— GTA San Andreas City Guides
The City of Los Santos is a city located in the State of San Andreas, and it is the first city encountered in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is based on Los Angeles, California. Los Santos translates to 'The Saints', a play on Los Angeles, meaning 'The Angels'. This also applies to the two cities' nicknames - "The City of the Saints" and "City of Angels".
Los Santos is the largest and most populous city in the state. It is situated on the southeastern part of San Andreas, south of Red County and east of Flint County. Los Santos is a major world centre for motion picture, television and other related entertainment industries.
Like Los Angeles, Los Santos is a huge, sprawling co-mingling of cultures and perspectives, full of two-bit hoodlums and small-time and really big time actors and musicians. The population of 3,000,000 is divided into 27 districts, which are home to movie and television studios, multimillion dollar estates, crack-ridden suburbs, a racetrack, an observatory to satisfy stargazers, and the fourth busiest airport in the world. Occasionally, drug dealers are seen carrying huge wads of cash from recent transactions. Graffiti is commonplace and gambling venues like the racetrack are frequented by many of the city's denizens.
Los Santos is the hometown of protagonist Carl Johnson, who returns from living in Liberty City for five years, after his brother informs him of their mother's death. The game starts upon CJ's arrival in Los Santos, and the story revolves around a lengthy gang war between CJ's gang, The Families, and their fiercest rivals, the Ballas. Tensions between rival Hispanic gangs, Varrios Los Aztecas and Los Santos Vagos, also threaten the tenuous hold with which GSF clings to its territories. However, due to the betrayal of senior members Big Smoke and Ryder, GSF leader Sweet Johnson is arrested and CJ is run out of town by C.R.A.S.H., causing the disbandment of the Grove Street Families and the mass takeover of Los Santos by the Ballas and Vagos, with the Ballas taking all of what used to be Grove Street territory.
The city is torn apart over the issue of gang warfare. The Grove Street Families and Ballas constantly spar over total dominance in Ganton, Idlewood, Jefferson, Willowfield, and even East Los Santos. In 1992, police officers Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski of C.R.A.S.H. (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) are charged with murder and sexual assault, after their extensive corruption becomes blatantly obvious, even to the general public. However, Pulaski had already been murdered by CJ in the Arco del Oeste area prior to those events, after he and Tenpenny, who were using CJ to do their dirty work, decide there is no more use for him. Alone at the court hearing, however, Tenpenny is released when the prosecutor inexplicably drops all charges. The entire city, outraged that Tenpenny walks free from horrendously heinous charges of which he is obviously guilty, erupts in riots. This is a reenactment of the L.A. Riots (also known as the Rodney King Riots) after the release of the police officers that brutally beat up Rodney King. During the ensuing chaos, CJ kills cocaine drug lord and former ally Big Smoke. CJ then pursues Officer Tenpenny, who dies when his stolen Fire Truck careens off the side of the overpass over Grove Street. When news of Tenpenny's death reaches the people of Los Santos, the riots cease, and the Grove Street Families regain their position as the dominant gang in the city.
