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Before the release of any Grand Theft Auto game, there were features that were removed from the final product. These changes range from deleted vehicles and player skins to the removal of entire characters and mission strands.
See Beta Vehicles for information about the vehicles.
- 1 Grand Theft Auto
- 2 Grand Theft Auto II
- 3 Grand Theft Auto III
- 4 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- 5 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- 6 Grand Theft Auto Advance
- 7 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- 8 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- 9 Grand Theft Auto IV
- 10 Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
- 11 Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
- 12 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
- 13 See Also
- 14 References
Grand Theft Auto
- Accessible Trams were removed early in the games development for the San Andreas.
- Originally, the Superbike was supposed to be called "Bike".
- The antenna was removed from TV Van.
- Limousine was called the Limo.
- Kids were probably supposed to appear ingame, because School Buses were cut.
- Tanker was called "Hi Explosive Truck", later "Explosives Truck".
- The SWAT Van was cut from GTA. However, it can be seen in the official site in section "Special Cars".
Grand Theft Auto II
- A weapon called the "Microwave" was removed.
- A weapon called the "Instant Vehicle Bomb" was removed.
- A weapon called the "ElectroBaton" was removed.
Grand Theft Auto III
- Claude's appearance went through many different designs. Some screenshots show a poorly detailed Claude, who looks completely different from the final version. Other pictures show a more final Claude with different hair and a chubbier appearance.
- Curtly was removed from the final version.
- The character of Darkel, a revolutionary domestic terrorist, was cut.
- Tom Novy was meant to make an appearance in the game as himself, but was removed along with his song, "Back to the Streets" for unknown reasons.
- 8-Ball's name was originally going to be Mullan.
- Joey Leone's original surname was Sorvino.
- Salvatore's original name was Frankie Sorvino.
- Certain player skins, accessible with cheat codes, were removed.
- Elderly pedestrians with walkers were removed.
- Children were planned for the game.
- Police Officers originally had mustaches.
- Originally the Liberty City Triads had black outfits and tattoos.
- Some, but not all, of Darkel's missions were subsequently given to other characters. It has been said that Darkel had 13 missions for Claude, though most of them were cut.
- A mission that involved flying the Dodo was cut.
- Originally, when doing Vigilante, Paramedic, or Firefighter missions, the vehicles radio could go out of range - requiring the player to drive closer to the nearest police station/hospital/fire station.
- A mission where you need to bomb a school bus full of children was cut due the violence and gore. (?)
- The Old School Hall changed appearance. It previously looked newer and lit up.
- Punk Noodles was originally just with a small grass park with two statues. The statue model still exists in the game's files.
- The Callahan Bridge was going to be named West Port Bridge, as referenced by a road sign in Portland.
- The Callahan Bridge also had two suspensions.
- In the beta, the airport was once in Staunton Island and there are many roads in Shoreside Vale. The Callahan Bridge is also absent.
- Accorded to the GXT files, metro stations were named like in Liberty City Stories (with the same name).
- Airplanes landing at Francis International Airport were destroyable with a Rocket Launcher.
- The ability to blow limbs off of non-playable characters was cut, but only from the PS2 version of the game  This can still be activated in the PS2 version via cheat codes.
- You could originally run with the baseball bat.
- Online multiplayer was cut.
- The graphics were originally more "cartoonish"  (possibly due to a rumored cancelled Sega Dreamcast release).
- The very early HUD was very different.
- The radar was light blue instead of yellow.
- The ability to name the character, much like in Grand Theft Auto, was cut. An unused line of text reads "[DEFNAM] Claude----------------------" - interestingly, this confirms that the protagonist’s name is Claude.
- Unused lines of text within the game's text files contain phrases, such as "You're perfectly healthy, get out of here!" and "I'll just fix you up". These lines of text seem to imply that the game's hospitals were, originally, accessible/usable.
- The "Busted!" text and target arrows were originally red instead of blue.
