|Full Name||Claude Speed|
|Place of Birth||Anywhere City|
The Zaibatsu Corporation|
|Voiced by||played by Scott Maslen|
- For other characters, see Claude (disambiguation).
Claude Speed is the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto 2. He started his career as a simple thug, however he was soon hired by the major gangs that controlled Anywhere City. Claude secretly worked with all of them and in the end managed to kill all of their leaders, effectively becoming the true leader of the city's crime.
GTA 2 movie rendition
Little history is known about the character from GTA 2; however, DMA Design had previously released a promotional movie for the game, which was also compiled into the opening cinematic of the game, depicting a live-action rendition of Claude Speed committing several criminal acts, similar in all Grand Theft Auto games. In the movie, Claude is seen performing jobs for several crime bosses, before being shot to death by an assassin sent by the Zaibatsu Corporation, whose van and merchandise were previously stolen by Claude.
The movie's version of Claude shares a few physical appearances with the Claude in the GTA III Era games, including his black jacket (made of cloth in GTA 2 and leather in GTA III, GTA San Andreas), t-shirt (white color in GTA 2 and black in GTA III, GTA San Andreas), long pants (black color in GTA 2 and dark khaki in GTA III, GTA San Andreas) and slicked hair. The movie version, however, was also depicted speaking and displaying an array of emotions, a characteristic not seen in either the GTA III or the GTA San Andreas versions. Claude may also bear some resemblance to Elvis Presley, as when he walks into the Elvis impersonators in the game, they will occasionally shout, "Hey man, it's the King!" and "I told you he was alive!"
Claude Speed is an extremely rude character and apparently has no regret of the crimes he accomplishes. He will work for anyone who will give him the needed money and will be ready to fight even the Army to pursue his goals. He was seen in more than one occasion laughing once he successfully gained what he wanted and is particularly ferocious in killing people, and he was once seen spitting over the body of a person he killed. He also worked for various gangs at the same time, angering all of them but in the end he managed to kill all of their leaders, putting an end to their rule over the city. He is known to have used drugs and cigars and knows how to use a variety of weapons, from simple pistols to even rocket launchers.
In GTA 2, Claude Speed's in-game name is simply given as a myriad of nicknames from nine bosses of seven gangs:
- "Gecko" by all three heads of The Zaibatsu Corporation (Trey Welsh, Red Valdez and Uno Carb)
- "Jumbo" by Elmo, head of the Loonies
- "Kosai" by Johnny Zoo, head of the Yakuza
- "Rooster" by Billy Bob Bean, head of the Rednecks
- "THC-303" by Dr. LaBrat, head of the Scientists
- "Comrade" by Jerkov, head of the Russian Mafia
- "Grasshopper" by Sunbeam, head of the Hare Krishna
Grand Theft Auto III
There is speculation that Claude Speed is the same character as Claude from Grand Theft Auto III. Aside from the same first name, the Claude that appears in GTA 2: The Movie is dressed similarly (but not identically) to the Claude of GTA III. The movie's version of Claude Speed shares a several physical appearances with the Claude in the GTA III Era games, including his black jacket (made of cloth in GTA 2 and leather in GTA III, GTA San Andreas), t-shirt (white color in GTA 2 and black in GTA III, GTA San Andreas), long pants (black color in GTA 2 and dark khaki in GTA III, GTA San Andreas) and slicked hair.
Rockstar has never confirmed or denied that the two are the same person: in response to a query posted by a fan, an official spokesperson said:
"Probably. It seems very likely but it’s also possible that there are just a lot of angry silent car thieves called Claude out there."
Rockstar created an official Facebook quiz called "What Grand Theft Auto character are you?", in which by answering sixteen questions, the user would be given a character from the GTA series that fitted their personality. Certain combinations of answers would result in the answer Claude Speed with the artwork of GTA III's Claude, suggesting that either Claude Speed was merged with Claude, or that the two characters are exactly the same character, while also suggesting that this could be an official confirmation of them being the same characters. However, the accompanying description makes no reference to GTA 2.
It would be worth noting that if both Claudes were the same character, it would prove one of the following:
- Grand Theft Auto 2 is canon with the GTA III Era.
- Claude Speed was the beta name of Claude.
- Claude was still alive in 2012.
- Claude Speed is the only GTA protagonist to smoke cigarettes, besides Tommy Vercetti (although the latter can only be seen smoking through a certain cheat code). Additionally, he possesses an ability to burp or fart on command.
- At the end of the GTA 2 movie, Claude is killed when he is shot 3 times by a Zaibatsu assassin as he tries to open a car. It is unknown if this is canonical to the game, however.
- There is speculation that Claude Speed also is Claude from Grand Theft Auto III, but this has never been confirmed (see Claude#Grand Theft Auto 2 for further information).
- Upon close inspection of Claude Speed's rapsheet in the intro movie, it reveals that he is 28 during GTA 2, which is set in 2012. If Claude Speed is in fact Claude from GTA III, this would make Claude 16-17 during GTA III, set in 2001, and 7-8 years old in GTA San Andreas, set in 1992. This makes it impossible that they are the same character, unless Claude's rap sheet is fake or non-canonical.