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Before the release of Grand Theft Auto III, 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.


Changed appearances

  • Claude's appearance went through many different designs. Some screenshots show a poorly detailed Claude, who looks completely different from the final version. Other pictures show a more final Claude with different hair and a chubbier appearance.[1]
  • Donald Love originally looked completely different from the final version as seen in the official GTA III wallpapers website.

Cut characters

Name changes

  • 8-Ball's real name was going to be Mullan, as shown on alpha screenshots.[4]
  • The Leones were originally called the Sorvinos.
  • Toni Cipriani's original name was Toni Fucile.
  • Asuka Kasen's original first name was Kemuri.[7]
  • Kenji Kasen's original surname appears to have been originally spelled with two Ss, Kassen, as evidenced by this site, although this could be just a typo.
  • "Chunky" Lee Chong's original name was "Chunky" Dave.

Cut nicknames



  • Originally in the introduction cutscene, Miguel would have said: "Catalina! Move your ass!" [1].


Cut weapons

Changed designs

  • The Baseball Bat was originally red and yellow, with a red grip.



Cut vehicles

Changed designs

  • The Coach bus company called Felly Tours was cut.
  • The Train was originally controllable as a part of the cut odd jobs.
  • The Yakuza Stinger had originally lower suspension.
  • The Yardie Lobo had a different appearance and also had Stallion wheels.
  • The Fire Truck had a different appearance.
  • The Taxi had a different appearance.
  • The Ambulance had a different appearance, ultimately being much less detailed.
  • The Diablo Stallion was originally Diablo Infernus. This can be spotted in the mission "Gangcar Round-Up", where King Courtney mistakenly says "Diablo Infernus". It was likely changed, because it would have been too fancy for a Hispanic street gang to drive such an expensive car around the streets of Portland.
  • The Police Car and Enforcer colors were originally light blue instead of black, just like the real life NYPD patrol cars. This was changed after the 9/11 attacks to avoid controversy that may arise of the player destroying and stealing patrol vehicles similar to those seen in real life. However, the Police Helicopter maintains the original colors.
  • Some of the cars featured antennas that reacted to the movement of a car, mainly the Infernus, Idaho, police cars, Perennial and FBI Car.[10]
    • The antennas might have been randomized. Some of the cars, mainly the police car and Infernus, can be seen with and without it. It might be the case that the trailer was created using different builds, as an unfinished, untextured Idaho can be spotted a few scenes later, while a fully textured one is driven by the player.
  • The Airtrain was originally destructible, as seen in one of the trailers, but this feature was cut as the following of 9/11. The script has the code leftovers possible to enable this cut feature by tweaking the Airtrain's coding in the gta3.exe files. When blown up, it would showcase a rather undetailed explosion, and give the player a four-star wanted level, just like if the player had blown up a DeadDodo.
  • The School Bus was likely removed due to absence of children in the game. Contrary to popular belief, Darkel never gave a mission where the player would blow up a school bus with children inside.[11] It only survives in the final version of the game as Wrecks.

Development vehicle names

Final name Development name(s)
Sentinel Beamer
Idaho Hachura
Perennial Maurice
Stinger Shark
Bobcat U-Jerk Truck
Manana Ariant
Moonbeam Aster
Infernus Dyablo
Esperanto Esparanto / Eldorado
Patriot HumVee
Cheetah Rocket
Kuruma Sentinal
Blista Space
Mr Whoopee Ice Cream Truck
Rhino Tank / PHUQU-2
Barracks OL Army Truck
Trashmaster Garbage Truck
Linerunner Semi Cab
Reefer Fishing Boat
Predator Police Boat
Securicar Armored Truck
Cabbie Old Taxi



  • Children may have been planned for the game[12], although Rockstar Games claims that this isn't true.
  • Police officers originally had mustaches and looked more cartoonish.[13]
  • Firefighters originally had fully yellow uniforms as seen in the earlier screenshots.[14]
  • The Triads originally sported black outfits and had tattoos. They were also called "Thongs".[15]
  • The FBI had a different uniform.[16]
  • The Buskers were cut. Their models remain in the PS2 version of GTA III. They were introduced later in GTA IV.
    • The Buskers have leftover code in the GTA III files, which can be found in default.ide file. The bottom line of file says "#83, busker1, busker1, CIVMALE, STAT_BUSKER, man, 0". Note that the "#" marks the line as "disabled".
  • A gang named "Corrupt cops" was cut.
  • A gang named "The Masks" was cut. They were later reworked into the Colombian Cartel.
  • The Forellis were meant to appear on streets as well.
  • Female taxi drivers were cut.[17]
  • The game code contains an unused gang.
  • Due to an unknown glitch, the models for B_WOM2 and B_WOM3, accessible through the "Change into Pedestrian" cheat code, go unused in the original PS2 version of the game.



