Liberty City in the GTA III Era is the second appearance of Liberty City, assuming a significantly different design from its original version, plays a major role in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Advance and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, as well as a secondary role in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The city motto is "the worst place in America, due to the high crime rate in the city because of gang wars, robberies and murders.
The city was established in 1798, being "a church, a cow pasture and three houses when the telephone was invented," according to Lazlow of Chatterbox FM. The population of the city in 1998, according to the manual of the game GTA Liberty City Stories, is four million people. The differences appear in the city between each game, with different interpretations of the city that appears in Grand Theft Auto 1 and GTA IV Era, but are not related to this interpretation.
The first appearance of this Liberty City is GTA III basing on the late-autumn of 2001, with a population of approximately 4, 000, 000 inhabitants. in addition to his appearance with Vice City and the State of San Andreas in the Era, possibly located near Carcer City.The GTA III website mentions that the city is twinned with Beirut.
Many landmarks exist within Liberty City to New York City, but many do not echo the city, since it also includes elements of other american cities. But in general, Liberty City is based on New York. Liberty City is divided into 25 neighborhoods which are spread across of the boroughs, and probably 26 with Ghost Town, but could not be regarded as not accessible to him and not within the city map. The city made up of four islands, with three large islands comprising the city's main boroughs:
The fourth island, known as Portland Rock, is a district of Portland Island. In GTA III, a hidden area located behind the hills of Shoreside Vale is popularly known as the Ghost Town appears, although the area can only be reached by flying a Dodo. Ghost Town could have been another borough of the city or zone of Shoreside Vale.
Portland is the industrial and lower-class residential island of the city. It is inspired by New York's lower-class boroughs, particularly Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. The island houses an LCPD police station and Sweeney General Hospital, in Portland View and a Liberty City Fire Department fire station located in Harwood. The island is the first area accessible to protagonists Claude in GTA III, Mike in GTA Advance and Toni Cipriani in GTA Liberty City Stories, and the only borough accessible in GTA San Andreas. Portland Island also has an elevated commuter train, known as Portland El, transporting residents to three stations in the city. The service, completed in 1930, stops at Baillie Station in Saint Marks, Kurowski Station in Chinatown and Rothwell Station in Hepburn Heights.
- Atlantic Quays: Consists of warehouses and piers.
- Callahan Bridge: Bridge connecting Portland to Staunton Island with the Portland side of the bridge in Chinatown. Began construction in 1998, despite all three of its real life counterparts being completed by 1920.
- Callahan Point: Undeveloped district near Callahan Bridge
- Chinatown: A mixed-use Chinese ethnic enclave. It has been Triad territory since 1998.
- Harwood: Somewhat undeveloped and under Leone Family control.
- Hepburn Heights: A large housing district. It came under Diablos control in 1998.
- Portland Beach: A secluded beach near Salvatore's mansion.
- Portland Harbor: Industrial docks containing several freighters.
- Portland Rock: A small island with a lone lighthouse just off of Portland Beach.
- Portland View: A mixed-use neighborhood containing the police station and hospital.
- Red Light District: A district located to the west of Saint Mark's, the district is the adult entertainment center of the city, with no residential housing.
- Saint Marks: A mixed-use Italian ethnic enclave. The district was under influence by all three mob families - the Leones, Forellis and Sindaccos, until the Leones took complete control in 2001.
- Trenton: An industrial district. There is no gang presence, although Joey Leone owns a garage in the district.
Staunton Island is the middle island of the city and is the city's commercial sector. It is based on New York's Manhattan Island and derives its name from Staten Island. There are some non-commercial districts in the city, centered in the south of the island. The island houses the LCPD Headquarters in Torrington, a hospital called Carson General Hospital in Rockford and a Liberty City Fire Department station in Aspatria. The island is the second accessible island to the protagonists Claude in GTA III, Mike in GTA Advance and Toni Cipriani in GTA Liberty City Stories.
- Aspatria: A stadium district mostly taken up by Liberty Memorial Coliseum.
- Bedford Point: The main commercial district of the city, no real gang presence.
- Belleville Park: A large park located in the centre of Staunton Island. The district also extends to some of the surrounding area. Apparently, it seems as the Yardies have taken over the area.
- Callahan Bridge: The bridge linking Portland Island to Staunton Island.
