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20 things you probably didn't know about GTA

Development secrets, Easter eggs, and odd facts

Rockstar are known for keeping tight control over what we know about their games. So when secrets do spill on the GTA series it's usually pretty darned interesting. As multi-million dollar projects, there's an incredible 'making of' documentary just waiting to be made. Until then, we'll just have to make do with these nuggets of info that've leaked out over the years.

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1. THE 9/11 EFFECT

Game Grand Theft Auto III Year 2001

Because Rockstar are based in New York City, the terrorist attacks of September 11 affected them directly. In response, content in Grand Theft Auto III was changed as a mark of respect. Cop car decals were changed from blue and white to black and white, and a set of missions revolving around a terrorist called Darkel were rumoured to be cut. However, Rockstar have disputed this, saying only around 1% of the game was changed.

2. STRANGELY ANIMATED

Game Grand Theft Auto III Year 2001

An assassination mission in Grand Theft Auto III sees you hunting a black-suited character called Tanner, who's "strangely animated" - a jibe at the ill-fated Driver 3's on-foot sections.

3. A DIFFERENT START

Game Grand Theft Auto Year 1997
The original idea for GTA (before it even had a name) was that you played a cop chasing down criminals in a large city. The role was reversed, as the team thought it would be more fun.

4. HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Game Grand Theft Auto Year 1997

When the original concept document (written in 1995), was leaked online, it revealed that the game's first name was Race 'n' Chase, and detailed many elements - like freedom, stealing cars, and being able to run over pedestrians in huge cities - that would eventually make it into the finished game.

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5. ORIGINS OF NIKO

Game Grand Theft Auto IV Year 2008

The character of Niko Bellic was allegedly based on Vladimir Mashkov's character from the film, Behind Enemy Lines. According to an interview with a Russian talk show, Mashkov was offered the chance to voice the character but turned it down.

6. A CHANCE ENCOUNTER

Game GTA: San Andreas Year 2004

Rapper, Young Maylay, who voiced CJ Johnson, had never acted before. He was chosen after he was overheard on a phone call while Rockstar and DJ Pooh were meeting about the game's music.

7. MISSING MOTORCYCLES

Game Grand Theft Auto III Year 2001

The lack of bikes in GTA III? Apparently they were banned in Liberty City between 1999 and 2001. The truth? Rockstar's team were unable to program them at the time.

8. GOT BURNED

Game Grand Theft Auto III Year 2001

The first GTA game on Xbox (part of the 'double pack'), Grand Theft Auto III, was developed using the RenderWare game engine. This was created by Burnout devs Criterion, and used in a huge amount of Xbox era games. Vice City and San Andreas used it too.

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9. AUSTRALIAN CENSORSHIP

Game Grand Theft Auto III Year 2001

It's rare that anything is censored in GTA, but the Australian version of GTA III suffered some cuts. The notoriously strict Australian Censorship Board said that killing prostitutes after hiring them was 'sexual violence', so it was removed from GTA III - and Vice City the following year.

10. SWEARING RECORD

Game GTA: San Andreas Year 2004

In GTA: San Andreas, the word "Fuck" is used 365 times (not counting the soundtrack or random NPC dialogue). It's just one of many reasons the series is seen by the tabloids as a bad influence on kids. "It isn't intended for kids, although I promise you there are kids who are playing it," said the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

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