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Yes, GTA III Protagonist's Name Is "Claude"

Final proof of something we all probably "knew" hits just days before GTA III's 10th anniversary.

Settle up, people.

Call all the people you've made bets with over the last decade and tell them that, yes, without any doubt, the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto III is named "Claude." Rockstar finally removed any doubt you may have had as a part of its new collection of goods to celebrate the 10th anniversary of GTA III. Namely... this Claude figure:

Apparently the zippers on his pants work. That's crazy.

It's likely that many of you felt you already knew this due to his appearance in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but up until now, much of the evidence has been circumstantial. At one point in that game, you get a phone call from your ex-lady, Catalina, who's now rolling around with the silent dude from Liberty City, and she uses the name... but you're never 100% sure that she's talking to the same guy. The name was also buried in data files in the PC version of GTA III. So maybe it was obvious. It certainly hasn't been a hot topic of discussion lately, that's for sure. But I think it's kind of cool that Rockstar removed any last bits of speculation this morning with that figure. The company also plans to release posters featuring the game's box art, as well as a new version of the game, which has been announced for iPad 2/iPhone 4S and various high-end Android phones and tablets. The game will also be coming to "additional devices."

Personally, I'm having trouble processing the idea that Grand Theft Auto III is ten years old. I'm of the mind that its influence on the last ten years of game design can't be overstated. Unfortunately, a lot of the open-world games that have followed stole the wrong stuff. Think about the number of open world games you've played. Now think about how many of them actually managed to make you feel like you were a part of a living, breathing world. Yes, the AI gets in the way, and yes, sometimes the car physics go nuts and make it impossibly frustrating to play, but back then, it was a fair trade-off for the freedom of an open world.

Despite all the advances in technology we've seen come and go since then, it's a little sad to think that those are still large problems with open world games. These days, the trade-off doesn't feel special at all. We've had a decade of open-world games that have attempted to follow in GTA III's footsteps, but so few of them captured imaginations the same way that it--and the GTA games that followed it--did. These days, an open world is practically an excuse for whatever bugs your game may ship with and the only real benefit is a bunch of almost-always-boring side missions.

That dude.

That's not to say that GTA III was a perfect game or anything. A lot of the time it felt like it was just barely hanging on and keeping itself up and running. Some of the mission design felt, at the time, downright unfair. It wasn't until Vice City that Rockstar realized that it was worth building a game that just about anyone could complete, resulting in a lower, smoother difficulty ramp.

But back in 2001 it was easy to overlook a lot of GTA III's faults, because there wasn't anything else like it yet. And you know what? There still isn't anything else out there quite like Grand Theft Auto. Sure, tons of games have lifted systems and ideas directly from the series. But GTA always felt like it had a point of view to share, with characters, writing, gameplay built to support its story and its take on the world. You can break it down into its individual systems, but it's the way that it all comes together that has always made the franchise so strong. Those games have always felt like they were built by people that sweated the details and cared about all the little things that turn good ideas and interesting technology into something far greater than the sum of its parts.

Also, that Claude figure is kind of awesome. I don't know that it's something I'd be willing to pay $149.95 for, but... I'm at least thinking about it. At least now I'll know what to call him, should I decide to place an order. And now we can move on to the next great video gaming mystery: Is this Claude the same Claude that was the protagonist in GTA2?!?!!!!!?

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff

Settle up, people.

Call all the people you've made bets with over the last decade and tell them that, yes, without any doubt, the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto III is named "Claude." Rockstar finally removed any doubt you may have had as a part of its new collection of goods to celebrate the 10th anniversary of GTA III. Namely... this Claude figure:

Apparently the zippers on his pants work. That's crazy.

It's likely that many of you felt you already knew this due to his appearance in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but up until now, much of the evidence has been circumstantial. At one point in that game, you get a phone call from your ex-lady, Catalina, who's now rolling around with the silent dude from Liberty City, and she uses the name... but you're never 100% sure that she's talking to the same guy. The name was also buried in data files in the PC version of GTA III. So maybe it was obvious. It certainly hasn't been a hot topic of discussion lately, that's for sure. But I think it's kind of cool that Rockstar removed any last bits of speculation this morning with that figure. The company also plans to release posters featuring the game's box art, as well as a new version of the game, which has been announced for iPad 2/iPhone 4S and various high-end Android phones and tablets. The game will also be coming to "additional devices."

