This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Since debuting as a top-down action-adventure game on the PlayStation 1 and PC in 1997, GTA has evolved into a third-person open-world extravaganza totalling 15 titles across multiple platforms, including the PlayStation, Xbox, and even on mobile phones.
One of the most revered titles in the series is 2002's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Using the same game engine as the previous installment GTA III, Vice City changed things up by setting the game's events during 1986. The fictional Vice City was based on the real-life Miami and populated with all manner of criminal enterprises, including Mafia goons, Cuban lords, Haitian gangs, and rebel biker clubs. Heavily influenced by films and television of that era - including Scarface, Miami Vice, and Goodfellas - Vice City is a wonderfully violent tribute to the decade of decadence.
Along with the improved gameplay, Vice City had a greater emphasis on character development and story telling. Taking control of Tommy Vercetti (voiced by Ray Liotta), recently released from a 15 year stretch behind bars, players must uncover those responsible for Tommy's stint in jail while trying to build their own criminal empire. As with all GTA games the open-world of Vice City is full of places to explore and exciting things to do, with this article looking at 20 awesome things you didn't know you could do in the game.
20 Drive The Batmobile
Choosing from a variety of vehicles to cruise the streets of GTA is one of the games best features, and Vice City is no different. You can drive everything from sports cars, trucks, motorbikes, and sedans through to aircrafts and boats, but one vehicle that stands out above the rest is the Batmobile. That's right, you can drive the caped crusader's own car around the streets of Vice City.
While there is a mod that allows you to upload the Batmobile to the game, it's also believed a version of the Batmobile from the 1989 film Batman roams the streets of Starfish Island. As YouTuber AserGaming demonstrated in his short video, if you wander the streets long enough you'll eventually stumble upon the Batmobile. Although it doesn't have any special abilities, it drives pretty fast and looks mighty cool.
19 Masquerade As A Policeman
One of the great rewards you gain from playing Vice City is access to a police uniform after completing the Cop Land mission. A nod towards the movie of the same name, Cop Land involves you stealing a police uniform so you can access a heavily guarded cafe and blow it up. This causes the FBI to come after you and results in a five star wanted level, but once you escape you claim an additional $10,000 as well as the police uniform.
The uniform can be found at the Washington Beach Police Department and allows you to wander the station without being questioned. The other bonus is it means you can stroll into Fort Baxter Air Base without being shot by soldiers and steal any of the vehicles there. I recommend the FH-1 Hunter attack chopper if you're looking to do a little damage.
18 Drowned Bodies In Cement Shoes
There are a number of bodies to be found underwater throughout the GTA franchise, and the open-world of Vice City is no different. Washington Beach, Leaf Links, and Little Havana are three locations near open stretches of water that contain the bodies of some poor souls.
All the bodies are slightly obese men who have been stripped down to their underwear and placed in cement shoes. While there is no indication as to who killed these men or why they were murdered, the method is a known tactic of the Forelli crime family who rule over Vice City. Either way, it's a nice little easter egg that adds to the mythology of the Forelli family and gives gamers something to search out.
17 Own An Indestructible Car
The white Admiral (or silver as some think) might not look overly unique, but it's the one vehicle in Vice City that is indestructible (unless you drive into the ocean or manage to flip it), and can help you survive a number of tough missions.
Collision-proof, fire-proof, explosion-proof, and bullet-proof, the Admiral is the one car you want in your collection. You can own up to three and can obtain your first one during the Guardian Angels mission. The easiest way to do so is by failing the mission and letting the Haitians flee with Diaz's money. Then take out everyone left and the Admiral is all yours.
While it may not be the fastest or best handling vehicle in the game, the fact that you can't destroy it means you've no worries being shot at or chased down by the police, allowing you to rule the streets of Vice City without fear of repercussions.
16 Witness An Interesting Light Show
Across the street from the Malibu Club is the Vice Point Langer, also known as the WK Chariot Hotel. While there isn't much to see there during the day, in the evening things get a little more spicy.
Between the hours of 11:00 pm and 12:00 midnight a pattern of lights in the shape of male genitalia form on the front of the hotel before changing into a random array of lights. There is also a fountain on top of the building that shoots water every 15 minutes in conjunction with the rude pattern of lights, implying ejaculation. Compared to some of the sexually explicit things in future GTA games, this was fairly tame, but hinted at what was to come.
15 Visit The Iconic Scarface Chainsaw Scene
GTA: Vice City is heavily influenced by the Al Pacino starring 80s classic Scarface. Like the film, Vice City is set in a city based on Miami in the 1980s and features a ruthless protagonist involved in the drug caper. One of the most obvious examples is the Vercetti Estate that is clearly modeled after Tony Montana's mansion in Scarface. But there is also a cool reference to the infamous chainsaw scene.
