Vertical Bird

Vertical Bird
Carl Johnson heads off to meet Mike Toreno after listening to Madd Dogg's recording session with Kent Paul and Maccer
Carl Johnson heads off to meet Mike Toreno after listening to Madd Dogg's recording session with Kent Paul and Maccer

Carl Johnson heads off to meet Mike Toreno after listening to Madd Dogg's recording session with Kent Paul and Maccer
Game GTA San Andreas
For Mike Toreno
Target Spy Ships
Location Mulholland, Los Santos, San Andreas
Fail Plane destroyed
Reward $50,000
Hydra spawns at Verdant Meadows and other spawn locations
Unlocks Home Coming
Unlocked by A Home in the Hills

Vertical Bird is a mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, given to protagonist Carl "CJ" Johnson by undercover government agent Michael "Mike" Toreno from celebrity rapper Madd Dogg's Crib in Mulholland, Los Santos, San Andreas.


Carl drops by the mansion, his "new" home, and listens to Madd Dogg while he's rapping after having recovered from a suicide attempt. All of a sudden, audio output across the mansion is cut off, and Toreno's voice is heard. He asks Carl to come out of the mansion for one last straw. He does so, and finds Toreno. He drives out Toreno's car to The Panopticon with Toreno, who informs him that this last job is to steal a military jet off an aircraft carrier, and to use the jet to destroy a flotilla of spy ships in Valle Ocultado, promising that this will mandate the release of Carl's incarcerated brother Sean "Sweet" Johnson from prison. Carl agrees and hops on a speedboat docked on the water with a knife and a Silenced 9mm in it.

Carl heads over to the Easter Basin Naval Station in Easter Basin, San Fierro, all while Toreno is guiding him, telling him to sneak inside the carrier. Carl then gets off the boat and swims inside the carrier, but now, Toreno cannot help him. Carl makes his way towards the flight deck, and disables the S.A.M. sites. Carl then kills the remaining soldiers and proceeds to steal a Hydra, just as Toreno asked him to do.

Toreno now reminds Carl that he has to head over to Tierra Robada and destroy four spy ships with the Hydra's missiles; however, military jets start to follow him in the air. He, however, successfully manages to destroy the enemy jets. He then proceeds to destroy the four spy ships moored out in the waters. Carl, infuriated, now asks Toreno what to do with the jet. Since Toreno doesn't want to deal with the jet, he leaves Carl in the lurch, prompting Carl to just land and park the jet at a hangar in Verdant Meadows nearby.


(Carl, performing artist Maccer, record producer Kent Paul and rapper Madd Dogg are inside the recording studio in Madd Dogg's Crib.)

Maccer: Go on... Go on... Come on... Come on... Go on...

Paul: Will you please leave yourself alone!

Maccer: Oh, fuck!

Paul: Oh, you manky mongrel!

Maccer: Ooh, sorry geez.

Paul: You shouldn't be choking the gecko in the first place! Remember what happened at that gig in Hamburg?!

Maccer: That groupie loved it!

Paul: That wasn't a groupie, that was a roadie!

Maccer: But she had great tits.

Paul: (grabs Maccer by the collar and pushes him away) MAN tits! They were MAN TITS!

(The recording equipment stops working.)

CJ: Hey, what happened? Hey, where the sounds at?

Paul: I dunno, bruv, it all just went!

Maccer: You're fucking shite you are, P.

Paul: I can't be held responsible for dodgy gear, alright?

CJ: C'mon, keep it together, man - we can't fuck with his flow.

(A voice comes from a speaker from somewhere in the recording equipment.)

Toreno: Finally! I thought I'd never get through to you.

CJ: What the... Toreno? Is that you?

Paul: What's happenin' here?

CJ: Toreno?

Toreno: Listen; you gotta pull one last string for me, OK? Communists at the gate, Carl.

CJ: I'm tired of this, Toreno.

Toreno: I'm outside. Let's take a ride.

(The audio output is reinstated and Madd Dogg continues rapping.)

Maccer: Now I'm hearing things - fuck me!

CJ: Hey, I gotta get out of here. You got this? Hey, Dogg, I gotta go hit a marketing meeting, I'm gonna catch you later!

Paul: Right, mind how you go, sunshine. Yeah, sweet as... Come on. You having that, Maccer, you having that?

(Carl and Toreno are outside the mansion, walking towards his Washington.)

Toreno: Well, no invite to the housewarming, huh, kid?

CaJ: I knew you'd come anyway.

Toreno: Yeah, well, that's not important right now. I'll bring you up to speed on the way, get in.

CJ: How long's this going to take? I got my own shit to worry about.

Mike: Would you like to see your brother this week?

CJ: Yeah, what can I do?

Toreno: You just gotta steal a military jet off an amphibious assault ship and use it to destroy a flotilla of spy ships, nothing big.

CJ: Oh man, you shittin' me.

Toreno: Would I shit you, Carl? There's a boat. All the gear you'll need is on board. I'll keep you briefed as you go.

