Difference between revisions of "Vice City"

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Revision as of 00:12, 25 October 2008

CITY
Vice City
200px
Appearance(s): Grand Theft Auto; Vice City; Vice City Stories
State: Florida, U.S.A
Established: Unknown
Size: Unknown
Mayor: None
Population: 1,800,000 (1986)

Vice City is a fictional city in the Grand Theft Auto series, based on Miami, Florida, although dialogue implies that Miami exists in the universe alongside Vice City. In fact, Vice City is assumed to be located in Florida, as Tommy Vercetti is often frustrated by the actions of "dumb Florida morons", as he calls them. Vice City is also revealed to be in Florida in the radio station VCPR Three versions of Vice City have appeared in different generations of the series. The name "Vice City" is a double entendre: on one hand, it is a direct reference to Michael Mann's 1980's police television series Miami Vice, but it also conveys the actual definition of the word, labelling Vice City a place of sin, greed and overindulgence; making it literally, a city of vice.

The Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories renditions are geographically very similar to Miami. This incarnation of Vice City consists of two major islands (Vice Beach and the Mainland) and several smaller islands: Starfish Island, Prawn Island and Leaf Links. Both main islands are separated by a large body of water similar to that of Biscayne Bay, which separates Miami Beach with mainland Miami in real-life. Each major island is divided into several districts. This rendition of Vice City also draws significant inspiration from 1980s Miami culture, where pastels reign supreme, and, as quoted on a commercial in Wave 103, "rock-n-roll is dead, and pop is in!"

Located in the Florida Keys, Vice City enjoys a subtropical or near-tropical climate with year-long sunny weather, occasional strong winds and rainfall. It is also suggested in GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories that the city is exposed to hurricanes, as is Miami. Early in the story in GTA: Vice City, bridges are closed to the public as Hurricane Hermione is believed to be approaching the city. Similarly, in GTA: Vice City Stories, Hurricane Gordy is believed to be approaching the city.

GTA 1

The Grand Theft Auto 1 rendition featured Vice City only as a level of the game, which is dissimilar from the later versions of the city. Compared to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the Grand Theft Auto rendition of Vice City is more geographically accurate to Miami. Western Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and surrounding areas are depicted as "Vice Beach;" North Miami Beach and the Central Business District have been tagged as "Felicity". Eastern Vice City is made up of Miramire, Coral City, Greek Heights, Little Dominica, Little Bogota and Richman Heights, each representing the counties Broward and Dade. Districts and locations in the city include: Miramire, Little Dominica, Coral City, Vice Shores, Vice Beach, Little Bogota, Greek Heights, Felicity, Richman Heights, Banana Grove and an unnamed island south of Vice Beach.

GTA Vice City

Vice City consists of two major islands and three smaller islands; both main islands are separated by a large body of water similar to that of Biscayne Bay, which separates Miami Beach with mainland Miami in real life. Each major island is divided into several districts. The population of Vice City is given at around 1.8 million.

The city has four hospitals (two in each major island) and four police stations (two in each major island) distributed evenly in the city; these facilities serve as respawn points after the player dies or is arrested, respectively. The city also has one fire station and a military base. Unlike Liberty City and the state of San Andreas, however, Vice City has no known railway or rapid transit systems, and all islands are connected by road or pedestrian bridges. While the city contains local taxicabs like other GTA cities, Vice City was the first city in the series to offer functional taxicab services that sends the player directly to a single location for a fee, available in one mission (to a club) or when the player failed a mission as a result of being killed or arrested (to the last mission's trigger point, excluding phone missions).

During the first half of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the western island is off-limits due to hurricane warnings as Hermoine was expected to make landfall in Vice City. Once the player starts working for Ricardo Diaz, the warnings subside and the bridges are opened.

In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the hurricane Gordy is predicted to make a landfall in Vice City, so the bridges linking Mainland and Vice Beach are closed. When performing the mission From Zero to Hero, the bridges are now accessed, thus opening Vice Beach.

