Tommy Vercetti is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series, appearing as the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (set in 1986). He is also mentioned in The Introduction, a prequel of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (set in 1992). He is a former member of the Forelli Family and the leader of the Vercetti Gang, based out of Vice City. Tommy Vercetti is voiced by Ray Liotta, who has also starred in the film Goodfellas.
Tommy Vercetti was born in Liberty City and, at a young age, began helping his father at a printing shop cleaning rollers. Vercetti had wanted to follow in his fathers footsteps but 'lived a different a life', at some point joining the Forelli Family. He continued to work with the Forelli Family until in 1971 he was convicted of eleven counts of homicide in Harwood, later gaining the name "The Harwood Butcher". This was an attempted ambush, planned by Sonny Forelli, although Tommy survived. His connections with the Forelli Family ensured he was spared the death penalty. Tommy remained in prison for fifteen years, not informing the LCPD of any Forelli Family secrets.
In 1986 he released from prison, after Sonny Forelli pulled some strings. Forelli decides to send Tommy to Vice City, realising that he is too well known in Liberty City. Sonny, wanting to become involved in the narcotics trade, decides to send Tommy with some money and to allow him to establish himself in the city, before moving in himself and eliminating Tommy. Tommy, unaware of the plans, flies to Vice City along with Harry and Lee, meeting Ken Rosenberg at the airport. The drug deal, with the Vance Crime Family, is ambushed by Ricardo Diaz' men, something Tommy only later discovers. Tommy, Rosenberg, and Lance Vance (of the Vance Crime Family) escape.
Tommy informs Sonny of the ambush and is reminded that Sonny is 'not a guy to be screwed with'. Tommy, looking to get Sonny's money back, begins to work for various criminals around the city to gain money and revenge. He initially works for Rosenberg, causing riots and intimidating jurors, before working for Juan Cortez, an intermediary for the drug deal, who begins to look into the ambush for Tommy. Meanwhile, he has Tommy steal missile technology chips and kill Gonzalez, who had talked about the deal.
Cortez, believing that Ricardo Diaz was responsible for the ambush, helps Tommy to act as protection for Diaz in a deal with the Cubans. The Haitians, arch enemies of the Cubans, attempt to ambush the deal but are thwarted by Tommy and Lance. Diaz, seeing potential in Tommy and Lance, who he does not remember, hires them to, amongst other things, kill gang members stealing some of his drugs and steal the fastest boat in the city, in order to purchase drugs from a dealer on a boat. Lance attempts to kill Diaz in revenge for the death of his brother but is captured, later being freed by Vercetti. The two later go on to extract revenge, killing Diaz in his mansion.
The death of Ricardo Diaz brings change to Vice City, allowing Tommy and Lance to step in and continue the protection ring established by Diaz. Tommy, however, begins to look beyond the protection ring and purchases a number of businesses around the city, most prominently the Malibu Club, the Cherry Popper Ice Cream Factory (used to sell drugs), InterGlobal Films and the Print Works. After purchasing each business, Tommy helps establish them in the city. During this time, Tommy also begins to work for a number of smaller time criminals in the city, including the Cuban leader Umberto Robina and the Haitian leader Auntie Poulet (due to her drugging him), helping both sides attack the other. He also works for Avery Carrington (helping his real estate business), Phil Cassidy (helping his gun running business), Mr. Black (helping to kill a number of people), Mitch Baker to retrieve his stolen motorcycle, and Kent Paul and Love Fist to stop a psychopathic fan. Tommy also went on to help Juan Cortez escape the city when the French government decide to assault his yacht.
Sonny Forelli, growing restless and impatient, sends his own men to collect some of 'his' money from Tommy. Tommy kills the collectors, although not in time to save Earnest Kelly, the man running the printers, from being injured. Tommy, viewing him a lot like his father, decides to give Sonny fake money printed at the Print Works. Tommy meets Sonny in person at his estate, with Sonny informing him that the Harwood incident was an ambush and that Lance had sided with him. A gun battle ensues, with Tommy killing both Lance and Sonny. Following the deaths of Lance and Sonny, Tommy and Ken begin to run the city.
