magazine and fast-for-shotguns automatic fire. The SPAS-12 has some hints of this as well, due to its rather odd set of animations that allow you to empty shells at a quick rate but then are immobilized for a full second from an odd sort of pumping animation before Tommy will get back to moving or shooting.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Tommy, not for nothing he was named "The Harwood Butcher".
    • Diaz even more so, thanks in part to being addicted to the very cocaine he supplies Vice City with.
    • The maniac who wants Love Fist dead.
  • Backhanded Apology: Tommy gives one of these to Lance on the phone following "Bar Brawl".
  • Bait-and-Switch: After the main storyline ends, Tommy gets a call from Colonel Cortez. Cortez has been hearing rumors about his daughter Mercedes that have him very distressed. Tommy, who let her star in an adult film he was backing and basically pimped her to a rock band, becomes increasingly nervous. Cortez asks him to tell him that it isn't true—that Mercedes isn't going to become a lawyer. Tommy laughs, and assures Cortez that there's no chance of that happening.
  • Bank Robbery: The focus of the Malibu Club missions is to recruit a safecracker, marksman, and getaway driver, who are each a little... eccentric, in order to pull a heist on a local bank. Of course, save for the safecracker (who overrides the time lock so the manager can unlock the safe), they contribute jack squat to the actual heist.
  • Big Bad: Sonny Forelli is the main antagonist of this game. You first find out after he's pissed about you gaining businesses in Vice City and sends "tax collectors" to take a slice.
  • Big Fancy House: Most of the high-end estates but Ricardo Diaz's mansion takes the cake. After you kill him, it becomes Vercetti Estate and serves as your safehouse.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: On the radio, the word "pissing" in Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's The Message is censored, but the word "fuck" in Romeo Void's Never Say Never is not. In addition, the f-word can be read on the posters in Phil Cassidy's trailer.
  • Blood Knight: Tommy Vercetti. Who else?
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Armor adds an extension to the player's Life Meter.
  • Bowdlerization:
    • Later copies of the game remove dialogue that refers to the Haitian and Cuban gangs by their nationalities, after complaints by some Haitian groups.
    • The Japanese versions (edited by Rockstar themselves) heavily tones down the violence involving decapitation and bodies don't bleed out when you use a rocket launcher. Several scenes removes Ken's drug use, so when you see any scenes where he would use it, it would cut that scene to Tommy entering the room. Similarly, every nudity scene is completely cut - the photos in the mansion are changed to kittens and flowers.
    • The Definitive Edition replaces the Confederate flag emblem on Phil Cassidy's tank top with a generic skull. A poster of the Confederate flag in Cassidy's trailer is replaced with a US flag.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tommy was successfully initiated to the Cuban gang after passing the speedboat test. Soon after, Auntie Poulet, a matriarch of the Haitian gang (which is at war with the Cubans), manages to get a hold of him through the phone, and has him perform hits on the Cubans against his will after calling him and later when he's visiting Auntie's house, offering him a "cup of tea" which makes him obey her commands.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Happens to Ken in the beginning of "Jury Duty" after Tommy scares him out of his sleep by slamming the door loud enough:
    Ken: Aaah! Oh, for God's sake, it's you! Oh Jeez - I'm gonna need new pants!
  • Broken Bridge: The bridges are closed at the beginning of the game due to a hurricane warning.
  • But I Digress: In the "Pressing Issues" episode on morality:
    Pastor Richards: Well, let me say that money could have gone to much better things, like reserving a place by my side in the Pastor Richards Salvation Statue, but I digress and plug.
  • The Cameo: Donald Love, the media-kingpin from III appears in Vice City as a toadying businessman for Texas real estate baron Avery Carrington. He has no actual speaking lines. As a Call-Forward, Avery uses several lines that Love uses in III, showing where Love picked them up.
  • The Cartel: Ricardo Diaz's organization until Tommy and Lance take him down for good.
  • Chainsaw Good: Debuts in this game. It can be used as an effective way to mow down pedestrians in seconds (and squirts blood on the screen).
  • Chekhov's Army: The party on Cortez's yacht serves to introduce a plethora of minor characters, all of whom play bigger roles later down the line (with the exception of Pastor Richards).
  • Child Hater: The owner of the ice cream factory. Which is funny, considering the lack of children in any GTA game.
  • Constructive Body Disposal: Promotional work for the game implies this about Ricardo Diaz, saying he's contributed to foundations across the city.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: The maniac that wanted to kill Love Fist appears "disguised" as one of the band's groupies in the mission "The Psycho", the fact that he has a very deep voice doesn't help.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Nothing brings down real estate like an old fashioned gang war. —Are you getting this down, Donald?
    • In Grand Theft Auto III, Lazlow, host of Chatterbox, mentions he got kicked off the rock station. Guess what he's doing in this game?
  • Cool Bike: The first entry in GTA series to feature drivable motorbikes such as scooters, dirt bike, choppers and sports bike.
  • Cool Car: Naturally, but special mention goes to the fact that Lance always arrives in a white sports car.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The Malibu, the most expensive property on the map.
  • Cool Plane: Also the first to feature accessible helicopters, or indeed, any useful air transport, not counting the barely-airworthy and aptly-named Dodo in Grand Theft Auto III.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Vice City seems to be a nice, clean place on the surface, with bright colors and summer in full swing, but it's still a city filled with criminals, mobsters, drug lords and gang-bangers. Its story takes the basic plot of Scarface (1983) and uses it for a satire of '80s neoliberalism, Tommy Vercetti's pursuit of wealth through drug trafficking portrayed as no different from those yuppie businessmen making their money through more "legitimate" means.
