The car crusher, known also in short as the crusher, is a feature introduced in Grand Theft Auto 2, which the player may used to crush vehicles for rewards. The feature, however, enjoyed only limited use, appearing only in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Advance and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories thereafter.
The process of crushing cars in the games is simple. The player may bring a road vehicle to a designated location near or within the crusher and exit the vehicle, before a crane lifts it and drops it within the crusher or the compactor moves in. The vehicle is then compacted, and a reward of a certain form is given to the player.
The crusher's function in GTA2 is two-folds. On one hand, the crushing of any car is certain to award the player money as it explodes when crushed (its amount depends on the score multiplier, as well as the vehicle); on the other hand, having certain vehicles crushed may also award the player with weapons, powerups and benefits. By crushing the Schmidt, for example, the player may be awarded with health in the Commercial District, and a machine gun in the Residential District.
For GTA III, the crusher was carried over from its predecessor. Located in the Harwood Junkyard in Portland Island, Liberty City, the crusher still crushes vehicles the same way, but its usefulness is reduced to simply awarding the player with small quantities of money, and is only prominently used in one mission to familiarize the player with the crusher. By GTA Vice City, the crusher is no longer available.
GTA Advance and GTA Liberty City Stories
As GTA Advance and GTA Liberty City Stories reuse the GTA III rendition of Liberty City, the crusher reappeares with minor improvements.
For GTA Advance, the player is required to drive their vehicle under the crusher, exit the vehicle and walk away before the compacter moves in. The amount of money given to the player is also generally greater than the average in GTA III, topping at more than four thousand dollars, depending on the size of the vehicle.
While the GTA Liberty City Stories crusher still functions similarly to the one in GTA III, the player may receive a multiplied amount of money from the crusher by completing specific levels of the Scrapyard Challenge. If the player completes the Scrapyard Challenge with 21 points, monetary rewards from the crusher will be increased four folds; a score of 31 points doubles that amount (to achieve a total factor of 8).