Personally, I'm having trouble processing the idea that Grand Theft Auto III is ten years old. I'm of the mind that its influence on the last ten years of game design can't be overstated. Unfortunately, a lot of the open-world games that have followed stole the wrong stuff. Think about the number of open world games you've played. Now think about how many of them actually managed to make you feel like you were a part of a living, breathing world. Yes, the AI gets in the way, and yes, sometimes the car physics go nuts and make it impossibly frustrating to play, but back then, it was a fair trade-off for the freedom of an open world.

Despite all the advances in technology we've seen come and go since then, it's a little sad to think that those are still large problems with open world games. These days, the trade-off doesn't feel special at all. We've had a decade of open-world games that have attempted to follow in GTA III's footsteps, but so few of them captured imaginations the same way that it--and the GTA games that followed it--did. These days, an open world is practically an excuse for whatever bugs your game may ship with and the only real benefit is a bunch of almost-always-boring side missions.

That dude.

That's not to say that GTA III was a perfect game or anything. A lot of the time it felt like it was just barely hanging on and keeping itself up and running. Some of the mission design felt, at the time, downright unfair. It wasn't until Vice City that Rockstar realized that it was worth building a game that just about anyone could complete, resulting in a lower, smoother difficulty ramp.

But back in 2001 it was easy to overlook a lot of GTA III's faults, because there wasn't anything else like it yet. And you know what? There still isn't anything else out there quite like Grand Theft Auto. Sure, tons of games have lifted systems and ideas directly from the series. But GTA always felt like it had a point of view to share, with characters, writing, gameplay built to support its story and its take on the world. You can break it down into its individual systems, but it's the way that it all comes together that has always made the franchise so strong. Those games have always felt like they were built by people that sweated the details and cared about all the little things that turn good ideas and interesting technology into something far greater than the sum of its parts.

Also, that Claude figure is kind of awesome. I don't know that it's something I'd be willing to pay $149.95 for, but... I'm at least thinking about it. At least now I'll know what to call him, should I decide to place an order. And now we can move on to the next great video gaming mystery: Is this Claude the same Claude that was the protagonist in GTA2?!?!!!!!?

Staff
Edited by jasonefmonk

I liked his cameo in San Andreas.

Edited by Lobst

"A living, breathing world"?

edit: FUCK

Posted by Jackel2072

i do want that, but i dont know if i want it bad enough to drop 150...

Posted by dr_mantas

Hello Giant Bomb, this is Claude, I'm here to stay motherfuckers.

My name is Claude, I love my Wii, I love my goddamn Wii.

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@jasonefmonk said:

Hey

Hi, what's up?
Posted by Ali_D

There was a Gametrailers retrospective video for the GTA series that confirmed the protaganist's name being Claude but I must've played GTA III about dozen times and I never figured it out.

But yeah, a GTA Vice City re-release of some sort would make me a real happy guy.

Posted by TekZero

People didn't know his name was Claude?

Posted by CaLe

Hey Jeff, you should buy that. 

Posted by DharmaBum

Best article I've read all day.

Posted by Hailinel
@dr_mantas

Hello Giant Bomb, this is Claude, I'm here to stay motherfuckers.

My name is Claude, I love my Wii, I love my goddamn Wii.

IMPOSTOR!!!!
Online
Posted by JEC03

I would really love to see you guys do a throw back quick look on this game I would like to hear about your times with the game and how ground breaking this game was.For me it was the game that got me back into gaming after I stopped for a long time.

Posted by nohthink

Wait so.. what is 10th anniversary? Is it an action figure? or is it an action figure with the game?

Posted by mfpantst

Hot damn!  I remember spending whole afternoons/evening after high school driving up and down the main stretch around the corner from your first apartment just fucking cops up.  Then I also remember this was the last GTA game I played to the credits.  Wow.  10 years.

Posted by TobbRobb

Is it bad that the only thing I can think of is a fairly outstanding member of this site?

Posted by Artie

I just realized how strange it is that there's no GTA HD Re-release contianing GTA3, Vice City and San Andreas. I'd love to give VC and SA another whirl. Fantastic games. GTA3 is certainly a landmark for video games, but I played so much of it back in the day I don't know if I can revisit it again.

Also: I thought everyone knew his name was Claude after San Andreas came out :|

Edited by BulletproofMonk

Still fucking love that game after 10 years. First game I played when I got a PS2.

Posted by MikkaQ

I kinda would like a big blown up poster of the box art, I always loved Rockstar's box designs. Always pretty striking.

Posted by MattyFTM

Finally I can sleep at night!!!

Moderator
Posted by Thor_Molecules

There were actual people who didn't know he was named Claude?

Weird headline, but cool news none the less. I don't think it will control well on touch-based platforms at all though.