- There was a bus company named Jelly Tours.
- The song "Back to the Streets", was deleted out of the soundtrack with no explanation.
- The Baseball Bat was originally red and yellow.
- The Rocket Launcher's original scope looked alot like the one of sniper rifle.
- Safehouses would gradually improve in their appearance as the player progressed and gained more money
- Claude may have originally been planned to have a voice as shown in the first trailer (though the voice saying "Get out of the car" is actually a sound clip from GTA2)
Some of these changes are thought to have been as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, although others were made as well before that time.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- A character called Mr. Moffat was removed from the game.
- Tommy Vercetti wore a dark blue Hawaian shirt .
- Ricardo Diaz's original name was supposedly Fernando Diaz.
- Pastor Richards was scheduled to give protagonist Tommy Vercetti a mission.
- BJ Smith was originally named BJ Jones.
- It is believed by some fans that trash collecting missions based on the Paramedic missions were in the beta.
- According to some screenshots, there was no Leaf Links in the beta
- Fort Baxter Air Base originally included an air traffic control tower and a runway. The runway is totally absent, but the tower can still be seen in the distance from Vice Beach.
- There was no stadium in the beta.
- The northeast part of the beach didn't exist.
- Vice Port has a waterway and ships are absent.
- There are no shacks in the sea.
- Some roads didn't exist in the beta version.
- There were no rocks and even the lighthouse was absent.
- There were bus shelters around the city. The bus shelter model, bustopm.dff, is still inside Vice City's file. 
- The long road from the police station going to the Ammunation is absent in the beta map.
- The Deli across from the Little Havana Police station had its large Exploder billboard replaced with a different, smaller one.
- A Grenade Launcher was cut.
- The beta MP5 looked shorter and very different, it can be seen in the intro of GTA Vice City
- The PSG-1 didn't have a silencer in the beta.
- There is a model and textures for an AK-47 in the game files. However, it has never appeared in any of the screen shots or trailers for the game. What some fans claim to be an AK-47 in one of the trailers, is actually the Ruger with its brown texture from the PS2 version of the game.
- There was a Tazer, a Nailgun and Landmines in the beta version, textures exist in the game files.
- The shotgun from GTA III was originally in the game.
- Shown on a poster featured in the flash version of the official website, there was a silenced Ingram.
- The M4 had a longer barrel and a different aim in the beta.
- There was originally a Steyr Aug in the beta version, files of it exist in the PS2 Version.
- Tear Gas was removed from Xbox, PC and later PS2 versions of the game.
- The ability to manage fuel in the car was cut
- There were many phone conversations between Tommy and Mercedes Cortez .
- There were many lines cut from characters such as Kent Paul, Umberto Robina, Mercedes Cortez, Mr. Moffat and BJ Smith in Sunshine Autos .
- Tires were able to be slashed and recorded into the stats. 
- There was going to be an additional outfit called "MC Tommy," but it was taken out. It was originally a brown biker jacket that could be found in Howlin' Petes Biker Emporium
- The Haitian gangster who wears the blue shirt used to have a picture on the shirt instead of the word "Relax". 
- There was once a blond haired prostitute with pigtails and a red skirt. She was supposed to appear around the streets of the downtown area, and dance in the Malibu Club as shown in several trailers.
- According to TXD files, a radio station named VCN (Vice City News) was cut late in the development.
- According to three TXD files, a first person view was proposed. 
- A Gamecube version was going to be made, but was scrapped. Reproduction carts do exist however.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Out of all the Grand Theft Auto games, San Andreas may have had the most changes before release. For the first and only time in the series, there were animals in the game (even though there are fish in the water and birds in the air), the player was able to have uncensored sex, drink, and do drugs. There were many interiors that were left unused, though many remain in the game files. There were a considerable amount of missions cut, as well as numerous weapons, vehicles and character models.
- Characters including Officer Carver, Larry and Poncho were removed.
