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Grand Theft Auto 2 (abbreviated as GTA2) is a video game that was released worldwide on October 22, 1999, by developer DMA Design (now Rockstar North); initially for the Windows operating system and the PlayStation console. The game was later ported to the Dreamcast console and the Game Boy Color. It is the sequel to 1997 hit Grand Theft Auto. The PC and Dreamcast versions of GTA2 are both rated M by the ESRB. The language and violence were toned down for the PlayStation and Game Boy Color versions which received a T rating. Rockstar now offers the PC version as registerware for free download at their website.GTA2 was preceded by the original Grand Theft Auto and ultimately succeeded by Grand Theft Auto III.


GTA 2 is set in an unspecified time in a metropolis referred to only as "Anywhere, USA", but the game's manual and website uses the phrase "three weeks into the future"[51059]; fictional journal entries on the GTA2 website suggest the year to be 2013. Radio host Johnny Riccaro mentions in the game that "the millennium's coming," which would set the game shortly before 2000. The main character is a man named Claude Speed, who is freed from prison, having awakened from a cryonic sleep but experiences amnesia. The storyline shifts to his goal of becoming the "King of the City" by any means necessary.

The City is split into three levels, or "districts." The first level, Downtown, is a hub of business activity as well as the site of a large mental institution and university. The second area, the Residential District, contains the city's prison, a trailer park with an Elvis-themed bar dubbed "Disgracelands", a shopping mall, and a giant hydroelectric power plant. The third and final area is the Industrial District; it holds a large seaport, a meat packing plant, a Nuclear Power Plant and a Krishna temple.

There are a total of seven criminal gangs in the game: the Zaibatsu, a corrupt corporation, is present in all three areas. The Downtown area is also home to the Loonies, a gang of mentally ill people who have taken over the city asylum, and the Yakuza. In the Residential area, the gangs include SRS (Sex and Reproductive Systems) Scientists and the Rednecks, who live in a trailer park and drive around in pickups with large Confederate flags. The Industrial area contains the Russian Mafia and the Hare Krishna. Each gang has their own special characteristics, car, and behavior.

The game can be played in two modes (only in the PC version), noon or dusk. On the noon setting the lighting is bright making the game clear to see (also lowering the graphics overhead on low-end hardware because of the fewer lighting effects). On the dusk setting the game is darker, with multiple dynamic lights from explosions and car headlights. The Dreamcast version of the game can only be played in the dusk setting. The PlayStation version of the game can only be played in the noon setting. This feature was expanded further in Grand Theft Auto III where the daylight changes with the time of day in the game.


GTA2 retained the top-down viewpoint of GTA, as well as the car-stealing/telephone-answering formula of the original. The player has the ability to explore cities on foot or in various vehicles. The aim is to achieve a certain score. On achieving this goal the player then can proceed to the next level. Doing missions awards the player more points than any other method but are not essential for completion of the game.

A new feature introduced in GTA2 was doing missions for separate gangs, of which there are two new gangs for each of the three levels of the game, and one faction which is present in all levels. Being employed by one gang can cause distrust from others (working for gang #1 will incur the wrath of gang #2, working for gang #2 will cause enmity with gang #3, etcetera). In the original GTA, only the local police pursued the player. In GTA2, SWAT teams (4 Copheads) are introduced in the Downtown District, Special Agents (5 Copheads) are introduced in the Residential District, and the army (6 Copheads) is introduced in the Industrial District. These additional types of law enforcement begin chasing the player as his or her wanted level increases. The wanted level is represented by images of a cop's head, and vary between the Windows and PlayStation versions.

GTA2 introduced an improved saving technique which saved only when finishing a city. If the player entered a church with $50,000, a voice announced "Hallelujah! Another soul saved!". This notified the player that the game had been saved. If the player did not have enough money, the voice would say "Damnation! No donation, no salvation!". These messages are not heard on the PlayStation version.

