San Fierro

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CITY
San Fierro
SanFierro-GTASA-montage.jpeg
From top left: San Fierro, Big Pointy Building, Palisades, a Tram, Foster Valley and the Gant Bridge.
Appearance(s): Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
State: San Andreas
Population: 800,000
A detailed map of San Fierro.

San Fierro, San Andreas is the second city encountered by the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and is based on real-life San Francisco, California. The name San Fierro translates to "Saint Iron" (who does not exist in any religion) while San Francisco's name translates to "Saint Francis", a Catholic saint.

San Fierro is the smallest metropolitan area in San Andreas, but the most urbanized, and is situated on a peninsula on the western part of the state. South of the city lies the massive Mount Chiliad and the Whetstone county. To the north of the city, across the Gant Bridge, a recreation of the famous Golden Gate Bridge, lies the town of Bayside. Northeast of the city lies the county of Tierra Robada. San Fierro is a moderately sized city with the beautiful San Fierro Bay to the north and The Panopticon to the east.

There is a sizeable country club complete with a golf course within San Fierro. San Fierro has a district marked by rainbow signs that is meant to emulate San Francisco's famous Castro District, home to a sizeable gay population.

The city bears visible scars of an earthquake, a likely reference to the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, three years before the game takes place, though dialogue suggests that an earthquake has occurred just recently. The most obvious sign of the intense damage is the crumbled section of freeway lying to the immediate west of Garver Bridge's San Fierro approach, which is an apparent emulation of the damage done to San Francisco's Embarcadero Freeway that is undergoing renovation, whose remnants could be seen for years after the earthquake. The freeway section does not seem to have any visible connection to the existing freeway, however. The city's infrastructure and buildings are not visibly damaged from the earthquake, the only such damage being in the Doherty area.

Storyline

Street map of San Fierro.
For previous story in Whetstone, see here.

After escaping Los Santos with Kendl, Cesar meets with Carl. Cesar finds an available street race with the mysterious Wu Zi Mu. Carl races Catalina's "new boyfriend" Claude, for the ownership of a garage in San Fierro. Soon after, The Police discover The Truth's weed fields, and Carl flees to San Fierro with The Truth.

Once there, Carl finds that all is wrong. The garage he won from Catalina is derelict, and he discovers the disturbing truth about the Loco Syndicate, the crime organization responsible for the spread of drugs in Los Santos. The syndicate is run by Mike Toreno, a shady person with a surprising background. T-Bone Mendez, a San Fierro Rifa, serves as the muscle of the organization, along with Ryder, CJ's homie from Grove Street, and Jizzy B., the biggest pimp in town. As he is investigating the Loco Syndicate, Carl also discovers that Wu Zi Mu (Woozie) is actually the head of a San Fierro Triad gang, the Mountain Cloud Boys, who are in the midst of a war with the Da Nang Boys, a Vietnamese crime organization.

After many odd jobs and errands for multiple bosses, Carl, Woozie and Cesar decide to take down the Loco Syndicate from the inside. Carl first pays Jizzy a visit, offering Jizzy his services. Jizzy gives Carl some work, during which he meets T-Bone Mendez and Mike Toreno. After being sure that Jizzy didn't suspect him, Carl confronted him at the Pleasure Domes nightclub. A massive shootout was followed by a high-speed car chase, in which Jizzy was killed by Carl. Then, he heads down to Pier 69, and kills T-Bone and Ryder in a massive shootout between Triads, San Fierro Rifa, Ballas, Carl and Cesar. Finally, Woozie informs him that Toreno is getting ready to leave in a helicopter, and Carl shoots him down with a rocket launcher. He then destroys the syndicate's crack lab in Doherty, ending the Loco Syndicate once and for all.

Carl then receives a mysterious call from a "friend" who claims knowledge of Sweet's whereabouts, prompting him to head out to the desert, to find none other than Mike Toreno. From there, a new chapter in the San Andreas storyline unfolds.

