Playboy X's Penthouse, also known as the Northwood Safehouse, is one of Niko Bellic's safehouses in Grand Theft Auto IV. It is located in Northwood on the south-east corner of the Xenotime St-Galveston Ave intersection.
Getting the safehouse
The safehouse was originally purchased by Dwayne Forge before he was arrested. After Dwayne went to prison however it was taken over by his protege Playboy X. Playboy lived there until 2008 in the events of Grand Theft Auto IV where if the player decides to kill Playboy in The Holland Play, Dwayne will give Niko the penthouse as a gift.
If the player decides to kill Dwayne, the safehouse remains Playboy X's, but the player can still gain access by landing a helicopter on the roof or by climbing from a nearby alley - the patio doors are permanently open, although none of the features inside can be used. The player can also access the penthouse by parking an SUV or other high-roofed vehicle at the bottom of the fire stairs and climbing up them. The safehouse can also be entered these ways in The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. The player can also park vehicles in the parking space; Playboy's yellow Patriot is also parked there.
Around the same time this safehouse is aquired, Roman buys another one in Algonquin. Together, the Algonquin safehouses are vastly superior to the South Bohan Safehouse and the safehouse that follows in terms of their condition and facilities.
The penthouse is lavish. It has a Panoramic wide screen television, jacuzzi, pool table, punching bag, stereo speakers (Tuned to The Beat 102.7), and an outfit based on the clothing style of Claude from Grand Theft Auto III; the penthouse itself has no internet, but you can use the guard's computer downstairs, in the lobby - interestingly, the monitor bears the Tw@ desktop when not in use. Niko can't play pool by himself, but can play against friends and dates. This pool table does incur quite a few unwanted glitches. Animations of characters setting up shots are often in incorrect directions and the balls often fall off the table when hit very hard towards corners. When the player picks up a friend or date, it won't be listed on the map, but the player can still walk through the door and take the elevator, regardless. The penthouse also includes photographs of a child Playboy X and Dwayne, evidence of the penthouse's previous owner and his associate.
From the bedroom there is an open double-door which leads out onto a wood and stone-floored patio. There are deck chairs and a sunshade, a hot tub and a gas barbecue outside with an explosive gas canister. The player can exit the patio by going down the fire stairs at one side, or can jump across to the adjacent building and take the internal stairs straight to street level. A fall from the patio will kill Niko.
- Like three other safehouses (except for the Middle Park East Safehouse), there is gang presence with the North Holland Hustlers.
- This is one of two safehouses that are located on a street running east-west as opposed to north-south, the other being the Alderney Safehouse.
- There is also an adjacent housing project that can be accessed on Galveston Avenue between Xenotime Street and Wardite Street, which is used in the chase of The Holland Play if the player chooses to kill Playboy X.
- Strangely enough, the penthouse does not have a front door leading to the hallway with the elevator in it. There is only a doorframe where a door should be.
- The penthouse is the only residence on its floor of the building. While this is not uncommon amongst real-life penthouses, it is more odd that there is no staircase leading up to its floor. This would make it unfit for living, as in a scenario where the elevator stopped working, residents would have no way up to the penthouse. Similarly, in the event of a fire, residents would have to run to the fire escape, although most apartment buildings have two types of fire escape: the one on the outside of the building, and the inside staircase.
- On the coffee table, there is a magazine entitled "BJ". If examined closely the front of the magazine has a member of the North Holland Hustlers.
- On the table, there is also a book titled "Baseball's greatest legends", which can also be found in Luis' Apartment.
- There is a glitch with the pool table: if you shoot it a few times with a shotgun on the playing surface, it will make the "craters" larger.
- The penthouse is similar to the Shoreside Vale Safehouse in GTA III; this similarity is reinforced with Claude's clothing being available inside the penthouse if Playboy X is killed during The Holland Play.
- With a helicopter, you can bring your friends/dates to play pool here at any time, but it is extremely difficult to get them off of the roof.
- The penthouse can still be accessed (but none of the features can be used) in GTA IV's episodes. Just either get a helicopter and land on the roof or go to the adjacent building's roof, use a car cheat and jump to the penthouse roof. It's necessary to use a car cheat in the latter option because if not used most likely the player will fall and die. You can also jump on the blue dumpster across from the fire escape and climb onto the fire escape and just walk up the stairs.
- There is a rare glitch where players who have beaten the game, who chose to kill Dwayne, can still play pool, watch TV, and change clothes, but still not be able to save. Some players have suggested a theory that this glitch is more common in the version of the disc that comes with Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition, which also gives the player The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.
- The parking spot can be used from the very beginning of the game when Algonquin is still locked. It can also be used to save vehicles even if the player chooses to kill Dwayne.
- If the player takes a date to the safehouse and leaves the penthouse by jumping to the adjacent roof, the date will casually walk off the ledge, dying upon falling to the alley below.
- The elevator in the lobby is facing east, but in the apartment, it's facing south.
- In the lobby, there are two flights of stairs; however, they only lead to a locked door that cannot be opened.
- This safehouse is a good place for the "One-Man Army" achievement/trophy. First, in the lobby log on to littlelacysurprisepageant.com. Then, ride the elevator to the apartment and use the Mobile Phone to raise one wanted star. Take cover by the pool table and stay there for 5 minutes. While officers won't be able to come up, some may jump from the adjacent building to the balcony although they may miss the mark and die as they jump. After five minutes, save in the bedroom to clear the stars.
- An even better place for this is the other apartment in Algonquin as there is only one way in via the elevator, so the player is even safer.
- It is odd that Dwayne is the one that gives this safehouse to Niko after Playboy's death; he claims that he owns the deed to the penthouse. It is likely that they co-owned the penthouse, as Dwayne shows up unannounced in Deconstruction for Beginners, implying he knew where it was without Playboy telling him. Although Dwayne was extremely rich before his prison sentence and was known to buy apartments and houses to those close to him, it is more in line with Playboy's personality to have removed Dwayne as co-owner, seeing as how Playboy left Dwayne behind to work solo.
- This is one of five safehouses to be given to the player after killing the owner, the others being the Vercetti Estate, Brian Jeremy's Safehouse, Lancaster Safehouse and the Vanilla Unicorn.
- This safehouse, along with the Middle Park East Safehouse, are the two best places in the base game to store law enforcement vehicles as police rarely patrol on foot here, which as a result do not prompt officers to steal a player's police vehicle in order to transport or pursue a suspect.