  • Originally, when doing Vigilante, Paramedic, or Firefighter missions, the vehicles radio could go out of range - requiring the player to drive closer to the nearest police station/hospital/fire station.[18]
    • This function still exists and is technically functional in the final game - however, it is only triggered when all three islands fail to load, which is near-impossible under normal circumstances.
  • Originally, several missions could not be taken at any time, since the leaders were busy.[19]
  • Toni's missions originally had to be completed before advancing to Salvatore's missions.[20]
  • In "Give Me Liberty", a purple Sentinel was used instead of a teal Kuruma.
  • In "Grand Theft Auto", Claude was additionally meant to deliver a Banshee and a Landstalker, as evidenced by the game code.
  • After completing "Kanbu Bust-out", Claude could be rewarded with two bodyguards from the Hyaku Dojo, according to an unused string in the AMERICAN.gxt file, "KM1_D".
  • In "The Exchange", Maria Latore had "a longer, really annoying speech" compared the one featured in the final version.[21]
  • According to a Q&A that Rockstar Games did about Grand Theft Auto III in 2011, a mission referencing terrorism was cut after the 9/11 attacks.[22]


  • The city during development stage was very different from the finished version and had more streets and roads. The airport was once in Staunton Island and there were many roads in Shoreside Vale.
  • The Callahan Bridge was absent in early maps, and later when it was introduced it was going to be named West Port Bridge (taken from a sign in Atlantic Quays). It also had two suspensions rather than just one.
  • The Punk Noodles site in Portland was originally just a small grass park with two statues.[23] The statue model still exists in the game's files.
  • There were other area names that were supposedly going to be included in the game. These are The Towers, Sewers, Swanksville, Projects, Luigi's Place, Little Italy and Industrial Park. Waterfront Promenade, Westport and Westport Bridge could be seen in some directions going to Trenton and Atlantic Quays.
  • A power plant was originally planned to be located on a peninsula in north-east Portland.
  • 8-Ball's Garage was supposedly in the area names on the screen (observed in the archives of the PS2 version).
  • The Shoreside Lift Bridge had many roads leading to it. A beta picture of GTA III lacks the lift bridge in the location. It is possible that the Callahan Bridge took its place in the beta.
  • The Hope Medical College had the same size and width as the Sweeney General Hospital, being a perfect copy.[24]
  • The center of the Liberty City Community College campus building looked different as seen in a pre-release screenshot.
  • The Cochrane Dam was originally smaller.
  • The tall stone walls located in Hepburn Heights were originally chain-link fences.[25]
  • The Old School Hall originally had bright red and gray colored walls and had plants around it, similar to an elementary school or pre-school. Rumors have that it was originally going to be a school, with children and school buses in the area, but Rockstar never confirmed this.
  • The Chinatown Building skyscraper in Portland didn't exist.
  • It is possible that the beta name of Belleville Park was "Liberty City Park", since a radio announcement of the Medieval Millennium Fair informs it takes place at the said park, and there are no other large parks in 3D Liberty City.



  • The Airtrain was originally destructible with weapons, much like the DeadDodo. This was likely changed due to the controversy of 9/11.
  • The ability to blow limbs off of non-playable characters was cut, but only from the PS2 version of the game.[2] This can still be activated in the PS2 version via cheat codes.
  • Claude could originally run with the baseball bat.
  • Online multiplayer was cut.[26]

The game showing how much money is being picked up

  • Originally, if the player picked up money, the script showed how much money was just picked up. This feature still exists in files, and it is possible to enable it.[27]
    • However, this feature was later implemented in Grand Theft Auto V, with the amount of money picked up shown in the corner under the total amount of money.
  • Pedestrians were supposed to call the police through a nearest phone booth if the player committs a serious crime. The concept was scrapped, but the code for this feature still exits in the game's files.
  • The wanted level could originally be earned from running red lights or speeding.


Gta3 interface.jpg

  • The graphics were originally "cartoonish".[28]
  • A very early HUD was very different (pictured to the right). There was a life bar next to the radar instead of percentage.
  • The radar was light blue instead of orange.[29]
  • Location names had a different color.[30]
  • Blue coronas/markers originally were red domes.[31]
  • Stunt jumps originally had sliding "success" screens.[32]

Radio stations and soundtrack

Radio stations

  • Head Radio had a different logo and at one point. It was the same one as GTA 2's Head Radio.
  • Lips 106 had a slightly different logo.
  • K-JAH had a different logo with the slogan "Reggae To Rock".
  • MSX FM was originally called "Moving Shadow Radio".
  • A radio station with metal and rock music was cut. This might have been the station that Lazlow mentions on Chatterbox FM.
  • Three radio stations under the names of Liberty FM, WLLC The Zone 34.9 FM and Liberty Soul FM can be seen advertised on billboards throughout Liberty City. As they are not available for selection at any time during the game and have no songs or DJs associated with them, it is possible that these stations were originally intended to be actual stations in the game but were dropped during development, or if they were simply designed to sit alongside other fictional brands advertised in the game.
  • Another possible non-selectable station is what has been referred to as Orbit FM. However, close inspection of the ad (both in the game and in the instruction manual) shows that the correct name is either Orbit or OR-Bit. There is no ‘FM’ and no evidence that it is a radio station.