  • Cult Soundtrack: The soundtrack, comprised of Nothing but Hits from some of the most iconic popular musicians of The '80s, is one of the most memorable things about a game that was itself legendary. Rockstar realized this even before the game came out, and released a seven-CD box set of the soundtrack alongside the game.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: When you first use an RC helicopter, with default PC controls. Normally, WASD controls movement in relation to the ground. The helicopter instead has W and S control height, with Numpads 9 and 6 controlling forward and backwards movement — ground movement is therefore split across the keyboard. This can be rebound if desired.
  • Deadly Remote Control Toy: There are two missions where Tommy uses a remote control toy aircraft to cause destruction. One has him using a helicopter to plant explosives in a building under construction while the other has him using a biplane to gun down gang members.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Tommy, who sometimes has a few things to say about his employers, and lets the player in on his thoughts.
    • Also Maurice Chavez, host of the "Pressing Issues" show on VCPR, given that he's the Only Sane Man, relatively speaking, compared to all the guests on his show.
  • Deliberately Non-Lethal Attack: The player can get money by subduing fleeing criminals: Tommy must not use any weapons to do so. A.k.a, Good Old Fisticuffs only.
  • Demoted to Extra: During the mission "The Party", all the characters that Mercedes introduce to Tommy will either give him missions and/or have a role in the plot later, the only exception is Pastor Richards, who is never seen again. It is implied that he would have been more prominent in the storyline, but David Green (his voice actor) allegedly passed away during the game's production. He does have a memorable role on VCPR however.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Ricardo Diaz, after he reveals to Lance that he was responsible for the death of Lance's brother, Victor, during the botched transaction in the intro. The game doesn't end with Diaz's death; it means the first half of Vice City is complete.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The mission called "Sir, Yes Sir" makes it very easy to acquire a Rhino before they can even start appearing on the Wanted Meter or via collecting Hidden Packages, given how useful they are at this point. Just take the tank over to a garage and fail the mission, then the tank will be repaired.
    • The Python is an endgame-viable weapon that can kill just about everything in one hit. It will spawn in Tommy's main hideouts just by collecting 30 hidden packages, which can be done before even completing the first mission.
    • A risky but decent way to make money early on is robbing stores in the North Point Mall. The player needs to have the property northeast of the mall, which only costs $3,000. Then they have to knock off four stores in the mall: an unnamed jewelry store, Vinyl Countdown, Tooled Up and Gash. Successfully robbing a store nets $1,000. They can make up to $4,000 in total, at the cost of a 3-star wanted level. Save, reload the file and the player can do this as many times as they wish. There's even a body armor not far from the safehouse, so if you take a lot of damage, they can pick it up.
    • El Swanko Casa. It's available as soon as you take control of Tommy for a relatively modest sum of $8,000 ($4,000 in the iOS version), which is easily acquirable early on if you're diligent with side missions. For your investment, you get easy access to a free Ruger pickup on the roof of the building and a free armor pickup in your southern neighbor's yard, filling all your firepower needs in the early game. You also have a hospital to the north and a police station to the southeast, granting easy access to the paramedic and vigilante side missions for more early cash and permanent upgrades to Tommy's stats.
  • Doing It for the Art: In-universe. Steve Scott, a porn director. This is a source of much frustration for Tommy.
  • The Dragon: Lance Vance serves as this to Sonny.
  • Drugs Causing Slow-Motion: The player can find "adrenaline pills" that briefly slow down time and give the player a form of "super strength" when they attack anyone while unarmed.
  • Drunk Driver: One mission has Tommy driving Phil Cassidy to the hospital after a boomshine explosion. Problem is, Tommy is drunk as a result of merely smelling the boomshine, and the cops notice. The screen gets blurry and the car starts swerving. Thankfully, it's pretty easy to adapt to.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Discussed in-universe in Love Fist's song "Dangerous Bastard": "Is it true you like our curls? Do you think we look like girls?"
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • If you're expecting the dialogue to be littered with F-bombs, you're one game too early. The word is never used in dialogue, although it can be heard on a song and appears in some posters around the city.
    • Similarly, the humor used in the commercials and talk shows is lighthearted and poking fun at the trends of the era, rather than using the dark humor and social commentary that is prevalent in San Andreas and IV.
    • Because beer brands had not been properly established yet in the GTA universe, the walls of the Greasy Chopper are littered with crudely-made edits of real beer logos, rather than ones for GTA brands such as Pisswasser, Logger, and FleishBerg.
  • Easy Level Trick:
    • "Four Iron" involves killing a rival of Avery's while he's out playing golf. Unfortunately, entering the golf club means checking in all your guns. Solution? Park a car near one of the lower fences around the club (there's one with an exit ramp for jumping out golf carts), climb on the roof, and jump the fence.
    • "G-Spotlight" has you perform tricky jumps with PCJ-600 with a quite lenient time limit and few checkpoints in between. Alternatively, find a helicopter (Hyman Condo, if you've bought it, has one, as does the nearby news station) and simply land on the markers. Even the finicky news copter makes the mission a lot easier.
    • "Death Row" has Tommy race across the map to save Lance from being tortured to death at the junkyard. Normally you fight your way through the front and drive Lance to the hospital while being chased by three super fast and aggressive sports cars. Or you can use a helicopter to get to the junkyard and park it at the back entrance (vehicles in the junkyard are despawned when you find Lance) to make the fight and escape much easier.
