|For other uses, see The Exchange.|
- "The real question is, did you turn up to rescue Maria, or to get me back? Well, I got news for you! Shooting you will be a pleasure, but dating you was only business! You are muy pequeñito amigo! Throw over the cash. You have been a busy boy, but you haven't learned. I'm not to be trusted. KILL THE IDIOT!"
- ― Catalina
The Exchange is the final storyline mission in Grand Theft Auto III. It is given to the main protagonist, Claude, by Colombian Cartel leader, ex-girlfriend, and main antagonist Catalina from the Cartel Mansion in Cedar Grove, Shoreside Vale, Liberty City.
Catalina recently kidnapped Maria Latore. She now wants Claude to bring $500,000 to the Cartel mansion in Cedar Grove in exchange for not having Maria killed. Claude then arrives at the mansion and hands over the money to Catalina, who lies and walks off with the money, leaving Claude in the mercy of her Colombian Cartel men.
Claude is put under gunpoint by a Cartel gang member, but quickly escapes by punching him and taking the pistol he dropped. After being shot at, he shoots the Cartel men who start shooting, gets a car and exits the mansion only to find a helicopter hovering above him which holds both Catalina and Maria. Claude follows the helicopter all the way to the base of Cochrane Dam and kills every Cartel goon on his way.
After coming halfway and nearly closing into the helicopter as well as getting past all the Cartel goons who are heavily armed, Catalina drops off Maria at the loading bay, guarded by a couple of her men and reenters her helicopter. Catalina's chopper fires missiles at the ground while Claude gets to Maria and kills all the Cartel men. One Cartel member gets in a Barracks and tries to run over Claude. Claude picks up a rocket launcher to shoot down Catalina's chopper with Maria nearby. After a few initial missed shots, he successfully manages to hit the helicopter and it crashes against the dam in the water, killing Catalina. Afterwards, Claude and Maria walk together as they cross over to the other side of the dam.
While the credits are rolling on the screen Maria can be heard talking right before a mysterious gunshot, after which, she remains silent and is no longer heard. The news also reports the crime scene with witness Clive Denver.
- Catalina - Killed by Claude for betraying him and leaving him for dead after the bank robbery.
- Numerous members of the Colombian Cartel - Killed by Claude for getting in his way in rescuing Maria Latore and killing Catalina.
- Maria Latore - Possibly killed off-screen by Claude.
In order to complete the mission the player must:
- Get Catalina
- Follow the chopper to find Catalina
- Get Catalina
- Rescue Maria
- Take down Catalina's chopper
Tips and Tricks
- Body Armor at 100 and health at 125 (using a prostitute) is preferable before doing this mission.
- Once the cutscene ends the player is stripped of all weapons in their possession and enemies are firing at them from all directions: first pick up the pistol, then fall back and stick to the walls so that the AK47-toting gangsters in the windows can't shoot Claude. Once there, kill the approaching goons, but be extra accurate as the player does not have much ammo and the goons are firing at them with superior weapons. Grab an Uzi; now the player can leave the cover of the wall and take out the gangsters in the windows, but engage them one-on-one: position Claude below the balcony of the first one and shoot at his head, repeat with the second goon. With a little luck their AK47 will fall down to the floor; pick them up. Go to the garage; the player will find a body armor, pick it up just in case Claude received some hits. Now exit the mansion.
- When the player exits the mansion, having parked a car outside of it before starting the mission would be beneficial, in this way the chase can be continued on straight away, the guards at the gate will have light weapons so not too much damage will be taken.
- The goons at the barricade at the entrance to the dam are more manageable if the player flanks them from the right, where they can't shoot Claude.
- After the player enters the dam, there's a sniper rifle in the bushes; pick it up. The player will not have much ammo so identify the priority targets: take out the first goons in the crates and those guarding upstairs. Rush and pick their M-16 ammo, but always take cover: if the player leaves themselves wide-open other goons that they didn't kill will shoot at them.
- From there, stick to the right wall where the player can find cover between the crates, and engage all the goons one-on-one.
- Stay away from the explosive barrels, a stray bullet could make them explode and heavily dent Claude's health.
- When the Barracks runs towards the player, fall back, wait until it crashes against the wall, and only then approach it.
- When Catalina starts firing rockets from the helicopter, rush to the right wall and take cover! Stick to the wall, there the rockets can't hit Claude.
