First Mission (GTA SA)

In the beginning...
Carl Johnson retrieves his bag at Los Santos International Airport after hearing about the news of his mother's death

Carl Johnson retrieves his bag at Los Santos International Airport after hearing about the news of his mother's death
Game GTA San Andreas
For Carl Johnson
Location Los Santos
Reward $100
Unlocks Big Smoke

In the beginning.. is the zeroth mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The mission begins with a significant cutscene which introduces the main characters and sets up the storyline.


The mission begins as Carl "CJ" Johnson leaves Liberty City via Francis International Airport for Los Santos in 1992 after learning from his brother, Sean "Sweet" Johnson, that their mother, Beverly, is dead.

Upon arriving in Los Santos, Carl takes a taxi, only to be pulled over by a C.R.A.S.H. team led by officer Frank Tenpenny, with officers Edward "Eddie" Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez assisting. After being carted away in their police car for allegedly carrying drug money, Carl learns that C.R.A.S.H. is framing him for the murder of officer Ralph Pendelbury, who had only been murdered ten minutes ago, an event depicted during a preface to the game. Now blackmailed for a crime he didn't commit, Carl is forced to aid C.R.A.S.H. whenever the need arises, but not before C.R.A.S.H. ditches Carl in an alleyway in Jefferson, which is Ballas territory, beloging to his gang's sworn rivals.

With a BMX nearby, Carl must make his way back to his old home in Grove Street.


  • The 98 cent store across from Carl's house is seen when Carl is pulled out of his taxi. This means he is arrested right outside his house before being driven around Los Santos by C.R.A.S.H. and dropped off in Jefferson and forced to pedal back to Ganton.
  • While directed to ride the BMX, the player may ignore the instruction and resort to other means of transport to reach Grove Street. It is one of a handful of missions where this is possible.
  • The mission is one of two in the game where a non-motorized vehicle plays a crucial role in the main storyline, the other being "Sweet & Kendl".
  • Like earlier games, there is no necessity to immediately head to Grove Street. Players can virtually spend several in-game days exploring surrounding areas. However, the player's character will still starve if not fed for three days since the start of the game, and the only sources of subsidence are street vendors and vending machines, as fast food outlets remain locked until the first mission since saving gameplay. Also, only Los Santos and Red County are accessible for traversal without police attention at the start. Any attempt to access Flint County, Whetstone, San Fierro, Bayside, Tierra Robada, Bone County or Las Venturas will result in a four-star wanted level, causing heavily armed S.W.A.T. teams and vehicles to chase the player, resulting in immediate death.
  • In the PC version, if the host computer is not fast enough, Tenpenny will drive on before the train has finished crossing, causing the car to pass through the train.


See also

Video walkthrough

PC Version - GTASeriesVideos