|For the receptionist at Goldberg, Ligner & Shyster, see Karen.|
Karen Daniels is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a supporting character and a former girlfriend in Grand Theft Auto IV, a minor character in Grand Theft Auto V and a main character in Grand Theft Auto Online.
She is an undercover government agent who works for United Liberty Paper. Before her true identity is revealed, she becomes Niko's girlfriend under the alias Michelle. By 2013, she became the lead interrogator for the IAA.
Very little is known about Karen's background because of her status as an undercover agent. She claims to have been raised in the Midwest and was apparently coerced by the United Liberty Paper Company into becoming an agent for them, so she may have past criminal connections herself. This notion is made more likely to be true by a statement made by the United Liberty Paper Contact, who said that in exchange for working for them, they would 'give her her life back', suggesting that she had something to hide, possibly a criminal past. Even though her job requires her to deceive those around her and keep a certain level of emotional detachment, she appeared to genuinely care about Niko, and seemed remorseful for betraying him, further suggesting she was coerced into her job.
After disclosing her true identity, it is revealed that Karen is a smoker. She is not seen drinking alcohol, though it is unknown if this is related to her job or as a lifestyle choice.
Events of Grand Theft Auto IV
Niko's first encounter with Karen (then known as Michelle) is during the mission "Three's a Crowd" where Niko has to pick her and Mallorie up from the subway station and take them back to Karen's apartment in Rotterdam Hill. During the car ride, Mallorie suggests that she and Niko go out. Karen tells Niko that he's "the kind of guy she wants to get to know." After this encounter, the mission "First Date" will unlock. After the first date, Niko can take her on a number of dates there after until the mission "The Snow Storm" is completed, where she will confess to Niko that she has been watching him and working for the government. After revealing her identity, she confiscates Elizabeta's cocaine, and naturally, she and Niko break up.
Despite her intentions, it appears as though Karen genuinely fell for Niko during their time together. This is due to the fact that she is sometimes surprised, upset and genuinely happy when talking to Niko, and after a fair amount of dates, Niko doesn't have to ask to be invited inside. She is also visibly hurt when she is forced to betray him, and upset when Niko calls her a "fucking bitch." After this, she is seen outside the United Liberty Paper building in Algonquin smoking a cigarette. She apologizes to Niko for lying to him and says that he is a "nice guy" who is "better than the creeps [she] normally date[s]", indicating that she took a liking to Niko even though she was only supposed to spy on him. After she takes Niko to the United Liberty Paper Contact's office, she is never seen again for the rest of the game. However, the United Liberty Paper Company's answering machine's voice sounds as if it was recorded by Karen. It is also suspected[ ] that she is the author of several emails that are sent to Niko by United Liberty Paper as the game progresses.
During a mission for ULPC, Niko asked what Karen's reward for bringing in Niko was, to which he replies "We gave her life back", once again hinting towards a previous criminal affiliation.
Events of Grand Theft Auto Online
- "You've done good work, made this country safer, but that does not mean I've got to like you."
- — Karen
Five years after the events of GTA IV, it is revealed that Karen is now a high-ranked IAA agent. She appears during The Humane Labs Raid first set-up mission, where players are tasked to meet up with Karen in order to receive access codes to the facility. Karen asks if the online protagonists were involved with The Fleeca Job and warns them what they're getting into now is a "whole different ball game". After receiving confirmation from the IAA that the crew is legitimate, she prepares to hand the code to the crew leader, but when she puts down the briefcase containing the access code, an FIB team ambushes the meeting and kills her bodyguard. Karen immediately runs off while the crew starts killing FIB agents.
She is later seen at the end of the heist finale, where she talks about how the IAA can get anyone to do their dirty work by paying them. She then hands one of the crew members a Grenade to destroy the evidence and then leaves the area.
Events of Grand Theft Auto V
- "Next I'll have this thing so far up your ass, your tonsils will be playing shadow puppets. You think we can't do that? We can. It's in our guidelines."
- ―Karen, torturing Mr. K.
She is seen in the mission Three's Company, where she tortures a captive by attacking both his hands with a flashlight and then threatens to sodomise him with it. However before she can carry out her threat, Michael De Santa interrupts the torture session, by smashing through the office window as part of an FIB rescue operation. Michael and Franklin Clinton start opening fire on the agents, but Karen manages to escape unharmed and calls for back-up. Nevertheless, Michael gets away with the Azerbaijani prisoner and she is not seen again for the rest of the main storyline.
Grand Theft Auto IV
- Three's a Crowd (Appears as Michelle)
- First Date (Boss, Appears as Michelle)
- Luck of the Irish (Post-mission phone call)
- The Snow Storm (Betrayal)
- Photo Shoot (Post-mission phone call)
- Wrong is Right
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto Online
Dating Preferences in GTA IV
Emperor (non-beater version)
Sabre (non-beater version)
|69th Street Diner|
Steinway Beer Garden (though comments that Irish gangsters hangout there)
Comrades Bar (though comments that Russian thugs hangout there)
|Happiness Sweater: Dislike|
Claude's Outfit: Approve
Michelle dislikes the radio station's Tuff Gong, The Classics and Integrity 2.0.
If Michelle likes a set of clothes, she is happy to see it repeatedly.
- Every single encounter that Niko has with "Michelle" has a hint that she is trying to take information from him, she will always ask Niko if he is seeing or involved with someone dangerous, will constantly say that she is a good listener and that Niko can tell her anything he wants. When Niko takes her to a bar, he will even mention while drunk, that he saw her putting something in his drink. Sometimes, after a random date with her, Niko, will say that "There is something strange about her", showing that Niko is suspicious about her behavior.
- Sometimes if Niko asks her to come in for a coffee, she will make references to the Hot Coffee controversy. For example, in one instance if Niko asks to come in for coffee, she will say that "would cost almost $20,000,000" This is a reference to the total amount that Rockstar Games agreed to pay in settlements for various lawsuits caused by the Hot Coffee Mod in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- She is possibly based on the character Nina Myers from the TV series 24.
- Her favorite radio station is Vladivostok FM.
- Between Karen's appearances, her eye color changes from brown to blue in Grand Theft Auto V, possibly due to contacts.
- An unused art asset in GTA V has her wearing a white bikini.
- In the mission First Date in GTA IV, when you date Michelle/Karen for the first time, you will drive her Declasse Merit. This car is always silver, but the luster color can be different, even unusual ones like red or blue.