    • "The Driver" is an infamously difficult race where you not only have cops on you but are also expected to win a race in a slow car against a fast muscle car. Normally cars you were driving despawn near the start of the race but if you park a fast sports car right behind the first bridge you pass through it will still be there when the race begins so you can switch vehicles and have a much easier time winning the race.
  • The '80s: Hawaiian shirts, sports blazers, neon everywhere, pastels, polyester, Michael Jackson and Hall and Oates on the radio, and '80s Hair, among other things. This game is pure Eighties distilled into one package.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Probably the first game in the series to use this trope.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Lance Vance, in the last mission, betrays and tries to kill Tommy.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas:
    • Umberto Robina becomes angry when Tommy asks him if he prefers men, telling Tommy he loves all women, especially his mother.
    • Possibly averted with Tommy. One of his quotes when aiming a gun at a pedestrian is "blame my mother. I do." However, he does fondly talks about his father after buying the Print Works.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: There is no question that Tommy is an unrepentant killer, but he genuinely cares for Old Man Kelly and will exact righteous vengeance on those who harm him. In a more platonic sense, Cortez seems to be the only other man in the city Tommy truly respects as a friend and ally.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The opening of the game.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Almost every character in Vice City is a criminal, from murderers, drug lords, corrupt managers or mobsters. Much in the same way, Tommy is a Villain Protagonist who does not seem to be any better than his enemies.
    • Even the nicest guys aren't clearly good. Earnest Kelly prints counterfeit cash. Love Fist heavily drugs themselves.
    • The nicest girls indulge in vices. Mercedes Really Gets Around more than implied, and Candy Suxxx even more, with a more provocative outfit to fit.
  • Exact Words: "Diaz's merchandise." It's this line, spoken on Leo's phone, that makes Tommy start going down the road in assuming Diaz was behind the ambush, assuming the "merchandise" were the drugs from the ambush. However, the caller could've meant Diaz's usual supply of drugs, and with Leo dead, there is no clarity. Similarly, Cortez never goes out to exactly say that Diaz was responsible for the ambush, merely that he is "starting to think" that.
  • Exotic Entree: Colonel Cortez from the nameless South American country (implied to be Argentina) is seen to dine on tapir snout.
  • Expy:
    • Tommy could be seen as one for Tony Montana from Scarface (1983) — having a very similar character arc and very similar surface similarities (similar outfits and mansion). However, unlike Montana, Tommy never uses his own product and thus manages to retain his sanity while Tony slowly slips into madness towards the end of his story.
      • His boss Sonny can be seen one to Alex Sosa from the same film. At some point in the game, Tommy and Sonny have a dispute, and the latter even tries to have him killed in a big shootout in his own mansion, except Tommy survives.
    • Ken Rosenberg is an obvious Expy of David Kleinfeld.
    • Love Fist is this to The Rolling Stones right down to hiring a biker gang to provide security for their concert.
    • Pastor Richards has more than a few similarities to faith healer/scam artist Peter Popoff, who became well-known around the time the game takes place.
  • Expy Coexistence: Despite the titular city being heavily modelled after the city of Miami, a billboard reading "Move over, Miami!" appears in the game, suggesting that the real life Miami, Florida still exists in the game's universe as a separate city. This also makes the references to Miami in Grand Theft Auto III less jarring.
  • Extremity Extremist: The female hobo in a yellow shirt only uses roundhouse kicks when fighting.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In "G-Spotlight", the following takes place after Tommy asks Steve what to do for the launch of their film:
    Steve Scott: In the old days, we used to have gala events: stars, limos, the night sky crisscrossed with searchlights...
    Tommy: Searchlights! I've got an idea...
    • The idea? Using a PCJ-600 to jump from rooftop to rooftop Downtown starting from a office building and ultimately ending at a building with a searchlight... then Batman-ing it to display this.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the final mission, Lance sells Tommy out to Sonny Forelli, his reasons being that he was sick of "being treated like a little kid" and wanting a bigger slice of the action. Tommy wastes no time chasing Lance up to the roof of the mansion and killing him.
  • Fake Band: Love Fist who plays alongside the real artists on V-Rock and you do several missions for. They're actually pretty good, and really funny.
  • Flag Bikini: Candy Suxxx wears a U.S. flag bikini.
  • Flashback to Catchphrase: We learn the origin of Donald Love's "Nothing brings down real estate prices like an old-fashioned gang war" koan.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At one point, Kent Paul calls Tommy to inform him that he has a bounty on his head, likely a contributing factor to Lance Vance's betrayal.
    • Lance is almost totally absent from the narrative after the "Tommy Takes Over" missions, save some deranged phonecalls - but shows up to offer support in the second Print Works mission so Tommy can print counterfeit money. The next mission to feature counterfeit money has Sonny knowing Tommy's trying to give him fakes - because Lance learned about it here and told Sonny accordingly.
  • Gaiden Game: Vice City (as well as San Andreas and other future games until GTA IV, which rebooted the series) is not really a sequel to GTA III, but a side story to it. The reason for Vice City becoming this is most likely because it was initially planned to be an Expansion Pack to GTA III, with early game magazines announcements calling it Grand Theft Auto III: Vice City.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The "ultra cop", a glitched police officer that has the ability to jump straight to the door of whatever vehicle you're driving in order to attempt an arrest, regardless of your location or speed. It doesn't matter if you're doing 70 on the street or flying in a helicopter, if the ultra cop spawns, he will fly to your location like Superman to arrest you. This can result in an instant arrest if you are missing a door or starting a chopper, though thankfully the guy gets tossed off as long as you've got momentum. A fun game is to find a really secluded area and run around in circles. You can catch the game spawning a ultra cop out of thin air into an area he couldn't have possibly gotten to if you're quick enough.