- Fort Staunton: Once an upscale Italian enclave controlled by the Forelli Family, until being bombed in 1998. Now a large redevelopment project by Panlantic Construction Company, a front company for the Colombian Cartel (which would explain their heavy presence in the area).
- Liberty Campus: The campus of the Liberty City Community College.
- Newport: A high-class mixed-used district on the waterfront. The Yakuza and Yardies dispute this turf, and Asuka Kasen lives in this district.
- Rockford: Like Fort Staunton, it was bombed in 1998 and is now largely undeveloped.
- Torrington: A skyscraper district much like its immediate neighbor Bedford Point. Controlled by Yakuza since 2000.
Shoreside Vale is the western most island of the city and is primarily a residential district. Shoreside Vale most resembles the farther away, more upper-class of Long Island, Westchester, as well as suburban areas of New Jersey and the more affluent neighborhoods of New York City's Staten Island, which is relatively far from Manhattan, although it too resembles The Bronx in the eastside. The Suburban district does have its own industrial area, which is located within Pike Creek. The borough houses the city airport, Francis International Airport, a Liberty City Police Department police station and a hospital, called Hope Medical College, both located in Pike Creek, and a Liberty City Fire Department station in Francis International Airport. The island is the last accessible island to the protagonists Claude in GTA III, Mike in GTA Advance and Toni Cipriani in GTA Liberty City Stories.
- Cedar Grove: A wealthy mansion suburb in the northeast, towards Upstate. It is territory of the Colombian Cartel, namely because their leader lives in the area.
- Cochrane Dam: A hydro-electric dam, also serving as a bridge between Pike Creek and Cedar Grove.
- Francis International Airport: The city's major airport, taking up the southern half of Shoreside Vale.
- Pike Creek: A business district located in the west of Shoreside Vale. The area has slight presence of Yakuza.
- Upstate: An inaccessable area behind Shoreside Vale.
- Wichita Gardens: A lower-class housing project on the east side of Shoreside Vale. The district has a number of housing projects and is controlled by the Southside Hoods. Claude resides in the district in 2001.
Liberty City is located in Liberty State, with links to "Upstate" being found in a road tunnel connecting Cedar Grove and Cochrane Dam in GTA Liberty City Stories. The city is also located close to Carcer City, the setting of Manhunt, another Rockstar Games title. The city is relatively flat, with hills only appearing in Portland Island (with Saint Marks) and in Shoreside Vale (with Pike Creek and Cedar Grove). In GTA Advance, however, the city has no hills, although this is due to the limited capacity of the Game Boy Advance.
Liberty City has a total of 3 parks and a picnic area called Are "Staunton View Picnic Area", which could be a park over Liberty City.
The parks are located as follows:
- Little China Park: located in Portland, is the only park on the island and the smallest of the city
- Belleville Park: is considered the most important park in the city and the second largest park in the city.
- Aspatria Waterfront Park: is named for the location in which the waterfront and actually has no name, is located in Aspatria, Staunton Island, is the longest park in the city.
ArchitectureStaunton´s Island is the home of skycrapers and buildings on Liberty City, since it is the island which houses most of this architecture. Liberty City does not have too many buildings as is its real life counterpart "New York City" or Liberty City in GTA IV Era, but the buildings are very good in impressive style, besides that many of them have some similarities with real life, both New York and elsewhere. Some of the buildings of Liberty City are:
- Jefferson St. Credit Union building: the tallest building in the city.
- Empire State Building Equivalent: the second tallest building in the city.
- FBC Bank Building: the third tallest building in the city
- The Love Media Building.
- Lips 106 Headquarters.
- FBI Offices
Addition to buildings, Liberty City also has other structures distributed throughout the city such as City Halls (for example: City Hall and Town Hall), departments (Hepburn Heights and Wichita Gardens), casinos (Kenji's Casino), stadiums (Liberty Memorial Stadium), etc.
Roger C. Hole was elected Mayor of Liberty City in 1992 and during this time proved to be corrupt. Hole, who was being controlled by Forelli Family Don Franco Forelli, caused numerous controversies during his term in office. In 1993, three Russian prostitutes and a construction company manager were caught trying to get a government contract from Hole. In 1995, he was photographed with members of the Forelli Family whilst he was accused of securing drugs for city officials in return for sanitation contracts. Hole was also accused of sleeping with two underage girls. Eventually, his connections with the Forelli Family resulted in his own death in 1998. During his term in office, he raised taxation, reduced public expenditure, increased bureaucratic costs and kept Liberty City in the national news.
