Statue of Happiness
A gift from the French at the end of the 19th century, this iconic landmark evokes a bittersweet mix of partiotism and xenophobia.
-- Grand Theft Auto IV manual description
The Statue of Happiness is a statue in Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, located on Happiness Island in Liberty City and clearly based on the real-life Statue of Liberty in New York City. The name refers to the smile on the statue's face, and if spoken quickly, sounds like "The Statue of a Penis".
Happiness Island, where the statue is located, is only accessible via helicopter, boat or swimming. Algonquin is the closest island, and the nearest subway stop is Castle Gardens on the Algonquin Outer Line. Helitours is on the southeast side of Algonquin for a helicopter, and there are numerous boats at moorings on the west side of Algonquin. The island itself has a number of boats spawning there, and also Forklifts.
Much like the real Statue of Liberty, the statue is designed as a copper green statue based on a stone pedestal standing upon a star-shaped base in the middle of an island (like the real life Fort Wood). Whilst the statue's design is very much similar to the Statue of Liberty's, there are several visible differences on the Statue of Happiness:
- The Statue holds a tablet in her left hand, but a cup in her right (in place of a torch). The cup assumes a modern design (complete with a drinking cap) that emits steam from the top, implying it is a cup of coffee.
- The statue's appears to assume the face of a middle age woman, as opposed to the Statue of Liberty's younger appearance. The face features a wide grin in reference to her name (happiness), as well as wide open eyes (complete with highly visible irides and eye bags). The statue's face is rumored to be modeled after Hilary Clinton.
- Street photo galleries feature the statue with a different face that may have existed in beta, the face is more consistent with the Statue of Liberty's although with a slight, close-mouthed smile.
- The Statue of Happiness faces north up the West River. The real life Statue of Liberty faces south, out towards the Atlantic Ocean.
According to in-game material, the statue was presented to the United States of America in 1886 from the French to mark 100 years free of British food and spelling. In one Weazel News report, however, the French president had requested the United States return the statue, in response to the American president's decision to rename French maid outfits as "slutty Halloween costumes" (a reference to the real-life controversy surrounding the use of "freedom fries" instead of "French fries" in menus of eateries in the United States' House of Representatives).
The GTA Chinatown Wars rendition of the statue is downsized in order to be more visible in the game's top-down angle. While the structure retains the star fort base, the pedestal was removed and the statue is smaller.
The tablet held by the Statue bears an inscription apparently added in to make fun of the United States' treatment towards immigrants who entered the country seeking a better life, and closes with the country's date of independence from the British. It reads:
Send us your brightest, your smartest, your most intelligent,
Yearning to breathe free and submit to our authority,
Watch us trick them into wiping rich people's asses,
While we convince them it's a land of opportunity.
Inside the statue is a beating heart, one of GTA IV's Easter eggs and is possibly the first easter egg that was found in GTA IV. The entrance is on the upper platform of the pedestal, right at the feet of the statue, which is only accessible by a helicopter.
The southern door has a sign: "No Hidden Content This Way". This is similar to the sign on top of the Gant Bridge in GTA San Andreas and The Hidden Sign in GTA III. Through the door there is a ladder going upwards into the body of the statue itself. At the top of the ladder there is a small platform with a large, beating heart chained to the inside of the statue. The heart is indestructible.
- Upon arriving at the statue's island, you can find the "Happiness Is...Land" sweater on the ground near the entrance to the Statue of Happiness.
- During one of the powerboat outings you can go on with Brucie Kibbutz, you will have the opportunity for a scenic statue tour. However, Brucie calls it the "Statue of Freedom" in the audio while the subtitles still say "Statue of Happiness." This suggests that the statue might have had a different name during development, but the audio file did not get changed to reflect the statue's final name.
- In The Ballad of Gay Tony, the "Celebinator" (www.youvebeencelebinated.com) writes in his blog about the statue after his "helicopter tour" of the city (the last sentence in post regarding the Statue could be a reference to the statue's beating heart):