    • There are several ways to get past the Broken Bridges early in the game (parking an ambulance on top of a Cheetah using its ramp-like hood and then climbing on top and jumping is a popular method) and there's no penalty unlike every game afterwards until V (San Andreas and IV, for instance, immediately give you a full wanted level for sequence breaking like this). The downside is of course there isn't a whole lot to do on the second island until it's officially opened, but can lead to a few odd out-of-whack sequencing in the storyline.
    • Saving the game at the ice cream factory has been known to corrupt many a gamer's save file.
    • When travelling near the vicinity of the Malibu, there is a very rare chance where the game will crash, saying "Error reading the Grand Theft Auto Vice City DVD." Possibly it was triggered by the multi-layered Copy Protection (as the game used Securom, internal copy protection script, and disc file checking all at the same time), as no-disc cracked version and the Steam release didn't have the issue.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • The reason given for the game's use of Broken Bridges is that Vice City is preparing for a hurricane, resulting in the bridges connecting Vice City Beach to the mainland being closed. This actually isn't just for show: While the bridges are closed you really do experience both more frequent rain and more severe storms, which subsides when the bridges reopen.
    • This game actually gives a justification for why Tommy Vercetti never faces any serious legal repercussions for his crimes: He has shady lawyer Ken Rosenberg on his side for the entire game, and there is a chance after being Busted that you can hear a vocal snippet of his legal defence.
    • In "Backalley Brawl", Tommy tries to interrogate Leo Teal only to get into a fight with him which results in Leo getting beaten to death. Since the game does not discern between getting killed and getting knocked out, fists are just as deadly as blunt or sharp weapons.
    • One mission involves a stubborn store owner who needs to be persuaded to pay his protection money, and Tommy then boasts that it'll only take him 5 minutes. The mission has a 5-minute time limit. However...
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: ...because of how time works in-game (1 real minute is 1 hour in-game), Tommy actually takes up to 5 In-Universe hours to do the job. That's right, a single objective has both gameplay/story integration and segregation at the same time.
  • Gargle Blaster: "Boomshine" an extremely potent and highly explosive liquor made by Phil Cassidy. It's so potent that the fumes can get someone drunk and so unstable that exposure to open flame can cause an explosion equal to military-grade high explosives.
  • Gatling Good: The most powerful weapon in the game is the minigun. Anything that moves and isn't bulletproof will be destroyed in seconds.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Lance does this in the final mission. It can be subverted if you have a minigun, which can kill him before he has the chance to start running.
  • Good vs. Good: It's often, because they're technically gangs, not the law enforcement, that the private security firm DBP's security guard Patrol Invest Group members fight against the police.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Hidden Packages (which resemble the Maltese Falcon) scattered around the city, which unlock increasingly awesome and deadly things.
  • Greedy Televangelist: Pastor Richards is a televangelist whose radio ads promise salvation through building an indestructible Salvation Statue using his followers' money. His appearance on "Pressing Issues", where he preaches that selfishness is a virtue, reveals that he's really using the money for the Salvation Statue to build a mansion in Hawai'i.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Most of the commercial properties you can buy have some sort of mission attached to them which unlocks their revenue generation, some of which are notoriously difficult. Not the strip club. There, you just have to fork out cash to the strippers for ten minutes to reach the maximum amount of revenue. There is not a hint about this.
    • If you hadn't figured out that you need to press L3 (press down on the left analog stick) to turn on the ice cream truck's music by the time you attempt to do the "ice cream" selling side mission, you will pull your hair out trying to figure out how to get people to buy your goods. The controller scheme on the pause menu does not show this feature, nor does the game ever tell you this is what you need to do. Once you've figured this out, you then need to sell 50 units in one sitting to unlock revenue. Not only does the game not tell you this, it actively discourages attempting it by raising your wanted meter the more you sellnote , and other gangs shoot at you for doing it. Most players give up on the mission for either of those reasons and try something else, thinking that they're missing something.
  • Gratuitous French: Rarely, Haitian gang members will say "Attention!" during fights, using the French pronunciation ("attention" means "Beware" or "Watch out" in French). Cortez's French courier and the French commandos sent to kill him also pepper their dialogue with stock French words.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Pepe, the DJ from Espantoso, speaks almost exclusively in Spanish. The Cuban gang members also use random Spanish words.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Tommy and Ricardo Diaz, but the latter isn't competent enough to compensate for it.
  • Hand Cannon: The third most powerful gun by far is the Colt Python revolver, which can kill regular enemies with one shot and armored enemies with two. This is balanced by its low ammo capacity and slow fire rate compared to the regular pistol, as well as inferior range compared to the more powerful assault rifles and sub-machine guns.
  • Hard-Coded Hostility:
    • After finishing the Cuban-Haitian gang war subplot, the Haitian gang will, four times out of five, attack you on sight. Fortunately they're confined on the Little Haiti areas and only armed with pistols.
    • Although you won't see it in normal gameplay, but after finishing "Rub Out" and killing Ricardo Diaz and taking over his mansion, his gang will attack you on sight.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Tommy Vercetti's default outfit consists of acid-washed jeans and a jaunty blue Hawaiian shirt. He's quite fond of it and takes offense to people suggesting he dress better.
  • Helicopter Blender: Any helicopter can do this, even the little RC helicopters. The bigger ones have a harder time with it, naturally.
