[[Appearance::Grand Theft Auto IV|
The Lost and Damned]]
|Full Name||Niko Bellic|
|Date of Birth||1978|
|Place of Birth||Yugoslavia|
Milica Bellic (mother)|
Unnamed and deceased brother
Roman Bellic (cousin)
Mallorie Bardas (cousin-in-law)
United Liberty Paper
|Voiced by||Michael Hollick|
Niko Bellic (born 1978 in Yugoslavia) is the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV and a minor character in The Lost and Damned. He has a strong Eastern European accent and is of Serbian descent. He is voiced by Michael Hollick.
Niko was born in Yugoslavia and grew up in modern day Serbia. His father was an alcoholic bully whom Niko never had any respect for, whilst his mother, Milica, was unhappy that her son grew up in such a harsh place. Niko had a brother who was killed, although it is not stated how or when. [Verification Needed] He had wanted to be an astronaut but in the war-torn Yugoslavia this was impossible. [Verification Needed] According to Niko, his mother was one of "life's victims", and he was raised mostly by Roman's mother, who originally wanted him to go to Liberty City with his cousin rather than fighting in the war [Verification Needed]. It is also revealed by Niko in a conversation with Kate that Niko found Roman's mother raped and murdered at some point after Roman's departure. Knowing he would be even more devastated if he knew the real circumstances of his mother's death, Niko covered up what happened and told Roman that she died in a house fire.
Niko grew up in the harsh environment of the Yugoslav Wars, in which he participated as an angry youth. Niko witnessed and committed numerous atrocities during the war, which led to his cynical perspective on life, and a certain degree of regret, depression, and emotional detachedness. A defining moment in the war, for Niko, was when his army unit of fifteen young men were ambushed by the enemy. Niko barely escaped and most of his friends were killed. He later discovers that two other members (Florian Cravic and Darko Brevic), of the unit also survived, and concludes that one of those two sold the unit out for money. Niko vows to track down the culprit, motivated not solely by revenge, but a need for closure and to move on with his own life.
Work was hard to come by following the war. Niko's cousin, Roman, moved to America to start a new life in Liberty City, while Niko began working in the criminal underworld somewhere in Europe for the next ten years until his arrest and brief incarceration. After being released from prison, he began working for a human trafficking ring led by Rodislav Bulgarin. When a boat involved in the operation sank in the Adriatic during a smuggling run into Italy, Niko managed to swim to safety, but everything and everyone else was lost. Rodislav Bulgarin blamed the sinking on Niko, believing he had sunk the ship intentionally to escape with the money. Bulgarin was too powerful to fight back against, so Niko joined the merchant navy to get away from him.
Life in Liberty City
Niko spent seven months at sea on the cargo ship Platypus, which eventually headed for Liberty City, where his cousin Roman lived. Partially because of Roman, and partially due to the knowledge that Florian Cravic, one of the two survivors of the ambush, was known to be living there; Niko leaves the ship for good to take up residence with Roman. Niko soon realizes that Roman's tales of success are lies, as Roman only owns a small flat, a taxi depot and has large gambling debts. Niko ends up working for Roman, protecting his cousin from the loan sharks that keep harassing him. Roman soon loans Niko's services to friends and enemies alike, which angers Niko although he needs the money, and this sets in motion the events of the game.
Personality-wise, Niko is a very down-to-business person, and is very protective when it comes to his family and loved ones, especially Roman, despite the fact that Roman often gets Niko in trouble. During the game, many of his female acquaintances of his point out that Niko has sophisticated manners and appears to be a very decent person. Niko also maintains a no-nonsense attitude, and at many times throughout the game attempts to resolve conflicts between two parties without the use of violence. However, he tends to get angry easily when he is argued with irrationally, falsely blamed or cheated upon - a trait that might have been aggravated by his past experiences during the war (and a trait shared with past GTA Protagonist's, like Carl Johnson and Tommy Vercetti), and he is often sarcastic. But he is also portrayed as a caring figure: the player can make Niko help various Random Characters on the street who are having problems; Niko also consoles the family of a friend after one of their family members dies. He appears to be a more mature and sensible person than many of his acquaintances; for example, Niko criticizes his friend Packie when Packie jokes over the death of his own brother, and brings people down to reality in a flat-out way, e.g. during a chase sequence, when an acquaintance makes a trivial comment about the ride, Niko responds by saying "We're not on a sight-seeing cruise!"
The most significant aspect of Niko's personality is his cynicism, which he gained in the war. He criticizes his acquaintances for expecting him to have fun amidst his troubled situation. Niko's biggest weakness is his inability to let go of the past - which causes him much aggression when the issue of finding his betrayers comes up; Niko is criticized by many of his friends and most notably Roman, for this weakness. Despite that, Niko holds on firm to his belief that one of the main reasons he is in America is to resolve his past and achieve closure. Niko also has a prominent distaste for drugs - he regularly refuses Little Jacob's offer of marijuana and occasionally expresses dissent for the heroin he is supposed to be dealing with.
Niko's view of American culture is one of confusion and mild disgust. The rampant materialism annoys him and he has trouble relating to Roman's fascination with the country. And, after working for so many criminals, his cynicism is reinforced in Liberty City.