CJ: I ain't coming back from this one, am I?

Toreno: Yes you are, don't be ridic- here take this earpiece. Trust me, do as I say, you'll be home for a blow job and a bologna sandwich.

(On the earpiece, Toreno is instructing Carl after he sits in the speedboat.)

Toreno: OK Carl, the ship is moored in the Easter Basin Naval Base.

(Carl arrives outside the Easter Basin Naval Base, with Toreno speaking on the earpiece.)

Toreno: Sneak in the back without being seen. Once you're on the inside, I cannot help you.

CJ: Well, can you help me now?

Toreno: Oh, well, no. Actually, no.

(Carl makes his way inside the base and steals the aircraft.)

Toreno: Ya see? Ya see? What did I tell you? It was a snap!

Pilot: Stolen aircraft; prepare to be vaporized!

CJ: Did you hear that?

Toreno: 'Prepare to be vaporized' what a bunch of bullshit. Ignore them. They shoot at you and it's an international incident. You're not a British tank, so you should be fine.

CJ: For real?

Toreno: Yeah, well, probably. Now make your way to the flotilla and sink the fuckers!

(Carl destroys four invisibly manned spy ships in Valle Ocultado.)

Toreno: You see? Child's play!

CJ: FUCK YOU, TORENO!!! I never want to go through this again! I think I'm gonna hurl...

Toreno: Ooh, what a big whiner, you want some cheese with that wine? Hey, you were spectacular. You know what, I'm beginning to think my little Carl is a double agent. Oooh.

CJ: Shut up, Toreno. Where do you want this thing?

Toreno: What thing? I don't know what you're talking about - you stole it. Got nothing to do with me, I don't know what you're talking about. See ya 'round.



Upon completing this mission, the player is rewarded with $50,000. The mission Home Coming is unlocked. Also, the Hydra is always available at the hangar in Verdant Meadows. Heavy weaponry will now spawn at Toreno's ranch, with usually more than double the normal ammunition.

Following the completion of this mission, a strong criminal case against Tenpenny and Pulaski will finally be built for being presented in court, which is precisely why there is hardly any mention of Tenpenny in subsequent missions until Riot, and even after that, hinting that Tenpenny's explicable paranoia in finale C.R.A.S.H. missions Misappropriation and High Noon was for the very reason he revealed to Carl when he pushed the young gangbanger to exile, and how, for the most part, focus shifts to Carl's prior ghetto life and his revenge vendetta against secondary antagonist Melvin "Big Smoke" Harris, which forms a basis for the major objective of the return leg missions.


  • This is the only mission that takes place across each of the three major areas in the state of San Andreas. The mission starts at the edge of Los Santos over Madd Dogg's Crib in Mulholland, proceeds through the theft of the Hydra from the epicenter of the city of San Fierro in the Easter Basin Naval Station, and ends at the edge of Las Venturas with the landing of the Hydra at the Verdant Meadows Airstrip.
  • Usually, if the player enters the naval base, one will attain a 5-star wanted level, but this does not apply in this mission. No wanted level would be attained for entering the base.
  • Carl can always snipe the military guards in the boat before it enters the LHD-069, and there will not be any retaliation from the guards already on board, meaning that the job becomes easier if the player wishes to steal a Hydra purely through stealth. However, if the boat itself is destroyed, the mission will not progress once the cutscene about the S.A.M. sites is triggered, and it will be stuck at this point until the player reloads the last saved game.
  • There's a chance that the enemy Hydras will crash on the Kincaid Bridge and destroy themselves, requiring no effort from the player.
  • If the player destroys all the other planes on the ship, only one enemy jet will give chase; however, if the player doesn't destroy any, three jets will give chase; if only one is destroyed, two will give chase.
  • An easy way to destroy the spy ships is to destroy the enemy jets and safely land the Hydra on the airstrip area in front of the entry to the westernmost hangar where the Hydra is to be parked. This makes sense because, prior to the mission itself, this particular hangar alone is the only empty one. Having done this, the player can then exit the Hydra, pick up the PCJ-600 spawning to the far end of the airstrip, head to the bridge connector in Valle Ocultado, and take out the spy ships using heavy weaponry at hand, or Satchel Charges which can be blown up, and after the destruction, head back to the Hydra on the bike, get in the Hydra, and simply push the Hydra ahead after positioning to full horizontal thrust.
  • Occasionally, as can be seen on the official San Andreas website, a red mist can be seen coming from behind Toreno's Washington at the Panopticon. This is a rare occurence in the game otherwise, but can be commonly observed when there is rain even in such arid areas as Fort Carson, if weather cheats have been used prior to the mission.
  • The mission is programmed to take place at night and occur through stormy weather, although using the weather cheat can change this.
  • The default radio station in the Washington is WCTR but when Carl and Toreno enter Toreno's car, K Rose is playing. This is due to the fact that Mulholland is right on the border to Red County and occasionally rural cars and expensive cars cross over in this area.

See also


Video Walkthrough

PC Version - GTASeriesVideos