An election was then triggered, with businessman Donald Love running against former candidate Miles O'Donovan. Love received help from Salvatore Leone and Toni Cipriani, who campaigned for him, stopped the Forelli Family rigging the election and even attempt to rig the election in Donald's favour. However, after links between Love and the Leone Family were discovered, the people voted in favour of O'Donovan.
O'Donovan came to power by making numerous promises, one of which was to keep the Ferry service and another to improve the state of the Portland El service. By 2000, the ferry service was cancelled and in 2001, the Portland El service had not been improved. O'Donovan, much like Hole, is also corrupt, quickly falling under the influence of Salvatore Leone after being rescued from Massimo Torini and the Sicilian Mafia. O'Donovan, who past includes rumours of corruption, drug abuse and prostitution, also begins to introduce numerous hardware stores into the city, possibly due to his brother being in charge of the Donovan Hardware company. O'Donovan, however, does introduce helicopters for the Liberty City Police Department and in April 2001 promises to revamp the Red Light District.
There are two known educational buildings in the city, a school in the Bedford Point district of Staunton Island and the Liberty City Community College in the Liberty Campus district of Staunton Island. In the beta version of GTA III, a school could also be seen in the Chinatown district of Portland Island, although this was later replaced by the Old School Hall.
The Liberty City Community College is based at the Liberty Campus district. The college is run by Dean Smegley, with Eric Ershwitz employed at the college as Professor for Contemporary Crime. The college was named the worst in the United States, resulting in Smegley's appointment as Dean and his changing of the colleges program. Smegley, in 2001, announces his plans to abandon the old methods of evaluation and old subjects, planning to replace them with diplomas for new subjects and grading students on how bad they look. The new subjects include: Street cleaning, Processed Agriculture Rotation, Grill Management, Floor cleaning, Restroom Administration, Coatroom Management, Automobile Ignition Circumvention and Pharmaceutical Baking.
Liberty City's media is dominated, in 2001, by the Love Media group run by Donald Love, which also controls numerous other businesses across the city. The company owns "900 radio stations, 300 television stations, 4 networks, 3 satellites, [and] 10 senators" according to a Love Media advert.
In 1998, the city had numerous independently owned radio stations: Head Radio, Double Clef FM, Flashback FM, K-JAH, Lips 106, Rise FM, MSX 98, Radio Del Mundo and The Liberty Jam. The city also had a publicly funded station, Liberty City Free Radio. By 2001, the airwaves of the city had changed. Love Media purchased Head Radio, Double Clef FM, Flashback 95.6 and Liberty City Free Radio, replacing the station with Chatterbox FM. A number of stations remain outside the Love Media company: Lips 106, Rise FM, MSX FM (replacing MSX 98) and Game Radio (which replaced The Liberty Jam). Three other radio stations also exist in the city in 2001, although Claude can not listen to them. They are Liberty FM, WLLC ‘The Zone’ and Liberty Soul FM. Meanwhile, Radio Del Mundo appears to have disappeared from the airwaves.
The city's newspaper, the Liberty Tree, is in 1998 privately owned but by 2001 comes under the ownership of the Love Media group. The newspaper has been "promoting family values" for over fifty years. Adam Tedman, a report for the paper, reports that the Liberty Tree won the "Most Absorbent Newsprint Award" at the Cleaning and Tidying Association of America annual awards ceremony. In the same article, Tedman also references that Liberty Tree has a rival in the city, although he does not mentioned the newspaper by name.
Liberty Tree reporters
Liberty City has two known sports teams: the Liberty City Cocks and Liberty City Beavers. The two football/soccer teams play at the Liberty Memorial Stadium in Aspatria. The two are fierce rivals, with Derrick Thackery, in 1992, mentioning a match between the two on WCTR's The Tight End Zone. Another match is played in September 2001, with the Liberty Tree reporting that the Liberty Cocks won 3-0 after a hatrick (three goals) from Iranian striker Ma'am. Fans of the Liberty City Cocks can be seen around the stadium in Aspatria. In 2000/2001, the Vice City Mambas play the Liberty City Cocks, with Mike injuring the Mambas injuring the teams star quarterback.
