Carcer City

Carcer City
Appearance(s): Manhunt
Manhunt 2 (referenced only)
Grand Theft Auto series (referenced only)
State: State of Liberty
Mayor: Unknown
Population: Unknown (because in-game is leaved and occuped by gangs)

Carcer City is the setting of Manhunt, a non-GTA Rockstar Games game which involves a mass murderer/vigilante named James Earl Cash. Carcer City is roughly 120 miles from Liberty City. It is an industrial city with a corrupt police chief and a snuff film director who apparently calls the shots. In Manhunt, only a small portion of the city is seen, and it can be assumed that it has a serious street gang problem, a corrupt police department, heavy levels of crime, and possibly a high poverty rate; much like the other cities created by Rockstar Games. The area in Manhunt has been abandoned and street gangs have moved in. This has caused the police to simply allow them to roam in those areas and cordon it off from the rest of the city.

Being an extreme caricature of a Rust Belt city, Carcer City may be either based on Detroit, Cleveland, Camden New Jersey, or Philadelphia, as Carcer City is 120 - 130 miles away from Liberty City and these cities consist with its geography. It contains a mental asylum, at least one shopping mall (now derelict), an abandoned zoo, a junkyard and a subway system. If it is based on Camden, then it is possible that Carcer City could be part of Alderney, as Camden is in New Jersey and Alderney is based on New Jersey.

References are made to Carcer City in the Grand Theft Auto world, and GTA car models are seen in the Manhunt games, suggesting that Carcer City exists within the same continuity as the GTA III Era. A news segment from Grand Theft Auto III describes Carcer City as being "nearby" to Liberty City.


  • James Earl Cash - Protagonist of Rockstar Game's Manhunt. He is a former death row inmate who has been given a second chance at life, however he is actually forced into taking part in a snuff film.
  • Lionel Starkweather, a.k.a. The Director - Effectively the ruler of Carcer City. He owns the police, controls the courts, and makes many snuff films.
  • Gary Schaffer - The corrupt police chief of Carcer City. He is in Starkweather's pocket. He is first mentioned in a Grand Theft Auto III news report as being cleared of charges of corruption, due to all of the witnesses in the case going missing. Many Carcer City residents believe he is guilty, but he and Starkweather control the courts in Carcer City.
  • Marcel Crayon - Resident
  • Joe Jon, Road Captain of the Angels of Death was born in Carcer City in 1973.
  • William Hambrough is a former hedge fund manager from Carcer City.


Notable locations in Carcer City include:

  • Carcer Zoo: Formerly a perfect place for a family trip, it once featured over a hundred different animals from all over the world, and is located in the heart of the city. By the time of Manhunt, it has become a gang headquarters, and all the animals have escaped.
  • Darkwoods Penitentiary: Formerly a large prison. The inmates are all free, and have formed their own psychopathic gang, "The Smilies", within the penitentiary.
  • Carcer City Mall: A Shopping Center in Construction.
  • Denton's City Junkyard: a scrapyard which is a turf to the "Skins" gang.
  • Chips Casino: a casino in Central Carcer City.

