|Grand Theft Auto series protagonists by Universe|
Claude is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto III (set in 2001), and a minor character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (set in 1992). He also appears in Grand Theft Auto Online as a parent character model. In all of his appearances, he never speaks and, as such, doesn't have any voice actor.
Claude is a silent criminal with an unknown background. Originally owning a garage in San Fierro, he later loses it to Carl Johnson in a race and flees to Liberty City with his new girlfriend Catalina. However, she eventually betrays him and leaves him for dead during a bank robbery, leading to his desire for revenge. He then works for various criminals and gangs in the city's underworld to track her down and kill her, but along the way many of them become hostile towards him, leading Claude to become one of the most infamous criminals in Liberty City, with most gangs wanting him dead by the end of the game.
Nothing is known about Claude's life. Rockstar Games, however, has stated that by 2001, Claude is definitely a drifter, probably from the west coast, new to Liberty City, with no known family and that his surname may or may not be Speed.
Events of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Racing with Carl Johnson
By 1992, Claude was a top contender in an illegal racing ring and owned an abandoned garage in Doherty, San Fierro. He became involved with Catalina, who had recently split up with Carl Johnson, before racing CJ in a losing effort. Following the loss, he hands over his garage to Johnson, before leaving San Andreas with Catalina. The two head to Liberty City where they embark on a nine year crime spree ending with Catalina's betrayal.
Before the events of Grand Theft Auto III
Catalina and Claude, after leaving San Andreas, begin a nine-year journey to Liberty City, going through many American states committing bank robberies, including Texas and New Mexico.  The two continue on their journey to Liberty City, reaching their destination in October 2001.
Events of Grand Theft Auto III
Bank Heist and Jailbreak
At the start of the game, Claude and Catalina robbed a bank in Liberty City. Catalina, however, turned on her boyfriend, shooting him and leaving him for dead, justifying her decision with "I'm an ambitious girl, and you're just small time". Claude is arrested by the Liberty City Police Department. He is convicted of all charges and is sentenced to ten years in prison. While being transferred to a prison in Portland View, Claude escapes from a police convoy after the Colombian Cartel attack the convoy to free the Oriental Gentleman. Claude and 8-Ball escape to a safehouse in the Red Light District, before moving on to Luigi's Sex Club 7. Luigi Goterelli, the owner, gives Claude his first job in the city, to drive Misty from the hospital back to the club.
The Leone Family
Claude, successful in his errand, continues to be employed by Goterelli, who also has him kill a drug dealer and two pimps, before having him drive Misty to Joey Leone's Garage. Claude then begins to work for Joey, killing both Mike Forelli and Lee Chong, before chauffering Toni Cipriani, later working for him against the Triads, principally killing three Triads warlords. Claude, impressing the Leone Family hierarchy, is introduced to the Don, Salvatore Leone. Salvatore, 'seeing nothing but good things' for Claude, has him looking after his 'girl' Maria for the evening, kill Curly Bob (who was selling secrets to the Colombian Cartel, now co-led by Catalina) and later destroy a freighter used as a factory for the drug SPANK. During this time, Claude also works for El Burro, the leader of the Diablos, helping him on various tasks, and Marty Chonks in his attempts to get out of his various problems.
After destroying the Cartel freighter, a paranoid Salvatore attempts to kill Claude by having him enter a bomb-laden car. Salvatore's wife Maria, however, pages Claude and directs him to a small pier where the two meet Asuka Kasen, co-leader of the Yakuza, and flee to Staunton Island after Maria had told her husband that she and Claude were an "item". Asuka, unconvinced of Claude's loyalty, has him kill Salvatore Leone to prove himself, before having him kill a number of other people causing her problems. She later introduces him to her brother Kenji and Ray Machowski, a corrupt police man working for the Yakuza. Claude helps Kenji with his problems, including settling debts and freeing a man from prison, and helps Machowski in his attempts to remain unnoticed, eventually helping him flee the city by the airport.
Later Jobs and The Exchange
Claude continues to look for work and finds employment with King Courtney, who has him attack the Diablos before attempting to kill him on orders from Catalina, and Donald Love, who has him kill Kenji Kasen disguised as a Colombian Cartel gangster in a Cartel Cruiser to provoke a war. Asuka, unaware of Claude's role in her brother's death, launches an assault on a Cartel-controlled building site and begins to torture Miguel, co-leader of the Cartel, into giving away Cartel secrets. Armed with the information, Asuka sends Claude on various missions to hurt Cartel operations, including stopping the selling of and stealing a shipment of SPANK. Claude briefly finds employment with D-Ice, leader of the Red Jacks sub-sect of the Southside Hoods, and attacks the rival Purple Nines into defeat. Claude returns to the building site and finds that Asuka and Miguel are both dead, whilst a ransom note from Catalina, wanting $500,000 for Maria, is left for him.
