Los Santos in GTA III Era

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CITY
Los Santos
200px
Appearance(s): Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
State: San Andreas
Population: 3,200,000


Los Santos is a fictional city located in San Andreas, and it is the first city encountered in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Los Santos is the capital of the State of San Andreas. Los Santos is based on Los Angeles, California. Los Santos translates to 'The Saints', a play on Los Angeles, meaning 'The Angels'. This also applies to the two cities' nicknames - "The City of Saints" and "City of Angels". With all of the street and gang violence, working girls, corrupt cops, and strip clubs/pornography, the name of the city is considered a joke in the game.

Like Los Angeles, Los Santos is a huge, sprawling co-mingling of cultures and perspectives, full of two-bit hoodlums and small-time actors. The population of over 3 million people is divided into 32 districts, which are home to movie and television studios, multi-million dollar estates, crack-ridden ghettos, and a busy international airport. Numerous roads and a central rail line connect Los Santos to San Fierro and Las Venturas. The most infamous street in the city is Grove Street, located in Ganton, southeast of downtown Los Santos, and just minutes south of East Los Santos, which, like East Los Angeles, contains a predominantly Hispanic population. Grove Street is home to the Families gang, a once powerful gang whose influence faded due to highly successful drug trafficking by the rival Ballas gang.

Los Santos' police are corrupt and the politicians avoid the streets like the plague. There is a motocross track, several basketball courts, and an observatory (modeled after the Griffith Observatory) to satisfy stargazers. Occasionally, independent drug dealers are seen carrying huge wads of cash from recent transactions. Graffiti is commonplace and gambling venues like the racetrack are frequented by many of the city's denizens. The suburbs nestled in the north hills (modeled after the Hollywood Hills) are home to wealthy businessmen, movie stars, and Madd Dogg, the killer rap artist, alike. The occasional shack or trailer park can also be spotted within this highly affluent district, testaments to the period prior to the gentrification of northern Los Santos.

Storyline

Los Santos is the hometown of GTA San Andreas protagonist Carl "CJ" Johnson, who returns from living in Liberty City for five years, after his brother informs him of their mother's death. The game starts upon CJ's arrival in Los Santos, and the story revolves around a lengthy Gang War between CJ's gang, The Grove Street Families, and their fiercest rivals, the Ballas. Tensions between rival Hispanic gangs, Varrios Los Aztecas and Los Santos Vagos, also threaten the tenuous hold with which GSF clings to its paltry territories. However, GSF leader Sweet Johnson is arrested and CJ is run out of town by C.R.A.S.H., causing the disbandment of the Grove Street Families and the mass takeover of Los Santos by the Ballas and Vagos, with the Ballas taking all of what used to be Grove Street territory.

The city is torn apart over the issue of gang warfare. The Grove Street Families and Front Yard Ballas constantly spar over total dominance in Ganton, Idlewood, Jefferson, Willowfield, and even East Los Santos. In 1992, police officers Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski of C.R.A.S.H. (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) are charged with murder and sexual assault, after their extensive corruption becomes blatantly obvious, even to the general public. However, Pulaski had already been murdered by CJ in the Arco del Oeste area prior to those events, after he and Tenpenny, who were using CJ as their patsy, decide there is no more use for him. Alone at the court hearing, however, Tenpenny is released when the prosecutor inexplicably drops all charges. The entire city, outraged that Tenpenny walks free from horrendously heinous charges of which he is obviously guilty, erupts in riots. This is a reenactment of the L.A. Riots (also known as the Rodney King Riots) after the release of the police officers that brutally beat up Rodney King. During the ensuing chaos, CJ kills cocaine drug lord and ex-gang member Big Smoke. CJ then chases after Officer Tenpenny, who dies when his stolen Fire Truck careens off the side of the overpass over Grove Street. When news of Tenpenny's death reaches the people of Los Santos, the riots cease, and the Grove Street Families regain their spot as the strongest gang in Los Santos.

Landmarks

File:Vinewood sign
The Vinewood sign

Los Santos has references to famous L.A. landmarks, including:

Districts

Stations