Vice Beach

The eastern island of Vice City, also referred to as "Vice City Beach" on the game's road signs, is depicted as the more affluent and tourist-oriented side of the city, which is mostly dominated by upper and middle-wealth businesses, as well as residential condominiums, apartments and construction sites. The eastern island is also known for a wide beach, dubbed "Washington Beach", on its east side, which makes up an estimated half of the island's landmass. The island also has a waterway on its west side, including neighboring Leaf Links. The eastern island is clearly based on Miami Beach, Florida.

Ocean Beach

File:Ocean Beach.jpg
Cars cruising down Ocean Drive in the Ocean beach district

Ocean Beach is an upper-class tourist district consisting of a few skyscrapers and many low rises, directly based on Ocean Drive in South Beach and located in the southeastern most of Vice City. The area is primarily occupied by seaside and beach side apartments, hotels and upper-class businesses. An Art Deco Historic District-like row of Art Deco and Modernist low rises are also present; the road stretched along the row mimics that of Ocean Drive, bearing much resemblance to their real life counterparts in architecture and layout, and includes a flora partition between the low rises and beach. Inland towards the west, Ocean Beach contains additional commercial and residential buildings.

The district boasts a marina, Ocean Bay Marina and a hospital is also situated on the northwest end of Ocean Beach, named Ocean View Hospital. Two additional high-rise buildings located beside the hospital bear signage that claims that the tenants are the "Research and Development Department" of the "Ocean View Medical Foundation", suggesting that the buildings are related to the hospital.

Tommy Vercetti's initial accommodation in Vice City is in Ocean Beach, at the beachfront Ocean View Hotel. The Pole Position Club is also located near the south end of the district.

Washington Beach

File:Washington beach.jpg
Washington Beach

Washington Beach is a district between Ocean Beach from the south and Vice Point from the north, encompassing the northern end of the Art Deco Historic District-like beachfront district, its inland area, and the southern half of a smaller island to the west containing two construction sites and several additional apartments and housing (among them, a building featuring a hotel room similar to that in Scarface).

Washington Beach also contains a police station located at the northern edge of the district, as well as Ken Rosenberg's office at the southwestern edge. Washington Beach is also connected to Starfish Island via a short bridge between the Washington Beach district; the roadway connecting the two districts stretches across the islands and ends at the edge of Little Havana. The district is likely to be named after Washington Avenue, a major road in Miami Beach.

Vice Point

Vice Point is a more middle class and residential area of Vice Beach, covering the remaining areas of the island at the north, and consisting of larger apartment buildings and hotels aligned along the shore as well as medium sized homes and smaller apartment complexes inland. The North Point Mall (known as Vice Point Mall in GTA:VCS), a large mall located in the north end of Vice Point and accessible by the player, is located in Vice Point. The Malibu Club is situated on southern Vice Point. A police department is also located further north, as is another hospital. Vice Point is accessed from Ocean Beach through road systems and from Downtown Vice City via a bridge passing through Prawn Island.




Mainland

Vice City's western island, also referred to as the "Vice City Mainland" on road signs in the game, is depicted as a less glamorous area of the city, although the business district of Downtown is in fact located on the north end of the island. The western island houses much of the city's industrial population, as well as seaport and airport facilities at the south. Two sizable districts housing immigrant populations are located in the middle, with one of these districts depicted in a dilapidated state. The western island contains the wide four-lane Bayshore Avenue (named in Vice City Stories) at its east side that stretches from the south end, at the seaports, to the north end, at the southern tip of Downtown. The western island is based on mainland Miami.

Downtown

File:DowntownViceCity2.jpg
Downtown Vice City Buildings

Downtown mirrors downtown Miami, where the areas see the highest concentration of skyscrapers, both residential and commercial. Downtown is believed to be a more formal, financial district of Vice City, with a number of large office buildings, including the city's tallest building. This building in particular is notable not only because it is, in fact, the city's tallest, but also because it can be seen from most areas all around Vice City.

The area also boasts the Hyman Memorial Stadium west of Downtown, serving as a staging area for events such as rock concerts, stock car racing, demolition derbies and dirt bike stunt shows. The stadium is also home to the Vice City Mambas football team, which featured former tight-end turned car salesman BJ Smith. In addition, Downtown serves as the location for the local heavy metal radio station V-Rock and an enclosed recording studio, where lead singer for rock band Love Fist, Jezz Torrent, was seen recording a song.