- The player will have to eventually leave cover and go past the crates as they move towards the staircase that leads to the helipad. Finish any gangster quickly with the M-16.
- Now that the player is at the helipad and killed all the goons, pick up the rocket launcher and take out Catalina's helicopter! This will prove challenging, as the player has very few rockets and has to hit a moving target, so, similarly to the mission S.A.M., the player needs to have an understanding of deflection shots, as there's a delay between when they fire their projectile and when it hits the target. Try waiting until Catalina's helicopter flies towards you, and then fire your rocket!
- Hitting Catalina's helicopter with a RPG is not the only option. Concentrated fire with the M-16 would also do the trick. In order to obtain more M-16 rounds, snipe to kill only when necessary as long distance shots will often cause M-16 pickups to disappear.
Alternatives for players that have already completed multiple side-quests:
- It is recommended to collect all Hidden Packages beforehand as the Colombians will strip all of Claude's weapons during the opening cutscene, having a rocket launcher and other powerful weapons will make the dam siege and helicopter chase a lot easier and quicker.
- As soon as leaving the mansion gates, go down the winding road to the safehouse and pick up the weapons. Don't worry about falling so far behind the helicopter as it won't fail the mission. From the safehouse, take the shortcut to the dam by driving down the slope opposite to the road below. This road will lead straight to the dam's lower entrance.
- Another option to regain some weapons: after escaping the mansion head over to Phil's Army Surplus (but be quick, however the player won't fail the mission in this way) and grab some firepower. In order to use this option the player must ensure they have sufficient money to purchase the weapons at Phil's Army Surplus when starting the mission.
- If the player was able to jack a Rhino during a six-star wanted level or is able to get one from the Portland Emergency Vehicle crane and store it in Shoreside Vale Safehouse garage, then it is highly recommended getting it after escaping the Cartel Mansion. The Rhino allows the player to easily get to the other end of the dam. It can simply crush the road blocks, blow up the Barracks OL and Colombians on ground level without a sweat. And, as it is bulletproof, it doesn't matter if the player receives a shower of bullets from the Colombian gangsters; he will get to the other side of the dam without a scar. Although of course, the player still needs to eventually get out of the tank, to get upstairs to the helipad, but really the only threat the payer has while in the tank are the gangsters carrying flamethrowers, as that is the only weapon that can harm the Rhino.
- An easier way to obtain a Rhino before completing the mission, when the one at Phil's Army Surplus becomes unlocked, is to complete certain objectives in side-missions to help steal one from the Army. Kill 20 criminals in Vigilante on each island so that six police bribes spawn outside each safehouse, rescue 35 patients in Paramedic so that a health pickup spawns, and collect as many Hidden Packages as possible. If the police are lured to a safehouse, it is recommended to replenish Claude's health, armor and ammo if he gets attacked by the law. Keep on attacking them until a six-star wanted level is triggered with the Rhinos appearing to pursue the player, collect the police bribes to lose the wanted level, steal a tank and store it in the garage for future use. The recommended method is to park the Rhino outside the mansion before the mission starts, but make sure it is not de-spawned upon exiting the mansion.
- It is recommended that the player always use the Rhino if they plan to use a bulletproof vehicle to pass this mission: don't use unique vehicles like the bulletproof Patriot that can be acquired in Marked Man or the bulletproof Barracks OL that can be acquired in Arms Shortage. The player loses any of the vehicles used in this mission, so the Rhino is the best option, as it can be re-acquired later.
- This is chronologically the last mission in the 3D Universe by plot order.
- This is one of the three final storyline missions in the GTA series given by an antagonist, the other two being "The Time's Come" and "Something Sensible".
- It is impossible to complete this mission in the PS2 version of GTA III if the riot cheat code has been entered, since the Cartel members will instantly kill Maria. Since it is impossible to turn the cheat off on consoles, the game can never be completed once the code has been entered.
- As Claude punches the Cartel member, Catalina instantly vanishes from the camera view. This was, however, fixed in the mobile version.
- When Catalina says the line "Get this thing airborne!" as she boards the helicopter, the line is muted in the mobile version for an unknown reason, although the subtitles still appear when it is supposed to be said.
- The helicopter that Catalina rides is actually a blank textured version of the police helicopter.
- Maria's speech during the credits was originally supposed to be longer during the beta. It was later cut shorter for unknown reasons.
- After this mission, the Colombian Cartel will carry AK-47s.