Liberty City has four bridges throughout the city, two huge bridges that connecting the three islands:
and other two bridges that simply connecting between to neighborhoods:
- Unnamed Small Bridge
Callahan Bridge, also known as West Port Bridge, is a four lane suspension bridge finished sometime after 1998, when construction was almost completed. The bridge links the Chinatown district of Portland Island to the Newport district of Staunton Island. In 2001 the bridge was partially destroyed when the Colombian Cartel kidnapped the Oriental Gentleman, planting a bomb to kill the LCPD officers transporting him, Claude and 8-Ball to Portland Island.
The Shoreside Lift Bridge is a four lane lift bridge, most likely based off George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan to the New Jersey. In 1998, Toni Cipriani has to wait for a strike to end before using the bridge, whilst in 2001 Claude is forced to wait until a mechanical problem is fixed.
The Shoreside Vale Arch Bridge is a bridge in Shoreside Vale.
The Unnamed Small Bridge is a bridge located in East of Staunton Island in Fort Staunton, which has almost no importance in their appearances.
Porter Tunnel is an underground and underwater road tunnel connecting the cities three boroughs. The tunnel may be based on the Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel or the Big Dig in Boston. The tunnel has four lanes, apart from the exit at Staunton Island, which only has two lanes. The tunnel entry/exit points include Harwood (in Portland Island), Rockford (in Staunton Island), and Francis International Airport and Wichita Gardens (both in Shoreside Vale). Construction for the tunnel begins in 1998, however, numerous delays see the tunnel finally open in October 2001, with Claude having to wait for the tunnel to be fully constructed.
A second road tunnel is located on Shoreside Vale, with entry points at Cedar Grove and Cochrane Dam. The tunnel is inaccessible in GTA III and GTA Advance, although in GTA Liberty City Stories the tunnel is accessible. The tunnel also branches off, leading to "Upstate", although this is blocked off.
Trains and Subways
- Main Article: Portland El
The Portland El (electric line) is an elevated train service running on Portland Island, connecting the Saint Marks, Chinatown and Hepburn Heights districts. The system, introduced in 1930, is not connected to the cities subway system. The three stations are Baillie Station (in Saint Marks), Kurowski Station (in Chinatown) and Rothwell Station (in Hepburn Heights).
The inter-borough subway system is an underground system linking the three boroughs of the city. The subway stations are located at the border of the Red Light District/Chinatown in Portland Island, at Liberty Campus and Bedford Point in Staunton Island, and Francis International Airport in Shoreside Vale. Liberty City had, at some point, another subway system, which was abandoned after the construction of the new subway. Toni Cipriani uses an old subway entrance to destroy Fort Staunton in Bringing the House Down.
Liberty City had, until sometime prior to 2000, a ferry service running between Portland Island and Staunton Island, with docks located in Harwood and Rockford. The ferry service was canceled by Miles O'Donovan, despite his promise to maintain the service. In 1998, workers across the city went on strike to protect the ferry service, which was eventually replaced by the Callahan Bridge and Porter Tunnel.
Liberty City has, in 2001, a rampant crime rate and is known as the "worst place in America" because of this. The main problem for the city is the organised crime, and in particular the problem of gangs. The city has also had problems with specific individuals, namely Carl Johnson in 1992, Toni Cipriani in 1998, Mike in 2000/2001 and Claude in 2001. The Liberty Tree and radio stations document the criminal acts occurring in the city and the resulting consequences. These include the Liberty City Police Department introducing helicopters, paramedics threatening to go on strike and prosecuting criminals (such as Salvatore Leone between 1998 and 2001).
According to the FBI, residents of Liberty City "were 38% less likely to be a victim of a violent crime than the rest of the nation, unless those crimes included mugging, murder, car jacking or assault". Whilst the Liberty Tree reports that between 2000 and 2001 "part I" offenses (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, grand theft auto and arson) went up 11%. They also report that "Violent Offenses (Murder, Rape, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault) are up 73% and murder has increased four fifths from last year's 23% of what it had been previously". In a second article, the Liberty Tree also reports that car jackings increased by 80%. Francis International Airport is also described as "a center for Smuggling".