Central Los Santos
The middle section of the city and its business/financial district, containing major corporate headquarters in Downtown, skyscrapers, very busy streets, many tourists and shoppers, and civic-minded buildings around Pershing Square. Neighborhoods and areas include:
- Downtown Los Santos (Downtown Los Angeles), Pershing Square (Pershing Square), Commerce (Civic Center, Los Angeles), Los Santos Conference Center (Los Angeles Convention Center), Mulholland Intersection (Four Level Interchange) and Verdant Bluffs (Griffith Park)
- Beverly Hills City Hall (as Los Santos Police Headquarters)
- Gas Company Tower
- Griffith Observatory (as Los Santos Observatory)
- Los Angeles City Hall (as Los Santos City Hall)
- Millennium Biltmore Hotel
- Tower Theatre (Los Angeles)
- Two California Plaza
- U.S. Bank Tower (as Los Santos Tower)
- Westin Bonaventure Hotel
West Los Santos
The "wealthy", affluent and upper-class side of the city containing Vinewood, Rodeo and Mulholland, known around the world as the offices, studios, shopping destinations and homes of the rich and famous. Popular for tourists and also contains varied businesses. The various neighborhoods include:
- Hollywood Sign (as the Vinewood Sign)
- Mulholland Drive (incorporated into Mulholland)
- Stahl House (as the Mulholland Safehouse)
- 100 Wilshire Boulevard
- Beverly Wilshire Hotel
- Century Plaza Hotel (as Rodeo Hotel)
- Rodeo Drive (as Via Rodeo)
- St. Regis Los Angeles Hotel & Spa
- Argyle Hotel (as Vinewood Tower)
- Taft Building (across the street from Broadway Hollywood Building ) (as Fatt Building)
- El Capitan Theatre (as El Dritch Theater, across the street from Cathay Theater)
- Capitol Records Building (as the Blastin' Fools Records Building)
- Carney's (as Hobos)
- Chateau Marmont Hotel
- Grauman's Chinese Theatre (as the Cathay Theater)
- Hollywood Boulevard (as Vinewood Boulevard)
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery (as Vinewood Cemetery)
- Hollywood Masonic Temple (as Vinewood Temple Building)
- Hollywood Walk of Fame (as Vinewood Walk of Fame)
- House of Blues
- Hyatt West Hollywood
- Melrose Avenue
- Randy's Donuts (as Jim's Sticky Ring)
- Standard Hotel (as The Bog Standard)
- Sunset Boulevard
- Sunset Vine Tower
- Whisky a Go Go
- Santa Maria Beach (Santa Monica), Verona Beach (Venice Beach), Marina (Marina del Rey, Venice Canals)
- California Bank & Trust Building
- Los Angeles Harbor Light (as Los Santos Lighthouse)
- Muscle Beach (as Verona Beach Gym)
- Ocean Front Walk
- Pacific Coast Highway
- Pacific Park
- Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome
- Santa Monica Pier (incorporated into Santa Maria Beach, as Yacht Harbor)
- Venice Boardwalk
- Venice Fishing Pier
East Los Santos
The "poor" side of the city, made up primarily of working-class suburbs, small-time businesses and stores, single-family homes and housing projects that are all subject to violent crime, gang violence, drug problems (especially crack cocaine), car crime (e.g. carjackings), poverty, prostitution, unemployment, marked by the Ballas-Grove Street War and the area where the Los Santos Riots started, which eventually spread to the entire Los Santos area. Considered to be "the ghetto" of Los Santos.
Four different African-American and Hispanic gangs that are split into varying sets make their home in various neighborhoods here. Despite the crime, there are a minority of neighborhoods that are more middle-class and some areas contain some tourist destinations, such as the eastern beaches, Glen Park or the Jefferson Towers. The area is based on Eastside Los Angeles and South Central Los Angeles. The various neighborhoods include:
- Dana Strand Village Housing Projects (as El Corona Village)
- Twin Towers Correctional Facility
- Union Station (as Unity Station)
- Imperial Courts Housing Projects (as the Ganton Courts projects, where B Dup formerly resided)
- Jordan Downs Housing Projects (as the Idlewood Projects where the crack house is in Cleaning The Hood)
- Rosecrans Avenue (the main road in Ganton)
- Shrine Auditorium (as the Alhambra)
- Spruce Street (Grove Street)
- Los Angeles River (as the Los Santos Storm Drain)
- Nickerson Gardens (as the Willowfield Homes projects)
- Estrada Courts Housing Projects (unnamed housing projects located in Los Flores)
- Whittier Boulevard (Saints Boulevard)
South Los Santos
The industrial area of the city, containing port facilities, refinery towers, cranes and warehouses, as well as a National Guard Depot, in Ocean Docks and south Willowfield. The LSX airport is located to the west, in the southernmost end of the city.
- Terminal Island (incorporated into Ocean Docks)
- Vincent Thomas Bridge (as the Ocean Docks bridge connecting the Ocean Docks island)
Numerous roads and a central railway line connect Los Santos to San Fierro and Las Venturas. The Los Santos Freeway, the longest highway in San Andreas, connects the city with Las Venturas and Red County. Other notable streets and highways in Los Santos include Vinewood Boulevard, Mulholland Drive, Fifth Avenue, Saints Boulevard and Interstate 125.
The most infamous street in the city is Grove Street, located in Ganton, southeast of Downtown and just minutes south of East Los Santos. Grove Street is home to the Families gang, a once powerful gang whose influence faded due to highly successful drug trafficking by the rival Ballas gang.
