Area 69 (also known as Restricted Area or the No Fly Zone) is a highly protected and top secret government research facility in the heart of Bone County, San Andreas depicted in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It sits immediately to the south of Verdant Meadows, to the west of Las Venturas, to the east of El Castillo del Diablo, and directly to the north of Green Palms.
Design and usage
In the past, Area 69 was associated with the long-held rumor of aliens and UFO sightings in the game. Entering or flying low enough over the base will result in a 5-star wanted level. Flying over the base results not only in the wanted level (does not apply while in the Pilot School), but also tracking and attack from SAM sites and pursuing Hydras. Flying too close to the edge of the base will also result in attack from the nearest SAM site, although a wanted level will not be obtained if close enough to the base's periphery. The base's four SAM sites may be destroyed using powerful weaponry such as missiles from a jet, a rocket launcher, or a minigun. Furthermore, their heat-seeking missiles may be avoided using countermeasures (flares), if equipped on the player's aircraft.
The base houses various clandestine government projects, including the Black Project Jetpack, a couple of weapons, including the Minigun and the Combat Shotgun, and a couple of body armor and health icon spawn points. Echoing the conspiracy theories surrounding Area 51, it is implied that the facility may be tied to local housing projects involving UFOs and extraterrestrial life, as suggested by the presence of the nearby Lil' Probe'Inn, the dialog on the base's PA system during the Black Project mission (quotes: "Would the owner of a green alien saucer move it somewhere else please." "Would the personnel working with the alien body, please put it away." and "Personnel found stealing alien technology will not be invited to the next employee outing."), and by dialog on Marvin Trill's in-game radio show. Much of the base consists of underground research labs, although the player can only enter these labs during the course of a single mission (or by finding a way into San Andreas' "Blue Hell" — an area under the main terrain mesh — and finding the underground base there). Infiltration may also be obtained, should the player take a Freeway motorcycle to the base, and park it by the vent. Once the player leaves the motorcycle, they will fall through the vent and will land in the interior of the base. The above-ground structures include a series of watch towers, a control tower, small airstrip and three garages for military vehicles. These garages are the first area in the game in which military vehicles will automatically spawn.
The Area 69 possesses a large underground complex, which has three access points from outside : the launch bay, blast doors and the vent. Notice that all these entrances can be interacted with only during Black Project.
The underground area features a large number of accessible rooms, including a large launch bay where the Jetpack project is located, laboratories, storage areas, control rooms and more areas. A few other rooms can be seen from the accessible parts, which hint that the area is larger than the accessible part.
The area is not meant to be entered out of Black Project without the use of the Blue Hell or other glitches. Unless using the 'Lock Wanted Level', exploring the underground is not guaranteed to be safe as Sheriff officers will still spawn in large numbers inside, though there will be no risk of fighting Police Mavericks and FBI/Military.
Public relations for Area 69 have suffered from a great deal of distrust and suspicion from the people of Bone County. There have been reported over 30 deaths due to people attempting to trespass onto the base. In fact, front-page headlines of an issue of The San Andreas Times read, Over 30 people killed in Area 69, Demolish Area 69!!, and also Area 69 = Rubbish.
Pickups, weapons and inventory items
- M4 - Behind a staircase leading to a watchtower, southwest side.
- Night Vision Goggles - On a watchtower platform, near the entrance.
- Thermal Vision Goggles - Inside the control tower.
- Combat Shotgun - In a dark hallway inside the base, right before the labs.
- Minigun - In a control room inside the base, in the second room after entering the facility.
- Jetpack - At the bottom of the launch bay.