Claude goes to the Cartel mansion, escapes an ambush, destroys a helicopter piloted by Catalina, thus killing her, and rescues Maria. As they depart from the Cochrane Dam after Catalina's death, Maria starts a long and annoying speech which certainly irritates Claude. Maria's fate is then left unknown as the screen fades to black while she is talking, before a gunshot is fired and she stops talking.
What happened to Claude after the events of GTA III is completely unknown. Rockstar Games' official response in 2011, however, was that "He certainly isn’t dead. What else became of him, we don’t know".
Claude is a calm and serious man who appears almost emotionless regardless of the situation, aside from a slight smirk and usually a glare, seemingly taking everything in stride. Provided he is paid for his services, he will take orders from his bosses without reluctance or complaint, usually giving a nod to show that he understands, and doesn't respond even when he is scolded or shouted at by his bosses for doing something wrong. He also prostrates to his bosses if required, in Kenji Kasen's case.
Ironically, Catalina states that she betrayed Claude for his lack of ambition, and yet throughout the game, Claude works, kills and rises through the ranks of the Liberty City underworld, all just to get his revenge. Because Claude never verbalizes it, it's unclear if he has any true loyalty or respect to anyone. As long as he is paid and it will get him closer to getting revenge, he will work for, and kill, anyone, as evidenced by him killing Kenji Kasen. He even fights on multiple sides of gang wars, working for the Mafia, the Diablos, the Yakuza, and the Yardies, completely without hesitation and goes as far as to orchestrate a gang war between the Yakuza and the Colombian Cartel along with Donald Love.
It should be noted that when Claude does kill one of his former bosses, it's usually those who mistreat him or betray him like Kenji or Salvatore Leone, implying Claude doesn't take slights against him lightly, explaining why he is more than willing to kill them. His vindictive side is further evidenced when he coldly leaves Miguel to be tortured by Asuka Kasen, for his part in Catalina's betrayal. He does appear to at least have an amicable relationship with Asuka and Maria, since Asuka is willing to help Claude in his goal for revenge when she learns about Claude's history with Catalina.
For the vast majority of the game, Claude is taciturn and never speaks. He will only make a slight grunt when he is hurt, or an "Oh!" whenever he drowns, gets shot, run over, or when he falls down. He may also give passing vehicles the middle finger when crossing the road. There are moments where despite not talking, Claude will let his actions or behaviour speak for him, such as appearing taken aback and flinching slightly when Kenji yells at his face, or visibly reacting in surprise when Maria tells him that she told Salvatore that they slept together, the aforementioned leaving Miguel to his fate, and seemingly attempting to intimidate Carl Johnson when the latter has an argument with Catalina over a racing prize.
Claude remains true to his mission of finding and taking revenge on Catalina for leaving him for dead, even showing the slightest bit of pity for Maria when he allows her to live after freeing her and that saving her was at least part of his priorities, only to possibly kill her himself. It's also clear that Claude is primarily out for himself and will use people for his own ends or benefits until he no longer sees a reason to use them anymore; which more often than not ends with Claude killing them.
Worth noting is that Claude may possess a simple, almost childish sense of humor. In all of the missions given by Kenji, Claude engages in the preemptive bow with great enthusiasm, so much so that, during the final mission, he does it without even realising Kenji is yelling at him. Likewise, in San Andreas, he's shown some degree of enjoyment in making CJ feel uncomfortable in his presence.
Claude is a tall Caucasian male in his late twenties to early thirties. He has a somewhat muscular build with brown hair and a faint 5 o'clock shadow. He always wears a black leather bomber jacket with bronze zippers with a black T-shirt underneath, green cargo pants and blue sneakers. During Give Me Liberty, Claude wears a baggy orange prison jumpsuit with rolled-up sleeves.
In the PC version of GTA III, there is an alternate outfit consisting of a brown leather jacket, blue jeans, white sneakers and a brown mustache. Aside from that, Claude is the only 3D-era protagonist (except for Mike) that wears the same clothes throughout the entire game.
Claude's appearance in San Andreas is very similar, though he has a more youthful and detailed face. He is clean-shaven and his hair is styled almost exactly like it was in III however his long sideburns are missing.
His clothes consist of a re-skinned black biker jacket with a black T-shirt, olive cargo pants and white and black sneakers.
