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Rockstar Revealing GTA III Secrets--9/11, Dodo, More

Learn a little bit more about one of the industry's most important releases.

Grand Theft Auto III was a revelation at the time, yet we still know so little about its development.

Grand Theft Auto III had an enormous impact on video games, in terms of the kinds of video games the industry focused on, what video games were capable of and their mainstream acceptance.

Its developer is also notoriously secretive, only speaking to the press when it chooses to, and keeping its creative leadership, brothers Sam and Dan Houser, largely out of the spotlight.

The 10th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III has prompted Rockstar Games to bring the curtain back a bit, and the company has been revealing some incredibly interesting tidbits on its web site.

I simply had to pass on a few of them.

Over the years, for example, there have been theories that Grand Theft Auto III was tweaked in some way because of 9/11.

“About 1% different. We removed only one mission that referenced terrorists and changed a few other cosmetic details – car details, a couple of ped comments, lines of radio dialogue etc – the game came out a very short time later. The biggest change was the US packaging which remixed the previous packaging into what became our signature style – because the previous packaging [which was released as the cover of the game in Europe] was, we felt, too raw after 9/11. All of the more extreme rumours are amusing but impossible to have been achieved in such a short period of time.”

And how come the dodo wasn’t able to fly?

“Because we were making a driving and shooting game - even that, as a combination of core gameplay elements, was very, very radical at the time. The Dodo was never meant to be flown very much at all, and it certainly wasn’t grounded as a result of 9/11 – it was just a fun thing that people then went crazy with when they figured out various bugs that let them fly it!”

Everyone remembers Grand Theft Auto III having a monstrous, sprawling script for the time, but...

There are plenty of other interesting tidbits that I haven’t mentioned, either. Make sure to check it out!

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Grand Theft Auto III was a revelation at the time, yet we still know so little about its development.

Grand Theft Auto III had an enormous impact on video games, in terms of the kinds of video games the industry focused on, what video games were capable of and their mainstream acceptance.

Its developer is also notoriously secretive, only speaking to the press when it chooses to, and keeping its creative leadership, brothers Sam and Dan Houser, largely out of the spotlight.

The 10th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III has prompted Rockstar Games to bring the curtain back a bit, and the company has been revealing some incredibly interesting tidbits on its web site.

I simply had to pass on a few of them.

Over the years, for example, there have been theories that Grand Theft Auto III was tweaked in some way because of 9/11.

“About 1% different. We removed only one mission that referenced terrorists and changed a few other cosmetic details – car details, a couple of ped comments, lines of radio dialogue etc – the game came out a very short time later. The biggest change was the US packaging which remixed the previous packaging into what became our signature style – because the previous packaging [which was released as the cover of the game in Europe] was, we felt, too raw after 9/11. All of the more extreme rumours are amusing but impossible to have been achieved in such a short period of time.”

And how come the dodo wasn’t able to fly?

“Because we were making a driving and shooting game - even that, as a combination of core gameplay elements, was very, very radical at the time. The Dodo was never meant to be flown very much at all, and it certainly wasn’t grounded as a result of 9/11 – it was just a fun thing that people then went crazy with when they figured out various bugs that let them fly it!”

Everyone remembers Grand Theft Auto III having a monstrous, sprawling script for the time, but...

There are plenty of other interesting tidbits that I haven’t mentioned, either. Make sure to check it out!

Staff
Edited by Kaiserreich

neat

Online
Posted by Shimafran

Well, this is going to make for an interesting read.

Edited by StrainedEyes

I learned to fly the Dodo, it was glorious! The baseball stadium was glitchy as hell on the inside, I even flew to Ghost Town.

Man, GTA III was awesome. I hope the rerelease it on XBLA and PSN.

Posted by YOUNGLINK

WOW

Posted by Krenor

ncie article

Posted by Zleunamme

I'd never liked flying the dodo.

Posted by Cyrisaurus

I NEED the next GTA V trailer.