  • Helpful Mook: In "Cop Land" the Police Officer wielding an M4 actually aid both Tommy and Lance's escape by gunning down any Police mooks in the vicinity.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: As the first 3D GTA game to feature drivable motorbikes, Tommy is able to steal and drive them:
    Tommy: (spots a biker parking his Freeway) Hmmm... Nice Bike!
    Biker: (upon Tommy stealing his bike) No! My bike!
  • Hotter and Sexier: Of all the GTA sequels, this was the first to have girls with bikinis on the beaches. And even one of them appears on the game poster.
  • Hypocritical Humor: A good chunk of the guests on VCPR's "Pressing Issues" flat out contradict themselves or don't practice what they preach. An example, from the episode about morality: Jan calls the video game Degenetron a "crock of shit", but then says she beat her son for using some of the so-called bad words in the game (such as "rad", "cool", and "stick it").
  • Impersonating an Officer: Tommy and Lance disguise themselves as cops at one point. After this, the cop disguise is made available at the VCPD office near the Malibu. Donning it lets you walk around the police station and military base without getting shot at.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Umberto Robina bears a resemblance to his voice actor Danny Trejo, Ricardo Diaz to Luis Guzman, and Avery Carrington to Burt Reynolds.
  • Intoxication Mechanic: In the mission "Boomshine Saigon", Tommy has to take Phil to the veteran's hospital after Phil blows his arm off while making moonshine. While Tommy doesn't drink the moonshine, the fumes from it are strong enough to get him drunk, as the screen blurs and sways around while he drives Phil to the hospital.
  • Ironic Name: The name "Radio Espantoso" actually translates to "Dreadful Radio". It's anything but (unless you hate hispanic music or catchy songs).
  • Jerkass: Almost everyone, including Tommy, but specially Lance Vance, Sonny Forelli, Maude Hanson and Ricardo Diaz.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: It's debatable how moral Tommy Vercetti was. But he definitely got one of these moments in the mission "Messing With The Man", killing civilians and causing destruction in the city.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Radio personalities Maurice Chavez (Host of VCPR's Pressing Issues) and Adam First (DJ on Wave 103) very well fit into this. First fashions himself a music connoisseur but he gets basic facts about the artists he's talking about wrong (For example, he claims that Blondie is experiencing their "finest hour" even though they broke up four years prior). Chavez, despite claiming to have been a history major, regularly gets basic facts about history and the operation of government wrong.
    • Really, everyone who appears on VCPR fit this trope. Whenever you listen to it, your usual reaction to it is, "These people need a hobby." This is lampshaded on the station's fund drives, which notes how, "Many people just love to hear themselves rattle."
  • Lighter and Softer: In contrast to the dark at night and foggy or bleak at daytime Liberty City, the Miami analogue featured in this game is literally lighter, as bright colors of the city, the nature, and even the skies dominate the whole game, and even in night-time, there is virtually no darkness as the city is so bathed in lights. As well, the story is more optimistic and fun, and despite Tommy's rather unpleasant personality, he interacts with more colorful personalities and seems to generally care about his friends. Not to mention a pretty happy ending (by Tommy's standards, anyway).
  • Limited Loadout: Since there's a lot more guns in this game than in the previous installment, you can only carry one of each type at a time, and have to swap them if you want to use a different one.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The first GTA game to avert this. The game had pick-up icons that spawned at fixed locations which changed Tommy's default outfit to a different, pre-set costume. While it lacked the numerous customization options seen in later titles, the Clothing pick-ups were very handy for, among other things, quickly erasing a two-star wanted rating. Some notable examples listed below:
  • Living Legend: Tommy Vercetti was sent to Vice City because, as "The Harwood Butcher", he was too hot for Liberty City.
  • The Load: Lance. On some missions where you team up with him he can't be killed (e.g. "Phnom Penh '86"), which is fine. On others, you fail the mission if he dies, and he has a tendency to get killed easily. You'll probably wish you were doing those missions solo.
  • Loony Fan: A couple of missions involves Tommy hired as a bodyguard for Love Fist, after an obsessed fan attempts to kill them.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Due to the way checkpoints and the like work, some missions could be performed in unintended vehicles. For example, the "G-Spotlight" mission expects you to use a motorcycle to jump from roof to roof, but these same stunts can be done with a helicopter, making the mission a lot easier.
    • Similarly, you can take advantage of how a blown tire affects a car's handling to make the 'racing' challenges considerably easier, by using an aimed weapon and shooting out one or more of your opponent's tires before the race starts.
  • The Mafia: The Forelli Crime Family, of which Sonny Forelli is The Don of, with Tommy being a Capo of at the start of the game. Tommy himself starts his own organization after he kills Diaz and takes over his mansion.
  • Magikarp Power: Taxis are what you'd expect: average and unspectacular all around. They're alright in a pinch, but there are plenty of better options. But once you complete 100 fares, all taxis gain hydraulics and the ability to jump, which make them great for pulling off stunts and arguably one of the best police-evading vehicles in the game. And they're everywhere!
    • Sunshine Autos is a property version of this. You complete the asset by delivering all the cars on a wanted list but the money it makes isn't very high. But if you fill out all the other lists the property can generate $9000 a day which is second only to the Malibu Club and 3 fast and rare cars will spawn in the showroom.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Even though Tommy becomes the leader of his own criminal syndicate halfway through the game, with enough mooks under his command to serve as his own personal army, he's still the one who does every mission needed to expand his business. A couple of missions imply that there are other operations being done by Lance and his subordinates offscreen, but even these end up getting done by Tommy since the point behind those missions is to address an operation that got botched. You don't even get to order any of your mooks around or make them accompany you until you get 100% Completion.