Tommy Vercetti continued to run the criminal underworld of Vice City until at least 1992, although his relationship with Ken Rosenberg became increasingly strained due to Rosenberg's cocaine addiction. Tommy eventually sends Ken into rehab at the Fort Carson Medical Center in Fort Carson, San Andreas, later refusing to answer his telephone calls.
Tommy Vercetti is depicted as both intelligent but temperamental, easily angered and quick to resort to violence. He has no hesitation about killing, including innocent people, as evidenced by his working as a contract killer for Mr. Black, only regretting the murder of Lance Vance, who turned against him to side with Sonny Forelli. Tommy does, however, also show a softer side as seen with his relations with Mercedes Cortez and Earnest Kelly, who he views as a father figure due to childhood memories of working with his father at a printworks.
Tommy Vercetti shows many characteristics in common with Tony Montana, a drug lord from the film Scarface. The two both end up in exile, both rise to power in Miami using great amounts of violence, both build an empire from a large estate and mansion, both have short tempers and are prone to violence, both work as contract killers, both killed their collaborators and took their ex-bosses' empires. The interior of the Vercetti Estate is even modelled after Montana's mansion. There are, however, key differences, most notably that Tommy did not become addicted to his own narcotics and that Tommy survived the shoot out in his mansion, as opposed to Montana who was killed.
Tommy Vercetti also bears some resemblance to 'Mr. Blonde' from the film Reservoir Dogs, played by Michael Madsen. The film sees 'Mr. Blonde' released from prison after loyally doing time for his crime family, as Tommy did after the "Harwood Incident". Tommy later performs contract killings for a 'Mr. Black', whilst he is referred to as 'Mr. Teal' (a reference to the then deceased Leo Teal).
- Mercedes Cortez, the daughter of Juan Cortez, is somewhat of a love interest for Tommy, although the two never begin a relationship during Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
- A Tommy Vercetti action figure can be located in the Zero RC shop in San Fierro in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- Tommy Vercetti kills more people in the storyline, than any other character in the Grand Theft Auto III Era.
- An Easter Egg in Grand Theft Auto IV suggests that Tommy Vercetti, along with the other Grand Theft Auto III Era protagonists, is dead as of 2009. However, GTA IV does not share a canon with the GTA III Era.
- Juan Cortez calls Tommy as "Tomás" (spelled "Thomas" in the game), the Spanish equivalent to "Thomas" twice throughout the game. However, it's never stated whether Thomas is actually his real first name. No one else calls him that in the game.
- Leo Teal (killed due to possible links to the ambushed drug deal)
- Gonzalez (killed for talking about the drug deal between the Forelli Family and the Vance Crime Family)
- Pierre La Ponce (killed whilst attempting to escape a police ambush during an exchange of stolen missile technology)
- Carl Pearson (killed on Mr. Black's orders)
- Mrs. Dawson (killed on Mr. Black's orders)
- Mike Griffin (killed on Mr. Black's orders and for planning to rob a bank)
- Dick Tanner (killed on Mr. Black's orders and for planning to rob a bank)
- Franco Carter (killed on Mr. Black's orders and for planning to rob a bank)
- Marcus Hammond (killed on Mr. Black's orders and for planning to rob a bank)
- Nick Kong (killed on Mr. Black's orders and for planning to rob a bank)
- Charlie Dilson (killed on Mr. Black's orders and for planning to rob a bank)
- Ricardo Diaz (killed for ambushing the drug deal with the Vance Crime Family)
- Pedro Garcia (killed due to being a rival gun runner to Phil Cassidy)
- Lance Vance (killed for betraying Tommy)
- Sonny Forelli (killed for betraying Tommy and attempting to kill him)