Still, might be a nice bonus for when I inevitably get my 4S.

Posted by Meowshi

Already knew this years ago!

Posted by Swoxx

I need to hear what @Claude has to say about this before I form my own opinion.

Posted by Yummylee

GTA Vice City was my GTAIII since it was one of the games my mum bought me (awesome [controversial] parenting, ahoy!) alongside my ps2 for Christmas when I was 12. I was completely overwhelmed and didn't even know how to progress at first because I had played nothing like it previously.

I did delve into GTAIII soon after and still found that to be utterly fantastic; though whenever it comes to commemorating about first forays into the GTA-verse, Vice City is what instantly springs to mind. I also originally mistook the ''GTAIII guy'' as Tommy Vercetti...

I played the first two GTA's as well, though never to the extent of the ps2 ilk. Though the first two I literally used only for the sandbox aspect and barely diverted from killing Elvis impersonators and using cheat codes to unlock all the weapons.

Posted by Guided_By_Tigers

Its finally settled.

Posted by Crono

Claude is a clod. Herp!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Jeff: What is up with your hair in this video? It's kind of... terrible amazing.

Online
Posted by Jnorman

I always called him Brian, just because.

Edited by Ravenlight

@TekZero said:

People didn't know his name was Claude?

Yeah, I thought this had been confirmed before. Maybe I'm just crazy.

Posted by heretrix

GTA 3 is one of my all time gaming "happy places"....I can still play it for long stretches.I still love the radio stations.

I always new his name was Claude, but it was one of those things that I never really took seriously as it was from a long ago forgotten internet source.

Posted by TurboMan

the GTA III main character was a giant bomb power-user?

Posted by BenderUnit22

Still to this day I don't see what the big deal about this game was. It was somewhat impressive to have this huge open-world in 3D for the first time and people like to point out the go anywhere, shoot anyone mentality. But really, the driving was terrible, the lock-on targeting made gun fights a total bore, the game was ugly, the story was boring and repetitive and the protagonist was an uninteresting shell of a puppet. 4 stars

Posted by doublezeroduck

Why the blue shoes? Great figure anyway

Posted by Scotty66

Great write-up. Jeff nailed it with his comments on what makes the GTA series so great and unique.

Edited by thornie_delete
@ArbitraryWater said:

@Jeff: What is up with your hair in this video? It's kind of... terrible amazing.

I wish the time when describing things that are awesome with the word "ill" still existed.
Posted by bucifer

Finally a reason to get rid of my 3GS! That's one amazing action figure, but $150....ouch

Posted by RYNO9881

I probably should not have played this game at kind of a young age...

Posted by Daveyo520

The name Claude is so dumb. Who would ever have the name Claude?

Posted by Catarrhal

As someone who played this game to 100% completion, I just went ahead and ordered the goddamn figure.

Posted by Eribuster

Going on the GTA 2 manual, that means his full name is Claude Speed. God speed, Claude Speed!

Posted by HatKing

Grand Theft Auto III, it's a lot 'iller'.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

So now they sell violent toys too? Awesome.

Posted by Ithmoliar

San Andreas was my shit. More than any other video game I have played I have amazing memories of that game.

Posted by ZeroSignal

Oh man, Claude figure ordered! (dammit)

Online
Posted by Pr1mus

I spent way too much time with this game back in the day. Guess i'll go play some more now.

Posted by Metal_Mills

I'm pretty sure he says Claude right next to him in SA, he just never says anything.

Posted by kmdrkul

I would fucking SHIT MY PANTS if Rockstar announced a remade GTA III. SHIT.MY.PANTS.

Posted by George_Hukas

mmmmmmmmmmm

Gonna put this baby right next to my GTAIV Key to the City. Limited Edition, Only 1,500 pieces.. really tickles my fancy. Those clips are a real nice touch.

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

So now they sell violent toys too? Awesome.

Psssshh..

Posted by Subjugation

Not making a judgement until I hear from Claude.

Posted by Lukeweizer

I kind of attribute GTA 3 with video game boom that put games at the top of the entertainment food chain. Kids in my school who didn't seem like they played games (or thought it was too nerdy) were talking about that game. Part of me resents it for this. I liked having my quiet hobby that nobody but my friends were interested in. But it's turned out for the best (the good outweighs the bad, at least).

And I would totally buy an anniversary edition with achievements.

Posted by Rihanna

You can tel the game is 10 years old since the main character is wearing cargo pants. Cargo pants are no longer fashionable. Cargo shorts are still acceptable though.

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