Content Changes in GTA III
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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 name was originally going to be Mullan.
- The prerelease version of Luigi Goterelli assumed a completely different appearance.
- 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 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. 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.
- The subway and El Train stations were explicitly named.
- 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 very early HUD was very different.
- The radar was light blue instead of yellow.
- 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.
- The ability to name the 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
Staunton South Station,
- Pre-release screenshot: Disembodied limbs - Gouranga.com
Notable strings include:
NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET,
Number of players:
- Pre-release screenshot: Graphics - Gouranga.com