Gang Control and Activity
Liberty City was, until 1998, primarily controlled by three Mafia families: the Leone Family, the Forelli Family and the Sindacco Family. During 1998 Toni Cipriani, of the Leone Family, weakened the Forelli and Sindacco families to the extent that they were forced to give up the territories they held in the city. Many new gangs entered the city: the Liberty City Triads, Colombian Cartel, Yakuza, Diablos, Southside Hoods and Uptown Yardies.
The Forelli Family, in 1986, is shown to have some influence in Saint Mark's, holding an important meeting about the future of Tommy Vercetti in the districts bistro. The Leone Family, in 1992, are shown to have influence in Saint Mark's (where the family's Don, Salvatore Leone, resides) and in the Red Light District (where Luigi's Sex Club 7 is located). In 1998, the setting of GTA Liberty City Stories, shows the Leone Family having control of Saint Marks, Harwood and Chinatown. The Sindacco Family are shown to have control of the Red Light District and Hepburn Heights, whilst the Forelli Family have no district under their control. Toni Cipriani begins to attack the Forelli and Sindacco families and their businesses, pushing the Sindacco Family out of the Red Light District and Hepburn Heights, and stopping them pushing in on Chinatown. Toni manages to force the Forelli and Sindacco families out of Portland Island. However, Salvatore and Toni are then forced to leave for Staunton Island, allowing the Triads to take over Chinatown and the Diablos to take over Hepburn Heights. In 2001, the Leone Family have lost their control of the Red Light District, although they still have influence in the district. Other than this, however, no other territory changes.
On Staunton Island, the Forelli Family are shown, in 1998, as holding the Fort Staunton, Newport and Belleville Park districts, whilst the Sindacco Family had control of the Torrington district. The Yakuza also have influence in the district, with the Big Shot Casino. Toni Cipriani then begins to attack the two Mafia families on Staunton Island, forcing the Sindacco Family out of Torrington, before forcing the Forelli Family out of Newport and Belleville Park. Toni's actions allow the Uptown Yardies to take Newport, although Toni later has to hold off an attack from the Sindacco Family. Later on, on orders from Donald Love, Toni destroys the Fort Staunton district, forcing the Forelli Family out of Staunton Island. Salvatore is later arrested and taken to the police station in Pike Creek on Shoreside Vale, and Toni follows him. This allows the Uptown Yardies to maintain their stronghold in Newport, and allows the Yakuza to take over Torrington and Aspatria. By 2001, the Colombian Cartel take over the Fort Staunton district, which is being redeveloped by the Cartel front Panlantic Construction Company.
On Shoreside Vale, in 1998, the Forelli Family are shown to hold the Wichita Gardens district whilst the Colombian Cartel hold Cedar Grove. The Yakuza are also shown as holding Pike Creek. Toni Cipriani, on orders from Salvatore Leone, helps the Southside Hoods take control of Wichita Gardens. The Colombian Cartel, in 2000/2001, are shown as taking Francis International Airport with Cisco, the Cartel Boss, basing himself at the airport. By 2001, however, the Cartel lose their influence at the airport and the Yakuza lose their influence in Pike Creek.
Role in other games
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Liberty City appears twice and is mentioned on a number of occasions during Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, including being the setting for the introduction to the game, with Forelli Family Don Sonny Forelli and mobster Harry and Lee inside Marco's Bistro and discussing what to do with Tommy Vercetti. Sonny Forelli appears inside Marco's Bistro again during An Old Friend. The district of Harwood is also referred to during the game, and in particular during the games climax, Keep Your Friends Close..., with Sonny referring to Vercetti as "The Harwood Butcher".
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Liberty City appears in The Introduction DVD and during the mission Saint Mark's Bistro, as well as being mentioned on a number of occasions during Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The Introduction DVD shows shows the games protagonist Carl Johnson attempting to steal cars in the Red Light District and later receiving a phone call from his brother Sweet Johnson regarding his mothers death whilst in the city. After arriving back in Los Santos for his mothers funeral, he was asked by Ryder about when he would be returning to Liberty City. Carl Johnson tells Salvatore Leone that he worked for Salvatore's son Joey in Liberty City to gain Salvatore's trust during the mission Freefall. The mission Saint Mark's Bistro involves Carl Johnson returning to Liberty City to perform a hit at Marco's Bistro. Hidden code in the game proves that a 100% accesable Liberty City was created, and it is unknown why Rockstar chose to remove it.