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.
- 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.
- The character Curtly was cut.
- The character Darkel was also cut.
- Tom Novy was meant to make an appearance in the game as himself.
- 8-Ball's real name was going to be Mullan, as shown on alpha screenshots.
- Joey Leone's original surname was Sorvino.
- Salvatore Leone's original name was Frankie Sorvino.
- Asuka Kasen's original first name was Kemuri.
- There was a Butler but he never made the final cut, no one knows what his purpose was but he was supposed to appear in the mission Waka-Gashira Wipeout! as Donald Love's Butler
- Kenji Kasen's original surname was Kassen as evidenced of this site, although it's possible this could be a typo.
- Donald Love originally looked completely different from the final version as seen in the official GTA III wallpapers website.
- The Land Mine was cut.
- The Baseball Bat originally was red and yellow, with a red grip.
- The Nightstick was cut.
- The police cars and Enforcers 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.
- Some of the cars featured antennas that reacted to the movement of a car, mainly the Infernus, Idaho, police cars, Perennial and FBI Car.
- 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 Panto from GTA 2 was meant to appear but was deleted. It was based on a Fiat 128. It returned in GTA V's "I'm Not A Hipster" update but based on the Smart Fortwo.
- The Bug, also from Grand Theft Auto 2, was featured in a very early screenshot but was removed shortly into development.
- In "Gangcar Round-Up" King Courtney mistakenly says "Diablo Infernus", suggesting that the Infernus was going to be the Diablos' gang car, instead of the Stallion, but was changed likely because it would have been too fancy for a Hispanic street gang to drive such an expensive car around the streets of Portland.
- A green car known as the Brigham that was based on the Chevrolet Caprice was cut.
- An early version of the BF Injection known as the Buggy was cut.
- A Coach bus company called Felly Tours was removed.
- A box van known as the Luton was either cut or reworked into the Mule.
- The Yakuza Stinger originally had lower suspension.
- The Yardie Lobo looked different and at one point had Stallion wheels.
- The Fire Truck looked different.
- The Taxi looked slightly different.
- The Stretch was painted black instead of gray.
- The Ambulance was much less detailed.
- The Idaho was going to be a convertible.
- The Airtrain was originally destroyable, as seen in one of the trailers, but this feaure was cut following 9/11. It can actually be made destroyable again by tweaking the Airtrain's coding in the gta3.exe files. When blown up, it will 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. It only survives in the final version of the game as Wrecks.
Beta Vehicles Names
- The Sentinel was originally named the Beamer.
- The Idaho was originally named the Hachura.
- The Perennial was originally named the Maurice.
- The Stinger was originally named the Shark.
- The Bobcat was originally named the U-Jerk Truck.
- The Manana was originally known as the Ariant.
- The Moonbeam was originally named the Aster.
- The Infernus was originally named the Dyablo.
- The Esperanto originally had a slightly different name known as the Esparanto.
- The Patriot was originally known as the Hum Vee.
- The Cheetah was originally named the Rocket.
- The Kuruma was originally known as the Sentinal.
- The Blista was originally known as the Space.
- The Mr Whoopee was originally simply known as the Ice Cream Truck.
- The Rhino was originally simply called the Tank.
- The Barracks OL was originally simply called the Army Truck.
- The Trashmaster was originally simply called the Garbage Truck.
- The Linerunner was originally called the Semi Cab.
- The Reefer was originally known as the Fishing Boat.
- The Predator was originally simply called the Police Boat.
- The Securicar was originally called the Armored Truck.
- Children may have been planned for the game, although Rockstar Games claims that this isn't true.
- Police Officers originally had mustaches and looked more cartoony.
- Fire Fighters originally had yellow uniforms as seen in the earlier screenshots.
- The Triads originally sported black outfits and had tattoos.
- The FBI had a different uniform.
- Buskers (pictured below) were cut/disabled from the game and later introduced in GTA IV. Existence of buskers in GTA III, can be seen in default.ide file at the bottom line that says "#83, busker1, busker1, CIVMALE, STAT_BUSKER, man, 0". Note that the "#" marks the line as "disabled". The busker with the bongos has the same appearances as a college student at the Liberty City Community College in Liberty Campus.
- There were originally going to be female taxi drivers.
- 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.
- There was an unused gang.
- 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.
- Originally, several missions could not be taken at any time, since the leaders were busy.