Other places of interest include the Electronics District, the Vice City News (VCN) headquarters, The Greasy Chopper bikers' bar, and a venue for a Love Fist concert, just south of the V-Rock radio station. An unnamed beach is also located west of Downtown, but it receives no visitors or attention, a stark contrast to Washington Beach in the Ocean Beach area. A police station, hospital and the city's only fire station is situated in the district. One of the main roads Downtown (that leads past the Love Fist venue and the Downtown Well Stacked Pizza) is called "Hoarmount Avenue".

Little Havana

Little Havana consists of a predominantly Spanish-speaking Cuban population. The area is controlled by the Cuban gang, led by Umberto Robina from his father's cafe, located in the southwest end of Little Havana. Due to Little Havana's proximity with Little Haiti, occasional fights and gun battles between Cuban and Haitian gangs erupt in areas bordering the two districts. A police station is located at the southeastern tip of Little Havana, as well as a hospital at the east side of the district. The Cherry Popper Ice Cream Factory is also located within the vicinity.

In 1984, this district was once owned by the Cholos, until the Los Cabrones gang took over.

Little Haiti

File:Haiti.jpg
Little Haiti Houses

Little Haiti is predominantly inhabited by Haitians and is home to the Haitian gang. They are led by Auntie Poulet, from her small wooden shack, which is in amongst other shacks at the center of Little Haiti. The gang's solvent factory, located at the west side of Little Haiti, was destroyed in a Cuban ambush, aided by Tommy Vercetti. Little Haiti is noted to be more run-down than Little Havana, with the presence of poorly maintained buildings, and low wealth businesses and smaller homes.

A large printing press, which would be purchased by Tommy Vercetti later in the storyline for a money counterfeiting business, is located at the border between Little Haiti and Little Havana. Phil Cassidy's home and weapons armory is located on the northwest end of Little Haiti. Kaufman Cabs, a local taxi cab company, is also based in Little Haiti, located a block north of Poulet's shack.

In 1984, the Cholo's ammunition warehouse was destroyed also by the Cubans, with the aid of Victor Vance.


Escobar International Airport

File:Escobar International Airport.jpg
Escobar International Airport

The Escobar International Airport, as seen southward towards the air control tower and the distinctive terminal.

Vice City's airport is known as the Escobar International Airport (EIA), or Escobar International in short. EIA consists of two terminals, one at the north which is basically a standard blocky terminal with the addition of below ground entrances, while the other in the south is more distinctive, with its weaved roof and roof-high windows facing the airport's southern airside. Both structures are separated by lawns and a car park, and it is unknown if the terminals are connected in any other way aside roads. Further north in the airport peninsula is the Fort Baxter Air Base. In 1984, the VIP terminal was present near the docks of EIA. Though in 1986, this terminal is replaced by a cargo and freight terminal.

Vice Port

Southeast of the EIA compound is Vice Port (also referred to in road signs as "VicePort"), the city's seaport. Vice Port consists of various docks and a large container ship. It also houses the Civil Assets Forfeiture Compound.

Islands

Starfish Island

File:Starfish Island
Starfish Island as seen from the sky

Starfish Island (also referred as "Star Island" by Tommy Vercetti, just before he and Lance Vance kill Ricardo Diaz) is the third largest island in Vice City. Starfish Island is a community of upper-wealth residents, most of whom live in large houses and mansions, some with their own jetty. The area also has its own security guards, who patrol the island and open fire upon any troublemakers; this gives the residents of the area a feeling of safety, and not at least because of the island's proximity to the gang-riddled townships of Little Havana and Little Haiti. The island has a total of 9 mansions.

The largest residence on Starfish Island is the Vercetti Estate, which was previously owned by drug baron Ricardo Diaz and was acquired by Tommy Vercetti. The mansion comes complete with a rooftop helipad and helicopter and a landing dock for boats. The main interior of the mansion strongly resembles the home of fictional drug lord Tony Montana in the film Scarface. In 1984, the mansion's right wing is under construction. The helipad is distinctly different from its rendition in 1986.

