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Grand Theft Auto III/Vehicles

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This is a sub-page of Grand Theft Auto III.

Hmmm...
To do:
*Find old text
  • Make a video showing these cars in-game

There is a file called vehicles.dff left in the Android and iOS releases which contains very old vehicle models, many of which have wildly different internal names from the final game. They seem to match the oldest screenshots of the game and look quite similar to the earliest renders released. To sum up:

  • Besides the Buggy, none of these models have accompanying collision or handling data.
  • These older versions of the car models have different origin points, are mostly smaller, and have some have their damaged parts set up differently so the final game's collision data isn't compatible.
  • All of these models have extra parts labeled with the suffix _lo, indicating that an extra LOD stage between _hi (full detail geometry) and _vlo (distance LODs) was planned. However, these are all duplicates of the _hi parts, and the final game's code simply deletes these upon loading a model in.
  • No body textures are used anywhere — they wouldn't be implemented until the game was nearly complete.
  • Speaking of textures, most of these vehicles use generic split textures instead of having a specialized sheet. Thankfully, some of these are used elsewhere in the game so we at least have something to the look at.
  • Unless otherwise mentioned/shown, the damaged parts on these cars are usually duplicates of the undamaged geometry.
  • Naturally, these models are very unfinished. Underneath the split parts used for the game's damage system, you are likely to find gaping holes in the geometry.
  • Vehicle reflections wouldn't be implemented until right before launch, so these are meant to look completely matte. There's no specularity value set in their materials so loading these in-game results in it defaulting to the max, meaning very shiny vehicles.
  • Many of the cars don't support custom colors, as you'll see below. If they're any color other than green then they will only be that color in-game.

Unlike the final game, these are all stored as "chunks" in one .dff file (the game's model format) and would've all been loaded at the same time instead of being streamed individually from the disc. They can still be activated (partially, namely ambulan, armytruk, bus, cabbie, chopper, coach, dodo, firetruk, police, and taxi) by inserting this line into gta3.dat:

HIERFILE MODELS\GENERIC\VEHICLES.DFF

However, due to the aforementioned collision data issue, they are for the most part not functional.

Ambulan

ambulan ambulan (Final)
GTAIII-render ambulan early.png GTAIII-render ambulan.png

The Ambulance. The green windows are an error — the texture for them appears to be slightly different than what was originally used.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-ambulan render(official).jpg GTAIII-ambulan prerelease.jpg

Armour

armour securica (Final)
GTAIII-render armour.png GTAIII-render securica.png

The Securicar, or Armored Truck as its render is named.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-armour render(official).jpg GTAIII-armour prerelease.jpg

Armytruk

armytruk barracks (Final)
GTAIII-render armytruk.png GTAIII-render barracks.png

The Barracks OL, or Army Truck as its render is named. Unlike its final iteration, it doesn't have randomized components in the rear.

Unreleased render found by guessing links on the (now defunct) official site.

Astrovan

astrovan moonbeam (Final)
GTAIII-render astrovan.png GTAIII-render moonbeam.png

The Moonbeam, or Aster as its render is named.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-astrovan render(official).jpg GTAIII-astrovan-and-eldorado prerelease.jpg

Beamer

Hmmm...
To do:
Write about Joey textures
beamer sentinel (Final)
GTAIII-render beamer.png GTAIII-render sentinel.png

The Sentinel, which was still called the Beamer at this point in development.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-beamer render(official).jpg GTAIII-beamer prerelease.jpg

Buggy

Hmmm...
To do:
This is only early vehicle with leftover collision. Let's show it in action!
buggy bfinject (Final)
GTAIII-render buggy.png GTAIII-render bfinject.png

What seems to be the BF Injection. It's much smaller and was never shown anywhere. Unlike the BF Injection, it actually has destructible parts!

So many things to break!

