10 curious facts about GTA: Vice City

10 curious facts about GTA: Vice City
Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

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While playing the Rockstar game is interesting in its own right, there are several curious facts about GTA: Vice City that many gamers don’t know. Some of them involve how the game would have turned out, while others concern the consequences of specific decisions.

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Either way, you’ll love these 10 intriguing facts about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. We’ve left our favorite easter egg for last. It’s clear Rockstar Games enjoys a play on words as much as we do.

GTA: Vice City was almost a DLC for GTA 3

Did you know that GTA: Vice City was almost a DLC for GTA 3? When they first planned the game, the initial concept was that it would add some story missions to the first 3D Grand Theft Auto title. However, there were so much content and new assets that it would have been difficult at that time to simply just add it on.

Instead of promoting it as a DLC, Rockstar Games decided it would be a new title. Focusing on a specific location, Vice City would set the scene for the chaos that would follow within the GTA game. It’s similar to how we got three Ezio games for Assassin’s Creed 2.

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10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

Miami Vice heavily inspired Vice City

It’s not a coincidence that Vice City and Miami Vice sound so alike. During the early planning days, Rockstar considered many locations as the inspiration for the new GTA title. Places like London may have been where you would have run around, but eventually, the decision was made to feature the iconic U.S. city.

The main reason for the decision at the time was all the top features that can be found in Miami that suited the Grand Theft Auto environment. The rolling beaches, the neon lights, the crazy atmosphere; it was the ideal location for a crime wave to ensue.

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

Actual development of GTA: Vice City lasted 9 months

Even back in 2002, a game development cycle of nine months was incredibly fast for such a massive, open-world game. The development of GTA: Vice City began at the start of the year, and it was completed and ready by October. Can you imagine how everyone was scrambling around, smoking cigarettes and chugging coffee trying to get everything done so quickly?

Of course, we’re sure they had planned everything before the development started to the point where Rockstar could just develop Vice City. Yet, look back at how much content there was. They had to do all the voice acting, making sure celebrities were available for recordings, and then the actual game development itself. It’s truly impressive.

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

Lawsuit against GTA: Vice City for celebrity likeness

Yes, Grand Theft Auto and Rockstar games received many lawsuits since the first GTA title appeared. At one point, we’d grown used to someone suing the GTA franchise developers for something new or due to the violence and racism. When it comes to Vice City, the lawsuit was from the Psychic Readers Network in 2017 for the use of one of its “assets”, Miss Cleo.

Youree Harris was famous at the time for doing psychic readings for the television network as Miss Cleo. Rockstar Games hired her to play a role in GTA: Vice City, where she portrayed the same flair as on the show. The lawsuit concerned Rockstar using Miss Cleo in their games, for which they didn’t have permission. However, Harris was simply portraying herself as a parody.

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

Tommy Vercetti doesn’t drop the F-bomb

If you’ve ever listened to the television cleaning your home while your child played GTA: Vice City, we’re sure you told them to switch it off once you heard all the swearing. The Grand Theft Auto series is well-known for dropping several tasty words that wouldn’t sit well in church, especially the F-bomb. Here’s an interesting fact you may have missed: Tommy Vercetti, the protagonist of the game, never uses it.

Sure, he uses plenty of other flavored words that may make you cringe. Even while he’s spitting fire from his guns or blowing up buildings, you’ll never hear him say the F-word. Go ahead and play Vice City again. We dare you to find it.

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

Vehicle changes sometimes affected the dialogue

Another lesser-known curious fact about GTA: Vice City is that the dialogue sometimes changes depending on the vehicle you use. It isn’t obvious at first, and you’ll only pick it up if you die and restart the mission. If you switch to a car or bike depending on the previous choice, you may hear the NPC say something different. 

For instance, there’s a mission when Mercedes introduces you to the gang where she asks to be taken to The Pole Position Club. If you take her on a bike, she’ll ask you if you’ll work for her father. Transport her by car, and she asks if she can rest her hand on your leg. In both scenarios, your response is, “Maybe…”

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

The only GTA game without an AK47

The AK47 firearm has been a popular weapon throughout the Grand Theft Auto series. No matter which one you play, you’re bound to come across the gun during missions or at the Ammu-Nation store. Here’s an interesting fact about GTA: Vice City, though: it’s the only ones in the series where the AK47 is absent

There are some gamers and fans that hunted down the Vice City’s files and discovered that there had been plans to originally include it. For some reason unknown to us, Rockstar decided that this would be the GTA where they omitted it. But hey, if you want it included, there are plenty of VC mods you can download that will add it into the game.

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

References to Scarface

This fact is probably one of the more obvious ones for GTA: Vice City, but surprisingly, not many gamers know about it. As one of the most famous crime movies of all time, there are many easter eggs for Scarface in the game. Rockstar definitely doesn’t go to any lengths to hide it, either.

There’s an apartment building on Ocean Beach that you can enter at some point. If you head to apartment 3-C, you’ll find a grizzly scene in the bathroom. You’ll note a chainsaw on the floor and blood on the walls. As a Scarface fan, we’re sure you know all too well what that scene references.

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

Hidden beachball mini-game

As with all Grand Theft Auto games, there’s a completionist list. You need to discover and complete all tasks, even the hidden ones, if you want that 100% completion title. One of these secret missions is a beachball game you’ll find on Starfish Island.

Why are we highlighting this mini-game among all the hidden games in GTA: Vice City? Well, interestingly enough, it’s the one that gamers know least about. To activate it, you need to hit a beachball in the pool, which then activates the timer. 

10 curious facts about GTA Vice City

Before there was Rockstar, there was DMA Design

Some of you may not know this, but Rockstar Games was once known as DMA Design. As a matter of fact, if you check the details of GTA: Vice City, you’ll see Rockstar as the publisher and DMA Design as the developer. It later became known as Rockstar North Limited.

Why is this a curious fact, and what does it have to do with GTA: Vice City? There’s a radio station in the game called DMAir, and you may even spot the logo on some of the planes and vehicles. It’s certainly a nod to what the development team was called at that time, and we love how they used a play on words.

Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

I live in South Africa, Cape town, as a father of two children. I've been gaming almost all my life, with plenty of experience writing reviews and articles on the latest titles. With 15 years of experience in local government performing Facilities Management functions, I moved towards becoming CEO of my own company, Celenic Earth Publications, which serves to publish author's books, including my own. I'm a published author of horror and fantasy novels, while I also dabble in game and movie scriptwriting.

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