|This article or section refers to "enhanced version" content in the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC renditions of Grand Theft Auto V and/or Grand Theft Auto Online, that is absent on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions.|
For a complete list of the features of the "enhanced" version of Grand Theft Auto V, please see here.
- "Wow, is that Avon's kill team? They look kinda funny. It's like if iFruit had an army...I can't tell if you're in a nightmare or a marketing campaign. Avon's security... there's something about them... they're clones... They're clones, I'm telling you! Either that or he just hires the same person...himself! Again and again and again. He needs to diversify his recruitment strategy."
- ―Lester Crest to the Online Protagonist in the mission Setup: Escort ULP
The Cliffford Mercenaries are a paramilitary led by the Cliffford AI, and its creator, Avon Hertz, appearing as antagonists in Grand Theft Auto Online. Based on their behavior, tactics, and "ideology", they could be classified as terrorists.
All Cliffford Mercenaries look exactly alike, dress in the same uniform, and speak with the same accent. There are two types of units: regular infantrymen wearing body armor and juggernauts armed with miniguns. It is speculated by Lester Crest that they are clones.
Events of Grand Theft Auto Online
The Clifford Mercenaries are speculated to be cyborg clones "created" during the mission The Bogdan Problem by the Cliffford supercomputer after it gains control of a Russian Submarine off the coast of Southern San Andreas, and a military base and lab under Mount Chiliad. All of this is made possible because Avon Hertz successfully manipulates Lester Crest and the GTA Online Protagonist into uploading Cliffford into the submarine's mainframe, creating a path for Cliffford to take control of the entire U.S. defense infrastructure and turn it against the nation.
The mercenaries make their first appearance toward the end of the mission when Avon and Cliffford dispatch them to kill the Online Protagonist. Ultimately, they fail and the protagonist escapes.
The Cliffford Mercenaries next appear in the mission Setup: Rescue Agent 14 where their heavy juggernaut units lead an attack on the Pacific Allied Shipyard armed with sophisticated cloaking devices that render them nearly invisible to the naked eye. The Online Protagonist has to rely on thermal vision in order to see them.
In the mission Setup: Escort ULP, a group of Cliffford Mercenaries is dispatched to hijack a Chernobog missile truck guarded by some IAA agents for the Online Protagonist to use in their mission. The protagonist travels to the construction yard in Paleto Bay to stop them and then takes the Chernobog on an escort mission to protect Agent ULP from Avon and Cliffford. More mercenaries will show up over the course of the mission to try and hinder the protagonist's efforts.
In the mission Setup: Barrage, the Cliffford Mercenaries spring into action immediately following the Online Protagonist's successful hijacking of Avon and Cliffford's prototype Barrage. They relentlessly pursue the protagonist throughout Blaine County all the way to Sandy Shores Airfield where the protagonist succeeds in destroying a strategic supply depot the mercenaries are guarding. Afterwards, the Barrage is successfully delivered to the IAA to safeguard it from Avon and Cliffford.
In the mission Setup: Khanjali, the Cliffford Mercenaries are found at the Thomson Scrapyard guarding some military R&D as well as Avon and Cliffford's prototype TM-02 Khanjali. When the Online Protagonist destroys the R&D and hijacks the tank, the mercenaries aggressively pursue until Lester manages to scramble their communications and cause confusion within their ranks. Afterwards, the Khanjali is delivered to the IAA.
In the mission Setup: Air Defenses, the Cliffford Mercenaries attempt to defend the summit of Mount Chiliad and Avon and Cliffford's SAM defense network from the Online Protagonist in a Volatol. Once again, they fail.
In the mission The Doomsday Scenario, the Cliffford Mercenaries' sole objective is to defend Avon, Cliffford, and their plans to launch a nuclear missile from the Online Protagonist's attack. The juggernauts make a return (without the cloaking devices), and unlimited waves of mercenaries will spawn at a certain point in the mission until the protagonist can successfully deactivate the missile to prevent the launch.
Clifford Mercenaries make a minor reappearance in the The Diamond Casino Heist update as part of the preparation side-mission "Vault Lasers". They are in possession of a military grade laser the player requires to break into the Diamond Casino vault with minimal noise. The player must break into their lock-up and retrieve the lasers from them.