  • Metallicar Syndrome: The assassin Lance Vance and his immaculate white Infernus. Granted, he's driving it around a town that is analogous to 1980s Miami, but it's still a bit flashy for a career criminal with a price on his head.
  • Military Moonshiner: This is how Phil Cassidy initially presents himself when he's not out gunrunning. His liquor is so high-proof that it's seen being used in some missions as a makeshift explosive.
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: The opening loading screen and title sequence establish that it's The '80s. The loading screen simulates a Commodore64, then the title sequence plays a very Miami Vice-esque theme while showing scenes of life in 1980s Miami, big hair, boxy cars, etc. Just in case the atmosphere needs to be reinforced, Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" hammers it down.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Not the only reason for the betrayal, but Tommy is shown mistreating the guy who betrays him.
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: One of the warehouses in the movie lot contains a sound stage resembling the Apollo 11 landing.
  • Mugged for Disguise: One mission has Tommy and Lance knock out some police officers and take their uniforms. As is common with this trope, the officers are left Bound and Gagged (though not seen as such) and never mentioned after this.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: Tommy has no problem with Mercedes being in a porn film he produces, or "entertaining" a rock band he's helping out.
  • The Napoleon: Ricardo Diaz. Seeing as he's also Vice City's most prolific drug lord, (before Tommy kills him, that is) this also overlaps with Mister Big.
  • Nerf: The M4 is weaker than the M16 from GTA III, both damage wise and how many rounds it has per clip.
  • Neon City: The game often goes for neon, including in its logo, as part of its 1980s Miami aesthetic.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Vice City is full of thinly-disguised parodies of 1980s public figures and celebrities:
    • Australian zoologist Pat "Mr. Zoo" Flannerdy, who is one of the guests interviewed on talk station K-Chat, is an obvious (and anachronistic) parody of Steve Irwin.
    • Football star BJ Smith is an obvious O. J. Simpson parody.
    • Alex Shrub is based off of George H. W. Bush, apparent by both his name and voice. His affair with Candy Suxxx and how it (apparently) derails his political career has shades of Gary Hart and the infamous end of his run for president in the 1988 election.
    • John F. Hickory, the anti-immigration extremist who debates Shrub on VCPR "Pressing Issues" is a parody of 1980s white supremacist leader David Duke.
    • Porn director Steve Scott is a parody of Steven Spielberg, given both his appearance and obsession with giant sharks.
    • Pastor Richards and his Salvation Statue scam is parodying disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker, who convinced his followers to buy $1,000 memberships for a retreat which he never finished constructing, instead pocketing the money and using it to live a life of luxury.
    • One of the game's mode widely-known Easter eggs is that if the player gets a three star or higher wanted level, they will find themselves being chased down by two officers in pastel suits who drive a Ferrari. Dives into the game's code reveals their names to be "Cracker" and "Butts".
    • Donald Love is likely a parody of namesake Donald Trump, although Trump was already wealthy and famous in the 1980s.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Tommy in cutscenes (which uses a different model with rudimentary lip-syncing) is mostly shown to use a Colt revolver or "M4" (actually a Colt Model 733).
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Unfortunately for Tommy, he believes the family to firmly adhere to the principle of Honor Among Thieves. This makes him somewhat naive in his dealings with fellow Mafia members. When Sonny proves this is not the case, it seems Tommy is equally upset over the betrayal of this principle (if not more so) as he is for the personal slights against him.
  • Noodle Incident: Tommy's 'Harwood Butcher' incident. We're only made privy to three facts: 1) he was sent to kill one man; 2) that one man turned out to be eleven; 3) he got arrested and put away for fifteen years for murdering them all. Oddly, there is nothing at all in Harwood besides the radio station (and the pier, which was demolished between Liberty City Stories and GTA III). Although it could be that the place was differently populated in the early 70's when the incident happened.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: After how easy it was to evade the police in Grand Theft Auto III by merely respraying your vehicle, beginning in this game, your wanted level gets suspended after a respray. Any crimes committed whilst it's suspended will reinstate your wanted level, so you have to wait a bit before it clears completely.
  • Only In Vice City
  • Only Sane Man: Tommy, for certain values of "sane". He knows it, too.
    Tommy: Why can't I meet anyone normal for a change?!
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • One of the locations where you can get a Katana for free becomes unavailable after the mission "Cop Land"; it's hidden inside a cafe that gets destroyed as part of that mission. One still spawns inside the garage next door to the mansion on Starfish Island, though.
    • The Havana Outfit pickup can get stuck behind an invisible wall if you unlock it before completing certain missions.note 
  • Pop the Tires: This is the first entry that has the option. The police deploy spike strips to slow you down, and it's a great way to make sure mission-critical targets don't get away from you.
  • Phony Veteran: It's in this game wherein Phil Cassidy's military past (among other things, like his tax returns) is revealed to be a fraud.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "This is the last dance for Lance Vance!"
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: Vice City is geographically bigger than previous installments, with some added video/audio capability and more nuanced gameplay.
  • Psycho for Hire: Heavily implied in Tommy Vercetti, mainly in the mission "Messing With The Man". Although, this is more of an Alternative Character Interpretation.
  • Punched Across the Room: If you take the steroid power-up, Tommy can punch people ridiculous distances and run much faster. Unfortunately, so much as hitting a slight bump while running can kill you due to the 'stubbing your toe' issue from curbs and other such short drops.
