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Before the release of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, there were features that were removed from the final product. These changes range from deleted vehicles and player skins to the removal of entire characters and mission strands.
- Huang Lee was scheduled to have different unique voices for himself, rather than the voices from the general pedestrians of original GTA IV.[ ]
- Ling Shan was supposed to wear a red dress during her mission appearances according to her concept artwork. Instead, she wear a black dress. Interestingly, Ling was prominently featured in much merchandising and concept art, including one of her wielding a Katana, which could suggest that her role in the game was originally bigger.
- Lester Leroc was possibly going to be originally named "Lee Leroc" as seen in the LCPD Database; it was most likely changed as Huang's surname was Lee too. Additionally, Lester was supposed to wear a purple suit with sequins and a gold medal in some mission, possibly to reference his similarity to Elvis Presley due to him being stated to be an impersonator.
- Rudy D'Avanzo's appearance was originally different, and slightly resembling a Chinese person.
- The Police Cruiser was supposed to be along with the currently-used Police Patrol. It can still be seen in the Busted sequence on the Nintendo DS version, however.
- The Screwdriver, that is used to hotwire cars, was blue instead of green, as seen in an image on the back of the game box.
Mike Cala, an artist and illustrator for Rockstar Games who designed the game's logo, uploaded four GTA Chinatown Wars early concept logos on his Behance page. It originally used the 3D Universe Grand Theft Auto logo, with a small gap between the "T" and the "R".
- Ammu-Nation stores were available to use to buy some weapons instead of having to go to its website for the same purpose.[ ]
- The State of Alderney was supposed to appear in the game, but was cut from the game due to the Nintendo DS limitations. Also, the Hickey Bridge, who connects Algonquin with Alderney, was removed in spite that it was planned to be featured broken as a reference to Alderney.[ ]
- There is a pink-and-white Triad variant of the Burrito, but the van is unavailable normally, and must be spawned using a garage editor. The Triads Burrito features unique lower cladding, under-body lighting, and a high roof.
- There is also another Triad variant of the Burrito with a heightened rear spoiler, owned by Chan Jaoming.
- Lester Leroc's motorcycle was going to be painted with the colors of the United States of America flag according to his artwork.
- It is very likely that Liberty Rock Radio was planned to appear in the game, since its logo appears on billboards and in the game manual.