His appearance in Grand Theft Auto Online as a parent for the online character is significantly different from his previous counterpart. Like in San Andreas, he is clean-shaven and has a slightly pale complexion. He wears a black leather jacket with a black T-shirt underneath. The jacket, however, is slightly different from its previous renditions. His hair, instead of the usual spiky fringe, is instead styled into a faux-hawk. His face has been structured into a perpetual frown, with a stiff, grumpy brow. Additionally, when chosen as a parent, if players choose to have their character resemble him more, they can, in spirit, play as a customizable "pseudo-Claude" in GTA Online, who can wear any outfit or hairstyle they choose for him.
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Characters murdered by Claude
|Mike Forelli||Mike Lips Last Lunch||Killed on orders from Joey Leone after the Forellis did not pay their debts.|
|Lee Chong||Farewell 'Chunky' Lee Chong||Killed on orders from Joey Leone for selling SPANK in noodle stands.|
|Curly Bob||Cutting the Grass||Killed on orders from Salvatore Leone for telling the Leone's secrets to the Colombian Cartel.|
|Salvatore Leone||Sayonara Salvatore||Killed on orders from Asuka Kasen and for attempting to kill him.|
|Leon McAffrey||Plaster Blaster||Killed on orders from Ray Machowski for being an informant.|
|Tanner||Two-Faced Tanner||Killed on orders from Asuka Kasen for being an undercover policeman.|
|Kenji Kasen||Waka-Gashira Wipeout!||Killed on orders from Donald Love to instigate a war between the Colombian Cartel and the Yakuza.|
|Catalina||The Exchange||Killed for betraying him, repeatedly trying to kill him afterwards and kidnapping Maria Latore.|
- Carl - can be killed after he kills Marty Chonks.
- Chico - can be killed after he sells drugs to Maria.
- D-Ice's Brother - can be killed during or after a baseball bat fight against the Purple Nines.
Crimes committed by Claude
This is a list of crimes comitted by Claude in both GTA: San Andreas and GTA III, as well as other crimes that the player may commit while playing as Claude.
- Taking part in an illegal race in Red County, San Andreas.
- The robbery of a bank in Liberty City, and escaping when the police convoy taking him to prison is attacked by the Colombian Cartel.
- Killing a drug dealer and stealing his car for Luigi Goterelli.
- Killing two pimps.
- Driving several prostitutes to the Old School Hall.
- Stealing Mike Forelli's car, arming it with a bomb, and using it to kill Mike.
- Killing Lee Chong.
- Damaging and stealing a Securicar for Joey Leone.
- Driving Toni Cipriani to a laundry to rob, and helping him escape.
- Disposing of a body in the trunk of a car.
- Being the getaway driver for a bank robbery.
- Destroying three laundry vans.
- Stealing a briefcase from the Triads for Toni Cipriani, and killing all the Triads guarding it.
- Driving Maria Latore to a drug dealer and to a party which is busted by the LCPD, before helping her escape.
- Killing three Triad warlords.
- The bombing of the Triads' fish factory.
- Killing Curly Bob.
- Helping 8-Ball blow up the Colombian Cartel's ship, killing all the guards in his way.
- Taking part in an illegal street race in Portland.
- Arming an ice cream truck with a bomb and using it to kill several Mafia members.
- Killing 25 Triads with a flamethrower.
- Killing the thief of El Burro's porno magazines.
- Bringing a bank manager to the dog food factory to be killed by Marty Chonks.
- Bringing two thieves to be killed by Marty Chonks.
- Bringing Marty Chonks' wife to be killed by him.
- Bringing Carl to be killed by Marty (although he is the one who ultimately kills Marty).
- Killing Salvatore Leone.
- Killing several spies located around Staunton Island.
- Killing a reporter.
- Killing Tanner and escaping from the LCPD officers pursuing him afterwards.
- Breaking Kanbu out of prison.
- Stealing three sports cars for Kenji Kasen.
- Ambushing a deal between the Colombian Cartel and the Yardies, killing all the participants, and stealing their money for Kenji.
- Collecting protection money for Kenji and killing several Diablos who attempt to stop him.
- Killing numerous Yardie drug dealers.
- Torching Leon McAffrey's house and almost killing him.
- Killing several Colombians attacking Phil Cassidy.
- Damaging a vehicle and collecting evidence against Ray Machowski that falls from it, before torching the car with the evidence, evading the LCPD in the process.
- Killing Ray's partner.
- Damaging an ambulance, killing Leon McAffrey, and escaping from the LCPD.
- Killing several Colombians in order to save the Old Oriental Gentleman and bring him to Donald Love.