Prawn Island

File:Prawn Island
Prawn island as seen from the sky

Prawn Island is a small island located north most and center on the city map. It links Downtown Vice City in the west and Vice Point (near the mall) in the east. Firstly, Prawn Island consists of 3 mansions. They are north of the main highway that runs horizontally through the island and are connected by a small drive circling a fountain. There are also a few businesses located on the east side of the island and a film studio called InterGlobal Studios on the south-west part. Most of these premises and homes, however, have long been abandoned, and the mansions are now occupied by the Sharks gang.

The only business not controlled by the gang is the film studio, InterGlobal Studios. It is the sole film studio in Vice City and presently serves partly as a pornography film studio for film director Steve Scott. Some sets include battleships, a moon landing, and living room setup. The studio was purchased in its entirety by Tommy Vercetti later in 1986.

In 1984, the middle mansion on the curve was once owned by gang lords Diego and Armando Mendez. After Armando's death inside the mansion and the shooting spree with Diego Mendez and Jerry Martinez which killed both of them, the mansion was abandoned. Though the gang's car, the Sentinel XS, are still parked their in twos.

Leaf Links

File:Leaf Links
Leaf Links as seen from the sky

Leaf Links is a collection of three islands located just west of Vice Point encompassing the Leaf Links Country Club, each island connected to another island with bridges. A road cuts through the middle of the island cluster, where the clubhouse-cum-entrance is located, requiring a pedestrian bridge to connect both half of the clusters. Much of the eastern island's narrow waterways are formed from the partitions between Leaf Links and Vice Point. You can also reach the lower island via the construction site below it.

The Leaf Links country club consists primarily of golf courses, as well as tennis courts and the clubhouse. Golf carts are constantly seen in and around the club as a form of transportation, including on the open road surrounded by the club compound.

A golf side-mission is present in 1984, on the club southeast of the islands.

GTA Vice City Stories

The Vice City featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is based on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City version of the city, but set two years earlier in 1984. Vice City Stories contains several noticeable differences in its landscape from its "future" depiction.

Landmarks

File:Chunder Wheel, Vice Point, VCS.jpg
Chunder Wheel, a ferris wheel in VCS that was demolished before the events of VC
File:NeonVice.jpg
Buildings are adorned with more neon light in the Vice City Stories rendition

A populated trailer park exists just south of Little Havana close to where Vice City's Sunshine Autos, a car showroom, exists. The trailer park serves as the location where Victor Vance would receive missions from Marty Jay Williams, head of the Trailer Park Mafia. Sunshine Autos itself has also been known to be operating from an older establishment in a slightly different location (down the road towards the north), with its newer showroom under construction further south. Both the entire trailer park and the old Sunshine Autos yard is absent in 1986, replaced by an empty field. It is assumed that the disbandment of the Trailer Park Mafia (with Marty's death in the hand of Victor) and the relocation of Sunshine Autos led to the demolition of both locations. The Palm Springs Hotel, in the southern Downtown district, is under construction. The location is featured in one mission where Victor has to kill Biker members in order to save his brother Lance. In 1984, Phil Cassidy's residence is in Vice Port along with his own shooting range. "Phil's Place" in Little Haiti, which would serve as Phil's residence in 1986, is owned by Victor.

The Chunder Wheel, a fairground is based on a patch of land in western Washington, which features a Ferris wheel, dubbed the "Chunder Wheel." The area, circa 1986, features a construction site where in Vice City, Tommy Vercetti meets Avery Carrington in a limousine for missions. A park in the immediate west of the fairground would be developed into another construction site by 1986; the site is later damaged in one Vice City mission, using explosives planted by a remote controlled helicopter. The Midland Hotel, a single Streamline Moderne-styled building (which features a jetty, garage, and helipad) exists in the immediate north of the Washington Beach fairground, on what would be the site of low-rise apartments in 1986. The right wing of Ricardo Diaz's mansion (towards the west) in Starfish Island is either under construction or undergoing an expansion in 1984. The hedge mazes that adorn both sides of the Diaz compound in 1986 do not exist in 1984; instead, only a pond is featured in place on the west wing of the mansion. A VIP terminal with its own separate car park and jetty exists at the Escobar International Airport in 1984. The facility is absent in 1986. The Washington Mall doesn't exist, in 1984 it's an empty lot with a small construction site. A small cafe in Little Haiti, dubbed Le Singe d'Arbre (French for "the monkey of [the] tree") exists in 1984. In 1986, a cafe dubbed "Cafe Under The Tree" exists in its place. The Fort Baxter military base has a significantly different layout to the one featured in 1986. A few of the rare interiors have changed. The North Point Mall, for example, has, for the most part, completely different stores in 1984 than the ones in 1986. A few stores, though, are the same in the events of Vice City. These include such stores as Ammu-Nation and the records store.