Districts

The Palisades district

Many of San Fierro's districts are re-imaginings of real neighborhoods in San Francisco:

Known streets

Landmarks

Sunrise over Gant Bridge.

As with every other city in the GTA world, many landmarks in San Fierro are based on real life:

  • The Golden Gate Bridge makes an appearance as the Gant Bridge. This bridge links San Fierro and the town of Bayside. The bridge appears to have functioning tollbooths, as evidenced by the fact that cars heading into San Fierro stop at the toll plaza. However, the player is apparently immune to the toll, not having to pay it. Gant Bridge extends over San Fierro Bay, which is a re-creation of San Francisco Bay, and physically separates San Fierro from Bayside and Tierra Robada.
  • The San Francisco Bay Bridge makes an appearance as the Garver Bridge. This bridge links San Fierro and Tierra Robada near Las Venturas. Alongside the Garver Bridge is the Kincaid Bridge, which is modeled after the Forth Rail Bridge, which itself sits beside the Forth Road Bridge outside Edinburgh, Scotland. This may also be a reference to the home of Rockstar North, where the original bridges are located. The Forth Road Bridge and the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge look remarkably similar.
  • The Transamerica Pyramid is re-created as the Big Pointy Building, the base of the building surrounded by somewhat humorous signs. One can travel to the top for a bird's eye view of San Fierro. One parachute (and only one, so exercise caution) is provided, in case players have the urge to jump off.
  • Lombard Street, known as the "crookedest street", appears as Windy Windy Windy Windy Street in San Fierro's Calton Heights.
  • Fort Point makes an appearance as Battery Point in the game, which sits underneath Gant Bridge. However, the fort has been taken over by the pimp Jizzy B., and is known as The Pleasure Domes Club.
  • The Castro district is emulated as "Queens", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the neighborhood as being the heart of San Francisco's gay community.
  • San Fierro City Hall, based on the Beaux-Arts styled San Francisco City Hall, is located at the west end of Queens.
  • A replica of Mount Sutro's radio antenna (Sutro Tower) is located atop Missionary Hill, at the south end of San Fierro. An observation area is located nearby, offering a pristine view of the city's southern side.
  • Foster Valley, located between Missionary Hill and Easter Bay Airport, may be inspired from planned cities such as Foster City (which may explain the origin of the name as well). The contemporary buildings in the area, as well as a row of identical cylindrical buildings along an artificial lake, mildly resemble Oracle Corporation's World Headquarters at Redwood Shores, Redwood City, which is, coincidentally, also located near Foster City.

Other Landmarks

Public transport

The cable car passing between the Calton Heights and Chinatown districts

Although cars are prominent, there are cable cars (trams) that circle San Fierro. No one is, however, unable to ride them, as they are literally unstoppable and will plow through any obstacle without incurring damage. The Brown Streak Railroad stops at Doherty's Cranberry Station across from the Doherty Garage. The Easter Bay Airport is located at the southeast of the city from the Garver Bridge approach.

Weather

San Fierro's atmosphere appears to be cooler than the rest of the state. The city commonly experiences rainstorms. These, combined with the frequent late-night and early-morning fog, can make driving and flying difficult because of reduced visibility. To further complicate the city's weather patterns, the Tierra Robada sandstorms occasionally blow into the northeastern parts of San Fierro, making flying near the Garver Bridge and Downtown skyline extremely treacherous.

Notable residents

Sports Teams

San Fierro is home to the football team, the San Fierro 69ers, a double entendre referring to both the San Francisco 49ers and the "69" sexual position. In a crude reference to anal sex, the city's baseball team, the San Fierro Packers, which is based off the San Francisco Giants, is sponsored by none other than Fierro Fudge.

Trivia

  • A notable landmark that has a resemblance to Alcatraz was going to appear in the game but was deleted for unknown reasons. The map at Toreno's ranch and Lil' Probe'Inn shows a sizeable island off the coast of San Fierro.
  • Daniel Lamb, protagonist of Manhunt 2, was born in San Fierro.