Claude Speed is the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto 2. After being caught, he was sent to sub-zero rehabilitation and was given parole in the year 2013. During this time, his brain overrided the rehabilitation brain messages and he becomes a stronger, more formidable killer and stealer of automobiles.
There is speculation that Claude Speed is actually also Claude from Grand Theft Auto III, but there is a lot to separate the two. He also appeared in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where is called Claude by his girlfriend during a cut scene.
At the end of GTA2, Claude is shot 3 times by a Zaibatsu Assassin. It is unknown whether or not he lives or dies.
GTA2 movie rendition
Little history is known about the character from GTA2; 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 dead (or possibly surviving, it is unknown) 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 PS2/Xbox-era Grand Theft Auto games, including his black jacket (made of cloth in GTA2 and leather in GTA III, GTA:SA), t-shirt (white color in 2 and black in III, SA), long pants (black color in 2 and dark khaki in III, SA) 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:SA versions.
In GTA2, 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