- Barracks (spawns on the airstrip by a Cargobob and a Patriot)
- Two Hydras (on the airstrip, after Vertical Bird)
- Cargobob (spawns on the airstrip by a Barracks)
- Patriot (spawns on the airstrip by a Barracks)
- Two Rhino tanks (in hangars on the airstrip near the Hydras, after Black Project)
- Tug (within the underground complex, only during Black Project)
Events of GTA San Andreas
After making his way out to Bone County to meet up with Mike Toreno at the abandoned airstrip, Carl Johnson begins performing dangerous and difficult tasks for this shady government agent, whose "paymasters" remain unidentified (although it is speculated that Toreno may be working for the NSA or the CIA). After temporarily satisfying Toreno's wishes, Carl receives an unexpected visit at the airstrip from The Truth, who Carl hasn't seen since leaving San Fierro. The Truth, disturbed by Carl's allegiance to Toreno, makes his own request: to steal the Black Project from the nearby Area 69 military research facility. The Truth drops Carl off in front of the facility's main gate, and drives off in a hurry, leaving Carl to infiltrate the base alone. Armed with thermal vision goggles, Carl sneaks into the base, and down into the underground research labs. Carl is forced to shoot his way through soldiers and scientists alike, as he makes his way into the depths of the compound, where he finally locates the jetpack. Climbing into the jetpack's straps, Carl boldly applies thrust and escapes through the open sky bay overhead, and blasts off away from the facility as quickly as possible to avoid being shot down by SAM sites and military personnel. As he escapes, a voice over the loudspeaker can be heard frantically shouting, "Get General Mills on the line!", a tongue-in-cheek reference to an American cereal manufacturer.
Later in the game, a helicopter chase will lead Carl to fly over the base during Misappropriation.
The base is a spoof of Area 51 in southern Nevada, but named after the 69 sexual position. The in-game base differs greatly from Area 51, evidenced by the lack of a large runway, smaller overall size, and different layout.
It is possible to re-enter the underground through glitches.
- The easiest way to enter the base is to use a Blue Hell glitch with a Jetpack equipped. Once in the Blue Hell, fly towards the base. Once below, fall in the Blue Hell. Once deep enough, the player will be teleported at the bottom of the launch bay.
- Another way requires a Freeway bike (easily found in Fort Carson). Once obtained, drive in Area 69 and find the vent (which CJ can use to breach in the base in "Black Project"). Stick the bike on the northern side of the vent, and have the bike face towards the south-west (since Carl will leave the bike on the left side, he'll step on the vent). Once done, exit the bike. Carl will step on the vent, and will suddenly teleport below ground, on a Minigun spot in the underground.
- If the Freeway bug was chosen, go back at the entrance of the underground. Destroy the vent grate, then go at the entrance of the vent and press the button to enter a vehicle. If the Freeway is at the same position, Carl will go through the vent and hop back onto the bike, above ground.
- Still using a jetpack, go to the large room where the first scientists are found (near the SAM control site). Enter the room from the underground entrance, then go on the first staircase on the left. Once here, go upwards with the jetpack. The roof is not solid, allowing the player to go through. Fly far away enough from the base, then fall into the Blue Hell. The player will teleport at ground level.
- There are what appear to be nuclear warheads in the Minigun room, which would explain the presence of the launch bay.
- Under the minigun room, there is a empty pit which reuses the same model as the launch bay, but completely empty (which lacks a bottom and a staircase). Notice that it is not solid, and can be viewed from the grid in the room.
- The jetpack is the most rapid means of infiltrating the base, but at the cost of being attacked by SAM sites, even at ground level, as the game considers the jetpack to be an aircraft.
- In one of the inaccessible underground labs, the area looks very similar to Black Mesa from the video game Half-Life. In addition, on a table, a crowbar can be seen, which looks very similar to Gordon Freeman's crowbar. In addition to this, a SPAS-12 pickup can be seen; in Half-Life, a SPAS-12 pickup is found in a very similar spot. Black Mesa and Area 69 are also both based on the real Area 51.
- The area is actually uninhabited. It is only automatically inhabited during the mission Black Project. When not on a mission, the area only becomes inhabited as a result of a wanted level that makes rural police, FBI agents (five-star) and military personnel (six-star) spawn while the player is inside the area. This can be observed when the player activates the lock wanted level cheat and enters the area to find nobody.
- Stealing a Rhino is relatively simple given the vehicle can take a lot of damage. Simply drive the tank either towards Verdant Meadows or the westernmost safehouse available for purchase in Las Venturas and save the game (this eliminating the wanted level).
- In the Android version, entering the base does not give Carl a 5-star wanted level until a certain mission has been passed (tested and confirmed).
- In the iOS version, after the mission Black Project, the base can be entered trough the blast doors. (tested on iPad)