  • Regional Bonus: The Japanese PC version has two different alternate costumes provided in the Player Skin options (an option available only in the PC version of GTA III & Vice City that allow you to modify the protagonist's appearance with a simple .BMP template), Tache and Wild. Tache has him wear a black outfit and a Porn Stache and the Wild Skin gives him blond hair and red shirt. Dataminers have found them in the Android versions, but the Player Skin options is not available (although one can replace the skin contained in one of txd (texture archive) for Tommy's clothes.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: Licensing issues resulted in several tracks getting removed from the soundtrack for the 10th Anniversary edition and all versions since, though weirdly enough the Steam version averted this, keeping the original soundtrack despite the fact that it was supposed to remove them. One song that was only on the original PS2 version and removed from all future releases(including the PS2 Greatest Hits re-release) was Lionel Ritchie's "Running in the Night", at least until the Definitive Edition where it was added back in.
  • Retcon: Phil Cassidy loses his arm in a different way than he claims to have in III, and he couldn't have been that drunk. Not a "hard" retcon since Cassidy is shown as being a military fanatic who would turn an embarrassing story into another aspect of his fantasy.
  • Rhyming Names: An early mission teams Tommy Vercetti up with a man named Lance. During a later mission, Tommy learns that Lance's last name is Vance, making him Lance Vance. He's rather sensitive about it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After witnessing Earnest Kelly being beaten by Forelli thugs at the Print Works, Tommy vows to get revenge on Sonny Forelli and his goons, which to the events of the final story mission.
  • Roof Hopping: Done twice: First in the mission "The Chase", where you have to pursue a rogue Diaz goon across some rooftops before the chase moves to the streets. The second time is the mission "G-Spotlight", where you do this with a motorcycle to project a porn ad on the side of a building.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever he is offered food or alcohol, Tommy always refuses. During the Cuban gang missions, he'll often try to get a cup of coffee only to be dragged off on a mission by Umberto.
    • Whenever Tommy meets up with Kent Paul, he ends up manhandling him. Guy must hate Brits.
    • Whenever Tommy purchases a new business, no matter how innocuous it seems on the surface, it ends up being a front for illegal activity. An ice cream factory? They use it to sell drugs. A cab company? They're in a literal war with a rival cab company. A printing press? The printer is a counterfeiter. Tommy only finds out about all of these after he buys the business. Note that, in the last example, Tommy actually wanted to run a legitimate business since his father was a printer and it reminded him of more innocent times; the owner, an old friend, convinced him that counterfeiting was more profitable.
  • Scenery Porn: Despite the dated graphics, Vice City can be quite gorgeous, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Self-Proclaimed Liar: In the "Pressing Issues" episode about morality:
    Barry: My mother understood I was special! She made me wear a bonnet as a child. And when I demanded to go to school naked, she was fine with it! After social services moved me, she would still write to me. I still remember when she kissed me goodbye.
    Maurice: But Barry, earlier you said you discovered Naturism, taking your clothes off, whatever it is in Germany.
    Barry: I know, but I lie a lot. Uh, I got a lot of personal issues. Look at me! Please, Maurice! I need a hug!
  • Sequence Breaking: Using a helicopter to land on the markers in "G-spotlight", as well as skipping the part where you have to chase Lance up the roof if you shoot him with the minigun.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: On the VCPR show "Pressing Issues", two guests in particular couldn't resist plugging their projects: Pastor Richards and his "Salvation Statue" that was allegedly supposed to blast off into space with his loyal followers, and Jeremy Robard, a shyster who promotes his "positive thinking" self-help guide every chance he gets. Both guests piss off Maurice Chavez for doing this, especially the latter (Maurice eventually punches him in the nose!).
  • Shout-Out: All on this page.
  • Skyscraper Messages: A hotel will, in typical Rockstar North fashion, light up at night in the form of an erect penis. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the same hotel shows the same thing, ejaculating.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: This is the first game in the series that lets you shoot people while they're in a car, passenger or driver. You need a sufficiently powerful weapon to do it, and you can still destroy the car if miss too many times. If you want to relieve someone of their vehicle and they aren't liable to let you drag them out, this is the best method. It even works on tanks, though the tanks have a smaller window to make this difficult, and you could arguably just wait for their operators to leave, then go in for the kill.
  • Society Is to Blame: When fighting someone, Tommy advises that they blame his mother. He does.
  • Spiritual Successor: Vice City draws so heavily from Miami Vice that it could very well be considered the show's video game adaptation.
  • The Starscream:
    • Tommy can be seen as one of these in relation to Ricardo Diaz and Sonny Forelli. In both cases, he succeeds in overthrowing them. This may overlap with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
    • Lance Vance does this to Tommy in the final mission. He gets killed for his trouble.
  • Stripperiffic: It's harder to find hookers in this game than any other GTA. They're there, but since this is both the 80's and South Florida, every young woman walking the streets looks like she's... walking the streets.
  • The Stinger: After finishing the game there are several phone calls. Most congratulates Tommy for whatever efforts he helped. One last phone call is from Kent Paul who claiming to be the one that set up the deal and apparently threatening to bring down Tommy. Tommy dismissed him as being drunk. And the next chronological game reveals that Kent Paul is not a threat after all.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Chronologically speaking, Victor Vance, the protagonist of Vice City Stories, is killed in the intro of this game, as confirmed by Word of God.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Alex Shrub, a politician that wants to gain the vote of Moral Guardians, promises to support measures to restrict the legal distribution of pornography in Vice City, all while engaging in an affair with porn star Candy Suxxx.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Vice City, based off of Miami, is a very tropical place. So, of course, it's surrounded by water. Not being able to swim really sucks. Especially since it gets in the way of being able to enjoy the ocean and the boats properly. The manual handwaves this as being the result of shark infestation, but this isn't shown in game.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Early in the game, Tommy expresses the sentiment that he's "surrounded by pricks."
