- "8-Ball's the name, brother! Yeah, it's a dumb name, but my daddy played a lot of pool. He was a hustler, just like me! That's right. Anything you need in this town--connections, women, guns, all that--come see me, baby. Anytime!"
- ―8-Ball, Grand Theft Auto III website
8-Ball is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a main character in Grand Theft Auto III (set in 2001), the tritagonist of Grand Theft Auto Advance (set in 2000), and a supporting character in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (set in 1998). He is an explosives expert and firearms trader, owning explosives garages in Liberty City, Vice City and San Andreas.
He is voiced by the late American rapper Keith "Guru" Elam in both Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
Life until 2000
8-Ball was born and raised in Liberty City. His father was a hustler who often played pool, hence his nickname. By 1984, he started his business across the United States, including in Vice City (initially in Downtown and later in Viceport), in San Andreas (in El Corona, Los Santos) and in Liberty City (in Harwood, Newport and Pike Creek). He established contacts with various people in Liberty City, including businessman Donald Love, who sent Toni Cipriani to 8-Ball at his Pike Creek garage to fill a van full of explosives to be used to destroy the Fort Staunton district of Staunton Island.
In 2000, he helps old friend Vinnie by creating fake IDs that Mike collected. Mike returns to 8-Ball following the death of Vinnie and agrees to work for him whilst 8-Ball investigates Vinnie's death, saying he has some ideas of who was responsible. 8-Ball first has Mike dispose of Vinnie's body at the Harwood Autocrusher and Junkyard, as "they don't ask questions". Following this, Mike helps to pimp out three women (including Misty) to "high-rolling" clients, deliver a package to an angry customer, and extract revenge on Scorelli for 8-Ball. 8-Ball, with information from one of the prostitutes, sends Mike to meet a bartender, Jonnie. 8-Ball later meets Mike again in a diner, but the two are ambushed by the Colombian Cartel, who are looking to kill Mike following the death of leader Cisco. 8-Ball burns his hands during the ambush and is unable to escape, telling Mike to do so before the police arrive.
- "I know a place near the edge of the Red Light District where we can lay low, but my hands are all messed up, so you better drive, brother."
8-Ball is arrested and convicted on eighty-five counts of owning a firearm without a license, although in a Liberty Tree article, it is stated that 8-Ball was arrested at his home/garage in Harwood and that a police officer poured a pan of boiling fat onto his hands. After being convicted, the decision is made to transfer him, along with bank robber Claude and the Old Oriental Gentleman to the police station in Portland View. The police convoy, however, is attacked by the Colombian Cartel, who successfully kidnap the Old Oriental Gentleman. In the confusion, 8-Ball and Claude work together to escape and get far enough away to not be injured when a bomb, planted by the Cartel, destroys the Callahan Bridge. The two then escape to a hideout in the Red Light District.
After changing out of their orange prison uniforms, 8-Ball has Claude drive him to Luigi's Sex Club 7 and introduces him to Luigi Goterelli, an old friend and an associate of the Leone Family, who begins to employ him. Salvatore Leone, the don of the Leone Family, later sends Claude to 8-Ball and the two later destroy a freighter at Portland Harbor, which was being used by the Colombian Cartel to manufacture the drug SPANK. Following this, 8-Ball makes no further appearances in the game.
Prominent Appearances in Missions
- Grand Theft Auto III
- Grand Theft Auto Advance
- Fake IDs
- Twisted Metal (Boss)
- Ill Repute (Boss)
- Droppin' Bombs (Boss)
- Scorelli (Boss)
- Love Boat (Boss)
- Love of Money (Boss/Arrested)
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- No Money, Mo' Problems (Boss)
- Cash in Kazuki's Chips (Post-mission phone call, only if No Money, Mo' Problems has been completed)
- Bringing the House Down (Boss)
- 8-Ball is one of the many characters to appear in three games in the 3D Universe. The other characters are Donald Love, Maria Latore, Adam First, Toni and Salvatore Leone.
- Storyline mission-wise, 8-Ball is the first character encountered in the 3D Universe.
- 8-Ball, (along with Luigi Goterelli, Maria Latore, Joey Leone, Salvatore Leone and Toni Cipriani, in that order) appears on posters for the film Badfellas in Grand Theft Auto III, which is a clear reference to the film Goodfellas.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, he and Ma Cipriani are the only mission bosses not to appear outside of the cutscenes.
- On the artwork of 8-Ball's prison jumpsuit, it has his I.D Number which reads "010012". These numbers are also the last 6 numbers of the 8-Ball's Bomb Shop phone number. "10012" is also the zip code of Rockstar Games in New York City.
- 8-Ball shares his nickname with another Rockstar Games character; a hobo from The Warriors.
- The Guru also had a few songs featured in various games as part of Gang Starr, the first being "B.Y.S" on the radio station Playback FM in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" on The Classics 104.1 in Grand Theft Auto IV.
- Liberty Tree/Another Punch in the Gut for Organized Crime - Liberty Tree article about 8-Ball's conviction.