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Grand Theft Auto III

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Title Screen

Grand Theft Auto III

Developers: DMA Design (PS2), Rockstar North (Windows), Rockstar Vienna (Xbox), War Drum Studios (Mobile)
Publishers: Rockstar Games (US/EU/AU), Capcom (JP)
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox, iOS, Android
Released in JP: September 25, 2003 (PS2), July 29, 2004 (Xbox)
Released in US: October 22, 2001 (PS2), May 20, 2002 (Windows), October 31, 2003 (Xbox)
Released in EU: October 26, 2001 (PS2), May 24, 2002 (Windows), January 2, 2004 (Xbox)
Released in AU: October 26, 2001

AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
MinigameIcon.png This game has unused modes / minigames.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ModelsIcon.png This game has unused models.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Grand Theft Auto III is the entry where the series went into a 3D third-person view and really threw GTA into mainstream media, laying down the foundations for the rest of the series as well as defining the wicked sense of humor that would enrage lawyers for years to come.

To do:
C'mon, guys, there's a lot more than what's been posted so far:
  • Unused lines
  • Console port differences
  • Xbox and Mobile version differences:
    • Xbox version graphics, most notably the redone billboard signs.
    • Mobile version has a lot of interesting content leftover, like scrapped multiplayer maps for the online mode.
    • Hidden developer tools
  • Waaay too many revisional changes between PAL and NTSC versions.
  • French and German version changes
  • Texture and naming oddities, such as the Badfellas poster using beta renders and the McAdam Airways billboard originally being named Plummet in prerelease media and the "Petrol" brand only appearing on low-resolution textures.
  • Unused scripts, such as the player being able to destroy airplanes.
  • Vadim M Beta Analysis video
  • So much prerelease stuff to cover.
  • Dummy file (Needs to be found out what the file is [PADDING.NUL], It's not a blank dummy file.)
  • Development oversights, such as misplaced lights.
  • The GTAV source code has file creation dates in 1999-2000 for the GTA-specific game files, as well as references to "GTA3v2" (separate to GTA3, VC, SA, the cancelled Zed zobie game, Tokyo, and 3Master, the mobile and definitive editions). Turns out, GTA4 is built directly off SA, and when they lost the Renderware license, they ended up plugging the 3D universe code they already had into the new engine.


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
To do:
There's a ton of unused map objects; we should have a page on those too.
GTAIII-tank render(official).jpg
Ancient wheels!
GTAIII-render male01 early headb.png
Pedestrians and Characters
Some very unfriendly faces.
Unused Text
Text that's "NO LONGER REQUIRED" and more.
Version and Platform Differences
A few last-minute revisions here and there.

Other unused objects

To do:
Finish this mess.

Grand Theft Auto III's history of being ported to various platforms over the years has resulted in a staggering amount of unused models and textures being left in the files of each subsequent release. This includes nearly every vehicle and pedestrian model from the earliest builds of the game!

Radar Dome

This game has been cracked :p

A rather unfinished radar dome with its top being egg-shaped. Likely meant to be placed between the runways of Francis International, as the Shoreside Vale map from GTA III strategy guide suggests.

Lion Statue

GTAIII-lionstatue render.png
The statues, as seen in an early screenshot.

A very menacing statue of a lion, internally named "iten_chinatown38". Early in development, two of these were placed on a small plot of grass that once occupied the area now taken by the Punk Noodles shop in the final.

Camera Pickup

GTAIII-camerapickup render.png

An icon depicting a camera. Code hidden within the mobile version of the game has spawn points for it, but only the PS2 version has fully functional programming. It may have been an earlier implementation of the stunt camera, as it basically does the same thing. The icon itself didn't go to waste, though, as it was later reused in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as a snapshot indicator.


GTAIII-mine render.png

A mysterious mine. It's unclear what its original purpose was, as its model isn't found in the same file as the weapons are and it makes no appearance in any prerelease media. This model popped up consistently in every 3D-era game up until Vice City Stories, where it finally made a small cameo as a cut weapon.

Unused Animations

There's a surprising amount of animation left over from various stages of development.


GTAIII-anim-idle drink.gif

Someone taking a drink, then wiping their mouth. Can only be found in the PS2 version's files.

TURN_180, TwistCCW, TwistCW

Simple turning animations, reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto IV. It's unclear as to whether they were meant for special situations or normal gameplay.