- Killing Kenji Kasen and framing the Colombian Cartel for the attack.
- Picking up six packages with illegal goods for Donald Love, and escaping from the LCPD.
- Killing several Colombians protecting a plane at the airport, and more at the construction site in Fort Staunton in order to steal their package for Donald Love.
- Defending a Securicar from the Colombians, killing some of them in the process.
- Acting as a decoy and distracting the LCPD for three minutes.
- Helping Ray Machowski escape from the LCPD by taking him to the airport.
- Leading several Colombians into a trap to be killed by the Yakuza.
- Destroying nine espresso stands operated by the Colombians.
- Destroying a plane in order to steal its packages of SPANK for Asuka Kasen.
- Taking part in an illegal race in Staunton Island.
- Killing 10 Diablos.
- Stealing three gang cars for King Courtney.
- Killing several SPANKed up madmen who attempt to kill him and destroying their vans.
- Killing 25 Purple Nines.
- Destroying three gang cars with an RC Bandit.
- Picking up numerous packages of bullion for D-Ice.
- Killing the remaining Purple Nines with a baseball bat.
- Killing Catalina by destroying her helicopter, along with numerous Colombians, in retaliation for her betrayal and in order to save Maria Latore.
Other crimes (player-determinant)
- Grand Theft Auto
- Reckless Driving
Official "10th Anniversary" Screenshots
Official "The Definitive Edition" Screenshots
- The name "Claude" does not appear in Grand Theft Auto III. Other characters call him by his nicknames (similarly to Claude Speed, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto 2) and the menu lines refer to him as 'player'. However, in the ending cutscenes of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when Catalina is phone calling the protagonist CJ, she shouts "Oh, Claude!" with background moaning, indicating Claude and Catalina were having sex. 'Claude' can also be found in the GTA III game files, suggesting it could have been planned to be in the main game. Lately, Rockstar used the name in many promotional releases related to previous games, such as the game's 10 years anniversary, which definitely confirmed that his name was indeed Claude.
- Even though he never speaks, he grunts in GTA III. It is unknown, however, who provided his grunts. It is also unknown who provides his motion capture.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, his and other 3D Universe protagonists' names (excluding Mike) are written on a wall of graffiti with "rest in peace" messages, suggesting they could all have died after the events in the 3D universe (or this may be also a reference to the end of the 3D era). According to Rockstar, this only served as a "little joke to [their] fans".
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, if Niko kills Playboy X and gains access to his safehouse, he will gain access to Claude's clothes which can only be equipped at said safehouse.
- Claude and the GTA Online protagonist are two of the few characters in the GTA series who do not speak (excluding any of the optional protagonists from the 2D Universe). This was a choice Rockstar Games made at the start of the development process, as they stated, "We had so many other problems to solve and this did not seem like a major issue." Having a silent protagonist would also help players identify with the character. However, there were rumors that Claude actually spoke in the beta GTA III trailer, saying "Get out of the car!"; Rockstar replied to the rumors that the brief voiceover was fake and was pulled from .RAW files from GTA 2.
- Also, the original line was "Get out of the car, man!", but in the trailer, the word "man" was omitted.
- In the opening cutscene of the game, at the first mission, "Give Me Liberty", (notably when he rounds the corner and finds Catalina pointing two pistols at him), Claude's face is notably different in the convoy and onwards (the difference can actually be seen in the gallery of this article). This is because he uses a different model and slightly different texture, likely a beta model.
- In GTA San Andreas, Claude is wearing substitutes for the bomber jacket, cargo pants and sneakers. He is wearing a biker jacket that is available from Victim, black hi-tops from ProLaps, and re-colored olive pants from Binco.
- To celebrate GTA III's 10th anniversary on October 22nd 2011, Rockstar Games released an official Claude action figure in association with Sideshow Collectibles. The figure comes complete with both of Claude's outfits (his standard outfit and prison uniform), along with several weapons to pose him with. Only 1600 were produced, and by mid-2012 they officially sold out. Unopened sets can now fetch up to US$2000 on internet auction sites.
- Going by the release date of the games, he is the first protagonist of the 3D Universe. Although chronologically, he is the last of them.
- If one examines Claude's 3D model from Grand Theft Auto III in a third party program, several peculiar details can be seen. His mouth is asymmetrical and has a permanent sneer. Additionally, the edges and faces that comprise the spikes in his hair aren't properly attached to one another.
- "Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part One (Claude, Darkel & Other Characters)" - Rockstar Newswire, December 15, 2011
- "Have You Seen This Woman?" - Kelly Sue DeConnick, Liberty Tree (Archived website)