- Both Sweet and Big Smoke had their appearances changed. Sweet was originally dressed in black and wore a black skully, Big Smoke wore a white jersey and did not wear a hat, exposing his shaved head.
- Kendl Johnson's facial model and clothing were altered.
- Gang members looked different and wore different clothing.
- Each city had its own motorcycle cop model, whereas in the final release the same model is used for all cities (The beta cop models can still be found on the game´s files)
- According to a strategy guide, the Triad members were originally different.
- According to a preview before the games release, Steve Scott was originally going to return for a "big" action movie in San Andreas.
- In a screen before the games release Carl Johnson looked slightly older than the current one.
- There are many deleted missions which include The Truth is Out There and Impounded, or missions with different objectives which include Doberman, Photo Opportunity and Beat Down on B Dup.
- In the first version of Saint Mark's Bistro, CJ had to chase Marco Forelli with a car in the streets of Portland, but for some reason, Portland is not full in the final version (only Saint Mark's, Red Light District and some place of Chinatown and Portland View) and the road isn't solid everywhere.
- Fish in a Barrel was supposedly an actual mission instead of a mere cutscene.
- In Sweet's Girl, originally Sweet did not have a gun, so CJ escorted him out.
- In Photo Opportunity, unused text implies that CJ hijacked and used a helicopter.
- There was going to be a mission involving a search for Big Smoke.
- There was going to be a different race in the Los Santos Stadium.
- According to cut text, San Andreas was going to have a mission pack.
- In beta, car- and bike school had to run in same place, in Doherty's driving school.
- The Pizza Boy side-mission was removed.
- The Top Fun mini game from Vice City was supposedly to return but its was removed for unknown reasons.
- According to the PS2 files, there was to be originally 50 rampages (non-multiplayer) all over the map, but this was cut for unknown reasons.
- Originally, if Carl Johnson killed a pedestrian, a news van would arrive and the crew would report on the event.
- If Carl crashed into a lamp post a mechanic would arrive to fix it. If the player killed the mechanic the lamp post would remain broken for a time, even if the player left the immediate area.
- The Mulholland Safehouse seemed to have a full interior that can be seen from the outside. The change on final version causes a glitch which allows the player to go through the wall.
- Donut shops such as Rusty Brown's Ring Donuts were places where Carl Johnson could eat.
- San Fierro in the beta had very few docks and more parks. The beta map of San Fierro was very detailed and can be seen in Driving School.
- There was cars driving around the San Andreas's car parks by pedestrians and may park there. (Also in Valet car park along the valets)
- The construction yard near the hospital in Downtown Los Santos had a crane.
- The Easter Basin Naval Base had a different outline, it had a dock and the ship is missing.
- San Andreas was much bigger and had several different land masses, such as a larger San Fierro (which resembled San Francisco more closely), A full beta map of San Andreas can be found on a wall in the Lil' Probe'Inn and in Mike Toreno's Ranch.
- Santa Flora Medical Center had 2 helipads on its roof. These pads were most likely meant for the Maverick and Raindance that spawn there in the alpha. Oddly enough, these helipads were absent in the alpha, so the choppers simply spawned on the roof.
- The Clown's Pocket casino was originally called The Ringmaster, its original name can still be seen on the paper map included inside the game box.
- Hardware Stores was originally included in-games, and you can buy tools (like in GTA Vice City).
- Pharmacies from Vice City were originally included where you can buy health and adrenaline.
- The village of Bayside didn't exist in the beta version.
- The village of Dillimore was smaller in the beta version.
- The Hunter Quarry was smaller in the beta version.
- Some roads present in the Red County beta are absent in the final version.
- According to the beta map, there was a small island in San Fierro bay which was most likely based on Alcatraz.
- The Skateboard was cut from the final game (its icon is still on the disk, and it can still be used but only as a weapon).
- Strategy guides and other prints speak of a Gun Cane available alongside the Cane. The Gun Cane does not appear anywhere in the game.