Apartment 3C in the Ocean Beach neighbourhood is a replica of the apartment in Scarface where Tony's friend is murdered by a chainsaw welding Columbian. Accessing the room from the southern staircase you will find a bloody bathroom and a chainsaw along with two bags of cocaine, the same amount as seen in the film.
14 Join The Army
Fort Baxter Air Base is where you'll find some of the most wanted vehicles in GTA: Vice City. The base contains the six-wheel military truck known as the Barracks, the Patriot SUV, the Rhino Tank, and the crowning glory, the Hunter attack helicopter. Before accessing these vehicles you will need to have completed the main storyline mission or found all 100 packages.
Gaining access to the barracks also requires some manipulation, as trying to walk right in doesn't go down well with the soldiers guarding the base. You'll need to wear the police uniform found at the Washington Beach Police Department, allowing you to waltz in unnoticed so you can explore the base or steal the Hunter and go on a destructive rampage throughout Vice City.
13 If You Believe, They Put A Man On The Moon
Ever since man first walked on the moon, there have been conspiracy theorists who wonder if we ever did get to the moon. It appears a few of the Rockstar programmers agree with a film set seemingly illustrating the moon landing.
InterGlobal Studios is a film studio in Vice City based on the real-life Universal Studios. You can visit a number of sets featuring battleships, a mock-up of Bedford Park from GTA III, and a set depicting the moon landing complete with an American flag. This clever reference to the moon landings being faked is another subtle pop culture highlight from the GTA developers, showing their creativity and humour.
12 Frankie Outfit Removes Wanted Level
Once you've completed 100% of Vice City you earn a number of rewards, with one being access to 12 new outfits. Of these new clothing options, the Frankie Outfit is the most useful as it allows you to remove a two-star wanted level when you change into it.
Inspired by the designs of band Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the Frankie Outfit consists of a white t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase, "I completed Vice City, and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt," on the front. The outfit also includes blue stone-washed jeans and white sneakers. It's certainly not the most stylish outfit, but if you're in need of escaping the cops, it's a handy option to have.
11 Enter The Creepy Blue Zone
Despite sounding like you might be entering some kind of Event Horizon hell space, the Blue Hell in GTA is nothing more than an empty area located underneath the actual map you play on. Almost every open-world 3D game has a large undefined area below the game map helping hide unwanted polygons and GTA is no different. Also known as the Abyss or the Underworld by GTA players, this glitch in the game was intentionally created so if players fell into the Blue Hell they wouldn't be left falling indefinitely.
Once in the Blue Hell there's isn't really much to see or do that's different from the actual game. You can visit Howlin' Pete's Bike Emporium and an unused interior opposite the Greasy Chopper, but apart from that it's pretty non-descript and won't amuse you for too long.
10 Ocean View Hotel Secrets
The Ocean View Hotel is the home to Tommy Vercetti and one of the most frequently visited locations in the game. This is the main reason why many players believe all manner of hidden objects and easter eggs can be found there, but most are just glitches and mistakes in the game.
From Tommy's apartment players can access Marco's Bistro (only seen in a cut-scene) by jumping through the wardrobe while also being able to enter the Ghost World. The Ghost World is an area similar to Blue Hell except you can interact with the environment more and can do things such as collect hidden packages and drive greater distances, although if you fall into the black void surrounding the area you will perish. There's also a door in Tommy's apartment near the aquarium leading to a secret room that cannot be entered. Nobody has been able to figure out why it's there and it remains a mystery to GTA fans.
9 Change The Shape Of The Moon
It's no surprise the moon features in every third-person version of GTA. Being able to control your character at night means you need the moon to add realism to the gameplay as well as so you can see what you're doing. Aside from that, there isn't much else the moon does, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with it.
Shooting the moon with the sniper rifle will cause it to grow in size a number of times before it returns back to its standard appearance. Another strange but fun easter egg applied to the game by Rockstar, shooting the moon will give you a buzz for a few seconds before you'll feel like turning your sniping skills to something more satisfying.
8 Multiple Banks Jobs
The Job is a thrilling bank robbery based mission in GTA: Vice City similar to the one seen in the film Heat. Wearing green jumpsuits and hockey masks you and your crew attempt to steal $50,000 from the bank before trying to escape the SWAT team that have surrounded the building. Once successfully completed you continue on with the game, but what many players don't know is that you can return to the bank and rob it again.
Unfortunately, the reward isn't as big when accessing the bank multiple times. The elevator doesn't work and you can only find a small amount of cash in the office. If anything, the only reason for re-robbing the bank would be to raise your wanted level to four stars if you're feeling like taking on the police.