Posted by Crypt135

dat script

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

I and a bunch of others would spend hours talking about/trying to discover secrets in Grand Theft Auto III. There were some really crazy rumors back then, too. Good times.

Posted by ElectricBoogaloo

I didn't even know the cover art was different in the US release. The GTA3 cover is probably one of my favourites.

Posted by OllyOxenFree

LOOK AT DAT PAPER!

Posted by RecSpec

Flying the dodo in GTA 3 was the most fun I had in that game.  
 
Although I loved the cheats that gave everyone weapons and caused them to riot. Liberty City Survivor!

Posted by MistaSparkle

I love it when developers release interesting stuff like this. Too bad there wasn't anything super mind-blowing like the punchout camera flash thing though...

Posted by Strife777

Holy damn that script is big.

Posted by Mijati

I always wanted to know what the seven lifts/weight things were under the first bridge in the city and if they had any use. I spent hours trying all sorts of things to see if anything would happen back in the day.

Posted by CyleMoore

I need to beat up more hookers.

Posted by TheHBK

I remember spending a whole week just going around killing homeless people. God, I thought GTA IV was a great game, just never made me feel like it was as good of an experience as the 3 before it did.

Posted by Xenctuary

@ElectricBoogaloo said:

I didn't even know the cover art was different in the US release. The GTA3 cover is probably one of my favourites.

For once I actually prefer the US boxart.

Grand Theft Auto III [PS2]
Posted by wumbo3000

That script. THAT SCRIPT!

Posted by DeadPan

The size of that script....

Posted by Yummylee

''My mother's my sister!''... one of the few pieces of GTA pedestrian dialogue that stuck with me for years... Funny to see someone actually ask about its origins.

Posted by david3cm

@CyleMoore said:

I need to beat up more hookers.

...and then go play some GTA

Posted by McQuinn

@david3cm said:

@CyleMoore said:

I need to beat up more hookers.

...and then go play some GTA

... Then you need to play Saints Row the Third.

Posted by Vexxan
@Crypt135 said:

dat script

Online
Posted by ds8k

Figuring out how to properly fly the Dodo was one of my more impressive feats. Great game.

Posted by JellyFish_Gsus

Well it was called Dodo for a reason...

Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking

I always wondered why the GTA3 cover was different in the UK to the US but then all subsequent games of that generation had the US style cover.

Posted by Robo

I was so proud of myself when I mastered flying that damned Dodo, haha

Posted by cstrang

Um... I totally remember flying that Dodo.

Posted by DiscoDuck8k

After learning how to keep the Dodo in the air long enough, it was on to the ghost town. I remember being blown away by that just being there. So much time spent messing around in this game.

Edited by WatanabeKazuma

@Kung_Fu_Viking said:

I always wondered why the GTA3 cover was different in the UK to the US but then all subsequent games of that generation had the US style cover.

Because they hadn't decided on a final look to go forward with. I think the US one was a last minute revision by one of their artists and they ended up preferring it.

I do like the uniform look of all the covers, but for GTA 3 I still prefer the UK one.

EDIT: Found the original quote...

Probably the biggest single change was to the game's US box cover, which was significant in that it created the template for what was to become the game's look in all subsequent iterations. That was done by one of our artists in an evening and as soon as we saw it, we preferred it to the cover we had planned to use.
Posted by Abendlaender

@cstrang said:

Um... I totally remember flying that Dodo.

Yeah me too,

What's up with that?

Posted by TheKbob

I never liked GTA. After Hot Coffee, I absolutely abhorred Rockstar for tarnishing the name of video games with their trash.

Now that I'm older, I still think they should have practiced a bit more restraint and I also figured out what they were missing... about 110% of Saints Row the Third.

The mechanics in the PS2 games always felt busted. The stories were always full of tropes with just enough tongue in cheek to be slightly amusing, but to lose me in the overall mundane boredom that resulted in the halfway point. GTA IV was just a low point for me. So much ambition just for it to feel all so wrong, annoying side missions (smash that cell phone), and again, over staying its welcome.