  • Take That!:
    • One mission has Tommy being hired to kill a group of would-be bank robbers whose names resemble those of the protagonists from rival crime-sandbox games like True Crime: Streets of LA, The Getaway and the Driver series.
    • Vice Street Racer's tagline is "Earn Cash, Not Kudos".
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: There's a few missions where this will happen. In some particularly poorly planned ones, you can actually see them spawning.
  • Tempting Fate: The city is actually named "Vice City". Were they expecting it to become a Utopia? According to one of the designers, the name came from the pronunciation vee-kay city, as in, victory city. The C just evolved into a soft C. It's also more funny this way.
  • Third-Party Deal Breaker: The arranged drug deal between the Forelli Crime Family and the Vance Crime Family in the prologue is botched when a group of assassins later revealed to have been on Ricardo Diaz's payroll ambush the deal, kill Tommy Vercetti's two companions and Victor Vance, and take all the drugs to an unknown location. This Downer Beginning ultimately sets up the events of the rest of the game, where Tommy tries to locate and reclaim the stolen drugs and money for the increasingly agitated Sonny Forelli.
  • Throat-Slitting Gesture: Tommy Vercetti does this after the final battle describing how him killing Sonny Forelli leaves him and Ken Rosenberg free to run their criminal empire how they want.
    Tommy: I don't think we're going to get any heat from up north either...
    ...cause there ain't no up north anymore. It's all down south now.
  • Too Slow: At one point while chasing a thug that ran away with Diaz's supply, he will shout, "Too slow, grandad!" before shooting explosive barrels on your way and then leaping into his car.
  • Trunk Shot: As a Shout-Out to Pulp Fiction, in the opening cutscene to the mission wherein Tommy betrays and kills Ricardo Diaz then takes over his empire, Lance surprises Tommy with something in the trunk of his car: Tommy's first Colt M733 Carbine, with which to shoot all the goons up.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In the mission "G-Spotlight", Tommy rides a motorcycle into an elevator to get to a higher level. The other passengers on the elevator don't take any notice.
  • The Vamp: Not surprisingly, Candy Suxxx (voiced by famous porn star Jenna Jameson). On your side, there's Mercedes, who can spin most of your business partners in your favor.
  • Van in Black: Starting with this game, once you reach five wanted stars, the FBI no longer chase you with flimsy, poorly-handling Kuruma sedans, but with supercharged all-black Chevy Suburban lookalikes, which are as fast as they are durable and will easily rip you to shreds if you're cruising the streets in anything less than a tank. They have since only made a return in San Andreas and Chinatown Wars.
  • Vice City: The Trope Namer.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Several times when walking or driving by you may notice cops chasing perps who aren't you for once, and you can even help them catch the guy. Not only is it the only time you won't be penalized for punching someone in front of a cop, you'll even be rewarded for aiding them. Just don't hit them with anything else, or it's considered a crime.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: On top of what you can normally do in the series, once you establish your big hideout by taking down Ricardo Diaz and taking his mansion for your own, you can have a Redshirt Army of mooks for yourself. They do nothing but have inane conversation and only very rarely have shoot-outs against police, security guards, or the Haitian Gang at the Kaufmann Cabs. And you can kill them for a quick cash boost and pistol ammo. The game will punish you if you kill enough of them by bumping up your wanted levels, just at a slower pace compared to other targets of your trigger happiness.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Attacking the dancers in the Malibu will have the bodyguards attack you. You also do not want to attack the barmaid before you own the place because she will retaliate!
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: The Flamethrower has stiff competition with other choices in your heavy weapon slot as it slows you down noticeably, lacks the range of the other heavy weapons, and may send your targets running at you on fire; getting set on fire yourself is not a problem if you complete the Firefighter missions for the fire-proof bonus however, the need to waddle into range of mooks with more practical guns isn't good for your health anyway, and it can't even destroy vehicles at a respectable rate like the other heavy weapons.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Tommy Vercetti is arguably the most violent and sociopathic protagonist in the entire GTA series (at least until the arrival of Trevor Phillips in GTA V).
    • Although Tommy didn't explicitly sell or use drugs barring the "Adrenaline" powerup, the "Checkpoint Charlie" mission, where Tommy has to quickly collect white packages through a series of checkpoints, is implied to be drug running via boat. There is also the "Ice Cream" dealing, where the lady owner outright states that "we distribute other, non-dairy products," and any time "Ice Cream" was sold, gangs and the police will be hostile to you.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Tommy Vercetti and Lance Vance at the end.
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: Near the beginning the player attends a yacht party attended by Vice City's rich and famous.
  • Wham Line:
    Sonny: I trusted you, Tommy, and you disappointed me. But at least someone in your chicken-shit organization knows how to do business... isn't that right, Lance?
  • White Gangbangers: The Sharks (aka Streetwannabes) whose turf is in Prawn Island and North Point Mall at night consists of both black and white members.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: So, you've taken down that sleazeball Ricardo Diaz, avenged Lance's brother, gotten Tommy's money back, and taken over Diaz's coke empire? Great! Now you're ready for the second half of Vice City.