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Prerelease:Grand Theft Auto III

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Grand Theft Auto III.

Hmmm...
To do:
Lots more!

Development Timeline

1998

1999

  • Dec. 10 - Date of the handling.cfg file.

2000

  • Dec. - The build that was shown in the magazine preview next month

2001

  • Jan. 15 - Grand Theft Auto III is revealed in an issue of PlayStation 2 Official Magazine UK.
  • May 17-19 - Grand Theft Auto III is shown off at E3 2001.
  • Sep. 11 - The September 11th Attacks events happen, causing the game to be delayed to October. Small changes were made since then.
  • Oct 22-26 - Grand Theft Auto III is released in North America and Europe.

1999

Unknown

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thesoos/sets/72157623327772613/with/4364941470/

2000

June

Edge Magazine Leak

Some 3D renders of what Grand Theft Auto game would look like were leaked in Edge Magazine. https://www.ign.com/articles/2000/06/01/steal-these-grand-theft-auto-shots

December

PlayStation 2 Official Magazine UK Jan 2001

The world's first ever look at Grand Theft Auto III, a (presumably) December 2000 build shown in the January 2001 issue of PlayStation 2 Official Magazine-UK; these builds show a very different-looking game, alongside mentions of cut features.

Removed/Changed Content

There are a few things to note from the text in the magazine:

  • Pedestrians originally once walked their dogs. Animals would not appear all the way until Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Time originally ran on a 30-minute cycle, while the final game runs on a 24-minute cycle, where one minute represented one hour in the final.
  • There is mention of a ferry that allowed the player to travel between islands, which was seen in a conceptual map. It was later revived for Liberty City Stories.
  • Apparently, there was once a button that allowed the player to insult pedestrians. It was likely reworked into one of Claude's flipping the bird animation when he gets close to a car in the final.
  • Characters from the first game, second game, and London 1969 were meant to return, further tying into the 2D universe games, but none of them made an appearance.

Screenshots

December 2000 Final
GTAIII Dec2000Image.jpg GTAIII-Margot(PS2).png

An image of the HUD; according to the magazine, from A to F, it would've displayed your wanted level, cash, time, weapons, health and radar. The image would be publicly released online in the February 2001 prerelease.

2001

January

IGN Image

December 2000 Final
GTAIII Jan2001Image.jpg

February

Liberty Tree Preview

Grand Theft Auto III was unveiled for the first time on the internet on February 19, 2001, rather than via magazine previews.[2]

Trailer

  • At 0:27, the voice clip "Get out of the car!" can be heard, which is actually taken from Grand Theft Auto 2. It was once theorized that Claude talked in early builds, but in the 10th Anniversary Q&A, Rockstar responded with that they had no plans to implement a talking protagonist until Vice City. It's also likely that the voice clip was added in for effect.


Screenshots
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-humvee-and-subway prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-astrovan-and-eldorado prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-chopper-and-transit prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 1.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-riviera prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 2.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 3.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 4.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 5.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 6.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 7.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 8.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 9.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 10.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 11.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 11.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 12.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 13.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-intrepid-and-reliant prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 14.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 15.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 16.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 17.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 18.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 19.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-cabbie prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-lionstatue prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 20.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 21.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 22.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII-nova prerelease.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 23.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 24.jpg
February 2001 Final
GTAIII Feb2001Image 25.jpg
Renders

An earlier view of Portland Island was posted.

GTAIII Feb2001 Render1.jpg
GTAIII Feb2001 Render2.jpg

March

Capital Autos

Rockstar Games opened up a mock website of Capital Autos in order to promote the game. It contains some interesting and early car renders!

May

E3 2001

Grand Theft Auto III was shown off at E3 2001.

Teaser Trailer

Screenshots

Unknown

Early Script

During Rockstar Games' Q&A from fans during the game's tenth anniversary, a excerpt of the early Grand Theft Auto III script was posted in comparison to the Grand Theft Auto IV script.

GTAIII EarlyScript.jpg
Intro A: Betrayal (A)
PLAYER gang burst out into alleyway from a bank job. Two of the gang run off, the PLAYER stays to let off both barrels to dissuade any hero's. PLAYER runs off after his gang members, he rounds the corner to find CATALINA standing over the body of the other.