Carcer City references in Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto III
  • In a news segment on Lips 106 (after the song "Bump to the Music" by Fatamarse) Andee reports that "police chief Gary Schaffer was cleared of corruption charges in a controversial decision by the courts". This suggests that the police chief has been corrupt for two or more years before the events of Manhunt, presumably accepting money from Starkweather. The same news segment mentions Carcer City as being "nearby" to Liberty City.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • A few mailboxes contain letters with Carcer City return addresses.
  • A mattress store has a poster that reads, "The Best Mattresses in Carcer".
  • A bed store in Little Havana is the same seen in the first scene of Manhunt: Joe's Beds.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
A box of Morrice Ammunition.
A box of Brian's Nails.
  • In Ammu-Nation stores, ammunition used by James Earl Cash in Manhunt (like Morrice Ammunition and Brian's Nails) can be seen for sale.
  • A radio advertisement for Carcer City makes references to steel mills being closed and "dining in the glow of the Flaming River". Many steel mills in the Midwest closed during the early '90s, including those in Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, MI. The "Flaming River" is a clear reference to the "Burning River", a period in the 1970s where the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio was so polluted that it caught fire.
  • There are blue propane tanks with "Carcer Gas!" printed on them.
  • A woman calls into the "Wild Traveler" show on West Coast Talk Radio, mentioning that she is from Carcer City.
  • When bumped into, some pedestrians say "Hey! This isn't Carcer City, okay?"
  • On the shores of Palomino Creek, north of Los Santos, there are several large, wooden, spool-shaped objects with the almost-indistinguishable words "Jartnuk Cable Company" and "Carcer" on them.
  • In Zero RC, there are action figures of the Manhunt characters James Earl Cash and Piggsy.
  • After witnessing Carl Johnson kill somebody, some pedestrians may say "I'm moving to Carcer City".
  • In the first cutscene at the airport, the arrivals board shows one flight incoming from Carcer City.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
  • A man named Ken calls "The Electron Zone" on Liberty City Free Radio and states that he is "calling from Carcer City."
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
  • Various pedestrians claim to have previous occupations in Carcer City; some say, "I was a plumber in Carcer City!".
Grand Theft Auto IV
  • While searching the police database, two characters listed are born in Carcer City, Joseph Johnson "Joe Jon" and William Hambrough.
  • Pedestrians may say "You drive like you're from Carcer City" if Niko Bellic narrowly misses them while driving. If you listen to a group of girls talking they might say stuff like "I'm so moving to Carcer City".
  • "Liberty City to Carcer City" is a distance the game can indicate in the 'Distance Traveled' statistic. It is a relatively lower level title in the overall statistic, and is listed before "Liberty City to the Capital", suggesting that Carcer City is closer to Liberty City than Washington DC to New York City.
  • Some pedestrians can be seen wearing Carcer City Unicorns clothing.
  • user DarkSoulLock claims to live in Carcer City.
Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto references in Manhunt

Phil Cassidy

  • A reference to reoccurring character Phil Cassidy is made when one of the cops in the game will sometimes say "I promised my little boy I would take him to Cassidy’s Bargain Firearms Emporium tomorrow", suggesting that Phil also has a business in Carcer City.


  • The Stallion makes a cameo appearance as a burnt out wreck.
  • The Virgo appears as a picture in Starkweather's mansion.
  • The large police vans located throughout Manhunt, where the protagonist can pry open the back doors to find supplies, closely resemble the Boxville vans from the GTA III era games.
  • The box trucks with lights beaming during some levels resemble the Yankee from the GTA III era games.
  • Hollowed-out, roofless, rusted shells of cars resembling the GTA III Idaho can be found widely around the junkyard.
  • Gash bags can be found in various locations during the game.
  • Discarded cups of coffee from Tarbrush Cafe can be found in various locations in the game.
  • The Maibatsu Monstrosity, a car talked about by members of The Hoods in Manhunt, was advertised in GTA III as a very fuel-inefficient SUV.
  • A wrecked Coach appears in Manhunt.
  • A wrecked Kuruma appears in Manhunt.
  • The reporter in Manhunt owns a Blista Compact, it should be noted the license plate also reads "Vice City".


  • "Carcer" likely derives from the Latin word carcere, meaning "prison"; this is the root of terms like "incarcerate" (meaning "to imprison"), and "carceral state", a state modeled on a prison.
  • "Carcer" is one of the seven figures of Western Geomancy. It is the figurative outline of an enclosure or prison cell, and presumably also derives from the Latin carcere.
  • "Carcer" (in Latin: Carcere) was also the name of a prison in Rome in the ancient Roman empire.
  • There is also a town in Spain named "Cárcer".