First Mission (GTA SA)

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In the beginning...
Carl Johnson retrieves his bag at Los Santos International Airport after hearing about the news of his mother's death

Carl Johnson retrieves his bag at Los Santos International Airport after hearing about the news of his mother's death
Game GTA San Andreas
For Carl Johnson
Location Los Santos
Reward $100
Unlocks Big Smoke

In the beginning.. is the first mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The mission begins with a significant cutscene which introduces the main characters and sets up the storyline.


The mission begins as Carl Johnson leaves Liberty City via Francis International Airport for Los Santos in 1992 after learning from his brother, Sean "Sweet" Johnson, that their mother, Beverly, is dead.

Upon arriving in Los Santos, Carl takes a taxi, only to be pulled over by a C.R.A.S.H. team led by Officer Frank Tenpenny, with Officers Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez assisting. After being carted away in their police car for allegedly carrying drug money, Carl learns that C.R.A.S.H. is framing him for the murder of Officer Ralph Pendelbury, who had only been murdered ten minutes ago (an event depicted during The Introduction). Now blackmailed for a crime he didn't commit, Carl is forced to aid C.R.A.S.H. whenever the need arises, but not before C.R.A.S.H. ditches Carl in an alleyway in Jefferson, Ballas territory.

With a BMX nearby, Carl must make his way back to his old home in Grove Street.


(Carl delivers his bag at the Francis International Airport, Liberty City)

Carl Johnson: After five years on the East Coast, it was time to go home.

(Carl arriving at Los Santos International Airport, and his phone rings)

Carl (phone): 'Sup?

Sean "Sweet" Johnson (phone): Carl, it's Sweet.

Carl: Wassup, Sweet, what you want?

Sweet: It's Moms... She's dead, bro.

(Carl takes a cab, which is being pulled over by a police car)

Officer Frank Tenpenny: Passenger, show us your hands.

(Carl exits the cab and slowly walks backwards towards the police car.')

Tenpenny: Stop. Get down on your knees. Now down on your stomach.

(Carl does what he is told by Tenpenny)

Tenpenny: There you go. I'll take that, Hernandez.

(Officer Hernandez gives Carl's money to Tenpenny)

Carl: Hey, that's my paper, man. That's money.

Tenpenny: This is drug money.

Carl: My money, man.

Officer Eddie Pulaski: Hey, don't worry about it, I'll fill it out later.

Tenpenny: Welcome home, Carl. Glad to be back? You haven't forgotten about us, have you boy?

Carl: Hell no, officer Tenpenny. I was just wondering what took y'all so long.

Tenpenny: Get in the car.

(Hernandez and Pulaski takes Carl to the back seat of the police car)

Carl: Ease up, man. Damn.

Tenpenny: Watch your head.

(Carl bangs his head against the police car)

Tenpenny: Oh! My bad.

(Pulaski laughing)

Pulaski (yelling at cab driver): Get outta here, you greaseball bastard! (normal voice): Stupid Mexican. (looking at Hernandez): Oh, hey, sorry.

Carl: My bag. Hey, man, my bag!

Tenpenny: How you been, Carl? How's your wonderful family?

Carl: I'm here to bury my Moms. You know that.

Tenpenny: Yeah, I guess I do. So what else you got shakin' Carl?

Carl: Nothing. I live in Liberty City now. I'm clean. Legit.

Tenpenny: No, you ain't never been clean, Carl.

(Pulaski finds a gun)

Pulaski: Well, what've we got here?

Tenpenny: This is a weapon, Officer Pulaski, that was used to gun down a police officer not ten minutes ago. Officer Pendelbury. A fine man, I might add. You work fast, nigga.

Carl: You know I just got off the plane.

Pulaski: It's a good thing we found you and retrieved the murder weapon.

Carl: That ain't my gun.

Tenpenny: Don't bullshit me, Carl.

Pulaski: Yeah, don't bullshit him, Carl.

Carl: What the fuck you want from me this time?

Tenpenny: When we want you, we'll find you. In the meantime, try not to gun down any more officers of the law. (laughing)

Carl: You can't leave me here. It's Ballas' country.

Tenpenny: I thought you said you was innocent, Carl? That you don't bang?

Pulaski (police radio): This is car 58...

Tenpenny: See you around, like a donut, Carl. (laughing)

(Carl is thrown out of the police car)

Pulaski (police radio): WHAT? Officer Pendelbury's down? We'll be right over.

(The police car drives out of sight)

Carl (to himself): Ah shit, here we go again. Worst place in the world. Rollin Heights Balla country. I ain't represented Grove Street in five years, but the Ballas won't give a shit.

Carl (to himself, when approaching Grove Street): Grove Street - Home. At least it was before I fucked everything up.


  • The 98 cent store across from CJ's house is seen when CJ is pulled out of his taxi. This means he is arrested right outside his house before being driven around Los Santos by C.R.A.S.H. and dropped off in Jefferson and forced to pedal back to Ganton.
  • While directed to ride the BMX, the player may ignore the instruction and resort to other means of transport to reach Grove Street. It is one of a handful of missions where this is possible.
  • The mission is one of two in the game where a non-motorized vehicle plays a crucial role in the main storyline, the other being "Sweet & Kendl".
  • Like earlier games, there is no necessity to immediately head to Grove Street. Players can virtually spend several in-game days exploring surrounding areas. However, the player's character will still starve if not fed for three days since the start of the game, and the only sources of subsidence are street vendors and vending machines, as fast food outlets remain locked until "Ryder".
  • In the PC version, if the host computer is not fast enough, Tenpenny will drive on before the train has finished crossing, causing the car to pass through the train.


See also

Video Walkthrough