One of my favorite video game franchises of all time will always be Grand Theft Auto. I was introduced to the series back when I was only 7 or 8 years old. I was the only one in my family who had a PlayStation 2 when Vice City came out, and because of that my older cousins were jealous. However, they conned my mother into buying Vice City by telling her that it was a video game I would enjoy. Unbeknownst to her, this was merely a facade to their attempts to play the game. Thus, my mother bought the game and my cousins were happy. My cousins thought they wouldn’t be in any trouble since they thought the game’s premise wouldn’t be interesting to a child. Little did they know, I was already itching for a new game to play and I was getting tired of playing the Casper and Scooby-Doo video games. The opportunity presented itself one afternoon during summer vacation while my parents were at work. What began as a con, surprisingly turned into a mind-blowing yet inappropriate introduction to one of the best video game franchises of all time.
Grand Theft Auto has definitely supplied me with a plethora of memories growing up. If you’ve read one of my blog posts, I was once called to the principal’s office for reciting a “What I Did Last Summer” essay on Grand Theft Auto. I also innocently asked my parents during one family dinner: “What’s a d**khead?” I could honestly tell you that everyone dropped their utensils in shock, and that was how my cousins’ elaborate schemes were put to an end. My mother was furious and demanded that she get rid of the game. However, my father said that it was too late to do so and that I was intelligent enough to know the difference between right and wrong in reality anyway. Yep, my Dad is cool.
Fast forward to a decade or so later, I’m now playing Grand Theft Auto IV to prepare for the arrival of the fifth game in the franchise. I’d like to share with you guys some of the most memorable characters I’ve encountered from the series. I’m only including the characters from the “main” entries in the franchise. I also haven’t finished GTA IV, but I will definitely not forget to mention a character. Granted, I won’t be able to cover everyone’s favorites since it’s pretty much subjective. However, I do like to know which characters you find memorable in the comments!
1.) Wu Zi Mu (San Andreas)
Okay, I honestly admit that I have a crush on Wu Zi Mu. Why? He’s awesome. Not only is he the leader of the Triad, he also owns a casino in Las Venturas and participates in illegal races. Did I mention the fact that he’s blind? Yeah, he is. He’s not the type of gangster that embodies a machismo persona. Wu Zi is an intelligent and chill kind of leader. He doesn’t engage in any dirty work, because he either leaves those to you (CJ) or to his minions. He’s a good ally and friend for CJ. You’ll definitely enjoy his company especially in missions, since he keeps bumping into walls and aimlessly tries to find his way.
2.) Umberto Robina (Vice City)
I don’t know if I like Umberto because of his personality per se or it’s simply because Danny Trejo was perfect for this part. Because of him, I learned another foreign curse word and I started using the word “cajones” and “chico” frequently among my friends. Unlike Wu Zi Mu, Umberto embodies the the typical machismo gangster persona. I wanted to include Cesar Vialpando from San Andreas, but I thought that Umberto had more cajones than him. Not only are Umberto’s missions fun, listening to his dialogue with Tommy is pretty entertaining on its own. He is also one of the characters who are one of Tommy’s real allies.
3.) Catalina (III and San Andreas)
Alright, Catalina is not one of my favorites from the franchise. However, she’s a character I’ll always notoriously remember. She seriously makes life a living hell for Claude and CJ. If you want a psychotic girlfriend who will constantly harass you, then give Catalina a call. If you’re lucky, she might even betray you during a bank heist. It was definitely a treat to see her meet Claude in San Andreas during one mission as a sort of prologue to III.
4.) Packie McReary (IV)
As I’ve said, I’m still playing through GTA IV and I’ve only seen Packie for a few missions or so but I’m loving him already. He’s very straight forward and cool about it which I like. He’s one of those characters who appears tough, but is actually a nice guy who Niko can depend on. However, the best thing I like about him is his ‘frat boy’ like attitude. I’m looking to see more of him as I play through the game!
5.) Tommy Vercetti (Vice City)
I’ve seen a lot of lists out there that feature all of the protagonists in their list. I don’t disagree with them at all. I love all the protagonists of every GTA game, but personally I’ll always have Tommy Vercetti in mind whenever I think of Grand Theft Auto. Ray Liotta did such a wonderful job in bringing Tommy’s character to life. When fans speculated that the man in GTA V was an older version of Tommy, I was excited and optimistic. Unfortunately, it turned out to be rumors but I’m hoping we’ll still get to see or hear more of Tommy in GTA V.
Truly, Grand Theft Auto prides itself with a consistently diverse and rich cast of characters. It’s hard to mash all of them in one list, but those are the top five characters that come to mind whenever I think of Grand Theft Auto. Hopefully, they get some sort of cameo in the upcoming game. If I see just a hint of Wu Zi and Tommy, I’ll be sure to pre-order the game.