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Lance Wilson
Appearances GTA San Andreas
Full Name Lance Wilson
Aliases Ryder


Gender Gender::Male
Place of Birth Los Santos, San Andreas
Date of Death 1992 (during Pier 69)
Nationality American
Home Ryder's House in Ganton, Los Santos
Main Affiliations Grove Street Families
Carl Johnson
Big Smoke
OG Loc
Big Bear
B Dup
Los Santos Vagos
Russian Mafia
San Fierro Rifa
Loco Syndicate
Vehicles Picador
Voiced by MC Eiht

For the mission see Ryder (mission)

Lance Wilson, better known as Ryder, is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a supporting character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (set in 1992). Ryder appeared as a high ranking member of the Grove Street Families who later joined forces with the Ballas, Los Santos Vagos and Russian Mafia. He is voiced by MC Eiht.

Character history

Early life

Ryder was born in Los Santos, likely in Ganton due to his close relationship with Sweet and Carl Johnson, and he later became a member of the Grove Street Families. He was once thrown out of school for beating up a teacher who was wearing Ballas colours, although Ryder claims this was because he was too intelligent for school. He rose up the ranks of the gang before becoming one of Sweet's closest allies, being helped by the departure of Carl Johnson in 1987 following his brothers death. The Grove Street Families, however, began to lose influence, power and money to their arch rivals, the Ballas, due to their stance against the sale of drugs, which was fueling the Ballas' rise to prominence. Big Smoke attempted to convince Sweet about the benefits of selling drugs but failed, later meeting Ryder in his house where he convinces him to join his newly formed alliance with the Ballas. The alliance is later expanded to include the Los Santos Vagos and Russian Mafia, while another was established with the Loco Syndicate, who began supplying the new alliance with drugs from their base in San Fierro, although they do not realize that an undercover government agent is involved in the operation. Ryder and Smoke also played a part in the murder of Beverly Johnson (the mother of Sweet and Carl), which was committed by the Ballas using a green Sabre, although they were aiming for Sweet.

Life with Carl Johnson

The death of Beverly Johnson brings her son, Carl, back to Los Santos from Liberty City. Carl meets Ryder again shortly after the funeral where they are attacked by a group of Ballas gangsters performing a drive-by shooting, destroying Smoke's vehicle. Carl, Sweet, Smoke and Ryder then use bicycles to flee the area. The four cycle to Mulholland Intersection where Sweet breaks away from the group, drawing the Ballas vehicle, allowing Carl, Smoke and Ryder to escape. The three are briefly followed again by a Ballas car, although the Ballas do not aim their guns at Smoke and Ryder due to their alliance, a fact missed by the Johnson brothers. Smoke also refuses to shoot at a Ballas car performing a drive-by shooting, claiming he did not wish to waste the food they had just ordered, although Ryder does start shooting the Ballas.

Ryder continues his life as normal with the Grove Street Families, often being seen with Sweet and Carl. He begins to hire Carl to do various tasks, the first being to drive to The Well Stacked Pizza Co. fast food restaurant in Idlewood, where Ryder attempted to rob the store but was thwarted by the manager, using a shotgun in self-defense. Ryder later assists Carl to kill a drug dealer and then a number of Ballas gangsters who were associated with the dealer in a home in Idlewood. Ryder also hires Carl to help him steal weapons from the home of Colonel Fuhrberger in East Beach, steal a weapons shipment from a train coming from Las Venturas and to steal weapons from the National Guard Depot in Ocean Docks.

Ryder later accompanies Carl, Sweet and Smoke to the Cluckin' Bell fast food restaurant in Willowfield, where they see a group Ballas attempt a drive-by shooting. The four survive and destroy the Ballas car. Ryder is again seen when the four discuss the gangs weapons and later performs a number of drive-by shootings with the three in East Los Santos and Jefferson. He also attended a party thrown by OG Loc in Grove Street.

Sweet later arranges a meeting at the Jefferson Motel between the various sub-sects of the Grove Street Families, in an attempt to bring the factions back together to fight the Ballas. Ryder, upon arriving with Sweet, Carl and Smoke, criticizes the non-Grove Street gangsters, which Carl and Sweet do not realize is an attack on the gang rather than the sub-sects. Sweet enters the motel on his own and, when the Los Santos Police Department ambush the meeting, Ryder and Smoke flee the scene in Sweet's Greenwood. The two, however, later re-appear at the side of the motel and drive away from the pursuing police, driving the car through a Sprunk billboard. The car explodes upon landing on the road below while the four, who had bailed out of the car, decide to go back home on their own.

