S.A.M. is the final mission in Grand Theft Auto III given to protagonist Claude by Yakuza leader Asuka Kasen from a Panlantic Construction Company construction site in Fort Staunton, Staunton Island, Liberty City.
Claude visits Asuka and Maria Latore at the construction site in Fort Staunton. Asuka informs Claude that a plane containing a number of SPANK drug packages is arriving at Francis International Airport in Shoreside Vale. Asuka advises Claude to travel to the airport by boat to avoid the airport security, so Claude drives over to a jetty in Bedford Point. He picks up a rocket launcher on the jetty and takes a boat to sail over to the southern end of the airport. He kills the Colombian Cartel gang members guarding the exit of the airport. A short time later, the plane containing the drugs lands at the airport. Claude destroys the plane with the rocket launcher, scattering the drugs all over the runway.
After the plane is destroyed, Claude retrieves the packages before the police arrive. After escaping from the police, Claude leaves the airport and travels back to the construction site with the drugs.
In order to complete the mission the player must:
- Find the marker boat and get to the marker buoy.
- Get to the runway marker buoys! The plane is on it's final approach.
- Collect the cargo.
- Stash the SPANK back at the construction site.
- Numerous members of the Colombian Cartel - Killed by Claude for getting in his way of intercepting and destroying the DeadDodo containing a number of SPANK drug packages.
- Pilot of the DeadDodo - Killed by Claude in order to collect the SPANK that was contained in the DeadDodo.
- Asuka Kasen - Killed off-screen, possibly by Catalina, in order to kidnap Maria and for disrupting Cartel activities.
- Miguel - Killed off-screen, possibly by Catalina, for revealing Cartel secrets to Asuka.
The reward for this mission is $45,000 and the next and penultimate mission, Ransom, is automatically unlocked.
- Asuka says the plane will arrive in two hours, but the player actually has three and a half minutes in real time, which corresponds to three and a half hours in-game.
- After the DeadDodo is destroyed, its wreck bears the form of a standard Dodo, with the plane's wings becoming short and stubby.
- Despite the fact that Asuka says "You can avoid airport security by a boat out to the runway light buoys and shooting the plane down on its approach", going into the airport the normal way will not fail the mission and there will be no airport security to speak of and the player can save time. However going this way will leave Claude more open to attacks, as the Cartel members on the runway are all heavily armed and there is almost nowhere to hide on the runway.
- This is the only mission in GTA III where an NPC is armed with a Rocket Launcher. The gang member carrying it will blow himself up if he attempts to use it against the player.
- The Cartel will also be dressed with Body Armor, as it will take two shots from a Sniper Rifle to take them down, instead of the normal one-shot kill.
- The mission name S.A.M. stands for "surface-to-air missile".