Area 69 is the highly protected and secretive government research facility in the heart of Bone County, San Andreas depicted in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It sits immediately to the south of Verdant Meadows, to the west of Las Venturas, to the east of El Castillo del Diablo, and directly to the north of Green Palms.
Design and usage
The base is a spoof of the real-life Area 51 in southern Nevada, but named after the 69 sexual position. The in-game base differs greatly from the real life Area 51, evidenced by the lack of a runway, smaller overall size, and different layout. In the past, Area 69 was associated with the long-held rumor of aliens and UFO sightings in the game. Entering or flying over the base will result in a 5-star wanted level. Flying over the base results not only in the wanted level, but also tracking and attack from SAM sites and pursuing Hydras. Flying too close to the edge of the base will also result in attack from the nearest SAM site, although a wanted level will not be obtained if close enough to the base's periphery. The base's four SAM sites may be destroyed using powerful weaponry such as missiles from a jet, a rocket launcher, or a minigun. Furthermore, their heat-seeking missiles may be avoided using countermeasures (flares), if equipped on the player's aircraft.
The base houses various clandestine government projects, including the Black Project Jetpack, a couple of weapons, including the Minigun and the SPAS 12, and a couple of body armor and health icon spawn points. Echoing the conspiracy theories surrounding Area 51, it is implied that the facility may be tied to local housing projects involving UFOs and extraterrestrial life, as suggested by the presence of the nearby Lil' Probe'Inn, the dialog on the base's PA system during the "Black Project" mission (Quotes: "Would the personnel working with the alien body, please put it away." and "Personnel found stealing alien technology will not be invited to the next employee outing."), and by dialog on Marvin Trill's in-game radio show. Much of the base consists of underground research labs, although the player can only enter these labs during the course of a single mission (or by finding a way into San Andreas' "Blue Hell" — an area under the main terrain mesh — and finding the underground base there). The above-ground structures include a series of control towers, guard posts, small airstrip and garages for military vehicles. These garages are the first area in the game in which military vehicles will automatically spawn.
Public relations for Area 69 have suffered from a great deal of distrust and suspicion from the people of Bone County. There have been reported over 30 deaths due to people attempting to trespass onto the base. In fact, front-page headlines of an issue of The San Andreas Times read, Over 30 people killed in Area 69, Demolish Area 69!!, and also Area 69 = Rubbish.
Pickups, weapons and inventory items
- M4 - Behind a staircase leading to a watchtower
- Night Vision Goggles - On a watchtower platform
- Thermal Vision Goggles - Inside the control room
- SPAS-12 - In a dark Floor inside the base
- Barracks (on airstrip)
- Two Hydras (after Vertical Bird)
- Cargobob (near Hydras)
- Patriot (on airstrip)
- Two Rhino tanks (in hangars on airstrip; after Black Project)
- Tug (within underground complex; only during Black Project)
Events of GTA San Andreas
After making his way out to Bone County to meet up with Mike Toreno at the abandoned airstrip, Carl Johnson begins performing dangerous and difficult tasks for this shady government agent, whose "paymasters" remain unidentified (although it is speculated that Toreno may be working for the NSA or the CIA). After temporarily satisfying Toreno's wishes, Carl receives an unexpected visit at the airstrip from The Truth, who Carl hasn't seen since leaving San Fierro. The Truth, disturbed by Carl's allegiance to Toreno, makes his own request: to steal the Black Project from the nearby Area 69 military research facility. The Truth drops Carl off in front of the facility's main gate, and drives off in a hurry, leaving Carl to infiltrate the base alone. Armed with thermal vision goggles, Carl sneaks into the base, and down into the underground research labs. Carl is forced to shoot his way through soldiers and scientists alike, as he makes his way into the depths of the compound, where he finally locates the jetpack. Climbing into the jetpack's straps, Carl boldly applies thrust and escapes through the open sky bay overhead, and blasts off away from the facility as quickly as possible to avoid being shot down by SAM sites and military personnel. As he escapes, a voice over the loudspeaker can be heard frantically shouting, "Get General Mills on the line!", a tongue-in-cheek reference to an American cereal manufacturer.
- The jetpack is the most rapid means of infiltrating the base, but at the cost of being attacked by SAM sites, even at ground level, as the game considers the jetpack to be an aircraft.
- In one of the underground labs, a crowbar is seen, referencing Gordon Freeman's (the protagonist of the Half Life series) signature melee weapon.
- The underground building can be accessed by driving a Freeway onto the air vents and getting off the bike. Carl should fall through the vent and appear in the base next to the Minigun. There are only two ways to get out: by killing Carl, or by standing under the vent and trying to get back on the Freeway - Carl may appear back on it if done correctly.
- If the player enters the area of the base where the Rhinos spawn (and the Cargobob), there is a mysterious green glowing light over the player, with its source in the underground lab.
- If the player enters the second area after infiltrating the underground part of Area 69 in Black Project, the player can spot two giant objects (that are half-crated) which look like two nuclear warheads.
- The SAM sites perform surprisingly poorly against high-flying helicopters, with the missiles frequently missing several yards to the sides of the player's helicopter as long as it maintains moderate forward momentum.
- The SAM sites would also target and shoot at boats. The only ways to achieve this is with a water level editor or car spawner mod.