Other improvements pertain to city activity. Passing vehicles and pedestrians are no longer cosmetic parts of the environment, but actually play a role in gameplay. Sometimes pedestrians would occasionally enter and ride in taxis or buses. The game is noted for the behavior of its non-player characters. Pedestrians, gang members and the police would occasionally engage in fights, and there are other carjackers (Green sweater) and muggers (Red sweater with white arms) in the city.

This game introduces 'side missions' such as being a taxi driver, bus driver, and a semi-truck driver along with retrieving 'hidden' packages, and a health meter.

This is also the first GTA to feature a wide array of weapons to use, ranging from an electric taser to a rocket launcher.

Some weapons in GTA2 feature a "Kill Frenzy" mission when picked up, where a player has a limited amount of time to kill a certain number of people with a particular weapon loaded. Bonuses are rewarded if the mission is successful. If a player finds a tank and gets in, a "Kill Frenzy" mission also starts.

The PlayStation version of Grand Theft Auto 2 is toned down from the PC version, with lower quotas for the number of kills needed in rampage style missions, and containing no voice acting in the saving interface. The port also includes a feature where the player car will explode after the player kills a large number of gang members. One mission was also changed. Instead of the player tricking civilians into entering a bus to drive them to a meat processing plant to be cannibalized, the victims are Hare Krishna gang members.
The PlayStation version of GTA2, taking place in daylight

As is the case with the original Grand Theft Auto and GTA London: 1969, the player receives bonuses for running his car over certain people without stopping or braking. A string of Elvis impersonators are sometimes spotted walking the streets. Their deaths are awarded with a large money bonus, followed by the bold words "ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING".

Its buggy and unoptimized multiplayer support, a feature not broadly known, was intended for low latency LAN games of 2 to 6 players. Multiplayer modes are: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Tag, Race. Though often unplayable because of lag, it is possible to connect over the internet. A third-party client created by GTAMP simplifies this process and helps find other players.

There are trains in three versions (PC, PSX, DC), but the player can only ride or blow them up in the PC and DC versions.


Grand Theft Auto 2 includes a pool of seven gangs, with each of the city's three levels containing only a group of three gangs. The Zaibatsu Corporation gang is included in every level, with the remaining two different gangs. The gangs are as followed:

  • Zaibatsu Corporation (symbol: yellow 'Z') - They appear in all of the areas and are a seemingly legitimate corporation who manufacture everything from cars and weapons to medication, but beneath the surface they are involved heavily in narcotics, contract-killing and shadowy politics. Their car, called a Z-Type, is the second fastest gang car available. The Zaibatsu is apparently led by at least three leaders, or at least have three executives through whom they organize their criminal activities: Trey Welsh in the Commercial District, Red Valdez in the Residential District, and Uno Carb in the Industrial District. The executives refer to the player as 'Gecko' Their gang color is black. In all districts, their territories can be distinguished by large red 'Z' banners hanging from buildings bearing their gang symbol,They also have the best weapons on all the levels. Their name comes from zaibatsu, the Japanese word for conglomerate.
  • Loonies (symbol: winking smiley face) - They appear in only on first area and they are quite crazy and very violent since all their missions are always involved in killing someone, destroying a car or create massive explosions. Their gang car, the Dementia, is a green microcar with their mark painted on top and is probably named after their apparent insanity. Their small section of turf is in the vicinity of the city's mental institution, named "SunnySide" after the Mental Institution in Montrose, Scotland, near Dundee, where the game was originally created. Their boss is Elmo. Elmo refers to the player as 'Jumbo'. They use surgical green as their gang color.
  • The Yakuza (symbol: blue yen '¥') - They also appear only in the first area. They make drugs at the so-called J-Lab, the j-lab is always on risk becouse of the continues atacks of the loonies, one of their strongest "industries". Their boss is Johnny Zoo. Johnny Zoo refers to the player as 'Kosai'. Deep blue is their gang color. And their car is a Y-Type (also known as the Miara), not to be confused with the Zaibatsu Z-Type. Their headquarters is near the docks in the Commercial District, as well as J-Lab and various buildings owned by them near the docks.
  • SRS (Sex and Reproductive Systems) Scientists (symbol: a golden shield) - They are headquartered in the Residential District, and are a clandestine research institute involved in slightly questionable practices. Their business is advanced weapon development along with cloning, genetic engineering and robotics. Their leader, Dr. LaBrat, is Icelandic, and all of their 'street' members appear to be genetically engineered clone soldiers. LaBrat refers to the player as 'THC-303' Their gang car is called a Meteor and is the fastest gang car available. Their 'turf' is the Scientist Research Center, a very compact, sterile, oppressive-looking campus with a profusion of complex equipment and machinery. Their gang color is pale gold.
  • Rednecks (symbol: the Confederate flag) - Led by Billy Bob Bean, they appear in the second area, are rabid fans of Elvis Presley, and specialize in explosives and vehicles. Their business is the brewing, running and selling of moonshine. Their car is a wide pick-up truck. The Rednecks' turf is the trailer park at the northwest of the Residential Area. Their gang color is light blue. Billy Bob Bean refers to the player as 'Rooster'.
  • Russian Mafia (symbol: a red star) - They appear in the third area and specialize in contract-killing and gun running. Their car is the Bulwark, a station wagon, which is the most durable gang car in the game (capable of surviving one direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade, hand grenade or Molotov cocktail, if the car is in perfect condition). They can be seen in the seaport areas. Jerkov is the name of their boss. Jerkov refers to the player as 'Comrade'. They use red as a gang color.
  • Hare Krishna (symbol: an orange flower) - They appear in the third area and their car, the Karma Bus, is a big love bus with flowers painted on its roof. The Krishna's turf is around their temple. Their boss' name is Sunbeam. Sunbeam refers to the player as 'Grasshopper'. They use orange as a gang color, and they are always doing conversions. The GTA2 manual states that their criminality is entirely based around stealing and destroying technology, due to the fact that they are tired of being run over by cars with nothing but tambourines to defend themselves (a reference to the first Grand Theft Auto, where they player was rewarded for running them down).

See also

GTA2: The Movie

The opening video of the game was pieced together using live-action footage taken from an eight-minute short film created for the purpose of advertising the game. This film has since been made available to the public and is downloadable from Rockstar's website. Claude Speed (the game's playable protagonist) is played by Scott Maslen in the film. Scott Maslen also played DS Phil Hunter in the The Bill and also plays Jack Branning in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in the UK.The short film shows Claude being murdered (shot by a Zaibatsu hitman) while trying to break into a sports car). It was shot in 1999 New York Citymarker with the World Trade Centermarker (pre-9/11) in clear view, instead of the game's anonymous city of the future (it should be noted, however, that two fictional locations were mentioned in the film: "Chernobyl Docks" and "Disgraceland", the latter being the name of a district featured in GTA2). The film depicts a blue-and-white NYPD 1991-1992 Chevrolet Caprice police car as a pursuit vehicle, as well as a black BMW E39 528i driven by Claude, which is later repainted white.

GTA2 Soundtrack

Main article: Grand Theft Auto 2 soundtrack

Each area features five radio stations from a pool of eleven, one of which is heard as the player drives most vehicles in game. Changing radio stations for preference was also possible in the Windows PC version by using the "F1" function key and also in the PlayStation version by pressing the "up" directional button. "Head Radio" was present in the original GTA, Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Each gang also has its own radio station that transmits within a limited area.

GTA2 Movie Soundtrack

The soundtrack to the GTA2 movie was mixed by Timecode who also hosted, produced and mixed the audio on the drum and bass radio station MSX/MSX 98 that was featured in the Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories videogame soundtracks.


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