  • Tom Novy - Back to The Streets[33], originally intended to air on Head Radio.
  • Marydancin - Wash Him Off[34], originally intended to air on Lips 106. A sample is played at the start of the radio's transmission, when some of the songs intended to be played on the station are briefly shown.

Few trailers/commercials for songs that are not present in the final game. It is unknown if they were used for trailer purposes only or are they cut songs from in-game radio:



  • There were at least three development logos before the final one. One was on stencil font and another one a pill-shaped logo similar to the GTA 2 logo. One of the development logos was used on an alternative cover of the game released outside North America.
  • Unused lines within the game's text files contain phrases such as "You're perfectly healthy, get out of here!" and "I'll just fix you up". These seem to imply that the game's hospitals were originally accessible or usable.[40]
  • Like GTA and GTA 2, the player could originally rename Claude.
  • A camera pickup can be found in game files and even activated, but it is unfinished. Its icon was later re-used for snapshots in GTA San Andreas. Its original purpose is unknown.[41]
  • Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube ports of the game were planned, but were cancelled for unknown reasons.



GTA III Beta Version and Removed Content

The Design Behind GTA III


  1. Pre-release | Pre-release | Pre-release | Final Version
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cast of Grand Theft Auto III
  3. Butler in game with the use of modifications
  4. Early game art of 8-Ball
  5. Early game art of Joey
  6. Internal files refer to Salvatore's missions as "FRANK" (american.gxt > [FRANK] SALVATORE MISSIONS), while the surname "Sorvino" is used for Joey's early game art, which means that Salvatore's surname originally was Sorvino.
  7. american.gxt > ~g~Maria and Kemuri are all tied up at the moment -Drop by later!
  8. gta3.img > mine.txd and mine.dff
  9. Capital Autosteaser site
  10. 2001 E3 GTA III trailer
  11. School Bus -
  12. Grand Theft Auto 3 First Impressions - retrieved from Internet archive
  13. Police officers on the pre-release screenshot
  14. Screenshot of a firefighter next to a firetruck
  15. Screenshot
  16. Screenshot
  17. They can be spotted in the screenshot, where a woman is seen driving the taxi.
  18. american.gxt > [A_RANGE] ~g~The ambulance radio is out of range, get closer to a hospital!
    american.gxt > [C_RANGE] ~g~The police radio is out of range, get closer to a police station!
    american.gxt > [F_RANGE] ~g~The fire truck radio is out of range, get closer to a fire station!
  19. american.gxt > [TONIGO] ~g~Toni's taken his Momma to the opera -Call in some other time!
    american.gxt > [KEMUGO] ~g~Maria and Kemuri are all tied up at the moment -Drop by later!
    american.gxt > [KENJGO] ~g~Kenji is attending a Yakuza meeting -Call by some other time!
    american.gxt > [KENSGO] ~g~Kenji is busy! -Call by later!
    american.gxt > [HOODGO] ~g~The Hoods are not available at this time!
    american.gxt > [JOEYGO] ~g~Joey's out on the town with Misty -Drop by later!
    american.gxt > [LOVEGO] ~g~Donald Love has other business to attend to -Make an appointment later!
    american.gxt > [LUIGGO] ~g~Luigi's interviewing some new girls -Come back later!
    american.gxt > [RAYGO] ~g~Ray has other toilets to hang around -Try again later!
  20. american.gxt > [FRANGO] ~g~Salvatore wants you to help Toni deal with the Triads first!
  23. Screenshot
  24. Screenshot
  25. Beta video in which a fence surrounds Hepburn Height's towers.
  26. GTA III Multiplayer Leftover (Analysis)
  27. Beta analysis video (3:48)
  28. Screenshot
  29. Screenshot
  30. Screenshot
  32. Beta video in which the "success" message is animated.
  33. Tom Novy - "Back To The Streets"
  34. Marydancin - "Wash Him Off"
  35. First GTA III Trailer
  36. 2001 E3 GTA III Trailer
  37. GTA III Japanese TV Spot
  38. - "How 9/11 changed GTA 3 with cut Ammu-Nation commercial"
  39. - "GTA 3 Cut Military Commercial"
  40. american.gxt > [HEALTH1] Get outta here! You're perfectly healthy.
    american.gxt > [HEALTH2] Healthcare costs.
    american.gxt > [HEALTH3] I'll just fix you up.
    american.gxt > [HEALTH4] That will be $250.
  41. Beta analysis video (2:28)