Mike Toreno, voiced by James Woods, is an undercover agent from a "government agency" (most likely the CIA or NSA, since his later dialogue rules out the FBI) who disguises himself as a drug supplier for the Loco Syndicate. From the beginning, his presence doesn't quite fit, and the mere sight of him disturbs CJ. "Mike" is abducted by a gang of Da Nang Boys, who steals one of the syndicate's drug vans with Toreno inside, but CJ and T-Bone Mendez locate the vehicle at the Easter Bay International Airport. Toreno gets furious when he sees CJ's unfamiliar face and threatens to shoot him. Once Mendez calls him off, Toreno orders all of them to open fire on the van and destroy it.
Following the death of Jizzy B., CJ and his associates plan to ambush the Syndicate's drug buy. CJ buys them cover with a sniper rifle, but Toreno, in a helicopter, notices corpses on a roof and aborts his landing. Later, CJ tracks the chopper to another location and shoots it out of the sky; Toreno is presumed dead.
However, Toreno was never on the helicopter, as he anticipated another attack like the one at Pier 69 and used a decoy. After the Loco Syndicate plant was destroyed in San Fierro, he went into hiding and using a digitally-distorted voice, calls CJ shortly afterward and orders him to travel to a secluded ranch in Tierra Robada. Toreno then gives CJ a series of assignments under duress: Toreno suggests that harm will come to Sweet, who is now in prison, if CJ does not work for him. Toreno promises that Sweet will remain safe so long as Carl cooperates. Toreno was apparently only supplying cocaine to appease a government ally overseas; he has since abandoned dealing and is now focused on killing operatives from rival agencies, who are trying to undermine his shady operations.
Philosophically, Toreno is a highly cynical American imperialist. He primarily uses CJ as a courier, saboteur, and assassin. Though he knows of Tenpenny and Pulaski's dirty dealings as well as their hold over CJ, Toreno does not use his power to stop them. He tells CJ, "We have to make decisions, kid. You know, I try to set bad people on other bad people. And sometimes, I let good guys die." Toreno, like Tenpenny, seems to have gravitated toward committing heinous acts in the name of a greater good. He equates maintenance of the American socioeconomic system with the continued survival of the free world.
Toreno's assignments, which include dropping a payload by plane while avoiding radar detection and shooting down FBI choppers from a plateau, strike CJ as almost impossible.
Later, Toreno sends Carl to purchase the Verdant Meadows Aircraft Graveyard, a defunct landing strip in Bone County, and use the facility to have CJ trained as a pilot. In one of the game's more bizarre missions, a container jet lands without warning at the airport and men in black suits and sunglasses empty out of it. CJ is hiding behind crates when Toreno appears out of nowhere and instructs him to sneak onboard and bomb the plane. While fighting the "agents" onboard, they utter strange phrases such as "Carbon-based buffoon!" and "You evolved from shrews!"
While Toreno initially treats Carl like street trash and enjoys bringing up Sweet's dire situation, his attitude changes as CJ proves his ability to get seemingly impossible jobs done. He begins to enjoy having CJ around, treating him like a sort of "war buddy" and displaying a certain degree of camaraderie. After CJ becomes a manager for rapper Madd Dogg and hasn't heard from Toreno in some time, Toreno hijacks the studio's sound system during a recording session and assigns Carl one last job. He personally drives CJ to Easter Basin to infiltrate an aircraft carrier and steal a Hydra (a V/STOL fighter jet). After he finds himself confronting enemy jets and bombing boats at the dam reservoir, CJ becomes fed up and wants nothing to do with Toreno; his fury is amplified when Toreno ditches the stolen jet and leaves CJ to deal with it.
Toreno shows up unannounced yet again in Home Coming and tells Carl that he has one more mission that needs to get done. Upon hearing this, CJ snaps and holds a gun to Toreno's face, but Toreno responds by saying that CJ is "embarrassing" himself. He then tells him that the "mission" is simply to pick up Sweet following his early release from prison. Toreno makes no further appearances in the game.
James Woods provided the voice for Toreno and bears a resemblance to the character also.
There are some rumors that Mike Toreno is the U.L. Paper Boss in GTA IV Because he has a similar appearance and his name is never disclosed.
GTA San Andreas Mission Appearances
- Photo Opportunity
- Jizzy (Appears in photo only)
- Mike Toreno
- Monster (Voice; Boss)
- Highjack (Boss)
- Interdiction (Boss)
- Verdant Meadows
- N.O.E. (Boss)
- Stowaway (Boss)
- Vertical Bird (Boss)
- Home Coming (Boss)