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The Rotterdam Tower is a skyscraper in Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars located in The Triangle, Algonquin.

Description

Grand Theft Auto IV

The building takes up an entire block, bordered by Garnet Street to the south, Hematite Street to the north, Denver-Exeter Avenue to the east and Frankfort Avenue to the west. It is marked on the official Manual Liberty City Area Map as a Point of Interest and is colored beige on the map.

The Rotterdam Tower is the tallest building in Liberty City, almost twice the height as the fourth tallest building, the South Parkway Building, and significantly taller than the second and third highest, the Zirconium Building and the Bawsaq Building.

Despite the height of the building, the observatory is useless for sniping, as pedestrians and vehicles will not spawn on the ground while the player is at that height. The observatory is safe from the police, as police officers cannot utilize the building entrance. There are no other vectors of escape, so the Tower is an inadvisable destination if it lies within the wanted search radius.

The nearest subway stop is Suffolk LTA on the K/C Algonquin Inner Line, in on the border of The Triangle and in the neighboring district of Suffolk. The surface exits emerge outside the southern face of the Tower. Go north-east to the entrance and eastern face of the Tower. A dangerous alternative means of accessing the observation deck (or higher) is to take a helicopter and bail out at the top.

One Helitour pilot mentions that his brother attempted to BASE jump from the 82nd floor, but was stopped by security guards who "were tubby, but they sure could move!" These security guards seem to be absent from the observatory, however.

Due to the importance of the building within the city and the threat of terrorism at high levels as stated at the beginning of Grand Theft Auto IV, the tower features a moderate security presence. Uniformed security guards can be found in the entrance lobby of the building, occasionally along with LCPD officers. Two officers with Carbine Rifles can be found at a static post outside the main entrance of the building.

The Rotterdam Tower was built in 1931, just like its real life counterpart. It stood as the tallest building in Liberty City just after another tall skyscraper, the Zirconium Building was built a few blocks away. The Rotterdam Tower was the tallest building in the world, but was overcome by other unnamed skyscrapers in other cities. The building's name is a reference to New Rotterdam, the Dutch colonial town which became the present day Liberty City.[citation/verification needed]

The Ballad of Gay Tony

RotterdamTower-GTAIV-RoofLights

Comparison between the night lights on upper floors of the building at night in GTA IV (top) and TBoGT (bottom). Note also the differences along the spire and the addition of a "Rotterdam Tower" sign in TBoGT.

Exclusive to The Ballad of Gay Tony, the building undergoes several major improvements and changes, affecting both the functionality of the tower and the exterior design. Perhaps the most notable of which is the implementation of a fully accessible lobby interior. The exterior door textures are replaced with accessible doors leading into a detailed lobby interior based directly on that of the real-life Empire State Building's entrance lobby. The lobby features ceramic textures, large pillars, several paintings and relief displays naming several Grand Theft Auto cities; Liberty City, Vice City, Los Santos and San Fierro. It also features non-functional elevators. The original observatory deck teleporter located just outside the doors remains in place, and takes the player to a redesigned upper floor deck.

The new observatory deck now presents a set of stairs which take the player to the upper pylon. These changes see the removal of several satellite changes, at the expensive of other details on the pylon on spire, including an interactive ladder, a new framework holding the ladder in place, and new signage. A large neon sign, facing north displays "Rotterdam Tower: Top of the World", which is easily visible from Star Junction. A parachute is located on the top of the first ladder. There has also been the removal of the two ladders on the eastern and western faces of the building, which in GTA IV allowed players to descend to the immediate setback below.

The changes to the upper deck are prominently featured during "High Dive" and were likely made for this particular instance.

Night lighting at the top of the building is changed. As oppose to the original blue, white and red color scheme present at night, TBoGT replaces them with bright purple and red colors, albeit only visible at certain distances (see Bugs/Glitches).

Another change affects the entire building's quality. The lower floors of the building saw a minor modelling design change which removed the presence of a remaining "Empire State" sign on the entrance walls. In the process, the entire building's window and other detail textures are reduced in resolution, severely affecting the overall quality of the building (see Trivia).

These edits are only present in The Ballad of Gay Tony and do not affect The Lost and Damned.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, only the lower level exterior walls are visible due to the "top down" perspective. However, the entire building appears in the background when talking with the drug dealer in Happiness Island.

Influence

It appears to be based on the Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York City. Its similarity to the Empire State Building is noted on one of Brucie's heli tours, as he states "if I were that big chimp, I'd climb it too!"[1] as a reference to King Kong, specifically the scene where King Kong climbs the Empire State Building.

The building is named after the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Gallery

Grand Theft Auto IV

The Ballad of Gay Tony

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Trivia

RotterdamTower-GTAIV-EmpireState

Empire State signage at the base of the Rotterdam Tower, restored through modification in TBOGT, but otherwise easily visible naturally in GTA IV and TLAD.

  • Likely a developer oversight, the building in GTA IV has "Empire State" textures visible at the top of the base floors, above two windows just above the entrance pillars.
    • Interestingly enough, Rockstar Games made several changes in The Ballad of Gay Tony release:
      • The building's high quality textures are halved in resolution. The original GTA IV textures, all 512x512, are still present in the base version of both games, but TBOGT patch files override the original textures in TBOGT with 256x256 textures. This reduces the overall quality of the building, particularly notable in day time.
      • The original LOD textures are unaffected, including the minuscule "Empire State" texture[2][3] which appears to have been clashing (or z-fighting) with the higher quality textures in GTA IV, however, an updated "base floor" model[4] in TBOGT appears to have rectified z-fighting bugs by re-positioning the entrance wall textures[5] ever so slightly in comparison to LODs, which still clash with the model, but are otherwise no longer noticeable. None of the changes made in TBOGT are present in TLAD, however, retaining the original GTA IV design.

Bugs/Glitches

  • The night lights at the top of the building in both Episodes from Liberty City DLC versions of the game have broken LODs. While in GTA IV, the blue, red and white lights atop the tower would show from afar, in The Ballad of Gay Tony, the lights do not show much further from close-up. The issue persists in The Lost and Damned, despite the tower using the original GTA IV colour scheme.

References

  1. File Data:
    • 0x60AA9AAB = ~z~Rotterdam Tower, a buddy of mine tried a base jump off that bad boy.
    • 0x5112E7E2 = ~z~~x~It's fucking beautiful, man. I love that shit. If I was that big chimp I'd climb it too.
  2. File Data: ns_lod_esb_entrances.dds
  3. RotterdamTower-GTAIV-LODTextures

    ns_lod_esb_entrances.dds, note the "Empire State" signage, albeit very small.

  4. File Data: TBoGT\pc\data\maps\manhat\manhat09.img\esb_base_dc9.wdr
  5. File Data:
    Original GTA IV esb_base_dc9.wdr:
    Polygons: 6,146
    Vertices: 9,158
    

    Updated TBOGT esb_base_dc9.wdr:

    Polygons: 6,356
    Vertices: 9,094
    


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