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Not to be confused with In The Beginning..., another introduction mission from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Grove Street - Home. At least it was before I fucked everything up.
Carl Johnson, once he reaches Grove Street for the first time.

"In the Beginning" is the introductory cutscene of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which introduces the main protagonist and antagonists of the game.


After five years on the east coast, it was time to go home.
— Carl Johnson at Francis International Airport

The game starts with Carl Johnson loading his suitcase onto the baggage carousel at Francis International Airport in Liberty City, saying it is time to go back home after living in Liberty City for five years. As Carl retrieves his suitcase at the Los Santos International Airport arrivals lounge, the phone call from his estranged brother Sweet Johnson, informing him that their mother had died, is heard. Carl catches a taxi and heads home to Grove Street.

As Carl nears Grove Street, his Taxi is pulled over by a police car with three members of C.R.A.S.H. - Frank Tenpenny, Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez. Carl exits the taxi with his hands on his head and is confronted by the three Los Santos Police Department police officers. Tenpenny confiscates Carl's money, which he claims to be drug money. After that Tenpenny bundles Carl into the police car while Pulaski shoos off the taxi, with Carl's suitcase still in it.

Tenpenny threatens Carl to frame him for the murder of LSPD officer Ralph Pendelbury (which was actually committed by Hernandez when he was forced to do so by Tenpenny and Pulaski). Tenpenny tells Carl that he will be watching him. The officers then throw Carl out of the car in Jefferson, a territory of Ballas. The game then instructs the player to get on the BMX parked nearby and make their way back to Grove Street.

Tutorial Objectives

No actual mission takes place after the cutscene, but the game instructs the player to:

  1. Get on the BMX bicycle.
  2. Follow the "CJ" icon on the map and go to Johnson House in Grove Street.

Reaching Grove Street

The mission ends when the cutscene ends. The game instructs the player to reach Grove Street, but it is not part of the mission. Once the cutscene ends, CJ will be in an alleyway in Jefferson with a BMX parked nearby. Either get on the BMX as instructed by the game or take any other vehicle and get back to the Johnson House (denoted by the "CJ" icon on the radar) in Grove Street.

The game will instruct the player on how to ride the BMX. The controls are same for other land vehicles. The easiest route to reach Grove Street is by following the railway line.

Once CJ reaches Grove Street, walk into the mission marker in front of the Johnson House to start the first mission, Big Smoke.


Text reads Francis International Airport, Liberty City, 1992.
CJ: After 5 years on the East Coast, it was time to go home.
Text reads "Los Santos International Airport"
CJ picks up his suitcase and leaves the airport. Phone rings.
CJ: Sup?
Sweet: Carl, it's Sweet.
CJ: Sup Sweet, what do you want?
Sweet: It's Momma, she's dead bro.
CJ leaves the airport and enters a Taxi. The taxi is pulled over by an LSPD car.
Tenpenny: Passenger. Show us your hands.
CJ walks towards the police car.
Tenpenny: Stop. Get down on your knees. Now down on your stomach. There you go.
CJ is handcuffed and searched by Hernandez.
Tenpenny: I'll take that, Hernandez.
CJ: Hey that's my paper man, that's money.
Tenpenny: This is drug money.
CJ: My money, man.
CJ is stood onto his feet.
Pulaski: Hey, don't worry about it. I'll fill it out later.
Tenpenny: Welcome home, Carl. Glad to be back? You haven't forgotten about us, have you boy?
CJ: Hell no, Officer Tenpenny. I was just wondering what took y'all so long.
Tenpenny: Get in the car.
CJ is taken to the police car.
CJ: Ease up man, damn!
Tenpenny: Watch your head.
CJ hits his head on the car roof.
Pulaski: (Laughter)
Tenpenny: Oh, my bad.
Pulaski: Get out of here, you greaseball bastard!
The taxi drives away.
Pulaski: Stupid Mexican. *stares at Hernandez* Oh, hey, sorry.
CJ: My bag. Hey, man, my bag!
The car drives away. The screen blacks out and then reappears in East Los Santos.
Tenpenny: How have you been Carl? How's your wonderful family?
CJ: I'm here to bury my Moms. You know that.
Tenpenny: Yeah, I guess I do. So what else you got shakin' Carl?
CJ: Nothin'. I live in Liberty City now. I'm clean. Legit.
Tenpenny: No, you ain't never been clean, Carl.
The car stops at the train track as a Freight crosses.
Pulaski: Well, what have we got here?
Tenpenny: This is a weapon, Officer Pulaski, that was used to gun down a police officer not ten minutes ago. Officer Pendelbury, A fine man, I might add. You work fast, ni**a.
CJ: You know I just got off the plane.
Pulaski: Then it's a good thing we found you and retrieved the murder weapon.
CJ: That ain't my gun!
Tenpenny: Don't bullshit me, Carl!
Pulaski: Yeah, don't bullshit him, Carl!
CJ: What the fuck you want from me this time?
Tenpenny: When we want you we'll find you. In the mean time, try not to gun down any more officers of the law. (Laughs)
The car drives into an alley.
CJ: Y'all can't leave me here, this Ballas country!
Tenpenny: I thought you said you were innocent, Carl? That you don't bang?
Pulaski: This is car 58... WHAT?!
CJ is thrown out of the car.
Tenpenny: See you around like a doughnut, Carl... (laughs)
Pulaski: Officer Pendelbury's down? We'll be right over.
CJ: Oh shit, here we go again. Worst place in the world. Rollin Heights Balla country. I ain't represented Grove Street in five years, but the Ballas won't give a shit.
CJ walks up to a BMX. Help text reads "Follow the 'CJ' icon to get back to the hood." CJ rides the bike into Grove Street.
CJ: Grove Street - Home. At least it was before I fucked everything up.


Video Walkthroughs



  • In the PC version, if the host computer is running at around 25-30 frames per second, the police car will drive on before the train has passed the level crossing, causing it to pass through the train.


  • The police car driven by Pulaski in the cutscene is not the same model as the regular LSPD car. In the PC version, the car does not have specular reflection, causing it to look much darker than a normal LSPD car. Also the wheels are copied from GTA III / VC, the license plate is blank, and the rear lights are black for some reason.
  • During the cutscene at the airport, Carl has a Rockstar Games logo on his suitcase.
  • Due to the fact that 'In the Beginning' is not considered to be a mission by the game, the player is free to explore Los Santos after the cutscenes conclude. Players are able to gather money and weapons, purchase several safehouses and even work on increasing their stats.
  • The name of this mission is not usually displayed in-game. It can be seen by collecting enough money to buy a safehouse, and saving the game. The save file will display "In The Beginning".
  • The woman at the airport who takes Carl's suitcase has very low texture details.
  • Tenpenny has extra lines recorded after bailing Carl out of the patrol car, but because of the distance, they go unheard. The audio file is longer than what is heard in-game.
  • Carl's line, "You can't leave me here - it's Ballas' country!" is a reference to Duke's line in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, "We can't stop here, this is bat country."
  • In the cutscene where Carl Johnson says "Whassup, Sweet, what you want?", the player can see the Hidden Interiors Universe[1].


See Also