7 Watch The Village People Perform
Music has always been a massive part of the GTA world and Vice City is no different. More than nine hours of music, commercials, and talkback radio were recorded for the game. Big name 80s artists including Micheal Jackson, Toto, Run-DMC, Blonde, and Tears For Fears all had their music featured while one particular act actually made it into the game.
If you visit the trendy Malibu Club during the evening, you will see a musical act performing who appear to be inspired by The Village People. Each of the members is dressed as a different male stereotype, with a fireman, construction worker, biker, army dude, and policeman jiving away on stage. The only downer is not hearing "YMCA" or "Macho Man" soundtracking their sweet dance moves.
6 Recruit Your Own Bodyguards
As you rise up the criminal ranks, you'll find yourself having to deal not only with the police but all manner of criminal elements populating Vice City. Thankfully your rise to power coincides with you earning more money and being able to employ your own bodyguards. These Non Playing Characters can be seen patrolling the Malibu Club and other ventures you own and help the main character, Tommy Vercetti, out on certain missions when necessary.
Once you have completed 100% of the game you can control up to three bodyguards at the one time, helping you go about your daily business extorting money from others and generally causing havoc. They can be found waiting for orders in the bar at the Vercetti Estate and are equipped with brass knuckles ready to do your dirty work.
5 Pizza Is Good For Your Health
Everybody loves pizza and Vice City recognizes this with the Pizza Boy side mission, referred to as Well Stacked Pizza. The premises is simple; take control of the pizza scooter and deliver pizzas within the time limit to successfully complete the undertaking. While you might lose interest after a few run-throughs it's worth continuing delivering pizzas for the reward that's on offer.
If you stick with the mission and successfully deliver a total of 55 pizzas in consecutive order, not only will you reach Pizza Boy level 10 but you'll be rewarded with $5000 and more importantly, a health boost to 150. So if you've ever had any doubt pizza wasn't good for your health, look no further than Vice City.
4 Keep The Dodo Extinct
One of the best things about GTA is the ability to destroy pretty much any vehicle you come across in the game. Be it a car, motorcycle, or helicopter, almost everything can be shot or blown up, apart from airplanes. While it's possible to steal a Skimmer (also known as a Dodo) - a fixed winged aircraft with large pontoons that lands on water - and crash it, the only other plane you can take aim at is the Dodo with the banner often seen flying over Vice City.
Using a rocket launcher or chasing down the Dodo while in an attack chopper and firing on it will result in the light aircraft exploding into millions of pieces over the city. It doesn't improve your standings but adds an extra element of sadistic fun to the game.
3 "Snow For Your Nose" Surprise
To achieve 100% completion of GTA: Vice City you must collect all 100 hidden packages littered around the game world. The packages are little green and gold Tiki statues and with every ten found, you receive a reward that spawns at your safehouse. Rewards include body armour, a flamethrower, and a minigun, but the best prize is when you have found all 100 packages.
Not only does a Hunter appear at the Fort Baxter Air Base and on the helipad next to Lance Vance's house in Ocean Beach, but you also receive $100,000 in cash. Another little bonus once you've collected all the Tiki statues is one will appear on the desk in Tommy Vercetti's mansion busted open, revealing two bags of cocaine next to it.
2 Take Out Seagulls For Trophy
Seagulls are one of the more annoying flying animals in the world, and in Vice City they are no different. While not necessarily impacting on the game, seeing these flying rats still conjures images of seagulls attacking me as a child while eating hot chips on the beach. Oh the horror, the horror.
Anyways, in Vice City not only can you take them out but you'll be rewarded with a "seagull sniped" stat. From then on every seagull you gun down will be recorded so you can keep track of how many birds you've finished off. You will need to use a sniper rifle to hone in on the birds, and while it's not easy, it will give you a sense of satisfaction without having to actually harm an animal in real life.
1 Wheels For Your Sea Sparrow
The Sea Sparrow is the distant cousin of the Skimmer in the GTA universe. An improved version of the standard Sparrow, the Sea Sparrow is an amphibious vehicle able to land on water. You can have your very own once you've collected 80 of the hidden packages in the game, with the Sea Sparrow spawning at the Vercetti Estate. While you might not have much use for this water locked vehicle, there is a way to turn it into an all-terrain helicopter ready for any situation.
If you park the Sea Sparrow inside the Pay 'n' Spray located at Sunshine Autos (it's the only one big enough to fit the vehicle) wheels will emerge within the pontoons of the copter allowing you to cruise around on the streets and land pretty much anywhere you please.