Vice City Leftovers

Also hidden away within the files are several animations with the prefix "skin_", which are several of GTA III's current animations (plus one new pose) adapted to work with skeletal animation, using bone names nearly identical to that of Vice City. The fact that the idling stance used here is near identical to Tommy's is no coincidence, as it was originally developed as an expansion pack to III. Although there are no leftovers as far as character models are concerned, any Vice City model can be used to view the animationsː

First-Person Shooter Mode

According to leftover data, first-person was once going to extend beyond a simple crosshair and into a fully-fledged mode with animations and all! Apparently the feature didn't make it very far, as not all of the necessary animations were completed, and comments in the weapon stats file indicates that it was only in the testing stages before getting axed:

###### NOT USED IN THIS VERSION ##############
#	X:	1st person version of anim (using orig HGUN & PUMP cause they work better at mo')
#	Y:	1st person vers of 2nd anim
#	FPS anims loaded (ie available):	FPS_PUNCH, FPS_BAT, FPS_UZI, FPS_PUMP, FPS_AK, FPS_M16, FPS_ROCKET

Implementing this feature wasn't tried again until Grand Theft Auto V, and only for the next-gen versions as not even the 7th-Generation consoles could handle it. Ouch. Fortunately, the PC version still has all of the animations made up until then, so we can witness them in all of their glory:

For more viewing pleasure, there are some videos of these animations being played IN first-person:

Interestingly, the animation for the rocket launcher uses bones much in the same way as the skeletal animations above doː

This, along with the fact that all of these leftovers can only be found within the Windows version of the game, suggests that FPS mode was a concept meant for the prequel instead.

Unused Mission

Early "Luigi's Girls"

The iOS port of the game contained mission source files, one of which seems to be an earlier version of Luigi‘s Girls. In issue 93 (July 2001) of HYPER magazine, Leslie Benzies mentioned that "...the first [mission] could be looked upon as a training one. This inaugural mission involves Luigi, pimp and owner of a seedy strip club called Sex Club Heaven, getting you to pick up two "ladies of the night", one from a shop and the other from a clinic. Pick up the girls and return them to Luigi, who rewards you handsomely." and that it was "...for you to familiarize yourself with game controls and city layout.", though this version of the mission doesn't have any kind of tutorial implemented.

The mission doesn't seem to have a proper motion captured cutscene or any voice acting yet. The objective is also different, telling you to not only pick up Misty from the hospital as you do in the final mission but a second girl named Trixie from "Reverend Flannery's" as well. As the source file is from a much earlier point in development, Misty's coordinates do not match up with the location of the hospital in the final game. Trixie is set to spawn near Saint Mark's Bistro and uses one of the generic pedestrian models. After delivering both girls back to Luigi's, the mission is passed and you are rewarded $1500 as in the final (though this text isn't displayed properly). Additionally, no mission passed music cue is present yet.

Unused Code

Flyable Helicopters

Even though there are no flyable helicopters in the game, some partial coding for them remains in the game's executable. This might mean that they were supposed to appear in GTA III after all, but were cut for unknown reasons. It should be noted that most of the buildings in the game don't have a solid roof (or even a roof at all), so the city was definitely not meant to be seen from above, even though a semi-flyable plane (Dodo) remains in the game.

Apparently there are some bike code leftovers too, but not nearly enough to restore them to the game.

Debug Menu

R4GN0R0K found a fully working Debug SCM in the mobile port, and made it usable for the Windows version as well. SILENT_Pavel found some Debug functions like a car spawner in the PS2 version.

Witnesses Calling Cops

In an IGN article from February 2001, it is mentioned that if the players committed a murder in front of witnesses, they would run to the nearest phone and call the police. Although the functionality isn't present in the final, the code to handle the witnesses running to the phone is present under CPed::RunToReportCrime.

That being said, there isn't much more to the code; as soon as the witness gets to the phone, they suddenly walk away without your wanted level going up.

Internal Names

Early Mission Names?

Many of the cutscene files for existing missions have abbreviations that may point to earlier names of missions. Many of them match up with what is seen in the prerelease page.

Cutscene Filename Assumed Abbreviation Final Mission Name
L2_DSB Don't SPANK Bitches Don't Spank Ma Bitch Up
L3_DM & J0_DM2 Driving Misty Drive Misty For Me
J1_LFL Lips Forelli's Lunch Mike Lips' Last Lunch
J2_KCL Kill Chunky Lee Farewell "Chunky" Lee Chong


Cut Song

Though a song called "Wash Him Off" by the fictional band Marydancin didn't make it into the game in its entirety for unknown reasons, the song is previewed for a few seconds in a promo at the beginning of the radio loop for Lips 106. The same promo also features a clip from "Rush Rush" by Debbie Harry which plays on a different station, Flashback FM. The song was eventually released by Rockstar on iTunes as part of the Lips 106 Soundtrack album in 2011.

You can listen to the full song here.