Gang Control

The distribution of gangs in Vice City circa 1984 is significantly different due largely to activities surrounding the Vance Crime Family, which rose to prominence that year. Their subsequent dominance has devastated a number of existing gangs which previously had a significant stake in the city. In the beginning of Vice City Stories, a number of previously unheard of gangs in Vice City are also present before they disbanded or were wiped out by Victor Vance and his organization (such as the cholo etc.).

The Trailer Park Mafia, a redneck gang led by Marty Jay Williams, operates from the trailer park near Sunshine Autos and controls much of Vice City's poorer communities, and operates several small businesses. The gang engages in a brief war with the Cholos, seizing more businesses in Little Haiti. With the death of Marty at the hands of Victor Vance, the gang is disbanded as the Vance Crime Family takes control of all his operations. The Cholos, a Hispanic gang, are known to be in control of Little Havana and Little Haiti in 1984. The Cubans ,(led by Umberto Robina, would wage a fierce and violent gang war on the Cholos. The war concluded with the destruction of the Cholo's large illegal arms storage warehouse in Little Haiti by Los Cabrones and Victor Vance, forcing surviving Cholo members to surrender and consolidate with Los Cabrones. With the defeat of the Cholos, the Cubans/Los Cabrones control Little Havana by 1986, while the Haitians are also presumed to move into Little Haiti after the Cholos disappear.

The Sharks control the Washington Beach and Ocean Beach areas of the city, dominating in smuggling, robbery, and drug trafficking. After their businesses are seized by the Vance Crime Family, the gang is suggested to have become the Streetwannabes street gang by 1986.

As Victor Vance is dishonorably discharged from the military, the Mendez Cartel, headed by brothers Armando and Diego Mendez, set up shop in Vice City and become the most powerful criminal organisation in the city, basing their operations at Prawn Island and becoming rivals of Diaz's Gang. Originally allied with the Vance Crime Family, they eventually betrayed Victor, leading to their own deaths (with the help of Ricardo Diaz) and the collapse of their organization.

With the defeat of the Mendez Cartel, the Streetwannabes control the northern half of the now dilapidated Prawn Island, specifically, the former residences of the Mendez Cartel and the Diaz Cartel becomes the most powerful criminal organization in Vice City.

In addition, the Biker gang, which is featured in Vice City, is stronger and more influential in 1984 than they are in 1986, controlling many businesses in Downtown and Vice Point. It is assumed that the rise of the Vance Crime Family has resulted in the Biker Gang losing control of their businesses, leaving them with only the Greasy Chopper Bar by 1986. An offshoot of the Biker Gang, the Stallionz, is featured in Vice City Stories, consisting of homosexual white supremacists. The White Stallionz are wiped out in 1984 by Victor in a bar dubbed "Stallionz," named after the gang.

As a result of the shift of power in Vice City, it is assumed the Vance Crime Family controls a fair share of the city, and both Victor and Lance agree to leave Vice City for several years to lay low and live off of their drug money in the Dominican Republic after Victor kills the Mendez Brothers. In 1986, the Vance Brothers are active in Vice City, although their organization's current size and stake in the city is unknown. Victor is killed at the beginning of Vice City, and with Lance being killed by Tommy Vercetti, the Vance Crime Family's activities are ended. The Vercetti Gang would then become the most powerful organization in Vice City, with virtually all districts under complete control of Tommy Vercetti.