5 interesting beta elements in GTA Vice City

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For one reason or another, GTA Vice City has plenty of interesting features that never made it past the cutting room floor.

The GTA series has a rich history of beta content within their games. Whether it’s a skateboard in GTA San Andreas or dangerous anarchists in GTA 3, these ideas were ultimately dropped in their final releases. Beta is always an interesting discussion point, as it lets GTA players pick the brains of Rockstar Games’ developers.

GTA Vice City also had a wide variety of concepts left unfinished. For better or worse, Rockstar got rid of these within the early development stages. Unused weapons, characters, missions, and dialog were found within the files of the game.

Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.


5 fascinating instances of unused content from GTA Vice City

#5 – Mr. Moffat

For unknown reasons, Rockstar decided to scrap a mission involving a character known as Mr. Moffat.

Moffat has a full 3D model and mission dialog, which suggests they dropped the concept shortly afterward. He is someone from Tommy Vercetti’s past who is currently on the run from the police.

The cut script for the mission sees Moffat desperately pleading with Tommy to help him escape police custody. He just escaped prison and is still wearing his orange jumpsuit. The player likely would’ve had to reach him within a time limit before running away from law enforcement.

#4 – Loan shark mechanic

BJ Smith needs to be more careful with his investments (Image via GTA Wiki) BJ Smith needs to be more careful with his investments (Image via GTA Wiki)
BJ Smith needs to be more careful with his investments (Image via GTA Wiki)

Based on a few cut snippets of in-game dialog, BJ Smith apparently borrowed money to keep his business afloat. However, he never paid it back. Once he transferred ownership of Sunshine Autos to Tommy, there was supposed to be a loan shark threatening him to cover the debts.

It remains unknown whether GTA Vice City would’ve implemented a loan shark feature in the game. Having them constantly chase the players around while delivering high-priced vehicles would’ve been annoying. It’s easy to see why it was cut.

The loan shark concept was reused in the next GTA installment, San Andreas. When players are financially in the red, they can borrow money from the mafia-owned casinos. If they cannot pay in due time, CJ will receive a final warning followed by a visit from the loan sharks.

#3 – Original beta map

The original map in GTA Vice City had major changes in development. Interestingly, the map can be found in Sunshine Autos, so players can take a look and make the comparisons themselves. Differences in the beta map include a smaller eastside beach, the absence of a stadium and northwest beach, and overall road layouts.

Among other things, there was no military base on the beta map. Instead, there was an additional runway for the airport, making it bigger than it already is in the final game. Removed dialog from a cut mission also suggests the existence of the mysterious Gator Keys.

#2 – Unused weapons

GTA Vice City already has a large collection of deadly weaponry for Tommy to collect. However, there was supposed to be more available.

Rockstar had plans to introduce explosive weapons such as grenade launchers and landmines. Leftover models within the game also indicate plans for a taser, nail gun, and a powerful Steyr Aug. Moreover, some guns were supposed to have silencers, ammo clips, and auto-aiming features.

It’s unknown whether these weapons were removed due to time constraints or difficulty in programming.

#1 – Phone calls to Mercedes

There are several unused phone calls in GTA Vice City, such as the ones with Ken Rosenberg and Ricardo Diaz.

There are also interesting conversations between Tommy Vercetti and Mercedes Cortez. In the final game, the duo’s relationship never fully develops, but it’s slightly different in the beta version.

It’s fairly obvious to GTA players that Tommy has no romantic interest in Mercedes, given that he ignores her blatant sexual advances. This was intended by Rockstar, as a series of cut phone calls suggest that Mercedes gets fed up with his indifference. She eventually tells Tommy she is no longer in love with him.

There is also removed dialog (presumably from the mission Love Juice) where Mercedes angrily berates Tommy for leaving her with Jezz Torrent. However, there are instances where she calls the GTA player to congratulate them, such as after the satisfying death of Diaz.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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Written by bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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