User:Carl "CJ" Johnson/Grand Theft Auto: The Untold Stories/History
| The subject of this page is unofficial.
It does not form part of GTA canon and is not produced or endorsed by Rockstar Games.
Grand Theft Auto: The Untold Stories (2006 - 2011) was a fan-fiction series written by Zach Marsh. During its' short run, the series failed to become well-known amongst fan-fiction writers or Grand Theft Auto fans. The very small audience that had read the series had mixed to negative reactions - some loved the attempt to bridge the gap of the GTA games, while many saw Marsh's immature writing style and plot contradictions to be a turn-off.
The series itself had 4 episodes that started to bridge the gap between Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas when the series itself had suddenly come to a halt. After five years of a hiatus, Marsh finally pulled the plug on the series in 2011.
The series made an attempt to bridge every Grand Theft Auto game together, with Tommy Vercetti and Carl Johnson taking the roles of the primary protagonists. It took place in "real time", and each episode took the place of one hour. An entire season took place over one day. Marsh's series, however, was also going to chronicle the days of Johnson's parents, and that story was going to be told in a format similar to a regular story, fragmented and with gaps in-between. The story of Vercetti’s parents wasn’t going to be covered due to the fact that it wasn't written to be as eventful as that of the Johnson family's first generation.
The series' earliest point chronologically was August 15th, 1928, with the birth of Brian Greaves, who would later become the father of Sean, Carl, and Brian, and who is the initial protagonist - the entire series was going to revolve around his actions up until the time Carl is born. The series after that would largely go into detail about Carl's childhood along with that of Tommy Vercetti, a character who's family never makes any kind of appearance in the series until Tommy's birth. Despite the fact that Carl's family were the exclusive focal point of the series before this, Tommy would end up being the main protagonist due to his rivalry with Giorgio Forelli from his teenaged years onwards. Forelli would become the series' main antagonist. The Grand Theft Auto IV storyline would not have been directly involved with the series - it would've been mentioned in passing, and Niko Bellic would likely have been the only character to appear. The games L.A. Noire and Red Dead Redemption would not crossover with the storyline at any point in time.
Marsh may continue the series at some point in the future due to his personal enjoyment of it, but that is unlikely. If this does happen, the four episodes that were initially released will likely be re-written entirely while staying true to the plot.
Premise and inital run
The series was first conceptualized in 2005 when Marsh was actually playing Vice City. He decided to put his ideas to paper and would eventually type the first episode in 2006. The series follows a "real-time" format - of course, this can't be followed on paper, but if the series was a visual one rather than text-based, that means that the amount of time passed watching an episode is how much time passes in the lives of the characters as well.
Marsh released the first episode of The Untold Stories, a story that picks up a day after the story of Vice City and was aptly named "Storyline", in 2006 on fanfiction.net and his own website to largely positive reviews, albeit he only attracted an audience of a few people on either site. The few reviews that the series had recieved mostly praised the attempt to tie Vice City and San Andreas together, and there was universal approval of the choice of Tommy Vercetti and Carl Johnson as protagonists. Criticism laid on Marsh's immaturity as a writer - overuse of capitalization was prominent as were extended sentences. This was largely due to his age, having only been 11 at the time of the series' premiere.
Hiatus and demise of the series
However, when the next three episodes were released, the small audience Marsh had initially attracted washed their hands of the series. Episode 2 was met with mixed reviews due to its' rushed explanation of the death of Brian Johnson, and one fear was that the series would get too far ahead of itself, wrapping up a story after only a few episodes/hours and leaving the rest of the season/day as a bunch of filler.
Episode 3 recieved scathing reviews and was the worst-recieved of the entire four episodes. It was considered all over the place with its' plot and droned on and on with far-fetched action, including scenes where characters used technology inconsistent with 1986.
Episode 4 was also negatively recieved, and the post on Marsh's website was actually attacked by a fan who said the episode contradicted "everything in [Vice City and San Andreas] it was trying to bridge together." After the extremely negative - and even sometimes cruel - reviews that the last 3 episodes recieved, the series went on a hiatus until 2011, when Marsh finally confirmed the death of the series.