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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Claude really shoot and kill Maria at the end of III? When God finally got around to answering questions about it, he just shrugged.
    • Claude's character, in general, is extremely open to interpretation given his status as a Silent Protagonist. Cold-blooded maniac? Dumb muscleman, whose only joy is violence? It's really up to the player to decide.
  • Complete Monster: Donald Love makes his debuts in Grand Theft Auto III, but the true extent of his depravity can be witnessed in Liberty City Stories (see the game's YMMV page for more details).
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: 'The Exchange'. Last mission where you FINALLY get to kill Catalina, and with a rocket launcher no less. Made even more satisfying by the difficulty; you start with no guns and there are no checkpoints along the way. Not to mention the news report cutscene that ends it.
    • Flying the Dodo (A plane with crippled flight mechanics) successfully. Around the city. And even to "Ghost Town", the (normally unreachable) part of the city where the intro takes place.
  • Demonic Spiders: Any Mook with an M16 was this. They can shred you apart and waste you in seconds before you can get a chance to react. Even if you have full armor/health, you can be killed in seconds if you're careless.
    • Mafia goons earn this distinction with flying colors once you have earned their eternal vendetta against you. They all have shotguns and even if you're in a vehicle, they'll immediately recognize you and open fire. Two solid shots will end your drive in a deadly explosion. Additionally, if you're on foot, their shotgun blasts will likely knock you down and prevent you from moving while they close the distance. They will probably knock you down again if the shots don't kill you. Simply put, after you kill Salvatore, you'll never be able to set foot in the Saint Mark's district ever again.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale are increasingly less detailed compared to Portland's bustling activity, varied scenery, and things to do. This is probably why Liberty City was revamped from the ground up in Grand Theft Auto IV, even if that effectively meant putting the game in its own continuity.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment / Harsher in Hindsight: In the mission 'Kingdom Come', you are set up in an ambush against suicide bombers who are high on "spank" and therefore don't know what they're doing. In Real Life, this became a favorite tactic of anti-American fighters during The War on Terror, except instead of using drugs, they do know what they're doing.
  • Game Breaker: The M-16 (machine gun). It is extremely unbalanced, deals a lot of damage and can shred apart cars, people and any form of law enforcement with its ridiculous rate of fire. It's no surprise why it was nerfed in Vice City.
    • In a way, this weapon became the Mini Gun in the follow-up game of the series. (The rate-of-fire remains similar, but the "magazine-size" has been increased tremendously.) However, it could still be a Game Breaker if you were playing the PC port of the game with a mouse since you could aim it with sniper-accurate precision.
    • Shotgun. It can destroy a vehicle by two or three shots and it can easily knock down any pedestrian on foot and its blasts can prevent from moving. It is not as powerful as The M-16 but still a very lethal weapon.
  • Goddamn Bats: The Triads. They're likely going to be the first gang you piss off. They're not very tough by themselves, armed only with bats and pistols, but their territory covers almost half of Portland, making moving around it for the remainder of the game's first chapter a pain.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Hey, I'm bored. When are ya gonna drill me?"
  • Most Annoying Sound: When you get on the bad side of the Triads early on in the story, expect to hear "Somebody call a medic!", "And the winner by knockout is..." "I see pain in your future!" every five seconds.
  • That One Level: 'Big 'n' Veiny'. You have to follow a long trail of, um... magazines in a van with a high chance of tipping over. You have a time limit which goes up by one second for each magazine you pick up (so at least you can skip a few). The longer you wait to do this mission, the harder it gets: if you wait to do it until you get to Staunton Island, the route will take you through three gang territories (Diablos, Triads, and Mafia), whose members will shoot your van. And if you happen to build up a wanted level, forget it... The good news is that this mission is optional.
    • Espresso-2-go! is another timed mission with its nine targets all over Liberty City and a strict time limit. One of which is in Shotgun-toting Mafia territory and they will shoot at you. If your car catches fire and it's a fast car or you have a wanted level, you might as well forget it and restart the mission.
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