CATALINA
Sorry babe. I'm an ambitious girl and you, you're just small time... (resounding ?????)

CATALINA then shoots the PLAYER twice. She grabs the case and then stands over the dying PLAYER. Just then MIGUEL pulls up in a sports car.

MIGUEL
Catalina! Move your ass!

CATALINA runs over and hops into the car as it pulls away.

Intro B: Jail Break (A)
8 BALL and PLAYER bust out on the bridge. 8 BALL nails the guard with a huge punch.

8 BALL
God Damn that hurt! Alright, we've got no time to waste, let's get the hell out here!

Give Me Liberty (D) @ Luigi's Club
Having just escaped 8 BALL and PLAYER are looking for refuge. 8 BALL is quite anxious to get some shelter.

8 BALL
I know a place on the edge of the Red Light District where we can lay low but my hands are badly burned so you'll have to drive.

8 BALL
This is the place! Let's get off the street and find a change of clothes!

They approach the hide out.

8 BALL
I know a guy, he's connected. Name's Luigi. Me an' him go back so I can probably get you some work. C'mon, let's drop by and I'll introduce you.


(Source: GTAForums)

Game On Exhibition

At the Game On Event in 2009, held in Taiwan, the mission drafts of Grand Theft Auto III were shown, persumably from a near-final build.[3]

  • Some of the mission names are different;
Early Final
Lips Forelli's Last Lunch Mike Lips' Last Lunch
Kill Chunky Lee Long Farewell 'Chunky' Lee Chong
Escort Town Cipriani's Chaffeur
The Bank Job The Getaway
Take Out The Laundry Taking Out The Laundry
Frankie's Limo Salvetore's Called a Meeting
BlowFish Blow Fish
Ice Cream You Scream I Scream, You Scream
(Crossed Out Name)/Disco Inferno Trial By Fire
Pulp Friction Chaperone
Bomb Da Base Bomb Da Base Act I
Big Day For Ray Payday For Ray
Gone in 60 Grand Theft Auto
Uzi Driver Uzi Rider
Gangcar Roundup Gangcar Round-up
The Hand-over & The SAM Marked Man
Espresso-2-Go Espresso-2-Go!
Plane to Sea S.A.M.
Wanted Man The Exchange
  • The El Burro Phone missions were originally able to be repeatable rather than classified as completed.
  • Paparazzi Purge came before Under Surveillance.
  • Marty Chonks' missions weren't present.

August?

Bradygames Strategy Guide

PS World Footage

On the PS World Volume 12, Grand Theft Auto III was covered. Despite the disc being released in December, the differences date the build to around August 2001.

  • The logo was orange.
  • The color of the weapons HUD is a bright yellow instead of a dull gray, which would end up being used in the Windows version of the game.
  • The sniper crosshair was different.
  • Pedestrians' limbs could be shot off unlike the final.

September

Pre-9/11 Builds

PlayZone Footage

Covered in PlayZone November 2001. The game almost plays exactly like the final, except with some aesthetical differences;

  • The HUD matches that of the final game.
  • This build marks the last appearance of the blue Police cars.
  • This is the last appearance of the Bobcat with the cushioned trunk.

Gamesmaster Nov. 01

https://twitter.com/retrogamegeeks/status/965265111735787523

9/11 Changes

Grand Theft Auto III - Original LCPD Car Design.jpg

The game had several changes after the September 11th attacks in order to prevent comparisons to both it and New York; this included the LCPD cars having their NYPD-inspired blue/white design being changed to black/white, the removal of a mission with the word 'terrorist', altering plane paths so that they wouldn't appear to fly into and/or behind skyscrapers, and some pedestrian and radio dialogue being removed.

Interestingly, an earlier European version was seemingly released on accident, and is dated September 15, two weeks before the later European version; this release was likely an accident, given it lacks some of the censorship later versions have.

Resources

  • https://www.quora.com/How-long-did-it-take-to-make-GTA-3
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20150825021919/http://www.ign.com/images/games/grand-theft-auto-iii-ps2-15548?page=8
  • https://gtaforums.com/topic/745716-grand-theft-auto-iii-pre-release-discussion/page/15/#comments