- The Parachute was originally smaller and blue (it can be seen in the demonstration video in Flight School showing how to control parachute).
- Accorded to some early preview of the games, 150 weapons where originally included in-game.
- Another Rocket Launcher called "M47 dragon" was cut, its files can be found only in the PS2 version.
- A sniper rifle named "M82" was cut.
- The grenade launcher was cut again.
- Two machine guns named "M249 SAW" and "M60" was cut, its files can be found only in the PS2 version.
- The Micro-SMG was removed, it can be seen in early screenshots of the game.
- The Parachute icon was originally a bit different.
- The AK-47 icon was originally different.
- The Jetpack and the Cell Phone originally had icons on the HUD like the other weapons.
- Animals that would roam the rural areas were cut. Their models are still available in the game's files, albeit without AI present.
- Originally, there were over 300 gang territories to be taken over all over the map.
- The ability to create and run your own casino was taken out after the alpha version.
- Usable car-washes, similar to those in GTA IV, were cut.
- The ability to ride the trolleys in San Fierro was cut.
- It was possible to hear many vague sounds from your car if it was broken. These sounds can be hear from Rockstar games's beta gameplay video or some of the trailers.
- You can also hear many minor sounds included in beta release which are useless in the final game, but these files are still in GENRL file and can be moddable with mod tools.
- The mobster who Carl kills in Saint Mark's was originally going to be called Marco Forelli but due to deleted audio, his name was never mentioned in the final version.
- The Grove Street Families were originally going to be called The Orange Grove Families.
- Pedestrians would walk into and out of accessible places like stores, clubs, etc. And GSF members would walk into and out of / hang out in your safehouses.
- Pool tables were originally going to be colored green instead of blue.
- The motor bikers had a different design.
- Carl Johnson would be able to use drugs, which would make the camera wobble around making it more difficult to control CJ.
- The ability to drink beer was cut from the final version.
- Through the hidden interiors universe, unused brothels can be found, these were most likely to be placed on top of Strip Clubs.
- Pre-release magazine articles showed that stealing cars was to be much more difficult. In early screen shots, car jacking was shown to involve smashing the car's window and then hot wiring it. This was all removed, possibly due to the limitations posed by the PS2. A similar system is present in GTAIV.
- The ability to rob stores (like in GTA Vice City) such as 24/7 was removed.
- The ability to put many way point on the map was removed at the very end of the development. In the final version, we can put only one way point.
- Accorded to the strategy guide, adrenaline from previous GTA were in the beta version. However their effects can still be activate with a cheat code.
- According to a picture from the strategy guide, there was originally a pool table inside Madd Dogg's Mansion.
- According to Rockstar Games, the game was made on 2 DVDs, that's why many things were deleted when they put the game in one DVD.
- According to american.gxt, there was several phone call and lines which where cut.
- According to gta3.img, There are several more items of clothing available at the clothes stores, including t-shirts, trousers, caps and more - these were all in the game but not used.
- It's possible that pedestrians were originally to be injured like in GTA IV, as Hazer is shown injured similar to GTA IV in Los Desperados. This was most likely removed because of the technical limitations of RenderWare, the games graphics engine.
- The San Fierro Rifa and Mafia originally had gang tags and their turf could be taken over.
- Occasionally CJ will shout out "die Skinhead dicks!", implying that there was going to be a white supremacist gang that of course was at war with the Grove Street Families and possibly to protest against a a racist video game released years before San Andreas as was with the Skinz in Manhunt.
Grand Theft Auto Advance
- The Barrel was cut from the final version.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- It's widely believed that Leon McAffrey, Salvatore Leone or Donald Love was to give a mission to the player to turn back against the Yardies and befriend a Irish-American gang that were also removed, which may explain why the Yardies attack Toni.
- The Liberty News cut-scenes were cut.