Cutscene Model Differences


Although not unused, "playerx" is the player model used for the intro with the bank robbery, and appears to be based on an earlier design of Claude seen in screenshots from around E3. The most notable difference is the head which has more of a babyish face, with lower cheeks and much smoother skin.

player playerx
GTAIII-player render(bust).png GTAIII-playerx render(bust).png

The pants have more ripples in the fabric, as well as button holes. Interestingly, the soles of the shoes have a unique texture which isn't present on the finished model.

player playerx
GTAIII-player render(legs).png GTAIII-playerx render(legs).png

The look of the texture itself is very indicative of its date. Though the jacket is identical, the style of everything else is simpler, softer, and uses brighter colors than what we see in the final product. This is something that still remains in many pedestrians in-game, which goes to show how close to the deadline the change really was.

player playerx
GTAIII-tex-playa5nu.png GTAIII-tex-playa5.png


Catalina's head is notably different in texture, in comparison to the cutscenes on the PlayStation 2 version. Despite the new hairstyle, the old cutscene model is still used in newer ports.

PS2 cutscene model PS2 in-game model
GTAIII-catalina-render(design2).png GTAIII-catalina-render(design1).png

Unused Graphics

Unused HUD Icon

This Police Car can be found in the hud.txd file, next to the other Minimap Icons. Perhaps it was planned to display Police Cars on the Minimap?

Early Loading Screen

There is an early version of the PC loading screen that looks almost identical to the PS2 loading screen, except the copyright date says 2002 instead of 2001.

Scrapped Online Multiplayer

There's a fair amount of leftovers showing that this game was supposed to have online multiplayer support, from graphics to text but the mobile re-release has a lot more such as maps!

According to Rockstar, it was cut rather early in favor of focusing development on Vice City instead.

Leftover Text

FEM_MAP - "Select Map"
FEN_CON - "Connection"
FEN_GAM - "Find Game"
FEN_GNA - "Game Name:"
FEN_NAM - "Name:"
FEN_NET - "Network"
FEN_PLA - "Number of players:"
FEN_PLC - "Player color"
FEN_PLS - "Player settings"
FEN_TY0 - "Deathmatch"
FEN_TY1 - "Deathmatch stealth"
FEN_TY2 - "Team Deathmatch"
FEN_TY3 - "Team Deathmatch stealth"
FEN_TY4 - "Stash the cash"
FEN_TY5 - "Capture the Flag"
FEN_TY6 - "Rat Race"
FEN_TY7 - "Domination"

Text relating to multiplayer modes.

(Source: Rockstar Games)

Present in menu.txd, and was certainly meant to be used in multiplayer, as it claims to be powered by the now-defunct Gamespy multiplayer service.

Multiplayer Menu Backgrounds

Also in menu.txd are three menu backgrounds that are unused with names referencing multiplayer. Also worth noting is that the menu background used in the Player Setup menu is internally referred to as 'findgame24'.

Hidden Map Details

Hidden on the map are the names of various Rockstar developers, in the form of made-up town names. These can be seen in-game if the Dodo is flown out of bounds. From left to right, Obbe Vermeij (Technical Director), Aaron Garbut (Art Director), Alisdair Wood (3D Artist), Leslie Benzies (Producer), Gary McAdam (3D Artist) and either Adam Fowler (Technical Director) or Adam Cochrane (3D Artist).

GTA3 Radar.png

Regional Differences

Japanese Version Changes

To do:
  • Two of the wheel designs on the PlayStation 2 version were altered to prevent similarities with actual car wheels.
  • The Police was renamed to simply Policecar (as one word).
  • The Stretch was renamed to the Limousine.
  • The Trashmaster was renamed to the Dustcart.
  • When starting the game on the Xbox version, the player will be greeted to a screen which varies between three versions stating they must be 18 or over to play it, with the CERO rating displayed on it.

German/French Version Changes

The German version had several edits made in order to get a USK 18 rating, and to not risk getting restricted and thus impossible to sell in retail. Those changes apply to the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Windows versions. Strangely, this also applies to the French version despite no French-speaking country having similar restrictions.

  • All instances of blood were removed, due to the overly-violent nature. That also includes the removal of headshots.
  • All of the Rampage missions were removed, along with the stats relating to it.
  • The player can't hit people lying on the ground with a baseball bat nor unarmed, and instead will just wave the bat/punch in the air.
  • Headshots and amputations were removed, although the affected character(s) still limp after being shot.
  • Killed characters never drop any cash.

At least on PS2 and Windows, the censorship is determined by the language that the console and keyboard (respectively) are set to, with German or French having it censored, and others having it uncensored.

In most newer releases, such as the Steam, PlayStation 4 and 10th Anniversary Android/iOS ports, the changes are omitted while carrying the same rating, USK 18.

(Source: Schnittberichte)

Australian version changes

When Grand Theft Auto III was going to be released in Australia, it was banned by the OFLC when it didn't qualify for classification on November 28, 2001. Though the game was released with a MA15+ rating later in January 2002, the ability to hire prostitutes for a health boost had been removed. This was due to including the option to kill the prostitute and take her money, which exceeds the OFLC guidelines. At least for PS2, unlike the German and French versions being determined by the console's UI language, the Australian version is an actual separate release.