Bus

bus bus (Final)
GTAIII-render bus early.png GTAIII-render bus.png

Ah, the infamous school bus. It only has one functioning door (on the left side), which isn't supported by the final game.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-bus render(official).jpg GTAIII-bus prerelease.jpg

Cabbie

cabbie cabbie (Final)
GTAIII-render cabbie early.png GTAIII-render cabbie.png
cabbie - Damaged cabbie (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render cabbie early dam.png GTAIII-render cabbie dam.png

The Cabbie. It's quite a bit smaller than the final version.

Interestingly, the back window is breakable.
Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-cabbie render(official).jpg GTAIII-cabbie prerelease.jpg

Carrier

carrier blista (Final)
GTAIII-render carrier.png GTAIII-render blista.png

The Blista, or Space as it was called at this point.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-carrier render(official).jpg GTAIII-carrier-chopper-garbage prerelease.jpg

Chopper

chopper chopper (Final)
GTAIII-render chopper early.png.png GTAIII-render chopper.png

An older version of the police chopper. It has less breakable parts, a different shade of blue, and the textures are laid out a bit differently.

Pre-release screenshot

Coach

coach coach (Final)
GTAIII-render coach early.png GTAIII-render coach final.png

The Coach, sadly no awesome Felly Tours signage is left. The LOD is a duplicate of the high poly mesh and there is no randomized signage.

Pre-release screenshot

Dodo

dodo dodo (Final)
GTAIII-render dodo early.png GTAIII-render dodo.png

The Dodo! This confirms once and for all that the wings were always clipped, finally debunking an infamous rumor.

Eldorado

eldorado esperant (Final)
GTAIII-render eldorado.png GTAIII-render esperant.png
eldorado - Damaged esperant (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render eldorado dam.png GTAIII-render esperant dam.png

The Esperanto, misspelled "Esparanto" on the official site. It has different damaged parts from the final game.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-eldorado render(official).jpg GTAIII-astrovan-and-eldorado prerelease.jpg

Firetruk

firetruk firetruk (Final)
GTAIII-render firetruk early.png GTAIII-render firetruk.png

The Fire Truck.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-firetruk render(official).jpg GTAIII-firetruk-and-testeros prerelease.jpg

Freight

freight linerun (Final)
GTAIII-render freight.png GTAIII-render linerun.png

The Linerunner, or Semi Cab as its render is named.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-freight render(official).jpg GTAIII-freight prerelease.png

Garbage

garbage trash (Final)
GTAIII-render garbage.png GTAIII-render trash.png

The Trashmaster. Its render is named Garbage Truck on the official site.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-garbage render(official).jpg GTAIII-carrier-chopper-garbage prerelease.jpg

Humvee

humvee patriot (Final)
GTAIII-render humvee.png GTAIII-render patriot.png

The Patriot, once called the Hum Vee on the official site. Unlike the Patriot, it doesn't have randomized components in the rear.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-humvee render(official).jpg GTAIII-humvee-and-subway prerelease.jpg

Icecream

icecream mrwhoop (Final)
GTAIII-render icecream.png GTAIII-render mrwhoop.png

An old version the Mr. Whoopee. It was plainly named the Ice Cream Truck at this point. The green bottom half is an error — the texture for it appears to be slightly different than what was originally used.

Unreleased render found by guessing links on the (now defunct) official site.

Intrepid

intrepid kuruma (Final)
GTAIII-render intrepid.png GTAIII-render kuruma.png

The Kuruma, named the Sentinal at this point. It has no unique damaged parts.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-intrepid render(official).jpg GTAIII-intrepid-and-reliant prerelease.jpg

Limo

limo stretch (Final)
GTAIII-render limo.png GTAIII-render stretch.png

The Stretch.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-limo render(official).jpg GTAIII-limo prerelease.jpg

Luton

luton mule (Final)
GTAIII-render luton.png GTAIII-render mule.png

The Luton, an iconic vehicle from this early development era and predecessor to the Mule.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-luton render(official).jpg GTAIII-luton prerelease.jpg

Nova

nova peren (Final)
GTAIII-render nova.png GTAIII-render peren.png

The Perennial, or the Maurice as it's referred to on the site.