- Toni's missions originally had to be completed before advancing to Salvatore's missions.
- 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, evidenced by the game code.
- In "Kanbu Bust-out", Claude could be rewarded by allowing him to obtain two bodyguards from the Hyaku Dojo after completing the mission, 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.
- 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.
- The city during development stage was very different from the finished version and has more streets and roads. The airport was once in Staunton Island and there were many roads in Shoreside Vale. Callahan Bridge was also absent.
- Punk Noodles was originally just with a small grass park with two statues. The statue model still exists in the game's files.
- The Callahan Bridge was going to be named West Port Bridge (taken from a sign in Atlantic Quays).
- The Callahan Bridge also had two suspensions rather than just one.
- There were other area names that 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 penitentiary, where Claude and 8-Ball were being transported to in the Introduction, was originally planned to be located on a peninsula in north-east Portland.
- 8-Ball's Garage was supposedly be in the area names on the screen (Observed in the archives of the PS2 version).
- In the beta also, the Shoreside Lift Bridge had many roads leading to the bridge. However, a picture of GTA III has the beta picture without the lift bridge. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Millenium Fair informs it takes place at the said park, and there are no other 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. This can still be activated in the PS2 version via cheat codes.
- Claude could originally run with the baseball bat.
- Online multiplayer was cut.
- 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's possible to enable it.
- 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 are 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 graphics were originally "cartoonish".
- 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.
- Location names had a different color.
- Blue coronas/markers originally were red domes.
- Stunt jumps originally had sliding "success" screens.
Radio Stations and Soundtrack
- Head Radio had a different logo and at one point, shared 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, originally intended to air on Head Radio.
- Marydancin - Wash Him Off, originally intended to air on Lips 106 though a sample is played at the start of the station previewing some of the songs that are intended to be played on the station.
Few trailers/commercials for GTA III used 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:
- Derrick May - Kaotic Harmony
- Unknown 2001 E3 song - Full version of the song was never found. It is speculated that the song was created by the Craig Conner.
- Ruggiero Leoncavallo - Vesti la giubba - The song later appeared on the Double Clef FM in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
- A commercial for Ammu-Nation was cut but was later reworked into Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
- A commercial for the Military was cut. The commercial had originally intended to air on both Head Radio and Lips 106.
- In the recent interview about GTA III, the logo was used to be stencil font and other one, a pill-shaped logo similar to GTA 2 logo.
- Unused lines of text 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 lines of text seem to imply that the game's hospitals were, originally, accessible/usable.
- 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.
- Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube ports of the game were planned, but were cancelled for unknown reasons.
- Pre-release | Pre-release | Pre-release | Final Version
- Cast of Grand Theft Auto III
- Tom Novy
- Early game art of 8-Ball
- Early game art of Joey
- Internal files refer to Salvatore's missions as "FRANK" (american.gxt > [FRANK] SALVATORE MISSIONS), the surname "Sorvino" is used for Joey's early game art, which means that Salvatore's surname originally was Sorvino.
- american.gxt > ~g~Maria and Kemuri are all tied up at the moment -Drop by later!
- Butler in game with the use of modifications
- gta3.img > mine.txd and mine.dff
- 2001 E3 GTA III trailer
- Capital Autos teaser site
- School Bus - IGN.com
- Grand Theft Auto 3 First Impressions - Gamespot.co.uk retrieved from Internet archive
- Police officers on the pre-release screenshot
- Screenshot of a firefighter next to a firetruck
- A woman can be seen driving the taxi
- 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!
- 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!
- american.gxt > [FRANGO] ~g~Salvatore wants you to help Toni deal with the Triads first!
- GRAND THEFT AUTO III: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED – PART ONE (CLAUDE, DARKEL & OTHER CHARACTERS) at Rockstar Games
- Beta video in which a fence surrounds Hepburn Height's towers.
- GTA III Multiplayer Leftover (Analysis)
- Beta analysis video (3:48)
- Beta video in which the "success" message is animated.
- Tom Novy - "Back To The Streets"
- Marydancin - "Wash Him Off"
- First GTA III Trailer
- 2001 E3 GTA III Trailer
- GTA III Japanese TV Spot
- - "How 9/11 changed GTA 3 with cut Ammu-Nation commercial"
- - "GTA 3 Cut Military Commercial"
- 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.
- Beta analysis video (2:28)