- Toni's casual clothes were a purple shirt with a green vest.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- Bryan Forbes originally had a mustache
- According to screenshots, there was going to be a mission where Bryan and Vic were attacked by the Mendez Cartel.
- In the mission, Last Stand, there was an additional man that Vic had to kill other than Martinez and Diego Mendez.
- The Casual clothes were originally yellow.
- Tattoo Parlors, similar to those in San Andreas, were cut.
- The Army Fatigues originally read "USMC" on the shirt, meaning that originally, Vic would join the Marines instead of the army.
- The Fort Baxter Air Base said "Semper Fi" on one of the buildings.
Grand Theft Auto IV
- The mission involving killing lawyer Tom Goldberg originally called Small Fish in Big Pond.
- Missions American Dad, Jacob's Ladder, American Dream and I and High were cut.
- In the Deconstruction for Beginners, Niko was used to destroy some warehouses.
- Originally, It's Your Call was set at night.
- There were originally female police officers.
- There were also to be K-9 dogs in the game and would chase a player if he was running away on a 1 star level. This may have been removed due to the fact of the player able to kill animals in the game, or could frustrate the player.
- A mobster, Raymond Alberga, was deleted from the final version.
- Little Jacob originally did not wear glasses.
- Michelle had a different looking face.
- Playboy X used to have a plain maroon hoodie.
- United Liberty Paper had a different voice.
- Real Badman didn't wear a hat.
- Niko Bellic's hairstyle was slightly different. It can still be found in the game's files and used in-game instead of Niko's original hairstyle through texture swapping or mods.
- Roman Bellic's face and clothes were different.
- Mikhail Faustin had grey hair and a differenthairstyle.
- Ilyena Faustin had different clothes, as seen in 2nd trailer.
- Ray Bulgarin's face was paler, and was less detailed.
- Carmen Ortiz had a shorter ponytail.
- Francis McReary was originally to have blonde hair.
- Some areas named Anger Bay (Pelham Bay), Norfolk (NoHo), Jefferson Heights (Hamilton Heights), Acter Bay (South Kearny), Richmond (Richmond Hill) , Frogtown (Turtle Bay), Washington Heights were cut. Two areas called Hedgebury and Goatherd can be seen on roadsigns on the Broker-Dukes Expressway. It is likely that they are two more cut neighborhoods, or they could be beta names of the neighborhoods that are where Hedgebury and Goatherd supposedly lead to (Firefly Projects for Goatherd, and Outlook for Hedgebury).
- According to the GXT Files, Beechwood City was called : Grayfords
- The setting of the game was originally going to be Liberty State, rather than just Liberty City, and it would have included countryside surrounding Liberty City, mountains based on the Adirondacks and Catskills , and possibly The Caraways.
- A street called Liberation St was either cut or renamed.
- A street called 128th St was either cut or renamed
- The Statue of Happiness was originally going to be called Statue of Freedom
- The Statue of Happiness had a different face.
- Fingerless gloves were probably available during game play. Pre-release screen-shots and videos of the PC version also show Niko with fingerless gloves but were still not available in the game. They still however can be found in the game files and can put on Niko through the use of texture swapping or mods.
- Binco was going to be the first clothing store. It is replaced by the Russian Shop, while ZIP has become Modo.
- Beta weapons include a Silenced 9mm, Pool Cue, and Revolver.
- The Baseball Bat was originally wooden.
- In an early preview, Little Jacob would sell a rocket launcher to Niko. It was originally attached to the underside of his car.
- An MP5 was originally going to be the SMG as seen in early pre-release screenshots. Niko would presumably fire it with both hands on the pistol grip, like the Micro SMG. It's design was later replaced to resemble the S&W MP10.
