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All software goes through development stages, and Grand Theft Auto III is no exception. This article lists all contents cut from the final release of the game, planned contents that did not make it into the final game, and contents that are in the final game but are made inaccessible. These contents range from deleted vehicles and player skins to the removal of entire characters and mission strands. Information about these contents can only be inferred from game files, pre-release screenshots and videos, previews, and interviews with Rockstar's producers.
- 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 concept name was Mullan.
- The prerelease version of Luigi Goterelli assumed a completely different appearance.
- Joey Leone's concept surname was Sorvino.
- Salvatore's concept name was Frankie Sorvino.
- Asuka Kasen's original name was Kemuri.
- Maria Latore originally wore a leopard print crop top and black miniskirt with hoop earrings with jewellery and had longer hair.
- Toni Cipriani originally wore a brown sweater and looked completely different.
- Catalina originally wore a skirt and leggings.
- There was a character called Butler but he never made the final cut, no one knows what his purpose was but many believe he was Salvatore Leone's butler.
- Misty originally wore a black miniskirt, red bra and a white jacket with gold high heels.
- Certain pedestrian 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 Triads had black outfits and tattoos.
- Buskers were planned to make an appearance in GTA III but was dropped during development of the game. Remnants of their existence can be seen within the game files.
- Some, but not all, of Darkel's missions were subsequently given to other characters.
- 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.
- Popular rumors claim that there were many missions removed, including a mission that involves the player to kill busloads of school children and flying a Dodo into a building. These have never been claimed in any previews of GTA III and was definitively debunked by Rockstar
- In GTA III's second official trailer, a cutscene shows Claude entering Salvatore's club only to be met by Yakuza gang members. This could be simply a marketing ploy.
- In "Grand Theft Auto," two additional vehicles were planned to be stolen: the Landstalker and Banshee.
- 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 might have been named West Port Bridge, as referenced by a road sign in Portland.
- The Callahan Bridge also had two suspensions.
- In a concept drawing of the city, the airport was once in Staunton Island and there are many roads in Shoreside Vale. The Callahan Bridge was also absent.
- The subway and El Train stations were explicitly named.
- All vehicles had the same wheel design.
- The headlights and grille of the Blista were different, and it lacked a badge.
- The Bobcat originally had a rollcage.
- The front-end of the Cheetah was slightly different, lacking a badge.
- The Dodo's wings were cut short.
- The Esperanto and Idaho once had hydraulics.
- The front-end of the Idaho was slightly different.
- The Infernus more closely resembles a Lamborghini Diablo.
- The front-end of the Kuruma was less boxish, and its bumpers didn't stick out.
- The Patriot had a lower ground clearance.
- LCPD Police and Enforcer had different livery colors, changing the then-current blue and white stripe to black and white stripe.
- The Police Helicopter originally was all white.
- The Sentinel more closely resembled a BMW 5 Series.
- The Stinger's front-end was smoother and lacked a badge.
- Taxis were originally only all yellow.
- The Yardie Lobo had a blue and yellow design.
- The Mr. Whoopee was red instead of grey.
- The Police Cars were blue and white instead of black and white
- Many vehicles were renamed, including:
- Testarossa (Cheetah)
- Viper (Banshee)
- Boxster (Stinger)
- Diablo (Infernus)
- 4x4 (Landstalker)
- Airplanes landing at Francis International Airport were destroyable with a Rocket Launcher.
- The ability to blow limbs off of non-playable characters seemed to used to be enabled by default in 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. List of game types include:
- Team Deathmatch
- Team Deathmatch stealth
- Stash the Cash
- Capture the Flag
- Rat Race
- The Grand Theft Auto III Logo was originally supposed to be "GRAND THEFT AUTO 3" written in white block writing on a black background with the "3" being orange in colour. The logo was then changed to its current Pricedown font.
- The graphics were originally more "cartoonish"  (possibly due to a rumored cancelled Sega Dreamcast release).
- The early HUD was very different.
- The radar was light blue instead of yellow. This was also the case with the iOS and Android ports, as pre-release screenshots of the game sported a bluish map.
- The Police cars were originally going to be blue and white and painted in the style of real-life NYPD cars. Many of the blue and white police cars appeared in promotional material, and even some release material for the game. It is presumed that the change of the color of the cars was a result from the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
- A text string implied the ability to name the player character, much like in Grand Theft Auto, was cut.
- 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" 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 a lot like the one of the 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).
- The song "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was removed with no explanation.
Some of these changes are thought to have been as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, although others were made well before that time.
- Grand Theft Auto 3 First Impressions - Gamespot.co.uk retrieved from Internet archive
- Pre-release screenshot: Triads - Gouranga.com
- GTA III buksers
- [Top Story] Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part One (Claude, Darkel & Other Characters), Rockstargames.com
- [Top Story] Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part Two (9/11, The “Ghost Town”, The Dodo and Other Mysteries)
- GTA III's second trailer, YouTube.com
- Kenji's missions, GTAModding.ru
Staunton South Station,
- Capital Autos teaser site
- Police Car - IGN.com
- Red Mr. Whoopee
- Pre-release screenshot: Disembodied limbs - Gouranga.com
Notable strings include:
NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET,
Number of players:
- Pre-release screenshot: Graphics - Gouranga.com