Air and Seaport
Los Santos is home to the fourth-busiest airport in the world, made up of five gates connected by a U-shaped two-level main terminal. The airport is located on the freeway and there are also direct road links into the city centre. Ocean Docks is a busy container port, with good road connections with Las Venturas. The docks are served by a train depot on a line which connects it with Unity Station.
There are two Brown Streak Railroad stations in Los Santos: Unity Station, based on Union Station, and Market Station, possibly referring to the Wilshire/Western Station, and the only underground station of the state.
Los Santos is the most crime riddled city in the state, suffering from rampant gang violence, drug-trafficking (especially crack cocaine), car theft, prostitution and corruption on several levels. However, despite the city's size there is no real major organized crime element with the criminal underworld of the city (with the exception of a brief period of influence from the Russian Mafia); being primarily occupied by warring street gangs, drug lords and up-and-coming criminals. Eastern Los Santos is by far the most active city in terms of small-time street gangs (known as sets) with gang wars and gang related violence occurring on a regular basis. The city is home to several large and violent Hispanic and African-American gangs;
- Families (Grove Street Families, Seville Boulevard Families, Temple Drive Families)
- Ballas (Front Yard Ballas, Rollin' Heights Ballas, Kilo Tray Ballas, Temple Drive Ballas)
- Los Santos Vagos (Eastside Vagos, Northside Vagos)
- Varrios Los Aztecas
- Russian Mafia (formerly)
The areas plagued with the most crime, gangs, prostitution and drug-trafficking include most of the areas of eastern Los Santos. Further, many crack dealers and prostitutes can be found in these neighborhoods. Pockets of neighborhoods and districts to the west also suffer from crime (primarily gang violence) but on a much lower scale. This includes Temple, Verona Beach and Santa Maria Beach.
Los Santos is the only city in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that contains gang territories without exploiting a glitch in the game.
Los Santos has a baseball team, the Saints, a basketball team called the Dribblers, a hockey team, called the Slappers and a football team in the Raiders. In 1992, Los Angeles held a hockey team, the Los Angeles Kings, two basketball teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, along with two football teams, Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Rams, with a baseball team, Los Angeles Dodgers, and another baseball team in Anaheim (a suburb of Los Angeles not depicted in the game), the Los Angeles Angels, whom the Saints could very well be named after. The Saints could also be named after the professional football team, the New Orleans Saints.
- Alan Crawford (Formerly)
- Barry Thorne
- Beverly Johnson (Formerly)
- Big Devil (Formerly)
- Big Poppa (Formerly)
- Brian Johnson (Formerly)
- Carl Johnson
- Cesar Vialpando
- Colonel Fuhrberger
- Denise Robinson
- Edward Pulaski (Formerly)
- Frank Tenpenny (Formerly)
- Freddy (Formerly)
- Forth Right MC
- The Funktipus
- Jeffrey Cross
- Jimmy Hernandez (Formerly)
- Julio G
- Kane (Formerly)
- Kendl Johnson
- Lance Wilson (Formerly)
- Little Devil (Formerly)
- Little Weasel (Formerly)
- Madd Dogg
- Mark Wayne
- Melvin Harris (Formerly)
- Ralph Pendelbury (Formerly)
- Sean Johnson
- Sweet's Girlfriend
- Tony (Formerly)
- Although the HD Universe follows an alternate continuity to the 3D Universe, the 3D Universe rendition of Los Santos still has a cameo on the TV show I'm Rich in Grand Theft Auto IV, even showing CJ driving and skydiving.
- Los Santos is the only city in GTA San Andreas that has at least one outlet of each clothing store.
- Although it is the most populous city in San Andreas, it has the smallest presence of Burger Shot outlets, with only two.
- Los Santos is misspelt "Las Santos" in a magazine in some houses.
- Curiously, many of the businesses that exist in Los Santos are actual real-life L.A. businesses that existed around 2003-04; Rockstar took photos of these for textures.
- In a Redwood Cigarettes radio commercial, it is said that "living in Los Santos is the equivalent to smoking a pack a day", a reference to the air pollution of the city.
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - City Guides (PC manual) p.11