- Several songs mentioned in early previews or heard in trailers were removed from the final version:
- Burn it all Down - VHS or Beta
- Downtown Swinger - MOP
- Cocaine - Humble Pie
- Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
- How About Some Hardcore - MOP
- Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley & The Wailers
- Restless - UNKLE (feat. Josh Homme)
- They Say Vision - Res
- Junior Kirkstart - The Go! Team
- Shit it Real - Fat Joe
- Sucker M.C.s - Run-D.M.C.
- The ingame american.gxt file lists additional songs for Liberty Rock Radio, Radio Broker and The Vibe.
- Tuff Gong Radio was called Babylon.
- According to a French preview, a few of The Rolling Stones' songs were in the game, but were removed for a unknown reason.
- The first removed haircut design for Niko was a cut that seemed to resemble helmet-hair.
- The second removed haircut design for Niko was a buzz cut.
- The Well Stacked Pizza Co. was originally meant to return but removed before release. Outside Pizza This, the employees are still seen sporting the logo and some with "Well Stacked Pizza Co." on the back of their shirts. This may also indicate that this was once the original location for one of the stores.
- Pedestrians were to carry planks. A model is still present in the game files.
- According to early in-game previews, a city bus service was available for Niko to use, with a bus schedule popping up after walking to a bus stop. A bus driver character model is also found in the in-game files. Occasionally, an operating bus with the driver will be seen exiting the runway roads of Francis International Airport, however, if the player attempts to get in, the driver is 'pulled' from the bus.
- According to previews, Niko could climb telephone poles.
- Niko would have been able to get limo rides just like taxi rides.
- According to the model names of Roman's taxi depot, he was originally supposed to do limos. This may have a connection with the limo rides mentioned above.
- Health pickups originally glowed yellow and not orange.
- Niko would originally bring prostitutes to his home.
- There were two deleted cheats : the first one gave money to the player, it was probably "729-555-0100" ("729" for "PAY"); the second one made the game advance the time by one hour, probably something like "???-555-8463" ("8463" for "TIME").
- Originally, the bailing out animation involved Niko diving forward, as seen in the second trailer.
- The police helicopter would originally fly very low.
- Cars could explode very differently, and turn on their sides and catch fire in the cabin.
- Niko had these contacts in his phone: Cab, City, and Dock.
- Snow was a weather condition but it is only seen as an unused scenario for pedestrian behavior in the game files.
- Developers originally considered letting players purchase music by going to an in-game record shop and for Niko to have an MP3 player, but both ideas were cut
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
- Content from the mission Politics was cut.
- A Game Informer preview states Johnny could originally change outfits.
- According to previews, Johnny had the access to date girlfriends.
- The TAC-700 was cut. However, files of it exists in the game's files.
- The Lost MC Clubhouse originally had a newer exterior, it had white walls with the door moved more to the right, it was also much smaller which can be noticed in several early pictures.
- The ingame american.gxt file lists additional songs for Jazz Nation Radio, Liberty Rock Radio and Radio Broker.
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
- An early interview stated that there would be a random character encounter where a crazy ex-girlfriend of Luis would rig a bomb to his car (possibly Margot).
- Tony wore different glasses that were tinted purple instead of clear.
- The ingame american.gxt file lists additional songs for K109, Vice City FM and Self-Actulaization FM.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
- The beta-map was more different from the final map.
- Grand Theft Auto 3 First Impressions - Gamespot.co.uk retrieved from Internet archive
- Disembodied limb screenshot
- FEN_PLA: Number of players: FEN_TY0: Deathmatch FEN_NCI: NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET in American.gxt
- "Cartoonish" screenshot
- Tommy Vercetti
- Bus Shelter
- Bus Shelter Mod
- Page 13 of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Manual, "Street Racing".
- GTA VC cut dialogue
- text\american.gxt>MAIN>TYRESLA>Tires slashed with a blade
- Page 5 of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Manual, "Population and People".
- [FEC_FPC] First person camera""[FEC_FPR] Controls For First Person"".
- Mulholland Safehouse
- Pause Video at 0:28 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNrm7wqnpVI&feature=channel