The rear opens like a proper hatchback!
Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-nova render(official).jpg GTAIII-nova prerelease.jpg

Pickup

pickup bobcat (Final)
GTAIII-render pickup.png GTAIII-render bobcat.png

The Bobcat, or U-Jerk (a callback to GTA2) as the name of its render would indicate.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-pickup render(official).jpg GTAIII-pickup prerelease.jpg

Polboat

polboat predator (Final)
GTAIII-polboat render.png GTAIII-predator render.png

The Predator, still simply dubbed the Police Boat at this point. It lacks turrets on the front, has guard rails, and is overall considerably dumpier-looking than the final version.

Unreleased render found by guessing links on the (now defunct) official site.
There is also a separate "rudder" object. Maybe it was meant to turn with the player's steering?

Police

police police (Final)
GTAIII-render police early.png GTAIII-render police.png
police - Damaged police (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render police early dam.png GTAIII-render police dam.png

The real deal, the NYPD blue police cruiser! It has different damaged parts from its final iteration.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-police render(official).jpg GTAIII-police prerelease.jpg

Reliant

reliant manana (Final)
GTAIII-render reliant.png GTAIII-render manana.png
reliant - Damaged manana (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render reliant dam.png GTAIII-render manana dam.png

The Manana, once called the Ariant on the official site. It has different damaged parts and big round lights on the back.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-reliant render(official).jpg GTAIII-intrepid-and-reliant prerelease.jpg

Riviera

riviera idaho (Final)
GTAIII-render riviera.png GTAIII-render idaho.png
riviera - Damaged idaho (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render riviera dam.png GTAIII-render idaho dam.png

The Idaho, or the Hachura as it was called on the official site. It has different damaged parts.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-riviera render(official).jpg GTAIII-riviera prerelease.jpg

Subway

subway train (Final)
GTAIII-render subway.png GTAIII-render train.png

The Train, or Subway Train as its render is named. Besides not having functioning doors or a LOD and a few minor detail differences, it's about the same as what shipped with the PC version and beyond.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-subway render(official).jpg GTAIII-humvee-and-subway prerelease.jpg

Swatvan

swatvan enforcer (Final)
GTAIII-render swatvan.png GTAIII-render enforcer.png

The Enforcer, or SWAT Van according to its render.

Once upon a time, you could blow entire walls off this thing.
A cute, early attempt at modeling a gear stick.
Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-swatvan render(official).jpg GTAIII-swatvan prerelease.jpg

Tank

tank rhino (Final)
GTAIII-tank render.png GTAIII-rhino render.png

Now this is something else! A much smaller version of the Rhino that took on an APC-like appearance. It was called the Tank at this point according to its render filename. It has functioning headlights/brake lights, six wheels, and only one door on the back, which the final game doesn't support.

An unreleased render which was discovered in 2015 by guessing links on the official site. Notice the huge wheels!

Taxi

taxi taxi (Final)
GTAIII-render taxi early.png GTAIII-render taxi.png
taxi - Damaged taxi (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render taxi early dam.png GTAIII-render taxi dam.png

The Taxi. It has different damaged parts and is a bit smaller. Also, there's no alternate TAXI sign on top of the body for the game to spawn.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-taxi render(official).jpg GTAIII-taxi prerelease.jpg

Testeros

testeros cheetah (Final)
GTAIII-render testeros.png GTAIII-render cheetah.png
testeros - Damaged cheetah (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render testeros dam.png GTAIII-render cheetah dam.png

The Cheetah, once called the Rocket on the official site. It has different damaged parts.

Official render Pre-release screenshot
GTAIII-testeros render(official).jpg GTAIII-firetruk-and-testeros prerelease.jpg

Transit

transit pony (Final)
GTAIII-render transit.png GTAIII-render pony.png
transit - Damaged pony (Final) - Damaged
GTAIII-render transit dam.png GTAIII-render pony dam.png

The Pony. It's mostly complete!

Pre-release screenshot