Members and Associates
Other vehicles at their disposal include Buzzard Attack Choppers, a black Cargobob, beige and black Valkyrie MOD.0 helicopters, a matte gray RM-10 Bombushka, Hunter helicopters, Akula helicopters, Insurgent Pick-Ups, V-65 Molotok jets, and a black and purple Barrage and TM-02 Khanjali which both sport Cliffford logos.
During the mission Setup: Rescue Agent 14, the mercenaries send a total of three black and white Maverick helicopters to airdrop reinforcements at the Pacific Allied Shipyard after the Online Protagonist defeats the first wave of juggernauts. This is the only instance where the mercenaries are seen using Mavericks.
During the mission Setup: Barrage, the mercenaries are found guarding a lone Armored Boxville at the Sandy Shores Airfield. They never use this vehicle themselves, but the Online Protagonist has to destroy it.
During the mission Setup: Khanjali, the mercenaries are found guarding several black Anti-Aircraft Trailers and a couple of black Barracks trucks at the Thomson Scrapyard. They never use these vehicles themselves, but the Online Protagonist has to destroy them. Also, during said mission, the mercenaries can be seen using a couple of Rhino tanks if the Sandy Shores Airfield is driven on during the getaway. The tanks will only appear on the runway and cannot be found anywhere else.
Prominent Appearances in Missions
Grand Theft Auto Online
- The Doomsday Heist
- The Bogdan Problem
- Setup: Rescue Agent 14
- Setup: Escort ULP
- Setup: Barrage
- Setup: Khanjali
- Setup: Air Defenses
- The Doomsday Scenario
- Diamond Casino Heist
- Game Modes
- All Cliffford mercenaries have a neural implant in the back of their head.
- It is difficult to determine whether the Cliffford Mercenaries are led/controlled by Cliffford, Avon Hertz, or both. The neural implants and purple and black uniforms would imply that the mercenaries "follow" Cliffford. However, in the mission The Doomsday Scenario, Avon says to the Online Protagonist, "Why don't you just stop shooting my men and we can hash this out?" Later, after the protagonist "kills" Cliffford, the mercenaries appear to be unaffected, but when Avon is killed the mercenaries are seemingly wiped out and they make no further appearances whatsoever.
- The Cliffford Mercenaries are one of the most well-armed and dangerous gangs/factions in the GTA Universe (2D, 3D, and HD). Each of them is a fairly skilled marksman and their large assortment of vehicles and armaments make them a force to be reckoned with.
- They are also notable for being one of the only gangs/factions in GTA Online to appear almost exclusively in missions and not in Freeroam. Only Bogdan's Crew has similar exclusivity.
- The Cliffford Mercenaries are unique in that they are a gang/faction which comes into "existence" thanks primarily to the mistakes made by two people: Lester Crest and the Online Protagonist.
- However, the Cliffford Mercenaries make small appearances in Freeroam under the right circumstances. The first being the preparation side-mission "Test Site Intel", the protagonist has to infiltrate a house in Los Santos being rented by some of Avon's employees. If the player alerts the security guards, the LSPD will get called in along with a few mercenaries that arrive in pairs of Dubsta 6x6s. The second is during the Diamond Casino Heist preparation "Vault Lasers", where they can be one of the target factions. They possess military-grade lasers the player must retrieve in order to be able to pierce silently through the Diamond Casino vault door. The lasers are kept in a small lock-up that the protagonist must attack, facing multiple mercenaries, including one Juggernaut. Should the mercenaries and the LSPD (or even the military in one specific context) cross paths, they will immediately open fire on each other, with the LSPD usually winning the fight. These little skirmishes seem to place emphasis on the Cliffford Mercenaries being terrorists as they have shown that they will not hesitate to shoot law enforcement, much less anyone else who gets in their way.
- With the destruction of their leadership, the faction/gang seems to be completely dissolved. However, their small reappearance during the events of The Diamond Casino Heist hints that their remnants seem to have re-organized themselves as an independent paramilitary group over the years following the events of The Doomsday Heist.
- The Cliffford Mercenaries are supposedly the first non-human gang/faction in the GTA Universe (2D, 3D, and HD).