Grand Theft Auto World
The Grand Theft Auto World is a fictional world containing the settings or otherwise-mentioned locations of all the GTA games (for example, Liberty City, Vice City, Carcer City, and the State of San Andreas). It is assumed that the rest of the real world exists within the fictional world, although possibly without some of the major cities to which the GTA locations are analogous (Liberty City may replace New York City, for example). Continuity is generally retained throughout the games, creating a coherent fictional universe.
A map selection screen in the first Grand Theft Auto game reveals that the contemporary renditions of Liberty City, San Andreas, and Vice City are located in or near New York, California, and Florida respectively. It is unclear whether these locations are canon with the rest of the series, however it is known that Vice City is located in Florida. Furthermore, during one mission in GTA San Andreas, the player could fly a plane eastwards and arrive, after a cutscene, in Liberty City. This relationship is similar to the real-world geographical placing of the states of California and Nevada (upon which San Andreas is based) to New York (upon which Liberty City is based). This does involve crossing a vast body of water, but bodies of water are used to isolate game-worlds in the GTA series, and do not necessarily indicate that these game-worlds are truly islands.
Inbetween game eras, the recurring locations of GTA are represented very differently. Liberty City appeared in Grand Theft Auto 1 and GTA III with almost no similarities other than that they were both broadly based on New York City. Liberty City retained continuity throughout the GTA III era (compare GTA III's rendition to that of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto Advance), however GTA IV introduced a new Liberty City created from scratch.
Liberty City, based on New York City, is a location that has appeared in GTA 1, GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, GTA Advance, GTA Liberty City Stories, GTA IV and GTA Chinatown Wars. It is generally depicted as a large city with a sizeable population (4 million in GTA III), featuring a complete transportation infrastructure of roads and railways, and is located on a geographical configuration of shorelines and islands, similar to that of New York City. The city has been described as one suffering from crime and corruption, with the presence of organized crime, feuding street gangs, petty criminals, and rampant misconduct among city officials and law enforcement. The city has been voted the Worst Place in America.
New Guernsey, based on New Jersey, is a location that appeared in GTA 1. It consists of Guernsey City (based on Jersey City), Fort Law (Fort Lee), Schlechberg (Gutenberg), Hackenslash (Hackensack) and Eaglewood (Englewood).
In Grand Theft Auto IV, New Jersey was used as a location again, alongside Liberty City, but was renamed to Alderney. Although Alderney is an entire state, it appears to be the size of a borough (about the same size as Algonquin), and is treated as a borough of Liberty City (although this may be due to technical limitations -- Alderney foot police, for example, are seen wearing different uniforms to the LCPD, although LCPD vehicles patrol Alderney). Alderney contains neighborhoods that are based on differents cities and regions in New Jersey, such as Weehawken, Englewood, Jersey City, Newark, Kearny, and Elizabeth, among others.
Vice City, based on Miami, Florida, is a city that appeared in GTA 1, GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories. In the GTA III era games, it consists of two major islands and six smaller islands; both main islands separated by a large body of water similar to that of Biscayne Bay (separating Miami Beach from mainland Miami). Each major island is divided into several districts. The population of Vice City is given as around 1.8 million. Unlike Liberty City and the state of San Andreas, Vice City has no railway or rapid transit systems, and all islands are connected by road and pedestrian bridges. While all GTA games had included taxis in their vehicle rosters, Vice City was the first city in the Series to offer functional taxicab services which send the player to a location for a fee (this feature is available when the player failed a mission as a result of being killed or arrested, and can take them from the hospital or police station to the mission trigger. This feature was not provided for phone missions). This taxi feature was subsequently employed in GTA San Andreas and GTA Liberty City Stories, and was greatly expanded in GTA IV.
San Andreas, which is intended to be based in the West Coast of the United States, has appeared as two different entities in the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series of video games.
- In the original Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas is a level based on the city of San Francisco, California.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, San Andreas is a fictionalized American state based on the real states of California and Nevada. San Andreas appears as a series of large islands surrounded by water, but connected by a series of bridges. San Andreas is subdivided into three cites (Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas) and five counties Red County, Flint County, Whetstone, Tierra Robada and Bone County. Details of this incarnation are as follows:
San Fierro is the smallest city in San Andreas, based on San Francisco, California. San Fierro is located in the western part of San Andreas. South of the city lies the massive Mount Chiliad, and to the north lies the county of Tierra Robada. San Fierro Bay lies to the north, and The Panopticon to the east.
Las Venturas is based on Las Vegas, Nevada. Like its real life counterpart, Las Venturas is a gambling city located in the desert region. The city is also notable for its sizeable freeway system. Also, an area in the desert region of Las Venturas spoofed the real life base Area 51 with the restricted area (Area 69) and is used as a test lab for some Green Goo which Carl steals for The Truth from a military freight train.
Towns There are 13 small towns in the State of San Andreas, in addition to the cities: Palomino Creek, Montgomery, Dillimore, Blueberry, Angel Pine, El Quebrados, Bayside, Las Barrancas, Fort Carson, Las Payasadas, Valle Ocultado, Aldea Malvada and Las Brujas, (the latter two being ghost towns).
Anywhere City is the setting of Grand Theft Auto 2. It is presumably called this as it is set in the near future, and doesn't bear any resemblance to any real life city in particular. It is divided into 3 separated parts - Commercial, Residential and Industrial (similar to the nature of the three main districts in GTA III).
London, England, was the city used in both the mission packs available for the original Grand Theft Auto - London 1969 and London 1961. To date, London is the only real-life city to be used in a GTA game.
Carcer City is a location featured in Rockstar's Manhunt; references are made to it in various GTA games, suggesting that it exists within the GTA world. According to the 'Miles Traveled' system on the statistical screen on GTA IV, Carcer City is around 30 to 50 miles away from Liberty City.
- Bullworth is the town which "Bully" takes place in.
- Capitol City is a city mentioned in the stats of GTA IV. It is possibly based on Washington, D.C. (United States Capital) or Albany, NY (New York's Capital)
- Cottonmouth, Florida is the city setting of Rockstar's "Manhunt 2". The Cottonmouth police force make use of Police Mavericks with similair paintjobs to the VCPD's mavericks.
- Glasgow, Scotland is mentioned in the Police database as a home town of one of the characters in GTA IV.
- Kent Paul takes his name from the English county of Kent.
- Kowloon is an area of Hong Kong, mentioned by Wu Zi Mu in the mission Ran Fa Li in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; it is also the hometown of Huang Lee, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
- Mars, Alabama is the birthplace of Pastor Richards.
- Miami, Florida In GTA Vice City, There are billboards that say "Move over Miami"
- Preston, England is mentioned on the GTA IV internet.
- Reddick, Florida is the town in which the V-Rock radio station is set in 1984.
- Bogota, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Toronto, Leith and Tokyo are cities mentioned in the official website of GTA3 (Francis International Airport); flights are advertised for these cities, as well as to London, San Andreas, Vice City and Miami.