Betrayal and death

Ryder and Big Smoke with Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski, driving the green Sabre, during The Green Sabre.
Ryder meeting with T-Bone Mendez on Pier 69 in San Fierro shortly before his death, during Pier 69.

Cesar Vialpando, the boyfriend of Sweet and Carl's sister Kendl, later phones Carl to come to an alleyway in Verdant Bluffs. While there the two witness Smoke and Ryder, along with C.R.A.S.H. officers Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski, with the green Sabre used in the killing of Carl's mother. Carl finally realises the true allegiances of Smoke and Ryder but is forced to go to Mulholland Intersection to save his brother from a Ballas ambush during a shoot-out. Sweet is shot and later arrested, being taken to a prison 'upstate' (as revealed by Mike Toreno) while Carl is taken to Angel Pine in Whetstone by Tenpenny, Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez, the third member of C.R.A.S.H.

In the absence of both Sweet and Carl, Smoke and Ryder take control of the Grove Street Families and add them to their alliance. The Ballas take control of Ganton and other Grove Street Families turf in Los Santos. The Grove Street Families gangsters also begin to work for Smoke and Ryder by taking drug shipments from the Loco Syndicate drug manufacturing plant in Doherty, San Fierro back to Los Santos. Cesar Vialpando, however, later discovers this and informs Carl, who stops a number of the shipments from reaching Los Santos. Carl later moves to San Fierro but returns to Angel Pine with Vialpando to photograph the three leaders of the Loco Syndicate, who were meeting Ryder at the towns Cluckin' Bell.

After obtaining the photographs Carl returns to San Fierro and has them developed. He meets with Wu Zi Mu, a leading member of the Triads in San Fierro and his assistant Guppy, who identifies the three leaders as Jizzy B., a nightclub owner, T-Bone Mendez, the leader of the San Fierro Rifa, and the gangs leader, although they are unaware that he is an undercover government agent. Carl later kills Jizzy B. and later ambush a meeting between Mendez and Ryder, with help from the Triads. Carl and Vialpando both kill Mendez but Ryder escapes, swimming to a nearby boat, although Carl follows him and kills him on route back to Los Santos. Carl later shows remorse for killing his former friend, although Cesar reveals that Ryder tried to have sex with Kendl.


  • Ryder bears a striking resemblance to the late rapper Eazy-E. He is always seen in a black baseball cap (which reads "San Andreas" in place of "Compton"), sunglasses, a windbreaker and Jheri Curl hairstyle. Ryder's Picador is based on a Chevy El Camino, also a staple of Eazy-E's image (i.e. "A fresh El Camino rolling Kilo G").
  • Ryder constantly chastises Carl Johnson for his driving, regardless of how carefully the player drives - citing his "East Coast" style, a reference to the fact he lived in Liberty City before his comeback.
  • In replay mode, Ryder, along with Sweet and Big Smoke, appear as pedestrian character models.
  • Ryder is not seen without his sunglasses and only once, during the mission Ryder, without his cap. A glitch in the game reveals that behind the sunglasses, Ryder always has his eyes closed (or perhaps squinted, which is a side effect of marijuana).
  • Ryder continues to wear green after his betrayal of the Grove Street Families becomes apparent to Sweet and Carl Johnson.
  • Ryder is addicted to PCP - throughout the game it is nicknamed 'water', 'wet' and 'sherm'. The license plate of Ryder's brown Picador also reads "SHERM".
  • Carl Johnson tells Ryder that "One day, you'll seriously wished that you hadn't have pissed me off." during the mission Home Invasion, foreshadowing Ryder's death.
  • In pre-release screenshots Ryder was shown to own a brown Sadler.
  • Ryder's favorite Radio station is Radio Los Santos.
  • Ryder has a poster of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City game artwork on a wall inside his house.
  • Ryder's voice actor, MC Eiht, can also be heard during the song Hood Took Me Under by Compton's Most Wanted, which features on Radio Los Santos.
Concept artwork of Ryder

Mission appearances

GTA San Andreas