I only just warmed up to them with Red Dead Redemption. I am very displeased on how they are handling GTAV. Looks graphically great, but same washed up gangster story? I am really hoping for a "gotcha" twist... really. Or maybe just Saints Row 4 because, well... you know, VIDEO GAMES.

Posted by Krelle

@Abendlaender said:

@cstrang said:

Um... I totally remember flying that Dodo.

Yeah me too,

What's up with that?

Same. I remember it being VERY hard to handle / keep it from crashing but it certainly could fly.

Posted by MideonNViscera

This game blew me away maybe even more than Mario 64 did in its day. Seems like a retarded comparison, but they're the 2 games that sold me on those 2 generations of consoles.

Posted by Winternet

@Krelle said:

@Abendlaender said:

@cstrang said:

Um... I totally remember flying that Dodo.

Yeah me too,

What's up with that?

Same. I remember it being VERY hard to handle / keep it from crashing but it certainly could fly.

Hackers!

Posted by Thor_Molecules

I'm actually having a ton of fun re-playing GTAIII on the iPad 2. The driving controls are weird at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's just as fun as ever.

That GTAIV script is insane. Shame that it was, in my opinion, the weakest 3D GTA yet.

Posted by rargy

I remember when i showed my cousin how to fly the dodo.  I didn't get to play the game for the rest of the night.

Posted by Humanity

GTA3 was really a watershed moment in gaming for me. Going from top down GTA games to three was like some voodoo magic. The fact that driving onto a sidewalk meant the curb was elevated and physics reflected that was like WOAH.

Edited by shermanatorek

@Abyssfull said:

''My mother's my sister!''... one of the few pieces of GTA pedestrian dialogue that stuck with me for years... Funny to see someone actually ask about its origins.

I get it, they have the same father. Ha

Posted by StrainedEyes

@Shermanatorek said:

@Abyssfull said:

''My mother's my sister!''... one of the few pieces of GTA pedestrian dialogue that stuck with me for years... Funny to see someone actually ask about its origins.

I get it, they have the same father. Ha

Or it's a Jack Nicholson type situation.

Posted by Gabriel

@DeadPan said:

The size of that script....

Half of it's filled with Roman screaming "Big American Titties" and phone conversations.

Posted by shermanatorek

@Geo7877: I don't get it, what movie is that. :/

Edited by StrainedEyes

@Shermanatorek said:

@Geo7877: I don't get it, what movie is that. :/

Real life Nicholson grew up thinking that his grandparents were his parents, and that his mom was his sister. He only learned this after a TIME reporter asked him about it.

Posted by shermanatorek

@Geo7877: Ha, that must have been weird.

Posted by tekmojo

Call me crazy, but I still think they changed the dodo on 9/11 concerns, and I think they knew that it could be flown with enough practice. Hot coffee was another attempt to hide their true mindset. /tinfoilhat

Posted by Calavero

Holy shit, all that paper

Posted by GreggD

@TheKbob said:

I never liked GTA. After Hot Coffee, I absolutely abhorred Rockstar for tarnishing the name of video games with their trash.

Now that I'm older, I still think they should have practiced a bit more restraint and I also figured out what they were missing... about 110% of Saints Row the Third.

The mechanics in the PS2 games always felt busted. The stories were always full of tropes with just enough tongue in cheek to be slightly amusing, but to lose me in the overall mundane boredom that resulted in the halfway point. GTA IV was just a low point for me. So much ambition just for it to feel all so wrong, annoying side missions (smash that cell phone), and again, over staying its welcome.

I only just warmed up to them with Red Dead Redemption. I am very displeased on how they are handling GTAV. Looks graphically great, but same washed up gangster story? I am really hoping for a "gotcha" twist... really. Or maybe just Saints Row 4 because, well... you know, VIDEO GAMES.

Are you serious, or trolling?

Posted by BBQBram

Give me that script!

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